Prayer Time

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The whole issue of faith is the same as the first instance of creation and the end, the giving of life and inevitable death. It is familiar, seen at all times. How come, then, that people do not believe that it is God who creates them? The weight of this truth on human nature is too heavy for anyone to challenge: {It is We who have created you: will you not believe?} (Al-Waqi`ah 56:57)


{Consider the semen you discharge: do you create it, or are We the Creator} (Al-Waqi`ah 56: 58-59)


Man's role in the process of creation is no more than the man depositing his seed in the woman's body. Their respective roles are finished at that. From then on, the hand of God takes over. It works on its own, giving the embryo growth and development, building its skeleton and dressing it up, then breathing spirit into it.



Right from the first moment, and at every subsequent moment, a miracle occurs that remains totally unknown to man. Indeed, man does not know how it occurs, let alone plays a role in it.



This measure of reflection on creation is understood by all people. It is enough to appreciate the miracle that takes place and reflect on its message. In fact, the story of this single cell, from the moment it is deposited until it becomes a full-fledged human being, surpasses all imagination. The human mind would never have believed it, except for the fact that it occurs with all people as witnesses.



This single cell begins to multiply, and within a short period of time the number of cells reaches many millions, divided into groups with different characteristics.



What is death, the inevitable end of every living thing? What is it? How does it occur? How come it overpowers all?



Each group is assigned its own task, to produce a particular aspect of the human being: one group produces bones, another muscles, a third nerves, and a different one produces the skin, while others produce nerves, etc. Another group of cells make an eye, another a tongue and a third an ear. A more specialized group will produce glands.


Each group knows its position of work. The cells which make an eye will never miss its position so as to produce the eye, say, in the abdomen or the foot. Had these cells been transplanted so as to be based in the abdomen, they would make an eye there.



However, each cell is guided to its proper place, and we never find a case where the eye's cells produce an eye in the abdomen, or the ear's cells produce an ear in the foot. All function properly to produce a human being, who is given the best shape and form, under God's care. Humans have no role in all this.



Such is the beginning; but the end is in no way less miraculous or amazing, even though it is so familiar a sight: {We have decreed that death shall be among you. Nothing can prevent Us.} (Al-Waqi`ah 56: 60)



What is death, the inevitable end of every living thing? What is it? How does it occur? How come it overpowers all?

With such ease and simplicity, it makes human nature face the logic it knows well.



It is nothing less than God's decree. Hence, no one can escape it. No one can spring ahead of it so as to miss it. It is a stage in the chain of existence that must be completed: {Nothing can prevent Us from replacing you by others like yourselves,} to be in charge of the earth after you have gone.



God who has decreed death has also decreed life. He has decreed that people shall die, and that He will replace them with others like them, until the time span decreed for this stage of life comes to its end. Once it is over, then the second life begins: {or bringing you into being anew in a way unknown to you.} (Al-Waqi`ah 56: 61)



This is in the realm that lies beyond the reach of our perception. It is a great realm about which humans know nothing other than what God is pleased to tell them. At that point, the journey comes to its end.



Such is how people are brought into being a second time: {You have learned how you have come into being in the first instance. Why, then, do you not reflect?} (Al-Waqi`ah 56: 62) The two are not dissimilar in nature. There is nothing strange about it.



In such a simple approach, and with such ease the Qur'an portrays the two great events of bringing humans into being. With such ease and simplicity, it makes human nature face the logic it knows well. It cannot dispute this logic because it is based on its own basic facts and on what people see in their own lives. It is an approach that is free of complication, abstraction and sophistication. It is the approach of God, the Creator of man and the universe who bestowed the Qur'an from on high.


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