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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fasting Insects on Peaks of Mountains

By Dr. `Abd Al-Hakam `Abd Al-Latif As-Sa`idi
Lecturer of Entomology – Faculty of Agriculture – Al-Azhar University

Wonderfully, in the world of insects beetles tend to spend the winter season on peaks of mountains, with their freezing temperature. As soon as they feel the coldness of air and the approach of the winter season, they hasten to peaks of mountains as if they call their species to swim against the current.

It is well known that peaks of mountains and lofty locations in the European countries are very cold to the extent that they are covered with snow and consequently the (degree of) temperature lowers to thirty degrees centigrade below zero. No doubt, such a freezing temperature will have effect on these insects, in the sense of making them in dire need of extra amount of energy, though their bodies are filled with fatty substances on which they can depend throughout the hibernation and fasting period; that extra energy will provide them with warmness, especially in the latter days of the winter season, when alimentary canal normally runs out of its reserves. A question arises here: What about those insects whose time of breaking fast isn’t due yet? Do they give in to such critical condition or Allah Almighty grants them a proper means to overcome it?

Of course, Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, Who has fashioned all His creatures in a very beautiful manner and perfection, has bestowed on each creature the proper means to lead a satisfied life. So, Allah does not let these insects or other creatures down. Actually, an important process happens within bodies of these insects during their migration to mountains' peaks. During this period, they eat voraciously and store the extra amounts in the form of fats.

At the same time, they abstain from drinking water. Hence, the ratio of water diminishes in their bodies and the free water existing in their bodies takes another form, i.e. bounded water. This kind of water dissolves some alimentary ingredients and turns them into a high-condensed shape of water. This process is of paramount importance for these insects which, thereby, gain the ability to endure the low degrees of temperature. Consequently, water in their bodies does not freeze when (the degree of) temperature becomes below zero.

If the temperature diminishes severely to an unprecedented degree that cannot be endured, Allah's mercy with these creatures provides them with another important characteristic, which enables them to get a wondrous thermal energy through the water reserved in their bodies, and it’s normally within the inherent temperature of water. If the air temperature lowers to thirty degrees centigrade below zero, the insects will release water's energy and thus the temperature of their bodies will rise to zero.

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