The Creation of the Universe

A System Without Room For
Smallest Error: Blood Clotting


Plants are Cool, But Why?

What Happens If Fear of God
Does Not Exist?


Where did the Companions of
the Cave Live?


Amazing Miracles of the Qur'an

Islam Denounces Terrorism

The Rise of Islam

Timelessness and The Reality of Fate

Jesus Will Return

The Perfect Design i
n Dolphins

The Message of Nature

God Increases His Blessings on
Those Who Are Grateful


How do Penguins Live on Such
a Freezing Continent at the
South Pole?

Cover Story
THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE

In its standard form, the bing bang theory assumes that all parts of the universe began expanding simultaneously. But how could all the different parts of the universe Synchronize the beginning of their expansion? Who gave the command?

Andre Linde, Professor of Cosmology

The universe, whose vast dimension pushes the limits of the human's comprehension, functions without fail, resting on sensitive balances and within a great order and has done so since the first moment of its formation. How this enormous universe has come into being, where it leads to and how the laws that maintain the order and balance within it work, have always been matters of interest to people in all ages, and still are. For scientists who measured the order and design in the universe by using their reason and conscience, it has not been difficult at all to explain this perfection. This is because God, the Almighty, Who rules over the entire universe, created this perfect design and this is obvious and clear to all people who can think and reason. God proclaims this evident truth in the verses of the Qur'an:

In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people with intelligence. (Qur'an, 3: 190)

Those scientists who ignore the evidence of creation, however, have great difficulty in answering these never-ending questions. They do not hesitate to take recourse to demagoguery, false theories without any scientific basis, and, if forced into a corner, even deceptions to defend theories that are entirely opposed to reality. Yet, all developments that have taken place in science recently, up until the outset of the 21st century, lead us to a single fact: the universe was created from nothing by God, Who possesses superior might and infinite wisdom.

The Creation of the Universe

For centuries, people searched for an answer to the question of "how the universe came into being". Thousands of models of the universe have been put forward and thousands of theories have been produced throughout history. However, a review of these theories reveals that they all have at their core one of two different models. The first is the concept of an infinite universe without beginning, which no longer has any scientific basis. The second is that the universe was created from nothing, which is currently recognized by the scientific community as "the standard model".

The first model, which has proven not to be viable, defended the proposition that the universe has existed for an infinite time and will exist endlessly in its current state. This idea of an infinite universe was developed in ancient Greece, and made its way to the western world as a product of the materialistic philosophy that was revived with Renaissance. At the core of the Renaissance lay a re-examination of the works of ancient Greek thinkers. Thus, materialist philosophy and the concept of an infinite universe defended by this philosophy were taken off the dusty shelves of history by philosophical and ideological concerns and presented to people as if they were scientific facts.

According to this "infinite universe" model which was popular during the first half of the 20th century, the universe had no beginning or end. The universe had not been created from nothing, nor would it ever be destroyed. According to this theory, which also laid the basis for materialist philosophy, the universe had a static structure. Yet, later scientific findings revealed that this theory is totally wrong and unscientific. The universe has not existed without beginning; it had a beginning and was created from nothing.

The idea that the universe is infinite, that is that it had no beginning, has always been the starting point of irreligiousness and ideologies that make the mistake of denying God. This is because in their view, if the universe had no beginning, then there was no creator either. Yet, science soon revealed with conclusive evidence that these arguments of the materialists are invalid and that the universe started with an explosion called the Big Bang. Coming into being from nothing had only one meaning: "Creation". God, the Almighty created the whole universe.

Various scientists continued to resist this but all scientific development worked against them.

The Expansion of the Universe and the Big Bang

In the 20th century, great strides were made in the field of astronomy. First, the Russian physicist Alexandre Friedmann discovered in 1922 that the universe did not have a static structure. Starting out from Einstein's theory of relativity, Friedmann calculated that even a tiny impulse might cause the universe to expand or contract. Georges Lemaître, one of the most famous astronomers of Belgium, was the first to recognise the importance of this calculation. These calculations led him to conclude that the universe had a beginning and that it was continuously expanding right from the outset. There was another very important point Lemaître raised: according to him, there should be a radiation surplus left over from the big bang and this could be traced. Lemaître was confident that his explanations were true although they initially did not find much support in the scientific community. Meanwhile, further evidence that the universe was expanding began to pile up. At that time, observing a number of stars through his huge telescope, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the stars emitted a red shifted light depending on their distances. With this discovery, which he made at the California Mount Wilson Observa-tory, Hubble challenged all scientists who put forward and defended the steady state theory, and shook the very basis of the model of the universe held until then.

Hubble's findings depended on the physical rule that the spectra of light beams travelling towards the point of observation tend towards violet while the spectra of light beams moving away from the point of observation tend towards red. This showed that the celestial bodies observed from the Californian Mount Wilson Observatory were moving away from the earth. Further observation revealed that the stars and galaxies weren't just racing away from us; they were racing away from each other as well. This movement of celestial bodies proved once more that the universe is expanding.

Further observations on the expansion of the universe gave way to new arguments. Starting from this point, scientists ended up with a model of a universe that became smaller as one went back in time, eventually contracting and converging at a single point, as Lemaître had argued. The conclusion to be derived from this model is that at some point in time, all matter in the universe was crushed together in a single point-mass that had "zero volume" because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point-mass that had zero volume and this explosion has come to be called the "Big Bang".

The Big Bang pointed to another matter. To say that something has zero volume is tantamount to saying that it is "nothing". The whole universe is created from this "nothing". Furthermore, this universe has a beginning, contrary to the view of materialism, which holds that "the universe has existed from eternity". (Harun Yahya, The Creation of the Universe, Attique Publishers)

Big Bang with Evidence

Once the fact that the universe started to form after a great explosion was established, astrophysicists gave a further boost to their researches. According to George Gamow, if the universe was formed in a sudden, cataclysmic explosion, there ought to be a definite amount of radiation left over from that explosion which should be uniform throughout the universe.

In the years following this hypothesis, scientific findings followed one another, all confirming the Big Bang. In 1965, two researchers by the name of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson chanced upon a form of radiation hitherto unnoticed. Called "cosmic background radiation", it was unlike anything coming from anywhere else in the universe for it was extraordinarily uniform. It was neither localised nor did it have a definite source; instead, it was distributed equally everywhere. It was soon realised that this radiation is the relic of the Big Bang, still reverberating since the first moments of that great explosion. Gamow had been spot-on, for the frequency of the radiation was nearly the same value that scientists had predicted. Penzias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery.

It took only eight minutes for George Smoot and his NASA team to confirm the levels of radiation reported by Penzias and Wilson, thanks to the COBE space satellite. The sensitive sensors on board the satellite earned a new victory for the Big Bang theory. The sensors verified the existence of the hot, dense form remaining from the first moments of the Big Bang. COBE captured evidentiary remnants of the Big Bang, and the scientific community was compelled to acknowledge it.

Other evidence had to do with the relative amounts of hydrogen and helium in the universe. Calculations revealed that the proportion of hydrogen-helium gasses in the universe is in accord with theoretical calculations of what should remain after the Big Bang.

The discovery of compelling evidence caused the Big Bang theory to gain the complete approval of the scientific world. In an article in its October 1994 issue, Scientific American noted that "the Big Bang model was the only acknowledged model of the 20th century".

God Created the Universe from Nothing

With ample evidence discovered by science, the thesis of an "infinite universe" was tossed onto the scrap-heap of the history of scientific ideas. Yet, more important questions were forthcoming: what existed before the Big Bang? What force could have caused the great explosion that resulted in a universe that did not exist before?

There is a single answer to be given to the question of what existed before the Big Bang: God, the All-powerful and the Almighty, Who created the earth and the heavens in great order. Many scientists, be they believers or not, are obliged to admit this truth. Although they may decline to admit this fact on scientific platforms, their confessions in between the lines give them away. Renowned atheist philosopher Anthony Flew says:

"Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that the universe had a beginning."

Some scientists like the British materialist physicist H. P. Lipson confess that they have to accept the Big Bang theory whether they want it or not:

"If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation, how has it come into being?… I think, however, that we must…admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it."

In conclusion, science points to a single reality whether materialist scientists like it or not. Matter and time have been created by a Creator, Who is All-Powerful and Who created the heavens, the earth and all that is in between: Almighty God.

It is God who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65: 12)


Human Body
A SYSTEM WITHOUT ROOM FOR SMALLEST ERROR: BLOOD CLOTTING

Everybody knows that bleeding will eventually stop when there is a cut or when an old wound starts bleeding again. Where the bleeding is, a blood clot forms that hardens and heals the wound in due time. This may be a simple and normal phenomenon for you, but biochemists have shown through their research that this actually is the result of a very complicated system at work. The lack of any one component of this system or any damage to it would render the whole process useless.

Blood has to coagulate in the right time and place and when normal conditions are restored, the clot should vanish. The system functions flawlessly down to the minutest detail.

If there is bleeding, the clot should form immediately in order to prevent the creature from dying. Furthermore, the clot should cover the entire wound and, more importantly, should only form over, and remain right on top of, the wound. Otherwise all the blood of the creature could coagulate and cause its death, which is why the clot should form at the right time at the right place.

When a wound starts bleeding, an enzyme called thromboplastin that is released from damaged tissue cells combines with the calcium and prothrombin in the blood. The resulting mesh of threads form a protective layer, which solidifies eventually. The top layer of cells eventually die, so forming the scab. Underneath the scab, new cells are being formed. When damaged cells are completely replaced, the scab drops off.

The smallest elements of the bone marrow, the blood platelets or thrombocytes, are crucial. These cells are the main elements behind the coagulation of blood. A protein, called the Von Willebrand factor, ensures that, in their continuous patrol of the blood stream, these platelets do not miss the place of the injury. The platelets that become entangled in the location of the injury release a substance that collects countless others to the same place. These cells eventually shore up the open wound. The platelets die after performing their duty in locating the wound. Their sacrifice is only a part of the coagulation system in the blood.

Thrombin is another protein that facilitates coagulation of blood. This substance is produced only at the location of the wound. This production must be neither more nor less than necessary, and has also to start and stop exactly at the required times. There are more than twenty body chemicals called enzymes that have roles in the production of thrombin. These enzymes can trigger its reproduction or halt it. The process is under so much scrutiny that thrombin only forms when there is a real wound to the tissues. As soon as the enzymes of coagulation reach a satisfactory level in the body, fibrinogens that are composed of proteins are formed. In a very short while, a mesh of fibres form a web, which is formed at the location of the escaping blood. In the meantime, patrolling platelets continue to become entangled and accumulate at the same location. What is called a clot is the plug that is formed due to this accumulation. When the wound totally heals, the clot dissolves. (Harun Yahya, Design in Nature, Ta-Ha Publishers)

The system that enables formation of the clot, determining its extent, strengthening or dissolving the formed clot undoubtedly, has an absolute irreducible complexity. The system works flawlessly down to the minutest detail.

What would happen if there were small problems within this perfectly functioning system? For example, if there was coagulation in the blood even without a wound, or if the clot could easily break off from the wound? There is a single answer to these questions: in such cases the bloodstream to the most vital and intricate organs, such as heart, brain and lungs, would be clogged with clots, which would inevitably bring death.

In reality, this shows us one more time that the human body is flawlessly designed. It is impossible to explain the clotting system of the blood through the hypothesis of coincidence or "gradual development" as asserted by the theory of evolution. Such a carefully engineered and calculated system as this is indisputable evidence of the perfection in creation. God, Who created us and placed us on this earth, has created our bodies with this system, which protects us in many cases of injury that we encounter throughout our lives.

The clotting of blood is very important not only for visible injuries but also for the ruptures of capillaries in our bodies that happen all the time. Although unnoticed, there are continuously small internal bleedings. When hitting an arm against a door or sitting down too heavily, hundreds of capillaries are ruptured. These bleedings are immediately stopped by means of the clotting system and the capillaries are reconstructed in their normal condition. If the impact is more serious, then the internal bleeding is stronger, giving way to the bruising commonly termed "turning purple". A human lacking the coagulation system would have to avoid even the smallest impacts. Haemophilic patients, having defective coagulation systems, live their lives like that. Patients with advanced haemophilia unfortunately do not survive too long. Even small internal bleedings, inflicted by a simple slip and fall, could be enough to end their lives. Due to this simple reality, each individual should consider the miracle of creation within his/her own body and be thankful to God, Who created that body flawlessly. This body is a blessing to us from God, a single cell of which we cannot even reproduce. When addressing mankind, God says:

"We created you, so why do you not confirm the truth?" (Qur'an, 56: 57)
www.evolutiondeceit.com


World Of Plants
PLANTS ARE COOL BUT WHY?

A plant and a piece of stone in the same place do not warm up to the same degree, even though they receive the same amount of solar energy. Every living creature will experience negative effects if it stays out in the sun. So what is it that enables plants to be minimally affected by the heat? How do plants manage this? Why does nothing happen to plants even in great heat, even when its leaves burn in the sunshine all through a hot summer? Apart from their own internal warming, plants also take in heat from the outside and maintain the temperature balance in the world. And they themselves are exposed to this heat while carrying out this heat-retention process. So, instead of being affected by the ever-increasing temperature, how is it that plants can continue to take heat in from outside?

Considering that plants are constantly under the sun, it is natural that they should need more water than other living things. Plants also constantly lose water by the perspiration on their leaves. In order to prevent such water loss, the leaves, the surface of which are always turned towards the sun, are generally covered in a waterproof protective wax known as the cuticle. In this way water loss on the upper surfaces of leaves is prevented.

But what about the under surfaces? Because the plant loses water from there, the pores whose function is to enable the diffusion of gases are generally on the bottom surfaces. The opening and closing of the pores regulates the plant's taking in enough carbon-dioxide and giving off enough oxygen, but not in such a way as to lead to water loss.

In addition to this, plants disperse heat in different ways. There are two important heat dispersal mechanisms in plants. By means of one of these, if the temperature of a leaf is higher than that around it, air circulates from the leaf towards the outside. Air changes stemming from heat distribution lead to the air rising, because hot air is less dense than cold. For this reason the hot air on the surface of the leaf rises, leaving the surface. Because cold air is denser, it descends to the surface of the leaf. In this way heat is reduced and the leaf is cooled down. This process goes on for as long as the temperature on the surface of the leaf is greater than that outside. In very dry environments, such as deserts, this situation never changes.

By means of the other heat dispersal system of plants, leaves can perspire by giving off water vapour. By virtue of this perspiration, the evaporation of water permits the plant to cool down.

These dispersal systems have been designed to suit the conditions where the plant lives. Every plant possesses the systems it needs. Could this exceedingly complicated dispersal system have come about by coincidence? In order to answer this question, let us consider desert plants. The tissues of desert plants are often very thick and fleshy. They are designed to conserve rather than evaporate water. It would be lethal for these plants' heat dispersal systems to work by means of evaporation, because in a desert it is not possible to compensate for water loss. Although these plants can disperse heat by both methods, they only use one, which is also the only way for them to survive. Their design has obviously been carried out with desert conditions in mind. It is not possible to explain this by coincidences.

If plants did not possess these cooling-down systems, being under the sun for even a few hours would be lethal for them. One minute of direct sunlight in the afternoon can heat one centimetre of leaf surface by as much as 37 degrees centigrade. Plant cells start to die when the temperature rises to 50 to 60 degrees, in other words, just three minutes of direct sunlight in the afternoon would be enough for a plant to die. But plants are protected from lethal temperatures by means of these two mechanisms. The evaporation which plants also use in heat dispersal is also very important from the point of view of regulating the level of water vapour in the air. This evaporation in plants enables high levels of vapour to be released to the atmosphere regularly. This activity of plants could be described as a kind of water engineering. The trees in a thousand square metre area of forest can comfortably put 7.5 tons of water into the atmosphere. Trees are like giant water pumps, passing the water in the soil through their bodies and sending it into the atmosphere. This is a most important task. If they did not possess such a feature, the water cycle on the Earth would not happen as it does today, which would mean the destruction of the balances in the world. (Harun Yahya, The Miracle of Creation in Plants, Goodword Books)

Although their stems are covered with a wooden, dry substance, plants can pass tons of water through their bodies. They take this water from the soil, and after using it in various parts of the high technology factories in their bodies, give it back to nature as purified water. At the same time that they do this, they also separate part of their intake of water with the aim of using the hydrogen in the nutrition production process.

What we have described as the perspiration in leaves or the moisture in the areas where the trees live, actually occur as the result of activities which are essential to the survival of life on the planet.

The opening and closing of the pores regulates the plant's taking in enough carbon-dioxide and giving off enough oxygen, but not in such a way as to lead to water loss.

What we see in these processes of plants is a system of such perfection that it would run down and stop working if even one part of it were taken away. There is no doubt that it was God, the Compassionate and the Merciful, who is aware of all creation, who designed this system and flawlessly installed it in plants.
www.harunyahya.com


Qur'an and Society

WHAT HAPPENS IF FEAR OF GOD DOES NOT EXIST?

Think of two men. One of them knows that he will meet God and is aware that every act of his has a recompense. The other, on the contrary, supposes that he will not have to give account to anyone. Surely, there is a great difference between how these two men conduct themselves. Someone bereft of the fear of God is likely to commit any evil and ignore all kinds of immorality when he feels his interests are at stake. Someone, who readily kills a human being, for instance, for no apparent reason or for a worldly interest, does this because he does not fear God. If he had steadfast faith in God and the hereafter, he would never dare to do anything of which he could not give account in the hereafter.

In the Qur'an, the story of the sons of the prophet Adam, peace be upon him, are given as examples to call our attention to the sharp difference between a person who fears God and one who does not:

Recite to them the true report of Adam's two sons when they offered a sacrifice and it was accepted from one of them but not accepted from the other. The one said, 'I shall kill you.' The other said, 'God only accepts from people who have fear of God. Even if you do raise your hand against me to kill me, I am not going to raise my hand against you to kill you. Truly, I fear God, the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur'an, 5: 27-28)

The one who has no fear of God dares to kill his brother without batting an eyelid although his brother has no guilt, whereas the victim, despite being threatened with death, says that he would not even attempt to kill his brother. This is the consequence of this person's fear of God. Thus, once the individuals of a society have fear of God, then murder, oppression, injustice and inequity, of which God does not approve, will end.

Covetousness for the world also accounts for people's cruelties and immoralities. The main worry of many people is about becoming poor, or having no guarantee of their future. These concerns essentially explain why bribery, corruption, theft, false witnessing and prostitution become ways of life for many people. For someone who has faith in God, however, the approval of God is over and above everything else. Such a person avoids anything that will cause him to lose the approval of God. In his heart, he only harbours fear of God; neither death, nor hunger, nor any other hardship can divert him from the right path. (Harun Yahya, Solution: The Values of the Qur'an, Ta-Ha Publishers)

Consequently, no matter what the circumstances, a person having fear of God, never deviates from the Qur'an. Equally, he is trustworthy. He always acts conscientiously. Having a profound sense that God sees and hears everything, he does not attempt to act against his conscience even when alone.

Lack of religion instigates the loss of conscience. To make this point clear, think of somebody who has no hesitation in running away after hitting a man on the street with his car. This is a mere indication of his being distant from religion. This man, who without conscience leaves a human being all alone in agony in the middle of the street, who would, otherwise, have a chance to survive, thinks that he can avoid people by running away from them. Never does he think, however, that God surrounds him, seeing and hearing him every second. One can never run away from God's reckoning and the day of accounting. God will pay everyone back for all injustices, cruelties, and conscienceless acts on the day of account:

…Those who misappropriate will arrive on the Day of Rising with what they have misappropriated. Then every self will be paid in full for what it earned. They will not be wronged. Is someone who pursues the pleasure of God the same as someone who incurs displeasure from God and whose refuge is Hell? What an evil destination! (Qur'an, 3: 161-162)

In societies with members having fear of God, nobody engages in any of these, being aware that any misdeed a person commits in this life will meet him in the hereafter. With individuals having a sound conscience, this society is entitled to enjoy peace and a sense of trust. Strict avoidance of debauchery, prostitution and any other form of immorality together with the sensitivity shown to values such as respect, compassion and mercy ensure unbreakable family ties, which are undeniably essential for a strong society. The society enjoys such reliable bases mainly because people show allegiance to one another.


Archeological Research

WHERE DID THE COMPANIONS OF THE CAVE LIVE?

Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and the Tablet were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs? (Qur'an, 18: 9)

The Qur'an's 18th Surah named "Al-Kahf", meaning "the cave", tells about a group of young people who took shelter in a cave to hide away from a ruler who denied God and practised oppression and injustice upon the believers.

According to widespread belief, the Companions of the Cave who are praised both by the Islamic and Christian sources, were subjected to the cruel tyranny of the Roman Emper-or, Decius. Meeting the oppression and injustice of Decius, these young people warned their own people many times not to abandon the religion of God. The indifference of their people to their communication of the message, the increase in oppression of the emperor and their being threatened with death, caused them to leave their homes.

As historical documents verify, at that time, many emperors extensively executed policies of terror, oppression, and injustice on believers who stood for early Christian-ity in its original and pure form.

In a letter written by the Roman Governor Pilinius (69-113 AD) who was in North West Anatolia, to the Emperor Trayanus, he referred to "the companions of the Messiah (the Christians) who were punished because they resisted worshipping the statue of the Emperor." This letter is one of the important documents which relate the oppression visited on early Christians at that time. Under such circumstances, these young people, who were asked to submit to a non-religionist system and to worship an emperor as a deity apart from God, did not accept this and said;

"We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, 'Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination. These people of ours have taken gods apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against God?" (Qur'an, 18: 14-15)

As regards the region where the Companions of the Cave lived, there are several different opinions. The most reasonable of these are Ephesus and Tarsus.

Almost all the Christian sources show Ephesus as the location of the Cave where these young believers took shelter. Some Muslim researchers and the Qur'anic commentators agree with the Christians regarding Ephesus. Some others, explained in detail that Ephesus was not the place, and then tried to prove that the event took place in Tarsus. In this study, both of these alternatives will be dealt with. Yet, all those researchers and commentators - including the Christians - said that the event took place at the time of Roman Emperor Decius (also called as Decianus), around 250 AD.

Decius, together with Nero, is known to be the Roman Emperor, who most severely tortured the Christians. During his short reign, he passed a law that compelled everyone under his rule to offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods. Everyone was obliged to offer a sacrifice to these deities, and moreover, to get a certificate showing that they had done this, which they had to show to state officials. Those who did not obey were executed. In Christian sources, it is written that a great majority of the Christians refused this idolatrous act and fled from "one city to another", or hid in secret shelters. The Companions of the Cave are most probably a group among these early Christians.

Meanwhile, there is a point that has to be emphasised here: this topic has been narrated in a story-like manner by some of Muslim and Christian historians and commentators, and turned into a legend as a result of the addition of much falsehood and hearsay. However, this incident is a historical reality.

Are the Companions of the Cave in Ephesus?

As is well known, Ephesus was accepted to be a holy place by the Christians, because, there is a house in this city which was said to be the Virgin Mary's and which was later turned into a church. So, it is highly probable that the Companions of the Cave resided in one of those holy places. Moreover, some Christian sources state their certainty that it was the place.

The oldest source on the subject is the Syrian priest, James of Saruc (born 452 AD). The famous historian, Gibbon, has taken many quotations from James' study, in his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

According to Muslim commentators, the region where the event took place was either "Aphesus" or "Aphesos". According to Gibbon, the name of this place is Ephesus. Situated on the western coast of Anatolia, this city was one of the largest ports and cities of the Roman Empire. The ruins of this city are known as "The Antique City of Ephesus" today.

The name of the Emperor who reigned in the period when the Companions of the Cave woke up from their long sleep, is Tezusius according to Muslim researchers, whereas it is Theodosius II according to Gibbons. This Emperor ruled between 408-450 AD, after the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity.

Referring to the verse below, in some commentaries it is said that the mouth of the cave looks towards the north, and hence the sunlight could not penetrate inside. Thus, someone passing by the cave could not see what was inside at all. The related verse of the Qur'an informs:

You would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, leaving them behind on the left, while they were lying in an open part of it. That was one of God's Signs. Whoever God guides is truly guided. But if He misguides someone, you will find no protector for them to guide them rightly. (Qur'an, 18: 17)

The archaeologist Dr. Musa Baran points to Ephesus as the place where this group of young believers lived, in his book named Ephesus, and he adds:

"In the year 250 BC, seven young people living in Ephesus choose Christianity and reject idolatry. Trying to find a way out, these young people find a cave in the eastern slope of the Pion mountain. The Roman soldiers see this and build a wall to the entrance of the cave."

Today, it is acknowledged that over these old ruins and graves, many religious constructions are built. Excavations made by the Austrian Archaeological Institute in 1926, revealed that the ruins found on the eastern slope of the Pion mountain belonged to a construction built on behalf of the Companions of the Cave in the middle of the 7th century (during the rule of Theodosius II).

Are the Companions of the Cave in Tarsus?

The second place presented as the place where the Companions of the Cave have lived, is Tarsus. Indeed, there is a cave that is very similar to the one described in the Qur'an, which is located on a mountain known either as Encilus or Bencilus, to the north-west of Tarsus.

The idea that Tarsus is the correct location is the view of many Islamic scholars. One of the most important Qur'anic interpreters, at-Tabari specified the name of the mountain where the cave stood as "Bencilus" in his book named Tarikh al-Umam, and added that this mountain was in Tarsus.

Again, another famous commentator on the Qur'an, Muhammed Emin stated that the name of the mountain was "Pencilus" and that it was in Tarsus. The name that is pronounced as "Pencilus" may sometimes be pronounced as "Encilus". According to him, the difference between the words is caused by different pronunciations of the letter "B" or by the loss of a letter from the original word which is called "historical word abrasion".

Fakhruddin ar-Razi, another well known Qur'anic scholar, explains in his work that "even though this place is called Ephesus, the basic intention is to say Tarsus here, because Ephesus is just another name of Tarsus".

In addition, in the commentaries of Qadi al-Baidawi and an-Nasafi, in the commentaries of al-Jalalayn and in at-Tibyan, in the commentaries of Elmali and O.Nasuhi Bilmen, and many other scholars, this place is specified as "Tarsus". Besides, all of these commentators explain the sentence of the 17th verse, "the sun, when it rose declined to the right from their cave, and when it set, turned away from them to the left", by saying that the mouth of the cave in the mountain looked towards the north. (Harun Yahya, Perished Nations, Ta-Ha Publishers)

The debates which developed as to who the Companions of the Cave were, where and when they lived, always led the authorities to make research into the subject and many comments were made on the subject. Yet, none of these comments may be considered certain, and, therefore, questions such as: at which period these young believers lived, and where the cave mentioned in the verses was, remain without substantial answers.
www.perishednations.com


Qur'an and Science

AMAZING MIRACLES OF THE QUR'AN

Modern scientific discoveries provide clear evidence that the Qur'an the word of God.

"Truly the Qur'an is revelation sent down by the Lord of all the worlds." (The Qur'an, 26:192)

Fourteen centuries ago, God sent down the Qur'an to mankind as a book of guidance. He called upon people to be guided to the truth by adhering to this book. From the day of its revelation to the day of judgement, this last divine book will remain the sole guide for humanity.

The matchless style of the Qur'an and the superior wisdom in it are definite evidence that it is the word of God. In addition, the Qur'an has many miraculous attributes proving that it is a revelation from God. One of these attributes is the fact that a number of scientific truths that we have only been able to uncover by the technology of the 20th century were stated in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.

Of course the Qur'an is not a book of science. However, many scientific facts that are expressed in an extremely concise and profound manner in its verses have only been discovered with the technology of the 20th century. These facts could not have been known at the time of the Qur'an's revelation, and this is still more proof that the Qur'an is the word of God.

In order to understand the scientific miracle of the Qur'an, we must first take a look at the level of science at the time when this holy book was revealed.

In the 7th century, when the Qur'an was revealed, Arab society had many superstitious and groundless beliefs where scientific issues were concerned. Lacking the technology to examine the universe and nature, these early Arabs believed in legends inherited from past generations. They supposed, for example, that mountains supported the sky above. They believed that the earth was flat and that there were high mountains at its both ends. It was thought that these mountains were pillars that kept the vault of heaven high above.

However all these superstitious beliefs of Arab society were eliminated with the Qur'an. In Sura Sad, verse 2, it was said: "God is He who raised up the heavens without any support..." (The Qur'an, 38:2). This verse invalidated the belief that the sky remains above because of the mountains. In many other subjects, important facts were revealed at a time when no one could have known them. The Qur'an, which was revealed at a time when people knew very little about astronomy, physics, or biology, contains key facts on a variety of subjects such as the creation of the universe, the creation of the human being, the structure of the atmosphere, and the delicate balances that make life on earth possible.

Now, let us look at one of these scientific miracles revealed in the Qur'an together.

The Protected Roof

In the Qur'an, God calls our attention to a very interesting attribute of the sky:

"We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs..." (The Qur'an, 21:32)

This attribute of the sky has been proved by scientific research carried out in the 20th century.

The atmosphere surrounding the earth serves crucial functions for the continuity of life. While destroying many meteors big and small as they approach the earth, it prevents them from falling to earth and harming living things.

In addition, the atmosphere filters the light rays coming from space that are harmful to living things. Interestingly, the atmosphere lets only harmless and useful rays- visible light, near ultraviolet light, and radio waves pass through. All of this radiation is vital for life. Near ultraviolet rays, which are only partially let in by the atmosphere, are very important for the photosynthesis of plants and for the survival of all living beings. The majority of the intense ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun are filtered out by the ozone layer of the atmosphere and only a limited-and essential-part of the ultraviolet spectrum reaches the Earth.

The protective function of the atmosphere does not end here. The atmosphere also protects the earth from the freezing cold of the space, which is about minus 270o C.

It is not only the atmosphere that protects the Earth from harmful effects. In addition to the atmosphere, the Van Allen Belt, a layer caused by the magnetic field of the Earth, also serves as a shield against the harmful radiation that threatens our planet. This radiation, which is constantly emitted by the Sun and other stars, is deadly to living things. If the Van Allen belt did not exist, the massive outbursts of energy called solar flares that frequently occur in the Sun would destroy all life on Earth. (Harun Yahya, Miracles of the Qur'an, Attique Publishers)

Dr. Hugh Ross has this to say on the importance of Van Allen Belts to our lives:

"In fact, the Earth has the highest density of any of the planets in our Solar System. This large nickel-iron core is responsible for our large magnetic field. This magnetic field produces the Van-Allen radiation shield, which protects the Earth from radiation bombardment. If this shield were not present, life would not be possible on the Earth. The only other rocky planet to have any magnetic field is Mercury - but its field strength is 100 times less than the Earth's. Even Venus, our sister planet, has no magnetic field. The Van-Allen radiation shield is a design unique to the Earth." ("Big Bang Refined by Fire" by Dr. Hugh Ross)

The energy transmitted in just one of these bursts detected in recent years was calculated to be equivalent to 100 billion atomic bombs similar to the one dropped on Hiroshima. Fifty-eight hours after the burst, it was observed that the magnetic needles of compasses displayed unusual movement and 250 kilometers above the earth's atmosphere, the temperature suddenly increased to 2,500o C.

In short, a perfect system is at work high above the Earth. It surrounds our world and protects it against external threats. Scientists only learned about it recently, yet centuries ago, God informed us in the Qur'an of the world's atmosphere functioning as a protective shield.

The magnetosphere layer, formed by the magnetic field of the Earth, serves as a shield protecting the earth from celestial bodies, harmful cosmic rays and particles. In the above picture, this magnetosphere layer, which is also named Van Allen Belts, is seen. These belts at thousands of kilometres above the earth protect the living things on the Earth from the fatal energy that would otherwise reach it from space.


Analysis

ISLAM DENOUNCES TERRORISM

Some people who say they are acting in the name of religion may misunderstand their religion or practice it wrongly. For this reason, it is a mistake to form any idea of that religion from the activities of these people. The best way to understand Islam is through its holy source.

The holy source of Islam is the Qur'an; and the model of morality in the Qur'an-Islam-is completely different from the image of it formed in the minds of some westerners. The Qur'an is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, humility, self-sacrifice, tolerance and peace, and a Muslim who truly lives according to these moral precepts is highly refined, thoughtful, tolerant, trustworthy and accommodating. To those around him he gives love, respect, peace and a sense of the joy of life.

Islam is a Religion of Peace and Well-Being

The word Islam has the same meaning as "peace" in Arabic. Islam is a religion that came down to offer humanity a life filled with the peace and well-being in which God's eternal mercy and compassion is manifested in the world. God invites all people to accept the moral teachings of the Qur'an as a model whereby mercy, compassion, tolerance and peace may be experienced in the world. In Surat al-Baqara verse 208, this command is given:

You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.

As we see in this verse, people may experience well-being only by accepting Islam and living according to the moral teaching of the Qur'an.

God Condemns Mischief

God has commanded humanity to avoid evil; He has forbidden disbelief, immorality, rebellion, cruelty, aggressiveness, murder and bloodshed. One verse says:

Seek the abode of the hereafter with what God has given you, without forgetting your portion of the world. And do good as God has been good to you. And do not seek to cause mischief on earth. God does not love mischief makers.' (Qur'an, 28: 77)

As we can see, God has forbidden every kind of mischievous acts in the religion of Islam including terrorism and violence, and condemned those who commit such deeds. A Muslim lends beauty to the world and improves it.

Islam Defends Tolerance and Freedom of Speech

Islam is a religion which fosters freedom of life, ideas and thought. It has forbidden tension and conflict among people, calumny, suspicion and even thinking negative thoughts about another individual.

Islam has not only forbidden terror and violence, but also even the slightest imposition of any idea on another human being.

There is no compulsion in religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error... (Qur'an, 2: 256)

So remind, you need only to remind. You cannot compel them to believe. (Qur'an, 88: 22)

To force anyone to believe in a religion or to practice it is against the spirit and essence of Islam because it is necessary that faith be accepted with free will and conscience. Of course, Muslims may urge one another to keep the moral precepts taught in the Qur'an, but they never use compulsion. In any case, an individual cannot be induced to the practice of religion by offering him a worldly privilege. (Harun Yahya, Islam Denounces Terrorism, Amal Press)

God Commands Believers to be Compassionate and Merciful

In this verse, Muslim morality is explained:

...To be one of those who believe and urge each other to steadfastness and urge each other to compassion. Those are the Companions of the Right. (Qur'an, 90: 17-18)

As we see in this verse, one of the most important moral precepts that God has sent down to His servants so that they may receive salvation and mercy and attain Paradise, is to "urge each other to compassion".

Islam as described in the Qur'an is a modern, enlightened, progressive religion. A Muslim is above all a person of peace; he is tolerant with a democratic spirit, cultured, enlightened, honest, knowledgable about art and science and civilized.

A Muslim educated in the fine moral teaching of the Qur'an, approaches everyone with the love that Islam expects. He shows respect for every idea and he values art and aesthetics. He is conciliatory in the face of every event, diminishing tension and restoring amity. In societies composed of individuals such as this, there will be a more developed civilization, a higher social morality, more joy, happiness, justice, security, abundance and blessings than in the most modern nations of the world today.

***

All this shows that the moral teaching offered to humanity by Islam is one that will bring peace, happiness and justice to the world. The barbarism that is happening in the world today under the name of "Islamic Terrorism" is completely removed from the moral teachings of the Qur'an; it is the work of ignorant, bigoted people, criminals who have nothing to do with religion. The solution which will applied against these individuals and groups who are trying to commit their deeds of savagery under the guise of Islam, will be the instruction of people in the true moral teaching of Islam.

In other words, the religion of Islam and the moral teaching of the Qur'an are not the supporters of terrorism and the terrorists but the remedy by which the world can be saved from the scourge of terrorism.
www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com

Though it seems to be so, fascism is not an ideology of the past. Today, it continues to pose a threat to humanity under different names and guises...

Fascism is an ideology that has brought great disasters to humanity. Not only has it caused millions of people to be killed and tortured simply because of their race, but it has also attempted to abolish all human values. Yet fascism is not an ideology of the past which we only come across in history books today. Although there seem to be no countries employing fascism openly as a regime today, powers, political groups and parties with fascist tendencies are still active today in many parts of the world, under different names and guises, and are still making people suffer similar agony. It is also likely that potential social conditions to be formed in the future may pave the way for a resurgence of fascism. For this reason, fascism continues to be a threat to the world.

The main purpose of the book is to present various fascist tendencies which appear under different methods and guises, and expose their real origins and objectives. The book also attempts to tear down the mask of fascism, and reveal that fascism is definitely an anti-religionist system.

256 Pages, 299 Pictures


Terror has no place in Islam and it is a crime committed against humanity. This book shows the inherently contradictory nature of the concept of "Islamic terror".

As Muslims, we strongly condemn the terrorist attacks on two major cities of the United States of America on September 11, 2001, which caused the death and injury of thousands of innocent people.

This book maintains that the source of the terror that we condemn is definitely not from a divine religion, and that there is no room for terrorism in Islam. This is made clear in the Qur'an, the main source of Islam, and in the practices of all true Muslim rulers, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, being the foremost of them.

The religion of Islam can by no means countenance terrorism. On the contrary, terror (i.e. the murder of innocent people) in Islam is a great sin, and Muslims are responsible for preventing these acts and bringing peace and justice to the world. This book reveals, in the light of the verses of the Qur'an and with examples from history, that Islam forbids terrorism and aims to bring peace and security to the world.

184 Pages, 196 Pictures



From The Press

THE RISE OF ISLAM

Research all over the world in recent years have revealed that the most rapidly growing religion in many Western countries is Islam. Famous newspapers have been reporting for the last few years on the rapid growth in the numbers of people turning to Islam. Some of these are shown below.


Scientific Research
TIMELESSNESS AND THE REALITY OF FATE

Time is a concept that depends totally on our perceptions and the comparison we make between our perceptions. For example, at this moment you are reading this article. Suppose that, before reading this article, you were eating something in the kitchen. You think that there is a period between the time when you were eating in the kitchen and this moment, and you call it "time". In fact, the moment you were eating in the kitchen is a piece of information in your memory, and you compare this moment with the information in your memory and call it time. If you do not make this comparison, the concept of time disappears and the only moment that exists for you will be the present moment.

Renowned physicist Julian Barbour defines time in this way:

"Time is nothing but a measure of the changing positions of objects. A pendulum swings, the hands on a clock advance." ("From Here to Eternity", Discover, December 2000, p.54)

In short, time is composed of a few pieces of information hidden as a memory in the brain; rather, it arises from the comparison of images. If a person did not have a memory, that person would live only in the present moment; his brain would not be able to make these interpretations and, therefore, he would not have any perception of time.

The Views Of Scientists On The Idea That Time Is A Perception

Today it has been scientifically accepted that time is a concept that arises from our making a definite sequential arrangement among movements and changes. We will try to make this clearer by giving examples from those thinkers and scientists who have established this view.

The physicist Julian Barbour caused a great stir in the scientific world with his book entitled The End of Time in which he examined the ideas of timelessness and eternity. In an interview with Barbour, he said that any idea we have of time being absolute is false, and that research done in modern physics has confirmed this. Time is not absolute; it is a variously perceived, subjective concept depending on events.

François Jacob, thinker, Nobel laureate and famous professor of genetics, in his book entitled Le Jeu des Possibles (The Possible and the Actual) says this about the possibility that time can move backwards:

Films played backwards make it possible for us to imagine a world in which time flows backwards. A world in which milk separates itself from the coffee and jumps out of the cup to reach the milk-pan; a world in which light rays are emitted from the walls to be collected in a trap (gravity center) instead of gushing out from a light source; a world in which a stone slopes to the palm of a man by the astonishing cooperation of innumerable drops of water which enable the stone to jump out of water. Yet, in such a world in which time has such opposite features, the processes of our brain and the way our memory compiles information, would similarly be functioning backwards. The same is true for the past and future and the world will appear to us exactly as it currently appears. (p. 111)

Because our brain works by arranging things in a sequence, we do not believe that the world works as described above; we think that time always moves forward. However, this is a decision our brain makes and is therefore totally relative. If the information in our brains were arranged like a film being projected backwards, time would be for us like a film being projected backwards. In this situation, we would start to perceive that the past was the future and the future was the past and we would experience life in a way totally opposite than we do now.

The fact that time is a perception was proved by the greatest physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, in his "General Theory of Relativity". In his book, The Universe and Dr. Einstein, Lincoln Barnett says this:

"Along with absolute space, Einstein discarded the concept of absolute time - of a steady, unvarying inexorable universal time flow, streaming from the infinite past to the infinite future. Much of the obscurity that has surrounded the Theory of Relativity stems from man's reluctance to recognize that sense of time, like sense of colour, is a form of perception. Just as space is simply a possible order of material objects, so time is simply a possible order of events. The subjectivity of time is best explained in Einstein's own words. "The experiences of an individual" he says, "appear to us arranged in a series of events; in this series the single events which we remember appear to be ordered according to the criterion of 'earlier' and 'later'. There exists, therefore, for the individual, an I-time, or subjective time. This in itself is not measurable. I can, indeed, associate numbers with the events, in such a way that a greater number is associated with the later event than with an earlier one." (p. 52-53)

From these words of Einstein, we can understand that the idea that time moves forward is totally a conditioned response.

Einstein scientifically established the following fact in his "General Theory of Relativity": The rate at which time passes changes according to the speed of a body and its distance from the center of gravity. If the speed increases, time decreases, contracts, moves slower and seems that the point of inertia approaches.

The Relativity Of Time Explains The Reality Of Fate

As we see from the account of the relativity of time, time is not a concrete concept, but one that varies depending on perceptions. For example, a space of time conceived by us as millions of years long is one moment in God's sight. A period of 50 thousand years for us is only a day for Gabriel and the angels.

This reality is very important for an understanding of the idea of fate. Fate is the idea that God created every single event, past, present, and future in "a single moment". This means that every event, from the creation of the universe until doomsday, has already occurred and ended in God's sight. A significant number of people cannot grasp the reality of fate. They cannot understand how God can know events that have not yet happened, or how past and future events have already happened in God's sight. From our point of view, things that have not happened are events which have not occurred. This is because we live our lives in relation to the time that God has created, and we could not know anything without the information in our memories. Because we dwell in the testing place of this world, God has not given us memories of the things we call "future" events. Consequently, we cannot know what the future holds. But God is not bound to time or space; it is He who has already created all these things from nothing. For this reason, past, present and future are all the same to God. From His point of view, everything has already occurred; He does not need to wait to see the result of an action. The beginning and the end of an event are both experienced in His sight in a single moment. Besides, for God there is no such thing as remembering the past; past and future are always present to God; everything exists in the same moment. (Harun Yahya, Eternity Has Already Begun, Goodword Books)

If we think of our life as a filmstrip, we watch it as if we were viewing a videocassette with no possibility to speed up the film. But God sees the whole film all at once at the same moment; it is He who created it and determined all its details. As we are able to see the beginning, middle and end of a ruler all at once, so God encompasses in one moment, from beginning to end, the time to which we are subject. However, human beings experience these events only when the time comes to witness the fate that God has created for them. This is the way it is for the fates of everyone in the world. The lives of everyone who has ever been created and whoever will be created, in this world and the next, are present in the sight of God in all their details. The fates of all living things-planets, plants and things-are written together with the fates of millions of human beings in God's eternal memory. They will remain written without being lost or diminished. The reality of fate is one of the manifestations of God's eternal greatness, power and might. This is why He is called the Preserver (al-Hafiz).
www.secretbeyondmatter.com

Internet
JESUS WILL RETURN

Read about this divine blessing which only a minority a people will enjoy.

In the history of mankind, the fact that Jesus (as) will be sent back to Earth for a second time by God is surely a divine blessing to all humanity. Only a minority of people will enjoy this occasion. In this site, you will find all the interesting facts about Jesus' return to Earth. Evidence that Jesus (as) did not die, that he was raised to the presence of God and that he will return again will be examined in this site in the light of the Qur'anic verses.
www.jesuswillreturn.com


World of Animals
THE PERFECT DESIGN IN DOLPHINS

The dolphin has been created with the body form that best fits its environment. Every little detail in its body has been designed and functions as it is designed to do. All of this miraculous creation is nothing but an expression of the infinite knowledge of God.

A designer designs models by means of sketching on blank paper. Everything that the designer has seen up to that point constitutes the base of the idea from which his current design is derived. That is because every form and shape in nature is a design. No designer can design something that they have never seen or never known.

In fact, the Sole Owner of all designs is One Who has power over all things. God creates all creatures flawlessly through a single command: "be". This is in the verse:

The Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, 'Be!' and it is. (Qur'an, 2:117)

The faculty of creating from nothing and without precedent belongs to God alone. God created creatures and humans in their perfect form. One of the perfect examples of design in nature is to be found in dolphins.

Design in Dolphins

Dolphins and whales breathe using their lungs just like other mammals, which means they cannot breathe in the water like fish. This is why they regularly visit the surface. The blowhole which is situated on top of their heads work for air intake. This organ is designed in such a way that when the animal dives into water, the opening closes automatically with a special cap in order to prevent water from entering. The cap automatically opens again when the dolphin surfaces.

A System that Facilitates Sleep without Drowning

Dolphins fill 80-90% of their lungs with air every time they breathe. However, in many humans this ratio is about 15%. The breathing of dolphins is a conscious act and not a reflex as it is with other land mammals.

In other words, dolphins consciously decide to breathe as we make the choice to walk. There is a system created to prevent the death of the creature during its sleep under water. The sleeping dolphin uses the right and left hemispheres of its brain alternatively for periods of about fifteen minutes. While one hemisphere sleeps, the dolphin uses the other to surface for air.

The snout of dolphin's beak is another feature that improves their swimming. The animal uses less energy in cutting through the water and swimming at higher speeds. Modern ships, too, make use of a bow like the dolphin's snout, hydro-dynamically designed to increase the speed of ships just like dolphins.

Young Dolphins

Dolphin calves are born tail first. This way the infant is provided with oxygen throughout delivery. When at last the head is released, the newly born dolphin rushes for the surface for the first gasp of air.

Mothers start to nurse their young immediately after birth. The new dolphin, lacking lips to suck, receives milk through two sources coming out of a slit on the mother's ventral surface. When it taps gently on this section, the milk is sprayed out. The young dolphin consumes dozens of quarts (litres) of milk every day. 50% of the milk is composed of fat (compared to 15% in cattle milk), which promptly works towards building the skin layer necessary to regulate body temperature.

The System Preventing the Bends

Dolphins can dive down to depths that cannot be matched by humans. The recordholder in this category is a species of whale that can dive down to 9900 feet (3000 metres) on a single breath. Both dolphins and whales are created appropriately for these kinds of dives. The tail flukes make diving and surfacing much easier.

Another aspect of the design for diving is in the lungs of these animals: as the animal descends the weight of the water column above, i.e. the pressure, increases. The pressure inside the lungs is increased to balance the outside pressure. If the same pressure were to be applied to human lungs, they would easily disintegrate. In order to overcome this danger, there is a special defensive system lodged in a dolphin's body: the bronchi and air cells (alveoli) inside the dolphin's lungs are protected by rings of cartilage that are extremely durable.

Another example of the perfection of creation in the bodies of dolphins is the system that prevents the bends. When divers ascend to the surface too quickly, they face this danger. The reason for the bends is the entrance of air directly into the blood and formation of air bubbles in the arteries. These air bubbles can cause death by preventing blood circulation. Whales and dolphins, however, do not face similar dangers, although they breathe using their lungs. This is because they dive with lungs not full of air but empty. Since there is no air in their lungs, they do not run the risk of getting bent. (Harun Yahya, Design in Nature, Ta-Ha Publishers)

Nevertheless, this leads to the real question: if they do not have any air in their lungs how do they not suffocate due to lack of oxygen?

The answer to this question lies with the "myoglobin" protein that is found in their muscle tissue in high proportions. The myoglobin proteins have a high affinity for oxygen, so the oxygen necessary for the creature is not stored in the lungs but directly in the muscles. Dolphins and whales can swim without breathing for extended periods, and can dive as deep as they like. Humans also have myoglobin protein, but it cannot sustain the same conditions due to its much smaller volume. This biochemical adjustment unique to dolphins and whales is, of course, evidence of deliberate design. God created sea mammals, like the rest of the animals, with body structures best fitted to the conditions in which they live.


Deep Thinking
THE MESSAGE IN NATURE

It is He Who streched out the earth and placed firmly embedded mountains and rivers in it and made two types of every kind of fruit. He covers over day with night. There are Signs in that for people who reflect. (Qur'an, 13:3)

Man is a being whom God furnishes with the faculty of thought. Yet, most people do not use this very important faculty as they should. In fact, some people almost never think.

In truth, each person possesses a capacity for thought of which even he himself is unaware. Once man begins to use this capacity, facts he has not been able to realise until that very moment begin to be uncovered for him. The deeper he goes in reflection, the more his capacity to think improves, and this is possible for everyone. One just has to realise that one needs to reflect and then to strive hard.

In the Qur'an, God informs us that in all circumstances the believers reflect and derive beneficial conclusions from their thinking.

In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people with intelligence: those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire." (Qur'an, 3: 190-191)

God's Messenger (may peace be upon him) also often reminded believers the importance of pondering and remembering God:

Abu Musa reported God's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: "The house in which remembrance of God is made and the house in which God is not remembered are like the living and the dead."

It is reported that God's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: "Shall I not tell you the best of your deeds, and those that give you the highest rank, and those that are the purest with your King, and are better for you than giving gold and silver?" They said, "Of course." He said, "Remembrance (dhikr) of God."

However, someone who does not think will remain totally distant from truths and lead his life in self-deception and error. As a result, he will not grasp the purpose of the creation of the world, and the reason for his existence on the earth. Yet, God has created everything with a purpose. This fact is stated in the Qur'an as follows:

We did not create the heavens and the earth and everything between them as a game. We did not create them except with truth but most of them do not know it. (Qur'an, 44: 38-39)

Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us? (Qur'an, 23: 115)

Those who are able to see God's signs, the miraculous aspects of the beings and events He creates, and who, therefore, can understand, are people who reflect. Such people can derive conclusions from everything, big or small, they see around them. The Prophet Muhammad's words make this very clear: "Arouse your heart to contemplation and be heedful towards your Lord.".

An example to this is nature that surrounds us. He who believes in God praises his Lord for the beauties he sees in nature. He is aware that God has created all existing beauty. He knows that all these beauties belong to God and they are manifestations of His attribute of jamal - beauty. He takes great pleasure from all these beauties and remembers God knowing that "The one who mentions or remembers God among those who forget Him is like a light inside a dark house" as God's Messenger (may peace be upon him) says.

While walking in nature, one encounters more beauty. From a single straw to the yellow daisy, from birds to ants, everything is full of details, which need reflection. As people reflect upon these, they come to understand the power and might of God.

Butterflies, for example, are very aesthetically pleasing creatures. With the symmetry and design of their lace-like wings - which are extremely precise as if drawn by hand - their harmonious, phosphorescent colours, butterflies are evidence of God's unequalled art and superior power of creation.

Similarly, innumerable plant and tree varieties on earth are among the beauties God creates. Flowers, all in different colours and trees of different forms, have been created and among their purposes is that they give great pleasure to people.

One who has faith thinks about how flowers such as the rose, violet, daisy, hyacinth, carnation, orchid and others have such smooth surfaces, and how they come out of their seed completely flat without any puckers as if ironed.

Other wonders God creates are the fragrances of these flowers. A rose, for instance, has a strong and constant ever-changing smell. Even with the latest technology, scientists cannot develop an exact match of the smell of the rose. Laboratory research to imitate this smell has not yielded satisfactory results. Smells produced based on the scent of the rose are generally heavy and disturbing. However, the original scent of the rose does not disturb. (Harun Yahya, Deep Thinking, Ta-Ha Publishers)

Someone who has faith knows that each one of these is created for him to praise God, to present him the art and knowledge of God in the beauty He creates. For this reason, when someone sees this beauty while strolling in the garden, he glorifies God, saying, "It is as God wills, there is no strength but in God" (Qur'an, 18: 39). He remembers that God has put all this beauty at the service of mankind and that He will give the believers incomparably excellent blessings in the hereafter. He takes more pleasure in the beauties he sees than everyone else, because as God's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said, "The circle of the remembrance of God is the garden of Paradise". And because of all this, his love for God increases ever more.
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Ever Thought About The Truth

GOD INCREASES HIS BLESSINGS ON THOSE WHO ARE GRATEFUL

Every person is in need of God at every instant of life. From the air one breathes to the food he eats, from the ability to use one's hands to the faculty of speech, from being sheltered to being in a joyful spirit, one lives completely in need of what God creates and grants him. Still, a vast majority of people do not perceive their weaknesses and that they are in need of God. They suppose that things develop spontaneously or that they acquire everything by their own efforts. This is an important error, as well as a serious ingratitude towards God. Ironically, people who render their thanks to a person for even an insignificant gift, spend all their lives ignoring the countless blessings that God gives them all through their lives. However, so great are the blessings granted to a person that one could never count them. God relates this fact in a verse as follows:

If you tried to number God's blessings, you could never count them. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 16: 18)

Despite this fact, most people fail to give thanks for any of the blessings they have. The reason for this is related in the Qur'an: Satan, who pledged to misguide people from God's way, said that his ultimate aim is to make people be ungrateful to God. Satan's defiant statements to God emphasise the importance of giving thanks to God:

'Then I will come at them, from in front of them behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful.' He (God) said, 'Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those of them (mankind) who follow you, I, will fill up Hell with every one of you.' (Qur'an, 7: 17-18)

Believers, on the other hand, aware of their weaknesses and in humility before God, render their thanks to Him for every blessing granted. Wealth and possessions are not the only blessings for which believers render their thanks to God. Knowing that God is the Owner and Possessor of everything, believers express their inner gratefulness for good health, beauty, knowledge, wisdom, love of faith and hatred from disbelief, understanding, insight, foresight and for power. They are thankful for being rightly guided and for being in the company of believers. A beautiful landscape, easy handling of their affairs, fulfilment of their wishes, tidings of great joy, respectful conduct or any other blessings make believers immediately turn to God, express their gratefulness to Him and reflect on His mercy and compassion. (Harun Yahya, Basic Tenets of Islam, Islamic Book Service)

In return for good morals displayed, a reward awaits believers. This is another of the secrets revealed in the Qur'an; God increases His blessings on those who are grateful. For example, God grants even more health and power to those who render their thanks to God for the good health and strength they have. God bestows even more knowledge and property to those who are grateful for their knowledge or wealth. This is because they are sincere people who are contented with what God gives and are pleased with the blessings and who take God as their friend. God relates this secret in the Qur'an as follows:

And when your Lord announced: "If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe."' (Qur'an, 14: 7)

Being grateful is also a sign of one's closeness to and love of God. People who give thanks have the insight and capability to perceive the beauties and blessings that God creates. God's Messenger, peace be upon him, also referred to this when he said:

"When God gives you property, the bliss of God's blessing and offering must be reflected on you."

On the other hand, a disbelieving or ungrateful person will only see the imperfections and faults even in the most beautiful environment, and thus will be unhappy and discontented. Indeed, as a divine purpose in God's creation, such people, always come across with seemingly unfavourable events and unpleasant scenes. On the other hand, God displays more of His bounties and blessings to those who have a sincere and insightful outlook.

It should be also noted that true believers remain grateful to God even under harshest conditions. Someone looking from outside may see the diminishing of some blessings believers enjoy. However, believers, who are able to perceive the good aspect of every event and situation, see goodness in this too. For example, God states that He will test people with fear, hunger and loss of wealth or life. In such a situation, believers rejoice and feel grateful, hoping that God will reward them with the gifts of paradise in return for the steadfastness they displayed in this test. They know that God does not impose on anyone more than he can bear. The steadfastness and submission of such awareness lead them to patience and gratitude. Therefore, it is an obvious attribute of believers to show unwavering dedication and submission and God promises to expand His blessings on His grateful servants both in the life of this world and in the hereafter.


For Children
HOW DO PENGUINS LIVE ON SUCH A FREEZING CONTINENT AT THE SOUTH POLE?

Penguins live at the polar region of our planet. The unique feature of the pole is its amazing coldness and that it is always covered with snow and ice. The weather is so cold that it forms glaciers above the sea. Now, think about how cold you feel when you go out to play snowballs in the winter. You would feel cold even if you were wearing a sweater, a coat, a cap, a pair of gloves and a scarf. When you are playing snowballs, the temperature is probably only 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) below zero. The penguins live in a place where the temperature falls to 400C (1040F) below zero.

Moreover, the penguins don't have any coats, sweaters or gloves, and they live in a place that is a lot colder than ours. They walk on ice without any shoes and they don't even become sick. They don't have homes. They sleep on ice. If you were to lie down on ice for even a few minutes, you would become seriously sick. Nothing happens to the penguins. Why?

It is because God has created them in such a way that they can live in such a freezing environment. Penguins' bodies and their features are very different from ours. Due to this, they can live in the coldest weather without any difficulties.

God has covered penguins' bodies with a very thick layer of fat, so that they won't feel the cold. The layer of fat prevents them from feeling the cold, and acts as a fur. Conversely, the layer of fat surrounding our bodies is quite thin and this is why we quickly become cold. This is why we have to wear thick clothes in cold weather.

The penguin displays great devotion towards its eggs and babies. Penguins incubate their eggs during the coldest weather. Unlike other creatures, it is not the female penguin that incubates the eggs but the male. The female penguin lays only one egg and then leaves it to the male. She leaves for distant places to find food for her husband and baby. Because of all the ice and snow that surrounds them, she has to travel far to be able to find food.

The male penguin incubates the egg for exactly four months. The penguin carries the egg in between his feet and during these four months, he never once leaves it on the ground. If he were to do so, the egg would freeze and die within a matter of minutes. (Harun Yahya, Wonders of Allah's Creation, Ta-Ha Publishers)

The male penguin is so patient that for four months, he moves about with the egg between his feet. This is why he is unable to go hunting and remains hungry. The weather is very cold. When the weather becomes unbearably cold, all the male penguins get together even if they are carrying eggs between their feet. They come close to each other, forming a circle, and in this way, they warm each other up. They continuously switch positions so that the ones left outside the circle can also become warm. Just as the egg is about to hatch, the mother penguin returns from hunting. She feeds her baby with the food that she has stored in her throat. To prevent the baby from freezing, the mother and father penguins carry it in between their feet and keep it warm with the fur of their abdomen. As you can see, God has given these lovely creatures some exquisite features. God has created the penguin with a body that protects it from the cold, and has also made it very devoted. Because they are so dedicated, they take wonderful care of their offspring. This feature has been given to the penguins millions of years ago. The penguins that have lived before and the ones that are living now have not changed a bit when it comes to the devotion that they display.