Imagine a manager who has received a sound education and has gained experience working in several departments of a company. Assume, further that the owner of the company regards this manager as a success by appointing him to the position of general manager. Then let him, as general manager, be given unlimited authority for a year, running the company as he chooses, organizing the employees and its commercial activities. However, let his contract and rights be valid for one year only.
Naturally, at the end of that period, the owner of the company will hold the manager to account and ask how wisely he used the powers entrusted to him and the kind of profits he earned. Any intelligent manager will seek to demonstrate that he made the best of the means at his disposal, thanks to which the owner will reward him for what he did. But a manager who wastes the funds at his disposal, spending without thought or calculation and consuming all the company’s assets, will show an enormous lack of intellect. His year will go by very quickly, and he will then be punished for misusing his authority.
In fact, every human being’s life bears a close resemblance to the situation of that general manager. Some of the elements a person is given to manage are his limbs, and matchlessly designed organs and cells. But these actually belong to God. A person has a duty to make the very best use of these means entrusted to him for the specific duration of his life. After death, he will give account to our Lord, Who created him and endowed him with blessings. The way to make the best use of this great blessing has been revealed in the Qur’an:
You who believe! Shall I direct you to a transaction which will save you from a painful punishment? It is to believe in God and His Messenger and strive in the Way of God with your wealth and your selves. That is better for you if you only knew. He will forgive you your wrong actions and admit you into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, and fine dwellings in the Gardens of Eden. That is the Great Victory. (Surat as-Saff: 10-12)
Our senses of taste and smell are matchless blessings unconditionally placed at our service. Throughout this book, we have frequently emphasized that complex systems such as taste and smell, many of whose details are still not fully understood, cannot form through random additions, nor through blind chance. Neither can they evolve, either gradually or in a single moment. For systems that work in such an ideal, perfect and flawless harmony, there is only one explanation. As with everything in the universe, God has created the systems that make it possible for us to perceive countless smells and tastes.
These blessings are important means whereby a person may give thanks to our Lord. Yet some people ignore this, follow their selfish desires, forget our Creator, and consume all the blessings at their disposal in the light of their worldly desires.
A person can perceive impressive smells and delicious tastes throughout his life because God so wishes it. This increases the faith in and devotion to God of people possessed of reason and conscience, and helps them in appreciating God properly. It is a means whereby they can reflect on His boundless might, knowledge and compassion. Those who are aware of this also realize that they must serve only Him. This submissive state of mind of believers and their powerful devotion to our Lord is revealed thus in the Qur’an:
[People with intelligence are] those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the Earth: "Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire." (Surah Al 'Imran: 191)
In contrast to this attitude of the faithful, some say they believe in God, but in fact deviate from the path of the true religion. The situation of such individuals is described in these terms in the Qur’an:
Say: "Who provides for you out of heaven and Earth? Who controls hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who directs the whole affair?" They will say, "God." Say, "So will you not guard against evil?" That is God, your Lord, the Truth, and what is there after truth except misguidance? So how have you been distracted? (Surah Yunus: 31-32)
They said "Glory be to You!