The Backbone

I had just returned home after a very hectic day at work and wanted nothing more than to perform my household chores, observe my Salaat, eat and go to bed. I was so tired that I barely struggled to keep my eyes open. My daughter however had something else in mind. The moment I dropped my bag, she began to sing all sorts of songs generally meant to tell me that she wanted me to carry her around on my back. Eventually, I had no choice but to give her what she wanted. As I carried her around the house, I wondered how life would have been for us humans if we had no backbones.

The backbone; also called the vertebral column, the spine or the spinal column; is to us what an iron frame is to a skyscraper. It provides us with the necessary support needed for movement and it helps to give us shape. Imagine trying to build a high-rise building with just concrete and bricks; such a building would be doomed for collapse from the very beginning! I decided to find out more about the backbone and here are some interesting facts:  The backbone consists of a series of 33 irregularly shaped bones, called vertebrae.

 These 33 bones are divided into five categories depending on where they are located in the backbone.  In addition to allowing humans to stand upright and maintain their balance, the vertebral column serves several other important functions. It helps to support the head and arms, while permitting freedom of movement. It also provides attachment for many muscles, the ribs, and some of the organs and protects the spinal cord, which controls most bodily functions.

Can you imagine how we would have been if Allaah had created us without backbones? We probably would have looked like a sack of potatoes! Most importantly, we would have been unable to move around. Can you then imagine the plight of those who have spinal cord injuries? Can you understand what they go through; sometimes forced to lie flat in bed or if they are lucky, they are confined to wheelchairs? How would it feel to see others walking around and not been able to do so? An interesting fact is that some animals also have spines. Such animals include monkeys, birds, fishes and lizards.

Many times, we eat chicken, meat and fish and even crack the bones. Do we ever realise the importance of such bones? Do we realise how lucky we are not to be one of those animals who have their bones cracked and even sucked? Alhamdulilah! Thank you Allaah for creating us as humans and blessing us with backbones to give us shape and support!

"Which of the favours of your Lord do you deny?" - Soorah Ar-Rahman (55)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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