- The Creation of Animals
- Wild Animals
- Advantages of Tails
- The Creation of Apes
- Animals’ Strategies for Burying their Dead
- Hunting Strategies of Animals
- The Creation of Birds
- The Insects
- The Fishes
Mofazzal says: on the morning of the second day I rushed to my master and entered after asking permission.
Imam Sadeq said: “I thank God for He is the One who has designed the rotation and movement of heavens and earth, and made humans reproducing generation after generation, and creates period after period to reimburse the good and the evil for their actions in this world and all this is due to His justice. His names are sacred and his blessings immense, He does not oppress people and it is the man himself who wrongs himself, as He has said in Quran: “He who does a bit of good, will see it; and he who does a bit of evil, will see it” (Zelzal 7-8).
There are other verses in Quran referring to the same matter. Prophet of Islam PBUH also said, “In the judgment day, your deeds in the world will be directly sent back to you.”
Imam Sadeq AS dropped his head down for a while, then said, “O Mofazzal, these people are all perplexed and adrift, blind or drunk, moving in their own confusion, obeying their own devils and oppressors. They seem to be sighted, but their hearts are blind; they talk but are in fact mute and stupid; they seem to be hearing, but are in fact deaf.
These are satisfied with this wretched world and think they have been led to the right path, they have gone astray from the path of the wise and the intelligent, and are wandering in the fields of the evil minds, as if they are immune to death and the Judgment Day.
Woe to them on the Day when no friend will help his friend. How much his misfortunes will be, and how long his torment will be, except for those who God is merciful towards.”
Mofazzal says that I started crying when I heard these advises from my master. Imam said, “Do not cry, because you have been saved from the torments since you believe in the truth and have recognized your Imam.”
Then Imam said, “I will start talking about animals, so that you might learn about the miracles in their creation.
Think about the body structure of the animals and how God has created it. It is neither too hard like a stone, since it would make them immobile and unable to do anything; and is nor too soft. Because if it were so, it could not stand on its feet. Therefore, He created animals’ flesh soft, covering their bones which are hard and connected the bones with nerves, veins and muscles, and bonded them together, so that they would not wither away, and set skin over all these to keep them together and protect them.
Similar to this structure is used in the making of dolls and scarecrows. They are made of sticks covered with cloth and rope. Then a resin is rubbed over it. The sticks are like bones, the cloths like flesh and the ropes like nerves and veins and muscles, and the skin acts like the resin.
So if it is right to say that animals have randomly gained life and a creator has not created them, we should also say that those dolls and scarecrows do not have a maker and randomly appeared. So when reason does not accept that those dolls do not have a maker, it is clear that humans with all their complexity of body and soul, and their ability to think and reason, could not be created randomly without a creator.
O Mofazzal, now think upon the body of animals which is created like the human body with flesh, skin, bone, and has given them eyes and ears to see and hear, since if they were blind or deaf humans could not use them as a help. On the other hand, they do not have the human brain and the thinking ability that humans have, so that they could be tamed by humans and be obedient to them, so that when humans want to use them carry heavy loads, or help them in hard works, they would not be able to object.
O Mofazzal, think upon these three groups of animals: humans, animals, birds, and think how each group is given the tools it needs to live with.
So since He wanted humans to be intelligent and able to do jobs like carpentering, masonry, blacksmithing, etc., He created in his body two hands that are large and have strong fingers so that he can grab heavy things and work with them.”
“Wild and carnivorous animals should be living by hunting; therefore, God has given them paws that are strong, and nails that are proper for hunting, while such hands would not be useful for human industry.
Herbivorous animals are not created for industry or hunting, therefore, they are given hoofs, so that they might be able to graze in ragged and smooth pastures without being harmed by the roughness of the ground. The hoofs are created with a curved shape like human’s sole, so that it may be put on earth easily while carrying heavy loads.
Notice how God has given carnivorous animals sharp and cutting teeth, and strong paws, and wide mouths, so that it may be suitable for the type of life they have, and has equipped them with tools needed for hunting. Also notice hunting birds, they have beaks and paws suitable for hunting.
Now if he would give wild herbivorous animals paws, they wouldn’t need it, because they do not hunt and they do not eat meat. And if He would give carnivorous animals hoofs, He would not have given them what they need for hunting.
Don’t you see how God by His unlimited power has given these two types of animals what they need and what is proper for them to survive?
Now look at animals and see how they follow their mother after birth, and like human babies do not need holding and educating, because they do not have the tools like patience, and the ability to clean babies and change their clothes and diapers, that humans have for raising babies.
Therefore, God has given animals the ability to stand up in the first hour after they are born and to walk without needing to be taught.
Likewise the chickens of some birds like, hens, partridges, francolins start walking after an hour of their birth and eat seeds.
But those like pigeons, etc. that are weak and unable to fly, God has given the mothers the sympathy to feed them and take care of them, till they are able to fly themselves. Therefore, these kind of birds do not lay many eggs, so that the mother would be able to take care of all of them, without the chickens rotting and dying.
Think about the legs of animals and how they are made in pairs, so that they would be able to walk easily, and if the legs were created in odd, walking would be hard, because the animal had to raise several legs simultaneously, and lean on others. But the animals with one pair of leg, only raise one, and lean on the other one; or the ones with four legs, lift two legs, while leaning on the other two in a cross direction; meaning one leg from one side on the back, and the other leg from the opposite side in the front, because if it would be lifting two legs on the same side, it would not be able to stand up, like a four-leg stool. If the two legs of a stool are taken away from one side, it will fell. Therefore, animals lift the left back leg with the front right leg, and the right back leg with the left front leg, to prevent falling.
Don’t you see how a donkey does things like carrying loads or pulls the grinding stone while it sees that the horse does not do such things and still stays peaceful? Look at the camel with its huge body being a tame and calm animal, while is more powerful than many strong men if it wills to.
As well as the ox which is obedient towards its owner despite its huge body and lets the owner put the plough on its neck?
And the noble Arabic horse which bears all the sword wounds for the sake of its rider?
And see how a flock of sheep is easily managed by one man, while if they were going to scatter around, the shepherd could not collect them all?
And also all the other animals which are at the service of humans, and the only reason is that they are not intelligent. Because if they were given intelligence, they would definitely disobey humans, and the camel would never obey its owner, and the sheep would always scatter around.
Also if the carnivorous animals were intelligent and were united against humans, in a short while the human race would become extinct, and nobody could overcome the tigers, lions, and wolves.
Don’t you see how a wise creator has made them unwilling to hurt humans, and instead of humans being scared of them, has made them scared of humans, and from their fear they stay away from human houses and come out only at nights for hunting despite their physique and solemnity, and are frightened of humans before any harm has reached them from humans.
And from among these wild animals, He made dogs loyal and kind to their owners, to protect them. So it stands on top of its owner’s house all night to watch over its owner, and to wither away thieves, and in its loyalty to its owner, it sacrifices its life to protect his life and property against thieves and other animals. It becomes so much emotionally dependent to its owner that it will not leave him despite all the hardships, thirst or hunger.
So who has given dogs these characteristics except for a God who has given it the tools for such performance, like sharp teeth, nails, strong paws, and a frightening sound?
O Mofazzal look at the face of animals and the wisdom used in it. Notice how the eyes are located in front of their faces so that they can see their front easily and do not knock into obstacles or fell into wells.
And he has set their mouths at the bottom of their head, because if it was situated in the middle like humans, they could not grab things from the ground, like humans who have difficulty grabbing things by their mouths, because God has respected humans and made them superior to other animals and has given them hands and fingers to eat food using their fingers. Therefore, since it was not to the benefit of animals to have such hands as humans, God has set their mouths at the bottom of their head to cut grass easily with teeth, and has given them long muzzles so their mouths reaches far and close places.
O Mofazzal, beware of the advantages that God has set in the creation of animals’ tails:
First, the tail is like a cover for their sexual organs, like humans who wear clothes to cover them.
Second, in the distance between their stomach and their back, dirt and fester accumulates where flies and gnats gather and bother the animal, the tail then acts like a fan by which the animal can make them fly away.
Third, since the legs and hands of animals are busy with moving the body, the animal rests a bit by moving the tail to the left and right.
There are many more advantages that I will describe when the time comes, like when the animal is stuck in mud, the best way to pull it out is to drag the tail.
And in the fur of the tail, there are lots of advantages that people use in their daily needs.
On the other hand, the animals’ back is made straight so that they move by crawling on their feet and humans would be able to ride them easily.
And the sex organ of the female animal is located on its back so animals can easily copulate, and if the location had been same as humans, copulation would be impossible.
Notice the elephant’s trunk and the delicacy in its creation. It is like a hand for it because it grabs grass and water with it, and if the trunk did not exist, it could not grab anything from the ground, because it does not have a neck to stretch it out like other animals.
Who has given the elephant such an organ instead of the other organs given to other animals except for a God who has created it? And how could such a wisdom be without plan as the atheists believe it to be?
If someone asks, why hasn’t God given the elephant a neck like other animals?
The answer would be: the head and ears of the elephant are too heavy and large; if it was to hold them on a neck, the neck would definitely break; therefore, the head is stuck to the body, so there would not be any need for bearing its heaviness and has given it a trunk to help it grab food from the ground.
Now think on the female elephant’s sexual organ and how it is placed at the bottom of its stomach, and whenever it is needed it appears. Take heed how an elephant is created different from other animals in its organs.
Notice the giraffe and how each one of its organs is similar to a different animal, its head is like a horse’s head, its neck is like the camel’s, and its hoofs are like cow’s and its skin is like a tiger’s skin.
Then Imam Sadeq AS continued and said, “a group of stupid people believe that a giraffe is born out of the copulation between one female and several males of different types of animals, and say, the reason for this copulation is that different types of animals come together in search of water in the desert and they copulate with a female, therefore the baby is a giraffe and each part resembles to a different animal. This is said out of their stupidity and the lack of understanding of the creator; because no animal copulates with a different type of animal. As you have noticed a horse never copulates with a camel. However, If another animal resembles itself, it might copulate with it, like the mating of a donkey and a horse, by which a mule is born. The wolf also copulates with hyena and the hybrid is called Sema’ (سمع: is a kind of wild African dog that ages too much and it is said that they do not die with natural death, and are so fast in running that it can even outpace birds, and can jump more than 30 yards). The animal born out of such matings, does not – like what is believed of giraffes – have organs similar to different animals, but is an animal different from each and only generally resembles each. Likewise, the mule’s hoofs, ears, and tail is something between horse and donkey, and its voice is a mixture of both.
Therefore, giraffe is not a combination of different animals, but is a unique creation of God that God has created to guide humans and to tell them that God is capable of anything, and that the creator of all animals is the same who can gather his different creations in one animal and can add to his creations or reduce them, and is not incapable of doing so.
The reason for the giraffe’s long neck is that since its birthplace and grazing place are jungles and brushwood with tall trees. So it needs long necks to enable it to eat trees’ leaves and fruits.
Notice the creation of ape and the resemblance of some of its organs to humans. Its head, hands, chest, and digestion system is like humans, and God has given it an intelligence that enables it to understand everything that its owner points at and it imitates human gestures and its appearance is also similar to humans. The reason for the creation of apes is that humans realize that they are created on the same basis as animals, but that God has given humans intelligence and the power to reason, and if he did not have this ability he would be similar to those animals. Therefore, they should thank God for this great blessing and use their intelligence in the right path.
There are also body parts in the ape that are different from humans, like its nozzle, tail and the hair that covers its body.
O Mofazzal , think of God’s kindness towards animals and how He has designed their bodies to be covered with furs, hairs, and wool, to protect them from heat and cold and pests.
He has given them cloven hoofs so that their feet does not hurt. Because they do not have hands and fingers to make themselves clothes or shoes; therefore, God made their clothes part of their bodies so they would not need to take off or renew their clothing. But for humans, there are advantages in these activities:
Firstly, by obsessing themselves with these things, humans avoid trivial things and forbidden or harmful activities.
Secondly, by taking off those clothes one feels comfortable and by putting them on he feels pleasant.
Thirdly, wearing different colorful clothes and shoes and changing them is a means of beautifying and adorning oneself.
Fourthly, it creates new industries and jobs for people and a means of earning money.
Therefore, the fur and wool of animals is the replica of clothes and shoes for them.
O Mofazzal think about the strange creation that God has used in the creation of animals, and how they conceal their own corpses when dying, like humans who bury their dead, and if it were not so then where are the corpses of wild and carnivorous animals and birds, etc. since none are conspicuous and their population is not so little to assume their corpses are getting lost. In the deserts and mountains, flocks of deer, cows, gazelles, wild and carnivorous animals like lions, wolves, panthers, hyenas, and various kinds of insects living underground or over ground, various birds like crows, pigeons, geese, ducks, Pterocles, and hunting birds all die but no corpses is visible, except for those being hunted by hunters or wild animals.
All these animals when they feel their death time, hide themselves in secret places and die there, and if it were not so everywhere would be full of corpses and their stinking smell would fill everywhere and diseases like plague would kill all humans.
Therefore, God taught Cain to bury Abel’s corpse by showing him a bird burying another one it had killed, likewise God taught the same thing to animals so that humans would not be bothered by their corpses.
Mofazzal think about the cleverness of animals and how God has set in their essences capabilities that helps them live without needing to be intelligent.
For example, deer eats snakes and this causes it to become thirsty, but it does not drink water so the snake’s poison would not spread within its body. It stands by water, and screams of thirst, but does not drink water, because if it does, it will die instantly and the loud screams heard within the jungles is due to this fact. Therefore, notice how God has put it in his essence to be patient despite its thirst, while humans with all their intelligence if placed in the same situation, would not be able to stay away from water.
And the fox, when it is not able to find a prey, it pretends to be dead and inflates its stomach in a way that if a bird crosses over it, will assume it dead. When the bird gets close with the hope of eating the fox and stands on its body, the fox jumps suddenly and catches the bird and eats it. So the God who has guaranteed a fox’s nourishment while it is not given the ability to talk or think, has set within it the potential to play such tricks, since foxes are not as strong as other wild beasts like lions, panthers, tigers, etc.; therefore, God has given it the ability to deceive to be able to survive.
When a dolphin wants to hunt a bird, first it hunts a fish and kills it and cuts open the body in a way that it floats on water and hides beneath it. It starts causing waves on the water so that it would not be visible to the birds. When a bird crosses over and sees the dead fish, it descends and the moment it reaches the fish, the dolphin jumps and hunts it.
Mofazzal said, “My master please inform me about pythons and clouds.
Imam said, “Clouds are a means to catch pythons. Therefore in seasons that are mostly cloudy, pythons do not emerge from their nests, but in summers, when there is no clouds, they crawl out.
Mofazzal asked, “Why is that so?”
Imam said, “so that they would not be able to harm humans.”
Mofazzal then said, “My master you described for me the characteristics of animals, now please explain for me the creation of ants and birds.”
Imam said, “O Mofazzal think about the ant with its tiny body and see if it has any deficiencies for its life and survival?”
Does this precise measurement and delicate planning result from anyone except that of a creator whose planning and power is equal in all His small and big creations?
Look at the ants that work in groups when they want to collect food, and one group is responsible for transferring it to their nest, like humans who gather together in their works, while the ants’ seriousness in their work is more than humans.
Don’t you see how they help each other in moving the seeds, and how they cut the seed into half to prevent it from sprouting so that it does not grow and waste away, and when water penetrates into their nest and the food and the seeds they have collected gets wet, they bring out the seeds and spread them in front of the sun so that they dry up. Also, they make their nest in high places so that they would not be affected by floods.
All these are done without ants’ own intelligence and by the wisdom and kindness of a creator that has created them.
O Mofazzal think about an insect called lionflies – a kind of spider – and how God has taught it to use tricks to find food. It pretends to be dead whenever it sees a fly sitting next to it, and remains immobile for a while, till the fly trusts its death, then crawls towards it slowly without attracting attention, then jumps suddenly and catches it, holding it tight so that it cannot escape, and stays the same way till the prey is completely weak and then eat it.
Another type of spider is the one that makes a web to catch flies and hides within it and when the fly is stuck in it, it gets close to it and stings it and lives on it.
Likewise is the story of the cheetah and the dog and those who hunt by setting traps and playing tricks.
So do not ignore small and unimportant things easily because most often valuable things are measured cheaply, while this does not reduce the worth of the valuable thing, like measuring the worth of gold and silver on a scale with a stone, and the stone does not reduce the value of the gold or silver.
Then imam said, “O Mofazzal ponder upon the bird’s body and their creation. God wanted them to fly so He created their bodies light and gave them only two legs instead of four, and four fingers instead of five, and one outlet for disposing body wastes.
On the other hand, He has set their chests narrow so that they can cut through the air easily, like a ship’s prow that cuts through the water.
And in the tail and wings of the bird strong and long feathers are set to help it fly with, and covered all its body with feathers so the air enters them and keeps the bird floating. And since He has set their food seeds or meat, He has designed for them strong and thick beaks instead of teeth so that they can pick up their food easily or tear apart the meat.
And since they are not given teeth, birds eat the seed wholly and the meat raw. Instead tremendous heat has been set inside their stomachs that digests the food quickly. As you may have noticed when the grape’s seed is disposed from humans, they are emitted undigested, while the same seed is totally solved and absorbed within a bird’s body.
God has designed birds as egg layers and to have chickens out of those eggs, because if the chicken should be remaining within the mother’s body till its organs are fully developed, the mother would get too heavy to move or fly; therefore, He has set each part of a bird’s body suitable for a purpose.
Also pay attention to the birds who are always flying or swimming, and notice how they take care of their eggs. They sit for one or two weeks – and three weeks for some birds – on their eggs and cover their eggs with their wings till they hatch, then when the chicken is out of the egg, the mother blows into its mouth so that its stomach inflates and is ready for feeding, then the mother feeds the chicken.
Who made the bird to take the seed and store it in its crop and take it to its child and then bring it up from its crop and feed it to the child? Why does the bird bear all these difficulties despite the fact that the mother bird does not expect any future with its chickens, the way humans expect of their babies?
Therefore, the God who has created it has set in its nature the tendency to take care of its chickens so that it does not extinct and these are all from the kindness of God.
Look at the hen, and how it makes lots of noise to protect its eggs when it does not have a nest. It continues making noise and even stops eating till its owner collects its eggs in one place and it can lay on them.
O Mofazzal, notice about the creation of eggs and the thick yellow and the thin white liquids inside it. The yellow liquid is what turns into the chicken and the white liquid is what the chicken feeds upon till it hatches from the egg. Think about the chicken and how it is imprisoned within a hard shell and does not have access to the outside, so God has put its food within the shell so that it can be used till the chicken grows up.
Think about the bird’s crop. The route that food takes to reach the gizzard is narrow and the food moves very slowly. Now if the bird waits for the first seed to reach the gizzard, then eats the second seed, it would take too long, while it needs to eat fast because it is afraid that humans or hunters might interrupt. Therefore, God has given them crops to store the food inside, and to eat everything it finds quickly and then to digest it later on in a safer place. There is also another advantage in the crop. Some birds need to feed their chickens from their mouth, and returning the food from the crop is much easier than the gizzard.
Mofazzal said I asked imam Sadeq AS, “my master, some misguided people who assume the world to be created without a creator believe that the difference in the color and appearance of different birds is due to the mixture of their body humors and the sizes and limits have been created randomly.
Imam said, “how can these different colorings that you see in the wings and feathers of peacock and francolin that are put together in a way that the most expert painters are unable to create a similar one, been made randomly and simply by the mixture of humors? God the almighty is greater than how they describe Him.
O Mofazzal think upon the wings of the birds and notice how the feathers are woven together like a cloth. On the other hand, when the wings are pulled the feathers open up but do not separate. This is to enable the air to enter the feathers and help the bird to stay floating in the air. And you will see that between their feathers there are thick bones that keep the feathers together and straight, so that the wings are not too heavy for flying.
O Mofazzal, have you seen that bird with long legs? And do you know what the benefits of those long legs are? This bird is most of the times standing in the water, and its body on these long legs act like a sentinel who watches over the animals moving in water. Wherever it sees a moving prey in the water, it walks slowly towards it and grabs it. If the legs were not long, its stomach would cause ripples in the water and disperse the preys. Who has given this bird these long legs to make it able to survive?
O Mofazzal think about God’s wisdom and power and see how He has created different birds. Any bird that has long legs, has also a long neck, so that it can pick up its food from the ground. If the legs were long and the neck was short, picking things up would not be easy. So, He has helped some birds with long beaks to make life easier for them.
So any part of the creation shows God’s wisdom and delicacy in creating it.
Notice sparrow and other birds and how they search for food every day. Their food is scattered around and is not collected in one place. Likewise humans should try and work to gain their nourishment every day. Sacred is the God who has set every creature’s nourishment as it should be, and not in a way that if it searches for it, it would not be able to find it, but in a way that it is findable in little quantities and to the needs of them.
On the other hand, the food is not collected in one place, because if it were animals would rush towards it and eat all till they die. And if humans would also readily receive their daily share, they would not bother go out working, and would busy themselves with trivial things or violent acts and sins.
Do you know what is the food of birds like owl or witchmoth, which come out only at nights?
I said, “no my master.”
Imam said, “They eat the tiny insects and animals that are flying in the air, like mosquitos, fireflies, small grasshoppers, bees, etc. which are abundant during night and the evidence on that is that if you light a lamp at night and hang it over the roof or yard, lots of tiny insects will gather around it instantly. If they are not already in the air, then where do they come from?
If somebody says, they come from plains and deserts, then we should answer, how could they reach the light in such a short period of time and how could they see from such a distance a light? Therefore, these insects already fill the air.
And those birds that fly about for food at nights, open their beaks and hunt these tiny insects or animals. Notice how He has prepared the food for such birds out of insects, so that nobody could say the creation of those insects had been redundant.
Think about the mysteries in the creation of the bat. It is something between birds and mammals, and more like mammals; since it has two wide ears, teeth and fur and bears its kids and gives them milk and urinates and walks on four feet and all these is in contrast with the creation of birds. And unlike other birds, it comes out at nights and feeds on the insects in the air. And some foolish people think that they do not eat and the breeze is their only food. This is wrong for two reasons:
Firstly, it urinates and defecates, and air cannot cause urine and defecation.
Secondly, God has created it with teeth, while if the bat did not need food, teeth would be redundant, and definitely God does not create anything redundant.
And the benefits that the bat has are obvious. Many use its defecation in medicine. It also refers to God’s might and that whatever God wishes will come true.
And in many things there are advantages that people would not learn about till an accident happens or someone tells about it.
O Mofazzal, think about how bee lives and their gathering in groups to make honey and hexagonal hives, because when you ponder upon their work, you will notice the delicacies and strangeness of their performance and the value and beneficial product they make, while you notice the doer of such incredible things does not have the intelligence to design such things.
Notice the grasshopper and how much strength it has despite its tiny body. When you look at one of them it looks so tiny and weak but a hoard of them can ruin a city if they attack it, even if an army of humans resists them they would not be able to beat them.
Isn’t this a sign of God’s power to send an army of weaklings to destroy an army of the mighty while they would not have the power to fight back?
Look at these grasshoppers, when they attack a city, they stream into the city like flood and cover the mountains, plains, cities, villages, and they are so great in number that they shade on the earth.
If people wanted to gather all these grasshoppers by hand it would take years to collect only a part of them.
Therefore, think about God’s power and that nothing is impossible for Him however hard it is.
O Mofazzal think about the creation of fish and its status. God has not given it feet because it does not need walking and lives in water. He has not given it lungs, because it does not breathe in water, and instead of legs has given it a pair of fins that paddles the water backward to move forward.
The eyes of the fish are covered with hard scales that are connected together like the rings of an armor to protect it from impact and damage, and since its sight is weak and water prevents it from seeing clearly, God has given it a strong smelling sense that smells the food’s smell from far away and follows it.
And from the fish’s ear to its mouth there are pores that help the outlet of water when it fills its mouth with water.
Now think about the abundance of fishes and notice that their stomach is full of eggs that are uncountable, because many other animals feed on these fishes; even wild animals living on land that prey on these fishes. Therefore, since humans, animals, birds, and all feed on fishes, God’s plan had been to create these fishes in a way that they reproduce in large numbers.
If you want to notice the shortage of human knowledge look at the seas and see the variety of fishes and aquatic animals, shells and different animals that cannot be counted and the benefits of many are unknown and people will learn about it through time.
Mofazzal says, “When Imam reached this part, the noon azhan started, imam raised up for praying and said, “come tomorrow morning for the rest of it.”
So I returned home happy with the blessing imam had bestowed upon me, by teaching me the mysteries of science. I thanked God for this gift and slept calmly till the next day.