Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I 3rd Feb. 2013 I Page 12
The universe works according to the laws of nature. The Quran says: "The sun cannot overtake the moon, nor can the night outpace the day: each floats in [its own] orbit" (36:40). This predictability of the world around us is the reason for the successful development of human civilisation.
If one wants to build a bridge across a river, one uses steel because one knows one can rely on the strength of that metal to hold up the bridge; if steel turned out to be as soft as wax the whole edifice would crash into the water. For the construction of buildings one uses bricks and cement, which will surely solidify into a firm structure; if stones and cement were like a pile of sand, the buildings would collapse.
Such occurrences would mean that things had lost their specific character and the building of civilisation would then become impossible. Human civilisation can only be fashioned when the things that are essential to it do what is expected of them.
Just as the things which contribute to human civilisation have to display certain properties for civilisation to flourish, so the individuals who constitute human society have to do what is expected of them if society is to run smoothly.
There are certain attributes that constitute a human character; only if people display these attributes can they be counted as true human-beings. Where resolve is required they should remain as solid as steel, where pliability is required, as soft as running water. They should remain as still as stones when silence is expected of them, as firm as mountains when constancy is the order of the day. When strong initiatives are required, their enthusiasm should cascade like a torrent. It is such people, those who speak and act as true human beings, who constitute a strong and stable human society.