7- By the Sky with its ingeniously devised paths (orbits).
(51-Adh-Dhariyat The Dispersing, 7)
The Arabic expression “zat-ul hubuk” means ingeniously devised
paths (orbits). The expression connotes beautifully designed formations.
The scintillating brilliance of the stars that has enchanted us ever
since the beginning of our existence, the incomparable sight unfolded across the sky has always attracted our attention, overwhelming us.
Numerous poems and prose works describe the charming sensations
that the sky generates in the human breast. The rising and setting of
the sun, the phases of the moon, the sky studded with stars give the
picture of a steady state universe. The universe full of its orbits is not
visible to the naked eye. Stars that move at incredible speeds seem stationary to us. The fact that all stars and heavenly bodies are in motion
was only scientifically established after the discovery of the telescope
and the advance of science. The number of galaxies in the universe
exceeds hundreds of millions, each comprising more than one hundred million stars, some larger and some smaller than the sun. Our
sun is comparably of middle size. These stars have many planets like
the earth and the planets have their satellites like our moon. All these
have come about after having detached from one single point. All
these stars and planets and satellites have their respective orbits.
The omnipotence of Allah is conspicuous in His creation. Allah who
originated everything from a single point demonstrated that the skill
involved was not inherent in that point; having generated from it billions of celestial bodies displayed the endlessness of His power and facility. Every one of these bodies moves in its own orbit so that the
state of the universe changes every second. This variation takes place
by the motion within the respective orbit of every star, planet and
satellite. Every moment in the universe is a new occurrence: so is every
instant of a star, a planet and a satellite.
ARGUMENT FROM MOTION
The process of motion has been the subject of study by many thinkers
throughout history. Plato said that the source of motion must have
been God and described the universe as being governed by a Designer
who was good and beneficent. Aristotle inferred that God must be the
Prime Mover, that He was the original source and cause of motion in
the universe. Farabi, representative of the Islamic world, concluded
that the Prime Mover was the source of all existence and that He, the
Unmoved Mover, had generated the movement. The Ihvan-› Safa, a
philosophical-religious association of the 10th century, produced
encyclopedic works. This association underlined the motion of the
universe, confirmed the process of creation out of nothing, drawing
attention to the order reigning in the universe and the perpetual
movement that proved the existence of God. A great many Christian
thinkers like Thomas Aquinas saw the motion of the universe as an
evidence of a Supreme Being.
The fact that the motion in the universe is not limited to our solar
system or to a handful of stars but is spread all over space is a very
important point since it is also a proof of the endlessness of the power
of God. The attention that the verse draws to the orbits in space is also
meaningful. Galaxies move in perpetual motion; their constituent billions of stars float in their respective pathways; the planets trace elliptical orbits around the stars; and the satellites make their rounds about
the planets, motion inside motion. If motion had not been devised to
be an intrinsic part of matter we could not have sat comfortably in our
chairs to watch TV. Nor would the sun, the earth or our very selves
exist. All these formations owe their existence to the moving objects.
The movement of stars in their orbits, the movement of planets
around the stars have rendered our existence possible and our sipping
coffee while watching television. The creation of motion in an ingenious and regular order generating chain reactions, and our observation of precise, ordered and perfect movements in galaxies of macrocosm
and in atoms of microcosm are flamboyant invitations to conceive
God’s power and knowledge. There will certainly be people who will
turn a deaf ear to these invitations. Verse 7 of the sura The Dispersing
that draws our attention to the orbits is followed by the following
8- You are surely caught in contradictions
9- Deviating therefrom are the deviators.
51-The Dispersing, 8-9