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When Dinasours Turn into a Parental Concern

Questioner

L (24-female-UK)

Reply Date

May 20, 2017

Question

I am 24 years old and have completed my degree, al-hamdu lillah, and perceive myself as quite intelligent. My younger sister, who is 10 years old and the baby of the family, asked me a question yesterday that I could not answer or find a logical answer to. This was the issue of the dinosaurs! My sister asked me that if Islam has a reference to everything in the world, what about dinosaurs? If Dinosaurs are a fiction of the West and not true, then why are there so many bones found of these creatures? And why did Allah get rid of all of them and not leave us a couple to be able to see them for ourselves? To be quite honest, although I attempted to answer the questions, I couldn't. I found myself intrigued and wanting to know the answer too. Is there an answer to these questions? Please advise. Many thanks for your help.

Counselor

Answer


As-salamu `alaikum dear daughter,

I am not sure whether to say thank you for this question, but one thing is for sure, the brain of the baby of the family is definitely working!
The logic of a child never ceases to amaze me! So what happened to all those species in the Qur’an? Logic requires logic, so maybe it is time to have a guessing game. Ask your sister how many different types (nationalities) of girls there are in her classroom. Then ask her, if her teacher only spent time with some of the girls, how would the other girls feel? Ask her how many different types of dinosaurs she thinks lived? When she has made her guess, tell her that there are 700 known types of dinosaurs. Not all dinosaurs had the same habits, some could fly, some ate only plants, and some ate meat; which means that not all dinosaurs had the same behavior.

Now, as Allah is fair to all His creatures, which dinosaur should be included in the Qur’an and which should be left out? Is this fair? If she argues that all dinosaurs should be included, ask her what about all the other creatures Allah made? If she doesn’t suggest it first, ask her if all the animals and all Allah’s creatures should be included in the Qur’an? If they are all included, how thick and heavy would that make the Qur’an? Then ask her if she prefers thick books or thin books, and why? If Muslims are to read the guidance of Allah, would they be more likely or less likely to do so if the book, with all the descriptions of all the creations of Allah, is too thick and heavy to carry?

As the Qur’an is a book of guidance to how we live, why should it contain information about animals that existed before humans existed? People would get bored reading about all the creatures and would never have time to learn how to make their lives better. So, to be fair, only certain animals are referred to as examples, but the Qur’an is clever when it states:

“And there is no animal that walks upon the earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but (they are) communities like yourselves; We have not neglected anything in the Book, then to their Lord shall they be gathered.”

    (Al-An`am 6: 38).

This means that all creatures will come together before Allah, their Creator. In this way, all creatures are included, but the problem with listing all creatures is as your sister discovered.

The dinosaurs died out completely, and with this you can introduce the idea of endangered species. Species die because there is a drastic change in their environment, not because Allah ordained it, for He is more merciful than that. The weaker species die and the stronger species live. The animals that existed 2, 000 years ago, for example, are not exactly the same species that exist today. If all of those species from 2000 years ago were mentioned in the Qur’an, there is no doubt that we would not recognize some of those names, so what would be the point of listing all those species?

As for why species die out today, choose one animal/species and trace the source of the problem as to why that particular species is dying out. Although it might not answer all your sister’s questions, at least she might begin to appreciate the vastness of Allah’s creations on earth, and what responsibilities we have. Oh, and by the way, get your sister to appreciate the full size of a dinosaur; visit a natural history museum for instance, and see how much space it would take up, leaving humans to live in fear.




About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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