Lord of the Universe

"Praise be to Allah(God), Lord of the universe." (Quran: 1/2)

The first Surah "Al Fatihah" begins with the arabic words "Al-hamdulillah", signifying that all praise essentially belongs only to Allah(God). Whosoever praises anything anywhere in the world is ultimately praising Allah(God). The sensible world contains millions of things which compel man's attention and admiration for their beauty and usefulness, but if one tries to look behind the veil of appearances, one would find in each and every thing the manifestation of the same creative power. Admiring anything that exists in the created world is no more than showing one's admiration for a work of art or craft, which in fact is a praise of the artist or the craftsman.

This small statement of the Holy Quran opens a new perspective for man lost in the labyrinth of multiplicity, and shows him how the many are knit together in the same unity, and how all praise in reality belongs to One whose power is absolute, and that it is only in our ignorance or indifference that we regard this praise to be due to anyone else.

If there is only one Being in the whole universe who inherently deserves all praise, it necessarily follows from it that this Being alone should be Worthy of adoration and worship. Thus we can see that the phrase, "Al-hamdulillah" cuts the very root of polytheism or the worship of created beings, and at the same time brings out in a self-evident manner the first and the basic principle of the Islamic creed -- Oneness of Allah(God).

The next phrase to follow in the Surah is the arabic word, "Rabb" which signifies that Allah(God) is the One who creates, the One who nurtures, the One who sustains every creature. The word, "Rabb" is exclusive to the sacred Being of Allah(God), and cannot be employed in the case of any created being, for a created being is itself in need of 'nurture', and cannot nurture anyone else.

The next phrase "Al-'alamin" is the plural of "alum" (world, universe, kingdom). So the phrase "The universe" include all possible forms of existence: the sky, the earth, the sun, the moon, stars, wind and rain, the angels, the jinns, animals, plants, minerals, and, of course, men. So, "the Lord of all the universe" means that Allah(God) alone gives nurture to all the forms of existents that are to be found in this universe, or in the millions of universes that may lie beyond our own universe in the outer space.

The universe reveals itself to be an incredibly complex, yet perfectly integrated order. From the heavens to the earth, from the planets and the stars to the particles of dust, everything is bound in a chain of being, and is performing the function assigned to it by Divine Wisdom. Man cannot obtain a little morsel of food unless a thousand forces of the sky and the earth work together to produce it. The universal order is there for man to contemplate, and to realize that, if Allah(God) has put millions of His creatures in the service of man, man in his turn cannot be worthless or purposeless or meaningless.

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