Saturday, January 21, 2012
We have already discussed why man is tested by God (see post 7). Since human biosystem is bestowed with free-will, it becomes imperative to test his obedience to Master – Allah – and willingness to act in the interest of God. Needless to say, obedience of man and his wilful submission to God form the most crucial criteria for judgment of his worth to serve God. Further, it is also necessary that the performance of human beings should be evaluated on individual basis for the obvious reason that no two individuals are created alike by Allah. A question that may be asked in this context is if human system is programmed to obey God, it would have obviated the need of the test. Any programmed system without freewill can act only as it is programmed. A ‘programmed obedience’ is quite different from voluntary obedience because in the latter case, the system consciously admits the authority and power of God thereby satisfying the Master’s ego, the attribute of Creator alone.
Test history of human race
The first test of human beings was that of Adam and Eve, which took place in the Garden where they were living after their creation. They were ordered by Allah not to touch a Tree there and if they did, they would become losers. Allah also cautioned them that the Satan is their enemy and to be on guard against it. But the Satan deceived them with alluring suggestions and they ate the fruit of the Tree. They were thus expelled from the garden by Allah to the earth with the instruction that when Allah’s guidance comes to mankind, whosoever follow it they will be on the right path and they do not have to fear or grieve. Whosoever reject it, they will fall into misery and reside in Hell for ever (Q. 2:38-39). Thus the test of mankind began on the earth. “Verily the Satan is an enemy to you; so treat him as enemy. He only invites his party to be the companions of the Blazing Fire.” (35:6). It is to make the test more effective Satan virus was incorporated into the biosoftware of human species (Adam’s nafs) by Iblis with the permission of Allah (Q. 38:80-85) as already discussed (see post 6). With the Satan virus in the system, which constantly lures human mind away from God’s guidance, only the most determined servants can stay on the right path. The successful human beings thus represent the most devoted servants of Allah. Indeed the efficiency of the divine test is greatly enhanced and the test is made foolproof by the presence of Satan virus.
As stated by Allah, it is binding on Him to provide guidance (Q. 2:38-39; 92:12) to human robots. This is necessary because unless and until human beings know who created them and for what purpose, why they are here, what God expects from them and what is their fate, etc., they will not be able to respond to the test the way God wants them to. So to convey His messages to human beings under test, Allah designed the most effective means of communication with them by choosing representatives from among themselves and appointing them as His messengers or prophets (Q. 4:165; 6:48; 10:2). “Is it a surprise to people that We conveyed (the message) to a person (Prophet Muhammad) from among themselves to warn people and to give good news to the believers that they have lofty rank of truth with their Lord? (But) the unbelievers said: “This (man) is indeed a clear magician!” (Q. 10:2). “Messengers are conveyors of good news and warners so that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should not have any plea against Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Q. 4:165). “We had not sent the apostles except as bearers of good news and warners. So whoever believes and does good deeds, no fear shall be on them nor shall they grieve.” (Q. 6:48).
The history of mankind thus saw the advent of a string of prophets ending with Prophet Muhammad (Q. 10:47; 33:40). The Quran does not mention the names of all prophets. The names of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac, Jacob (Q. 2:133), Noah, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron (Q. 6:84), Zakariya, John, Jesus, Elias (Q. 6:85), Elisha, Jonas and Lot (Q. 6:86) are among those mentioned in the Quran. Human communities are identified by their apostle. We are the nation of Muhammad, the last prophet in the series. “To every community is an apostle. Thus upon arrival of their apostle, judgement would be passed between them with justice and they will not be dealt with unjustly.” (Q. 10:47). “Muhammad is not the father of any of you, but (he is) messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Q. 33:40).
All the prophets were human beings (Q. 14:11; 21:8) and males (Q. 12:109; 21:7). They all spoke the language of their people (Q. 14:4). Many prophets were bestowed with special abilities in order to convince the people of their divinity and authenticity. Thus we find that Prophet Moses could change a rod into a snake (Q. 7:106-109); Prophet Jesus could speak from the cradle, heal the sick, bring dead men back to life, restore eyesight to the blind, heal lepers, create living bird from clay, to cite but a few. All such superhuman feats performed by the prophets were actually acts of God (Q. 5:110, 112-115). Prophet Muhammad was not endowed with such superhuman abilities. Although people asked Prophet Muhammad for divine proof so that they could believe in the message he conveyed, Allah did not give because even if they are shown signs, they would not have believed (Q. 4:153; 6:37, 109, 111; 29:50-51). For the people of Prophet Muhammad, the Quran itself is the greatest miracle. Allah asks: “Is the Book (the Quran) We sent down to you (Prophet Muhammad), which is recited to them, not enough of (a miracle) for them? Verily, in that is mercy and Reminder to the believers.” (Q. 29:51).
Allah’s message conveyed through the messengers to humanity is simple and straight – to obey and worship the one and only God (tawhid). This is the basic tenet of Allah’s religion, Islam, which all the prophets preached (Q. 7:59, 65; 21:25). “We had not sent an apostle before you (Prophet Muhammad) except to convey to him, “There is no God but I; therefore serve (i.e., worship) Me”. (Q. 21:25). Prophet Muhammad also conveyed the same message – the oneness of God. “And your God is One God. There is no God but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Q. 2:163).
History of mankind reveals that man worshipped virtually every object in sight considering it as God. Even today a large number of people believe in the existence of gods and goddesses and worship them. Obviously, clear warnings were given by God to refrain from joining partners (gods and goddesses) with Him. “Certainly, it has been revealed to you (Prophet Muhammad) and to those before you that: “If you were to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be your deeds (in this life), and you will surely be among the losers.” So you worship Allah and be among the grateful.” (Q. 39:65-66). Whenever God’s messengers came to the people with the warning against joining partners with Allah, they mocked at them and rejected them. The Quran recounts to us the fate of those earlier nations (Q. 6:65; 7:4, 22:45). Allah destroyed them as they were rejecters of Faith. “Thus how many nations We had destroyed while they were engaged in wrongdoing! They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells were abandoned and lofty towers!” (Q. 22:45). And Allah asks us to travel through the earth and find out for ourselves how their end was. And He raised fresh generations in their place (Q. 3:137; 6:6). “Do they not see how many generations before them We had destroyed? We had made available to them on the earth what We had not given you. We had sent them the sky (i.e., rain) in abundance and We made the rivers flowing beneath them. Yet for their sins We destroyed them and raised another generation after them.” (Q. 6:6). Allah asks us to learn a lesson from the fate of earlier civilizations (Q. 7:100). “Is it not a guiding (lesson) to those who inherit the earth after its (previous) inhabitants that if We had so wished, We would have punished them (too) for their sins and sealed their minds so that they will not hear?” (Q. 7:100).
Even though the destruction of the cities and early nations were mentioned in the Quran, it is only recently that man ventured to trace the early history of man in a scientific manner. An examination of the archaeological finds belonging to the early civilizations that flourished in Mesopotamia (present Iraq where the first human civilization took place), Egypt, India and others would reveal that they all came up near the river banks (Euphrates, Tigris, the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.) confirming the message given in the Quranic verse cited above (Q. 6:6). Secondly, it is generally believed that many these civilizations had been buried underneath as a result of some natural calamities. The Quran reveals to us that the ancient people believed in gods and goddesses joining partners with Allah, the only God. This was why they were destroyed (Q. 30:42). The archaeological investigations of the ancient ruins had unearthed from almost every site, idols supposed to be representations of their gods and goddesses. These artefacts provide clear evidence of the nature of worship popular in those days. Their continued practice of worshipping gods, goddesses ignoring the warnings given by their prophets led to their own destruction (Q. 30:42). “Say: “Travel through the earth and see how was the end of those before (you). Most of them were mushriks.” (Q. 30:42). Besides the total destruction of the nations, the Quran also mentions several other methods of dealing with the wrong doers by Allah so that they receive admonition. To this list of punishments belong drought, food scarcity (crop failures), mass death, outbreak of locusts, lice, frogs, etc. (Q. 7:130, 132, 133).
The destructions and calamities were directed against worshipping false gods and goddesses, and joining partners with Allah. The message La ilaha illallah (There is no God but Allah) forms the most revered slogan of Islam. The messages revealed to the generations of mankind through a series of prophets show that. The doctrine of tawhid (God is one) revealed to the generations of mankind through a succession of prophets indicates that every prophet before Prophet Muhammad also preached Islam. The Holy Quran points to that in clear terms. “…Today I have perfected for you your religion, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…” (Q. 5:3). “The religion before Allah is Islam (i.e., submission to His Will). The People of the Book split (into groups) because of mutual jealousy after knowledge had come to them. Whoever denies the messages (i.e., the Quran) of Allah, then (know) Allah is indeed swift in calling to account.” (Q. 3:19). “…He has chosen you and He has imposed no difficulties on you in religion. It is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He who named you Muslims, both before and in this (Quran). (That is) for the messenger to be a witness for you, and you (i.e., believers) the witnesses for the mankind. So establish the Prayer, give charity and hold on to Allah firmly. He is your guardian – the best to protect and the best to help.” (Q. 22:78).
In support of this Quranic declaration, we do not find the terms Judaism and Christianity used by Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus in the Bible. Certainly, Prophet Moses was not preaching Judaism or a religion different from that preached by his predecessors. Similarly, Prophet Jesus did not say that he was preaching Christianity or a religion different from what his predecessors preached. None of the prophets including Prophet Muhammad told he was preaching a different religion, but they all said that they were preaching one and the same religion – the Religion of one and the only God. “It is He who sent down to you in truth the Book (i.e., the Quran) confirmin what went before it. And He sent down the Taurat (to Moses) and the Injeel (to Jesus) – before this, as guide to mankind. And He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). Verily, those who reject the messages (ayat) of Allah have a severe penalty. And Allah is Mighty, Lord of retribution.” (Q. 3:3-4).
The Quran – the divine software of human guidance
Holy Book is defined here as the one containing only the messages of God (i.e., His own Words). There is only one Book now available in the world which fits into this definition. That is the Quran. The Quranic messages were transmitted through Gabriel (Rooh-ul-qudusi) onto the qalb of Prophet Muhammad (Q. 2:97; 16:102). Immediately after the opening sura (chapter) giving an important prayer, Almighty Allah proclaims to the world, the nation of Prophet Muhammad, thus: “That is the Book. No doubt about it. It is guidance to the God-conscious.” (Q. 2.2). And the Creator Himself takes it as His responsibility to protect it. “We have indeed sent down this Reminder (i.e., the Quran) and We will certainly guard it.” (Q. 15:9). The Quran is therefore under Allah’s protection and none can corrupt it. And no wonder, it has stood (and will stand) the test of time without change. The Quran is Allah’s directives to man and He is testing whether man obeys His directions and submits to Him voluntarily.
The Quran informs us it is the guidance (divine instructions) to mankind (Q. 2:2). Acceptance of Allah’s instructions by man is in effect similar to installation of particular software in computer, which is also a set of instructions for its operation. When a person accepts Allah’s instructions, it means that he has willingly and voluntarily installed the instructions (divine software) in his biosystem (in the memory, sadr). The individual henceforth lives in accordance with Allah’s directives. The individual who accepts the Quran and lives according to the directions contained therein becomes a totally programmed robot of Allah. In other words, not only the biological activities (that CPU carries out as per the biosoftware) but also the conscious activities commanded by mind (qalb) will also be now governed by the divine directions. This point can be made clear with an example. We come across situations in our daily life wherein human mind does not exercise its freewill but accepts the rules and laws prescribed by the government of the country. For instance, while driving a car one obeys the traffic rules irrespective of whether he likes those rules or not. If the red traffic light is on, he stops the vehicle, which he is driving, even if he is in an emergency. No one violates this rule. This is equivalent to forgoing one’s freewill and acting as per the installed instructions; in this case, the traffic rules. Similarly voluntary acceptance of Allah’s directions (Islam) by an individual will make him a totally programmed robot of Allah. He will no longer be living according to his likes and dislikes but only according to the likes and dislikes of Allah as per His directions. He becomes a dedicated robot of Allah – the true Muslim. “There is no compulsion in the religion (Islam). Verily, the right path has become distinctly clear from the wrong. Whoever rejects Tagut (i.e., some false god the Pagan Arabs were worshipping) and believes in Allah, then he has grasped a strong rope that will never break. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Q. 2:256). Say: “This truth (i.e., the Quran) is from your Lord.” Then whoever wants (to believe), let him believe; and whoever wants (to reject), let him reject. Verily, We have kept for the wrongdoers Fire; its framework (i.e., smoke and flame) will envelop them. If they ask for help, they will be given a (kind of) water like molten metal capable of scalding their faces. What an awful drink and what a bad resting place!” (Q. 18:29). “Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if you turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on right guidance. There is no responsibility on the messenger except to convey the clear (Quran).” (Q. 24:54). These messages unequivocally declare that Islam cannot be thrust upon any one. Forced or coerced conversion will not make a person Muslim. It is against Islam. In fact the prophets had been instructed thus. The responsibility of the prophet is only to convey Allah’s message and nothing more (Q. 24:54). It is up to the individual to accept them or not. It is from this fact the religion of God derives the name ‘Islam’ – submission to the Will of God.
Duration of the test and its termination
Allah has prescribed lifespan for each individual in his biosoftware (Q. 3:145). Death is also thus a programmed phenomenon (Q. 3:145; 4:78). Death is ordained in the biosoftware to terminate the test period of human beings. “(He) who created death and life to test which of you is best in deed. And He is the Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.” (Q. 67:2). When the biosoftware program (nafs) reaches the END instruction, the software gets deleted from the human biosystem. This removal of nafs results in death (Q. 6:93). The software is no longer present in the body and the body loses its life.
With death the test life of an individual comes to an end. The Quran further reveals what happens to the biosoftware deleted from the body, how resurrection of an individual from nafs takes place followed by evaluation of performance during the test period, final judgement and award of Heaven or Hell.
As death is ordained to terminate the test life of human beings, end of the universe is also ordained with the completion of the human robot testing programme. The process of re-creation of the universe is discussed in post 2. Re-creation of the next universe will pave way for the resurrection of the entire mankind who have undergone the test. The resurrection scenario has been described at many places in the Quran reminding man of meeting with the Creator and Final Judgement (Q. 2:45-46; 16:38; 17:49-52; 19:66-67; 22:5; 30:8; 50:3-5; 75:3-4, to cite but a few). Most people, however, find it hard to believe and they ignore this certainty. “Man says: What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive? But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (Q. 19:66-67). “O mankind! if you have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that you may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth.” (Q. 22:5). “Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)!” (Q. 30:8).
The Quran reveals that creation and resurrection of human beings is like that of a single nafs (Q. 31:28). It is clear that resurrection takes place from the biosoftware and not from the dead body, which decomposes in a short time. Since the resurrection is from the nafs, the mechanism of human re-creation represents the true cloning process, i.e., the creation of the facsimile of a person from his biosoftware. In order to re-create the same human individuals (from their nafs) who lived on this planet, their biosoftware must be available. This would mean that biosoftware (nafs) of human individuals have to be stored until resurrection.
The Quran tells us that it is from the earth everyone will be resurrected after death. “He (Allah) said: “You (Adam and Eve following their failure in the test in the Garden) get down with mutual enmity among yourselves. And on earth is your dwelling place and means of livelihood for a term (fixed).” He (Allah) said: “Therein shall you live and therein shall you die and from there shall you be brought out (i.e., resurrection).” (Q. 7:24-25). “From the (earth) We created you, into it We shall return you and from it We shall bring you out another time.” (Q. 20:55). The Quranic revelation of resurrection of the dead from the earth implies that the biosoftware (nafs) removed from the human body at death is stored in the earth spaces. The Quran also sheds light on the resurrection phenomena by citing analogies. “It is He Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out (from the dead).” (Q. 30:19). “And among His Signs in this: you see the earth barren and desolate; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life and yields increase. Truly, He Who gives life to the (dead) earth can surely give life to (men) who are dead. For He has power over all things.” (Q. 41:39). “It is Allah Who sends forth the winds so that they raise up the clouds, and We drive them to a land that is dead (to cause rain), and revive the earth therewith after its death; even so (will be) the resurrection.” (Q. 35:9).
In these verses Allah uses the similitude of a dried-up land that comes back to life upon receiving the rain to explain to us the mode of resurrection of human robots. From the allegorical description of the process of giving life to dead earth by sending rain, we may infer that it will be by a similar process human beings will also be resurrected. “Giving life to a dead earth” is a figurative statement. Although the dried-up earth may look “dead” without vegetation it is not strictly dead because it preserves seeds, spores, etc., in a dormant condition. When rain falls down, water will break the dormancy of those seed materials that lie scattered on the parched earth, enabling them to germinate and grow. In the dormant condition, the seeds do carry biosoftware and are hence ‘alive’. However, the biosoftware is in a sort of “rest mode” with little or no execution of the program. When the dormant condition switches over to “operation mode” as happens when the raindrop falls on the dormant seed, the biosoftware starts executing. The dormancy is broken by the water drops. The dormancy is a natural strategy to tide over a difficult draught period. The water molecules serve as abiomemetic switch to trigger the execution of the biosoftware stored in the seed materials. Through this analogy the Quran says human beings will also be resurrected like that on the Judgement Day. This would necessitate storage of human biosoftware in the earth spaces in dormant condition. It may be noted in this context that it is carbon-based chromosome that stores the biosoftware while the body is alive. Perhaps the clay surfaces in the soil may be serving as storage medium for the biosoftware removed from the body at death. This is suggested here because clay is silicon-based material. Since silicon is closely related to carbon chemically, it may also have similar property (of storing biological information) as carbon. These “biomemetic niches” in soil can be considered equivalent to dormant seeds. Further the Quran reveals that: “And among His signs is the existence of the skies and earth by His command. Then when He calls you by a single call (on the Day of Resurrection), behold you (all) come out of the earth!” (Q. 30:25). This means that on the Day of Judgement a single command from Allah will trigger the biosoftware stored on the clay surfaces from ‘dormant mode’ to ‘execution mode’ resulting in the development of the respective individuals. This is the true cloning process! Here Allah’s command plays the role of water drop that brings the biosoftware of dormant seeds into operation mode.
Several Quranic verses add strength to the suggestion that human nafs is stored in the earth spaces and on the Day of Judgement (the Day of resurrection) people will come out from these resting places: “Does he not know when that which is in the graves (quboor) is raked up…” (Q. 100:9); “They will come out from (their) graves (ajdathi) with their eyes humbled like locusts scattered over.” (Q. 54:7); “The Day on which they come out of their graves (ajdathi) in sudden haste as if they were rushing to a goal.” (Q. 70:43). The terms qabr (plural quboor) and ajdathi are translated by translators M.H. Shakir, M. Pickthal and Mohsin Khan as “graves” (Q. 36:51; 54:7; 70:43) while Yusuf Ali translated the word as “sepulchers” (meaning “graves”) at Q. 36:51 and 70:43 and as “graves” at Q. 54:7. This conventional interpretation of these words to mean the place of burial of the dead body is obviously wrong because not all people are buried below the earth for religious and other reasons but yet they are resurrected from their graves. Moreover as already discussed, the Quran reveals that resurrection of human beings is from nafs. Therefore the term “graves” implies myriads of biosoftware niches on the earth where biosoftware (nafs) of dead people are stored. This interpretation is further strengthened by the description of ajdathi as resting place or place of sleep (Q. 36:51-52) and the kind of feeling people will have while being resurrected. Between death and resurrection, one would feel as if he had hardly spent an hour (Q. 10:45) and was in sleep (Q. 36:51-52).
Following resurrection, human beings will be judged individually based on their dossiers (information on performance during test life stored in sadr) and the successful will be admitted to Heaven (the earth of the re-created universe) and the losers will enter Hell.
Heaven – the Muslim Earth
As can be logically expected, the re-created universe will have more or less the same environment and components as that of the present universe because the laboratory environment (present Earth) in which human robots are tested should be similar to the environment of the final abode (next Earth or Heaven) where the successful robots are deployed forever. The re-created earth of the next universe is the Heaven promised by Allah where the successful human robots will live forever serving Allah (Q. 21:105). This means there will be no more deletion of biosoftware (nafs) from the body. This is understandable because death is required only to terminate the test life. Allah’s declaration (Q. 21:104) that He will create another universe as He created the first one (the present universe) also suggests that the re-created universe will have more or less the same environmental conditions suggesting the laws and rules (physics and chemistry) of the next universe will be almost similar to the present one. It will be different in certain respects like size (the size of next Earth will be equal to that of the present universe), eternal nature (Q.57:12; 43:74), Allah’s bounties, provisions, etc. “One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the skies and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” (Q. 14:48). “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (Heaven) whose width is that (of the whole) of the skies and the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Q. 3:133). “Be you foremost (in seeking) Forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of the sky and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles: that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.” (Q. 57:21).
The Quran provides a fairly good account of the physical environment of the new Earth as well as its biosphere. The biosphere will be composed of not only human beings but all other living beings (plants, animals, etc.) as well. “(Here is) a parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord…” (Q. 47:15). “There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.” (Q. 6:38). “Reclining in the (Garden) on raised sofas they will see there neither sun’s (excessive heat) nor excessive cold.” (Q. 76:13). Garden will be full of fruits hanging low in humility (Q. 76:14), and people will be wearing silk there (Q. 76:12). “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there from, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” (Q. 2:25). “Whatever they wish they will get therein (Heaven). They will dwell (there) forever, a promise to be asked for from your Lord.” (Q. 25:16). They will have everything in plenty. That is the Heaven promised by Allah to His successful human robots. Since the inhabitants of Heaven are human beings totally submitted to the will of Allah, Heaven can be rightly called the Muslim Earth. They will live there forever.
With the deployment of the righteous human robots in Heaven and the rest in Hell, Allah’s mission revealed through the Quran comes to an end.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The divine purpose of creating this temporary universe is to provide infrastructure facility for testing human robots. The universe is nothing more than that. The earth, human habitat, is the test laboratory. The universe must be treated, studied, understood and taught as a system from this divine perspective. Incorporation of divine purpose into our understanding of the universe can alone help correct our present erroneous view about the universe. Scientific evaluation of the ground realities also reveals close correspondence with the divine objective stated in the Quran. This matching of the universal system with God’s purpose of creation provides another undeniable scientific proof of the divinity of the Quran and existence of creator God. The subject has also been discussed elsewhere .
Design of Earth vis-à-vis divine objective
Design of Earth vis-à-vis divine objective
To describe Earth in all its splendour is an impossible proposition. What is intended here is to draw attention to the Quranic revelation of divine purpose with Earth and to bring to focus how Earth is designed to achieve it. The universe is referred to in the Quran as “skies and the earth” (Q. 11:7). It may be noted that more importance is attached to Earth than any other region in the cosmos as it forms the venue of human robot testing, which is central to the divine mission. A lot of information is now available on various aspects of Earth that will help study the planet from the standpoint of divine mission [2, 3, 4]. NASA website also gives extensive information.
Studies in astronomy picked up momentum only during the last century. For centuries, astronomers believed that our galaxy, the Milky Way, made up the entire universe. In 1924, the American astronomer, Edwin Hubble, demonstrated that ours was not the only galaxy; there were billions of galaxies spaced far between. A galaxy is a huge collection of millions of stars, dust and gas. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy consisting of more than 100 billion stars. It is supposed to have come into existence ten to fifteen billion years ago. The earth is part of the solar system belonging to the Milky Way (Figure 1). Solar system is situated on the outer edge of the Milky Way about 28000 light years from the galactic centre. It takes 225 million years to complete one revolution around the Milky Way. Our sun, located centrally in the solar system, is a medium-sized yellow star. It makes up 99.8 per cent of the mass of the solar system. Its diameter is 1,390,000 km. Following the recent de-recognition of the planet Pluto, there are now eight planets belonging to the solar system. These are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Besides it also has at least three dwarf planets (Pluto is now treated as a dwarf planet), more than 130 planetary satellites, a large number of asteroids (rocky objects in space ranging from a few meters wide to several hundred kilometres) and comets, and the interplanetary medium.
Figure 1. The position of the earth in our galaxy, the Milky Way
Image: NASA, Galaxy M83, similar size and shape to the Milky Way.
(www.ecology.com/.../earth-at-a-glance-feature/ Accessed 27-1-07)
The temperature at sun’s surface is around 5800 K while at the core it may reach as high as 15,600,000 K. The sun is presently composed of 70% hydrogen and 28% helium and the rest 2% is made up of mainly metals. The nuclear fusion going on in the core converts hydrogen into helium and therefore, with time the composition of the sun changes with the depletion of hydrogen. This nuclear reaction generates immense energy. The sun’s energy output is 386 billion billion megawatts per second for which 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen are converted to about 695,000,000 tons of helium. The energy is produced as gamma radiation which while travelling from the core towards the surface gets continuously absorbed and re-emitted in longer wavelength region so that by the time it reaches the surface it will be primarily visible light. This is how Allah created the sun to serve as the primary source of energy to sustaining life on the earth, the human robot testing centre.
Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system which is situated third from the sun. Earth is supposed to have come into existence 4.5 to 4.6 billion years ago. The earth weighs 5.972 x 1021 metric tons and orbits around the sun at an average distance of 93.1 million miles at a speed of 67000 miles per hour (18.4 miles per second). It takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun. This duration forms the basis for reckoning a year. While orbiting the sun it also rotates with a tilt of 23.5o on its axis at a speed of 1070 miles per hour (at the equator). It takes 24 hours to complete one full rotation (360o). This duration is reckoned as a day. The earth pulls every object towards its centre. This gravitational force prevents every object from being thrown out into the space by its spin. Earth has a satellite, the Moon. The moon is at a distance of 384,000 km from the earth. A characteristic feature of the components of the universe be it a satellite, planet, star or galaxy, is their constant motion in their prescribed orbits. This is highlighted in the Quran at several places. “It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.” (Q. 21:33). It is the orbital motion that creates day and night, seasons, tides etc. All these have been designed so by the Creator for the benefit of man. “And He has made subject to you the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their courses; and the night and the day has he (also) made subject to you.” (Q. 14:33). “He has made subject to you the night and the day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.” (Q. 16:12). “It is Allah Who made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the days as that which helps (you) to see. Verily Allah is full of Grace and Bounty to men: yet most men give no thanks.” (Q. 40:61). “We have made the night and the day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.” (Q. 17:12). Through these verses Allah describes the purposes of the components of the universe (Table 1).
Table 1. Divine purpose of creation from Islamic perspective
Allah has also provided sustenance and other resources on the earth for His test subjects enough to last the entire period of the test. Whatever there is on the earth, it is for us humans. “…On the earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a term.” (Q. 7:24). “It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse you through its tracts and enjoy of the sustenance which He furnishes: but to Him is the Resurrection.” (Q. 67:15). “It is He Who created for you all things that are on the earth….” (Q. 2:29). “It is We Who placed you with authority on the earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that you give.” (Q. 7:10). “The (material) things which you are given are but the conveniences of this life and the glitter thereof; but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring: will you not then be wise?” (Q. 28:60).
The earth provides both renewable (e.g., water, solar energy, plants, animals, etc.) and non-renewable (e.g., minerals, petroleum, etc.) resources for human consumption. The earth is a giant storehouse of a wide variety of human requirements. The availability of natural resources as per the Quranic message (Q. 7:24) is guaranteed till the test is over; that is when the universe will end. It is also quite obvious that the availability of each resource is commensurate with the relative needs of humanity. This is discernible from the relative availabilities of resources that are required by human beings in huge amounts (e.g., water) and that required in small quantities (e.g., platinum, gold, etc.). Several mechanisms are also in operation to ensure their availabilities in sufficient quantities. Renewal through recycling and regeneration is adopted by the Creator to replenish the supply of high-demand resources. Water, plants, animals, etc. come under this category. Besides the sun, Allah has also provided other energy sources to suit our other purposes. Petroleum, coal and nuclear sources for energy generation, belong to this list. Studies of the relative availability of the resources vis a vis human needs will bring out clearly the natural scenario of the supply-demand equation. The outcome of such studies will certainly make people think and understand the purpose of Allah’s creations in the light of the Quran. It will also enable us to discover the truth about the universe and redefine our priorities in our life.
The Quran speaks at length about the facilities, amenities and infrastructure provided in the test centre – the planet earth.
Several verses highlight the physical resources provided on Earth. “(It is He) Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals to Allah when you know (the truth).” (Q. 2:22). “And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that you may guide yourselves And marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves.” (Q. 16:15-16). “And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance. And We have provided therein means of subsistence,- for you and for those for whose sustenance you are not responsible. And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” (Q. 15:19-21). “And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance), though you are not the guardians of its stores.” (Q. 15:22). “He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).” (Q. 41:10). “See you not that Allah has made subject to you all that is on the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His Command? He withholds the sky (rain) from failing on the earth except by His leave: for Allah is Most Kind and Most Merciful to man.” (Q. 22:65). “It is Allah Who made out of the things He created, some things to give you shade; of the hills He made some for your shelter; He made you garments to protect you from heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He complete His favours on you, that you may bow to His Will (in Islam).” (Q. 16:81). “It is Allah Who has subjected the sea to you, that ships may sail through it by His command, that you may seek of his Bounty, and that you may be grateful.” (Q. 45:12). “It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down rain from the skies, and with it brings out fruits wherewith to feed you; it is He Who has made the ships subject to you, that they may sail through the sea by His command; and the rivers (also) hath He made subject to you.” (Q. 14:32). “We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.” (Q. 17:70).
“It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures: Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates); Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?” (Q. 55:10-12). “It is He who sends down rain from the sky: from it you drink, and out of it (grows) the vegetation on which you feed your cattle. With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for those who give thought.” (Q. 16:10-11). “Then let man look at his food, (and how We provide it): For that We pour forth water in abundance, and We split the earth in fragments, and produce therein corn, and Grapes and nutritious plants, and Olives and Dates, and enclosed Gardens, dense with lofty trees, and fruits and fodder,- for use and convenience to you and your cattle.” (Q. 80:24-32).
“See they not that it is We Who have created for them - among the things which Our hands have fashioned - cattle, which are under their dominion?- And that We have subjected them to their (use)? Of them some do carry them and some they eat: And they have (other) profits from them (besides), and they get (milk) to drink. Will they not then be grateful?” (Q. 36:71-73). “It is Allah Who made your habitations homes of rest and quiet for you; and made for you, out of the skins of animals, (tents for) dwellings, which you find so light (and handy) when you travel and when you stop (in your travels); and out of their wool, and their soft fibres (between wool and hair), and their hair, rich stuff and articles of convenience (to serve you) for a time.” (Q. 16:80). “It is Allah Who made cattle for you, that you may use some for riding and some for food; And there are (other) advantages in them for you (besides); that you may through them attain to any need (there may be) in your hearts; and on them and on ships you are carried.” (Q. 40:79-80). “And cattle He has created for you (men): from them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) you eat.” (Q. 16:5). “And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things of which you have no knowledge.” (Q. 16:8).
“It is He Who has made the sea subject, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that you may extract there from ornaments to wear; and you see the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that you may be grateful.” (Q. 16:14).
Through these and many other verses, the Quran enumerates so many kinds of resources and natural mechanisms (e.g., rain, wind, sailing of ships, etc.) that are provided for the benefit of man during the test period on the earth. It is significant to note that although there are millions of other species inhabiting the earth, the Quran does not mention about them as beneficiaries of the natural resources because they also form resources created for man. These organic beings are renewable resources sustained by Allah.
The Quranic revelation that everything on the earth is created for man may be called into question on the ground that other species are also utilizing the resources. It is to be realized that these other species are also created as resources for man. Their presence on Earth should be seen that way. Consequently, we find they require and consume only non-renewable resources for their sustenance. This can be explained as follows. Over two million biological species are catalogued and several million others are supposed to inhabit this planet. Of these, man alone has the natural tendency to exploit the non-renewable resources; the rest of the bioworld require only the renewable resources. This propensity is an instinct, a built-in character, i.e., biosoftware-determined. Every other organism has been programmed to utilize only renewable resources. If we examine the requirements of other organisms, it will be evident that they do not use any non-renewable resource for any purpose. For instance, their food, material for nest building, and every other requirement is met from the renewable resources. They do not therefore deplete any non-renewable resources. Only man needs them and only man depletes them. Since they are created by Allah for the exclusive use of man, their nature, distribution and availability must correspond to the human needs and requirements. And we find this is true. The following discussion will clarify this point.
The total area of the earth is 510.072 million km2 of which land is 148.94 million km2 (29.2%) and water 361.132 million km2 (70.8%) . Natural resources may be either biotic (living) or abiotic (non-living) in origin. They are materials essential or useful to man. These include land, air, water, plants, animals, fish, birds, microorganisms, forests, wildlife, minerals, natural gas, petroleum, coal, etc. The list is so long. Natural resources are classified under renewable, flow, and non-renewable groups. Renewable resources are water, plants, animals, etc. Wind, solar radiation, etc., are treated as flow renewable resources as they do not require regeneration. Non-renewable resources are finite and their supply is limited. Coal, petroleum, mineral deposits come under this category. The finite nature of the resources is well highlighted by the Quran (Q. 7:24 given above). We know it is a fact. For instance, the reserve of natural gas at the end of 2005 is estimated to be around 179,831,967 million m3 , that of oil is 1200700 million barrels  and that of coal is 909,064 million tons . There are over 450 kinds of minerals provided by Allah on the earth. Millions of biological species are also available. All the biological organisms are not used directly by us. Many are required to sustain the habitability of the environment and resourcefulness of the human robot testing planet. Apart from being our food, the bioresources cater to our needs ranging from ornament to experimental material. Statistics show world’s annual wood production (timber-equivalent) is 3.4 billion m3, meat production is 220 million tons, and marine fish catch is 90 million tons  to mention only a few. All the resources are provided and maintained as per the requirements of Homo sapiens. The natural mechanisms Allah devised for that are awe-inspiring. For example, take the case of water and how its supply is maintained.
The mechanisms involved in worldwide circulation and distribution of water through hydrologic cycle indicates how intricate the divine program is on a global scale. “And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water, though you are not the guardians of its stores.” (Q. 15:22). “It is Allah Who sends forth the winds, so that they raise up the clouds and We drive them to a land that is dead, and revive the earth therewith after its death…” (Q. 35:9). About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water although we can see only a very small portion of it in circulation. The oceans store 97.5% of the earth’s water, land contains 2.4% and the atmosphere holds less than 0.001% as water vapour. Of all the water that is present on the earth, only 2.5% is fresh water; the rest is salty. (In all these proportions, we can see Allah’s planning and strategy). Most of the fresh water remains frozen in icecaps, present as soil moisture or inaccessible in deep underground aquifers, leaving less than 1% accessible for use. The annual precipitation (Table 2) for the earth is more than 30 times the atmosphere’s total capacity to hold water indicating rapid recycling of water between the earth’s surface and atmosphere .
Table 2. Earth’s water budget
The process of hydrologic cycle (Figure 2) is responsible for circulation and conservation of the earth’s water [11, 12, 13]. The hydrologic cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean. As moist air is lifted it cools and water vapour condenses to form clouds. One would certainly have expected that water would remain as vapour as it goes up and it would continue to go higher and higher in the sky. But nature has the mechanism to prevent it from going up beyond certain altitudes by transforming it into clouds. These clouds literally serve as the mobile overhead reservoirs of water that can be dispatched to any point on the earth through the control of the wind. Such a controlling mechanism has been indicated in the Quranic verses (Q. 15:22; 35:9) given above. This is indeed a wonderful natural phenomenon when we consider the quantum of water involved in the global transport and circulation. Once the water reaches the ground as rain, two processes occur: a) some of the water may evaporate back into the atmosphere and b) some of the water may penetrate the surface and become groundwater. Groundwater either seeps its way into oceans, rivers, and streams, or is released back into the atmosphere through transpiration (via plants). The remaining quantity of water on the earth’s surface is the runoff, which empties into lakes, rivers and streams and is carried back to the oceans, where the cycle begins again. The total quantity of water that is transported to the atmosphere annually is about 423 x 109 km3; the same quantity of water is returned to the earth through precipitation, thus conserving the total water content of the planet [14, 15].
Figure 2. Global water cycle involving precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and runoff
Based on [http://www.unep.org/vitalwater/images/03-water-cycle.jpg. Original source given: Shiklomanov, I.A., State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, and UNESCO, Paris, 1999; Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1994; Freeze, Allen, John, Cherry. Groundwater, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1979.].
Note: The width of the arrows indicating processes is approximately proportional to the volume of transported water.
An important thing that we can infer from the hydrologic cycle is that not a single molecule of water on our planet is broken down to its constituent atoms (hydrogen and oxygen) or lost irreversibly. Water being the universal solvent and an essential component of life its total quantity is always conserved through recycling. Although water participates in almost every chemical reaction that is taking place on the earth and combines with a large number of compounds in a variety of ways, none of these reactions leads to its destruction or its irreversible loss. The molecule is recoverable from whatever substance or compound in which it exists. Without this unique characteristic of the water molecule, it would not have been possible to sustain life on this planet. It takes God to create it.
It is for man and man alone Allah created everything on this planet. It is impossible to estimate Allah’s blessings and bounties given to man on the earth. But still we are ungrateful to Him. To quote the Creator: “If you would count up the favours of Allah, never would you be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Q. 16:18). “And He gives you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (Q. 14:34).
Mere availability of the resources is not enough; we should also be given knowledge to exploit and utilize them. “And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the skies and on the earth; behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect”. (Q. 45:13). “Don’t you see that God has made all that is on the earth subject to you (men)…?” (Q. 22:65). “And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect.” (Q. 45:13). “Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!” (Q. 31:20).
The Quranic statement that Allah has subjected all things in the skies and on the earth to man implies that they are so designed and created by Allah as to make them useful and amenable to human exploitation. Even taming of animals would have been impossible for us had not Allah designed them so. We develop our likes and dislikes as stipulated in our biosoftware, which in turn determine our needs. Therefore, the kind of resources provided by Allah on the earth would match our needs and are adequate to meet our requirements qualitatively and quantitatively. Thus we find the raw materials (natural resources) provided on the earth are amenable to our exploitation and they yield products appropriate for our use. But to exploit them successfully we need the right kind of knowledge. Allah has also given us that knowledge, which is science and technology (see post 6). If this knowledge were not available, we will not be able to utilize the natural resources. For instance, petroleum reserves on the planet would have remained untapped had Allah not given us the knowledge of its purpose, extraction and utilization. The technological know-how tells us which resource is to be used for what purpose(s). For example, we have been taught by Allah to use petroleum as energy source for our automobiles. Its supply and its technology match this purpose. We cannot think of using petroleum for a purpose not earmarked by Allah or another resource as energy source for automobiles if Allah has not ordained. In this way if we look at the world holistically, it will be self-evident that natural resources are created for human use alone. This reality justifies the view that the conditions on the earth are fine-tuned for sustaining human life. The purpose of all creations ultimately converges to a single objective – human robot testing.
Allah’s designs are all-embracing and comprehensive. He alone knows our ultimate potential, He alone knows the quality and quantity of knowledge we are entitled to get, and He alone knows how far science and technology will take us. Allah decided our physical and mental attributes which in turn decided our needs. Allah decided the kind of raw materials (natural resources) for meeting each of our needs. Allah alone knows how long the human robot testing will continue and the world will last. Allah alone knows the resource requirement of the test period. The purposes of each and every thing available on the earth are determined by Allah.
Allah’s declaration that Earth is the habitat created for man (Q. 7:24) indicates the relative importance of the earth and other universal components in the divine scheme. This means in the whole universe, earth alone can provide and meet the requirements stipulated in the biosoftware of human species. Anthropocentric creation of the earth can be best illustrated by a thought experiment. Let us consider trans-planetary migration of human beings, a subject often linked to space missions. Suppose a large number of people leave Earth for settlement on Mars. No sooner do they land on it than will they return. The reason is simple. They will find Mars unsuitable for human settlement. It will not provide the necessary resources and facilities in accordance with human requirements. Nor will they find themselves equipped with technological know-how to exploit Martian resources to their requirement. To put it differently, Mars is not created for human habitation. It is the earth created for mankind. So Allah has not provided resources to suit the human needs and requirements on Mars. Further, Allah has not given us knowledge to utilize Martian resources for our purposes. Both ways Mars will prove unsuitable for human settlement. Thus it can be shown in the light of the Quranic revelations that Earth alone was created as habitat for humans. No other region in the cosmos can serve as human habitat. That also validates the Quranic revelation of divine purpose of creation.
1. Wahid, P.A. 2007. An Introduction to Islamic Science. Adam Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi.
2. www.ecology.com/.../earth-at-a-glance-feature/ Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
3. http://www.nineplanets.org/overview.html Retrieved on March 13, 2007.
4. http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/earth.html Retrieved on January 27, 2007.
5. https://www.cia.gov/cia/ publications/factbook/print/xx.html Retrieved on March 16, 2007.
6. http://www.xist.org/charts/en_gasres.aspx Retrieved on March 16, 2007.
7. http://www.xist.org/ charts/en_oilres.aspx Retrieved on March 16, 2007.
8. http://www.xist.org/charts/en_coalres.aspx Retrieved on March 16, 2007.
9. http://atlas.aaas.org/index.php?part=2&sec=natres&sub=meatfish Retrieved on March 16, 2007.
11. http://www.unep.org/vitalwater/images/03-water-cycle.jpg. Original source given: Shiklomanov, I.A., State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, and UNESCO, Paris, 1999.
12. Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1994.
13. Freeze, Allen, John, Cherry. Groundwater, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1979.
15. IAEA 02-01578/FS Series 2/03/E.
Allah created man to serve Him. Man is addressed by Allah as “abd” meaning robot (servant). “I created jinn and man only to serve Me.” (Q. 51:56). The Arabic word abd is synonymous with the English word robot (servant). The root of this word may be traced to the Czech play ‘Rossum’s Universal Roboters’ of the 1920s in which human workers were portrayed as ‘robots’ (‘robota’ in Czechoslovakian language means servitude). A robot is a programmed machine designed to perform desired physical tasks. A humanoid robot is shown in Figure 1. Robot is essentially a computer with three additional features namely, sensors (which receives data from the environment), microprocessors (which transform data into information) and actuators (or muscles, which control the energy requirement). The human robot, which is designed and created by God to serve Him, should certainly be special. The worldview about man as no more than a species on Earth is fundamentally wrong. That view is created by the atheist scientific lobby without realizing the God’s purpose of creating man as His robot and the unique features God bestowed on him to suit the purpose. Creation of man was discussed earlier (see posts 4 and 6). Here we will discuss the unique attributes of human biosystem designed to serve Allah and the need of testing human biosystem before it is deployed as Allah’s robot. The Quran sheds light on several characteristic features of human biorobot system, which cannot be derived from any other sources. All these features, as you will see, agree well with the divine purpose of creating man and justify the test he is subjected to in this life.
Figure 1. A humanoid robot (Asimo Honda, Japan), the most advanced robot system made so far
Mind (qalb) – the conscious free-willed processor
Every component of the universe including living species other than man was created by Allah as unconscious, fully subservient biosystems (i.e., totally programmed dedicated systems) with absolutely no freedom to act on their own (Q. 16:48-50; 30:26). They all form part and parcel of the facility created for testing man. They are totally programmed dedicated systems like our current breed of robots. “Do they not look at things Allah created? Their shadows tilt towards right and left prostrating to Allah in humility. And to Allah prostrate all living things in the skies and in earth, and the angels. And they are not arrogant. They all fear their Lord above them and they function as they are instructed (i.e., as programmed).” (Q. 16:48-50). Man is the only species bestowed with freedom to take decision and act. “Did you not see that whoever in the skies and whoever in the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the animals and a large number of human beings prostrate to Him? But a large number (of men also) deserve punishment. Whoever Allah disgraces, none will be there to honour him. Allah does what He intends.” (Q. 22:18). This verse mentions that although all other things in the universe submit (i.e., programmed) to God, not all human beings do that. Clearly the universe is a totally programmed system with the exception of human beings. The discretionary freedom given to man is further indicated in verses 17:84 and 76:3. “Say: “Everyone acts according to his own disposition. But your Lord knows best who is best guided on the path.” (Q. 17:84). “We (i.e., Allah) showed him the (right) way; either he can be grateful or ungrateful.” (Q. 76:3).
In order to understand the functioning of human biosytem, it is necessary to distinguish the freewill-based tasks from the rest of the activities. Freewill-based functions are the voluntary actions which the biosystem is conscious of. The part of human body that takes decision for conscious action and the one that experiences it and gives the “I” feeling to the biosystem is the mind. Human mind is the only thing in the whole universe that is bestowed with freedom to take decision and act on its will. The Quran refers to that part as the qalb. In computer parlance, human mind can be considered as conscious intelligent free-willed “processor”. It is the qalb with these special attributes that makes man a class of his own and distinguishes him from the rest of the world. All other organisms lack mind and hence freewill (Figure 2). It is the processor mind that imparts consciousness and freewill to human robot system. Apart from the conscious activities, the system also performs numerous house-keeping internal activities, which the mind is unaware of. These are involuntary functions. This indicates that there is another processor (CPU) responsible for executing life-sustaining biological activities in accordance with the biosoftware. This is unconscious processor. Maybe it is these two processors that are generally distinguished as two parts of the mind and referred to as conscious and subconscious mind. In the computer model, they are considered as two different processors namely mind and CPU, linked to each other (Figure 2). Thus human biosystem can be described as biprocessor system [1, 2]. Since animals do not have mind, they are neither conscious nor are able to take own decisions to act. All their activities are unconscious involuntary activities determined by the CPU in accordance with their biosoftware. The animal biosystem is comparable with present-day man-made robots. The importance of the qalb and its attributes are very much highlighted in the Quran. The special place the Quran gives to Earth among the universal components (see post 8) and the special place it gives to qalb compared to other parts of human biosystem indicate their importance from the point of view of divine purpose of creation. The features of qalb are revealed by the Quran through several verses. Consider the following.
Figure 2. A comparison of human and animal biosystems based on computer model
“Had they not travelled through the earth so that they would have minds (qalbs) with which they could understand and ears with which they could hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind but their minds that are in their memories.” (Q. 22:46). “Your God is one God. But those who do not believe in the Hereafter, their minds (qalbs) are denying and they are arrogant ones.” (Q. 16:22). These verses tell us qalb is the part that thinks, learns and takes decisions (indicating freewill).
Qalb is a data entry port like the ear or the eye. The divine revelation (the Quran) was conveyed to the qalb of Prophet Muhammad. The Satan also puts suggestions to the qalb to deviate man from the righteous path. “Say (O Muhammad!): “Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel, (let him understand) that certainly it was he (Gabriel) who transmitted the (revelation) onto your mind (qalb) by Allah’s order confirming the (revelations) that came before it and as guidance and glad tidings to the believers.” (Q. 2:97). “He (i.e., Allah) makes (the evil suggestions) put in by Satan a trial for those in whose minds (qalbs) is a disease and (whose) minds are hardened. Verily the wrongdoers are in a schism far (from the truth).” (Q. 22:53)
The Quran further reveals to us that Allah made faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding only for man. “Say: “It is He who created you and made for you the faculties of hearing and seeing, and mental faculties (afidat). Little thanks it is you give.” (Q. 67:23). “Verily We created man from a mixed drop in order to test him. So We gave him faculties of hearing and sight.” (Q. 76:2). The Arabic word “afidat” has been translated as “feeling and understanding” , which are conscious activities. Therefore, these may be considered as attributes of the qalb. To sum up, the qalb (mind) is a processor that has the ability to learn, think and understand, to act as input port, to impart consciousness (“I” feeling) and hence feelings including pain, to exercise freewill and decide course of action by the individual.
Although animals have external data input ports like eye, ear, etc., the signals coming through them are processed by the CPU (and not by mind as in human beings) and hence do not result in conscious perception of the environment. They do not see or hear “consciously” as we do. “We have made many of the jinns and human beings for Hell. They have minds with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see and they have ears with which they do not hear. They are like cattle; nay more misguided. They are the heedless people.” (Q. 7:179). “Or do you think that most of them do listen or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are farther off the (righteous) path.” (Q. 25:44).
These revelations indicate that qalb is required for conscious perception. These Quranic verses convey very important messages about sensory perception. Allah informs us that the animals do not see or hear as we do. However from the observations of animal behaviour, it may be argued that animals also see and hear like us and that the Quranic comparison of man with animal (Q. 7:179; 25:44) is only to make the message more emphatic and forceful. However this argument is weakened by the assertion that the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding are created only for man (Q. 67:23). What does this mean? It means that the qalb creates the physical reality of the universe which we experience. The world is nothing but information – the divine instructions carried by the energy. When a signal is received from the environment through an input port say eye, it is processed by the qalb in accordance with our biosoftware and the signal gets transformed into visual perception, a conscious activity. Thus we get a 3D image of the object. In other words, the world acquires colour, size, etc., the way mind processes the information (carried by energy) in accordance with our biosoftware. The world around us is basically without sound, colour, taste, size, etc., but only divine information. It is human mind that imparts these characteristics to the outside world in accordance with the biosoftware. Thus conscious perception occurs only in human beings and man alone perceives the world with colour, sound, etc., and no other species does. The Quranic message that Allah made faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding only for man (Q. 67:23) points to that. The Quranic verse 7:179 further implies that mere possession of organs like eye and ear is not enough to provide the system with faculties of seeing and hearing. Animals have eyes and ears but they do not see or hear as we do (Q. 7:179; 25:44).
Figure 2 shows a single processor (CPU) in animal system, which processes all the signals (inputted from inside body as well as from outside through eyes, ears, etc.) and decides the course of action (response) in accordance with the biosoftware of the organism. On the other hand, human body has two processors namely a CPU and mind. The signals arising from inside the body (i.e., internal biological functions) are processed by the CPU and action taken as per the biosoftware (nafs). These are unconscious activities in which mind is not involved. However if any signal is transmitted to mind (e.g., pain) it is perceived consciously. Similarly if mind decides to influence certain internal activities being performed by CPU, it can. For example, if mind decides to stop the breathing process, it can do that. Similarly, signals transmitted from mind to CPU can also influence the internal activities. For example, if the mind is in a sorrowful state, the functioning of CPU will also be affected correspondingly. In this way mind-CPU linkage can be understood.
The signals coming through the external input ports (sensory organs are invariably processed by the qalb to create conscious perception. Any information (signal) ‘viewed’ by the qalb is a conscious activity and any action commanded by the qalb is also a conscious activity. This includes also data or information downloaded from memory to mind during thought process. The mind is supposed here as processor functioning independently of the CPU and is bestowed with not only the processing ability but also the discretionary power. The mind transmits its decision to CPU and the CPU executes it as per the biosoftware. This is reflected in activating the tissues/organs concerned for action. If nothing is communicated, no action will result. The decision taken by mind (whether it is for an action or for no action) also forms a conscious activity. “Sleep” can be perceived as the state in which mind is functionally (and not physically) cut off from the sensory organs.
The Quranic revelation of absence of feelings (afidat) in animals (Q. 67:23) has more significance than meets the eye particularly in respect of pain, which is also (conscious) experience. We think of animal system much like ours and hence we believe that they also have feelings as we do. But the Quran implies that it is not so. An animal is mere automata like our robot and does not experience feelings. Whatever outward expression it makes is not because it experiences any feeling including pain. It does not have mind to create feeling. For instance, a dog when beaten gives out a crying sound and runs away. We attribute its response (crying and fleeing) to the pain it felt. Since we feel pain when beaten, we also think of animals similarly. This is not correct. An animal’s outward response by way of crying, running, etc., is not because it felt pain but because it is programmed that way. Our robots can also be programmed to make such expressions when beaten. That does not mean the robot also feels pain when beaten. Most merciful Allah will not permit us to kill a living thing (except the ones banned by Him) for our food and other purposes. Allah’s permission to kill a living thing (Q. 2:173) must be viewed from this angle. If we extrapolate this argument a little further, it is likely that a human infant is an “unconscious” biosystem like animal until its mind starts functioning. Till then all its expressions and activities may be considered unconsciously performed ones. It does not have feelings including pain.
Memory (Sadr) – the record of one’s activities
Insofar as the Quran informs us that one’s actions are being recorded in real time, and that the dossier of all the deeds will be handed over to the individual on the Day of Judgement, there must be mechanism and provision available in human biosystem for accomplishing this task. At several places in the Quran (Q. 11:5; 28:69), mention has been made of sadr to imply memory that stores the particulars of one’s activities, acquired information and knowledge. Consider the following verses: “Say, whether you hide what is in your sadr or reveal it, God knows it all….” (Q. 3:29). “Nay, here are signs, self-evident in the sadr of those endowed with the knowledge and none except the unjust reject Our Signs.” (Q. 29:49). Sadr can be considered as the memory where all information on the conscious activities (i.e., decision taken and activities ordered by the qalb, as well as observations, experience, etc.) is stored. Sadr mentioned in the Quran may be treated as the brain memory. The memory constitutes the record of all activities of the individual performed during his life, which is retrievable. It is this register or the dossier that is preserved and handed over to the individual on the Day of Judgement. The following verses permit us to draw such a conclusion. “Truly, man is ungrateful to his Lord. And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds). And violent is he in his love for wealth. Does he not know when that which is (locked up) in (human) sadr(s) is made manifest – that their Lord had been well-acquainted with them that Day (the Day of Judgement)?” (Q. 100:6-11). “….On the Day of Judgement, We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open. (He will be told): Read your (own) Record; sufficient is yourself this day to make an account about yourself.” (Q. 17:13-14). “That Day you shall be brought to judgement. Not an act of yours that you hide will be hidden.” (Q. 69:18).
Besides sadr, tissues of other organs of the body also store information (on their chromosomes) relating to their activities, as it is mentioned in the Quran that body parts will stand witness for the actions of the individual suggesting that information on the activities carried out by each organ of the body is available. “That Day We shall seal their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.” (Q. 36:65). “At length, when they reach the (Fire), their hearing, their sight, and their skins will bear witness against them, as to (all) their deeds. They will say to their skins: Why you bear witness against us? They will say: (Allah) has given us speech; (He) Who gives speech to everything: He created you for the first time and to Him you are to return. You did not seek to hide yourselves, lest your hearing, your sight, and your skins should bear witness against you! But you did think that Allah knew not many of the things that you used to do! But this thought of yours which you did entertain concerning your Lord, has brought you to destruction, and (now) you have become those utterly lost!” (Q. 41:20-23). This implies that the chromosomes in human body cells have excess memory space over and above that required for storing the biosoftware. These blank sectors must be storing information on the activities carried out by the respective cells. Retrieval of the information can produce the record of those activities. It is presumed that irrespective of the genre (e.g., biological software, acquired information, etc.), information is stored on the chromosome by the same mechanism although we cannot say what the mechanism is.
Where are the qalb and sadr located? The Quran informs that the qalb resides in sadr. “…Truly, it is not their eyes that are blind but their qalb(s) which are in their sadr(s).” (Q. 22:46). Although the Quran clearly distinguishes the qalb from the sadr (Q. 22:46), the two are treated synonymously by translators of the Quran to mean heart, chest, etc. These two words mean two different organs of the body and not heart or chest. Since qalb is situated in sadr, if we can find out the location of one, the location of the other can also be known. The Quran throws some light on the location of sadr. “Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.” (Q. 17:13). This verse associates one’s fate with the scroll (record of one’s activities) to be produced on the Day of Judgement. One’s fate, whether he will go to Heaven or Hell, is determined by this record. Therefore, it can be deduced that the ‘fate’ implies the record of one’s activities. Since the Quranic verses 100:6-11 reveal that it is sadr that forms the dossier of a person, the revelation that “Every man’s fate We have fastened on his neck” (Q. 17:13) points to the location of sadr somewhere in the neck region. It may be the lower part of the brain, cerebellum, that is indicated in the verse. If so, cerebellum can be considered as the organ where sadr is located (Figure 3). This, in turn, would suggest that the qalb, which resides in the sadr, is also situated in cerebellum. Thus we may zero down to cerebellum as the most probable location of the qalb and sadr.
Figure 3. The diagram showing the position of cerebellum, probable location of qalb and sadr, in the hind part of the brain
Going by this reasoning, the cerebellum must be a hub of information processing and transmission of commands for voluntary (conscious) activities. The available literature on cerebellum does give some indication of that. The cerebellum is located in the hindbrain at the base of the skull nearest to the neck. It is also called “little brain”. The cerebellum contains nearly 50% of all neurons in the brain, although it constitutes about 10% of total brain volume. The cerebellum receives about 200 million input fibers; in contrast, the optic nerve is composed of a mere one million fibers . It coordinates voluntary movements (e.g. walking, posture, speech) and is important for learning motor (skilled) behaviours . These are conscious (voluntary) activities commanded by the qalb. The cerebellum is comparable with a powerful computer, capable of making contributions to both the motor dexterity and the mental prowess of humans. It handles an enormous amount of information received by it and after processing sends out decisions (output information) to various other regions of the brain, telling them what to do and when to do it . All these activities compare well with the functions of the qalb and are therefore suggestive of the location of qalb in cerebellum. More studies are, however, required to confirm the location of sadr and qalb. Research is to be taken up to understand the organization and functioning of human biosystem from the Quranic perspective.
Ability to speak and write
The Quranic revelation of Adam’s nafs as the source of biological information in human species is further strengthened by the disclosure of the availability of programs for speech, languages, writing, etc., in man. “And among His signs is the creation of the skies and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours. Verily in that are signs for those with knowledge.” (Q. 30:22). The need of language arises because Allah has given man the ability to speak and write, two means of communication. The verse 55:4 informs that Allah taught man to speak. The Quran also informs that it is Allah Who taught us how to write (Q. 96:3-5). These abilities are also unique to human species, which is understandable from the point of view of divine purpose of creating man.
It is generally believed that if the organ(s) required for some function is available in an organism it will be able to carry out that function. Many explanations and interpretations made by evolutionists from fossil records bank on such assumption. For example, if a fossil of an organism shows wings, it will be interpreted that the organism is capable of flight. This is far from true. Many animal species do have mouth and hand but they are unable to speak or write. Indirectly this means different programs are responsible for development of a structure and its functioning. If the program for development of a structure is available in a biosystem, the structure will develop. Its functioning will be governed by another program. The structure is developed to suit the function. This is also made clear in the Quran (discussed earlier) in the case of organs like eyes and ears. Animals do not see as we see and hear as we hear even though they have eyes and ears (Q. 7:179, 25:44). The revelation that faculties of seeing and hearing are given only to man (Q. 67:23) should also be examined against this background. These can be explained based on computer model of organism.
In a computer system mere availability of hardware is not enough for its functioning. Unless the system has the necessary software installed in it, hardware will not function. For example, take the case of a printer connected to a computer. The printer will not work just because it is connected to the computer. It will work only if appropriate software package for its functioning is available in the computer. The Quranic revelation of “Allah has taught man how to speak and how to write” (Q. 55:4, 96:3-5) is allegorical expression of installing the required software for these tasks. “Teaching a computer system” means “installation of appropriate software” in the system. If you have installed the print software in your PC, you have taught the system how to print. Further we are also repeatedly reminded by Allah that there are verses of allegorical nature in the Quran (Q. 2:26). “Surely, Allah does not hesitate to use any similitude be it a (tiny) mosquito or anything bigger. The believers know that certainly it is truth from their Lord but the rejecters of Faith will ask, “What does Allah intend by this similitude?” With it He misleads many (from the right path) and He guides many (to the right path). But He misleads with it only the transgressors.” (Q. 2:26). The use of similitudes is understandable because the message conveyed through the Quran should be comprehensible to the entire humanity from the time of Prophet Muhammad. Earlier people did not have much knowledge of things we know now. Therefore it is also understandable there were no attempts in the past to scientifically explain the Quran. Modern knowledge societies can understand better the message “Allah taught man” from the knowledge of computer technology. Thus when Allah says He taught man (a biorobot) how to speak, it should be taken to mean that Allah has included the “speech program” in the nafs (biosoftware) of Adam to enable the organs (hardware) concerned to speak. The verse on teaching how to speak has much wider connotations. It implies that whatever languages man should speak were also uploaded in Adam’s system. One estimate shows human beings can learn more than 10,000 languages!
Similarly Allah also taught us how to read (Q. 96:3) and how to write with pen (Q. 96:4). All these verses about “teaching” imply that Allah had included the appropriate programs in the human biosoftware (i.e., Adam’s nafs). That is why human beings are able to speak and write. The transformation of information stored in our memory from its intangible form into tangible form by human system can also be understood in comparison with computer or robot system. In the computer system, the information we store on hard disk exists in a form intangible to us. We install appropriate software in the computer to transform the intangible information into tangible audio or visual form in a language our mind can process. That way it understands that information. Information is downloaded onto the qalb of individual in tangible form in the language(s) installed (i.e., studied and known) in the system. Similarly, human voice box produces signals (information) which mind transforms based on the audio program in the biosoftware into tangible sound frequency in the language one knows. Likewise, while writing, appropriate program comes into operation to transform the intangible information into visual form; i.e., to produce a hard copy by human hands. In this case, the functioning of hand is comparable to that of a printer. The meaning of “Allah taught us to read, write and speak” can be explained in this way in the light of computer analogy.
If we examine human body in the light of these unique features, it will be possible to understand at least superficially the kind of system Allah has created to serve Him. Allah wanted intelligent, conscious and free-willed robots to serve Him. All these features can be attributed to the presence of mind. Human mind can choose what it wants and direct the system to act. These are the voluntary actions of the individual. Therefore it goes without saying that the human biosystem has to be tested for its willingness to obey Allah (His instructions conveyed through prophets) before it is put to serve Him. It is this test human beings are undergoing in this life. The test is in fact the test of human minds. It is to provide facility to test man Allah created this universe. All other organisms Allah created as part of the facility and resources for human use. We should realize this fact, recognize it and live according to Allah’s directives to make our test life on earth productive and successful. This should be our primary concern and the mission of our life. Everything else in this life should be seen as supplementary or complementary to it.
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4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellum Retrieved April 1, 2007.
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