Colours in Creation, Virtuous Speech, Dualism
Issue 940 » March 31, 2017 - Rajab 3, 1438
Colours in Creation
Fatir (The Originator) Sura 35: Verses 27-28
"Are you not aware that God sends down water from the skies, with which We bring forth fruits of different colours? In the mountains, there are streaks of white and red of various shades, as well as others jet-black. Similarly, human beings, beasts and cattle have various colours. It is those who are endowed with knowledge that stand truly in awe of God. Indeed, God is Almighty, Much-Forgiving."
This is a remarkable touch confirming the source of the Quran. It looks at the entire world with a special focus on colour, pointing out its great variety in fruits, mountains, people, animals and cattle. It only takes a few words to group together animate and inanimate objects throughout the earth, leaving us in full amazement at this wonderful exhibition.
The universe is thus shown as a splendidly colourful book that the Quran opens and looks through. It then says that scholars who read, appreciate and comprehend this book are the ones who have a true God-fearing sense. The universe is a superb book of which the surah has shown but a few pages. It takes a good measure of knowledge to appreciate this wonderful book and to get to truly know God through His creation and power. People who do so realize the measure of His greatness by appreciating His work. Therefore, they are truly God-fearing, and they worship Him in true submission. This is not the result of a mysterious feeling that we sometimes experience when we look at a splendid natural scene; rather, it is the product of true and direct knowledge. The pages of this universal book that the surah has shown are only a sample. The great diversity of colour it has mentioned serves only as an indicator of the great variety and meticulous harmony available everywhere in the universe. It can however only be appreciated by people endowed with knowledge and by those who feel the value of their knowledge deep in their hearts, and who do not leave it in a cold, dry academic corner.
God is certainly able to create all sorts of fine and beautiful creatures, as also to requite people for their actions. At the same time, He forgives much, overlooking the mistakes of those who fall short of appreciating His beautiful work.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 14, pp. 178-180
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave clear instructions equating virtuous speech with faith itself: "Whoever believes in God and the Last Day, he should say something good, or remain silent." [Bukhari, Muslim]
Speech has a most powerful and direct effect on the soul, and the words said may also lead the person being spoken to down a particular path of thought and emotion. The believer's duty is to make sure that everything he or she says is both good and beneficial, not simply that it is the truth. Does it make someone happier? Does it bring two people closer together? Does it remind someone of their duty to God? If so, it is the kind of statement that is positive in its effect. The Muslim is a force of positivity to himself and others around him. Speech is the primary mode of communicating such positivity between people and spreading positive thoughts to others.
At times our egos fool us into thinking that something is worth saying even if it is hurtful, as long as it is true. But our actual motivation may be a desire to inflict pain, and the justification that our statement is "worth saying because it is true" may be pure self-delusion.
This simple yet challenging teaching of Prophet Muhammad will improve social relationships between people, while calling us to examine the things we say and the reasons why we say them.
"Being Muslim: A Practical Guide" - Asad Tarsin
Dualism is not a supreme human philosophy; it is the supreme form of life. Poetry is in principle a matter of the heart, but the greatest poets — Homer, Firdausi , Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe — have combined in their poems reason and feelings, science and beauty. Poetry pertains to the individual, not to the society, even though Homer's poems helped form the Greek nation, and Whittier's angry poems helped abolish slavery in America. Mathematics pertains to the intellect, but "a good mathematician must be a poet too." All top-level physicists and astronomers were in a sense mystics as well: Copernicus, Newton, Keppler, Einstein, Oppenheimer. Punishment, although a repressive measure, can also work as a powerful moral factor. If it is just, it has an educational value both for the guilty and for other people. Fear is the start of morality, just as fear of God is the start of love for God. Sport, though merely a physical activity, evidently has a powerful educational value. Plato, one of the greatest minds of all times, got his name from his broad shoulders. The strong body nursed a most noble spirit. Body and soul, heart and brain, science and religion, physics and philosophy meet at points which mark the peaks of life. Naked intellect or pure inspiration are a sure sign of decadence. So, the secular principle can help the sacral one, cleanliness of the body can serve the purity of the soul, and salah can be the supreme form of human prayer.
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, p. 228