One Ayah in the Quran in Surah 55 is repeated 31 times. This Ayah states: "Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?" This Surah is 78 Ayat (or Ayahs, Arabic: Ayat) and lists many favors that Allah bestows upon us, and after citing each favor; the above Ayah is repeated as a continuous reminder to humanity to acknowledge His unlimited generosity. It is interesting to note that the Arabic word for "humanity" is derived from the same Arabic term that means "forgetfulness."
Another Ayah is repeated 4 times in Surah 54 starting in Ayah 17. The Ayah states "And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember. Then is there any that will receive admonition?" Moreover, a part of an Ayah is repeated 5 times in Surah 27 starting in Ayah 60 "Can there be another god besides Allah?"
The above repeated Ayat are just examples of the repetition in the Quran. The repetition of a certain Ayah adds to the beauty and eloquence of the authentic Word of God. It touches the hearts and minds of the believers. This repetition may be thought of as part of the style of the Word of God.
It is possible to extend this style of repetition in the Quran to physical phenomena or events. Consequently I will introduce the Law of repetition. Generally the Divine Law of repetition examines the repetitive design or repetitive event in different branches of science. It then attempts to answer the question of who is the cause of this repetition. The Divine Law of Cause and Effect attributes one cause to one effect. This law is a strong proof for the existence of God. The more general Law of Repetition attributes repetitive effects in non-related fields to One God. This law simply states that because common guidelines exist, in all living organisms, physical objects or historical events, then the Designer or the Creator of all organisms, objects or events is the same. This law also states that because a phenomenon exists in different branches of science, then this phenomenon has to be attributed to only one Uncaused Cause. With humility and open mind, we should believe that God exists.
There are overwhelming evidences to believe that the unseen God does indeed exist, because one can observe the signs and the physical results of His creation. One can see these signs in the technical perfection and intricacy of the structure of atoms, solar systems, galaxies, and living cells. They all have a similar design of a nucleus and objects rotating around it. This similarity or repetition in their design reveals that the Designer or Creator of these physical objects is the same, regardless of their size or function.
Humans, animals, and birds have many repetitive features because they all share the Earth’s common environment. On the outside they have symmetrical organs - two hands, two or four legs, two eyes, two ears - all arranged symmetrically. Hair, feathers, and scales are also arranged symmetrically. Even the colored designs on the wings of the butterfly are arranged symmetrically! The internal organs of humans and animals are arranged to use the space inside efficiently. The human left lung has fewer lobes so that it can accommodate the heart, which nestles inside it. Nearly every species, from cow to chicken to human, has its heart on the left. No one really knows the exact mechanism that pushes the cells of the heart to the left during the embryonic stage. No one really knows the exact mechanism that pushes the cells of the ears to each side of the head during the embryonic stage. Etc.
Developing an embryo is more complex than building a skyscraper. In a skyscraper, a supervisor reviews the drawings and instructs workers where to go and which construction material to use. Bit by bit, from the foundation up, the building takes shape. In a living body, the workers are the construction materials, and both are living cells. Each cell has a copy of the master plan inserted into its nucleus in the form of the DNA. Just as the construction supervisor cannot send the roofers before the foundation is poured, cells have to appear at the right time in the right place. Depending on its function, each cell reads a different part of the genetic code from the DNA. Some cells become specialized as proteins, fat or muscle. Others act like conduits signals, carrying messages to other cells. Such signals play a big role in establishing the structure and location of any organ. This is not a simple process, but a very complex one that embryologists have no detailed answer as to why and how.
This whole universe follows certain laws. We know a few of them and may learn some more. One such universal law is "the Law of Repetition." This law is seen in the examples provided by atoms, solar systems, and galaxies. An atom has a nucleus and electrons rotating around the nucleus. Solar system has a star and planets rotating around the star. Galaxies has a nucleus and stars rotating around the nucleus. Therefore, this law may be stated as follows:
The building block of basic objects has a nucleus and smaller things rotating around it.
A human being develops from a single cell, the zygote, which forms when a female egg is fertilized by a male sperm. Immediately after fertilization, the zygote also rotates about the center of the egg. No one knows why! Is it possible that this Law of Repetition represents an act of worship or submission to the Will of God? How else can anyone explain this phenomenon that is valid for the tiny atom and zygote, the midsize solar system as well as the colossal galaxy?
The practice of pilgrimage in Islam follows the same above Law of Repetition. Two million Muslims perform pilgrimage in Mecca each year by circling the Kaabah (the house of Allah) and praising God. Thereby the Kaabah can be looked at as a nucleus and the Muslims are the smaller creatures that rotate around it. Similarly the Quran states in Surah (chapter) 39, Ayah (verse) 75, that the Angels surround the Throne of God, praising their Lord.
Humans are made of cells and cells are made of atoms. Because atoms surrender to the Will of God and are in a constant act of worship, it follows that humans are born into this world with a pure and innocent condition. This also means that the basic nature of humans is righteously created, with no original sin inherited from Adam or Eve.
To expand this Law of Repetition in different branches of science, one has to examine the basics, and then one will find that the basics of one branch of science can be applied to other branches. As an example, all physical systems are in a state of equilibrium or balance. This statement can be expressed by many equations in different branches of science. An example of this case is Newton’s third law, which states "for every action, there is a reaction equal to the action and opposite in direction." The equation in this case can be written as:
Action = Reaction
The mathematical symbol of the equal sign, =, means the right hand side of the equal sign is balanced or in equilibrium with the left-hand side of the equal sign.
All studies in different branches of engineering schools consist of studying and solving equilibrium equations, studying the physical properties of matter, and then designing a system that satisfies equilibrium and the properties of material. This is all what a student learns in engineering school. When dealing with forces, the equilibrium equations can be stated as the applied forces equal to the reactions. In the case of balancing energies, the equilibrium equations are stated simply as the input energy equals to the output energy.
Let us look at the different sciences in the school of engineering:
Structural engineering: Studying equilibrium of structures and the physical properties of steel and concrete.
Aerospace engineering / Aerodynamics: Studying equilibrium of air and the physical properties of air.
Civil Engineering / Hydraulics: Studying equilibrium of flowing fluids in pipes or channels and the physical properties of these fluids.
Electrical engineering: Studying equilibrium of flowing electric currents in circuits and the physical properties of electric and magnetic fields
Chemical engineering: studying of equilibrium of chemical processes and the physical properties of the elements involved in the chemical processes.
Mechanical engineering / Thermodynamics: studying the equilibrium of different kinds of energies such as heat and the physical properties of those energies.
Mechanical engineering / Vibration: studying equilibrium between potential and kinetic energies based upon the physical properties of the vibrating objects.
The entire school of engineering is based upon studying equilibrium and properties of matter. Equilibrium can be static for stationary systems such as buildings or bridges or dynamic for moving systems such as cars, aircraft, or planets.
The Law of Repetition is demonstrated in engineering as follows:
All systems are in a state of static or dynamic equilibrium.
This law of equilibrium did not just happen in nature by evolution or some other mechanism. There is no physical explanation as to why equilibrium is happening everywhere and at all time, unless we extend Newton’s explanation of the nature of gravity to include equilibrium as another divine action. Perhaps equilibrium is God’s way of telling us that His creation is always balanced and perfect. In this case, studying science is just the human way of understanding some of God’s laws for the purpose of appreciating His power and supremacy.
As an extension to the above law, chemical reactions happen all the time in a human body. Every chemical reaction is subject to chemical equilibrium. A disease can be defined as an imbalance in one of those reactions. Taking medication restores the balance. Pharmacology is a branch of medicine that studies the known chemical reactions in the human body and the effect of medication on diseases. Studying in the school of medicine involves the equilibrium of the chemical reaction inside the body as well as the properties of each organ and system in the human body. In that sense, the similarity of engineering and medicine becomes obvious.
A further demonstration of the Law of Repetition is that all systems are uniform on a large scale, but display irregularities on a small scale. If you look at the sky at night, you see the uniformity of the void, with a few scattered stars that represent the irregularities in that huge void. In this case, the stars represent the irregularities in the huge, otherwise uniform, void. Human beings are also uniform on a large scale. Taken as a whole, the population’s height, weight, intelligence, behavior, health, etc. can be quantified with an average value for each trait. Many people are healthy while others suffer an irregularity such as disease. Trees also are uniform on a large scale. They all have roots, stems, branches, and leaves. But, the bearing of different kinds of fruit or no fruit at all, even the different shapes of leaves can be thought of as small scale irregularities. And the list can go on and on.
From a human standard, the irregularities can be beneficial or harmful. The irregularities exist for a reason that we cannot understand each one of them. The solar system is a huge void with the sun and the planets existing as tree leaves in a vast desert. Atoms have the same structure as the solar system with the nucleus and electrons separated by relatively large distance. And since the human body consists of atoms, it can be seen that it is mainly empty space with the nuclei and electrons as the exceptions to this huge void. Why is that? Recall the above-mentioned example of the ant and the elephant! The ant does not know what is in the mind of the elephant, and we will never know what is in God's mind unless He reveals some of His Knowledge. This is simply the system that He chooses, and we do not know why. Hence, this Law of Repetition can be stated as follows:
All systems are so uniform on a large scale, with some irregularities on a small scale.
This Law may also help us understand some of the aspects of human suffering, such as some babies that are born with birth defects. These defects are the exceptions, and the uniformity is that the majorities are born healthy. We may be able to suggest that we know why that happens. People should be grateful to God that they do not have defected babies. But guess how many people on earth actually thank God when they have healthy babies? How many people thank God that they are not sick? How many people thank God that they can find food, water, and shelter? The great lesson of the few who suffer is that the majority should be grateful for all the favors that God bestowed on them. What about those people who suffer in this life? The answer is who knows what God prepared for them in heaven? May be they will be happier for a long time than those who appear to be fortunate on Earth. I do not claim to know the exact answer, but I have full confidence in God’s Wisdom and Justice.
Years ago, as a student studying my Ph.D., I encountered a problem in my thesis that I could not find its solution right away. I felt extremely concerned and sad. Then I went for a walk to calm myself down. There, I saw a man without legs begging for few pennies to eat. I looked at him and thought here was a man whose ambition was to eat, and he was trying to get help for his hunger. And there I was, feeling sad for a luxury item that I could not get fast enough. That was about thirty years ago. I try to remember that scene when I face some problem in my life and compare my problems with that man's problem. This really forced me to say thank you God for what I have.
Another application of the Law of Repetition is the old cliché that states "history repeats itself." Let us understand what this statement means. In one way it means that civilization and power in certain countries rises to a peak, and then citizens become blinded by success, then this civilization reaches its demise, and another civilization starts, and so on. Everyone knows that. But, did you also notice that the more ancient empires lasted more than the following ones. History books tell us about the following civilizations and empires:
Sumerian civilization in Iraq (3500 - 800 BC)
Egyptian civilization (3000 - 1070 BC)
Minoan civilization in Crete (3000 -1000 BC)
Creek civilization (2000 - 300 BC)
Chinese civilization (1523 BC - 906 AD)
Indian civilization (1500 -185 BC)
Mexican civilization (1200 - 300 BC)
Roman Empire (753 BC - 476 AD)
Byzantine Empire (330 - 1453)
Islamic Caliphate (632 - 1526)
Ottoman Caliphate (1300 - 1923)
British Empire (1558 -1982)
French Empire (1804 -1962)
Russian Empire (1689 -1917)
Soviet Empire (1917 -1992)
American civilization (1865 -)
History books show that the duration of civilizations used to be a few thousand years, then several hundreds. Now we live in an era where "superpowers" last a few hundred years, or even less than a hundred years as in the case of the Soviet Union. People who can be affected by preconceived ideas write history books, which can also be audited and adjusted by governments according to the political climate of that time. The Ottoman Caliphate is a case in point. Historians claim that it was an empire. History books in many Islamic countries consider that empire a case of colonization. Very few history books mention that it was an Islamic Caliphate that united many Islamic countries. This is a fact that many governments choose to ignore. If we recognize the Ottoman Caliphate as an extension of the previous Islamic Caliphate, it would make its duration from 632-1923 or about 1300 years. Consequently, the next Law of Repetition states the following:
Duration of civilization decreases with time.
The only exception to this Law is the Islamic Caliphate. Since the Muslims lost the Ottoman Caliphate, Islamic revival is growing in all Islamic countries, and Islam is the fastest growing religion in non-Islamic countries.
If you want to let your mind wander about this Law of Repetition, you can find many other interesting examples about the Law of Repetition.
Now for those who want a proof that God exists, The Quran provides the answer in Surah (chapter) 41, Ayah (verse) 53:
"Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?"
Almost all Quranic interpretations agree that the above verse addresses the unbelievers, but I feel that this verse inspired many Muslims to look at the universe and their bodies to strengthen their faith. This verse identifies two groups of people:
Those who are looking for proof or a technique to become faithful can achieve that by looking at the skies and to the human bodies. The complexity of the design of the universe and the living cell leaves one's mind spinning. People need to contemplate and ponder to arrive at the highest conclusion in this universe.
Those who have faith, and accept God’s Word that He is a witness of His Existence without a need for further proof. They know that He exists by their hearts. This is truly a blessed group.
The first group represents the non-Muslims and the Muslims who seek scientific and rational evidences for the divine creation. Those are, also, who base their faith on a logical approach and an analytical procedure. They usually become strong advocates to Islam, and in some cases they have stronger faith than most of the traditional Muslims. This group challenges the strong wave of materialism and atheism in favor of the clear moral values that Islam represents.
[Next] [Table of Contents ]