It is said that there is no death result of starvation. However, there are a large number of people dying of starvation. How do you explain this contradiction?
No living creature is there moving on the earth but its provision depends on God (Hud Surah, 11:6).
How many a living creature there is that does not carry its own provision (in store), but God provides for them, and indeed for you. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Al-Ankabut Surah, 29:60)
In accordance with the expression of the verses above, Allah (SWT) gives provisions to all living beings all their lives long. He (SWT) gives them their foods as long as they live; the provisions are under the guarantee of Allah (SWT).
Allah Almighty, Who is infinitely merciful, has set the world like a dining table and invited the living beings to this feast. Everything from the tiniest microbe that is invisible by eyes to tons of heavy whales benefits from this feast. According to the findings that biology points out there are over two million kinds of plants and animals on earth. In addition, each kind has individuals in infinite numbers. Just as each has different stomachs, tastes, nutrition, they also have different foods. Who satisfies their hunger every single day perfectly?
The best example to the fact that food is given to the living beings by Allah (SWT) is that the incapable feed themselves better. For example, the baby in her mothers womb is completely deprived of strength. But through umbilical cord, it is fed most perfectly. When s/he opens his/her eyes to the world, s/he gains a bit of strength and that door is closed. Again, this time, s/he is fed on the pure and nutritious milk from the taps of breasts. Not only does milk contain iron and copper, but also all nutrients that are necessary for the babys life such as fat, protein, carbohydrate. In addition, these elements are stored in his/her mothers womb by Allah Almighty Who has undertaken his/her food even before s/he was born. And this process continues for six months.
Is this rule only the case for human babies? Of course not. It is possible to see similar rules in all living beings. When a lion, which has a reputation of being the king of the forest, finds its food, it does not eat it but gives it to its hungry cub. A hen first feeds its chicks whenever it finds something to eat.
The law of Sustenance continues universally. Whereas human beings inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plants take carbon dioxide in and give out oxygen. These plants form some organic matters through sunlight by receiving some matters out of soil. Just as plants might be foods for animals, likewise, some animals become foods to some other and to human beings. This law in this food chain keeps continuing and thus there remain no beings without food.
We have already stressed above that Allah Almighty undertakes the food of the living beings. But one may think, How is it that some people die of starvation? It is possible to handle this point from different perspectives. Some of the nutrition that human beings take is stored as glycogen and fat. In case of hunger, these stores are consumed. The nutrition in the stores keeps man alive longer. The research that Doctor Dewey conducted is quite remarkable on this point.
Two four-year-old children carelessly took medicine overdose, and in their stomachs and alimentary canals, occurred burns and they could not eat their foods. The first child, who was weak and delicate, managed to survive 75 days by using the reserve in his body. The other boy, who was relatively stronger, endured 90 days.
Doctor Bertholet did researches about the hungers of long duration and obtained striking results. According to these results, the loss of weight resulting from the long-term hunger takes place in tissues and organs, which are not vitally important such as fat and spleen. In addition, this research showed that in long-term hunger, the body uses 97% of fat, 63% of spleen, 56% of liver, 30% of muscles, and 17% of blood. However, the same research showed that there is no loss of weight in brain and nerves, which are vitally important. And this indicates that during hunger there is consumption not on vitally important organs, but on others. In such a hunger case, as recent researches have pointed out, fats are transformed into ketones and sent to the assistance of the brain cells.
The findings in relation to this issue have showed that one can survive around 80 days without eating anything. But the food supply must not be cut off immediately. Otherwise, the body may grow weak since the usual habit of eating is deserted, and this may lead to death. Ibn-i Khaldun expresses this as follows: Those who eat more suffer more than those who eat less in the places of famine. What kills them is not famine they are facing, but the satiety they had been used to. (2)
It is stated that the total number of those who die of starvation is constituted by the children below one year old with 20% in India and 35% in Africa. The microbes are ready to take hold of the body and assault it at the moment it is weak. Especially children are more vulnerable to this situation and it is mostly they who die of hunger. Then, those who are told to have died of hunger are not dying because of lack of food, but because of the diseases originating from the scarcity of food.
In this respect, Prof. Dr. Sabahattin Zaim writes as follows, Even in Far East, South America, and Africa where food production is rather insufficient, the amount of food production does not fall but remain stable in the last 30 years, as for the other regions, it rises between 16% and 50%. The existence of people who could be regarded without food in some places of the world is explained with the insufficient human employment. In these countries, he writes, the capital is abundant, which is one of the production factors. The developments, which are seen in sources and other possibilities for a progress, in all countries, are fit to enable the national revenue increase more than population. (3)
According to the results of a research conducted in England, with the ample use of fertilizers, food production is possible to increase tenfold. This means that around 31.5 billion people could be fed. (4)
1. Tekman, Ş. and Ömer, N., General Biochemistry, Fatih Printing Press, İstanbul, 1981
2. Canan, İ.; Hz.Peygamber' in Sünnetinde Terbiye (The Good Manners In the Sunnah of The Prophet Muhammad) Third Edition, 1984.
3. Zaim, S.; Siyasi, İktisadi ve Sosyal Yönleriyle Türkiye' de Nüfus Meselesi (The Queston of Population In Turkey From Economic And Social Aspects), 1973
4. Ergüllü, E.; Geleceğin Büyük Sorunu Açlık (The Starvation; The Great Danger of The Future), Milliyet Newspaper, 21.12.1982.
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