Reflection No. 108 on Q 22:5 – Nature

وَتَرَى الْأَرْضَ هَامِدَةً فَإِذَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَاءَ اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ وَأَنْبَتَتْ مِنْ كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ

Wa-taral-ardha haamidatan fa-idha anzalanaa ‘alayhal-maa’a ihtazzat wa-rabat wa-ambatat min kulli zawjin baheej.

And you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We send down water on it, it stirs and swells and brings forth of every kind of delightful plant. Suratul Hajj (No. 22) Aayat 5

To answer those who doubt the resurrection of the human being, Almighty Allah in many places of the Holy Qur’an gives examples from nature. Human beings see all the time how the earth becomes alive again after death, how trees and plants come to life after a long cold winter. This lesson from nature teaches us that God gives life after death. He does it for plants, and can do it for human beings too.

According to this verse, land that absorbs the water that falls on it swells with it. Something stirs inside it as a great change is going to take place. The stirring and movement is an inner turbulence, a prediction of the revolution that is about to occur. That which was dry and dead now becomes fully alive. Out of it springs comes forth beautiful growth that is a pleasure to see.

Nature has many lessons for us. Life after death in nature is a sign we see every day, telling us that thus will human beings be revived. But apart from that there is a spiritual message too. Just as water gives life to the dead earth, wisdom and guidance from Allah gives life to the dead heart. Luqman (a) told his son: O my son surely Allah gives life to the hearts with the light of wisdom, the way He gives life to the earth with rain from the sky. The heart that has become slightly dead due to sins and distractions listens to wisdom from God, and begins to change. When the wisdom is absorbed, the heart swells and shakes, and out of it spring beautiful words and deeds. That is the life giving power of the message of God.

The human heart needs to be kept alive, not just physically but also spiritually. Water it regularly with Divine wisdom, and you will have a blooming garden of beautiful deeds.

Tafsir Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).
Mizanul Hikmah, Muhammadi Rayshahri