We often see goats, sheep and cows eat grass, and yet it rarely occurs to any of us to establish a link between this process and the milk and the dairy products we consume. God lets them feed on this grass, its ultimate transformation to be milk, one of the basic nutriments. William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood almost a millennium after the Prophet’s decease. At the time of the Prophet, the fact that the blood carried the nutriments absorbed from digested food into its constituents to mammary glands for production of milk was not known. The new material transformed from pasture into assimilated food and blood becomes a nutritious food.
And surely in the livestock there is a lesson for you, We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies from the midst of digested food and blood, pure milk palatable for the drinkers. (16:66)
The Quran not only draws attention to truths unknown at the time, but also displays facts to derive lessons from. The blood collects and transports the substances formed by digested food to organs; among others, to mammary glands. This process is initiated by blood coming into contact with the contents of intestines, on their walls. Before continuing its journey, carried by blood, part of the digested food is absorbed by the intestines. This information is the result of modern research in biology, chemistry and in the physiology of digestion.
THE RICHEST OF PRODUCTS EASY TO OBTAIN
Milk is the first food of the newborn mammal. It is a fluid secreted by the mammary glands of mammalians as food for their young in the period immediately after birth. From the young of whales to human infants, all mammals feed on their mother’s milk. The young animals and the babies obtain their supply of excellent nourishment without any toil. Milk is the best product for infants. No other nourishment can replace what is provided by it. We can identify thousands of nutritious food items in the world. Had the universe been the outcome of happy coincidences and had there been no ingeniously designed creation, there would have been no particular reason for the mother’s milk to be the best and most carefully selected nutriment. This perfect order designed for every mammal, including man, is a proof of the Creator’s inimitable forethought. Materials digested to become blood turn into milk in the mother’s breast and are offered to the newborn by its Creator. Whether ratiocinated or mathematically calculated, it is impossible to assert that this is the outcome of fortuitous events which have nothing to do with a designed purpose. The infant practices sucking its finger in the womb to be prepared for drinking milk as soon as it is delivered. The fact that mother’s milk comes exactly in the amount of the baby’s need without spurting is also carefully planned.
The milk we first taste from our mother’s breast will continue throughout our lives to be consumed by us to meet the requirements of a healthy constitution. Milk is a whitish liquid consisting of small globules of fat suspended in a watery solution containing proteins, lactose sugar and minerals like calcium, casein and phosphorous, plus vitamins. Cheese, butter and yogurt are all made with milk, the basic nutriment of man. The benefits that our body derives from its contents, like minerals and vitamins are more than the present book can contain. When we consume it, we should remember always its Creator.
Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? (55:18)