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Mosquito and Its Extraordinary
"Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth
any parable-- (that of) a gnat or any thing above that;"
(Al-Baqara (The Cow), 26)
As people are invited to contemplate on their
own creation, the Qur'an frequently calls people to
investigate the nature and to see the signs of Allah therein.
Since the whole universe, with all its living and non-living
elements, consists of the signs revealing that they have been
'created'. And they exist just in order to demonstrate the
power, knowledge and art of their 'Creator'. And mankind is
responsible to know these signs and appreciate the Creator of
all, Allah. All living things possess these signs, yet there
are some specifically mentioned animals in the Qur'an.
Mosquito is one of these. This is referred to in the Qur'an in
the below verse:
"Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth
any parable-- (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then
as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from
their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is
it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by
it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to
err by it (any) except the transgressors," (Al-Baqara (The
When considering the life of the mosquito, we
can say that it has a very extraordinary adventure. What is
generally known about mosquitoes is that they absorb and feed
on blood. Yet, this is not completely true. Because not all
the mosquitoes, but only the female ones absorb blood. And
their need for blood is not related to feeding at all.
Actually, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar of
flowers. The only reason that females, unlike males, do absorb
blood is for their eggs which need to mature with the proteins
contained in the blood. In other words, female mosquito
absorbs blood just to ensure the survival of the new
The point to be stressed here is that the
verse of the Qur'an points out only the 'female' mosquito. As
previously mentioned, it is only the female mosquito which has
the superior capabilities that will be detailed here. So, it
is surely quite expressive that female mosquitoes are
particularly emphasized in the Qur'an. Besides, it is a
remarkable fact to point out that at the time of the
revelation of the Qur'an, this knowledge was completely
unknown to mankind.
The development process and its phases, is
one of the most amazing aspects of the mosquito. This animal
converts from a larva into a mosquito after passing through
completely different phases. Let us see this adventurous story
of the mosquito briefly.
The mosquito eggs which are fed with blood
are laid on damp leaves or dried ponds for maturation by the
female mosquito, during summer or fall. But prior to this, the
mother initially examines the ground thoroughly by using a
receptor placed under her abdomen, functioning as a humidity
and temperature sensor. She aims at finding a convenient place
for her eggs. When the most suitable area is found, she starts
to lay her eggs. These eggs, which have a length of less than
1 mm, are arranged in a line either in groups or one by one.
Some species lay their eggs joined to each other forming a
raft, some of which may contain up to 300 eggs.
The carefully placed white eggs soon start to
change their colour. This takes only about a few hours after
they are laid down, and they become completely black in
colour. With this change, they attain an excellent protection
against birds and insects. Their dark colour can not be
recognized by these organisms.
It takes a winter for the incubation period
to complete. Since eggs are created with such a structure to
resist a long and cold winter, they survive until spring when
their incubation period ends. When the incubation period is
complete, the larvae start getting out of their eggs, all
about the same time. The first egg is immediately followed by
the others. As soon as they get out of the eggs, they start to
swim in water. Now, the underwater days start for the
The continuously fed larvae grow with great
speed. Soon the skin covering their body gets too small to let
them grow any further. This is the time for their first skin
change. The hard and brittle skin gets easily broken. Until
this developmental cycle is completed as a whole, the mosquito
larvae will change its skin two more times.
Since the life of the mosquito initializes in
water, the system designed for feeding of the larvae is rather
impressive. The larvae empowers whirlpools in the water with
its feathered prolongations located at the two sides of its
mouth, which lead bacteria and other micro-organisms for
feeding. And a solution also exists for its respiration: each
larva has an innate diving equipment. They breathe via
respiratory tubes at their back while standing upside down in
water. This system may be resembled to "snorkels" used by the
divers. During the employment of this method, the larva
secrete a sticky secretion from their body in order to prevent
water from leaking inside, through the respiratory openings.
Shortly, the animal lives with the help of the combined
harmony of all these delicate balances.
If it did not have a respiratory tube, it
would not survive; if it did not have a sticky secretion, its
respiratory tube would be choked.
As the time goes by, most of the larvae
change their skin once more. The last skin change is rather
different from the others. With this last change, larvae pass
onto the final phase of their maturation, the "pupa phase",
and they are ready to become a real mosquito at the end. So,
the time has come for the mature pupa to get out of the sheath
covering its body.
However, the creature that gets out of the
sheath is so different from the earlier phases, that it seems
unbelievable for them to be just two developmental phases of
the same being. And this metamorphoses is too complicated and
delicate to be designed by the larva itself, nor by its
mother, or any other thing…
During this last transition period, there is
a threat for the creature, since the respiratory openings
above the water may get closed with the leaking of water
inside. This will naturally mean that the pupa will be out of
breath, and die. But from then on, respiration will not be
done via these holes. There emerge two new air tubes on the
head of the pupa. Therefore, before the pupa gets ready for
the last skin change, firstly these two tubes rise on the
water. This will be its new method for respiration. During the
three or four days of the pupa phase, there will be no
nutrition for the coming mosquito.
Now, the mosquito within the pupa cocoon is
mature enough and ready to fly with all its organs and
organelles like antennas, trunks, feet, chest, wings, abdomen
and large eyes covering most part of its head. Then, the pupa
cocoon is torn at the top. This stage where a complete
mosquito will emerge is the most dangerous stage of all. The
greatest risk is water leakage into cocoon. However, the torn
top is covered with a sticky liquid preventing the head from
contacting water. The mosquito must get out of water without
having any direct contact with water, so only its feet touch
the water surface. This instant is extremely important; even a
light wind may cause its death. Finally, the mosquito leaves
for its first flight after a rest of about half an hour.
It should be noted once again: The animal has
got out of water without even touching the water... At this
point, the question that should come to mind is, how the first
mosquito has attained such an 'ability'? Might be that a larva
has decided to transform into a mosquito after changing skin
three times? Absolutely, these are impossible. This tiny
animal which Allah gives as an example, has specifically been
created as it is. This leads the Muslims to ponder on the
creation of Allah and think that Allah has not created all
these for nothing, they fear Allah and act totally to comply
with His Will.
Men who celebrate the praises of Allah,
standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and
contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the
earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou
created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the
penalty of the Fire.