Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | January 03, 2021
There are several verses in the Quran that explain how everything in the universe is constantly engaged in praise and remembrance of God; everything provides a perfect example of submission to the Almighty; everything humbles itself before the Lord, Most High. One such verse is given below:
“Do you not see that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, as well as the sun and the moon, and the stars and the mountains, and the trees and the beasts and many human beings—all submit to God? But there are many who have become deserving of punishment. Whoever God disgraces, will have no one to honour him. Surely, God does what He wills.” (The Quran, 22: 18).
The natural phenomena mentioned in this verse–the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, trees and animals–were, as the highly authoritative Quranic commentator, Ibn Kathir has observed, singled out because they were the very things that polytheists used to worship besides God. Far from being objects of worship, the Quran says, these things are objects of God’s creation; they are subservient to Him and dependent upon Him. Their function should be studied carefully, for they provide mankind with a perfect model for his own worship of his Lord. Whereas nature follows the divine pattern universally and perfectly, only part of mankind follows suit. Man should look closely at the way nature operates, so that he too can mould his life in accordance with the pattern that his Creator has prescribed.
It was with the revelation of verses such as this that the Quran opened the way for scientific research into natural phenomena. While the objects of God’s creation were considered objects of worship, it was impossible for man to conduct objective research into their nature; for “God” cannot be studied, nor can His secrets be unveiled.