The Holy Qur'an

The Mountains – A Sign For Those Who Believe

33 THE MOUNTAINS: A SIGN FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE (Mikal Hamidur Rahman) One characteristic of the Holy Quran is that it draws attention repeatedly to natural phenomena and argues from the physical and material to the moral and spiritual. This is possible because there exists a deep connection between the material and spiritual worlds reflecting One Creator who is Lord of all the Worlds. All things created by the Almighty can be seen to point to a great purpose behind this world and are Signs of His existence. It is mentioned that when the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam had occasion to go to Dalhousie, a high hill station at 7000 feet elevation and more than a hundred miles from Qadian, India, he was much impressed by the mountainous scenery through which he had to pass; and these views impelled him towards contemplation and appreciation of God’s creation and his bounties. (Incidently, he sometimes had to walk this distance when other transportation was not available). In these few paragraphs I would like to mention one part of creation – the mountains, and some of the Signs contained in them. ” And the earth We have spread it out and placed therein firm mountains; and We have made to grow therein every kind of beautiful species, as a means of enlightenment and as a reminder to every servant that turns to God.” (50:8-9) Here, along with the growth of all the various plants Allah has mentioned mountains as a means of enlightenment and admonition. In many places the Quran mentions that Allah has placed in the earth firm mountains as a favour. (41:11, 16:16) Elsewhere we read: ” …. and He has placed in the earth firm mountains that it may not quake with you …… ” (31: 11) Geology has established the fact that mountains have to a great extent, made secure the earth against earthquakes. But is there something in the spiritual world which helps to secure and steady the paths over which our souls must travel? If we look for something with some characteristics of mountains we read: “Verily, We have charged thee with a weighty word” (73:6) “It is surely a decisive word.” (86:14) Here the Quran has been referred to as weighty and decisive. That is to say something solidly sound, firm and which can not be displaced or moved. Grasping the Quran then, would help still any turbulence in our lives, as mountains help still the earth from shaking. 34 THE MOUNTAINS Mountains along with rivers are mentioned in the Quran as a means by which people can find their way. A mountain on the horizon or a chain of mountains has served as a way by which travellers have been guided to their destination. The Quran is also a guide pointing out the pathways that the spiritual wayfarer should follow: “The path of those on whom Thou (God) hast bestowed Thy blessings, the path of those who have not incurred Thy displeasure, and the path of those who have not gone astray. ” (I :7) “This is a perfect Book, there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous.” (2:3) It is alluded in the Quran that high mountains serve as reservoirs of sweet water. (77:28). Similarly, within the Quran is contained a body of water, that is revelation, that not only is sweet but also gives life, as does water. Mountains can serve as a sort of ladder as a means of climbing, as it were, up into the sky or heavens. In fact, this is being done today as can be seen by the building of telescopes on high mountain tops to get nearer to the heavens and obtain a clearer, unobscured view. Likewise, since the Quran is exalted and purified, those in whose hands it is and who pay heed to it will be raised up and start to see a heavenly paradise (80: 13-17). The companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) and the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) were lifted towards the spiritual heavens by it. Another special quality of mountains is their beauty, grandeur and majesty. One can not help but be impressed by certain sights of mountain scenery. Some people, in the past as well as in the present, have even gone so far as to worship the mountains. What is not realized by them is that the qualities for which they loved the mountains were there as a stamp or impression from the Creator. Though these created things have certain qualities of attraction they have short-comings with respect to satisfying completely the person attracted. For example, the mountains are subject to erosion and decay and cannot be taken with one when moving about or travelling. Here the comparison between the Quran and the mountains becomes a comparison of contrast rather than a comparison of similarity. The Quran contains “lasting commandments” (98:4), “In a weIl preserved Book” (56:79) which are not subject to erosion or decay with the passage of time. In conclusion, there is in the Quran a comparison of greatness between a mountain and the Quran which furnishes a Sign for those who believe as to the status and message of the Quran. “If We had sent down this Quran on a mountain, thou wouldst certainly have seen it humbled and rent asunder for fear of AIIah. And these are similtudes that We set forth for mankind that they may reflect.” (59:22)