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Article appeared Friday, January 4th, 2018 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (554) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Do you have any questions about creation? For example, why did God create human
beings? Or why did He create the heavens and the earth? How can we find the answers
to these questions? Will analogies help to understand and analyze such questions to
help point to possible answers?

What analogies can be examined? Could we compare why humans craft/make things?
For example, could we ask why Leonardo painted The Mona Lisa? Was it to
demonstrate his painting skills? Was it to express his inner beauty as a painter? Was it
for self-satisfaction? Here, we are assuming that Leonardo must have had a purpose –
even if we do not precisely know what it was. One thing is for sure – the painting speaks
of Leonardo’s special skills as a painter. His qualities are analyzed and acknowledged by
those who study and appreciate art. To honor and show respect, paintings are often
referred to by the name of the painter. The Mona Lisa may therefore be referred to as “a
De Vinci” just like other paintings are known as “a Rembrandt” or “a Picasso”.

In the above analysis, there are three points of view. First is that of Leonardo – why did
he make the effort of crafting The Mona Lisa? The second point of view is that of those
who study art. Why do they study, appreciate and acknowledge Leonardo? Could there
be a third point of view? Could the painting itself have a point of view? If for instance,
The Mona Lisa could have feelings and intelligence, how should she feel about
Leonardo or indeed about herself?

Returning to the creation of human beings, is there anyway we could compare the
painter-painting analogy with God or the Creator creating human beings and the
heavens and the earth? Obviously there would be differences, but the purpose is mainly
to understand the similarities – if they exist.

So, why did God create humans, heavens and the earth? Could it be to demonstrate His
Qualities as our Creator? If so, who would study and acknowledge His Qualities? Is
there anything or anyone other than humans who could do so? So, could the purpose of
human beings be simply to act like those who study, acknowledge and appreciate art? If
human beings studied the Qualities of the Creator, e.g., how He created the honeybee
and how He guides it to find the resources to produce and store honey – should we be in
awe of the Creator and full of praise? Can we look through Holy Scriptures, in particular,
the Al-Qur’an to check whether we can find support for the analysis we have done so
far? Chapter 16 of the Al-Qur’an discusses nature and is in fact titled An-Nahl or The
Bee. It carries the following Verses:
“And your Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills on trees and in (men's)
habitations; then to eat of all the produce (of the earth) and find with skill the
spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying
colors wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give
thought.” [16.68 – 16.69]

Do the Verses summarize and solve the mystery of the “why” and the “who” is behind
the honeybee? God designed and created the honeybee to produce honey as a healing
or medicine for humans. And He programmed the honeybee to do what it does for this
purpose. What Qualities of our Lord God do these Verses speak of? There are scientists
who give thought or ponder over nature, and for example, they study the shape of the
honeycomb cell {1} and acknowledge the efficiency of its hexagonal shape. However,
having done so, do they give credit to God for the very appropriate design? As an
example, the website of Science Friday carries the article Why are Honeycomb Cells
Hexagonal {2} which starts off with the sentence Honeybees have evolved over time to
skillfully build hexagonal honeycomb cells. As credit is being given to “evolution” God
asks in the Al-Qur’an:

23.68 “Do they not ponder over the Word (words of Al-Qur’an revealed by
God) or has anything (different) come to them that did not come (in
previous revelations) to their fathers of old?”
One can ponder with questions like, for example, has “evolution” studied the storage
requirements of honey and mathematically worked out the most efficient shape? Does
“evolution” know the required ingredients of honey so that it acts as medicine for human
beings? Or do the scientists feel that God does not send Guidance? To allay doubts,
God accordingly responds with the following Verses in the Al-Qur’an.
“No just estimate of God do they make when they say: "Nothing does He send
down to man (by way of revelation)": Ask, "Who thensent down the Book which
Moses brought? A light and guidance to man..." Say, "God (sent it down)":
thenleave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling.” [6.91]

Or do they feel that the Al-Qur’an says something different from previous revelations?
“And this is a Book which We have revealed bringing blessings and confirming
(the previous revelations) that came before it... Those who believe in the
Hereafter (Day of Judgment) believe in this (the words carried by the Al-
Qur’an)...” [6.92]

23.69 “Or do they not recognize their Apostle that they deny him?”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through whom the Verses of the Al-Qur’an were revealed
was known to be a man of truth. He was unlettered, but a man true to his word.

23.70 “Or do they say, "He is possessed"? Nay he has brought them the
Truth but most of them hate the Truth.”

23.71 “If the Truth had been in accord with their desires truly the heavens
and the earth and all beings therein would have been inconfusion and
corruption! Nay We have sent them their admonition but they turn away
from their admonition.”
For example, if bees or humans actually “evolved”, as scientists claim, all things would
work randomly, without guidance. It would be unlikely that systems would be integrated,
e.g., would bees, which do not know about humans, produce honey as medicine for
them? Scientists turn away from the guidance given in the Holy Scriptures.

23.72 “Or is it that you ask them for some recompense? But the
recompense of your Lord is best: He is the Best of those who
God is asking whether the Prophet had asked for something in return for relaying the
Verses, e.g., did he ask for a favor or for fees? Being compensated/rewarded by God is
the best of returns.

23.73 “But verily you are calling them to the Straight Way;”
God confirms that the Prophet who conveyed them the Verses of the Al-Qur’an is
showing a way that leads direct to Him – studying, accepting and acknowledging God.