Verse 4: Then look again and again—your sight will return frustrated and weary.
After telling us to look towards the sky, Allah ﷻ is literally telling us to look again and again and again, at the heavens and the creation of Allah ﷻ. Think, reflect, and ponder over their vastness, complexity, precision, and perfection. Look for any discrepancies, faults, or imperfections. We won’t be able to find anything. Our eyes will return to us without having found what we were looking for, worn out, and tired from doing so. Meaning, no matter how many times we look and try to find something wrong, we will never be able to do so.
The last two verses – 3 & 4 – are highlighting that Allah ﷻ is al-Khāliq, the Creator. The name al-Khāliq appears in the Quran eleven times. For example, Allah ﷻ says, “Allah is the Creator of all things.”
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Surah Az-Zumar;اللَّهُ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ 62
Allah ﷻ also says, “He is God: the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper. The best names belong to Him. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him: He is the Almighty, the Wise.”
Surah Al-Hashr;هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ – 24
Allah ﷻ describes Himself as the best of Creators. He says, “Then We made that drop into a clinging form, and We made that form into a lump of flesh, and We made that lump into bones, and We clothed those bones with flesh, and later We made him into other forms––glory be to God, the best of creators!”
ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ ۚ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ – Surah Al-Mu’minun;14
Every single thing in this universe; big and small, seen and unseen, living and non-living, in the air, on the land, and in the sea, literally everything is Allah’s creation. And everything that exists is an undeniable proof of its Creator, Lord, and Sustainer. Everything we see around us is a proof of Allah’s existence. Allah ﷻ says, “All this is God’s creation. Now, show Me what your other gods have created. No, the disbelievers are clearly astray.”
هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ – Surah Luqman;11
The name al-Khāliq refers to the Creator who brings things into existence from non-existence.
When thinking about Allah ﷻ as the Creator, it helps to keep certain scientific realities in mind:
1) At the time of conception, between five and six hundred million male reproductive cells pass through a female’s tract, each of them capable of fertilizing the egg and becoming a human being. But Allah in His wisdom selects one from all of those millions to fertilize the egg, and this one will develop into the fully-formed human being Allah chooses to create, a being that by Allah’s grace possesses the capacity to reason and to dispose of its affairs. This is how we were all created, so we should feel humility in recognition of the greatness and grandeur of our Lord. We should remember our humble beginnings so we can appreciate the vast difference between that little drop of mixed fluid from which we were conceived and the fully formed human beings we are today. This should compel us to glorify Allah , remain aware of Him at all times, and thank Him.
2) There are trillions of cells in the human body. Inside each of these cells are organelles, systems, complex processes, and vast stores of information. Each and every detail of the cell glorifies its Lord while carrying out its role in the cell in an exemplary manner. The nucleus of each cell contains billions of nucleotides – the four molecular “letters” on the DNA molecule that spell out the genetic traits of the living organism and regulate its functioning. It is this information that an organism inherits from its father and mother.
3) When we look up at the night sky, we stare off into the vastness of space and the billions of galaxies that are over our heads. Each galaxy is in turn a conglomeration of billions of stars, and these stars are all at various stages in their life-cycles. Some are in the process of being formed. Some are young, some are mature, while others are in the throes of death. Each of these stars glorifies Allah in space, which is so immense that it boggles the mind. Allah alone knows the full extent of the universe. If we imagine a spaceship capable of travelling at the speed of light, 186 thousand miles per second, it would take thousands of years for that spaceship to cross a single galaxy, let alone what is beyond it.
The natural world is an open book that extols the praises of Allah . “The seven heavens and the earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is not a single thing that does not celebrate His praise, though you do not understand their praise: He is most forbearing, most forgiving.” [Surah al-Isra’: 44]
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا – 17:44
Allah also says: “Do you not realize [Prophet] that everything in the heavens and earth submits to God: the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, and the animals? So do many human beings, though for many others punishment is well deserved. Anyone disgraced by God will have no one to honour him: God does whatever He will.” [Surah al-Hqjj: 18]
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَابُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَذَابُ ۗ وَمَن يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِن مُّكْرِمٍ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ – 22:18
All the beauty and splendor of the universe that we can see is but a small glimpse of the Creator’s ingenuity. When a believer reflects on Allah’s creation, it reveals something of the greatness of Allah and His immense wisdom. It brings peace to the believing heart and fortifies a believer’s faith. Allah says: “There truly are signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of night and day, for those with understanding, who remember God standing, sitting, and lying down, who reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth: ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose- You are far above that!- so protect us from the torment of the Fire.” [Surah Al ‘Imran: 190-191]
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ – 3:190 الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ – 3:191