|THE AYAT AND THE HADITH OF THE DAY|
|THE TOPIC OF THE DAY|
INCREASING ONE'S FEAR OF ALLAH
Fear of Allah is the primary way to increase one's sincerity. One must dedicate himself to Allah with a profound love after comprehending His greatness, that there are no other forces beyond Him, that it is only Allah Who has created the universe from nothing and Who guards living things compassionately. He thus understands that his only real friend, both in this world and the hereafter, is Allah. Therefore, His consent is the only approval one should seek for. Apart from this profound love, he deeply fears Allah, as Allah has told people in His verses to fear and heed Him:
… So heed Allah. And know that you will be gathered back to Him. (Surat al-Baqara: 203)
The fear of Allah arises out of the understanding and appreciation of His greatness and power. One who comprehends the eminence of Allah's authority and His eternal might knows that he may have to face His wrath and punishment, as part of Divine justice, if he were to fail to lead a life conforming to His wishes. The torments prepared by Allah in the life of this world and the hereafter for those who deny Him are detailed in the verses of the Qur'an, and all people are warned to beware them. Any true believer is always conscious of this fact. Fear of Allah serves to ensure that he continually remembers that his worldly life will sooner or later come to an end, and that all people will finally have to account for their actions and deeds in Allah's presence. Thus, he is always conscious of the said torments. This conscientiousness causes him to feel an inherent fear of facing Allah's chastisement, and therefore to "restrain himself" from it.
Restraint means that one persistenly refuses to behave in ways forbidden and not consented by Allah, and takes no chances whatsoever in duly fulfilling His orders. A sincere man, fearing and being cautious of Allah, is aware of any behavior not consented by Him and takes necessary measures to avoid it. For instance, he would realize if the wicked side of his soul is inclined towards earthly possessions. In such a case, he will put all his wealth and might to use in a noble cause for the sake of Allah, in order to rid himself of the inclination. This is true morality, which is most compatible with sincerity. One who wishes to acquire sincerity, should immediately remember Allah's orders to "spend in the way of Allah" and "fear Allah as much as you can" in order to restrain himself from all behavior unpleasing to Him. As ordered by Allah, he should spend in His way, disregarding the temptations of the wicked side of his soul. The verses state the following:
It is not devoutness to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, those with true devoutness are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who establish prayer (salat) and pay the welfare tax (zakat); those who honor their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who do their duty. (Surat al-Baqara: 177)
Allah instructs people to fear Him as much as they can: "So fear Allah as much as you can; listen and obey" (Surat at-Taghabun: 16). In compliance with this verse, a believer never finds his faith and fear of Allah sufficient. He tries to increase his fear of Allah in his heart and the power to restrain himself until the very last moment. The verses of the Qur'an refer to those "who live in the awe of their Lord":
Those who live in the awe of their Lord in the Unseen will have forgiveness and an immense reward. (Surat al-Mulk: 12)
"… have awe of their Lord and fear an evil Reckoning." (Surat ar-Ra'd: 21)
Fear of Allah and sincerity are nurtured together side by side. True believers try to fear Allah as much as they can in compliance with the above-mentioned verse. These efforts are also known as parts of sincerity. Thus, believers succeed in fearing and guarding themselves from Allah, as indicated in the following verse: "You who believe! Heed Allah with the way He should be heeded and do not die except as Muslims..." (Surah Al 'Imran: 102)
The depth and sensitivity brought by the increase in one's fear of Allah causes the person to become even more cautious and sincere. In addition, he will be able to see the means to approach unto Allah, and use such opportunities as a sincere person. The following verse states that truth in the following manner:
You who believe! Heed Allah and seek the means of drawing near to Him... (Surat al-Ma'ida: 35)
Such a person, who fears Allah deeply, could in no way behave meekly while practicing the morality of the Qur'an. He could never pass up an opportunity to worship Allah. He never forgets that Allah hears and sees him always and everywhere, whether he is alone or surrounded by a large crowd. He acts with the knowledge that he may be faced with Allah's chastisement if he fails to adopt the best comportment. As the fear of Allah felt by such a person increases, his understanding is continuously strengthened. Thus, he never sacrifices any part of his sincerity, as he always remembers the threat of Hell throughout his lifetime.
(For further reading see, "Sincerity Described in the Qur'an" by Harun Yahya.)
|WONDERS OF CREATION FOR THE 19th DAY|
LIGHT-PRODUCING SEA DWELLERS
Many undersea creatures have systems, like fireflies, through which they can produce light. Generally, they use this ability in order to confuse or scare their enemies. Comb jellies are delicate creatures just like jellyfish and sea anemones. They generally feed on microscopic plants and tiny sea animals. Some catch their prey using their sticky tentacles which move in the water like fishing lines. Other varieties have very wide mouths that can swallow many creatures, including other comb jellies. Comb jellies have tiny hairs on their bodies which they use to move forward in the water. In addition, nearly all comb jellies have special light-producing cells along the seam-like ridges of their bodies. Some species have their own interesting characteristics. For example, the red comb jelly flashes when it is touched. At the same time it pours sparkling luminous particles into the water as a protective method to repel its enemies.
Creatures like starfish, sea urchins, and featherstars are called "echinoderms." Most of the surface of their skins is covered with sharp spikes which they use for self-defense. They live on the seashore among coral reefs and on the sea bed. These creatures produce their own light to protect themselves from their enemies. They may have luminous arms or spines or be able to pour clouds of light into the water when attacked by a predator.
We can cite a starfish species as another example of creatures that produce light for self-defense. This starfish lives 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) below the surface of the sea. The ends of its arms gleam with a greenish-blue light. With this luminous warning, it tells potential predators that it has a bad taste. The brittlestar, another luminous marine animal, flashes brightly when attacked and may throw off the tip of one of its arms to send the predator away. This is an important defense tactic. As the tip continues to flash, it attracts the predator, thus giving the brittlestar a chance to make a getaway.
As seen above, the light-producing mechanisms of creatures, too, are examples of the magnificence in Allah's creation. Allah is the Originator, the Incomparable.
|COLLAPSE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION DAY BY DAY|
THE FACT OF CREATION
When we ask how life on Earth emerged, we find two different answers:
One is that living things emerged by evolution. According to the theory of evolution, which makes this claim, life began with the first cell, which itself emerged by chance or by some hypothetical natural laws of "self-organization." Again as a result of chance and natural laws, this living cell developed and evolved, and by taking on different forms gave rise to the millions of species of life on Earth.
The second answer is "Creation." All living things came into existence by being created by an intelligent Creator. When life and the millions of forms it takes, which could not possibly have come into existence by chance, were first created, they had the same complete, flawless, and superior design that they possess today. The fact that even the simplest-looking forms of life possess such complex structures and systems that could never have come about by chance and natural conditions is a clear proof of this.
Outside these two alternatives, there is no third claim or hypothesis today regarding how life emerged. According to the rules of logic, if one answer to a question with two alternative possible answers is proved to be false, then the other must be true. This rule, one of the most fundamental in logic, is called disjunctive inference (modus tollendo ponens).
In other words, if it is demonstrated that living species on Earth did not evolve by chance, as the theory of evolution claims, then that is clear proof that they were formed by a Creator. Scientists who support the theory of evolution agree that there is no third alternative. One of these, Douglas Futuyma, makes the following statement:
Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence. 1
The fossil record provides the answer to the evolutionist Futuyma. The science of fossils (paleontology) shows that all living groups emerged on Earth at different times, all at once, and perfectly formed.
All the discoveries from excavations and studies over the last hundred years or so show that, contrary to evolutionists' expectations, living things came into existence suddenly, in perfect and flawless form, in other words that they were "created." Bacteria, protozoa, worms, molluscs, and other invertebrate sea creatures, arthropods, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals all appeared suddenly, with complex organs and systems. There are no fossils that show any so-called "transition" between them. Paleontology bears the same message as other branches of science: Living things did not evolve, but were created. As a result, while evolutionists were trying to prove their unrealistic theory, they by their own hands produced proof of creation.
Robert Carroll, an expert on vertebrate paleontology and a committed evolutionist, comes to admit that the Darwinist hope has not been satisfied with fossil discoveries:
Despite more than a hundred years of intense collecting efforts since the time of Darwin's death, the fossil record still does not yield the picture of infinitely numerous transitional links that he expected. 2
The world of living things is divided by biologists into such fundamental groups as plants, animals, fungae etc. These are then subdivided into different "phyla." When designating these phyla, the fact that each one possesses completely different physical structures should always be borne in mind. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, and other creatures with jointed legs), for instance, are a phylum by themselves, and all the animals in the phylum have the same fundamental physical structure. The phylum called Chordata includes those creatures with a notochord or, most commonly, a spinal column. All the large animals such as fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals that we are familiar in daily life are in a subphylum of Chordata known as vertebrates.
There are around 35 different phyla of animals, including the Mollusca, which include soft-bodied creatures such as snails and octopuses, or the Nematoda, which include diminutive worms. The most important feature of these phyla is that they possess totally different physical characteristics. The categories below the phyla possess basically similar body plans, but the phyla are very different from one another.
So how did these differences come about?
Let us first consider the Darwinist hypothesis. As we know, Darwinism proposes that life developed from one single common ancestor, and took on all its varieties by a series of tiny changes. In that case, life should first have emerged in very similar and simple forms. And according to the same theory, the differentiation between, and growing complexity in, living things must have happened in parallel over time.
According to Darwinism, life must be like a tree, with a common root, subsequently splitting up into different branches. And this hypothesis is constantly emphasized in Darwinist sources, where the concept of the "tree of life" is frequently employed. According to this tree concept, one phylum must first emerge, and then the other phyla must slowly come about with minute changes over very long periods of time.
That is the theory of evolution's claim. But is this really how it happened?
Definitely not. Quite the contrary, animals have been very different and complex since the moment they first emerged. All the animal phyla known today emerged at the same time, in the middle of the geological period known as the Cambrian Age. The Cambrian Age is a geological period estimated to have lasted some 65 million years, approximately between 570 to 505 million years ago. But the period of the abrupt appearance of major animal groups fit in an even shorter phase of the Cambrian, often referred to as the "Cambrian explosion." Stephen C. Meyer, P. A. Nelson, and Paul Chien, in an article based on a detailed literature survey, dated 2001, note that the "Cambrian explosion occurred within an exceedingly narrow window of geologic time, lasting no more than 5 million years." 3
INTERESTING SPINES: Hallucigenia: One of the creatures that suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Age. This and many other Cambrian fossils have hard, sharp spines to protect them from attack. One thing that evolutionists cannot account for is how these creatures should have such an effective defense system when there were no predators around. The lack of predators makes it impossible to explain these spines in terms of natural selection.
Before then, there is no trace in the fossil record of anything apart from single-celled creatures and a few very primitive multicellular ones. All animal phyla emerged completely formed and all at once, in the very short period of time represented by the Cambrian Explosion. (Five million years is a very short time in geological terms!)
The fossils found in Cambrian rocks belong to very different creatures, such as snails, trilobites, sponges, jellyfish, starfish, shellfish, etc. Most of the creatures in this layer have complex systems and advanced structures, such as eyes, gills, and circulatory systems, exactly the same as those in modern specimens. These structures are at one and the same time very advanced, and very different.
Richard Monastersky, a staff writer at Science News journal, states the following about the Cambrian explosion, which is a deathtrap for evolutionary theory:
A half-billion years ago, ...the remarkably complex forms of animals we see today suddenly appeared. This moment, right at the start of Earth's Cambrian Period, some 550 million years ago, marks the evolutionary explosion that filled the seas with the world's first complex creatures. 4
Phillip Johnson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who is also one of the world's foremost critics of Darwinism, describes the contradiction between this paleontological truth and Darwinism:
Darwinian theory predicts a "cone of increasing diversity," as the first living organism, or first animal species, gradually and continually diversified to create the higher levels of taxonomic order. The animal fossil record more resembles such a cone turned upside down, with the phyla present at the start and thereafter decreasing. 5
As Phillip Johnson has revealed, far from its being the case that phyla came about by stages, in reality they all came into being at once, and some of them even became extinct in later periods. The meaning of the emergence of very different living creatures all of a sudden and perfectly formed, is creation. As we have seen, all the available scientific discoveries disprove the claims of the theory of evolution and reveal the truth of creation.
(For further reading, see "The The collapse of the theory of evolution in 20 questions" by Harun Yahya)
1) Douglas J. Futuyma, Science on Trial, Pantheon Books, New York, 1983, p. 197.
2) Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 25.
3) Stephen C. Meyer, P. A. Nelson, and Paul Chien, The Cambrian Explosion: Biology's Big Bang, 2001, p. 2. (This piece has been updated and gone to print as part of an anthology by Michigan State University Press. For details, please visit http://www.darwinanddesign.com/excerpts.php).
4) Richard Monastersky, "Mysteries of the Orient," Discover, April 1993, p. 40.
5) Phillip E. Johnson, "Darwinism's Rules of Reasoning," in Darwinism: Science or Philosophy by Buell Hearn, Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 1994, p. 12.
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