Under the Sea


Pictures: Umm Saifullah at Fakieh Aquariam 

Captions taken from “Men and the Universe- Reflections from Ibn Al Qayyim”

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“One of the most striking signs and capturing miracles of the Lord is the seas which surround dry land, in the form of inlets and bays from the great ocean which engulfs the entire land. It is so extensive that the exposed land with all its mountains and cities is, in comparison with the water body, like a small island in the midst of a great sea. The rest of the land is submerged under water. It is only the Power and Will of the Almighty Allah that holds water from submerging land and rising over it – to rise like this is in fact in the nature of water, and that is what puzzles the more sensible naturalists who are baffled by the reason that causes the rising above the sea of a certain part of land, though it is in the nature of water to rise over it and submerge it. They have no explanation of this but to attribute it to divine wisdom and the eternal mercy of the Lord who willed that circumstances should be smoothed for the land animals to exist. This is a truth, but it should lead one to submit to the Ability of the Lord; to His Will and Destiny; to His Knowledge, Wisdom and all His Attributes of perfection. The proofs are compelling in that respect.”

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“It is a source of exceeding wonder to observe the sea and all the wondrous creatures in it, displaying a very wide diversity of species, shapes, sizes, functions, benefits (and harm) and colours. There are in the sea animals that seem like mountains, so huge that nothing on earth compares with them. Some of these seem to voyagers like an island; the similarity is so close that they actually land to rest there, and start a fire; and when the animal feels the heat it moves, and it is only then that the travellers realize that it is an animal. There is no species on land but it has a counterpart in the sea, even man, the horse, the camel and so forth. There are, besides, so many species that have no counterparts at all on land. In addition to that are its precious stones, pearls and corals. You see how a pearl is encased in a casket, the shell, that serves as a nest for it, providing it with protection and safety. Some pearls are hidden, never touched by hands. Observe how the coral has grown at the bottom of the sea out of solid rock below water, similar to a tree. The sea also contains other things like amber and valuable things that are thrown out by the sea, or are fished out.”

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“Such a sign is this and such evidence! It is for this reason that this blessing is so often repeated in Allah’s Book. On the whole, the sea’s wonders and marvels are so numerous that no one but Allah is capable of making an inventory of them.”

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“Think now of the fish, and the message embodied in it, the way it was created! That it was created without legs, as it does not need to walk, since it lives in water. It was not provided with lungs, as lungs are for breathing, and the fish are immersed in water. In place of the legs, it was provided with sturdy fins, which it uses to row on its sides, in the same way as a boatman uses his oars to row on the sides of the boat. Its skin is covered with scales that are overlapping to protect it from injuries in the same way as a chest is protected in other organisms. It was endowed with the sense of smell to compensate for its weak vision, and the water blocking its sight. However, it smells food from a far distance and moves towards it. It is mentioned in some books on animals that a fish has a canal that connects its mouth to the outer ear canal, so it takes water in its mouth, and passes it out through that canal, which gives it relief, in the same way as a land animal inhales a cool breeze into its nose, then exhales it, to refresh itself. A sea animal is similar to a land animal. The sea and the land are in fact two oceans, distinguished from each other in the extra softness of one in comparison with the other. The ocean of the atmosphere is the place for the land animal to float, and the sea is the ocean for the sea animal to swim in. Each would die if transferred to the other ocean. A sea animal would suffocate with air in the same way as a land animal would suffocate in water. So glory be to Him whose wonders are beyond the calculation of all creation, nor can any creature encompass the marvels of even a single wonder. If we get to know some miracle, we still are ignorant of others!”

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“Reflect, then, on the compelling wisdom embodied in the fish breeding more than all other animals! You see in the abdomen of a fish more eggs than one can count. The wisdom in that is to produce enough for the many animals that seek it for nutrition. Most animals eat fish, even wild animals; they prowl on the edges of jungles, in proximity of clean water, and if they fail to catch land game, they lie in ambush for the fish to snatch them. And so, since wild animals eat fish, birds and humans eat fish, big fish eat fish, land beasts eat fish; all by the will of the Lord Almighty are given fish as food; He willed in his judgement to provide fish in that abundance! If a human were to see what the sea contains of diverse animals, precious stones, and other things that none but the Lord can keep count of, and which humans know only a scanty number of, nothing compared with what they ignore, he would be overwhelmed with what he had seen, and would realize the expanse of Allah’s kingdom, and the multiplicity of His troops, which none but Him can keep count of!”

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One thought on “Under the Sea

  1. Under the seaa, under the seaa, darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from meee!
    Up on the shore, they work all day, out in the sun, they slave awayy
    While we floatin’, full time to floatin’ under the sea!
    Yeah!
    Y’all thank me later.

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