A glorious beauty unfolds before our very eyes each day. A boundless, bright blue sea, majestic mountains, trees that have stretched their branches up to the skies for hundreds of years in wonderful obedience, the brightly shining Sun, the blue sky dotted with immaculate white clouds and sea gulls as white as snow.
Hundreds of people see such images every day. They all walk on the same shores and breathe in that clean sea air. They all watch ships weighing many tons and other boats sail on that magnificent sea.
While many different blessings strike the eye as one looks at the sea, when one looks at the land, one sees brightly colored flowers and lovely children and animals each one more beautiful than the other.
Consequently, people are on a journey wherein hundreds of blessings are on display. Everywhere they look, they see the unbounded wisdom and artistry of Allah. Allah reveals the flawless creation in the universe in verses: “He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again, do you see any gaps?” (Qur’an, 67:3)
“Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and everyone on the earth prostrates to Allah, and the sun and moon and stars and the mountains, trees and beasts and many of mankind?” (Qur’an, 22:18)
It is a fact that everyone who walks down the street will encounter hundreds of Allah’s signs and blessings. Wherever one looks, there is the beauty and matchless artistry of Allah. However, the important secret here is that everyone delights in the images he sees in direct proportion to his faith. A pair of eyes with faith will enjoy an ineffable delight when they look on nature, adorned as it is with Allah’s infinite artistry. They will be filled with excitement when they see a lovely and innocent child.
One’s heart will be filled with love when one sees a tiny but brightly colored bird and hears the sweetness of its voice. The joyous love and amazement here is in fact love and admiration for Allah. When a believer sees the manifestations of Allah, he constantly turns to Him and knows that these images are created for him alone. His responsibility is now to give thanks for our Lord’s infinite blessings and to prostrate himself before Him. “Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth... .” (Qur’an, 3:191)
The greater a person’s faith, the greater the effect these images will have on his heart. Sincerity, submission and deep faith will increase the effect of an image on his heart many, many times over. A believer gives constant thanks when he sees such fine images. Seeing images, reflecting on them and constantly giving thanks are a tightly linked chain of events in the life of a believer.
A believer immediately remembers Allah in the face of all the images he sees, and he gives thanks and seeks forgiveness in his heart. The result of this unending gratitude is the comfort and beauty that form in his heart.
A person can attain that glorious impact only by attributing the images he sees to Allah alone. However, many people in the world see Allah’s signs but calmly carry on as before.
No effect is created in their hearts; no love, no fervor and no beauty. They also sit down at table and consume delightful blessings. They also live in houses with fine views and walk through gardens adorned with varieties of lovely flowers but their hearts are empty because they have no love of Allah. Since they have no trust in Allah, and no patience, their souls are constantly uneasy, restless and unhappy.
It is therefore impossible for the images such people see to produce the effects and excitement they do in the heart of the believer. Such people are totally unaware of the great loss they are incurring as they see the signs of Allah but just carry on with what they are doing. Allah reveals the existence of such people in Surah Yusuf: How many Signs there are in the heavens and earth! Yet they pass them by, turning away from them. (Qur’an, 12:105)
A believer with profound faith delights in difficult tests as much as in the lovely things he sees. That is because noble fortitude and deep reflection for the good pleasure of Allah are hidden behind such tests. Cast into the dungeon at a young age, the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) exhibited fortitude and immediately began preaching. The Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), when building his ark alone; the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) when departing from his people alone; the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) when setting out and leaving his people behind one morning all behaved exceptionally well in the face of the difficulties confronting them.
They were people of deep faith who knew that the images they saw were especially created by Allah and that they were constantly being tested. They felt the great joy of witnessing Allah’s close follow-up in their hearts at every step they took. They therefore delighted to an indescribable extent in the life created for them by Allah, and the love and joy in their hearts increased many times over.
The life of Paradise, the abundant blessings that will be bestowed upon them began for them while they were still in this world. Superficial images will cease with death, and the gates of Paradise, adorned with infinite blessings, will open wide for believers. These people felt these delights in their souls, woke up with the love of Allah and closed their eyes again with love of Him.
In this way, they felt the deepest passion, love and delight in their souls, in both this world and in the Hereafter. They represented fine role models for people living in their own time, and for those who would come after.
“As for those who have faith and do right actions and humble themselves before their Lord, they are the Companions of the Garden. Remaining in it timelessly, forever.” (Qur’an, 11:23)
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arab News: