Brother Paul “Bilal” WIlliams called my attention to a science article in the “Independent”, reporting the recent discovery of Chimpanzees in West Africa which have been throwing rocks against trees and throwing them into gaps inside, leading to piles of rocks. Those rocks do not appear to be for any functional purpose — this could be the first evidence of chimpanzees shows rudiments of religion performing a kind of sacred ritual a devotion to God.
Here’s the video of the behavior:
While sceptics may resort to other likely explanations, Laura Kehoe and other researchers who observed the chimps behaviour and published a piece written around the findings believe this may be evidence of “Sacred” rituals performed by chimps. She and her colleagues wrote in the abstract:
We found four populations in West Africa where chimpanzees habitually bang and throw rocks against trees, or toss them into tree cavities, resulting in conspicuous stone accumulations at these sites. This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees. The ritualized behavioural display and collection of artefacts at particular locations observed in chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing may have implications for the inferences that can be drawn from archaeological stone assemblages and the origins of ritual sites.
(H. S. Kühl et al. 2016. Chimpanzee accumulative stone-throwing. Nature Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 22219 (2016), doi:10.1038/srep22219)
Perhaps to muslims this should not come as a surprise, in the holy Qur’an it is mentioned:
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَDo you not see that Allah is exalted by whomever is within the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and exalting [Him], and Allah is Knowing of what they do. [Q 24:41]