Ayat of the Day
Allah will admit those who believe and do right actions into Gardens with rivers flowing under them. Allah does whatever He wishes. (Surat al-Hajj: 14)
Hadith of the Day:
"Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me." (Bukhari)
Miracles of the Qur’an:
THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE
Humanity's exploration of space was accelerated with the Soviet satellite Sputnik on 4 October 1957, which carried aloft the first man to ever leave Earth's atmosphere: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. On 20 July 1969, the American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being ever to set foot on the Moon.
In fact, the Qur'an revealed that such developments and achievements would one day be realized. For instance, Allah draws our attention to this in the following verse:
O company of jinn and human beings! If you are able to pierce through the confines of the heavens and Earth, pierce through them. You will not pierce through, except with a clear authority. (Surat ar-Rahman: 33)
The Arabic word sultan, translated here as "a clear authority," has other meanings as well: force, power, sovereignty, dominion, law, path, permission, give leave, justify, and proof.
Careful examination reveals that the above verse emphasizes that humanity will be able to move into the depths of Earth and sky, but only with a superior power. In all likelihood, this superior power is the superior technology employed in the twentieth century, for it enabled scientists to achieve this great feat.
THE VOYAGE TO THE MOON
And [I swear by] the Moon when it is full, you will mount up stage by stage! What is the matter with them, that they have no faith? (Surat al-Inshiqaq: 18-20)
After referring to the Moon, the above verses then say that people will mount up stage by stage. The term tarkabu comes from the verb rakiba, (to mount, walk on a path, follow, embark upon, set about, participate, or rule). In the light of these meanings, it is very likely that the expression "you will mount up stage by stage" refers to a vehicle to be boarded.
Indeed, the astronauts' spacecraft pass through each layer of the atmosphere one by one, and then begin to pass through the Moon's gravitational field. Thus, the Moon is reached by moving through individual layers. In addition, the swearing by the Moon in Surat al-Inshiqaq 18 further strengthens this emphasis, meaning that the verse may well be a sign that humanity will travel to the Moon. (Allah knows best.)
Wonders of Creation:
Defense Strategies in Plants-1
Plants also have to defend themselves from their enemies in certain ways. This defense varies with the species. For example, some plants give off diverse secretions against parasites and insects and fight their enemies that way. They display a wide variety of strategies in using these poisonous chemical secretions, which is their number one weapon. For example, toadstools and cucumbers have poisonous tips, and these go into operation at the moment of attack. Another example of this fully equipped war is found in plane trees. With the help of a special liquid which it exudes from its leaves, the plane tree systematically poisons the soil under its trunk, so much so that not even the smallest blade of grass can grow in it. Although it contains this poisonous material within its own body, the plane tree itself is not harmed by it.
Plants, which have no legs to carry them away if they are attacked and no organs to fight with, have many defense mechanisms which respond to their enemies other than their secretions. There is even the ability to communicate within these mechanisms. Some plants give off a secretion from the place where they are bitten, harming an insect's digestive system or giving it a false feeling of fullness. At the same time, the leaf gives off a kind of acid, known as jasmonic acid from the damaged part, thus warning other leaves so that they can be on the defensive.
These properties in plants are defense systems specially created by Allah. Our Lord, Who plans all things down to the finest detail, has created all plants on Earth together with all the details they require for their survival. Allah is He Who creates all things from nothing, the flawless Creator. In one verse it is revealed that:
"He directs the whole affair from heaven to Earth..." (Surat as-Sajda: 5)
To defend themselves, corn and bean plants use parasitic wasps just like mercenaries. When a caterpillar visits their leaves, these plants draw wasps to the spot by giving off a special secretion. The wasps then leave their larvae on the caterpillars which have attacked the plant. The growing larvae then cause the death of the caterpillar, thus rescuing the plant. Some plants contain allelochemicals, that is, toxic compounds in their structures. These have effects which are sometimes attractive to animals and insects, sometimes frightening, sometimes causing allergic reactions, and sometimes lethal.
For example, butterflies avoid plants of the group cruciferae (the mustards) cannot approach heather plants, because their flowers contain a toxic substance called sinigrin in their defense mechanisms. For this reason, butterflies forage avidly among the umbelliferae, because they know that these do not carry poison. How butterflies could have learned to distinguish between them is also a question awaiting an answer. It is impossible for the butterfly to have learned this from experience. Tasting the plant could mean the butterfly's death. In that case, the butterfly must come by this information in some other way.
Maples', and particularly sugar maples', defense planning for the protection of their leaves and shoots from harmful living creatures is usually much more effective than the insecticides human beings produce. Although the sugar maple has very sugary water in its trunk, it sends a substance called "tannin" to its leaves. This is a substance which makes insects ill. Insects, having eaten the leaves containing tannin, go up to the uppermost leaves, which contain less tannin, to escape. But the uppermost leaves are where birds go most. The insects which flee there are then hunted by birds. Thanks to this strategy, the sugar maple is saved from the depredations of insects with little harm done.
Lives of the Prophets:
BIRTH OF MUSA (AS)
Prophet Musa (as) was born into adversity. Even at the moment of his birth, his life was already in jeopardy. Pharaoh ordered all male children killed and the females spared for slavery. Ensnared by such circumstances, Musa (as) was forced to lead his life among the slaves under the constant threat of death. His mother had been concerned about him until the moment she was inspired by Allah:
We revealed to Musa's mother, "Suckle him and then when you fear for him cast him into the sea. Do not fear or grieve; We will return him to you and make him one of the Messengers." (Surat al-Qasas: 7)
Allah instructed Musa's (as) mother and told her to put him into a chest and send it floating down the Nile, if the soldiers of Pharaoh ever learned about his birth. As she feared for the life of her son, she followed what was revealed to her. Not knowing where and how the flowing waters would have carried her son, she placed Musa (as) into a chest and released him to the waters of the Nile. However, by the inspiration of Allah, she knew he would ultimately return back to her and become a prophet. Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of everything, created Musa (as) and his mother and allowed them know their destiny. Some time later, Allah reminded Musa (as) about the facts of his early childhood as follows:
When We revealed to your mother: "Place him into the chest and throw it into the sea and the sea will wash it up on the shore, where an enemy of Mine and his will pick it up..."(Surah Ta-Ha: 38-39)
At this point, we should expand on the subject of destiny. Allah, as specified in the above verse, told the mother of Musa (as) to leave the child in the water, and informed her that Pharaoh would later find him, and that Musa (as) would ultimately return to her as a messenger of Allah. In other words, that Musa (as) would be placed in a chest and sent to the river, that he would be found and taken care of by Pharaoh, and that he would eventually become one of the prophets, were all known beforehand. That is because all of these events were predetermined by Allah, according to His will, and which He allowed Musa's (as) mother to know of in advance.
Here, we should make note that all the details pertaining to the life of Musa (as) were predetermined in the sight of Allah, and that they had all come true as had been ordained. The fulfillment of the revelation offered to Musa's (as) mother was possible through the occurrence of countless conditions predetermined by destiny.
Musa's (as) avoiding the soldiers of Pharaoh and his reaching the palace of Pharaoh without drowning were dependent on the fulfillment of certain conditions. They are the following:
1- The chest the baby Musa (as) was placed in would have to have been watertight. Therefore, he who constructed the chest would have crafted it in appropriate manner so as to allow to float. Moreover, the shape of the chest was an important factor as far as its speed on the water; it had to neither flow too quickly, floating passed Pharaoh's palace, nor too slowly, stopping at some point before the Palace. The chest would have to have been crafted into just the exact shape so as to allow it to float at just the right speed. These factors all comprised the numerous details preordained as part of the carpenter's destiny, crafting the chest exactly as he had to.
2- The current that had carried the chest would have to have been neither too fast nor too slow, but just the right speed. This could have only been possible by a precise calculation of the amount of rainfall which constituted the Nile's water volume-intensity per minute. This amount is also part of the intricate details in the destiny predetermined by Allah.
3- The blowing winds must have also affected the chest in the appropriate manner. That is, the winds also blew in compliance with a certain predetermined destiny. They must have blown neither too fast to cause it to drift, nor in the opposite direction, changing its direction, and nor too slow, slowing its speed.
4- When in the Nile, no one could have found the chest. That is, no one, except who should have, was supposed to have come across it or noticed it. Consequently, in compliance with a specified destiny, every one living along the Nile had not been near to or noticed the chest. In fact, these conditions were all part of the destiny preordained by Allah.
5- As well as the life of Musa (as), the lives of Pharaoh and his family, were also set to comply with a certain destiny. They would also have to have been exactly at the right place at the right time so as to permit them find Musa (as). The family of Pharaoh could have planned to come to the shore earlier. The factor which had ordained them to come there at the precise time was their destiny.
The above are only a few of the factors which allowed Pharaoh find Musa (as). All of them had occurred exactly as was revealed to Musa's (as) mother. In fact, the promise Allah gave to the mother of Musa (as), and all the other events which have happened, have all taken place and been fulfilled as already ordained by Allah.
The events involved in Musa's (as) destiny were not limited to only those events recounted so far. Each moment of his life was carefully predetermined according to a specific destiny. Neither the place nor the year of his birth, nor the people he was surrounded by, nor his mother or father were designated according to his own choice. It was Allah Who ordained and created each one. This fact was also proclaimed by Prophet Muhammad (saas) who said "Everything is by decree—even incapacity and ability" (Muslim)
A deeper consideration of these incidents will allow us to have a better grasp of how every moment of our lives is bound within our destiny. Through numerous examples, Musa's (as) story allows one to contemplate the meaning and implications of his destiny. In the various details of the story of Musa (as), Allah reminds us that an individual's life, as well as the lives of all mankind and the whole universe, are bound within the destiny he has ordained.
Just as how Musa (as) floated on the Nile in compliance with his destiny, so were Pharaoh and his family made to reach the place where they were to encounter Musa (as). From the verses related to this subject, we learn that Pharaoh's family had behaved exactly as was previously revealed to Musa's (as) mother, that is, they had taken Musa (as) under their care without being aware of what the future would hold for them:
The family of Pharaoh picked him up so that he might be an enemy and a source of grief to them. Certainly Pharaoh and Haman and their troops were in the wrong. The wife of Pharaoh said, "A source of delight for me and for you; do not kill him. It may well be that he will be of use to us or perhaps we could adopt him as a son." They were not aware. (Surat al-Qasas: 8-9)
And thus Pharaoh and his family, utterly unaware of what the destiny had in store for them, found Musa (as) and adopted him as their own. In fact, they had decided to keep him in the hope that the child would some day be of some benefit to them.
In the meantime, Musa's (as) mother was concerned about her son since she did not know what had happened to him. To cope with this situation, Allah strengthened her heart:
Mother of Musa felt a great emptiness in her heart and she almost gave him away; only We fortified her heart so that she would be one of the believers. She said to his sister, "Go after him." And she kept an eye on him from afar and they were not aware. We first made him refuse all wet-nurses, so she [Musa's sister] said, "Shall I show you to a household who will feed him for you and be good to him?"
That is how We returned him to his mother so that she might delight her eyes and feel no grief and so that she would know that Allah's promise is true. But most of them do not know this. (Surat al-Qasas: 10-13)
The baby Musa (as) refused all the wet nurses, that is, he did not drink their milk, because, according to the destiny outlined for him, Allah had ordained him to drink only his own mother's milk. This makes light of the fact that everything human beings wish for are also in compliance with the destiny ordained by Allah. As had been revealed to his mother, the Prophet Musa (as) ultimately returned to his own family.
In the story of Musa (as), Allah illustrates that He often creates what appear to be difficult situation with no apparent way out, and that events which are perceived as adversities may well turn out to actually be wonderful blessings. A mother, fearing the threat of her baby being killed by cruel soldiers, to save him, leaves the child to float in the waters of a river. The same child is then adopted by the most powerful family of the country, who ultimately return the baby back to her mother because he refuses all the other wet nurses… Each one of these events is a miracle in itself, demonstrating the ultimate perfection in the destiny decreed by Allah. For believers, every detail of one's destiny eventually turns out to be a blessing. As can be seen in the above example, sometimes Allah prepares such blessings for us through the most unexpected circumstances.
The Origin of Insects
According to the theory of evolution, reptiles' forefeet slowly turned into wings over time as they hunted for insects.
This theory is based on no scientific discoveries whatsoever. But there is another interesting side to it: Flies can already fly. So how did they acquire wings? And generally speaking, what is the origin of insects, of which flies are just one class?
In the classification of living things, insects make up a subphylum, Insecta, of the phylum Arthropoda. The oldest insect fossils belong to the Devonian Age (410 to 360 million years ago). In the Pennsylvanian Age which followed (325 to 286 million years ago), there emerged a great number of different insect species. For instance, cockroaches emerge all of a sudden, and with the same structure as they have today. Betty Faber, of the American Museum of Natural History, reports that fossil cockroaches from 350 million years ago are exactly the same as those of today.1
Creatures such as spiders, ticks, and millipedes are not insects, but rather belong to other subphyla of Arthropoda. Important fossil discoveries of these creatures were communicated to the 1983 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The interesting thing about these 380-million-year-old spider, tick, and centipede fossils is the fact that they are no different from specimens alive today. One of the scientists who examined the fossils remarked that, "they looked like they might have died yesterday."2
Winged insects also emerge suddenly in the fossil record, and with all the features peculiar to them. For example, a large number of dragonfly fossils from the Pennsylvanian Age have been found. And these dragonflies have exactly the same structures as their counterparts today.
One interesting point here is the fact that dragonflies and flies emerge all of a sudden, together with wingless insects. This disproves the theory that wingless insects developed wings and gradually evolved into flying ones. In one of their articles in the book Biomechanics in Evolution, Robin Wootton and Charles P. Ellington have this to say on the subject:
When insect fossils first appear, in the Middle and Upper Carboniferous, they are diverse and for the most part fully winged. There are a few primitively wingless forms, but no convincing intermediates are known.3
One major characteristic of flies, which emerge all of a sudden in the fossil record, is their amazing flying technique. An average fly flaps its wings 500 times a second. Moreover, it moves both its wings simultaneously. The slightest dissonance in the vibration of its wings would cause the fly to lose balance, but this never happens.
In an article titled "The Mechanical Design of Fly Wings," Wootton further observes:
The better we understand the functioning of insect wings, the more subtle and beautiful their designs appear … Structures are traditionally designed to deform as little as possible; mechanisms are designed to move component parts in predictable ways. Insect wings combine both in one, using components with a wide range of elastic properties, elegantly assembled to allow appropriate deformations in response to appropriate forces and to make the best possible use of the air. They have few if any technological parallels – yet.4
Of course the sudden emergence of living things with such a perfect creation as this cannot be explained by any evolutionist account. That is why Pierre-Paul Grassé says, "We are in the dark concerning the origin of insects."146 The origin of insects clearly proves the fact of creation.
1. M. Kusinitz, Science World, 4 February, 1983, p. 19.
2. San Diego Union, New York Times Press Service, 29 May, 1983; W. A. Shear, Science, vol. 224, 1984, p. 494. (emphasis added)
3. R. J. Wootton, C. P. Ellington, "Biomechanics & the Origin of Insect Flight," Biomechanics in Evolution, ed. J. M. V. Rayner & R. J. Wootton, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991, p. 99.
4. Robin J. Wootton, "The Mechanical Design of Insect Wings," Scientific American, vol. 263, November 1990, p. 120. (emphasis added)
Quick Grasp of Faith:
What about people who warn others, yet do not personally practice what they recommend?
The Qur’an advises the believers to enjoin one another to do right and to forbid wrong. This surely pleases Allah. However, the really important thing is to do what they ask others to do, thereby setting an example in their own behavior and good morals. If somebody knows that a particular action is wrong and is disturbed to see someone else doing it, then he or she is equally responsible for abandoning this act and performing the right action. Allah reminds the believers of this, as follows:
Do you order people to devoutness and forget yourselves, when you recite the Book? Will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-Baqara: 44)
Who are the "People of the Book"?
They are the Jews and the Christians, to whom the Torah and the Gospel were sent. But since these books have been distorted over time, Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (saas) to warn them, and the Qur’an as their holy book. Some of the verses related to them are as follows:
They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. (Surah Al `Imran: 113-114)
Among the People of the Book are some who believe in Allah, in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before Allah. They do not sell Allah’s signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. Allah is swift at reckoning. (Surah Al `Imran: 199)
One of the major reasons why people feel a profound sense of attachment to life and cast religion aside is the assumption that life is eternal. Forgetting that death is likely to put an end to this life at any time, man simply believes that he can enjoy a perfect and happy life. Yet he evidently deceives himself. The world is a temporary place specially created by Allah to test man. That is why, it is inherently flawed and far from satisfying man's endless needs and desires. Each and every attraction existing in the world eventually wears out, becomes corrupt, decays and finally disappears. This is the never-changing reality of life.
This book explains this most important essence of life and leads man to ponder the real place to which he belongs, namely the Hereafter...>>
Site of the Day:
In this site, we will deal with the common woman’s character as seen in unbelieving societies and analyze how this erroneous character become established. In addition, we explore Maryam’s character, whom Allah raised above all other women, and thereby define the ideal Muslim woman’s character. As a result of this analysis, we will see that this superiority is only in terms of faith, fear and respect of Allah, and fine character, and that every man or woman who does good deeds will be justly rewarded with Allah’s good pleasure, mercy, and Paradise, as mentioned below: “Anyone, male or female, who does right actions and believes, will enter the Garden. They will not be wronged by so much as the tiniest speck” (Surat an-Nisa’: 124).