When we look to the sky we see birds soaring above our heads with grace. We tend to overlook the Allah’s signs within these magnificent creations, the same signs that he points us towards in the Quran.
In Surah Noor, Allah groups the worship that the birds do with our worship of him, striking an interesting parrallel by using the word من to refer to both creations at the same time, and كل to categorize to both groups as one in Ayah 41 of the Surah. He makes the same comparison even more explicitly in Surah Anaam Poiting to the birds and describing how they are grouped into communities just like humans:
“And there is no creature on the earth or bird that flies with its wings except that they are communities like you”
وما من دابة في الارض ولا طائر يطير بجناحيه الا امم امثالكم ما فرطنا في الكتاب من شيء ثم الى ربهم يحشرون
Of all creatures and creations, why does he specifically choose the bird to draw a similarity with?
To understand this, we must understand exactly who we are as humans from both a physical and spiritual perspective.
In the daytime, when we are awake and going about our lives, our souls reside within our bodies and upon the earth, but at night, as Allah also says in Surah Anaam, he takes our souls and they travel to the skies, in essence making us creatures of both the sky and the earth.
The spiritual element of us, the part that praises and worships God, our soul, comes from the sky, which makes it fitting for Allah to liken us with birds, creatures of the sky, when discussing how both creations worship and glorify god.
When Allah asks us to ponder the creation of the bird he is not only hilighitng the wonder of its physical creation, but also of its spiritual reality.
By indirectly comparing us with birds Allah reminds us that a part of us, our souls, belongs in the heavens. Like the bird, we are part sky and part earth so to speak.
In the Ayah after this Allah immediatley says:
“And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and to Allah is the destination”
ولله ملك السماوات والارض والى الله المصير
No matter if we are in the sky or on the earth, no matter how high we or the birds ascend, no matter where we travel, we will always be within his kingdom. There is not a moment of time, nor a foot of space, that is outside the kingdom of Allah, and it for this very reason that we should be constantly remembering and glorifying our lord, just as the birds do.
If we do so, then we may hope that our souls are returned home, to a higher place, Jannah.