Quran and Science
The only book that is authored by God on the earth is Al-Quran was revealed in Arabic to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) over a period of twenty-three years ending in 632 A.D., the year he passed away from the mortal world to live in eternity. When it comes to revelation, some people knit their brows, express their emotions with scowl and begin to criticize it prickly with logical or scientific play of words. They forget that Truth dwells in the Deeps. It must be remembered that throughout the world today’s editions of the Quran are all faithful reproductions of the original manuscript. Contrary to the Bible, in the Quran, there are no instances of rewriting or corrupting the text over the course of time.
The Holy Quran is basically not a book of Science. The sole object of this luminous Book that manifests His Omnipotence, Wisdom and Knowledge is to guide the mankind to the straight path and piety and develop our faculties of thought and action to perfection. But there is, indeed, a mention of various scientific facts because mans physical development has vital bearing on his mental make-up. For instance, the scientific concepts that cosmos was created out of chaos as the heaven was something like smoke, the heavens and the earth were once a closed-up mass and then God opened them out, water gives birth to all sorts of life and sustains it and that each (planet) is gliding along its orbit were stated in the Holy Quran fourteen hundred years ago. Then there were neither Scientists nor books on Science. An impartial and eminent French scientist, surgeon, scholar and author of “THE BIBLE, THE QUR’AN AND SCIENCE”, Dr. Maurice Bucaille, was well-versed with the Biblical version of Pharaoh’s story as being drowned in pursuit of Prophet Moses. He was pleasantly surprised to learn that unknown to the world till only of late, the Holy Quran made definite prediction about the preservation of the body of the same Pharaoh of Moses’ time. This led Dr. Bucaille to study the Holy Quran thoroughly after learning the Arabic language. The final conclusion of his comparative study of Quran and the Bible is that the statements about scientific phenomena in the Holy Quran are perfectly in conformity with the modern sciences whereas the Biblical narrations on the same subjects are scientifically entirely unacceptable.
There in no denying the fact that in the 7th Century Arabia, the society has little scientific knowledge. Bedouin tribalism was the “dominant feature” of the population. The mostly desolate area, in which the Arabs lived, was an “oral” culture, with a “nomadic” lifestyle. Few people knew how to read and even fewer knew how to write. Myth and magic controlled their thoughts and guided their rituals. In these conditions, who could discover the true origin of the universe or uncover the origin of life? Nothing in the literature of the world, including the literature of the ancient Greeks, came even remotely close to the accuracy of statements about the natural world, contained in the Koran. In fact some of the information that we come across in the Koran was not known until about say 70 or100 years back and some of it was not known by the scientists just a few years ago.
The philosophic content of a science is only perceived if science is conscious of its limits. Today physics is undergoing a basic change, the most encouraging trait of which is a return to its original self-limitation though, in the words of Heisenberg, we have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. On the question of embracing Rational and the Mystical, it is not impertinent to make a special mention of Wolfgang Pauli whose genius according to Max Born exceeded even that of Einstein. He allied himself with those who emphasize the role of intuition and the direction of attention in framing the concepts and ideas necessary for establishing a scientific theory. Pauli sought for an order of the cosmos distinct from the world of appearance. If according to him both the soul and what is known in perception are subject to an order objectively conceived, revelation, as some people contend, is not out of the question. With a positive approach, Einstein takes a broader view of science and religion: If it is one of the goals of religion to liberate mankind as far as possible from the bondage of egocentric cravings, desires, and fears, scientific reasoning can aid religion in yet another sense..But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this domain (of discovering rules which permit the association and foretelling of facts) is moved by profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the understanding man achieves a far-reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains humble attitude of mind towards the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be more religious in the highest sense of the word . . . . . While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious or moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge. If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinozas Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements. Al-Quran has invariably invited the attention of mankind to go deep into the realm of facts and delve into the profound study of nature as well as urged him to travel through the earth in order to learn the moral imperatives for his own well-being and self-realization:
Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made? And at the Sky, how it is raised high? And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the Earth, how it is spread out? (88:17-20)
Say: “Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before (you): Most of them worshipped others besides God.” (30:42)
Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them? But the home of the hereafter is best, for those who do right. Will ye not then understand? (12:109)
And let us not overlook the very words of first revelation:
Read in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who creates; Creates man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood; Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful; He Who teaches (the use of) the pen; teaches man that which he knows not (96:1-5)
It goes without saying that reading and writing are the basics of all learning, knowledge, philosophy and scientific research. Thus Al-Quran bears testimony to the supreme value of learning and science. In the words of Zamakhshari, without the knowledge of writing no other knowledge could be comprehended, nor the sciences placed within bounds, nor the history of the ancients be acquired and their sayings (and findings) be recorded, nor the revealed books be written. And to quote the valuable words of Hadith, to listen to the words of the learned and to instill into the mind the lessons of science, is better than religious exercise.
Primarily, the main theme of the Quran and all previous revelations has been the absolute oneness of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, who is without partner(s). In the Quranic verses God generally addresses to all the people with the words, O mankind and O people, or O believers to those who have embraced Islam. The Quran is the direct Word of Allah containing not a single word from anyone, even Prophet Muhammad. The sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) are found in separate compilations known as Hadith, and include his deeds, behavior, lifestyle, and decisions on various issues. Allah is the personal name of God, the Lord of the universe, the owner of the Day of Judgment. The Quran is the same, safe and secured in its original text and has not altered or modified even by an alphabet, even by a punctuation mark since its revelation fourteen centuries ago is communicated to us by the grace of God and His pledge to preserve it in all respects till this temporal world comes to an end.
Quran attracts reason and common sense and urges the readers who are knowledgeable ‘to think, ponder or reflect upon certain statements. The more one explores and ponders on such statements the deeper meanings one gets. A number of such statements give a clue to the scientific facts that have been duly proved by the modern search or will be proved by the future research. Their synopsis is given as below:
CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
All, apart from God, is the universe through which we can gain knowledge of its Maker and Artificer, It is a pure mirror to show the face of its Creator Who has endowed human nature with intelligence and wisdom and bestowed upon him a mind that man may be able to see God with it. There are several kinds of Universe, the physical and the spiritual. The physical world that is subdivided into several kinds: the celestial as galaxies and stars; the terrestrial as elements and atoms, the minerals, the vegetable and the animal kingdoms. Man is the essence of creation, supersedes all types of creatures, and is himself a miniature or Microcosm of the Universe also known as Macrocosm. First of all let us take the wondrous and infinite City of the Universe, the great celestial world that has always baffled mankind with its myriad twinkling stars.
Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most of mankind understands not (40:57)
Surely when this verse was revealed, most men never knew the fact that the creation of the heavens and the earth was exceedingly greater than the creation of men. The universe is so vast, complex and mysterious that even today only the greatest intellects of science dare guess as to its extent and shape. The Earth and planets rotating around the Sun constitute an organized world of dimensions, which, to our human scale, appear exceedingly colossal and ineffable. The Earth is, after all, roughly 93 million miles from the Sun. This is a very great distance for a human being, but it is very small in comparison to the distance separating the Sun from the furthermost planet from it in the solar system (Pluto); in round numbers it is 40 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, i.e. approximately 3,672 million miles away. This distance, when doubled, represents the largest dimension of our solar system. The Sun’s light takes nearly 6 hours to reach Pluto, and yet the journey is made at the terrifying speed of over 186,000 miles per second. On a fine summer night, the whole of space seems to be filled with stars that make up what is known as the Milky Way. This group has extremely large dimensions. Whereas light could cross the solar system in units of one hour, it would require something like 90,000 years to go from one extreme to the other of the most compact group of stars that make up our galaxy.
The Galaxy of Milky Way, of which the sun is a member, contains about one hundred thousand million stars and about an equal quantity of gas and dust which has not condensed into stars. Until about sixty years ago, it remained an open question whether our Galaxy was the whole Universe or whether there were other similar systems island universes, as it were scattered through space. Now it has been explored that our Galaxy is but one of many, which are fairly comparable to it in size and in mass. Space has been surveyed out to a distance of about 500 million light-years and, it is estimated that there are about 100 million separate galaxies. As mentioned above, a ray of light is the fastest thing in creation. Yet a ray of light leaving the earth today to circumnavigate the universe will not return to the earth again for 3,00,000 million years. Or say the light coming from stars on the very confines of the known celestial world takes trillions of years to reach us.
EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE
The Koran talks about an “expanding” Universe centuries before scientists described it:
We created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six Days, and no weariness ever touched Us (50:38) See they not that God, Who created the heavens and the earth, and never wearied with their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yea, verily He has power over all things (46:33).
Before we discuss what science asserts on this subject, it is worth mentioning that in Genesis, the story of the creation of the world is told in considerable detail. But this statement that the Creation did not make God at all weary is stunning and outstanding, and varies from the Biblical description where God is said to have rested on the seventh day from the preceding days’ work.
Now what is asserted in the above verses is that God is able to give life to the dead and the proof thereof is that He Who created the heavens and the earth (is still engaged in the act of creation) and is never wearied of their creation. The expansion of the Universe is the most imposing discovery and firmly established concept of modern science. John Robinson observes: We have a strong evidence and a solid basis for the famous Theory of the Expanding Universe, since the constitution of the Universe the galaxies are running away from us and from each other at altogether, exceptional speeds. They are dispersing or scattering just as a puff of smoke disperses or the fragments of a bursting bomb; the parts steadily get further away from each other as the whole expands. Hubble determined the distances to the galaxies and the velocities that they were moving at relative to Earth and discovered an amazing thing – the farther galaxies were away from us, the faster they were moving away from us. In other words, the Universe is steadily and rapidly expanding! The most well known scientist, Einstein discovered a simple connection between space, time, and matter that appears to hold throughout the universe. His theory predicts that the universe will continue to expand forever if there is, on average, less than about a sugar cube’s worth of matter and energy per trillion cubic miles of space. Here is another verse for us to behold and appreciate this wonderful reality in unequivocal and explicit terms; the action of creating the vastness of space is denoted not in any tense but in subjective form that gives subtle meaning of permanence and perpetuation to the attribute of the Creator who continues to create perpetually the vastness of space:
And the sky We built it with might, and we cause the expansion of it (51:47)
The fact that the Universe is not static but in a state of expansion was discovered by the American astronomer Edwin Hubble in the late 1920s, almost 1400 years after the Koran described it. One eminent thinker and astronomer said that the expansion of the Universe is as commonplace, as the expansion of a gas, the difference being only one of scale. Why should we not adore Allah, the Almighty for expansion of the universe being the most marvelous, awe-inspiring and unseen phenomenon is amazingly so commonplace and convenient, so simple and effortless that in the words of the Holy Quran it applies to anything, tiny or titanic of the whole universe:
Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, “be”, and it is! (36:82)
One may be flabbergasted as to how even a colossal thing can be created with only a word spoken within the fraction of a second. Here Quantum cosmology comes to solve this riddle. This endeavors to describe quantum processes at the earliest times that we can conceive of a classical space-time, that is, the Planck epoch at 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 second. There is another Scientist, Steinhardt whose ideas about the origin of the Universe are based on an extension of string theory called M-theory that does not do away with the Big Bang. The evidence that everything emerged from a ‘fireball’ with a temperature of 10 billion degrees, expanding on a timescale of one second, is now very compelling and uncontroversial. Paul Steinhardt and colleagues at Princeton University propose the so-called ekpyrotic model. It explains important details about the nature of our Universe such as why the cosmos is expanding the way it is. The Qur’an presents in two verses a brief synthesis of the phenomena that constituted the basic process of the formation of the Universe.
FORMATION OF THE UNIVERSE
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 got every living thing out of the water. Will they not then believe? (21:30)
Out of a number of different theories about the origin of the universe many people in the scientific community regard the “Big Bang” as the best estimate of how the universe began. The theory starts out by stating that the universe as it is today is only one phase, which started with a giant explosion. The universe began with one singular point, which is known as a singularity. All the matter and energy, which is now present in the universe, was squeezed into this singularity of infinitely small volume. From the singularity the Universe exploded and released an incredible amount of matter and energy. What happened in the time before the explosion? Scientists say that there was no universe before the Big Bang and that from the singularity came not only matter and energy but also space and time. So there is no use in questioning about before because then time did not exist.
Immediately after the explosion a massive fireball formed called the primordial fireball which is thought to have been as hot as one million billion billion billion (10 with 32 zeros) degrees Kelvin. This fireball moved away from the singularity in all directions and from it came elementary particles like neutrons, protons, and electrons. For a long period of time these particles spread out across the universe at an incredible rate. This period in history is known as the radiation era, which was very influential in the way the use universe, is composed today. Quantum theory also holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly. These particles began to cool down and soon started to form elements like hydrogen and helium. These would serve as the building blocks for the stars and the planets. The universe continued to cool down and eventually galaxies formed and planets materialized. The proof that clinched the Big Bang theory for scientists came in 1992. COBE, the first ever cosmological satellite took a picture of the radiation from the Big Bang that showed evidence for how the first galaxies formed. In this century, science has come to understand how the universe began from a tiny point, fifteen billion years ago.
Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly. They said: We do come (together), in willing obedience . . .(41:11)
The important points to remember as pointed out by are: a) the statement of the existence of a gaseous mass with fine particles, for this is how the word ‘smoke’ (dukan in Arabic) is to be interpreted. Smoke is generally made -up of a gaseous substratum, plus, in more or less stable suspension, fine particles that may belong to solid and even liquid states of matter at high or low temperature; b) The reference to a separation process (fatq) of an primary single mass whose elements were initially fused together (ratq). It is to be noted that in Arabic ‘fatq’ is the action of breaking, diffusing, separating, and that ‘ratq’ is the action of fusing or binding together elements to make a homogenous whole. This concept of the separation of a whole into several parts is noted in other passages of the Book with reference to multiple worlds.
Scientists have only very recently confirmed that the universe was indeed, at an early stage, a gaseous mass composed of hydrogen and some helium, a big mass of hot gasses. The Koran is more accurate in describing the gasses as “smoke” rather than the word “mist” or “fog” used frequently by scientists (Rees uses the word “fog” in his book) as the gasses were hot. This smoke or nebula subsequently split up into multiple fragments with very large dimensions and masses, so large indeed, that specialists in astrophysics are able to estimate their mass from 1 to 100 billion times the present mass of the Sun (which is over 300,000 times that of the Earth). These figures give an idea of the large size of the fragments of primary gaseous mass that were to give birth to the galaxies. According to the astrophysicists, the remarkable scenario as being widely believed is that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is a highly evolved entity, and an elegant structure that shows both order and complexity, of which our own sun is a member. It is a spiral-disk galaxy, a type very common in the cosmos. It is supposed that it began from vast quantities of gas from the Big Bang explosion collapsing through gravitational attraction of the molecules in the gas. The end product is especially remarkable in the light of what is believed to be the starting point: nebulous blobs of gas. What about individual stars? The standard guess is that the first stars, called Population III, were formed only of hydrogen and helium. Later stars with heavier elements were supposedly generated when these first stars collapsed, forming heavier elements in their heated interiors which then traversed space to eventually coalesce enough to form new suns. In short, a high degree of knowledge concerning the general process involved in the formation of the solar system may be summarized as: condensation and contraction of a rotating gaseous mass, splitting up into fragments that leave the Sun. and planets in their places, among them the Earth.
The first verse of the first sura in the Qur’an proclaims, after the opening invocation, the following:
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds. The terms ‘worlds’ reappears dozens of times in the Qur’an. The Heavens are referred to as multiple as well, not only on account of their plural form, but also because of their symbolic numerical quantity 7. This number is used 24 times throughout the Qur’an for various numerical quantities. It often carries the meaning of ‘many’ although we do not know exactly why this meaning of the figure was used. The Greeks and Romans also seem to have used the number 7 to mean an undefined idea of plurality. Apart from the Qur’an, we often find the number 7 meaning plurality in texts from the Prophet Muhammad’s time, or from the first centuries following him, which record his words (hadiths). Thus in the Qur’an, the number 7 referred to the Heavens (samawat) mean innumerable celestial worlds:
(God) is the One Who created for you all that is on the earth. Moreover He turned to the heaven and fashioned seven heavens with harmony. He is full of Knowledge of all things (29:2) And We have made, above you, seven tracts. We have never been unmindful of the Creation (23:17) (God) is the One Who created seven heavens one above another. Thou can see no fault in the creation of the Beneficent. Turn the vision again! Can thou see any flaw? (67:3) Did you see how God created seven heavens one above another and made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp? (71:15-16).
<>It is to be noted that while the Bible calls both Moon and Sun ‘lights’, here, as always in the Qur’an, they are differently named; the first is called ‘Light’ (nur) and the second is compared in this verse to a ‘lamp (siraj) producing light’.
We have built above you seven strong (heavens) and placed a blazing lamp. (78:12)
Here the blazing lamp is the Sun.
There are, therefore, many Heavens and Earths, and it comes as no small surprise to the reader of the Qur’an to find that earths such as our own may be found in the Universe, a fact that has been predicted in the Quran but not explored or verified as yet by the astrophysicists of our time. For though much has been learnt about the great Universe, of which our earth forms a part so tiny and insignificant, there remains, as the astrophysicists themselves admit, much to be discovered. However, the knowledge that science has gained on the primary nebula and the way it split up into an incommensurable quantity of stars grouped into galaxies leaves absolutely no doubt as to the legitimacy of a concept of the plurality of worlds.
God is the One Who created seven heavens and of the earth (ard) a similar number. The Command descends among them so that you know that God has power over all things and comprehends all things in His knowledge (65:12)
Apart from things in the Heavens and on the Earth, several verses of the Holy Quran also refer to the things between the Heavens and the Earth. Here are some instances:
To Him (God) belongs what is in the heavens, on earth, between them and beneath the soil (20:6)
. . . the One Who created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six Days (25:59)
God is the One Who created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six Days (32:4)
This Creation outside the Heavens and outside the Earth, mentioned several times, is not so difficult to imagine. To understand these verses, reference must be made to the most recent human observations on the existence of cosmic extra-galactic material and one must indeed go back to ideas established by contemporary science on the formation of the Universe, starting with the simplest and proceeding to the most complex. When it is stated that God created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six Days, one should not reckon these days as our days on the earth.
CREATION OF THE SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE AND UNSEEN WORLDS
God is also creator of the spiritual world which is invisible and may be subdivided into several kinds: the worlds of Lahut and Jabrut (worlds of Gods nature and attributes) and the malakut, i.e., the world of angles, spirits and many other things. Besides, He is also created Jinns out of fire. There is diversity of opinion about the nature of angels. Ancient philosophers call them pure essence. The Muslims believe that their bodies are so fine and subtle that they cannot be perceived by our senses. They can, however, appear before or disappear from us whenever they like. Their subtlety enables them to travel from east to west in the twinkling of an eye. Besides the spirits and angels there are also Jinns who have been created out of fire and are also hidden from our eyes.
And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke (55:15)
Jinns had been created by God much earlier before mankind but both of them are endowed with the same purpose and that is adoration of God.
I have created Jinns and men only that they might worship Me (51:56).
And it is interesting to note that in the one and only Surah Rahman (The Beneficient) both men and Jinns have been jointly addressed by God with the following burden that is repeated
Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny?
The mystery of invisible creatures has always bewildered our imagination. Even the Satan (the Devil) who had refused to conform the orders of God on the eve of Adams creation has been forever out of sight and is empowered to see us adroitly anywhere at any moment under all circumstances.
O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those who are without faith (7:27)
Is it possible? Yes, of course. Since about 30 years, a phenomenon, whose origin is still unknown and which is called “cosmic rays”, keeps a mystery. The cosmic rays of high energy are particles coming from somewhere in the universe and producing a great shower of particles (pions, kaons, muons, electrons, neutrinos, photons…) when collision is with the atoms of our atmosphere. While many subatomic particles, or particles that make up atoms, can only penetrate into objects a very small distance, neutrinos easily pass through an object as large as Earth. Almost all the neutrinos that reach Earth pass right through the planet. Billions of neutrinos pass through every human body every second. Some physicists think that neutrinos could be high-energy cosmic particles. But from where and how do they acquire such energy? Mystery is still open. Many astronomers believe that as much as 90 percent of the matter in the universe is dark matter (matter that does not emit light and is, therefore, invisible). Some scientists think dark matter may be exotic particles that do not consist of the atoms making up ordinary matter, as we know it. Dark matter currently cannot be observed directly, and is only detectable through its gravitational effects on visible bodies, such as the vast collections of stars known as galaxies. In some sense, this situation recalls our puzzling predicament on Earth. Today, as we have done for centuries, we gaze into the night sky from our planetary platform and wonder where we are in this cavernous cosmos. Flecks of light provide some clues about great objects in space. And what we do discern about their motions and apparent shadows tells us that there is much more that we cannot yet see as some dark matter, invisible, is orbiting around and inside the galaxies.
Moreover, a new theory for the origin of the Universe is intriguing astronomers with the idea that a “Big Splat” preceded the Big Bang. It proposes that there may be an unseen parallel universe to ours. The idea, which is still at the development stage, may provide hints about what happened before our Universe exploded into existence some 15 billion years ago. The theory has been outlined in the past few days at the University of Cambridge in the UK and the Space Telescope Science Institute in the US.
The dual nature of light seems puzzling because we have no everyday experience with wave-particle duality. Waves are everyday phenomena; we are all familiar with waves on a body of water or on a vibrating rope. Particles, too, are everyday objects baseballs, cars, buildings, and even people can be thought of as particles. But to our senses, there are no everyday objects that are both waves and particles. Scientists increasingly find that the rules that apply to the world we see are only approximations of the rules that govern the unseen world of light and subatomic particles.
The fact that in relation to the existing things, the human beings are just like a person imprisoned in a fortress tower which has, except a few peepholes, no outlet at all. He an see through these peep-holes a rivers flowing eastward, mountains towards west, a palace towards north and a play ground towards south. In this parable the prisoner is a human being, the fortress his body and the peepholes his senses. Through the senses, he can see the colors, perceive the smell, taste the eatables, hear the sounds and feel the existence of bodies through touch. It may, however, be asked, Is it possible to have of everything in the world? In the parable just mentioned, the prisoner, when he looks through the peepholes cannot see anything except a small section of the river. Similarly, he can see and assimilate only a few of the colors. He cannot see the huge garden existing between the river and the mountain for the walls of the tower have no other peephole through which he could peep through. Is it justified to deny its existence simply because he does not see it. I dont see an ant moving at a distance of three miles but it is there. There are millions of germs present in the air or in a glass full of clear water but they are invisible to me. I can see neither the atom nor the electrons revolving in its nucleus like planets in the space. Neither can I stare at the sun (for its brightness is dangerous and blinding to my naked and unshielded eye) nor 4,700,000 horsepowers of energy falling in the form of sunshine continually upon every square-mile of the earths surface. The sounds that an ant produces are not audible to me for the ear is receptive only to vibrations with a frequency ranging from five to twenty thousand cycles per second. The vibrations with lesser energy are not audible to me and those with bigger energy will deafen me forever.
Let us see the certainty of the unseen world from another angle. Where are we during sleep? We know for certain we are not dead, yet we certainly are dead, dead as a doornail, to this world. We are oblivious even to our own bodies. Though we do live in the familiar three-dimensional world, yet actually, we must be living in some other world, possibly of four or more dimensions, which is inaccessible and invisible to us while we are awake and conscious; which is to say in the time world. What we experience in our dreams or what our dreams relate a peculiar characteristic is that our ideas of time are confused, wild and wooly just because in the dream world, our consciousness seems free to roam and we traverse thousands of miles on foot within an hour; it does not move on relentlessly at the same fixed fate as when we are awake. Moving in some unknown dimensions, there are incidents of which we dream but these occur to our great surprise in our real life later on. Does this fact not prove an outer world of four and more dimensions that can ever be revealed to the human mind? Here is a thought-provoking verse of the Holy Quran:
It is God that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes their souls) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed; Verily therein are Signs for those who reflect. (39:42)
Dark matter is not readily visible because it neither emits nor reflects electromagnetic radiation, such as light or radio signals. Dark matter can only be detected indirectly, e.g., through the bending of light rays from distant stars by its gravity. It may consist of dust, planets, intergalactic gas formed of ordinary matter, or anything else that is not within our reach. Observations of visible matter, the only kind we can see directly, suggest that almost 90 % of the universe is, in fact, composed of dark matter. This conclusion comes mainly from the belief that something unseen (dark matter) is tugging on visible matter, making it do things the laws of motion say it should not do. All visible bodies, therefore, seem to be careening about in a dense cloud of unseen, unknown masses. These might be dark, Jupiter-sized objects, black holes, and/or some exotic forms of matter. We must choose between the realities of dark matter or admit that something is awry with our laws of gravitation and motion when they are applied on a cosmological scale.
Thus in the light of the above findings and probes the reality of all the unseen creatures like soul, angels, spirits, ghosts, Jinns and Satan is neither impossible nor incredible.
Coming back to the basic ideas on the Creation of the Universe taken from the Holy Quran and found to be accurate in the light of modern scientific data, it is not irrelevant to make a mention that the existence of an enormous difference between the Biblical description and the data in the Qur’an concerning the Creation refutes the totally gratuitous accusations leveled against Muhammad since the beginnings of Islam to the effect that he copied the Biblical descriptions. As far as the Creation is concerned, this accusation is totally unfounded. How could a man living fourteen hundred years ago have made corrections to the existing description to such an extent that he eliminated scientifically inaccurate material and, on his own initiative, made statements that science has been able to verify only in the present day? This hypothesis is completely untenable as the description of the Creation given in the Quran is quite different from the one in the Bible.
In short, Al-Qur’an is full of reflections on the Heavens indicating the plurality of the Heavens and Earths and an intermediary creation ‘between the Heavens and the Earth’, that has been duly verified by the modern science. Here are some instances:
Do they not look at the sky above them, how We have built it and adorned it, and there are no rifts in it (50:6) (God) created the heavens without any pillars that you can see…(31:10) God is the One Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see, then He firmly established Himself on the throne and He subjected the sun and moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord (13:2).
These two verses refute the belief that the vault of the heavens was held up by pillars, the only things preventing the former from crushing the earth.
Seest thou not that God has made subject to you (men) all that is on the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His Command? He withholds the sky (rain) from failing on the earth except by His leave: for God is Most Kind and Most Merciful to man (22:65)
It is known how the remoteness of celestial masses at great distance and in proportion to the magnitude of their mass itself constitutes the foundation of their equilibrium. The more remote the masses are, the weaker the force is that attracts one to the other. The nearer they are, the stronger the attraction is that one has to the other: this is true for the Moon, which is near to the Earth (astronomically speaking) and exercises an influence by laws of attraction on the position occupied by the waters of the sea, hence we see the phenomenon of the tides. If two celestial bodies come too close to one another, collision is inevitable. The fact that they are subjected to an order is the sine qua non for the absence of clash and collision.
or you (God) subjected all that is in the heavens and on the earth, all from Him. Behold! In that are signs for people who reflect (45:13)
The sun and moon (are subjected) to calculations (55:5)
For you (God) subjected the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their courses. And for you He subjected the night and the day (14:33)
Here one verse completes another: the calculations referred to result in the regularity of the course described by the heavenly bodies in question, this is expressed by the word da’ib, the present participle of a verb whose original meaning was ‘to work eagerly and assiduously at something’. Here it is given the meaning of ‘to apply oneself to something with care in a perseverant, invariable manner, in accordance with set rules’.
For you (God) subjected the night and the day, the sun and the moon; the stars are in subjection to His Command. Verily in this are signs for people who are wise (16:12)
In the Quran this perfect celestial order is seen particularly from the practical angle and on account of its value as an aid to man’s travel on earth and by sea, and to his calculation of time due to the fact that Quran was originally a preaching addressed to men who only understood the simple language of their everyday lives. This explains the presence of the following reflections:
(God) is the One Who has set out for you the stars, that you may guide yourselves by them through the darkness of the land and of the sea. We have detailed the signs for people who know (6:97)
(God sets on the earth) landmarks and by the stars (men) guide themselves (16:16)
God is the One Who made the sun a shining glory and the moon a light and for her ordained mansions, so that you might know the number of years and the reckoning (of the time). God created this in truth. He explains the signs in detail for people who know (10:5)
The Koran is aware of the phenomenon of “black holes”, stars that have collapsed under their intense gravitational field, so that even light cannot escape therein. The Koran stated over 1200 years before the concept was stated by John Michell in 1767, and 1400 years before John Archibald Wheeler coined the term “black hole” in 1968:
I swear by the sky and (the phenomena of) Tariq. And what will explain to you what Tariq is? It is a star that pierces (or makes a hole). 86:1-3)
The Koran uses the word Thaqib in Arabic, a word that literally signifies a puncture or a minute hole. It was Martin Rees, states in Our Cosmic Habitat (2001)
“Space is already being punctured by the formation of black holes…” (Rees, page 120)
Michael Moyer of Popular Science writes :
A black hole is infinitely dense, which means that it pulls the fabric of space-time to the breaking pointcreating a deep pockmark, complete with a tiny rip at the bottom.
The Sun and the Moon
He created the skies and the earth for truth.
He coils the night upon the day and He coils the day upon the night ( 39:5)
At a time when a geocentric cosmology was in vogue, the Koran not only corrected the erroneous notions associated with that world-view, but made clear that night and day were caused by a coiling motion. The Koran uses the Arabic verb Kawarra that in its original usage signifies the “coiling” of a turban around the head, a perfect analogy to the movement that causes night and day, i.e. the earth’s rotation.
He it is who has created the night and day, and the sun and the moon. They all, in their orbit, swim (39:5)
To make this notion of a rotating earth causing night and day even clearer, the Koran mentions that the night “merges” into the day and day “merges” into night:
Thou causest the night to merge into the day, and thou causest the day to merge into the night (3:27)
and that the night and day “interchange” into each other
It is God Who alternates the Night and the Day: verily in these things is an instructive example for those who have vision! (24:44)
The above statements explain that this change is brought about by orbital motion similar to (in principle) but distinct from the orbital motion of the sun and the moon which seem to swim in their orbits.
And the sun constantly journeys towards a homing place for it
And for the moon We have determined phases…
It is not for the sun to overtake the moon;
neither can the night outstrip the day.
And they all swim (yasbahoon) in their own orbits (36:38-40)
The difference between Sun and Moon is given in the various verses of the Holy Qur’an:
Blessed is the One Who placed the constellations in heaven and placed therein a lamp and a moon giving light (25:61)
Did you see how God created seven heavens one above another and made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp? (71:15-16)
We have built above you seven strong (heavens) and placed a blazing lamp (78:12-13)
A lamp or a blazing lamp is quite obviously the sun and the moon is defined as a body that gives light (munir) from the same root as nur (the light applied to the Moon). The Sun however is compared to a torch (siraj) or a blazing (wahhaj) lamp. The Moon, which does not give off light itself but merely reflects the light, received from the Sun. The Sun is a star that generates intense heat and light by its internal combustions. Heat and light together maintain and sustain life in the vegetation and the animals. Light alone is unproductive. So is the case of heat. Obviously this highlights a scientific principle, which was revealed to the unlettered Prophet when the world was groping in the dark.
The great universe of modern astronomy is first and foremost a Universe of light rather than of Matter or physical substance. There is nowadays reason to believe that what we call matter may be only a sort of congealed or bottled-up light. Here it is worth mentioning that in the Quran, God has been distinguished as the light of heavens and the earth. A great scientist, Sir James Jeans once said that the whole story of Creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completeness in the six words: God said, Let there be light. John Robinson observes, The light, this sunshine, is the most rare and wonderful thing. We always knew that we could not see without it, but now we know, and are given proof positive, that were cannot live without it. The solar engine room, the deep interior of the sun, is the most fearsome, raging inferno yet opened up to the human minds a realm of everlasting, intolerable blazing light and fiercest, eeriest, all consuming celestial fire. Yet as Dr. C. G. Abbot in his standard work, The Sun, reminds us, In the sharpest contrast to this frightened picture, we recall that from this awful cauldron, this same astounding fountain, flows the stream of light and life-giving rays, without which the song bird and the rose, the springing grain and the lovely child would alike perish. Now look at this verse that is verified by these words attested by scientific research: And in heaven is your Sustenance, as (also) that which ye are promised (51:22).
The stars are heavenly bodies like the Sun. They are the celestial bodies of various physical phenomena generating their own light. The word ‘star’ appears thirteen times in the Quran (najm, plural nujum); it comes from a root meaning to appear, to come into sight. To make it clear that the object so designated is a star, a qualifying phrase is added as in the following sura:
By the sky and the Night-Visitant, who will tell thee what the Night-Visitant is? (It is) the Star of piercing brightness (86:1-3) Here, the sky and a star are used to bear witness to the importance of what is to come next in the text. The evening star is qualified in the Quran by the word takib meaning which pierces through something’ (here the night shadows). The same word is moreover used to designate shooting stars (sura 37, verse 10): the latter are the result of combustion.
The planets do not have their own light and revolve, like the earth, around the Sun. While one may presume that others exist elsewhere, the only ones known are those in the solar system. Five planets other than Earth were known to the ancient astrologers: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Three have been discovered in recent times: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The Qur’an seems to designate them by the word kaukab (plural kawakib) without stating their number. A good definition of the meaning of the word kaukab in the Qur’an seems to have been given in a very famous verse of Sura Noor:
“God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as if there were a niche and within it a luminary. The luminary is in a glass. The glass is as if it were a planet glittering like a pearl.” (24:35)
Here the subject is the projection of light onto a body that reflects it (glass) and gives it the glitter of a pearl, like a planet that is lit by the sun. This is the only explanatory detail referring to this word to be found in the Qur’an. In the following verse:
We have indeed adorned the lowest heaven with an ornament, the planets (14:37)
We come to know about heavenly bodies, which are called as planets. The expression ‘lowest heaven’ is likely to mean the ‘solar system’. It is known that among the celestial elements nearest to us, there are no other permanent elements apart from the planets, the Sun being the only star in the system that bears its name.
EVOLUTION OF THE HEAVENS
Modern data lead us to believe that in the solar system, and more generally in the Universe itself, the evolution still continues. How can anybody who is aware of these ideas fail to make a comparison with certain statements found in the Qur’an in which the manifestations of divine Omnipotence are referred to. The Qur’an reminds us several times that:
(God) subjected the sun and the moon: each one runs its course to an appointed term (13:2)
Seest thou not that God merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed (31:29)
He merges Night into Day, and he merges Day into Night, and he has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law): each one runs its course for a term appointed (35:13)
He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): Each one follows a course for a time appointed (39:5)
In the Universe We live in writes John Robinson, the sun is always tending to explode; it is swollen with heat and further blown out by an electric charge which pervades the whole interior. The counter, pulling-in power of gravitation, however, keeps it in check and helps regulate the outflow of radiation. The miracle of quiet, unseen strength, the sun, keeps the earth circling in its orbit by a gravitational grip that is equal to a steel rod or bar nearly 5,000 miles thick that is to say, if gravitation ceased to actthere would be required to keep the earth revolving round the sun a gigantic stel rod connecting them much thicker than the Atlantic is broad. Subjecting the sun and the moon to His law is a phenomenon that is extremely astounding.
In addition to this, the idea of a settled place is associated with the concept of a destination place:
The Sun runs its course to a settled place. This is the decree of the All Mighty, the Full of Knowledge (36:38)
‘Settled place’ is the translation of the word mustaqarr and there can be no doubt that the idea of an exact place is attached to it. How do these statements fare when compared with data established by modern science? The Qur’an gives an end to the Sun for its evolution and a destination place. It also provides the Moon with a settled place. To understand the possible meanings of these statements, we must remember what modern knowledge has to say about the evolution of the stars in general and the Sun in particular, and (by extension) the celestial bodies that automatically followed its movement through space, among them the Moon. The Sun is a star that is roughly 4½ billion years old, according to experts in astrophysics. It is possible to distinguish a stage in its evolution, as one can for all the stars. At present, the Sun is at an early stage, characterized by the transformation of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. Theoretically, this present stage should last another 5½ billion years according to calculations that allow a total of 10 billion years for the duration of the primary stage in a star of this kind. It has already been shown, in the case of these other stars, that this stage gives way to a second period characterized by the completion of the transformation of hydrogen into helium, with the resulting expansion of its external layers and the cooling of the Sun. In the final stage, its light is greatly diminished and density considerably increased; this is to be observed in the type of star known as a ‘white dwarf’. From modern data there is a possibility of an end to the Sun after a few billion years as the conditions prevailing in the solar system will not be the same as they are today. The sun along with its entire solar system is swiftly moving to its settled place at the speed of 12 miles per second.
The Collapsing Universe
If the density of matter in the Universe is sufficiently large, gravitational forces will eventually cause the Universe to stop expanding, and then to start falling back in upon itself. If that happens, the Universe will end in a second cataclysmic event that cosmologists call The Big Crunch
The Koran describes the Big Crunch and what the physicist Heinz Pagels described as the “Cosmic Code” in this statement about the script of the universe:
The day when We shall roll back the skies, like a scribe rolls up a written document. As We began the first creation, We shall surely repeat it. It is a promise (binding) upon us. Indeed it will happen (21:104)
The expansion of the universe is slowing down. Astronomers are working hard to measure how rapidly the deceleration is happening to determine whether it will be able to cause a collapse of the universe in the future, or not. The universe will get much warmer from its 2.7 K today to billions of degrees within the last few minutes. Galaxies will be torn asunder about 1- 5 billion years before the Big Crunch, and the stars themselves will cease to exist within 1 million years before the Big Crunch. Stars will become the coolest objects in the universe about 1 million years before the Big Crunch. In the Quran it will be the Day of Resurrection. There are various pictures of the horrible collapse of the universe which science cannot repudiate. For instance:
When the earth is shaken to her (utmost) convulsion. And the earth throws up her burdens (from within), And man cries (distressed): ‘What is the matter with her?’ On that Day will she declare her tidings: For that thy Lord will have given her inspiration (99:1-5)
When the sky is rent asunder, and it becomes red like ointment (55:37)
It is curious to note that astronomers still don’t know how the universe began. They take refuge in quantum physics, saying it somehow evolved from the primeval nothingness. And, of course, they don’t know that either. Quantum theory holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly. Does this phenomenon not prove all the verdicts of the Holy Quran.
THE WOVEN SKY
By the sky with all its weavings/knittings (51:7)
The Koran accurately describes the sky as having “weavings”, or being like a knitted fabric. Space having “weavings” ties in with String Theory in physics. It is envisioned by scientists that at the smallest Planck Scale (10^-35 m), space-time is indeed “weaved” or “knitted”. Physicist Lee Smolin, in his book, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity(2001) states,
“…space may be ‘woven’ from a network of loops,…just like a piece of cloth is ‘woven’ from a network of threads.”
Martin Rees, states in Our Cosmic Habitat (2001)
“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.” The physicist Paul Davies in his book, The Edge of Infinity (1981), terms it, “One of the great scientific discoveries of the twentieth century”
Before we proceed further, it is not irrelevant to record herewith a statement given by Yushidi Kusan, Director of the Tokyo Observatory, Tokyo, Japan:
“I say, I am very much impressed by finding true astronomical facts in Qur’an, and for us modern astronomers have been studying very small piece of the universe. We have concentrated our efforts for understanding of very small part because by using telescopes, we can see only very few parts of the sky without thinking about the whole universe. So by reading Qur’an and by answering to the questions, I think I can find my future way for investigation of the universe.”
Here is another statement of Professor Armstrong, Professor of Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA and also working at NASA.
I am impressed at how remarkably some of the ancient writings seem to correspond to modern and recent Astronomy. I am not a sufficient scholar of human history to project myself completely and reliably into the circumstances that 1400 years ago would have prevailed. Certainly, I would like to leave it at that, that what we have seen is remarkable, it may or may not admit of scientific explanation, there may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen.”
Likewise when Sheikh Zindani asked Mr. Siaveda, Professor of Marine Geology, Japan about the shape of mountains; and whether they were firmly rooted in the earth. “What is your opinion of what you have seen in the Qur’an and the Sunnah with regard to the secrets of the Universe, which scientists only discovered now?”, he answered:
“I think it seems to me very, very mysterious, almost unbelievable. I really think if what you have said is true, the book is really a very remarkable book, I agree.”
THE CONQUEST OF SPACE
From this point of view, the following verse is of utmost importance:
O assembly of Jinns and Men, if you can penetrate regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them! You will not penetrate them save with a Power (55:33)
This expresses, without any trace of ambiguity, what man should and will make an achievement in the conquest of space. This verse is followed by an invitation to recognize God’s blessings. It forms the subject of the whole of the sura that bears the title ‘The Beneficent’. The translation given here needs some explanatory comment:
- The word ‘if’ expresses in English a condition that is dependant upon a possibility and either an achievable or an unachievable hypothesis. Arabic is a language which is able to introduce a nuance into the condition which is much more explicit. There is one word to express the possibility (ida), another for the achievable hypothesis (in) and a third for the unachievable hypothesis expressed by the word (lau). The verse in question has it as an achievable hypothesis expressed by the word (in). The Qur’an, therefore, suggests the material possibility of a concrete realization.
- God is addressing the spirits (jinn) and human beings (ins), and not essentially allegorical figures.
- ‘To penetrate’ is the translation of the verb nafada followed by the preposition min. According to Kazimirski’s dictionary, the phrase means ‘to pass right through and come out on the other side of a body’ (e.g. an arrow that comes out on the other side). It therefore suggests a deep penetration and emergence at the other end into the regions in question.
- The Power (sultan) these men will have to achieve this enterprise would seem to come from the Al-Mighty. Thus this verse indicates the possibility that men will one day achieve what we today call (perhaps rather improperly) ‘the conquest of space’. It is noteworthy that the text foretells not only penetration through the regions of the Heavens, but also the Earth, i.e. the exploration of its depths.
Besides, the following verses express astonishment due to a remarkable spectacle, different from anything man could imagine:
Even if We opened out to them a gate from heaven, and they were to continue (all day) ascending therein, They would only say: “Our eyes have been intoxicated: Nay, we have been bewitched by sorcery (15:14-15)
Here the conditional sentence is introduced here by the word lau which expresses a hypothesis that could never be realized as far as it concerned the people mentioned in these verses. However, it describes the human reactions to the unexpected spectacle that travelers in space had to experience in dumbfounded state, as if they were in drunkenness or being bewitched. This is exactly how astronauts have experienced this remarkable adventure since the first human space flight around the world in 1961. To be above the Earth’s atmosphere was quite a novel experience when the Heavens no longer had the azure appearance as we see from Earth resulting from phenomenon of absorption of the Sun’s light into the layers of the atmosphere. The human eye in space above the Earth’s atmosphere saw a black sky and the Earth seemed to be the most beautiful thing in the universe surrounded by a halo of bluish and somewhat green colors. The Moon had no atmosphere, however, and therefore appeared in its true colors against the black background of the sky. Here again, it is so difficult not to be impressed, when the text of the Qur’an is compared to the data of modern science and statements of the astronauts that simply cannot be ascribed to the thought of a man who lived more than fourteen centuries ago.
TIME AND SPACE
Ourselves and the Universe alike exist in time as much as perhaps even more than in space. Days differ in length because sun, moon and stars all in motion through space with respect to each other. They have separate motions of their own, in different directions and different speeds. For instance Neptunes orbit is so vast that the planet takes 165 of our years to get round it once. Thus the Neptunian year is 165 times longer than ours. In the words of John Robinson, Since practically everybody in the Universe has a motion of its own, it follows that practically everybody in the Universe has a different time from that of every other body. If I am in motion and you are not, then my time is different from your time. So for a God who is the Creator of the Great Universe a day must be different from the one that we spend on the earth. That is why it is expounded in the Holy Quran:
Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But God will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning (22:47)
A ray of light with its fastest speed of 186,000 miles per second leaving the earth today to circumnavigate the vast, complex and mysterious Universe will not return to earth again for 300,000 million years. For administering the affairs of such a great Universe naturally the span of the day is explicated at another place:
He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning (32:5)
The verses of the Qur’an dealing with the Earth are dispersed throughout the Book. It is difficult to classify them. These verses are largely general in their application and constitute an invitation extended to men to reflect on divine Beneficence by pondering on the examples provided
Although these verses provide arguments intended to lead man to meditate on the Beneficence of God towards His creatures, here and there they contain statements that are interesting from the point of view of modern science. They are perhaps especially revealing by virtue of the fact that they do not express the varied beliefs concerning natural phenomena that were current at the time of the Qur’anic Revelation. These beliefs were later to be shown by scientific knowledge to be mistaken. On the one hand, these verses express simple ideas readily understood by to those people to whom, for geographical reasons, the Qur’an was first directed: the inhabitants of Makka and Madina, the Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula. And on the other, they contain reflections of a general nature from which a more cultivated public of any time and place may learn something instructive, once it starts to think about them: this is a mark of the Qur’an’s universality.
(God) is the One who made the earth a couch for you and the heavens an edifice, and sent down water from the sky. He brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance. Do not join equals with God when you know (2:22)
Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the disparity of night and day, in the ship which runs upon the sea for the profit of mankind, in the water which God sent down from the sky thereby reviving the earth after its death, in the beasts of all kinds He scatters therein, in the change of the winds and the subjected clouds between the sky and earth, are Signs for people who are wise (2:164)
(God) is the One who spread out the earth and set therein mountains standing firm and rivers. For every fruit He placed two of a pair. He covers the day with the night. Verily in this there are Signs for people who reflect (13:13)
The earth, We spread it out and set thereon mountains standing firm. We caused all kind of things to grow therein in due balance. Therein We have provided you and those you do not supply with means of subsistence and there is not a thing but its stores are with Us. We do not send it down save in appointed measure (15:19-21)
(God is) the One Who has made for you the earth like a cradle and inserted roads into it for you. He sent water down from the sky and thereby We brought forth pairs of plants, each separate from the other. Eat! Pasture your cattle ! Verily in this are Signs for people endued with intelligence (20:53-54)
He Who made the earth an abode and set rivers in its interstices and mountains standing firm. He placed a barrier between the two seas. Is there any divinity besides God? Nay, but most people do not know (27:61)
Here a reference is made to the general stability of the Earth’s crust. It is known that at the early stages of the Earth’s existence before its crust cooled down, the earth was unstable. The stability of the Earth’s crust is not however strictly uniform, since there are zones where earthquakes intermittently occur. As to the barrier between the two seas, it is an image, which signifies that the waters of the great rivers and the waters of the sea do not mix at the level of certain large estuaries.
(God is) the One Who made the earth docile to you. So traverse through its tracts and enjoy of His sustenance, which he furnishes for you! Unto Him will be the Resurrection (67:15)
After that (God) spread the earth out. Therefrom He drew out its water and its pasture. And the mountains He has firmly fixed. Goods for you and for your cattle (79:30-33)
In many such verses, emphasis is duly laid upon the importance of water and the practical consequences of its presence in the earth’s soil leading to its fertility. It goes without saying that in desert countries, water is the most significant element governing man’s survival. The reference in the Qur’an, however, goes beyond this geographical detail. According to scientific knowledge the substantial character of the planet we live in as being rich in water is unique to the solar system. Without water, the Earth would be a dead planet like any other planet in our solar system. The Qur’an gives, therefore, first and foremost importance to water among the natural phenomena of the Earth. The water cycle is described with remarkable accuracy in the Qur’an.
THE WATER CYCLE AND THE SEAS
When the verses of the Qur’an concerning the role of water in man’s existence are read in succession today, they all appear to us to express ideas that are quite obvious. The reason for this is simple: in our age, we all, to a lesser or greater extent, know about the water cycle in nature but the various concepts the ancients on this subject were not in accordance with the Quranic concept. For many centuries man held totally inaccurate views on the water cycle. Two specialists on this subject, G. Gastany and B. Blavoux, in their entry in the Universalis Encyclopedia (Encyclopedia Universalis) under the heading Hydrogeology (Hydrogéologie), give an edifying history of this problem. “In the Seventh century B.C., Thales of Miletus held the theory whereby the waters of the oceans, under the effect of winds, were thrust towards the interior of the continents; so the water fell upon the earth and penetrated into the soil. Plato shared these views and thought that the return of the waters to the oceans was via a great abyss, the ‘Tartarus’. This theory had many supporters until the Eighteenth century, one of whom was Descartes. Aristotle imagined that the water vapour from the soil condensed in cool mountain caverns and formed underground lakes that fed springs. He was followed by Seneca (1st Century A.D.) and many others, until 1877, among them O. Volger . . . The first clear formulation of the water cycle must be attributed to Bernard Palissy in 1580. he claimed that underground water came from rainwater infiltrating into the soil. This theory was confirmed by E. Mariotte and P. Perrault in the Seventeenth century. However, in the following passages from the Qur’an, there is no trace of the mistaken ideas that were current at the time of Muhammad:
We [refers to God] sent down from the sky blessed water whereby We caused to grow gardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes, piled one above the other-sustenance for (Our) servants. Therewith We gave (new) life to a dead land. So (from the tombs) will be the emergence (50:9-11)
We sent down water from the sky in measure and lodged it in the ground. And We certainly are able to withdraw it. Therewith for you We gave rise to gardens of palm-trees and vineyards where for you are abundant fruits and of them you eat (23:18-19)
We sent forth the winds that fecundate. We cause the water to descend from the sky. We provide you with the water-you (could) not be the guardians of its reserves (15:22)
There are two possible interpretations of this last verse. The fecundating winds may be taken to be the fertilizers of plants because they carry pollen. This may, however, be a figurative expression referring by analogy to the role the wind plays in the process whereby a non-raincarrying cloud is turned into one that produces a shower of rain. This role is often referred to, as in the following verses:
God is the One Who sends forth the winds which raised up the clouds. We drive them to a dead land. Therewith We revive the ground after its death. So will be the Resurrection (35:9)
God is the One Who sends forth the winds which raised up the clouds. He spreads them in the sky as He wills and breaks them into fragments. Then thou seest raindrops issuing from within them. He makes them reach such of His servants as He wills. And they are rejoicing (30:48)
(God) is the One Who sends forth the winds like heralds of His Mercy. When they have carried the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a dead land. Then We cause water to descend and thereby bring forth fruits of every kind. Thus We will bring forth the dead. Maybe you will remember (7:57)
(God) is the One Who sends forth the winds like heralds of His Mercy. We cause pure water to descend in order to revive a dead land with it and to supply with drink the multitude of cattle and human beings We have created (25:48-49)
. . In the provision that God sends down from the sky and thereby He revives the ground after its death and in the change (of direction) of winds, there are Signs for people who are wise (45:5)
The provision made in this last verse is in the form of the water sent down from the sky, as the context shows. The accent is on the change of the winds that modify the rain cycle.
(God) sends water down from the sky so that the rivers flow according to their measure. The torrent bears away an increasing foam (13:17)
Say (O Prophet), Do you see if your water were to be lost in the ground, who then can supply you with gushing water? (67:30)
Hast thou not seen that God sent water down from the sky and led it through sources into the ground? Then He caused sown fields of different colors to grow (39:21)
The importance of springs and the way they are fed by rainwater conducted into them is stressed here. It is worth mentioning that according to Aristotle, springs were fed by underground lakes. In his entry on Hydrology M.R. Remenieras, a teacher at the French National School of Agronomy, describes the main stages of hydrology and refers to the magnificent irrigation works of the ancients, particularly in the Middle East and notes an empirical outlook ruled over everything, since the ideas of the time proceeded from mistaken concepts. He continues as follows: “It was not until the Renaissance (between circa 1400 and 1600) that purely philosophical concepts gave way to research based on the objective observation of hydrologic phenomena. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) rebelled against Aristotle’s statements. Bernard Palissy, in his Wonderful discourse on the nature of waters and fountains both natural and artificial gives a correct interpretation of the water cycle and especially of the way springs are fed by rainwater.” This statement is surely according to what is mentioned in the following verse describing the way rainwater is conducted into sources in the ground:
Seest thou not that God sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colours: then it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this, is a Message of remembrance to men of understanding (39:21)
The following passage requires some comment:
See ye the water, which ye drink? Do ye bring it down (in rain) from the cloud or do We? Were it Our Will, We could make it salty (and unpalatable): then why do ye not give thanks? (56:68-70)
This reference to the fact that God could have made fresh water salty is a way of expressing divine Omnipotence. Another means of reminding us of the same Omnipotence is the challenge to man to make rain fall from the clouds. In modern times though technology has surely made it possible to create rain artificially, one must take account of man’s limitations in this field. M.A. Facy, an expert at the French Meteorological Office observed: “It will never be possible to make rain fall from a cloud that does not have the suitable characteristics of a rain cloud or one that has not yet reached the appropriate stage of evolution (maturity)”. Man can never therefore hasten the precipitation process by technical means when the natural conditions for it are not present. If this were not the case, droughts would never occur in any region. To have control over rain and fine weather still remains a dream. Man cannot willfully break the established cycle that maintains the circulation of water in nature. This cycle may be outlined as follows, according to modern ideas on hydrology.
The calories obtained from the Sun’s rays cause the sea and those parts of the Earth’s surface that are covered or soaked in water to evaporate. The water vapors that are given off rises into the atmosphere and, by condensation, transform into clouds. The winds then intervene and move the clouds thus formed over varying distances. The clouds can then either disperse without producing rain, or combine their mass with others to create even greater condensation, or they can fragment and produce rain at some stages in their evolution. When rain reaches the sea (70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas), the cycle is soon repeated. When rain falls on the land, it may be absorbed by vegetation and thus aid the latter’s growth; the vegetation in its turn gives off water and thus returns some water to the atmosphere. The rest, to a lesser or greater extent, infiltrates into the soil, whence it is either conducted through channels into the sea, or comes back to the Earth’s surface network through springs or resurgences.
When one compares the modern data of hydrology to what is contained in the numerous verses of the Qur’an quoted as above, one has to admit that there is a remarkable degree of agreement between them.
THE EARTH’S RELIEF
The constitution of the Earth is highly complex. Today, it is possible to imagine it very roughly as being formed of a deep layer, at very high temperature, and especially of a central area where rocks are still in fusion, and of a surface layer, the Earth’s crust which is solid and cold. The crust is very thin; its thickness is estimated in units of miles or units of ten miles at the most. The Earth’s radius is however slightly over 3,750 miles, so that its crust does not represent (on average) one hundredth of the of the sphere’s radius. It is upon this skin, as it were, that all geological phenomena have taken place. At the origin of these phenomena are folds that were to form the mountain ranges. The process is of considerable importance because with the development of a relief that was to constitute a mountain, the Earth’s crust was driven in proportionately far down: this process ensures a foundation in the layer that underlies it. The history of the distribution of the sea and land on the surface of the globe has only recently been established and is still very incomplete, even for the most recent and best known periods. It is likely that the oceans appeared and formed the hydrosphere circa half a billion years ago. The continents were probably a single mass at the end of the primary era, then subsequently broke apart. Some continents or parts of continents have moreover emerged through the formation of mountains in maritime zones (e.g. the North Atlantic continent and part of Europe). According to modern ideas, the dominating factor in the formation of the land that emerged was the development of mountain ranges. Since the formation of all mountains reliefs had repercussions on the balance between the sea and the continents, it made some parts of the land disappear and others emerge, and for hundreds of millions of years it has altered the surface distribution of the continents and oceans: the former at present only occupying three tenths of the surface of this planet.
When referring to the Earth’s relief, the Qur’an only describes, as it were, the formation of the mountains. Seen from the present point of view, there is indeed little one can say about the verses that only express God’s Beneficence to man with regard to the Earth’s formation, as in the following verses:
For you God made the earth a carpet so that you travel along its roads and the paths of valleys (71:19-20)
The earth, We have spread it out. How excellently We did that (51:48)
The carpet, which has been spread out, is the Earth’s crust, a solidified shell on which we can live, since the globe’s sub-strata are very hot, fluid and hostile to any form of life.
In the following verses the unbelievers are invited to consider certain natural phenomena, among them:
(Do they not look at) . . the mountains, how they have been pitched (like a tent), the Earth how it is made even (88:19-20)
The following verses pinpoint the way in which the mountains were anchored in the ground:
Have We not made the earth an expanse and the mountains stakes (78:6-7)
The stakes referred to are the ones used to anchor a tent in the ground (autad, plural of watad).
Modern geologists describe the folds in the Earth as giving foundations to the mountains, and their dimensions go roughly one mile to roughly 10 miles. The stability of the Earth’s crust results from the phenomenon of these folds. So it is not surprising to find reflections on the mountains in certain passages of the Qur’an, such as the following:
And the mountains (God) has fixed them firmly (79:32)
(God) has cast into the ground (mountains) standing firm, so that it does not shake with you (31:10)
We have placed in the ground (mountains) standing firm so that it does not shake with them (21:31)
Thus the way the mountains are laid out ensures stability and is in complete agreement with geological data.
Alfred Kroner who is Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany stated:
If you combine all these statements that are being made in the Qur’an in terms that relate to the earth and the formation of the earth and science in general, you can basically say that statements made there in many ways are true, they can now be confirmed by scientific methods, and in a way, you can say that the Qur’an is a simple science text book for the simple man. And that many of the statements made in there at that time could not be proven, but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what Muhammad said 1400 years ago.”
THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE
In addition to certain statements specifically relating to the sky, examined in the preceding chapter, the Qur’an contains several passages dealing with the phenomena that occur in the atmosphere. Here again there is absolutely no contradiction between today’s modern scientific knowledge and the phenomena described.
A familiar feeling of discomfort and constriction experienced at high altitude, which increases the higher one climbs, is expressed as below:
Those whom God wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam. Those whom He wills lose their way, He makes their breast narrow and constricted, as if they were climbing in the sky (125:6)
Some commentators think that the notion of discomfort at high altitude was unknown to the Arabs of the Prophets time. It does not seem to be true as rising over two miles high on the Arabian Peninsula of peaks made it very difficult forArabs to breathe at high altitude.
Electricity in the Atmosphere
Electricity in the atmosphere and the consequences of this, i.e., lightning and hail, are referred to in the following verses:
It is He Who doth show you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope: It is He Who doth raise up the clouds, heavy with (fertilizing) rain! The thunder glorifies His Praise and so do the angels for awe. He sends the thunderbolt and strikes with them who He wills while they are disputing about God. He is All Mighty in His Power (13:12-13)
Hast thou not seen that God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them a heap. And thou seest raindrops issuing from within it. He sends down from the sky mountains of hail, He strikes therewith whom He wills and He turns it away from whom He wills. The flashing of its lightning almost snatches away the sight (24:43)
In these two verses there is lucid expression of an obvious correlation between the formation of heavy rain clouds or clouds containing hail and the occurrence of lightning, the former, the subject of hope and covetousness on account of the benefit it represents and the latter, the subject of fear, because when it falls, it is likely to be damaging or devastating at the will of the Almighty.
When Sheikh Zindani presented to Prof. Rao, Professor of Marine Geology teaching at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia many a verse dealing with his area of specialization, and asked: “What do you think of the existence of the scientific information in the Qur’an? How could Prophet Muhammad have known about these facts fourteen centuries ago?, he replied:
“It is difficult to imagine that this type of knowledge was existing at that time, around 1400 years back. May be some of the things they have simple idea about, but to describe those things in great detail is very difficult. So this is definitely not simple human knowledge. A normal human being cannot explain this phenomenon in that much detail. So, I thought the information must have come from a supernatural source.”
The phenomenon of shadows and the fact that they move is very simply explained today. It forms the subject of the following observations:
It is God Who made out of the things He created, some things to give you shade. . (16:81)
Do they not look at God’s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things; how their (very) shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to God, and that in the humblest manner? (16:48)
Hast thou not turned thy vision to thy Lord? How He doth prolong the shadow! If He willed, He could make it stationary! Then do We make the sun its guide; Then We draw it in towards Ourselves, a contraction by easy stages (25:45-46)
Apart from the phrases dealing with the humility before God of all the things He created, including their shadow, and the fact that God can take back all manifestations of His Power, as He wills, the text of the Qur’an refers to the relationship between the Sun and the shadows. One must bear in mind at this point the fact that, in the Prophets times, it was believed that the way a shadow moved was governed by the movement of the sun from east to west. This principle was applied in the case of the sundial to measure the time between sunrise and sunset. In this instance, the Qur’an speaks of the phenomenon without referring to the explanation current at the time of the Revelation. The Qur’an only talks of the function the sun has as an indicator of shadow. Evidently there is no contradiction between the way the Qur’an describes shadow and what we know of this phenomenon in modern times.
About man the Holy Quran says:
Verily We created man from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe lodging; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We fashioned a little lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be God, the best of creators! (23:12-14))
When it is asserted that all life owes its origin to clay, it is literally and scientifically true. Allsorts of food that are essential for nourishment and development of human body grow in the earth. Man is created from the chemical elements, like Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Calcium, phosphorous, Sulfur, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Silicon, Fluorine, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Nickel, present in clay. Only in the presence of clay, which is alternately dried and then becomes moist again do long chains of organic molecules combine with each other to form nucleic acids:
We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape (15:26)
Clay also acts like a binding magnet:
Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay! (37:11)
Clay ions attract matter and incite it to react. The trace elements we see today are the result of the evolution of just such ions. In clay and binding sticky mud, carbon and nitrogen atoms have negative valences C-4 and N-3. Oxygen, phosphorous and hydrogen occurring naturally in the soil can only combine with negatively charged carbon and nitrogen to form the basic constituents of the human body.
Clay also acts as a desiccator, removing water so that large organic molecules can be formed. Via God’s will intelligent life evolved out of clay (Koran 32:7)
As trees considered are also living bodies and grow out of clay and yield fruits, on the same analogy, man grows out of clay. This fact is pithily stated in the Holy Quran thus:
And God has caused you to grow as a good growth from the earth (71:18)
However, it emphasizes a stark fact of human creation and existence. He also grows out of clay with the obvious difference that trees are rooted in the clay and are immovable but man who has to perform multifarious duties and activities as Homo Sapiens, is not fettered. His feet are not chained. He walks about. This theme is strikingly conveyed in the following verse:
And one of His signs is that He created you from dust; then behold! You are men who move about on the face of the earth. (30:21)
Clay is lifeless but by the grace of God it creates life. Clay is mindless but out of it grows man with mind, heart and soul.
So let man consider from what he is created. He is created from a gushing fluid that issued from between the loins and ribs. Lo! He verily is able to return him unto life`(86:5-8)
Does the man think that he is to be left aimless? Was he not a drop of fluid, which gushed forth? Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned and made of him a pair, the male and female. Is not He (who doeth so) able to bring the dead to life? (75:36-40)
He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is God, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Center)? (39:6)
In the above verses the whole chain of cause and effect graphically described was revealed fourteen hundred years ago when this was an enigma to the people of the world and there was were no instruments of anatomy, which have now proved that the fetus is really lodged in three veils of darkness in the womb of her mother. Professor Keith L. Moore was so amazed at the accuracy of these statements that he was obliged to say:
“It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah.”
The Holy Quran says that it is God and none else who gives shape to human beings in the wombs of their mothers. It says:
He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases (3:6)
He created the heavens and the earth in just proportions, and has given you shape, and made your shapes beautiful: and to Him is the final Goal (64:3)
The Koran is known to be the first book to give microscopic details of human embryology, hundreds of years before the discovery of the microscope! The Koran contains information on embryology, which was not discovered till about 30 years back, and certain details were new even to modern scientists but were immediately confirmed as being accurate:
Then We placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging. Then fashioned the seed into a leech (23:13-14)
If a microscopic picture of a human embryo of days 7-24 is taken and placed next to a picture of a leech, they both look identical. Not only do they look the same but they function in the same way too. Just like a leech derives nourishment from its host’s blood, the embryo derives nourishment from the decidua or the pregnant endometrium. Keith L. Moore, a world authority on embryology, states in his book, The Developing Human (1998): “Reference (in the Koran) is also made to the leech-like appearance of the early embryo. The four week embryo shown looks like a leech or blood sucker.”
As in the verses quoted above (23:13-14), it can be noted that the varying evolutionary states from sperm to embryo are described with a faith-promoting clarity. When Keith Moore, Head of the department of anatomy, at the University of Toronto, was shown verses of the Quran dealing with the microscopic stages of the human embryo, he was astonished and stated, after being unable to explain as how microscopic details of the embryo could be so accurately described in a book written before the discovery of the microscope:
“It is clear to me that these statements (in the Quran on embryology) must have come to Muhammad from God. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been the messenger of God or Allah.”
Gerald C. Goeringer who is Professor and Coordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. remarks:
“…In a relatively few ayahs (Qur’anic verses) is contained a rather comprehensive description of human development. No such distinct and complete record of human development such as classification, terminology, and description existed previously. In most, if not all instances, this description antedates by many centuries the recording of the various stages of human embryonic and fetal development recorded in the traditional scientific literature.”
THE INVISIBLE BARRIER
He has made the two seas to flow freely (so that) they meet together: Between them is a barrier, which they cannot encroach. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny? (55:19-21)
What the scientists discovered only recently was stated by the Koran fourteen centuries ago. It is a very unusual phenomenon that the Mediterranean and Atlantic ocean differ in their chemical and biological constitution. The French scientist Jacques Yves Cousteau conducted various undersea investigations at the Strait of Gibraltar and explaining these phenomena concluded:
Unexpected fresh water springs issue from the southern and northern coasts of Gibraltar. These mammoth springs gush towards each other at angles of 45 degrees forming a reciprocal dam. Due to this fact the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean cannot intermingle.
The same fact has been elucidated in the following verse:
It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: One palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed.
One may aptly inquire: Did Muhammad (S.A.W.) do research on the chemical and biological components of seawater to discover this unusual phenomena?
OCEANS AND DEPTHS OF DARKNESS
Or (the Unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! f or any to whom God giveth not light, there is no light! (24:40)
Not a better and lovelier picture can be drawn as this one pertaining to the oceans containing incredible layers of darkness one above the other and topped by clouds. The average depth of the oceans is 3795 meters (12450 feet). Without protective equipment humans cannot go down below 40 meters. At 200 meters light is successively absorbed, layer by layer and prevails the darkness that goes on increasing so much so that a man cannot see his own hands.
Internal waves in the “deep ocean” have been recognized only in the past four decades ago with the help of remote sensing from space platforms
CREATION OF PAIRS
(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things) (42:11)
The male and female in the animals are a divine scheme to ensure their continuance and a means of services and sustenance for mankind while the same law of pairs extends to human beings, because human race can live in perpetuity through the operation of this basic law. In this connection, the Holy Quran says:
And God has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for God’s favors? (16:72)
The permanent flow and operation of this law and its vital bearing on human welfare bear testimony to the glory and wisdom of Allah, the Almighty. This theme is repeated in the following verses:
Glory to God, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge. (36:36)
And of every thing We have created pairs so that ye may receive instruction (51:49)
Wherein is every kind of fruit in pairs. Which is it, of the favors of your Lord that ye deny? (55:52-53)
So God has made pairs in all living creatures and non-living objects. We know that humans, animals, reptiles, birds, butterflies, worms, insects, bacteria, and even plants have been created in pairs. But so far whatever the scientists have explored is amazing. In the cells of most organisms that reproduce sexually, chromosomes occur in pairs: One chromosome is inherited from the female parent, and one is inherited from the male parent. The two chromosomes of each pair contain genes that correspond to the same inherited characteristics. Each pair of chromosomes is different from every other pair of chromosomes in the same cell. The number of chromosome pairs in an organism varies depending on the species. The human genome has about 3 billion DNA base pairs. The common colon bacterium, E. coli, has 4.2 million base pairs (in both the cell and the genome, since it usually has only one copy of the chromosome in a cell). A common plant used in research, Arabidopsis thaliana (the mouse-ear cress, a small weed related to the mustard plant), has about 117 million base pairs in its genome, and the fruit fly has about 120 million base pairs in its genome. Then there are harmonic pairs. The worm’s genome was found to contain 97 million base pairs, which in turn make up nearly 20,000 genes (parts of DNA that determine the particular characteristic or group of characteristics that an organism inherits). The human genome, in contrast, is believed to contain 3 billion base pairs and 80,000 genes. The peripheral nervous system consists of 12 pairs of cranial nerves extending from the cerebrum.
The prevailing elementary particle theories group quarks and leptons separately into pairs, with equal numbers of pairs of each; that is, they posit the existence of three pairs of quarks and three pairs of leptons. An ion pair, for the physicist, is the positively charged particle (positive ion) and the negatively charged particle (negative ion) simultaneously produced by the addition of sufficient energy to a neutral atom or molecule to cause it to dissociate into oppositely charged fragments.
Normal hemoglobin molecules are made up of two pairs of protein chains, each individual chain consisting of some 150 amino acids, and four heme groups.
A sun god is often related to a moon goddess as one member of a divine pair. Binary star systems are quite common and the pairing of stars appears to be random in most cases. Astronomers estimate that approximately one-fourth of the visible stars belong to a binary system. The time it takes for one star to orbit the other can range from hours to centuries depending on the distance between the two stars and their masses. Some binary pairs, called interacting binary systems, are so close that they exchange material. Binary stars are very useful to astronomers because they are the only stars of which astronomers can directly determine mass.
In the end it may be mentioned that there are still may a theme, which have hot been touched in this article. As already pointed out by Dr. Maurice Bucaille for a person who is committed to further probe and research, the various statements in the Quran comparable with modern knowledge are by no means easy to find. In the first stage, all he could refer to were a few works in Arabic dealing with themes treated in the Quran that were of interest to men of science – there was, however, no overall study. As research of this kind requires scientific knowledge covering many different disciplines, it is not easy for Muslim scholars to acquire such knowledge, for they possess a mainly literary background. Therefore only a scientist, thoroughly acquainted with Arabic language and literature, can draw true comparisons between the Qur’anic text – for which he must be able to read Arabic – and the data supplied by modern knowledge. There is another reason why such statements are not immediately apparent: Verses bearing on a single theme are scattered throughout the Qur’an. The book is indeed a juxtaposition of reflections on a wide variety of subjects referred to one after the other and taken up again later on, often several times over. The data on a precise theme must therefore be collected from all over the Book. This is definitely an arduous work that can be rendered only after strenuously tracking down different verses and collecting them under various headings. in spite of the existence of thematic indexes provided by various translators, for such lists may perhaps be incomplete and indeed, in many cases, they often are.