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islamirama
04-29-2010, 11:46 PM
Read the passage below and then ...
The Seas

It is a source of exceeding wonder to observe the sea and all the wondrous creatures in it, displaying a very wide diversity of species, shapes, sizes, functions, benefits (and harm) and colors. There are in the sea animals that seem like mountains, so huge that nothing on earth compares with them. some of these seem to voyagers like an island; the similarity is so close that they actually land to rest there, and start a fire; and when the animals feels the heat it moves, and it is only then that a the travelers realize that it is an animal. There is no species on land but it has a counterpart in the sea, even man, the hose and the camel and so forth. There are, besides, so many species that have no counterparts at all on the land.

excerpt from Men & The Universe: Reflections of Ibn Al-Qayyem.
What intrigued me was the high lighted part. It makes one wonder, are there really such huge creatures in the sea that man has mistaken them as islands and landed on them to rest? And also, are there really no species on land but they have a counterpart in the sea, even man?
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Ibn.Tahir.UH
04-29-2010, 11:55 PM
SubhanaAllaah, such profound statements from IBN QAYYEM
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Dagless
04-30-2010, 12:13 AM
The blue whale is big... but I don't think you could mistake it for an island. It also depends on your definition of animal; would you count coral?
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Woodrow
04-30-2010, 12:14 AM
Originally Posted by islamirama
Read the passage below and then ...


What intrigued me was the high lighted part. It makes one wonder, are there really such huge creatures in the sea that man has mistaken them as islands and landed on them to rest? And also, are there really no species on land but they have a counterpart in the sea, even man?
:sl:

First we need to determine how "creature" is to be defined. The Great Barrier reef off the northern Coast of Australia is a living organism made up of billions of tiny animals (coral) it would meet some concepts of being a living creature and it is over 1000 miles long.

Now we also need to define what is meant by counterparts. Sea creatures that have been visually mistaken for being humans are the Manatee and Dugong. For exhibiting human like behavior we can look at the cetaceans and cephalopods. Both of which have human like traits in terms of hunting and food gathering ability.

For a genuine single living organism few things can compete with Giant Kelp. At 65 Meters long (Approx 200 feet, it is a big rascal)

Now for a living Island, we can look at the Saragossa Sea in which, at times, the sea weed does form floating living Islands.
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marwen
04-30-2010, 12:23 AM
Originally Posted by islamirama
What intrigued me was the high lighted part. It makes one wonder, are there really such huge creatures in the sea that man has mistaken them as islands and landed on them to rest?
Yes that is disturbing for me too coz there is no such big creatures today in the sea (I saw a big whale in a cartoon as described, but not in reality).
May be there was in the past ?! I don't know. That make me wonder if that's really Ibnul Qayym's words. And if it is, I wonder if he is speaking in a fictitious way or speaks about reality.

Originally Posted by islamirama
And also, are there really no species on land but they have a counterpart in the sea, even man?
I don't think he meant that. He said, in the sea, there are creatures who have no similar ones on the land. That doesn't mean there are creature in the sea who have equivalents on the land.

Anyway, I hope I find this book to have more clear idea about this passge :/ .
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islamirama
04-30-2010, 02:16 AM
I'm sure there are plenty of living organisms in the sea that are quite large. But the author states about creatures so large that you can land and rest on them thinking they are an island and you don't find out till you set up camp fire and the creature moves because heat of the fire. Firstly, are there really such creatures that can be taken as islands, giant kelps and sea weeds don't count. In order for it be mistaken for an island, it must be huge and solid enough for someone to step on it and think its a earth. If no one has seen or no information of such creatures than where is the author getting his information from?

Secondly, the author doesn't state having human like qualities but rather a counterpart of man in the sea. I'm not going to go and start talking about mermaids and stuff but a manatee or dugong qualifies as counterpart of a man.

Originally Posted by marwen
Anyway, I hope I find this book to have more clear idea about this passge :/ .
It's an alright book, apart from a few things here and there, i didn't find it that enjoyable. Maybe a laymen or someone who doesn't know much about man (think medical classes), universe (think sciences), nature (think earth science), animals (think biology) would be more entertained reading it.
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جوري
04-30-2010, 02:20 AM
it does seem like the blue whale is the largest creature of all time



but who knows? so much about the world we don't know sob7an Allah
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CosmicPathos
04-30-2010, 03:20 AM
@islamirama: Ibn Al Qayyim (ra) is one of the scholars of Islam. We are not obliged to take scientific information from him, he could be wrong, especially since he was not even a scientist and never claimed to be one. In other words, it is very likely that he wrote this book for laymen and not as a scientific treatise. WallahuAlim.

We have famous mufassiruun who included Israeliyat in their tafsir of Quran even though those israeliyat are nothing but fables, fairytales and myths. One example which comes to my mind is that of Earth which was said to be sitting on a giant whale which is swimming in water.
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marwen
04-30-2010, 04:09 AM
Originally Posted by mad_scientist
@islamirama: Ibn Al Qayyim (ra) is one of the scholars of Islam. We are not obliged to take scientific information from him, he could be wrong, especially since he was not even a scientist and never claimed to be one. In other words, it is very likely that he wrote this book for laymen and not as a scientific treatise. WallahuAlim.

We have famous mufassiruun who included Israeliyat in their tafsir of Quran even though those israeliyat are nothing but fables, fairytales and myths. One example which comes to my mind is that of Earth which was said to be sitting on a giant whale which is swimming in water.
Yes , I agree with that. In the time of ibnul Qayyim, natural science was not really developed (only some medical experiments), they probably don't have a clear idea of what species really live in the sea (unlike today's development in cameras and equipments that allow us to discover it). So most of their information was based on assumptions, and information brought from ancient greeks and may be from israeli stories. And because there was nothing showing they're wrong, they admitted that knowledge as true (as we do today when we deal with some uncertain scientific theories).
But concerning the islamic knowledge, Ibnul Qayyim is one of the greatest scholars in Islam, and his works are among the most used works by scholars after him till today.
I just downloaded the book in question (as pdf e-book), and I think it contains good stuff, apart from some unclear scientific assumptions as bro Islamirama mentioned, the rest is worth reading it.
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