RAMADAN 2005 The 16th Day

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Ayat of the Day

 
 
 

[Dhu’l-Qarnayn said,] “But as for him who believes and acts rightly, he will receive the best of rewards and we will issue a command, making things easy for him.” (Surat al-Kahf: 88)

 


 
  Hadith of the Day:  
 

 

 

"Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm [with glad tidings] and do not repulse [them]."
(Bukhari)

 

 

 
  Miracles of the Qur’an:  
 


ANT COMMUNICATION

The Qur'an indicates, when recounting Prophet Sulayman's (as) life, that ants have a communication system:

Then, when they reached the Valley of the Ants, an ant said: "Ants! Enter your dwellings, so that Sulayman and his troops do not crush you unwittingly." (Surat an-Naml: 18)

Scientific research into ants has revealed that these tiny animals have very organized social lives and that, as a requirement of that organization, they also have a very complex communication network. For example, National Geographic reports that:

Huge and tiny, an ant carries in her head multiple sensory organs to pick up chemical and visual signals vital to colonies that may contain a million or more workers, all of which are female. The brain contains half a million nerve cells; eyes are compound; antennae act as nose and fingertips. Projections below the mouth sense taste; hairs respond to touch.

Even if we are not aware of it, ants use a variety of methods to communicate, thanks to their very sensitive sensory organs. They use these organs at all times, from finding prey to following one another, and from building their nests to waging war. With 500,000 nerve cells squeezed into their 2-3 mm bodies, they possess a communications system that astonishes human beings.

The reactions in their communications have been divided into several specific categories: alarm, recruitment, grooming, exchange of oral and anal liquid, group effect, recognition, caste determination… Ants, which establish an ordered society by means of these reactions, live a life based on the mutual exchange of information. To bring about this exchange, they sometimes exhibit more flawless communication in areas that human beings often cannot resolve through speech, such as coming together, sharing, cleaning, and defense.

Ants mainly communicate on the chemical level. These semi chemicals, known as pheromones, are chemical compounds that are perceived by smell and secreted by internal glands. In addition, they play the most important role in organizing ant societies. When an ant secretes a pheromone, the other ants receive it by means of smell or taste and duly respond. Research into ant pheromones has revealed that all signals are emitted according to the needs of the colony. Moreover, the intensity of the pheromone emitted also varies according to the urgency of the situation at hand.

As we have seen, ants require a profound knowledge of chemistry to do what they do. The fact that the Qur'an emphasized this fact 1,400 years ago, a time when there was no such knowledge about ants, is another one of its scientific miracles. (See Harun Yahya, The Miracle in the Ant, Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2002)


 
  Wonders of Creation:  
 

Plants' Mineral Selection Abilities How Roots Take in Ions from the Soil

The cells in the roots of a plant select particular ions from the soil to use in cell reactions. Plant cells can easily take these ions inside themselves, despite the internal concentration of some ions in the plant being a thousand times greater than that in the soil solution. So, this is a most important process.

Under normal conditions, a transfer of materials will occur from an area with a higher concentration to one with a lower concentration. But as we have seen, just the opposite takes place in the roots' absorbing ions from the soil. For this reason the process requires quite substantial amounts of energy.

Two factors influence the passage of the ions through the cell membrane: the membrane's permeability and the concentration of the ions on either side of the membrane.

Let us examine these two factors by asking some questions about them. What does a plant's choosing the required elements from those in the soil actually mean? Let us first take the concept of "requirements." A root cell has to know all the elements in the plant, one by one, to meet its requirements. It has to establish which of all the elements it knows are lacking in all parts of the plant and identify them as needs. Let us ask another question. How is an element known? If the soil is not in a pure state, in other words if there are other elements mixed up in it, what has to be done to distinguish one element from all the rest?

Will it be possible for someone to tell which is which if elements such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are put in front of him all mixed up? How can he tell them apart? If he has received training in the subject, he may be able to identify some of them. It will be impossible for him to identify the rest, however. So how do plants make the distinction? Or rather, how is it possible for a plant to know elements by itself, and to find those ones most useful for it? Is it possible that such a process should have been carried out in the right way every time for millions of years by chance? In order to think about all of these questions-to which the answer is "Impossible!"-in a more detailed and deeper way, let us examine what kind of selective property roots possess and what happens at the time of selection.

A Perfect Design of Leaves: Pores

There is a perfect design present in every square millimeter of every leaf, an object which we usually consider, at first glance, as being ordinary, "garden variety." Pores, which are one of the essential structures of plants, are a key part of this design. These microscopic holes (pores) that exist on the leaves are responsible for facilitating the transfer of water and heat as well as obtaining carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a gas which is necessary for photosynthesis. In addition, pores have a structure capable of opening and closing themselves when necessary.

Another interesting feature of the pores is that they are mostly located on the bottom of the leaves. In this way, the harmful effects of the sun's rays on the leaves are kept to a minimum. If the pores, which discharge the water of the plant, were densely present on the upper surface, then they would be exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. In such a case, the pores would continuously let out water in order to prevent the plant from dying of heat. Consequently, due to excessive water loss, the plant would wither away and die. Allah, Who has created everything in a perfect and complete way, created the pores as an exclusive design for plants and thus prevented them from suffering harm due to water loss.

The pores, which are located in pairs on the surface tissue of leaves, are shaped like beans. The concave position of the opposite pores adjusts the openings of the pores that maintain the gas transmission between the leaf and the atmosphere. These openings, which are called pore openings, vary according to the conditions of the environment (light, moisture, temperature, carbon dioxide level) and the internal situation of the plant, especially regarding water. The water and gas transmission of the plant are adjusted by the pores' openings getting larger or smaller.

There are very delicate details in the structure of these pores which have been designed by taking all the effects of the outside environment into consideration. We all know that the conditions of the outside environment are subject to continuous change: the moisture and gas ratio, the temperature and the air quality… But the pores of leaves can adapt to all these factors.

This system in plants, as in other systems too, can function only if all the parts are present together. Therefore, it is definitely beyond the realm of possibility for the pores of plants to have come into being through evolutionary coincidences. Allah created the pores with their very exclusive structures, and especially designed them to serve their purposes.


 
  Lives of the Prophets:  
 

 

The Outward Appearance of the Prophet (saas) -I

As well as verses from the Qur'an, statements from the Prophet (saas)'s companions that have come down to us also contain a great deal of information about the Prophet (saas). Many details, such as his relations with his family and the believers around him, details of his daily life, his physical appearance, the feelings of awe he inspired in those who saw him, the food he enjoyed, his clothes and smile are all described by Islamic scholars with the term "outward form" (shamail). The term comprises such ideas as "character, temperament, behavior and attitudes." Even if the concept of "shamail" originally had a broader meaning, it became more specific over time and eventually became a term used to describe the details of the kind of life the Prophet (saas) led and his personality traits.

Every detail of the character and manner of this chosen servant of Allah, whom He favored over all beings, is at the same time a reflection of his superior morality. The main intention for the composition of this chapter on the outward form of the Prophet (saas) is to examine those of his features that have been described in sources that have come down to us, and for us to draw inspiration from them for our own lives.

The physical beauty of the Prophet (saas)

The companions of the Prophet (saas) have passed on a great many detail about him, from the beauty of that blessed individual's external appearance, his radiance and disposition that left those who beheld him in awe, to his smile, and many other beautiful aspects that Allah had manifested in him. There were a fair number of such companions, and they have given many details of his great beauty. Those Muslims who lived at the same time as the Prophet (saas) have described many aspects of the servant of Allah. While some of those describe him in broad terms, others have given long and detailed descriptions. Some of these accounts are as follows:

Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) external appearance and beauty

His companions described the beauty of Prophet Muhammad (saas) in these terms:

" Prophet Muhammad (saas) had a most handsome constitution. Some gave the smile of his beauty to that of the full moon…His nose was thin… His face was smooth…His beard was thick…His neck was the most beautiful…If the rays of the sun fell on his neck, it appeared like a cup of silver mixed with gold… The place between his shoulders was wide." (Imam Ghazzali's Ihya Ulum-Id-Din [The Book of Religious Learnings], Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, 2001,Volume II, p.251)

Anas bin Malik (ra) says:

"The Messenger of Allah, was not excessively tall or short. He was not very pallid nor dark. He did not have curly hair or lank hair. Allah commissioned him at the age of forty. He stayed in Mecca ten years and at Medina for ten years and Allah the Mighty, the Majestic made him die when he was sixty. There were not twenty white hairs in his hair or beard, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." (Malik's Muwatta Hadith, Volume 49, Number1)

"Rasulullah (saas) was so clean, clear, beautiful and handsome." (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi, Islamic Book Service Publications, New Delhi, 2000, p. 17)

Anas bin Malik (ra) says:

"Prophet Muhammad (saas) was neither tall nor short. He was handsome. His hair was neither delicate nor curly. He was neither very white, nor very brown." (Imam Ghazzali's Ihya Ulum-Id-Din (The Book of Religious Learnings), Islamic Book Service, New Delhi, 2001,Volume II, p.250)

 
 
  Evolution Deceit:  
 


The Myth of Vestigial Organs 

For a long time, the concept of "vestigial organs" appeared frequently in evolutionist literature as "evidence" of evolution. Eventually, it was silently put to rest when this was proved to be invalid. But some evolutionists still believe in it, and from time to time someone will try to advance "vestigial organs" as important evidence of evolution.

The notion of "vestigial organs" was first put forward a century ago. As evolutionists would have it, there existed in the bodies of some creatures a number of non-functional organs. These had been inherited from progenitors and had gradually become vestigial from lack of use.

The whole assumption is quite unscientific, and is based entirely on insufficient knowledge. These "non-functional organs" were in fact organs whose "functions had not yet been discovered." The best indication of this was the gradual yet substantial decrease in evolutionists' long list of vestigial organs. S. R. Scadding, an evolutionist himself, concurred with this fact in his article "Can vestigial organs constitute evidence for evolution?" published in the journal Evolutionary Theory:

Since it is not possible to unambiguously identify useless structures, and since the structure of the argument used is not scientifically valid, I conclude that 'vestigial organs' provide no special evidence for the theory of evolution.1

The list of vestigial organs that was made by the German Anatomist R. Wiedersheim in 1895 included approximately 100 organs, including the appendix and coccyx. As science progressed, it was discovered that all of the organs in Wiedersheim's list in fact had very important functions. For instance, it was discovered that the appendix, which was supposed to be a "vestigial organ," was in fact a lymphoid organ that fought infections in the body. This fact was made clear in 1997:

Other bodily organs and tissues—the thymus, liver, spleen, appendix, bone marrow, and small collections of lymphatic tissue such as the tonsils in the throat and Peyer's patch in the small intestine—are also part of the lymphatic system. They too help the body fight infection.2

It was also discovered that the tonsils, which were included in the same list of vestigial organs, had a significant role in protecting the throat against infections, particularly until adolescence. It was found that the coccyx at the lower end of the vertebral column supports the bones around the pelvis and is the convergence point of some small muscles and for this reason, it would not be possible to sit comfortably without a coccyx.

In the years that followed, it was realized that the thymus triggered the immune system in the human body by activating the T cells, that the pineal gland was in charge of the secretion of some important hormones such as melatonin, which inhibits secretion of luteinizing hormone, that the thyroid gland was effective in providing steady growth in babies and children and in metabolism and body activity, and that the pituitary gland controlled skeletal growth and the proper functioning of the thyroid, adrenals, and reproductive glands. All of these were once considered to be "vestigial organs." Finally, the semi-lunar fold in the eye, which was referred to as a vestigial organ by Darwin, has been found in fact to be in charge of cleansing and lubricating the eyeball.

There was a very important logical error in the evolutionist claim regarding vestigial organs. As we have just seen, this claim was that the vestigial organs in living things were inherited from their ancestors. However, some of the alleged "vestigial" organs are not found in the species alleged to be the ancestors of human beings! For example, the appendix does not exist in some ape species that are said to be ancestors of man. The famous biologist H. Enoch, who challenged the theory of vestigial organs, expressed this logical error as follows:

Apes possess an appendix, whereas their less immediate relatives, the lower apes, do not; but it appears again among the still lower mammals such as the opossum. How can the evolutionists account for this?3

Beside all of this, the claim that an organ which is not used atrophies and disappears over time carries a logical inconsistency within it. Darwin was aware of this inconsistency, and made the following confession in The Origin of Species:

There remains, however, this difficulty. After an organ has ceased being used, and has become in consequence much reduced, how can it be still further reduced in size until the merest vestige is left; and how can it be finally quite obliterated? It is scarcely possible that disuse can go on producing any further effect after the organ has once been rendered functionless. Some additional explanation is here requisite which I cannot give.4

Simply put, the scenario of vestigial organs put forward by evolutionists contains a number of serious logical flaws, and has in any case been proven to be scientifically untrue. There exists not one inherited vestigial organ in the human body.

1. S. R. Scadding, "Do 'Vestigial Organs' Provide Evidence for Evolution?," Evolutionary Theory, vol. 5, May 1981, p. 173.
2. The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Home edition, Merck & Co., Inc. The Merck Publishing Group, Rahway, New Jersey, 1997.
3. H. Enoch, Creation and Evolution, New York, 1966, pp. 18-19.
4. Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, http://www.zoo.uib.no/classics/darwin/origin.chap14.html.


 
  Quick Grasp of Faith:  
 


Who are the hypocrites?

Hypocrites are defined in the Qur'an as people who pretend to believe, when in fact they don't, and who hope to take advantage of the believers among whom they live. Allah has informed us that hypocrites are corrupt people, who attempt to cause dissension among believers. In other words, they secretly aim to disturb the peace and harmony of believers. On account of this trait of theirs, they are described as "hypocrites" (munafiqun), meaning those who bring dissension and corruption (nifaq).

Another significant attribute of the hypocrites is that their real character only shows itself when the believers are facing difficulties, but at no other time do they reveal themselves. These people, who think that they are deceiving the believers are, in fact, themselves deceived. In the verse below Allah mentions the mistake that the hypocrites make:

Among the people there are some who say, "We believe in Allah and the Last Day", when they are not believers. They think they deceive Allah and those who believe. They deceive no one but themselves but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. (Surat al-Baqara: 8-10)

Allah has promised them the most painful punishment since they have demonstrated how vile they are. Out of arrogance and for the sake of some worldly benefit, they rejected faith after accepting it, even though full knowledge about religion and the Hereafter had been conveyed to them and even though they knew the messenger and lived together with believers. Their punishment is also because they attempted to cause dissension, were hostile to the messenger and to the believers, and provoked the unbelievers into acting against the believers:

The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find anyone to help them. (Surat an-Nisa': 145)


 
  Book Review:  
 


Jesus (as) Did Not Die

"Like the other prophets, Jesus (as) called upon his people to worship Allah, the One and Only, and to avoid all forms of denial, polytheism, and evil. Those who rejected him oppressed him and his followers. However, their plot to kill him failed, even though they thought that they had succeeded, because Allah raised Jesus (as) to His presence. As the Qur'an reveals and the hadith corroborate, Jesus (as) will return to Earth. Those who claim that he was killed or is dead are seriously mistaken. This is one of the author's main focuses.

While revealing this truth, the author recalls other very important tidings, such as the fact that the signs of Jesus' (as) second coming are becoming ever more apparent. If Allah wills, this event is close at hand, and the world will witness momentous events when it occurs....>>


 
  Site of the Day:  
 


www.riseofislam.com

For the last 10 years, the number of Muslims has been increasing throughout the world, and Islam has been growing. Today every fourth person is a Muslim. This number is expected to grow even more in the near future.

If we put all the news we hear from the media about peoples' turning to Islam together we can grasp the extraordinary course of events. The purpose of this site is to present all these developments collectively, to analyze them and thus help readers to appreciate the due importance of these events. By doing this, the site aims to increase believers' zeal and enthusiasm.

2007-12-09 20:19:30
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