Miracle of Allah: Tolerance of our body’s defense system

photogallery-human-body-11-fullThe elements of the defense system fight against the enemies that will harm the body just like ordered and disciplined soldiers. First, the soldiers that render the enemies ineffective by swallowing them (known as phagocytes) come to the battlefield. Sometimes however, the battlefield conditions overwhelm the abilities of these soldiers; then other soldiers (known as macrophages) step in. This causes a “situation alert” to occur in the target area and an army of soldiers (called helper T cells) is called to the battlefield.

However, during this struggle, a miracle takes place. Even though the body is always on the alert to fight against the organisms that can cause it harm, it allows millions of other types of bacteria to live in some organs. For example, it is known that 80-eighty species of microorganisms live in the mouth, throat and the tonsils. According to research, there are 200-two hundred organism species which keep our bodies constantly healthy. The reason that our defense system does not attack these organisms is that these are vital for tolerance of the defense system.

T cells are the fighter white blood cells of our body. They fight against everything harmful to the body, and they eliminate hazardous bacteria and molecules out of our body. However, during the clean up they do not harm the body’s healthy tissues and bacteria beneficial to the body.

Every cell has an identification system to introduce itself, that we call receptors. Fighter T cells can make this distinction by recognizing the receptors in all other cells, and they ignore the cells the body needs. This quality of the defense system is called “tolerance.”

This situation is actually a great miracle because the defense system is able to distinguish thousands of different proteins from one another.

 This situation is actually a great miracle because the defense system is able to distinguish thousands of different proteins from one another.

The incredible cell drill

So, how did cells acquire a system that allows them to distinguish such different structures from one another?

It is, of course, impossible for coincidences to account for the ability to choose, which requires characteristics such as knowledge, consciousness and intelligence. There is no doubt that the defense system acts with the inspiration of Almighty Allah (swt) as revealed in the verse, “hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do!” (Al-Inshiqaq, 2)

The defense system that we have been speaking of causes another very miraculous event. The pancreas is sheltered from the rest of the body. Therefore, the white blood cells do not directly work together with pancreatic cells. Instead, some intermediary cells interface with white blood cells and introduce the pancreas. In order to do this, these cells put on a mask that displays the antigens of their normal neighbours, thus suppress the immune system and keep it in a quiet and calm state. These are called “dendritic cells.”

T cells recognize these antigens, and learn not to become alarmed by the pancreatic cells and attack this organ.

As it is clear from this example  that qualities like developing new methods to recognize one another, agreeing with one another, making plans and moving with a perfect organization according to these plans cannot be expected from defense cells and a mere organ. There is no doubt that even a community of human beings couldn’t move in such a flawless synchronicity, and accomplish what needs to be done without failing, forgetting, making a mistake or causing confusion.

There is only one definite truth that must be accepted here and that is- all cells, just like everything else in nature, are created specially by Allah (swt), Who is the Owner of an infinite power, knowledge and intelligence.

“… He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything” (Al-An’am 6:101)

Another organ, which the defense system tolerates, is the intestines. Even though, our general body is covered with very detailed defensive weapons, millions of bacteria nonetheless continue to survive in our intestines because the food we eat and the fluids we drink are digested by the bacteria in our small intestines. In addition, these bacteria provide a natural method of protection as they prevent the reproduction of other bacteria that could harm the body; hence, defense cells cooperate with these bacteria that prove beneficial for the body. Even though, there is the possibility of activating an immune system response, and starting a war in the intestines- T cells, somehow, ignore the bacteria in the small intestine and prevent this.

So, how do defense cells tolerate these bacteria?

Cells’ training- that is amazing!

In a research paper published in Nature Immunology journal, investigators led by Shannon Turley of Harvard Medical School have found that the defense system has a tolerance mechanism that was previously unknown. According to this, the lymph nodes are like strategic encampments that surround the whole body. The white blood cells pull the antigens to the lymph nodes and fight them.

However, the lymph nodes found in the intestines are like a training center more than a strategic encampment. The basic cells found there train the T cells, which are the soldiers of our defense system, about behaving in an appropriate and tolerant manner toward these uninvited, yet friendly guests. It cannot be explained away that such a system in this part of the body could have come into existence by coincidences. Shannon Turley states her excitement as such: “It’s obvious that T cells must be able to ignore — or become ‘tolerized’ to — normal intestinal tissue. … But it has been unclear how dendritic cells, which are extremely sensitive to microbial agents such as bacteria, teach T cells to resist attacking healthy intestinal cells.” Unconscious cells do not have the intelligence, consciousness and ability to make it possible to “teach” a biological process to one another. There is no doubt that a system, which even the most intelligent researchers and scientists cannot comprehend, being placed inside a cell with no ability to think and consider things for itself has a very special meaning.

Allah (swt) created the defense system with impeccable equipment

With the invention of the microscope some 250 years ago, scientists revealed that we live side by side with numerous tiny organisms invisible to the naked eye. Moreover, these organisms were everywhere, from the air we breathe to the water we drink; from everything we touch to the surface of our own bodies. In addition, these organisms frequently enter inside the body. The presence of this enemy was detected 250 years ago. However, many of the secrets of the “defense system” that fights that enemy so effectively are still not completely understood today.

The defense system recognizes and distinguishes viruses and bacteria that are harmful to it from friendly organisms. The way that defense cells- with no mind or brain- can accomplish this, is a reflection of the matchless Creation of Allah (swt), the Lord of infinite knowledge, seen in a small cell. It is revealed that Allah’s (swt) infinite knowledge encompasses all.

“…And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

Miracles of the Quran: The structure of cartilage mentioned in the Qur’an

h9991920_001Information about the stages of human development inside the mother’s womb is provided in the verses of the Quran- Like it is said that the bones form first in the womb, muscles then appear and surround these bones,

“Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:14)

Until recently, the bones and muscles were thought to develop together inside the womb. However, advances in the science of embryology- which studies development inside the womb- have revealed that this is incorrect; and the description in the Quran is absolutely correct. Microscopic examination also shows that development in the womb takes place exactly in line with the description in verses. Cartilage forms first in the embryo after which this cartilage tissue turns into bone. Subsequently, muscle cells are selected from the tissue around the bones, and come together around them. Hence, the findings of modern embryology are in complete agreement with the stages of human development revealed in the Quran.

Cartilage is one of the proofs of Allah’s (swt) matchless creation. It is an especially created and vitally important structure. Every glorious detail in cartilage has a structure far too perfect to be capable of reproduction by human hands. By means of the presence of this flawless structure, people never need to reflect on how the functions of the spinal cord and joints will come into being; or on how their airways must always be kept open in order for them to breathe. This perfect creation cartilage reveals one very small part of our Almighty Lord’s sublime creative artistry. As Almighty Allah (swt) says in one verse,

“Such is Allah, your Lord! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things.” (Al-An’am 6:102)

Examples of Allah’s (swt) sublime creation, such as cartilage, are all means whereby people can turn to Allah (swt), and appreciate His might and greatness; and give thanks to Allah (swt), Who bestows their immaculate bodies, with all its many superior features, of which they may or may not be aware.

Let the Quran do the Miracle

Park-Bench-SA-087-Last month, her life turned into a complete mess. Sitting on a bench in a park, she went into reminiscence of her past; she was a happy girl, leading a happy, prosperous life. She had a beautiful family comprising of her loving parents and siblings; a home, a good job with a successful career and many good friends. One day, while coming back from a family picnic, her car got into a terrible accident. Her parents and siblings died on the spot, while she got badly injured and lost her arm that made her handicapped. Due to her incapacitation, she was fired from her job; moreover, to pay for her medical expenses, she had to sell her house and move into her aunt’s home.

“Life has treated me cruelly!” she thought, while sitting on the bench, and tears started rolling down her cheeks. She felt worthless and purposeless, and found no reason to live anymore. She’d even tried committing suicide, but that too failed. The ghastly circumstances she’d seen in the last one month had made her miserable and depressed; all she wanted was some peace.
Some days later, she started working at a place, which accommodated people with disabilities. Since she was a hardworking and talented woman, she was able to buy a house soon with her earnings. She got a little stable with a decent job; yet, she did not get the peace and satisfaction that her heart yearned for.

She decided to get involved in various activities to divert her mind, hoping to get over her depression and emptiness in her heart. She started clubbing and partying, regularly attended social gatherings and visited friends. That company made her feel better, but she still did not get the peace she longed for.

Then, she joined a musical band and started listening to songs frequently on a friend’s advice, who told her that music is food for the soul; hence, it’d give her peace. She gave it a try and it felt good for some time, but then again, she felt that music gave her nothing but headache.
Afterwards, she decided to get into shopping spree; she’d spend all her time roaming in the markets. She made herself aware of the latest brands as well as the trends in fashion and shopped accordingly, stuffing her wardrobe with branded dresses, bags, shoes, jewellery and makeup. Consequently, spending all her time shopping made her forget about the sadness in her life; but, after about a week, all that felt useless. Her wardrobe, bloating with branded stuff, could not give her peace of mind and heart. It could not fill the emptiness in her heart.

Then, she started watching movies all the time. She got so absorbed in them that she’d forget all her worries; however, as soon as the movie was over, she’d start feeling restless and depressed again.

After that, she took up another job to keep herself as busy as possible, hoping it would help her get over her depression; but it was not much of a help either.

Next, she decided to go on a world tour. She had gathered enough money from her jobs, so she made a list of all the countries that she wanted to visit. Excited about the tour, she thought that it would certainly give her contentment, as she had wanted to have that tour since forever. So, she visited all the countries one by one, but to her disappointment, it couldn’t give her peace and satisfaction; her heart still felt vacant and peace less.

Her depression was gradually increasing; she even went on medication, but it did little good.Then, she got into drugs, expecting to get relief from her depression. But, it made the situation even worse! She had tried one thing after the other, but all in vain. All she wanted was peace and satisfaction of heart, mind and soul.

Then one day, she decided to visit an old friend, not knowing how this visit would change her entire life. Just as she entered her home, she heard something that captured her attention at once. It was somebody reciting the Quran. She stood there still, unable to take any step further, and listened to the words of the Quran – it was so beautiful and pleasing that it touched her heart, and she could feel the warmth of tears on her cheeks. She left the house that very moment, and felt ashamed realizing how long had it been since she had last read the Quran. All these years, she had been neglecting the Book sent by the One, Who created her!

Through Quran, she found guidance for every aspect of her existence; she implemented it in her life, found true peace and lived happily ever after.

She went home immediately, opened a cabinet that had not been opened since ages, and took out the Holy Quran, which was covered with dust. She wiped off the dust with trembling hands and watery eyes, her heart heavy with sheer embarrassment. She quickly performed ablution and sat down with the Quran in her hand. She randomly opened a page in the Quran, and the first Ayah on the page that caught her eyes was,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find peace.” (Ar-Rad 13:28)

Reading this, she could not stop crying. It was as if these words were written exactly for her. All her life, she had been trying to find peace through materialistic desires, and that was the moment she felt utmost peace. In her flight for the search for peace and satisfaction, how beautifully Allah (swt) had landed her on the amazing Ayah!

She started reciting the Quran along with translation, and started obeying all of Allah’s (swt) commands in the Quran; it gave her so much peace and gratification that she could have never imagined to have. It felt as if the emptiness in her heart had finally been filled. She found contentment and satisfaction of heart, mind and soul that she had been longing for since a very long time.

Through the Quran, she realized that the death of her family, loss of job and all the other calamities were trials for her; challenges through which Allah (swt) tests His people, so that they bear patience on them and He raises their standards. The calamities and hardships of life are nothing but a blessing for us, which washes away our sins.

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Through Quran, she found guidance for every aspect of her existence; she implemented it in her life, found true peace and lived happily ever after.

As Miraculous as a Sincere Dua

ray-of-hope-marcel(This story is one of the entries received  as part of the story writing competition 2014)

“Mariaaam,” bellowed my mother-in-law from the lounge. Wiping off my tears, I folded the prayer mat, preparing myself for another exhausting session of criticism, wondering about my recent mistakes and asking Allah’s (swt) help, as I left for another spiteful session.

Past two years were no less than a dreadful nightmare for me. Back in Karachi, I belonged to a well known family and had completed my studies at a reputable university. I would never have imagined the acute misery and anguish that was coming my way.

In the elite society, to which I belonged, I was known for my elegance, intelligence and sense of style. There were many high class proposals awaiting my approval, but I chose my former college fellow Sufiyan.

My post marital life was going quite smoothly, until the day, when I received the news from Sufiyan’s office that he was stuck with a paralysis attack; I felt my whole world falling apart. None of the expensive medications and supremely qualified doctors would offer a cure for this disease.

My in-laws forced us both to live with them, which became the beginning of my torment.

Entire responsibility of Sufiyan’s personal care was now lying on my shoulders. He was in a state, where he could perceive all that went on around him, but could not speak. All his limbs became immobile. I could not bear my once dominating husband being utterly indigent. It was breaking me apart from within.

This strain was further accompanied by vicious treatment from my in-laws. My mother and sisters in-law burdened me with the responsibilities of house-cleaning and cooking. I sometimes speculated over the sudden transformation of my lifestyle: from a woman, who never stepped a foot into the kitchen, I had turned into a nurse and maid, also, being accused callously for her shortcomings.

My circumstances denied me from escaping this locality, as I could not return to my parents for Sufiyan’s sake. The walls of darkness were closing in on me, until one day in the hospital’s waiting area I heard a beautiful recitation and translation of the Quran being played on the television: “Is not He Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generation after generation. Is there any god with Allah? Little is that you remember.” (An-Naml 27:62)

These verses immediately grasped my attention and I reflected upon my current state. Speculation upon my destitution and contrasting that with the motivated effect of this verse brought tears into my eyes. I had never been close to the basic requirements of Islam, let alone ever become a staunch Muslimah. I had spent my entire life according to my own will and sternly followed the norms of the society.

However, after hearing this, feelings of repentance suffocated my heart for days. The love and mercy my Allah (swt) had always had for me never meant anything to me – I kept steadfast on my distorted way of life. I knew that it was me, who was responsible for all this mess, and then I prayed to Him to let me out of this. I started offering five daily prayers, which was a rare routine for me before. I began exploring the Quranic messages, and I firmly believed then that only Allah (swt) could grab me out of this situation. The verses like below kept me hopeful.

“And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Al-Anbiya 21:83-84)

Although all potential solutions offered by the doctors showed no progress, I prayed with conviction in Allah’s (swt) power that He could seize me out of this ordeal. The words of the Quran changed me from within. I promised my Lord I will only keep moving forward in His path and my faith won’t waiver. I was optimistic and kept on calling for His assistance. I knew He was listening to me, and sooner or later His “Amr-e-Kunn” would arrive.

My life was based upon tending to my husband, his family and seeking for Allah’s (swt) help. I conversed with my Lord in loneliness and complained to Him about my exhaustion. I knew He was close to my jugular vein and He was listening to my whispers.

A ray of hope arose when one day I received a call from Sufiyan’s doctor – they were conducting a series of trial experiments and were willing to include him in the experiment. The doctors assured me that there was an 80% chance for this drug to work well.

After a thorough discussion with his family and with the doctors, it was decided that he will participate in this trial. I prayed to Allah (swt) that everything goes right. I called on Him in my sleepless nights. The trial lasted for about two months. My mind went crazy with distress during this period and I begged to my Allah (swt) for His help every second.

During these two years, my husbad’s limbs slowly began to move, and he progressed to a stage, where he could walk himself to bed. I believed that Dua could do miracles, and I was not wrong.

Allah (swt) helped me and my husband, and the day came, when he could speak and walk around with no difficulty. All his limbs started working as they used to. I used to thank my Lord with each step of progress Sufiyan made. But I could not thank Him enough.

He showed me the purpose of my life, and I developed complete faith in His supremacy. He is our Sustainer and He ought to be given His designated value in our lives. I understood His working and I vowed to be a parable of His favourite slaves. I know He is always listening to our calls, and He has a right time for everything.

The Flawless Harmony between Eyes and Ears

eyeThe vision system that we have is immeasurably superior to the display technologies designed by experts in several techniques. This system has a characteristic which the advanced technology cannot imitate; even if we turn our head very fast, the clarity and the quality doesn’t change. Also under normal circumstances, every time we move our head, we would have seen images sliding or unable to focus on a certain point, just like the images taken with an amateur camera. But we never come across such an image because no matter which direction we turn our head to, our eyes automatically move to the opposite direction to balance the vision. If we had to turn our eyes every time when we move our head to look at the same point, it would have been very difficult and there would be much disorder. But this never happens, and the visual process can be completed perfectly; thanks to the flawless details in this automatic tuning system. Allah’s (swt) endless Wisdom is revealed in a verse from the Quran that states:

This system has a characteristic which the advanced technology cannot imitate; even if we turn our head very fast, the clarity and the quality doesn’t change.

“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.” (An-Nahl 16:53)

The scientific name of this reflex which coordinates our vision like an automatic camera system is the Vestibulo-ocular reflex. But this reflex doesn’t do its duty only with our eyes. Our eyes have a very important and secret supporter to run this reflex: Our ears; the perfect system of the ear that controls the head’s turning movements

The structures named “the semi-circular canals” in our ears are miracles of creation with the duty they carry out.There are 3-three semi-circular canals and they are combined with each other perpendicularly. Each of these three canals is created specially by Almighty Allah (swt) for the 3-three types of turning movements that we do with our head.On the tips of these canals, there is a part called the “ampulla” which contains ciliated cells.

As one of the countless signs of the Superior Wisdom of Almighty Allah (swt), these little ciliated cells perceive all the turning movements of our head and transmit this to the brain as an electrical signal.

How does this miracle happen?

In the semi-circular canals, there is a special liquid called “endolymph”. When a bucket full of water is turned, the buckets prevent the water from pouring for a while. Similarly, the liquid inside the ear canal doesn’t move immediately. As a result, the liquid bends the cilia. This mechanical potency is turned into an electrical signal as another miracle of creation. But an interesting situation comes into question here; even if the head doesn’t turn in any direction, the cilia moves to either the right side or to the left side. By this movement, frequent or rare electrical signals are produced periodically.

The structures named “the semi-circular canals” in our ears are miracles of creation with the duty they carry out.There are 3-three semi-circular canals and they are combined with each other perpendicularly. Each of these three canals is created specially by Almighty Allah (swt) for the 3-three types of turning movements that we do with our head.

What makes our eyes Superior than the cameras?

Almighty Allah (swt) has given each eye 6-six little motors for this perfect camera system to work. These little motors are the muscles that turn the eye to six different directions. When we want to turn our eye in any direction, the brain commands these little motors and they move our eye as we like.

There is no doubt that…

There is a request inside us to turn our head.

According to our demand, a command comes from our brain.

These commands are sent to where they should go by electric impulses.

After that, these electrical signals can move the muscles as we like.

These are the details that should be considered.

Through an ordinary day, you would never recognize these details about the movements of your eyes. And you don’t make an extra effort for these details to happen. However, this luxurious and matchless camera system works perfectly as you need.This miracle has only one explanation; this system can work only by the Superior Wisdom of Almighty Allah (swt), The Lord of the Worlds.

“He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms…” (Al-Hashr 59:24)

For the perfect harmony between the eyes and the ears to work flawlessly in this system and the layers that form this system; every part of the system should exist at the same time. Eyes and ears are created as a whole by Allah (swt).

“Say (O Muhammad (sa) ): Tell me or inform me (what) do you think about your (so-called) partner-gods to whom you call upon besides Allah, show me, what they have created of the earth? Or have they any share in the heavens? Or have We given them a Book, so that they act on clear proof there from? Nay, the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) promise one another nothing but delusions.” (Fatir 35:40)

The cooperation of the eyes and ears

Besides the different systems that the eyes and the ear have, it is another important subject that these perfect signs of creation come together and form perfect vision. For example, when you turn your head to the left, the signal coming from the semicircular canal on the left side moves to the eyes through two nerve bunches. One of these goes to the right eye, and the other one goes to the left eye. The nerve bunch which goes to the right eye goes to one of the six muscles on the right eye; in other words it goes to the right muscle of the right eye. The nerve bunch which goes to the left eye goes to the muscle on the right side of the left eye. The interesting part here is this; these muscles are formed from different muscles for the two eyes but both of them do the same job and both of them work to turn the eye to the right. Finally the electrical signals are turned into action and perfect vision is provided.

If the eyes and the ears were formed as a result of coincidences, how could they be in such harmony? Which coincidence can form such a perfect mechanism that can evaluate millions of different codes in a second and combine them with each other?

Evolutionists cannot explain the harmony between eyes and ears

It is a very fine-tuned process that the eyes which are independent of each other form one vision, and while doing this a third dimension is added to the two dimensional vision.

If the eyes and the ears were formed as a result of coincidences, how could they be in such harmony? Which coincidence can form such a perfect mechanism that can evaluate millions of different codes in a second and combine them with each other? If there was a lack of harmony between the eyes and the ears, then the signals would be mixed and there would only be a confused vision. But such a chaos never happens. The organs created in harmony, send signals to the brain which too is in great harmony – evaluates these signals. And as a result of this, a perfect vision is provided. There is no way to explain the existence of this amazing system by coincidences. This system has come into being by the flawless creation of Almighty Allah (swt). In a verse of the Quran, this miraculous creation of our Lord is revealed as follows:

“Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any rifts?”(Al-Mulk 67:3)