non-existence. Thus, as all reasonable people agree, there has to be a cause to make the choice. It is impossible that this should a natural cause. For the exquisite order of [the machine] necessitates infinite knowledge and perfect intelligence, and it is impossible to conceive of these in such causes, about which [the Naturalists] deceive themselves. The causes are simple, few, and lifeless and cannot specify their course or restrict their motions, hesitant as they are between thousands of possibilities, some of which have no primacy. So how does [a cause] follow a specific course and travel a defined path, and how can it choose certain aspects of the possibilities so that it produces this marvellous, well-ordered machine the subtlety of the instances of wisdom of which leave minds in astonishment? You could only convince yourself and feel happy at it if you ascribed to every single particle the intelligence of Plato461 and wisdom of Galen2 and you believed that all these particles communicated with each other. And this a sophistry that would put even the Sophists to shame.
Although the forces of attraction and repulsion form the basis of physical matter in the smallest indivisible atoms, this appears to be the combining of opposites. Yes, the law of attraction and that of repulsion and others are the names of the laws of divine practice and the Most High’s Shari‘a of Creation (al-sharī‘at al-fiṭriyya), which is called nature. Such laws are acceptable on condition they do not cease being principles and become nature, and exist only in the mind and are not ascribed external existence, and do not cease being merely theoretical and become real, and do not cease to be seen as means and are considered effectual.
Now if you have understood this example [of the microscopic organism] and you have seen its vastness despite its infinitesimal size, and its breadth despite its narrowness, raise your head and observe the universe: you will see the clarity of the proof of divine providence (dalīl al-‘ināya) and that it is as clear and obvious as the universe. All the Qur’anic verses that recount the bounties of things and recall their benefits manifest this proof. When the Qur’an enjoins reflective thought, it generally directs the one it addresses to the method of this [deductive] reasoning (istidlāl): “So turn your vision again; do you see any flaw?”(67:3) And this verse, how [clearly] it points to this proof: “Who has made the earth a resting-place
Plato (c. 428-348 B.C.), the great Athenian philosopher and pupil of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle. His most famous work was the Republic.
Galen, the Greek physician and philosopher of the 2nd century A.D. who for centuries was held to be the supreme authority in medicine.