13.15. To God prostrate all that are in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings.

وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعاً وَكَرْهاً وَظِلالُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ

15. To God prostrate all that are in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings.7


7. The length of the shadow varying according to the position of the sun in relation to the earth – the shadow's lengthening and contraction – is a very beautiful and meaningful image of how creation prostrates in submission to its Creator.

Everything is assigned a place in the grand scheme of the universe, which works in a magnificent harmony and interconnectedness. The sun, the moon, stars, and all heavenly bodies are knit together in a splendid system, following an unalterable law, and never deviating from their ordained course. Everything in the world, from electrons to nebulae, follows its own laws. The birth of a human, its growth and life, and all the bodily organs, from small tissues to the heart and brain, are also governed by the laws prescribed for them. (Once more, we should remember that what we call laws are but certain principles which we have deduced by observing "natural" events. They are, in fact, designations for God's executions of His commands or acts.)

This is why we say that Islam is the religion of the universe, for Islam is nothing other than obedience and submission to God, the Lord of the universe. The sun, the moon, the earth, and all (other) heavenly bodies are Muslim, as are the air, water, heat, stones, trees, and animals, for everything in existence obeys God by submitting to His laws. Even unbelievers and atheists are Muslim, in so far as their bodily existence is concerned, for each part of their body follows the course God established for it, from birth until death and dissolution. In this meaning, whatever and whoever – whether a believer or an unbeliever – is in the heavens and the earth prostrates before God or submits to Him willingly or unwillingly; this is obligatory, and there is no choice.

Secondly, as pointed out before in several places (4: 79, note 18; 5: 40, note 8; 6: 38, note 8), God has absolute sovereignty over everything. He decrees however He wills. Although we are endowed with free will, and meet the results of our intentions and deeds, since it is He Who established the law of causality in this corporeal world, and since it is He Who determined which cause brings about which effect or result, then His absolute Will is the sole authority in our actions as well. It is God Who established which cause (thought, belief, or action) brings about which result, and humankind cannot escape this framework. It is also in this meaning that whatever and whoever is in the heavens and the earth prostrates to Him.