Ayat of the Day
The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and fear Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy.
(Surat al-Hujurat: 10)
Hadith of the Day:
Every religion has a distinctive virtue, and the distinctive virtue of Islam is modesty. (Imam Malik)
Miracles of the Qur’an:
THE HISTORICAL FACTS RECORDED IN THE QUR’AN
“HAMAN” AND ANCIENT EGYPT MONUMENTS
The Qur'an relates the life of Prophet Musa (as) with great clarity. As it tells of the conflict with the Pharaoh and his dealings with the Children of Israel, the Qur'an reveals a wealth of information about ancient Egypt. The significance of many of these historical points have only recently come to the attention of the learned people of the world. If one considers these points with reason, it quickly becomes clear that the Qur'an, and the fountain of information contained within it, has been revealed by the All-Wise Allah for it correlates directly with all major scientific, historic and archaeological finds in recent times.
One such example of this wisdom can be found in the Qur'anic references to Haman: a character whose name is mentioned in the Qur'an, along with the Pharaoh. He is mentioned in six different places in the Qur'an, in which it informs us that he was one of Pharaoh's closest allies.
Surprisingly, the name "Haman" is never mentioned in those sections of the Torah pertaining to the life of Prophet Musa (as). However, the mention of Haman can be found in the last chapters of the Old Testament as the helper of a Babylonian king who inflicted many cruelties on the Israelites approximately 1,100 years after Prophet Musa (as).The Qur'an, far more in tune with recent archaeological discoveries, does indeed contain the word "Haman" in reference to the life of Prophet Musa (as).
The criticisms thrown at the book of Islam by some non-Muslims have disappeared by the wayside as an Egyptian hieroglyphic script had been deciphered, approximately 200 years ago, and the name "Haman" discovered in the ancient scripts. Until the 18th century, the writings and inscriptions of ancient Egypt could not be understood. The language of ancient Egypt was made up of symbols rather than words: hieroglyphics. These pictures, which tell stories and keep records of important events in the same way that modern words do, was usually engraved on rock or stone and many examples survived through the ages. With the spread of Christianity and other cultural influences in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Egypt forsook its ancient beliefs along with the hieroglyphic writing which was synonymous with that now defunct belief system. The last known example of the use of hieroglyphic writing was an inscription dated 394. The language of pictures and symbols was forgotten, leaving nobody who could read and understand it. Naturally, this made historical and archaeological study virtually impossible. This situation remained-until just over two centuries ago.
In 1799, much to the delight of historians and other learned people, the mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics was solved by the discovery of a tablet called the "Rosetta Stone." This amazing find dated back to 196 B.C. The importance of this inscription was that it was written in three different forms of writing: hieroglyphics, demotic (a simplified form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing) and Greek. With the help of the Greek script, the ancient Egyptian writings were decoded. The translation of the inscription was completed by a Frenchman named Jean-Françoise Champollion. Hence, a forgotten language and the events related in it were brought to light. In this way, a great deal of knowledge about the civilization, religion and social life of ancient Egypt became available to mankind and this opened the way to greater knowledge about this important era in human history.
Through the decoding of hieroglyph, an important piece of knowledge was revealed: The name "Haman" was indeed mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions. This name was referred to in a monument in the Hof Museum in Vienna. This same inscription also indicated the close relationship between Haman and the Pharaoh.
In the dictionary of People in the New Kingdom, that was prepared based on the entire collection of inscriptions, Haman is said to be "the head of stone quarry workers."
The result revealed a very important truth: Unlike the false assertion of the opponents of the Qur'an, Haman was a person who lived in Egypt at the time of Prophet Musa (as). He had been close to the Pharaoh and had been involved in construction work, just as imparted in the Qur'an.
Pharaoh said, "Council, I do not know of any other deity for you apart from Me. Haman, kindle a fire for me over the clay and build me a lofty tower so that perhaps I may be able to climb up to Musa's God! I consider him a blatant liar." (Surat al-Qasas: 28:38)
The verse in the Qur'an describing the event where the Pharaoh asked Haman to build a tower is in perfect agreement with this archaeological finding. Through this brilliant discovery, the irrational claims of the opponents of the Qur'an were demonstrated to be false and intellectually worthless.
In a miraculous way, the Qur'an conveys to us historical information that could not have been possessed or understood at the time of the Prophet (saas). Hieroglyphics could not be deciphered until the late 1700s so the information could not have been ascertained from Egyptian sources. When the name "Haman" was discovered in the ancient scripts, it was further proof of the infallibility of Allah's word.
Wonders of Creation:
Defense Strategies in Plants-2
The Passion Vine
The passion vine of Central and South America, is an ideal kind of food and most attractive to the caterpillars of the black, yellow and red heliconius butterfly. An adult female always lays her eggs on this particular vine, so that as soon as her offspring hatch they can start feeding on this delicious food. But here there is a very important point to be made. These butterflies check the leaves of the plant very carefully before laying their eggs. If she finds eggs like hers already deposited on the vine, then they do not select that place, but go in search of another plant, for there may not be enough food.
Insects' preference lying in that direction is quite a big advantage, because the passion vine takes advantage of the insects' choosy nature to protect itself from attack.
Some types of vine plant form little green nodules on the upper parts of their leaves. Other species develop little marks in colors resembling butterfly eggs on the bottom parts of the leaves, where they meet the branch. Caterpillars and butterflies which see this think that other insects have laid their eggs before them and abandon the plant without laying their eggs on it, and begin looking for new leaves.
The vine plant, which protects its leaves by such an unbelievable method, is a plant which emerges from the soil everyone knows and consists of a dry branch and leaves. The plant possesses no intelligence, memory, or identification skills. It is totally impossible for it to know the features, preferences, and egg shape of an insect, a creature completely different to it. But as we have seen, the hanging plant knows under what circumstances an insect will abandon laying its eggs and head off for another plant; furthermore, it creates patterns which resemble those eggs on its own leaves, and makes a number of changes. Let us think, what a vine plant has to do to imitate the eggs of any insect. Imitation is a skill requiring intelligence. So the plant must have intelligence, it must see and understand these eggs and store them in its memory. Then it must develop a defense mechanism by combining various artistic abilities with these features, bringing about certain changes in its own body.
Not one of these things, of course, can be brought about by the plant itself, nor as the result of various coincidences. The truth is that the hanging plant was "created" in possession of this characteristic. This is a defense system specially given to it by Allah. Allah, Who plans everything down to the finest detail, has met the needs of all plants in the world wherever they are found. Allah is the ruler of everything. He knows everything that goes on in the universe. Allah states this truth in a verse:
He to whom the kingdom of the heavens and the Earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Surat al-Furqan: 2)
Lives of the Prophets:
ARRIVAL AT THE VALLEY OF TUWA and
THE FIRST REVELATION
Musa (as) honored the agreement he made with the old man and stayed in Midian for many years. At the end of the appointed time, that is, when the agreement had come to termination, Musa (as) and his family left Midian. On their journey, Musa (as) saw a fire in the distance, on the side of the Mount Sinai, which he was passing by with his family. Musa (as) thought he could bring a brand from the fire to warm up or to gather some information from it:
When Musa had fulfilled the appointed term and had set off with his family, he noticed a fire from one side of the Mount. He said to his family, "Stay here, I can see a fire. Hopefully I will bring you back some news from it or a burning branch from the fire so that you will be able to warm yourselves." (Surat al-Qasas: 29)
When Musa said to his household, "I can make out a fire. I will bring you news from it or at least a burning brand so that hopefully you will be able to warm yourselves." (Surat an-Naml: 7)
When he saw a fire and said to his family, "Wait here. I can make out a fire. Maybe I will bring you a brand from it, or will find guidance there." (Surah Ta-Ha: 10)
This event is indicative of yet another facet of Musa (as) exemplary character. Musa (as) is a very attentive person, who carefully assesses everything happening around him. He knows Allah ordains all events according to a specific destiny. Aware that Allah predetermines everything through divine reason, Musa (as) always welcomes various events or circumstances with the expectation of drawing some benefit from them. His noticing a fire on a mountain, and his assessing the situation, is a condition of mind peculiar to a vigilant believer. His decision to go alone, leaving his family behind to ensure their security, is also exemplary of the wisdom granted to him by Allah.
ALLAH'S DISCOURSE WITH MUSA (AS)
When Musa (as) went up to the fire on the mountain, he was greeted by a marvelous event. He was addressed by Allah from a bush. There, he received the first revelations, stated in the Qur'an as follows:
But when he reached it a voice called out to him from the right hand side of the valley in the part which was full of blessing, from out of the bush: "Musa, I am Allah, the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat al-Qasas: 30)
Then when he reached it, a voice called out, "Musa! I am your Lord. Take off your sandals. You are in the holy valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you, so listen well to what is revealed. I am Allah. There is no deity but Me, so worship Me and establish prayer to remember Me." (Surah Ta-Ha: 11-14)
This was the first revelation Musa (as) received, honoring him as Allah's messenger, the highest rank that a human can attain in this world.
An important point deserves attention here; Allah addresses Musa (as)... Allah had called onto Musa (as) from a tree. Allah was close enough to Musa (as) as to address him directly. The truth however is, Allah is always close enough to address anybody. For instance, as you read these lines, Allah is close to you. He is close enough to speak to you, to hear your voice and make you hear His voice. Even, as explained in the words of the Qur'an, "Allah is closer to the human than his own jugular vein." (Surah Qaf: 16) Though we cannot hear Allah, because He does not speak to us directly, He is always close enough to hear our every word. He can hear us even if we whisper.
After telling Musa (as) that the voice he hears belongs to his Lord, Allah asked him about his staff:
"What is that in your right hand, Musa?" He said, "It is my staff. I lean on it and beat down leaves for my sheep with it and have other uses for it." (Surah Ta-Ha: 17-18)
No doubt Allah had known what Musa (as) held in his hand. However, to edify Musa (as) and make known His wisdom to him, Allah asked him to throw down his staff:
"Throw down your staff." Then when he saw it slithering like a snake he turned and fled and did not turn back again... (Surat an-Naml: 10)
When Musa (as) saw his familiar staff turned into a snake, he was seized with fear. However, this event was designed to be a lesson by which Allah taught Musa (as) to feel no fear except for Him, and to submit to no one other than Him:
…"Have no fear, Musa. In My Presence the messengers have no fear." (Surat an-Naml: 10)
He said, "Take hold of it and have no fear. We will return it to its original form." (Surah Ta-Ha: 21)
In compliance with the command, Musa (as) picked up his staff. This staff would later become a miracle used against Pharaoh. Thereafter, Allah gave Musa (as) a second miracle:
Put your hand inside your shirt front. It will emerge pure white yet quite unharmed… (Surat al-Qasas: 32)
As the above verse informs us, Musa's (as) hand emerged pure white, as a miracle from Allah. Musa (as) became excited and felt frightened by these things. However Allah commanded him to pull himself together and go forth with these miracles to Pharaoh:
…And hug your arms to your sides to still your fear. These are two proofs from your Lord for Pharaoh and his ruling circle. They are a deviant people. (Surat al-Qasas:32)
The Unique Structure of Avian Lungs
One of the factors demonstrating the impossibility of the reptile-bird evolution scenario is the structure of avian lungs, which cannot be accounted for by evolution.
In land-dwelling creatures, air flow is bidirectional. Upon inhaling, the air travels through the passages in the lungs (bronchial tubes), ending in tiny air sacs (alveoli). The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place here. Then, upon exhaling, this used air makes its way back and finds its way out of the lung by the same route.
In birds however, air is unidirectional. New air comes in one end, and the used air goes at the other end. Thanks to special air sacs all along the passages between them, air always flows in one direction through the avian lung. In this way, birds are able to take in air nonstop. This satisfies birds' high energy requirements. This highly specialized respiratory system is explained by Michael Denton in his book A Theory in Crisis:
In the case of birds, the major bronchi break down into tiny tubes which permeate the lung tissue. These so-called parabronchi eventually join up together again, forming a true circulatory system so that air flows in one direction through the lungs. ...[T]he structure of the lung in birds and the overall functioning of the respiratory system is quite unique. No lung in any other vertebrate species is known which in any way approaches the avian system. Moreover, it is identical in all essential details in birds as diverse as humming birds, ostriches and hawks.1
The important thing is that the reptile lung, with its bidirectional air flow, could not have evolved into the bird lung with its unidirectional flow, because it is not possible for there to have been an intermediate model between them. In order for a creature to live, it has to keep breathing, and a reversal of the structure of its lungs with a change of design would inevitably end in death. According to evolution, this change must happen gradually over millions of years, whereas a creature whose lungs do not work will die within a few minutes.
Molecular biologist Michael Denton, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, states that it is impossible to give an evolutionary account of the avian lung:
Just how such an utterly different respiratory system could have evolved gradually from the standard vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to envisage, especially bearing in mind that the maintenance of respiratory function is absolutely vital to the life of an organism to the extent that the slightest malfunction leads to death within minutes. Just as the feather cannot function as an organ of flight until the hooks and barbules are coadapted to fit together perfectly, so the avian lung cannot function as an organ of respiration until the parabronchi system which permeates it and the air sac system which guarantees the parabronchi their air supply are both highly developed and able to function together in a perfectly integrated manner. 2
In brief, the passage from a terrestrial lung to an avian lung is impossible, because an intermediate form would serve no purpose.
Another point that needs to be mentioned here is that reptiles have a diaphragm-type respiratory system, whereas birds have an abdominal air sac system instead of a diaphragm. These different structures also make any evolution between the two lung types impossible, as John Ruben, an acknowledged authority in the field of respiratory physiology, observes in the following passage:
The earliest stages in the derivation of the avian abdominal air sac system from a diaphragm-ventilating ancestor would have necessitated selection for a diaphragmatic hernia in taxa transitional between theropods and birds. Such a debilitating condition would have immediately compromised the entire pulmonary ventilatory apparatus and seems unlikely to have been of any selective advantage. 3
Another interesting structural design of the avian lung which defies evolution is the fact that it is never empty of air, and thus never in danger of collapse. Michael Denton explains the position:
Just how such a different respiratory system could have evolved gradually from the standard vertebrate design without some sort of direction is, again, very difficult to envisage, especially bearing in mind that the maintenance of respiratory function is absolutely vital to the life of the organism. Moreover, the unique function and form of the avian lung necessitates a number of additional unique adaptations during avian development. As H. R. Dunker, one of the world's authorities in this field, explains, because first, the avian lung is fixed rigidly to the body wall and cannot therefore expand in volume and, second, because of the small diameter of the lung capillaries and the resulting high surface tension of any liquid within them, the avian lung cannot be inflated out of a collapsed state as happens in all other vertebrates after birth. The air capillaries are never collapsed as are the alveoli of other vertebrate species; rather, as they grow into the lung tissue, the parabronchi are from the beginning open tubes filled with either air or fluid. 4
In other words, the passages in birds' lungs are so narrow that the air sacs inside their lungs cannot fill with air and empty again, as with land-dwelling creatures.
If a bird lung ever completely deflated, the bird would never be able to re-inflate it, or would at the very least have great difficulty in doing so. For this reason, the air sacs situated all over the lung enable a constant passage of air to pass through, thus protecting the lungs from deflating.
Of course this system, which is completely different from the lungs of reptiles and other vertebrates, and is based on the most sensitive equilibrium, cannot have come about with unconscious mutations, stage by stage, as evolution maintains. This is how Denton describes this structure of the avian lung, which again invalidates Darwinism:
The avian lung brings us very close to answering Darwin's challenge: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." 5
1. Michael Denton, A Theory in Crisis, Adler & Adler, 1986, pp. 210-211.
2. Michael Denton, A Theory in Crisis, Adler & Adler, 1986, pp. 211-212. (emphasis added)
3. J. A. Ruben, T. D. Jones, N. R. Geist, and W. J. Hillenius, "Lung Structure And Ventilation in Theropod Dinosaurs and Early Birds," Science, vol. 278, p. 1267.
4. Michael J. Denton, Nature's Destiny, Free Press, New York, 1998, p. 361.
5. Michael J. Denton, Nature's Destiny, Free Press, New York, 1998, pp. 361-62.
Quick Grasp of Faith:
What does "being pleased and satisfied with the life of the world" mean?
This phrase means making plans and living only for this world, thereby neglecting the life of the Hereafter. Such people prefer the life of this world, which lasts only some 60 or 70 years on average, compared to the infinite life of the Hereafter. They forget that life in Paradise is perfect and endless, whereas this world is full of imperfection. Seeing the life of this world as near and that of the Hereafter as distant, they desire to enjoy this world and so make their biggest mistake: failing to prepare for the Hereafter. However, those who aim at the Hereafter will enjoy both the gifts of the life of this world and the beauties of Paradise.
On the other hand, those who are satisfied with the life of this world will benefit only from this world, and will receive their punishment in the Hereafter. The Qur’an relates the reward of such people:
As for those who do not expect to meet Us and are content with the life of this world and at rest in it, and those who are heedless of Our signs, their shelter will be the Fire because of what they earned. (Surah Yunus: 7-8)
Can one refrain from enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong because of one’s environment or the people one knows?
Allah commands people to call one another to good and to forbid wrong. When the believers notice a person exhibiting a behavior that Allah does not like, they should obey His command by calling that person to what is right. They should never hesitate to remind people of what Allah says and to invite them to righteousness, because Allah has told the believers to continue to remind people about His commands:
It is a Book sent down to you—so let there be no constriction in your breast because of it—so that you can give warning by it and as a reminder to the believers. (Surat al-A`raf: 2)
A CHAIN OF MIRACLES
There are countless laws, balances and measures in the cosmos, the Milky Way, our galaxy, the Solar System, and the planet Earth on which we live. The collection of millions of balances and measures result in a seamless "string of miracles". This book aims to display various examples of the miracles of creation in the universe, thus giving the reader an insight into the infinite might and artistry of Allah...>>
Site of the Day:
A merciless struggle continues today between the two peoples living in the land of Palestine. On the one hand, the well-equipped Israeli army is carrying out a policy of all-out destruction; on the other, radical Palestinian groups are carrying out suicide bombings against helpless Israeli citizens. And an important fact must not be ignored - the Palestinians are being subjected to cruelty and humiliation while the entire world watches.
This site will discuss the grave error of trying to solve existing problems through violence, and how a real solution might be devised.