A few days ago a close friend/brother and I were out walking in the yard. It was a beautiful late spring day. As we walked near a stretch of grass, a large and unusual looking beetle emerged from the grass and set out across the cement we had been walking on. The beetle appeared almost at our feet and captured our attention immediately. It was large and black and about the same size and shape as the common stink bug we all know, except this beetle had two orange stripes around its body. It also looked like it had a miniature orange tennis ball on each of its antennae. My brother, who is fascinated by even the common bugs, instantly squatted down to investigate this rare creature of Allah more closely.

My brother’s curiosity overcame him, as usual, and he decided to pick-up this exotic looking beetle. Amazingly, as soon as he touched it, it rolled over on its back, gave a little shiver, curled in its legs, produced a large glob of waste from its rear, and proceeded to pretend it was dead. We were both very startled by this sudden display, a very convincing display at that. After a couple minutes the beetle felt it was safe, rolled over, and resumed its march (with our help) back into the grass where it was safer. My brother and I then resumed our walk with a new topic of conversation. It is not common for a beetle to step out in front of you and give you a lesson on death. As we walked and talked the significance of the whole episode became clearer.

That beetle was very smart, maybe smarter than us. How else could such sophisticated behavior be explained? It knew that its most vulnerable position (on its back) was the position its kind assume at death and mimicked it. It knew that most creatures secreted their bowels at the time of death and it did that also. Most telling is that this beetle, with a head smaller than a sesame seed, even knew anything about death to begin with! Scientists have said only mankind is conscious of its mortality. Of course, the foolish atheist etymologists will say our beetle’s actions were a simple reflexive display of instincts developed through evolution. Science has yet to produce an example of a species neither in transition nor on how a creature would develop and then pass on a sophisticated instinct like playing dead. Mankind has to establish schools to pass on knowledge from generation to generation. The more abstract the knowledge the harder it is to teach and learn.

All things are easy for Allah though. He is the Guide (Al-Hady) and the Compeller (Al-Jabar).

Say: Who is it that sustains you (in life) from the sky and from the earth? Or who is it that has power over hearing and sight? And who is it that brings out the living from the death and the dead from the living? And who is it that rules and regulates all affairs? They will soon say, “Allah”. Say, “Will ye not then show piety (to Him)?

(Qur’an 10:31)

By anonymous