The existence of green plants is indispensable for the continuation of life, because they provide the balance required by oxygen, water, and nutrients. Other balances are also very important both for humanity and all other living things, for they control Earth’s temperature and protect the balance of gasses in the atmosphere. Our Lord endowed Earth with millions of different plant species, each having its won colors and appearances. Besides their usefulness, plants also give comfort, joy, and pleasure to the human spirit.
The fact that different plants sprout from the same soil is a blessing from Allah. For example, look at melons, kiwis, bananas, cherries, tomatoes, grapes, peaches, and beans. When you peel off a banana’s dark yellow skin, a light colored and aromatic banana reveals itself. An apple’s peel can be red, green, or yellow with a smooth glaze. Inside, the juice has its own particular taste and smell, neither of which scientists can reproduce. So, we may ask ourselves, why do all flowers, trees, vegetables, and fruits have such different colors even though they all come from the same soil? This is proof of Allah’s infinite knowledge and unique creation.
Allah clothes all plants with colors and attractive appearances so that they will appeal to the human spirit. Fruits, vegetables, trees, and flowers all have an incomparable variety of colors, esthetic appearance, marvelous patterns, and their own characteristics. For example, the purple-colored violet with its velvet-soft leaves is incomparable. Velvet cloth seeks to imitate its texture, but it can never possess the same quality. No matter what plant we consider, we must conclude that Allah created the best and most beautiful things for human beings.
This generosity is one of His countless graces to human beings, for there is no way that we could ever produce something that He has not created. He created all fruits with unimaginable beauty, taste, and colors, and then wrapped them in the most perfect manner and offered them to us. The different tastes of every fruit and vegetable were created to appeal to us and give us pleasure, for as our Creator, He knows what will give us the most pleasure. Whenever we see a cherry tree with its branches laden with fruit, or smell the aroma of a banana or a strawberry, or see hundreds of grapes growing on a dry branch, we will remember, hopefully, that Allah created them. Out of His generosity and love for humanity, He offers us the best and the most beautiful of everything.
Human beings cannot create such blessings. We can imitate them, but they will not awake in our spirits the deep amazement and excitement produced by the natural ones. Indeed, we are indebted to Allah for all of these pleasant and beautiful things that move the human spirit. Apart from His will and mercy, we could not attain even one of these blessings:
He Who created the heavens and Earth and sends down water for you from the sky by which We make luxuriant gardens grow – you could never make their trees grow. Is there another deity besides Allah? (Surat an-Naml, 60)
Scientists could never make a tree grow nor create a majestic plane tree, a palm tree, a pine tree with its musky smell, or a willow tree with its hanging branches. A human being has neither the strength nor the lifespan to create a tree. But everywhere we go, we see majestic trees, each with its own particular beauty. Some are laden with fruit, and some are remarkably beautiful. Allah created them from nothing, for He created all beauty and every blessing to please human beings.
A very small seed planted in the ground will eventually bring forth a huge tree that will grow 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) high and weigh hundreds of kilos (pounds). In the first stages, its extra internal nutrients are essential; later on, more essential nutrients come from the soil and the sunlight. For example, an apple seed produces a well-designed tree that has its own transport system and roots that process materials in the soil. An intelligent creature, such as a human being, would find it hard even to draw a tree, and even harder to draw its roots and branches. But a seed produces this highly complex living thing, including all its systems, even though it has no independent intelligence, consciousness, or will. So, we cannot say that the seed is responsible for the tree. In reality, each seed contains a high intelligence and all-embracing knowledge given to it by Allah, Who is the only possessor of such knowledge and power.
Those who consider seeds to be no more than insignificant objects might think that they are something like fruit pits or twigs. Plant each of these and see what happens. Only the seeds, provided that their needs are met, will sprout and produce a variety of plants. What makes them different from a splinter of wood? For one thing, seeds contain information about every branch and stem of the plant species to which they belong. They know about every leaf, their number and shapes, their thickness and what color their bark or covering will be; their width and the number of capillaries that will carry nutrients and water, their height and whether they will produce fruit or not; and how the fruit will taste and smell, what shape and color it will have, and everything else.
We are amazed that these little seeds bring forth an infinite number of fruits and vegetables, flowers and trees, all of which benefit us. It is beyond belief that for millions of years, seeds have used their stored knowledge to produce the same item each time, without ever making a mistake. Clearly Allah, Who stores so much incomparable information in a dry splinter of wood and brings forth from it sweet-smelling plants with delicious tastes, is extremely generous.
... and also the things of varying colors He has created for you in the soil. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who pay heed. (Surat an-Nahl, 13)