Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.
The details of the above legend may be off in minutiae but the theme is true.
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
We definitely take all the master pieces of Allah’s creation for granted. The title of this article is borrowed from a verse of the 23rd chapter of the Quran, the Arabic words are: فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ:
We created man from an essence of clay, then We placed him as a drop of fluid in a safe place, then We made that drop into a clinging form, and We made that form into a lump of flesh, and We made that lump into bones, and We clothed those bones with flesh, and later We made him into other forms. Glory be to God, the best of creators! (Al Quran 23:12-14)
These verses talk about the development of the fetus, in an age, in 7th century, when people hardly had any curiosity about the subject:
But, the miracle of the Quran does not only lie in accurate description of yet unknown natural phenomena, rather the whole claim of of Allah being the best of Creators, when we look at the complete creation of humans through guided evaluation.
As a physician, the more I see and read about different diseases, the more I marvel at the miracle of a healthy body with thousands if not millions of automated checks and balances to keep the human body functioning amazingly in a variety of situations and circumstances.
The complexity and organization that we come to see through the study of genetics and molecular biology in health and disease is really mind boggling. The conclusion is inescapable that Allah is the best of Creators.
But, like Joshua Bell was ignored, we ignore Allah’s creativity and providence in most moments of our unthinking lives. To rectify that as best as we can I am simply going to add a series of articles on the theme of God the Creator: