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Chapter 2: Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow): Verses 26-29


God is not ashamed of setting forth any example, be that of a gnat or anything less significant. (When such a parable is presented), those who have faith realize intuitively that it is a reflection of the truth from their Sustainer, and those who have no faith say, “What does God mean by this (apparently insignificant) example?” God guides many (to the right path) by these examples and leaves many others in deeper disbelief by the same examples. He only leaves in error those who exceed the limits (set by God), who disregard their bond with God after their commitment, who destroy the relationship that God has instructed them to maintain, and who create chaos and corruption on Earth. They are the ones without real guidance.

How can you deny God? You were without life, then He gave you life; after that He will bring your death; then He will bring you back to life so that you will return back to Him. He is the One who created everything on Earth for your benefit and subsequently directed Himself to the heavens to complete the seven Heavens. He knows the affairs of everything.


Allah does not mind pointing out the features of gnats, bees, ants, etc., which may appear insignificant but in reality show the complexity and wonders of creation. As we look at the microtechnology of yesterday and the nanotechnology of today, we realize that dealing with smaller features of nature is much more complex and requires more ingenuity than life-size or bigger elements or entities. Our bodies, for example, are made up of billions of cells, some of which are specialized to serve specific functions, such as the cells of the heart vs. the cells of the kidney, white blood cells vs. red blood cells, etc. Our galaxies are made of a large number of stars and planets. At the same time, if we were to take a dive into an individual cell and journey into the human genome, we would be awed by the wondrous complexities of the creative and evolutionary forces in nature which are beyond our control and are only guided by God. Even a small mustard seed contains all the knowledge and capabilities of physical sciences (e.g., Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) as well as engineering marvels as it bursts forth from its seed and transforms itself beautifully into a mustard plant capable of reproducing thousands of new mustard seeds in return.

An agreement or bond with God implies the existence of mankind’s innate relationship with God and our obligation to acknowledge His greatness, follow His guidance and instructions to define the purpose and direction of our lives, and benefit the created world, including ourselves.

In Arabic and other Semitic languages, the number 7, 70, or 700 sometimes does not indicate an exact number but instead multiple entities; therefore, the notion of the seven Heavens could pertain to our solar system with seven planets, from whose vantage points there are seven Heavens, or it could simply refer to numerous heavenly structures that we know exist in our vast universe.


We need to think about our ability to draw guidance and examples from nature that will help us to be properly guided. God gives guidance to those who are willing to receive it. And as God said in the Qur’an, “Surely each one of you strives for diverse objectives: (1) Whoever supports others, stays true to his duty (as a human being), and embraces all that is good, God will facilitate his way to success, and (2) Whoever is niggardly, arrogant (considers himself unduly self-sufficient and above others), and rejects all that is good, God will facilitate his ways to hardship and distress” (92:4–12).


It is essential that as we read through the Qur’an, lead our lives, get married, have children, earn a living, and travel on Earth we actively be aware of our roles, our surroundings, and our impact on others. Without such awareness true Islamic identity and the true potential of a human being will be difficult to attain and sustain. This awareness is seriously lacking in our educational systems and in the ways we manage our day-to-day lives.

Key Term:

  1. Ahad-ullah