Mysterious Gift of Life and Creation / Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:28) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

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Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency)

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:28)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Mysterious Gift of Life and Creation

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾

Translation: How can you be unfaithful to Allah, [seeing that] you were lifeless and He gave you life, then He will make you die and then bring you to life, and then you will be brought back to Him?

Commentary: Life itself is one of the greatest pieces of evidence in the affirmation of God’s existence. Today’s scientists have made great advancements in the field of experimental science, but they have yet to dive deeper into the mystery of life. The true description of how we are brought into this world, and where we are headed after our time in this world, is encompassed in the above verse.

Mankind, excluding the Prophet Adam and his spouse Eve, is created from the Earth. In this instance, “Earth” is not interchangeable with “clay,” from which Prophet Adam was created and given life to1.  Earth, in this case, indicates “the elements of Earth,” such as the soil, water, and nutrients that supply energy for humans.  Through these nutrients, a man and woman can obtain proper sustenance and henceforth energy, in order to reproduce. Thus, the elements of the earth, as created by God, are the building blocks of the human body2.

While a fetus begins to develop the distinct physical features of a human being whilst being in the womb, actual human life begins once Allah (SWT) breathes a soul into the fetus3.  This is the first stage of human life [Arabic: (فَأَحْيَاكُمْ)], and until this stage, we are considered to be lifeless beings [Arabic: (وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا)].

After an individual completes his life on the earth, the duration of which only Allah (SWT) knows, death befalls man [Arabic: (ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ)] and the soul is removed from the body and taken to the realm of “Barzakh4”.

Barzakh, translated as “barrier”, is viewed as the domain in which the departed souls await the Day of Judgment.  On Judgment Day, the body and soul will be united again [Arabic: (ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ)] and mankind will meet their creator [Arabic: (ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ)]. Allah (SWT) will judge people according to their works: faithful individuals will meet bounties and blessings of their Lord, while sinners will meet divine torment and punishment.

To summarize, this verse details the stages of life as ordained by Allah (SWT).  Our physical bodies are produced with the aid of the elements of the earth, and subsequently we are gifted with the human soul by Allah (SWT).  When we have completed our time on the earth, our physical bodies will remain in the earth while our souls will depart to Barzakh, where we will await the Day of Judgment (resurrection).  The arrival of this day signifies the beginning of eternal life. The righteous will meet the bounties and blessings of their Lord in Paradise, whereas sinners will meet divine torment and punishment in Hell.

With the knowledge provided by this verse, why would anyone deliberately disobey Allah’s commands?

Philosopher’s Perspective on Life: Philosophers historically presented three primary possibilities for the existence of life5;

The first one is that life comes into existence without a credible cause (creator); this explanation refutes the principle cause and effect known as the law of causality. The law of causality states that nothing can come into existence without a probable cause.

The second possibility is that the life created itself. This implies that life existed before its creation and this is a contradictory statement.

The only plausible possibility is that life is designed by the Almighty, all-knowing and ever-living Allah (SWT). The Quran teaches us that life is an attribute of Allah’s essence and is intrinsic to His existence. The existence of all created beings depends entirely on the will of God.

References:

1-      [As-Sajda 32:7]

2-      [Ta-Ha 20:55]

3-      [As-Sajda 32:9 & Al-Muminun 23:14]

4-      [Al-Muminun 23:100]

5-      [At-Tur 52:35]

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