The Ant - A Beautiful Creation Of Allah
Blending Knowledge with Values
This particular insect has been selected as a title (Aayat) of a Surah No.27 “The Ants” in the Noble Qur’an. Briefly, it discusses the advent of Hadhrat Sulayman (Alayhis salaam), with his hosts of Jinn, men and birds and they marched in arranged groups till they reached the Valley of Ants. Said one Ant “Oh you Ants! Get back into your dwellings, lest Sulayman and his hosts crush you unintentionally”. The Hadith and sayings of the companions are numerous relating to the Ant. Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Do not kill four of these creatures viz. ant, bee, sparrows (wood-pecker), and any pigeon”. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Ibn Abdullah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that The Prophet (Pbuh) descended at a certain place - (house) and attended to the call of nature. Incidentally a man kindled a fire in a heap of ants, (either the house was built on a tree or on the ground). The Prophet (Pbuh) seeing this, exclaimed “Who did this? Extinguish it!! Extinguish it!” Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that a certain Prophet from the many Prophets (Alayhis salaam) rested under the shade of a tree. An ant bit him. So the Prophet stood up to avenge for the bite. He spotted a large group of ants and killed them. A call was voiced to Him, “Was it not only one ant that bit you?”
Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports, I heard the Prophet (Pbuh) saying, A certain Prophet from the many Prophets (Alayhis salaam) was resting under the shade of a tree. An ant bit him. He instructed his belongings to be removed from there and immediately ordered the heap of Ants to be burnt. Allah Ta’ala revealed to him “Was it not only Ant that hurt you and you have ordered a full nation of ants to be destroyed who are engaged in the invocation of Allah Taala? Was it not one ant?”
Hassam Dastawani says that the ants and small ants during the season of summer bring love and prosperity to us but during the season of winter we fear they will dissipate our hoards.
Abu Bakr Najee reports that Hazrat Sulayman (Alayhis salaam) came out seeking water. Incidentally he spotted an ant with its bottom downwards and struggling with its legs up in the air upwards and saying, “Oh Allah we are one of your own creation, we are not independent of our thirst. Either you refreshen us and feed us or either kill us and destroy us.”
“ When they reached the Valley of the Ants, an Ant exclaimed, ‘O Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Sulaymaan and his armies crush you without noticing it.” (Naml : 18)
Life Style of Ants
In recent times, research has shown us several facts about the lifestyle of ants, which were not known earlier to mankind. Research has shown that the animals or insects whose lifestyle is closest in resemblance of the lifestyle of human beings are the ants. This can be seen from the following findings regarding ants:
- The ants bury their dead in a manner similar to the humans.
- They have a sophisticated system of division of labour.
- Once in a while they meet among themselves to have a ‘chat’.
- They have an advanced method of communication among themselves.
- They hold regular markets wherein they exchange goods.
They store grains for long periods in winter and if the grain begins to bud, they cut the roots, If the grains stored by them get wet due to rains, they take these grains out into the sunlight to dry, and once these are dry, they take them back inside. Consider the following Qur’anic verses:
At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: ‘Oye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (Under foot) without knowing it.” (Al-Qur’an 27:17-18)
In the past, the so called ‘rationalist’ would have probably laughed and mocked at the Qur’an, taking it to be a fairy tale book in which ants talk to each other and communicate sophisticated messages!
C.P. Haskins in “The Ants and Her World” writes: “In fact ants are little chemical factories continuously producing an array of substance called pheromones, that serves the ant language. Through these pheromones the ants convey messages ranging from location of food to the presence of danger”!!!.
Blending Knowledge with Values
By Nassir Hussain Peerzadah
Role of Reason and Intelect
For the last few centuries explosion of knowledge has been proceeding at an alarming pace. Man has been able to discover many mysteries. Domain of experimentation and observation have widened quite appreciably. Man stands aghast at the present trend of scientific and technological progress. Nations have been competing in learning more and more. New tools and methods are devised to acquire more and more information. Despite such a tremendous progress much is left unknown. If we ponder a little deeper there are certain and big realities about which adequate information is lacking. We will recognise the role of reason and intellect. In fact, we have been using both of them to learn about things. No doubt reason and intellect should have their role. The tragedy of the modern approach lies in the fact that any thing reason fails to explain is ignored. Knowledge gained by human beings all through the ages by exercising their mental faculties cannot be eternal and absolutely true. Today’s fact may stand tomorrow’s speculation and today’s speculation may prove tomorrow’s fact. The predicament of modern intelligentsia has been that all the guiding sources for getting the true world view are yet to be approached.
Role of Revelation
One such source is the Revelation from the Creator of this universe who is all knowing, powerful and compassionate. It has been the divine mercy of Almighty that through a revered class of personalities called Prophets man has been guided all through the ages. These luminaries provide the masses with knowledge based on the Revelation. Without this indispensable source of knowledge man would had groped in utter darkness. Mundane sciences are of partial help to man though attaining them too is necessary. The role of Revelation behaves like a rudder in shaping the destiny of knowledge.
In the present times, the progress of the scientific knowledge has been at random and value free. The role of Revelation in the development of scientific knowledge has been kept at bay. Man has thus become victim of ruinous conceit. His fickle and capricious attitude has misled him many a time. Negligence on the part of man in endorsing the genuine role to revelation has resulted in the spiritual crisis of the modern man. This has also resulted in the development of hypothesis based merely on notions. The examples of such notional hypothesis are the development of Evolutionism, Freudism and Communism.
These notions were merely based on certain assumptions which lacked any scientific basis and intellectual profundity. Darwinism downgraded the status of man and it was presumed that man is simply an animal linked to apes. Thus his role as the vicegerent of Allah was badly distorted. The most unfortunate effect of these hypotheses has been that they began to re-orient the foundation of biological, anthropological and social sciences.
Role of Science
Having failed to cater to the spiritual needs of man, science has proved a devastating force many a time. History bristles with such examples where humanity had to pay heavily owing to negative role of science. Japan witnessed the horrible devastation by the misuse of nuclear energy. The ripples of this one-time misuse are still felt.
The tendency to conquer nature was no less damaging. Natural resources were not treated as Amanath (Trust) to be used sagaciously. The mania for industrialization led to indiscriminate looting of natural wealth. Consequently the ecological balance of biosphere got severely disturbed. Today, we face a grave threat to our survival. We have to choose between the two either ‘preserve’ or ‘perish’. We are in pursuit of such unscientific manipulation in the name of science which would prove catastrophic. The cases of Global warming, presence of particulate matter, human cloning etc. need our immediate attention. The presence of suspended particulate matter is presumed to pose the threat even to the continuity of human race since it has alarmingly reduced the number of sperms to half in Indian males.
Role of Islamic Sciences
As such there should develop a strong voice for directing the science in right direction. Science needs the proper methodology, ontology, epistemology with ethics. Strong emphasis should be laid to the point that besides man being the vicegerent of Allah, he has to shoulder the responsibility for safeguarding the resources both natural and human and for ecological preservation of biosphere. He has to maintain the balance in creation, do right deeds and keep justice in nature. Exploitation of man by man or exploitation of nature in any form has to be ended. Integration of Iman (faith), Ilm (knowledge) and action on the basis of Islamic methodology has to be achieved. The goals and objectives pointed above would lead towards the emergence of Islamic science. The horizon of Islamic science are quite broad and wide and its definition multidimensional. The concepts to be explored in relation with Islamic Science are Khilafat (vicegerent), Taqwa (piety), Tauheed (Monotheism), Insaf (Justice) and Amanat (Trust). Moreover, it has to define nature of relation of man with himself, with the universe and with Almighty Allah.
It is high time for Muslims in general and Muslim intelligentsia in particular to shape the destiny of Science and to guide the development of human culture as demanded by Almighty Allah.