Ali's Little Friend
Ali and his family went to the country early one Sunday for a picnic. His mother arranged the picnic materials on the ground.
His mother had filled the basket with carrots, Ali's favorite. Right away, Ali sat under a tree. He was reading a book and eating carrots. He saw a rabbit approaching the basket. Ali sat up slowly, trying not to scare the little rabbit.
"You must be hungry, little rabbit," he said.
"Well… yes. I like carrots a lot," the rabbit agreed.
"Come on," said Ali: "Let's eat them together and talk. There are many things I'd like to ask you…."
The rabbit began speaking: "We rabbits live in nests called burrows, which we dig under the ground. And carrots suit our underground life very well because they grow down into the ground. So, we can find them easily. Carrots are our favorite food, and Allah has created them so that we have no difficulty in finding them. Because Allah wills it to be this way, we have no problem finding food. This is one of the miracles of His creation."
Ali thought how Allah has created everything just in right way for animals to use. He remembered the orange he had eaten in the winter. He was amazed at how it came out of its skin in slices so that he could eat it easily. Had it come in a different form, he thought, it might have been difficult to eat. Oranges contain a lot of Vitamin C, which is very good for our health, and Ali thanked Allah for creating oranges ready sliced and packaged so that people can eat them easily. And, of course, it is another blessing that we have teeth to eat them with. Allah also gave rabbits their front teeth to gnaw carrots with.
"OK," said Ali, "What other special abilities has Almighty Allah given to you?"
The rabbit replied: "Allah has given every creature abilities to make its life easier. There are many kinds of rabbits with different abilities in the world. For example, rabbits that live in cold regions are usually white, so that they are hard to see in the snow and can hide easily. Wild rabbits like me have longer legs and ears. Rabbits that live in the American desert have huge ears. They help the rabbits to cool off in the heat of the desert."
Ali nodded: "Everyone knows the story of you and the tortoise. You're a fast runner, aren't you?"
"Yes," nodded the rabbit. "My back legs are longer and more powerful than my front ones. So I can run between 40 and 45 miles an hour (60 km/h and 70 km/h) and sometimes leap 20 feet (6 meters) in a single jump."
"So, how do you find your underground home, and when you're not there, does another rabbit move in?" Ali wondered.
"Some animals mark their houses with a scent," his new friend explained. "For example, gazelles leave behind a substance secreted from a gland under their eyes. The scent from this substance marks the territory in which they live. We have glands in our jaws and we mark our homes with the scent from them. So another rabbit doesn't move in and we can find our houses easily. Of course, this is not something we do by ourselves, but by Allah's inspiration."
"Do you have any brothers and sisters?" asked Ali.
"We rabbits reproduce very quickly," answered his friend. "Our mothers are only pregnant for a short time, about 28-33 days. They give birth to many babies at one time. For example, I have 15 brothers and sisters… The young stay with their mother for about one month. And rabbits have another characteristic: they can mate 3-4 days after they are born."
At that moment, Ali's father came and joined in their conversation.
"Even I didn't know all this, little rabbit," he said: "May Allah reward you well. How wonderfully He has created the whole universe and everything and every creature in it. In the Qur'an our Almighty Lord says:
That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything. (Surat al-An'am: 102)
He has given us all our blessings so that we may give thanks to Him and win His favor in this earthly life where we undergo the trials that prepare us for eternal life. You know that Allah tells us in the Qur'an that He has created us solely to worship Him. The best thing we can do is give thanks for all our blessings, organize our lives according to the Qur'an and live for Allah. Allah says in the Qur'an: 'Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds.' (Surat al-Kahf: 28)"
"Dad," asked Ali: "If you just look around and consider, there's so must to be thankful for, isn't there? A tree we see every day, a bird flying, a little rabbit… When you look carefully at all these things, you see a perfect Creation in each one of them. And it is only the perfect creative power of Almighty Allah that can do this, isn't that right? Otherwise, how could a rabbit be smart enough to acquire all these abilities by itself?"
"You're right, Ali," replied the rabbit: "If Allah didn't give us all our abilities when He created us, none of us have the power to acquire them on our own."
Ali's father added: "Ali, it was good that we came on this picnic. At first you didn't want to come with us, but then you got to know this little rabbit and your conversation has made you think about a few things."
"You're right, Dad," Ali agreed. "Our conversation has helped me to see Allah in everything. Thank you, little rabbit. I have to go with my father now. I'll ask my mother if we have any more carrots, and if we do, I'll bring them to you. See you later; bye for now."
"Thank you, Ali," said the little rabbit. "May Allah bless you."
In the heavens and Earth there are certainly Signs for the believers. And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty. (Surat al-Jathiyya: 3-4)