By the sky full of paths and orbits.
(Surat adh-Dhariyat, 7)
Scientific Facts and the Miracle of the Qur'an
The Qur'an was sent down to the earth 14 centuries ago by Allah. the Qur'an is not a book of science. It nonetheless includes some scientific explanations within its religious context. These explanations have never contradicted the findings of modern science. On the contrary, certain facts that could only be discovered with the technology of the 20th century were in fact revealed in the Qur'an 14 centuries ago. This shows us that the Qur'an is one of the most important proofs that proclaims the existence of Allah.
An Outlook On the Universe Through the Eyes of the Qur'an
In the light of the data obtained in the 20th century, it has been discovered that the universe came into being suddenly where it was previously non-existent. This theory is known as the Big Bang theory and it holds that the outset of the universe came about with this explosion.
We studied this theory in its historical context backed up by scientific evidence in previous pages under the title "From Non-being to Being". in this chapter, we will see how Allah has declared to us some scientific facts about the creation of the universe in the Qur'an.
There is very strong evidence supporting the Big Bang theory. the expansion of the universe is one of them and the most significant proof of this is the moving away of the galaxies and the heavenly bodies from each other. to better understand, the universe can be thought of as the surface of a balloon being inflated. Just as the points on the surface of a balloon move apart from each other as the balloon is inflated, so do the objects in space move apart from each other as the universe keeps expanding.
At this point, let us refer to the relevant Qur'anic verses. in one verse, the following is stated about the creation of the universe:
And it is We who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 47)
In another verse that refers to the heavens, it is said;
Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We clove them asunder, and We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Surat al-Anbiya, 30)
The original word "ratq", which is translated as "joined together" in the verse, means "anything close, solid, impervious, united together in a solid mass" according to Arabic dictionaries. That is, it is used for two different pieces that form an entity. the statement "clove asunder" is the verb "fataqa" in Arabic and it means to split an object in the state of "ratq". for instance, the sprouting of the seed and the appearance of its shoots on the earth is expressed by this verb.
Now, let us once again look at the verse which refers to a state in which the heavens and the earth are in a state of "ratkq". Then, these two are meant to have been cloven asunder in the sense of the verb "fataqa". That is, one of them breaks through the other and makes its way out. Indeed, when we are reminded of the first moment of the Big Bang, we see that the spot called the cosmic egg contained all the matters in the universe. Everything, even "the heavens and the earth" that were not yet created were contained in this spot in a state of "ratq". Afterwards, this cosmic egg exploded, causing its matter to "fataqa" and in the process created the structure of the whole universe.
When we compare the expressions in the verse with scientific findings, we see that they are in perfect agreement with each other. Interestingly enough, these findings were not arrived at until the 20th century.
Creation of the Heavens
Steven Weinberg, the author of the book, the First Three Minutes, once remarked that a quick glance at the sky might give one the feeling of a strongly "unchanging universe". Indeed, clouds drift along before the moon, the blue vault of heaven turns around the pole star, the moon itself waxes and wanes over a longer period of time, and the moon and the planets move through a plane defined by the stars. We know, however. that all these are local occurrences caused by the movements within our solar system. Weinberg also adds that beyond the planets, the stars seem to be motionless.
Indeed, a quick glance at the sky may give one the feeling that everything is very stable and steady. Yet that is not the case. There is great activity in the sky and this fact, which goes unrecognised by the naked eye, was reported centuries ago in the Qur'an.
There are many verses in the Qur'an that refer to the sky, most of them being plural. the word "semawat", meaning "heavens", in Arabic denotes both the earth's atmosphere and space.
The first point we will discuss here is the plural use of the word "heavens". This plural use is one of the miracles of the Qur'an. Let us now explain why.
Assume that you go out into the open air and turn your head up towards the sky. What will you see? If it is summer, you will see either a bright blue sky or some clouds floating in the wind; and if winter, a grey, hazy sky covered with clouds. Whatever you see, you will not be able to see the atmosphere surrounding the world. You can never know that this atmosphere is made up of several layers. That the Qur'an makes reference to this detail unobservable by the naked eye is a great piece of evidence that it is the word of Allah:
He Who has created seven heavens in full harmony with one another: no incongruity will you see in the creation of the Most Gracious. and turn your vision (upon it) once more: can you see any flaw? Yes, turn your vision (upon it) again and yet again: (and every time) your vision will fall back upon you, dazzled and truly defeated. (Surat al-Mulk, 3-4)
Space may be imagined as an enormous cavity: an infinitely vast cavity, a cavity containing stars, planets and bodies in motion. However, space is not a cavity left to itself. It is a "system" consisting of countless stars, solar systems, planets, satellites and comets. It was earlier stated in the Qur'an that the sky and space were created flawlessly within "a great order":
Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have built it and adorned it, and there are no rifts therein? (Surah Qaf, 6)
Stars and Planets
Let us first look at what is meant by the word "star" in the Qur'an. the stars denoted by the words "najm" (star) and "kandil" (lamp) in the Qur'an have two main functions as implied in the verses. They are a source of light and they are used for navigation.
Particularly in the verses depicting the resurrection day, it is stressed that the lights of the stars are put out and become dim. When the sun, which is a star as well is referred to, the word "kandil "is used. the word "kandil" is also used when referring to the stars adorning the sky. Yet a very important distinction is made where the word "nur" (light) is used for the moon. in this way, the stars and the objects that are not stars are distinguished from one another. This fact, which could not have been known 14 centuries ago, is one of the miracles of the Qur'an.
We had mentioned that the second function of the stars as they are referred to in the verses is as a guide to navigation. These verses make it plain that people can determine the right direction by the help of the stars in the sky. in all of these verses, the word "najm" is used. Indeed, before the invention of the compass, which has a very significant role at the outset of the geographical discoveries in the Middle Ages, navigation was only possible with the help of the stars on night voyages.
How is it possible that the stars show direction? It is possible only if they are arranged in an observable order in their fixed places. If a star appeared in one place one night, and in another the next, it would be impossible to find one's way by it. in this context, the particular places where the stars appear in the sky have great importance. in the Qur'an, Allah says:
Nay, I swear by the places of the stars and behold! that verily is a tremendous oath, if you but knew. (Surat al-Waqia, 75-76)
The Sun and the Moon
There are many verses in the Qur'an that make mention of the sun and the moon. An interesting property is revealed when their Arabic wording is investigated. in the verses, the words "siraj" (lamp) and "wahhaj" (brightly-burning) are used for the sun. for the moon, the word "muneer" (enlightening, shiny) is used. Indeed, while the sun produces an enormous amount of heat and light as a result of the nuclear reactions inside, the moon merely reflects the light it receives from the sun. the verses make reference to this distinction as follows:
Do you not see how God has created seven heavens in full harmony with one another, and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a (radiant) lamp? (Surah Nuh, 15-16)
We have built above you seven strong heavens, and have placed (therein the sun), a lamp full of blazing splendour. (Surat an-Naba, 12-13)
Blessed is He Who has set up in the skies constellations, and has placed among them a (radiant) lamp and a light-giving moon. (Surat al-Furqan, 61)
The difference between the sun and the moon is quite evident in the verses. One is depicted as a source of light and the other as a light-reflecting agent. It is impossible for such a detail to have been known at that time. It was not until centuries later that men came into possession of this knowledge. Therefore, the fact that this information was already given in the Qur'an is one of the proofs that the Qur'an was revealed by God.
Now, let us turn our attention to another magnificent characteristic of the heavenly bodies - which is their movements in space.
Orbits Described in the Qur'an
Above, we have stated that the heavenly bodies are in motion in space. These movements are fully controlled and all bodies move in a computed orbit. in the Qur'an, certain verses referring to the sun and the moon run as follows: "The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed". (Surat ar-Rahman, 5) "It is not for the sun to catch up the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit." (Surah Yasin, 40) Another verse to the same effect declares:
It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They swim along, each in an orbit. (Surat al-Anbiya, 33)
According to a currently acknowledged theory, massive and voluminous bodies in the universe exert a gravitational force on smaller bodies. for example, the moon makes an orbit around the earth, which has a bigger volume. the earth and other planets in the solar system move in an orbit around the sun. There exists a still bigger system around which the solar system makes an orbit. the most critical point in all these details is that none of the stars, planets and other bodies in space make an uncontrolled move, cut across each other's orbit, or hit one another.
The Qur'an signifies the harmonious movement of these bodies as follows:
By the sky full of paths and orbits. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 7)
The sun, as one of the billions of stars in the universe, travels more than 17 million kilometers a day in space. This journey of the sun is referred to by Allah as follows:
And the sun runs on unto a resting-place for him. That is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. (Surah Yasin, 38)
The Canopy Well Guarded
We have made the sky a canopy well guarded and (yet) they turn aside from its signs. (Surat al-Anbiya, 32)
Almost everyone has seen the pictures of the moon's surface. the surface structure is very uneven due to the countless meteors that have fallen on it. the multitude of craters formed by these meteors is one of the most peculiar characteristics of the moon. Any space station or residential site established on the moon surface with no special shield would very likely be razed to the ground before long. the only way to prevent this is to "guard" it in some way.
This detail, which we almost never think about, is provided for the earth in a very natural way. There is therefore no need for people to take extra measures to survive. the atmosphere of the earth destroys all meteors big and small approaching the earth, filters the harmful rays in space and thus carries out a vital process for the permanence of human life.
Many detrimental - and even fatal - rays reach the earth from the sun and other stars. in particular, the energy explosions, the so-called "flares" that take place in the sun, the closest star to the earth, constitute the main source of these harmful rays.
During these sun flashes, a plasma cloud is thrown into space with an average speed of 1,500 km/second. the plasma cloud, made up of positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons, is electrically conductive. As the cloud approaches the earth with a speed of 1,500 kms/second, it begins to produce an electric current under the effect of the magnetic field around the earth. On the other hand, the magnetic field of the earth exerts a pushing force on the plasma cloud that has a current flowing through it. This force stops the movement of the cloud and keeps it at a certain distance. Let us now take a look at the power of the plasma cloud that is "stopped" before reaching the earth.
Although the plasma cloud is arrested by the magnetic field of the earth, its effects are still perceived from the earth. Following strong flashes, transformers may explode in high voltage lines, communication networks may be damaged or electric network fuses may blow out.
In a sun-spot explosion, the energy released is calculated to be equivalent to 100 billion times that of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Fifty-eight hours after the flash, extreme activity was observed on the needle of the compass, and the heat jumped up to 2,5000 C at a level about 250 kilometers above the atmosphere.
Yet another particle current is diffused from the sun with a relatively lower speed, approximately 400 km/second. This is called the "solar wind". Solar winds are controlled by a layer of charged particles called the "Van Allen Radiation Belt" which is produced under the effect of the magnetic field of the earth, and thus they cause no harm to the world. the formation of this layer is made possible by the characteristics of the world's core. the core contains magnetic metals like iron and nickel. What is more important is that the nucleus is made up of two different structures. the inner core is solid while the outer core is fluid. These two layers of the core move around each other. This movement creates a magnetic effect in metals which leads to the formation of a magnetic field. the Van Allen Belt is an extension of this magnetic field that stretches to the outermost reaches of the atmosphere. This magnetic field protects the earth against the dangers likely to come from space. Solar winds cannot pass through the Van Allen Belt, 40,000 miles from the earth. When in the form of electrically charged particles they meet this magnetic field, they decompose and flow around the belt.
Just like the Van Allen Belt, the earth's atmosphere also protects the earth from the destructive effects of space. We mentioned that the atmosphere protects the earth from meteors. However, this is not the only characteristic of the atmosphere. for instance, a -273 temperature temperature in outer space, which is called "absolute zero" would have a fatal effect on people, were it not for the permanently higher temperatures of the earth is atmosphere.
What is more interesting is that the atmosphere lets only harmless rays, radio waves and visible light in, because these are vital elements for life. the ultraviolet rays, which are only partially let in by the atmosphere are very important for the photosynthesis of plants and for the survival of all living beings. This radiation, which is very strongly emitted from the sun to the earth, is filtered through the ozone layer of the atmosphere and only a limited required portion of it reaches the earth. the sun's rays are one of the most essential requirements of life.
Briefly, there is an excellent system at work on the earth which encompasses itself and protects it from outer dangers. in the Qur'an, the shielded state of the earth is revealed by the following verse:
And We have made the heavens a canopy well guarded: (yet) they turn aside from its signs. (Surat al-Anbiya, 32)
There is no doubt that in the 7th century, it was impossible to have known either about the protective quality of the atmosphere, or the existence of the Van Allen Belt. However, the expression "a canopy well guarded" perfectly explains the protective agents around the earth that have not been discovered until modern times. So the above verse referring to the heavens as "a canopy well guarded" indicates that the Qur'an was sent by a Creator Who has knowledge of everything and acknowledges all.
The Relativity of Time
The relativity of time is a proven scientific fact today. However, until Einstein put it as the "theory of relativity" early this century, no one ever thought that time could be relative and contingent on velocity and mass.
With a single exception though! the Qur'an yielded information about the relativity of time! Three related verses are;
Yet they ask you to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. (Surat al-Hajj, 47)
He regulates the affair from the heaven to the earth; then shall it ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you count. (Surat al-Sajda, 5)
The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years. (Surat al-Maarij, 4)
As a book whose revelation began in 610, the Qur'an's referring to relativity so straightforwardly is another evidence that it is a divine book.
The Roundness of the Earth
Arabic, the language in which the Qur'an was revealed, is a very rich and developed language. Its vocabulary is very large and words have many variations. for this reason, some of the verbs in Arabic cannot be translated into some languages as single words. for instance, the word "khashyat" means "fearing with awe" (other words are used for other types of fears). Or the word "qari'ah" is used for referring to "an adversity, that which strikes", that is, the day of Resurrection.
One of these verbs is "takwir". in English, this means "to make one thing lap over another, folded up as a garment that is laid away". for instance, in Arabic dictionaries this word is used for the action of wrapping one thing around another, in the way that a turban is put on. Let us now look at a verse where the verb "takwir" is used:
He has created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth. He wraps the night up in the day, and wraps the day up in the night. (Surat az-Zumar, 5)
The information given in the verse about the day's and the night's wrapping each other up includes accurate information about the shape of the world. This situation can be true only if the earth is round. This means that in the Qur'an, the roundness of the world was hinted at.
However, the understanding of astronomy of the time perceived the world differently. As we have mentioned, it was then thought that the world was a flat plane and all scientific calculations and explanations were based on this belief. However, since the Qur'an is Allah's word, the most correct words are used in it while describing the universe.
The Function of Mountains
According to geological findings, the mountains have arisen as a result of the movements and clashes of huge plates constituting the crust of the earth. These plates are enormously big and carry all the continents. When two plates collide, one usually slides under the other and the debris in between is raised up. the big curves in the compressed debris form the mountains by being elevated higher than their surroundings. in the meantime, the protrusion that constitutes mountains proceeds under the ground as well as over the ground. That means that mountains have a portion stretching downwards as large as their visible portion. These extensions of mountains below ground prevent the crust of the earth from sliding on the magma layer or between its own layers.
As this explanation makes clear, one of the most significant characteristics of mountains is their formation at the conjunction points of the earth's plates that are closely pressed together as they come near and their "fixing" them. That is, we may liken mountains to nails that keep wood pieces together.
Moreover, the pressure the mountains exert on the crust of the earth with their enormous mass prevents the magma movements in the core of the earth from reaching the earth and destroying the earth's crust. the central layer of the earth, called the core, is an area made up of substances melted in temperatures rising to thousands of degrees. Movements in the core cause detachment regions to form between the plates making up the earth. the mountains that form in these regions obstruct the upward movements and protect the world from violent earthquakes.
It is very interesting to note that these technical facts discovered by modern geology in our day were revealed in the Qur'an centuries ago. in a verse on the mountains, it is declared in the Qur'an:
He created the heavens without any pillars that you can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. (Surat al-Luqman, 30)
With this verse, the Qur'an denied a superstitious belief that was commonly accepted at the time. Having a primitive astronomical knowledge like many other communities of the time, Arabs thought that the heavens were raised high above the mountains. (This was a traditional belief which was subsequently added to the explanation of the universe in the Old Testament.) This belief held that there were high mountains at the two ends of a flat world. These were the "buttresses" of the heavens. They were thought to be pillars that held the heavens above in their place. the verse above disproved this and maintained that the heavens were "without any buttresses". the real geological function of the mountains was also disclosed: to prevent tremors. Another verse stresses the same point:
And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them, and We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to pass through: that they may receive Guidance. (Surat al-Anbiya, 31)
Rain is indeed one of the most important factors for the permanence of life on earth. It is a prerequisite for the continuation of activity in a region. Rain, which carries great importance for all living things, including human beings, is mentioned in various verses of the Qur'an, where substantial information is given about the formation of rain, its proportion and effects. This information, which never could have been known by the people of the time, shows us that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
Now, let us examine the information given in the Qur'an about rain.
The Proportion of Rain
In the eleventh verse of Surat az-Zukhruf, rain is defined as water sent down in "due measure". the verse is as follows:
He sends down (from time to time) water from the sky in due measure, and We raise to life therewith a land that is dead. Even so will you be raised (from the dead). (Surat az-Zukhruf, 11)
This "measure" mentioned in the verse has to do with a couple of characteristics of rain. First of all, the amount of rain that falls on the earth is always the same. It is estimated, that in one second, 16 million tonnes of water evaporate from the earth. This number is equal to the amount of water that drops on the earth in one second. This means that water continuously circulates in a balanced cycle according to a "measure".
Another measure related with rain is about its falling speed. the minimum altitude of rain clouds is 1,200 meters. When dropped from this height, an object having the same weight and size as a rain drop, would continuously accelerate and fall on the ground with a speed of 558 km/h. Certainly, any object that hits the ground with that speed would cause great damage. If rain happened to fall in the same way, all harvested lands would be destroyed, residential areas, houses, and cars would be damaged, and people would not be able to walk around without taking extra precautions. What is more, these calculations are made just for clouds at a height of 1,200 meters; there are also rain clouds at altitudes of 10,000 meters. A rain drop falling from such a height could normally reach a very destructive speed.
But this is not how it works; no matter from what height they fall, the average speed of rain drops is only 8-10 km/h when they reach the ground. the reason for this is the special form they take. This special form increases the friction effect of the atmosphere and prevents acceleration when the rain drops reach a certain speed "limit". (Today parachutes are designed by using this technique.)
This is not all about the "measures" of rain. for instance, in the atmospheric layers where it starts to rain, the temperature may fall as low as 400 C below zero. Despite this, rain drops never turn into ice particles. (This would certainly mean a fatal threat to the living things on the earth.) the reason is that the water in the atmosphere is pure water. As is well-known, pure water hardly freezes even at very low temperatures.
The Formation of Rain
How rain forms remained a great mystery for people for a long time. Only after weather radar was invented, was it possible to discover the stages by which rain is formed.
The formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw material" of rain rises up into the air. Later clouds are formed. Finally, rain drops appear.
These stages are clearly defined in the Qur'an centuries ago where precise information is given about the formation of rain:
It is Allah Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof: then when He has made them reach such of his servants as He wills, behold, they do rejoice! (Surat ar-Room, 48)
Now, let us look at the three stages mentioned in the verse;
1st Stage: "It is Allah Who sends the winds..."
Countless air bubbles formed by the foaming in the oceans continuously burst and cause water particles to be ejected towards the sky. These particles, which are rich in salt, are then carried away by winds and move upwards in the atmosphere. These particles, which are called aerosols, form clouds by collecting around themselves the water vapour, which again ascends from the seas, as tiny drops by a mechanism called "water trap"
2nd Stage: " ...and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments..."
The clouds form from the water vapour that condenses around the salt crystals or the dust particles in the air. Because the water drops in these are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air and they spread in the sky. Thus the sky is covered with clouds.
3rd Stage: "...until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof."
Water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form rain drops. So, the drops, which become heavier than air, depart from the clouds, and start to fall on the ground as rain.
Every stage in the formation of rain is told in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in the right sequence. Just as with many other natural phenomena in the world, it is again the Qur'an that provides the most correct explanation about this phenomena as well, and more, that has announced these facts to people centuries before they were discovered by science
Life Given to a Dead Land
In the Qur'an, many verses call our attention to a particular function of rain, which is "giving life to a dead land":
We send down pure water from the sky. That with it We may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of many beings We have created, beasts as well as humans. (Surat al-Furqan, 48- 49)
In addition to furnishing the earth with water, which is an inevitable need of living beings, rain also has a fertilisation effect.
Rain drops that reach the clouds after being evaporated from the seas, contain certain substances "that will give life" to a dead land. These "life-giving" drops are called "surface tension drops". Surface tension drops form on the top level of the sea surface which is called the "micro layer" by biologists. in this layer, which is thinner than one tenth of a millimetre, there are many organic leftovers caused by the pollution of microscopic algae and zooplankton. Some of these leftovers select and collect within themselves some elements which are very rare in sea water, such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and some heavy metals like copper, zinc, cobalt and lead. These "fertiliser"-laden drops are lifted up into the sky by the winds and after a while they drop on the ground inside the rain drops. Seeds and plants on the earth find numerous metallic salts and elements essential for their growth here in these rain drops. This event is revealed in another verse of the Qur'an:
And We send down from the sky rain laden with blessing, and We produce therewith gardens and grain for harvests. (Surah Qaf, 9)
Salts that fall with rain are small examples of certain elements (calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc.) used for increasing fertility. the heavy metals found in these types of aerosols are other elements that increase fertility in the development and production of plants.
A barren land can be furnished with all the essential elements for plants in a 100-year period just with these fertilisers dropped with the rain. Forests also develop and are fed with the help of these sea-based aerosols. in this way, 150 million tons of fertiliser falls on the total land surface every year. If there were no natural fertilisation like this, there would be very little vegetation on the earth, and the ecological balance would be impaired.
What is more interesting is that this truth, which could only be discovered by modern science, was revealed by Allah in the Qur'an centuries ago.
In the Qur'an, the winds are revealed as "fecundating":
And We send the fecundating winds, then cause water to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance). (Surat al-Hijr, 22)
In Arabic, the word "fecundating" implies the fecundating of both plants and clouds. Accordingly, modern science has shown that winds indeed have both of these functions. Winds, as mentioned before, do fecundate clouds by carrying the crystals that are to take part in the formation of rain drops. On the other hand, they also fecundate plants.
Plants throw pollen seeds containing sperm cells into the air. Most plants are ideally created to catch the pollen from the wind. Cones, hanging flowers, and some other plants make canals that open towards air currents, which carry these seeds to other plants of the same species. Pollen seeds containing sperm cells arrive at the reproductive organs thanks to these canals. the pollen reaching the ovule fertilises the egg and thus ovules turn into seeds.
Most plants are ideally created to catch pollen from the wind. Cones, hanging flowers, and some others make canals that open towards air currents. Sperm-producing pollens arrive at reproductive regions thanks to these canals. Plants throw sperm-producing pollen seeds into the air. Afterwards, air currents carry these seeds to other plants of the same species. the pollen reaching the ovule fertilises the egg and thus ovules turn into seeds.
The Uniqueness of the Fingerprint
The "fingerprint" which is formed on the tip of the finger by the visible pattern the skin takes is absolutely unique to its owner. Every person living on the earth has a different set of fingerprints. All the people who have lived throughout history also had different fingerprints. These prints remain unchanged throughout one's lifetime unless a great injury occurs.
That is why the fingerprint is accepted as a very important identity card and used for this purpose around the world.
However, two centuries ago, the fingerprint was not so important, because it was only discovered in the late 19th century that all fingerprints are different from one another. in 1880, an English scientist named Henry Faulds stated in an article published in Nature that the fingerprints of people did not change throughout their lives, and that su spects could be convicted by the fingerprints they left on surfaces such as glass.32 in 1884, for the first time a murder was solved by means of identifying fingerprints. Since then, fingerprints have become an important method of identification. Before the 19th century, however, people most probably had never thought that the wavy shapes on their fingertips had any meaning or considered them worthy of note.
In the 7th century, the Qur'an pointed out that the fingertips of human beings bore an important characteristic:
Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Yes, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers. (Surat al-Qiyama, 3-4)
The Birth of Man
Many diverse subjects are mentioned in the Qur'an in the course of inviting people to believe. Sometimes the heavens, sometimes the animals, and sometimes the plants are shown as evidence to man by Allah. in many of the verses, people are called upon to turn their attention to their own creation. They are often reminded how man has come into the world, which stages he has passed through and what his essence is:
It is We Who have created you. Why, then, do you not accept the truth? Have you ever considered that (seed) which you emit? is it you who create it? Or are We the Creator? (Surat al-Waqia, 57-59)
The creation of man and the miraculous aspect of this is stressed in many other verses. Some bits of information within these verses are so detailed that it is impossible for a person living in the 7th century to have known them. Some of them are as follows:
People living in the age when the Qur'an was revealed, to be sure, knew that the basic substance of birth was related to the semen of the male emitted during sexual intercourse. and the fact that the baby was born after a nine-month period was obviously an observable event not calling for any further investigation. However, the bits of information quoted above were far above the level of learning of the people living in that period. These could only be verified by 20th century science.
Now, let us go over them one by one.
A Drop of Semen
During sexual intercourse, 250 million sperms are emitted from the male at a time. the sperms undertake an arduous 5-minute journey in the mother's body until they make it to the ovum. Only a thousand out of 250 million sperms succeed in reaching the ovum. the ovum, the size of half a grain of salt, will let only one of the sperms in. That is, the essence of man is not the whole semen but only a small portion of it. This is explained in the Qur'an:
Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)? Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? (Surat al-Qiyama, 36-37)
As we have seen, the Qur'an informs us that man is made not from the complete semen but only a small part of it. That the particular emphasis in this statement announces a fact only discovered by modern science is evidence that the statement is divine in origin.
The Mixture in the Semen
The fluid called semen does not consist of sperms alone. On the contrary, it is made up of a mixture of different fluids. These fluids have functions such as containing the sugar necessary for providing energy for the sperms, neutralising the acids at the entrance of the uterus and creating the slippery environment for the easy movement of the sperms.
Interestingly enough, when semen is mentioned in the Qur'an, this fact, which is discovered by modern science, is also referred to and the semen is defined as a mixed fluid:
Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of hearing and sight. (Surat al-Insan, 2)
In another verse, the semen is again referred to as a mixture and it is stressed that man is created from the "essence" of this mixture:
He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised. (Surat al-Sajda, 7-8)
The Arabic word "sulala", translated as "quintessence", means the essential or best part of something. By either implication, it means "part of a whole". This shows that the Qur'an is the word of a Will that knows the creation of man down to its slightest detail. This Will is the Creator of man.
Determining a Baby's Sex
Until fairly recently it was thought that a baby's sex was determined by the male and female genes together. the improving disciplines of genetics and microbiology proved in the 20th century that the female has no role in the process.
Two of the 46 chromosomes that determine the structure of a human being are the sex chromosomes. These chromosomes are called "XY" in males and "XX" in females, because the shapes of the chromosomes resemble these letters. the Y chromosome is the one that carries all the specifically male genes.
The formation of an infant starts by the uniting of two chromosomes: one from the father and one from the mother. Because a female only has X chromosomes, her reproductive cells (ova) will contain only those. Males on the other hand, have both X and Y chromosomes, so half of their reproductive cells (sperms) will be X and the other half Y. If an ovum unites with a sperm containing an X chromosome, the offspring is female; if it unites with one containing a Y chromosome, the offspring is male.
in other words, a baby's sex is determined by which (X or Y) chromosome from the male unites with the chromosome from the female.
None of this was known until the discovery of genetics in the 20th century. Indeed, in many cultures it was believed that a baby's sex was determined by the condition (health, etc.) of the mother's body. That was why women were blamed when they had girls. (This primitive belief is still common.)
Thirteen centuries before the genes were discovered, the Qur'an, however, revealed information that denies this. in a verse it is stated that maleness or femaleness is created from a drop of semen: that is, the source of the sexes is not the woman but the man.
... He did create in pairs, male and female, from a drop of sperm as it is poured forth. (Surat an-Najm, 45-46)
The Clot Clinging to the Uterus
When the sperm of the male unites with the ovum of the female as described above, the essence of the baby to be born is formed. This single cell, known as the "zygote" in biology, will instantly start to reproduce by dividing and eventually become a "piece of flesh".
The zygote, however, does not spend its developmental period in a void. It clings to the uterus just like roots that are firmly fixed to the earth by their tendrils. Through this bond, the zygote can obtain the substances essential to its development from the mother's body.
Such a detail could not have been known without a sound knowledge of medicine. It is obvious that no one possessed such knowledge 14 centuries ago. Interestingly enough, Allah always refers to the zygote developing in the mother's womb as "a clot of blood" in the Qur'an:
Read! in the name of your Sustainer, who has created man from a clot. Read – for your Sustainer is the Most Bounteous. (Surat al-Alaq, 1-3)
Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled, (without purpose)? Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? Then he became a clot; then Allah made and fashioned him in due proportion. and made of him a pair, the male and the female. (Surat al-Qiyama, 36-39)
The Arabic meaning of the word "clot" is "a thing that clings to some place". the word is literally used to describe leeches that cling to a body to suck blood. It is obviously the best word possible to describe the zygote that clings to the wall of the uterus and absorbs its sustenance from it.
The Qur'an has more to disclose about the zygote.
Perfectly clinging to the uterus, the zygote starts to develop. the uterus of the mother, meanwhile, is filled with a fluid called the "amnion liquid" that surrounds the zygote. the most important feature of the amnion liquid in which the baby develops is to protect the baby against blows coming from outside. in the Qur'an, this fact is revealed as follows:
Did We not create you from a base fluid which We placed in a safe place, firmly fixed? (Surat al-Mursalat, 20-21)
All this information given in the Qur'an about the formation of man demonstrates that the Qur'an came from a source that knows about this formation down to its slightest detail.
This once more proves that the Qur'an is the word of Allah. It would be sheer nonsense to claim that the information yielded by the Qur'an about birth is "coincidentally" correct: for there are many details revealed in the Qur'an and such a detailed account has no chance whatsoever of "coincidentally" agreeing with the truth in every respect.
Every description of the Qur'an is true because every verse of it is comprised of the words of Allah. Since it is Allah Who has created and shaped man in the mother's womb, to Him belong the words that best describe this process. Allah Who has created all of us in like manner describes the outset of our lives in another verse as follows:
Man We did create from a quintessence of clay. Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a safe place of rest. Then We made the drop a clot; then of that clot We made a lump of flesh; then we made out of that lump of flesh bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we brought this into being as a new creation. So blessed be Allah, the best to create! (Surat al-Mumenoon, 12-14)
40. http://www.jps.net/bygrace/index. html Taken from Big Bang Refined by Fire by Dr. Hugh Ross, 1998. Reasons To Believe, Pasadena, CA.
41. 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; Prof. Zighloul Raghib El-Naggar'ın konuşmasından
42. http://www.istanbul.edu.tr/fen/astronomy/populer/cevre/cevresi.htm; Yard. Doç. Dr. Yüksel Karataş, İstanbul Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Astronomi ve Uzay Bilimleri Bölümü, Popüler Bilim (Popular Science Magazine), no. 92, 2001, ss. 38-43, [American Scientist, c. 88, s. 1]
43. Anthes, Richard A., John J. Cahir, Alistair B. Fraser, and Hans A. Panofsky, 1981, The Atmosphere, 3. edition, Columbus, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, s. 268-269; Millers, Albert; and Jack C. Thompson, 1975, Elements of Meteorology, 2. edition, Columbus, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, s. 141
44. Anthes, Richard A.; John J. Cahir; Alistair B. Fraser; and Hans A. Panofsky, 1981, The Atmosphere, s. 269; Millers, Albert; and Jack C. Thompson, 1975, Elements of Meteorology, s. 141-142
45. Davis, Richard A., Jr. 1972, Principles of Oceanography, Don Mills, Ontario, Addison-Wesley Publishing, s. 92-93
46. Moore, Keith L., E. Marshall Johnson, T. V. N. Persaud, Gerald C. Goeringer, Abdul-Majeed A. Zindani, and Mustafa A. Ahmed, 1992, Human Development as Described in the Qur'an and Sunnah, Makkah, Commission on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, s. 36
47. Moore, Developing Human, 6. edition,1998.
48. Williams P., Basic Human Embryology, 3. edition, 1984, s. 64.