A BIG SURPRISE
wakes up early in the morning and quietly goes to the river
side. He finds the beavers working again. Mustering up courage,
he approaches them and says:
my name is Karim. Can I be friends with you?"
The animals are startled at first, but seeing
Karim's friendly manner, the bigger one comes forward and
"Of course, my name is Mr. Beaver. And this
is my wife, Mrs. Beaver. Nice to meet you."
This makes Karim happy, because now he can ask
them what he is curious about. So they start chatting.
I've been watching you curiously for some time now, and there
are so many questions I want to ask you... Let's start with
the tree trunks. Mr. Beaver, why do you drag the trunks into
the water and place them on top of others?
Mr. Beaver: All beaver couples, like
us, migrate to build new homes for themselves. We arrived
here a short time ago, having recently moved to this river.
Now we're building our home. But to do that, we need still
water. So we have to block the water flow first. This is why
we have piled up logs and formed this artificial pond.
Karim: So you are constructing a dam?
This is great. You know what? We human beings have also constructed
dams for centuries in the same way to block the water flow.
The other day our geography teacher taught us the dams in
our country and explained how they were constructed. It surprised
me because I thought it must be very difficult to build a
wall in front of running water. But what you are doing is
even more amazing and difficult. How do you manage to block
such a fast flowing river? How did you discover this method?
Did you decide to do things in this way when you saw the man-made
In his excitement, Karim asks one question after
another. His words and his astonishment make Mr. Beaver smile,
because what they do is so easy for them that they don't give
it a second thought.
Mr. Beaver: OK, Karim, take a breather.
I'll answer your questions one by one. Don't worry, you'll
learn everything. Our knowledge of how to construct dams and
to build such homes comes naturally to us. Of course, this
knowledge did not come to us by chance. It is not that one
day we said, "Let's construct a dam and build a home in the
water." We had already had this information, because it had
been taught to us before we were born. Because of this, we
know what to do very well and successfully do our jobs. Again
thanks to this knowledge, we know how to fell huge trees and
to carry them into the water.
Listening to Mr. Beaver in amazement, Karim
is startled by Imran's voice behind him:
"I can answer all of your questions Karim. But
before this, you owe me an explanation. Why did you leave
the camp alone? We would have been worried about you if we
had not seen your note.
That is Allah, your Lord. There
is no god but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship
(Surat al-An'am: 102)
Karim: Well, I... I'm so sorry. I was
so excited that I couldn't help coming here. But I knew that
you would see my note. Will you please tell me who taught
the beavers all these things?
Imran: OK, Karim. You remember that we
read the Qur'an together last week? Allah said in many verses
that it was He Who created everything in the skies, on the
earth and in between these two. We talked about the animals
we knew and about their exceptional behaviour. Then we concluded
that they could not do these things by themselves and had,
in fact, been taught how to act by someone else.
Karim: Yes, I remember.
Imran: All living things act in the way
Allah teaches them to. From the moment they are born, they
all know how to behave. To understand their behaviour, we
human beings make studies and carry out research for years
on end; we use technological devices, read books and make
experiments. But these things which we try hard to understand
are easily done by animals. For example, they make calculations
that would baffle even the experts. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver are
doing what our Lord has taught them to do. If Mr. Beaver tells
us more about what they do, you will understand what I mean
Mr. Beaver: Yes, Karim. Soon I'll tell
you in detail about the home we are building. You, too, will
learn that it is not possible for us to do such a thing just
by using our own intelligence.
Karim listens to Mr. Beaver and Imran carefully,
because he is aware of the importance of this conversation.
So he decides to concentrate on what they say and to ask about
things he is eager to learn.
Karim: Mr. Beaver, I guess you use your
paws and teeth to fell trees so as to form this pond. But
how come your teeth are so strong? My teeth, for example,
would break if I attempted to bite off a branch. I could never
Beaver: Good question Karim. My wife and I can cut down
about 400 trees in a year. We do this by gnawing with our
teeth. We use the four front teeth to gnaw tree branches.
Our teeth also, wear down not though as nearly much as yours,
and sometimes break. But this does not affect us, because
our front teeth, called incisors, keep growing throughout
Karim: So your teeth keep growing, just
like our nails do, right?
Mrs. Beaver: Let me answer your question
Karim. Yes, you are right. Allah created our teeth differently
from those of any other living thing. If He hadn't done so,
we wouldn't be able to feed or build our homes, which would
be too bad for us. Since the members of the species would
starve to death, our species would eventually become extinct,
that is, we would not be here today. You would not find even
a single beaver on the face of the earth. However, my teeth,
as well as Mr. Beaver's and all other beavers', grow very
fast. As you can see, our teeth are vital to us.
Beaver explains to Karim how they carry the logs and
branches into the water (page left) and then how Mrs.
Beaver sticks them together.
Karim: OK. But how did you learn to swim?
I've learnt it recently. How come you are such perfect swimmers?
Mr. Beaver: Karim, all beavers can swim
shortly after they are born. This is so easy for us, because
our bodies are convenient for swimming. For one thing, our
feet are webbed, so that we can easily push the water, and
for another, our flat tails serve as flippers, so that we
can move easily in the water. Just as you wear goggles to
protect your eyes from the water and help you to see under
water, we have natural goggles. And our ears and nostrils
can close tightly to keep water out. We have three eyelids
on each eye. One of them is semi-transparent, letting us see
under water while also protecting our eyes from the hazards
of the water.
Karim: My little friends, I, too, can
swim fast and easily when I wear flippers on my feet. My father
bought me the flippers, but you get yours at birth. Allah
has created you with the exact features you need.
Imran: You are right, Karim. Mr. Beaver,
will you please tell us a little about the dams you construct?
Mr. Beaver: First of all, we drag logs
and branches on to the bed of the stream. Then we pile light
branches up on the heavier ones. But we must place them firmly
in position, otherwise the running water will take away what
we build. That is why we add logs and strengthen the dam with
rocks. But it is still not strong enough, so we need to support
it. So we stick the branches together with a special mixture
composed of mud and leaves. This waterproof mixture is also
resistant to the eroding effect of the water.
Karim: If it wasn't the case, you would
never be able to build a dry lodge under water. All your efforts
would go to waste.
piled up branches will soon form the beavers' home.
building their home, the beavers scurry about, bringing
the small branches first of all. Allah made these creatures
very skilful and intelligent.
Mrs. Beaver: You're right, Karim. But
the dam we build is very strong and it becomes bigger and
stronger every day. As the barrier gets larger, the level
of the water collected before it rises. So after several months,
a dam pond is formed. But as the pond becomes enlarged, we
must strengthen and repair the dam. As Mr. Beaver said, we
fill in the spaces between the branches with mud and bushes.
By the way, there is one more thing which is very important.
Have you noticed the shape of our dam? It looks like an arch,
doesn't it? This shape which curves inwards is called concave.
All beaver dams are constructed concavely. We aim to dam the
water at an angle of 45 degrees.
Excited by what Mr. and Mrs. Beaver have told
him, Karim interrupts:
Karim: How do you know that? We went
on a trip to a dam with our teacher, and that day she told
us that modern dams were constructed just like yours. They
all curved inwards. She also told us that thanks to this shape,
which was called concave, human beings could dam the water
at an angle of exactly 45 degrees. Also concave dams, being
the strongest are best able to withstand the water pressure.
But how come you possess such knowledge, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver?
Who taught you this? I know that dams are constructed by engineers.
My sister is an engineer too; she had to have years of education
before she could become an engineer. But you cannot go to
school, so how come you know this? Did you find the correct
knowledge by trial and error? Who taught you this knowledge?
Imran: Look Karim. It's quite impossible
for the beaver family to carry out all these things in a random
way. Do you remember that you once asked me about a person
named Darwin? One of the books you read stated that animals
came into being and acquired the characteristics they possess
by chance. You found that to be nonsense and thought what
Darwin said was a lie.
Karim: Yes, I remember. And I understand
you very well. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver surely could not have learnt
these things by chance. Darwin certainly lied.
the picture you can see Darwin, who lied and tried
to deceive everyone. Karim is a very smart boy. Thanks
to what Imran has told him and the books he has read,
he immediately understands that Darwin was a liar.
Mr. Beaver: As I told you earlier, we
know how to do all these things at birth. You are a very smart
boy, Karim. Of course I've never gone to school. And it is
not possible that I should have discovered these things by
trial and error. If anyone comes up with such a nonsensical
idea, you can just ask him these questions:
Even if we suppose that a beaver, say Mrs. Beaver
or I, discovered how to build this lodge by coincidence, we
see that all beavers build their homes in the same way. Have
they all discovered it by coincidence?
As my teeth wear down, new ones grow in their
place. This is the same for all beavers. Isn't it clear that
this could not have come about as a result of coincidences?
As you can see, one merely needs to think a
little to see how impossible this is and how senseless this
claim is. Please ask your sister in which course they learnt
that dams should be built at an angle of 45 degrees and what
kinds of calculation they needed to make. Then you will understand
You are right Mr. Beaver. It is evident that a Superior Being
of outstanding intelligence taught you all these things. Mom
told me that Allah is All-Wise. It is evidence of the matchless
wisdom of our Lord that He taught this both to you and to
other beavers as well as to all beavers who have lived so
far. I know too that it is not only you whom Allah taught
what to do, but all living things.
Imran: Yes, Karim. Allah creates all
living things and has power over all things. As is stated
in a verse of the Quran:
Allah created every animal
from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them
on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills.
Allah has power over all things. (Surat an-Nur: 45)