The digestive Machine
Digestion starts in the mouth. Carbohydrates
in the foods you eat are first broken down into smaller
particles by the saliva in your mouth. For instance,
the bread you ate at breakfast started to be broken
down initially in your mouth. But it will take longer
for the cheese you ate along with that bread to be broken
Nutriments broken down in the mouth pass
through the oesophagus and reach the stomach. In the
stomach is another marvellous state of equilibrium.
Digestion of foods in the stomach is performed by a
very strong fluid. This fluid is hydrochloric acid.
As you know, acids are corrosive materials. They are
capable of dissolving what they are in contact with.
For instance, what your mother uses to clear an obstructed
plug hole contains acid. Breaking down dirt and waste
matters that blocked the pipe, these acids rid it of
obstructions. It is thanks to the strong acid found
in the stomach that the foods, which are in large pieces
when they first arrive the stomach, are broken down
into smaller particles that can be used by the body.
Yet there is one more point that needs to be noted.
is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him,
the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He
is responsible for everything. Eyesight cannot
perceive Him but He perceives eyesight. He is
the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware. (Surat al-An'am:
have mentioned that the food eaten is broken down into
pieces by the stomach or gastric acid. So how is it
that this acid does not destroy the stomach itself,
which is also made of flesh? Now, think about it. The
gastric acid digests the meat, for instance, you eat
at dinner, yet ignores the stomach, which is in the
same way a piece of meat. Why is this so? At this point,
the excellence in the creation of our Lord is revealed
once again. Allah, Who created everything perfectly,
designed a protection so that the stomach itself is
protection may be summarised as follows; another fluid,
namely "mucous", is secreted during digestion to prevent
the hydrochloric acid from breaking down the stomach.
A special mucous layer covers the inner lining of the
stomach and protects the stomach from damage by this
powerful acid. So the stomach does not digest itself.
The next place on the digestive route
is the intestines. Nutriments are broken down into even
smaller particles and are made usable by the body as
they pass through the two intestines, the large and
the small. What is useful in these nutriments
is introduced into the bloodstream and the unnecessary
residue is discharged from the body by the excretion
system. The phases that the food eaten passes through
in the intestines are also very important. Digestion
continues in the intestines as in the stomach. Nutriments
are broken into even smaller particles. They are now
so small that they are absorbed by the blood vessels
around the intestines and are involved in the bloodstream
to be carried to every part of the body.
Children, you must have realised that
the digestive system is planned completely and perfectly.
During this journey, which starts at the mouth, proceeds
along the oesophagus, the stomach and the intestines,
the food eaten passes through several phases. And finally
the nutriments that our body cells require are obtained.
These are absorbed in the intestines and delivered to
the body via the bloodstream. Digestion of food would
be very hard if this mechanism did not work so perfectly.
First of all, if we lacked teeth, we would not be able
our food sufficiently and it would not go down the throat.
Even if it did, it would seriously injure the oesophagus.
If our stomach were not able to digest the food, everything
we ate would remain as a large mass in the stomach,
which would be quite disturbing. Besides, as a result
of not being able to digest foods, our bodies would
not be provided with the nourishment they require. An
unnourished body loses its strength after a while and
body cells start to die. But we do not experience such
things, because our Lord created every single part of
our bodies perfectly. This excellent system runs flawlessly,
and we are quite unaware of it. This excellence in creation
is related in the following verse:
He is Allah - the Creator, the Maker,
the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful
Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies
Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr: