Repair and regeneration in our bodies

Updated 21 November 2014
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Repair and regeneration in our bodies

Events in our bodies that we are unaware of take place within a meticulous order. The functioning of our organs, so essential to our survival, is not something we initiate and maintain of our own volition. Our organs are one of the miraculous systems flawlessly created by our Lord. Each of these organs starts working as a tiny collection of cells while the individual is still in its mother's womb, and they all flawlessly discharge their duties until the individual's life comes to an end.
Research has revealed that in the event of any interruption in vitally important organs such as the heart, brain or liver, certain proteins or cells step in and repair the organ in question. However, proteins with no medical knowledge of course lack the consciousness with which to identify damage, develop suitable precautions and thus save a person's life; nonetheless, they are present in every human being on earth, ready to perform the same function. It is Allah's creation that bestows this order, glory and perfection. Allah is He Who meets the needs of all of His creations and is the Sufficient One (Al-Kafi), the All-Pervading (Al-Muheet) and has the power to do what He wishes as He so wishes (Al-Qadeer). He is the only One praised by all creation, the Praiseworthy (Al-Hameed). He it is Who originates, creates innovatively (Al-Badee). This is revealed as follows in the Qur'an:
He is the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be! and it is." (Surat Al-Baqara, 117)

The self-repair of the brain
Researchers have discovered that a mass of cells known as ChAT+ neurons are able to communicate with stem cells and stimulate the production of new neurons.
Chay Kuo, M.D. Ph.D of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences says, "We have been working to determine how neurogenesis is sustained in the adult brain. It is very unexpected and exciting to uncover this hidden gateway, a neural circuit that can directly instruct the stem cells to make more immature neurons. The working principle in the nervous system is based on the transmission of electrical current by neurons that function like electrical wiring. In other words, it functions according to the same principle that today's electronic circuits function. Neurons interpret these currents and are able to communicate among themselves, which is a marvelous state of affairs.

Self-repair of the heart
During a heart attack, heart cells die due to the sudden cessation of blood flow, resulting in irreparable damage to the heart. Following this damage in the heart, the patient's quality of life decreases considerably.
Until recently, it was thought that, in contrast to other organs, the heart had no ability to repair itself. However, we now know that this damage can be made good by the body. The protein known as thymosin beta 4 (TB4), which plays a key role in the development of the heart in children, stimulates sleeping cardiac stem cells in adults. Thymosin, which comes in two forms in living tissue, ± 1 and ≤ 4, is capable of reprogramming cells. This protein is today administered as a drug, and sends the stem cells a code about repair of the heart. The heart thus repairs itself with no other treatment being required. This protein, when given as a drug, increases cardiac performance by up to 25 percent by inducing cardiac stem cells to differentiate and become cardiac blood vessels, thus repairing the heart, and preventing loss of heart muscle cells.

The regenerating feature of the liver
Even if 70 percent of the liver is removed, it can still regain its size to perform its functions within one or two weeks.
The mechanisms involved in the regeneration of the liver are still the subject of research.
One of the astonishing features of this system is the unbelievable speed at which liver cells divide while discharging their normal functions without interruption. What is even more amazing is the way that after their tasks have been discharged, cell division is stopped by a common decision. The following questions come to mind at this point:
How do cells know how much to multiply or when to stop? Where does the command to start or stop come from?
If no order to stop is received, do they themselves decide not to grow such as to inconvenience other organs?
There is no doubt that there can be no question of unconscious cells doing any of these. It is Allah Who creates this miraculous process from start to finish and Who issues the requisite commands.
Intelligence is essential even to understand the miraculous functioning of the organs in the body, and it is of course irrational and, quite frankly, unscientific to claim that they came into being by chance. Such flawless systems could never come into being as a result of a series of coincidences. The presence of such systems in the human body is evidence that they were created by Allah.
“We created you so why do you not confirm the truth? Have you thought about the sperm that you ejaculate? Is it you who create it or are We the Creator? We have decreed death for you and We will not be forestalled.” (Surat Al-Waqiah, 57-60)


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016
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The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.