“And thy Lord taught the Bee To build its cells in hills, On trees, and in (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all The produce (of the earth), And find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord.” [Al-Qur’an 16:68-69]
Von-Frisch received the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his research on the behavior and communication of the bees. The bee, after discovering any new garden or flower, goes back and tells its fellow bees the exact direction and map to get there, which is known as ‘bee dance’. The meanings of this insect’s movements that are intended to transmit information between worker bees have been discovered scientifically using photography and other methods. The Qur’an mentions in the above verse how the bee finds with skill the spacious paths of its Lord.
The worker bee or the soldier bee is a female bee. In Surah Al-Nahl chapter no. 16, verses 68 and 69, the gender used for the bee is the female gender (fa’slukî and kulî), indicating that the bee that leaves its home for gathering food is a female bee. In other words, the soldier or worker bee is a female bee. In fact, in Shakespeare’s play, “Henry the Fourth”, some of the characters speak about bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and that they have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespearean times. They thought that the worker bees are male bees and they go home and are answerable to a king bee. This, however, is not true. The worker bees are females and they do not report to a king bee but to a queen bee. But it took modern investigations in the last 300 years to discover this.
SPIDER’S WEB / HOME IS FRAGILE
The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al-‘Ankabût, “The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah Is that of the Spider, Who builds (to itself) A house; but truly The flimsiest of houses Is the Spider’s house – If they but knew.” [Al-Qur’an 29:41]. Besides giving the physical description of the spider’s web as being very flimsy, delicate, and weak, the Qur’an also stresses the flimsiness of the relationship in the spider’s house, where the female spider many times kills its mate, the male spider.
LIFESTYLE AND COMMUNICATION OF ANTS
Consider the following Quranic verse: “And before Solomon were marshaled His hosts – of Jinns and men And birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks. “At length, when they came To a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: ‘O ye ants, get into Your habitations, lest Solomon And his hosts crush you (Underfoot) without knowing it.’” [Al-Qur’an 27:17-18]
In the past, some people would have probably mocked the Qur’an, taking it to be a fairy tale book in which ants talk to each other and communicate sophisticated messages. In recent times, research has shown us several facts about the lifestyle of ants, which were not known earlier to humankind. Research has shown that the animals or insects whose lifestyle is closest in resemblance to the lifestyle of human beings are the ants. This can be seen from the following findings regarding ants:
- The ants bury their dead in a manner similar to the humans.
- They have a sophisticated system of division of labor, whereby they have managers, supervisors, foremen, workers, etc.
- Once in a while, they meet among themselves to have a ‘chat’.
- They have an advanced method of communication among themselves.
- They store grains for long periods in winter and if the grain begins to bud, they cut the roots, as if they understand that if they leave it to grow, it will rot. If the grains stored by them get wet due to rains, they take these grains out into the sunlight to dry, and once these are dry, they take them back inside as though they know that humidity will cause the development of root systems and thereafter rotting of the grain.
HONEY HAS HEALING PROPERTIES
The bee assimilates juices of various kinds of flowers and fruit and forms within its body the honey, which it stores in its cells of wax. Only a couple of centuries ago man came to know that honey comes from the belly of the bee. This fact was mentioned in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago in the following verse: “There issues From within their bodies A drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men.” [Al-Qur’an 16:69]
We are now aware that honey has a healing property and also a mild antiseptic property. The Russians used honey to cover their wounds in World War II. The wound would retain moisture and would leave very little scar tissue. Due to the density of honey, no fungus or bacteria would grow in the wound. A person suffering from an allergy to a particular plant may be given honey from that plant so that the person develops resistance to that allergy. Honey is rich in fructose and vitamin K. Thus the knowledge contained in the Qur’an regarding honey, its origin, and properties, was far ahead of the time it was revealed.
BLOOD CIRCULATION AND THE PRODUCTION OF MILK
The Qur’an was revealed 600 years before the Muslim scientist Ibn Nafees described the circulation of the blood and 1,000 years before William Harwey brought this understanding to the Western world. Roughly thirteen centuries before it was known what happens in the intestines to ensure that organs are nourished by the process of digestive absorption, a verse in the Qur’an described the source of the constituents of milk, in conformity with these notions.
To understand the Qur’anic verse concerning the above concepts, it is important to know that chemical reactions occur in the intestines and that, from there, substances extracted from food pass into the bloodstream via a complex system; sometimes by way of the liver, depending on their chemical nature. The blood transports them to all the organs of the body, among which are the milk-producing mammary glands. In simple terms, certain substances from the contents of the intestines enter into the vessels of the intestinal wall itself, and these substances are transported by the bloodstream to the various organs. This concept must be fully appreciated if we wish to understand the following verse in the Qur’an:
“And verily in cattle, there is A lesson for you. We give you to drink Of what is inside their bodies, Coming from conjunction Between the contents of the Intestine and the blood, A milk pure and pleasant for Those who drink it.” [Al-Qur’an 16:66]
“And in cattle (too) ye Have an instructive example: From within their bodies We produce (milk) for you To drink; there are, in them, (beside), numerous (other) Benefits for you; And of their (meat) ye eat.” [Al-Qur’an 23:21]
Modern physiology met the same results as The Quranic description of the production of milk in cattle is says.