On the Spider

Look at the spider and what God created in it in wisdom! Verily, God created in her body moisture (ratūbah) from which she weaves a house to dwell in, and a net for her hunting- it is crafted out of her body, and God made her nourishment through her sustenance (aqwātihā), directing [her sustenance] towards the capacity of her body, and to the forming of this previously mentioned moisture. She always sets it up like a net, with her house in the corner of the net. And the capacity of her house is such that she hides herself, and the net, by means of fine threads, intwines the legs of flies and mosquitoes and similar creatures. When she senses that one of those sorts of creatures has fallen in her net, she hurries out to it, lays hold of it, and returns to her house. She is sustained by what she derives from the moisture of these animals, and she is satisfied at that time, hobbling [her prey] and leaving it until the next time of her need.

And look at the means for obtaining her sustenance that God created in her, so that she attains in that what humans attain through discursive thought and artifice. And all that is for her well-being and the reception of her food, and ‘Know that God- He is the Director of this.’

Abū Ḥāmed Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Ghazālī (1058-1111), The Wisdom in God’s Creation, 91.

3 thoughts on “On the Spider

  1. Pingback: Al-Ghazali on Ants and Cooperation « Thicket & Thorp

  2. Pingback: On the ‘Lion of the Fly’ « Thicket & Thorp

  3. Pingback: On the ‘Fly-Lion’ « Thicket & Thorp

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