It is beyond doubt that all beings, with
the features they possess, reflect the unbounded power and knowledge
of their Creator. Allah expresses this in numerous verses in the
Qur’an, where He points out that everything He creates is actually
a sign, that is, a symbol and warning.
In the 17th verse of Surat al-Ghashiyah, Allah
refers to an animal, which we are to examine carefully and think
about: the "camel".
In this section, we will study this living being
to which Allah has called our attention in the following expression
in the Qur’an, "Have they not looked at the camel - how it was created?"
Have they not looked at the camel -
how it was created? and at the sky - how it was raised up?
and at the mountains - how they were embedded? and at the
earth - how it was smoothed out? So remind them! You are only
(Surat al-Ghashiyah: 17-21)
What makes the camel "a special living being"
is its body structure, which is not affected even by the most severe
conditions. Its body has such features that allow it to survive
for days without water or food, and it can travel with a load of
hundreds of kilograms on its back for days.
The characteristics of the camel, which you will
learn in detail in the following pages, prove that this animal is
brought into being particularly for dry climatic conditions, and
that it is given to the service of mankind. This is an evident sign
of creation for men of understanding.
"In the alternation of night and day and
what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth there are signs
for people who are godfearing." (Surah Yunus: 6)
Extraordinary resistance to thirst and hunger
The camel can survive without food and water
for eight days at a temperature of 50°C. In this period, it loses
22% of its total body weight. While a man will be near death if
he loses body water equivalent to about 12% of his body weight,
a lean camel can survive losing body water equivalent to 40% of
its body weight. Another reason for its resistance to thirst is
a mechanism that enables the camel to increase its internal temperature
to 41°C. As such, the animal keeps water loss to a minimum in the
extreme hot climates of the desert daytime. The camel can also reduce
its internal body temperature to 30 degree Centigrade in the cool
THEY CAN EVEN FEED ON THORNS
Dromedary camels can resist temperatures of -52°C in the
highest areas of Middle Asia.
Improved water utilization unit
Camels can consume up to 130 litres of water,
which is around one third of their body weight, in almost 10 minutes.
Besides, camels have a mucus structure in their nose that is 100
times larger than that of humans. With its huge and curved nose
mucus, camels can hold 66% of the moisture in the air.
Maximum benefit from food and water
Most animals die by poisoning when accumulated
urea in the kidneys diffuses into the blood. However, camels make
maximum use of water and food by passing this urea numerous times
through the liver. Both the blood and the cell structures of the
camel are specialised in order to enable this animal to survive
for long periods without water in desert conditions.
cell walls of the animal have a special structure preventing extra
water loss. Furthermore, blood composition is such that it does
not let any deceleration in the blood circulation even when the
water level in the camel’s body is reduced to the minimum. In addition,
albumin enzyme, which reinforces resistance to thirst, is
found in much higher amounts in the camel’s blood than in that of
other living things.
The hump is the other support of the camel. One
fifth of the camel's total body weight is stored as fat in its hump.
The storage of the body fat in only one part of the camel's body
prevents the excretion of water from all over its body - which is
related to fat. This allows the camel to use the minimum of water.
Although a humped camel can take in 30-50 kilograms
of food in a day, in tough conditions it is able to live up to one
month with only 2 kg of grass a day. Camels have very strong and
rubber-like lips that allow them to eat thorns sharp enough to pierce
thick leather. Moreover, it has a four chambered stomach and a very
strong digestive system with which it can digest everything it eats.
It can even feed on materials like caoutchouc that cannot be looked
upon as food. It is obvious enough how valuable this quality is
in such dry climates.
Precaution against tornadoes and storm
The eyes of camels have two eyelash layers. The
eyelashes interlock like a trap and protect the eyes of the animal
from harsh sandstorms. In addition, camels can close their nostrils
so that no sand enters.
Protection against burning and freezing weather conditions
The thick and impenetrable hairs on the camel's
body prevent the scorching sun of the desert from reaching the skin
of the animal. These also keep the animal warm in freezing weather.
Desert camels are not affected by high temperatures up to 50°C,
and double-humped Bactrian camels can survive in very low temperatures
down to -50°C. Camels of this kind can survive even in high valleys,
4,000 metres above sea level.
Protection against burning sand
The camels’ feet, which are large in proportion to its legs, are
specially "designed" and enlarged to help the animal walk in the
sand without becoming stuck. These feet possess a wide spread form
and puffy qualities. In addition, the special thick skin under the
soles is a protection against the burning desert sand.
Let us think in the light of these pieces of
information: has the camel on its own adapted its own body to desert
conditions? Has it by itself formed the mucus in its nose or the
hump on its back? Has it by itself designed its own nose and eye
structures in order to protect itself against tornadoes and storms?
Has it by itself based its own blood and cell structures on the
principle of conservation of water? Has it itself chosen the type
of hair covering its body? Has it on its own converted itself to
a "ship of the desert"?
Just as any other living being, the camel surely could not perform
any of the above and make itself beneficial to mankind. The verse
in the Qur’an stating, "Have they not looked at the camel - how
it was created?" draws our attention to the creation of this excellent
animal in the best way. Like all other creatures, the camel too
is endowed with many special qualities and then placed on earth
as a sign of the excellence of the Creator in creation.
Created with such superior physical features,
the camel is decreed to serve mankind. As for humans, they are ordered
to see like miracles of creation throughout the universe and revere
the Creator of all beings: Allah.
"Do you not see that Allah has made
subservient to you everything in the heavens and the earth
and has showered His blessings upon you, both outwardly and
inwardly? Yet there are people who argue about Allah without
knowledge or guidance or any illuminating Book."
(Surah Luqman: 20)