Allah’s Greatness Part 2 (2 March, 2006)’s Greatness Part 2 (2 March, 2006) In previous messages I have told how we can get some idea of the inconceivable greatness of Allah when we look at the large scale, the magnitude of His physical universe, and on the small scale we can see Allah’s greatness the uncountable number of tiny particles of matter that make up His physical creation. Today I want to discuss the unimaginable greatness of Allah from understanding that behind even the most common of everyday experiences are processes so profoundly convoluted that they must be considered as miraculous.We have all had the experience of hearing a teacher tell us some new fact which we then remember accurately in our future. For example many of you who read this will not speak Spanish and so you will not know the Spanish word for cat is ‘gato’. In this case you learned the Spanish word for cat by seeing the written word. If instead you had heard me say the Spanish word for cat is ‘gato’ you would say you learned by having heard me say the word. Either way, these are simple processes which we are all very familiar with and seem to be quite simple to understand.
Let us take the case where you learn the Spanish word for cat by hearing me say ‘gato’. If asked you would probably say that you heard me say the word which came from my lips and was carried to your ear by sound waves. Let us look deeply at the full and true process which is taking place in this example of learning a new word.
This specific process began many years ago when I first learned the Spanish word for cat. That word ‘gato’ was stored in my consciousness which is actually non-physical in its nature, it is not really in the physical structure of my brain. Information is stored and exchanged by the dynamic patters of energy (light) that is transmitted between the neurons (nerves) of the brain. It is important to understand that physical matter does not store information, it is the patterns of energy interacting with matter that actually store information. Sorry to get so technical, but this knowledge is crucial to understanding how Allah helps us to learn.
The Spanish word ‘gato’ was stored in my consciousness as a pattern of light energy interacting with the neurons of my brain. When I wanted to teach you the word ‘gato’ I first had to search and find it within the millions or billions of bits of information stored in my consciousness. After finding that the pattern of light energy which stores the word ‘gato’ I then sent a copy of that particular pattern of light energy through the neurones in my brain down along nerve paths leading to the vocal cords in my throat. That unique pattern of light energy which represents the word ‘gato’ is exchanged from the sub-atomic particles (mainly electrons) of one atom to the sub-atomic particles of the next atom all along the nerve paths from my brain to my vocal cords. Remember how small we discussed the subatomic particles are? There would be at least many trillion (1,000,000,000,000) exchanges of light energy from the nerves in my brain to the nerves operating the muscles of my vocal cords. Each one of those innumerable exchanges of light energy was carrying the full information that the Spanish word for cat is ‘gato’.
Once those unique patterns of light energy representing the word ‘gato’ reach my vocal cords the light energy tells the vocal cords to vibrate at a certain unique frequency that when the molecules of air that are contacted by the vibrating vocal cords light energy is passed to sub-atomic particles making up those air molecules communicating the Spanish word for cat. The air molecules now bump up against other air molecules in my mouth passing on the unique pattern of light energy to each one which represents the word ‘gato’. Those air molecules go out from my mouth to every air molecule in the room passing on the light energy of the word ‘gato’ to each and every air molecule in the room. Using the chemical concept of the ‘mole’ we know that each mole of air has a number of atoms equally about 6 to the 23rd power (6 followed by 22 zeros, 600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000); and a large room would probably contain at least several thousand ‘mols’ of air.
Some small number of all those air molecules in the room will enter each person’s ear and bump up against their tympanic membrane (eardrum). When those air molecules bump against the eardrum each molecule passes some light energy containing the information that the Spanish word for cat is ‘gato’ to the eardrum. That light energy will cause the eardrum to vibrate at a certain unique frequency representing the word ‘gato’. The vibrating eardrum now bumps into the first of the three tiny bones of the middle ear, the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. The eardrum passes the unique light energy representing the word ‘gato’ to the hammer, which passes that same energy to the anvil, which passes that energy to the stirrup which then bumps up against the outside of the inner ear, called the cochlea. The bone called the stirrup, by bumping up against the small thin membrane on the oval window of the cochlea, passes the light energy of the word ‘gato’ to the inner ear. The inner ear is very complex but somewhat simplified we could say that the cochlea is filled with sodium crystals so tiny they look and act like a liquid and the vibrating ‘window’ to the cochlea passes the light energy to every crystal inside the cochlea and from the walls of the cochlea there are protruding tiny black hairlike objects which are actually the individual neurons of the auditory nerve. The vibrating sodium crystals bump up against these ends of the auditory nerve and pass the light energy of the word ‘gato’ to the auditory nerve.
The unique messages of light energy for the word ‘gato’ are passed from sub-atomic particles of each atom along the auditory nerve all the way to the brain stem, and from there through various stations along the brain center up to the cortex where the speech and sound centers reside and are finally decoded by altering the energy levels of sub-atomic particles (mainly electrons) of certain atoms in that area of the brain thereby storing the Spanish word for cat, gato’ in your consciousness so that you will likely remember it in the future and be able retrieve it from memory whenever you desire. The total number of events which must take place for you to only learn that one word, events (exchanges of light energy from one sub-atomic particle to another), while impossible to count accurately, is once again huge beyond our ability to comprehend but would probably be something close to 10 to the 50th power or more. That is about 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual events of energy exchanges communication the Spanish word for cat from one tiny particle of matter to another to get from my consciousness to your consciousness.
That is the story, still greatly simplified, of how knowledge of some fact gets from the consciousness of one person into the consciousness of another person. This is how learning takes place. This is a process that we go through virtually instantaneously many times every day without even thinking about it, and without acknowledging the magnificent miracle from Allah that makes this remarkable experience so easily able to take place.
I say to you my dear Muslim brothers and sisters; doesn’t it astound you to know the details of how Allah operates to enable us to be thinking human beings capable of acting as His Khalifah and doing our part to ensure that Allah’s Plan for His physical creation is completed according to His Will? In virtually every aspect of our lives, behind the seeming simplicity of our actions lie miracles of such a grand nature that they become beyond our ability to comprehend. Oh Allah, your Greatness is beyond our limited human understanding, we humbly thank you for allowing us even a tiny glimpse of your infinite powers. Allahu Akbar!