We gave Dawud great favor from Us: “O mountains and birds! Echo with him in his praise!” And We made iron malleable for him: (Surah Saba’, 10)
The description of mountains “echoing” in the above verse may be a reference to the way that radios work. (Allah knows the truth.) The basic principles on which radios operate may be summarized as follows:
The 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 “sinus wave” and transmits it in the form of waves. The receiver takes in the radio waves and deciphers the message sent on the sinus wave. In this way, the message is received in exactly the same form as it was sent. The word “awwibi,” 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 emitted in the form of sound waves by way of an antenna in order that the receiver can take in the data sent are also met by 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. That is why NASA uses giant antennae bowls 70 meters across for its satellites millions of kilometers away in space.
There are also radio telescopes which 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 images sufficiently clear to be compared. 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 one. And in physical appearance, these series resemble mountain systems.
In addition, “repeaters” are employed to permit radio communications over every 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 on the tops of mountains for preference, in order to have the greatest effect. The use of the word “awwibi,” 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 thus be a description of that technology. Allah knows the truth.
A radio telescope on Peach Mountain, in Dexter, Michigan
Each of the antennae in the picture weighs 212 tons, is as high as a 10-storey building and measures 25 meters across.1