Appendix: The Miracles of The Qur'an
Truly your Lord is the Almighty, the Most Merciful.
The matchless style of the Qur'an and the superior wisdom in it are definite evidence that it is the word of Allah. In addition, the Qur'an has many miraculous attributes proving that it is a revelation from Allah. One of these attributes is the fact that a number of scientific truths that we have only been able to uncover by the technology of the twentieth century were stated in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
This chapter includes some of the miracles of the Qur'an. (For further detail, please see Harun Yahya, Miracles of the Qur'an, Attique Publishers, 2001)
1 - The Splitting Asunder of "the Heavens and the Earth"
Another verse about the creation of the heavens is as follows:
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 word ratq translated as "sewn to" means "mixed in each, blended" in Arabic dictionaries. It is used to refer to two different substances that make up a whole. The phrase "we unstitched" is the verb fataqa in Arabic and implies that something comes into being by tearing apart or destroying the structure of ratq. The sprouting of a seed from the soil is one of the actions to which this verb is applied.
Let us take a look at the verse again with this knowledge in mind. In the verse, sky and earth are at first subject to the status of ratq. They are separated (fataqa) with one coming out of the other. Intriguingly, when we remember the first moments of the Big Bang, we see that a single point included all the matter in the universe. In other words, everything, including "the heavens and earth" which were not created yet, were included in this point in a condition of ratq. This point exploded violently, 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 twentieth century.
2 - Orbits
While referring to the Sun and the Moon in the Qur'an, it is emphasized that each moves in a definite orbit.
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)
It is mentioned in another verse, too, that the Sun is not static but moves in a definite orbit:
And the sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Surat as-Saffat: 38)
These facts communicated in the Qur'an have been discovered by astronomical observations in our age. According to the calculations of experts on astronomy, the Sun is traveling at the enormous speed of 720,000 kilometers an hour in the direction of the star Vega in a particular orbit called the Solar Apex. This means that the sun travels roughly 17,280,000 kilometers a day. Along with the Sun, and all planets and satellites within the gravitational system of the Sun also travel the same distance. In addition, all the stars in the universe are in a similar planned motion.
That the entire universe is full of paths and orbits such as this one, is written in the Qur'an as follows:
By the sky full of paths and orbits. (Surat adh-Dhariyat: 7)
There are about 200 billion galaxies in the universe, consisting of nearly 200 billion stars in each. Most of these stars have planets, and most of those planets have satellites. All of these heavenly bodies move in very precisely computed orbits. For millions of years, each has been "swimming" along in its own orbit in perfect harmony and order with all the others. Moreover, many comets also move along in the orbits determined for them.
The orbits in the universe do not only belong to celestial bodies. The galaxies also travel at enormous speeds in computed, planned orbits. During these movements, none of these celestial bodies cuts across another's path, or collides with another.
Surely at the time the Qur'an was revealed, mankind did not possess today's telescopes or advanced observation technologies to observe millions of kilometres of space, nor the modern knowledge of physics or astronomy. Therefore, at that time, it was not possible to determine scientifically that space is "full of paths and orbits" as stated in the verse. However, this was openly declared to us in the Qur'an that was revealed at that time:–because the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
3 - The Roundness of the Earth
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)
In the Qur'an, the words used for describing the universe are quite remarkable. The Arabic word that is translated as "to wrap" in the above verse is "takwir". In English, it 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.)
The information given in the verse about the day and the night wrapping each other up includes accurate information about the shape of the world. This can be true only if the earth is round. This means that in the Qur'an, which was revealed in the seventh century, the roundness of the world was hinted at.
It should be remembered, however, that the understanding of astronomy of the time perceived the world differently. It was then thought that the world was a flat plane and all scientific calculations and explanations were based on this belief. The verses of the Qur'an, however, include information that we have learned only in the past century. Since the Qur'an is Allah's word, the most correct words were used in it when it comes to describing the universe.
4 - The Protected Roof
In the Qur'an, Allah calls our attention to a very interesting attribute of the sky:
We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs... (Surat al-Anbiya': 32)
This attribute of the sky has been proved by scientific research carried out in the twentieth century.
The atmosphere surrounding the earth serves crucial functions for the continuity of life. While destroying many meteors big and small as they approach the earth, it prevents them from falling to earth and harming living things.
In addition, the atmosphere filters the light rays coming from space that are harmful to living things. Interestingly, the atmosphere lets only harmless and useful rays– visible light, near ultraviolet light, and radio waves pass through. All of this radiation is vital for life. Near 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. The majority of the intense ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun are filtered out by the ozone layer of the atmosphere and only a limited–and essential–part of the ultraviolet spectrum reaches the Earth.
The protective function of the atmosphere does not end here. The atmosphere also protects the earth from the freezing cold of the space, which is about minus 2700C.
It is not only the atmosphere that protects the Earth from harmful effects. In addition to the atmosphere, the Van Allen Belt, a layer caused by the magnetic field of the Earth, also serves as a shield against the harmful radiation that threatens our planet. This radiation, which is constantly emitted by the Sun and other stars, is deadly to living things. If the Van Allen belt did not exist, the massive outbursts of energy called solar flares that frequently occur in the Sun would destroy all life on Earth.
Dr. Hugh Ross has this to say on the importance of Van Allen Belts to our lives:
The energy transmitted in just one of these bursts detected in recent years was calculated to be equivalent to 100 billion atomic bombs similar to the one dropped on Hiroshima. Fifty-eight hours after the burst, it was observed that the magnetic needles of compasses displayed unusual movement and 250 kilometers above the earth's atmosphere, the temperature suddenly increased to 2,5000C.
In short, a perfect system is at work high above the Earth. It surrounds our world and protects it against external threats. Scientists only learned about it recently, yet centuries ago, Allah informed us in the Qur'an of the world's atmosphere functioning as a protective shield.
5 - The Returning Sky
The verse 11 of Surat at-Tariq in the Qur'an, refers to the "returning" function of the sky.
By Heaven with its cyclical systems. (Surat at-Tariq: 11)
This word interpreted as "cyclical" in Qur'an translations also has meanings of "sending back" or "returning".
As known, the atmosphere surrounding the Earth consists of many layers. Each layer serves an important purpose for the benefit of life. Research has revealed that these layers have the function of turning the materials or rays they are exposed to back into space or back down to the Earth. Now let us examine with a few examples of this "recycling" function of the layers encircling the Earth.
The troposphere, 13 to 15 kilometers above the Earth, enables water vapor rising from the surface of the Earth to be condensed and turn back as rain.
The ozone layer, at an altitude of 25 kilometers, reflects harmful radiation and ultraviolet light coming from space and turns both back into space.
The ionosphere, reflects radio waves broadcast from the Earth back down to different parts of the world, just like a passive communications satellite, and thus makes wireless communication, radio, and television broadcasting possible over long distances.
The magnetosphere layer turns the harmful radioactive particles emitted by the Sun and other stars back into space before they reach the Earth.
The fact that this property of the atmosphere's layers, that was onlt demonstrated in the recent past was announced centuries ago in the Qur'an, once again demonstrates that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
6 - The Pairs in Creation
Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs: from what the earth produces and from themselves and from things unknown to them. (Surat as-Saffat: 36)
Although the concept of ''pair'' or "couple" commonly stands for male and female, the statement of ''from things unknown to them'' has wider implications. Today, one of the implications of the verse has been revealed. The British scientist Paul Dirac, who proposed that matter is created in pairs, was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1933. This discovery, called ''parité'', maintains that matter is paired with its opposite: anti-matter. Anti-matter carries the opposite properties to matter. For instance, as opposed to matter, the electron of anti-matter is positively charged and its protons are negatively charged. This fact is stated in a scientific source in this way:
7 - The Relativity of Time
Today, the relativity of time is a proven scientific fact. This was revealed by Einstein's theory of relativity at the early years of the twentieth century. Until then, people did not know that time was a relative concept, and that it could change according to the environment. Yet, the great scientist Albert Einstein openly proved this fact with the theory of relativity. He showed that time is dependent on mass and velocity. In the history of humanity, no one had expressed this fact clearly before.
With one exception though; the Qur'an included information about time's being relative! Some verses about the subject read:
They ask you to hasten the punishment. Allah will not break His promise. A day with your Lord is equivalent to a thousand years in the way you count. (Surat al-Hajj: 47)
He directs the whole affair from heaven to earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure. (Surat as-Sajda: 5)
The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years. (Surat al-Ma'arij: 4)
In some verses, it is indicated that people perceive time differently and that sometimes people can perceive a very short period of time as a very lengthy one. The following conversation of people held during their judgement in the Hereafter is a good example of this:
He will say, 'How many years did you tarry on the earth?' They will say, 'We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!' He will say, 'You only tarried there for a little while if you did but know! (Surat al-Mu'minun: 12)
The fact that the relativity of time is so clearly mentioned in the Qur'an, which started to be revealed in 610, is another evidence that it is a holy book.
8 - The Formation of Rain
How rain forms remained a great mystery for a long time. Only after weather radar was invented was it possible to discover the stages by which rain is formed.
According to this, the formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw material" of rain rises up into the air with the wind. Later, clouds are formed, and finally raindrops appear.
The Qur'an's account of the formation of rain refers exactly to this process. In one verse, this formation is described in this way:
It is Allah Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His slaves He wills, they rejoice. (Surat ar-Rum: 48)
Now, let us examine these three stages outlined in the verse more technically.
First Stage: " It is Allah Who sends the winds..."
Countless air bubbles formed by the foaming of 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 rise upward in the atmosphere. These particles, which are called aerosols, function as water traps, and form cloud drops by collecting around the water vapour themselves, which rises from the seas as tiny droplets.
Second Stage: "... which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps..."
The clouds are formed from water vapour that condenses around the salt crystals or dust particles in the air. Because the water droplets in these clouds are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air, and spread across the sky. Thus, the sky is covered in clouds.
Third Stage: "… and you see the rain come pouring our from the middle of them"
The water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form raindrops, so, drops that become heavier than the air leave the clouds and start to fall to the ground as rain.
As we have seen, every stage in the formation of rain is related in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in exactly the right sequence. Just as with many other natural phenomena on the Earth, Allah gives the most correct explanation of this phenomenon as well, and made it known to people in the Qur'an centuries before it was discovered.
In another verse, the following information is given about the formation of rain:
Have you not seen how Allah drives along the clouds, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it? And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) with cold hail in them, striking with it anyone He wills and averting it from anyone He wills. The brightness of His lightning almost blinds the sight. (Surat an-Nur: 43)
Scientists studying cloud types came across surprising results regarding the formation of rain clouds. Rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and stages. The formation stages of cumulonimbus, one kind of rain cloud, are these:
1. Stage, Being driven along: Clouds are carried along, that is, they are driven along, by the wind.
2. Stage, Joining: Then, small clouds (cumulus clouds) driven along by the wind join together, forming a larger cloud.11
3. Stage, Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the centre of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges. These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.12
We must remember that meteorologists have only recently come to know these details of cloud formation, structure and function, by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers etc. It is evident that Allah has given us a piece of information that could not have been known 1,400 years ago.
9 - The Fecundating Winds
In one verse of the Qur'an, the "fecundating" characteristic of the winds, and the formation of rain as a result are mentioned.
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 this verse, it is pointed out that the first stage in the formation of rain is wind. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, the only relationship between the wind and the rain that was known, was that the wind drove the clouds. However, modern meteorological findings have demonstrated the "fecundating" role of the wind in the formation of rain.
This fecundating function of the wind works in the following way:
On the surface of oceans and seas, countless air bubbles form because of the water's foaming action. The moment these bubbles burst, thousands of tiny particles, with a diameter of just one hundredth of a millimeter, are thrown up into the air. These particles, known as "aerosols", mix with dust carried from the land by the wind, and are carried to the upper layers of the atmosphere. These particles carried to higher altitudes by winds come into contact with water vapour up there. Water vapour condenses around these particles and turns into water droplets. These water droplets first come together and form clouds, and then fall to the Earth in the form of rain.
As seen, winds "fecundate" the water vapour floating in the air with the particles they carry from the sea, and eventually help the formation of rain clouds.
If winds did not possess this property, water droplets in the upper atmosphere would never form, and there would be no such thing as rain.
The most important point here is that this critical role of the wind in the formation of rain was stated centuries ago in a verse of the Qur'an, at a time when people knew very little about natural phenomena…
10 - The Identity in the Fingerprint
While it is stated in the Qur'an that it is easy for Allah to bring man back to life after death, peoples' fingerprints are particularly emphasized:
Yes, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers. (Surat al-Qiyama: 3-4)
The emphasis on fingerprints has a very special meaning. This is because everyone's fingerprint is unique to himself. Every person who is alive or who has ever lived in this world has a set of unique fingerprints.
That is why fingerprints are accepted as a very important proof of identity, exclusive to their owner, and are used for this purpose around the world.
But what is important is that this feature of fingerprints was only discovered in the late nineteenth century. Before then, people regarded fingerprints as ordinary curves without any specific importance or meaning. However in the Qur'an, Allah points to the fingertips, which did not attract anyone's attention at that time, and calls our attention to their importance–an importance that was only finally understood in our day.
11 - The Victory of Byzantium
Another astonishing piece of revelation that the Qur'an gives about the future is to be found in the first verses of Sura Rum, which refers to the Byzantine Empire, the eastern part of the later Roman Empire. In these verses, it is stated that the Byzantine Empire had met with a great defeat, but that it would soon gain victory.
Elif, Lam, Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they ill themselves be victorious in a few years' time. The affair is Allah's from beginning to end. (Surat ar-Rum: 1-4)
In short, everyone was expecting the Byzantine Empire to be destroyed. But right at that moment, the first verses of Sura Rum were revealed, announcing that Byzantium would triumph in a few years' time. This victory seemed so impossible that Arab polytheists had gone so far as to make fun of these verses. They thought that the victory announced in the Qur'an would never come true.
At the end, "the victory of the Romans," proclaimed by Allah in the Qur'an, miraculously came true.
Another miracle revealed in these verses is the announcement of a geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at that time.
In the third verse of Surat ar-Rum, we are informed that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region of the Earth. This expression, "Adna al Ard" in Arabic, is interpreted as "a nearby place" in many translations. Yet this is not the literal meaning of the original statement, but rather a figurative interpretation of it. The word "Adna" in Arabic is derived from the word "deni", which means "low" and "ard", which means "world". Therefore the expression "Adna al Ard" means "the lowest place on the Earth".
Most interestingly, the crucial stages of the war fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Persians, when the Byzantines were defeated and lost Jerusalem, had really taken place at the lowest point on earth. This specified region is the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. The "Dead Sea", lying 395 meters below sea level, really is the lowest region on Earth.
This means that the Byzantines were defeated at the lowest part of the world, just as stated in the verse.
The most interesting point lies in the fact that the altitude of the Dead Sea could only be measured with modern measurement techniques. Before that, it was impossible for anyone to know that it was the lowest region on the surface of the Earth. Yet, this region was stated to be the lowest point on the Earth in the Qur'an. Hence, this provides further evidence that the Qur'an is divine revelation.
12 - The Word "Haman" In The Qur'an
The information given in the Qur'an about ancient Egypt reveals many historical facts that had remained undisclosed until recent times. These facts also indicate to us that every word in the Qur'an has been revealed by sure wisdom.
Haman is a character whose name is mentioned in the Qur'an, along with the Pharaoh. He is recorded in six different places of the Qur'an as one of the closest men to the Pharaoh.
Surprisingly the name of Haman is never mentioned in those sections of the Torah pertaining to the life of Moses. However, the mention of Haman can be found in the last chapters of the Old Testament as the helper of a Babylonian king who inflicted many cruelties on the Israelites approximately 1,100 years after Moses.
Some non-Muslims, who claim that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wrote the Qur'an by copying from the Torah and the Bible, also assert that during the process, he transferred some of the subjects related in these books into the Qur'an incorrectly.
The absurdity of these claims was demonstrated only after the Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet had been deciphered, approximately 200 years ago, and the name "Haman" discovered in the ancient scripts.
Before these discoveries, the writings and inscriptions of ancient Egypt could not be understood. The language of ancient Egypt was hieroglyphic, which survived through the ages. However, with the spread of Christianity and other cultural influences in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, Egypt forsook its ancient beliefs as well as hieroglyphic writing. The last known example of the use of hieroglyphic writing was an inscription dated 394 AD. Then that language was forgotten, leaving nobody who could read and understand it. And that was the situation until some 200 years ago…
The mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics was solved in 1799 by the discovery of a tablet called the "Rosetta Stone" dating back to 196 B.C. The importance of this inscription was that it was written in three different forms of writing: Hieroglyphics, demotic (a simplified form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing) and Greek. With the help of the Greek script, the ancient Egyptian writings were decoded. The translation of the inscription was completed by a Frenchman named Jean-Françoise Champollion. Hence a forgotten language and the events related in it were brought to light. In this way, a great deal of knowledge about the civilization, religion and social life of ancient Egypt became available.
The result revealed a very important truth. Unlike the false assertion of the opponents of the Qur'an, Haman was a person who lived in Egypt at the time of Moses, who had been close to the Pharaoh, and had been involved in construction work, just as imparted in the Qur'an.
Furthermore, the verse in the Qur'an describing the event where the Pharaoh asked Haman to build a tower is in perfect agreement with this archaeological finding:
Pharaoh said, 'Council, I do not know of any other god for you apart from Me. Haman, kindle a fire for me over the clay and build me a lofty tower so that perhaps I may be able to climb up to Moses' god! I consider him a blatant liar.' (Surat al-Qasas: 38)
In conclusion, the existence of the name Haman in the ancient Egyptian inscriptions not only rendered the fabricated claims of the opponents of the Qur'an worthless, but also confirmed one more time the fact that the Qur'an comes from Allah. In a miraculous way, the Qur'an conveys to us historical information that could not have been possessed or understood at the time of the Prophet.
9- http://www.jps.net/bygrace/index.html, Taken from Big Bang Refined by Fire by Dr. Hugh Ross, 1998. Reasons To Believe, Pasadena, CA.
10- http://www.2think.org/nothingness.html, Henning Genz – Nothingness: The Science of Empty Space, p. 205
11- Anthes, Richard A., John J. Cahir, Alistair B. Fraser, and Hans A. Panofsky, 1981, The Atmosphere, 3. edition, Columbus, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, pp. 268-269; Millers, Albert; and Jack C. Thompson, 1975, Elements of Meteorology, 2. edition, Columbus, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, p. 141
12- Anthes, Richard A.; John J. Cahir; Alistair B. Fraser; and Hans A. Panofsky, 1981, The Atmosphere, p. 269; Millers, Albert; and Jack C. Thompson, 1975, Elements of Meteorology, pp. 141-142
13- Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press, 1997, pp. 287-299.
14- Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press, 1997, pp. 287-299.
15- Walter Wreszinski, Ägyptische Inschriften aus dem K.K. Hof Museum in Wien, 1906, J C Hinriesche Buchhandlung.
16- Hermann Ranke, Die Ägyptischen Personennamen, Verzeichnis der Namen, Verlag Von J.J. Augustin in Glückstadt, Band I,1935, Band II, 1952