The First Meeting
Al-Mufadhdhal said, “I left him so happy and delighted. That night felt so long while I waited for that which he had promised me. In the morning, I went to him. After being permitted, I went in and stood before him. He asked me to have a seat, and I did. Then he went up to a room to where he would often retire in solitude. I got up too. He asked me to follow him. He entered the room, and I entered after him. He sat down, and I sat before him. He said, ‘O Mufadhdhal! I feel as if you have had a lengthy night because of your anxiety for what I had promised you.’ I affirmed his remark respectfully. He said, ‘O Mufadhdhal! Allah has existed before there was any thing and He will exist with no end. Praise be to Him for what He has inspired to us and thanks be to Him for what He has granted to us. He has singled us out with the best of knowledge and the highest of honors and has preferred us to all of His creatures by giving us from His knowledge and has made us guardians over them by His authority.’ I said, ‘O my master, would you permit me to write what you say?’ He said, ‘O Mufadhdhal, yes.’
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) said, ‘O Mufadhdhal! The waverers failed to grasp the causes and meanings of the creation and their minds were unable to see the right and wisdom in what Allah has created of different kinds of His creatures in the sea and on the land, in the plains and on the mountains. Because of the deficiency of their knowledge, they disbelieved and because of the weakness of their sights, they denied and resisted until
they denied the creation of things and claimed that things had come to existence by accident and chance with no will, ordinance or wisdom from a maker or manager. Allah is far above what they attribute to Him. May they perish! How misguided they are! In their misguided blindness and bewilderment they are like blind persons groping right and left in a well‑furnished, well‑built house with fine carpets, luscious articles of food, 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 furnishings, they move about aimlessly from one room to another, advancing and retreating. If by chance anyone of them finds anything in its place to supply a need, therefore 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 is due to his own inability to see. This analogy holds good in the case of the sect who deny the creative factor and the argument in favour of the divine management. 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 some one among them is aware of a thing but due to 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, (a man who founded a Zoroastrian sect in the time of King Shapur, the son of Urdsher who believed in the prophethood of Jesus but denied that of Moses and who believed in the duality of divinity as the creators of all good and evil in the universe – one light as the creator of all good things, the other 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 misguided persons have also gone astray from the divine favours, by merely declaring as untenable or impossible certain facts.
It behoves the person, whom Allah 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 the design underlying the creation and who is gifted with the expression of the merits of such things on the basis of cogent reasoning and fine distinction, it behoves such a person to glorify the Almighty Allah consummately as his Lord, for such celestial favour, and to pray to Him for the increase in gnosis and a steadfastness therein with lofty power of expression thereof. Allah says, “If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe.” 
The Universe And Its Parts
O Mufadhdhal! The structure of the universe is the foremost evidence of the existence of the Almighty Allah – how the parts thereof have been set together and ordered as they are. If you think about the world deeply, you will find it like a house furnished with all what its inhabitants need. 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. Besides, every thing is readily available to meet all the needs. Man is like the owner of that house and authorized with everything therein. And there exist the different plant species available to meet man’s needs; some as fodder for the animals, others as drugs for human beings, some merely for ornament,
 Qur’an, 14:7.
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 interests.
There is a manifest proof in this beautiful composition, cohesion, combination and admixture, that this world is the work of a Creator, Who has produced it on a balanced plan, impregnated it with ingenuities and established order therein; all bearing proper connection and furnishing proof of the unique Creator, Who has combined them in such elegance as to compound them into a unity ... glory be to Him and Exalted is He. There is no god but Him. He is far above what the infidels attribute to Him.
The creation of man
O Mufadhdhal! We now start talking about the creation of man so that you may learn a lesson from it. The first step in the creation of man refers to the state when the embryo in the womb is adjusted, though it is confined within three distinct kinds of coverings and three kinds of darkness – firstly that of the outer wall, secondly of the womb and thirdly of the placenta. This is a time when the embryo can neither manage its nutrition nor ward off any harm from itself. The menstrual flow is diverted to serve it nutrients, just as water carries nutrients to the plants, so this process goes on till such time as its constitution is perfected, its skin over the body becomes tough enough to withstand the atmosphere so that it does not receive any harm from the air, and its eyes gain the capacity to withstand light. When all this is accomplished, its mother feels labour pangs, which severely shake her to uneasiness culminating in the birth of the infant. With the birth of the infant the menstrual flow, which served for nutrition in the womb, is diverted to the mother's breasts. Its taste is altered,
so is its colour altered and it becomes a nutriment of quite a different kind, which exactly suits the temperament of the infant who is in need of it, compared with the flow of blood. Simultaneously with his birth, he starts moving and licking his lips with his tongue to indicate his desire for milk. He finds his mother’s pair of breasts as luscious reservoirs hanging to provide nutrition for him. He gets his nutrition from milk in this way till such time as his body remains delicate, his organs and bowels soft and weak.
Need of Teeth and Growth of Beard
As he begins to move about and needs harder food to build up a stronger body, his molars appear to masticate food materials to facilitate digestion. He carries on with such nutriment till Puberty. The male grows hair on the face as a sign of manliness, to gain honour as man, thus over‑stepping the stage of adolescence and likeness to females. A female keeps her face clean lovely and hairless, to preserve her freshness and comeliness, as an attraction for the males in the service of the survival of the race.
O Mufadhdhal! Can you imagine that the manner in which man, through these different stages, is led and perfected, can take place without a Designer and a Creator? Do you think that if the menstrual flow had not been diverted to him while an embryo in the womb, would he not have been dried up just like the plants deprived of water, and had he not been motivated by labour pangs after he had been matured for birth, would he not have been buried in the womb just as living infants used to be buried in the earth, and had he not been supplied with the suitable kind of milk, would he not have starved to death, or if he had not been fed with nutriment suited to his temperament and capable of perfecting his body, and if his teeth had not appeared at the proper time, would it not have been difficult for him to feed, masticate and digest his food, and if he had not
passed through the milk‑infancy, would not his body have suffered in strength and been incapacitated for any kind of work and would be a permanent charge on his mother to keep her busy with only his nurture and upbringing without leaving her time to look after other than himself?
Had not his face grown hair at the proper time, would he not have stayed in the form of adolescents and the figure of females, without any dignity or prestige like the eunuchs who have a repulsive look in the absence of the beard?
Absurdity of Atheism
If abiogenesis (spontaneous creation without specific design) can be admitted under such conditions of regularity, then purposeful generation and definitely balanced creation can be the result of error and perplexity, since these two are opposed to abiogenesis. Such a statement is highly absurd that order and rectitude should come about without a creator and disorder and impropriety of design and fate should presuppose a Creator. He is an ignoramus who says this because anything produced without design will never be exact and proportioned, while disorder and contrariness cannot coexist with orderly design. Allah is far above what the heretics say.
And in case an infant had been born with mature intellect, it would have been bewildered in this world that would seem so strange to him, in an unrecognisable environment abounding with animals and birds of varied forms all around which would be the focus of his vision every moment and day after day.
O Mufadhdhal! Consider the case of a man migrating to another country from the prison of one country. If he has a perfect intellect, you will see him perplexed and astounded. He can neither soon learn there the language, nor acquire the etiquette and decorum of the place. On the other hand, one
who is taken as prisoner to a strange land in his early days when his intellect is immature, he shall soon learn the language, etiquette and manners of the place. Similarly, if a child had been born with mature intellect, he would have been astounded on opening his eyes and seeing such varied assortment, different kinds of forms, and distinctive imagery of unity and disunity. For a long time he would not be able to understand as to whence he had come and where he has arrived and whether all that he was seeing was in a state of dream or waking.
Then if he had been born with mature intellect, he would have felt disgusted and degraded on finding himself being carried about in the lap, being fed with milk, being wrapped in bandages (after the manner of the Arabs and being laid in the cradle; all these proceedings being necessary for infants because of their soft and delicate bodies).
There would not have been, if they had been born with a mature intellect, that sweetness, nor that consideration for the infants in the minds of the adults which springs generally from fondling the untutored children because of their artlessness creating a particular attraction for them. As such, he is born in this world without an understanding for anything, quite unaware of the world and what lies therein.
He views all these things with his underdeveloped brain and inadequate understanding, and so does not feel perplexed.
His intellect and understanding by degrees, slowly, from time to time, little by little develop, so as to introduce him gradually to the things around and to accustom his brain accordingly so as to habituate him thereto without further need for curiosity and wonderment, thus enabling him to seek his sustenance serenely without understanding and planning, to bend his efforts thereto and to learn the lessons of obedience, error and disobedience. And behold!
There are other aspects of the matter. If the infant had been born mature in intellect with an understanding of his functions, there would have been little occasion for the sweetness felt in the nurture of the offspring, and the exigency, under which the parents find a whole time preoccupation with the affairs of their young ones, would not have arisen. Love and affection, felt for children, would not subsist between the parents and their offspring. Because of their mature intellect, the children would not have needed parental care. A separation would have taken place just after birth of the infant from its parents. He would not know his father and mother, and therefore, he would not refrain from getting married to his mother or sister or any mahram  woman whom he did not know. Besides, it would be too ugly and shameful that if he was born with full mind and understanding, he would see from his mother, when being born, that which he should not see.
O Mufadhdhal! Don’t you see that every thing big or small has been created on a flawless plan without fault or error?
Advantage of crying
O Mufadhdhal! Consider the advantage of crying to children. There is a fluid in the child's brain which if not drained off may cause trouble or illness, even the loss of an eye. The discharge of the fluid from its brain leaves it healthy and the eyes brighter. The child is benefited by weeping, while its parents, in their ignorance, try to prevent his weeping by catering to his wishes, not knowing the benefits thereof. There are similar other advantages, which these atheists fail to grasp. If they could have grasped them, they would not have denied the existence of such benefits therein. The gnostics understand
 Mahram woman is a woman with whom it is not permissible to get married, such as one’s mother, sister, daughter, aunt…etc.
what is unintelligible to such deniers. It so happens oftentimes that the creatures know not the wisdom thereof, though it is within the knowledge of the Creator.
The saliva dripping from the mouths of children may cause serious derangements if not allowed to flow. This can be seen in the case of those with an excess of saliva, who sink down to the level of idiots, imbeciles, and fools and succumb to other diseases like paralysis – general and facial. Almighty Allah has ordained that fluid should be discharged by way of the mouth in early age to keep him healthy in later age. Allah has granted this boon, of the profundity whereof they are ignorant. They are allowed this respite to acquire knowledge of the wisdom underlying therein, so as to become gnostic. Had these people appreciated all these boons, they would not have stayed in sin so long. So all praise and Glory is due to Him. How grand is His Beneficence. His blessings are for all whether deserving or not. He is far exalted above what these misguided persons say.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the male and female organs of copulation. The male organ is capable of stimulation and expansion so as to spawn the uterus with sperm, that being its function, being itself incapable of developing the foetus and as such required to transfer the sperm to the uterus of the female – a deep receptacle fit to efficiently preserve the two seminal fluids, to develop the foetus by expanding proportionately with the increase in its size, to prevent any pressure on it, to preserve it till it is strengthened and toughened. Is it not designed by a Deep Seeing Designer? Have all these works of ingenuity or these elegant proportions come about by themselves? Allah the Almighty is far exalted above the heresy of the polytheists.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the various organs of the body, the functions each one is required to perform and the
perfection of design that underlies each. Both hands are meant to handle business, both feet are meant for locomotion, the eyes are to see with, the mouth is to take in food, the stomach is to digest it, the liver is for clearing, the orifices of the body are meant to eliminate waste products, and the private parts for reproduction and you shall find that every organ is exactly fitted to perform its specific functions and is constituted with perfect design.’
Mufadhdhal said, ‘Sir! Some people believe that all this is the outcome of the function of nature; each organ coming into existence as and when required by nature.’
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) said, ‘Just ask them whether the nature which functions in such a well‑planned and well‑ordered fashion – does it have knowledge and power to do such things?
If they admit that it possesses knowledge and power, then what obstructs them from believing in the Creator? What we say is that all things are created by One Who is the Master of Knowledge and Power. They say that there is no Creator and yet admit that nature has done this with ingenuity and plan. As such nature is the cause of their creation, while they deny the Creator. If they say that nature produces such things without knowledge and power – not knowing what it is doing nor having the power to do it – in connection with the type of design and ingenuity that subsists in all phenomena, it is something inconceivable that something may be performed without corresponding power to do it and without a knowledge thereof. As such it is obvious that the action emanates from an Omniscient Creator, Who has laid down as only a method among His creation through His omniscience, which these people call nature. In other words Allah the Almighty has ordained a method to produce everything according to its definite cause and principle. As for instance, a seed needs water to sprout, no rain no corn; a child is born by the union of
man and woman; without this procedure of union and insemination no child can be born; water evaporates to cause a cloud, the cloud is moved about by air to give rain; there can be no rain without such a process. These atheists took these causes and nature as the real Creator, denying the existence of the Creator above all these. This is manifest error, seeing that water is lifeless and unless it is enlivened by the Life‑Giver how can it produce corn? And how can the sperm which is without intelligence, develop into an infant unless energized by the Omnipotent to create a head out of one part, hands and feet from other parts, bones from yet another part and heart and liver from another? Other forms of creation can be considered accordingly.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the nutrition supplied to the body, and the ingenious plan underlying it. Just note that on arrival in the stomach, the food is processed into chyme and the extract is transferred to the liver by fine capillaries forming a network in that organ. The stomach is constituted as a rectifier to transfer materials to the liver in rectified form, to prevent injury to that delicate structure.
The liver then takes up the extract of the nutriment taken in, and by an inscrutable ingenuity changes it into blood to be pumped by the heart to all parts of the body by means of blood‑vessels as the manner of irrigation channels seen in gardens and fields supplying water to any place requiring irrigation. All waste products and toxic matters are carried off to organs designed to eliminate them. The bile matter goes to the gallbladder, some matter goes to the spleen, and the moisture to the bladder.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the ingenuity that has gone into the building up of the body! How nicely are these organs co-ordinated! How the vessels, the intestines, the bladder, etc.,
are organised to collect the waste products of the body so as to prevent them from being scattered all over the body and causing diseases and decrepitude.
Glory, then, is to Him Who has created these organs according to a remarkable plan and a redoubtable design. All praise is due to Him, Who is worthy of it.’
Development of man
Al-Mufadhdhal said, ‘Please Sir, explain to me the gradual development of the body stage by stage till its perfection.’
Imam as-Sadiq (a.s) said, ‘The first stage of this development (of man) is the embryo in the womb that is invisible to the eye and inaccessible to the hand. His development proceeds apace, till he is perfected in body with all organs and parts complete in every detail; the heart, the liver, the intestines and all working parts, the bones, muscles, fat, the brain tendons, blood‑vessels, the cartilages all fully developed. He enters this world and you see how he develops on together with all his organs in proportion, preserving at the same time all his features without any addition or diminution. The body progresses on while retaining its well‑knit form, till his maturation, whether his life span is lengthened or shortened.
Is not this profound planning and ingenuity elegantly designed by the Omniscient Designer?
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the excellence and merit of man's creation over the animals. He has been created to stand erect and sit squarely, to be able to hold things in his hands, to acquire them with his organs and to treat things with his organs. If man had been hunched like animals, he could not have performed the tasks he does now.
Just consider O Mufadhdhal, the senses specifically superior to those of animals in point of constitution and efficiency so as to endow him special merit thereby.
The eyes are set in the head as if a lamp is set on a lamp‑post to enable man to see everything. They are not set in the lower parts like the feet and the hands to be safeguarded against injuries or accidents during work or movement, which would have ailed them and impaired their efficiency. Had they been set in the middle part of the body like the belly, the back or the breast etc., it would have been difficult to revolve them or to see things by sudden turning. The head is the cynosure; the best place for these senses in suitability compared with any other organ.
The senses are made five in number to respond to all kinds of stimuli and to leave no stimulus undetected.
The eyes are so constituted as to distinguish between Colours. The colours would have been meaningless without such ocular proficiency, since these colours exist as a means whereby things may be distinguished from one another or the eyes may get recreation therefore.
The ears are set in the head to detect sounds, which would have been meaningless without such auricular proficiency. Similar is the case with other senses – without proficiency of the sense of taste, all tasteful foods would have been dull, without the sense of touch, the sensations of heat, cold, softness, hardness would as well have been nonexistent and without the sense of smell, all scents would have been inert.
And vice versa; if there were no colours, the eyes would be ineffective. Without sound the ears may as well be non‑existent. So just consider how it has been ordained that there is a definite correspondence between the sense organ and the sensation‑stimulus interacting mutually. We cannot hear with our eyes, nor distinguish colours with our ears, nor smell except with our nose, and so on.
Then there are media interpolated between the sense organ and the sensation‑stimulus, without which the link cannot be
established. As for example in the absence of light to reflect colour, the eyes fail to recognise colour, and without air to set up sound waves, the ear would not be able to detect any sound.
O Mufadhdhal, can it be, then, hidden from one who has been endowed with sound reason and who utilises his intellect correctly, after all the details I have given about the interconnection between the sense‑organs, the sensation‑stimulus and the media linking them to complete the process, that all this has been planned and executed by the Omniscient, Almighty Allah?
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the case of a person who has lost his eyesight and the loss he suffers in his day‑to‑day work. He cannot perceive his foothold, nor can he see ahead, nor can he recognise colours, nor appreciate a pleasing or an ugly thing. He will not be able to know a hollow ground, nor know an enemy with a drawn sword, nor can he undertake any of the handicrafts like writing, business or goldsmithery. Without his brain, he would be like a stone at rest.
Similar is the case of a man deficient in hearing. He suffers loss on many counts. He has no relish for conversational talk, nor a sense for pleasant or unpleasant sounds. People have difficulty in conversing with him and they get annoyed with him. He does not hear anything of people’s news or talks until he becomes absent though he is present and dead though he is alive.
The person devoid of intelligence is worse than cattle, for even the cattle recognise many a phenomena unintelligible to him. Don’t you perceive that these organs, systems, intellect and everything else required for his adjustment and without which he is at a serious disadvantage in point of the perfection of his build are duly provided? Have all these been produced without balance and knowledge? Certainly not! They are necessarily the outcome of definite design and planning of the Almighty
Mufadhdhal said, ‘Sir! How is it that some people lack some of these organs and systems and undergo the losses that you have described?’
Imam as-Sadiq (s) said, ‘It is for the admonition of the person lacking them and of other people as well that the monarch admonishes his subjects in such a way and such admonition is hardly resented, rather it is appreciated as a stratagem and is eulogised.
The people who are thus afflicted will be recompensed after death, provided they are grateful to Allah and they turn to Him, so munificently that all the troubles undergone by them due to the lack of such organs will appear trivial in comparison, so much so that if after death they are allowed the choice to return to those troubles they would welcome the opportunity to earn higher recompense.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the ingenuity and balanced design underlying the production of the organs and systems in pairs or as single units. Just consider the head which is created a single unit and it is but just appropriate not to have been created in more than one unit. A second head would have been only an additional weight; quite unnecessary, seeing that one head comprises all the senses needed for man. Two heads would have meant two parts of men. So if he used only one for talk, the other would have been redundant. To have used both simultaneously for the same talk would have been meaningless, inasmuch as no further purpose is served thereby.
A person would have been much handicapped in the business he had to transact, if he had been created with one instead of a pair of hands. Don't you see that a carpenter or a mason is unable to carry on his profession if one of his hands gets paralysed? And in case he tries to do his work with a single
hand, he cannot perform it as dextbeingerously and efficiently as with the help of both hands.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider a man's voice and conversation and the constitution of the organs concerned therewith. The larynx, which produces the sound, is like a tube while the tongue, the lips and the teeth mould the sound into letters and words.
Don’t you see that a person who loses his teeth cannot reproduce the sound of the letter “s”? He who gets his lips cut cannot pronounce “f”, while a thick tongue cannot give the sound of “r”. A bagpipe resembles it a great deal. The larynx is comparable to the pipe, and the bag into which air is blown corresponds to the lungs containing air. The muscles controlling the lungs to produce sounds resemble the fingers pressing the air of the bag into the pipe. The lips and teeth, which mould the sounds into letters and words, correspond to the fingers on the orifices of the pipe giving rise to music and song. The larynx here has been regarded as an analogue to the bagpipe by way of explanation, whereas in reality the bagpipe is the instrument constructed on the pattern of the natural organ, the larynx.
O Mufadhdhal! The organs of speech here portrayed suffice for a correct reproduction of the letters. There are, however, other functions allotted to these. The larynx, for instance, is so fashioned as to admit fresh air into the lungs to supply the blood and heart, which if it fails even for a moment causes death.
The tongue is forged as to distinguish between the varied tastes of foods one from the other – the sweet from the sour, the purely sour from the sweetish sour, the salty from the sweet. The tongue also helps to feel the pleasantness of water and food. The teeth masticate the food to make it soft enough for easy digestion. They also hinder the lips from being sucked
into the mouth. A person who has lost his, teeth is seen to have loosely moving lips. The lips help to suck in water, so as to allow only calculated quantity of water to enter the stomach as required, not gurgling down of its own accord and producing suffocation in the throat or leading to some sort of internal inflammation by virtue of its forceful flow. Moreover, the two lips serve as a door to keep the mouth shut at will.
O Mufadhdhal! We have explained to you the multifarious functions performed by them and the benefits accruing from them, just as the same tool may serve different purposes; for instance, the axe may be used by a carpenter and may also be used for digging the earth and for other purposes.
If you look at the brain, you will find it wrapped up in membranes one upon the other to protect it from injuries and movement. The skull protects it as a helmet against being shattered to pieces by a knock or percussion on the head. The skull is covered with hair like a fleecy covering, safeguarding it against hot and cold. Who, then, except Allah the Almighty endowed the brain with such security and protection, and who made it the fountain of sense perception and who made the arrangements for its extraordinary protection in comparison with all other parts of the body because of its important status to the body?
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the eyelid – how it is fashioned as a screen for the eye with the eyelashes like tile strings for raising and lowering the screen. Just notice how the eyeball is set in a cavity shaded by the screen and hair.
O Mufadhdhal, who has concealed the heart within the breast and covered it with a screen which you may call the membrane? Who has arranged for its protection by means of the ribs, the muscles and flesh interwoven in such a way as to prevent anything getting to it to cause an abrasion? Who has shaped two holes in the throat; one for the production of the
sound situated in proximity with the lungs and the other called the gullet leading to the stomach for the entry of the food, and who has placed a flap, the epiglottis, over the hole leading to the larynx, to prevent food from entering the lungs, which would cause death if not thus managed? Who has caused the lungs to fan air to the heart indefatigably without rest to remove the toxins that would destroy it otherwise?
Who has shaped the sphincters controlling the outlets of urine and stool, like the strings of a purse to be opened or shut at will and not to drip all the while automatically causing a persistent nuisance in life? Similarly there are matters which a computer may compute, but others which men have no knowledge of are beyond computation. Who has given such resilience to the muscles of the stomach that it has been commissioned to digest coarse foods? And who has made the liver soft and tender to accept nutriment in purified and rectified form and function more finely than the stomach? Can all these tasks be completed by any one except the Omnipotent Almighty? Can you imagine that all this can be performed by inert nature? Certainly not! All this is the planning of the Almighty, Omniscient Designer, Who has the fullest knowledge and has perfect omnipotence in advance of creation. He is Allah, the All Knowing, Almighty.
O Mufadhdhal! Consider why the tender marrow is kept protected inside bone tubes – just for the sake of protecting it from going to waste under the influence of the sun’s heat which might melt it, or that of cold which might solidify it, which would blast life.
And why is this circulation of blood confined to within the blood vessels, except that it should function inside the body and not flow out? Why are these nails fixed on fingers, except that they afford protection against damage and help in better efficiency, for without them the presence of flesh alone would
not have enabled man to pick up things with a pinch, to use a pen for writing or to thread a needle?
Why is the inside of the ear made spiralled as a prison‑house, except that the sounds may be carded to the membrane for detection without damage thereto by the violence of air impact?
Why flesh is woven over man’s thighs and buttocks, except that he may not be inconvenienced by the hardness of the floor in sitting, as is the case of a person of thin, emaciated constitution unless something intervenes between him and the floor to tone down in hardness like a cushion or a sofa?
Who has created the human race as man and woman? Surely He Who ordained the race to flourish by the method of the union of the two sexes or at least to maintain its numerical strength, through the differentiation of the two sexes. And who made him the progenitor of a generation? Surely He Who implanted hope in him.
Who gave him the organs for action? Surely He Who made him a worker. And who made him a worker? Surely He Who created him needy. Man would not have worked if he had no need to fulfil. If he did not need to satisfy his hunger, why should he have laboured, why should he have taken to business and industry? Had he no need to safeguard his body against heat and cold, why should he have learnt sewing, needle‑manufacturing, spinning, weaving, cotton growing, etc. And in the absence of all this, of what use would have been the organs of action and the fingers? And who created him needy? Surely He Who created for him the factors of neediness. And who created for him the factors of neediness? Surely He Who took upon Himself the responsibility of supplying the needs. Who endowed him with intellect? Surely He Who made reward and chastisement as essential for him. He would not need intellect if he were not responsible for reward and punishment.
The Almighty Creator endowed him with intellect to distinguish between good and evil, having decided upon reward and punishment as essential for him to get the reward for goodness and chastisement for evil. The animals, which are not subject to reward or punishment, have no sense of good and evil, nor do they know the distinction between the forbidden and the lawful, the condemned and the approved types of action. They recognise however, the factors needed by them for the survival of their species or individuality.
Who has endowed him with strategy and percipience? Surely He Who has gifted him with energy. And who has gifted man with energy? Surely He Who ordained justification of conduct on him.
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider what I have explained to you. Can there be such orderliness and method in the absence of planning? Certainly not! Allah the Almighty is far exalted above what those people say.
O Mufadhdhal! Now I describe the heart to you. Know that it has holes directed towards the holes that are in the lung to refresh the heart and if these holes are different from each other, refreshments will not reach the heart and then man will perish. Is it possible for a sane, reasonable one to claim that such a thing is done in ignorance? Does he not find evidence in himself to prevent him from such a claim?
Suppose you found one shutter of a door having a latch fixed to it, can you imagine it to have been fixed without any purpose? Surely you will conclude that it is there to be joined to the other shutter for a definite advantage. Similarly you will find a male creature as one individual of a pair created for a female individual so they can unite to preserve the race.
May Allah destroy those who claim to be philosophers but are so purblind in their approach to such wonders of creation and constitution that they deny in the creation of the universe the
design of the Almighty Designer and the will of the Master Planner.
If the genital of man were relaxed, how would it reach the bottom of the woman’s womb in order to empty the sperm? And if it were hard and erect for always, then how would man turn about in the bed or walk among people with something erect before him? Then, besides it would be ugly, it would provoke sexual lust in men and women all the time. Therefore, Allah the Almighty has made it invisible to the sights most of the time and made it no burden on men. Allah has made it to be erect at the time of need to preserve the human race.
O Mufadhdhal! See with receptive eyes the great boon of Allah, the Almighty, in the relief of trouble after taking in food and drink. Is it not an elegance of plan in the construction of a house that the lavatory should be in a secluded part thereof? In the same way, Allah the Almighty has made the orifice for the excreta of man in a secret place. It is not in the open nor has it prominence, but it is so situated as to be perfectly hidden by the junction of the thighs and the buttocks with their fleshly matter. When a man needs to answer the call of nature and assumes the requisite posture of sitting, the orifice allows the excreta to escape. Exalted be Allah Whose signs and blessings can never be counted!
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the teeth set in the mouth of man. Some are sharp, which incise and sunder the food. Others are flat, which chew and pulverize. Since both types, are required so man is supplied with them accordingly.
Just consider and appreciate the ingenuity underlying why it is proper to have the hair cut and the nails clipped. They grow and increase and need to be clipped. As such they are devoid of sensation in order to not cause pain to man. In case the clipping causes pain, they would either be left to grow inordinately and become burdensome or pain would come out
Al-Mufadhdhal said, ‘Sir! Why were they not designed so as to not thrive to an extent that their clipping would be necessary?’
Imam as-Sadiq (A.S) said, ‘There are, indeed, numberless boons of Allah the Almighty to his creatures that are unknown to them and which if they knew them, they would be grateful for. Know that the troubles and ailments of the body are relieved through the hair coming out of the pores. (Vapours and sweat are excluded through these pores.) The fingers get relief of their ailments through the nails. That is why a weekly clipping of nails, shaving of head and removing of redundant hair must be effected, so that the nails and the hair should grow fast and relieve ailments and troubles. Ailments remain confined in the body otherwise with consequent pains and diseases.
No hair growth is allowed on parts of the body where they would harm man. If hair grew inside the eyes, man would be blinded. If hair grew inside the mouth, man would suffer too much with his food and drink. If hair grew on the palms of hands, it would cause man some difficulties with the sense of touching and make it difficult for man to do some tasks.
There is great ingenuity underlying keeping certain spots of the body hairless. This is not only with man but also with animals. You see that their entire bodies are covered with hair, with the exception of particular parts for the same reasons. So consider this affair of creation and see how error and harm have been avoided while rectitude and benefit have been secured.
When the followers of Mani and their likes tried to impugn the belief in purposeful creation (of the universe), they found fault with the growth of hair on the pubis and the armpits. They failed to grasp that such growth was due to the moisture flowing to those parts. The hair grows there just as grass grows at places where water collects. Don't you see how these spots
are prepared to collect waste products and hold them?
Yet another strategy underlying this is that it renders one more discomfort to man, regarding his body, and, as long as he is kept busy with the cleanliness of his body and the removal of his hair, he is prevented from perpetrating acts of greed, cruelty, conceit and impudence for which he may not get the opportunity.
Just consider the saliva in the mouth and see the wisdom underlying it. It is so composed as to ensure constant flow to keep the throat and the palate moist, to not allow dryness that may lead to death therein. Without it, food would not be chewed nor would it flow down.
Some ignorant debaters and half‑witted claimants to philosophy, because of their deficient understanding and faulty knowledge, have said: It would have been better if the belly of man had been like a cloak to enable the physician to open it at will, observe its contents and poke his hand inside for medical treatment, and not as it is walled in, mysteriously hidden from the reach of the eyes and the hands. The internal disorders can now only be gauged by delicate symptoms of the examination of urine, pulse etc., which are not above error and doubt to an extent that such error in pulse and urine examination may lead to death. Would that these ignorant claimants to philosophy and polemics had known that it would have removed all apprehension of disease and death. (Any attack of disease would then have been met successfully by a reopening of the cloak‑like belly, learning the exact cause and its removal). Man would then have been infatuated with his eternality and healthfulness, which would have rendered him wilful and conceited. The open belly would have allowed constant trickling of moisture, thus spoiling his seat, bed and nice dresses. In short, it disturbs his whole living under such circumstances.
The stomach, the liver and the heart function properly because of the vital heat, which would have been disturbed by the influence of the outside air acting through the belly under treatment, open to the reach of the eye and the hand. This would cause death.
Don't you see that all hypotheses aside of the real nature of creation and constitution are far‑fetched and preposterous?
Activities of man
Just consider, O Mufadhdhal, the matters of feeding, resting and sex, which are ordained for man and the expediencies underlying them. Each one of them is propelled by an urge, which gives rise to a desire and a consequent excitation. Hunger demands food which supplies life and energy to the body and its substance. Sleep demands rest for the recuperation of the body to remove the fatigue. If man were to take food just for the needs of his body without an urge from within forcing him to feed, it is possible that he might have given way to indolence because of lassitude or pressure, his body would have been emaciated leading to death, just as a man puts off taking medicine which he only needs to improve his tone. And this may cause death.
Similarly he may put off sleep, which his body and organs need, by being busy with other things and thereby emaciate his body.
If procreation were the sole aim of sexual union, (with no natural impulsive insistence), it would not have been improbable on man’s part to slacken with resulting decrease in population and final extinction, for there are people who have no desire for progeny nor any heed therefore. Behold, then, that every act concerning man's health and improvement has been reinforced by an insistent urge embedded in his nature prompting him thereto.
And know that there are four faculties in man:
1. The affinitive faculty that accepts the food and pushes it into the stomach.
2. The retentive faculty that retains it for the natural processes to act thereon.
3. The assimilative faculty that processes it to take out its extract for distribution to the body.
4. The eliminative faculty that eliminates the waste products after the assimilative faculty has completed its function.
Just consider the adjustment made in the body among these four facilities. They have been organised to meet the bodily needs as part of the Omniscient design. (Any deficiency in any one of these faculties would disturb the body economy with ultimate death). Without the affinitive faculty, how would man exert after food which is necessary for the upkeep and maintenance of his body? Without the retentive faculty, how could the food be retained in the stomach to be digested? Without the assimilative faculty, how could the food be processed to get the extract to supply the body without disturbance? And without the eliminative faculty how could the waste products, given off by the stomach, be eliminated regularly?
Don't you see how the Almighty Allah has ordained and appointed the faculties for the functions conditioning the health of the body by His Consummate Skill and Supreme Will?
Let us illustrate it by an example. Imagine the body to be a royal palace, with servants and attendants residing therein. There are employees engaged in its management. One of them is entrusted with the task of supplying provisions to the attendants. The second is charged with the task of treasuring it until it (the food) is treated and prepared. A third has to process it and distribute it. The fourth sweeps the waste
products left over.
The monarch of the palace is the Omniscient Creator Almighty, the Lord of the entire universe. The palace is the body and the dependents are the organs of the body, while the employees are the four faculties.
O Mufadhdhal, you may, perhaps, consider the explanation given by me concerning the four faculties and their functions as redundant and unnecessary. Yet my explanation does not follow the pattern of the books given by the physicians, nor does the tenor of my talk follow theirs. Those people have made mention of the four faculties on the ground that it is needed in the medical art for healing. We mention it from the viewpoint of its need for invigorating the Faith and reformation of the recusant minds, hence my comprehensive explanation and exemplification illustrating the Omniscient design.
O Mufadhdhal, reflect over the faculties embedded in the human psyche and the way they are organised – namely, deliberation, superstition, reason, memory, etc. What would be a man's plight if he was deprived of the faculty of memory, and how much would his life’s affairs be disturbed, as well as his economic affairs and his business? He would not remember what other people owed him and what he owed to others, what bargains he made, what he heard and what he said. He would not remember who did him good or evil, what profited him and what harmed him.
He would not remember the path traversed by him numberless times (because of the absence of the faculty of memory). He would not remember anything even if he continued to learn a science all his life, nor would determine upon a belief or faith, nor could he profit by experience, nor could he compare one thing with another by analogy (not remembering his previous
observation). In fact, he would be outside the pale of humanity altogether.
O Mufadhdhal! Just see how profitable these faculties are to man. Deliberate on one and on the place it occupies in our lives (without this faculty of memory, hundreds of shortcomings would result in man’s affairs, ultimately rendering him tired of life).
Even a greater boon than memory is forgetfulness without which man would not find solace in any affliction, nor would he get clear of frustration, nor would he be rid of malice. (It is this forgetfulness which makes man free from the sting of his past afflictions and frustrations; he forgets malice and enters into companionship). He would fail to relish anything of the world’s goods because of persistent memories of affliction. Nor could he ever entertain any hope of the sovereign’s indifference or the envy of the envious. (The thought of his sovereign’s hauling him up for some transgression ever and anon would continue to embitter his life; in the same way the idea of the envy of the envious would continue to pain him and embitter his life).
Don’t you see how the contrary facilities of memory and forgetfulness have been created in man, each ordained with a definite purpose (can such ingenuities come into being without being planned by the Omniscient)?
And those people who believe in two opposite creators of all the universe cannot in any case be expected to regard those two opposite entities as the creators of these two opposite faculties, for these two opposite faculties possess the benefits which you see accruing from them (whereas the creator of evil cannot create but evil and vice according to them, here both opposing facilities lead to benefit; how then can the creator of evil create either of them?).
O Mufadhdhal! Just consider the quality with which man alone is endowed and which no other creature shares with him – that is modesty. Without it no one would show hospitality to a guest, nor would anyone implement his promise, nor would anyone’s needs be fulfilled, nor would any goodness be achieved. There are many obligations which are performed merely through modesty. He who gives up modesty concedes neither the rights of his parents nor the obligations of consanguinity, neither honours his trust nor avoids impudence. Don’t you see how all these have been endowed in man so fully as to benefit him and to help him accomplish his affairs?
Speaking and writing
O Mufadhdhal, consider the blessing of speech, with which man has been endowed by Allah the Almighty, which is the medium for the expression of his inner thoughts and his cordial feelings springing from his cogitation and with which he also understands the inner feelings of others. Without this faculty, man would be like quadrupeds: neither able to convey his own inner thoughts to others, nor able to understand the words of the speakers. Thence is the case with the art of writing which is a means for knowing the histories of the bygone people and for transmitting those of the existing people for the generations to come. Through this art, achievements of science and literature are preserved in books for ages. Through this art, the discussions and accounts between one man and another are preserved. Without this art of writing, one age would have been completely cut off from another, nor would any news have been received from those who are away from their native lands. Sciences too would have been extinct. Information on morality and etiquette would have been lost, and a serious damage in the affairs of mankind would have
ensued as well as in the religious teachings and the traditions, which people need to know and the knowledge whereof would have been impossible (and yet essential for man).
You may, perhaps, think that this need has been fulfilled by man with the help of his own design and intelligence. It is not inherent in the nature of man. The same is the case of speech and language, for this too is a matter of terminology and resolution, determined by the people according to their mutual understanding of talk. That is why different groups have different languages and scripts, for instance, the Arabic, the Syriac, the Hebrew, the Roman, etc., each of which is different from the other, each having decided upon its own terminology of language and words.
For him who makes such a claim (as to what has been the divine share in this purely human activity), the answer will be that though in both these matters man’s planning and action have played a role, yet the underlying means therein whereby his planning and action achieve the goal is a gift from the bounty of Allah the Almighty (for instance, the intellect or the tongue by means of which he attained the skill to establish the terminology). Supposing he had not been gifted with the tongue for speech or the intellect had not been bestowed on him to guide him to such an activity, he would never have been able to talk and if he had not been blessed with the palm and the fingers, it would never have been possible for him to write.
You should learn a lesson from the animals in this behalf, which have neither the power to speak nor the power to write (being without the specific intellect or the instruments of writing). As such, it is the principle laid down by the Almighty Creator for man’s fundamental nature and a special boon, for which whoever is grateful shall get the heavenly reward, while whoever denies it will be ignored, for Allah the Almighty is independent of the whole universe. (He does not need
Knowledge given to man
O Mufadhdhal! Consider the matters of which knowledge has been vouchsafed to man and those of which he has not been given the knowledge. He has been vouchsafed the knowledge of all those matters that lead to his good in respect to Faith as well as his earthly life. The Gnosis of Allah, the Almighty Creator, is attainable by means of the arguments and evidence available in the existence of the creation. So is the knowledge of matters that are obligatory on man, for instance, justice towards all human beings, kindness to parents, returning of trusts to their owners, sympathy towards the downtrodden, etc., the knowledge and admission of which all nations possess naturally as a matter of fact, whether in agreement with us or against us. Man has been given the knowledge of those things which are beneficial to his worldly life, for example agriculture, horticulture, cattle farming, drawing water from wells and springs, herbal research for medical purposes, mining for different kinds of precious stones, diving in the sea, different kinds of planning for hunting animals and birds, fishing, industry, trade and business and many other things which need a long detail, wherein lies the fulfilment of the affairs of man’s worldly life, the betterment of his religious and mundane affairs. Such knowledge is made available to him as it is in his best interests. Matters whose knowledge is out of his reach nor does his position demand it are not made known to him; for example, the knowledge of the unseen, of matters that are to happen in the future or some of the affairs that have happened in the past, those pertaining to what lies above the skies, under the earth, what lies in the oceans and in the vast expanse of the universe, or within the minds of people, the contents of the uterus, etc. People who have claimed knowledge thereof, their claims were stultified by the events
that took place later on and were contrariwise. (The events that followed were contrary to what they had reported).
So just see O Mufadhdhal, that the knowledge of things given to man is essential for his worldly and religious affairs. He has been prevented from knowing unnecessary things to impress him with his worth and his deficiency (so that it may be known that man is in fact an insignificant mote possessing a good deal of deficiency and weakness so that pride and conceit may not overtake him from any side).
Knowledge hidden from man
Oh Mufadhdhal! Just consider why man has not been given the knowledge of his life span. If he knew the period of his life on the earth to be short, his whole life would have been embittered, for, knowing this, he would await the moment of his death. His condition would be like a man whose assets have all been lost or are very soon to be lost. And he might feel his poverty and neediness. How afraid he would be at the expectation of the destruction of his assets and the consequent indigence! The sorrow and chagrin he would feel at the prospect of death would be far greater than that at the prospect of the destruction of his property, for he who loses his property ever entertains the hope that he might get more in return and that provides solace to his mind. On the contrary, he who is convinced of the end of his life will be much more frustrated. In case he has a long life span to live, this confidence in his survival will give him undue confidence. He might be overwhelmed by pleasures and debaucheries under the impression that he would offer penitence in the last days of life, lingering for the present in his pleasure pursuits. This is a matter which Allah the Almighty does not want nor likes in his creatures. (He wants man to attend to Him and to not be absorbed in frivolities and novelties).
Suppose you have a servant who continues to offend you
throughout the year and hopes to be pardoned by doing you good in a day or a month. Surely you would not like him and this servant will not rank with a righteous servant who is ever ready to follow your bidding. (He will necessarily be dearer to you).
You may raise an objection to this by asking whether it does not happen that a man treads the path of disobedience and then is penitent, and his penitence is accepted. Our reply to this is that this happens only when a man is overpowered by his libido to an irresistible extent, but all the time he is not determined to be disobedient under the impression of expressing penitence later on while indulging in passions for the moment. Allah the Almighty does forgive him out of His infinite mercy. But in the case of one who is determined to be disobedient as long as he wants, expecting forgiveness at a later stage, he is trying thereby to deceive Him Who cannot be deceived, thinking of getting the most out of the pleasures of the moment while expecting to be forgiven because of his later penitence. There is this aspect of the matter, too, that persisting in a certain pattern of life of indulgence in pleasures might not allow him even the occasion for penitence, particularly in the old age when the physical body has undergone a good deal of weakness preventing him from working up to his expectations. And he who seeks pretexts in submitting his penitence, it may not be possible for him in case of a sudden death and so he may leave the world impenitent. He may be like a debtor who is competent to pay his debts but keeps delaying from time to time till death overtakes him, his assets get destroyed and his debts still stand against him. As such it is in the fitness of things that the knowledge of man’s life span is kept a secret from him so that he may expect death to come at any moment and, under that suspense, evade transgression and adopt righteous action.
You may raise another objection by saying that since his life
span is a secret from him and he is ever in suspense about his death, he commits evil deeds and unlawful acts. Our reply to this is that the planning is in accordance with the situation prevailing now. If in spite of all this, a man does not refrain from evil, it is a sign of his temperamental perversion and his hardheartedness. There is no error in the planning if a patient after being fully apprised of the benefits of certain medicines and the demerits of certain malevolent matters does not avail of this information and disregards the physician’s directions; the physician is not to be blamed but the patient who declined to follow the physician's directions.
If in spite of the suspense of his death, which he has because of his ignorance about his life span, he does not desist from transgressions, he would be steeped in evil and heinous unreasonable sins, like the case in which he does have full knowledge of his life span and survival. As such, the suspense about death in any case is better for him than his confidence in long life. If there are some people who despite their suspense about death are indolent and do not profit by advice, there are others who profit by the advice, abstain from sinfulness and act righteously. They give to the needy and the indigent charity of their precious possessions. It would not have been justice to deprive this kind of people from getting the benefit thereof (to prevent such people from having their share just because others are unable to profit by it; the state of death is therefore kept secret for people to profit by it).
Oh Mufadhdhal! Just consider the dreams (one sees in sleep) and the ingenuity underlying them. There are dreams that come true and dreams that do not come true and are all mixed up. If all dreams were true, all men would have been prophets, and if all dreams were untrue, they would have been useless, rather redundant and meaningless. The dreams are sometimes
true to benefit a person in his life’s affairs, under their guidance, or to avoid loss of which he is informed thereby. They are mostly untrue lest man may come to depend on them.
Everything to serve man
Oh Mufadhdhal! Just consider those things which you see present in the world, supplied to meet human needs. The earth to build houses, iron for industry, wood for building boats and other things, stone for grindstones and other things, copper for utensils, gold and silver for business transactions, gems for treasure, corns, fruits and meat for food, fragrant articles for pleasure, medicines to heal the sick, quadrupeds as beasts of burden, dry wood as fuel, ashes for chemicals, sand for the benefit of the earth ... and how can one count all these things which are numberless?!
Oh Mufadhdhal! Do you think that if a man enters a house and sees it supplied with all human needs, the whole house full of treasures and every thing placed with a definite purpose, can he imagine that all those things have been arranged by themselves without anyone to plan that? Then how can any rational being suggest that this world and all its contents have come into being by themselves (without the Creator)?
Oh Mufadhdhal! Learn a lesson from the things that have been created to meet human needs and the great ingenuity underlying them. Corn has been produced for him but he has been entrusted with the duty of grinding, kneading and cooking. Wool has been produced for him but he must gin, spin and weave it. The tree is made for him but he must sow the seed, irrigate and look after it. The herbs have been created as medicines for him but he must find them, mix them and compound them. Similarly you will find all things made by the Creator in this way. The need and the situation for it have been left to him in his own interest. If the Almighty Allah had performed all these activities for him and he had nothing to do
by way of his activity, he would have begun to move on the earth and the earth would not have been able to bear his burden, such would have been the extent of his temperamental conceit. This would have led him to indulge in such activities that would lead to his death and destruction. Man would not have had a happy life if all his needs had been fulfilled without effort of hand, nor would he have enjoyed such a thing. (A thing that man obtains without effort is not valued, nor is it spiritually relished; if it is gained by effort and labour, the mind feels satisfied with the result of man’s effort).
Oh Mufadhdhal! Don’t you see that a guest who stays for a time with all his needs fulfilled by his host steadily, without any effort on his part to secure eatables, drink, bedding or seating, gets tired of his idleness and inactivity? He seeks some engagement. What would have been his condition if his inactivity were lifelong? This then is ordained for man to occupy his limbs to transact his business in his own interest, lest idleness and inactivity cause him ennui. Moreover, he should be prevented from such undertakings as are outside his capacity, and which have no advantage for him even if completed.
Bread and water
Oh Mufadhdhal! Know that a man’s basic need is for food and water. See the planning that has gone therein. Man needs water more than bread, because he can bear hunger longer than thirst. He needs water for drinking, for ablution, washing clothes, giving water to quadrupeds, and irrigating crops. Water, therefore, is provided in abundance without need of purchase to save man the need of searching for it. Bread must be obtained with effort and planning to keep man busy with his occupation and to hinder him from pride and conceit and useless undertakings. Don’t you see that a child in early age is sent to a teacher for instruction to keep him away from playing
away all his time which may lead him or his kin to trouble? In the same way, if man were left unoccupied, he would be proud and self-conceited and would indulge in actions likely to harm him grievously. One, who is born and nurtured in the lap of luxury under the conditions of opulence and plenty of his kinsfolk, is likely to fall into such conduct.
People unlike one another
Know why one man does not resemble another as the birds and animals and other things do. You see a herd of deer and a swarm of partridges each resembling the other with not much difference among them, whereas men, as you see, have distinct features and constitutions so much so that no two men correspond to each other.
The reason is the need each individual has to be recognised personally by his particular build and physiognomy, as they have to conduct business amongst themselves that does not concern the animals. Don’t you see that the mutual resemblance among animals and birds does them no harm? But it is not so in man, for if by chance a pair of twins becomes alike in shape, people feel a great deal of confusion in dealing with them. What must be given to one is handed to the other by mistake. One is held up in place of the other in retribution. It so happens in other matters as well because of resemblance. Human resemblance can be even more harmful. Who then has provided such niceties and perfections, which stagger imagination? Surely, it is He Who has created all these creatures, Whose grace extends to all things.
Oh Mufadhdhal! Will you believe a person who says that a picture on the wall has come into being by itself without the aid of an artist? Certainly not! You will laugh at him. How then can you believe that a living man with faculties of speech and movement can come into being by himself? Surely you will mock at that. How then can you deny this concerning a lifeless
picture on a wall but you do not deny it concerning the living and speaking man?
Growth of animals
Why do the bodies of animals, which always feed, not grow above certain sizes, rather their bodies stop increasing once they reach their normal sizes? To what is this due if not to deep percipience and wise planning?
The Almighty Allah has so ordained that each species of living beings should have a definite limit of growth – neither larger nor smaller. They continue to increase up to that limit and then stop growing, even though feeding continues. If it were not so ordained, they would continue to grow till their bodies would grow out of recognisable limits.
Why is it in the case of human beings in particular that movement and activity cause fatigue in them and they avoid fine industries? It is just because that his needs like clothing, sleeping and other things require more exertion. If man does not suffer hardness and pain, how can he evade evil deeds, prostrate before Allah or have pity for people?
Don’t you see that when man is inflicted with pain, he turns to Allah humbly and submissively, supplicating to his Lord to restore his health and giving charity open-handedly? If man felt no pain when beaten, how would the rulers punish the recusants and subject the mutinous and disobedient? How would children be taught sciences and arts? How would slaves be made to submit to their masters willingly? Is there no admonition in all this for Ibn Abul Awja’ (the said atheist) and his companions who deny purpose and for the followers of Mani who deny the ingenuity underlying labour and pain?
If just males or just females had been created in living beings, would not the species become extinct? It is thus to preserve
their species that both males and females have been brought into being in the right proportion.
Growth of hair
Why is it that when men and women reach puberty, men alone grow a beard? Is it not because of the wise management? This is because man is created as the lord and woman as housekeeper. The woman is the supervisor of man’s interests and his sweetheart. Man, as such, is bestowed with a beard to give him prestige and an honourable lordly appearance. The woman is allowed beauty and freshness instead as attractions for union. Don’t you see the flawless merits that this creation acquires by the design of the Almighty Allah? Every thing is according to a definite measure. Nothing is given that is not needed.’
Mufadhdhal says, ‘It was now afternoon, my master rose for prayers telling me to come to him the next day, Allah willing. Overjoyed with the information received, I returned with a grateful heart for Allah for the boon bestowed on me. I had a very pleasant night due to the valuable instructions bestowed on me by my master.’”