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“And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allâh)”
(Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter): 49)
By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
This Qur’anic ayah appears in the last fifth of Surat Adh-Dhariyat, which is a Makkan Surah that contains 60 ayahs. The main topic of the Surah is the Islamic creed.
Signs of creation in Surat Adh-Dhariyat:
Surat Adh-Dhariyat reviews a number of signs of creation, from which the vast divine power of creation can be inferred and which bear witness to the fact that the One Who originally created this universe is capable of annihilating it and recreating it again (i.e. resurrecting it). The issue of resurrection was a major argument of those who disbelieved in the Day of Judgment throughout history. The following are the signs of creation that appear in the surah:
(1) Allah (SWT) swears by the winds that He employs to blow away and scatter dust and the role of that in the erosion of rocks, the leveling of the earth’s surface, the formation of the soil and the propagation of clouds; and which He employs to carry pollens and the role of that in the pollination of plants.
(2) Allah (SWT) also swears by the clouds that bear the heavy weight of water vapor and which He causes to fall as rain, according to His judgment and knowledge, where He wills, in the amount that He wills, at the time that He wills, as a mercy from Him or as a punishment and chastisement.
(3) Allah (SWT) also swears by the ships that easily float on the surface of the water. If it were not for the special properties that Allah (SWT) gave water, the ships would not have so easily and gently sailed on its surface.
(4) Allah (SWT) also swears by the angels that deliver Allah’s decrees in the universe, according to His divine orders and will. The angels carry the divine orders and execute them according to the will of Allah (SWT) among His creatures and within the universe, in extreme precision and discipline. Moreover, although the angles are among the transcendental things that we cannot see, their effect in the universe is undeniably perceived and cannot be ignored.
(5) Allah (SWT) swears by the heavens that are build according to precise laws and principles and which are full of pathways (orbits in which celestial bodies move), which are also built to precision, and whose parts are in perfect and masterful intactness and unity with one another and which have limitless variability in their density.
(6) Allah (SWT) confirms that the earth contains countless obvious signs of miraculous nature that serve to demonstrate Allah’s omnipotence, power and authority, which are recognized by those whose hearts are seeking faith with certainty, in the ayah which can be translated as, *“And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty”*. (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter): 20)
(7) Allah (SWT) confirms the countless miraculous signs in the creation of human beings in the ayah which can be translated as, *“And also in your ownselves. Will you not then see?”* (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter): 21)
(8) Allah (SWT) confirms the fact that what people have been promised (i.e. the truth that Allah has promised them) and their sustenance are all decided in the heavens and descend upon them, in the ayah which can be translated as,* “And in the heaven is your provision, and that which you are promised”*. (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter): 22)
(9) Allah (SWT) refers to the expansion of the universe, in the ayah which can be translated as, *“With power did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are Able to extend the vastness of space thereof”*. (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):47)
(10) Allah (SWT) refers to the paving and leveling of the earth’s surface, in the ayah which can be translated as,* “And We have spread out the earth: how Excellent Spreader (thereof) are We!*. (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):48)
(11) Allah (SWT) emphasizes that all creations are in pairs [that complement each other], in the ayah which can be translated as, *“And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allah)”*. (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):49)
(12) Each of the above ayahs needs to be dealt with individually to be understood clearly and well. Since this is not possible in the scope of this article, I am therefore forced to focus the discussion on the last point of the above signs of creation; namely Allah’s (SWT) emphasis that all creations are in pairs [that complement each other], in the ayah which can be translated as,* “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allâh)”* (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):49). Before starting, there is a need to examine the interpretations of this ayah by scholars of Qur’anic exegesis, classical and contemporary.
The interpretation of the following ayah by scholars:
* “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allâh)”* (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):49)
Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) explained this ayah as follows: It means that all creatures are in pairs: heaven and earth, night and day, sun and moon, shore and sea, light and darkness, belief and disbelief, life and death, happiness and misery, paradise and hellfire, even animals and plants, and that is why Allah says what can be translated as, *“… that you may remember (the Grace of Allâh)”* i.e. for you to know that the Creator is One with no partner.
The book, Tafseer Al-Jalalain (may Allah have mercy on its authors), explains that,* “And of everything”* relates to the creation; *“We have created pairs”* two kinds like male and female, heaven and earth, sun and moon, valley and mountain, summer and winter, sweet and sour, light and darkness; *“that you may remember (the Grace of Allah)”* that you may know that the Creator of the pairs is One, so worship Him alone.
In the book, Safwat al-Bayan (may Allah have mercy on its author), *“parity”* means two opposite kinds such as day and night, heaven and earth, guidance and straying away from the right path and from truth, etc.
The authors of Al-Muntakhab in the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an (may Allah reward its authors generously) explained the ayah as follows [as appears in the original Arabic-English Egyptian translated version of the book]: And of everything, spiritual, animate and inanimate, did We create pairs, complementing each other: night and day, positive and negative, love and aversion, rest and fatigue, mercy and punishment, sea and land, light and darkness, belief and disbelief, life and death, happiness and misery, heaven and hell, male and female, and so on. And when we come to the universe as a whole, there is He who complements it and sustains it, whereas He is One and He does not need anything to complement Him, that you people may hopefully ponder.
Scientific implications of this noble ayah:
The ayah which can be translated as, * “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allâh)”* (Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter):49) is an assertion of the rule of parity in the creation of all beings, whether animate or inanimate. In other words, Allah (SWT) has created everything in true pairs and this parity is manifested across the board in all created beings and things and at all levels: from elements composing matter to human beings and beyond to the units composing the universe. It is a characteristic signifying uniformity, harmony and congruity in creationþ and is an attestation to the absolute Oneness of the Creator (SWT), Oneness that affirms that the Creator (SWT) is above all His creations. He is, as He describes His sublime Self to be, in what can be translated as, *“There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”* (Surat Ash-Shura (The Consultation): 11)
He also describes this sublime Self in the following ayah, that He ordered the seal of His prophets (PBUH) and consequently every believer to repeat as often as possible: *“Say (O Muhammad PBUH): "He is Allâh, (the) One. "Allah-us-Samad" (Allah the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks). "He begets not, nor was He begotten."And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."* (Surat Al-Ikhlas (The Purity): 1-4)
This parity in creation, which attests to the Oneness of the Creator, demonstrates itself in the following stages:
- Parity In all living organisms: humans, animals and plants;
- Parity In reproductive cells (gametes): (ovum) and sperm;
- Parity In the male sperm that contains either a male or female sex chromosome;
- Parity In chromosomes that are present inside the nucleus of a living cell;
- Parity In genes that carry heredity information and which are located on every chromosome from these ones.
- Parity In nucleic acid structure;
- How the four nitrogenous bases that build the (" steps") of the DNA connect together in a parity.
- Parity In how the deoxyribose molecule (organic) is linked with the phosphate molecule (non-organic) to form the ( “sides”) of a DNA molecule;
- Parity in the building of amino acids in both its forms: right-handed isomers and left-handed isomers;
- Parity In proteins and anti –proteins.
- Parity In the molecule by its two parts positive (cat ions) and negative (anions);
- Parity In the atom and its nucleus which has a positive charge and its electrons which have a negative charge;
- Parity In particles and antiparticles – it means in existence and non- existence0
- Parity In the primary units of the matter and its opposing elements;-it means in existence and non- existence.
- Parity In matter and antimatter it means in existence and non- existence.
- Parity In positive and negative energy charges;
- Parity In matter and energy, which are two sides of the same coin and two forms of the same essence that signifies the Oneness of the Great Creator.
Anyone who contemplates the universe can go on and on infinitely proving the truth about parity that exists in every aspect of the universe, whether big or small. Thus being an attestation to the absolute Oneness of Allah, the Creator, and only Him. No associate or partner shares this attribute (of Oneness) with Allah, nor does anyone contend with Him for it. It is an attribute of the One and Only, the Absolute, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, while He is in need of no one, He begets not, nor was He begotten and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
To fully explain the above pattern of parity, each point would need to be dealt with in a separate article. Therefore, I will only choose a few examples of them in the following analysis:
I. Parity in living organisms:
Humans and animals reproduce by mating of a male and a female, which is known as sexual reproduction. In most cases, the male and female exist separately from one another (i.e. in separate individuals). However, in some simple animals, the male and female reproductive cells are found in the same individual, which give the male type of cell to another individual.
In sexual reproduction, fertilization can occur either inside the body or outside it. In simpler animal organisms reproduction occurs through binary division, budding, fragmentation, and creation of colonies or through virgin reproduction (without fertilization). This is all known as asexual reproduction. A single animal can sometimes alternate between sexual and asexual reproduction during its life cycle.
Through our knowledge of parity in elements and particles we can maintain with high certainty that some form of pair pattern takes place in asexual reproduction.
In plants, parity clearly appears in plants that produce flowers, which constitute more than a quarter of a million species. The flowers of these plants, which are produced through the blossoming of their buds, carry the reproductive organs made of male & female cells. These organs could be present in one flower, in two different flowers in the same plant or there could be male and female kinds of the same plant.
Fertilization in flowering plants leads to the production of seeds. Every seed contain the zygote of the new plant and an amount of stored food reserve for it given by the greatest creator (SWT). The seeds are usually contained in the fruit or are the fruit itself.
Non-flowering plants, however, reproduce by both sexually and asexually pattern through two phases of one life-cycle known as the alteration of generations. In its first phase, the plant produces both male and female gametes. The male gamete separates and is transferred through watery media to reach a female gamete to pollinate and fertilize it by uniting with it. In the second phase, the plant produces reproductive cells called haploid gametes which dispersed from the plant that is carrying after maturity, and grow in a suitable environment into a new plant.