Does a tree mean anything to you concerning God's existence and oneness?
- I was once reflecting on the Singleness of God when I looked at the fruits
of the tree in front of my room. A series of reflections occurred to me in
Arabic. The following are its translation.
- Glory be to Him Who has made the garden of His earth a display-hall of
His Art, the place of exhibition of His Wisdom, and the place where His Power
is manifested, His Mercy blossoms, the seeds of His Paradise are sown, and
His creatures call on and de-part according to a measure.
- Adorned animals, ornamented birds, fruit-bearing trees, flowery plants
are all the miracles of His Knowledge, the wonders of His Art, the gifts of
His Munificence, and offerings of His Favoring. Flowers smiling because of
the beauty of fruits, birds singing at the breeze of dawn, rain-drops glittering
on the cheeks of flowers, and the compassion of mothers for their infants—all
this is because the All-Loving One wills to make Him-self known, the All-Merciful
One wills to make Himself loved, the All-Compassionate One wills to make His
Compassion known, and the All-Favoring One wills to make His Affection recognized,
by mankind and jinn and by angels and other spirit beings.
- All the fruits and the seeds in them are each a miracle of Divine Wisdom,
a wonder of Divine Art, a gift of Divine Mercy, a proof of Divine Oneness,
and a sign of God’s bounties in the Hereafter. They are true witnesses of
the all-comprehensiveness of His Power and all-inclusiveness of His Knowledge.
- The fruits and the seeds in them are mirrors to His Oneness in this world
of multiplicity in that each says in the tongue of its being: ‘All this elaborate
tree is included in me. Do not be absorbed in its elaboration. All its parts
and features are encapsulated in me’. A seed is like the heart of the fruit
and a mirror to Divine Oneness. In the tongue of its being, it ‘recites’ in
heart the Divine Names which the elaborated tree recites manifestly.
- Like mirrors to Divine Oneness, those fruits and seeds are signs of Divine
Destiny and embodied symbols of Divine Power. Through them Destiny indicates
and Power alludes to the fact that that elaborate tree has grown from a single
seed and thereby points to the Oneness of its Maker with no partners in its
creation and fashioning. After it has fully grown and elaborated itself, it
encapsulates all its laws and realities and its life-history in a fruit. It
makes all its meaning contained in a seed. In this way, it shows the wisdom
of its Majestic Creator in His creation and government. Like that tree, the
tree of creation has also the source of its existence and growth in Oneness.
Similarly, being the fruit of the universe, man points to Unity in the multiplicity
of beings and his heart sees the meaning of Unity in multiplicity with the
eye of belief.
- Those fruits and seeds are also the tablets of Divine Wisdom. Through
them Wisdom speaks to conscious beings like this: ‘All the life of this tree
and the efforts spent for its growth are aimed at its fruits. For a fruit
represents it and is the aim in growing it. The life of the tree is also aimed
at the seeds, because like an index, a seed bears all the meaning of the tree.
That means the One Who creates the tree and the necessary conditions for its
growth aims all the manifestations of His Names concerned with the whole life
of the tree at the fruit, which is the raison d’être of the tree’s existence.
Further-more, that huge tree is sometimes pruned so that its growth may be
controlled and yield better fruits for long years, (and when it is too old
or diseased to yield fruits any longer, it is cut back but continues to live
through the new shoots from its seeds). Similarly, being the fruit of the
tree of creation, man is the reason for the creation and existence of the
universe, and his heart is the most illumined and comprehensive mirror of
the Maker of the universe. It is for this reason that both himself and the
world in particular and the universe in general have undergone frequent pruning—convulsions,
revolutions, upheavals and changes both physical and social for betterment
or reformation, and when the world gets to state of utter decay where it will
no longer be able to yield ‘fruits of belief and morality’, the universe will
be destroyed but continue to live in a completely new form where man will
reap the harvest of his deeds in the previous one.
Reflection continuing on the Resurrection.
- The whole universe will have to be destroyed and a new one be built for
the judgment of man, and there is a Power which will do that. However, there
are stages and steps in the Resurrection. We must believe in and acquire knowledge
of some of those stages. For the perception and knowledge of other stages,
we must evolve spiritually and intellectually. In order to prove the simplest
stage firmly and decisively, the wise Qur’an draws attention to a Power which
will open up the broadest sphere of the Resurrection. This is the simplest
stage which all people must know and believe in:
- When men die, their spirits go to other abodes. Their bodies rot away
in earth but a tiny part of them, which may be regarded as the seed of each,
remains intact. It does not rot away; during the Resurrection God re-creates
man from it and returns his spirit into it.
- This stage of the Resurrection is so easy that millions of examples of
it are observed every spring on the earth. In order to convince men of this,
verses of the Qur’an draw attention to the operations of a Power which will
gather and then disperse all particles. Sometimes they show the works of a
Power and Wisdom which will send the whole of the creation into non-existence
and then re-create it. Sometimes they describe the same Power and Wisdom as
rending the heavens asunder and scattering the stars. Sometimes they show
the operations and manifestations of a Power and Wisdom which will make all
living creatures die and then revive them all together at once through a single
call. Sometimes they demonstrate the works of a Power and Wisdom which will
pull up the mountains and throw them in the air, destroy the world utterly
and level it and then re-shape it in a new, more beautiful form. This means
that, together with the phase of the Resurrection in which men will be recreated
and which all people must believe in and have knowledge of, Almighty God will
carry out all the other events of the Resurrection with the same Power and