STEP BY STEP
TO ALL-OUT WAR
Until now, we have discussed the general structure of the defence system,
its organs, cells, and enemies. In this chapter, we will explore the deadly
warfare between our defence system and enemy cells, and the wonderful
defence our body mounts.
The brave battle fought by of our defence system is comprised of three
1. Identification of the enemy, first action.
2. The attack of the real army, all-out war.
3. Retreat to a normal state.
The defence system has to clearly identify the enemy before it starts
the fight. This is because each engagement differs from the other depending
on the type of enemy. Moreover, if this piece of intelligence is not properly
handed on, our defence system may inadvertently attack the body's own
The phagocytes, known as the scavenger cells of the defence system, take
the first action. They fight hand-to-hand with the enemy. They are just
like infantrymen who fight with bayonets against enemy units.
Sometimes, phagocytes cannot catch up with the increasing numbers of
the enemy, at which point big phagocytic cells, macrophages cut in. We
can liken the macrophage to cavalrymen cleaving their way through the
middle of the foe. At the same time, macrophages secrete a fluid, which
sets off a general alarm in the body to increase the body temperature.
Macrophages have yet another important characteristic. When a macrophage
cell captures and engulfs a virus, it tears off a special portion of the
virus, which it carries on itself like a flag. This serves as a sign for
the other elements of the defence system as well as an item of information.
Once the gathered intelligence is forwarded to the helper T cells, by
the help of which they identify the enemy, their first task is to immediately
alert the killer T cells, stimulating them to multiply. Within a short
period, the stimulated killer T cells will become a formidable army. This
is not the only function of the helper T cells. They also ensure that
more phagocytes arrive at the battlefront while they transfer the gathered
intelligence relating to the enemy to the spleen and lymph nodes.
Once the lymph nodes receive this information, the B cells, which have
been waiting for their turn, are activated. (The B cells are manufactured
in the bone marrow and then migrate to the lymph nodes to wait for their
turn to be of service).
The activated B cells go through a number of stages. Every stimulated
B cell begins to multiply. The multiplication process continues until
thousands of identical cells are formed. Then, the B cells, which are
ready for war, start to divide and are transformed into plasma cells.
Plasma cells also secrete antibodies, which will be used as weapons during
the fight with the enemy. As stated in earlier chapters, B cells are capable
of producing thousands of antibodies in a second. These weapons are very
handy. They are capable enough to bind to the enemy first, and then to
destroy the biological structure of the enemy (antigen).
1. A macrophage that takes in an invader organism
and binds to a helper T cell. The secretion that activates the helper
T cell (interleukin, IL-1) also stimulates the brain to increase
the body temperature. This causes the common cold, which in turn
increases the activity of immunity cells.
2. Once activated, the helper T cell produces
interleukin 2 (IL2) which causes the other helper T cell and killer-T
cell to develop and divide. (BCGF-B Cell Growth Factor
3. When the number of B cells increase, helper
T cells produce another substance, which orders B cells to stop
multiplying and start producing antibodies. (BCDF-B Cell Development
4. With the same signal, helper T cells also activate
killer T cells.
If human beings were given the order to direct even just this signaling
system, alone, life would certainly be quite difficult for them.
If the virus penetrates the cell, the antibodies cannot capture the virus.
At this point, the killer T cells come into play again and, by identifying
the viruses in the cell with the help of MHC molecules, they kill the
However, if the virus has been successfully camouflaged, escaping even
the notice of killer T cells, then "natural killer cells", briefly called
NKs, swing into action. These cells destroy the cells which host viruses
in them, and which are imperceptible to other cells.
After the victory is won, suppressor T cells stop the war. Although the
war is over, it is never to be forgotten. Memory cells have stored the
enemy in their memory. Staying in the body for years, these cells help
the defence to be faster and more effective if the same enemy is encountered
The heroes of this war have not received any military training.
The heroes of this war are not human beings able to reason.
The heroes of this war are cells so minuscule as to hardly cover a full
stop when they come together in millions.
Moreover, this amazing army does not engage in fighting alone. It manufactures
all the weapons it will use during the war; it makes all war plans and
strategies itself, and cleans up the battleground after the war. If all
these processes were left in the control of man, and not cells, would
we ever be able to handle such a feat of organization?
1. THE WAR BEGINS
As viruses start to invade the body, some will be captured by the
antigens with the assistance of the macrophages and subsequently
destroyed. Some of millions of T helper cells travelling in the
circulatory system have the ability to "read" this specific antigen.
These particular T cells become active when they bind to the macrophages.
2. FORCES MULTIPLY
Once activated, helper T cells begin to multiply. They then warn
the killer T cells and B cells, which are few in number and sensitive
to the enemy virus, to multiply. When the number of B cells increases,
the helper T cells send them a type of signal to initiate the manufacturing
3. DEFEATING THE INFECTION
At this point, some viruses have successfully penetrated the cells.
The only place where viruses can multiply is in the body cells.
With the chemical materials they secrete, killer T cells cause the
death of these cells by drilling through their membranes, and removing
the elements inside. Thus they prevent the virus in the cell from
reproducing. By holding directly on to the surface of the virus,
antibodies inactivate them and prevent them from invading other
cells. In conclusion, cells that are infected are destroyed with
the aid of chemical substances, which were prepared prior to the
4. AFTER THE WAR
After the battle is won, and the disease has been eradicated, suppressor
T cells stop the whole offensive system. Memory T and B cells remain
in the blood and lymphatic system in order to become immediately
activated in case a virus of the same type is met.
What If The War In The Body Were Left In The Control
Of Humans Beings
People do not immediately realise that microbes or viruses are invading
their bodies. Only when the symptoms of their illness surface do humans
become aware of them. This is proof that a virus, a bacterium, or a similar
micro-organism has long ago settled within their body. This means that
the primary intervention has resulted in failure. Such unchecked conditions
could cause the disease to progress considerably, resulting in irremediable
dispositions. Even if the person has been infected with a curable and
relatively simple disease, delayed response may result in a serious crisis,
or even death.
Now, let us imagine that the coordination and control of the elements
of the defence system and the ensuing strategies to be developed and implemented,
the overseeing of the war itself were all left to human beings. What sort
of difficulties would we confront?
Let us assume that the initial symptoms were effectively diagnosed. When
foreign cells enter the human body, immediately the warrior cells must
be manufactured and then sent to the area of conflict. The B cells must
immediately commence the production of the weapon (antibody). How are
we to determine the type and location of these foreign cells? This is
a significant point, as future treatment depends on this initial stage.
To do this, the only solution for the person would be to have a medical
check-up which covered all the organs of his body down to every drop of
his blood at the slightest suspicion of invaders having entered the body.
Otherwise, it would be impossible to determine the type and location of
the antigens. The long time needed for such a process would undoubtedly
cause a serious delay in timely intervention. It is evident how troublesome
and distressful life would be for people if they had to go to the doctor's
to undergo such a check-up on the merest hint of infection.
Millions of lymphocytes circulating within
our bloodstream are charged with the responsibility of destroying
harmful organisms contained in the human body. In these pictures,
you can see a killer T cell (orange) attacking a cancer cell. The
T cell destroys the protective membrane of the cancer cell with
the help of its caustic enzymes and destroys the cell. At the end
of the attack the only thing that remains is the large, round, almost
naked nucleus of the cancer cell. (large picture)
Let us suppose that timely intervention was possible and the type and
location of antigens could be identified precisely. Depending on the type
of the enemy, first the phagocytes have to be activated. How can phagocytes
be directed to rush to the exact location? What kind of a message would
help them to locate the enemy easily? Let us suppose that the impossible
became the possible. Then comes the time to learn whether the phagocytes
have won the war or not. Depending on the result, either the macrophages
will be launched or the war will be stopped. No doubt, the only possible
solution lies with visiting the doctor again and having a thorough check-up.
If the war has not been won, the secondary forces, that is, the macrophages,
must be sent to the area of conflict. Meanwhile, the time spent on the
check-up would work against us. Without losing any time, the macrophages
have to tear a piece off the enemy and warn the helper T cells. The helper
T cells will in turn warn the killer T cells, thus initiating another
struggle. These cells, too, must be checked on as to whether they are
successful or not - for which, again, a doctor's help is needed - and
then the NK cells must be called in for assistance. After a final examination,
it will be determined if the defence system has been effective in defeating
If man were asked to control only his defence system and nothing else,
he would have to be involved in such a complicated and difficult process.
Even a simple common cold would require him to go to the doctor's many
times over, follow up the recovery course of the cells with extremely
advanced medical equipment, and direct them as necessary. Even the slightest
delay or a problem in the course of the process would cause the illness
to be further aggravated.
What if man were asked to form these cells, make them recognise the enemy
and manufacture the appropriate antibodies, then teach and organise all
the processes they would perform Unquestionably, such a life would be
far more troublesome and distressful than the aforementioned model. It
would literally be impossible.
Allah has taken the burden of this process away from humans, creating
a faultless system to work in the most immaculate and independent manner
ever imaginable. Just like everything else in the universe, our defence
system, too, has obeyed its purpose of creation to become an indispensable,
critical element of life:
Hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do (Surat al-Inshiqaq:
We have explored in previous chapters how the defence system distinguishes
between friendly and hostile cells with the help of the receptors. However,
the building blocks of some hostile cells are almost identical to those
of certain tissues in the human body. This represents a significant problem
for the defence system, which might conceivably attack some of its own
Under normal conditions, though, such a response never happens in a healthy
human body. The defence system never attacks a molecule, cell, or tissue
of its own. In medical terms this phenomenon is referred to as "tolerance".
This constitutes an extremely important miracle. We can clearly see that
the defence system is fully capable of differentiating between thousands
of proteins. For example, the defence system must distinguish the haemoglobin
found in blood from the insulin secreted by the pancreas and from the
vitreous humour contained in the eye, and indeed, from everything else
in the human system. The defence system knows that while it fights a merciless
war against foreign molecules, it must not harm any tissues belonging
to the human body.
Elements of the defence system can harm themselves
if they are unable to distinguish between friendly and enemy cells.
Here you can see the organism attacking its own cell as if it were
For many years, researchers have tried to understand how the defence
system has learned to be tolerant towards its own tissues. Yet, details
concerning why the most important lymphocytes, namely, the T and B cells,
do not attack the human body have only been revealed in the last 20 years.
The tolerance process, only a small portion of which mankind has been
able to discover as the result of years long research, has been in operation
since the human being came into existence.
How then has the defence system possessed the ability to distinguish
the various different structures from each other? Can this be the result
of unconscious coincidences as the theory of evolution suggests? It is
certainly impossible for structures made up of unconscious atoms to coincidentally
acquire this selection ability that requires such consciousness, information
When specially designed structures of lymphocytes enabling them to make
the right choise is investigated, it will be understood how illogical
and unreasonable the claim of evolutionists is.
A defence cell developed within the bone marrow or the thymus would be
killed or inactivated if it reacted to the products of the body. A mature
lymphocyte faces the same consequence in case it attacks the body's own
products. That is to say that any element of the defence system likely
to harm the body is either killed or forced to commit suicide obeying
the command it receives.
However, if a T cell is confronted by another body cell, it does not
attack but rather inactivates itself. Similarly, if there is any substance
in the body that carries antigen properties which should not, however,
be destroyed, the human body does not produce any antibodies and so does
not attack it.
If we consider the fact that our body contains around 1 trillion lymphocytes,
we can appreciate the miraculous discipline required to ensure that these
cells only target enemy cells and spare friendly cells.
The Protected Barrier
In essence, the embryo in a mother's womb should normally be considered
foreign matter by the host human body. Subsequently, when the embryo is
first formed, the body would immediately instigate a struggle against
it. The defence system would not allow such an 'enemy' to develop. However,
despite this negative scenario, the embryo is not as vulnerable as we
might assume. After it is formed, it succeeds in fully developing over
an extended period of 9 months, completely protected against the intended
attacks of the antibodies.
How then is this achieved?
There is a barrier surrounding the embryo specially created to absorb
only the nutrients in the blood. This barrier helps the embryo to take
up the necessary nutrients for its development, while isolating it from
the destructive effect of antibodies.
Otherwise, the antibodies would immediately attack the embryo (considered
as a foreign substance) and destroy it. The isolation of the embryo from
the antibodies with such a special protection is one of the most perfect
examples of creation in the mother's womb.
Neither mutation, nor natural selection nor any other so-called evolutionary
mechanism could have incorporated such perfect creation in the evolution
tale. The miracle of creation is self-evident. In the Qur'an, Allah states
that He placed the embryo in a secure repository:
Did We not create you from a base fluid, then place
it in a secure repository for a recognised term? It is We Who determine.
What an excellent Determiner! (Surat al-Mursalat: 20-23)
There are occasions when these cells fail to fulfill their functions.
However, it should never be forgotten that if Allah had willed, this would
not happen either. Such disorders are created for a hidden cause for people
to clearly comprehend how temporary and incomplete the life of this world
actually is. Were it not for the existence of a variety of diseases and
illnesses, humans would be likely to forget how helpless they were against
Allah Who created them. They might fail to remember that no matter how
advanced technology is, their recovery, as well as their life, depend
on the will of Allah alone. They may continue to live as if they will
remain in good health forever, as if they will never meet death and be
called to account for their actions in the presence of Allah on the Day
of Judgment. They may live on without reflecting on the plight of those
who are sick, deprived and oppressed. Therefore, they may fail to appreciate
that their health is a blessing from Allah and that they should live their
lives in the most favourable and productive way. People of this sort,
however, hardly ever accept these facts, which we have listed above. Illnesses
make people accept them in a flash. It is not until then that people start
to think about things that never occurred to them before, such as their
helplessness and incapacity against the power of Allah, the fact that
technology, which developed by the will of Allah, can again only be of
any use by His will; they think of those people in need, of death, and
depending on their illness, even the stage beyond death. Only then do
people appreciate their health. Furthermore, they witness the undependability
of the life of this world, to which they were blindly devoted and committed
with all their existence; this causes them to re-assess whether they have
worked enough for the hereafter, their true abode.
Indeed, our true abode is not this world, but the hereafter. Life in
the hereafter is not limited by years, nor is its quality dictated by
such basic needs as sleeping, feeding, or cleaning, or by negative factors
such as diseases. The endless blessings in heaven are stated in the following
verse of the Qur'an:
They will remain there timelessly, for ever, among
everything their selves desire. (Surat al-Anbiya': 102)
It is a pity that the majority of people do not appreciate their health,
or think of the fleeting nature of the life of this world. And only if
they fall ill do they pray to Allah. When, however, they are restored
to health and return to their daily lives, they forget everything. In
the Qur'an, Allah draws attention to this characteristic of humans:
When harm touches people they call on their Lord,
repenting to Him. But then, when He gives them a taste of His mercy, a
group of them immediately associate others with their Lord. (Surat ar-Rum:
Allah, Who knows the truth of things (al-Khabir), created thousands of
types of diseases, all of which lie in store for human beings. There is
no guarantee that one of them, maybe the most dangerous one, will not
infect you. Every miraculous organ and system in our body is apt to wear
down and fail to operate. As we have stated earlier, if Allah had willed
it so, none of this would happen and no problems would occur in any of
our organs and systems. It is obvious that there is a message delivered
to human beings in all these happenings, that is the temporary nature
of the life of this world