God's gentle artistry

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Almost every newborn creature is weak and helpless, unaware of the dangers that surround it. It is very unlikely that it could survive and grow on its own. From the moment it is born it will always have adults nearby to feed it, protect it from danger and, if necessary, sacrifice their own lives for it.

Young animals can survive only if they are looked after by strong grown-ups. A gazelle abandoned at birth or bird's eggs left uncared for have no chance of survival. But young animals usually can survive because they have careful parents who do not neglect their responsibilities, even before their young are still in the egg or the womb. Many creatures go to a lot of trouble to protect their eggs, hiding them where they will not get broken, keeping them warm and when necessary, protecting them from too much heat. They will guard over their eggs for weeks and even carry them around in their mouths without harming them in any way.

But why do these creatures work so tirelessly on behalf of their young? Why don't they leave them on their own, instead of dutifully attending to all their needs? Do they do so consciously? For example, is it reasonable to think that a bird can be consciously determined to risk its own death to protect its young? Of course not! An animal cannot possess such feelings of tenderness and compassion on its own. The plain fact is that God has inspired in these creatures a wondrous sense of tenderness and parental love. And one of creation's greatest wonders is the self-sacrifice of parents for their babies.

Another wonder is how cute all young animals are. Babies of most species usually have big eyes and round faces; and an expression that we humans interpret as innocent, helpless, and bewildered. Also, their behavior makes them loveable and awakens in us the instinct to protect them.

These qualities in young animals are manifestations of God's gentle artistry (gentle in this sense also includes the ideas of "lovable," "friendly," "tame" and "docile"). As with everything else in the universe, these animals are submissive to God, as He reveals to us in the following verse:

… when everything in the heavens and Earth, willingly or unwillingly, submits to Him and to Him you will be returned... (Surah Al ‘Imran, 83)
2009-06-26 15:15:44

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