This article is the next in series. Please see the previous article: A Story of Wisdom in Creation
The Creation of Earth
At dawn I arrived at Imam’s residence; after the initial meeting we went to a small room in his house where he used to spend time in solitude. He said, "Mufaddal! I feel that you have had a lengthy night because of your anxiousness for the morrow to see me." I affirmed his remark respectfully.
Imam began, "Allah (swt) existed before there was anything and He will exist beyond eternity. Glory is to God in that He made us recipient of His revelations. To Him is due our deep gratitude because of His gifts to us.
He granted us eminence with exalted knowledge, and distinguished us with brilliant status as the progeny of Imam Ali (AS.), to surpass all creations with His knowledge, as a sacred trust with us of the subtleties of the Universe."
I requested permission to put in black and white all that flowed from his lips, as I had the necessary writing material with me, to which he graciously assented.
Imam Ja’far: O Mufaddal! The misdirected people failed to grasp the mysteries and causes underlying the genesis of the creatures, and their intellects remain unaware of the faultless ingenuity subsisting underneath the creation of the varied species of the sea and the land, the level and the rough.
Ignorance –the main cause of disbelief
They became disbelievers, and because of a deficiency of their knowledge and puerility of intellect, began quibbling inimically with Truth, so much so that they denied creativeness and claimed that all this universe was meaningless and vain, without any ingenious design on the part of a Designer or Creator – a purposeless non-entity without balance or poise.
A beautiful Analogy
Allah (swt) is far above what they attribute to Him. May they perish! How misguided they are! In their misguided blindness and bewilderment they are like the blind people groping right and left in a well-furnished, well-built house with fine carpets, delicious articles of food and drink, various kinds of clothing and other necessities of essential use, all adequately supplied in proper quantity and placed with perfect decorum and ingenious design.
In their blindness they fail to see the building and its furnishing. They move about from one room to, another, advancing and retreating. If by chance, any one of them finds anything in its place to supply a need, and not knowing the purpose for which it is set there and unaware of the underlying ingenuity, he might begin to reprimand the architect of the building in his offensive rage, whereas, as a matter of fact, the fault lies with his own inability to see.
This analogy holds well for the group who denies the creator and argues the existence of an ultimate cause behind this divine design. Failing to appreciate the merit of their provision, the perfection of creation and the beauty of design, they start wandering in the wide world, bewildered by their inability to grasp with their brains the underlying causes and principles.
It so happens sometimes that someone among them is aware of a thing but in his ignorance of its reality, purpose and need, begins at once to find fault with it saying, "it is untenably wrong."
The followers of Mani (the man who founded the Zoroastrianism sect in the time of King Shapur son of Urdsher, believed in the prophethood of Isa (a.s.), but denied that of Musa (a.s.); he also believed in the duality of divinity as the creators of all good and evil in the universe – one is ‘light’ as the creator of all good things, the other is ‘darkness’ as that of beasts and harmful creatures) who, as the heretical bigots of devilry, have begun openly to propound their heresies.
Besides these, some other misguided persons have also gone astray from the Divine favors, by merely declaring these certain facts as untenable or impossible.
It behooves the person, whom Allah (swt) has endowed with the gnosis of reality and whom He has guided to His faith, and who has been granted insight to ponder over the beauty of design underlying creation, and who is gifted with the expression of the merits of such things on the basis of cogent reasoning and fine distinction, to glorify the Almighty Allah consummately as his Lord for such celestial favors, and to pray to Him for an increase in gnosis and a steadfastness therein, with lofty powers of expression thereof. This is so because, Allah (swt) says, "I shall increase My favors, if you are grateful, and My chastisement is severe if you are ungrateful."
Principle of Design
O Mufaddal, the very nature and structure of the universe is the primary argument for the existence of Almighty Allah – look how the parts thereof have been set together and been made of elegant workmanship and design. Thinking with reason and logic focused on individual parts, will disclose that this universe is comparable to a house furnished with all articles necessary for inhabitation by human beings.
Another beautiful Analogy
The sky is like a canopy; the earth is spread like a carpet, while the stars, set in stratum upon stratum, appear as lamps alight in their places. The gems are treasured as if the house has lots of collections.
All the individual needs are met
Besides these, everything is readily available to meet individual needs. Man, in this world, is like the masterful owner of the house, holding in his possession everything therein.
And there exist the different plant species available for satisfying various needs - some as fodder for the animals, others as medicines for human beings; some merely for ornaments, some to supply fragrance to man for his recreation; some as drugs for animals, some as nutriment for man; some for birds only, and others for the quadrupeds alone and so on. Different species of animals have been allotted functions for particular exigencies and interest.
1. Tradition of Mufaddal, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (A.S.): Reported by his companion Mufaddal ibn Umar al Jaufi