The Quran Differentiates Between Conviction And Speculation
Some Principles Relating To The Universe
The Quran As The Best Example Of Scientific Expression
Another Set Of Verses Related To Various Phenomena In The Universe
Timing In The Holy Quran
The Quran and Science
The word "science" here stands for all branches of knowledge without particularizing any of them. It includes studies connected with the universe and its allied subjects under which fall the modern sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy and geology. The Holy Quran, undoubtedly, raises the prestige of these sciences and encourages people to study them for the general good.
The most sublime reference in this respect and the most important fact in this connection is that the very first verses of the Holy Quran gave incentive to gain knowledge and to glorify it. The beginning of the Revelation was actually a signal for the dawn of knowledge and a forerunner of giving it its due dignity. The very first verse of the Holy Book reads
"Read in the name of thy Lord Who created, created man from a clot, Read and thy Lord is most Generous, Who taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not." (surat Al-Alaq: The Clot).
The Holy Quran explains later at different stages of the Revelation the meaning of science and education. which includes, on a large scale, all sciences connected with the universe, matter, energy, systems and life. These are the sciences by which Man gains in power and strength and faith and fear of God which is the Chief objective of life. Refer for example to the following verses:
"Those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Forgiving." (Surat Fatir: The Originator).
"Surely in the heavens and the earth are signs for believers." (Surat Al-Jathiya : The Kneeling).
"And in the earth are signs for those who are sure. (Surat Al-Zariyat : The Scatterers).
"And He it is Who has made the stars for you that you might follow the right way thereby in the darkness of the land and the sea. Indeed We have made plain the signs for a people who know." (Surat Al-Anaam: The Cattle).
"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors. Surely there are signs in this for the learned." (Surat Al-Rum: The Romans).
"Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then We bring forth therewith fruits of various hues? And in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of various hues and (others) intensely black. And of men and beasts and cattle there are various colors likewise." (Surat Fatir : The Originator).
"Say: Are those who know and those who know not alike?" (Surat Al-Zumar: The Companies).
This is apart from a number of other verses which not only speak highly of sciences and scientists, but draw our attention and direct us to pursue knowledge and discover the secrets of the universe on the line of the present divisions of modern sciences as we have already explained.
The Quran Differentiates between Conviction and Speculation
The formations of modern science have been founded on the difference between conviction and speculation. Recognition of this difference is the pillar on which rests the structure of all sound and solid cultures. While the Holy Quran addresses sound minds, scientists also do not recognize any of the branches of knowledge except those which have the support of reason and sound argument or potent experience.
It is deeply regretted that despite the fact that the Holy Quran has made vigorous appeal for this lofty ideal as regards sciences, which was actually the basis of the success achieved by the modern scientific renaissance and differentiated between conviction and speculation, Muslims, during a certain period of time, wasted time and effort in useless talk, adoption of an aimless philosophy and making studies in baseless metaphysics which encouraged the spread of myths, fancies and imageries. At that time, baseless talks and arguments, trying to explain the familiar natural phenomena, took place. They, for instance, interpreted ebb and tide as an act of a sea angel who was supposed to put his. thumb in the water to make it bubble and expand and to take it off to make it recede, causing ebb. The Holy Quran says:
"Say: Have you any knowledge so you would bring it forth to us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies." (Surat Al-Anaam: The Cattle).
"And most of them follow naught but conjecture will not avail aught against the Truth." (Surat Yunus: Jonah).
It is a fact that the scientific renaissance in the West was due to correct observations and sound experiments. Scientific laws are nothing but interpretations of phenomena in the material world. Although we do not claim absolute authenticity of such laws, yet we agree that they represent the largest possible amount of authenticity and precision. These laws are gradually moving towards perfection with the advancement of sciences. With the passage of time and expansion in the horizon of knowledge, and in view of growing accuracy in observation, scientists introduce, from time to time, amendments or modifications in some of the scientific laws so as to bring them closer to fact or to make them more useful.
This means that scientists are continuously carrying on research work about the universe. They are making us in this endeavour of a variety of matters for research, the foremost of which deal with theory. Next to this are experiments in the laboratory, farms or in nature as a whole. This is exactly what the Holy Quran ordains in matters of understanding realities, as it says:
"Say: Travel in the earth then see how He makes the first creation." (Surat Al-Ankabut : The Spider).
"See they not the clouds, how they are created? And the heaven, how it is raised high?" (Surat Al Ghashiyah: The Overwhelming Event).
Do they not consider the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what things Allah has created?" (Surat Al-Aaraf: The Elevated Places).
There are several other verses with similar meanings. This shows that it is not wise for the people to have mere fantasy as the basis of their religious ideologies or scientific theories. A conclusion which has no support of experience or proof will not do. In so doing, they will be like those who deduce the characteristics of matter or the phenomena of the universe without studying the objects they are observing, or like those who inherit their beliefs without putting them to test to find out right from wrong. The Holy Quran, describing such people, says:
"And when it is said to them, Come to that which Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, they say: Sufficient for us is that wherein we found our fathers. What Even though their fathers know nothing and had no guidance." (Surat Al-Maida: The Food).
Some Principles relating to the Universe
Study of the characteristics of matter and the utilization of different energies in the universe have been the main sources of human success. Although we make use of electricity for warming up, medical treatment, lighting, automation, driving locomotives and cars, etc., yet our knowledge of the nature of electricity is incomplete. Similar is the case with light and heat. To all of them, we give a vague name, energy, which is hidden in the universe and which can change into one another, but nobody can create it from nothingness.
Normally, all scientific theories attempt to interpret the origin of the universe on the basis of certain assumptions which could not be proved, or on the basis of certain points beyond which nobody could go. The science of physics does not touch the subject of creation from a state of nothingness. It only concentrates on a study of the characteristics of the existing, whether it is matter, energies or life.
But before we proceed to discuss the greater world represented in existence as a whole, it is better to talk first about the smaller world as represented in the smallest elementary particles which go to make the material, which is the atom. Atoms are made of the smallest possible non-matter particles. One could only define the nature of each matter or element by the number of particles existing in each atom. The most simple of all atoms in construction is the hydrogen atom. It is known as the universal gas or the gas which brought the existence into being, from which all other known matters have developed. The hydrogen atom is composed of a nucleus, which is a proton of positive nature, around which revolves an electron, which is negative. [Note: This small and simple collection in the world of atoms reminds us of its counterpart in the Greater World which includes the earth around which revolves the moon .This is a proof and support to the Quran's verse: "Thou seest no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent." (Surat Al-Mulk: The Kingdom).] The construction of atoms gets more and more complicated as we proceed to know other material elements.
It was generally believed until recently, that atoms could not be further divided into elementary particles. The methods used for splitting them were useless. But, once the methods for splitting the atom were discovered in this age, it became certain finally that huge energy was inherent in it. The basis of the energy was the same which was used originally in uniting its elementary particles, particularly the constituents of the nucleus which came into being for the first time in the stars under tremendous pressure and heat, the degree of which is beyond description and imagination.
In most elements, the nucleus is not restricted to the positive proton. Instead, there are neutrons, which are elementary particles, having no distinguishing charge. It is understood that the nucleus is the first thing which determines the atom. Helium, for example, produced by the explosion of hydrogen atoms, is composed of two neutrons and two protons. When we proceed with nuclii till we reach the heavy elements represented in uranium, for instance, we find that the nucleus of this element is composed of 92 protones with 146 neutrons. Normally, negative charges inside any atom are equal to their positive charges. This is why the electrical charge of an atom equals zero. The helium atom is composed of one nucleus and two electrons (or negative electricity) which produce electrical equilibrium. But as regards the uranium atom, ninety two nuclii revolve around it. Electrons go round nuclii in different orbits which increase with the rise in electrons, as each orbit will be saturated with a certain number of them. The nearest of orbits to the nucleus has no room but for two electrons. The following orbit has eight electrons, and so on. What is left over from the saturation of the inner stratas remains in the outer ones. This is which could be easily separated and reorganized.
It is possible that one electron or more may be separated from the atom. This will release two charges, one positive and the other negative. This process is scientifically called ionization". The most simple apparatus in which the process of ionization takes place is the electric discharge tube used in lighting or advertising in which the gas glows under very low pressure resulting from the collision of electrons with gas atoms. This collision with some particles results in adding energies which are released in the form of light, which in its turn is the source of the glow known to us; while some other atoms are ionized.
A few years ago, new discoveries had been made in the material world as regards the formation of the atoms. These discoveries were of much importance to scientists, particularly astronomers. The most important of them was the discovery of the negative proton (the opposite to the proton known to us) and the positive electron (the opposite to the one familiar to us). This means that there are two different kinds of matter of which stars, the sun, planets and other various bodies are formed. If one of these two kinds meets the other or collides with it, atomic destruction takes place, the result of which will be the disappearance of the whole matter from existence and the release of huge energies. We, for instance, may describe the first kind of these two matters, that of positive protons and negative electrons, as "M"; the second and opposite kind, of negative protons and positive electrons, could be named as `S".
Astronomers have benefited from those discoveries in the potentialities and the different applications involved in them, which explained the mysteries of a number of this universe's phenomena. Due to these discoveries, astronomers were able to explain completely dark parts in galaxies, especially in the spiral nebulae, and were also able to know something about novas and supernovas;
There are some electrically-charged particles in the nuclii of heavy atoms. These are called masons. If a proton is transferred to a neutron, the former loses its positive charge, which will be separated with the separation of a positive mason. But if a neutron changes into a proton, the mason, in this case, will have a negative charge. When a positive proton collides with an other of a negative nature, or if a negative electron collides with a positive one, one completely destroys the other. The total energy will be released in this case.
From this we can easily realize that when one atom of matter "M" enters the orbit of matter "S", or vice versa. electrons become extinct or vanish first, then the protons.
However, we do not know, even approximately, whether the number of positive protons contained in the universe is completely equal to the negative protons of it. But a host of scientists believe that such a case should exist in a world created from nothingness. It will be the same result to be got if it happens that galaxies meet and collide with each other. This discovery may cast light on the exalted verse:
"Surely Allah upholds the heavens and the earth lest they come to naught. And if they come to naught, none can uphold them after Him. Surely He is ever Forebearing, Forgiving." (Surat Fatir : The Originator).
Anyhow, the possibility of the disappearance of heavens and the earth is a problem which science can not deny as we have already seen. This could be stated despite the fact that we are unable to confirm that positive and negative protons had come into existence as big numbers of pairs which became separated into single ones of which the total charge did not exceed zero, or that all such things had been formed as separated and single particles. It is also a fact that nobody had admitted that protons and electrons were regularly distributed among all parts of the universe. The possibility of securing electrical equilibrium, by the passage of time and at a certain place, between negative and positive charges, could be proved by witnessing it.
There are other verses which have rather the same meaning. These verses reveal the secret of the beginning and the end of this universe. Of them are the following:
"On the day when the earth will be changed into a different earth, and the heavens (as well)." (Surat Ibrahim: Abraham).
"The day when We roll up heavens like the rolling up of the scroll of writings." (Surat Al-Anbiya: The Prophets).
"And when the heaven has its covering removed.' (Surat Al-Takwir: The Folding Up).
The Quran as the best Example of Scientific Expression
We have stated that the inimitable nature of the Holy Quran's elocution makes itself more prominent when the Book describes with scientific precision a matter pertaining to the universe. This shows unmistakably the authenticity and truth of the Revelation. One of the striking examples of the same is the Quranic verse which was included in Surat Yunus (Jonah): "Until when the earth puts on its golden raiment and it becomes adorned, and its people think that they are masters of it, Our command comes to it, by night or by day." There could be no better and clearer expression than this one which describes the future of humanity on earth. Was not this verse which gave prior information of the coming event of the dawn of civilization? Actually, it was the most true picture given beforehand of the landmarks of civilization, its merits and beauties and the different shapes it takes in different parts of the world. This Quranic verse gives us an idea about the enormous power of science which Man has begun using on earth, to exercise control over space, to subdue rivers and oceans and to dynamite hills and hillocks.
The Holy Quran's was a correct foretelling. Man has today really gained in knowledge and has acquired control on Mother Earth. Earth receives Allah's directive. But when? At what time? The verse which was revealed fourteen centuries ago says the time can be night or day. This expression in particular is superb and very precise. We know that when it is night time in one hemisphere, it is daytime in the other. That means that any event may take place in a particular moment of time which can be night time as related to a particular hemisphere and at the same time it can be daytime as related to the other. This is an indisputable scientific fact and could not possibly be open to alteration in any case. That is actually a piece of most precise description of a scientific issue and it constitutes a proof of the inimitable elocution of the Holy Book which we ought to bring into prominence to let the Believer gain further firmness in his faith and to show an aspect of the wonderful Quranic elocution even in the description of scientific matters.
The following verse from Surat Al- Raad (The Thunder) is one Quranic expression which helps science to interpret a fact
"Allah is He who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see."
If we consider the sky a name given to anything which is over our heads, then it will surely mean the entire universe which surrounds us and which begins with the space around the earth followed by the planets, the Sun and other stars found in the depth of the space in our galaxy or in the other galaxies. All these heavenly bodies move in their orbits . [Note: "All revolve in orbits " (Surat Al-Anbiya: The Prophets) "Nor can the night outstrip the day. And each revolves on in an orbit." (Surat Yasin).] This is the sky. It is created by Allah and each body in the space is similar to the brick in its lofty structure. All these heavenly bodies split one after the other and are held in their relative positions by centrifugal force and universal gravity. This gravity and this centrifugal force, produced by rotation in semi-circular orbits or ellipses ,could be treated as actually-built pillars. Although we may not detect such forces with our eyes yet that does not mean that they are not there in any case, since we can measure and give their specifications correctly. If anyone of us is granted a suitable sense in addition to the normal ones we have, he will be able to feel these (tulbes of force) exactly as we can feel any material body with our normal senses.
The blue sky which appears over our heads during daytime has no material existence. It is nothing more than the result of the scattering of sunlight in the atmosphere, exactly as the small sea waves crash on the rocks of the shore, and later, scatter in all directions. It is scientifically known that in the earth's atmosphere most sunrays suffer a scattering effect, which is the result of particles of the air, water, vapor and the small hardened bodies which are carried by different currents of air. It is also known that the scattering of light cannot be complete except for such waves the lengths of which are the shortest possible in the solar beam which is sent out by the sun. The amount of energy which gets scattered becomes inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength scattered, in a way that if two waves the length of the first being 0,6 micron [Note: The micron is a unit for measuring short waves like the ether waves represented by light or X-rays for example. This unit is equal to one part out of ten thousand parts of the known centimeter.] and the second 0,5 micron, the ratio of the scattered energy in the second case as related to the scattered energy of the former case will be approximately:
6 x 6 x 6 x 6 =1296 = 2
5 x 5 x 5 x 5 625 1
The blue waves, or the waves of blue color, sent out within the solar beam, are very rich due to the temperature of the radiating surface of the sun, which amounts to 6,000 absolute or slightly less. Moreover, these blue waves are amongst the shortest lengths of all light waves. As soon as they enter the atmosphere of the earth they get scattered all over and cover the space with big amounts of blue color. This makes the sky appear as a blue dome over our heads, despite the fact that this dome has no existence as that of a material body or a hard sky, as some may tend to think. This blue sky is nothing but a light phenomenon as had been already described.
Those who are engaged in the nature of space do not require any new proof to get to this fact. But still we can give below some examples to facilitate understanding the problem:
The blue sky can change into red or yellow at the scattering of a greater amount of the yellow or red rays of its solar beam. This can happen under the effect of scattering comparatively big- sized particles or drops of water produced in the lower air strata. This is exactly what happens at the time when dust or sand storms blow or when you look at the horizon at sunrise or sunset while non-thick and low uncondensed clouds are scattered around it.
The source of light in the atmosphere itself (or the sky) during daytime are the rays scattered in all directions. The most clear proof of this phenomenon is that if you open a window which does not face the sun at all, i.e. looking to the north, there will be no doubt that this window, which does not get sunshine direct, can fill the room with the light of the day. From where did the light come and how did it enter? The answer is simple: light comes through the scattered rays spread everywhere.
If we climb up in the higher strata of the atmosphere to come out of the air cover (at a distance of one hundred kilometers from the earth's surface) the blue sky will appear below with the stars shining in it in daytime. At the same time, the big space will appear dark, in which stars will be seen shining. The sun will be so prominent and its rays will be piercing exactly like needles. They may have a noise as a result of gigantic storms sweeping its outer space.
There is no doubt that the Holy Quran differentiates between the word "sky" and the other one "heavens". These words have been used in it in more than 300 verses. We shall know, as we proceed, that the word "sky" is used as a common expression for everything which is over our heads, including the earth's atmosphere in which clouds of a different nature move, and also the rain-laden clouds such as cumulonimbus and cumulus which grow vertically due to particular natural conditions. The Holy Quran did not, in any way, mean by sky or heavens the blue dome seen by human beings since the beginning of existence, and which captured their imagination too. This is one aspect of the inimitable elocution of the Holy Quran which excels precisely in describing scientific issues. This may be surprising since its Revelation came from the All-knowing, All-embracing Almighty.
Clouds rise towards the sky and cover sunshine, while rain and hail drop from them. Their structure may get charged with electricity under particular conditions. This phenomenon is accompanied by electrical discharge between different parts of a cloud which is yet forming up or among other clouds. This discharge produces fearful electric sparks called lightning. If the discharge takes place between the cloud and the surface of the earth, in this case it takes the name of "thunderbolt". It is known that quick expansion of air due to sudden heat which causes lightning is accompanied by inter-pressure and low pressure in space, which is thunder. As far as the continuous noise of thunders is concerned, the source of this comes from the reflection of the thundering noise in a series of cloud bases and heights, and the like. It is clear that rain is the source of sweet or fresh water on earth, and for this, it makes the backbone of life. It is the sweet water which gave prosperity since ages. This has been fully described by the Holy Quran in different verses and different ways. The "sky" and "clouds" and "heavens" have been mentioned in several Quranic verses. Of these are :
In Surat Al-Baqara (The Cow)
"Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is darkness, and thunder and lightning."
"And sends down rain from the clouds then brings forth with it fruits for your sustenance."
"And the water that Allah sends down from the sky, then gives life therewith to the earth after its death."
"And the changing of the winds and the clouds make subservient between heaven and earth."
In Surat Al-Imran (The Family of Imran)
"Surely nothing in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah."
In Surat Al-Anaam (The Cattle)
"And it is He Who sends down water from the clouds, then We bring forth with it buds of all (plants)."
"And whomsoever He intends to leave in error, he makes his breast strait (and) narrow as though he were ascending upwards."
We will be justified if we pause here a little to question our own selves as to who had informed the Prophet about this natural phenomenon the secret of which had not been discovered unless after a period of more than one thousand years beginning from the date of Revelation, and after scientists climbed up the higher strata of the atmosphere in balloons, and planes and the like, and studied the nature of air with the help of apparatus and instruments? Later, they formed their theories and laid down rules.
It is a fact that to climb up the sky means lessening of the atmospheric pressure which entails the lessening of oxygen which we inhale in a way that it will not suffice for the requirements of life, neither in quality nor quantity. This produces uneasiness in the chest for anyone going up in the first stages of climbing. Later, such a man will face sure death. At a height of 19 kilometers, human blood bursts forth from the body pores as if it was boiling.
In Surat Al-Anfal (Voluntary Gifts)
"And sent down upon you water from the clouds."
"If this is indeed the truth from Thee, then rain down on us stones from heaven."
In Surat Yunus (Jonah):
"The likeness of this world's life is only as water which We send down from the clouds, then the herbage of the earth, of which men and cattle eat, grows luxuriantly thereby."
"Say: Who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth."
"And not the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from thy Lord."
In Surat Hud:
"And it was said: O earth, swallow thy water, and O cloud, clear away."
"And, O my people, ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him, He will send on you clouds pouring down abundance of rain."
In Surat Ibrahim (Abraham) :
"and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits-as a sustenance for you.
"And nothing is hidden from Allah, either in the earth, or in the heaven."
In Surat Al-Hijr (The Rock)
"And certainly We have made strongholds in the heaven, and We have made it fair-seeming to the beholders."
It is known, however, that early astronomers divided the sky stars into 90 groups, or constellations. Included in this huge group was an imaginary belt which included in turn the zodiacs that pass by the earth followed by each other, in order to complete the circulation in one full year. This phenomenon applies to all members of the solar system since they also move from one zodiac to another. Zodiacs are : Aries, Taurus, Betelguese, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorns, Aquarius and Pisces.
At any rate, we can see that this type of man-made division was more akin to picturisation or decoration which was rather the outcome of fancy and not correct scientific procedure. The division of the sky stars into groups, having particular and known shapes, was a wonderful act of drawing or painting which represented some stories and beliefs. But, since they were painted and drawn in a particular way, their characteristic shapes were liked by the people. There is no doubt, scientifically speaking, that these shapes remain preserved for ever in the minds of the viewers from the earth. This is due to the fact that stars are away from us by distances beyond imagination and description. All these meanings are likely to be found collectively in the Holy Verse put in an inimitable elocution and couched in a purely scientific style.
In Surat Al-Hijr (The Rock) this verse is also found: "And We send the winds seeding (Or fertilizing), then send down water from the clouds, so We give it to you to drink", on the one hand, the verse may be regarded to show us that the winds, which had been discovered by our age's botanists and found to be an important factor in fertilizing most of the plant-these winds were mentioned by the Holy Quran centuries ago as fertilizing agents. Winds, on the other hand, are also the basic factor, if not the first factor, which stir clouds, seed them with nuclii of condensation, and accumulate them in the sky to rain. The most wonderful thing in this connection is that the Holy Quran always connects the falling down of rains from the sky with sending winds together, which gives meaning for blowing. The scientific expression is convergence. It is an accomplished fact that these two natural phenomena are linked with each other. This phenomenon is the basic principle upon which stands the explanation of heavy precipitation. It is established now that rainfall is accompanied by the process of the rise of the air upwards by convergence or convection or similar factors. Later, air gets cold due to expansion. This is scientifically known as adiabatic cooling. When air expands, it occupies greater volumes as a result of the low pressure which takes place in the higher strata of the atmosphere. Its temperature drops automatically at the expense of the energy of its particles, and vice versa. When air gets cold, its ability to carry water-vapor drops too. The continuation of this process, i.e. the continuous climbing up to the higher strata of the atmosphere and self refrigeration, makes it too feeble to carry water-vapor. This makes the latter accumulate in the shape of drops or snow crystals inside clouds. These particles gradually begin growing under suitable conditions until the up-growing air current loses capacity to carry them. This is the stage when they drop as rain or hail or as any other form of heavy downpours which come from the sky to enliven the earth after its death. All this is a result of the process of adiabatic cooling which accompanies the up-growing air current. But, of course, during the days of Muhammad nobody could even dream of the air carrying water in the form of water-vapor!
If we go deep in our study of the verses which describe this phenomenon, we find that, taken in its totality, it forms the basis of meteorology. Moreover, the Holy Quran urges human beings to think and realize the Creator's power over everything. Take for example the following verse which appears in Surat-Baqara (The Cow). It says:
"In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down the sky, then gives life therewith to the earth afits death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the drifting of the winds and the clouds between heaven and earth, there are surely signs for a people who understand."
Does not this verse differentiate between astronomy, meteorology and biology? Does it not draw attention to all that? Read this verse taken from Surat Al-Nur (The Light) :
"Or like darkness in the deep sea-there `covers him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud - (layers of) darkness one above another - when he holds out his hand, he is almost unable to see. it. And to whom Allah gives not light, he has no light."
From this verse it could be seen that the description of darkness and its piling up under particular atmospheric conditions is a wonderful picturisation the style of which is inimitable as far as the precise scientific description is concerned.
The following verse is included in Surat Al-Nur (The Light):
"Seest thou not that Allah drives along the clouds, then gathers them together, then piles them up, so that thou seest the rain coming forth from their inside? And He sends down from the sky mountains, wherein is hail, afflicting therewith whom He pleases and turning it away from whom He pleases. The flash of his lightening almost takes away the sight."
This is a verse which defines the nature of cumulus clouds which grow with their cliffs piercing through the atmosphere up to the sky. They look like mountains and drop hail or snow balls of varying sizes, the size of one of them may equal the size of an orange. It is known that when the smaller snow particles grow inside cumulus they get charged with electricity. This means that the process of getting charged with electricity can not be completed except at the actual availability of snow formations inside clouds. Later, they grow quickly under suitable weather conditions, the most important of which is the intensity in the vertical air currents. This is what the verse says and draws the attention to, as if the Prophet Muhammad was a giant of meteorology.
In Surat Al-Rum (The Romans) there is another verse which most clearly and scientifically points to the formation of precipitation, the basis of which is the directing of winds to accumulate and climb upwards. [Note: Convergence due to the coming of winds from all directions to a particular place is the main phenomenon which causes downpour. The author of the book assessed the amount of air which rises as a result of the process of convergence. In case rain falls accompanying depression in the eastern area of the Mediterranean during winter (The Cyprus Atmospheric Depression, as it is called by the writer) and found equal to 70,000 cubic kilometres per hour. This helps us, and clarifies the meaning of the term convergence referred to in this book. It means that wind is released from all, or most directions surrounding one particular zone in order to accumulate there. From this point the air gets cold due to ascent and the result will be the fall of continuous rain.] The verse is this:
"Allah is He Who sends forth the winds, so they raise a cloud, then He spreads it forth in the sky as He pleases, and He piles it, so that you see the rain coming forth from inside it; then when He causes it to fall upon whom He pleases of His servants, Lo they rejoice."
In Surat Fatir (The Originator) there is another verse which reads as follows:
"And Allah is He Who sends the winds, so they raise a cloud, then We drive it on to a dead land, and therewith give life to the earth after its death. Even so is the quickening."
This verse shows that after admitting this important scientific fact, the Holy Quran once again reminds people how rain resuscitates earth after its decay, which proves that resurrection could take place later.
The following verses are included in Surat Al-Nahl (The Bee):
"He it is who sends down water from the clouds for you; it gives drink."
"And Allah sends down water from above, and therewith gives life to the earth after its death."
From Surat A1-Kahf (The Cave) the following could be quoted:
"And will send on (thine) a reckoning from heaven so that it is dust without plant."
"And set forth to them the parable of the life of this world as water which We send down from the cloud."
In Surat Taha:
"And sent down water from the clouds. Then hereby We bring forth pairs of various herbs.'
This means that water which falls down from the clouds, despite the established fact of its chemical composition according to the diversity of localities, is capable of producing varieties of plants. This is a sign of the omnipotence of the Creator and it bears testimony to His limitless might and power.
In Surat Al-Nur (The Light) another verse says:
`And He sends down from the heaven (clouds like) mountains, wherein is hail."
Hail, [Note: Hail is different from snow which falls on cold zones. It is a usual natural phenomenon seen in most parts of the globe, particularly in damp hot areas. During heavy storms, hails size may equal that of pomegranates falling on earth, it destroys harvests and may kill cattle. But usually, hail's size does not exceed the size of a small nut . In Egypt, hail is called "the salt" and falls down together with rain in winter.] granted by Heaven, is formed inside cumulus growing in a vertical direction. These clouds are those which go upwards, under special atmospheric conditions, with summits like mountains. Despite the assorted kinds of clouds and their characteristic diversities, the holy verse, mentioned above, refers specifically to the possibility of the coming down of hail from cumulus, which is an indisputable scientific fact.
The Quran again says in Surat Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) :
"He said: My Lord knows (every) utterance in the heaven and the earth."
It behooves us if we pause here a little longer to ponder over the deep meanings of this verse which has a clear bearing on a scientific fact. The phraseology used is simple but notable. The verse states that heavens there are utterances, which means that in heavens there should be creatures which speak or talk. Here, we may take the term "talk" to mean different methods used by all creatures, those endowed with reason and others without it, such as insects, [Note: Insects are the most superb creatures known on the surface of the earth. Nothing could deter their progress towards development except the absence of an inner bone structure within their bodies. Another obstacle is their respiratory system. Some one million years ago, insects reached the pinnacle of their grandeur. They set up social units and colonies in which the individual was subordinate to the general interest and where it was assigned a particular duty to perform Examples of this are ants, bees and the concentrations of white ants which lived right from the end of the ancient periods of life up to this day, without any change or development worth mentioning.] for communication with each other. We can take such utterances as statements made by human beings and consider them as a factor distinguishing creatures with reason from Creatures without it. At any rate, in all parts of the skies and heavens there are creatures which resemble those living on earth. And if there are planets in our solar system or in other systems floating in space whose climate and environment favor the existence of life and its development in a way comparable to life on earth, this verse, then, gives information about the existence of life in them. This means that creatures created of materials known either on earth or in other planets, are numberless. The Holy Quran stands unique among other holy books in giving this important statement which informs human beings that they are not the only living beings.
If we speak about existence of life in other planets, we should not forget that a host of scientists gives assurances that life, whenever it exists, should rely on the existence of the carbon atom and its derivatives as well as big quantities of water in which such compounds will dissolve.
Surat Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) mentions: "And We made from water everything living." Scientists admit that carbon is the sole element which builds bodies, as it yields various compounds produced by complicated series formed of its particles. Carbon constituents always need specified amounts of heat in order to be kept intact. It is noticed that under very low temperature, these constituents cannot unite. At boiling point, most of them disintegrate. If this is the case, suitable temperature has to be the most important element in keeping life everywhere.
It is a fact that carbon constituents can dissolve in liquids other than water, whatever will be the way used and the degree of softness. Although carbon chemistry has been carefully studied, yet nobody could be aware of the limit of this element's potentialities. Some scientists conceived that many other kinds of life may appear under circumstances different from those found on earth. It is know :for instance, that carbon and silica compounds, are numberless. They can survive high Temperature. This shows that big planets, having thick atmospheres, should have more chances for the formation of such compounds, and probably the existence of living creatures.
If we try to define the shape or form which developed races living outside our planet will have we should, in this case, and without inviting complications act on the assumption that nature has made no dissimilarity whatsoever in its methods. [Note: Thou seest no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent "Surat Al- Mulk"] accordingly such creatures, in their attempt to make a good show, share with us the following :
The body's reliance on an inner osteology made of hard material.
The existence of a main center for nerves (the brain) and a net which communicates to various parts of the body directives (the nerves)
The best shelter for the brain which exists inside a safe movable organ either in the fore or the top part of the body. This organ also contains the main organs of sensation, such as the eyes which are found whenever light is abundant, ears whenever sound wayes are conducted every where, nose, tongue, etc.
Creature’s dependence upon legs used in motion.
The existence of a mouth for speaking and feeding. In certain cases some creatures use signals only, while others use drawing or suggestive devices.
From the Quranic verses which refer to the fact that on near and far planets there are surely creatures are the following:
"Seek they then other than Allah's religion? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth." Surat Al-Imran (The Family of Imran).
"All those in the heavens and the earth ask of Him. Every moment He is in a state (of glory). - Surat Al-Rahman (The Beneficent).
"And thy Lord best knows those who are in the heavens and the earth." - Surat Al-Israa (The Ascension).
"There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes to the Beneficent as a servant." Surat Maryam (Mary).
"Seest thou not that to Allah makes submission whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth." Surat Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage).
"Seest thou not that Allah is He, Whom do glorify all those who are in the heavens and the earth." Surat AI-Nur (The Light).
"Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen but Allah." - Surat Al-Naml.
"And the day when the trumpet is blown then those in the heavens and those in the earth will be struck with terror." - Surat Al-Naml.
"And the trumpet is blown, so all those in the heavens and all those in the earth will swoon." - Surat Al-Zumar (The Companies).
"And He is whosever is in the heavens and the earth. All are obedient to Him." - Surat Al-Rum (The Romans).
"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and what He has spread forth in both of them of living beings. And He is All-powerful to gather them together, when He will." - Surat Al-Shura (The Council).
"And to Allah makes obeisance every living creature that is in the heavens and that is in the earth, and the angels (too) and they are not proud." - Surat Al-Nahi (The Bee).
The last verse may be one of the clearest verses of the Holy Quran which differentiates between angels and other creatures living in the heavens. The latter may also include occupied planets or others on which material creatures live as in the case of the earth. Heavens were again mentioned in Surat Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) as follows:
"And whoever associates (aught) with Allah, it is as if he had fallen from on high, then the birds had snatched him away."
"Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the cloud, then the earth becomes green."
"And He withholds the heavens from falling on the earth except with His permission."
Celestial bodies are of different sizes and forms. Among them are suns, stars, planets as well as meteors and meteorites. All of these bodies run in orbits and are bound by gravity. The earth may intervene in one of the meteorites' paths in space, when floating around the sun. Some of these meteorites run at a speed of about 45 miles per second, and for this reason, it is estimated that any meteorite which weighs one fraction over one thousand of only one gramme can run in to that of a gun's bullet. Although the size of such a meteorite will not exceed at all the size of one particle of sand, it causes direct injury, in case it collides with a human body, no less in damage than any resulting from a direct fireshot.
Thousands of millions of such bodies fall without indulgence every day down to the upper atmosphere of the earth, when the latter penetrates their paths. But these meteorites soon evaporate or burn out. This takes place at a distance ranging from 80 to 100 kilometers far from the surface of the earth as a result of the generating of immense heat due to resistance of the upper atmospheric cover. It is needless to say that quick traction causes immense heat which causes in turn the evaporation of meteorites and setting them on fire. For this reason, these celestial bodies do not reach the earth's surface. The atmospheric cover protects us from their dangers. The same happens to meteors, but because of the big size of some of them, meteors sometimes reach the earth. Among the known meteors which feel down to the earth is the Big Siberian Meteor which fell in 1908, shaking the surface of the earth and causing great damage in a circle more than 40 kilometers in diameter. . Again, the meteor which fell down on Arizona, America, was responsible for a crater in the crust of the earth of more than one mile in diameter and 200 meters deep. It happened that when this meteor collided with the earth's crust, it exploded and its splinters flew away in all directions in the form of other meteors.
Naturally, meteors are to be considered as a great threat to universal space travelers. The story of the meteors which follow devils trying to go upwards in the skies is not new. The Holy Quran, in Surat Al Jinn, tells us of something which happens in the in visible world as follows:
"And we sought to reach heaven, but we found it filled with strong guards and flame. And we used to sit in some of the sitting-places thereof to steal a hearing. But he who tries to listen now finds a flame lying in wait for him."
It also says in Surat Al-Rahman (The Beneficent):
"O assembly of jinn and men, if you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens along the diameters of the earth, then pass through. You cannot pass trough but with authority. Which then of the bounties of your
This holy verse reveals to us a number of secrets about the space. It tells us that universal space is not an absolute vacuum in the real sense. In fact, space is full of electrons and nuchi of elements without which life cannot exist at all. Observations from universal space did not become available to people except in this era of space and satellites. It was discovered that around the earth there are complete bands or belts containing big assemblies of electrons kept in space under the effect of the earth’s magnetic field electrons are ejected form the sun with great energy. No living body can expose itself to such bands nor penetrate them with out great precautions. Till now little has been know about the success achieved by living creatures in going through such belt. Scientists give most of the constituents of space bands the name of cosmic rays. This name might have been given because some of those rays and electrons come from distances deep in space . Here, again, the atmospheric cover of the earth hinders such rays from reaching.
The Quran also mentions the earth evolution and the amounts of matter it contains in this respect the following verse appears in Surat Al-Muminun (the believers):
"And We sent down water from heavens according to a measure then We caused it to settle in the earth"
This means that water found on the earth was not given aimlessly. It was given in measured quantities and for particular reason .The earth with its water has a certain function to fulfill has the dwelling place for Man the image of God some people wrongly think that in covering most of the earth surface with oceans and seas there had to be much prodigality. The fact is contrary to that it is the oceans that regularize the distribution of the main heat on earth they are effective media for fair distribution of solar energy received by the earth .
Oceans and seas could be regarded as big reservoirs for heat storing the sun’s energy which is gained by different ways in places where it could be found in abundance, such as in the tropics These reservoirs give heat to areas in need of it or in times of scarcity. Without oceans and seas, earth could have become a planet with maximum and minimum degrees of temperature and the bodies of living creatures could not have endured life in such very hot and very cold regions. Oceans, which cover more than three quarters of the earth's surface, prevent such things from happening by virtue of the natural characteristics or properties they have.
Despite the fact that oceans are so wide, as we have already stated, we still suffer in continental areas far from oceans, from the differences resulting from the maximum and minimum degrees of temperature. In the midst of Siberia, temperature may reach 70 degrees centigrade below zero in winter, while in the midst of the deserts of the two big tropics temperature reaches 50 degrees centigrade above zero in summer. This fact stands as good proof of the part played by oceans in mitigating and regularizing heat.
For this reason, the midst of Siberia, and not the geographical Pole familiar to us, should be considered as the northern heat pole. The fact that oceans create proper and suitable climates for-life could also be seen from our examination of the clear climatic differences in both regions of the North and South Poles. The North Pole is nearly a closed sea while in the South Pole there is a dry land surrounded by ocean from afar.
As a result, the Antarctic Circle becomes barren and covered by snow all over the year. Temperature, there, scarcely leaves the zero degree. On its exposed to-storms rocks no plants could grow except mushrooms and fungus. Some kinds of birds and microscopic
insects could be found there But the Arctic Circle is something different. Near this region's edges, temperature, in summer, goes up to reach a level which enables certain plants, such as Tundura plantations and numerous varieties of flowers, to grow. The more the sea goes northwards the better the climate will be. All this is due to the natural characteristics of water.
As regards the entire space the Quran says: "Blessed is He Who made the stars in the heavens and made therein a sun."
Zodiacs, as we have already mentioned, are composed of assemblies of stars as seen from the earth. The sun under which we live is not so relatively distant. It is a big star of a diameter of more than one and one third millions of kilometers. In this, its diameter exceeds in length that of the earth by one hundred times. The sun resembles a lamp which sends light and heat. Its radiating surface reaches a temperature of 6,000 degrees centigrade. This heat increases immensely and swiftly near its center where it amounts to more than 20 million degrees centigrade. The reason for this is that the constituents of the center are exposed to heavy pressures beyond imagination. The sun, as a lamp, is again mentioned in Surat Nuh (Noah) as follows: "And made the moon therein a light, and made the sun a lamp."
From the sun burst forth inflammable gases to altitudes of thousands of kilometers. Among those flames going upwards are the sun spots. They are giant storms which take place in the atmosphere of the sun. Any of these storms' diameter may measure about 50,000 kilometers. Usually, such storms are followed by The propagation of magnetic and electrical waves in space which will be accompanied in turn by magnetic storms on the earth These storms spoil and jam wireless and radio operations.
Before entering the earth’s atmosphere solar radiation is composed of different wavelengths or characteristics. But most of them could be grouped in a band limited by two waves one of 0.17 microns and the other about 4. The percentage rations of the different constituents of the solar beam are as follows:
about 9% is ultra-violet rays. This ratio constitutes a band whose wave length ranges from 0.17 to 0.33 micron .These rays which could not be seen by bare eye have great effect on living cells.
About 50% is light which constitutes a band of radiations whose wavelengths to be between 0.34 and about 0.8 microns. This band is the source of light scattered in daytime over the earth and its atmosphere. Thus the sun is nothing but a body resembling a lamp which illuminates and heats the earth and its atmosphere exactly as it has been mentioned the Quran. Illumination reaches its maximum degree at midday in summer light’s intensity is double that of winter. In Cairo for instance light amount to about 10.000 candle feet in summer and about 5,000 candle –feet in winter candle feet is the scientific field. To make this easy to comprehend we would say that it we want to easily and comfortably illuminate a big hall, we, in this case, will need 1, 500 candle-feet sunlight has great effect on the growth of plantation and blossoms as they always require specified amounts of light.
About 41% is infra-red, or heat, rays. This constitutes a long band of wave ranging from about 0.8 to more than 4 microns.
The density of solar radiation on each square centimeter outside the atmosphere of the earth amounts to about 2 calories [Note: The calorie is the quantity of heat required to calorify one gramme of water for only one degree centigrade.] per minute. This amount is called "the solar constant".
On entering the earth's atmosphere, solar radiation decreases gradually due to several reasons and factors found in the atmosphere of the earth itself. Among those reasons are the scattering of light, or the scattering by air particles and other small ones floating in the air, and the absorption by the atomic oxygen in high altitudes and by the ozone gas which is found at altitudes ranging from 15 to 45 kilometers.
The scattering of light is responsible for illuminating the atmosphere of the earth as stated before. This is called the daytime light. If we leave behind the earth's atmosphere and go upwards to the universal space, we will find it, despite the rising of the sun and its appearance in one of the sky's corners, dark. This phenomenon could be picturised as if the daytime is snatched from the night, the result of which will be complete darkness. Originally, space is dark and daytime is nothing but an incidental matter which is illumination of the atmosphere by the scattering of light. This process does not occur except in the atmosphere of the earth and other similar planets. The Holy Quran is sublime in mentioning this fact glorifying in Surat Yasin. It says: "And a sign to them is the night: We draw forth from the day..."
Solar radiation changes on the earth's surface from one place to another, regularly and during the whole year. This occurs as a result of astronomical factors, among which are the following:
The angle of the sunray's inclination on a particular spot. Radiation becomes immense when rays fall perpendicularly on the surface of the place.
The distance between the sun and the spot given. The more the distance becomes short, the greater becomes the radiation density. But the effect of the ray's inclination is usually greater than the effect resulting from changes of distances. This is due to the fact that changes of distance are small relatively. The earth's orbit around the sun is not completely circular. [Note: Distance between the earth and the sun changes regularly and during the whole year. In January, for example, distance amounts to 147 million kilometres, while in July, 152 Difference as it is noticed, is of 5 million kilometres.]
Generally, solar radiation reaching the earth's surface changes according to altitudes. Big quantities of it go to the Equator, while small ones go to the Poles. If the average heat day equals the average of the quantity of solar radiation taken in 24 hours from near the Equator, regardless of other factors, the quantity of radiation on various altitudes in the whole year, estimated by average heat day, will be as follows:
Average: (Heat Days)
The earth, in its revolution around itself, has an axis inclined at 23.5 degrees to its orbit around the sun. Virtually, solar radiation does not intersect the Equator normally except on 21 March and 22 September, when the night equals in time the day everywhere. After March 21, the sun, in the northern hemisphere, begins its ostensible migration to the north, the matter which adds to the length of the day and makes it longer than that of the night. This continues until the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer (altitude 23.5 degrees to north), which is the maximum to which the sun can go northward. This takes place on June 21. On that day, radiation falls perpendicularly on the Tropic of Cancer. From there, the sun moves towards the south until it intersects the Equator on September 22. It continues to move southward till it reaches the Tropic of Capricorn (altitude 23.5 degrees to the south) on December 22. From there, it repeats its movement.
Since the sun constitutes one of the stars of our galaxy, which completed since its appearance in the universal space about 20 rotations around itself, it is estimated that the sun itself, together with the other members of the solar system, like the stars, run in a
speed equaling hundreds of millions of kilometers per hour. The Holy Quran describes this fact as follows in Surat Yasin:
"And the sun moves on to its destination: That is the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knower."
"He has made the sun and the moon subservient (to you) - each pursues its course till an appointed time."
In Fatir (The Originator) :
"And He has made subservient the sun and the moon, each one moves to an appointed time."
Other Quranic verses showing the sun and other planets' move are many. Besides, they show the state of balance and equilibrium among forces influencing it. For example, the Holy Quran says in Surat Yasin:
"And all float on in an orbit."
In Al-Saffat (Those Ranging in Ranks)
"And of His signs is this, that the heaven and the earth subsist by His command."
In Al-Saffat (Those Ranging in Banks)
"Surely We have adorned the lower heaven with an adornment, the planets."
This shows that the assembly of planets which reflect back sun's light adorn the lower sky. If the verge of that sky is to be marked by the path of these planets, the nearest sky to us may contain the following: