AND THE TERMITES
was a bright, sunny Sunday. Faruq had gone to the forest for
a picnic with his teacher and his classmates.
Faruq and his friends began playing hide and seek.
Suddenly Faruq heard a voice crying, "Be careful!" Faruq
began looking to right and left, unsure of where the voice
was coming from. But there was nobody there.
Later on he heard the same voice again. This time it said,
"I'm down here!"
Right next to his foot Faruq noticed an insect that looked
very much like an ant.
"Who are you?" he asked.
a termite," the tiny creature replied.
"I never heard of a creature called a termite," mused Faruq
"Do you live alone?"
"No," replied the insect, "We live in nests in big groups.
If you like I'll show you one."
Faruq agreed, and they moved off. When they arrived, what
the termite showed Faruq looked like a tall building with
windows in it.
"What's this?" Faruq wanted to know.
is our home," the termite explained "We build these ourselves."
"But you are so small," objected Faruq. "If your friends
are all the same size as you, how can you possibly make something
as enormous as this?"
The termite smiled. "You're right to be surprised, Faruq.
For little creatures like us to be able to make places like
this really is very surprising. But don't forget, this is
easy for Allah, Who created us all."
"What is more, besides being very tall, our homes have other
very special features to them as well. For example, we make
special children's rooms, places for growing mushrooms and
a queen's throne room for our homes. And we don't forget to
make a ventilation system for our homes. By doing this we
balance the humidity and temperature inside. And before I
forget, let me tell you something else, Faruq, we are unable
was amazed "Although you are so tiny you can hardly be seen,
you still build homes just like the tall buildings people
make. How do you manage to do all this?"
The termite smiled again "As I said before, it is Allah Who
gives us these extraordinary talents. He created us in such
a way that we are able to do all these things. But now Faruq,
I must go back home and help my friends."
Faruq understood: "OK, I want to go and tell my teacher and
my friends what I've learned about you right away."
"Good idea, Faruq" waved the little termite, "Look after
yourself. Hope to see you again."
ASAD AND THE COLORFUL
At the weekend, Asad went to visit his grandfather. The two
days passed very quickly, and before Asad knew it his father
had arrived to take him home. Asad said goodbye to his grandfather
and went to sit in the car. He was looking out of the window
as he waited for his father to collect his things. A butterfly
sitting on a flower a short distance away fluttered its wings
and flew to the car window.
"You're going home, aren't you, Asad?" asked the butterfly
in a tiny voice.
Asad was astonished "Do you know me?" he asked.
"Of course I do," smiled the butterfly. "I've heard your
grandfather telling the neighbors about you."
"Why didn't you come and talk to me before?" Asad inquired.
"I couldn't, because I was in a cocoon up a tree in the garden,"
explained the butterfly.
"A cocoon? What's that?" asked Asad, who was always a curious
me explain from the beginning," said the butterfly as it took
a deep breath. "We butterflies hatch out of the egg as tiny
caterpillars. We feed ourselves by nibbling leaves. Later
we use a liquid which comes out of our bodies like thread
and wrap ourselves up in it. That little package we weave
is called a cocoon. We spend a while inside that package as
we wait to grow. When we wake up and come out of the cocoon
we have brightly colored wings. We spend the rest of our lives
flying and feeding ourselves from flowers."
Asad nodded thoughtfully "You mean all those colorful butterflies
were once caterpillars before they grew wings?"
"Can you see the green caterpillar on that branch?" asked
"Yes, I see it. It's nibbling away hungrily at a leaf."
"That's my little brother," smiled the caterpillar "In a
while he'll weave a cocoon too, and one day he'll be a butterfly
Asad had lots of questions to ask his new friend. "How do
you plan this change? I mean, when do you come out of the
egg, how long do you stay as a caterpillar and how do you
make the thread to weave your cocoons?"
don't plan any of it at all," explained the butterfly patiently.
"Allah has taught us what we need to do and when we need to
do it. We just act in the way our Lord wills."
Asad was really impressed. "The patterns on your wings are
wonderful. And all butterflies have different patterns, don't
they? They are really colorful and eye-catching!"
Everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah...
(Surat al-Hadid, 1)
Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and
by it We bring forth fruits of varying colors? And in the mountains there are
streaks of white and red, of varying shades, and rocks of deep jet black. And
mankind and beasts and livestock are likewise of varying colors. Only those of
His servants with knowledge have fear of Allah. Allah is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving.
(Surah Fatir: 27-28)
"That's a proof of Allah's incomparable artistry. He created
us one by one in the most beautiful way possible," explained
Asad agreed enthusiastically: "It's impossible not to see
the beautiful things Allah has created. There are hundreds
of examples all round us!"
The butterfly agreed: "You're right Asad. We need to give
thanks to Allah for all these blessings."
Asad looked over his shoulder: "My father's coming. It looks
like we're about to set off. It was really great to meet you.
Can we talk again when I come next week?"
"Of course," nodded the butterfly. "Have a safe journey home."
THE WOODPECKER AND IRFAN
Sunday, Irfan went for a walk in the woods with his father.
While he was walking, he was thinking about how beautiful
the trees and all of nature were. His father then bumped into
a friend, and as the two grown-ups were chatting Irfan heard
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap...
The sound was coming from a tree. Irfan walked up to the
bird that was making it and asked:
"Why are you hitting the tree with your beak like that?"
The bird stopped what it was doing, and turned to look at
Irfan. "I am a woodpecker, " it answered. "We make holes in
trees and build our nests in them. Sometimes we store our
food in these tree holes. This is the first hole I've ever
made. I will make hundreds more like it though." Irfan looked
closer at the hole. "Fine, but how do you store food in such
a small place?" he wondered.
"Woodpeckers mostly eat acorns, and acorns are quite small,"
the woodpecker explained. "Inside each hole I make I'll put
one acorn. That way I'll be able to store enough
food for myself."
Irfan was puzzled: "But instead of struggling with lots of
small holes," he said, "you could make one big one and store
all your food there."
The woodpecker smiled: "If I did that, other birds would
come and find my food store and steal my acorns. But the holes
I make are of different sizes. When I put the acorns I find
into the holes, I store them according to their size. The
size of the acorn exactly matches the hole I put it into.
That way the acorn fits tightly into the hole. Because Allah
created my beak so that I can take the acorns back out of
the holes easily, I can take them from the trees without any
problem. But other birds can't do that, so my food is safe.
Of course, I don't have the brains to think all that out.
I'm only a woodpecker. Allah makes me do these things. It
is Allah Who taught me how to hide my food and Who created
my beak in the right way for me to do it. Really, it isn't
just me-all living creatures are able to do the things they
do because that is what Allah taught them."
Irfan agreed: "You're right. Thank you for telling me all
that... You reminded me the great power of Allah."
Irfan said goodbye to his little friend and went back to
his father. He was very happy because wherever he looked he
could see another of Allah's miracles.
JALAL AND THE SEAGULL
he was traveling by ferryboat in hot weather what Jalal liked
to do best was to sit outside on deck. That way he got a closer
view of the sea and could look around more easily. One day
Jalal boarded the ferryboat with his mother. Right away he
went and sat down on deck. A group of seagulls were following
the ferryboat as though they were racing one another. The
seagulls put on a wonderful display, swirling and turning
in the air, and fought one another over pieces of bread thrown
to them by the passengers.
One of the seagulls glided slowly down and landed on the
seat next to Jalal.
"How did you like our flying display?" it asked. "I noticed
that you were watching us very carefully. What's your name?"
"My name's Jalal. Yes, I was really enjoying watching you
flying. I see you can stay up
in the air without flapping your wings at all. How do you
The seagull nodded its head. "We seagulls position ourselves
according to the direction of the wind. Even if there is very
little wind, rising air currents lift us up. We make use of
this movement, and we can make long journeys without flapping
our wings at all."
move backwards and forwards inside the masses of air rising
up from the sea," it went on. "These currents mean that we
always have air under our wings, and that allows us to stay
up in the air without using up too much energy."
Jalal was still not sure he quite understood: "I saw you
up there in the air without moving your wings, just as if
you were hanging there. And you do all this by acting according
to the direction of the wind? I can see that, but how do you
calculate the strength
of the wind and which direction it will come from?"
"It's impossible for us to do that from our own knowledge,"
began the seagull. "When He created us Allah taught us how
to fly and how to hang in the air without wasting energy.
These are examples given us so that we can realize Allah's
existence and understand His power."
Jalal thought of another question: "Yes, you stay hanging
in the air as though you were held up there by a string...
To be able to do this you'd need to know math very well and
be able to make detailed calculations, but you do it without
any problem right from the first time you fly, don't you?"
the seagull agreed. "Our Lord gave every living creature the
inspiration it needs. We all do what we are told to do. Never
forget that Allah embraces everything and keeps everything
under His control. He is the Lord of all things. You can find
a lot of verses about this in the Qur'an. The ferry is approaching
land now, and I'm going to fly off to join my friends.
See you again..." Jalal watched his new friend fly away, growing
smaller and smaller in the distance.
When he arrived home Jalal looked for a verse in the Qur'an
about everything being under Allah's control. He found it
in the Surah Hud, and learned the verse by heart right away:
[Hud said,] "I have put my trust in Allah,
my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature He does not hold
by the forelock. My Lord is on a Straight Path." (Surah Hud:
Do they not see the birds suspended in
mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah.
There are certainly Signs in that for people who believe.
(Surat an-Nahl: 79)
children, have you heard of a kind of bird known as megapode?
When these birds have chicks to raise, it is always the male
birds which look after them. First the mother bird digs a
big hole to lay her eggs in. After she has laid her eggs,
the male has to keep the nest at a temperature of 92 degrees
Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).
In order measure the temperature of the nest the male bird
buries its beak in the sand which covers it, using its beak
like a thermometer. The bird repeats this operation over and
over again. If the temperature of the nest goes up, it immediately
opens air holes to bring the temperature down again. Also,
the bird's beak is such a delicate thermometer that if somebody
throws a handful of soil on top of the nest and the temperature
rises even the tiniest bit, the bird can detect this. Such
measurements are only possible for us to make by using a thermometer,
and yet megapodes have been doing this for centuries, and
never make the slightest mistake.
This is because Allah taught them everything, and it is the
Almighty Allah Who created a beak with the sensitivity of