Taskhir, Fine-Tuning, Intelligent Design and the Scientific Appreciation of Nature
The concept of taskhir in the Qur'an refers to the easily observable fact that nature, in both its cosmic and biospheric dimensions, has been constrained by Allah to render service and benefit unto humankind. In modern cosmological terms, taskhir refers to the high degree of fine-tuning of the design-parameters of the universe for the support of life on earth, and ultimately, conscious and intelligent human life. Through taskhir, the perfection of Allah's wisdom (hikmah) is manifested in the phenomenal world, and His Grace (fadl) realized for humanity. The service rendered to mankind by the Divine subjugation of nature is ultimately not only physical and material in nature, but also intellectual, moral and metaphysical in its significance: that humanity would be brought to recognize, acknowledge and glorify their Creator, and thus to realize fully the enduring transcendent meaning of their fleeting, phenomenal life on earth. Axiologically, this means that Islamic science is less utilitarian than intellecto-moral, and hence, the "outer" utilitarian dimension of science is to be subsumed under, and guided by, its "inner" intellecto-moral dimension, and not vice-versa.