Organization and Natural Equilibrium in the Environment
- :Al-Balagh Foundation
The environmental world is an accurate and balanced world which is built on experience, knowledge and wisdom. So, nature, environment and life is a complete and interrelated unit, as if one body, thus, water and earth, air and weather...etc., are all created with an aim and purpose.
There is nothing created on this earth without aim, or incomplete, or with contradictory aims; glory be to Allah Who created all things, shaped them and made them accurately balanced.
Theologians have discussed two fundamental issues in Islamic principles which deal with Allah's actions and wisdom, viz.: 1. Allah has predestined the creation of every thing, which is beneficial to the creatures, and life cannot do without them. 2 Allah's actions are puposive (He cannot do something without an aim) and that all His actions are built on wisdom.
In view of this, the Ahlul-Bait's (a.s.) school of thought entered a hot debate with other Islamic schools of thought concerning this controversial issue in the natural, intellectual and social world, which human knowledge and researchers confirm. For further clarification of the Islamic analysis on this issue, we should review ideological books that deal with these two ideological issues:
"Allah's actions are founded on goal and purpose, because He is Wise, and the actions of a wise one must not go against wisdom. Whoever acts uselessly without a purpose is a foolish and stupid fellow; Allah is far above this." "We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them, merely in (idle) sport:" Holy Qur'an (Dukhan 44:38)
"...`Our Lord! Not for naught hast You created (all) this! Glory to Thee! ...'" Holy Qur'an (Al-i-Imran 3:191) All this purpose and benefit return not to the Almighty Allah, because He stands not in need of anything from His creatures, rather it returns to themselves through the acquisition of Paradise and (Allah's) contentment, as well as, saves them from punishment and loss without the least decrement on the side of Allah, the Almighty, because He is perfect and complete in His essence and from all angles.
But, the Asha`irite claim that: "It is impossible for Allah to do something for a purpose, and not for any interest. It is possible and permissible for Him to hurt His servants without any benefit and interest."2
The Asha`irites had repudiated the principles of finality and misinterpreted the fact that anyone who performs an act for purpose needs that very action, but we have already seen that the purpose and the aim are for the interest of the creatures, and He, the Most High, is too exalted from need.
The Islamic philosopher, Nasirudden Tusi, wrote emphasizing the neccessity of interest (maslaha): "The interest may be necessary due to the existence of reason and the absence (non-existence) of what restrains its achievement.
" and Allamah Hilli comments on this by saying: "People differ, Abu Ali and Abu Hashim and their companions say, `Interest is not necessary upon the Almighty Allah ', but Balkhi contradicts them saying, `It is necessary and this is the path of the people of Baghdad and some people of Basra', while Abul-Hassan Basri concludes: `It is necessary under certain circumstances, but not all circumstances.' This is, also, the opinion of the writer." 3
Thus, we can deduce that ideological thought, in Islam, has already confirmed the ideological principle, and this is: The Almighty Allah doesn't do or create anything in this natural universe or in the human world except with a purpose and interest which returns to man and other creatures.
And, of course, scholars and researchers in different scientific fields have supported this ideological opinion, which, in one way or the other, affirms the authenticity of this opinion and idea. For further elaboration of the matter, let's quote what the chemist, Thomas David Parkison, wrote: "But the system we are witnessing in our surroundings is not a sign of the power of things, rather, it is above that with wisdom and moving forward toward the establishment of man's interests, which confirms that the Lord's concern over His servants is not less than His concern over the systems and laws which govern the universe."
Have a glance at the perfect wisdom which is attached to your surroundings, which sometimes contradict the accustomed procedures, for instance, water. Man will expect to see its molecular weight (18) to be gaseous under the cooling point, and for example, ammonia's molecular weight (17) to be gaseous under the imperfect boiling point (73) in the normal atmosphere, and hydrogen sulfide, which nearly has the same characteristics of water, with the molecular weight of (53), to be gaseous under the imperfect boiling point (53), in view of this, the liquidification state of water under the contrast boiling point, will make man confused.
In addition to this, water has another important characteristic which, by merely looking at it, man will understand that it is well planned. Consequently, water covers 3/4 of the earth's surface, and in view of this, it has a great effect on the general atmosphere and the degree of temperature, which if reduced, a great and undesirable change will occur.
Likewise, water has another precious characteristic, which indicates that the Creator of this universe has designed it in order to serve the interests of His creatures, hence, water is the only known element of which its density decreases when it solidifies, and this feature has a great effect and importance on life.
And so, ice, which floats on the surface of the water when the temperatures become frigid, instead of sinking under the water, becomes a solid block which will neither melt nor split, therefore, the ice, in its solid state, which floats on the surface of a river, creates a buffer layer that protects the water under it. With this, the fishes and other aquatic creatures will continue their lives and in the spring the ice will melt quickly." 4
On his part, Dr. Christie Morrison in his book "Science calls for faith" while discussing the natural equilibrium and the coordination between its compon- ents, and the accuracy of the environmental system and its perfectness, so as to protect the system of life, as well as, the greatness of the Creator, wrote:
"The thick air, having the necessary magnitude taken from the passing of chemical rays, needed by plants, and which kills microbes and produces vitamins, without the least harm to man, except if he exposes himself to it for long, unnecessary periods, will remain uncontaminated or unpolluted, and without change in its necessary equilibrium toward man's existence.
The great equili- brium is that surface of water, i.e., the surrounding of which life, food, rain, balanced climate, plants and man, himself, grows. Surely, whoever comprehends this, will stand in awe of His greatness, and bow to His command."
Also, Dr. Lawrence Kolinon Woker, a botanist and physiologist, as well as, a lecturer at the University of Georgia, wrote that: "I am writing this article as an expert in forest research, as well as, someone who gives great concern to environmental studies and plant physiology, so as to show the importance of the forest as a proof of Allah's existence.
Furthermore, we will discuss more on that while discussing on the Holy care and Divine power which is manifested in the restoration of the earth's fertility.
In a virgin forest which undergoes no human activity, the trees increase and its different species grow from generation to generation until their numbers increase; except if man's activities interfere with it, or it is destroyed by fire, or any calamity befalls it.
The interruption by man's activities, however, against the natural forest, its plants and its fertility, will lead to the reduction of its fertility and, in the end, we will loose the trees and the soil, which will give way to the occurrence of floods."
Then, he adds: "Man spends a huge amount of money for constructing big dams in order to prevent the danger of floods, but, this is just a temporary solution to this gigantic power which neither stone barriers, nor big buildings can repel. Therefore, it is necessary to find a real solution to this problem from its source, and this cannot be achieved through the construction of dams, rather it can only be achieved through afforestation, and this is something which nature, itself, can do." 5
Dr. Christie Morison, while discussing the natural and environmental system between earth, man, plants and animals, wrote:
"Surely, the marvellous relationship, which exists between oxygen and carbon dioxide II with regard to the animal, as well as, plant worlds, will attract the attention of every sensible person."
And he continues: "This is how every plant and tree, and likewise, all bryophytes, etc., grow from carbon and water. In addition, atmospheric oxygen is converted to carbon dioxide in animal respiration and regenerated by green plants in photosynthesis. Hence, without this cordial relationship, the life of both the animals and plants will be exhausted, i.e., whenever this life equilibrium changes, the condition of both of them will be completely changed." 6
What Surprises the Equilibrium System:
"The following fact is a clear example of an important criterion in regard to man's existence. Some few years back, a type of cactus was planted in Australia and, i:
n no time, this plant covered a large tract of land to the extent that it disturb the whole community and their farming activites. All efforts to prevent the spread of this plant proved fruitless, and Australia continued to be plagued by this plant.
Consequently, the research conducted by some entomologist found that an insect, which cannot live without this cactus, reproduces rapidly, unhindered in the whole of Australia. In no time, this insect invaded and destroyed the cactus. Therefore, this is how this criterion and balance was changed." 7
2. Sayyid Abdullah Shabbar, Haqqul Yaqin fi Ma`arifat Usul al-Din, vol. 1, pg.58.
3. Sharh Jajrid al-I`itiqad, pg. 270.
4. Allah Yatajalla fi Asr al-Ilm, Allah Appears in Scientific Era, p. 42.
5. Ibid. pg. 62-63.
6. Al-Ilm Yad'u lil Iman, Science calls for faith by Cristi Morrison, translated by Salih Falaki, p. 72.
7. Ibid., pg. 160.
Adapted from: "Environmental Protection in Islamic Shari`a" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"
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