Nabeel and the Seal
Nabeel was watching television after returning home from school one day. There was a documentary program on one channel. Nabeel enjoyed watching documentaries about animals he had never seen in real life. This time the program was about seals. Nabeel sat forward and began watching with interest.
But suddenly he felt cold. He looked round and realized that he was now inside the TV picture. Right beside him was the seal he had just seen on the screen!
"Hello!" he said, shivering a little, to the seal. "It's very cold here, don't you feel it?"
"You must be new here!" answered the seal. "It's always cold. It's 23 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 5 degrees Celsius) at its warmest, even in spring. That suits me just fine because we seals love the cold. We never feel it. How come? Because of our fur, this wonderful coat that Allah has given us! Of course the fat in our bodies also helps protect us against the cold."
"Is that your mother over there?" Nabeel pointed to a much larger seal some distance away. "I think she's looking for you. Call her and let her know where you are if you like..."
The seal went on: "We seals live in big herds and, yes, we look very much like one another. But our mothers never confuse us with any other seal. This is an ability that Allah has given them. As soon as her baby is born, the mother gives him a welcome kiss. Because of this kiss, she recognizes his smell and never gets him mixed up with any other baby. This is one of Allah's countless blessings He has given us. We are grateful to our Almighty Lord because He gave our mothers this ability to recognize us amongst the crowds we live in."
Nabeel had something else he wanted to ask: "I remember reading that you spend most of your time in the water. So how did you learn to swim?"
His new friend explained: "Allah created all of us according to the conditions we live in and made us ready for them. Just as He created the camel according to the conditions of the desert, He created us according to these cold conditions. It is Allah's will that when we are born our bodies have a layer of fat called baby fat. Our little bodies stay warm by means of this fat. And because the fat layer is lighter than water it acts as a kind of lifebelt when our mothers are teaching us to swim. After two weeks of swimming lessons we become really great swimmers and divers."
"So, Allah created a special lifebelt inside your bodies for you so you can learn to swim! How wonderful!"
"That's right," said the little seal. "Every living thing He created so perfectly is a proof that Allah has power over everything."
Just at that moment Nabeel was awakened by a warm kiss on the cheek from his mother. The documentary on the television was still going on. Nabeel remembered the dream he had just had and smiled at the little seal on the screen.
... If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them... (Surah Ibrahim: 34)
Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and all the creatures... (Surat ash-Shura: 29)