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MAN AND NATURE

In the chapter Al-Kahf (The Cave), the Qur’an gives a very important piece of guidance. Addressing the Prophet, the Qur’an says: Keep yourself attached to those who call on their Lord, morning and evening, seeking His pleasure; and do not let your eyes turn away from them, desiring the attraction of worldly life; and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who pursues his own whims and becomes dissolute. (18:28)

This Qur’anic verse not only sets forth a religious injunction, but it also alludes to a universal law of nature. In one sense, the Qur’an is a statement of the Laws of Nature. Those who obey these Laws of Nature are successful, while those who try to follow their own whims or desires will be doomed to failure. Everyone is full of desires. If you simply follow your desires, you will certainly deviate from the right path laid down by God. Those, on the other hand, who control their desires, making every effort to know God’s laws as demonstrated in Nature and literally stated in the Qur’an, have adopted the right path and, sooner or later, they will reach their destination. There are boundaries in every field of life. One should be very serious about this and should give due respect to these boundaries.

For example, the individual may enjoy his freedom but he should not choose to be an anarchist. He should always follow the peaceful path and never opt for violence He should promote the culture of love in society and not the culture of hate and intolerance; he should speak the truth and never tell a lie. No excuse is acceptable in this matter.  In this world, there are two paths to follow: that of one’s own whims and that of divine laws. It is obviously easy to obey your whims or to follow your desires. But in the end, this is a disastrous choice. This world was not created by you, but by God Almighty. So you have to adjust yourself to the divine laws. In this world you are free, but your freedom has to have some limitations, and that is to avoid anarchy and adhere to the laws of nature laid down by God. Your freedom should be disciplined freedom and not unlimited freedom.

The other way is to discover the Laws of Nature and apply these laws to your life. The Qur’an is only a literal statement of those laws hidden in nature. If one is sincere, one will discover these laws without fail. Those, who control their desires, making every effort to know God’s laws as demonstrated in Nature and literally stated in the Qur’an, have adopted the right path and, sooner or later, they will reach their destination. Man cannot afford to ignore these laws. Neither can man set up a parallel system of laws. We have no choice but to discover these laws and plan our activities in accordance with them. Going against these laws will benefit no one, neither men nor women. Here the formula is very simple—either follow the natural path—or perish.

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