A Quranic Perspective on Universal Order and Human Responsibility

The Quran says:

لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

(42:4) – His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and most exalted, tremendous is He.

Everything in the heavens and on earth (in all corners of the universe) is working according to the program determined by Allah. He is worthy of all Grandeur and Greatness. Allah owns everything in the universe. The universe is working nonstop towards its beneficial goal that Allah has assigned it. Allah has created the universe for a purpose.

سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

(57:1) – ALL THAT IS in the heavens and on earth extols God’s limitless glory: for He alone is almighty, truly wise!

Everything in the heavens and the earth is busy accomplishing Allah’s ordained program. He wields Absolute Power. However, His Power is not blind; it is based on Absolute Wisdom. The Quran says that Allah is الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ (42:4).

In literature, this is called alliteration, i.e., the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. سَّمَاوَاتِ means loftiness and for this the following word الْعَلِيُّ has come and أَرْضِ means lowness and it follows with the الْعَظِيمُ whose root is عَظِمُ which means bones that allows humans to stand up.

So, how beautifully the Quran has described the Almighty Allah that has created this earth and all the lofty cosmological objects on an extremely strong foundation and that is why He is

تَكَادُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِن فَوْقِهِنَّ وَٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَن فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَلَآ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

(42:5) – The uppermost heavens are well-nigh rent asunder [for awe of Him]; and the angels extol their Sustainer’s limitless glory and praise, and ask for­giveness for all who are on earth. Oh, verily, God alone is truly-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!

Contrary to this, humans have created their own laws and rules that have turned the world into hell:

Self-created laws by human beings

By enacting and enforcing their self-created laws, human beings have created so much chaos in their society, that it is infested with disorder and bloodshed. So much so that it is not long before they are completely destroyed (19:90).

However, man can only create such distraction in his own world. The outer universe is beyond his reach and authority; and that is why it is safe. Therein all heavenly forces are continually making His System of Universal Sustenance worthy of all Appreciations; and people living on earth are provided with every safety measure.

Furthermore, according to His very program, humankind is safe from all sorts of calamities and continues to receive the means of development.

Only scientists can tell that these huge cosmological objects are moving so fast through space but these are balanced and sound and steady in their operation due to mutual gravitational forces. If there is minor change in their speed or gravitational force, then the entire universe will collapse.

The Sun is 1.3 million larger than the earth. Imagine if the Sun falls on earth then what would happen to earth? According to science it is the cosmic forces of nature (i.e. Malaaikah) that keep them totally balanced despite their huge size and extremely high speed.

The meaning of الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

If the forces of nature were not carrying on their duty to protect life and provides sustenance, then no life will exist on earth and all cosmological objects will collide and the entire universe will collapse. So, we must be thankful that these objects are protecting us and providing us sustenance.

This is the meaning of the attributes of Allah الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ – Protector (الْغَفُورُ) and Provider of Sustenance (الرَّحِيمُ) to all living beings. اَلْمِغْفَرُ (al-mighfaru) and اَلْغِفَارَۃُ (al-ghifaratu): armor built from iron rings that is worn underneath the main armor and which covers the shoulders and neck so that the wearer can be kept safe from any attack of a sword or a spear, etc.

And رِحْمٌ (rehm) means the womb of the mother in which a child is nurtured and is protected from external effects. رَحْمَۃٌ (rahmah) is the gift that completes some shortcoming (and which is given according to the need). It means to gift a thing, which is given without any consideration, as a benevolence. As such, رَحْمَۃٌ (rahmah) is the free sustenance which humans get from Allah.

So, Islamic system (Quranic system) reflects these attributes of Allah of providing sustenance and protection to all without any discrimination. The Prophet’s ﷺ hadith is that Allah’s protection is lifted from a town in which even a single person sleeps hungry. This is Allah’s Maghfirah or protection conditional upon no one sleeping hungry in Islamic system.

Allah’s revelation to the Prophet ﷺ continued and reached its completion in twenty-three years. It started initially in Makkah and continued in Medina. It is a continuous process that is linked together thematically and holistically no matter where the messenger physically goes.

The Quran says:

أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا (73:4)

During these assemblies, explain the Quran to them in a manner that its comprehensiveness and discipline are beautifully highlighted. Then inculcate this in the same order in their practical life. You should work on its injunctions with harmony; just like how we have tied its various verses harmoniously (25:32). The meaning of رَتِّلِ is: to provide something gradually; something that comes gradually; something to become beautifully complete with proportional balance; something to get perfectly organized to accomplish a mission.

Allah message should be gradually disseminated to wider audiences

Allah says to the Prophet ﷺ when he received the Revelation:

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ (26:214)

O Messenger! First start warning your own family from wrong way of life first. Invite your closest people first towards Allah’s message. And then expand your invitation to broader audience in Makkah, the capital city. The Quran says at another place the messengers of Allah

were sent to preach mostly to important towns, like what we now call capital cities. Then the messengers expanded their circle to invite people to Allah’s message.

The Prophet ﷺ expanded the divine message from Makkah to Medina and he expanded it to Romans and Persians because he was sent to all humankind. The Quran is ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ and our Prophet ﷺ is رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ. But the message is to be expanded gradually – starting from family, then to the immediate neighborhood, then to the entire city, and then further beyond to the entire world.

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