Divine messages in our own self

Divine messages in our own self

 
The Quran calls on us to read the divine messages (ayat) in our own self

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced. 51:20

And in your own selves: Do you not then see? 51:21

Reading these verses in context

To better understand the interesting passage above, it is important that we read it in its context. The latter highlights God’s infinite creative power manifested throughout the Universe (‘Heaven’, 51:7, 51:22, 51:23, 51:47) through numerous messages or ayat scripted all over the Heaven and the Earth as well as our own self (51:20-23):

By those that scatter with scattering; 51:1

And those that bear the heavy weights; 51:2

And those that speed along with gentle ease; 51:3

And those that apportion the affair; 51:4

Verily, what you are promised is true indeed. 51:5 …

By the Heaven knit with ways and waves, 51:7

Surely you are of diverse opinions. 51:8

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced. 51:20

And in your own selves: Do you not then see? 51:21

And in the Heaven is your sustenance and what you are promised. 51:22

Then, by the Sustainer of the Heaven and the Earth, it is the very truth, as true as that you speak! 51:23

And it is We who have built the Heaven with power; and most surely it is We who are expanding. 51:47

And the Earth have We spread out wide – and how well have We ordered it! 51:48

And in everything have We created oppos­ites, so that you might bear in mind (that God alone is One). 51:49 …   

And I have not created the invisibles and the humans but to serve Me alone. 51:56

I seek no sustenance from them, nor do I want them to feed Me. 51:57

Surely God is the Provider of sustenance, the One with power, the Strong. 51:58

The chapter 51 starts with a reference to divine controllers, i.e., natural forces or agents operating throughout the Heaven, such as wind that drives clouds or gravitation that governs celestial bodies (51:1-4). Next it equates the infinite diversity and depth of the physical Heaven1 with those of our mind’s Heaven (51:7-8, 51:20-23; cf. 23:17-32). Next it affirms that Heaven contains both our sustenance and what we are promised (51:22-23). It then, towards the end of the sura, comes back to the Heaven (note the ring structure in the recurrence) and relates the ever-expanding Universe to its primal origin, probably alluding to Big Bang (51:47-48), while portraying cosmic evolution as a dialectical process (51:49). The latter points to the duality of everything sustained and so to the oneness and uniqueness of its Sustainer (51:49, 51:23) who seeks no sustenance from anything, while on Him depends sustenance of everything (51:56-58; cf. 35:15-17, 3:97, 29:6).

Heaven, which is thus an embodiment of divine almightiness (‘And it is We who have built the Heaven with power. 51:47’), is depicted here as the source of our provisions (‘in the Heaven is your sustenance … 51:22’). The vital role of the Heaven for our sustenance is both physical and spiritual. Physical, e.g., with galaxies that sustain our solar system and hence our planet Earth and the life on it, or e.g., with heavenly gifts of CO2, water and sunlight for photosynthesis that produces our food. Also spiritual, e.g., as an endless canvas for painting of our imagination and an inexhaustible source of food for thought that guides us to wisdom (cf. 15:16).

However, the subsequent phrase ‘and what you are promised. 51:22 (cf. 51:5), in contrast, refers to future tense. It insists that God’s endless creative power and wisdom, thus manifested in our perceivable Heaven, must potentially transcend and extend to other Heavens and to further horizons – to the dimensions of the Transcendent (al-akhirat, the End, the whole, holistic).

The truth of God’s infinite creative power, including power to re-create – evident all over the Heaven and the Earth as well as in our own self (51:20-22; cf. 7:172, 16:13) – is thus linked with the Transcendent that represents the holistic truth about the totality of this purposeful creation (51:22-23; cf. 51:5).

This certainty about the Transcendent, thus based on God’s omnipotence and omniscience, is then assertively compared with the certainty about our own existence, something that we are absolutely, axiomatic­ally conscious of – as it is instantly witnessed by us by our awareness of our own mind through our ability to think conceptually (‘as true as that you speak! 51:23).

Here we come across a foundational axiom of modern philosophy: cogito ergo sum (‘I think, therefore I am’), also expressed as Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (‘I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am’). In other words, if I doubt whether I exist or not, then something or someone must be doing the doubting, therefore the very fact that I doubt proves my existence.

Though the above Quranic reasoning affirms this Cartesian logic, it doesn’t stop there. It goes beyond, as we will observe below …

Awareness of our own self leads to awareness of God and the Transcendent

The reasoning in the Quran about God and the Transcendent evolves as follows:

Finite cannot stand on itself. It requires the ultimate support of the infinite. It is because finite is not self-sustaining; to explain the deepest reason of its existence, it has to eventually go back to ask the independent, infinite (55:26-29, 51:49, 52:35-38). Obviously, our ‘finite existence’ would not sustain if it was not based on and fed by an ‘infinite existence’ (6:14, 35:15, 51:56-57, 55:29, 3:109).

Thus our awareness about our own being (‘I think, therefore I am.’ – Descartes; cf. ‘as true as that you speak! 51:23) rationally demands our awareness about the greatest being (5:116, 6:75-79) who, by holistic logic, must be ‘absolutely One and Independent’ (112:1-4; 35:15, 3:97, 29:6). This should lead us to the acknowledgement (iman) of one God’s infinite existence (2:255).

However, this holistic awareness about an inexhaustible Divine demands the related awareness about the ‘Whole’ of divine manifestation; not only in space and time, but also in all possible dimensions (30:7). In other words, our awareness about our Creator involves our awareness about the logical necessity of seeing everything within the grand context of the totality of His creation up to its completeness (30:7, 51:22).

But if the entire creation is devised by the same architect – whose omnipotence and omniscience are manifested through the rational order of the cosmic affairs – it cannot be a meaningless jumble (51:1-4, 47-48). It has to be a divine masterpiece with aim and direction rather than an accident or a detached incident of blind matter engaged in aimless motion (20:50). In other words, this magnum opus, fashioned by the best fashioner and springing from His infinite knowledge and power, must essentially contain in its innermost fabric serious wisdom, profound purpose and complete fairness (30:7-8, 59:24, 75:36, 87:1-3).

And thus the acknowledgement of God should lead us to the acknowledgement of the Transcendent (al-akhirat, the End, the whole, holistic, bigger picture, ultimate, long-term, permanent, eternal, transcendent; 2:8, 2:62, 2:126, 3:113-115, 95:6), which must incorporate in itself the inevitable idea of divine justice and perfect sense (3:25, 4:40, 46:19, 99:7-8).

This explains why the Quran constantly associates the Truth of God – i.e., the truth of His oneness and greatness and His infinite creative and re-creative power evident throughout the universe as well as in human’s own self (51:20-21; cf. 7:172, 16:13) – with the Truth of the Transcendent (al-akhirat), which represents the totality of this purposeful creation up to the end (51:23; cf. 51:5, 30:11).

The central messages in our own self: “Remember God and the Transcendent

The Quran identifies these truths about God and the Transcendent (al-akhirat) as the central messages in our own self (30:7-8, 51:20-23) and hence as the moral axioms or permanent values that eventually dictate our thoughts and actions. Let us see how.

Acceptance of God implies, in metaphorical terms, acceptance of the oneness of the Divine, and therefore the oneness of nature, and therefore the oneness of life, and therefore the oneness of humanity, and so on.

And acceptance of the Transcendent (al-akhirat) implies, in metaphorical terms, acceptance of the bigger/whole picture that transcends – i.e., extends beyond the instant and the immediate and beyond the ordinary range of perception – and therefore also acceptance of our accountability before God.

Both these ‘beliefs’, i.e., iman in Allah and akhiratacceptance of ‘the Oneness’ and ‘the Transcendent’ – when held rationally and sincerely, drive us towards a spiritual awakening that demands from us seeking knowledge and doing justice.

No wonder the Quran constantly places such great emphasis on these inner messages in our own self that it defines these axioms as the basis of all morality and ethics and hence as the fundamental tenet of Islam, which, accompanied with good work, is declared as sufficient for ‘salvation’ (2:8, 2:62, 2:111-112, 2:126, 3:113-115, 5:69, 95:6).

The call to contemplate on the inner messages in our own self remains grave and persistent:

They only know the outward of the immediate life: but of the End they are heedless./ Do they not reflect in their own selves? Not but with truth and for a destined end did God create the Heavens and the Earth and all between them. 30:7-8

Most certainly in the Heavens and the Earth are MESSAGES for the acknowledgers./ And in your own nature and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:3-4

 

Related articles:

Divine messages in physical sciences

Divine messages in life sciences

Divine messages in human sciences

 

***********************************

Note 1

The word ‘samaa’ throughout the context of ch 51 (51:7, 51:22, 51:23, 51:47) is a metaphor for divine almightiness and includes spiritual connotations that transcend physical sky. This wider meaning of ‘samaa’ is better covered here by the word ‘Heaven’ (sky, universe, spiritual abode, divine domain etc) rather than ‘sky’.

Advertisements

Divine messages in human sciences

Divine messages in human sciences

 

There are calls in the Quran to read divine messages in the study of the humans themselves.

In modern understanding, this should involve the study of the human sciences that “attempts to expand and enlighten the human being’s knowledge of his or her existence, its interrelationship with other species and systems, and the development of artifacts to perpetuate the human expression and thought.”

Messages in anthropology

We are asked to observe God’s signs (ayah) in anthropology, which is a scientific study of the physical evolution, the behavior and the gradual socio-cultural development of the human species. This covers endless areas of human sciences: from the anatomy of bones to the interdisciplines of neuroscience, and from the politics of ecology to the prospects of transhumanism:

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced.

And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

Messages in biological anthropology

For example, we can trace many of these signs – including those signifying an intelligent design and pointing to the unitary origin of all life and man – in anthropological evolution. That is, through a study of that giant ‘tree of evolution’ (‘growing plant’) in relation to its human branch:

He has created you in successive stages.

See you not HOW … / … God has made you grow from the Earth as a growing plant? 71:14-17

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:4

Messages in man’s unity with the Universe

There are divine messages in human sciences that make us ponder on our unity with the greater ecosystem, where our origin from ‘inorganic substances’ ties us to the planet’s food chain where ‘living’ dialectically recycles with ‘non-living’:

It is He who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and who gives life to the Earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out.

Among His wonders is that He created you from dust, and, then behold, you are humankind spreading out.

… In this indeed there are MESSAGES for a people who reflect. 30:19-21

Thus, while studying the evolving, ever-growing ‘Homo sapiens’, we can also contemplate on the unity of all humans in relation to their common, lowly biological origin, and hence on their ultimate oneness and equality.

Messages in man’s unity with all life

We are asked to read the messages of the organic unity of man with the living world, scripted throughout the great Book of life. Please note how the Quranic wisdom holistically simplifies these messages:

Neither creation of you all nor raising of you all is but as a single self (‘single breath’): surely God is Hearing, Seeing.

See you not HOW God merges the night into the day …? 31:28-29

And He it is who has initiated you from a single living entity, and then: a course and a destination. Thus have We detailed the MESSAGES to a people who comprehend. 6:98

Messages in comparative life sciences

While highlighting the strong biological links between animals and ‘man the animal’, and frequently describing humans in relation to animals (2:65, 2:164, 5:60, 6:38, 7:166, 7:176, 7:179, 8:22, 8:55, 10:24, 11:6-7, 16:4-8, 16:66-69, 16:78-80, 20:54, 24:45, 25:44, 25:49, 29:60, 31:10, 32:27, 35:28, 39:6, 42:11, 45:4, 79:33, 80:32), the Quran invites us to study ourselves in parallel with other animals.

We may explore divine messages in our blood kinship with the living world through wider studies of genealogy and comparative life sciences. This would include comparative anatomy, comparative physiology and comparative biochemistry as well as comparative sections of molecular biology, embryology, genetics and palaeontology:

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:4

Messages in archaeology and palaeontology

In line with the above, the Quran asks us to explore divine messages in the history of Earth’s geo-biological evolution by expeditions and searches through the Earth (2:164, 30:50, 50:7, 88:17-20). Thus, on one hand, we need to study archaeology through the recovery and analysis of the remnants of the material culture and environmental data left behind by the ancient humans. On the other hand, we need to study palaeontology in order to understand the various forms of pre-historic life by ‘reading’ their fossil records (22:46, 29:19-20, 51:20):

Do they not see HOW God originates creation, then reproduces it: surely that is easy for God.

Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe HOW God did originate the creation; then God produces the next creation; surely God has power over all things. 29:19-20

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced. 51:20

In the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures … , there are MESSAGES for a people reasoning. 2:164

Messages in ethnic anthropology

The Quran positively highlights the great diversity in humans in their physical and mental features and traits, which is a manifestation of the infinite nuance of ‘colours and hues’ of nature in human forms (35:19-21, 25, 27-28; 30:9, 22; 2:136, 138-139), expressed as numerous ethnicities, cultures, religions, concepts and views throughout the ages and places:

See you not that God sent down water from the Heaven? With it We then bring out produces of various colours. And in the mountains are streaks of whites and reds, of various colours, and intense blacks.

And so amongst men and animals and livestock, are they of various colours. As such, only the knowledgeable among His servants stand in awe of God: surely God is Mighty, Forgiving. 35:27-28

This human diversity not only displays by itself nature’s splendour, wonder and beauty, but also contains messages declaring God’s oneness and greatness and His infinite creative and re-creative potential (17:44, 57:1). There are recurrent calls to read these messages that can be traced through the study of ethnic anthropology:

And among His wonders is … the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are MESSAGES for the worlds. 30:22

And all that He has multiplied for you in the Earth of diverse colours; verily there is a MESSAGE in this for a people who recollect. 16:13

Messages in anthropology of gender

Exploring of divine messages in the study of humans extends to anthropology of gender that investigates, among other issues, the cohesive forces of the dialectics between the human opposites – man and woman – who, through the same process of sexual differentiation, share common and reciprocal descent and hence unity and equality with each other:

And among His wonders is that He created opposites for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He placed love and mercy between you: in this indeed there are MESSAGES for a people who reflect. 30:21

Messages in linguistic anthropology

We are asked to read the messages in the linguistic diversity of humans:

And among His wonders is … the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are MESSAGES for the worlds. 30:22

Messages in cultural anthropology

Exploring of divine messages should extend to such areas of anthropology that deal with evolution of humans in their socio-cultural awareness:

O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down for you garments to cover your nakedness and as feathers. And the garment of awareness, that is the best. This is of the MESSAGES of God that they may be mindful. 7:26

Messages in the study of ancient parables

There are messages in the study of ‘parables’ of the ancients (‘mathal’; 24:34, 25:33; cf. 3:3-7; 5:27) – i.e. their legends, myths, allegories and educational stories – which are often to deliver some moral lesson or wisdom (25:33, 39:27, 12:111), and are not necessarily meant to be understood literally as real or historical events:

In (the story of) Joseph and his brothers there are MESSAGES indeed for those who inquire. 12:7

In their stories is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. 12:111

In this (story of Lot) there are MESSAGES indeed for those who can interpret. 15:75

In this (story of Noah) there are MESSAGES indeed; for most surely We are ever testing (people). 23:30

Messages in history

The Quran insistently invites us to read God’s messages and warnings in the lessons of history (3:137, 6:11, 16:36, 27:52, 27:69, 30:9, 30:42, 34:19, 35:44, 40:21, 47:10):

So these are their homes empty, ruined, for what they transgressed. In that there is a MESSAGE for a people learning. 27:52

And they were unjust to themselves so We made them hadiths and scattered them with an utter scattering. In this there are MESSAGES indeed for all who are steadfast, appreciative. 34:19

Then, while calling to ‘travel through the Earth’ to gain insight by learning from the past, the Quran also positively reminds the traveller, who is wandering through the pages of history, that, as rain vivifies a barren land, man’s conscious effort can as easily create a civilization out of ruins:

Was it not a lesson for them, how many generations We annihilated before them, in whose dwellings now they do walk about? Certainly there are MESSAGES in this: Will they not then hear?

Do they not see that We drive the water to the barren land, then We bring forth thereby crops of which their livestock and they themselves eat; will they not then see? 32:26-27

Messages in sociology

We should observe divine signs in all areas of sociology, which investigates the social, intellectual and organizational evolution and diversification of the human as an integrated part of the dialectical development of the whole Universe (alluded below by a range of duality in expressions):

Among His wonders is that He created you from dust, and, then behold, you are humankind spreading out.

And among His wonders is that He created opposites for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He placed love and mercy between you: in this indeed there are MESSAGES for a people who reflect.

And among His wonders is the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are MESSAGES for the worlds. 30:20-22

Messages in politico-economics

Then there are messages in politico-economics, in the study of those historical dialectical laws and deterministic principles that regulate the provisions and material life of humans:

Do you not see that God extends provision for whom He wills, or restricts, determining according to a measure (His laws)? In this there are MESSAGES indeed for a people who acknowledge (the divine laws). 30:37

Do they not know that God extends provision for whomever He wishes, or restricts, determining according to a measure? In this are MESSAGES for a people who acknowledge. 39:52

Messages in neuroscience

The Quran asks us to read the messages in the flowing neurosensory and mental processes (‘hearing, sights and senses’), which it persistently illustrates as flights of BIRDS (16:78-79; 67:19-23; 6:36, 38-39, 103-104; 17:13, 36; 24:41-44):

And God has brought you forth from your mothers’ wombs while you knew nothing, and He has endowed you with the hearing, and the sights, and the senses, so that you might have cause to be grateful.

See they not the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky? Nothing holds them up but God. Verily in this are MESSAGES for those who acknowledge. 16:78-79

Messages in psychology

We can read some of God’s messages contained in the books of psychology – the science of minds that deals with the mental states and processes:

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced.

And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

Most certainly in the Heavens and the Earth are MESSAGES for the acknowledgers.

And in your own nature and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:3-4

In time We shall show them Our MESSAGES in the utmost horizons and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth. 41:53

And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His bounty. Most surely in that there are MESSAGES for a people who hear. 30:23

It is God that takes the selves at death and, those that die not, during their sleep; He keeps that for which He has ordained death and the rest He sends back for a term appointed. Most surely in this there are MESSAGES for a people who reflect. 39:42

Messages in moral sciences

Then there are messages in ethics and moral sciences:

Say: What if God should take away your hearing and your sights and seals your minds; which god besides God could bring it back to you? Deeply observe how many facets we give to our MESSAGES, but how they still turn away. 6:46

Have you not seen the ships speeding through the sea, carrying God’s provisions, so that He might show you some of His wonders? In that there are MESSAGES indeed for all who are patient, grate­ful. 31:31

See you not that God sends down water from the Heaven, and leads it through springs in the Earth? Then He grows therewith produce of various colours: then it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this is a reminder for those with insight. 39:21

And among His signs are the vessels that sail through the seas, lofty as mountains.
If He willed, He could still the winds, leaving them motionless on top of it. In that there are MESSAGES indeed for all who are steadfast, appreciative. 42:32-33

And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth: it is all from Him. Behold, in that are MESSAGES indeed for those who reflect. 45:13

Messages in spiritual sciences

There are deeper messages in the ‘veiled dimensions of reality’, a bit of which has been claimed to be ‘perceived’ by activities in spiritual sciences like theosophy and anthroposophy:

Are they then not aware of how little of the Heaven and the Earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them? … Most surely in this there is a MESSAGE for every servant who turns. 34:9

He it is who shows you His MESSAGES and sends down for you sustenance from the Heaven, and only he pays heed who turns. 40:13

Here comes ‘the sixth sense’ that often grasps the inner nature of things intuitively by ‘hearing’ the voice of our subconscious while ‘resting in night’s darkness’ – something in addition to ‘seeing’, i.e. conscious reasoning based on ‘observation in daylight’ (‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ are often associated in the Quran with ‘darkness’ and ‘light’ respectively, e.g. 22:61; 6:36, 39; 6:96, 103, 28:71-72):

Say: Have you noted: if God made the night eternal over you until the Resurrection Day, what god other than God would bring you light? Do you not then hear?

Say: Have you noted: if God made the day eternal over you until the Resurrection Day, what god other than God would bring you night wherein you rest? Do you not then see? 28:71-72

It is He who has made the night for you to repose therein and the day sight-giving. In that there are MESSAGES indeed for a people who hear. 10:67

Have they not seen that We have made the night that they may repose therein and the day sight-giving? In that there are MESSAGES indeed for a people acknowledging. 27:86

SUMMARY AND FURTHER OBSERVATION

Messages extend beyond physical, biological and human sciences

As noted earlier, the Quran calls us to study the Universe constantly, and as minutely and deeply as possible, in order to explore the veiled messages scripted throughout the great Book of nature (96:1, 45:3, 29:44, 30:25, 34:9, 12:105, 46:26).

There are divine messages to be read in all branches of physical science: in the study of the Universe that involves the study of logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry (13:2, 6:97, 16:12), in the study of the Solar system (41:37, 10:5-6) and Earth sciences, including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography (51:20, 21:31-32, 20:53-54, 13:3) as well as evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry, hydrology and so on (2:164, 45:5).

Then, apart from physical sciences, there are further messages to be read in various branches of life science: in the study of general biology (26:7-8), evolutionary biology (2:164, 6:98, 29:19-20, 45:4, 71:14-17), study of abiogenesis and biochemistry (41:39, 16:65, 30:24, 22:63), botanical sciences (6:99, 13:4), agricultural and nutritional sciences (16:10-11, 16:67, 6:118), zoological sciences (2:164, 45:4, 16:65-66), entomology (16:68-69), ornithology (16:79, 24:41, 67:19), mammalogy (16:65-66), anthropology (51:20-21, 45:4, 30:20, 22) and so on.

Then, apart from physical and life sciences, there are further messages to be read in various areas of human science: in the study of anthropology (51:20-21), biological anthropology (71:14-17, 45:4), man’s unity with the Universe (30:19-21), man’s unity with all life (31:28-29, 6:98), comparative life sciences (45:4), archaeology and palaeontology (29:19-20, 51:20, 2:164), ethnic anthropology (35:27-28, 30:22, 16:13), anthropology of gender (30:21), linguistic anthropology (30:22), cultural anthropology (7:26), study of ancient parables (12:7, 12:111, 15:75, 23:30), history (27:52, 32:26-27, 34:19), sociology (30:20-22), politico-economics (13:26, 30:37, 39:52), neuroscience (16:78-79; cf. 67:19-23; 6:36, 38-39, 103-104; 17:13, 36; 24:41-44), psychology (51:20-21, 45:3-4, 41:53, 30:23, 39:42), moral sciences (6:46, 31:31, 39:21, 42:32-33, 45:13), spiritual sciences (34:9, 40:13, 10:67, 27:86, 28:71-72) and so on.

This reading of divine messages should continue in all areas of knowledge: in the study of the Universe, life and man, including human’s own self.

Related articles:

Divine messages in physical sciences

Divine messages in life sciences

Divine messages in life sciences

Divine messages in life scien


The Quran calls on us to read divine messages in biological sciences

While referring to the overflowing affluence of biological nature of our planet, the Quran invites us to ponder on the divine messages (ayah) scripted throughout the great Book of life, all of which declare God’s oneness and greatness and His infinite creative and re-creative power (17:44, 57:1):

Do they not look at the Earth, how much from every generous pair We have caused to grow therein?

There is certainly a MESSAGE in that, though most of them acknowledge not. 26:7-8

Messages in evolutionary biology, in the study of ‘the great tree of life’

We can read some of these messages, including those pointing to the unitary origin of all life and human, in evolutionary biology – in the study of ‘the great tree of life’ – which, with all its multiplied branches and all its complexities, has evolved from a single seed:

He has created you in successive stages.

See you not HOW … / … God has made you grow from the Earth as a growing plant? 71:14-17

Do they not see HOW God originates creation, then reproduces it: surely that is easy for God.

Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe HOW God did originate the creation; then God produces the next creation; surely God has power over all things. 29:19-20

Messages in the biological unity of the whole living world

While describing human’s evolution and resurrection, the Quran holistically simplifies the messages of this biological unity of the whole living world:

Neither creation of you all nor raising of you all is but as a single self (‘single breath’): surely God is Hearing, Seeing.

See you not HOW God merges the night into the day …? 31:28-29

And He it is who has initiated you from a single living entity, and then: a course and a destination. Thus have We detailed the MESSAGES to a people who comprehend. 6:98

Messages in the study of abiogenesis and biochemistry

Some of these messages, e.g. those related to the origin of carbon-based organic life out of inorganic molecules, can be ‘explored’ in the study of abiogenesis and biochemistry:

And among His MESSAGES is this, that you see the Earth humble, but when We sent down the water thereon, it thrilled and swelled: most surely He who gives life to it is the Giver of life to the dead; certainly He has power over all things. 41:39

And God sends down water from the Heavens, giving life thereby to the Earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there is a MESSAGE indeed for people who listen. 16:65

And among His Signs, He displays to you the lightning, as a fear and a hope, and sends down water from the Heaven and thereby gives life to the Earth after it is lifeless; verily in this there are MESSAGES indeed for a people using reason. 30:24

Have you not seen that God sent down water from the Heaven and that on the morn the Earth is clad with green? Verily, God is Unfathomable, All-aware. 22:63

Messages in botanical sciences

Then one can read some of the messages in botanical sciences, while studying plants and plantal life, including their growth, structure, physiology, reproduction, and pathology, as well as their economic use and cultivation by humans:

And He it is who has sent down water from the Heaven; and therewith have We brought forth all living growth, then have We brought forth out of it GREEN, from which We produce grain heaped up; and out of the date-palm, out of its sheaths, clusters low-hanging; and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates: each alike yet unlike. DEEPLY OBSERVE the fruit thereof, when it comes to fruition, and its ripening! Most surely in all this there are MESSAGES for people who acknowledge! 6:99

And in the Earth are plots neighbouring, and orchards of vines and fields of grain, and date-palms, like and unlike – although they are watered with one water, yet We make some excel others in produce. Verily, in all this there are MESSAGES indeed for a people who reason! 13:4  

Messages in agricultural and nutritional sciences

One can further explore some of the messages in agricultural and nutritional sciences:

It is He who sends down water from the Heaven, whereof you have drink and whereof are the plants upon which you pasture;

With it He causes to grow for you crops, and olive trees, and date-palms, and grapes, and all kinds of fruit: verily in this there is a MESSAGE for a people who reflect. 16:10-11

And of the fruits of date-palms and vines: you derive from them strong drink and good nourishment; most surely there is a MESSAGE in this for a people who use their reason. 16:67

So eat from that on which God’s attribute (of mercy) has been remembered, if you indeed acknowledge His MESSAGES. 6:118

Messages in zoological sciences

Then there are messages in the study of zoological sciences. The Quran mentions numerous animals, all having started from a single cell and all being witnesses to God’s creative power and signs of His intelligent design (cf. fish, 7:163; 18:61,63; 37:142; 68:48; frog, 7:133; snake, 7:107; 26:32 and other reptiles, 24:45; and so on):

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:4

In the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures … , there are MESSAGES for a people reasoning. 2:164

Messages in entomology

And there are messages even in the research of insects, i.e. entomology (cf. mosquito, 2:26; locust, 7:133, 54:7; lice, 7:133; bee, 16:68; ant, 27:18; fly, 22:73; termite/ earthworm, 34:14; spider, an arachnid, 29:41; moth/ butterfly, 101:4):

And your Sustainer has inspired to the female bee: ‘Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build:

Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Sustainer, made smooth’. There comes forth from their bellies a drink; diverse are its colours; in it is healing for mankind; most surely there is a MESSAGE in this for a people who reflect. 16:68-69

Messages in ornithology

Also messages in the study of birds, i.e. ornithology (cf. birds 6:38; 27:20; hoopoe, 27:20; crow, 5:31; falcon, 5:4):

See they not the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky? Nothing holds them up but God. Verily in this are MESSAGES for those who acknowledge. 16:79

See you not that God is He whom do glorify all those who are in the Heavens and the Earth, and the birds with wings outspread? Of each one He knows its own worship and glorification. And God is Aware of what they do. 24:41

See they not the birds above them expanding and contracting? Nothing upholds them save the Beneficent. Surely He is Seer of all things. 67:19

Messages in mammalogy

And there are messages in the research of higher vertebrates, e.g. in mammalogy (cf. mammals like cow/ heifer, 2:67-71; 6:144,146; 12:43,46; calf, 2:51,54,92,93; 4:153; 7:148,152; 11:69; 20:88; 51:26; donkey, 2:259; 16:8; 31:19; 62:5; horse, 3:14; 8:60; 16:8; 17:64; 59:6; goat, sheep, 6:143; camel, 6:144; 88:17; adult he camel, 7:40; she camel, 7:73,77; 11:64; 17:59; 26:155; 54:27; 91:13; dog, 5:4; 7:176; 18:18-22; pig, 2:173; 5:3; 6:145; 16:115; monkey, 2:65; 5:60; 7:166; wolf, 12:17; sheep/goat/ewe, 20:18; 38:23-24; lion, 74:51; zebra, 74:50; elephant, 105:1; whale, 37:142):

And God sends down water from the Heavens, giving life thereby to the Earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there is a MESSAGE indeed for people who listen.

And most surely there is a LESSON for you in the livestock too: We give you to drink of what is in their bellies from betwixt the faeces and the blood: milk, pure and pleasant to its drinkers. 16:65-66

And in the livestock there is a LESSON for you. We give you to drink from what is in its bellies, and you have many other benefits from them, and of them you derive food. 23:21

Messages in anthropology

And, obviously, there are messages in anthropology, i.e. in the study of human herself:

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced.

And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are MESSAGES for a people being convinced. 45:4


Summary and further observation

Messages extend beyond physical and life sciences

As we noted earlier, the Quran calls us to study the Universe constantly, and as minutely and deeply as possible, in order to explore the veiled messages scripted throughout the great Book of nature (96:1, 45:3, 29:44, 30:25, 34:9, 12:105, 46:26).

There are divine messages to be read in all branches of physical science: in the study of the Universe that involves the study of logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry (13:2, 6:97, 16:12), in the study of the Solar system (41:37, 10:5-6) and Earth sciences, including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography (51:20, 21:31-32, 20:53-54, 13:3) as well as evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry and hydrology (2:164, 45:5) and so on .

Then, apart from physical sciences, there are further messages to be read in various branches of life science: in the study of general biology (26:7-8), evolutionary biology (2:164, 6:98, 29:19-20, 45:4, 71:14-17), study of abiogenesis and biochemistry (41:39, 16:65, 30:24, 22:63), botanical sciences (6:99, 13:4), agricultural and nutritional sciences (16:10-11, 16:67, 6:118), zoological sciences (2:164, 45:4, 16:65-66), entomology (16:68-69), ornithology (16:79, 24:41, 67:19), mammalogy (16:65-66), anthropology (51:20-21, 45:4, 30:20, 22) and so on.

Then this reading of divine messages should continue in all areas of human science (51:20-21, 45:4, 30:20, 22, 6:98, 29:19-20, 31:28-29, 71:14-17, 30:21, 39:52, 51:20-21, 41:53, 31:31, 6:46, 10:67, 39:42, 40:13, 30:23, 27:86).

Related articles:

Divine messages in physical sciences

Divine messages in human sciences

Divine messages in physical sciences

Divine messages in physical sciences

 

Messages in all branches of physical science

The Quran imposes no regimentation but simply invites us to study the Universe constantly, and as minutely and deeply as our faculties allow, in order to explore its veiled messages.

Messages in the study of the Universe: in logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry

We can uncover some of these messages while engaged in the study of the Universe that includes logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry:

God is He who raised up the Heavens with supports invisible to you, while He is established on the throne; He has subjected the Sun and the Moon, each one pursues its course to an appointed term. He regulates the affair, explaining the MESSAGES in detail, that you may be certain of meeting your Sustainer. 13:2

And He it is who has set for you the stars that you may guide yourselves by them in the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our MESSAGES for a people who possess knowledge. 6:97

And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the Sun and the Moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: most surely there are MESSAGES in this for a people reasoning. 16:12

Messages in the study of the Solar system

There are messages to be ‘read’ in the study of the Solar system that includes our planet Earth (cf. revolving ‘night and day’), its star, the Sun and its satellite, the Moon (cf. Abraham’s quest for God, 6:75-79, 14:33-35):

Among His MESSAGES are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Adore not the Sun not the Moon, but prostrate yourselves in adoration before God, who has created them. 41:37

He it is who made the Sun a splendour and the Moon a light, and measured for it stages that you might know to compute the years and reckon. God did not create this but with truth. He details these MESSAGES unto people of knowledge.

Most surely in the succession of the Night and the Day, and in all that God has created in the Heavens and the Earth, are MESSAGES for a people who are conscious. 10:5-6

Messages in the study of the Earth sciences: in geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography

Then there are messages to be ‘read’ in the study of the Earth sciences including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology and geography:

And in the Earth are MESSAGES for those who are convinced. 51:20

And We have set on the Earth mountains standing firm lest it quake with them, and We have made therein wide ways that they may follow a right direction.

And We have made the Heavens a guarded roof. Yet they turn away from its MESSAGES. 21:31-32

He it is who has made the Earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways thereon, and sent down from the Heaven water, and thereby We brought forth pairs of various plants, each separate from the others.

Eat you and pasture your livestock thereon; most surely in this there are MESSAGES for those who are endowed with reason. 20:53-54

And it is He who spread out the Earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and flowing waters: and of every fruit He placed therein two opposites; He draws the night as a veil over the day. Most surely in all this there are MESSAGES indeed for a people who reflect. 13:3  

Messages in the evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry, hydrology etc

Clearly, there are messages in the Study of cosmology in general, which involves evolutionary sciences that deal with the study of both celestial and terrestrial evolution, as well as numerous related areas like geophysics, inorganic and organic chemistry, hydrology and so on:

Behold! In the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, in the succession of the night and the day, and in the ships that speed through the sea with what benefits man, and in the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures, and in the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the Heaven and the Earth, there are MESSAGES for a people reasoning. 2:164

This perfect harmony in the working of the Universe, based on the mutual agreement between all the diverse forces of nature, is, according to the Quran, a sign or proof of the oneness and greatness of its Maker. We are asked to reflect over this creation and to ‘read’ its veiled messages in order to realise the divine unity and majesty in the midst of its infinite diversity (‘there are messages for a people reasoning’).

A summary of the above is the verse below:

And in the succession of the night and the day, and in what God sends down of sustenance from the Heaven, then revives therewith the Earth after its death, and in the changing of the winds, are MESSAGES for a people reasoning. 45:5

 

Summary and further observation

Messages extend beyond physical sciences

The Quran calls us to study the Universe constantly, and as minutely and deeply as possible, in order to explore the veiled messages scripted throughout the great Book of nature (96:1, 45:3, 29:44, 30:25, 34:9, 12:105, 46:26).

There are divine messages to be ‘read’ in all branches of physical science: in the study of the Universe that involves the study of logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry (13:2, 6:97, 16:12), in the study of the Solar system (41:37, 10:5-6) and Earth sciences, including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography (51:20, 21:31-32, 20:53-54, 13:3) as well as evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry and hydrology (2:164, 45:5) and so on.

Then, apart from physical sciences, there are further messages to be ‘read’ in other branches of science: in the study of biology (26:7-8), evolutionary biology (2:164, 6:98, 29:19-20, 45:4, 71:14-17), abiogenesis and biochemistry (41:39, 16:65, 30:24, 22:63), botanical sciences (6:99, 13:4), agricultural and nutritional sciences (16:10-11, 16:67, 6:118), zoological sciences (2:164, 45:4, 16:65-66), entomology (16:68-69), ornithology (16:79, 24:41, 67:19), mammalogy (16:65-66), various branches of human science (51:20-21, 45:4, 30:20, 22, 6:98, 29:19-20, 31:28-29, 71:14-17, 30:21, 39:52, 51:20-21, 41:53, 31:31, 6:46, 10:67, 39:42, 40:13, 30:23, 27:86) and so on.

Related articles:

Divine messages in life sciences

Divine messages in human sciences