Tag Archive | muslim

Aisha’s Office: Photosynthesis in the Qur’an

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Essential in the production of not only light, but also hydrogen and oxygen, the sun plays a primary role in sustaining all of creation across the globe. Swearing, “by the dawn when it breathes“ (“itha tanaffasa”), Allah reveals in the Qur’an the life-sustaining production of oxygen, which is performed only during daylight. Ceasing production as the night “closes in,” oxygen production once again resumes as the horizon approaches the dawn.

So I swear by the retreating stars –
Those that run [their courses] and disappear –
And by the night as it closes in
And by the dawn when it breathes
[That] indeed, the Qur’an is a word
[conveyed by] a noble messenger

{Surah Al-Takwir 81:15-19}

Earth’s Oxygen Production Resumes Daily at Dawn

Making up 21% of the air we breathe, oxygen is produced only during photosynthesis – a process used by plants to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into sugar. The resulting sugar, glucose, becomes the nutritional fuel supplying plants with energy needed for growth.

Harun Yahya, in A Scientific Miracle of the Quran: The Dawn that Breathes, states, “While 30% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by plants on land, the remaining 70% is produced by plants and unicellular organisms in the seas and oceans – which are capable of performing photosynthesis.”

Yahya points out that “itha tanaffasa”(“when it breathes”), in Surah Al-Takwir, “metaphorically means to breathe deeply or respire.” He notes, “The phrase emphasized in the verse is remarkable in the sense that morning is the time when oxygen production starts, as well as being the time when the oxygen is produced most. In addition, the importance of this fact is emphasized in the verse with the oath being made upon this fact.”

Only with solar energy can Earth’s plants perform photosynthesis, a respiration cycle of inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen in the chemical production of glucose. Thus, the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere could not be produced without the daily dawning of the sun.

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Just as the daily dawning of the sun is critical for the process of photosynthesis, so too is the nightly approach of darkness. As the Qur’an reveals in the above verse, the two phenomena are paired in a joint relationship: As the darkness “closes in,” the absence of light halts the cycle of glucose production, and reverses the cycle of respiration. At nights, plants, just like humans and animals, inhale oxygen and exhale CO2.

The Complex Process of Photosynthesis

As discussed by the scientific research team at Istanbul Quran Research Association (IQRA), in Respiration and Photosynthesis, identification of the scientific process now known as photosynthesis is fairly recent. A research team led by American Chemical Engineer Melvin Calvin was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on photosynthesis.

“At the time of the descent of the Quran,” IQRA notes, “people knew nothing about photosynthesis or transformation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or again, about the role played by the sun’s rays in the realization of this process.”

When oxygen is released during photosynthesis, energy in the molecules of nutriments stored in the plant’s cells is chemically released. “So the act of respiration must not be considered exclusively as an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, but as a more complex process that forms the basic energy source of plants and animals.”

Photosynthesis and the Carbon Cycle

Holli Riebeek, Education and Public Outreach Specialist of NASA Earth Observatory, writes in The Carbon Cycle, “Carbon is both the foundation of all life on Earth, and the source of the majority of energy consumed by human civilization.”

Carbon cycles through Earth’s atmosphere geologically and biologically. The geological, or Slow Carbon Cycle primarily involves carbon compounds expelled by volcanoes, eroding from land into the ocean, sinking to Earth’s mantle and once again expelled by volcanoes.

The biological, or Fast Carbon Cycle, primarily involves photosynthesis. Riebeek reports the two most significant components of the fast carbon cycle are respiration of land-based plants and microscopic organisms in the ocean, called phytoplankton.

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Photosynthesis impacts the Fast Carbon Cycle so significantly that monthly CO2 fluctuations associated with plant-growing seasons are measurable. Riebeek reports, “In the Northern Hemisphere winter, when few land plants are growing and many are decaying, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations climb. During the spring, when plants begin growing again, concentrations drop.” She continues, “It is as if the Earth is breathing.”

Every Dawn Breathes New Life Into Earth’s Atmosphere

Providing an excellent fuel source for growing plants, the bonds of carbon molecules are highly-energized. However, without the catalyst provided by sunlight, and the resulting oxygen generation during photosynthesis, the chemical energy to sustain life can never be released.

In Miracles from Quran and the World of Plants, Dr.Nazmy Kaleel abu al Ata states, “Photosynthesis is the basic source of almost all energies on earth and food substances.” Dr. Nazmy, a Biology Specialist at Ain Shams University in Egypt, continues, “and if it hadn’t been for light this process wouldn’t exist and all means of life would vanish.”

Regarding Allah’s oath, “And by the dawn when it breathes,” Harun Yahya points out, “this single feature is enough to prove that the Earth and the whole universe is certainly not an idle place that accidentally came into being. The universe, the Earth we live in all the systems that sustains life on Earth, animals and men, are all created by the Almighty Allah, in all their intricate detail.”

Every morning brings a fresh, new start to the cycle of photosynthesis. Every dawn brings a new day, literally breathing new life into Earth’s atmosphere, a blessing from Allah for all of His creation. We may be reminded by this to recite the following du’a upon waking every morning:

Alhamdulillaahil-lathee ‘aafaanee fee jasadee,
wa radda ‘alayya roohee,
wa ‘athina lee bithikrihi.

“Praise is to Allah
Who gave strength to my body
and returned my soul to me
and permitted me to remember Him.”
(–The Prophet Muhammad, recorded by At-Tirmithi 5/473)

Sunrise from the International space station

Sunrise from the International space station

 

(This is an article I wrote for onislam.net, but their website disappeared, unfortunately, and it was never published. Insha’ Allah, I hope you found it interesting!)

;^)

Ep. 19, Joyride to Egypt: Did I Sleep?

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July Dawned Softly in the Eastern Sky

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“Out, Out, Out, Out, OUT!!!!” I screamed at that damn monkey in my hot tub. In the darkness of my little patio I watched his eyes grow wide with surprise, and I wondered suddenly if any of my neighbors had heard me yelling. A quiet, gated condominium community nestled in a tiny scrap of forested wetlands fortunately preserved by eco-visionary legislature, my neighbors and I were grateful beneficiaries of the 1990’s federal wetland protection acts.

Monkeys are probably covered in one of those eco-protection laws governing what goes on in my neighborhood. But this monkey was clearly in the cross-hairs of Scheri’s smoking wand of rose-scented incense, glowing softly from its stand in the flower planter beside the hot tub.
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Ep. 18, Joyride to Egypt: The Transient Life of a Leaf

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The Transient Life of a Leaf, by Aisha Abdelhamid

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The coast was clear as my children and I entered the condo at the end of the day. I peeked left and right, but there was no sign of that damn genie anywhere in sight. Then I slapped my forehead and laughed out loud, tickled by the memory of Scheherezade transforming him into a monkey.

My daughter asked, “What’s so funny, Momma?”

On the one hand, my ten year old daughter was the most incredibly truthful child I have ever encountered in my life, and was definitely not ready for my current version of reality. On the other hand, my seven year old son was an incredibly “creative conversationalist.” His imaginative reports from the classroom, playground, and neighborhood friend’s house were always laced with magic mushroom sauce, driving his sister crazy as she argued with him about the truth.

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Egyptian Culture, Part 7: Eid al Adha Celebration

Butchering a Cow for Eid al Adha in Egypt by Aisha Abdelhamid

In Egypt, Eid celebrations mark the start of national week-long vacations. Most work grinds to a halt, many stores are shuttered, streets have far less traffic, and fireworks sporadically light up the night skies. More weddings are scheduled for the festive time of eid than any other time of the year, as well.

Every year during Eid al Adha in Egypt and all over the world, Muslims practice “Qurbani.” This is the ritual sacrifice of animals, in commemoration of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to obey God’s command. To non-muslims, it may seem strange to learn that this ritual is a rich and beautiful expression of God’s mercy. Can the ritual sacrifice of animals in the streets generate an environment of peace? Yet, this is exactly the case during the Muslim Eid al Adha. Whole communities become visibly enveloped in a unified outpouring of celebration and generosity.

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Ep. 17, Joyride To Egypt: French Chocolate English

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Dancing the night away with Scheri and our new pet monkey seemed like the best way to avoid thinking about the next hurdle in my path to true love. The issue of bringing my children to Egypt was looming larger on the horizon. Clearly, Mr. Answer to my Prayers wasn’t thrilled to include them on the guest list, although he was far too diplomatic to come right out and say it.

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Ep. 16, Joyride To Egypt: Like A Runaway Train

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Runaway Train by dakann.deviantart (digitally altered - click for original)

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(Source: Getty Images)

“engine, engine, number 9, rolling down Chicago line, how many stations till he stops? 1,2,3,4,5,6,7…”
I awoke with this childhood refrain playing in my brain. It was a jumprope rhyme, a favorite of mine when my girlfriends and I were playing jumprope in the schoolyard. One girl on each end of the rope, one girl in the middle between them, jumping the rope as they cycled it in a large arc over her head, coming down and around again, faster and faster as they counted the number of times the girl in the middle successfully jumped the rope passing beneath her feet on its way up and around again in another revolution. The winner was the girl who could jump to the highest number before stopping or falling flat on her face.

Engine number 9 was out of control, barrelling down the track with no intention whatsoever of stopping. If it was a train wreck coming, so be it, I was utterly unable to abandon the Captain of my heart. I awoke bright and early, resolved to jump that rope as fast as it lands in front of my feet, and if I fall, well, it couldn’t be much worse than sprawling on the asphalt of the playground back in gradeschool, could it? I could still be the winner, couldn’t I?!!

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Reblog from “A Broad’s View:” 7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs Via Mic

My great thanks to Christina for posting this on her excellent blog, and my deep appreciation to Laila for bringing her eloquent voice and excellent message to our attention! Please read and enjoy the truth! ♥♥♥ ;^)

A Broad's View

7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs – Mic.

By Laila Alawa via Identities.mic

7, lies, we, need, to, stop, telling, about, women, who, wear, hijabs,
7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Women Who Wear Hijabs
Image Credit: Getty

Imagine a Muslim woman and you’ll most likely picture a hijab, the head covering worn by some Muslim women across the globe.

The hijab is not the most important part of being a Muslim woman, but it is certainly the most visible. In a time when Islamophobia only seems to be on the rise in the West, a practice that is so personal and diverse has become a warped and misunderstood part of a flat and monolithic picture of Muslim women.

As Islam becomes more and more wrapped up in public debates about foreign policy, integration and immigration, the hijab has quickly become shorthand for a set of stereotypes that neither represent nor capture the experience of being…

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Ep.15, Joyride To Egypt: A Love Letter To Die For

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I heard a familiar soft jingling of coins in the distance behind me as I was just sitting down to my computer. I turned to look and, appearing in a whirlwind of fireworks and mist in the hallway entrance of my condo, that damn Genie appeared with Scheherazade at his side. He stepped lightly to take up his guardpost at the front door. Scheherazade was tiptoeing away from him, unaware that I was watching her as she blew him a kiss and winked, waving goodbye and giggling as she saluted him.

Unable to contain my aggravation, I jumped up from my desk and practically ran across my living room to catch her before she vanished. “Scheherazade!” I snapped angrily, “You have been gone for two days! You said you were only going out for the night! Where in the world have you been?” But giving her no opportunity to answer, I whirled away from her, giving her my back and turning my attention to that damn Genie. He stared at the ground, a totally false expression of contrition on his round, pudgy face. I knew it was false because I saw the corner of his mouth quivering as he tried mightily to refrain from laughing at me. “Disrespectful ingrate!” I cried at him, and yanked hard on his dangling black goatee to put an end to his mischievous expression. “Two days ago you promised to bring her back before dawn!” Rubbing his chin to soothe the smarting pain I had inflicted on him, he surrendered to his sense of humor and, black eyes twinkling, that damn Genie giggled and bowed deeply, saluting me with greatly exaggerated respect. “My Princess, we are early! It’s not yet dawn, oh Queen of the Western Casbah!”

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Ep. 14, Joyride To Egypt: Our Hearts Are Tied

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Staring at the strange display appearing magically on the screen of my cellphone, I started pressing buttons randomly with both thumbs, holding it as I had earlier seen that damn Genie doing. Colorful fireworks were still spraying out the end of the antenna like a rainbow sparkler, dazzling my vision and making it difficult to see the ship in the display screen. Entranced and enchanted, I marveled as the ship came clearly into view, as though by focusing my eyes clearly on the ship I zoomed in on the pilot’s window. Or maybe I hit the right button at the right moment. There at the helm stood the captain of the ship in a navy blue suit!

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Ep. 13, Joyride To Egypt: Difficult Answers

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(Quote added) Source: https://www.bestofyoutoday.com/

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Friday morning, I rose with the bright and early dawn of a hot summer day in Virginia. I rose with a new conviction. No longer satisfied to confide only in a figment of my imagination regarding the authenticity of the man in my email inbox, I sidestepped Scheri on the way to my computer.

“And a pretty good morning to you, too,” Scheherezade snapped in her snarkiest tone. She followed me, knowing exactly where I was going. I rushed to my chair, hurrying to sit down before she could pull it out from under me. She wasn’t fast enough and we giggled together as she tried to pull me out of my chair, but I held on strongly to my seat. Needing to get my email, I turned serious. “Scheri, sit down! I’m trying to be serious today!” I flapped her hands away from my chair and pushed the power button on my computer. “Serious, huh? I’ll show you serious!” Scheherezade stuck her tongue out at me and vanished into a rose scented mist before the sound of her words faded away. Tickled, I laughed out loud, “BUH-bye!” I called after her, pursing my lips and making the sound of a noisy long drawn out kiss to follow her. I heard her giggle in the invisible distance, and she shimmied to make her coin belt tinkle.

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