Tawaf Is a Cosmic Law
Allah Almighty says: [And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit.] (Al-Anbiyaa’: 33).
This glorious verse refers to a scientific fact concerning the system of the universe. Scientific discoveries have proved that we live in a huge universe that depends on revolution. The earth revolves round the sun once a year, the moon revolves around the earth once per lunar month, and the other planets of the solar system also revolve round the sun, each in its own orbit. Besides, most of these planets have moons that revolve around them, each, also, in its own orbit. Astronomers have discovered more than 60 of these moons so far.
The solar system, likewise, orbits a center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. This galaxy consists of more than 130 billion stars. Galaxies, in turn, revolve round a center that only Almighty Allah knows.
The law of revolution applies also to atoms, the smallest units of elements that cannot be seen even by microscopes. An atom is composed of a nucleus whose diameter is less than a millionth of a millimeter. An atom is surrounded by electrons that move round the atom in an orbit. Since all matter in the universe-whether solid, liquid, or gaseous-consists of atoms, this means that the law of revolution applies to everything: stars, planets, moons, animals, plants, sand, seas, air, and so on.
This includes cells as well. The cytoplasm in the cell moves around the nucleus.
There is a common factor between the orbital movements of all the objects referred to above, this is, their revolution is counter clockwise.
Contemplating the above lines, we come to realize that revolution is a cosmic law.
With a believer’s meditation upon such a scientific fact, another image of revolution is brought to one’s mind: the pilgrims’ circumambulation of the Ka`bah, which is a basic ritual of Hajj in Islam.
Circumambulating the Ka`bah is a symbolic act of worship, whose wisdom may be hidden from some. It indicates the believers’ utter submission to Almighty Allah alone. The pilgrims go to Hajj in response to the divine order that Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) conveyed to people. Allah Almighty says: [And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine.] (Al-Hajj: 26-27)
This signifies that the Ka`bah is the spiritual centre of the believers. It refers to the close bond that should be between a believer and his Lord. A believer turns toward the Ka`bah five times a day during the prescribed ritual Prayers.
A pilgrim circumambulates the Ka`bah as if he or she is a celestial body orbiting another greater body. Circumambulation of the Ka`bah is to be performed counter clockwise. This indicates that there is a joint factor between a pilgrim’s expressing his ultimate faith in Almighty Allah by circumambulating the Ka`bah in that way and between the cosmic law of revolution discussed above. This indicates that there is consistency between the obligations of worship in Islam and the natural laws that govern the universe, which indicates that they all belong to only one source, that is, Almighty Allah.
This proves the truthfulness of the call of Islam that there is no god but Almighty Allah. Thus, Islam is the true religion that provides humankind with a comprehensive view in conformity with the divine truth that is apparent in the natural laws of the universe.
*Prof Dr Ahmad Fouad Pasha, Cairo University
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