In The Name Of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
When I got home from school one day my mother asked, "What did you learn in school today, Maryam?"
"We studied science" I said. "We discussed the digestion of food, our teacher asked, 'Does anyone know what the esophagus (ih-sof-uh-gus), is? Where the stomach is? What is the function of the intestines? How food is digested?' "
The answers given by the students were not completely correct.
The teacher suggested, "Look into these questions at home this evening, and tomorrow come and tell your classmates.
I brought my science book out so that with the help of my mother I could study this problem. My mother also brought a book from her bookshelf which had many "diagrams in it. She showed me one of the pictures and said "See this bag? The food which we eat goes into it. This is the stomach. Can you tell me how the food travels to the stomach?"
I looked at the diagram and said, "Probably from this tube”
My mother said, "That's right, its name is esophagus. The esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach. The other tube connects the mouth and nasal passages to the lungs. When we take a breath, air passes through this tube into the lungs, do you know its name?"
Looking at the picture I said, "Trachea or wind-pipe."
"This is the passage way that the food we eat takes and this is the passage way for the air we breathe," my mother told me.
"If food goes down the windpipe what happens?" I asked.
"Food must never enter the windpipe, because if it does the passage way of air will become blocked and we will choke," she answered.
I asked, "How is it possible that I haven't choked to death by now? I never knew that I shouldn't allow food to get into my windpipe."
My mother said, "Dearest daughter! Eating, swallowing, and the digestion of food is a very interesting subject? Look at this diagram. See, the throat has four passage ways, one to the nose, one to the mouth, one to the lungs which is called the "trachea" (wind-pipe), and one to the stomach called the "esophagus". When we swallow food, only the esophagus should be open and
for this reason the throat section has two flaps (like small trapdoors) which has been created for us, one of these small flaps close the passage way of the trachea, and the other flap closes the nasal passage. We call the flap that closes the trachea "epiglottis", and the flap which closes the nasal passage way as "urula". We are completely dependent on these two small flaps, if they did not exist, we would have choked on our very first bite of food.
I said, "How wonderful that I have an epiglottis and an urula, because if I didn't I would have choked to death."
My mother said, "Maryam-dear, do you have any idea of the chances that the epiglottis or the urula was created purposeless or unplanned?
"No ... because the purpose and function of each of them is completely obvious: one closes the nasal passage way, the other closes the trachea. They each have a special function and purpose and did not come into existence unplanned, and it proves that a Superior Being created them for us."
"Very good, Maryam! That’s absolutely right, He who created us knew of all our requirements and knows everything. He knows that we need that small flap; the epiglottis, because we need to breathe and we need to eat. And He is aware that food must not get into the trachea and for this reason created the epiglottis for us so that when we swallow the trachea will close and food will not enter.
"Our Creator, Allah the All-Knowing, All Powerful, knows all of our needs and has provided and created them for us. For example, He created thousands of tiny glands in the wall of the stomach which secretes gastric juice into the stomach in order to digest it and break it down into a liquid mass. He created the intestines so that the food when liquefied passes from the stomach into the intestines and there is digested and absorbed into the body. He created the gall-bladder and the pancreas so that they secrete special digestive juices which digest the food and prepare it for use by the blood.
"He created thousands of tiny glands in the wall of the intestines which secrete enzymes which digest the food we eat. After the food is completely broken down the necessary nutrients are absorbed through the wall of the intestine and passed into the blood which is carried through- out the body.
"Maryam dear, the orderly system and coordination of the digestive system did not come into existence at random. The All-Knowing and Merciful Allah foresaw our needs and created them for us.
When we eat we receive energy and can stay alive. Allah has provided the energy we need to live by providing this complicated system of digestion, and we in in turn, as thanks, should use this energy to praise Him, follow His guidance and refrain from sins so that Allah will be pleased with us and bestow even better blessings in the Hereafter.
1. What is the purpose of the creation of the epiglottis?
2. What is the purpose of the creation of the urula?
3. If these two did not exist, how could we eat?
4. Did the epiglottis just come into being unplanned?
5. Our digestive system is made up of what parts?
6. How is food digested?
7. Is the digestive system purposeless and unplanned?
8. Did we ourselves create-this well organized and coordinated system?
9. What do we learn from the orderly system of the digestive system?
10. What must we do to receive the blessings of Allah?