"Do they not look at the Camels; how they are made?..."
Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made? And at the Sky, how it is raised
high? And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the Earth, how it is spread
out? Therefore do you give admonition, for you are one to admonish." (Surat
al-Ghashiya (The Overwhelming, The Pall), 17-21)
It's beyond doubt that all beings reflect the endless power and knowledge of their
Creator. This is expressed in numerous verses in the Qur'an where it is pointed out that
everything created by Allah is actually a sign, that is, a symbol and warning.
The 17th verse of the Surah Al-Gashiya tells us about an animal, which has
to be carefully examined and thought about, which is the "camel".
In this section, we will study this animal on which the Qur'an invites us to ponder by
the expression, "Do they not look at the Camels, how they are
The exclusively specific characteristic of the camel is its body structure, which is
not effected even by the most severe conditions. Its body has such features that it can
survive for days without any water and food, and can travel with a load of hundreds of
kilograms on its back for days.
Many characteristics of the camel, which you will learn in detail in the following
pages, prove that this animal is created particularly for dry climate conditions, and
given to the service of mankind.
"Verily, in the alternation of the night and the day, and in all that Allah hath
created, in the heavens and the earth, are signs for those who fear Him." (Yunus
FEET SUITABLE FOR ALL LAND TYPES
The feet are comprised of two toes joined with an elastic pad. This
structure which enables the animal to firmly grasp the earth is consisted of four fatty
balls. It is totally convenient for all kinds of land conditions.
The toenails protect the feet from potential damages resulting from a bump.
Knees are covered with callus which is composed of skin as hard and thick as a horn.
When the animal lays down on hot sands, this calloused structure protects the animal from
being injured by the extremely hot ground.
THE HUMP AS A FOOD STOCK:
The hump of the camel, in the form of a mass of fats, provides nutriment to the animal
periodically in times of starvation. With this system, this animal can live for
3 weeks without water, whilst it looses 33% of its weight. Under the same circumstances, a
human being would lose 8% of his weight and die within 36 hours, completely loosing the
water in his body.
HEAT INSULATING FUR:
This fur consists of thick and matted hairs that do not only protect the body of the
animal against freezing and burning weather conditions, but also eliminate the water loss
of the body. The Dromedary camel can delay the perspiration by increasing its
body temperature up to 41C. By this way, it prevents water loss.
With its thick fur, camels in Asia can survive high temperatures rising up
to +50C in summer and falling down to -50C in winter.
HEAD PROTECTED FROM THE SAND:
Eye lashes have an interlocking system. In case of danger, they are automatically shut.
The interlocking eyelashes do not let any dust particle to enter the eyes of the animal.
The Nose and the ears are covered with long hairs to protect the animal from sand and
Its long neck enables the animal to reach and feed on the leaves, 3 meters
high from the ground.
THEY CAN EVEN FEED ON THORNS.
The Dromedory camels can resist temperatures of -52C in the highest vales of Middle
EXTRAORDINARY RESISTANCE TO THIRST AND HUNGER
Camels can live without any food and water for 8 days at a heat of 50C. During this
period, it looses 22% of its total body weight. While a man will be near death if he loses
body water equal to about 12 percent of his body weight, a lean camel can survive a body
water equal to 40 percent of its body weight. Another reason of its resistance against
thirst is a mechanism which enables the camel to increase its internal temperature up to
41C. Thanks to this, the animal keeps water loss at minimum level in the extreme hot
climates of the desert daytime. They also can decrease their internal body temperature
down to 30C in the cool desert nights.
IMPROVED WATER UTILIZATION UNIT
Camels can consume up to 130 liters of water almost in 10 minutes which is
around one third of their body weight. Besides, camels have a mucus
structure in their nose which is 100 times larger than that of the humans. With its
huge and curved nose mucus, camels can hold 66% of the moisture in the air.
MAXIMUM BENEFIT FROM FOOD AND WATER
Most of the animals die by being poisoned when the accumulated urea in their kidney
fuses into the blood. However, camels make maximum use of water and food by passing this
urea numerous times through the liver. Both the blood and cell structures of the camel,
are specialized in order to enable this animal to survive for long periods of time without
water in desert conditions.
Cell walls have a special structure preventing extra water loss. Furthermore, the blood
composition is designed so that it does not let any slowing down in the blood circulation
even when water level in the camels body decreases to the minimum. In addition, the
amount of the albumine enzyme which reinforces resistence against thirst, is found in much
higher amounts in camels blood than the other living things.
Hump is the other supporter to the camel. One fifth of the camel's total body weight is
stored as fat in its hump. The storage of the body fat in only one part of the camel's
body, prevents the excretion of water from all around its body - which is dependent on
fat. This allows the camel to use minimum amount of water.
Although a humped camel can take in 30-50 kilograms of food in a day, in
tough conditions, it is able to live for one month with only 2 kg of grass a day.
Camels have very strong and rubber-like lips which allow them to
eat thorns sharp enough to pierce stout leather. Moreover, it has a four chambered stomach
and a very strong digestive system by which it can digest everything it eats. It can even
feed on materials like caoutchouc which cannot be looked upon as food. It is obvious
enough how precious this quality is in such dry climates.
PRECAUTION AGAINST WINDWHIRLS AND STORMS
The eyes of camels have two eyelash layers. The eyelashes interlock like a trap and
protect the eyes of the animal from harsh sand storms. In addition, camels can close their
nostrils to keep out sand.
PROTECTION AGAINST BURNING AND FREEZING WEATHER
The thick and impenetrable hairs on the camel's body prevent scorching sun lights to
diffuse into the skin of the animal. These also keep the animal warm in freezing weather.
Desert camels are not affected by high temperatures up to 70C, and
double-humped camels can survive in very low temperatures down to -50C. These kind of
camels can survive even in the high vales, 4.000 meters above the sea
PRECAUTION FOR BURNING SAND
Feet of the camels, which are larger in ratio to its legs, are specially
"designed" and enlarged to help the animal walk in the sand without being stuck
in it. These feet possess spready and puffy qualities. In addition, the special thick skin
under the feet soles, is a precaution for the burning desert sand.
The Camel, Hilde Gauthier-Pilters & Anne Innis Dag, The University of Chicago
Press, 1981... Ça m'intéresse, December 1992... Science Illustrée July 1993, Il grande
libro degli animali e lambiente, Paolo Schmidt di Friedberg, Vallarddi Industrie Grafiche,
"Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens
and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and
unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and
without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!" (Surah Luqman, 20)
Let us think in the light of these information: Has the camel adapted its own body to
the desert conditions on its own? Has it formed the mucus in its nose or the hump on its
back? Or has it designed its own nose and eye structure in order to protect itself against
windwhirls and storms? Has it based its own blood and cell structure on the principle of
not wasting any water? Has it chosen itself the type of hair covering its body? Has it
converted itself to a "desert ship" on its own?
Just as any other living being, the camel surely cannot perform any of those above, and
make itself beneficial to mankind. The verse in the Qur'an stating, "Do not they look
at the camel, how it is created?" explains the creation of this excellent animal in
the best way. Like all other beings, camel, too, is endowed with many special qualities
and then placed on earth as a sign of the excellence of the Creator in creation.
While it is created with such superior physical features, it is ordered to serve
mankind. As for the humans, they are ordered to see similar miracles of creation
throughout the whole universe and revere the Creator of all beings, who is Allah...
Next : THE FLY
BACK TO TOP
Send Comments and Suggestions to [email protected]