Signs of God

Signs of God in the Quran

Signs of God! It is one of the most repetitive words in the Quran. Allah repeats it 382 times in the Quran. All the creations of God are signs of God because they show that there is a creator who created them. 

Imagine a car, or a smartphone, or maybe something new that you have not seen before. What is your first idea? “Who has created them?” Could they have been created by nobody? Do cars and smartphones suddenly come into existence from nowhere?1

They are the signs of their creator. This is why the Quran repeatedly mentions the signs of God

In this article, we will study: 

Meaning of Signs of God in the Quran

The word āyah (آيَةَ) means sign. This word and its derivatives have been mentioned 382 times in the Quran. The word āyah and its plural form āyāt (آيَات) have different meanings. Two important meanings of āyah in the Quran are sign and lesson. In the following verses of the Quran, you can find these two meanings of āyah:

وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَىٰ وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Their Prophet said to them, “The sign of his kingship will be that an ark will come to you in which is tranquility from your Lord, a remnant of the household of Moses and Aaron that they left behind. The angels will carry it. Indeed, therein is a sign for you if you are believers.”2

Look at the meaning of āyah in the aforementioned verse:

Āyata mulkihī (آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ)—>the sign of his kingship

La āyatan (لَآيَةً)—>a sign

We see that āyah in the aforementioned verse means sign. As we mentioned, in some of the verses of the Quran, āyah means lesson. Let us see the example:

فَالْيَوْمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنْ خَلْفَكَ آيَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا لَغَافِلُونَ

Today We will save your [physical] body [i.e. body of Pharaoh] until it becomes a sign [: a lesson] to the coming generations [even though] most of the people are unaware of Our signs.3                                        

Signs of God in Nature

God mentions some of His creations such as winds, sun, moon, and clouds in the Quran as His signs. Accordingly, they are the signs that show God is their creator, so they have not come into existence from nowhere.

Some of the signs of God in the Quran are classified as follows:

The Sky and the Heavens

God invites believers to think about the sky and its creation. We know that our planet is one small planet surrounded by billions of huge stars and planets, so thinking about the sky and heavens help us to realize that there is a great creator in the universe.

وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ ‎

And [have they not considered] the sky [to see] how it has been raised?4

The Mountains

Another sign of God in the Quran are the mountains and their role on the earth. This is a fact that God mentions as another sign:

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا‎

And the mountain as pegs, [lest the earth shakes violently].5

The Day, Night, and Creation of the Heavens and Earth

The creation of the heavens and alternation of the day and night reveal that there is a unique scientific system in the universe. When we see the earth, the winds and their creation, and other experimental events in creation, we conclude that there must be a wise and knowing creator behind this creation. This is why the Quran mentions them as the signs of God.

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ ‎

There are [clear and convincing signs] for those who use reason in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that sail at sea, by which people earn a profit, and the water that God sends down from the sky, by which He revives the earth after its death, and the dispersion of all creatures on earth, and in the rotation of the winds and the clouds that are controlled between the sky and the earth.6

Rain

وَاللَّهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ

And God sent down water from the sky, and by it, He gives life to the earth after its death. Indeed, there is in this a sign [of God’s power and knowledge] for the people who hear.7

Animals Are Signs of God

The wonderful creation of certain animals and insects has been mentioned in the Quran. When we look at these animals, we realize that these creatures must have a creator and guide who guides them to whatever God wants from them. Two examples of such creatures that have been mentioned in the Quran are the camel and the bee.

The Bee and the Camel

The honey of a bee is a cure according to the Quran. It is interesting that bees have a social life and when their queen dies, they scatter and remain confused.8

Likewise, the camel is a strange animal and it has been mentioned as one of the signs of God in the Quran. The camel is very strong and can live for three days without eating and drinking:

افلا ینظرون الی الابل کیف خلقت

Have they not considered the camels [to see] how they have been created?9

Why Does God Mention His Signs in the Quran?

There are more than 750 verses of the Quran which invite people to know God through His signs. These verses are classified as follows:

  1. Verses which invite people to think about the creator of the signs of God or to discover the scientific creation in the signs of God. For instance, God says in the Quran:

فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ

Therefore, the human being should consider what he has been created from!10

2. Verses of the Quran invite us to ponder how easily God created the universe such that He can recreate them again:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَيْفَ يُبْدِئُ اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ ‎﴿١٩﴾

Have they not considered how God originates the creation, then He will return it? Indeed, it is an easy [task] for God.11

3. Verses that invite us to study nature as a sign of God to find out that the universe has a creator, for instance: 

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَسَلَكَهُ يَنَابِيعَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعًا مُّخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ حُطَامًا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ ‎

Have you not considered that God has sent down water from the sky and brought it forth as springs from the earth? Then He grows [many kinds of] crops in different colors with it, then they wither and you find them yellowing. Then He makes them chaff. Indeed, there is a reminder in that for the wise.12

4. The verses that invite us to ponder on the creation as a sign of God to find out that the Day of Resurrection is possible, for instance: 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّنَ الْبَعْثِ فَإِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ مِن مُّضْغَةٍ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ وَغَيْرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ لِّنُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ ۚ وَنُقِرُّ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ مَا نَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ نُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوا أَشُدَّكُمْ ۖ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّىٰ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ أَرْذَلِ الْعُمُرِ لِكَيْلَا يَعْلَمَ مِن بَعْدِ عِلْمٍ شَيْئًا ۚ وَتَرَى الْأَرْضَ هَامِدَةً فَإِذَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهَا الْمَاءَ اهْتَزَّتْ وَرَبَتْ وَأَنبَتَتْ مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ ‎‏

People! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, [you should know that] We have created you out of soil, then from a drop, then a blood clot, then partly formed or unformed flesh to make [our knowledge] evident for you, and We put [and kept] what We will in the womb until an appointed term and We bring you out of it [in the form of] an infant that you may reach the age of maturity, [so] some of you die and some of you survive to the advanced old age until he forgets what he had learned, and [another example of God’s power is that] you see the earth is dried [as if it is dead] then We send down water on it, so it stirs, swells, and yields every delightful pair [of plants].13

5. Verses that mention the signs of God to show that there is a systematic discipline in the creation:

أَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا جَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِيَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَالنَّهَارَ مُبْصِرًا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Have they not considered that We Created the night for resting and the day for seeing? Indeed, there are signs in it for believing people.14

Conclusion

Everywhere we look, we can see the signs of God. The signs of God’s existence and creation are in many things, especially on planet Earth and the whole universe. The animals, insects, plants, and most importantly, human beings, all are signs of God. When we as Muslims or followers of other Abrahamic religions look at these signs, our faith in God and His existence and power over all things increases.

If you want to learn more about the signs of God, you can enroll in Islam4u’s course on “How to Understand the Quran (coming soon).” In this course, you can learn more than 70% of the Quran because many of the words in the Quran are repeated. So what are you waiting for? Enroll now in this course and change your life through learning. 



References

  1. An Introduction to Quranic Theology, p. 12.
  2. Quran 2:248 (Foroutan).
  3. Quran 10:92 (Foroutan).
  4. Quran 88:18 (Foroutan).
  5. Quran 78:7 (Foroutan).
  6. Quran 2:164 (Foroutan).
  7. Quran 16:65 (Foroutan).
  8. Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 6, p. 176.
  9. Quran 88:17 (Foroutan).
  10. Quran 86:5 (Foroutan).
  11. Quran 29:19 (Foroutan).
  12. Quran 39:21 (Foroutan).
  13. Quran 22:5 (Foroutan).
  14. Quran 27:86 (Foroutan).

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Dr.Behrouz Foroutan
Dr.Behrouz Foroutan
Dr. Behrouz Foroutan is a scholar, author, and international lecturer in Islamic studies. He has been involved in scripture translation and its commentary for approximately two decades now but he put most of his focus on translating the Qur’an and its commentary in English in a way that makes it easier for the reader to understand, without losing its credibility. The product of that was books on spirituality, beliefs, and a new English translation of the Qur’an and its commentary in 12 volumes.

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