by Mehol K. Sadain
Allow me to pay homage to nature, and the springtime of 2021, in the midst of another enhanced community quarantine for the NCR Bubble (a recent terminology together with the now famous alphabet soups EQC, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ, RT-PCR, and the recently added MRNA, BNTX, PFE, B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and B.1.427; and the rest that will come next.) It seems that we are now adopting faster to the names of the mutated virus, than to the means to eradicate it.
But names have a purpose. In the Qur’an, Allah demonstrated the difference between Adam and the Angels by teaching Adam “the Names of all things” (Al-Asmaaa’a kullaha) and asking the Angels, if they know these “Names”; whereby the Angels replied they did not know, and Allah told Adam to tell the Angels these Names. After Adam told the Angels the “Names”, Allah told the Angels, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of Heaven and Earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verses 31-33] “Names” here are equated with Divine Knowledge, without which man cannot find his way back to the garden of Eden or Jannah, from where Adam and Eve were banished.
So, in this country, we name our seasons, the dry and wet seasons. There is no spring that comes after the cold December and January months. The sprouts and leaves, and their green hues stay even in the cold season of December into the early months of the following year. In this country, spring comes early with the cold, then lingers into the summer, with nature in perpetual rejoicing.
Even in these times of the pandemic. In fact, more so during the pandemic, when nature gets a much-needed rest from the exploitation of man, and regains its freshness and the promise of a renewed creation by the Creator Himself.
Allah says in the Noble Qur-an:
“See they not how Allah originates creation (Allahu l-Khalqa), and then renews it (Yu’iiduh)? That is easy for Allah. Say, ‘Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation. So will Allah produce another later creation, for Allah has power over all things.’” [29:19-20]
This is Allah as both Al-Khaaliq (The Creator), and Al-Mu’iid (The Restorer or One who Renews), where creation is followed by the renewal of creation, a natural consequence of the nurturing and sustaining power of Allah, The Provider (Al-Razzaq), as seen in Surah 27, Verse 64 where Allah says: “Who is the One who initiates the creation, then repeats it? Who is the One who provides for you (yarzuqukum) from the heaven and the earth?”
On the need to renew creation, Allah says in Surah 15, Verse 21: “And there is not a thing but its resources are (inexhaustible) with us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” The renewal of creation aims to ensure the availability of sustenance to man, as the above verse declares that Allah’s creation is inexhaustible, and hence, may be renewed, but Allah makes these provisions available to man in ascertained measures according to what is due man.
Thus, creation is renewed with every seed that germinates, every flower that blooms, every leaf and fruit that spring from verdant branches, every animal that gives birth, and every creature that grows and matures. It is a miracle that God keeps repeating as He allows the sun to light up the night, and the fields to exult in light and green.
Nature emerges with the birds that alight on branches and sing songs for their mates. It wakes up in mornings of slight drizzles and hazy mists, and glows with the rising sun. It waves with stalks that are brown with grains, ready to waft with the wind and settle on the soft earth, like man returning to his creator, his body seeking the dark of soil. In like manner, nature experiences decay, but rises again and again to new morns. It does not die the death of times, but continues to grow as long as God wills it, thus:
“And from the earth we have spread out and set mountains firm, and caused to grow therein all kinds of things in due balance.” [15:19] “He causes to grow for you thereby crops, olives, palm trees, grapes and every kind of fruits. Verily, in this is a sign for those who reflect.” [16:11]
The greenness of nature is a result of Allah’s power of creation; and its sustainability and freshness, a result of Allah’s power to change what needs changing, and renewing what entails renewal. This is the message whose timeliness and duration are measured by the way Allah’s Bounties are realized and maintained. It is why nature has to have a break so it can reinvigorate itself, again and again.
But the time we are in now is a study in contrast: a diametrically opposed symbiosis, a dialectical paradigm of light and dark, white and black, good and evil. On one hand we have nature recreating itself, nurturing and regrowing its beasts, birds and greens; on the other hand, we have a virus mutating as it transits from host to host. In both instances, nature and the virus undergo creation and renewal, as Allah has stressed in the Noble Qur’an, to avoid extinction. Their cycle is a life and death cycle, where the best and the fittest survive, where one must keep renewing itself to survive. Just as nature and the virus are doing now.
So where does this leave man? The noblest of all creatures, worthy and audacious enough to receive the trust of Allah? Man is right there where different kinds of knowledge converge, where the “Names” are taught, as Adam and numerous Prophets were taught these “Names”.
Man is in the center of Allah’s revelations, and he must witness that this world is not just about light and green; it is also about darkness and decay. It does not really matter which prevails. It is a cycle of creation and renewal after all, and the cycle responds to One Creator who originates everything from nothing, and repeats the process according to His Unique and Solitary Will. This is the lesson for the best of men to learn. MKS