How do plants develop? Plants that grow in different colors and patterns, each more beautiful than the other, point to the most beautiful, that is, to Allah. Here are plants for contemplation…
Once a seed falls to the ground and is touched by the soil’s moisture, it begins to develop, as a result of which its lower and upper parts crack open. From its upper part emerges the tree, which develops higher above the ground, while from its lower part comes the root, regally spread out deep under the soil. This is an amazing spectacle; for although the seed is of a single nature and is under the affect of a single influence, it brings forth one distinct part that grows upward and another that becomes entrenched further beneath the ground. It is astounding that a single entity can give birth to two opposing elements. This, we know, must be through the will and governing of One Creator, who exudes wisdom in all His acts.
One part of the tree that springs forth from this seed becomes wood, and another leaves. Further, another part smiles in the form of flowers which then further develop to yield fruits, generating certain vitamins of benefit to the human body.
Again, a single fruit possesses numerous characteristics. For instance, whereas the seed of a grape is cold and dry, its fleshy part is warm and juicy. That a fruit develops various characteristics from a single seed, despite each of these being exposed to the same influences, is undoubtedly the working of an infinitely powerful and wise Creator.
Furthermore, Allah, glory unto Him, has rendered flora a natural pharmacy for the healing of many diseases. Some plants are cures, sources of nutrition; they reinvigorate the body. While some revive, others, being poisonous, kill. Once consumed, a plant mutates to become another element. Many plants purify the blood. Many others give life and energy. Others provide calm and put one to sleep…
What a cause of wonder it is that through plants water and carbonic acids are transformed to sugar and wood and that oxygen is released for organisms to breathe.
There is hence not a single leaf or weed that buds out from the ground that does not carry loads of benefit for human beings; such that man does not even have the power to grasp them all at their core.
An assortment of colors, scents, tastes and leaves of distinct shapes which the seemingly ordinary weeds manage to garner from the depth of earth, are absolute wonders no chemist could manage to replicate.
The harmony and order prevalent during the growth of plants is a distinct manifestation of Divine Majesty. A plane tree, for instance, produces millions of seeds each year. To allow them to scatter to their surroundings, these seeds have transparent parachutes of feather; and with the aid of blowing winds they are ushered to places extremely remote. If each seed given off by a single plane tree was to end up developing into a tree, the whole world would have come under a plane tree invasion. In other words, the vast Earth would have been too small for only a single species of tree. This example can be extended to other beings as well.
In fact, years ago in Australia, they began using a species of kakitos to build hedges. But because there was no native insect in Australia hostile to the kakitos, the plant began to spread infectiously. A rapid growth that sent the locals to despair saw the kakitos end up covering an area as big as England, in length and width. Wreaking destruction on their lands and settlement, it eventually forced the local townspeople out of their homes, who gradually left a trail of ghost towns in their wake.
After rummaging the Earth from head to toe, scientists discovered a species of insect that lived only off the kakitos and consumed nothing else; an insect that developed in rapid speed and moreover had no known faunal or floral enemies in Australia. As anticipated, the insect overpowered the entire kakitos in short time. Today, the kakitos are reserved to only a small area and are far from posing a threat. As for the hoards of insects imported to tackle the destructive plant, there remains only enough to keep the pressure on what now is a scarce amount of kakitos.
This goes to show the existence of a somewhat mystifying and almost inexplicable yet at the same time a harmonious ecological balance effective throughout the universe. No sound mind could therefore challenge the existence of a Power who prevents some species of plants and animals from increasing in excess and plaguing the Earth.
Again, what cause for wonder it is that millions of distinct plants and fruits emerge from the compound of soil! Our Lord, the Razzaq, the Absolute Provider, prepares different feasts for beings of different species…
A human being, for instance, cannot consume a majority of what a sheep eats, and vice -versa. Provisions are therefore distributed among creation according to a delicate balance. The below verse, displaying the Divine Power behind providing and distributing provisions to creation, is thought-provoking indeed:
“And how many a living creature that does not carry its sustenance: Allah sustains it and yourselves; and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (al-Ankabut, 60)
When one thinks of it, how great a manifestation of Divine Mercy it is that living beings provide mutual means for each others’ survival, to the point where a bird feeds another injured bird by carrying morsels to its beak.
There exists a profound lesson in the fact that countless Divine feasts have been held since the beginning of the world without break and without neglecting to feed a single living being, and that this still continues as we speak. If we pause here for a moment and think…Three-quarters of Earth’s surface is covered with water. A majority of the remaining quarter is comprised by deserts or rocky areas unsuited for the growth of plants. Only a portion of what remains is soil. But just how mighty the power of Allah, glory unto Him, is that through a ceaseless metamorphosis, He renders soil the source of nourishment for all living beings on the land!
 İlim-Ahlâk-Îman, prepared by, M. Rahmi Balaban, p. 190.
Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, Contemplation in Islam, Erkam Public.