RAMADAN 2005 The 9th Day

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Ayat of the Day

 
 
 

Gardens of Eden which they enter, with rivers flowing under them, where they have whatever they desire. That is how Allah repays those who guard against evil. (Surat an-Nahl: 31)

 


 
  Hadith of the Day:  
 

 

 

Signs (of the End Times) following one another like the pieces of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut. (Tirmidhi)

 

 

 
  Miracles of the Qur’an:  
 


THE MIRACLE OF HONEY

Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for humanity. There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)

Honey is a "healing for men" as stated in the verses above. Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch of research in scientifically advanced parts of the world. Other benefits of honey may be described as below:

Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.

Rapidly diffuses through the blood; is a quick energy source: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in seven minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar. Honey is a natural composition of sugars like glucose and fructose. According to recent research, this unique mixture of sugars is the most effective means to remove fatigue and increase athletic performance.

Supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.

Does not accommodate bacteria: This bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named "the inhibition effect." There are various reasons of this anti-microbial property of the honey. Some examples are: the high sugar content that limit the amount of water microorganisms need for growth, its high acidity (low pH) and composition which deprive bacteria from nitrogen necessary for reproduction. The existence of hydrogen peroxide as well as antioxidants in the honey prevents bacteria growth.

Antioxidant: Everyone who wants to live a healthier life should consume antioxidants. Those are the components in cells that get rid of harmful by products of normal metabolic functions. These elements inhibit destructive chemical reactions that cause spoilage of food and many chronic illnesses. Researchers believe food products rich in antioxidants may prevent heart problems and cancer. Strong antioxidants are present in honey content: Pinocembrin, pinobaxin, chrisin and galagin. Pinocembrin is an antioxidant that merely exists in the honey.

Vitamin and mineral depot: Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc are also present, albeit in small quantities.

Honey is used in healing wounds:

- When used in treatment of wounds, thanks to its ability to absorb moisture from the air, honey facilitates healing process and prevents scarring. This is because honey stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that form the new skin cover over a healed wound. In this way, even in case of large wounds, honey may eliminate the need for tissue transplantation.

- Honey stimulates the regrowth of tissue involved in the healing process. It stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries and the growth of fibroblasts that replace the connective tissue of the deeper layer of the skin and produce the collagen fibres that give strength to the repair.

- Honey has an anti-inflammatory action, which reduces the swelling around a wound. This improves circulation and thus hastens the healing process. It also reduces pain.

- Thanks to its aforementioned antimicrobial property, honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds becoming infected. It also rapidly clears any existing infection from wounds. It is fully effective, even with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Unlike antiseptics and antibiotics, there is no impairment of the healing process through adverse effects on wound tissues.

It can easily be seen from this information that honey has great "healing" properties. This is undoubtedly one of the miracles of the Qur'an Allah, Who is Exalted in Power, has revealed.


 
  Wonders of Creation:  
 

 

An Unconventional Hunter: The Venus Plant

Besides the predators we have mentioned so far, there are also some plants which "hunt" by using amazing methods. One of these is the "Venus" plant, which catches and feeds on insects that visit it.

The hunting system of this plant works as follows: a fly looking for food among the plants suddenly comes across one which is very attractive: the Venus plant. What makes this plant, which resembles a pair of hands holding a bowl, attractive, is its charming red color and, more importantly, the sweet scent secreted by the glands surrounding its petals. The fly is charmed by this irresistible smell and lands on the plant without hesitation. While moving towards the origin of the food, it inevitably touches the seemingly harmless hair over the plant. After a short while, the plant suddenly snaps its petals shut. The fly is left tightly compressed between two petals. The Venus plant starts to secrete a "flesh dissolving" liquid, which causes the fly to turn into a jelly-like substance, and then the plant consumes the fly by absorbing it.

The swiftness of the plant in catching the fly is remarkable. The speed of the plant in closing is faster than the fastest closing speed of the hands of a human (if you try to catch a fly sitting on your palm, you most probably would not succeed, but the plant does). How, then, can this plant, which has no muscles or bones, make such an abrupt move?

Research has shown that there exists an electrical system inside the Venus plant. The system works as follows: the strokes of the fly on the hairs of the plant are transmitted to the receptors under the hairs. If this mechanical push is strong enough, these receptors will send electrical signals along the petal, just like waves in a pool. These signals are carried to the motor cells that cause the petals to make sudden moves, and finally the mechanism is activated to swallow the fly.

In addition to the stimulus system of the plant, the mechanical system by which the trap is closed also is created perfectly. As soon as the cells inside the plant receive electrical stimulation, they change the concentration of water within themselves. The cells inside the trap release water from their bodies. This event is like the dying of a deflated balloon. The cells outside the trap, on the other hand, take in excess water and swell. Thus, the trap is closed in the same way as when a person, in order to move his arm, needs to have one muscle contract and one relax. The fly trapped inside the plant actually touches the hairy strands repeatedly, causing the propulsive electrical force to discharge again, and making the trap more tightly closed. Meanwhile, the digestive glands in the trap are also activated. As a result of stimulation, these glands kill the insect and start slowly dissolving it. Thus, the plant feeds on digestive fluids that have turned into a bowl of soup enriched by plant proteins. At the end of the digestion, the mechanism that makes the trap close works conversely to open it.

This system has yet another interesting feature: in order to activate the trap, the hairs have to be touched twice in succession. The first touch generates a static electric charge but the trap is not closed. The trap is only closed with a second touch after the static charge reaches a certain point and discharges. Due to this dual action mechanism, the flytrap is never closed without purpose. For instance, the trap does not become activated as soon as a raindrop falls on it.

Now, let us contemplate this striking system. The whole system has to exist at the same time for the plant to catch its prey and digest it properly. The absence of only one element would mean death for the plant. For instance, if there were no hairs inside the leaf, the plant would not close, as the reaction would never start although the insect would walk all over and inside the plant. If the closing system were there, but if the plant were devoid of secretions to digest the insect, the whole system would be useless. In brief, any element lacking in the system would mean the death of the plant.

This plant, since the moment it was created, must have always possessed the features we refer to here. The plant, no doubt, did not suddenly transform into a hunter. It is certainly not the "magical spell of coincidences" that has made the plant such a professional hunter.

The most important point is that this proficient hunter does not have the capacity to think. If this living being were not a plant but an animal, then the advocates of evolution would possibly claim that the animal had progressed by itself with the estimable contributions (!) of "nature". What we are talking about here is that this system is found in a plant, a being with no brain or similar structure, and which is certainly unconscious. The plant is not even aware that it is hunting. It, too, is already created with a system by which it can feed itself without any effort just like all other plants. And its Creator is Allah.

 
 
  Lives of the Prophets:  
 


The Wisdom in Prophet Abraham’s (as) Method -I

 Indicating the Truth by Asking Questions

Prophet Abraham (as) led his pagan people to accept the fact that their idols possessed no power by asking questions:

Do you then worship, instead of Allah, that which cannot help or harm you in any way? (Surat al-Anbiya’: 66)

Posing questions enables people to understand their own situations by using their own logic. This is a most effective means of communication. Those who deny Allah suffer a huge defeat in the face of wise, sincere questions, because Allah’s existence and the evidence for it are clear. Therefore, it is a serious mistake to close one’s eyes to His religion and build a life in which He is forgotten.

Many verses invite people to think by asking various questions:

Have you thought about the water that you drink? Is it you who sent it down from the clouds, or are We the Sender? If We had wished, We could have made it bitter. So will you not give thanks? Have you thought about the fire that you light? Is it you who make the trees that fuel it grow, or are We the Grower? We have made it to be a reminder and a comfort for travelers in the wild. So glorify the name of your Lord, the Magnificent! (Surat al-Waqi‘a: 68-74)

If, believers are faced with an arrogant and cruel society, such as the one facing Prophet Abraham (as), then it is essential to awaken them in some way, defeat their heedlessness, and rock them intellectually.

Behaving Courageously and Frankly

The societies to which the prophets were sent generally consisted of stubborn people who refused to listen to others. Nevertheless, the prophets presented Allah’s message in ways designed to earn Allah’s good pleasure and demonstrated superior moral virtues, as Allah commanded in the following verse: “So call and go straight, as you have been ordered to...” (Surat ash-Shura: 15). Prophet Abraham (as) had to deal with his tribe, who loved to argue and were devoted to the paganism inherited from their ancestors. When he showed them how illogical and irrational their pagan belief system was, they began arguing with him:

His tribe argued with him. He [Abraham] said: “Are you arguing with me about Allah, when He has guided me? I have no fear of any partner you ascribe to Him, unless my Lord should will such a thing to happen. My Lord encompasses all things in His knowledge, so will you not pay heed? Why should I fear that which you have associated with Him, when you yourselves apparently have no fear of associating partners with Allah, for which He has sent down no authority to you? Which of the two parties is more entitled to feel safe, if you have any knowledge?” Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with any wrongdoing, they are the ones who are safe; it is they who are guided.” This is the argument We gave to Abraham against his tribe. We raise in rank anyone We will. Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. (Surat al-An‘am: 6:80-83)

One of the most striking elements in Prophet Abraham’s (as) method of communication is his sincerity and frankness. While explaining Allah’s existence, he addresses peoples’ consciences and speaks effectively. In addition, he openly warns them and calls on them to fear and respect no one but Allah. This shows how courageous, perceptive, and determined he was when confronting his pagan society. Prophet Abraham (as) exposed the irrational nature of his tribe’s misguided belief system with a sincere explanation and an effective style of presentation. Allah tells all believers to use this method:

Allah knows what is in such people’s hearts, so turn away from them, warn them, and speak to them with words that are effective. (Surat an-Nisa’: 63)

 
 
  Evolution Deceit:  
 


Deceptive Reconstructions - II
The Piltdown Man Scandal
 

In 1912, a well-known doctor and amateur paleoanthropologist named Charles Dawson came out with the assertion that he had found a jawbone and a cranial fragment in a pit in Piltdown, England. Even though the jawbone was more ape-like, the teeth and the skull were like a man's. These specimens were labeled the "Piltdown man." Alleged to be 500,000 years old, they were displayed as an absolute proof of human evolution in several museums. For more than 40 years, many scientific articles were written on "Piltdown man," many interpretations and drawings were made, and the fossil was presented as important evidence for human evolution. No fewer than 500 doctoral theses were written on the subject.1 While visiting the British Museum in 1921, leading American paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn said "We have to be reminded over and over again that Nature is full of paradoxes" and proclaimed Piltdown "a discovery of transcendent importance to the prehistory of man."2 

In 1949, Kenneth Oakley, from the British Museum's Paleontology Department, attempted to use "fluorine testing," a new test used for determining the date of fossils. A trial was made on the fossil of Piltdown man. The result was astonishing. During the test, it was realized that the jawbone of Piltdown man did not contain any fluorine. This indicated that it had remained buried no more than a few years. The skull, which contained only a small amount of fluorine, showed that it was only a few thousand years old.

It was determined that the teeth in the jawbone, belonging to an orangutan, had been worn down artificially and that the "primitive" tools discovered with the fossils were simple imitations that had been sharpened with steel implements. In the detailed analysis completed by Joseph Weiner, this forgery was revealed to the public in 1953. The skull belonged to a 500-year-old man, and the jaw bone belonged to a recently deceased ape! The teeth had been specially arranged in a particular way and added to the jaw, and the molar surfaces were filed in order to resemble those of a man. Then all these pieces were stained with potassium dichromate to give them an old appearance. These stains began to disappear when dipped in acid. Sir Wilfred Le Gros Clark, who was in the team that uncovered the forgery, could not hide his astonishment at this situation, and said: "The evidences of artificial abrasion immediately sprang to the eye. Indeed so obvious did they seem it may well be asked—how was it that they had escaped notice before?"3 In the wake of all this, "Piltdown man" was hurriedly removed from the British Museum where it had been displayed for more than 40 years.

1. Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1980, p. 59.
2. Stephen Jay Gould, "Smith Woodward's Folly," New Scientist, 5 April 1979, p. 44.
3. Stephen Jay Gould, "Smith Woodward's Folly," New Scientist, 5 April 1979, p. 43. (emphasis added)



 
  Quick Grasp of Faith:  
 

 

How does one avoid the dangers of self-exoneration?

 The self commands man to do evil. This fact is related in Surat ash-Shams as follows:

By the soul and the One Who proportioned and inspired it with knowledge of depravity and with its sense of duty, he who purifies it has succeeded, he who covers it up has failed. (Surat ash-Shams: 7-10)

Another verse pointing out the capacity of the soul to command to do evil is about the Prophet Yusuf (as), who, when a lie was forged against him though he was innocent, said:

I do not say my self was free from blame. The self indeed commands to evil acts—except for those my Lord has mercy on. My Lord, He is Forgiving, Merciful. (Surah Yusuf: 53)

As Prophet Yusuf (as) remarked, the self always commands to evil. For that reason it would not be appropriate to try to defend oneself or to prove one's rightness immediately, for one might have momentarily and unawares followed what the self desired. What should indeed be done in such a case is to stop and reflect first before acting. When a person reflects sincerely and honestly, he may see that he in fact did wrong in many instances in which he assumed himself to be right.

Perceiving things in this way is an enormous gain to the believer, because seeing and admitting one's own mistakes and amending one's wrongdoing is the first step in seeking the forgiveness of Allah. Otherwise, no matter how right a person may appear to be in the eyes of people, however hard he tries to vindicate his soul and avoids attributing any mistakes to himself, Allah knows the truth. And this truth he will meet in the Hereafter.

It is a good action in the sight of Allah to reproach oneself, to admit one's own imperfections and failings and to turn to Allah in order to eliminate them, rather than to defend one's lower self.

 
 
  Book Review:  
 

 

Eternity Has Already Begun

In this book you will find explanations about eternity, timelessness and spacelessness that you will never have encountered anywhere else and you will be confronted by the reality that eternity has already begun. The real answers to many questions people always ponder such as where Allah is, the true nature of death, resurrection after death, the existence of an eternal life, and the time when all these things will happen are to be found here...>>


 
  Site of the Day:  
 


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2007-12-06 23:09:38

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