at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

“And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)

Wisdom in the Creation of the Universe



“who created [everything], then made [it] well, and who determined a measure [for everything], then guided [it]…” (87:2,3)

All these are the attributes of the ‘Most Exalted Lord’. The first attribute is khalaqa which does not simply mean ‘to make’ or ‘manufacture’. It has a deeper significance: ‘to bring out something from pure non-existence into the realm of existence without the help of any pre-existing matter’. (This is the correct meaning of ‘creation’. If something is made with the help of some pre-existing matter, it cannot be called ‘creation’ in its original sense.) This is not within the power of anyone else. Only the perfect power of Allah can bring things into existence, whenever He wills, without the help of any pre-existing matter.

The second attribute, which is connected with takhliq (creation), is sawwa. This word is derived from taswiyah, and it literally means ‘to make well or equal’. The verse signifies that Allah made the constitution of everything symmetrical or made it congruously consistent in its several parts, the body structure, shape and size, limbs and organs. Man and every other animal is adapted to the requirements of wisdom. The hands and legs, the tips of the fingers and toes have joints with different types of springy connective tissues that make it possible to bend and fold in different ways. If we look at another limb or organ of human body, its symmetry and balance baffles our imagination and is sufficient for us to believe in the consummate wisdom and power of the Creator of the universe.

The third attribute is qaddara which is derived from taqdir and it means ‘to determine; to measure; to balance; to design symmetrically; to decree/decide’. The word is used in the last sense here. The verse purports to say that things in the world have not been created without purpose. Everything has been created for a specific purpose, and has been endowed with natural capacities to fit its function. If we look carefully, the principle does not apply only to specific species. Every member of the universe has been assigned a specific function to perform. We witness the manifestation of the assignments in the sky, the stars, lightning, rain, humans, animals, vegetation and minerals.

Maulana Rumi (Rahimullah) says:


“The earth, the wind, the water and the fire – all of them are slaves of Allah.
According to me and you, they are senseless, but according to Allah, all of them are alive and sensible.”

Allah has especially geared man and every species of animals to do particular works and they perform them according to their natural inclination, and their predisposition pivots around their respective tasks.


“Allah has created everything for a particular purpose And has filled its heart with inclination towards it.”

The fourth attribute of Allah is fa-hada ‘then guided it’. In other words, The Creator of the universe did not create things and left them to their own mercy to perform their particular function as they like, but they are shown the way in which they should be performed. As a matter of fact, He guided the entire creation by equipping each member of it with suitable nature to function for which it was created, whether the member is the sky or celestial creation, or it is the earth or the earthly creation. They all possess a special type of sense, though it is of a lower than that of man. The Qur’an says:


“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” (20:50)

As a result, since the inception of their creation, the skies, the earth, the stars and planets, mountains and oceans are all performing their functions accurately, without any failure or deviation. Humans and animals, in particular, whose intellect and sensibility can be observed easily, have been invested with capabilities of fulfilling their minute needs and repelling harmful things in a way that baffles the one who thinks about it. Since man possesses sense and intelligence of a higher degree, his capabilities may not be so much surprising, but let us look into wild animals, ferocious animals or beasts of prey, birds and insects. Each and everyone of them is able to obtain its necessities of life. They are able to find their habitats. They have not acquired the skills of fulfilling their individual and communal needs through a teacher that may educate or train them, nor did they need any school or college to acquire this knowledge and skill. Their education and training comes directly from the Creator of the universe. It is this divine guidance that has been referred to in the Holy Qur’an by saying,


“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” (20:50)

and in this Surah thus:


“and who determined a measure (for everything), then guided (it)…”

[Ma’ariful Qur’an: Mufti Shafi’ Usmani (Rahimullah), vol. 8, pgs. 763-765]

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Filed under: Qur'an

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