The Foundations And Concepts of Islam
This universe with its heavens, earth, stars, galaxies, seas, trees and all living things are created from non-existence by Allaah – the Glorified and Exalted. He says,
“Say (O Muhammad): Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two days and you set up rivals (in worship) with Him? That is Lord of the worlds. He placed therein (i.e., the earth) firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it, and measured therein its sustenance (for its dwellers) in four days equal (i.e., all these four ‘days’ are equal in the length of time) for all those who ask about (its creation). Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, ‘Come both of you willingly and unwillingly!’ They both said, ‘We come, willingly.’ Then He completed and finished from the creation (as) seven heavens in two days and He made in each heaven its affair. And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard (from the devils by using them as missiles against them). Such is the decree of Him the All-Mighty, the All-Knower.”
He also says,
“Have not those who disbelieve know that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them? And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? And We have placed on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with them, and We placed therein broad highways for them to pass through, that they may be guided. And We have made heaven a roof, safe and well-guarded. Yet, they turn away from its signs.”
Allaah created the universe for many great purposes. There are in every part of it great wisdom and dazzling signs. If you ponder over a single sign thereof, you will see wonders. Behold the wonders of the creation of Allaah in the plants in which almost every leaf, stem and fruit is full of benefit that human intellect cannot fully comprehend and understand its details. Behold the water courses of those tender and weak stems, which eyes can hardly see except by careful observation, how they are able to draw water from the bottom to the top and the water then moves in those courses according to their acceptability and capacities. It then breaks into particles that cannot be perceived by human eyes. Then behold, the fruit of a tree and how it moves from a stage to another like the invincible movement of the conditions of a foetus. You see a tree growing from a mere naked wood with no covering on it, then its Lord and Creator covers it with leaves in the most beautiful manner. He then brings out its fruit tender and weak after He has brought out its leaf in order to preserve it and make it like a clothing for that weak fruit so as to protect it against heat, cold and other harmful phenomena. He then provides sustenance for these fruits through their stems and water courses so that they can be nourished by that, as an infant is nourished by the milk of its mother. He then nurtures the fruits and develop them until they become completely ripe. He thereby brought out that delicious fruit out of that lifeless wooden-like particle.
When you look at the earth and how it was created, you will see that it is one of the greatest signs of its Creator. Allaah makes it a resting place and as a bed, and subjected it to His slaves. He makes their sustenance, provision and sources of livelihood there and created therein for them ways and paths so that they can move about to meet their needs. He fixed it firmly with mountains and makes them as pillars in order to protect it against shaking. He flattens it, extends it and spreads it, makes it a receptacle for the living that brings them together on its surface and makes it a receptacle for the dead that bring them together in its interior after their death. Its surface is a place of dwelling for the living and its interior is the place of abode for the dead.
Then look at its revolving orbit, with its sun, moon, stars and zodiacs and behold how it continuously revolves around this world till the end of time in this order and proper succession and see the differences in the night, day, seasons, heat and cold which are results of these wonderful movements; and the benefits they give to all kinds of animals and plants and all that exists on the earth.
Then reflect over the creation of the heaven and take another look at it; you will see that it is one of the greatest signs of Allaah in altitude, expansiveness and stability. There is no pillar underneath it and there is no suspender over it but held by the infinite power of Allaah which holds the heaven and the earth lest they fall asunder.
When you also look at this universe, the composition of its parts and its best arrangement – that show the perfect omnipotence of their Creator and His perfect knowledge, wisdom and grace – you will find that it is like a constructed edifice in which all its tools and requirements are provided. The heaven was erected with its roof raised above it; the earth made like a place of rest and a carpet for its dwellers; the sun and moon which are like lamps illuminate the earth; and the stars which are its lanterns and adornment give directions to the traveller in the paths of the universe. The jewels and minerals that are hidden in the earth like prepared treasures are all made for the purpose that best suits them. All kinds of plants and animals are also prepared for what they are good for. Some animals are good for riding, some are good for milking; some are good for food and some are better used as guards. And He made man their controller and like an authorised king above all of them.