Manifestations of Allah as the All-Merciful and Most Merciful in the Life in This World
There are many fine proofs in this world of living creatures of Allah's manifestation as al-Badee'(The Originator; the Innovative Creator), for ""… the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, 'Be!' and it is." (Surat al-Baqara, 117).
Allah's knowledge is without limit. He created everything that surrounds us without a model; created a flawless system of atoms, molecules, cells, living creatures, planets, stars, and galaxies; and everything that exists, from the micro-world to the heavenly bodies. The Qur'an tells us:
Say: "My Lord has commanded justice. Stand and face Him at each (time and place) of prostration and call upon Him, making your religion sincerely His. As He originated you, so will you return." (Surat al-A'raf, 29)
He is the Originator of the heavens and Earth. How could He have a son when He has no wife? He created all things and has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-An'am, 101)
Allah created everything in an amazing order. The heavenly bodies and the millions of creatures on Earth live their lives in wonderful harmony. The order in nature has been stable since the time it was established. And when we examine life on Earth, we encounter countless amazing proofs of creation. Such order in the universe and, as a result, the existence of life in this world, can continue only because a Creator with supreme intelligence created everything in harmony:
Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers, placed the Moon as a light in them, and made the Sun a blazing lamp? Allah caused you to grow from the soil [and] then will return you to it and bring you out again. Allah has spread the land out as a carpet for you so that you can use its wide valleys as roadways. (Surah Nuh, 15-20)
Thinking about the name the All-Merciful and Most Merciful helps people see these proofs and appreciate the blessings placed at their service. In the following pages, we will show proofs of Allah's mercy. Although we come across them constantly, many of us do not recognize them for what they are; rather, we think of them as ordinary occurrences.
Allah created human beings with perfect bodies and placed them in a world with abundant blessings. Thus, we should act in ways to please our Creator.
Consider the example of rain. One of its measurements is related to how heavily it falls. A body of the same size and weight as a raindrop, if released from a height of 1,200 meters (3,940 feet), will gradually increase in speed and fall to Earth at about 558 kilometers per hour (346 miles per hour). However, the speed of raindrop is only 8-10 kilometers per hour (5-6 miles per hour), because it has a shape that increases the friction in the atmosphere and allows it to fall at a far lower speed. If a raindrop had a different shape or there was no friction in the atmosphere, every rainfall would cause great disasters on Earth.
About 70 percent of the human body is composed of water. Our cells contain more water than anything else, and our blood is largely water. This is true of any living creature. In fact, life cannot exist without water. If the laws of nature permitted matter to exist only in a hard or a gaseous state, life would never have come to be. The atoms found in hard matter are compact and motionless, and so could not allow the dynamic molecular activity needed for living organisms to develop. The atoms found in gas are free, volatile, and unstable. Under such conditions, the complex mechanisms of living organisms cannot function. The best liquid environment for life, therefore, is water, which is ""... the handiwork of Allah, Who gives to everything its solidity." (Surat an-Naml, 88)
He picks out for His mercy whoever He wills. Allah's favor is indeed immense. (Surah Al'Imran, 74)
Water's fluidity is very important for each cell's internal activities and for the circulation system. All living things larger than a quarter of a millimeter have circulation systems. After reaching this size, such a system is needed to transport nutrients and oxygen to and from the cell's fluid. The body contains countless cells, and thus needs some channels to deliver oxygen and energy and other channels to collect the waste products. These channels are the blood vessels, and the heart is the pump that ensures the flow of blood in these vessels. (If the cells, proteins, and hormones in the blood are removed, the remaining plasma is 95 percent water.) So, water's fluidity is critical for the efficient functioning of the circulation system. For example, if water's fluidity was the same as that of tar, no heart could pump it.
Have you thought about the water that you drink? Did you send it down from the clouds, or are We the Sender? If We wished We could have made it bitter. So, will you not give thanks?
Water has the same fluidity as olive oil, which is 100 million times more fluid than tar. Even if the heart could pump tar, it would flow with great difficulty and could never enter the body's millions of capillary vessels. Unlike any other fluid, water's physical and chemical properties were designed to sustain human life. The world was created for human life; it also came alive through water, which was specially created as the foundation of human life, for everything that we eat from the soil comes about because of water. Thus, water is a very important blessing:
He [Allah] sends down water from the sky. From it you drink, and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you, as well as olives, dates, grapes, and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl, 10-11)
Allah created all of these systems so that everything would live because of water. He created the world with rivers and other sources of water, and brings forth the clouds and makes it rain. Allah created everything in such harmony and interdependence that conscious people will see that there is only one Allah and that He created all of these things. They will also understand that Allah is very generous in His love and mercy for humanity.
The kingdom of the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. He gives life and causes to die. He has power over all things. (Surat al-Hadid, 2)
Many people may never have considered what a colorful world they live in or why so many colors exist. They have never thought of what a world without color would be like. Everyone with ordinary vision encounters a world of color from the moment they are born. A dark and colorless world is not inconceivable; but the amazing thing is that we are living at this moment in a bright, colorful world. When someone mentions a colorless world, we may think of tones of black, white, and gray. However, these are colors. As a result, when we try to describe colorlessness, we are obliged to use the idea of color. We may try to express this idea as: "Everything is colorless; there is no color in your face; it is completely white." But these words describe a world characterized by the colors of black and white.
Everything in the heavens and Earth glorifies Allah.
Imagine that everything surrounding you has lost its color. In such a situation, it would be impossible to distinguish separate objects, for one would blend into the other. For example, you could not see an orange, a strawberry, or a flower on a brown table, because there would be no colors to distinguish them. Naturally, we would soon become tired of living in such a world. Therefore, colors are a wonderful blessing from Allah, a gift of His incomparable gift that leads us toward contentment and joy. Allah has endowed the whole universe with matchless beauty. His name as-Sani' (The Artificer; The Maker) expresses the idea that incomparable beauty, subtle artistry, harmony, and goodness is reflected in everything He has created.
Allah created many different creatures to reflect this name, and none of them resembles another in outward appearance. He created a tropical bird's wings and a flower's leaves with phosphorescent colors, gave a butterfly's wings various tones; and made reptiles, birds, and sea animals bear no resemblance to each other. His endless artistry can also be seen in the millions of different plants and flowers: "And also the things of varying colors He has created for you in the Earth..." (Surat an-Nahl, 13) Every one is different from another in scent, shape, color, and symmetry. For example, orchids have hundreds of different appearances and many colors, and roses appear in many different colors and particular shades. Such colors, shades, and lines are signs of art. Everywhere we look, we encounter examples of this art that belongs to the eternal artistry of the Supreme Artist: Allah.
In the world of creatures, the human eye is the most functional when it comes to perceiving the minutest variation of color, for it was created to function in a world of color. And so only we can understand this and conclude that everything that exists, including every detail and color, were created so that we may perceive, consider, and understand their order. Every color has been arranged to please the human spirit. The animate and inanimate worlds are dominated by a perfect symmetry and harmony of color. Just as thinking people realize immediately that a painting was painted by an artist, they also understand that their colorful, bright, symmetrical, and esthetically beautiful surroundings are the work of a Creator. Using no models for His creation, Allah created these colors and everything else in harmony with each other, and placed us in this world with its infinite number of colors and beautiful blessings.
Know that the life of this world is merely a game, a diversion and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)
Our world contains countless beings that we can and cannot see: single celled organisms, plants, insects, sea creatures, birds, reptiles, and so on. When we look at the soil, we see a variety of creatures that bear no resemblance to each other. The same applies to the air we breathe. Minute creatures that you have never heard of live on your skin, and each living creature's intestines contain millions of bacteria and single-celled organisms required to digest food. At the same time, our planet contains far more animals than people. When plants are added, it becomes quite clear that every piece of this planet contains some form of life, each of which has its own physical systems, way of life, and different characteristics. The most important thing is that all of them were created for a specific purpose: to balance creation, which benefits us and give us pleasure. Wherever we look and whatever we observe, we see manifestations of His name the All-Merciful and Most Merciful, for only He supplies them with the countless benefits that they need to live and survive.
Race each other to forgiveness from your Lord and to a Garden, whose breadth is like that of heaven and Earth combined, made ready for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers... (Surat al-Hadid, 21)
One of the most important elements that give the universe its harmony is its symmetry. Every living creature, be it a seed, a fruit, or a leaf, has its own symmetrical structure. Pick up a leafy plant and notice how its leaves spiral around the stem, which forms an obvious symmetry. There is a clear order in the structure of a seed's nucleus and in the ordering of a leaf's veins, as well as symmetry in a butterfly's wings, each of which has the same shade of color and the same line. The matchless order and magnificent artistry in living creatures is meant to speak to the human spirit, to give pleasure to human beings, for no other creature can appreciate such art and beauty. Non-symmetrical views are tiring and unpleasant, for confusion and disharmony do not speak to the human spirit. As a result, everything in creation reflects the value He places on humanity and the love and compassion He has for us.
Each animal's colors, patterns, spots, and stripes have a specific function, such as to communicate and to warn enemies. So, each color's shade and each stripe's direction were especially determined. If we observe creation carefully, we see that everything is just how it should be so that we may enjoy it, such as the refreshing blue sky, colorful flowers, green trees and grass, the Moon in the black sky that shines on our world, and the stars. In this perfect creation, Allah showed His mercy toward human beings and animals, for "My mercy extends to all things" (Surat al-A'raf, 156). Allah holds everything under His control and His glory is majestic. The most important duty that falls to someone who recognizes Allah's endless mercy and generosity toward His servants is to put forth every effort to win His favor and to be worthy of His blessings.