God's Gentle Artistry
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 possibility 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.
This book documents the tenderness that creatures have for their young and the conscious acts of self-sacrifice performed throughout the animal world. You will read about the great care taken by animal parents to build comfortable nests for their young. You will learn how they clean their offspring, how hard they work to feed them, protect them from cold, and even how they place their own lives in danger when an enemy is nearby.
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 Allah 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, as some examples in the following pages will show. 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 Allah'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 Allah, 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)
Intelligent Design, in other words Creation In order to create, Allah has no need to design
It’s important that the word “design” be properly understood. That Allah has created a flawless design does not mean that He first made a plan and then followed it. Allah, the Lord of the Earth and the heavens, needs no “designs” in order to create. Allah is exalted above all such deficiencies. His planning and creation take place at the same instant.
Whenever Allah wills a thing to come about, it is enough for Him just to say, "Be!"
As we are told in the verses of the Qur’an:
His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, “Be!” and it is. (Surah Ya Sin: 82)
[Allah is] the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, “Be!” and it is. (Surat al-Baqara: 117)
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