Whenever I am on-board a flight, I merrily begin to glare outside my window, as if it is my own exclusive screen to the horizon, while capturing a chance to be with my thoughts and reflections; filling my time with activities that I would usually not be able to do while residing at home or at work. Praise is due to Allah (), for being a traveler has many advantages recognized by Islam; having the ability to shorten my prayers or joining them when it applies surely has its purpose during times of travel, and every time I undertake a journey, my reflection and contemplation abilities within this beautiful religion are increased. I can’t help but be assured that both shortening and joining prayers while traveling, comes as a helping factor to this reflective development.
My recent journey was not very different from trips that preceded it, with self-development factors. This time, I was looking outside my window right from the time the flight started speeding on the pavement and slowly ascending up to the sky. I usually begin to take note of the clouds, however, my eyes established a reflective gaze upon the trees that surrounded the airport. At that moment, I couldn’t help but remember the following Quranic verse:
“And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.” (Al-Ana’am, 6:59)
Praise is due to Allah() alone, for He gave us beautiful examples in the Quran to reflect upon. At that moment, I began to imagine how many leaves were falling around the globe with each passing second. But then, I asked myself, “Why such a unique example?” Surely, there are many examples mentioned in the Quran, but this one was unique to leaves and what trees bear.
We know that the function of leaves is to help the plant produce nutrients by converting energy from sunlight into chemical energy that the plant can consume. The structures within a leaf converts this energy and makes it possible for the plant to get nutrients; this conversion process is known as photosynthesis.
In other words, if we have no leaves and no photosynthesis, life on earth would seize to exist, for it is the leaf that gives the fuel to this world, its wood, coal, sugar, fat, even rubber, and of course, every food available to human beings, animals and microorganisms, not to forget, oxygen on earth to begin with.
Even the falling of leaves, which is directly mentioned in the verse above, is a miraculous and important process in itself, and is controlled by many external and internal factors related to the leaf, as it does not usually fall in a random order, but a hormonal and tissue system causes the leaf to fall in a specific place when it is separated from its branch. Botanical research explained the phenomena of leaf falling scientifically, which comes as a result of hormonal compounds that are responsible for preventing or discouraging growth in a leaf.
The verse above mentions explicitly that Allah() knows about each leaf that falls, from each plant or tree that bears it. He() also knows when, how and where it will fall. If we really reflect on this matter alone, knowing the miraculous process that each leaf needs to go through in order to fall, we realize that Allah() gave us a glimpse of reflection to His All-knowing ability for every little detail that goes around this universe, whether we are able to witness it, acknowledge it or not. What’s more amazing is that He() used an example which we witness on a daily basis around the world, in order to bring our attention and limited knowledge closer towards His All-knowing ability.
Every time we recite Quran, we certainly need to strive harder to read it with a more scientific research methodology when applicable, along with our faithful reflections of the verses, in order to seek knowledge, and to enable us to deliver the message to this world about the only existing miracle left to us by the Creator of the universe.Quran leads us to all other miracles we witness or discover from within the creations of the universe. This is why Quran will never cease to amaze us, and scholars from all fields of knowledge will never cease to be satisfied by it.
“So who is the Lord of you two, O Moses?”
Moses said, “Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it].” (Ta-Ha, 20:49-50)