|THE AYAT AND THE HADITH OF THE DAY |
LIFE OF THIS WORLD IS TEMPORARY
Throughout the world, all people, without exception, talk about or at least think about one issue at one point in their lives: living a long life, and to avoid dying if at all possible... Scientists have been devoting serious effort to this end for many centuries, and have tried to find formulas to make people live a longer life. However, to this day, no progress has been made. Hence, with the verse, "We did not give any human being before you immortality. And if you die, will they then be immortal? Every self will taste death. We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us," (Surat al-Anbiya': 34-35) Allah instructs us that each person was created mortal, a fact which each will certainly face at his appointed time.
Regardless of the fact that people refrain from thinking or accepting the reality of death, the truth is that mankind is mortal. In any case, this worldly life is exceedingly short and transient. Each one is sent to this world in order to be tested for a period of time ranging from sixty to seventy years. Therefore, it would be a great mistake for anyone to base his plans on this worldly life alone, to accept this short-lived sojourn as his true life, and to forget the hereafter where he will live forever.
This fact stands out clear and simple so that all can easily comprehend it. Yet, as indicated in the following verse: "He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving," (Surat al-Mulk: 2) Allah adorned this world in order to create this environment in which man will be tested. One should not be deceived by the fact that some people compete with each other to maximize their enjoyment of these worldly blessings. Because, as the verses of the Qur'an indicate, those who live in negligence could in no way be deemed a group one should measure up to. Those, who strive to accumulate and heap up belongings, sacrifice their beliefs in order to acquire authority, and who play roles to earn the appreciation or approbation of others, are in fact running after illusory ideals. To suppose that this worldly life is real, and to run hopelessly after mundane benefits and rewards, is just as illogical, comical and humiliating as mistaking the scenes of a play for reality.
However, it should always be kept in mind that, not only those who devote themselves to this worldly life, but also those who expend effort to acquire benefits both in this world and the hereafter, are deluded. The life of this world was created as a blessing for mankind. While they are here, people should make the best possible use of its many splendors, and enjoy its many blessings. Yet, one should never idealize nor run after these blessings with excessive desire or ambition. He should utilize them all to live according to the religion in the best possible manner, to appreciate Allah, and to give thanks, after having recognized that which has been bestowed upon him by Allah. Acting in accordance with such reasoning as, "I can lead a life both to gain Allah's consent and to make the best use of the benefits of the worldly life," would be a thought-pattern damaging to one's sincerity.
Renown Turkish scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi said, "The secret of this matter lies in sincerity. The transient pleasures of this world become an ultimate purpose for those who have not succeeded to attain spiritual purity. Thus, the acts done by these people for the hereafter are effected by these pleasures, and their sincerity is tainted. Because worldly objectives, pleasures could not be sought along with deeds to earn otherworldly rewards. If so, sincerity is harmed." 1 He underlined that the aim to gain both worldly and otherworldly benefits emerge from a soul defficient in its education. Such thinking diminishes sincerity, and prevents one from performing pious deeds aimed at the hereafter.
In another of his works, Said Nursi noted that only those "who assume that the world is a guest house" could hope to lead the best and happiest of lives. Hence, such a frame of mind leads one to acquire Allah's consent and to behave sincerely.
"I observe that the most fortunate person in this worldly life is he who sees the world as a military guest-house, and submits himself and acts accordingly. Through seeing it in this way, he may rise swiftly to the rank of Allah's pleasure, the highest rank. Such a person will not give the price of a lasting diamond for something of the value of glass that will be broken. He will pass his life uprightly and with pleasure. Yes, the matters to do with this world are like pieces of glass doomed to be broken, while the lasting matters of the Hereafter have the value of flawless diamonds. The intense curiosity, fervent love, terrible greed, and stubborn desires, and other intense emotions in man's nature were given in order to gain the matters of the Hereafter. To direct those emotions in intense fashion towards transitory worldly matters means giving the price of eternal diamonds for pieces of glass that are to be smashed." 2
In these words, Bediuzzaman compared this worldly life to a breakable bottle, and the hereafter to a diamond. Anyone acting insincerely, by becoming carried away by this worldly life, will lose his heavenly recompense, just as a man sacrificing a diamond for a worthless glass bottle. On the other hand, one who comprehends that this world is a guest-house will not commit the same error, and will exert himself to the utmost in this world and the next.
1) Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Lâhikasi (Emirdag Letters), Vol. 1, p.86
2) Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Letters Collection, The Ninth Letter
|WONDERS OF CREATION FOR THE 18th DAY|
THE HUMAN BODY'S MESSENGER: THE HORMONAL SYSTEM
While you read this page, countless processes take place in your body without any trouble and you don't feel anything reflecting their true complexity. The number of times your heart beats in a second, the rate of calcium in your bones, the sugar level in your blood, the amount of water your kidneys filter every minute and many other details like these are realized as the result of the harmonious working of the cells in your body. Not just a hundred, a thousand or a million of them; there are about 100 trillion cells in your body. What, then, provides the harmony among this number of cells? The answer is, your body's hormonal system.
The pea-sized pituitary gland controls and regulates the production of many hormones throughout the body. It also oversees the other glands and keeps hormone levels in check. It works under the control of the region of the brain called the "hypothalamus." The pituitary gland looks like a piece of meat. It senses, because of data coming from the hypothalamus, what is needed in which circumstances. It determines which particular cells of which particular organs need to work to fulfill these needs, the chemical mechanisms of these cells, their physical structures, the products that need to be produced and the time when the production of these products needs to be stopped. In addition, by means of a very special communications system, it gives commands to all necessary units for these needs to be met.
For instance, the human body develops until the end of adolescence. Trillions of cells multiply by dividing, thus the growth of tissue and organs is accomplished. When a certain size is reached, the growth activity in the organs stops. It is the pituitary gland that senses how much we need to grow and which stops our growth when we reach the appropriate size. The pituitary gland adjusts, at the same time, the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat in the body. When needed, it increases the production of protein in the cells.
If you feel dizzy or experience some kind of distress, you only have to rest for a while and your distress should disappear. If the cause of this distress is a fall in your blood pressure, the pituitary gland reacts immediately. The molecules secreted by the pituitary gland cause the muscles around the veins to contract. The contraction of millions of muscles and narrowing of veins increases the blood pressure and makes you feel better.
The pituitary gland is only one of the regions where hormones are secreted all together. In addition, regions such as the thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries and testes secrete very important hormones for the continuity of life. If there is a loss or impaired functioning in any of these regions, the continuity of life becomes impossible. The hormonal system, like other systems in the body, works in perfect harmony. It is undoubtedly Allah, the Almighty, Who provides this unity and has created this perfect communication system in the human body.
|COLLAPSE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION DAY BY DAY |
WHY IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCOUNT FOR DNA BY "CHANCE"?
The level of scientific knowledge we have arrived at today shows that the evident design and complex systems in living things make it impossible for them to have emerged by chance. For instance, thanks to the recent "Human Genome Project," the marvelous design and the enormous information content in human genes have been revealed for all to see.
In the framework of that project, scientists from many countries, from the United States to China, worked for 10 years to decipher one by one the 3 billion chemical codes in DNA. As a result, nearly all the information in human genes has been set out in its correct order.
Although this is a very exciting and important development, as Dr. Francis Collins, who leads the Human Genome Project states, so far only the first step has been taken in the decoding of the information in DNA.
In order to understand why it took 10 years and the work of hundreds of scientists to uncover the codes that make up this information, we have to understand the magnitude of the information contained within DNA.
There is enough information in the DNA of a single human cell to fill an encyclopedia of one million pages. It would be impossible to read it all in one lifetime. If one person set out to read one DNA code per second, non-stop, all day every day, it would take him 100 years. That is because the encyclopedia in question possesses nearly three billion different codes. If we wrote down all the information in DNA on paper, it would stretch from the North Pole to the Equator. That means some 1,000 large volumes-more than enough to fill a big library.
If the information in DNA were written out on a piece of paper, it would stretch from the North Pole to the Equator.
Even more important, all this information is contained in the nucleus of each and every cell, which means that as each individual consists of some 100 trillion cells, there are 100 trillion versions of the same library.
If we wish to compare this treasury of information with the level of knowledge so far reached by man, it is impossible to provide any example of the same magnitude. An unbelievable picture presents itself: 100 trillion x 1,000 books! That is more than the number of grains of sand in the world. Furthermore, if we multiply that number by the six billion people currently living on the Earth, and the billions more who have ever lived, then the number is beyond our capacity to grasp, and the amount of information stretches to infinity.
These examples are an indication of what imposing information we are living cheek by jowl with. We possess advanced computers that can store great amounts of information. However, when we compare DNA to these computers, we are amazed to see that the most modern technology-the product of the cumulative human labour and knowledge over the centuries-does not even possess the storage capacity of a single cell.
Gene Myers is one of the most prominent experts of Celera Genomics, the company that carried out the Human Genome project. His words regarding the outcome of the project are a statement of the great knowledge and design in DNA: "What really astounds me is the architecture of life…The system is extremely complex. It's like it was designed… There's a huge intelligence there." 1
Another interesting aspect is that all life on the planet has been produced according to the coded descriptions written in this same language. No bacterium, plant, or animal is formed without its DNA. It is quite evident that all of life emerges as the result of descriptions that employ the same language and stemming from the same source of knowledge.
This leads us to an obvious conclusion. All living things in the world live and multiply according to information created by one single intelligence.
This makes the theory of evolution utterly meaningless. That is because the foundation of evolution is "chance," but chance cannot create information. If one day the formula of a medicine that can cure cancer were found on a piece of paper, all of mankind would join forces to discover the scientist concerned and even give him an award. Nobody would think, "I wonder if the formula appeared when some ink was spilt onto the page." Everybody who possesses reason and clear thinking will think that that the formula was written by someone who had made a deep study of chemistry, human physiology, cancer, and pharmacology.
The evolutionist claim that the information in DNA came about by chance is completely irrational, and is equivalent to saying that the formula on the paper also came about by chance. DNA contains the detailed molecular formula of 100,000 types of proteins and enzymes, together with the delicate order governing how these will be used during production. Alongside these, it contains the production plans for the message-carrier hormones and the inter-cellular communications protocols they are used in, and all kinds of other complex and specified information.
To claim that DNA and all the information within it came about by chance events and natural causes reflects either total ignorance of the subject or materialist dogmatism. The idea that a molecule such as DNA, with all the magnificent information and complex structure it contains, could be the product of chance is not even worth taking seriously. Unsurprisingly, evolutionists try to gloss over the subject of the source of life, as with so many other subjects, by describing it as an "unsolved secret."
1) "Human Genome Map Has Scientists Talking About the Divine" by Tom Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, February 19, 2001
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