Pick up a leaf and look at it closely. Although it appears quite ordinary, what you cannot see are the wide-ranging and magnificent chemical processes that enable it to carry out photosynthesis. Its countless factories, which are invisible to the naked eye, accomplish in seconds a process that is so sublime that scientists equipped with the most modern laboratory facilities cannot replicate it. This chemical process, which is performed very quietly by a usually unnoticed part of Creation, is one of the main reasons why humanity is still present on this planet.
Every square millimeter of each leaf contains around 500,000 chlorophylls, the magnificent molecules that are necessary for photosynthesis. Were we able to examine this molecule, a great many more details would become apparent. For example, the entire photosynthesis process that takes place inside this particular molecule occurs within one ten-millionth of a second. In other words, the complex process initiated by the light reaching a leaf’s water and then activating the relevant subatomic particles and changing their orbits is repeated 10 million times a second. In addition, this process takes place separately in each chlorophyll molecule.
If Allah willed chlorophyll molecules to cease their activities or the wavelength of the light reaching the leaf to change, no means of locating another source of oxygen would exist. If photosynthesis stopped, there would be no other way to convert into oxygen the carbon dioxide that human beings and animals exhale. It would be illogical to expect a chlorophyll molecule, which is essential for continued life, to come into being and set about cleaning the air and giving rise to nutrients all by itself.
The fact that a plant can consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen is a great miracle. This extraordinary system is a great blessing and astonishing work of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds:
Good land yields up its plants by its Lord’s permission, but that which is bad only yields up scantily. In this way, We vary the Signs for people who are thankful. (Surat al-A‘raf, 58)