The Ability to See the Signs of Allah
Say: "Praise be to Allah. He will show you
His Signs and you will recognise them. Your Lord is not heedless
of anything you do." (Surat an-Naml: 93)
In today’s society, people assess the Qur’an
very differently from what is the real purpose of its revelation.
In the Islamic world, in general, very few people know the contents
of the Qur’an.
Some Muslim people often hang the Qur’an on the
walls of their houses within a decorative cover and elderly people
read it from time to time. They assume that the Qur’an protects
those who read it from "misfortune and trouble". According to this
superstition, they consider the Qur’an a sort of amulet against
The Qur’anic verses, however, inform us that
the purpose of the Qur’an’s revelation is entirely different from
what is mentioned above. For instance, in the 52nd verse
of Surah Ibrahim, Allah states: "This is a
communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they can be warned
by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that
people of intelligence will pay heed." In many other verses,
Allah emphasises that one of the most crucial purposes of the Qur’an’s
revelation is to invite people to ponder.
In the Qur’an, Allah invites people to reject
blindly accepting the beliefs and values society imposes on them
and to ponder by pushing aside all the prejudices, taboos and constraints
on their minds.
Man must think on how he came into being, what
is the purpose of his life, why he will die and what awaits him
after death. He must question how he himself and the whole universe
came into existence and how they continue to exist. While doing
this, he must relieve himself of all constraints and prejudices.
By thinking, while isolating his conscience from
all social, ideological and psychological obligations, the person
should eventually perceive that the entire universe, including himself,
is created by a superior power. Even when he examines his own body
or any other thing in nature, he will see an impressive harmony,
plan and wisdom at work within its design.
At this point again, the Qur'an guides man. In
the Qur’an, Allah guides us as to what we should reflect on and
investigate. With the methods of reflection given in the Qur'an,
he who has faith in Allah will better perceive Allah’s perfection,
eternal wisdom, knowledge and power in His creation. When a believing
person starts to think in the way shown in the Qur’an, he soon realises
that the whole universe is a sign of Allah’s power and art, and
that, "nature is a work of art, not the artist itself". Every work
of art exhibits the exceptional skills of the one who has made it
and conveys his messages.
In the Qur’an, people are summoned to contemplate
numerous events and objects that clearly testify to the existence
and uniqueness of Allah and His attributes. In the Qur’an, all these
beings that bear witness are designated as "signs", meaning "tested
evidence, absolute knowledge and expression of truth". Therefore,
the signs of Allah comprise all the beings in the universe that
disclose and communicate the being and attributes of Allah. Those
who can observe and remember will see that the entire universe is
only composed of the signs of Allah.
This, indeed, is the responsibility of mankind;
to be able to see the signs of Allah... Thus, such a person will
come to know the Creator who created him and all other things, draw
closer to Him, discover the meaning of his existence and his life
and so prosper.
This book can never adequately show the innumerable
signs of Allah, nor can any other work. Each thing, the breaths
a human takes, political and social developments; the cosmic harmony
in the universe, the atom, which is one of the smallest pieces of
matter, is each a sign of Allah and they all operate under His control
and knowledge, abiding by His laws. Recognising and knowing the
signs of Allah calls for personal effort. Everyone will recognise
and know the signs of Allah in accordance with his own wisdom and
Undoubtedly, some guidelines may also help. As
the first step, one can investigate certain points stressed in the
Qur'an in order to acquire the mentality that perceives the whole
universe as an articulation of the things created by Allah.
This book is written to draw attention to some
of the subjects that we are advised to ponder in the Qur’an. Allah’s
signs in nature are emphasised in Surat an-Nahl:
It is He who 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 and olives and
dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. . There is certainly a
sign in that for people who reflect. He has made the night and the
day subservient to you, and the sun, the moon and the stars, all
subject to His command. There are certainly signs in that for people
who use their intellect. And also the things of varying colours
He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a sign in
that for people who pay heed. It is He who made the sea subservient
to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from
it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it
so that you can seek His bounty, and so that perhaps you may show
thanks. He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would
not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that perhaps you
might be guided, and landmarks. And they are guided by the stars.
Is He Who creates like him who does not create? So will you not
pay heed? (Surat an-Nahl: 10-17)
In the Qur'an, Allah invites men of understanding
to think about the issues which other people overlook, or just dismiss
using such barren terms as "evolution", "coincidence", or "a miracle
In the creation of the heavens and the earth,
and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people
of intelligence: those who remember Allah standing, sitting and
lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens
and the earth: "Our Lord, You did not create this for nothing. Glory
be to You! So guard us from the punishment of the Fire." (Surah
As we see in these verses, people of understanding
see the signs of Allah and try to comprehend His eternal knowledge,
power and art by remembering and reflecting on them, for Allah’s
knowledge is limitless, and His creation flawless.
For men of understanding, everything around them
is a sign of this creation.