Ayat of the Day
|Hadith of the Day:|
|Miracles of the Qur’an:|
An astonishing prediction is found in the first verses of Surat ar-Rum, which refers to the Byzantine Empire, the eastern part of the later Roman Empire: The Byzantine Empire, which had met with a great defeat, would soon gain victory.
These verses were revealed around 620, almost 7 years after the idolatrous Persians had severely defeated Christian Byzantium in 613-14. In fact, Byzantium had suffered such heavy losses that it seemed impossible for it even to survive, let alone be victorious again. Following their defeat of the Byzantines at Antioch in 613, the Persians seized control of Damascus, Cilicia, Tarsus, Armenia, and Jerusalem. The loss of Jerusalem in 614 was particularly traumatic for the Byzantines, for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed and the Persians seized the "True Cross," the symbol of Christianity.
In addition, the Avars, Slavs, and Lombards also were posing serious threats to the Byzantine Empire. The Avars had reached as far as the walls of Constantinople. Emperor Heraclius ordered the gold and silver in churches to be melted and turned into money in order to meet the army's expenses. When this proved insufficient, bronze statues were melted down in order to mint more money. Many governors had revolted against Heraclius, and Byzantium was on the point of collapse.188 Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier belonged to Byzantium, were invaded by the idolatrous Persians.
In short, everyone was expecting Byzantium to be destroyed. But during this time, the first verses of Surat ar-Rum were revealed, announcing that Byzantium would triumph in 3 to 9 years. This predicted victory seemed so impossible that the Arab polytheists thought it would never come true.
Like all the other predictions in the Qur'an, however, this one also came true. In 622, Heraclius gained a number of victories over the Persians and conquered Armenia. In December 627, the two empires fought a decisive battle at Nineveh, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) east of the Tigris river, near Baghdad. This time too, the Byzantine army defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to sue for peace with Byzantium, which obliged them to return the territories they had taken from it.
The Byzantine victory was completed when Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persian ruler Khosrow II in 630, recaptured Jerusalem, and regained the "True Cross" for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
In the end, "the victory of the Romans" proclaimed by Allah in the Qur'an miraculously came true within the verses' stated "three to nine years" time frame.
Another miracle revealed in these verses is the announcement of a geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at that time: that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region of Earth. This Arabic expression adnaa al-ard is interpreted as "a nearby place" in many translations. However, this is not the literal meaning, but rather a figurative interpretation. The word adnaa, derived from the word dani' (low), means "the lowest." The word ard means "the world." Therefore, adnaa al-ard means "the lowest place on Earth."
Some interpreters of the Qur'an, considering the closeness of the region in question to the Arabs, prefer the "closest" meaning of the word. However, the actual meaning indicates a very important geological fact: The Dead Sea basin, one of the regions in which the Byzantines were defeated in 613-14, is the lowest region on Earth.
As stated earlier, for Christian Byzantium, the loss of the True Cross was the heaviest blow in that defeat in Jerusalem, located near the shores of the Dead Sea.
The Byzantines and the Persians actually fought at the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. At 399 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the "lowest" place on Earth's surface.
However, as only modern measuring methods and equipment can prove this fact, it would have been impossible for anyone living at that time to realize this truth. Yet, the Qur'an states clearly that this region was the "lowest land" on Earth and thereby provides further evidence that it is the word of Allah.
|Wonders of Creation:|
|Lives of the Prophets:|
Prophet Muhammad (saas) had a dream when he was in Medina, that the believers had entered the Sacred Mosque and walked around the Kaaba. He gave the good news to the believers. Those of the believers who migrated from Mecca to Medina had not been able to return since. When Prophet Muhammad (saas) spoke of his dream, as the account has it, the believers went to Mecca for the purposes of pilgrimage, although the idolators would not allow them in. The unbelievers saw this as an opportunity to sow discord, and tried to prove Prophet Muhammad’s (saas) dream false by saying that they had been unable to go to the Kaaba and unable to cut their hair.
Allah revealed verse 27 of Surat al-Fath to Prophet Muhammad (saas) to help and support him, and revealed that the dream was true, and that if Allah so wished the believers would be able to enter Mecca. A short while later, with the Treaty of Hudaybiya and the conquest of Mecca, the believers were able to enter the Sacred Mosque in complete safety, just as the dream had shown. That was how Allah showed that the news He had previously given to Prophet Muhammad (saas) was true. (Imam Taberi, Taberi Tefsiri, [Tafsir at-Tabari])
Another important point here is this: When Prophet Muhammad (saas) gave that good news to the believers it looked totally out of the question. In fact, the situation pointed in quite the opposite direction, and the polytheists appeared quite determined never to let the believers in. That led those who harbored doubts in their hearts to doubt the words of Prophet Muhammad (saas). Yet, Prophet Muhammad (saas) trusted in Allah, took no notice of what people might say, had complete faith in what Allah had revealed to him and told people about it. It is an important miracle that his words were confirmed by the Qur'an, and that they came to pass shortly afterwards.
As these verses reveal, the Children of Israel were to experience two victories. Following the first of these, and their "reaching to a degree of great haughtiness," Allah then sent a powerful army against them. Indeed, when the Jews killed the Prophet Yahya (as) and set a trap to kill the Prophet 'Isa (as), in other words, after their "reaching to a degree of great haughtiness," they were exiled shortly afterwards from Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. The Temple of Solomon in the city was completely demolished.
Following their exile from Palestine in 70 A.D., the Jews wandered all over the world. Since they were seen as the killers of 'Isa (as), they were generally despised in European countries, had to live under oppressive conditions, and even most of the time had to practice their religion in secret. When that verse was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (saas), the Jews were living under very difficult conditions and had no state of their own. Yet, Allah told them that they would one day recover their strength.
That looked like a particularly remote possibility when Prophet Muhammad (saas) was alive, yet it later came about. They returned to Palestine and established the State of Israel in 1948. Israel's military and political power is no secret to anyone today.
In this verse regarding the Jews, and in other verses, one of the important things is the revelation that things that looked totally impossible at the time, would come about. All of these examples are miracles of the Qur'an, of course.
In his book Darwin's Black Box, the prominent American biochemist Dr. Michael J. Behe stresses that the structure of the living cell and all other biochemical systems were unknown "black boxes" for Darwin and his contemporaries. Darwin assumed that these black boxes possessed very simple structures and could have come about by chance. Now, however, modern biochemistry has opened up these black boxes and revealed the irreducibly complex structure of life. Behe states that Darwin's comments on the emergence of the eye seemed convincing because of the primitive level of nineteenth-century science:
Darwin persuaded much of the world that a modern eye evolved gradually from a simpler structure, but he did not even try to explain where his starting point—the relatively simple light-sensitive spot—came from. On the contrary, Darwin dismissed the question of the eye's ultimate origin… He had an excellent reason for declining the question: it was completely beyond nineteenth-century science. How the eye works—that is, what happens when a photon of light first hits the retina—simply could not be answered at that time.1
So, how does this system, which Darwin glossed over as a simple structure, actually work? How do the cells in the eye's retinal layer perceive the light rays that fall on them?
The answer to that question is rather complicated. When photons hit the cells of the retina they activate a chain action, rather like a domino effect. The first of these domino pieces is a molecule called "11-cis-retinal" that is sensitive to photons. When struck by a photon, this molecule changes shape, which in turn changes the shape of a protein called "rhodopsin" to which it is tightly bound. Rhodopsin then takes a form that enables it to stick to another resident protein in the cell called "transducin."
Prior to reacting with rhodopsin, transducin is bound to another molecule called GDP. When it connects with rhodopsin, transducin releases the GDP molecule and is linked to a new molecule called GTP. That is why the new complex consisting of the two proteins (rhodopsin and transducin) and a smaller molecule (GTP) is called "GTP-transducin-rhodopsin."
But the process has only just begun. The new GTP-transducin-rhodopsin complex can now very quickly bind to another protein resident in the cell called "phosphodiesterase." This enables the phosphodiesterase protein to cut yet another molecule resident in the cell, called cGMP. Since this process takes place in the millions of proteins in the cell, the cGMP concentration is suddenly decreased.
How does all this help with sight? The last element of this chain reaction supplies the answer. The fall in the cGMP amount affects the ion channels in the cell. The so-called ion channel is a structure composed of proteins that regulate the number of sodium ions within the cell. Under normal conditions, the ion channel allows sodium ions to flow into the cell while another molecule disposes of the excess ions to maintain a balance. When the number of cGMP molecules falls, so does the number of sodium ions. This leads to an imbalance of charge across the membrane, which stimulates the nerve cells connected to these cells, forming what we refer to as an "electrical impulse." Nerves carry the impulses to the brain and "seeing" happens there.2
In brief, a single photon hits a single cell, and through a series of chain reactions the cell produces an electrical impulse. This stimulus is modulated by the energy of the photon—that is, the brightness of the light. Another fascinating fact is that all of the processes described so far happen in no more than one thousandth of a second. As soon as this chain reaction is completed, other specialized proteins within the cells convert elements such as 11-cis-retinal, rhodopsin and transducin back to their original states. The eye is under a constant shower of photons, and the chain reactions within the eye's sensitive cells enable it to perceive each one of these.
The process of sight is actually a great deal more complicated than the outline presented here would indicate. However, even this brief overview is sufficient to demonstrate the extraordinary nature of the system. The eye is so complicated, and finely calculated that it is nonsensical to claim that this system could have come about by chance. The system possesses a totally irreducibly complex structure. If even one of the many molecular parts that enter into a chain reaction with each other were missing, or did not possess a suitable structure, then the system would not function at all.
It is clear that this system deals a heavy blow to Darwin's explanation of life by "chance." Michael Behe makes this comment on the chemistry of the eye and the theory of evolution:
Now that the black box of vision has been opened, it is no longer enough for an evolutionary explanation of that power to consider only the anatomical structures of whole eyes, as Darwin did in the nineteenth century (and as popularizers of evolution continue to do today). Each of the anatomical steps and structures that Darwin thought were so simple actually involves staggeringly complicated biochemical processes that cannot be papered over with rhetoric.3
The irreducibly complex structure of the eye not only definitively disproves the Darwinist theory, but also shows that life was created.
1. Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, The Free Press, New York, 1996, p. 18.
|Quick Grasp of Faith:|
In Paradise, all of the believers who have lived since the time of Prophet Adam (as) will be together. Among these people will be the prophets, martyrs, and sincere believers who affirmed the messengers and followed the path they showed. The glad tidings are given to the believers in the Qur’an, as follows:
Is it possible to distinguish those people who are more pious? How is piety (taqwa) displayed?
It is impossible to determine who has the most piety in Allah’s sight. A person’s true piety, sincerity, and faith are hidden in his or her heart, and only Allah knows them, whereas people may only form a strong opinion about somebody’s piety.
People form their opinions about others based upon their conduct. For example, a person’s sincerity toward Allah, loyalty to the religion, sincere effort to earn Allah’s good pleasure, eagerness and resoluteness to serve religion, love for the believers and loyalty allow others to form an opinion about that person’s piety. Even so, the final judgment belongs to Allah alone.
People become pious by avoiding sins, forbidden acts, or behavior that does not comply with the Qur’an’s morals. Whoever is firmer in living according to good morals, makes more effort to help religion, and is more devoted to adhering to the religion’s commands increases his or her piety.
Pious believers also can be identified by their wisdom. Their decisions are right, they find much easier and quicker solutions to problems, and their speech is much wiser and more impressive. They can perceive aspects of events that remain unnoticed by others, and have a much keener awareness. They do not do things to put themselves forward, but display a sincere manner. They do not seek the adulation and praise of other people, but only Allah’s good pleasure. Regardless of the situation, they always observe the limits set by Allah. People who possess all of these features may be expected to have a high degree of righteousness. However, one still cannot form a definite opinion concerning another’s degree of piety or level of faith in relationship to other people, for all such evaluations are only superficial, being based upon what is seen from the outside. Peoples’ true faith, devotion, sincerity, and nearness to Allah is known only by Allah.
The purpose of this book is to warn people against the day on which they will say "If only we did not rebel against Allah. If only we listened to the messengers..." and therefore feel deep regret. This is a summons to live for the cause of Allah when there is still time...>>
|Site of the Day:|
In this site, we will analyze this scientific crisis faced by the theory of evolution. This work rests solely upon scientific findings. Those advocating the theory of evolution on behalf of scientific truth should confront these findings and question the presumptions they have so far held. Refusal to do this would mean openly accepting that their adherence to the theory of evolution is dogmatic rather than scientific.