How does Islam see the connection between nature and God?
Conflicting views on the connection between nature and the divine have swirled around society for centuries and remain a heavy topic for many. Some consider nature itself to be divine, while others believe that nature is actually a sign of an existing authority. So what does Islam have to say about this fascinating connection?
Why is nature seen as divine?
In some religions around the world, nature is believed to be divine. Nature itself is worshiped in these religions, religions like Hinduism. Hindus view nature as sacred as they believe that all living things are a part of God. Their texts and scriptures guide them towards the worship of nature; some Hindus worship the sun as a God who created the universe and is the source of all life. Another concept regarding the divinity of nature is that of “Mother Nature”, which is a term that refers to nature as a woman who is the source of all creation. All of these notions that nature is merciful admit that someone or something is in charge of creation. But why nature?
Why Muslims worship the Creator, not the creation
What happens when people worship animals or inanimate beings is that they are avoiding accountability and responsibilities. There’s a conflict of interest here: “if you can speak for him, then you’re the one making the rules.” People who worship deities who cannot speak are making the rules for themselves; they are colluding within and avoiding God. There is no responsibility for your actions. When people worship an external deity, a God who can speak for himself, morality comes from divine authority. This means that people are responsible for their actions, as they must be in the existence of God; God who is the creator of all things. Muslims believe in this very idea of worshiping a divine authority that created everything. In the Qur’an, Allah (God) commands us not to bow down “to the sun or to the moon”, but to bow down to “Allah, Who created them” (Quran 41:37). Why would one worship the creation and not the creator? Elsewhere, Allah says: “Can He who believes be equal to those who do not?” (Quran 16:17). The objects that some people worship, such as the sun and the moon, cannot help themselves or create anything, while God, the Creator, is powerful over everything, and He is the very deity whom Muslims worship.
Nature as a sign of God
Although Muslims do not worship nature, it is still of the utmost importance to them. Nature is ultimately a sign of the existence of God. Everywhere we look, we see the beautiful creatures, the wonderful life that God created. All these are signs of the existence of God. Just as footprints are a sign that a person was there, all of creation is a sign that God prevails. Being surrounded by nature is often seen as something that brings peace of mind, and that idea is supported by Islam. We learn from the Quran that “Allah is glorified by all who are in heaven and on earth” (Quran 24:41). Everything from plants to birds glorifies Allah, and surrounding ourselves with the continuous recitation of God’s name brings a distinct peace and delight to the mind and heart.
Muslims are also told to take good care of nature because it glorifies Allah, and also because humans are responsible for taking care of the earth. By caring for nature, Muslims are fulfilling their responsibility and also calming their minds through the presence of nature. Nature has a prominent connection to spirituality, as it reinforces the Muslim belief in the oneness of God.
How nature inspires spirituality in Islam
According to a variety of belief systems around the world, nature is considered divine, but at the end of the day it all comes down to avoiding responsibility. Muslims believe in one God: the creator of nature, the creator of all things. Nature, in Islam, is seen as a sign from God, a visual sign that is evidence of the existence of God. Muslims find tranquility and joy in nature as they surround themselves with mentions of their creator. The connection between nature and the divine is eminent, as it not only reminds people of God’s presence, but also leads them to fulfill their responsibility to care for the earth while uplifting their spirituality.