The women’s majlis: The universe remains a puzzle
Ever since I was 10, one question that puzzled me about space is its beginning and end. “How did it all begin?” I wondered. It was fascinating to stare at the sky and question many things. Whenever it rained, I wondered why the sky doesn’t fall on us; when the Sun rose or set, I pondered how it manages to follow the same daily cycle. The orbiting of the planets, the galaxy and how everything runs smoothly above me was mind-boggling.
The turning of night and day was another source of my fascination about this universe. I also wrestled to understand the huge amount of objects in space and the speed at which they travel. How come they don’t collide and fall down? Why don’t they hit another planet and put an end to the Earth entirely?
As I grew older, I started to think there’s a limit to what extent humans can understand about the universe. From time to time, astronomers and scientists discover new evidence, which sometimes nullifies previous theories. It’s amazing that the human race has lived for thousands of years on Earth without fully understanding life on other planets.
Some people refer to their scripture to get a better understanding of the universe; I also go back to the Quran to increase my knowledge of the planet. The creation of the universe is discussed several times in the Quran. One of my favourite verses is: “He is the one who created the seven heavens on top of each other, what do you see in the creation of the most merciful of inconsistencies? Then return your vision, do you see any cracks up in there?” (67:3)
We all see the same things, but differently. Sky could mean nothing to some people other than an umbrella above them; to me, it is the splendour of God’s creation. When I look up at the sky, that verse comes to mind. Are there any inconsistencies in the creation? There’s no crookedness or cracks.
Recently I was listening to a lecture by Nouman Ali Khan titled Thinking with Your Heart. The lecturer made some remarkable points about the world in which we live. He said that if people deeply reflected on the world around them with their heart, not mind, they will see things that others don’t see. A scientist can look at the sky and come up with many theories, but an average person who has no background in science can look at the same sky and find humility. He said people can look at the world through many lenses – scientific, sceptical or a changing scenery passing by. But those who really take the time to reflect have different experiences compared to others who take creations for granted. He stressed that everything people see physically in the world can turn into a spiritual reminder. But all these require a heart that seeks to think.
Asmaa Al Hameli is a features writer for The National.
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Published: April 9, 2015 04:00 AM