Scientific Mircales in the Quran
The Quran is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel.
One remarkable feature of the 1400 year old Quran is its content of an abundant wealth of scientific information. Much of this information has only been discovered by mankind, and proven by scientists in the last century. If this points to anything, it certainly indicates that the Quran could not have been written by any human being. When the Quran was revealed to prophet Muhammad 14 centuries ago, there simply was no human being who had any accesss or knowledge of such scientific knowledge.
The scientific information in the Quran covers more or less all the main fields of knowledge such as physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, botany, geology, mathematics, embryology, anatomy ... etc.
This proves without doubt that the Quran must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad, and that the Quran was not authored by Muhammad or by any other human being. This also proves that Muhammad is truly a prophet sent by God. It is beyond reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or proven only recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated scientific methods. Some examples follow, see for yourself and prepare to be amazed!!!
Modern science has discovered facts about the atmosphere mentioned in the Quran over 1400 years ago.
“By the sky which returns.” (Quran 86:11)
“[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling…” (Quran 2:22)
In the first verse God swears by the sky1 and its function of ‘returning’ without specifying what it ‘returns.’ In Islamic doctrine, a divine oath signifies the magnitude of importance of a special relation to the Creator, and manifests His majesty and the supreme Truth in a special way.
The second verse describes the Divine Act that made the sky a ‘ceiling’ for the dwellers of earth.
Let us see what modern atmospheric science has to say about the role and function of the sky.
The atmosphere is a word which denotes all the air surrounding the earth, from the ground all the way up to the edge from which space starts. The atmosphere is composed of several layers, each defined because of the various phenomena which occur within the layer.
Rain, for one, is ‘returned’ to Earth by the clouds in the atmosphere. Explaining the hydrologic cycle, Encyclopedia Britannica writes:
“Water evaporates from both the aquatic and terrestrial environments as it is heated by the Sun’s energy. The rates of evaporation and precipitation depend on solar energy, as do the patterns of circulation of moisture in the air and currents in the ocean. Evaporation exceeds precipitation over the oceans, and this water vapor is transported by the wind over land, where it returns to the land through precipitation.”2
Not only does the atmosphere return what was on the surface back to the surface, but it reflects back into space that which might damage the flora and fauna the earth sustains, such as excessive radiant heat. In the 1990’s, collaborations between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) of Japan resulted in the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Science Initiative. Polar, Wind and Geotail are a part of this initiative, combining resources and scientific communities to obtain coordinated, simultaneous investigations of the Sun-Earth space environment over an extended period of time. They have an excellent explanation of how the atmosphere returns solar heat to space.3
Besides ‘returning’ rain, heat and radio waves, the atmosphere protects us like a ceiling above our heads by filtering out deadly cosmic rays, powerful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun, and even meteorites on collision course with Earth.4
Pennsylvania State Public Broadcasting tells us:
“The sunlight that we can see represents one group of wavelengths, visible light. Other wavelengths emitted by the sun include x-rays and ultraviolet radiation. X-rays and some ultraviolet light waves are absorbed high in Earth’s atmosphere. They heat the thin layer of gas there to very high temperatures. Ultraviolet light waves are the rays that can cause sunburn. Most ultraviolet light waves are absorbed by a thicker layer of gas closer to Earth called the ozone layer. By soaking up the deadly ultraviolet and x-rays, the atmosphere acts as a protective shield around the planet. Like a giant thermal blanket, the atmosphere also keeps temperatures from getting too hot or too cold. In addition, the atmosphere also protects us from constant bombardment by meteoroids, bits of rock and dust that travel at high speeds throughout the solar system. The falling stars we see at night are not stars at all; they are actually meteoroids burning up in our atmosphere due to the extreme heating they undergo.”5
Encyclopedia Britannica, describing the role of Stratosphere, tells us about its protective role in absorbing dangerous ultraviolet radiation:
“In the upper stratospheric regions, absorption of ultraviolet light from the Sun breaks down oxygen molecules; recombination of oxygen atoms with O2 molecules into ozone (O3) creates the ozone layer, which shields the lower ecosphere from harmful short-wavelength radiation…More disturbing, however, is the discovery of a growing depletion of ozone over temperate latitudes, where a large percentage of the world’s population resides, since the ozone layer serves as a shield against ultraviolet radiation, which has been found to cause skin cancer.”6
The mesosphere is the layer in which many meteors burn up while entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Imagine a baseball zipping along at 30,000 miles per hour. That’s how big and fast many meteors are. When they plow through the atmosphere, meteors are heated to more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, and they glow. A meteor compresses air in front of it. The air heats up, in turn heating the meteor.7
Earth is surrounded by a magnetic force field - a bubble in space called “the magnetosphere” tens of thousands of miles wide. The magnetosphere acts as a shield that protects us from solar storms. However, according to new observations from NASA’s IMAGE spacecraft and the joint NASA/European Space Agency Cluster satellites, immense cracks sometimes develop in Earth’s magnetosphere and remain open for hours. This allows the solar wind to gush through and power stormy space weather. Fortunately, these cracks do not expose Earth’s surface to the solar wind. Our atmosphere protects us, even when our magnetic field does not.8
How would it be possible for a fourteenth century desert dweller to describe the sky in a manner so precise that only recent scientific discoveries have confirmed it? The only way is if he received revelation from the Creator of the sky.
1 Al-Samaa’, the Arabic word translated here as ‘sky’ includes earth’s atmosphere as indicated by the verse 2:164.
2 ”Biosphere.” Encyclopedia Britannica from Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service.
4 Atmospheric, Climate & Environment Information Programme of the Manchester Metropolitan University at (http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/Atmosphere/atmosphere.html)
6 “Earth.” Encyclopedia Britannica from Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service.
The Quran on Human Embryonic Development
The miracle of embryonic development is mentioned in the Quran in such minute detail, much of which was unknown to scientists until only recently. It mentions the first stages of life after conception, the second stage of life after conception, and witnesses of scientists about these scientific facts of the Quran.
In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:
“We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)…” (Quran 23:12-14)
Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.
In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two1 as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.2
The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.”4 (see figures 5 and 6).
Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore6 is one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.
In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.”7
Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”8
During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “....Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad, may God praise him, said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad’s companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”9
1 The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.
2 Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, pp. 37-38.
3 The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 65.
4 The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.
5 The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 9.
6 Note: The occupations of all the scientists mentioned in this web site were last updated in 1997.
7 The reference for this saying is This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy of this videotape, please visit www.islam-guide.com/truth.htm
8 This is the Truth (videotape).
9 This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy, see footnote no. 9.
The Quran on Mountains
Both the Quran and science agree to the structural makeup of mountains and the role they play in maintaining the stability of the Earth.
A book entitled Earth is a basic reference textbook in many universities around the world. One of its two authors is Professor Emeritus Frank Press. He was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter, and for 12 years was the President of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. His book says that mountains have underlying roots.1 These roots are deeply embedded in the ground, thus, mountains have a shape like a peg (see figures 1, 2, and 3).
“Have We not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs?” (Quran 78:6-7)
Modern earth sciences have proven that mountains have deep roots under the surface of the ground (see figure 3) and that these roots can reach several times their elevations above the surface of the ground.2 So the most suitable word to describe mountains on the basis of this information is the word ‘peg,’ since most of a properly set peg is hidden under the surface of the ground. The history of science tells us that the theory of mountains having deep roots was introduced only in the latter half of the nineteenth century.3
Mountains also play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth.4 They hinder the shaking of the earth. God has said in the Quran:
“And He has set firm mountains in the earth so that it would not shake with you...” (Quran 16:15)
Likewise, the modern theory of plate tectonics holds that mountains work as stabilizers for the earth. This knowledge about the role of mountains as stabilizers for the earth has just begun to be understood in the framework of plate tectonics since the late 1960’s.5
Could anyone during the time of the Prophet Muhammad have known of the true shape of mountains? Could anyone imagine that the solid massive mountain which he sees before him actually extends deep into the earth and has a root, as scientists assert? A large number of books of geology, when discussing mountains, only describe that part which is above the surface of the earth. This is because these books were not written by specialists in geology. However, modern geology has confirmed the truth of the Quranic verses.
1 Earth, Press and Siever, p. 435. Also see Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens, p. 157.
2 The Geological Concept of Mountains in the Quran, El-Naggar, p. 5.
3 The Geological Concept of Mountains in the Quran, p. 5.
4 The Geological Concept of Mountains in the Quran, pp. 44-45.
5 The Geological Concept of Mountains in the Quran, p. 5.
The Quran on the Origin of the Universe
A Scientific and Quranic explanation about the creation of the universe.
The science of modern cosmology, observational and theoretical, clearly indicates that, at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of ‘smoke’ (i.e. an opaque highly dense and hot gaseous composition).1 This is one of the undisputed principles of standard modern cosmology. Scientists now can observe new stars forming out of the remnants of that ‘smoke’ (see figures 1 and 2).
The illuminating stars we see at night were, just as was the whole universe, in that ‘smoke’ material. God has said in the Quran:
“Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke...” (Quran 41:11)
Because the earth and the heavens above (the sun, the moon, stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) have been formed from this same ‘smoke,’ we conclude that the earth and the heavens were one connected entity. Then out of this homogeneous ‘smoke,’ they formed and separated from each other. God has said in the Quran:
“Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity, then We separated them?...” (Quran 21:30)
Dr. Alfred Kroner is one of the world’s renowned geologists. He is Professor of Geology and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. He said: “Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods, that this is the case.”2 Also he said: “Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin.”3
1 The First Three Minutes, a Modern View of the Origin of the Universe, Weinberg, pp. 94-105.
2 The reference for this saying is This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy of this videotape, please visit this page.
3 This is the Truth (videotape).
The Quran on the Cerebrum
The Quran and science in total conformity in regards to the ‘anatomy of a lie’.
God has said in the Quran about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade the Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, from praying at the Kaaba:
“No! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!” (Quran 96:15-16)
Why did the Quran describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful? Why didn’t the Quran say that the person was lying and sinful? What is the relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness?
If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum (see figure 1). What does physiology tell us about the function of this area? A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex...”1 Also the book says, “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression....”2
So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth. Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Quran has said, “...A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!”
Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith L. Moore.3
1 Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 211. Also see The Human Nervous System, Noback and others, pp. 410-411.
2 Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 211.
3 Al-E’jaz al-Elmy fee al-Naseyah (The Scientific Miracles in the Front of the Head), Moore and others, p. 41.
The Quran on Seas and Rivers
Barriers between various types of water found in nature: a fact mentioned in the Quran expounded by science.
Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity, and density.1 For example, Mediterranean sea water is warm, saline, and less dense, compared to Atlantic ocean water. When Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics. The Mediterranean water stabilizes at this depth2 (see figure 1).
The Holy Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. God has said:
“He has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier between them. They do not transgress.” (Quran 55:19-20)
But when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. God has said in the Quran:
“He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition.” (Quran 25:53)
One may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?
Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers.”3 This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water4 (see figure 2).
1 Principles of Oceanography, Davis, pp. 92-93.
2 Principles of Oceanography, Davis, p. 93.
3 Oceanography, Gross, p. 242. Also see Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, pp. 300-301.
The Quranic account of life in the deep seas, the darkness therein, and how it confirms modern scientific findings.
The Quranic account of life in the deep seas, the darkness therein, and how it confirms modern scientific findings.
God has said in the Quran:
“Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the darkness in a deep sea. It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds. Darknesses, one above another. If a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it....” (Quran 24:40)
This verse mentions the darkness found in deep seas and oceans, where if a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it. The darkness in deep seas and oceans is found around a depth of 200 meters and below. At this depth, there is almost no light (see figure 1). Below a depth of 1000 meters there is no light at all.1 Human beings are not able to dive more than forty meters without the aid of submarines or special equipment. Human beings cannot survive unaided in the deep dark part of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.
Scientists have recently discovered this darkness by means of special equipment and submarines that have enabled them to dive into the depths of the oceans.
We can also understand from the following sentences in the previous verse, “...in a deep sea. It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds....”, that the deep waters of seas and oceans are covered by waves, and above these waves are other waves. It is clear that the second set of waves are the surface waves that we see, because the verse mentions that above the second waves there are clouds. But what about the first waves? Scientists have recently discovered that there are internal waves which “occur on density interfaces between layers of different densities.”2 (see figure 2).
The internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because the deep waters have a higher density than the waters above them. Internal waves act like surface waves. They can also break, just like surface waves. Internal waves cannot be seen by the human eye, but they can be detected by studying temperature or salinity changes at a given location.3
1 Oceans, Elder and Pernetta, p. 27.
2 Oceanography, Gross, p. 205.
3 Oceanography, Gross, p. 205.
The Quran on clouds
Details mentioned in the Quran about cloud formation over 1400 years ago has only recently been discovered by science.
Scientists have studied cloud types and have realized that rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and certain steps connected with certain types of wind and clouds.
One kind of rain cloud is the cumulonimbus cloud. Meteorologists have studied how cumulonimbus clouds are formed and how they produce rain, hail, and lightning.
They have found that cumulonimbus clouds go through the following steps to produce rain:
1) The clouds are pushed by the wind: Cumulonimbus clouds begin to form when wind pushes some small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) to an area where these clouds converge (see figures 1 and 2).
2) Joining: Then the small clouds join together forming a larger cloud1 (see figures 1 and 2).
3) Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the center of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges.2 These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up (see figures 2 (B), 20, and 21). This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.3
Figure 3: A cumulonimbus cloud. After the cloud is stacked up, rain comes out of it. (Weather and Climate, Bodin, p.123.)
God has said in the Quran:
“Have you not seen how God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it....” (Quran 24:43)
Meteorologists have only recently come to know these details of cloud formation, structure, and function by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers, balloons, and other equipment, to study wind and its direction, to measure humidity and its variations, and to determine the levels and variations of atmospheric pressure.4
The preceding verse, after mentioning clouds and rain, speaks about hail and lightning:
“....And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky, and He strikes with it whomever He wills, and turns it from whomever He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning nearly blinds the sight.” (Quran 24:43)
Meteorologists have found that these cumulonimbus clouds, that shower hail, reach a height of 25,000 to 30,000 ft (4.7 to 5.7 miles),5 like mountains, as the Quran said, “...And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky...” (see figure 4 above).
This verse may raise a question. Why does the verse say “its lightning” in a reference to the hail? Does this mean that hail is the major factor in producing lightning? Let us see what the book entitled Meteorology Today says about this. It says that a cloud becomes electrified as hail falls through a region in the cloud of supercooled droplets and ice crystals.
As liquid droplets collide with a hailstone, they freeze on contact and release latent heat. This keeps the surface of the hailstone warmer than that of the surrounding ice crystals. When the hailstone comes in contact with an ice crystal, an important phenomenon occurs: electrons flow from the colder object toward the warmer object. Hence, the hailstone becomes negatively charged. The same effect occurs when supercooled droplets come in contact with a hailstone and tiny splinters of positively charged ice break off. These lighter positively charged particles are then carried to the upper part of the cloud by updrafts. The hail, left with a negative charge, falls towards the bottom of the cloud, thus the lower part of the cloud becomes negatively charged. These negative charges are then discharged as lightning.6 We conclude from this that hail is the major factor in producing lightning.
This information on lightning was discovered recently. Until 1600 AD, Aristotle’s ideas on meteorology were dominant. For example, he said that the atmosphere contains two kinds of exhalation, moist and dry. He also said that thunder is the sound of the collision of the dry exhalation with the neighboring clouds, and lightning is the inflaming and burning of the dry exhalation with a thin and faint fire.7 These are some of the ideas on meteorology that were dominant at the time of the Quran’s revelation, fourteen centuries ago.
1 See The Atmosphere, Anthes and others, pp. 268-269, and Elements of Meteorology, Miller and Thompson, p. 141.
2 The updrafts near the center are stronger, because they are protected from the cooling effects by the outer portion of the cloud.
3 See The Atmosphere, Anthes and others, p. 269, and Elements of Meteorology, Miller and Thompson, pp. 141-142.
4 See Ee’jaz al-Quran al-Kareem fee Wasf Anwa’ al-Riyah, al-Sohob, al-Matar, Makky and others, p. 55.
5 Elements of Meteorology, Miller and Thompson, p. 141.
6 Meteorology Today, Ahrens, p. 437.
7 The Works of Aristotle Translated into English: Meteorologica, vol. 3, Ross and others, pp. 369a-369b.
One fact about the universe revealed in the verses of the Qur'an is that the sky is made up of seven layers:
It is He Who created everything on the earth for you and then directed His attention up to heaven and arranged it into seven regular heavens. He has knowledge of all things. (Qur'an, 2:29)
Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke. In two days He determined them as seven heavens and revealed, in every heaven, its own mandate. (Qur'an, 41:11-12)
The word "heavens," which appears in many verses in the Qur'an, is used to refer to the sky above the Earth, as well as the entire universe. Given this meaning of the word, it is seen that the Earth's sky, or the atmosphere, is made up of seven layers.
Today, it is known that the world's atmosphere consists of different layers that lie on top of each other.1 Based on the criteria of chemical contents or air temperature, the definitions made have determined the atmosphere of the earth as seven layers.2 According to the "Limited Fine Mesh Model (LFMMII)," a model of atmosphere used to estimate weather conditions for 48 hours, the atmosphere is also 7 layers. According to the modern geological definitions the seven layers of atmosphere are as follows:
The Qur'an says, "[He] revealed, in every heaven, its own mandate," in Surah Fussilat 12. In other words, Allah is stating that He assigned each heaven its own duty. Truly, as will be seen in following chapters, each one of these layers has vital duties for the benefit of human kind and all other living things on the Earth. Each layer has a particular function, ranging from forming rain to preventing harmful rays, from reflecting radio waves to averting the harmful effects of meteors.
The verses below inform us about the appearance of the seven layers of the atmosphere:
Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers? (Qur'an, 71:15)
He Who created the seven heavens in layers… (Qur'an, 67:3)
The atmosphere only lets rays required for life reach the Earth. For example, ultraviolet rays make it to the world only partially.
|This is the most appropriate range to allow plants to make photosynthesis and eventually for all living things to survive.|
The Arabic word "tibaqan" in these verses, translated into English as "layer" means "layer, the appropriate cover or covering for something," and thus stresses how the top layer is well suited to the lower. The word is also used in the plural here: "layers." The sky, described in the verse as being in layers, is without doubt the most perfect expression of the atmosphere. It is a great miracle that these facts, which could not possibly be discovered without the technology of the 20th century, were explicitly stated by the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
1. Michael Pidwirny, “Atmospheric Layers,” 1996, http://royal.okanagan.bc.ca/mpidwirn/atmosphereandclimate/atmslayers.html.
2. “Numerical Prediction Models used by NWS,” Integrated Publishing, www.tpub.com/weather3/4-27.htm.
Layers of the Earth
One item of information about the Earth given in the Qur'an is its similarity to the seven-layered sky:
It is Allah Who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 65:12)
The information in the above verse is confirmed in scientific sources, wherein it is explained that the Earth consists of seven strata. These, as scientists have identified, are:
1st layer: Lithosphere (water)
2nd layer: Lithosphere (land)
3rd layer: Asthenosphere
4th layer: Upper Mantle
5th layer: Inner Mantle
6th layer: Outer Core
7th layer: Inner Core
The word lithosphere is derived from the Greek word lithos, meaning stone, which is a hard stratum forming the Earth's top layer. It is quite thin in comparison to the other strata. The lithosphere under the oceans is still thinner, and is a region with volcanic activity. Its average thickness is 80 km. It is colder and harder than the other strata, and therefore, forms the earth's shell.
Below the lithosphere is the stratum known as the asthenosphere, from the Greek word for "weak," asthenes. This layer is thinner than the lithosphere and shifts. It was formed of hot, semi-solid substances capable of melting when exposed to high temperatures and pressure over geological time. It is thought that the hard lithosphere floats or moves over the slowly moving asthenosphere.1 Under these layers is a high-temperature layer some 2,900 km thick, made up of semi-solid rock known as the mantle. This contains more iron, magnesium and calcium than the crust, and is also hotter and denser, because temperature and density in the Earth increase with depth.
At the centre of the Earth is the core, approximately twice as dense as the mantle. The reason for that density is that it contains a higher proportion of metals (iron-nickel alloy) than rock. The Earth's core consists of two parts. One is the 2,200 km thick liquid outer core, the other a 1,250 km thick solid inner core. The liquid outer core provides the Earth's magnetic field as the planet rotates.
The truth of this similarity between the sky and the layers of the Earth, only identified by 20th century technology, is without doubt another of the Qur'an's scientific miracles.
1. “Inside the Earth,” http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/inside.html.
THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE
In the Qur'an, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago at a time when the science of astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described in the following terms:
And it is We Who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it. (Qur'an, 51:47)
The word "heaven," as stated in the verse above, is used in various places in the Qur'an. It is referring to space and the wider universe. Here again, the word is used with this meaning, stating that the universe "expands." The Arabic word "moosiaaoona" in the term "inna lamoosiaaoona," translated into English as "it is We Who are steadily expanding it", comes from the verb "evsea," meaning "to expand." The prefix "la" emphasises the following name or title and adds a sense of "to a great extent." This expression therefore means "We expand the sky or the universe to a great extent." This is the very conclusion that science has reached today.1
Until the dawn of the 20th century, the only view prevailing in the world of science was that "the universe has a constant nature and it has existed since infinite time." However, modern research, observations, and calculations carried out by means of modern technology have revealed that the universe in fact had a beginning and that it constantly "expands."
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann and the Belgian cosmologist Georges Lemaitre theoretically calculated that the universe is in constant motion and that it is expanding.
This notion was confirmed by the use of observational data in 1929. While observing the sky with a telescope, Edwin Hubble, the American astronomer, discovered that the stars and galaxies were constantly moving away from each other. This discovery is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of astronomy. During these observations, Hubble established that the stars emit a light that turns redder according to their distance. That is because according to the known laws of physics, light heading towards a point of observation turns violet, and light moving away from that point assumes a more reddish hue. During his observations, Hubble noted a tendency towards the colour red in the light emitted by stars. In short, the stars were moving further and further away, all the time. The stars and galaxies were not only moving away from us, but also from each other. A universe where everything constantly moves away from everything else implied a constantly expanding universe. The observations carried out in the following years verified that the universe is constantly expanding.
In order to gain a clearer understanding of this, let us imagine the universe to be the surface of a balloon being inflated. In the same way that the more the balloon is inflated, the further away the points on its surface move from one another, celestial bodies also move away from one another as the universe expands. This was theoretically discovered by Albert Einstein, regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. However, in order to avoid violating the "static universe model" that was generally accepted at that time, Einstein laid that discovery aside. He would later describe this as the greatest blunder of his life.2
This fact was explained in the Qur'an in a time when telescopes and similar technological advancements were not even close to being invented. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah: the Creator and Ruler of the entire universe.
1. S. Waqar Ahmed Husaini, The Quran for Astronomy and Earth Exploration
from Space 3rd ed. (New Delhi: Goodword Press: 1999), 103-108.
THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS
We built seven firm layers above you. We installed a blazing lamp. (Qur'an, 78:12-13)
As we know, the only source of light in the Solar System is the Sun. With advances in technology, astronomers discovered that the Moon was not a source of light but that it merely reflects the light reaching it from the Sun. The expression "lamp" in the above verse is a translation of the Arabic word "sirajan," which most perfectly describes the Sun, the source of light and heat.
In the Qur'an Allah employs different words when referring to such celestial bodies as the Moon, the Sun and the stars. This is how the differences between the structures of the Sun and Moon are expressed in the Qur'an:
Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers, and placed the moon as a light in them and made the sun a blazing lamp? (Qur'an, 71:15-16)
In the above verse, the word "light" is used for the Moon ("nooran" in Arabic) and the word "lamp" for the Sun ("sirajan" in Arabic.) The word used for the Moon refers to a light-reflecting, bright, motionless body. The word used for the Sun refers to a celestial body which is always burning, a constant source of heat and light.
On the other hand, the word "star" comes from the Arabic root "nejeme," meaning "appearing, emerging, visible." As in the verse below, stars are also referred to by the word "thaqib," which is used for that which shines and pierces the darkness with light: self-consuming and burning:
It is the star that pierces through darkness! (Qur'an, 86:3)
We now know that the Moon does not emit its own light but reflects that reaching it from the Sun. We also know that the Sun and stars do emit their own light. These facts were revealed in the Qur'an in an age when mankind simply did not have the means to make scientific discoveries of their own accord. It was an age when peoples' knowledge of celestial bodies was severely restricted, to say the least. This further emphasises the miraculous nature of the book of Islam.
ORBITS AND THE ROTATING UNIVERSE
One of the most important reasons for the great equilibrium in the universe is the fact that celestial bodies follow specific paths. Stars, planets and satellites all rotate around their own axes and also rotate together with the system of which they are a part. The universe functions within a finely-tuned order, just like the wheels in a factory.
There are more than 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe and each small galaxy contains approximately a billion stars. Furthermore, each big galaxy contains more than a trillion.1 Many of these stars have planets and many of those planets have satellites. All these celestial bodies follow the most finely calculated paths and orbits. For millions of years, each one has been moving in its own path in flawless harmony with all the others. In addition to these, there are also a great many comets moving along in their own pre-determined paths.
In addition, the paths in the universe are not restricted to a few celestial bodies. The Solar System and even other galaxies also exhibit considerable motion around other centres. Every year, Earth, and the Solar System with it, move some 500 million km from where they were the previous year. It has been calculated that even the slightest deviation from celestial bodies' paths could have drastic consequences which might spell the end of the entire system. For example, the consequences of the earth's deviating from its course by a mere 3 mm have been described in one source as follows:
While rotating around the sun, the earth follows such an orbit that, every 18 miles, it only deviates 2.8 millimetres from a direct course. The orbit followed by the earth never changes, because even a deviation of 3 millimetres would cause catastrophic disasters: If the deviation were 2.5 mm instead of 2.8 mm, then the orbit would be very large, and all of us would freeze. If the deviation were 3.1 mm, we would be scorched to death.2
Another characteristic of heavenly bodies is that they also rotate around their own axes. The verse which reads "[I swear] by Heaven with its cyclical systems," (Qur'an, 86:11) indicates this truth. Naturally, at the time when the Qur'an was revealed, people had no telescopes with which to study bodies millions of kilometres away in space, advanced observation technology or our modern knowledge of physics and astronomy. It was therefore impossible to establish that space had "its oscillating orbits," (Qur'an, 51:7) as described in the verse. The Qur'an however, revealed at that time, provided clear information concerning that fact. This is proof that this book is indeed Allah's Word.
All celestial bodies—including planets, satellites of these planets, stars and even galaxies—have their own orbits that have been determined with very delicate computations. The One Who established this perfect order and maintains it is Allah, Who created the entire universe.
1. World Book Encyclopedia, 2003; contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
2. Bilim ve Teknik (Journal of Science and Technology), July 1983.
THE SUN'S TRAJECTORY
It is stressed in the Qur'an that the Sun and Moon follow specific trajectories:
It is He Who created night and day and the sun and moon, each one swimming in a sphere. (Qur'an, 21:33)
The word "swim" in the above verse is expressed in Arabic by the word "sabaha" and is used to describe the movement of the Sun in space. The word means that the Sun does not move randomly through space but that it rotates around its axis and follows a course as it does so. The fact that the Sun is not fixed in position but rather follows a specific trajectory is also stated in another verse:
And the sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Qur'an, 36:38)
These facts set out in the Qur'an were only discovered by means of astronomical advances in our own time. According to astronomers' calculations, the Sun moves along a path known as the Solar Apex in the path of the star Vega at an incredible speed of 720,000 kmph. In rough terms, this shows that the Sun traverses some 17.28 million km a day. As well as the Sun itself, all the planets and satellites within its gravitational field also travel the same distance.
THE MOON'S ORBIT
And We have decreed set phases for the moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Qur'an, 36:39-40)
The Moon does not follow a regular orbit like the satellites of other planets. As it orbits the Earth, it sometimes moves behind it and sometimes in front. As it also moves with the Earth around the Sun, it actually follows a constant pattern resembling the letter "S" in space. This route, traced by the Moon in space, is described in the Qur'an as resembling an old date branch and does indeed resemble the twisted form of the date tree branch. Indeed, the word "urjoon" employed in the Qur'an refers to a thin and twisted date branch and is used to describe that part left after the fruit has been picked. The way that this branch is described as "old" is also most appropriate since old date branches are thinner and more twisted.
Since the Moon revolves around the Sun together with the Earth, it follows a path through space which resembles the letter “S.” The appearance of this orbit resembles the twisted shape of a dry date branch, as is revealed in the Qur’an.
There is no doubt that it was impossible for anyone to have any knowledge about the orbit of the Moon 1,400 years ago. The way that this pattern, identified by modern technology and accumulated knowledge, was revealed in the Holy Book is yet another scientific miracle of the Qur'an.
CALCULATING THE LUNAR YEAR
It is He Who appointed the sun to give radiance, and the moon to give light, assigning it phases so you would know the number of years and the reckoning of time. Allah did not create these things except with truth. We make the Signs clear for people who know. (Qur'an, 10:5)
And We have decreed set phases for the moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. (Qur'an, 36:39)
In the first of the above verses, Allah has clearly revealed that the Moon will be a means of measurement for people to calculate the year. Furthermore, our attention is also drawn to the fact that these calculations will be performed according to the positions of the Moon as it revolves in its orbit. Since the angles between the Earth and Moon and the Moon and Sun constantly change, we see the Moon in different forms at different times. Furthermore, our ability to see the Moon is made possible by the fact that it is illuminated by the Sun. The amount of the lighted half of the Moon we see from Earth changes. Bearing in mind these changes, a number of calculations can be made, making it possible for human beings to measure the year.
In former times a month was calculated as the time between two full moons, or the time it took the Moon to travel around the Earth. According to this, one month was equal to 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. This is known as the "lunar month." Twelve lunar months represent one year, according to the Hijri calendar. However, there is a difference of eleven days between the Hijri calendar and the Gregorian calendar, in which a year is the time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun. Indeed, attention is drawn to this difference in another verse:
They stayed in their Cave for three hundred years and added nine. (Qur'an, 18:25)
We can clarify the time referred to in the verse thus: 300 years x 11 days (the difference which forms every year) = 3,300 days. Bearing in mind that one solar year lasts 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.5 seconds, 3,300 days/365.24 days = 9 years. To put it another way, 300 years according to the Gregorian calendar is equal to 300+9 years according to the Hijri calendar. As we can see, the verse refers to this finely calculated difference of 9 years. (Allah knows best.) There is no doubt that the Qur'an, which contains such pieces of information, which transcended the everyday knowledge of the time, is a miraculous revelation.
THE PROTECTED ROOF
In the Qur'an, Allah calls our attention to a very important attribute of the sky:
We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs. (Qur'an, 21:32)
This attribute of the sky has been proved by scientific research carried out in the 20th century: The atmosphere surrounding the Earth serves crucial functions for the continuity of life. While destroying many meteors-big and small-as they approach the Earth, it prevents them from falling to Earth and harming living things.
In addition, the atmosphere filters the light rays coming from space that are harmful to living things. The most striking feature of the atmosphere is that it lets only harmless and useful rays-visible light, near ultraviolet light and radio waves pass through. All of this radiation is vital for life. Near ultraviolet rays, which are only partially let in by the atmosphere, are very important for the photosynthesis of plants and for the survival of all living beings. The majority of the intense ultraviolet rays emitted from the Sun are filtered out by the ozone layer of the atmosphere. Only a limited and essential part of the ultraviolet spectrum reaches the Earth.
The protective function of the atmosphere does not end here. The atmosphere also protects the earth from the freezing cold of the space, which is approximately -270oC.
It is not only the atmosphere that protects the Earth from harmful effects. In addition to the atmosphere, the Van Allen Belt-the layer caused by the magnetic field of the Earth-also serves as a shield against the harmful radiation that threatens our planet. This radiation, which is constantly emitted by the Sun and other stars, is deadly to living things. If the Van Allen belt did not exist, the massive outbursts of energy called solar flares that frequently occur in the Sun would destroy all life on Earth.
The magnetosphere layer, formed by the magnetic field of the Earth, serves as a shield protecting the Earth from celestial bodies, harmful cosmic rays and particles. In the above picture, this magnetosphere layer, which is also named Van Allen Belts, is seen. These belts at thousands of kilometres above the Earth protect the living things on the Earth from the fatal energy that would otherwise reach it from space.
All these scientific findings prove that the world is protected in a very particular way. The important thing is that this protection was made known in the Qur'an in the verse "We made the sky a preserved and protected roof" fourteen centuries ago.
On the importance of the Van Allen Belt, Dr. Hugh Ross says:
In fact, the Earth has the highest density of any of the planets in our Solar System. This large nickel-iron core is responsible for our large magnetic field. This magnetic field produces the Van-Allen radiation shield, which protects the Earth from radiation bombardment. If this shield were not present, life would not be possible on the Earth. The only other rocky planet to have any magnetic field is Mercury-but its field strength is 100 times less than the Earth's. Even Venus, our sister planet, has no magnetic field. The Van-Allen radiation shield is a design unique to the Earth.1
The energy transmitted in just one of these bursts detected in recent years was calculated to be equivalent to 100 billion atomic bombs, each akin to one dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Fifty-eight hours after the burst, it was observed that the magnetic needles of compasses displayed unusual movement and 250 kilometres above the Earth's atmosphere, the temperature suddenly increased to 2,500oC.
Most people looking at the sky do not think about the protective aspect of the atmosphere. They almost never think what kind of a place the world would be like if this structure did not exist. The above photo belongs to a giant crater caused by a meteor that fell in Arizona, in the USA.
If the atmosphere did not exist, millions of meteoroids would fall to the Earth and the Earth would become an inhabitable place. Yet, the protective aspect of the atmosphere allows living things to survive in safety. This is certainly Allah's protection of people and a miracle proclaimed in the Qur'an.
In short, a perfect system is at work high above the Earth. It surrounds our world and protects it against external threats. Centuries ago, Allah informed us in the Qur'an of the world's atmosphere functioning as a protective shield.
THE MOVEMENT OF MOUNTAINS
In one verse, we are informed that mountains are not motionless as they seem, but are in constant motion.
You see the mountains you reckoned to be solid going past like clouds. (Qur'an, 27:88)
This motion of mountains is caused by the movement of the Earth's crust that they are located on. The Earth's crust "floats" over the mantle layer, which is denser. It was at the beginning of the 20th century when, for the first time in history, a German scientist by the name of Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents of the Earth had been attached together when it first formed, but then drifted in different directions, and thus separated as they moved away from each other.
Geologists understood that Wegener was right only in the 1980s, 50 years after his death. As Wegener pointed out in an article published in 1915, the land masses on the Earth were joined together about 500 million years ago, and this large mass, called Pangaea, was located in the South Pole.
Approximately 180 million years ago, Pangaea divided into two parts, which drifted in different directions. One of these giant continents was Gondwana, which included Africa, Australia, Antarctica and India. The second one was Laurasia, which included Europe, North America and Asia, except for India. Over the next 150 million years following this separation, Gondwana and Laurasia divided into smaller parts.
These continents, that emerged after the split of Pangaea, have been constantly moving on the Earth's surface at a rate of several centimetres per year, and in the meantime changing the sea to land ratios of the Earth.
Discovered as a result of the geological research carried out at the beginning of the 20th century, this movement of the Earth's crust is explained by scientists as follows:
The crust and the uppermost part of the mantle, with a thickness of about 100 kms., are divided into segments called plates. There are six major plates, and several small ones. According to the theory called plate tectonics, these plates move about on Earth, carrying continents and ocean floor with them. Continental motion has been measured at from 1-5 cm per year. As the plates continue to move about, this will produce a slow change in Earth's geography. Each year, for instance, the Atlantic Ocean becomes slightly wider.1
There is an important point that needs to be stated here: Allah referred to the motion of mountains as drifting in a verse of the Qur'an. Today, modern scientists also use the term "continental drift" for this motion.2
Continental drift is something that could not have been observed at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an, though Allah clearly indicated how it was to be understood: "You see the mountains you reckoned to be solid" in the verse. Though, He further described this action in the following verse, stating that the mountains were going past like clouds. As has been indicated, attention is clearly drawn to the movement of the layer in which the mountains are fixed.
It is without doubt a great miracle that this scientific fact, only recently discovered by science, should have been revealed in the 7th century, when conceptions of the nature of the universe were based on superstition and myth. This is another very important proof that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
THE SPLITTING EARTH
[I swear] by Heaven which returns and the earth which splits. (Qur'an, 86:11-12)
The Arabic word "sadA" in the above verse means "cracking, splitting apart." Allah's swearing by the splitting of the Earth points to an important phenomenon, as do the other scientific miracles in the Qur'an. Scientists first descended to the depths of the seas and oceans in order to study mineral resources in 1945-1946. One of the most important facts to emerge from that research was the fissured structure of the Earth. The rock layer on the external surface of the Earth was split by large numbers of cracks (faults), tens of thousands of kilometres long, running from north to south and east to west. Scientists also realised that there was molten magma under the sea, at depths of 100-150 km.
The above representative pictures show the fragmented structure of the Earth. The magma layer under the Earth’s crust is allowed to escape to the surface by this fragmented structure. This significantly reduces the temperature of the Earth.
Due to these splits and cracks, lava flows from volcanoes on the sea bed. Due to this fissured structure, a significant amount of heat is also given off, and a large part of molten rocks forms the mountains under the oceans. If the Earth did not possess this structure, which allows large amounts of heat to escape from its crust, life on Earth would become impossible.1
There is no doubt that such information, which required such advanced technology to be discovered, being given 1,400 years ago is yet another proof that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah.
1. “Arctic Explorers,” 23 June 2000, http://tea.rice.edu/schauer/6.23.2000.html; Tetsuzo Seno, Satoru Honda, “Mantle Convection and The Global Sea Level: When Did Plate Tectonics Begin on The Earth?,” www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/seno/sealevel_abst.html; “Mantle Convection,” http://theory.uwinnipeg.ca/mod_tech/node195.html; Prof. Zaghloul El-Naggar, “Scientific Signs in the Qur’an: Examples from the Area of Earth Sciences,” www.nekkah.com/Main/EngPage/Scientific_Signs_in_the_Quran.htm.
THE MIRACLE OF IRON
Iron is one of the elements highlighted in the Qur'an. In Surat al-Hadid, meaning Iron, we are informed:
And We also sent down iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind… (Qur'an, 57:25)
The word "anzalna," translated as "sent down" and used for iron in the verse, could be thought of having a metaphorical meaning to explain that iron has been given to benefit people. But, when we take into consideration the literal meaning of the word, which is, "being physically sent down from the sky," as in the case of rain and Sun rays, we realize that this verse implies a very significant scientific miracle. Because, modern astronomical findings have disclosed that the iron found in our world has come from giant stars in outer space.1
Not only the iron on earth, but also the iron in the entire Solar System, comes from outer space, since the temperature in the Sun is inadequate for the formation of iron. The sun has a surface temperature of 6,000 degrees Celsius, and a core temperature of approximately 20 million degrees. Iron can only be produced in much larger stars than the Sun, where the temperature reaches a few hundred million degrees. When the amount of iron exceeds a certain level in a star, the star can no longer accommodate it, and it eventually explodes in what is called a "nova" or a "supernova." These explosions make it possible for iron to be given off into space.2
One scientific source provides the following information on this subject:
There is also evidence for older supernova events: Enhanced levels of iron-60 in deep-sea sediments have been interpreted as indications that a supernova explosion occurred within 90 light-years of the sun about 5 million years ago. Iron-60 is a radioactive isotope of iron, formed in supernova explosions, which decays with a half life of 1.5 million years. An enhanced presence of this isotope in a geologic layer indicates the recent nucleosynthesis of elements nearby in space and their subsequent transport to the earth (perhaps as part of dust grains).3
All this shows that iron did not form on the Earth, but was carried from Supernovas, and was "sent down," as stated in the verse. It is clear that this fact could not have been known in the 7th century, when the Qur'an was revealed. Nevertheless, this fact is related in the Qur'an, the Word of Allah, Who encompasses all things in His infinite knowledge.
Astronomy has also revealed that other elements also formed outside the Earth. In the expression "We also sent down iron" in the verse, the word "also" may well be referring to that idea. However, the fact that the verse specifically mentions iron is quite astounding, considering that these discoveries were made at the end of the 20th century. In his book Nature's Destiny, the well-known microbiologist Michael Denton emphasizes the importance of iron:
Of all the metals there is none more essential to life than iron. It is the accumulation of iron in the center of a star which triggers a supernova explosion and the subsequent scattering of the vital atoms of life throughout the cosmos. It was the drawing by gravity of iron atoms to the center of the primeval earth that generated the heat which caused the initial chemical differentiation of the earth, the outgassing of the early atmosphere, and ultimately the formation of the hydrosphere. It is molten iron in the center of the earth which, acting like a gigantic dynamo, generates the earth's magnetic field, which in turn creates the Van Allen radiation belts that shield the earth's surface from destructive high-energy-penetrating cosmic radiation and preserve the crucial ozone layer from cosmic ray destruction…
Without the iron atom, there would be no carbon-based life in the cosmos; no supernovae, no heating of the primitive earth, no atmosphere or hydrosphere. There would be no protective magnetic field, no Van Allen radiation belts, no ozone layer, no metal to make hemoglobin [in human blood], no metal to tame the reactivity of oxygen, and no oxidative metabolism.
The intriguing and intimate relationship between life and iron, between the red color of blood and the dying of some distant star, not only indicates the relevance of metals to biology but also the biocentricity of the cosmos…4
This account clearly indicates the importance of the iron atom. The fact that particular attention is drawn to iron in the Qur'an also emphasises the importance of the element. In addition, there is another hidden truth in the Qur'an which draws attention to the importance of iron: Surat al-Hadid 25, which refers to iron, contains two rather interesting mathematical codes.
"Al- Hadid" is the 57th sura in the Qur'an. The abjad of the word "Al-Hadid" in Arabic, when the numerological values of its letters are added up, is also 57. (For abjad calculations see the section on Numerological Calculations (Abjad) in the Qur'an.)
The numerological value of the word "hadid" alone is 26. And 26 is the atomic number of iron.
Moreover, iron oxide particles were used in a cancer treatment in recent months and positive developments were observed. A team led by Dr. Andreas Jordan, at the world famous Charité Hospital in Germany, succeeded in destroying cancer cells with this new technique developed for the treatment of cancer-magnetic fluid hyperthermia (high temperature magnetic liquid). As a result of this technique, first performed on the 26-year-old Nikolaus H., no new cancer cells were observed in the patient in the following three months.
This method of treatment can be summarised as follows:
1. A liquid containing iron oxide particles is injected into the tumour by means of a special syringe. These particles spread throughout the tumour cells. This liquid consists of thousands of millions of particles, 1,000 times smaller than the red blood corpuscles, of iron oxide in 1 cm3 that can easily flow through all blood vessels.5
2. The patient is then placed in a machine with a powerful magnetic field.
3. This magnetic field, applied externally, begins to set the iron particles in the tumour in motion. During this time the temperature in the tumour containing the iron oxide particles rises by up to 45 degrees.
In this treatment it is only the cancer cells that are affected by the magnetic field, since only they contain the iron oxide particles. The spread of this technique is a major development in the treatment of this potentially lethal disease. In the treatment of such a widespread disease as cancer, the use of the expression "iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind" (Qur'an, 57:25) in the Qur'an is particularly noteworthy. Indeed, in that verse, the Qur'an may be indicating the benefits of iron for human health. (Allah knows best.)
1. Kazi, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur’an, 110-111; and www.wamy.co.uk/announcements3.html, from Prof. Zighloul Raghib El-Naggar’s speech
3. Priscilla Frisch, “The Galactic Environment of the Sun,” American Scientist, January-February 2000, www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/21173?fulltext=true.
4. Michael J. Denton, Nature’s Destiny (The Free Press: 1998), 198.
5. www.inm-gmbh.de/cgi-bin/frame/frameloader.pl?sprache=en&url=http://www.inm-gmbh.de/htdocs/technologien/highlights/highlights_en.htm43. "Nanotechnology successfully helps cancer therapies,"
6. IIC Fast Track, Nanotech News from Eastern Germany, Industrial Investment Council, October 2003; www.iic.de/uploads/media/NANO_FT_Nov2003_01.pdf
DUALITY IN CREATION
Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs: from what the earth produces and from themselves and from things unknown to them. (Qur'an, 36:36)
There are antimatter equivalents of all the basic particles in the universe. Antimatters possess the same mass but carry opposite charges. For that reason, when matter and antimatter make contact they disappear by turning into energy.
While "male and female" is equivalent to the concept of "pair," "things unknown to them," as expressed in the Qur'an, bears a broader meaning. Indeed, we encounter one of the meanings pointed to in the verse in the present day. The British physicist Paul Dirac, who discovered that matter was created in pairs, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933. This finding, known as "parity," revealed the duality known as matter and anti-matter. Anti-matter bears the opposite characteristics to matter. For instance, contrary to matter, anti-matter electrons are positive and protons negative. This fact is expressed in a scientific source as follows:
Another example of duality in creation is plants. Botanists only discovered that there is a gender distinction in plants some 100 years ago.2 Yet, the fact that plants are created in pairs was revealed in the following verses of the Qur'an 1,400 years ago:
It is Allah Who created the heavens with no support-you can see them-and cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered about in it creatures of every kind. And We send down water from the sky and make every generous plant grow in it, in pairs. (Qur'an, 31:10)
It is He Who made the earth a cradle for you and threaded pathways for you through it and sent down water from the sky by which We have brought forth diverse pairs of plants. (Qur'an, 20:53)
1. Henning Genz, “Nothingness: The Science of Empty Space,” 205, www.2think.org/nothingness.shtml
2. The Revival 5, Issue 2, “Wanna C A Miracle: Quran: The Living Miracle,” www.therevival.co.uk/Revival_issue/vol5_iss2_quran_miracle.htm.
Following the development of the atomic theory of the Greek philosopher Democritus, people used to believe that matter consisted of minute, indivisible and indestructible particles known as atoms. However, advances in the study of atoms have refuted this notion. At the present time, modern science has revealed that the atom, previously regarded as the smallest particle, can actually be split. This fact only emerged in the last century, but was revealed in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago:
… He is the Knower of the Unseen, Whom not an atom's weight eludes, either in the heavens or in the earth; nor is there anything smaller or larger than that which is not in a Clear Book. (Qur'an, 34:3)
… Not even an atom's weight eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Qur'an, 10:61)
This verse refers to "atom" and smaller particles still.
2. Atoms consist of a dense nucleus surrounded by a cloud of electrons. Electromagnetic force holds the nucleus and electrons together.
3. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons held together by a powerful nuclear force.
4.Protons and neutrons consist of three quarks each and are held together by powerful nuclear force.
Up until 20 years ago, it was believed that the smallest particles were the protons and neutrons which comprise the atom. Very recently, however, even smaller particles of which these themselves consist were discovered. A specialised branch of physics, called "particle physics," emerged to study these "sub-particles" and their particular behaviour. Particle physics research has revealed that the protons and neutrons which comprise the atoms actually consist of sub-particles known as quarks. The size of these quarks, the basic components of protons, whose small size is beyond human conception, is astonishing: 10-18 (0.000000000000000001 of a metre).1
Another point worthy of note is that these verses draw particular attention to the weight of the atom. The word "mithqal," in the expression "mithqali tharratin" (an atom's weight) in the above verses, means weight. In fact, it has been discovered that the protons, neutrons and electrons which form the atom are also compounds which give the atom its weight. Therefore, it is yet another scientific miracle of the Qur'an that attention is drawn instead to the weight of the atom and not its size or any other feature.
1. L.M. Ledermann, and D.N. Schramm, “Demonstration: Die Bausteine der Materie,” 1989, http://i115srv.vu-wien.ac.at/physik/ws95/w9560dir/w9561d10.htm.
THE FORMATION OF RAIN
How rain was formed remained a great mystery for quite some time. Only after the weather radar was invented was it possible to discover the stages by which rain is formed.
According to this discovery, the formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw material" of rain rises up into the air with the wind. Later, clouds are formed, and finally raindrops appear.
The Qur'an's account of the formation of rain refers exactly to this process. In one verse, this formation is described in this way:
It is Allah Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His servants He wills, they rejoice. (Qur'an, 30:48)
Now, let us examine these three stages outlined in the verse in more detail.
FIRST STAGE: "It is Allah Who sends the winds..."
Countless air bubbles formed by the foaming of the oceans continuously burst and cause water particles to be ejected towards the sky. These particles, which are rich in salt, are then carried away by winds and rise upward in the atmosphere. These particles, which are called aerosols, function as water traps, and form cloud drops by collecting around the water vapour themselves, which rises from the seas as tiny droplets.
SECOND STAGE: ".... which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps..."
The clouds are formed from water vapour that condenses around the salt crystals or dust particles in the air. Because the water droplets in these clouds are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air, and spread across the sky. Thus, the sky is covered in clouds.
THIRD STAGE: "…and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them"
The water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form raindrops, so, drops that become heavier than the air leave the clouds and start to fall to the ground as rain.
As already discussed, every stage in the formation of rain is related in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in exactly the right sequence. Just as with many other natural phenomena on the Earth, Allah gave the most correct explanation of this phenomenon, and made it known in the Qur'an centuries before it was discovered.
In another verse, the following information is given about the formation of rain:
Have you not seen how Allah drives along the clouds, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it? And He sends down from the sky mountain masses [of clouds] with cold hail in them, striking with it anyone He wills and averting it from anyone He wills. The brightness of His lightning almost blinds the sight. (Qur'an, 24:43)
Scientists studying cloud types came across surprising results with regards to the formation of rain clouds. Rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and stages. The stages of formation of one kind of rain cloud, cumulonimbus, are these:
1. STAGE, Being driven along: Clouds are carried along, that is, they are driven along, by the wind.
(A) Isolated small pieces of clouds (cumulonimbus clouds)
(B) When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. As a result, the cloud is stacked up.
3. STAGE, Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the centre of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges. These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.2
We must remember that meteorologists have only recently come to know these details about cloud formation, structure and function, by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers etc. It is evident that Allah has provided us information that could not have been known 1,400 years ago.
These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically and the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc. This scientific fact was announced in Sura Nur 43 fourteen centuries ago by Allah in this way: "... then [He] makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it…"
1. Richard A. Anthes, et al., The Atmosphere, 3rd ed. (Columbus: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company: 1981), 268-269; Albert Millers, Jack C. Thompson, Elements of Meteorology, 2nd ed. (Columbus: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company: 1975), 141.
2. Anthes, et al., The Atmosphere, 269; Millers, and Thompson, Elements of Meteorology, 141-142.
THE BIRTH OF A HUMAN BEING
Many diverse subjects are mentioned in the Qur'an while also inviting people to believe. Sometimes the heavens, sometimes animals, and sometimes plants are mentioned as evidence of Allah's existence. In many of these verses, people are called upon to consider their own creation. They are often reminded how man came into the world, which stages he has passed through, and what his essence is:
It is We Who have created you. Why, then, do you not accept the truth? Have you ever considered that [seed] which you emit? Is it you who create it? Or are We the Creator? (Qur'an, 56:57-59)
The miracle of man's creation is emphasised in many verses. Some of the information within these verses is so detailed that it was impossible for anyone living in the 7th century to have known it. Examples of these are as follows:
1. Man is not created from the entire semen, but only a very small portion of it (sperm).
2. It is the male that determines the sex of the baby.
3. The human embryo adheres to the mother's uterus like a leech.
4. The embryo develops in three dark regions in the uterus.
The items of information just quoted were far above the level of learning of the people living at that time. The discovery of these facts could only become possible by the technology attained in the 20th century.
Now, let us examine these items one at a time.
A Drop of Semen
In the picture to the left, we see semen ejected into the uterus. Only very few sperms out of 250 million sperms emitted from the male can make it to the ovum. The sperm that will fertilise the egg is the only one out of a thousand sperms that have managed to survive.
The fact that man is made not from the entire semen—but only a small part of it—is related in the Qur'an with the expression, "a drop of ejected semen."
Sperm undertake a journey into the mother's body until they reach the ovum. Only a thousand out of 250 million sperm succeed in reaching the ovum. At the end of this five-minute race, the ovum, half the size of a grain of salt, will let only one of the sperms in. That is, the substance of man is not the whole semen, but only a small part of it. This is explained in the Surat al-Qiyama as follows:
Does man reckon he will be left uncontrolled [without purpose]? Was he not once a drop of ejected semen? (Qur'an, 75:36-37)
As we have seen, the Qur'an informs us that man is made not from the entire semen, but only a small part of it. That the particular emphasis in this verse announces a fact only discovered by modern science is evidence that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah.
The Mixture in the Semen
The fluid referred to as semen, which contains the sperm, does not consist of sperm alone. On the contrary, it is made up of a mixture of different fluids. Seminal fluid is a collection of substances secreted from the testicles, the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland and glands linked to the urinary tract. A detailed analysis of this fluid shows that it consists of a great many separate substances, such as citric acid, prostaglandin, flavin, ascorbic acid, ergothioneine, cholesterol, phospholipids, fibrinolysin, zinc, phosphatase acid, phosphase, hyaluronidase and sperm. These fluids exercise different functions, such as containing the sugar necessary for providing energy for the sperm, neutralizing the acids at the entrance of the uterus, and providing a slippery substance for the easy movement of the sperm.
When semen is mentioned in the Qur'an, this fact, which was discovered by modern science, is also referred to, and semen is defined as a mixed fluid:
We created man from a mingled drop to test him, and We made him hearing and seeing. (Qur'an, 76:2)
In other verses, semen is again referred to as a mixture, and it is stressed that man is created from the "extract" of this mixture:
He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay; then He made his progeny from an extract of discarded fluid. (Qur'an, 32:7-8)
The Arabic word "sulala," translated as "extract," means the essential or best part of something. By either meaning, it refers to "part of a whole." This shows that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, Who knows the creation of man to its minute details.
The Sex of the Child
Until fairly recently, it was thought that a baby's sex was determined by the mother's cells. Or at least, it was believed that the sex was determined by the male and female cells together. But, we are given different information in the Qur'an, where it is stated that masculinity or femininity is created out of "a drop of sperm which has been ejected."
He has created both sexes, male and female from a drop of semen which has been ejected. (Qur'an, 53:45-46)
Was he not a drop of ejaculated sperm, then a blood-clot which He created and shaped, making from it both sexes, male and female? (Qur'an, 75:37-39)
The developing disciplines of genetics and molecular biology have scientifically validated the accuracy of this information given by the Qur'an. It is now understood that sex is determined by the sperm cells from the male, and that the female has no role in this process.
The Y chromosome carries characteristics of masculinity, while the X chromosome carries those of femininity. In the mother's egg, there is only the X chromosome, which determines female characteristics. In the semen from the father, there are sperms that include either X or Y chromosomes. Therefore, the sex of the baby depends on whether the sperm fertilising the egg contains an X or Y chromosome. In other words, as stated in the verse, the factor determining the sex of the baby is the semen, which comes from the father. This knowledge, which could not have been known at the time when the Qur'an was revealed, is evidence to the fact that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah.
Chromosomes are the main elements in determining sex. Two of the 46 chromosomes that determine the structure of a human being are identified as the sex chromosomes. These two chromosomes are called "XY" in males, and "XX" in females, because the shapes of the chromosomes resemble these letters. The Y chromosome carries the genes that code for masculinity, while the X chromosome carries the genes that code for femininity.
The formation of a new human being begins with the cross combination of one of these chromosomes, which exist in males and females in pairs. In females, both components of the sex cell, which divides into two during ovulation, carry X chromosomes. The sex cell of a male, on the other hand, produces two different kinds of sperm, one that contains X chromosomes and the other Y chromosomes. If an X chromosome from the female unites with a sperm that contains an X chromosome, then the baby is female. If it unites with the sperm that contains a Y chromosome, the baby is male.
In other words, a baby's sex is determined by which chromosome from the male unites with the female's ovum.
None of this was known until the discovery of genes in the 20th century. Indeed, in many cultures, it was believed that a baby's sex was determined by the female. That was why women were blamed when they gave birth to girls.
Fourteen centuries before human genes were discovered, however, the Qur'an revealed information that denies this superstition, and referred to the origin of sex lying not with women, but with the semen deriving from men.
The "Clot" Clinging to the Uterus
If we continue to examine the facts announced to us in the Qur'an, about the formation of human beings, we again encounter some very important scientific truth.
When the sperm of the male unites with the ovum of the female, the essence of the baby to be born is formed. This single cell, known as a "zygote" in biology, will instantly begin reproducing by dividing, and eventually become a "piece of flesh," called an embryo. This, of course, can only be seen by human beings with the aid of a microscope.
The embryo, however, does not spend its developmental period in a void. It clings to the uterus, with something like roots that is firmly fixed to the earth by its tendrils. Through this bond, the embryo can obtain the substances essential to its development from the mother's body.1
Here, an important miracle of the Qur'an is revealed. While referring to the embryo developing in the mother's womb, Allah uses the word "alaq" in the Qur'an:
Recite: In the name of your Lord Who created man from alaq. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Generous. (Qur'an, 96:1-3)
The meaning of the word "alaq" in Arabic is "a thing that clings to some place." The word is literally used to describe leeches that cling to a body to suck blood.
Certainly, the use of such a specific word for the embryo developing in the mother's womb, proves once again that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
The Wrapping of Muscles over the Bones
Another important item of information provided in the verses of the Qur'an is the developmental stages of a human being in the mother's womb. It is stated in these verses that in the mother's womb, the bones develop first, and then the muscles form which wrap around them.
[We] then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators! (Qur'an, 23:14)
Embryology is the branch of science that studies the development of the embryo in the mother's womb. Until very recently, embryologists assumed that the bones and muscles in an embryo developed at the same time. Yet, advanced microscopic research conducted by virtue of new technological developments has revealed that the revelation of the Qur'an is word for word correct.
These observations at the microscopic level showed that the development inside the mother's womb takes place in just the way it is described in these verses. First, the cartilage tissue of the embryo ossifies. Then, muscular cells that are selected from amongst the tissue around the bones come together and wrap around the bones.
This event is described in a scientific publication titled Developing Human in the following words:
… [T]he shape of the skeleton determines the general appearance of the embryo in the bones stage during the 7th week; muscles do not develop at the same time but their development follows soon after. The muscles take their positions around the bones throughout the body and therefore clothe the bones. Thus, the muscles take their well known forms and structures… The stage of clothing with muscle occurs during the 8th week…2
In short, developmental stages of man, as described in the Qur'an, are in perfect harmony with the findings of modern embryology.
Three Dark Stages of the Baby in the Womb
In the Qur'an, it is related that man is created through a three-stage process in the mother's womb.
... He creates you stage by stage in your mothers' wombs in threefold darkness. That is Allah, your Lord. Sovereignty is His. There is no god but Him. So what has made you deviate? (Qur'an, 39:6)
The expression "fee thulumatin thalathin," translated into English as "a threefold darkness," indicates three dark regions involved during the development of the embryo. These are:
The darkness of the abdomen
The darkness of the womb
The darkness of the placenta
As we have seen, modern biology has revealed that the embryological development of the baby takes place in the manner revealed in the verse, in three dark regions. Moreover, advances in the science of embryology show that these regions consist of three layers each.
Similarly again, the placenta surrounding the embryo also consists of three layers: the amnion (the internal membrane around the fetus), the chorion (the middle amnion layer) and the decidua (outer amnion layer.)5
It is also pointed out in this verse that a human being is created in the mother's womb in three distinct stages.
Indeed, modern biology has also revealed that the baby's embryological development takes place in three distinct regions in the mother's womb. Today, in all the embryology textbooks studied in departments of medicine, this subject is taken as an element of basic knowledge. For instance, in Basic Human Embryology, a fundamental reference text in the field of embryology, this fact is stated as follows:
These phases refer to the different developmental stages of a baby. In brief, the main characteristics of these developmental stages are as follows:
- Pre-embryonic Stage
In this first phase, the zygote grows by division, and when it becomes a cell cluster, it buries itself in the wall of the uterus. While they continue growing, the cells organize themselves in three layers.
- Embryonic Stage
The second phase lasts for five and a half weeks, during which the baby is referred to as an "embryo." During this stage, the basic organs and systems of the body start to appear from the cell layers.
- Foetal Stage
From this stage onward, the embryo is called a "foetus." This phase begins at the eighth week of gestation, and lasts until the moment of birth. The distinctive characteristic of this stage is that the foetus looks much like a human being, with its face, hands and feet. Although it is only 3 cm long initially, all of its organs have become apparent. This phase lasts for about 30 weeks, and development continues until the week of delivery.
Information on the development in the mother's womb became available only after observations with modern devices. Yet, just like many other scientific facts, in a miraculous way, Allah draws our attention to these items of information in the verses of the Qur'an. The fact that such detailed and accurate information was given in the Qur'an at a time when people had scarce information on medical matters is clear evidence that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah.
In Surat az-Zumar 6, it is pointed out that man is created in the mother's womb in three distinct regions. Indeed, modern embryology has revealed that the baby's embryological development takes place in three distinct regions in the mother's womb.
1. Keith L. Moore, et al., Human Development as Described in the Qur'an and Sunnah (Makkah: Commission on Scientific Signs of the Qur'an and Sunnah, 1992), 36.
2. Keith L. Moore, Developing Human, 3rd ed. (W. B. Saunders Company: 1982), 364a.
3. http://anatomy.med.unsw.edu.au/cbl/embryo/Notes/git4.htm; and www.yoursurgery.com/ProcedureDetails.cfm?BR=1&Proc=74.
5. Kazi, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur'an, 84.
6. Williams P., Basic Human Embryology, 3rd ed., 1984, 64.
THE CREATION OF HUMAN BEINGS FROM WATER
Allah created every [living] creature from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things. (Qur'an, 24:45)
Do those who disbelieve not see that the heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that We made from water every living thing? So will they not believe? (Qur'an, 21:30)
And it is He Who created human beings from water and then gave them relations by blood and marriage. Your Lord is All-Powerful. (Qur'an, 25:54)
When we look at the verses concerned with the creation of human beings and living things, we clearly see evidence of a miracle. One such miracle is of the creation of living things from water. It was only possible for people to come by that information, clearly expressed in those verses, hundreds of years afterwards with the invention of the microscope.
All life forms need water in order to survive. Animals in dry regions, therefore, have been created with mechanisms to protect their metabolisms from water loss and to ensure maximum benefit from water use. If water loss takes place in the body for any reason, and if that loss is not made good, death will result in a few days. The famous 17th century scientist Jan Baptista van Helmont discovered in 1640s that water in the soil was the most important element of plant development.
The words "Water is the main component of organic matter. 50-90% of the weight of living things consists of water" appear regularly in encyclopaedias. Furthermore, 80% of the cytoplasm (basic cell material) of a standard animal cell is described as water in biology textbooks. The analysis of cytoplasm and its appearance in textbooks took place hundreds of years after the revelation of the Qur'an. It is therefore impossible for this fact, now accepted by the scientific community, to have been known at the time the Qur'an was revealed. Yet, attention was drawn to it in the Qur'an 1,400 years before its discovery.
CREATION FROM CLAY
In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that the creation of the human is a miracle. The first human being was created by Allah shaping clay into human form and breathing a soul into it:
Your Lord said to the angels, "I am going to create a human being out of clay. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration to him!" (Qur'an, 38:71-72)
Then inquire of them: Is it they who are stronger in structure or other things We have created? We created them from sticky clay. (Qur'an, 37:11)
When the human body is examined today, it may be discovered that many elements present on the earth are also to be found in the body. Living tissues contain 95% carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur, with a total of 26 different elements.1 In another verse of the Qur'an we are told:
We created man from an extract of clay. (Qur'an, 23:12)
The Arabic word "sulala," translated as "extract" in the verse, means "representative example, essence." As we have seen, the information revealed in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago confirms what modern science tells us-the fact that the same elements are employed in human creation as those found in the soil.
Below is a diagram showing the distribution of the elements in a 70-kilo human being.
|Respiration of cells/tissues, a component of water
Component of water/tissue
Component of protein/tissue
Bones and teeth
Bones and teeth
Amino acids (hair and skin)
An electrolyte when in the form of chloride
Electrolyte of metabolism
|Carrier of hemoglobin/oxygen
Content of enyzme/DNA synthesis, immunity support
Essence of B12 vitamin
Enzyme, antioxidant, immunity support
1. Kevin Griffin, “The Elemental Composition of Life,” www.ldeo.columbia.edu/dees/ees/life/lectures/lect21.html.
THE MENSTRUAL PERIOD
The menstrual period is when the unfertilised egg is expelled from the body. Since fertilisation has not taken place, the walls of the previously readied womb contract and the egg is expelled with the breaking of tiny blood vessels. Following that, the body will then begin preparations to repeat the whole process all over again.
All of these stages are repeated in all women over a specific period. Every month, new egg cells form, the same hormones are secreted-again and again at the same times. Thus the female body is prepared as if it will be fertilised. However, in the final stage, the absence or presence of the sperm changes the nature of the preparations in the body.
During the period in question, the changes in the empty space in the womb can only be identified by an anatomical or gynaecological examination. Yet these changes, only recently identified by scientists, are miraculously indicated in Surat ar-Ra'd:
Allah knows what every female bears and every shrinking of the womb and every swelling. Everything has its measure with Him. (Qur'an, 13:8)
At the beginning of the menstrual period, the mucous on the walls of the womb (the endometrium layer) is 0.5 mm thick. Under the effect of hormones secreted by the egg, this layer grows and reaches a thickness of 5-6 mm. This layer is then discarded in the absence of fertilisation. As we see from the above verse, this monthly increase and reduction in the walls of the womb is indicated in the Qur'an.
THE FEMALE HONEY BEE
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Qur'an, 16:68-69)
In the honey bee colonies where each of the many bees is assigned a specific task, the only exception is the male honey bee. The males do not contribute to the defence of the hive or its cleaning, to gathering food, or making of the honeycomb and honey. The only function of the male bees in the hive is to inseminate the queen bee.1 Apart from reproductive organs, the males possess almost none of the features possessed by the other bees and it is therefore impossible for them to do anything but fertilise the queen.
The worker bees carry the entire load of the colony. Although they are females like the queen, their ovaries have no maturity. This renders them sterile. They have several duties: cleaning the hive, maintaining the larvae and the young, feeding the queen bee and the males, producing honey, constructing the honeycomb and repairing it, ventilating the hive and safeguarding it, gathering supplies like nectar, pollen, water and resin, and storing these in the hive.
In Arabic, there are two different usages of verbs. By means of the usage, it is possible to determine whether the subject is a female or a male. As a matter of fact, the verbs (italic words) used for the honey bee in the verses are used in the format of the verb for females. Through this, the Qur'an indicates that the honey bees that work in the making of the honey are females.2
We should not forget that it is impossible for this fact to have been known about the honey bees in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). Yet, Allah has pointed at this fact and shown us yet another miracle of the Qur'an.