Praise be to God. There is no other god except God.
Have you ever wondered why we can automatically distinguish between the creatures which are shaped by God, and creatures shaped by humans? For example, a horse and a car? Or the elephant and the truck? Or a bird and a plane? Or a fish and a ship? Or the sky and the ceiling? Or the grass and the concrete? Or the sun and the lightbulb? Or the moon and the clock? Or the eye and the camera? Or the spring and the bottle? Or the mountains and the pillars? Or the cheek and the pillow? Or the teeth and the knife? If I asked you, which of these were shaped by humans, and which were shaped by God, of course, you could immediately tell me which ones. So, even though, you were not there when they were shaped, you know immediately which ones are shaped by God, and which ones are shaped by humans. Part of the reason is because we heard about them, and we learned and remembered them, and now we know? That’s partly true, but it’s more than that. What if I show you things which you probably did not see before? Do you think that you would be able to tell me which ones are shaped by God, and which ones are shaped by humans? (See video for such examples) You probably don’t know what they are, but you still know which ones are shaped by God and which ones are shaped by humans? Why is that? What are you noticing? How can you know without using any clear cut rules? What is it you are perceiving in them to make you think that one of them is shaped by God and the other is shaped by humans? There are several aspects, but I would like to focus on one today. See, you were able to tell the difference between those two sets of objects, because you subconsciously perceived and felt God’s mercy in one of them, and you felt less mercy in the other ones. They were shaped with mercy, with God’s mercy, and one of the signs of his mercy is what I call gradualism. Let’s take the human as an example. Do you see how my cheek gradually turns into an ear lobe? How my fingers gradually turn into a palm? They are not attached to my palm with screws. No bolts are used. They gradually turn into a palm, and they are still sufficiently different from the palm to be distinguished from it, but they are not completely separate parts. One of them gradually merges into the other one. But in a car, the wheel is a separate object, and the windshield is a separate object. So in reality the car is not one thing. It’s a collection of things, which we named with one name. It’s an invented name for a group of things. But the human being is one thing in name and in reality. The ear is not an ear unless it is attached to the head. It’s not a thing. It’s a subcomponent. It can not exist separately. The wheel exists separately from the car, but the human ear does not exist separately from the human. The human is all one thing, and every subcomponent of the human merges into another gradually. There are no clear-cut separations, even if they look so. We perceive them as separate sometimes because we have given them names, and we draw them as separate things, but in reality they gradually turn into one another. The eye gradually turns into parts of my brain, at the back of my brain, similar to how the leaves gradually turn into a stem, and the stem gradually turns into a trunk, and the trunk gradually turns into the root. Or have you noticed how the day turns into the night gradually. It takes about 3 minutes on average for the sun to gradually set, and then it takes about 1 hour and a half for the sky to turn completely dark. Compare this to how we turn our light off immediately when we try to put our babies to sleep. In this world, the biggest mercy among humans is the mercy of the mother towards her baby, but that does not even compare to God’s mercy. See, when the mother tries to put her baby to sleep, how gently and gradually does she do it? The light is turned off immediately. When she holds the baby, it takes about 15 seconds to gradually put the baby in the crib or in bed. But God puts us to sleep even more gradually and more gently, with more mercy. He turns the sun off gradually for about three minutes, and then the light gradually fades away for a couple of hours. See, all these gradual changes are sings of God’s mercy. And then in the morning, the songs of birds start slowly, and then get louder and louder, just enough to wake you up gently and gradually. Compare this to an alarm clock. It’s so sudden, and annoying, and it gives you anxiety. It does the job, but without much mercy.
Have you noticed how the valleys gradually turn into hills and the hills gradually turn into mountains. You can walk blind, and you will hardly fall anywhere which would kill you? Usually, the terrain gets gradually rougher and gradually steeper, and it is enough to warn us that it is going to get more dangerous. Now, compare that to modern architecture, with sharp changes. One mistake, and you are gone. Can you imagine a blind person walking on top of tall building? One step, he is completely fine, and the next step he is dead? One step in the pavement, he is completely fine, and the next step in the road, he may be run over by a car. Even the cars are built without much mercy? They drive to speeds higher than a human being can survive. Compare that to horse. If you fall from the fastest horse ever, on natural grass, you would still survive. But if you fall from any car, at a normal car speed, you would probably die. I often hear ignorant people tell stories how someone was driving 100 kilometers per hour without a seat belt and no airbags and had an accident and still survived? At 100 kilometers per hour, everyone dies. What really happened probably was that the person was driving 100 kilometers per hour, he saw the danger in the last couple of seconds, hit the brakes, and the car slowed down to about 40 kilometers per hour, and then he had the accident? But when people ask him, “How fast were you driving when you had the accident?” He says, “100 kilometers per hour.”
So, a car to car accident, can easily kill someone, but a human to human accident does not kill anyone. If you walk without paying much attention and hit another human being, you don’t die. You have soft flesh and soft skin on the outside, while the hard bones are inside, and the other human being also has soft flesh and soft skin on the outside, and it’s like airbag protection. Shaped by God with his mercy.
Now, let’s think about weather. How does it change? It gradually gets colder and colder, or warmer and warmer? I have never seen a weather where it is very cold in one hour and very hot in the next hour. It gradually changes, because God designed it like that with his mercy, to give us time to put some additional clothes on, or go home, or prepare for the change of seasons, collect wood, and so on. Have you seen, how gradually the seasons change? How gradually clouds gather? How gradually they move? How gradually the rain starts? How gradually the flowers bloom, and how gradually they turn into fruits? How gradually the fruits grow? Even their color changes gradually, from green to yellow, if it’s a lemon, or maybe a purple plum, or a blue berry, or a red cherry, or pinkish apple. Even within the same fruit, the colors merge gradually from yellowish parts to dark red parts in a peach for example.
Even the fire, which is a sign of hell and it burns humans, even there, when you approach it, you can feel the heat from far away, and it gives you time to move away or escape. I have never seen a fire burn a human being suddenly. It never does that in nature. It starts gradually, then it spreads gradually, then it gets bigger and hotter, and there is enough time for humans to escape. The only reason it burns humans accidently is because of human made things without mercy, like a gas bottle which explodes suddenly and so on, but in nature, it is very gradual, and warns us in time. Compare this to electricity, which is fire in a way. Electricity is just electrons being detached from their atoms and traveling freely, and the fire is fundamentally the same thing. It’s atoms of the wood being connected to the atoms of the oxygen, and in the middle of it, electrons are being exchanged. So, even though fire is a chemical reaction, every chemical reaction is an exchange or release of electrons, or a sharing of electorns. So fundamentally, there is no big difference between the fire and electricity. However, look how God shaped the fire to turn on and off gradually? And look how we shaped electricity to turn on and off suddenly? Electricity kills people every day, without warning. How much mercy is in that? Can’t you see how God made things gradual, because He was merciful? Gradual shapes are a sign of his mercy? The stars and the planets are not shaped with abrupt sharp edges. Have you ever seen a square shaped star or a triangle shaped star? They are shaped like circles. The circle is the perfect example of a gradually changing shape. The angle of change in a circle is gradual. It’s the most beautiful abstract shape? Our eyes are circles inside? The most beautiful part of our body. The moon is circle shaped? The sun is circle shaped? Don’t blame kids for liking balloons? They are circle shaped and soft. Most fruits basically follow the shape of the circle; they are slightly squashed or slightly elongated versions of a circle. Grapes, olives, pears, strawberries, figs. How about the basics of living? The water droplets? The grains? The sky itself. Do you see any sharp abrupt angles, or do you see smooth gradual shapes? The gradual changing shapes bear witness that God is merciful. By the way, the perfect shape is a circular shape, but the perfect shape which is also a living creature is the shape of a human being. God does not have a shape? You have to have an end, to have a shape. God does not have an end. He is not shaped; He is the shaper. Creatures have shapes. The creator does not need a shape. He creates and shapes, and he shapes things while at the same time being merciful. He shapes with mercy, and he has shaped things of this world with partial mercy. There will be much more mercy for believers in the next world.
Verses 156 and 157, in chapter 7 say that God’s mercy encompasses all things. However, He will specify it for those who lead a righteous life, give the obligatory charity, believe in God’s revelations, and follow the gentile prophet, prophet Muhammad.
So, for the righteous people, there will be much more mercy in the next world. The pearls in the next world will not be quasi circular, or almost circular like in this world. They will be perfectly circular. In this world, the roundest objects are black holes, which are impossible to see, but in the next world the simplest pearl will be rounder than the roundest object in this world. God will shape those pearls with much more mercy. They will be designed especially for us to enjoy.
By: Alban Fejza, Online Congregation Director