Humanity & Nature 

       Humanity is located at the axis and center of the cosmic milieu. By being taught the names of all things, we receive the keys to knowledge of all things and so gain domination over them. However, we receive this power only in our capacity as serving as God’s vicegerent (khalifa) on Earth, not as a rebel against Heaven.
      In fact, humanity is the channel of grace for nature, for our active participation in the spiritual world causes light to enter the world of nature. Due to our intimate connection with nature, our inner state is reflected in the external order. Thus when our inner being turns to darkness and chaos, nature turns from harmony and beauty to disequilibrium and disorder. We see ourselves reflected in nature, and penetrate into nature’s inner meaning, by delving into our own inner depths. Those who live on the surface of their being can study nature as something to be manipulated and dominated, while those who turn toward the inner dimension of their existence can recognize nature as a symbol and come to understand it in the real sense. 
      This concept of humanity and nature, as well as the presence of a metaphysical doctrine and a hierarchy of knowledge, enabled Islam to develop many sciences that were influential in the West’s own development of science and yet did not disturb Islam’s intellectual edifice. 
      Islam is the universal order, the integral religion of harmony, and the unique system that harmonizes the physical with the metaphysical, the rational with the ideal, and the corporeal with the spiritual. Each dimension of our earthly life has its own place within Islam’s matrix and thus can perform its own function, enable us to be at peace with ourselves and our community and nature, and to gain happiness in both worlds (this material world & the spiritual world). 

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