By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Some decades ago, the concept of ‘zero-defect management’ was propounded. A lot of literature was produced on the subject and considerable research was conducted on the issue. The concept spread rapidly in parts of the West and major efforts were made to try to implement it. However, despite much effort, it came to be accepted that ‘zero-defect management’ isn’t at all possible in human affairs. It proved to be a failure!
But at around the same time as ‘zero-defect management’ in human affairs proved to be a failure, scientific research was proving that the system of nature that operates throughout the universe is based precisely on the principle of ‘zero-defect management’. To take just one instance, the stars and the planets move in perfect precision. So, if you want to know at what time the sun will rise tomorrow and at what time it will set, you can get the exact information today itself so accurate is the motion of Earth around the sun!
So, on the one hand, the idea of ‘zero-defect management’ in the human world proved itself to be a complete flop while, on the other hand, in the natural world it was shown that ‘zero-defect management’ operates fully and in a perfect manner! So perfect is this management of the non-human world that we can know today itself that on 15th April 2025 in New Delhi, sunrise will be at 05:56 am and sunset at 18:46 pm!
One can get accurate information of sunrise and sunset for any other place in the world, too, well in advance. In just the same way, the rest of the natural world is working in perfect order, as science reveals. Through various scientific disciplines we can get the information we want regarding such phenomenon for the distant past as well as the distant future, and this information will be accurate, without any change.
Now, reflect on the fact that this material world is functioning under the management of the Creator. From its very inception it has been operating on the principle of ‘zero-defect management’. In contrast to this is the human world, where man makes plans but things are always subject to change, modification and failure. For instance, an industrialist conceives a project, but no matter how hard he may try, he cannot implement the project in a zero-defect manner.
As they say, it is in comparison that we understand. Compare God’s way of managing things with man’s way. The Divine management that orders phenomenon in the non-human world is completely zero-defect. In contrast, human management is necessarily flawed, in some way or the other. From various verses of the Quran we gain inspiration to reflect on the difference between the two. This comparative study tells us there is a basic difference between them. In the human world, despite all our efforts, there is and can be no zero-defect management: it is simply impossible. In contrast, in the natural world established and managed by God, zero-defect management prevails fully and throughout, and with complete accuracy.
When we reflect on this difference we realise that there is a Creator of this universe, who is All-Powerful and Perfect. The difference between man’s world and the physical world, the world of the exact sciences, is a firm evidence of God’s existence. As the Quran (67:3-4) tells us:
He created seven heavens one above the other in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the Gracious One. Then look once again: can you see any flaw? Then look again and again. Your gaze will come back to you confused and exhausted.
Elsewhere, the Quran (50:6) says:
Have they not observed the sky above them and marked how We have built it and adorned it, leaving no flaws in it
This modern discovery of the system of the universe being flawless is proving one attribute of God to be true, and that is, in the words of the Quran: “God: there is no deity save Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him.”(2:255).
(Noted Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan heads the New Delhi-based Centre for Peace and Spirituality. For more details, see www.cpsglobal.org)
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan