On Cosmic Verses in The Quran
- "Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is darkness, and thunder and lightning." Surat Al-Baqara (The Cow).
This shows that clouds which give heavy rain are those which hinder light from crossing through. They are also usually accompanied by thunder and lightning.
- "Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made darkness and light." Surat Al-Anaam (The Cattle).
The verse points out that darkness preceded light in this universe.
- "And He 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." Surat Al-Anaam (The Cattle).
This verse shows in a miraculous and scientific inimitable expression how the stars, and not the other planets, are used in determining directions on land and how they are used by travelers in deserts and seas for guidance. Ancient Pharaohs, Greeks, Arabs and others knew many a thing about stars and their assemblies. They even were able to give some of them, as they were seen in the sky, different names, of various derivations, such as Arcturus, Spica and Sirius. They also gave their assemblies other names, such as the Ursa-Major (The Great Bear), Scorpio, Andromealae, Herculs, Aries, Leo and others, till they reached in number 90, the number of zodiacs.
Because of the revolution of the earth around its circumference once every day, stars move in the sky from east to west. Some of them rise from all the directions of the eastern horizon, then they go high in the sky until they reach the maximum height when they cross the Meridian. Then, they start to go down till they reach the western horizon behind which they disappear. There are another set of stars which go to neither east nor west. These stars draw in their daily movement circles the center of which is the Ursa- Major. The latter is the star usually found in the north. In the horizon of Cairo, this star goes high at a fixed angle of 30 degrees. It is this which navigators and travelers in deserts take as a guide to determine the north.
- "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 hands, he is almost unable to see it. And to whom Allah gives not light, he has no light." Surat Al-Nur (The Light).
This verse describes in a practical accuracy and literal harmony the storms of the seas, which were not known, of course, to the Holy Prophet.
"Have We not made the earth an expanse, and the mountains as pegs?" Surat Al-Naba (The Announcement).
"Expanse" here means the flatness of the earth which means, in turn, that it is the shelter and asylum human beings seek in this world. The other section of the verse, which likens mountains to pegs which keep tents stand firm when fastened to them, is an inimitable scientific example which nobody can know its secrets except those well-versed in geology. After the advancements made by civilization and after geology has become a factual subject, it has been discovered that without mountains the solid crust of the earth would have been generally unstable as a result of the continuity of disequilibria between the molten interior of the earth and the high pressures fallen on its solid crust and the denudation factors it is exposed to. This will be discussed later in detail. But now we will give another Quranic verses which bear the same meaning. They are
"And the mountains, He made them firm." Surat Al-Naziat (Those Who Yearn).
"And it is He Who spread the earth, and made in it firm mountains and rivers." Surat Al-Raad (The Thunder)
"And the earth - We have spread it out and made in it firm mountains." - Surat Al-Hijr (The Rock).
"And He has cast firm mountains in the earth lest it quake with you." - Surat Al-Nahl (The Bee).
"And We made firm mountains in the earth lest it be convulsed with them." - Surat Al-Anbiya (The Prophets).
In the last two verses, mountains were clearly likened to firm things put on the earth which have to keep the balance of the earth's crust. This is, certainly, an inimitable scientific elocution of the Quran which was stated centuries ago but had not been known until in our age. There is no wonder in this as the Quran will always remain the immortal and eternal miracle of all times.
In the same meaning Almighty God says:
"Or, Who makes the earth a resting-place, and made in it rivers, and raised on it mountains." - Surat Al Naml.
"And cast mountains on the earth lest it should be convulsed with you, and He spread on it animals of every kind." - Surat Luqman.
"And He made in it mountains above its surface, and He blessed therein." - Surat Fussilat (Things Made Plain).
The term "above its surface" mentioned here refers to the solid crust and the rising of mountains and other heights on parts of it.
"And the earth, We have spread it out, and cast mountains." - Surat Qaf.
"And made therein lofty mountains, and given you to drink of sweet water." - Surat Al-Mursalat (Those Sent Forth).
The history of the earth, since its exterior crust began to mass and harden slowly after it was molten resembling the interior of it, is nothing but a series of violent revolutions which occurred on its crust successively, and resulted in more of the cases in the appearance of great sweeping floods which covered big areas in all the corners of the ancient continents. From that time, fossils of living creatures remained buried in the crust of the earth till they were recently unearthed.
This theory is scientifically known as the "Theory of Precession". It may be taken to explain the different stories mentioned in all religions about the "Deluges" among which was that which took place during the days of Nuh (Noah). The distribution of continents and oceans to the globe, as they are seen today, was not the same of olden times. Distribution has been completely changed. The nearest example of this is that which was decided for many reasons by today's scientists that our (Egyptian) northern shores witness a slow process of structure as well as land's creeping towards the north. One of the main reasons responsible for this may be the mud tossed on by the Nile every year and the desert sands winds continually bring with them.
If we want to understand the secret behind floods, or the nature of elements leading to the tottering of land and the overflow and recess of water, we should trace first the source of the disorders which affect the crust of the earth from time to time together with the appearance and disappearance of mountains. The solid crust of the earth is, actually, a very delicate and sensitive balance; but it is one of the more complicated ones. Every spot on the earth is nothing but a scale precisely balanced with any other neighboring spot. The accurate and correct balance, as it is known, is that whose two scales remain in equilibrium all the time. They remain so as long as weights put on each will be the same. If for one reason or the other weight on one of the two scale changes, this scale, as well as the other, will be affected. This disequilibria continues until weights readjusted and equilibrium restores to its normal position.
Actually, all parts of the earth's crust are completely balanced with other adjacent parts. While some of them carry high and heavy mountains, adjacent parts will have deep and low lands. Mountains, however, are there simply to keep the earth's balance; and that is exactly what the previous Quranic verses have stated. But it is noted that neither the interior conditions of the earth nor the exterior ones to which mountains and hills are exposed can leave such a balance firm and unmoved. The molten interior of the earth is annihilated by currents which make the solid crust twisted, whatever such currents may be slow. The moment the crust twists and depressed spots formed accordingly, water comes to them. This water we call seas. By the passage of time, beds of such seas become the storing place for heavy and dense weights of sediments caused by denudation factors [Note: Of the important denudation factors are rains, floods, rivers, winds and the variation of heat in day and night times, and in summer and winter too. All these factors split and erase the crust of the earth.] coming from high areas in the crust, such as mountains and hills. There, fossils of sea creatures lie and the more such weights become heavy, the more sea beds go down. These sediments continue to accumulate until they themselves form the roots of independent mountains. This takes place due to the heavy pressure which falls on the two edges of the descending part of the crust falling in turn on it, which results in the twisting of the crust and its slow rising, in order to keep balance.
This story explains in short the geological revolutions or the movement leading to the formation of mountains. When the first geological revolution took place due to the disturbances which annihilated the interior of the earth since the beginning, reaction to that revolution occurred on the crust of the earth by the appearance of continents and the rising of old mountains on it. Then, and with the work of denudation factors which hewed and splitted mountains and carried, later, their remnants to the deep beds of seas and oceans, disequilibria took place. Here, the crust of the earth began to restore its disturbed equilibrium and the level of the ocean gradually elevated until water flooded and new seas appeared on the sides of continents leaving traces represented in sediments seen today, as it has been already said. Thus, mountains are to be scientifically considered as weights which have to keep the balance of the crust of the earth and, then, keep it firm without being crushed or destroyed through centuries, during which equilibrium remained steady despite the high pressures which fell down on the interior of the earth and the sweeping slow currents which carried weights. This wonderful meaning is exactly the same the previous verse already quoted has referred to.
"Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. A likeness of His light is as a pillar on which is a lamp-the lamp is in a glass, the glass is as it were a brightly shinning star-lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof gives light, though fire touch it not - light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He pleases. And Allah sets forth parable for men, and Allah is Knower of all things." Surat Al Nur (The Light).
This verse brings nearer to our minds, feelings and sentiments some of the qualities of God, the Supreme Deity, in the form of adages. From this account, it will not be difficult for us to realize that light may have another meaning other than that of the "light" or the energies produced by luminous bodies subjugated to the familiar light laws.
God who created the heavens and the earth to be subjects for reflection has prescribed for all such bodies wonderful systems which keep them in order. He also granted them the splendor which made out of them, in the space or in the infinite space, since Creation took place till now, marvelous signs. He created the bodies of the sky either in self-radiant forms, such as suns and stars, among which is our sun referred to by the Holy Quran as the shinning lamp which sends besides light other thermo and non-thermo energies, or planets and moons which follow the former, reflecting the sun's light and sending it to the depths of the space.
The same verse goes on to describe God's light [Note: In some of the books of Tafsir (Interpretation of the Quran) they attribute this light to the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him), while others say otherwise.] as the space (Or pillar of Tight or an aperture which is the energy) where the beauty and radiance of the Creator show themselves. This picture resembles the light emanated from a lamp, which is the burning wick kept inside a glass, and thrown inside an aperture, which fills both east and west, and everywhere, with radiance. This lamp, with its olive-oil, which was considered by the Arabs as the best of all oils, refers to the fact that all this splendor and radiance are nothing but a single branch of a blessed tree with limitless good and benefits and whose other branches go to numberless worlds unknown to us.
"Glory be to Him, and highly exalted is He above what they ascribe (to him)" "Nothing is like Him."
"Light" is also mentioned in other verses. They are:
"Allah is the Friend of those who believe He brings them out of darkness into light." - Surat Al Baqara (The Cow).
"And those who disbelieve, their friends are the devils who take them out of light into darkness. - Surat Al-Baqara (The Cow).
In Surat Al-Maida (The Food) the following appears:
"Indeed, there has come to you from Allah, a Light and a clear Book" [Note: This is the same meaning included in the following two verses taken from surat Al-Raad and Fatir respectively. They are: "Say: Are the blind and the seeing alike? Or, are darkness and light equal ?" "And the blind and the seeing are not alike, Nor the darkness and the light."]
"And brings them out of darkness into light by His will."
"Surely We revealed the Torah, having guidance and light."
"And We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light."
"Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made darkness and light." Surat Al Anaam (The Cattle).
The word "light" used in the last verse alone may mean the "light" which disperses the night's darkness as well as the darkness of the space containing stars and planets. But in the former, "light" was used to describe the element which overwhelms disbelief and atheism. It also refers to the miracles and splendor of the Creator. The same meaning is also included in the following verses:
"So those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him - these are the successful." - Surat Al-A'raf (The Elevated Places).
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths." - Surat Al-Tauba (Repentance).
"I, Allah, am the Seer. A Book which We have revealed to thee that thou mayest bring forth men, by their Lord's permission, from darkness into light." - Surat Ibrahim (Abraham).
"And to whom Allah gives not light, he has no light." - Surat Al-Nur (The Light).
"He it is Who sends blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that He may bring you forth out of darkness into light." - Surat Al-Ahzab (The Allies).
"Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam so that he follows a light from his Lord?" - Surat Al Zumar (The Companies).
"And the earth beams with the light of its Lord, and the Book is laid down." - Surat AlAI-Zumar.
"He it is Who sends down clear messages to His servant, that he may bring you forth from darkness into light." - Surat Al-Hadid (Iron).
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light." Surat Al-Saff (The Ranks).
"So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Light which We have revealed." - Surat Al-Taghabun (The Manifestation of Losses).
"So that he may bring forth those who believe and do good deeds from darkness into light." - Surat Al Talaq (Divorce).
The word "light" may also denote God's Book which guides people to happiness, here and hereafter. This is shown in the following two verses
"O people, manifest proof has indeed come to you from your Lord and We have sent down to you a clear light." - Surat Al-Nisaa (The Women).
"Is he who was dead, then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people." - Surat Al-Anaam (The Cattle).
It is obvious that the word "light" mentioned here means "existence",. "evidence" and It may also mean all of them, so as to he so clear and easily seen.
"He it is Who made the sun a shinning brightness and the moon a light." - Surat Yunus (Jonah).
Here, we have to pause a little in order to be able to realize the precision of the scientific expression and to see another side of the wonderful inimitable elocution of the Quran. The Holy Book describes a very important phenomenon. The sun sends to us rays which not only give light, [Note: "Light" meaning "existence" is the same given in this verse: "Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth". This, again, means that when God wanted to show Himself, He, as it has been told before, created the universe, filling it, with its , with light. This picture resembles that of a lamp giving light to an aperture or pillars of light.] which means illumination, but gives, through a big part of sun's radiation amounting to one half of its energy beamed to us and to the space, heat which warms intervening materials and bodies. A small part of the sun's radiation, which could not be seen nor distinguished, goes out in the form of ultraviolet rays which have effect on living bodies. But the moon does not reflect back from sunrays except the pure light in addition to the radiance coming from it in weak infra-red rays void of any effect on the earth. The Quran gave these meanings on a scientific level. It differentiates between the radiation coming from the sun and that coming from the moon. The former it describes as the light which subsists by itself, while the latter is that which subsists through some other thing. If that is the case, can we say that Muhammad was one of the scientists in order to be able to give such a scientific fact either in meaning or in words? Actually, such a question should be left to obstinate contenders to answer.
"See they not that We in controlling the earth gradually reduce its outlying borders?" Surat Al-Raad (The Thunder).
This verse refers to the fact that since its creation, the earth was diminished along its axis. In this reference, there is an explanation of a universal phenomenon which scientists have not been aware of unless recently. Scientific researches made on the shape of the earth proved that its diameter, connecting both poles, diminishes slowly, but continuously. This was taking place since it was created; and for this reason its shape changed from a spherical shape to an elliptic one.
In mentioning this fact which the human mind cannot understand except after acquiring the knowledge of the recent scientific developments and the most complicated subjects of mathematics, physics and astronomy, the Quran did not mention it in a complicated form, but in very simple one, showing that it is nothing but an intuition which the human mind can easily absorb. This reference is also a proof of the heavenly law's insistence that the perfect and faithful man should be aware of everything in sciences in order to be deserving the ability and quality of reasoning and thinking God has granted him. In so doing, man will be able to change complicated and up-to-date scientific facts to intuitions which everybody should know. The appeal to the achievement of scientific progress could not be stronger than that included in such a Quranic verse. The same meaning was repeated in this verse quoted from Surat Al-Raad "See they not that We are visiting the land, curtailing it of its sides."
"And go not about in the land exultingly, for thou canst not rend the earth, nor reach the mountains in height." - Surat Al-Israa (The Ascension).
Although this verse means by its superficial linguistic expression that it is impossible for anybody to sunder the earth or go high to reach the top of mountains, yet it exposes to the bright and developed mind how the earth is hung in the universal space with nothing holding it except the omnipotence of God. If any body will not be able to collect from this verse the meanings it really includes, such a man will never understand how he is challenged to go ahead and rend the earth.
Another thing the reader can collect from the same verse. Although the earth is a small planet and although it became possible for the man of our era to go round it in one day or a part of a day, the fact still remains that it is impossible for anybody to rend it. If this is the case why is it so difficult ? It is difficult because of the hard crust beneath which exist thermo-energies and the very high pressures found in the interior of the earth which make the question of rending it a matter of concrete impossibility.
"He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions). He makes the night overlap the day... - Surat Al-Zumar (The Companies).
In addition to the reference made in this verse to the fact that the earth is hung in the space, as it has already been explained, it contains, besides, two new facts. The first is that the shape of the earth is almost spherical such as that of a ball; and the second is that the earth revolves around its axis. This is in addition to the other fact that on the surface of the globe there are always a day and a night at the same time. The inimitable elocution of this verse is evident from the fact that it was revealed to the Prophet even before the Man of the old world could discover America and before Man knew those remote places where such phenomenon could be easily seen and noticed. It is known that while night prevails America, the old continents live in daytime. It is known also that night comes from west to east, enveloping the earth and its atmosphere and covering what was lit by daylight. This is exactly what the verse shows which is a wonder in picturising the shape of the earth, its rotation and the relation between its revolution around itself and the appearance of day and night.
"And the earth moreover Hath He made almost spherical." - Surat Al-Nazi'at (Those Who Yearn).
This verse proves that Almighty God has created the earth in the form of an egg (not completely circular). This fact was endorsed by science which proved again that the earth is really of this shape. Actually, Man's idea about the shape of the earth has developed; after he had believed that it was a limitless flat space, he realized later that it is spherical. Man has come to know that when he thought of going round the earth and discovering its seas and oceans. After the advancement of civilization and the increase of Man's knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, Man was able to measure and count the diameters of the earth, which led him to the conclusion that it is not completely circular, but elliptic. This, in turn, gave another proof that that Book was really revealed by a Knowing Creator, to Him "falsehood cannot come".
"If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through. You cannot pass through but with authority." - Surat Al-Rahman (The Beneficent).
By the linguistic expression of this verse it becomes clear that it is not easy for anybody to pass through the heavens except after attaining sufficient power. The same meaning was given in previous verses. But after the advancement and development of sciences and after we have prepared ourselves to travel to planets, it is our duty now to try to go deep in the meaning the verse contains. Actually, the Quran is the Book of all times and it is always up to date. There is no doubt that it was in the knowledge of God that one day Man will acquire a high level of learning and make progress in sciences. And in this age of space it becomes opportune to remind Man that this Book was revealed by God. God's words that man "cannot pass through but with authority" have also to be re-interpreted. Previously, they meant the impossibility of doing such a thing. But now, they have to be interpreted as directives and, then, incentives for attempt. This is in spite of the fact that the regions of the heavens and the earth should not be determined by reaching the Moon or Mars. These regions are more distant than this. Formerly, we had quoted similar verses and explained how travelers in the space would expose themselves to destruction in so doing.