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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Fasting of Spiders

By: Dr. `Abd Al-Hakam `Abd Al-Latif As-Sa`idiLecturer of Entomology Faculty of Agriculture Al-Azhar University

There are many types of spiders in the world. Spiders have eight legs, mandibles converted into poison fangs, two feelers, and a large unsegmented abdomen bearing several spinnerets that produce the silk used to make nests, cocoons, or webs for trapping insects. Spiders have six or eight eyes on the back of the cephalothorax, the upper part of their body.
There is a Surah in the Noble Quran called Al-Ankabout, meaning The Spider. There Allah says: The likeness of those who choose other patrons than Allah is as the likeness of the spider when she taketh unto herself a house, and lo! The frailest of all houses is the spider's house, if they but knew. [Al-Ankabout 41]
Spiders played a great role in hiding the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companion Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) when they were in the Cave of Thawr on the way to Al-Madinah during the course of the Hijrah (the Prophets emmigration from Makkah to Madinah). Spiders spun a great web across the entrance of the cave, and this misled the polytheists who were seeking Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companion. They thought that the spiders had spun their web years before Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born.
Spiders fast during the period of laying eggs and incubating them. At that time they do not have any sort of food. Female spiders spin nests and coccoons and lay their eggs. Then they remain there all the time to protect the eggs till the young emerge. The length of incubating varies from one species of spider to another. But in all cases, this term is spent without any food, which makes the spiders very weak.
From specific glands the spiders release some liquids that are necessary for feeding the young, who are not able to seek their food by themselves until they grow up. So they take these juices until they are able to hunt their food from the surrounding environment.
At that time mother spiders break their fast and return back to their normal life. This is another demonstration of Allahs Power manifest in His creatures. Chance has nothing to do with such demonstrations of Allahs Might. Rather it is the ultimate truth of creation.

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