Ayat of the Day
|Hadith of the Day:|
|Miracles of the Qur’an:|
The reference to the fig in the first verse of Surat at-Tin is a most wise one in terms of the benefits imparted by this fruit.
The Benefits of the Fig for Human Beings
Figs have a higher fiber level than any other fruit or vegetable. One single dried fig provides two grams (0.07 ounce) of fiber: 20% of the daily recommended intake. Research over the last fifteen years or so has revealed that the fiber in plant foods is very important for the regular functioning of the digestive system. It is known that fibre in foods assists the digestive system and also helps reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. Nutritionists describe eating figs, which are rich in fiber, as an ideal way of increasing one's fiber intake.
Fibrous foodstuffs are divided into two types: soluble and insoluble. Foods rich in insoluble fiber facilitate the passage of substances to be expelled from the body through the intestine by adding water to them. They thus accelerate the digestive system and ensure its regular functioning. It has also been established that foods containing insoluble fiber have a protective effect against colon cancer. Foods rich in soluble fiber, on the other hand, have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by more than 20%. These are therefore of the greatest importance in reducing the risk of heart attack. Excessive levels of cholesterol in the blood collect in the arteries, hardening and narrowing them. Depending on which organ's blood vessels the cholesterol accumulates in, disorders connected to that organ arise. For example, if cholesterol accumulates in the arteries that feed the heart, problems such as heart attacks result. Accumulations of cholesterol in the kidney veins can lead to high blood pressure and kidney deficiency. Furthermore, the intake of soluble fiber is important in terms of regulating blood sugar by emptying the stomach because sudden changes in blood sugar can lead to life-threatening disorders. Indeed, societies with fiber-rich diets have been shown to have far lower incidences of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
It is also another major health advantage for soluble and insoluble fibers to be present at one and the same time. It has been shown that when both forms are present together, they are much more effective in preventing cancer than when they are on their own. The presence of both forms of fiber, soluble and insoluble, in the fig makes it a most important foodstuff in this regard.
Dr. Oliver Alabaster, Director of the Institute for Disease Prevention at the George Washington University Medical Centre, refers to figs in these terms:
… [H]ere is an opportunity to add a really healthy, high fiber food to your diet. Choosing figs and other high fiber foods more frequently means that you'll naturally choose potentially harmful foods less frequently-and this is great for your lifelong health.
According to the California Fig Advisory Board, it is believed that the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables protect against a number of diseases. Antioxidants neutralize harmful substances (free radicals) that arise as a result of chemical reactions in the body or else are taken in from the outside and thus prevent the destruction of cells. In one study performed by the University of Scranton, it was determined that dried figs had a much higher level of the phenol makeup, which is rich in antioxidants, than other fruits. Phenol is used as an antiseptic to kill micro-organisms. The level of phenol in figs is much higher than that in other fruits and vegetables.
Another study, by Rutgers University in New Jersey, revealed that due to the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 and phytosterol contained in dried figs, they can play a considerable part in reducing cholesterol. It is known that omega-3 and omega-6 cannot be manufactured in the body and need to be absorbed with food. Furthermore, these fatty acids are indispensable to the proper functioning of the heart, brain and nervous system. Phytosterol permits the cholesterol in animal products, which has the potential to harden the heart's arteries, to be expelled from the body without entering the blood stream.
Despite being one of the oldest fruits known to man, the fig-described as "nature's most nearly perfect fruit" by the California Fig Advisory Board -has been rediscovered by food producers. The nutritional value of this fruit and its health benefits have led to its acquiring a whole new importance.
The fig can constitute a part of just about any special diet. Since figs do not naturally contain fat, sodium or cholesterol but have high levels of fiber, they are an ideal food for those trying to lose weight. At the same time, figs have higher mineral contents than any other known fruit. Forty grams (1.4 oz) of figs contains 244 mg (0.008 oz) of potassium (7% of the daily requirement), 53 mg (0.002 oz)of calcium (6% of the daily requirement) and 1.2 mg (0.00004 oz)of iron (6% of the daily requirement). The calcium level in figs is very high: The fig ranks second after the orange in terms of calcium content. A crate of dried figs provides the same level of calcium as a crate of milk.
Figs are also thought of as a medicine which gives strength and energy to long-term patients as they seek to recover. They eliminate physical and mental difficulties and give the body strength and energy. The most important nutritional component of figs is sugar, which comprises 51-74% of all fruits. The sugar level in figs is one of the highest. Figs are also recommended in the treatment of asthma, coughs and chills.
The benefits we have restricted ourselves to mentioning here are an indication of the compassion Allah feels for human beings. Our Lord provides the substances required by human beings in this fruit, which is so pleasant to eat, already packaged and at the ideal levels for human health. The way that this special blessing from Allah is mentioned in the Qur'an may indicate the importance of the fig for human beings. (Allah knows best.) From the point of view of human health, the nutritional value of the fig was only established with the advance of medicine and technology. This is another indication that the Qur'an is indisputably the word of Allah, the Omniscient.
|Wonders of Creation:|
The role of termites among the architects of nature is indisputable. Termites, which look very much like ants, live in imposing nests they make out of soil. The height of these nests reach up to 6 m, and their width up to 12 m. The most interesting thing is that these animals are blind.
The construction material of the nest is a hard resistant mortar which workers make by blending their saliva with soil. The most extraordinary aspect of the construction art of termites is that they provide continuous air to the colony and keep the heat and moisture amazingly constant. The hard and thick walls of the towers they make from soil seclude the inner part of the nest from the heat outside. For air circulation, they make special corridors along the inner walls of the nest. On the other hand, pores continuously filter the air.
For the oxygen needed by the inhabitants of a middle-sized nest, 1,500 liters of air are required every day. If this air were taken directly into the nest, the temperature of the nest would rise to a level that would be extremely risky for termites. However, they have taken precautions against this as if they knew what would later befall them.
They make damp cellars under the nest as a protection against excessive heat. Species living in the Sahara dig an irrigation canal 40 m underground and provide that water reaches the nest by evaporation. The thick walls of the tower help maintain interior humidity.
Temperature control, just like humidity control, is done in a very sensible and sensitive manner. The air outside passes through thin corridors lying on the surface of the nest, enters moist cellars and reaches a hall at the top of the nest; there, air warms by contacting the bodies of insects and rises. Thus, an air circulation system, which is continuously inspected by colony workers, is provided by way of simple physical principles.
Outside the nest, a roof - which is sloped as a protection against floods - and gutters strike the eye.
How do these living beings, with brains smaller than a cubic millimeter and devoid of the sense of sight, accomplish such a complex construction?
The work of termites certainly is the outcome of collective work among those creatures. Saying that "the insects dig independent tunnels and these happen to be in accord with each other" would be sheer nonsense. At this point, however, we face a question: how do these animals work in harmony while performing this complex job? We all know that when such a construction is made by men, beforehand the construction is drawn by an architect, then the plans are distributed to the workers, and all the construction is organized in a work site. How could termites, which have no such communication among them, and which are, after all, blind, manage to make this giant construction in harmony?
An experiment on the issue helps us find the answer to this question.
In the experiment, as a first step, a termite nest that was already in construction was split into two. Throughout the construction, the two termite groups were prevented from contacting one another. The result was surprising. What finally came to sight were not two separate nests, but two pieces of one nest. When the pieces were brought together, it was observed that all the corridors and canals fitted one another.
How can this be explained? First, it is obvious that not all the termites possess the necessary information on the construction of the termite nest as a whole. A termite can have knowledge only of one part of the process in which it is involved. We then may conclude that the place where all information is stored is the termite community as a whole. Therefore, here we may talk about a greater knowledge. Such knowledge can only be said to exist at the level of a community of individuals of the same species. This is not the only example. For instance, when flying as a mass, grasshoppers usually fly towards a specific direction. If we take one grasshopper out of this group and put it in a box, it immediately loses its orientation, and panic-stricken, tries to fly in all directions. If we put the box among the flying mass, the grasshopper finds the right direction and begins to fly in a single direction, the direction in which the whole mass flies!
Briefly, the information pertaining to the collective organization and works of individual organisms is revealed only at the communal level. It does not exist individually. In other words, animals that make collective "constructions" such as the bee and the termite are not aware of what they do as individuals. Beyond them all, another wisdom controls them all and creates the perfect outcome, by bringing the work of all together.
In the Qur’an, Allah states that production of honey is "inspired" in the bees. This is also true for the work of the termites and other animals.
Definitely, these excellent processes were "taught" to animals and they are programmed to perform this work. Men can manage to make the incredible buildings they construct only after taking years long architectural educations and by using many technical tools. It is evident that these animals that do not possess wisdom and consciousness like men do, were created specifically to do this job and thus to be a means of showing the infinite knowledge and might of their Creator.
The one who is worthy of praise and admiration for the great architectural wonders they construct is surely not these little creatures, but Allah Who created them with this talent.
|Lives of the Prophets:|
Planned Behavior and Sequential Thinking
Prophet Abraham’s (as) tribe, which was quite numerous, threatened him with death, stoning, and exile. However, he sought to keep his distance from them by telling them that he was ill:
This method reflects a most wise and rational attitude, for his tribe left him alone out of fear that they themselves might become ill. Left alone, he gained enough time to smash the idols. This clever plan, designed to free his tribe from the sin of ascribing partners to Allah, is one of the finest examples of acting based upon his love for and fear (respect) of Allah and personal faith.
When Prophet Abraham (as) smashed all but the largest of his tribe’s idols, his tribe sought to punish him. At this point, his plan to show them the fallacy of their pagan belief system emerged:
This reply confronted the pagans, who believed that their idols directed the universe and controlled human beings, with a terrible dilemma. As a result, they were humbled and unable to respond. Seeing that their lifeless idols had no power, they had no alternative but to accept Prophet Abraham’s (as) words. However, they could not publicly admit these truths, which they believed in their hearts and minds. One reason for this, as Allah reveals, was their “wrongness and haughtiness” (Surat an-Naml: 14).
The Nebraska Man Scandal
In 1922, Henry Fairfield Osborn, the director of the American Museum of Natural History, declared that he had found a fossil molar tooth belonging to the Pliocene period in western Nebraska near Snake Brook. This tooth allegedly bore common characteristics of both man and ape. An extensive scientific debate began surrounding this fossil, which came to be called "Nebraska man," in which some interpreted this tooth as belonging to Pithecanthropus erectus, while others claimed it was closer to human beings. Nebraska man was also immediately given a "scientific name," Hesperopithecus haroldcooki.
Many authorities gave Osborn their support. Based on this single tooth, reconstructions of Nebraska man's head and body were drawn. Moreover, Nebraska man was even pictured along with his wife and children, as a whole family in a natural setting.
All of these scenarios were developed from just one tooth. Evolutionist circles placed such faith in this "ghost man" that when a researcher named William Bryan opposed these biased conclusions relying on a single tooth, he was harshly criticized.
In 1927, other parts of the skeleton were also found. According to these newly discovered pieces, the tooth belonged neither to a man nor to an ape. It was realized that it belonged to an extinct species of wild American pig called Prosthennops. William Gregory entitled the article published in Science in which he announced the truth, "Hesperopithecus Apparently Not an Ape Nor a Man."1 Then all the drawings of Hesperopithecus haroldcooki and his "family" were hurriedly removed from evolutionary literature.
All the scientific deceptions and prejudiced evaluations made to support the theory of evolution show that the theory is a kind of ideology, and not at all a scientific account. Like all ideologies, this one too has its fanatical supporters, who are desperate to prove evolution, at no matter what cost. Or else they are so dogmatically bound to the theory that every new discovery is perceived as a great proof of the theory, even if it has nothing to do with evolution. This is really a very distressing picture for science, because it shows that science is being misdirected in the name of a dogma.
In his book Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth, the Swedish scientist Soren Lovtrup has this to say on the subject:
I suppose that nobody will deny that it is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology: for a long time now people discuss evolutionary problems in a peculiar "Darwinian" vocabulary—"adaptation," "selection pressure," "natural selection," etc.—thereby believing that they contribute to the explanation of natural events. They do not... I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.2
1. William K. Gregory, "Hesperopithecus Apparently Not An Ape Nor A Man," Science, vol. 66, issue 1720, 16 December 1927, p. 579.
|Quick Grasp of Faith:|
What do believers show patience in?
One of the distinguishing attributes of believers is their patience. However, the concept of patience that we learn from the Qur'an does not mean endurance at times of hardship. What is recommended in the Qur'an is to display patience when it comes to choosing the kind of behavior that will be pleasing to Allah, in all situations and at all times.
Allah tests believers with a variety of situations, such as hunger, fear and loss of goods or prosperity. The believer described in the Qur'an perseveringly seeks the good pleasure of Allah regardless of the circumstances. In prosperity he gives thanks to Allah; in case of difficulty and hardship he puts his trust in Him. For him the benefits of the religion always take precedence over personal benefits. He patiently fulfils every detail of a virtuous character throughout his entire life. He is sincere, honest, generous, diligent and eager; he always speaks with generosity and gentleness, and always tries to serve the religion. In short, he applies everything that Allah points out as being good. As a reward for this, Allah gives His patient servants glad tidings:
NEVER PLEAD IGNORANCE
Never plead ignorance of Allah's evident existence, that everything was created by Allah, that everything you own was given to you by Allah for your subsistence, that you will not stay so long in this world, of the reality of death, that the Qur'an is the Book of truth, that you will give account for your deeds, of the voice of your conscience that always invites you to righteousness, of the existence of the hereafter and the day of account, that hell is the eternal home of severe punishment, and of the reality of fate...>>
|Site of the Day:|
The purpose of this site is to examine the signs of the Hour through the verses of the Qur’an and hadiths of the Prophet (saas), and to show that these signs have begun to appear in our present time. The fact that the advent of these signs was revealed fourteen centuries ago should increase a believer’s faith in Allah and his devotion to Him.