Chapter Two: The Cow (Al Baqara)
Chapter 2, Verse 29
It was He who created all that is on the earth for you, then turned to the sky and made the seven heavens; it is He who has knowledge of all things (Chapter 2: Verse 29).
In the previous verse God informed us that to Him belongs life, death, and resurrection. Now, He turns our attention to the fact that whatever exists on earth also belongs to Him. You and I do not have true ownership of our belongings and private property, rather all these things are under our temporary custody, and everything will eventually change hands and be the property of someone else.
God blessed us with the great bounty of life. However, the gift of life is in need of constant nourishment and care in order to survive and thrive. Thus, the supply of blessings from Allah to the creation must also continue. These blessings, however, are only of use to us while we are alive. Always keep in mind that the things around you are subjected to your will and are here for your service. This is not through your own capability, rather, it is through the will of God. Once death overtakes you, you can no longer benefit from the things around you. Make sure to use these bounties in accordance to God's guidance, as you will be asked about them on the day of judgment.
Lets turn our attention to the word 'created'. God says:
I did not call them to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation. I would not take as helpers those who lead others astray. (18:51)
None of us witnessed the creation of the universe. And since we did not witness the creation of the heavens, earth or the creation of ourselves, we should take this information from the creator Himself. Whatever comes to us from a source other than God is misguidance and falsehood. Nowadays, there aremany researches who present their view on the creation of the heavens, earth and humans. All these views are mere theories, many of them contradictory, and cannot compete with reality. God says referring to those whomislead others: 'I would not take as helpers those who lead others astray'. Weak and speculative narratives are not the same as reality.
Keep in mind that while we may not understand creation, we can still fully benefit from it. This is similar to how you benefit from the electricity at your house even if you do not fully understand how it works. Likewise, our lack of knowledge about the process of God’s creation does not deprive us from reaping the benefits of the universe. Our lack of precise knowledge does not harm or decrease our benefit.
It is by God's command that the universe is subjected to serve and not to rebel against mankind. The first question that comes to mind is: How about all the natural disasters that happen? How about the floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and so on? We answer that these rare events are meant to remind us that earth is not subjugated by our own power, technology, or intelligence. Everything in the universe is subject to the infinite divine power and wisdom of God that transcends causes and effects. God Almighty says:
Can they not see how, among the things made by Our hands, We have created livestock they control,Whom We made subservient to them so that some of them they ride and some they eat? (36:71-72)
Ironically, you see that animals have perceptions beyond our own. Many sense the coming of an earthquake, for example, before it occurs. They flee the area to safety, while man, with his superior intelligence is completely unaware.
The phrase 'all that is on the earth' encompassesall life forms, materials, objects, and even what we -human beings- have invented and manufactured. Mankind has not created anything from non-existence, rather, we use the materials available to us to produce and build things. For example, let's consider a grain of wheat. Where did we bring it from? Surly, it came from last year's harvest. And where did last year's harvest come from? From the harvest of the year before and so on. This sequence continues until we reach the very first grain of wheat which came directly from Allah. Even those crops that are engineered, or came to be through the process of evolution, all started from God's creation. The same logic applies to human beings. Our lineage reaches back to the first male and female created by God. Everything began with Him Almighty.
In the light of advancements, rising civilizations and new inventions, some people have come to question creation. Wasn't all of modern life our own creation? Well, the answer is simply: no. We, as a species, have used the intellect given to us by God, to shape the materials created by God into new forms and inventions. We have yet to make something from nothing. God, on the other hand, is the one who creates from nothing, and sets the laws for multiplication and procreation. God says:
Consider the seeds you sow in the ground, Is it you who make it germinate or are We the Germinator?, If We wished We could have made it broken stubble. You would then be left devoid of crops, distraught (56:63-66)
It is true that a farmer plows the ground and sows the seeds. He or she may even take extensive care of the plant, develop irrigation methods, and use fertilizers and other chemicals for optimum crop. But none of these actions create the actual plant from scratch. After all, do we plant our crops in an earth that is not a creation of God? Do we water our crops with water other than the one God poured from the sky?
These are many things that we have discovered, and many more still hidden in this universe that we have yet to discover. God created them since the beginning of creation with precise knowledge and planning. They remain concealed in the universe until God reveals their secret to those people who are searching. Take, for example, whatever exists underground of raw materials and treasures. We did not invent or create oil or minerals, rather these blessings remained undiscovered until the time came for them to play their role in life. Allah created and deposited all the elements in exact proportion as needed to sustain and advance life until the last day.