Abida Ally,

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

A beautiful way to define design is to see the things around us. How amazingly has everything been created. Anything that has complexity is design. Design doesn’t need to serve a purpose. Just a simple drawing can also be called a design.

When we see a young boy drawing something on a paper, we just see it as a mess don’t we? But to that little kid, the drawing means everything. He might come to you and show you a big blob of green paint on a paper, and tell you that it is how his school looks like. The big blob of green paint, might be a mess to you, but it is an amazing imagination and creativity of that little boy. So design is not how neat something is, but is how everything is made. Your imagination is even a design.

Design doesn’t have to be perfect, rather it is beyond all imperfections. The way we humans have been created is a design made by God. The universe in itself is a design. In the Holy Book of Muslims, The Qur’an, God says, “In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of the night and the day, in the sailing of the ships throughout the ocean for the profit of mankind, in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life he gives with it to a dead earth, in the beasts of all kinds scattered on earth, in the change of the winds, and the clouds trailing like conquered slaves, between the sky and the earth, there are signs for the people with wisdom.” (Al Baqarah, 2:164). All designs have a reason behind them. We should not see flaws in anything that has been made, for we should understand that everything that is created has a design and behind it, there are many reasons and among those reasons one of them is hidden and is unknown to all but God.

We humans see our fellow brothers and sisters as imperfections, but in God’s eyes, everything is perfect.The best way to know about the design of God’s creation is to refer to Hadithe Mufadhal by the sixth Imam according to Shia beliefs.

One of the questions asked was “Why is human skin different to animal skin?” The reply is just so beautiful. It says, “Animal bodies are covered with different kinds of hair to protect them from weather. They also have hooves divided or undivided or padded feet to protect them whereas we humans have the same structure of our bodies. However, animals neither have palms, or hands and fingers to spin and weave nor desire to change clothing with moods. Therefore, their clothing is made part of their body to serve them throughout their life. Man possesses hands, skill to weave and spin and desire to change clothing. These keep him away from idleness. Laborers and traders also get their livelihood out of these activities. Therefore, skin of man is different from animal skin.”

Another example we could take is from a simple keyboard. Since the invention of the keyboard, we human beings have wondered as to why it has not been arranged in an alphabetical order. The arrangement of the keyboard is a design made by the inventor himself. He had his reason for not inventing it in an alphabetical order. And that’s because the words are such that when typing them down it is easier to type on a keyboard that is not arranged alphabetically.

Let us ask ourselves, how do we see design? If we had no eyes, what would we have done? Our little eyeball; it is so small, yet it is able to capture so many things around us. It looks so small to us, but in reality, it is as big as a tennis ball. Imagine if we did not have the ability to see? How about those who are blind? We might wonder “Why does God make a person blind?” God, has His reasons for making a person blind. A reason that is not known to any of us. We cannot question God on that, it is His design and He has His reasons which we cannot know for God is our creator and a creator cannot be questioned by his creation.

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