Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Being Reminded Through Nature

We are living in an artificial age. An age where our interaction with the natural world is somewhat limited or cut off all together. The objects that we interact with are mostly artificial. We interact with our computers, our mobile phones, our cars, etc. And in many cases, these artificial objects become a barrier for us to truly appreciate the natural world around us.

We become unaware of the sky because of the tall buildings and the air pollution that blocks our views, we become unaware of the grass and soil because of them being covered the streets and roads, and other instances. In fact, the small patch of grass that comes out from the pavement, the only thing natural, often looks unnatural to us.

Each time we see the sky, the sun, whenever the wind blow on our faces, too often do we look at them just as common things that have no significance. We find nothing special about the natural phenomenon due to our disconnectedness with the natural world. We don’t realize that all around us are actually immense blessing from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The sun which gives us light and warmth, the wind that brings water and pollinates the flowers, the air that we breathe as our source of Oxygen, and the many other countless blessings that He has given us.

We even find time to complain about these blessings that He has given us. One example is when we are given rain. Many times we complain about getting wet. While the truth is, we ourselves are water creatures. 80% of our body is made out of water. Yet we fail to show gratitude towards this blessing due to our hardened hearts.

Despite our disconnectedness from them, the truth is, the creations of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala have the potential to be powerful reminders for us. They serve as reminders about His Greatness, and furthermore, reminders about our true destination as human beings.

In the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala makes oaths (swears) by His creations. The sky is one example of this. He swears many times by the sky, indicating that the sky is an amazing and profound creation. The sky is also used as a reminder for the arrogant ones of humanity, where He subhanahu wa ta’ala asks a rhetorical question comparing the immense creation of the sky to the insignificant creation of the human being.

This same sky is also used as a reminder about the true destination of humanity. So where do you think you’re going? “Fa ayna tadzhabuun?” The sky is used to give a vivid description of yaumul qiyaamah, the Day of Judgment. The day when the sky will be torn, will be ripped beyond repair, and will be opened like doors. The day where everyone will harvest the fruits of everything they worked for in life, the good and the bad. It is the day where no one will be cheated and treated unfairly. This day in truth is humanity's REAL destination, despite of all the distractions that we’re immersed in (school, hobbies, careers, and almost everything else).

These powerful reminders that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given to us in the Qur’an should totally change our perception towards the sky. This immense creation that He has placed above us should always make us think and be connected to the reality of things. Every time we see the sky, we should always remember the One who created it. Every time we see the sky, we should always remember that no matter how immense and great it may seem, a day will come where it will be torn and ripped beyond repair. What should even worry us more is the fact that we will have to take responsibility on every single action that we did.

In our nature, we human beings are forgetful creatures. In the Qur’an, one of the names that is used for human beings is al insan. Al insan comes from the word nasia, which literally means to forget. Thus, we need to be constantly reminded about everything, including the most essential things, such as who we really are, what our purpose in life is, and where we will end up (our final destination).

I would like to remind myself first and foremost to raise the awareness towards the amazing natural world. Besides creating a sense of awe and humbleness, thinking and pondering upon the creations through a Qur’anic perspective can serve as powerful everyday reminders that will insyaAllah be beneficial for all of us.

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