|THE AYAT AND THE HADITH OF THE DAY |
STRENGTHENING ONE'S CONSCIENCE
Conscience is a power entrusted by Allah with the task of showing mankind the right way. Until the end of their lives, it warns people about the evil in their souls, the incitements of the devil, and all other kinds of behavior disapproved by the Qur'an. It inspires in one the means to please Allah and act in accordance with the Qur'an. Whatever the circumstance, one who listens to the inner voice of his conscience will be able to achieve sincerity. Sincerity means the ability to use one's conscience in the most effective way. It also implies that one should never abandon his conscience, even under the opposition of his lower-self or outside influences.
For this very reason, one who wishes to acquire sincerity should first and foremost determine whether he is making good use of his conscience. If he suppresses his conscience from time to time, does not listen to its voice, and intentionally behaves in a way to please his lower-self, then he is not using his conscience in compliance with the Qur'an. More importantly, as announced in the verse which states, "In fact, man is evidence against himself, though he puts forth his excuses," (Surat al-Qiyama: 14-15) each man intuitively knows that the voice whispering in his ear is the voice of his conscience, and also what excuses he sets forth to be able to ignore that voice.
Conscience is a great blessing and gift to humanity. As expressed by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, renown Turkish scholar, as, "Even if the mind goes on holiday and neglects the opinion, the conscience could never forget its Creator. Even if it denies its own lower self, it sees Him, thinks of Him, and heads towards Him" 1 or "... The Creator having two windows in each conscience shall cause His skill to always manifest itself in human hearts" 2 , the conscience is never caught unawares, even if the man himself is unaware. One's conscience never becomes distracted by the inner-self, even if the person himself does. One's conscience never acts insincerely, or obeys the devil, even if the person does. In brief, one could intentionally or unintentionally commit errors, but his conscience never strays from the straight path or commits errors.
However, one's ability to listen to one's conscience may diminish. If one acts unconcerned to the voice of his conscience, which invites him to the straight path, and if he makes a habit of suppressing this voice, then he will weaken his conscience's influence, and will cause his ability to listen to it to become dull. Even though his conscience warns a person and calls him to do the right thing, he would no longer be swayed by its voice. He would no longer listen to it or consider it significant. Therefore, many types of behavior, which would in no way be accepted by a true believer's conscience, start to by-pass his conscience. Such a person no longer feels the pangs of his conscience while violating the Qur'anic rules. He may behave contrary to Allah's consent, and follow the Devil. He performs deeds unapproved of by the Qur'an without concern. For instance, during war, most people feel great discomfort and uneasiness when they watch defenseless women and children die. They wish to be able to do something to help them. However, in the coming days, reading the same articles and seeing the same scenes over and over in the newspapers, tend to dull one's conscience. From then on, news about death or cruelty no longer influences him. He no longer feels any worry nor is he conscientious of any responsibility. This change clearly marks the dulling of his conscience. Though, in such case, it is no longer impossible to speak of untainted sincerity.
In order to acquire sincerity, first and foremost, one should ensure that he is sensitive to his conscience, as guided by the Qur'an. This is only possible through an increase in one's fear of Allah. One should consider profoundly that Allah hears and sees him, everywhere and at all times. He keeps track of all of his deeds; and will one day call him to account for them. He should strive to comprehend clearly that death could come upon him in just a matter of moments, that he may as well find himself giving account for himself in Allah's presence. He may be faced with the torment in Hell if he had failed to live up to the level of morality indicated by Allah and to make good use of his conscience. If he succeeds in letting these important facts of the Qur'an penetrate well and deeply within his heart, then the dullness of his conscience will be replaced by a conscientious sensitivity. Such sensitivity may, in turn, enable him to act sincerely by listening to the voice of his conscience, whatever the circumstances.
1. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Mesnevi-i Nuriye, p. 215
2. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Mesnevi-i Nuriye, p. 215.
|WONDERS OF CREATION FOR THE 27th DAY|
THE DESIGN OF SNOWFLAKES
Anyone who takes a close look at snowflakes can see that they come in a variety of shapes. It is estimated that a single cubic meter of snow holds about 350 million snowflakes! These flakes are all hexagonal and have crystal-like structures. However, each one of them possesses a unique shape. For years, scientists have been searching for answers to such questions as how these shapes ever came about, how it is that each one of them has a different shape and what provides their symmetry. Every bit of information that is gained reveals another magnificent mastery present in the snowflakes. The variety and perfection of the hexagonal structure of snowflakes is a manifestation of Allah's status as the Originator (al-Badi). Allah is the One Who made good everything that He has created. The formation of snowflakes constitutes yet another aspect of Allah's endless artistry.
These thin, small flakes look like multi-pointed stars or tiny needle heads. The formation of the snowflakes in the pictures is truly amazing. For years, the orderly structure of snowflakes has caught people's attention. Since 1945, research has been carried out in a quest to discover which factors give the final shape to the crystals. A single snowflake is a pile of crystals consisting of more than 200 ice crystals. Snowflakes are made up of water molecules that are shaped in a perfect order. Snowflakes, one of nature's true architectural wonders, are shaped when water vapor gets cold while passing through clouds. This takes place like so:
Passing through the clouds, water molecules scattered everywhere in a disorganized way throughout water vapor begin to lose their random movement due to the fall in temperature. After a while, the water molecules, moving more slowly, begin to form groups and consequently become solid. Yet, there is no disorder whatsoever in their groupings. On the contrary, they always unite as microscopic hexagonal forms that look similar to each other. Each snowflake at first consists of a single hexagonal water molecule, then other hexagonal water molecules come and attach to this first piece. According to experts on the subject, the basic factor that determines the shape of a snowflake is that these hexagonal water molecules are joined together just like links in a chain. In addition, the pieces of crystals, which normally should look alike, take on very different shapes according to the temperature and level of moisture. 1
Why is it that there is a hexagonal symmetry in all snowflakes and why is each of them different from the others? Why are their edges angled rather then straight? Scientists are still trying to find answers to these questions. Yet, this much is evident: Allah is the One Who has no partners in creation, is the Possessor of an endless power and the Originator of everything.
1. Roger Davey, David Stanley, "All about ice," New Scientist, September 6, 1993.
|COLLAPSE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION DAY BY DAY |
COULD LIFE HAVE COME
FROM OUTER SPACE?
When Darwin put forward his theory in the middle of the nineteenth century, he never mentioned how the origin of life, in other words the first living cell, came to be. Scientists looking for the origin of life at the beginning of the twentieth century began to realise that the theory was invalid. The complex and perfect structure in life prepared the ground for many researchers to perceive the truth of creation. Mathematical calculations and scientific experiment and observation demonstrated that life could not be the "product of chance," as the theory of evolution claimed.
With the collapse of the claim that coincidence was responsible and the realisation that life was "planned," some scientists began to look for the origin of life in outer space. The best-known of the scientists who made such claims were Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe. These two cobbled together a scenario in which they proposed that there was a force which "seeded" life in space. According to the scenario, these seeds were carried through the emptiness of space by gas or dust clouds, or else by an asteroid, and eventually reached the Earth, and life thus started here.
Nobel Prize-winner Francis Crick, co-discoverer with James Watson of the double helix structure of DNA, is one of those who has sought the origin of life in outer space. Crick came to realise that it is quite unreasonable to expect life to have started by chance, but he has claimed instead that life on Earth was started by intelligent "extraterrestrial" powers.
The idea that life came from outer space has influenced prominent scientists. The matter is now even discussed in writings and debates on the origin of life. The idea of looking for the origin of life in outer space can be considered from two basic perspectives.
It is not possible for meteors to carry a living organism to Earth because of the intense heat generated when they enter the atmosphere and the violence of impact when they land. Above: A large meteor crater in Arizona. Even if we accept there are living things in outer space, it is still impossible to account for their origins in any other way than through creation.
The key to evaluating the "life began in outer space" thesis lies in studying the meteorites that reached the Earth and the clouds of gas and dust existing in space. No evidence has yet been found to support the claim that celestial bodies contained non-earthly creatures that eventually seeded life on Earth. No research that has been carried out so far has revealed any of the complex macromolecules that appear in life forms.
Furthermore, the substances contained in meteorites do not possess a certain kind of asymmetry found in the macromolecules that constitute life. For instance, amino acids, which make up proteins, which are themselves the basic building blocks of life, should theoretically occur as both left- and right-handed forms ("optical isomers") in roughly equal numbers. However, only left-handed amino acids are found in proteins, whereas this asymmetric distribution does not occur among the small organic molecules (the carbon-based molecules found in living things) discovered in meteorites. The latter exist in both left- and right-handed forms. 1
That is by no means the end of the obstacles to the thesis that bodies and substances in outer space gave rise to life on Earth. Those who maintain such an idea need to be able to explain why such a process is not happening now, because the Earth is still being bombarded by meteorites. However, study of these meteorites has not revealed any "seeding" to confirm the thesis in any way.
Another question confronting the defenders of the thesis is this: Even if it is accepted that life was formed by a consciousness in outer space, and that it somehow reached Earth, how did the millions of species on Earth come about? That is a huge dilemma for those who suggest that life began in space.
Alongside all of these obstacles, no trace has been found in the universe of a civilisation or life form that could have started life on Earth. No astronomical observations, which have picked up enormous speed in the last 30 years, have given any indication of the presence of such a civilisation.
As we have seen, the theory that life on Earth was begun by extraterrestrials has no scientific basis to it. No discoveries have been made to confirm or support it. However, when the scientists who put forward the suggestion began to look in that direction, they did so because they perceived one important truth.
The truth in question is that a theory that seeks to explain life on Earth as being the result of chance is no longer tenable. It has been realised that the complexity revealed in the life forms on Earth can only be the product of intelligent design. In fact, the areas of expertise of the scientists who sought the origin of life in outer space give a clue as to their rejection of the logic of the theory of evolution.
Both are world-renowned scientists: Fred Hoyle is an astronomer and bio-mathematician, and Francis Crick a molecular biologist.
EVOLUTIONISTS' "EXTRATERRESTRIAL" DILEMMA
Claims that the origin of life could lie in space, or even "extraterrestrials," are nothing more than science fiction. No concrete evidence can be supplied to back them up, and news and comments on the subject just consist of speculation that "it could have happened." In fact, these scenarios are quite impossible. Even if we assume that some organic compounds were carried to Earth by meteors, it is a chemical, physical, and mathematical fact that these compounds could not have given rise to life by themselves. The fantasy that life on Earth could have been created by "extraterrestrials" is a ploy by means of which evolutionists try to avoid admitting the existence of God, since life cannot be explained by chance. But this is totally meaningless, too, because the "extraterrestrial" thesis just takes the question one step back, and leads to the question: "Who created the extraterrestrials?" Reason and science lead us to an Absolute Being who created us and all living things, though He Himself was not created and has existed forever. That means God, the Creator of everything.
One point which needs to be considered is that those scientists who look to outer space to find the origin of life do not actually make any new interpretation of the matter. Scientists such as Hoyle, Wickramasinghe, and Crick began to consider the possibility that life came from space because they realised that life could not have come about by chance. Since it was impossible for life on Earth to have begun by chance, they had to accept the existence of a source of intelligent design in outer space.
However, the theory put forward by them on the subject of the origin of this intelligent design is contradictory and meaningless. Modern physics and astronomy have revealed that our universe originated as a result of a huge explosion some 12-15 billion years ago known as "The Big Bang." All matter in the universe came about from that explosion. For this reason, any idea that seeks the origin of life on Earth in another matterbased life form in the universe has to explain in turn how that form of life came into existence. The meaning of this is that such a suggestion does not actually solve the problem, but takes it one step further back. (For more detail, see Harun Yahya's books The Creation of the Universe and Timelessness and The Reality of Fate).
|THE SUPERSTITION EVOLUTIONISTS SO BLINDLY BELIEVE IN:|
||Millions of complex living species|
The above formula is the shortest way of expressing the theory of evolution. Evolutionists believe that inanimate and unconscious collections of atoms and molecules came together and organised themselves over time, finally becoming alive and turning into millions of exceedingly complex and perfect living species. This superstition is backed up by no known physical or chemical law. On the contrary, the laws of physics and chemistry show that time has a "disorganising, destructive" effect, not an "organising" one (the Second Law of Thermodynamics). Actually, the "time" factor is nothing but a deception used by evolutionists to take their theory out of the field of observation. Since no "evolutionary process" which creates new living things can be observed in nature, evolutionists try to gloss over this fact by saying: "Yes, evolution cannot be observed, but it may have taken place over the previous millions of years." This claim is also torn down by the fossil record, which shows that no evolutionary process ever happened.
As we have seen, the thesis that "life came from outer space" does not support evolution, but is a view that reveals the impossibility of evolution and accepts that there can be no other explanation for life than intelligent design. The scientists who suggested this began with a correct analysis but then went down a false road, and started the silly search for the origin of life in outer space.
It is obvious that the concept of "extraterrestrials" cannot account for the origin of life. Even if we accept for one moment the hypothesis that "extraterrestrials" actually exist, it is still clear that they could not have come into being by chance, but must themselves be the product of intelligent design. (That is because the laws of physics and chemistry are the same everywhere in the universe, and they make it impossible for life to emerge by chance.) This shows that God, Who is beyond matter and time, and possesses infinite might, wisdom, and knowledge, created the universe and everything in it.
1. Massimo Pigliucci, Rationalists of East Tennessee Book Club Discussion, October 1997
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