What is the importance of observation and thinking in the verses of the Qur’an?

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What is the importance of observation and thinking in the verses of the Qur’an?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

One of the ways that lead man to knowledge is observation. Human is a viewer and an observer of the events that take place in the universe. The universe is a book that is full of meaning  and that awaits to be read.

Behold all that is in the heavens and on earth (1)

Do they not look at the sky above them?― How We have made it and adorned, it and there are no flaws in it? (2)

Many verses of the Quran emphasize the duty of observation of man. “Then contemplate (O man!) the tokens of Allah's Mercy! how He gives life to the earth after its death…(3) However not everyone performs this observation. As the verse explains, there are “many signs in the heavens and the earth yet people turn (their faces) away from them!” (4)

Looking and seeing are different from each other. Everyone looks at the universe; however, not everyone can see the secrets and perceive meanings. The following verse indicates the difference between looking and seeing; “Thou wilt see them looking at thee, but they see not” (5).

The ones who see the things that others cannot acquire the secrets of the book of universe. For example, Archimedes who feels himself light on water invents the buoyancy of water.  Upon seeing an apple falling from a tree onto his head, Newton realizes the existence of gravity. Scientists who analyze the forms of wings of birds used this information in plane industry and enabled man to become friends of birds.

If man looks at the universe carefully, he can draw lessons from everything. People who have conscience in their hearts and observe the universe with attention can have lessons from everything. The ones who see everything meaningless and continue to walk on the road of unbelief are deprived of these infinite and precious meanings. The Qur’an uses the term “blind” for such people.

Those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the Hereafter. (6)

Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts. (7)

But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say: "O my Lord! why hast thou, raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)? (Allah) will say: "Thus didst thou, when Our Signs came unto thee, disregard them: so wilt thou, this day be disregarded. (8)

Basar” is the eyesight, and “Basira” is the spiritual insight. The ones who have not got Basar (eyesight) cannot see their environment; on the other hand, the ones who have not got Basira (spiritual insight) cannot observe the spiritual insight of things.


  1. Yunus, 101.
  2. Qaf, 6.
  3. Ar-Room, 50.
  4. Yusuf, 105.
  5. Al-Araf, 198.
  6. Al-Isra, 72.
  7. Hajj, 46.
  8. Taha, 124-126.

Şadi EREN (Prof. Dr.)

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