Animals In The Glorious Quran


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  • Animals In The Glorious Quran


  • The Ants of Prophet Sulayman

     

    {Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said, ‘ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulayman (Solomon) and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.}

                                                                                                                 (An-Naml: 18)

     

    I am an ant, so of course I know why Allah created us ants. But you know, I fail to understand why Allah created man.

    I find it quite strange, even amazing, and sometimes irritating, to see a creature that walks carelessly and treads upon armies of ants. More than that, with his horse he destroys thousands of ants without sensing or feeling anything! He does such things without knowing ...without realizing '" without noticing '" without understanding and without feeling angry or sad.

          Do you notice the harshness that is hidden somewhere in his carelessness?

          We ants can carry a grain of rice for half a day. Our life is not easy. Sometimes we find a piece of sugar and the High Council of Specialists for Food Security holds a counsel, “There is a piece of sugar over there,” they might say.

    "Where?" we would ask.

    "At a distance of one thousand ant steps from the apple tree." "How many ants are required in order to bring it?" we ask.

    "Ten thousand ants."

    "Gather an army of fifty thousand ants," we say as we organize ourselves.

    We have good reasons for increasing the number of our armies.

    The main reason is that man is so excessive in destroying us without reason or excuse. I am an ant and an ant is a very small thing; a small insect but at the same time, a complete being and our existence coincides with our nature and wisdom stands as an integral part of our character. The motto of our life is to be clear and straight to the point.

    Although we are no larger more than two millimeters, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful has compensated us for our minute size and weak body with the talent of organization, management and making meticulous calculations. We are very clever you know!

    We are never taken by surprise. We believe in Allah's fate and the destiny decreed by Him. We know that a cup of water can drown an am1Y of ants, but our belief in Allah does not prevent us from making calculations, feasibility studies, researching and organizing and managing everything striving for wisdom and perfection. Furthermore, we understand that belief in Allah obligates us to do so, for the laws of the universe aloe not to be broken for anybody and no creature is to stray from its nature.

    I do not want to waste your time, for time is indeed precious. I was an ant and one of the guards at the valley of ants. Do you know where the valley of ants is?

    If you do not know then I think that is for the best. It is better for little creatures to hide their valleys in order to preserve their lives, especially from the big feet of man.

    It is common knowledge that a creature's small size may be the cause of his destruction. Amidst this worldly jungle in which we live, you have to be either a wolf or be eaten by wolves; and you have to be either a tiger or be eaten by tigers. That is what man says, isn't it? So what can ants do as they are one of the smallest creatures in this world?

    The mercy of Almighty Allah has answered this question. We do not need to be wolves anymore in order to not be eaten by the strong among the wolves. Allah has provided us with an outstanding life and there are no other creatures that can do meticulous work to the degree of finesse like ants!

    Ants do not live alone. We live in colonies that consist of hundreds of thousands and the division of labor is clear and well known. For example, males cannot perform the work of females and the job of the worker-ants cannot be performed by anyone except them.

    Our cities are located underground. They are cities that are connected by a complicated system of roads that make it impossible for anyone but ants to pass through. Moreover, we build our cities deep under the ground in order to ward off any possible danger.

    There are three kinds of ants: females, males and worker-ants. Every kind is born with an inherent knowledge of the work it is supposed to do. Unlike humans, we do not have teachers, for we learn directly from Almighty Allah. The first ant that was created by Allah knew all the sciences and passed her knowledge onto the successive generations.

    As soon as an ant is born and knows her position in the world of the ants, she instantly starts performing her responsibilities.

    We do never complain, we never aspire, we never covet and we never dream.

    We do not grow wings except when we are in love. Only in the mating season, do our wings grow. What people regard as a special kind of species of flying ants is in fact nothing but a troop of males and females in the season of love.

    At the end of this season, the male falls to the ground and dies. His task is over and his life has no more meaning. Once the male dies, the female's task begins. She bites off her wings, for she does not need them any more. Then, she builds her nest in the ground and lays her eggs. This little nest will become a colony of ants.

    It is a colony that may become colonies and' then turn into a valley of ants. This valley is laid out over and under the ground. It includes houses for each individual in it and also contains a certain percentage of each kind living in it.

    One of the mysteries that scientists have not yet discovered about us, and I do not think that they will ever discover, lurks in these questions, "Why do ants have males, females and worker-ants each of a limited number? Why does the mother ant lay her eggs that hatch to be worker-ants? Why do these worker-ants grow in order to make it possible for the mother ant to lay millions of eggs throughout the rest of her life?" "Also, why does the mother lay the males after that and then the females? Why does she choose a certain number of males and a certain number of females so that are the number will be sufficient for life to continue and be organized in such an astonishing way? Does the mother ant make all these calculations that no human or electronic mind could ever achieve? Does an ant really do that?"

    Human beings cannot determine the sex of an embryo, but ants can do that easily and do so without understanding how they are able to. Scientists will remain confounded in this secret of the ant world and this secret will ever remain a mystery for them as well as for me. I, also, do not know the answer to this secret.

    It is enough to say that Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful knew before He created us what we would encounter at the hands of human beings; and Allah, the Almighty, knew that if a child were to tread upon a colony of ants he could unintentionally kill a thousand ants with his foot. For this reason Allah provided us with what He did not provide man. He has guided us to what He did not guide man to and bestowed upon us weapons that help us survive in a world where the conflict of survival never ceases for a moment.

    Now, I will talk to you a little about myself. I was born a worker-ant, a hard laborer ...We are born in the form of eggs, then we become a larvae and then pupae. After that we come to know what kind we belong to.

    When the egg, I was in, hatched, the mother washed the larva with her tongue, gave me the food that she had stored in her stomach and kept me from harm until I grew up. When I grew up I realized that I was a guard.

    Worker-ants have different duties. Among them there are servants to clean the colonies, soldiers to protect them and patrol ants to keep the colony save from harm.

    I am from the watch patrol. In, fact, I am a chief. In the beginning I watched our colonies that were flourishing with interesting slowness but it was usual to progress in a steadfast manner.

    I watched the worker-ants that were nursing the children. I watched the worker-ants that were milking the ant cows. Yes, we milk a certain type of insect that is responsible for making honey nectar just as human beings milk cows. I watched the builders among the worker-ants as they were digging tunnels and houses under the ground. I was responsible for the external dangers of which man was the most dangerous.

    Yes, man is one of the most dangerous forces.

          Apart from man, there are hundreds of natural forces that also threaten ants. The first of these dangers is rain, for we are creatures that do not know how to swim. We drown in water.

    The moment lightening and thunder strike, we let out a yell of warning and declare a state of emergency and all ants flee to their houses underground. Moreover, we, the watch patrol, survey the situation from places far from the rain but which are nearer to it than the places of the other ants.

    When the rain stops we do not hurry to the surface for but we remain in our homes surveying the situation. We wait for the sun to reappear.

    The sun is strange because we never see it first, but we feel its presence. It eats one of the greatest dangers that threatens us. The sun soaks up the water.

    As soon as the sun appears in a place that has water, something interesting, which we cannot comprehend, occurs. The sun soaks up the water. Where does it go? Does it evaporate? What does it mean?

    We are always surprised to find that when the sun appears, the pools of water, that were made by the rain, have disappeared. This is a mystery that deeply confounds me when I contemplate things in my free time. I do not understand. I do not know how all this happens. In this way I continue praising Allah while I declare that I neither understand nor comprehend His Wisdom.

    All I know is that Allah is Merciful towards ants and one of the signs of His Mercy is what the sun does to the water. But how does the sun do what it does? This too is a secret. I confess my inability of revealing its mystery.

    After the danger of water, comes the danger of man. He destroys, kills and demolishes us without any sense. He does not feel for us. Why does man have no sense? Why does he not feel?

    Ants hold thousands of meetings in order to discuss this question. The final statement was as follows, "The human squashes us with his feet because he does not look at the ground when he walks. He looks in front and behind and around but rarely bows his head. What pride that creature called man harbors! If he watched his step, the catastrophes that have taken place throughout the long history of ants would never have occurred.”

    I confess that I met by chance, during my long life, a human or two who were watching their steps. They were two ascetic worshipers and their humility took the form of mercy whose effects extended to ants. I do not know the name of the second man but the name of the first one was king Sulayman, the wise Prophet.

    I knew the wise Sulayman because knowing him was part of my duty in the watch patrol. For watching over the valleys of ants does not occur only within the valleys themselves. There is a watch patrol station in the colonies themselves and there is a mobile watch patrol that goes far from the colony and surveys any movements that may affect the valley of ants.

    My surveillance was of this kind.

    One day I was crawling about and walked a long way. It was a distance that humans could accomplish in moments. I did not feel despair nor did I feel hate towards man.

    One of the good traits of ants is that they are small in size but big in mind. Yes, I confess that I am a wise ant. For sure, wisdom is better than wealth that is accompanied with pride, and better than poverty that is followed by hate.

    I started crawling ...step by step ...We praise Allah while we are walking and sometimes we stop and change our direction and walk a step and then go back to our original course. What man may regard as weird in an ant's actions has wisdom ...for we praise Allah in all four directions. Wherever you turn yourselves or your faces, there is the Face of Allah.

    I know that for sure. This is the knowledge from which the tree of wisdom stems. After walking a long way, I coincidentally came upon a tree. I climbed it, stood, looked, praised Allah, turned and looked again.

    My stare froze! Suddenly fear overwhelmed me. I smelt unrevealed danger. There was a tremendous army gathering. It was not a normal army and it was not like the armies of the present time. Normally, an army consists of human soldiers just like an army of ants consists of ant soldiers. Much to my surprise, what I beheld before me was not an army of humans ... it was an army of Jinn, humans and birds.

          "And there were gathered before Sulayman his hosts of jinn and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards)."

          Endless rows of humans, endless rows of animals and endless rows of birds!

    The wind was gathering as if it was subjugated to the army. Then, came the rows of Jinn ...The Jinn are invisible creatures that we ants sense but do not see and do not worry ourselves about. Once I saw Sulayman's army, I was filled with fear.

    If this army were to walk through the valley, it would mean utter destruction for the entire ant valley. The painful part is that this would happen unconsciously on the part of the army.

    I came down from the tree and walked with the speed of danger. This is the maximum speed for ants. We have five speeds and this is the fastest. I geared my five speeds to their maximum limit and got down from the tree. At the same time I ejected a smell that has significant in the world of ants. It means a warning to the ants to gather at the outskirts of the colony. All the ants that were working outside the colony made their way quickly to it. I reached the valley of ants.

    There was an emergency meeting of those in charge of guarding the colony. The smell I had released had gathered them. I stood to give my report to the highest official of the ant colony. This official was a silent ant but had the ability to make fast and decisive decisions in less than a blink of an eye.

    I said, "There is an army near our valley."

    The official ant asked, "How many humans are there?" "The army does not consist of humans only," I replied. The official ant said (while rubbing her head), "The army is not of humans!"

    "It is an army of Jinn, humans and birds," I added.

    A meeting of the highest officials of the ant colony was held and it continued for a few seconds. The security procedures were given out to all ants, inside or outside the colony. The orders that were given to the ants inside the colony were that they should remain in their houses. While making preparations for this, the worker-ants started airing houses lest they would stay there for a long time.

    The orders given to the ants outside the colony was that they should make hast and return to the outskirts of the colony.

    A double system of protective vigilance was established outside. All systems of warning were prepared and I was appointed as the head to announce the last warning shout.

    On normal days, I was stationed on a little hill but during these exceptional circumstances my position changed and so I climbed a tree branch and stood watching attentively.

    I was watching a certain road on the horizon ...a road that Sulayman's army would have to take in order to pass through the area. I did not have to wait a long time, before the army appeared. They were such a small speck, faraway, like an ant! Then it started getting bigger and so I shouted, “0 ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulayman and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”

    As soon as I shouted my warning, the ants rushed into their houses. I was not surprised at that, but at the same time something else happened ...Sulayman and his army stopped. I was totally surprised.

          Prophet Sulayman looked at the tree I was standing on and smiled. I was extremely surprised at what was happening.

    "Could this human truly understand what I have said?" I thought. His smile carried the taste of honey and seemed inlaid with mercy that we do not feel except among ourselves.

          I felt that Sulayman understood what I had said and so had stopped.

          I was surprised when he bowed his head and said, "My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.”

    I then realized that he was talking to Almighty Allah and was praying.

    My astonishment increased.

    It increased even further when he turned to me and addressed me in my native tongue saying, "Have no fear ...the army will not destroy the valley of ants. We will change our course and steer faraway from your valley."

    I could hardly believe my ears and said, "Who are you sir? You can talk the language of ants! "

    He said, "I am the servant of Allah and His Prophet Sulayman. My father is Prophet Dawud (David). Allah taught us the languages of birds and animals."

    I said to him, "So you are a Prophet and son of a Prophet, aren't you?"

    "Yes," he replied.

    I said, "And you addressed Allah saying, "Admit me by Your             Mercy among Your righteous slaves," didn't you?"

    "Yes," he replied.

    I said, "Is the rank of submission higher than the rank of prophethood? "

    Sulayman said, "No, O ant there are not two ranks ...The peak of prophethood is submission and that constitutes the most honorable rank a human being can obtain."

    I said to him, "O righteous servant ...I will pray to Allah that He admits you by His Mercy among His righteous slaves ...So why do you not pray for me?"

    Sulayman said smiling, "I do not know what can I ask Allah for you! But I feel that Allah, the Almighty, will use the words you have used to warn the ants, to be verses that will be recited by the believers during prayers."

    He then turned to his army and ordered, "Steer away from the valley of ants and march forward."

     

     

     

     

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