Biological Puzzles

By Hira Hasan

Ever since I was a child, “shapes” fascinated me. My mother would get me different children books in which we could either connect dots to see what finally appeared as a complete picture, or we could solve puzzles which would be all jumbled up beforehand. I loved such books. As I grew older, mathematics became my favorite subject and it was not long before I realized that even in the subject itself I loved doing topics related to geometry, properties of triangles, mensuration, circles and in short all the topics related to shapes.

Then I became a medical student. Anatomy was one of the first subjects I encountered in my first year. I had heard a lot about how arduous this subject was, and it all did seem to be true once I started with the subject but there was one thing about Anatomy which particularly beguiled me. It was the perfection of shapes involved. Anatomy seemed boring to me whenever I heard about it. After all what could be interesting in studying “bones”? But it was when I handled actual bones to study them was when I was truly amazed. The shapes were more than just perfect. They were simply outstanding! It was as if every movement we make was due to exact calculation of the angle of joints of bones. The shoulder and arm, connected by a “ball and socket” joint, could be moved in all the directions in which the joint allowed. The shoulder bone, “scapula”, really did have a socket and the upper arm bone, the “humerus”, did have a rounded, ball like head. I looked at the sutures of the skull and I saw them to be created as if to completely fill the spaces, like one would make shapes out of puzzles and every puzzle would have its grooves and depressions. Moreover there would be “foramens” or small openings in bones to allow supply of nutrients and blood within and through the bones.

Looking at the bones alone made me wonder about the greatness of Allah. Once I got myself a set of artificial bones, made of plaster of Paris. They were neither accurate nor sophisticated. For the sake of study, those bones would’ve definitely done me well; but if I were to stand a complete human on the framework of those artificial bones, I could only imagine a distorted being! We see and praise a lot of huge structures of nature made by Allah, those which are prominent; things like mountains, skies, astronomical bodies, trees, rivers, forests etc. It should not be forgotten, however, that even in the minutest thing, like the blood that runs inside you or the bee which makes honey out of nectar of flowers, or even in minute organisms and cells, are the signs of Allah Almighty. These biological puzzles could be enough to get one thinking provided that one DOES think and become one of the “men of understanding” as per Quran.

Then to Allah belongs all praise – Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, Lord of the worlds. And to Him belongs all grandeur within the heavens and the earth, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. [al Jathiya – 36,37]