|In the name of
GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
There is no other god beside GOD
INSECTS: CREATURES OF GOD
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
“All creatures great and small.” These words from a Christian hymn are wonderful reminders for us that God created all the animals and therefore, no living thing is beneath our notice. God makes it clear in the Quran that He counts all of the animals as submitting creatures. Among His proofs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creatures He spreads in them. He is able to summon them, when He wills. (42:29) If all creatures are important to God, they should be important to us too, especially since God tells us that these creations are proofs.
When I did a little research and starting learning about these wondrous communities, I was truly impressed. Insects are among the most successful creatures ever to have lived on earth. There have been insects around for more than 400 million years. There are more than a million species that have so far been identified. The total may be closer to ten million, because every year 7-10 thousand new species are discovered. With all that we know (or think we know), there are still millions of species of insects that humans have not yet found!
Insects are as varied as they are numerous. A flea can jump more than 100 times its body length. To come close, a man would have to leap a 60-story building and, as we know, only Superman can accomplish that!
Fireflies light up the summer nights. They generate this light when two chemical substances, which God has provided for them, come together and mix with the air. It looks like a tiny light bulb blinking on and off. Both males and females produce the light and they use it to attract each other. It is very attractive. I was fascinated as a child that such a magical thing could be. And since I now live in the desert where there are no fireflies, I’m fascinated all over again whenever I visit areas that have them. Little sparkly lights against the dark trees. It’s a wonderful gift from God.
Beetles are so numerous that they make up one third of all the known species of animals in the world—over 300,000 different types, so far! Tiny weevils are no bigger than a pinhead, while the Goliath beetle of Africa is one of the largest flying insects, and the Hercules beetle is more than six inches long.
Cockroaches have changed little in appearance since ancient times. They were the predominant insect species 300 million years ago, and it’s said they would survive a nuclear blast! Certainly our attempts to eradicate them have failed miserably.
All insects have antennae. These are marvelous organs which perform a variety of functions depending on the species. Some use their antennae to feel their way in the dark; some detect scents like that of a mate; some use them to hear; some sense heat—that’s why a mosquito can find us so easily even in a dark room!
Communication among insects is important. There are the chemical trails of the ants, the dance language of the bees, and different sounds among different insects. The chirp of a cricket may keep you awake at night but it’s an amazing sound to come from rubbing body parts together. And a tree full of cicadas overpowers all other sounds—you can’t hear the TV—and such a small insect makes such a big sound by clicking a taut membrane.
Naturalist Henry Beston noted: “…it occurs to me that we are not sufficiently grateful for the great symphony of natural sound which insects add to the natural scene; indeed, we take it so much as a matter of course that it does not stir our fully conscious attention. But all those little fiddles in the grass, all those cricket pipes, those delicate flutes, are they not lovely beyond words when heard in midsummer on a moonlight night? I like, too, the movement they give to a landscape with their rushes, their strange comings and goings, and their hoverings with the sun’s brilliance reflected in their wings.” (The Outermost House, p65-6)
Insects are pests of the highest order, yet they are incredibly beneficial to man and nature. They pollinate, clean up dead matter, and fill a niche on the food chain. They also bite, sting and spread disease. And that too is part of God’s plan.
Take the time to watch a butterfly flitting around a flower. What a symphony of colors all blended together. Look at a bumblebee moving from blossom to blossom. It’s physically impossible for them to fly—their bodies are too heavy and their wings are too small. But fly they do! Only God can make that happen. Watch a trail of ants carrying loads many times heavier than themselves, working together to insure their community’s survival. Anytime we enjoy the creatures that God has placed on earth, we should also appreciate the God who created them.
Therefore, you shall worship God alone, and be appreciative. (39:66)
….God rewards those who are appreciative. (3:144)
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