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:
In Surat Fatir (The Originator) there is another verse which reads as follows:
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):
From Surat A1-Kahf (The Cave) the following could be quoted:
In Surat Taha:
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:
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) :
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 :
From the Quranic verses which refer to the fact that on near and far planets there are surely creatures are the following:
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:
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:
It also says in Surat Al-Rahman (The Beneficent):
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):
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:
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:
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:
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:
In Fatir (The Originator) :
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:
In Al-Saffat (Those Ranging in Ranks)
In Al-Saffat (Those Ranging in Banks)
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:
a) The cover of the earth's atmosphere, including rainy and non-rainy clouds:
The near universal space, including atoms, particles, meteors, etc.... which transverse the path of planets, including the earth. These bodies may also transverse any traveler in space. Almost all of the meteors burn out as soon as they enter the upper atmosphere of the earth, and in this case, they appear in the form of swooping stars. The Quran says in Surat Almulk (The Kingdom)
The same meaning came in a verse in Surat Fussilat (Things Made Plain ). It says :
Here one would enquire about the whereabouts of other stars. My answer to a such a query would be that details about other skies have not been referred to in the holy Quran, and hence, we have to refrain from giving any prediction as regards the hidden world. But since that inquiry will be so important, I will try to quote most of the verses relating to the skies and heavens with their characteristics mentioned in the Quran. This may lead us to a satisfactory answer to such a query .
In Surat Sad:
In this verse, one can realize that the space existing between the heavens and the earth is not void of material and other universal activity.
In Surat Ghafer (The Forgiver) :
In Fussilat (Things Made Plain):
It is scientifically admitted that existence originated from hydrogen gas which existed in the universal space. Hydrogen is known amongst scientists as the "universal gas". This evolution of the universe was accomplished by a series of steps or developments accompanied by the gradual concentration of the universal gas by gravity, before it could take the form of nebulae, galaxies, stars or planets. The steps could be summarized and serialized as follows:
Universal gas ---- galaxies ---- stars ---- planet
The density or concentration of the universal gas is so small that one atom of it could be found in a space equal to that of an ordinary match box. But, in spite of this, the existing quantity of that gas exceeds today the quantity crammed in all galaxies by one thousand times. This is despite the fact that the first development and evolution process which accompanied the existence of the universe took place thousands of - millions of years ago. The reason for this may be that galaxies, though very wide and big, do not occupy in the limitless universal space except a small size only.
However, the sublime thing which this verse may be regarded to show is that the various bodies (floating) in the sky had begun in the form of a gas. This fact was almost endorsed by all theories of astronomy, what ever differences there were in details.
In Al-Dukhan (The Drought) this comes out:
In my view, this verse refers mostly to the Judgment Day and gives us one of its signs. It is, however, admitted that each star, or sun resembling ours, has to expand once before attaining stability. Our sun, in particular, did not pass by this stage and it is still in its early days. If it happens that it expands, its wild fire and inflammable atmospheric gases will then fill the near space and reach the earth. That is the meaning which the previous verse refers to. The same is also included in this verse: "And the sun and the moon are brought together."
In Al-Jathiya (The Kneeling) this verse could be found:
This verse, clearly, deals with the principles of astronomy, atmospheric physics and biology, and points out that science is the source of force and sovereignty and the basis of piety and faith.
In Surat Qaf:
This, as the former verse quoted from Al-Jathiya, deals with the principles of astronomy. The same Sura has another similar verse, it is:
If something is to be gathered from this repetition, it will be the importance the Quran attaches to science and the need to give it priority.
"Heavens" also came in the following two verses included in Al-Zariyat:
The reference to heavens mentioned in this verse deals with, and explains, the borders of the visible universe and their vastness or expansion in the course of time. This phenomenon, or result, is the strangest of all scientific conclusions reached in the last years. Since the meaning of the verse is quite clear, no more explanation will be required. Its scientific elocution and eloquence could not be overlooked.
It is admitted that the big units of the universe, or galaxies, go far away from each other with high speed. Thus the universe increases in size or expands. The more galaxies go far away, the quicker their release in the limitless space will be. It was noticed that galaxies near our own recede at a speed of so many millions of miles every one hour. Other galaxies of greater distances do the same but at a speed exceeding 200 million miles every one hour. The speed of galaxies far away from our own galaxy by double of these distances approaches that of light. Beyond these limits, the speed of the receding galaxies may exceed the speed of light. As a result of this, light coming from such, could not reach us. This means that they belong to the unseen universe. However, the limit between what we can witness in the material existence and what we cannot is the galaxy which recedes at the speed of light. Today, this galaxy is estimated to be far from our own by four thousand millions of light years
In short, it could be said that due to the expansion of the universe in which we live, or due to the receding of its galaxies in the long run, the limits of this universe could be defined and determined at the verge or the sky after which magnifying glasses could see no more. This universe contains more than one hundred thousand millions of galaxies, all of which are separated and isolated from each other By the passage of time, and with the increase of the speed at which they recede from our own galaxy, those galaxies could disappear beyond the seen universe gradually. If such a thing takes place, we will live in a universe void of galaxies, except our own. But the fact is that such a thing will not happen and existence will not be so empty as we have imagined one day. On the contrary, it will still remain full of galaxies, as it is approximately seen today. The reason for this is that while galaxies going beyond seen limits disappear, new ones gradually show up, made of universal gas, which was responsible for the formation of old galaxies.
The universal gas already referred to is the main material for the formation of the universe. It does not become extinct at all and its quantities in our seen universe do not diminish. Hence scientists' query: From where does such gas come? Does it come from infinite space, in continuous succession, to replace the shortage in its quantities lost in the formation of new galaxies ? Or does it come from a hidden place? Or, is it being created?
Most of the clues and scientific evidences prove that the gas does not come from a specified place ; it is created. Sometimes, the atoms of this material are no more present, but, suddenly, they show up. This denotes that the procession of the formation of hydrogen is a continuous one, otherwise this gas would have disappeared due to its being accumulated and, later, exhausted, inside far galaxies. Hydrogen, also, accumulates inside stars and submits to great pressures due to gravity. This great pressure results in the rising of temperature in the formation centers of stars and suns to millions of degrees. Here, atomic operations become active and gas changes, under various pressures, to ashes of helium gas and other elements. The chain is completely irreversible, as it cannot act otherwise. The end of the process cannot, under any circumstances, become the beginning of new hydrogen. Obviously, the maintenance of the gas in the universal space till now, despite the interaction of all such factors, is no more than a clear proof that it is continually remodeled and formed. For this reason, the average of gas density in space remains unchanged.
However, it is a fact that the rate of the formation of the main material of the universe is very slow. Hydrogen does not appear in abundance at any specified place. Its rate could be equaled to that of the formation of one atom, in one year, inside a space equaling that of a big hall. Such a rate could not be measured nor experimentally observed. But it could be mathematically counted. If such an account is to be applied to the space of the whole seen universe, the created material will result in the existence of unimaginable quantities. They will exceed million million million million million million tons every second! This new material produces pressure and motion which result in turn the isolation of galaxies and the expansion of the universe.
In Surat Al-Tur (The Mountain) the following verse appears :
Probably, a similar meaning is given by a verse in Surat Al-Rahman (The Beneficent):
Searching for other verses dealing with the same subject we have:
In Al-Haqqah (The Sure Truth):
This refers to the Judgment Day when the landmarks of this universe change. [Note: The following verses have the same meaning: "And the heaven is opened so it becomes as doors" - Al Naba (The Announcement). "And when the heaven is rent asunder" - Al-Mursalat (Those Sent Forth). "And when the heaven has its covering removed". - Al-Takwir (The Folding up). "when the heaven is cleft asunder" - Al-Infitar (The Cleaving). "When the heaven hursts asunder" - Al-Inshiqaq (The Bursting Asunder). "By the cloud giving rain" - Al-Tariq (The Comer by Night).]
In Al-Maarij (The Ways of Ascent) :
In Al-jinn there is a verse which says:
This verse points out that meteors and cosmic rays, etc... which cross the universal space near the earth's path are among the grave sources of extinction any traveler in the space can encounter as soon as he leaves the earth's limits. Here, again, the meaning of the "to reach heavens" become also clear, as some of these meteors succeed in dashing through the earth's atmosphere and burn out at a distance ranging from 80 to 100 kilometers from its surface.
In Al-Maida (The Food) there is a verse which reads:
This verse shows clearly that the universal space existing between various bodies in the sky is not void of everything, such as energy or ether waves. In it there are unseen particles which science has discovered lastly in the space age. In the same Sura there is another verse bearing the same meaning; it reads as follows:
"Heavens" is also mentioned in the same Sura as follows
In Surat Hud a verse says:
This verse denotes that existence was created at a certain time and that it also at specified period to complete. Formerly, we had given many verses bearing the same meaning.
The second law of Thermodynamics points out that the universe could not be infinite in time; on the contrary, it had started at a specified time. Heat is always being transferred from hot material bodies to cold bodies. This process cannot be reversed and heat, accordingly, cannot return from cold bodies to hot bodies. The universe has to approach a case when the temperatures of all bodies become equal and the source of energy disappears. As a result of this, chemical and physical operations, such as radiation and the exchange of heat energy between various bodies, discontinue and the phenomena of life in the universe completely vanish. But since life is still going on and chemical and physical processes are still in operation, the logical conclusion of all this is that this universe could not have started from immortal time, otherwise, all its energies should have been exhausted by the passage of time, and activities stopped everywhere. As far as the Thermodynamics is concerned, it could be seen that the universe had a starting point which did not go without limit. On the contrary, it was a limited beginning which started, as scientists have estimated according to different calculations, since 4 or 5 thousand million years. It was also pointed and that the universe is still subject to a continuous process of expansion. The skies verges surrounding us take today the shape of a circular universe which can extend to a point where its radius reaches : 4 x 10 27 to 5 x 10 27 centimeters. This equals a number of 4 or 5, followed by 27 zeroes. Light can cover such a distance in 4 or 5 X 10 years. The mass of this universe, including material and energy, was calculated to amount to 5 x 10 56 grammes (i.e. number 5, followed by 56 zeroes ).
Those were some of the references made in the Quran to the heavens. From all the verses quoted, it could be easily noticed that the word "heavens" was given to everything we can see of the bodies floating in the skies, such as suns, stars and the planets going deep in the space, which form, with the earth, a consolidated unit which constitutes the whole material universe. The Holy Quran, contrary to what some people believed, did not mean by this term the things hidden from us or the things hidden in the supernatural world, like ghosts and spirits. [Note: In this study, I do not deal except with the questions admitted by material scientific experiments or with what could be subject to science itself. Questions beyond this, related to worlds unknown but to God himself and discussed only by Him or the Holy Prophet, are certainly beyond science's jurisdiction. These questions we have to take for granted as they relate to the Unseen referred to by God in the Holy Quran as "It is a guide to those who keep their duty, who believe in the Unseen." - Surat Al-Baqara] This is a very important point as it shows the importance Islam attaches to the material world. It urges us to make scientific and practical studies of such a world, in away completely remote from speculation or imagination, and without indulging in unfeasible controversy.
It is high time now for us to face facts and stick to correct beliefs. In addition to this, the Holy Quran contains more of such verses relating to the universe, the narration of which will find no room in such a small space. But, instead, we will tell of some of them which are confined to the explanation of certain phenomena of the universe, or, scientifically speaking, nature's phenomena or laws. All these phenomena, of course, were neither seen by the Prophet personally, like those relating to physics and phenomena of seas, nor were they read by him in books.