Each of the antennae in the picture weighs 212 tons, and are as high as a 10-storey building and measure at least 25 meters across.
The Scientific Miracles of The Qur’an
Fossilization and Iron Content
"They say, 'What! When we are bones and crumbled dust, will we then be raised up as a new Creation!' Say: 'It would not matter if you were rock or iron or indeed any created thing that you think is harder still!' They will say, 'Who will bring us back again?' Say: 'He Who brought you into being in the first place'..." (Surat al-Isra', 49-51)
These verses refer to the petrification of dead bodies and how these corpses, over time, turned into iron. Living tissue is not preserved over millions of years – which is why it is only possible to clearly see creatures of the past today once they have been fossilized. After they die, living things can be preserved for millennia by the fossilization process, by their bodies literally turning into stone under the ground. The word "fossil" refers to "the preservation of a living thing by petrification," by its turning into stone.
Iron is preserved undamaged in the body as the body becomes fossilized. Human beings need to consume an average of 10-15 milligrams of iron a day in order to be healthy. Any excess iron consumed is stored in the liver. In addition, the protein transferred in blood plasma also carries a certain amount of iron.1 The reference in the verse to the presence of iron in the remains of the human body is exceedingly wise from that point of view.
Research has also shown the presence of "pyrite," (FeS2) a compound of iron and sulfur, in fossils.2 The iron sulfide forms very easily during the degradation of organic substances. It is therefore generally found in fossil shells and is capable of damaging the fossils since it can react with oxygen and water. The words "crumbled dust" in the verse may be a reference to "pyrite degradation," which leads to the fragmentation and collapse of a fossil as pyrite reacts with water and oxygen.3
Another fact confirmed by recent findings is that matter constantly seeks the most stable state.
This is the very nature of matter. Therefore, given sufficient time, all matter will eventually turn into iron. Iron is the most stable state of nuclear matter. In fact, cosmologists predict a stage in which everything we know will turn into iron as a result of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission reactions.4 In his book In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics And Reality, the astrophysicist John Gribbon describes how iron is the most desirable state of matter and how all matter in the universe wants to turn into iron.5
The revelation in the Qur’an about human remains petrifying and fossilizing leading to an iron-dominant state, is a fact that has now been scientifically confirmed. In the same way that no archaeological, paleontological, geological or astronomical research was possible at the time the Qur'an was revealed, neither was it possible to identify the elements using an electron microscope. Thus, the facts revealed in the verse in Surat al-Isra’ once more confirm that the Qur'an is a divine text.
Radio Receivers On Mountains
We gave David great favor from Us: "O mountains and birds! Echo with him in his praise!" And We made iron malleable for him: (Surah Saba', 10)
There is a strong possibility that the description of mountains "echoing" in the above verse may refer to the workings of a modern radio. (Allah knows the truth.) The basic principles on which radios operate may be summarized as follows:
A radio system consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter takes the message to be sent, encodes it in what is known as a "sine wave" and transmits it in the form of waves through the air. The receiver takes in the radio waves and deciphers the message sent on the sine wave. In this way, the message is received in exactly the same form as it was sent. The word "awwibee," translated as "echo" in the above verse and meaning "sound being repeated or returned", may very well be a reference to the transmission of these radio waves. (Allah knows the truth.)
Sounds are emitted in the form of sound waves by way of an antenna. This is in order that the receiver can take in the data which has been sent via an antenna linked to the receiver. The purpose behind using antennae is the transmission into space of the waves emitted by the radio transmitter. The receiving antenna is intended to collect as many radio waves and messages as possible. This is why NASA uses giant antennae dishes 70 meters across for its satellites millions of kilometers away in space.
There are also radio telescopes which can use radio waves to form images. Since radio waves are very long, a radio telescope has to be much larger in order to collect them as clear images. In order to obtain sharper and better images, astronomers use a connected series of smaller telescopes or receptors. These telescopes act collectively as one very large device – almost like a team, each with its own role. In their physical appearance, these antennae series resemble mountain systems.
In addition, "repeaters" are employed to permit radio communications over great distances. These devices repeat and strengthen weak signals and enable them to be transmitted over considerable distances. Such devices are generally sited on tall buildings or preferably on the tops of mountains, in order to have the greatest effect. The use of the word "awwibee," translated as "echo" in the above verse, is exceedingly wise. The statement of, "O mountains and birds! Echo with him in his praise!'" in verse 10 of Surah Saba' may be a description of that technology. (Allah knows the truth.)
The Earth’s Gravitational Force
Did We not make the earth a receptacle? (Surat al-Mursalat, 25)
The Arabic word "kifatan," translated as "receptacle" in the above verse, means "living things being gathered together and protected in their dwellings.” It can also mean “a place where living or inanimate things are gathered together” or “a place on which things are piled or collected.” "Kifatan" comes from the root word "kafata," which means "to collect, gather toward one, embrace."
With its gravitational force, the earth pulls human beings and everything else on it - living or inanimate - toward its center. It is very likely that the use of a verb meaning "to pull toward one" refers to this force of gravity. (Allah knows the truth.)
Thanks to the force of gravity that pulls animals, plants, human beings and everything else on Earth toward itself, people are able to walk on the ground, objects can remain where they are without flying off into the air, athmosphere encircles the Earth and rain falls on Earth.
Sir Isaac Newton, regarded as one of the greatest scientists ever, investigated this feature of the Earth. During his studies, he made one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. He wrote about gravity in his famous book, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687. The Latin word "attraere" Newton used in discussing gravity also means "to attract, bring together."
The reference in the Qur'an to one of the Earth's four great forces, only defined in the 17th century, is just one of the proofs that the Qur'an was sent down from the Presence of Allah.
The Solidity of The Atom and Electron Orbits
"You will see the mountains you reckoned to be solid going past like clouds–the handwork of Allah Who gives to everything its solidity. He is aware of what you do." (Surat an-Naml, 88)
One possible interpretation of the above verse is that it may very well be a reference to the strength of the atom, the building block of all matter. It may allude to the orbit of electrons in the atom, which students all over the world are taught about in their daily science lessons. Looked at in the context of atoms, the use of the term "to everything its solidity" can be interpreted as referring to the solidity of the atom, which cannot be broken even if struck with a sledgehammer (Allah knows the truth). That is because objects themselves are not perfectly solid. Only the atom is perfectly solid.
For example, even if a vase is shattered, the atoms that make it up remain solid. A car may turn into a pile of junk after an accident, or a skyscraper may collapse after an explosion, but the atoms remain unwavering in their unity. Indeed, the situation remains the same whether it is a delicate flower or a tough piece of metal: the atoms that constitute matter do not fall apart or stray off-orbit. Therefore, even the most fragile-looking piece of matter is actually very solid in its Creation. The wisdom behind the reference to "everything" in the verse may well lie in the fact that the atom is the basis of all matter.
Very solid structures are even to be found in nuclear bombs, which work by splitting atomic bonds. In nuclear fission, the atomic nucleus is split and then divided into two smaller atoms. In the nuclear fusion technique, two small atoms are combined together to make one larger atom. For example, solar energy is manufactured in this way, by hydrogen being turned into helium. As a result, there is a constant cycle from matter to energy and from energy to matter, and there is a general solidity in the universe at the atomic level.
If one examines this verse of the Qur’an further, there may also be reference to the clouds of electrons around atomic nuclei, whose movement is likened to "mountains... going past like clouds." (Allah knows the truth.) The electrons in their orbits, in the atoms, that make up the “mountains” strongly resemble a cloud – this can be said about their appearance, not to mention their constant and rapid motion around the nucleus. Indeed, the orbiting electrons in the atom are regularly described as an "electron cloud" in contemporary scientific literature.7 The concept of an electron cloud is used in molecular physics, chemistry and quantum chemistry to describe the way they move in a manner similar to a cloud around the atomic nucleus.8
It is impossible to understand the structure of the atom and establish this cloud-like appearance of electrons without such high-tech devices as electron microscopes. The fact that the information provided fourteen centuries ago in the Qur'an matches the discoveries of advanced, present-day technology is one of the miracles of the Qur'an. It is also a manifestation of our Lord's titles of Alim (He Who knows all things), Fatir (the Creator) and Halik (He Who will see and arrange the existence of all things and Who creates accordingly, He Who creates from nothing).
The Skies With ‘Woven’ Orbits
"By heaven furnished with paths " (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 7)
The Arabic word "alhubuki," translated as "furnished with paths" in the seventh verse of Surat adh-Dhariyat, comes from the verb "hubeke," meaning "to weave closely, to knit, to bind together." The use of this word in the verse is particularly wise and represents the current state of scientific knowledge in two aspects.
Firstly, the orbits and paths in the universe are so dense and intertwined that they constitute intersecting paths, just like the threads in a piece of fabric. The Solar System we live in is made up of the Sun, the planets and their satellites – along with heavenly objects such as meteors and comets, which are in constant motion. The Solar System moves through the galaxy known as the Milky Way, which contains 400 billion known stars.9 It is estimated that there are billions of galaxies. Miraculously, celestial bodies and systems revolve at speeds of thousands of kilometers an hour. They move through space without colliding with one another when logically, one would think they would collide with each other constantly.
The science of astronomy was developed with the aim of mapping the positions and courses of stars. Meanwhile, the study of astro-mechanics was developed in order to determine the manner in which these complex motions actually work. Astronomers used to assume that orbits were perfectly spherical. The fact is, however, that heavenly bodies are known to follow mathematical shapes, such as spherical, elliptical, parabolic or hyperbolic orbits. Dr. Carlo Rovelli of the University of Pittsburgh says, "Our space in which we live is just this enormously complicated spin network."10
Secondly, the description of the sky in the Qur’an - using a word meaning "woven" - may be a reference to the String Theory of physics. (Allah knows the truth.) According to this theory, the basic elements that comprise the universe are not point-like particles, but strings resembling miniature violin strings. These tiny, identical and one dimensional strings oscillating in the form of filaments are rather like loops in appearance. Modern-day thinkers assume that the origin of all the diversity in the universe lies in the way these “strings” operated at different levels of vibration, in the same way that violin strings produce different sounds with different vibrations depending on how they are plucked.11
Although it is not possible to see the size of the threads in the String Theory, famous theses - such as Einstein’s theory of general relativity and his ideas on quantum mechanics – can still be calculated mathematically. These strings, which scientists regard as the material from which space and time are woven, are just 1.6x10-35 m 0.000000000000000000000000000000000016 meters) in size.12 This, known as Planck's length, is the smallest known measurement, being just ten to twenty of the protons that make up the nucleus of that atom.13 If an atom were to be magnified to the size of the Solar System, each one of these strings would be no bigger than an average-sized tree.14 Also, we must constantly bear in mind that an atom is 100,000 times smaller than the smallest thing that can be seen with the naked eye. It is only when one remembers facts like these can a person truly grasps how extraordinary the atomic world really is.
Professor of Physics Abhay Ashtekar from the University of Pennsylvania and Professor of Physics Jerzy Lewandowski from the University of Warsaw interpret the woven appearance of space as follows in an article titled "Space and Time Beyond Einstein":
An Article in the New York Times seeking an answer to the question "How Was the Universe Built?" contained the following lines:
Even the tiny quarks that make up protons, neutrons and other particles are too big to feel the bumps that may exist on the Planck scale. More recently, though, physicists have suggested that quarks and everything else are made of far tinier objects: superstrings vibrating in 10 dimensions. At the Planck level, the weave of space-time would be as apparent as when the finest Egyptian cotton is viewed under a magnifying glass, exposing the warp and woof.16
In his book Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, the theoretical quantum physicist Lee Smolin devotes one chapter to "How to Weave a String" and says this on the subject:
... Space may be 'woven' from a network of loops... just like a piece of cloth is 'woven' from a network of threads.17
In his book Our Cosmic Habitat the cosmologist and astrophysicist Prof. Martin Rees says:
According to our present concepts, empty space is anything but simple... and on an even tinier scale, it may be a seething tangle of strings.18
Allah describes the universe as being woven paths and orbits in verse 7 of Surat adh-Dhariyat – and this demonstrates that the Qur'an agrees with modern science. This perfect harmony between the Qur'an and present day scientific developments clearly reveals that the Qur'an is the word of our Lord, the Creator of all. He knows best about all things. Indeed, He asks a pertinent question in one particular verse:
"Will they not ponder the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it." (Surat an-Nisa’, 82)
Aerodynamic Forces And The Flight Programmed In Birds
Do they not see the birds suspended in mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah. There are certainly signs in that for people who believe. (Surat an-Nahl, 79)
Due to the force of gravity, all bodies which are airborne should eventually fall to earth, either quickly or slowly. Everything, living or otherwise, is subject to the Earth’s gravitational pull. But as a miracle of Allah, birds are able to resist this force and fly upward and downward in the air with extraordinary ease and agility. They maneuver in the air, and sometimes even fold their wings and glide through it with effortless grace and dignity. Even the minutest details which scientists have discovered in the bodies of birds - from their beautiful feathers to their powerful lungs, from the arrangement of the general physiology to the shape of their perfect wings - are equipped with special features and a faultless order which enables them to fly. A chick totally unaware of the act of flight and the laws of aerodynamics is born with the ability to fly. The chick launches itself downwards and begins to fly, just as if it knew its body was created for flight. This is not information that is taught subsequently nor is this something that a bird learns by trial and error. Amazingly, a bird knows it has the body structure needed to fly. Without any encouragement, it naturally possesses the courage to launch itself into the air and then flies without hitting the ground. This can only happen through Allah's inspiration.
The Arabic word "yumsikuhunna" translated as "holds" in verse 79 of Surat an-Nahl means "not letting them go, taking them, catching them, or holding them." The word is the present tense of the verb "amsaka," meaning "to catch with the hand, hold and pull back." With this word, our Almighty Lord reveals that He holds the bird in the air and that it flies by His command. Bird flight is still the subject of wide-ranging research by scientists. Having observed the perfection of bird flight, scientists use the avian body and avian flight ability as direct models in producing such vehicle as airplanes and jets.
The above-mentioned verse may well be highlighting the manner in which birds comply with the aerodynamic laws created by Allah as they fly. The science of aerodynamics studies the behavior of solid bodies in a fluid environment such as air. For example, as a plane moves through the air, various forces emerge that affect its movement. In order for the plane to move as planned and not to run into any resistance, the plane is thoroughly tested beforehand against the resistance exhibited by the air. Its shape and movement is planned as a result of lengthy calculations, measurements and experiments.
Today, scientists are still astonished at how birds defy gravity with such skill and poise. Using no form of trial and error, they cope with the laws of aerodynamics in the most perfect manner. The use of the word "musakhkharatin" (suspended) in the verse to describe bird flight is an exceedingly specific choice of language, because it suggests that they have been "encouraged to a specific end, have had to do something, have submitted or bowed their heads, have bound themselves to Allah or have submitted to His laws". This is the implication contained in the word itself. In that way, the verse may be indicating the manner in which aerodynamic laws have a determining influence on bird flight. (Allah knows the truth.)
At first sight, there would appear to be nothing to make it difficult for birds to fly. But according to the laws of aerodynamics, any object flying in the air is subject to various different forces. The best-known of these are gravity, propulsion, drag and lift. In order for any meaningful flight to take place, these forces have to be balanced perfectly. The slightest imbalance in a bird would cause it to come crashing down to earth each time it tried to fly. For example, if gravity is stronger than the other forces, the bird will fall to earth. That is why the word in the verse is the best possible expression of the situation which we are examining here. The presence in the Qur'an of expressions containing such information at a time when no science of aerodynamics or mechanics existed, once again, reveals that the Qur'an is a divine text.
In addition to the aerodynamic perfection in bird flight, scientists are also researching the migration patterns of thousands of kilometers that they make. Ornithologists have today concluded that these are literally programmed in them. The way that young birds are able to undertake long and arduous journeys with no guide or previous experience is the most obvious example of this. The Arabic word "musakhkharatin" in the verse quoted above implies "being encouraged toward a specific target, being taken under command, being taken under submission," clearly revealing that birds obey the instructions they are given when following the directions set out for them. There is no possibility of birds, which are devoid of intellect and consciousness, managing to make their own calculations as they fly. Scientists today are in agreement that these extraordinary abilities in birds are "pre-programmed" in them. This is set out in an article in the journal Science:
There is good evidence that young birds are equipped with endogenous migratory programs, which tell them roughly how many days and/or nights that they must fly, and in what direction.19 (emphasis added)
In his book La Puissance et la Fragilité, Pierre Jean Hamburger from René Descartes University describes the extraordinary 24,000-kilometer journey made by the shearwater that lives in the Pacific Ocean:
It sets out from the coast of Australia. From there it flies straight southward to the Pacific. Then it turns north and flies along the coast of Japan until reaching the Bering Sea where it can rest for a while. Following that break it sets off again, and this time heads south. Crossing the western coast of America, it arrives in California. It then crosses the Pacific to return to its starting point. The route and timing of this 15,000-mile (24,000-kilometer) figure '8' journey it makes every year never change. The journey in question lasts a whole six months, always coming to an end in the third week of September on the island it left six months before, at the nest it left six months before. What comes next is even more astonishing; after their return, the birds clean their nests, mate, and lay a single egg over the last 10 days of October. The chicks hatch out two months later, grow very fast and are cared for over three months until their parents set out on that stupendous journey. Two weeks later; around the middle of April, it is time for the young birds to take wing on their own journey. They follow exactly the same route as that described above, with no guide. The explanation is so obvious: These birds must have all the directions for such a journey within the inherited characteristics passed on within the egg. Some people may claim that birds navigate by the Sun and stars or follow the winds prevailing along their route on this journey out and back. But it is clear that these factors cannot determine the journey's geographical and chronological accuracy.20 (emphasis added)
Professor Peter Berthold, a famous ornithologist who has investigated bird migration for 20 years and president of the Max Planck Institute Ornithological Research Center, says the following about bird migration:
Every year an estimated 50 billion birds make migratory journeys, along a network of routes that encompasses the whole world. Sometimes travelling tens of thousands of kilometers, crossing continents and oceans, migratory birds have become so well adapted to this task that they can traverse the largest deserts and seas, the highest mountains and expanses of ice... migratory birds have comprehensive, detailed, innate spatio-temporal programs for successful migration. Such programs evidently enable even young, inexperienced birds to migrate alone, with no adult guide, to the species- or population-specific winter quarters that they have never seen before. As will be explained further below, they do this by "vector" navigation: referring to a vector composed of a genetically predetermined migratory direction and to a time-plan, also genetically predetermined, for the course of migration... It follows that the departure time is programmed by genetic factors... But how do birds "know" the direction in which to migrate, so that they will reach their specific winter quarters? Here, again data have been obtained that point to direct genetic control mechanisms. It has long been suspected that migration directions are innate... when displaced from the normal starting point, and still more crucially, when tested in orientation cages, migratory birds showed directional preferences practically identical to the normal ones, even if they had never migrated before. Now a number of experiments have provided evidence of the genetic determination of migration direction... Even these directional changes are evidently programmed endogenously to a great extent... With an innate pattern of migratory activity, the birds possess a genetically determined migration schedule. In combination with genetically determined migratory directions, as mentioned above, it guides even inexperienced individuals, migrating for the first time, "automatically" to their previously unknown winter quarters (vector navigation, using a vector composed of a time- and a direction-plan).21 (emphasis added)
In conclusion, although scientists are unable to fully account for it, they still agree that migration is pre-programmed behavior that birds possess from birth. Journeys lasting thousands of kilometers, the preparations made for these flights and birds’ ability to find their way and navigate during flight all take place by our Lord's choosing, as expressed in the above verse. The accuracy of all the information provided in the Qur'an is important evidence that this information has all been revealed by Allah.
The Miracle of Fire and Wood, That Cannot Be Obtained Artificially
Have you thought about the fire that you light? Is it you who make the trees that fuel it grow or are We the Grower? We have made it to be a reminder and a comfort for travelers in the wild. So glorify the name of your Lord, the Magnificent! (Surat al-Waqi 'a, 71-74)
One of the chemical substances mainly responsible for the structure of wood is "lignocellulose." This substance is a compound of the materials known as "lignin" and "cellulose" that give wood its hardness. In terms of chemical structure, wood is made up of 50% cellulose, 25% hemicelluloses and 25% lignin.22 An analysis of these substances' chemical formulae reveals three vital elements: hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.
Hydrogen, oxygen and carbon are the building blocks of millions of substances in nature. But as a miracle from Allah, these three also combine to give rise to the substance "lignocellulose", which is found in plants. Although scientists know that hydrogen, oxygen and carbon are the ingredients of lignocellulose, some of the greatest minds in the world have been completely unable to reproduce this special material in plants. Although these elements can easily be obtained, scientists have been unable to create a single piece of wood by artificial means, despite having countless examples before them to study. Yet all the trees we see around us have been ceaselessly producing this compound for millions of years by combining oxygen, carbon, water and sunlight.
One of the compounds in lignocellulose is water, expressed by the formula H2O. Despite containing a large amount of water in its make-up, wood is still somehow one of the most flammable materials in nature. The above verse is very wise in noting that wood cannot be made by human beings. By means of these compounds and the water it contains, wood is one of the most important fuels of fire.
Trees are an important sphere of scientific research. Scientists are still struggling to grasp all the details in their Creation. The complex structures of the cells that constitute trees have still not been fully unraveled, despite advances in technology and intensive research. The Forestry Commission of Great Britain, one of the world's leading forestry research institutions, says the following under the heading "Lack of Information on the Chemistry and Structure of Wood Fibres":
Despite the knowledge resulting from earlier and ongoing research, there still exists a lack of information on the chemistry and structure of wood fibres. Large variations can be found within a single tree, from the pith to the bark and from the base to the top of a tree. Often the chemistry and structure of a wood cell are extremely heterogeneous and difficult to investigate with conventional techniques.23
A paper in the scientific journal Plant Physiology titled "Our Understanding of How Wood Develops is not Complete" describes the limited knowledge of the subject that scientists possess:
Considering the important role that wood is foreseen to play in the near future, it is surprising to see that our understanding of how wood develops is far from complete. With a few exceptions, very little is known about the cellular, molecular, and developmental processes that underlie wood formation. Xylogenesis represents an example of cell differentiation in an exceptionally complex form. This process is controlled by a wide variety of factors both exogenous (photoperiod and temperature) and endogenous (phytohormones) and by interaction between them. It is driven by the coordinated expression of numerous structural genes (some of known function) involved in cell origination, differentiation, programmed cell death, and heartwood (HW) formation and by virtually unknown regulatory genes orchestrating this ordered developmental sequence. The presence of gene families and the extreme plasticity of the metabolism involved (as exemplified by the unusual behavior of plants with transformed cell walls; for review, see Fagard et al., 2000) add a further complexity to our understanding of the process of wood formation.24
The extraordinary Creation in wood is emphasized thus in another scientific journal, Annals of Botany:
Wood formation is a highly complicated process involving an unbelievable variety of metabolic steps in the roots, stem and crown of shrubs and trees. At the centre of these processes is cambial activity which results in the release of young woody cells that undergo maturation until autolysis of the protoplast, indicating the final developmental stage. Later on, in various tree species, woody cells become further modified by an additional process called heartwood formation. The properties of wood that make it an appropriate raw material for many purposes are largely determined by the specific architecture of the cell walls. Difficulties in investigating these many developmental stages appear when routine techniques, which work well for soft plant tissues, are applied. Therefore, in most cases, these techniques need modification or the use of completely revised protocols to yield good results for woody tissues.25
These details in the Creation of wood remind us, as set out in Surat al-Waqi 'a, that wood cannot be made by human beings. Just a few of the inimitable features of wood, which cannot be produced artificially, are as follows:
Wood, a Resistant Material
The hard and resistant nature of wood is the result of the cellulose fibers it contains. Cellulose is exceptionally hard and is insoluble in water. It is this property of cellulose that makes the use of wood in construction so advantageous. Cellulose, described as a "contractible and incomparable substance," has been used for centuries in the construction of buildings, bridges and many other structures.
Wood consists of parallel columns made up of convex cells laid end to end. These are surrounded by cellulose fibers in spiral form. In addition, these cells are contained in "lignin," a substance made from a complex, polymer structure resin. These spirally-enclosed layers make up 80% of the thickness of the cell wall and bears most of the load there is to bear. When a wood cell collapses internally, it absorbs the shock of a blow by detatching itself from the surrounding cells. Even when such collapses causes a crack along the length of the fiber, the wood remains remarkably unharmed. That is why wood is strong enough to bear specific loads even if it is broken.
In addition, wood is also able to absorb the energy of low-speed blows. World War Two era fighter plane known as the "Mosquito" was made by compressing wood between strips of fiber board, making it the most damage-resistant plane of its time. The rigid, resistant nature of wood make it a very reliable material because wood breaks or cracks slowly enough to be visible from the outside, thus giving people enough time to take the necessary precautions.26
A material based on the structure of wood can be up to fifty times more resistant than other synthetic materials currently in use.27 Today, these unique properties of wood are used against high speed impacts and destructive fragments such as bombs and bullets. Yet scientists have not been able, despite their staunchest efforts, to come even close to replicating a piece of wood with all its many attributes. Every detail in the Creation of wood, - the thickness of the internal layers, their level of compression, the number of vessels, their layout and the materials inside it, have been specially created to result in that resistance.
The Hydraulic System That Raises Water Many Meters against the Force of Gravity
The dead part of wood, known as the "xylem," contains hollow channels. These, also known as "wood vessels," consist of inanimate cells that gradually lose their nuclei and cytoplasm, and which are piled one on top of the other. Long, thin wood vessels form when the membranes between the cells dissolve and disappear.
Roots spreading out beneath the soil carry the water and minerals the plant needs upward through these tissues. The water is then transmitted as far as the leaves. The way the roots absorb the water in the ground is reminiscent of the “test bore technique”. The roots themselves have no engines to initiate the water absorption process; neither do they have any technical equipment with which to pump water and minerals for distances of up to several meters. But the roots absorb the water present in the depths of the soil by spreading over a very wide area.
This lifting process that the plant performs so flawlessly is an exceedingly complex one. Yet this system has still not yet been fully understood, even in these days of high technology and space travel. The presence of a "hydraulic system” in plants was determined some two centuries ago, but we still do not know how this action in defiance of the force of gravity takes place. The superior technology squeezed into such a confined space is just one of the examples demonstrating the incomparable knowledge of our Lord, the Creator of the system. Like everything in the universe, Almighty Allah created the transportation system in trees.
As seen in the picture above, wood consists of tubular or straw-shaped cells. By combining one on top of the other, these cells, which make up the roots and trunks of plants, serve as channels that carry water and minerals throughout the plant. This tissue, known as "xylem," also constitutes a powerful structure that enables the plant to remain upright. To the right, we can see a slice of dry wood in cross-section. When dried out, the tube-like channels become hollow, as shown in the illustration.
Roots Capable of Selecting Minerals from the Soil
Plants draw all the mineral nutrients they need from the soil; this includes potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Since the substances are not found separately in the soil, they absorb them as ions (positively or negatively charged atoms). Of all the many inorganic ions in dissolved state in the soil, plants absorb only the fourteen they need.
The iron concentration inside plant cells is 1,000 times greater than that in the soil outside.29 Under normal condition, an exchange of matter from a high density region to a lower density one will take place. But exactly the opposite happens in plant roots, and the ions in the soil are easily able to pass into the root cells.30
Because of this state of affairs that operates contrary to the pressure system, the plant uses a high level of energy in the pumping process. In addition, in the plant roots' taking up ions from the soil, there needs to be an identification system that attracts only the wanted ions and repels the unwanted ones. This shows that the ion pumps in the root cells are no ordinary pumps, but possess the ability to select between ions. Bearing in mind that the cell in the plant roots are made up of atoms devoid of any intelligence or consciousness, we must all surely acknowledge what an extraordinary process ion selection truly is.
Photosynthesis: The Superior Technology in a Miniature Factory
Whilst you may think that it is rare for a material to be as elusive to scientists as wood is, leaves tell a similar story. Leaves play a part in one of nature’s most important processes - photosynthesis. Photosynthesis, one of the systems that scientists still do not fully understand, may be summarized as plants manufacturing their own nutrients. Because of the delicate but perfect structure contained within plant cells, plants are able to store solar energy. At the end of various complex processes, this energy takes on a form which can readily be used by human beings as well as animals. In addition, the photosynthetic energy stored in trees is also emanated during burning. For example, the energy emitted by wood when burned to heat a house is actually energy from the Sun stored during the formation of wood.31
The photosynthesis system, which operates like a miniature factory, takes place in an organelle known as the "chloroplast" inside the plant cell. This is where it gets its distinctive green color from. Chloroplasts are just one-thousandth of a millimeter in size, for which reason they can only be seen under a microscope. When solar energy falls on the leaf, they transmit it to the layers inside it. Chlorophyll inside the chloroplasts in the leaf cells convert this light energy into chemical energy. The plant obtaining this chemical energy immediately uses it to obtain nutrients. It took scientists until the mid-20th century to obtain this information - summarized in just a few lines here. Pages of chain reactions were written to describe the whole process of photosynthesis. But some links in the chain are still a mystery to scientists. Yet, plants have been performing these processes uninterruptedly for hundreds of millions of years, thus providing the earth with food and oxygen.
Here, we must take a moment to remind ourselves of the following: not a single cell constituting wood can be made by artificial means, and human beings' helplessness in the face of dead wood cells, shows the presence of a sublime Creator. The properties of wood, about which many volumes could be written, reveal the perfection in Allah’s Creation. The countless qualities which wood is synonymous with inspires scientists to research its make-up yet despite extensive efforts, there is still much that is not known about the true nature of wood. Allah’s Sublime Knowledge and intellect is the only possible explanation behind wood.
A Red Rose In The Sky: The Rosette Nebula
When the Heaven shall be cleft asunder, and become rose red, like stained leather. (Surat ar-Rahman, 37)
The Arabic expression translated above as "become rose red, like stained leather" is "wardatan kaalddihani." This term compares an image appearing in the sky to a red rose. This description bears a close similarity to red celestial bodies with a crumpled appearance, especially the "Rosette Nebula."
Nebula is the name given to cloud-like masses of gas in space. Before they become nebulae, they are stars - and since these stars are very large, they release gasses into space because of their high internal pressure and temperatures. These eruptions of gas are very large and fast. These gasses then coalesce to form a gas cloud, with a temperature of more than 15,000 0C.32
One type of nebula is known as the "Rosette Nebula" because of its close resemblance to a rose. The Rosette Nebula is also a vast cloud of gas and seems to have an area five times greater than that of the full moon.33 Its true diameter is estimated at 130 light years.34
A team led by Leisa Townsley, a senior Penn State University researcher in the field of astronomy and astrophysics, examined the Rosette Nebula using the renowned Chandra X-ray telescope. They imaged hundreds of stars in the Rosette Nebula and determined that by crashing into one another, stars produce gas at temperatures of six million degrees. Townsley describes what she saw:
A ghostly glow of diffuse X ray emission pervades the Rosette Nebula and perhaps many other star-forming regions throughout the Galaxy. We now have a new view of the engine lighting the beautiful Rosette Nebula and new evidence for how the interstellar medium may be energized.35
The existence of this body seen in the illustrations can only be confirmed by high-tech observation equipment. This state of affairs regarding the skies noted in the Qur'an is in great agreement with the findings of present-day astronomy. In one verse of the Qur'an, we are told:
You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus, 61)
The Heliocentric System
He created the heavens and the earth with truth. He wraps the night around the day and wraps the day around the night, and has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running for a specified term. Is He not indeed the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving? (Surat az-Zumar, 5)
In the above verse, the movement of the Earth is described by the word "yukawwiru," which comes from root verb "takwir." This means "to cover up a spherical body," in the way that the rotation of the Earth gives rise to night and day, like the winding of a turban around the head of a man. In addition to the spherical shape of the Earth, the word is also the most accurate expression of its movement around the Sun. Because of the Earth's spherical shape and its movement around the Sun, the Sun always illuminates one side of the Earth while the other is in darkness. The side in shadow is shrouded by the darkness of night, only to be replaced seamlessly by the brightness of day when the Sun rises. The positions of the Sun and Earth are revealed as follows in Surah Ya Sin:
And the Sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. And We have decreed set phases for the Moon, until it ends up looking like an old palm spathe. It is not for the Sun to overtake the Moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Surah Ya Sin, 38-40)
The movements of the Sun and Moon in the final verse of this excerpt are described by the Arabic word "yasbahoona," meaning "flowing, passing or swimming." This word refers to an action performed by someone without any help from others. Someone acting according to this verb continues to perform it alone, with no intervention from anyone else. The above verses may therefore be referring to the Sun's independent movement in the universe, independent of any other celestial body. (Allah knows the truth.) It is impossible for us to see or follow the movement of the Sun with our own eyes. In reality, the true nature of its existence is beyond us. It is only possible to determine that movement using special technological equipment. As stated in verse 39 of Surah Ya Sin, in addition to rotating around its own axis once every 26 days, the Sun also moves through its own course.
It is also reported in the verse that the Sun is not allowed to "overtake the Moon", and it stated in the Qur’an that the Sun and Moon do not revolve around the same body, as astronomers put it. At the same time, it is made clear in the verse that there is no connection between the motion responsible for night and day and the movement of the Sun and Moon. (Allah knows the truth.)
Until the 16th century, it was thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. This view is known as the "geocentric model," from the Greek words geo (Earth) and kentron (center). This belief was questioned by the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 in his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (Of the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres), in which he suggested that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the Sun. As a result of observations using a telescope performed by Galileo Galilei in 1610, it was scientifically established that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Up until this point, it had been widely accepted that the Sun revolved around the Earth – so most scholars of the time stubbornly rejected Copernicus' theory. The famous astronomer Johannes Kepler's views setting out the movements of the planets confirmed the heliocentric model in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this model, whose name comes from the words Helios (Sun) and kentron (center), the Sun is the center of the universe, rather than the Earth. Other heavenly bodies also revolve around the Sun. Yet this was all revealed 1400 years ago in the Qur'an.
By saying that the Earth was the center of the universe, the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy was responsible for the geocentric idea of the universe that dominated scientific thought for hundreds of years. For that reason, at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, nobody knew that the Earth-centered model was incorrect. The information in the Qur'an refutes the thesis that the Earth is fixed while the Sun revolves around it. It was believed that the stars and planets revolved around the Earth. Despite these prevalent errors of the time, the Qur'an contains information which was not known, or even considered, at that time. Many expressions in the Qur’an on this matter agree with the scientific facts regarding day and night:
By the Sun and its morning brightness, and the Moon when it follows it, and the day when it displays it, and the night when it conceals it. (Surat ash-Shams, 1-4)
As set out in the above verse, day – which is essentially the brightness of the Sun – results from the movement of the Earth. Our planet spins on its own axis. It is not the movement of the Sun that is responsible for night and day. In other words, the Sun is immobile in terms of night and day. The Qur'an is clearly descended from the presence of our Lord. As science and technology advance more and more, examples of the compatibility between the Qur'an and science are coming to light. This is set out in another verse from the Qur'an:
There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf, 111)
Quasars And The Gravitational Lens Effect
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surah an-Nur, 35)
Quasar is the name given to the extremely dense and bright bodies that look like stars and emit radio waves in space. Quasars are acknowledged as the brightest celestial bodies in the universe. The brightness of the brightest quasars in the universe is more than two trillion times greater than that of the Sun (2x1012) – this is approximately 100 times greater than the total light emitted by a galaxy such as the Milky Way.36
The word "noor" (nur) in the verse means "light, brightness, daylight, shining, illumination." The light referred to in the verse is suggestive, in terms of its brightness, of these celestial bodies known as quasars. Here, the visibility of quasar light and the source of that light seems to be the reason for this intricate description. (Allah knows the truth.)
The word "duriyyun" meaning "bright" in the expression "kaannaha kawkabun durriyyun" in the verse, itself meaning "like a brilliant star," is highly compatible with the scientific description of quasars as "bright, stellar bodies".37 In addition, it is mentioned of "giving off light even if no fire touches it." It is probable that this is a reference to the way quasars burn without fire, ie., nuclear fusion. Since oxygen is not naturally present in space, there can be no question of the burning of the brightness of quasars having anything to do with fire. The burning taking place here does so as hydrogen atoms are compressed and produce helium. The energy released during this process then illuminates space.
The expression "light upon light" in the verse may well be a reference to the "gravitational lens effect" in astronomy. (Allah knows the truth.) Many astronomers investigating sources of light in the universe will easily understand this description. It seems to be a reference to the way light from a source behind a body with a very dense mass, such as a black hole, departs under the effect of that dense body. Thus, it reaches us from different angles. It appears that there is therefore more than one source of light for the images that we see. Due to this "gravitational lens effect," an object appears to be somewhere different to where it actually is, and in greater numbers.
The term "a niche in which is a lamp" –known as “the light verse” - may allude to the area of gravitational lens effect of a black hole. (Allah knows the truth.) It is significant that in describing the effect that arises, NASA scientists use the analogy of the effect of a drinking glass:
The gravitational effect of the galaxy on the distant quasar was similar to the lens effect of a drinking glass on a distant street light–it created multiple images.38
In his book The Whole Shebang, regarded as one of the leading books of the 20th century by the New York Times, the science writer Timothy Ferris clarifies the subject as follows:
As light from a quasar travels towards us… it may pass through either side of an intervening cluster of galaxies. The warped space surrounding the cluster can act as a lens, with a result that we see two images of what is (or was) actually one quasar.39
The reference in the verse to "light upon light" may be a description of reflected light forming more than one image. In addition, the term "neither of the east nor of the west" in the verse is in all likelihood a reference to the uncertainty of the light's source. (Allah knows the truth.)
Quasars are the brightest known objects in the universe. They are also the nuclei of growing galaxies with black holes in their center. Black holes arise as the result of the contraction of stars and gasses belonging to galaxies.40 They are the source of quasar energy. A quasar's brightness is spread by stars falling into the black holes at the centers of galaxies. Thinking of the "lamp" in the verse as a quasar, the "niche" may well be a reference to the black hole that feeds the quasar. (Allah knows the truth.)
Einstein suggested that due to the effect described as the "gravitational lens," bodies in space could bend light and that it was possible for an observer to see several images from one single source.41 However, this effect was only observed for the first time in the quasar known as the "Twin Quasar" in 1979. Quasars were first discovered in 1963, some fourteen centuries after the revelation of the Qur'an. The status of the heavenly bodies described in the 35th verse of Surat an-Nur is in total agreement with current scientific thinking. This, along with a many other scientific miracles, confirm that the only possible source of the Qur'an is our Omniscient Lord, the Creator of all things.
Present-Day Radar Technology
We gave David great favor from Us: 'O mountains and birds! Echo with him in his praise!' And We made iron malleable for him: (Surah Saba', 10)
We gave Solomon understanding of it. We gave each of them judgment and knowledge. We subjected the mountains to David, glorifying, and the birds as well. This is something We are well able to do. (Surat al-Anbiya', 79)
So We subjected the wind to him to blow at his command, softly, wherever he directed. (Surah Sâd, 36)
The above verses refer to the superior attributes bestowed on the Prophets David (as) and Solomon (as), and inform us that each was given knowledge from the Presence of Allah. The words chosen may refer to present-day radar technology, which works by the reflection of electromagnetic waves. (Allah knows the truth.) The word "awwibee" in verse 10 of Surah Saba', translated as "echoing" in the verse and meaning "the return or reiteration of sound," is reminiscent of echo-based radar technology as well as radio receivers mentioned in previous pages.
Radar is a location device used to determine the location, speed and direction of mobile or stationary objects, and works by reflecting micro-waves.42 The operating principle of radar bears a close similarity to the reflection of sound. For example, someone shouting in a valley or a cave hears his own voice being reflected back to him. If we know how fast sound travels through the air, we can calculate the distance and general direction of the object it bounces off.
In the radar system, electromagnetic energy signals are used in very much the same way. Signals with a microwave frequency are emitted toward an object and then return after being reflected by it. This part of the signal returning to the radar is called an "echo." Radar devices use this echo to determine the direction and distance of the object doing the reflecting.43 Since they also use electromagnetic energy, radio, television and the human eye all bear a close resemblance to radar systems, though their frequencies are ultimately different. In addition, radar uses the reflected energy known as the "echo," rather than directly transmitted energy as in these examples.44 Reflected signals are converted into numerical values by the radar receiver and recorded as data on "echo stores." Finally, the data is processed and converted into images.45
The use of the Arabic verb "alanna," meaning "We have made malleable," in the tenth verse of Surah Saba' is again exceedingly wise. Iron is still described as soft, or malleable, despite being physically very hard. This form of iron, known as "soft magnetic iron" because of its magnetic properties is used greatly in radar and satellite technology.46 Soft iron is used because it strengthens the magnetic field and can be opened and closed as desired.
"The wind being told to blow at his command" is how the Qur’an describes the power given to the Prophet Solomon (as). Verse 36 of Sura Sad may very well be a reference to electromagnetic signals being transmitted as desired in the air—thanks to the use of soft iron. (Allah knows the truth.)
The radar imaging used today scans the world at every moment and developments taking place anywhere on the earth can thus be constantly monitored. In addition, data can be collected about physical features on earth, such as mountains, glaciers and the oceans—and also about man-made objects, such as houses, bridges and cars. This operating principle, as well as the materials used in this advanced technology, can be found in the Qur’an. Could anybody have know these facts in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century AD? This information can only have come from our Lord, Who created past and future as a single moment and Who is unfettered by time.
The Expanding Earth
It is He Who stretched out the earth and placed firmly embedded mountains and rivers in it and made two types of every kind of fruit. He covers over day with night. There are signs in that for people who reflect. (Surat Ar-Ra‘d, 3)
The Arabic term “madda al-arda” translated “as stretched out” in the above verse, means “to be covered, spread out, stretched, pulled out, expanded or opened.” The use of this word in the context of the earth in referring to the formation of mountains and rivers is exceedingly wise, because looking at the scientific explanation of the formation of the earth, it does indeed appear that mountains and rivers formed through the stretching and expansion of the earth.
Present day science says that the earth had a very different appearance in the very earliest times compared to what it is now. In his book Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane (The Origin of the Continents and Oceans) printed in 1915, the famous German scientist Alfred Lothar Wegener proposed that all the continents had originally been one single land mass. This great land mass later came to be known by the Greek name Pangaea, meaning “all continents.47 According to Alfred Wegener's theory of “continental drift,” put forward in 1912, the continents at the two ends of the Atlantic Ocean are still moving away from one another. This theory assumed its latest, present-day state with the development of the scientific theory known as plate tectonics. Continents do not move away from one another by sliding over the ocean floor, rather the ocean floor and the continents drift together over a layer of liquid magma under great heat and pressure and known as the “astenosphere” or “upper crust.” Therefore, both the land continents on earth visible from the outside and also the crust under the sea are both in motion together.48
Because the plates that bear the continents move in a manner described as contraction and expansion, or stretching, the continents are today moving away from one another at a rate of approximately three centimeters per year.49 The most evident expansion taking place on the sea bed is that between Arabia and Africa, where the continents are moving away from one another three or four times faster. When the expansion takes place on the continent, rather than on the sea bed, the result is constantly widening valleys such as the Great Rift Valley in the East Africa-Arabia regions.
The Great Rift Valley is a geographical and geological formation stretching some 6000 kilometers, from Sudan in North Africa to Mozambique in the east. The valley ranges from 30-100 kilometers in width and is several thousand kilometers deep.50 This deep valley brought such formations as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya into being as Africa and the Arabian Peninsula moved away from one another over a process lasting millions of years. The eastern part of valley consists of the River Jordan, the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. It then extends southward along the Red Sea and various lakes in Kenya. Most of these lakes are very deep and below sea-level.51
The book The Expanding Earth describes how it is not only mountains, but also certain river beds that formed due to the “expansion” of the earth:
In all cases the greatest stress occurred at the location of the earth's major rivers. This development suggests that the major riverbeds came into existence as a result of expansion rather than random erosion. Since the continents were fixed on an expanding surface, it may be logically deduced that expansion caused the land masses to stretch and, at the points of greatest tension, to break, thus forming the rivers.52
In statements regarding the continent of North America, the Utah Geological Research Center says:
The ranges and basins have been forming for the past 10 to 20 million years in response to east-west stretching of the earth's crust. Stretching creates tension that is released by slow continuous movement or sudden movement along a fault (a break in the earth's crust), which causes earthquakes. During an earthquake, the mountains rise while the valleys drop along the faults. The stretching continues today.53
Facts such as the expansion of the earth can only be established by comprehensive research and common data from various contemporary branches of science. For example, photographs taken by satellite, the product of 20th century technology, have confirmed the view that the continents were once complementary to one another. Highly accurate measurements have revealed that the expansion in the earth’s crust is continuing at a slow but specific rate. The presence of such special information in the Qur’an, at a time when nobody could determine anything about the continents and, what is more, about formations that took millions of years to develop, once again shows that it is the word of Allah. The way that the Qur’an, revealed 1,400 years ago, contains such profound information about the formation of the earth, is one of its scientific miracles.
The Sun Will Eventually Expire
And the Sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Surah Ya Sin, 38)
The Sun has been emitting heat for around five billion years as a result of the constant nuclear reactions taking place on its surface. At a moment determined by Allah in the future, these reactions will eventually come to an end - and the Sun will lose all its energy and finally go out, extinguished like a light bulb which runs out of power. In that context, the above verse may be a reference to the Sun's energy one day coming to an end. (Allah knows the truth.)
The Arabic word "limustaqarrin" in the verse refers to a particular place or time. The word "tajree" translated as "runs," bears such meanings as "to move, to act swiftly, to move about, to flow." It appears from the meanings of the words that the Sun will continue in its course in time and space, but that this motion will continue until a specific, predetermined time. The verse "When the sun is compacted in blackness," (Surat at-Takwir, 1) which appears in descriptions of Doomsday, tells us that such a time will eventually come. Of course, the specific timing is known only to Allah.
The Arabic word "taqdeeru," translated as "decree" in the verse, includes such meanings as "to appoint, to determine the destiny of something, to measure." By this expression in verse 38 of Surah Ya Sin, we are told that the life span of the Sun is limited to a period of time ordained by Allah. Other verses of the Qur'an on the subject read:
Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any support – you can see that – and then established Himself firmly on the Throne. He made the Sun and Moon subservient, each running for a specified term. He directs the whole affair. He makes the Signs clear so that hopefully you will be certain about the meeting with your Lord. (Surat ar- Ra'd, 2)
He makes night merge into day and day merge into night, and He has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running until a specified time. That is Allah, your Lord. The Kingdom is His. Those you call on besides Him have no power over even the smallest speck. (Surah Fatir, 13)
He created the heavens and the earth with truth. He wraps the night around the day and wraps the day around the night, and has made the Sun and Moon subservient, each one running for a specified term. Is He not indeed the Almighty, the Endlessly Forgiving? (Surah az-Zumar, 5)
The use of the word "musamman" in the above verses shows that the life span of the Sun will run for a "specified term."
Scientific analysis regarding the end of the Sun describes it as consuming four million tons of matter per second, and says that the Sun will die when that fuel has all been consumed.54 The heat and light emitted from the Sun is the energy released when matter is consumed: hydrogen nuclei turn into helium in the nuclear fusion process. The Sun's energy, and its life, will therefore come to an abrupt end once this fuel has been used up. (Allah knows the truth.) A report titled "The Death of the Sun" by the BBC News Science Department says:
... The Sun will gradually die. As a star's core crashes inwards, it eventually becomes hot enough to ignite another of its constituent atoms, helium. Helium atoms fuse together to form carbon. When the helium supply runs out, the centre collapses again and the atmosphere inflates. The Sun isn't massive enough to fully re-ignite its core for a third time. So it goes on expanding, shedding its atmosphere in a series of bursts... The dying core eventually forms a white dwarf - a spherical diamond the size of the Earth, made of carbon and oxygen. From this point on the Sun will gradually fade away, becoming dimmer and dimmer until its light is finally snuffed out.55
A documentary, also called "The Death of the Sun," broadcast by National Geographic TV, provides the following description:
It (the Sun) generates heat and sustains life on our planet. But like humans, the Sun has a limited lifespan. As our star ages, it will become hotter and expand, evaporating all of our oceans and killing all life on planet Earth... The Sun will get hotter as it ages and burns fuel faster. Temperatures will increase, eventually wiping out animal life, evaporating our oceans and killing all plant life... the Sun will swell and become a red giant star, swallowing up the nearest planets. Its gravitational pull will lessen and perhaps allow Earth to escape. By the end, it will shrink into a white dwarf star, emitting a weak glow for hundreds of billions of years.56
Scientists have only recently unraveled the structure of the Sun, thus discovering what goes on inside its burning mass. Before that, nobody knew how the Sun obtained its energy or how it emitted heat and light. The way that such a giant mass of energy would one day consume all its energy and expire was revealed fourteen centuries ago to mankind through Allah’s Final Messenger (pbuh.) Once again, the Qur'an its credentials as a source of sublime knowledge. That knowledge belongs to our Lord, Whose knowledge enfolds all things. It is revealed in another verse of the Qur'an thus:
... My Lord encompasses all things in His knowledge so will you not pay heed? (Surat al-An'am, 80)
The Sun's Hydrogen and Helium Content
The Sun is made up of 70% hydrogen (H) and 28% helium (He) atoms.57 Other substances make up less than 2% of the Sun’s constitutions. One of the most astonishing facts about the Sun is this: six hundred million tons of hydrogen are converted into a mind-boggling 596 million tons of helium in the Sun every second. The remaining 4 million tons is given off as heat and light energy.58 In that sense, the first thing that comes to mind when the Sun is mentioned is the letters H (hydrogen) and He (helium) that stand for the Sun. All the 15 verses in Surat ash-Shams of the Qur'an (Shams meaning 'Sun'), end in the letters H and E. The Arabic equivalent of these letters are:
The Arabic form of the verses in Surat ash-Shams and the final letters thereof can be seen below:
As can be seen, all the verses in Surat ash-Shams end in the letters He and Alif. The letter H stands for hydrogen and He for helium. No other Surah in the Qur'an ends in the letters HE in every verse from beginning to end. It is therefore extremely striking how only this Surah’s verses end with this particular sequence of letters. Surat ash-Shams's number – 91 - is also highly significant. Apart from hydrogen, there are ninety-one other elements in the Periodic Table, and these are made up of hydrogen elements. From hydrogen, the lightest element, to the heaviest – all of these are intra-atomic combinations of hydrogen atoms. For that reason, the H (hydrogen) atom in the Sun makes up the other ninety-one elements in nature. 59
Almighty Allah has created all the details in nature, and is still creating them. All our knowledge about such details allow us to comprehend our Lord’s Omniscience. In one verse, we are told:
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara, 255)
Many miraculous features of the Qur'an prove it is Allah’s Word. It contains scientific details, extraordinary scientific codes as well as many other features which categorically prove its divine status. In addition, information which could not have been scientifically proven during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (saas) is found in abundance in Allah’s Holy Book. The fact that only 20th and 21st-century technology has confirmed some of the Qur’anic verses provides clear proof that the Qur'an cannot be the work of any human being.
One of the verses that may be referring to the future is verse 73 of Surat al-Baqara:
Remember when you killed someone and violently accused each other of it, and Allah brought out what you were hiding. We said, 'Hit him with part of it!' In that way Allah gives life to the dead and He shows you His Signs so that hopefully you will understand. (Surat al-Baqara, 72-73)
Among the meanings of the Arabic term "bibaadiha," translated as "with part of it" in the above verse, is "someone or some people." In the context of that meaning, the verse may be a reference to heart massage, striking the chest from above, which makes it possible to restart the heart if it has stopped beating. (Allah knows the truth.)
In such a scenario, the person to whom the massage is administered has the characteristics of a dead body: loss of consciousness, debilitating respiratory problems and decreasing heartbeat. With our present-day knowledge, heart massage can be applied to someone whose heart has stopped, enabling heartbeat and vital functions to resume. Pressure is applied to the rib cage at specific intervals during heart massage. Then, the rhythmic contraction required for it to continue pumping blood can be re-established. In that context, the striking of a dead body in such a way as to restore it to life, as stated in the verse, may be suggestive of the heart massage technique. The Qur'an is the word of Almighty Allah, He Who creates all things from nothing - and Whose knowledge enfolds all things. Every verse of the Qur'an therefore contains information revealed with the wisdom of our Almighty Lord. In one verse, Allah refers to the Qur'an itself as follows:
... Will they not ponder the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it. (Surat an-Nisa', 82)
The Cloning of Living Things
[Satan said:] "I will lead them astray and fill them with false hopes. I will command them and they will cut off cattle's ears. I will command them and they will change Allah's Creation." Anyone who takes satan as his protector in place of Allah has clearly lost everything." (Surat an-Nisa', 119)
The above verse contains the expression "yubattikunna," which derives from the verb "battaka" meaning "to cut off or break off." The term "yughayyirunna" in the verse derives from the verb "ghayyara," meaning "to change, alter, impair a thing's original form." At the end of both verbs appears the confirmatory letter "nun." With these expressions, this verse of Surat an-Nisa' may, in one aspect, be pointing to the scientific activity of copying or cloning of organisms. (Allah knows the truth.) This is because cloning experiments are generally conducted with cells taken from an animal's ear. To put it another way, a replica of a living thing is produced along with the extraction of cells from tissue samples "cut from animals' ears," just as described in the verse.
A report by the German Federal Agricultural Research Center provides the following information:
The tissue collection phase is short and simple. Once an animal has been located and restrained, a tissue sample like an ear clipping can be collected within seconds. Furthermore, somatic cells can be collected from all species… For cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, camelids and llamas, a unified and identical procedure can be used by obtaining a tissue sample from the ear using notchers which are also used for setting earmarks… Clearly, for all species lymphocytes could be used, but somatic cells from ear clippings will be much easier to obtain and are therefore preferable. 60
Some reports concerning organisms cloned by taking samples from ear tissue include:
- According to a report by Reuters dated 1 May, 2002, a research veterinarian at the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil, Jose Visintin, produced cloned embryos for the first time in the country by using cells taken from the ear of an adult cow.61
- According to a BBC report, South Korean scientists cloned a dog called Snuppy from cells taken from a three year-old Afghan hound. Researchers at Seoul National University extracted genetic material from the cells taken from the ear and placed it into an empty egg cell. An embryo was then obtained by stimulating the cell to divide.62
- Another BBC report said that a new clone had been produced using ear cells from an adult cow in research carried out by Dr. Jean-Paul Renard et al. at the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique in France.63
- According to information of the official Human Genome Project website, in February 2002, scientists from Advanced Cell Technologies (ACT), an American biotechnology company, carried out experiments on cloning a cow embryo using the skin cell of the donor cow's ear. 64
- A report by Associated Press, dated 24 January, 2000, announced that Japanese scientists
- had cloned the clone of a bull for the first time. In the re-cloning, skin tissue samples from
- the first generation cloned bull's ear were taken when it was four months old. These cells
- were then fused with an unfertilized egg from which the nucleus had been removed.65
- The way that changes in the Creation of living things are referred to in the Qur'an are highly significant. The expression "cutting off cattle's ears," at a time when no branches of science such as genetics or embryology existed, shows that the Qur'an has come down from the Sight of our Lord, Allah, Who is unfettered by time and space. We are also told at the end of the verse that these people will be disappointed when they alter what Allah has created. The verse may therefore be indicating that cloning will give rise to various problems for human beings. (Allah knows the truth.) Indeed, statements from the Genetic Science Learning Center of the University of Utah provide the following information:
When we hear of cloning successes, we learn about only the few attempts that worked. What we don't see are the many, many cloning experiments that failed! And even in the successful clones, problems tend to arise later, during the animal's development to adulthood.66
Information from the Human Genome Projects website takes this form:
Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from adult DNA, [died on] Feb. 14, 2003. Prior to her death, Dolly had been suffering from lung cancer and crippling arthritis… More than 90% of cloning attempts fail to produce viable offspring… In addition to low success rates, cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of infection, tumor growth, and other disorders. Japanese studies have shown that cloned mice live in poor health and die early… Appearing healthy at a young age unfortunately is not a good indicator of long term survival. Clones have been known to die mysteriously. For example, Australia's first cloned sheep appeared healthy and energetic on the day she died, and the results from her autopsy failed to determine a cause of death.67
In general terms, the risks arising from cloning experiments are as follows:
1) A high failure rate: The level of success is just 0.1%-3%. That means a failure rate of 970-999 for every 1000 experiments.68
2) Problems during development: Cloned animals that do survive generally have abnormally larger organs compared to the originals. This may lead to respiratory and circulatory difficulties, unhealthy kidneys and brains, and an impaired immune system.
3) Abnormal gene expression patterns: Although clones have the same DNA sequences as the originals, the cell nucleus in the clone does not have the same program as that in a natural embryo. To put it another way, the DNA cannot activate the right set of genes essential for the development of the clone at the right time. For example, cells of all kinds, nerve, bone, blood or skin for example, all have different programs but the genetic programs in the cloned embryo do not work as healthily as those in a natural embryo.
4) Telomeric differences: Chromosomes are shortened as cells divide. The reason for this is that DNA sequences at both ends of a chromosome, known as telomeres, are shortened during each DNA replication. As an animal grows older, the telomeres shorten as part of the natural aging process . Therefore, the copied life form has shortened chromosomes from the moment it is born, just as if it were actually older.
Genetic material taken from living cells is used in cloning experiments, but fertilization takes place artificially. The reproduction mechanism created by Allah is thus impaired with these methods, and unidentified diseases, developmental deficiencies and early deaths are encountered. Fourteen centuries ago, it was of course impossible to know that scientists would eventually engage in cloning and that they would encounter enormous problems despite the millions of dollars they spend on their projects. Once again, it is demonstrated in this verse that the Qur’an is a divine scripture.
The Contraction Motion That Facilitates Birth
The pains of labor drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said, 'Oh if only I had died before this time and was something discarded and forgotten!' A voice called out to her from under her, 'Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm towards you and fresh, ripe dates will drop down onto you.' (Surah Maryam, 23-25)
Modern medicine shows that squeezing an object during labor facilitates the baby's downward passage through the birth canal. The muscles used during contraction are the same as those that propel the baby outside the womb. Various methods are employed to achieve this, such as pulling on a cord suspended from the ceiling or on arms attached to the two sides of the bed. Also, the mother also has the option of holding onto and squeezing someone's hand.
A U-shaped bar, known as a "squat bar," is mounted onto the bed during labor and this is then used by the mother to quicken the delivery. Pulling on this bar facilitates the baby's departure from the womb, shortens the length of the birth canal, widens the mouth of the womb and reduces the need for many other devices and techniques during labor.69
This simple bar also helps the mother's squatting motions as she pulls herself up and down on it. It also means the mother remains immobile as the baby emerges. 70 In this position, the muscles needed to move the baby down the birth canal expend the minimum amount of energy. In addition, with the expansion of the pelvic bone, 30% more room is made available for the baby to pass through. With the expansion and contraction movement, the body's propulsive force is raised to the highest level and the baby is able to move smoothly during the birth process.
There is great wisdom in the way that, by means of Allah's angels, Mary shook the branches of the palm tree toward her. The Arabic word " huzzee" means "to shake fast, to move or to rock." It has been well-documented that dates facilitates the labor process and possess powerful and nutritious properties. But in addition, we must also note that as Mary (as) pulled the branches toward her to shake the dates from their branches must also have facilitated the birth and widened the birth canal. This technique applied in our own day by midwives all over the world, is yet another compelling proof that Allah supported Mary (as) with His compassion with the Wisest Counsel. It also proves, once again, that the Qur'an can only be a text sent by our Lord, the Omniscient.
The Mother's Womb With Its Secure Protection
Did We not create you from a base fluid, then place it in a secure repository for a recognized term? It is We Who determine. What an excellent Determiner! (Surat al-Mursalat, 20-23)
We created man from the purest kind of clay; then made him a drop in a secure receptacle; then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (Surat al-Muminun, 12-14)
The above verses about the Creation of human beings contain fundamental information from the field of embryology. The reference “a secure receptacle”, a description of the womb, indicates certain technical and biological truths which are of great significance to modern scientists. (Allah knows the truth.) A “zygote” is the term given to what is produced by the sperm and egg cells coming together. This process continues until we witness the emergence of a complete human being, made up of trillions of cells all working in harmony: this all takes place in the safety of the mother's womb. This remarkable place, where the embryo completes its nine months of development is, as the verse tells us, “a secure receptacle..”
The word “makeenin" translated as “secure” above, also suggests such meanings as “unshakeable, sound, resolute, powerful, fixed and safely put in place.” The word “qararin" also means “location, stability, permanence and place of settlement.” These words very wisely describe the womb as a sound and safe location.
The mother's womb provides insulation against external agents such as light and sound. It also provides a strong shield against shock and pressure, thus protecting the baby from any discomfort or inconvenience. Located in the pelvic cavity, the womb is well protected by the thick and strong bones that surround the “endometrium” on the inside – and this helps to bear the weight of the embryo until the end of pregnancy. This structure, made up of powerful muscles, is ideally constructed for the baby's growth and development. During pregnancy, the ligaments attaching the bones in the region together become thicker and longer. These ligaments that attach the top of the womb to the strong pelvic bones make the womb very strong and stable.
Yet, despite blocking out so much, the embryo still has unrestricted access to what it needs to develop: heat, water, oxygen and nutrients all contribute to its miraculous development. The mother's womb undergoes many changes that enhance its strength during pregnancy. Together with the muscles, ligaments and elastic tissues it contains, there is also an increase in the number of blood vessels and nerves. The womb is thus able to increase 20 times in weight and 1,000 times in capacity without coming to any harm.71 The fallopian tubes that support the womb, the ovaries and other connective tissues all expand and become more elastic.72 The constant changes in the womb continue even after the embryo has grown into a healthy baby many hundreds of times larger than its initial state. The womb now changes in such a way as to permit the baby to exit in a healthy manner.
During pregnancy, another extraordinary state of affairs regarding the protection of the baby comes about. The baby is also protected against internal threats. When a foreign body enters the body, such as during an organ or bone marrow transplant, the host's defense system begins reacting, and this can sometimes lead to fatal consequences.73 But that never happens to the fetus, and the mother's immune system does not regard it as a foreign body. It is quite amazing that the mother's immune system tolerates foreign genes from the father; because the baby is, after all, 50% foreign body. Marianne van den Heuvel, a scientist from Guelph University, describes this as “fascinating” and continues: “That was always a puzzle from an immunology standpoint because the fetus is actually foreign. It's part of the mother and also part of the father. It should be rejected by the body.”74
One would expect the defense system to declare war on the fetus's cells in much the same way that an army should declare war on foreign occupiers of their country. This defense system, when working properly, swiftly identifies viruses and tumors as foreign bodies – and then kills them. But, by the will of Allah, no such thing happens, and the womb remains a very safe and secure place for the baby to develop.
All the information about embryology provided in the Qur'an is in full agreement with modern medicine. This information, which has emerged through advanced technology, is one of the clearest proofs that the Qur'an is the revelation of our Lord, the Creator of all. The following is also revealed:
And in your Creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty. (Surat al-Jathiyya, 4)
Oxidation In The Blood
No indeed! Rather what they have earned has rusted up their hearts. (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 14)
The term “rusted” is here used to describe the constitution of the hearts of some human beings. Whilst the verse contains spiritual elements, the verse may also refer to the biochemical reaction that takes place in the heart. (Allah knows the truth.) Rust is the result of iron reacting with oxygen – this is the process known as oxidation.75 The oxygen we absorb from the air is carried through the body by means of the iron present in the hemoglobin in the blood. During this process, the oxygen reacts with the iron in the blood. This means there is a constant resemblance to “rusting” in our blood. This “rusted” blood is then carried to the heart and around the circulation system of the human body.
An excess of iron in the blood can even lead to premature aging in all of the body's cells by causing rust-like oxidation. In the disease known as “hemochromatosis,” caused by excess iron accumulating in the body, iron produces a toxic effect and causes organs such as the liver to collapse. Since this is the result of iron oxidation, this phenomenon is often described as organs “rusting” or ”rust accumulation” in organs”.76 In the journal Science News Dr. Sharon McDonnell describes the iron oxidation in cells making up organs as 'rusting'. 77
Another reference says this about the disease: "… those with hemochromatosis absorb iron, storing it in their organs. Over time, it accumulates in toxic amounts, causing organs to fail because they literally rust."78
It is only possible to identify the reaction of iron with oxygen in the body–oxidation in the blood–in laboratories with highly advanced equipment. The fact that such a comparison, so compatible with the scientific data, appears in the Qur'an is an evident miracle, given the era of the Qur’anic revelation. The Qur'an also contains countless other pieces of information which are in complete agreement with modern science. Surely, this is another sign that it is the revelation of Omniscient Allah, our Lord and the Creator of all things.
The Wisdom Behind The Prohibition of Blood In The Qur'an
He has only forbidden you carrion, blood and pork and what has been consecrated to other than Allah. But anyone who is forced to eat it – without desiring it or going to excess in it – commits no crime. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 173)
The wisdom behind Allah's prohibition of blood emerged during the 20th century. By carrying vitamins, hormones, oxygen and substances such as protein, sugar and fat absorbed during digestion to the cells, blood makes it possible for life to survive. On the other hand, it also carries various toxins and waste products that need to be expelled from the body. One of the most important tasks performed by blood is to transport substances such as urea, uric acid, keratin and carbon dioxide that need to be removed from the body.
Therefore, in the event that significant quantities of blood are consumed, the level of harmful products in the body that should be expelled will rise considerably. That will increase the levels of urea: harmful substances transported to the kidneys for expulsion from the body. This can impair brain functions and in the worst case scenario, can even result in coma. That is why, because of its very nature, there will always be harmful compounds in blood, even if taken from seemingly healthy animals. If it is taken from a sick animal, various parasites and germs will also be transmitted in it. In that event, the germs may multiply and spread throughout the body – and that is the ultimate danger. If someone consumes blood, all the germs and waste products in it may spread through the body and lead to such diseases as kidney insufficiency or liver coma. In addition, most of the microbes carried in the blood may cause other diseases by damaging the lining of the stomach and the intestines.
What is more, blood is not a sterile environment. To put it another way, it is absolutely ideal for germs to grow in.79 Since microbes have excellent opportunities to feed in blood, it represents a perfect breeding ground for them. When in equilibrium with the functions of the other fluids in the body and the immune system, blood does not support micro-organisms, and therefore disease. In a healthy individual, these micro-organisms live by making use of one another inside the body. When that environment is seriously impaired - when the internal equilibrium is damaged - micro-organisms may cause disease when they find the appropriate surroundings.
For example, when the blood pH level (acid and alkali balance) is imbalanced because of poor nutrition or harmful chemicals, harmless microbes can begin to cause disease. If the body is to be healthy, the pH level of the blood should be around 7.3. Even small variations in that level may cause that balance to be impaired. In turn, this may cause micro-organisms to become more harmful in order to adapt to their surroundings. Blood becoming sterile is quite similar to milk souring when left outside. Microbes already present in the blood exhibit harmful effects by adapting to their new environment.80
In addition to all this, blood is not suitable for use as a food product. The level of digestible proteins such as albumin, globulin and fibrinogen is low - just 8 grams in 100 milliliters of blood. The same applies to fats. In addition, blood contains a high level of hemoglobin, a complex protein that is very difficult to digest and is unacceptable to the stomach. When blood clots, the protein fibrinogen gives rise to a plate containing erythrocyte - red blood corpuscles. It then transforms into “fibrin,”, one of the hardest proteins to digest. In today’s world, health experts agree that blood is unfit for human consumption in any form.
After saying: "Unlawful for you are carrion, blood and pork, and what has been consecrated to other than Allah, and animals which have been strangled, and animals which have been killed by a blow, and animals which have fallen to their death, and animals which have been gored, and animals which wild beasts have eaten – except those you are able to slaughter properly – and animals which have been sacrificed on altars, and deciding things by means of divining arrows – that is deviance..." Almighty Allah goes on to say…" But if anyone is forced by hunger, not intending any wrongdoing, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful" (meaning that an exception can be made.) (Surat al-Ma'ida, 3)
Abiding this law of Allah, people of the time were protected against a threat of which they were unaware. It is clear that those who believe and trust in Allah are more likely to prosper. Those who comply with His commandments and prohibitions will enjoy auspicious lives in this world and the Hereafter, living under our Lord’s Protection and Infinite Mercy.
The Tsunami Effect In The Prophet Moses’ (As) Parting of The Sea
So We revealed to Moses, 'Strike the sea with your staff.' And it split in two, each part like a towering cliff. (Surat Ash-Shu'ara', 63)
The Egyptian monarchs known as the pharaohs regarded themselves as divine beings. This was fundamental part of the polytheistic, superstitious religious beliefs prevalent in ancient Egypt. Allah sent the Prophet Moses (as) as messenger to the people of Egypt at a time when they preferred their own superstitious beliefs to the true faith, Islam. It was also during this period of time when the ruling family of Egypt had cruelly enslaved the Israelite tribes in their country. Although the Prophet Moses (as) invited the rulers and the people of Egypt to the faith of the one, true God – Allah – most refused to abandon their pagan beliefs. When they rejected his message, the Prophet Moses (as) reminded the Pharaoh and his court that the wrath of Allah is something to be avoided at all costs. Yet, despite this dire warning from Allah’s Messenger, they rebelled and hurled false accusations at the Prophet in their midst. They accused Moses (as) of madness, sorcery and mendacity. Although various tribulations were inflicted on Pharaoh and his people, they stubbornly refused to submit to the one, true God. They even held the Prophet Moses (as) responsible for what had befallen them, accusing him of cursing their lands, and sought to exile him from Egypt. At this, Allah told the Prophet Moses (as) and those with him to leave where they were:
We revealed to Moses: 'Travel with Our slaves by night. You will certainly be pursued.' Pharaoh sent marshals into the cities: 'These people are a small group and we find them irritating and we constitute a vigilant majority.' We expelled them from gardens and springs, from treasures and a splendid situation. So it was! And We bequeathed them to the tribe of Israel. So they pursued them towards the east. (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 52-60)
As revealed in the Qur'an, the two peoples—the Israelites and the Egyptians—came together at the end of this chase. Allah rescued the Prophet Moses (as) and the believers with him by parting the sea, while destroying Pharaoh and his people. Allah's assistance to the believers is revealed as follows in the Qur'an:
So We revealed to Moses, 'Strike the sea with your staff.' And it split in two, each part like a towering cliff. And We brought the others right up to it. We rescued Moses and all those who were with him. Then We drowned the rest. There is certainly a Sign in that yet most of them are not believers. Truly your Lord is the Almighty, the Most Merciful. (Surat Ash-Shu'ara', 63-68)
The Arabic word "idrib," translated as "strike" in the first of these verses, also means "to open, divide or separate." In the light of this expression and what happened subsequently, the verse may be a reference to the formation of tsunami waves. (Allah knows the truth.) Tsunami waves cause large amounts of water to shift and they can give way to the emergence of earth on shallow grounds. In the time of the Prophet Moses (as), as with the tsunami waves, the waters might have pulled back some hundreds of meters and this might have caused the parting of the sea. (Allah knows the truth.)
In addition, the waters are compared to mountains in the above verse. The waters collected in a tsunami form a giant peak 81 and resemble a mountain seen from below. As with mountains, the base of this extraordinary phenomenon is very broad and strong. In tsunamis, the depth of the water declines while the mass of the wave expands and rises in height. Tsunamis may be up to 30 meters high. 82 It is therefore very significant how the waters are likened to a mountain in this Qur’anic passage.
Tsunamis are very different to the waves we are familiar with, and are a movement of the entire depth of water. This is not generally restricted to the surface, and may stretch for several kilometers. They thus possess high levels of energy and move amazingly quickly.83 Scientific statements say this about tsunamis:
In fact the tsunami crest is just the very tip of a vast mass of water in motion... Wind-driven waves and swells are confined to a shallow layer near the ocean surface, a tsunami extends thousands of feet deep into the ocean…. Survivors of tsunami attacks describe them as dark "walls" of water. Impelled by the mass of water behind them, the waves bulldoze onto the shore and inundate the coast...
Past events described in the Qur'an are in complete agreement with present-day historic evidence and scientific advances – this is, without doubt, one of the great miracles of the Qur'an. The waters parted when the Prophet Moses (as) and his companions needed to cross yet they closed again over the heads of Pharaoh and his army – this is a clear instance of Allah’s Love for true believers. Indeed, the Prophet Moses (as) displayed an excellent example of proper moral values by trusting in Allah in that most difficult moment:
And when the two hosts came into sight of one another Moses' companions said, 'We will surely be overtaken!' He said, 'Never! My Lord is with me and He will guide me.' (Surat ash-Shu'ara', 61-62)
Scientific Facts In The Story Of The Flood Of Noah
We sent Noah to his people and he remained among them for fifty short of a thousand years; yet the Flood engulfed them while they were wrongdoers. (Surat al-'Ankabut, 14)
The Prophet Noah (as) spent many years advising the people to whom he was sent as a Prophet to put an end to ascribing partners to Allah and abandon their improper behavior or they would pay a heavy price. Even though he warned his people about the wrath of Allah several times, they still disbelieved in him and continued to worship a number of false “gods” and idols. At this, Allah told the Prophet Noah (as) that He would punish those who denied Him by drowning them, but that believers would be saved. The destruction of the people of Noah (as) and the salvation of those who believed is described as follows in the Qur'an:
But they denied him so We rescued him and those with him in the Ark. And We drowned the people who denied Our Signs. They were a blind people. (Surat al-A'raf, 64)
The events that took place when the time for Allah's promised punishment came are described thus:
So when Our command came, and water bubbled up from the earth, We said, 'Load into it a pair of every species, and your family –except for those against whom the Word was preordained– and all who believe.' But those who believed with him were only few. (Surah Hud, 40)
The beginning of the punishment is described as when "water bubbled up from the earth." The Arabic word translated as "earth" is "alttannooru". This describes a kind of oven made by digging a hole in the ground, and therefore refers to the volcanic fire inside a mountain. (Allah knows the truth.) The Arabic word "wafara" in the verse means "burned strongly, produced bubbles, boiled up, boiled over, produced a foam". Therefore, the reference in the verse would seem to be to the flowing, molten lava in the mountain.
In another verse, the moment when Prophet Noah (as) boarded the Ark is dubbed "when water bubbles up from the earth". This may also be a reference to hot steam or smoke rising from a volcano immediately before an eruption:
We revealed to him: 'Build the Ship under Our supervision and as We reveal. When Our command comes and water bubbles up from the earth, load into it a pair of every species, and your family – except for those among them against whom the Word has already gone ahead. And do not address Me concerning those who do wrong. They shall be drowned. (Surat al-Muminun, 27)
The molten lava flowing in the wake of the eruption may have caused the ice on the mountain to melt. Intense steam was caused by the combination of heat and cold – meanwhile, the molten lava flowed into the sea may have given rise to intense rains. Flooding was the result of these phenomena, and sources of water on land may also have overflowed as a consequence of the severe rains. (Allah knows the truth.)
So We opened the gates of heaven with torrential water and made the earth burst forth with gushing springs. And the waters met together in a way which was decreed. We bore him on a planked and well-caulked ship. (Surat al-Qamar, 11-13)
Whilst those who boarded the Prophet Noah’s (as) Ark were saved, those that had rejected Allah’s Messenger was drowned. This group included the Prophet Noah’s (as) own son who mistakenly imagined he could escape by seeking refuge on a mountain nearby:
It sailed with them through mountainous waves, and Noah called out to his son, who had kept himself apart, 'My son! Come on board with us. Do not stay with the unbelievers!' He said, 'I will take refuge on a mountain; It will protect me from the flood.' He said, 'There is no protection from Allah's command today except for those He has mercy on.' The waves surged in between them and he was among the drowned. (Surah Hud, 42-43)
When the flood waters finally receded, the Ark settled on al-Judi, meaning a very high place:
It was said, 'Earth, swallow up your water!' and, 'Heaven, hold back your rain!' And the water subsided and the affair was concluded and the Ark came to land on al-judi. And it was said, 'Away with the people of the wrongdoers!' (Surah Hud, 44)
Shortly after, when the mountains stopped churning forth lava, the waters resumed their former equilibrium as the air cooled down and withdrew back underground. Some of the water may also have risen into the air as water vapor. Later, the water level returned to normal. Allah's command to the earth to "swallow!" and to the sky to "hold back!" summarizes this process extremely concisely. The Arabic word "belea," which appears in the verse in the form "ibla’ee," means "swallow up and eliminate, pull back." The reference to the earth swallowing up its water notes the formation of subterranean water sources – this all happens as the water on the surface retreats underground again. The Arabic verb "aklaa", which takes the form "aqli’ae" in the verse, means "the dispersal of clouds, rain stopping, or abandoning a matter or course of action." The description is therefore one of the air cooling down as lava stops flowing. Then rain then stops because the water vapor level in the air returns to normal - and finally, this vapor in the clouds disperses into the air. (Allah knows the truth.)
This chain of events, in complete agreement with the scientific facts only established in the last century or so, is detailed with brilliant accuracy in the Qur'an. It is just one of the proofs that Islam’s Holy Book—comprising information about many branches of science, such as geography, geology and meteorology—is in complete harmony with the science of today.
The Ozone Layer At The Poles As The Sun Rises
Until he reached the rising of the Sun and found it rising on a people to whom We had not given any shelter from it. (Surat al-Kahf, 90)
The Arabic word "sitran" in this verse means "cover, protection, veil" while "lam naj’aal lahum min dooniha sitran" describes an environment devoid of any shelter or protection against the Sun. In the light of present-day knowledge, this is suggestive of the ozone layer that protects living things against harmful solar rays.
The area where the ozone layer offers the least protection against solar radiation is at the poles of our planet—North and South.85 Scientific research has established a severe thinning of the ozone layer at the North Pole at the moment the Sun rises86 and this scientific discovery has been described as Sunrise Ozone Destruction (SOD). 87
During their research, American scientists determined a rapid decrease in ozone concentration at the moment of sunrise–when there was no sign of any before.88 This phenomenon is particularly encountered in the North Pole (Arctic) region. Here, there is a massive loss of ozone for a few hours immediately after sunrise.89
The Arabic word "matli’a" in this verse, meaning the "place of birth, time of birth" of the Sun, may well be a reference to this scientific discovery about the ozone layer. (Allah knows the truth.) The fact that this information, obtained with the 20th century high technology, also appears in such a compatible form in the Qur'an, is yet more proof that the Qur'an is the revelation of our Lord, the One and Only Lord of science and technology.
1 Henrik Stapelfeldt, "Electrons Frozen in Motion", Nature, 16 Aralık 2004, cilt 432, ss. 809-810; Adrian Cho, "Whispering Atoms", New Scientist, 16 Eylül 2000, cilt 2256, s. 15; Albert Stolow, David M. Jonas, "Multidimensional Snapshots of Chemical Dynamics", Science, 10 Eylül 2004, cilt 305, no. 5690, ss. 1575-1577.
49 http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni/uni_101stars.html; Will Knight, "Shedding Star Offers Preview of Sun’s Death", New Scientist, 25 Kasım 2005; http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/stars/death/index.shtml; http://www.as.utexas.edu/astronomy/education/fall04/komatsu/lec_23.pdf; http://science.howstuffworks.com/sun5.htm
54 http://periodic.lanl.gov/elements/1.html; William D. Harkins, "The Abundance of the Elements in Relation to the Hydrogen-Helium Structure of the Atoms", Proceedings of the Natonal Academy of Sciences of USA, Nisan 1916, cilt. 4, ss. 216–224.
83 L. A. Barrie, J. W. Bottenheim, R. C. Schnell, P. J. Crutzen, R. A. Rasmussen, "Ozone destruction and photochemical reactions at polar sunrise in the lower Arctic atmosphere", Nature, 14 Temmuz 1988, cilt 334, ss. 138-141; http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v334/n6178/abs/334138a0.html
84 I. Nagao, K. Matsumoto, H. Tanaka "Sunrise Ozone Destruction Found in the Sub-Tropical Marine Boundary Layer", Geophysical Research Letters, 1999, cilt 26, no. 22, ss. 3377–3380; http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1999/1999GL010836.shtml
86 I. Nagao, K. Matsumoto, H. Tanaka "Sunrise Ozone Destruction Found in the Sub-Tropical Marine Boundary Layer", Geophysical Research Letters, 1999, cilt 26, no. 22, ss. 3377–3380; http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1999/1999GL010836.shtml
87 http://www.star.le.ac.uk/astrosoc/whatsup/stars.html (Leicester edu dept of Physics & astronomy); http://www.site.uottawa.ca:4321/astronomy/index.html#Sirius (University of Ottowa); http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~hrs/ay45/Fall2002/ChapterIVPart2.pdf (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
88 Dr. Mazhar, U. Kazi, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur’an, Crescent Publishing House, New York, 1997, ss. 110-111; http://www.wamy.co.uk/announcements3.html; from Prof. Zighloul Raghib El-Naggar’s speech.