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On the sofabed to heaven
Birder that I am, I'm surprised I haven't looked at this before. From Submission.org
Do they not see the birds committed to fly in the atmosphere of the sky?
None holds them up in the air except God. This should be
(sufficient) proof for people who believe. (16:79)
Have they not seen the birds above them lined up in columns and spreading their wings? The Most Gracious is the One who holds them in the air. He is Seer of all things. (67:19)
Do you not realize that everyone in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, even the birds as they fly in a column? Each knows its prayer and its glorification. God is fully aware of everything they do. (24:41)
Interpreting this last quote, Submission.org's Lydia Kelley writes the following:
While the ornithologists and scientists struggle and experiment and test out theories, we know the truth. A bird flies because God is the One who holds it in the air. It migrates along mysterious routes because it follows God’s plan. Its flight is part of its glo-rification of its Creator.
The robin doesn’t wish it were an ea-gle. The crow doesn’t care that he’s not colorful like the cardinal. The hummingbird doesn’t want to try fish for change like the duck.
That’s a lesson for us. A sign for people who understand and take heed. Our job is to worship God alone. If we can do that job even a fraction as well as birds do their jobs, we might just be fortunate enough to fly with them in heaven.
Her odd hyphen usage aside, what I hear Ms. Kelley saying (pardon the cliché—or don't) is that birds are better at being unconscious of themselves as birds than humans are at being unconscious of themselves as human. And apparently God, who gave us consciousness, doesn't want us to use it. Does the whole Qur'an present us with these sorts of paradoxes? (Not that there's anything wrong with paradoxes.)