Animals In The Glorious Quran

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  • Animals In The Glorious Quran

  • The Termite



    {Then when We decreed death for him [Sulayman (Solomon)], nothing informed them (Jinn) of his death except a termite, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his stick, so when he fell down, the Jinn saw clearly that if they had known the Ghayb (unseen), they would not have stayed in the humiliating torment.}                                                                        (Saba': 14)


    Let me tell you what happened.

    While we were just tiny ants that live in our houses, we used to hear many different stories about the relationships between Jinn and people. In spite of our tiny size we realized that these relationships were really a weapon for the Jinn. Allah had subjected the Jinn to Sulayman in order to serve him. They (the Jinn) could dive deep into the seas ...They could build whatever Sulayman wanted like castles and houses within days ...They could pave roads in just hours. This subjection happened only in the time of Sulayman to go against an old law that had separated the Jinn from the humans.

    This subjection of the Jinn was one of Sulayman's miracles that Allah granted him. And people witnessed many supernatural things that the Jinn could do while human beings could not. Therefore, people's belief in Allah was supposed to increase. Moreover, their realization of Allah's Infinite Power was supposed also to increase. But what happened was that myths and illusions started to spread ...People started to believe in the ability of Jinn without attributing the miracle to Allah. Ignorant people went so far as to say that the jinn know the Ghayb.

    Being an ant -who keeps herself to herself -I do not know who spread this ridiculous rumor. For none knows the Ghayb save Allah: not the jinn, not the humans, not the Prophets, not the friends of Allah and not the angels.

    "Allah is the Creator and everything else starting from the angels and ending with ants are creatures ...Some of them are sublime like the angels; some are great like the humans and some are simple like ants. For sure, the Ghayb is Allah's Will that is carried out against everything. And, no one knows Allah's Will except Him. No human beings or ants whether they are sovereign upon people or sovereign upon ants, know the Ghayb. Pray tell me, "Who can tell us what is going to happen tomorrow?"

    I apologize for this introduction; I apologize for I know it is obvious, but I am compelled to tell my tale. As I said, a rumor saying that the jinn know the Ghayb has spread. I do not know if it was spread by an individual of the jinn or by a human. What is important is that it has almost become an axiom. And, being an ant, I know that the Jinn do not know the Ghayb. In spite of being a weak, simple and humble ant that even the slightest blow from a human's mouth can blow me away, I was predestined to be the sole evidence of proof in the case that the Jinn do not know the Ghayb.

    I was able to prove this fact! Surprisingly, I did that without really intending to. I was hungry and I did not know what to do, so I ate the staff ...I mean Sulayman's staff.

    You see, I am a wood-eating ant. Some people call me a termite.

    I want to flash back a little so we can understand how it all began. My acquaintance with Sulayman started from the news we used to hear about him. Sulayman was the most famous person of his time. He was rich to the extent that the walls and ceilings of his temple were made out of expensive wood that was plated with gold. Us termites used to dream of being invited to this banquet. Except that the gold was a nuisance that stood in our way of getting to that delicious wood. So, we had no real hope of ever getting this meal. What a dream!

    This fact was one of the things we knew about Sulayman and that was closely connected to our life. Sulayman was a dream to us. An impossible dream.

    As I started to say: I am a wood-eating ant. People call our kind white ants in order to distinguish us from the ordinary ants. But in fact we are not white ants. We only consent to it because many people know us as such.

    We are of a slightly higher rank than normal ants. I am called an earth ant. We are pale-colored and our way of life is somewhat strange. Sometimes we dig in the earth and build houses that can hold six hundred thousand ants. Even though we live underground we have an airing system and we sometimes build parallel tunnels under the ground. Each tunnel is located directly under the other.

    Moreover, we fix the pebbles of sand and dust with our saliva so that these barriers become like human cement as they are so solid. The king of the white ants lives long, and the queen is responsible for laying eggs. During her life span, the queen lays around ten million eggs and then these eggs hatch to become soldiers and workers, both males and females. The white ant soldiers are bigger in size than the workers and their heads are large and solid.

    When we white ants attack another ant city, the soldiers are in the lead of the army but in front of them stand the commandos. The commando ants have long noses that resemble a beak and when ordinary ants attack these beaked-ants they secrete a sticky liquid that sticks to the neck of the enemy soldier ant like glue. In this way we paralyze our enemies and win. We feed mainly on wood. Our stomach contains certain kinds of bacteria that help us digest wood and make it tasty, just like the most delicious food of the humans.

    White ants have special migrations where we go out in large numbers once in a lifetime. We fly in big swarms of males and females in search of new homes. Most of us fall prey to birds and animals or we die because of other reasons. Then a male and female survive from this group and instantly start digging a new home after they get rid of their wings that they now have no use for. After that, they get married in their underground house and start establishing a new colony. In this way it takes only two of us to produce a whole new generation.

    I was flying with a thousand of my kind when I suddenly fell. One of my wings had come off while I was flying. Where do you think I landed? In the mihrab of Sulayman where he used to worship Allah. As soon as I had fallen I got rid of my other wing and started exploring the place. I felt a little bit dizzy after my fall but, honestly speaking, I felt even dizzier when I started walking about the mihrab. The greatness of the mihrab surpassed the ability of an ant's mind to even comprehend. The floors were made of marble covered with carpets; the walls were made of pure crystal, there was no ceiling and Sulayman's chair was made of gold. Sulayman was sitting on his chair and was supporting his chin with a staff he was holding in his hand. No one dared to barge in on the mihrab while Sulayman was in a state of worship.

    Anything in the world should wait for Sulayman until he finished performing his prayer. Around the mihrab, the Jinn were hurrying about their work while they watched Sulayman who was sitting down.

    I realized that I had made a fatal mistake for I was the only creature that had dared to enter Sulayman's mihrab. What would happen if he were to raise his head and see me? I told myself that I should greet him so he would not be surprised by my presence.

    I whispered, "Greetings upon the Prophet king Sulayman the wise. Sir, I am an ant that has fallen here by mistake. I seek your forgiveness. If you would show me the door, I will leave."

    Sulayman did not answer.

    I raised my voice higher but Sulayman remained silent. I came closer to him and raised my head to look at his reverent, beautiful and graceful face. His eyes were open and staring at the space of ground before me. He was not blinking.

    I said to myself that he might be absorbed in his prayer and so I stood still. A long time passed and he did not move. I came closer to him and said in a weak voice, "Sir King Sulayman! I am hungry. It is my mealtime and there is not even one piece of wood in the whole room except for the staff you are leaning on. What should I do?"

    Sulayman did not answer, so I came closer to him and repeated a new petition. I explained that I was hungry and that the staff he was leaning on was my only food.

    Despite all this, Sulayman remained silent. The night passed and morning came and Sulayman still did not move. The realization suddenly hit me that he was dead. The whiteness of his lips; the grayness of his face and his still silence, were things that told me he was dead. I prayed long for his pure soul and then advanced towards the staff. It was sustenance provided by Allah.

    I started eating the staff. Ah! It was made out of the wood of carob. "This staff reminds me of the destruction that will befall Sulayman's house," I thought while eating.

    "O generous Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon you) ... you are kind whether dead or alive ...for even though you are dead you feed me your staff. How noble you are!" I said to myself.

    I started eating again. It took me days to eat a part of it. Then the body suddenly became unbalanced and Sulayman fell to the ground. I did not mean to do that. As soon as Sulayman fell to the ground, I felt my whole body shaking.

    The Jinn were passing by the mihrab and when they saw Sulayman's body sprawled on the ground, they began to spread the news. Sulayman's ministers entered the mihrab and found him dead.

    The Jinn stopped working after learning of Sulayman's death because they realized that they were now free from their subjection to Sulayman.

    It took a while for the people to discover that Sulayman had died a long time ago and all this while the jinn were working oblivious to everything. His death was from the Ghayb and so the jinn did not know about it.

    The proof was made clear.

    “So when he fell down, the Jinn saw clearly that if they had known the Ghayb, they would not have stayed in the humiliating torment."

    Ithe small ant, uncovered what I uncovered and dispelled the lie of the Jinn knowing the Ghayb. I was the means to exposing the truth when I let the staff fall. Even though my mouth can hardly be seen, I let the curtain fall on the wide reign of Sulayman. It was a reign in which both the biggest and smallest creatures took part. Surprisingly, the smallest and most simple creature was the one that let the curtains fall on it. Praise be to He Who gives and takes, and gives reign and takes it again. Praise be to He Who made a beginning and an ending for every thing. Praise be to Allah for the beginning and the end.


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