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Debating Islam ( 3 May 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Does Allah Want Us Merely To Observe Nature, Not To Interfere In God’s Scheme Of Creation?


Contemporary issues in the Quran

By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam

4 May 2012

The Quran is a complete system of life. It is not only a collection of God’s ordainments but also keeps a keen eye on various social and individual issues. It clearly outlines its stand on different issues. The Quran does not only give moral training to man but also cares about the society and the atmosphere in which man lives and grows up because atmosphere and human nature and human ethics directly affect each other. That’s why the Quran discusses contemporary social issues along with moral issues. The Quran says, “No change let there be in Khalq-illah”(creation of God) (Al Rum:30)

 The Quran discusses scientific facts on many occasions and exhorts man to continually strive to understand the scientific secrets hidden in the universe. How then could the Quran ignore the environmental pollution caused by man’s efforts to acquire material prosperity with the rampant use of the scientific power?  Therefore the Quran also mentions environmental pollution and complex human problems in the wake of scientific discoveries and inventions.  The Quran says,

“No change let there be in Khalq-illah”(creation of God) (Al Rum:30)

“Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return”.(Al Rome:41)

The Quran advises man to keenly observe God’s wisdom hidden in the universe and asks him to move about on earth and study and observe the creation of God scattered everywhere. But the purpose behind the study and observation should be to have a realization of God’s power and not to disturb the balance in the nature in his mad longing for worldly luxuries and material wealth.

The Quran says:

“Say: "Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things."(Al Ankabut: 20)

Unfortunately, man used scientific knowledge mindlessly to acquire material wealth and worldly luxuries and physical power causing pollution in land and water. Uncontrolled and unorganized industrial development has created grave problems like air and water pollution causing various diseases in living beings inhabiting the land and water. Water pollution has posed an existential threat to aquatic animals. Moreover, polluted water is a threat to the human health as well. The Quran clearly states that this problem is the work of man himself. In other words, pollution is a problem created by man himself and therefore he has to taste the fruit of his own wrongdoings. Only then he will realize his mistake and return to the simple and unpolluted life.

The Quran also discusses the ethical issues of the contemporary world. In verse 118-119 of Surah Al Nisa, the Quran says,

“Allah cursed him. And he [Shaitan (Satan)] said: "I will take an appointed portion of your slaves; Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah."

In other words, at the time of being driven out of God’s court, Satan vows to teach man to slit the ears of animals and distort and disfigure God’s creations. In the former verse, the issue of corrupting the nature or creating pollution is mentioned while in the latter, the issue of distorting and disfiguring the physical structure of animals and human beings is discussed.  In ancient times, idol worshippers would dedicate their animals to their deities and would slit the ears of those animals as a mark of identification. It was synonymous with distorting the creations of God. Therefore, distorting or changing the physical attributes or structure of man or animals or changing them with scientific knowledge is a satanic act and therefore un-Islamic. God dislikes man distorting or changing his created things. But extremist groups in Islamic world mainly in Afghanistan slash the ears and nose of guilty women as a punishment. The Quran calls even slitting the ears and nose of animals un-Islamic but these so-called spokesmen of the Islamic shariah and the members of these barbaric tribes consider this an Islamic act whereas the Quran calls it a satanic act.

Similarly, the surgical science has developed to such an extent in the west that the scientists there are now capable of even changing the whole face of individuals via surgery. They have already carried out successful experiments in this field. The change in the parts of the human body through surgery is a common practice in the west today.  Therefore, changing the parts of the body created by God is also wrong according to the Quran because firstly, it is interference in the creative process of God and, secondly, it can create many ethical, social and legal problems, giving rise to crimes. Making the face ridiculous by applying makeup to pose oneself as a joker also comes under this topic.

Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New