RAMADAN 2005 The 11th Day

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Ayat of the Day

 
 
 

[Ibrahim said,] “Our Lord! You know what we keep hidden and what we divulge. Nothing is hidden from Allah either on the Earth or in heaven.”
(Surah Ibrahim: 38)

 


 
  Hadith of the Day:  
 

 

 

None of you believes until I [the Messenger of Allah] am dearer to him than his father, his child, and all of humanity.
(Bukhari and Muslim)

 

 

 
  Miracles of the Qur’an:  
 


FISH: A VALUABLE SOURCE OF NUTRITION - 1

Anything you catch in the sea is lawful for you, and all food from it, for your enjoyment and that of travelers… (Surat al-Ma‘ida: 96)

The fact the average age of people developing and dying from heart disease is constantly decreasing has considerably increased the importance attached to coronary health. Although a great many advances have been registered in the treatment of heart disease, experts in the field basically recommend that careful precautions be taken before such diseases ever arise. Experts also recommend one important foodstuff for the healthy functioning of the heart and the prevention of disease: fish.

The reason why fish is such an important source of nutrition is that it both provides substances necessary for the human body and also reduces the risk of various diseases. For example, it has been revealed that when fish-which acts as a shield in terms of health with the omega-3 acid it contains-is consumed on a regular basis, it reduces the risk of heart disease and strengthens the immune system.

The fact that fish, the health benefits of which have only newly been scientifically registered, is an important nutritional source is revealed in the Qur'an. Almighty Allah makes the following references to seafood in the Qur'an: "It is He Who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it..." (Surat an-Nahl: 14), "Anything you catch in the sea is lawful for you, and all food from it, for your enjoyment and that of travelers…" (Surat al-Ma‘ida: 96) Furthermore, particular attention is drawn to fish in Surat al-Kahf, in which it is revealed that the Prophet Musa (as) set out on a long journey with his servant and that they took fish along with them to eat:

But when they reached their meeting-place, they forgot their fish which quickly burrowed its way into the sea. When they had gone a distance further on, he said to his servant, "Bring us our morning meal. Truly this journey of ours has made us tired." He said, "Do you see what has happened? When we went to find shelter at the rock, I forgot the fish…" (Surat al-Kahf: 61-63)
It is noteworthy that in Surat al-Kahf fish should be specially chosen as a foodstuff after a long, tiring journey. Therefore, one of the pieces of wisdom in this tale may well be an indication of the nutritional benefits of fish. (Allah knows best.)

In fact, when we examine the nutritional properties of fish, we encounter some very striking facts. Fish, given to us as a blessing by our Lord, are a perfect food, particularly in terms of protein, vitamin D and trace elements (certain elements found in minimal quantities in the body but which are still of great importance to it). Due to the minerals they contain-such as phosphorus, sulphur and vanadium-fish encourages growth and enables tissues to recover. Fish meat also assists in the formation of healthy teeth and gums, benefits the complexion, makes the hair healthier and contributes to the fight against bacterial infection. It also plays an important role in the prevention of heart attacks as it beautifully regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood. It helps the body to break down and use starch and fats, making it stronger and more energetic. On the other hand, it also influences the functioning of mental activities. In the event that the vitamin D and other minerals contained in fish are not consumed in sufficient quantities, disorders such as rickets (bone weakness), gum disease, goitre and hyperthyroid may all arise.
In addition, modern science has also discovered that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish also occupy an important place in human health. These fats have even been described as essential fatty acids.

The Benefits of Omega-3 in Fish Oil
There are two kinds of unsaturated fatty acid in fish oil which are particularly important for our health: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are known as polyunsaturated fats and contain the important omega-3 fatty acids. Since the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are not manufactured in the human body, they need to be taken in from the outside.

There is a large body of evidence relating to the benefits to human health of fish oil, the actual benefit stemming from its omega-3 fatty acid content. Despite being present in vegetable oils, these omega-3 fatty acids are less effective in relation to human health. However, marine plankton is very effective at turning omega-3 into EPA and DHA. When fish eat plankton, their constitution becomes much richer in EPA and DHA. That, in turn, makes fish one of the richest sources of these vitally important fatty acids.

Vital Benefits of the Fatty Acids Found in Fish
One of the main features of the fatty acids in fish is the contribution they make to the body's energy production. These fatty acids carry out electron transfers by attaching themselves to oxygen in the body and permit energy to be produced for various chemical processes within it. There is therefore considerable evidence that a diet rich in fish oil helps combat fatigue and increases mental and physical capacity. Omega-3 increases the individual's powers of concentration as much as it does his or her energy levels. There is a scientific foundation to the old saying "fish is good for the brain": The main compound in brain fat is DHA, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.




 
  Wonders of Creation:  
 

 

The Penguin: An Animal Created for Polar Climate

The temperature at the Antarctic polar circle where penguins live can sometimes be as low as -40oC. The bodies of penguins are covered with a thick layer of fat so that they can survive in such a freezing environment. Besides, they have a highly developed digestive system that is able to break food down very rapidly. These two factors furnish penguins with a body temperature of +40oC that makes them indifferent to cold.

Everything Is for the Young Penguin
Penguins incubate during the polar winter. Furthermore, it is not the female but the male penguins that incubate. Apart from the freezing cold falling down to -40oC, the penguin couples are also faced with glaciers at this time of the year. Throughout winter, the glaciers steadily grow, thereby increasing the distance between the incubation site and the coast, where the closest source of food for the penguins is found. This distance may at times be more than 100 km.
Female penguins lay only one egg, leave incubation to their males and return to the sea. During four months of incubation, the male penguin has to resist violent polar storms at times reaching speeds of 100 km per hour. Because it guards the egg, it has no chance to hunt. In any case, the nearest source of food is at a distance of a couple of days' journey. Lying for four full months without eating anything, the male penguin loses half of its weight, but it never leaves the egg. Although it goes without any food for months, it does not go hunting, but resists the hunger.

After the end of four months when the eggs start to crack open, the female penguin suddenly shows up. In the duration, she has not wasted time but worked for her young and stored food for it.
Among hundreds of penguins, the mother easily finds her spouse and offspring. As the mother has constantly hunted in the meantime, it has a full stomach. It empties its stomach and takes over the job of caring for the young.

In spring, the glaciers start to melt and holes emerge in the ice under which the sea appears. The parent penguins soon start to hunt fish in these holes and feed their young.

Feeding the baby is a tough task; sometimes the parents do not eat anything for a long time in order to feed the young. There is no way to make a nest when everything is covered with ice. The only thing the parents can do to protect their offspring from the ice cold is to put it on top of their feet and warm it with their tummy.

Timing is also very important in laying eggs.
Why do the penguins lay eggs in winter, and not in summer? There is one reason for this: if they had laid eggs in summer time, then the development of the offspring would take place in winter time and the seas would be frozen. In that case, the parents would have difficulty in finding food to feed the young due to the inconvenient weather conditions and due to the fact that the seas, the food resource of the penguins, are further away.

 

 
  Lives of the Prophets:  
 


The Angels Who Visited Prophet Abraham (as) -I

One of Allah’s greatest blessings to Prophet Abraham (as) was to support him with angels. According to the Qur’an, two angels came to Prophet Abraham (as) in human guise and stayed in his house:

Has the story reached you of the honored guests of Abraham? When they entered his dwelling and said: “Peace,” he replied: “Peace, to people we do not know.” (Surat adh-Dhariyat: 24-25)

Our angels brought the good news to Abraham. They said: “Peace,” and he too said: “Peace” and brought in a roasted calf without delay. (Surah Hud: 69)

As we see, Prophet Abraham (as) realized immediately that these guests were not ordinary guests. He showed a superior hospitality to them, although he had never seen before, and immediately offered them pleasant refreshments. Such an act symbolizes his superior moral values. And, offering such refreshments before his unknown guests made any requests is an example of the fine thinking that Muslims need to adopt. Another model worthy of adoption is the way he prepared the refreshments without giving any indication that he was doing so:

So he slipped off to his household and brought a fattened calf. He offered it to them and then exclaimed: “Do you not then eat?” (Surat adh-Dhariyat: 26-27)

Prophet Abraham (as) did not ask his guests whether they were hungry or tell them that he had made any preparations. This is the height of good manners, for a guest may feel shy to request some refreshments, and his or her self-respect may prevent such a request from being made. Prophet Abraham’s (as) handling of this situation indicates his respect for and interest in his guests.

He offered them a roasted, fattened calf, which people of that time considered to be a most pleasing and delicious meal. His request that they eat is one of the finest examples of his superior morality and thought.

However, his guests did not eat the food placed before them, because:

When he saw that their hands were not reaching for it, he suspected them and felt afraid of them. They said: “Have no fear. We have been sent to the tribe of Lot.” (Surah Hud: 70)

 
 
  Evolution Deceit:  
 


The Problem of the Origin of Proteins
in the Theory of Evolution
 

So much for the cell, but evolution fails even to account for the building-blocks of a cell. The formation, under natural conditions, of just one single protein out of the thousands of complex protein molecules making up the cell is impossible.

Proteins are giant molecules consisting of smaller units called amino acids that are arranged in a particular sequence in certain quantities and structures. These units constitute the building blocks of a living protein. The simplest protein is composed of 50 amino acids, but there are some that contain thousands.

The crucial point is this. The absence, addition, or replacement of a single amino acid in the structure of a protein causes the protein to become a useless molecular heap. Every amino acid has to be in the right place and in the right order. The theory of evolution, which claims that life emerged as a result of chance, is quite helpless in the face of this order, since it is too wondrous to be explained by coincidence. (Furthermore, the theory cannot even substantiate the claim of the accidental formation of amino acids.)

The fact that it is quite impossible for the functional structure of proteins to come about by chance can easily be observed even by simple probability calculations that anybody can understand.

For instance, an average-sized protein molecule composed of 288 amino acids, and contains twelve different types of amino acids can be arranged in 10300 different ways. (This is an astronomically huge number, consisting of 1 followed by 300 zeros.) Of all of these possible sequences, only one forms the desired protein molecule. The rest of them are amino-acid chains that are either totally useless, or else potentially harmful to living things.

In other words, the probability of the formation of only one protein molecule is "1 in 10300." The probability of this "1" actually occurring is practically nil. (In practice, probabilities smaller than 1 over 1050 are thought of as "zero probability").

Furthermore, a protein molecule of 288 amino acids is a rather modest one compared with some giant protein molecules consisting of thousands of amino acids. When we apply similar probability calculations to these giant protein molecules, we see that even the word "impossible" is insufficient to describe the true situation.

When we proceed one step further in the so-called evolutionary scheme of life, we observe that one single protein means nothing by itself. One of the smallest bacteria ever discovered, Mycoplasma hominis H39, contains 600 types of proteins. In this case, we would have to repeat the probability calculations we have made above for one protein for each of these 600 different types of proteins. The result beggars even the concept of impossibility.

Some people reading these lines who have so far accepted the theory of evolution as a scientific explanation may suspect that these numbers are exaggerated and do not reflect the true facts. That is not the case: these are definite and concrete facts. No evolutionist can object to these numbers.

This situation is in fact acknowledged by many evolutionists. For example, Harold F. Blum, a prominent evolutionist scientist, states that "The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability."1

Evolutionists claim that molecular evolution took place over a very long period of time and that this made the impossible possible. Nevertheless, no matter how long the given period may be, it is not possible for amino acids to form proteins by chance. William Stokes, an American geologist, admits this fact in his book Essentials of Earth History, writing that the probability is so small "that it would not occur during billions of years on billions of planets, each covered by a blanket of concentrated watery solution of the necessary amino acids."2

So what does all this mean? Perry Reeves, a professor of chemistry, answers the question:

When one examines the vast number of possible structures that could result from a simple random combination of amino acids in an evaporating primordial pond, it is mind-boggling to believe that life could have originated in this way. It is more plausible that a Great Builder with a master plan would be required for such a task.3

If the coincidental formation of even one of these proteins is impossible, it is billions of times "more impossible" for some one million of those proteins to come together by chance and make up a complete human cell. What is more, by no means does a cell consist of a mere heap of proteins. In addition to the proteins, a cell also includes nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and many other chemicals such as electrolytes arranged in a specific proportion, equilibrium, and design in terms of both structure and function. Each of these elements functions as a building block or co-molecule in various organelles.

Robert Shapiro, a professor of chemistry at New York University and a DNA expert, calculated the probability of the coincidental formation of the 2000 types of proteins found in a single bacterium (There are 200,000 different types of proteins in a human cell.) The number that was found was 1 over 1040000.4 (This is an incredible number obtained by putting 40,000 zeros after the 1).

A professor of applied mathematics and astronomy from University College Cardiff, Wales, Chandra Wickramasinghe, comments:

The likelihood of the spontaneous formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 noughts after it... It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.5

Sir Fred Hoyle comments on these implausible numbers:

Indeed, such a theory (that life was assembled by an intelligence) is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.6

An article published in the January 1999 issue of Science News revealed that no explanation had yet been found for how amino acids could turn into proteins:

….no one has ever satisfactorily explained how the widely distributed ingredients linked up into proteins. Presumed conditions of primordial Earth would have driven the amino acids toward lonely isolation.7

1. H. Blum, Time's Arrow and Evolution, 158 (3d ed. 1968), cited in W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Thomas Nelson Co., Nashville, 1991, p. 304. (emphasis added)
2. W. Stokes, Essentials of Earth History, 186 (4th ed. 1942), cited in W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Thomas Nelson Co., Nashville, 1991, p. 305.
3. J. D. Thomas, Evolution and Faith, ACU Press, Abilene, TX, 1988, pp. 81-82. (emphasis added)
4. Robert Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Summit Books, New York, 1986, p. 127.
5. Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1984, p. 148. (emphasis added)
6. Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1984, p. 130. (emphasis added)
7. Simpson, Sarah, "Life's First Scalding Steps," Science News, Jan. 9, 1999, 155(2):25.


 
  Quick Grasp of Faith:  
 


How should the remembrance of Allah be?

Believers are aware of the fact that Allah sees and hears them at every instant, and that Allah has created every event they encounter. For that reason they always bear Allah in mind. At every instant of their lives they internally reflect on Allah, and in their dialogues with other believers they remember their Lord's might, His exaltedness, and the perfection of His handiwork in the creation. It is related in the Qur'an that believers always remember Allah as follows:

Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the Earth, [saying]: "Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire." (Surah Al 'Imran: 191)

One remembers Allah by being aware of the fact that every occurrence is created by Him, reflecting on the meaning of those occurrences in one's own life, trying to see and understand the wisdom in the creation of Allah, trying to grasp His exaltedness at every instant and transmitting all these to other people. A person can steadfastly put his trust in Allah when he is facing an apparently difficult situation only if he remembers Allah at that very moment. Therefore, one who is constantly mindful of Allah, is constantly aware of Him and His power, and hence behaves properly.

 

 
  Book Review:  
 
SIGNS OF THE LAST DAY

Some of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad have to do with the Signs of the Last Day. Besides offering information about the Signs of the Last Day, He also made explanations about the period preceding the Last Day. In this book, the Signs of the Last Day are examined  in the light of the verses and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad...>>

 

 
  Site of the Day:  
 


www.perishednations.com

This site explores some nations which were destroyed due to their rebellion against Allah and their denial of His prophets. The purpose of the site is to reveal the manifestations of the Qur'anic verses which give an account of these events and prove once more that the Qur'an is the word of Allah. Besides, it is also intended that all these incidents, each of which is an "example to their own time", can serve as a "warning".

 

2007-12-06 23:58:45
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