Friday Sermon: Al-Insan: MAN

By Babatunde Jose

On the earth are Signs for those of assured Faith. 

As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see? (Quran 51:2021)

Many enjoy looking at creation: After looking at the wonders of God’s creation as manifest in the heavens and earthly creatures, man begins to ponder: How does the size and order of the physical universe deepen your appreciation of God? When we look closer at water, what can we learn about the One who designed it?  ‘He spoke in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and pay him homage, for the hour of his judgement has come! Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!’  (Rev. 14:7).  How does the earth’s size and proximity to the sun demonstrate God’s wisdom? What purpose does the moon serve? How has God designed humans to enjoy life?

It is He Who sendeth down rain from the skies: With it We produce vegetation of all kinds: . . . . . . .  Behold! In these things there are Signs for people who believe. (Quran 6:99)

What is DNA?  Of all God’s earthly creations, how are humans different? Again we ponder: Where do colors come from?  How does water overcome gravity to reach the tops of trees?  What role does water play within our bodies?  How do creatures know to form partnerships with others? In the Bible, Mathew 6:26-28, we are told to observe intensely God’s handiwork as doing so can deepen our faith, instill confidence in the Creator and build appreciation for God’s wisdom and power. The Quran reads:

And Allah has created every animal from water: Of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on hind legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills; for verily Allah has power over all things. (Quran 24:45)

The greatest of all creations is man himself, the marvelous machine—precise and efficient. Though man-made machines are lubricated only by outside sources; the body lubricates itself.

The body has a chemical plant far more intricate than any plant that man has ever built. This plant changes the food we eat into living tissue. It causes the growth of flesh, blood, bones and teeth. It even repairs the body when parts are damaged by accident or disease. Power, for work and play, comes from the food we eat.

The body’s cooling system is very efficient during time of excessive heat. Drops of perspiration pour from millions of tiny sweat glands in the skin. The human body has an automatic thermostat that takes care of both our heating and cooling systems, keeping body temperature at about 37°C (98.6°F).

As for the human brain, it is ‘… the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe’, says Isaac Asimov. The brain is the centre of a complex computer system more wonderful than the greatest one ever built by man. The body’s computer system computes and sends throughout the body billions of bits of information, information that controls every action, right down to the flicker of an eyelid. In the body, nerves are the wires that carry the information back and forth from the central nervous system. And in just one human brain there is probably more wiring, more electrical circuitry, than in all the computer systems of the world put together. Yes, it is a wonderful thing—this brain of ours.

In fact, as we look at this very moment, we are actually seeing with our brain. Although, of course, the message is carried there from another marvelous structure, the human eye. In our eye the focus and aperture are adjusted automatically; a process called accommodationThe act or state of adjustment or adaptation; the automatic adjustment in the focal length of the lens of the eye to permit retinal focus of images of objects at varying distances.

The sound we hear is being played on a perfect little musical instrument inside our ear. The sound waves go down the auditory canal and are carried by the bones of the middle ear to the cochlea, which is rolled up like a tiny sea shell. The outer ear operates in air. But the cochlea is filled with liquid, and transferring sound waves from air to liquid is one of the most difficult problems known to science. Three tiny bones called the ossicles are just right to do the job that enables us to hear properly. Interestingly, the size of these little bones does not change from the time we are born.

The heart actually is a muscular pump forcing blood through thousands of miles of blood vessels. Blood carries food and oxygen to every part of the body. The heart pumps an average of six litres (1.5 U.S. gallons) of blood every minute, and in one day pumps enough blood to fill more than forty 200-litre (50-gallon) drums.

A far more astonishing wonder is in the development of the human embryos.

Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blesses be Allah, the Best to create! (Quran 23:12-14)

The wonders which occur during the nine-month gestation period are unsurpassable. During the first four weeks of the new life, billions of cells are formed, and they arrange themselves according to a fascinating plan to shape the new human being: A dramatic new development occurs; the first blood vessels appear. A few days later another wonderful event takes place: Within the tiny breast of the 1.7 mm long embryo two blood vessels join to form the heart, which begins to pump blood through the miniscule body. The tiny new heart provides the developing brain with blood and oxygen. In the fourth month, the heart of the foetus already pumps almost 30 litres of blood per day, and at birth this volume will increase to about 350 litres.

In the embryonic stage, lungs, eyes, and ears develop, although they are not used yet. After two months, the embryo is only three to four centimeters long. It is so small that it could literally fit inside a walnut shell, but even at this stage all organs are already present. During the following months the organs increase in size and assume their eventual shape. Allahu Akbar!

How is it possible that embryonic development does not entail a disorderly growth of cells, but is systematic and purposeful according to a set timetable? A precise plan, in which all stages are programmed in the finest detail, underlies all these processes. Surely, there is God!

Having said all these, Man is a most ungrateful and inconsiderate being. He steals from his fellow man and even commits other transgressions in the name of God. He is a liar, cheat, fornicator and a reveler in the sinful ways of life. Like our political leaders, Man is often not worth the value of the skin that covers his lips. Yet, Man forgets all that Allah has said in the Quran Chapter 76 Al-Insan (The Human Being):

Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing–(not even) mentioned? Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts) of Hearing and Sight.  We showed him the Way: Whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).  For the Rejecters We have prepared Chains, Yokes, and a Blazing Fire. (Quran 76:1-4)

If only they knew!

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend

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