THE SCIENTIFIC MIRACLES OF THE QUR’AN
Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High: He Who created and moulded; He Who determined and guided; He Who brings forth green pasture, then makes it blackened stubble. (Qur’an, 87:1-5)
As we know, petrol forms from the remains of plants and animals in the sea. Once these have decayed on the sea bed after millions of years, all that is left are oily substances. These, under layers of mud and rock, then turn into petrol and gas. Movements in the Earth’s crust sometimes lead to the sea petrifying and to the rocks containing petrol being buried thousands of metres deep. The petrol that forms sometimes leaks through the pores in the rock layers from several kilometres down, and rises to the surface, where it vaporises (turns into gas), leaving a mass of bitumen behind.
The three elements identified in the first four verses of Surat al-A’la parallel the formation of petroleum. It is quite likely that the term “almaraa,” meaning pasture or meadow, refers to the organically- based substances in the formation of petroleum. The second word of note in the verse is “ahwa,” used to describe blackish-green, greenish-black, dark or sooty colours. This word can be thought of as describing the waste plant matter accumulated underground gradually turning black, since these words are supported by a third word, “ghuthaan.” The word “ghuthaan” translated as stubble, can also mean flood-water plants, plants brought together by waste matter being collected and dispersed around valleys, rubbish, leaves or foam. In addition to the connotation of “vomiting out” implied in the word, it may also be translated as “to flood forth vomited matter,” and describes the way that the earth “vomits” forth petroleum. In fact, in the light of the formation of petroleum, the way it emerges, its foam-like appearance and its colour, one can better see with what wisdom were employed the words in the verses.
As has been discussed, the plant in the verse turning into a dark and viscous liquid bears a strong resemblance to the formation of petroleum. The description of such a formation over many years, at a time when the formation of petroleum was unknown, is without doubt another proof that the Qur’an is the revelation of Allah.
Today, the relativity of time is a proven scientific fact. This was revealed by Einstein’s theory of relativity during the early part of the 20th century. Until then, it was not known that time was relative, nor that it could change according to the circumstances. Yet, the renowned scientist Albert Einstein proved this fact by discovering the theory of relativity. He showed that time is dependent on mass and velocity.
However, the Qur’an had already included information about time’s being relative! Some verses about the subject read:
… A day with your Lord is equivalent to a thousand years in the way you count. (Qur’an, 22:47)
He directs the whole affair from heaven to earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure. (Qur’an, 32:5)
The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years. (Qur’an, 70:4)
The fact that the relativity of time is so definitely mentioned in the Qur’an, which began to be revealed in 610, is more evidence that it is a divine book.
Your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne… (Qur’an, 7:54)
One example of the harmony between the Qur’an and modern science is the subject of the age of the universe. Cosmologists estimate the age of the universe as 16-17 billion years. The Qur’an states that the entire universe was created in six days. These two time frames, which may seem contradictory, are actually surprisingly compatible. In fact, both these figures concerning the age of the universe are correct. In other words, the universe was created in six days, as revealed in the Qur’an, and this period corresponds to 16-17 billion years in the way that we experience time.
In 1915 Einstein proposed that time was relative, that the passage of time altered according to space, the speed of the person travelling and the force of gravity at that moment. Bearing in mind these differences in the passage of time, the period of time in which the universe was created as revealed in seven different verses of the Qur’an is actually highly compatible with scientists’ estimations. The six-day period revealed in the Qur’an can be thought of as six periods. Because, taking into account the relativity of time, a “day” refers only to a 24-hour period experienced on Earth under current conditions. Elsewhere in the universe, however, at another time and under other conditions, a “day” could refer to a much longer period of time. Indeed, the word “ayyamin” in the period of six days (sittati ayyamin) in these verses (Qur’an 32:4, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 57:4, 50:38, and 7:54) means not only “days,” but also “age, period, moment, term.”
In the first period of the universe, the passage of time took place much faster than that with which we are familiar today. The reason for this is that, at the moment of the Big Bang, our universe was compressed into a very small point. The expansion of the universe and increase in its volume ever since the moment of that explosion has extended the borders of the universe to millions of light years. Indeed, the stretching of space ever since that moment has had very important ramifications for universal time.
The energy at the moment of the Big Bang slowed down the flow of time 1012 (one million million) times. When the universe was created the speed of universal time was higher up to a million million times, as time is experienced today. In other words, a million million minutes on Earth is the equivalent of just one minute in universal time.
When a six-day period of time is calculated according to the relativity of time, it equates to six million million (six trillion) days. That is because universal time flows a million million times faster than time on Earth. Calculated in terms of years, 6 trillion days equates to approximately 16.427 billion years. This is within the estimated range for the age of the universe.
6,000,000,000, 000 days/365.25 = 16.427104723 billion years
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.
On the other hand, each of the six days of creation equates to very different periods, as we perceive time. The reason for this is that the speed of the passage of time declines in proportion to the expansion of the universe. Ever since the Big Bang, as the size of the universe doubled, so the passage of time halved. As the universe grew, the speed at which the universe doubled increasingly slowed down. This rate of expansion is a scientific fact acknowledged the world over and described in the text book The Fundamentals of Physical Cosmology. When we calculate every day of creation in terms of Earth time, the following situation emerges:
- Looked at from the moment when time began, the first day of creation (first phase) lasted 24 hours. This period, however, is the equivalent of 8 billion years in Earth terms.
- The second day of creation (second phase) lasted 24 hours. This, however, lasted half as long, in our terms, as the preceding day, in other words 4 billion years.
- The third day (third phase) lasted half as long as the second day, in other words 2 billion years.
- The fourth day (fourth phase) lasted 1 billion years.
- The fifth day (fifth phase) lasted 500 million years.
- And the sixth day (sixth phase) lasted 250 million years.
- Conclusion: When the six days of creation, in other words the six phases, are added together in Earth terms, the resulting figure is 15 billion 750 million years. This figure displays an enormous parallel with modern-day estimations.
This conclusion is one of the facts revealed by 21st century science. Science has once again confirmed a fact revealed in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago. This harmony between the Qur’an and science is one of the miraculous proofs that the Qur’an is the revelation of Allah, the Creator, the Omniscient.
But you will not will unless Allah wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Qur’an, 76:30)
As a result of experiments he performed in 1973, Professor Benjamin Libet, a neurophysiologist at the University of California, revealed that all our decisions and choices are set out beforehand, and that consciousness only comes into play half a second after everything has been determined.44 This is interpreted by other neurophysiologists as meaning that we actually live in the past and that our consciousness is like a monitor which shows us everything half a second later.
Therefore, none of the experiences we perceive are in real time, but are delayed by up to half a second from the real events themselves. Libet carried out his research by making use of the fact that brain surgery can be performed without the use of narcosis, in other words while the subject is fully conscious. Libet stimulated the brains of his subjects with small electrical currents, and when they experienced a perception that their hands had been touched the subjects said that they had felt that “touch” almost half a second before. As a result of his measurements, Libet arrived at the following conclusion: All perceptions are normally transmitted to the brain. As these are subconsciously evaluated and interpreted, the ego is unaware of anything. The information that appears before our minds, in other words that we can be aware of, is transmitted to the cortex, the seat of consciousness, after a certain delay.45
The conclusion from this may be summarised as follows: The decision to move a muscle takes place before that decision reaches the consciousness. There is always a delay between a neurological or perceptual process and our becoming aware of the thought, feeling, perception or movement it represents. To put it another way, we can only be aware of a decision after that decision has been taken.
In Professor Libet’s experiments, this delay varies between 350 and 500 milliseconds, although the conclusion that emerges is in no way dependent upon those figures. Because, according to Libet, whatever the length of that delay-it makes no difference whether it is great or small, whether it lasts an hour or a microsecond- our material life is always in the past. This demonstrates that every thought, emotion, perception or movement happens before reaching our consciousness, and that proves that the future is entirely outside our control.46
In other experiments, Professor Libet left the choice of when the subjects would move their fingers up to them. The brains of the subjects were monitored at the moment their fingers moved, and it was observed that the relevant brain cells went into action before the subjects actually took the decision. To put it another way, the command “do!” reaches the individual, and the brain is readied to perform the action; the individual only becomes aware of this half a second later. He or she does not take a decision to act and then performs that action, but rather performs an action predetermined for him or her. Yet, the brain makes an adjustment, removing any recognition that the individual is actually living in the past. For that reason, at the moment we refer to as “now,” we are actually living something determined in the past. As already discussed, these studies manifest the fact that everything happens by the will of Allah, as revealed in Surat al-Insan 30.
Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs: from what the earth produces and from themselves and from things unknown to them. (Qur’an, 36:36)
While “male and female” is equivalent to the concept of “pair,” “things unknown to them,” as expressed in the Qur’an, bears a broader meaning. Indeed, we encounter one of the meanings pointed to in the verse in the present day. The British physicist Paul Dirac, who discovered that matter was created in pairs, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933. This finding, known as “parity,” revealed the duality known as matter and anti-matter. Anti-matter bears the opposite characteristics to matter. For instance, contrary to matter, anti-matter electrons are positive and protons negative. This fact is expressed in a scientific source as follows:
… every particle has its antiparticle of opposite charge… [T]he uncertainty relation tells us that pair creation and pair annihilation happen in the vacuum at all times, in all places.47
Another example of duality in creation is plants. Botanists only discovered that there is a gender distinction in plants some 100 years ago.48 Yet, the fact that plants are created in pairs was revealed in the following verses of the Qur’an 1,400 years ago:
It is Allah Who created the heavens with no support-you can see them-and cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered about in it creatures of every kind. And We send down water from the sky and make every generous plant grow in it, in pairs. (Qur’an, 31:10)
It is He Who made the earth a cradle for you and threaded pathways for you through it and sent down water from the sky by which We have brought forth diverse pairs of plants. (Qur’an, 20:53)
2. Atoms consist of a dense nucleus surrounded by a cloud of electrons. Electromagnetic force holds the nucleus and electrons together.
3. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons held together by a powerful nuclear force.
4.Protons and neutrons consist of three quarks each and are held together by powerful nuclear force.
Following the development of the atomic theory of the Greek philosopher Democritus, people used to believe that matter consisted of minute, indivisible and indestructible particles known as atoms. However, advances in the study of atoms have refuted this notion. At the present time, modern science has revealed that the atom, previously regarded as the smallest particle, can actually be split. This fact only emerged in the last century, but was revealed in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago:
… He is the Knower of the Unseen, Whom not an atom’s weight eludes, either in the heavens or in the earth; nor is there anything smaller or larger than that which is not in a Clear Book. (Qur’an, 34:3)
… Not even an atom’s weight eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Qur’an, 10:61)
This verse refers to “atom” and smaller particles still.
Up until 20 years ago, it was believed that the smallest particles were the protons and neutrons which comprise the atom. Very recently, however, even smaller particles of which these themselves consist were discovered. A specialised branch of physics, called “particle physics,” emerged to study these “sub-particles” and their particular behaviour. Particle physics research has revealed that the protons and neutrons which comprise the atoms actually consist of sub-particles known as quarks. The size of these quarks, the basic components of protons, whose small size is beyond human conception, is astonishing: 10-18 (0.0000000000000000 01 of a metre).49
Another point worthy of note is that these verses draw particular attention to the weight of the atom. The word “mithqal,” in the expression “mithqali tharratin” (an atom’s weight) in the above verses, means weight. In fact, it has been discovered that the protons, neutrons and electrons which form the atom are also compounds which give the atom its weight. Therefore, it is yet another scientific miracle of the Qur’an that attention is drawn instead to the weight of the atom and not its size or any other feature.
The 20th century saw a great many new discoveries regarding celestial phenomena in the universe. One of these entities, which has only recently been encountered, is the Black Hole. These are formed when a star which has consumed all its fuel collapses in on itself, eventually turning into a black hole with infinite density and zero volume and an immensely powerful magnetic field. We are unable to see black holes even with the most powerful telescope, because their gravitational pull is so strong that light is unable to escape from them. However, such a collapsed star can be perceived by means of the effect it has on the surrounding area. In Surat al-Waqi’a, Allah draws attention this matter in this way, by swearing upon the position of stars:
And I swear by the stars’ positions-and that is a mighty oath if you only knew. (Qur’an, 56:75-76)
The term “black hole” was first employed in 1969 by the American physicist John Wheeler. Previously, we imagined that we were able to see all the stars. However, it later emerged that there were stars in space whose light we were unable to perceive. Because, the light of these collapsed stars disappears. Light cannot escape from a black hole because it is such a high concentration of mass in a small space. The enormous gravitation captures even the fastest particles, i.e. the photons. For example, the final stage of a typical star, three times the mass of the Sun, ends after its burning out and its implosion as a black hole of only 20 kilometres in diameter! Black holes are “black,” i.e. veiled from direct observation. They nevertheless reveal themselves indirectly, by the tremendous suction which their gravitational force exerts on other heavenly bodies. As well as depictions of the Day of Judgement, the verse below may also be pointing to this scientific discovery about black holes:
When the stars are extinguished, (Qur’an, 77:8)
Moreover, stars of great mass also cause warps to be perceived in space. Black holes, however, do not just cause warps in space but also tear holes in it. That is why these collapsed stars are known as black holes. This fact may be referred to in the verse about stars, and this is another important item of information demonstrating that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah:
[I swear] by Heaven and the Tariq! And what will convey to you what the Tariq is? The Star Piercing [the darkness]! (Qur’an, 86:1-3)
[I swear] by Heaven and the Tariq! And what will convey to you what the Tariq is? The Star Piercing [the darkness]! (Qur’an, 86:1-3)
The word “Tariq,” name of the Sura 86, comes from the root “tarq,” whose basic meaning is that of striking hard enough to produce a sound, or hitting. Bearing in mind the word’s possible meaning as “beating,” “striking hard,” our attention may be being drawn in this sura to an important scientific fact. Before analysing this information, let us look at the other words employed in the verse to describe these stars. The term “alttariqi” in the above verse means a star that pierces the night, that pierces the darkness, born at night, piercing and moving on, beating, striking, or sharp star. Furthermore, the term “waal” draws attention to the things being sworn on-the heaven and the Tariq.
Through research carried out by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, at Cambridge University in 1967, a regular radio signal was identified. Until that time, however, it was not known that that there was a heavenly body that could be the source of regular pulse or beating rather like that of the heart. In 1967, however, astronomers stated that, as matter grows denser in the core as it revolves around its own axis, the star’s magnetic field also grows stronger, and thus gives rise to a magnetic field at its poles 1 trillion times stronger than that of Earth. They realised that a body revolving so fast and with such a powerful magnetic field emits rays consisting of very powerful radio waves in a conic form at every revolution. Shortly afterwards, it was also realised that the source of these signals is the rapid revolution of neutron stars. These newly discovered neutron stars are known as “pulsars.” These stars, which turn into pulsars through supernova explosions, are of the greatest mass, and are the brightest and fastest moving bodies in the universe. Some pulsars revolve 600 times a second.50
The word “pulsar” comes from the verb to pulse. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word means to pulsate, to beat. Encarta Dictionary defines it as to beat rhythmically, to move or throb with a strong regular rhythm. Again, according to the Encarta Dictionary, the word “pulsate,” which comes from the same root, means to expand and contract with a strong regular beat.
Following that discovery, it was realised that the phenomenon described in the Qur’an as “tariq,” beating, bore a great similarity to the neutron stars known as pulsars.
Neutron stars form as the nuclei of super giant stars collapse. The highly compressed and dense matter, in the form of a rapidly revolving sphere, entraps and squeezes most of the star’s weight and magnetic field. The powerful magnetic field created by these rapidly revolving neutron stars has been shown to cause the emission of powerful radio waves observable on Earth.
In the third verse of Surat at-Tariq the term “alnnajmu alththaqibu,” meaning piercing, piercing and moving on, or opening holes, indicates that Tariq is a bright star that pierces a hole in the darkness and moves on. The concept of the term “adraka” in the expression “And what will convey to you what the Tariq is?” refers to comprehension. Pulsars, formed through the compression of stars several times the size of the Sun, are among those celestial bodies that are hard to comprehend. The question in the verse emphasizes how hard it is to comprehend this beating star. (Allah knows best.)
As discussed, the stars described as Tariq in the Qur’an bear a close similarity to the pulsars described in the 20th century, and may reveal to us another scientific miracle of the Qur’an.
When certain concepts mentioned in the Qur’an are studied in the light of 21st century scientific discoveries we find ourselves imparted with yet more miracles of the Qur’an. One of these is the star Sirius, mentioned in Surat an-Najm 49:
… it is He Who is the Lord of Sirius. (Qur’an, 53: 49)
The fact that the Arabic word “shiaara,” the equivalent of the star Sirius, appears only in Surat an-Najm, meaning only “star,” 49 is particularly striking. Because, considering the irregularity in the movement of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, as their starting point, scientists discovered that it was actually a double star. Sirius is actually a set of two stars, known as Sirius A and Sirius B. The larger of these is Sirius A, which is also the closer to the Earth and the brightest star that can be seen with the naked eye. Sirius B, however, cannot be seen without a telescope.
The Sirius double stars orbit in ellipses about one another. The orbital period of Sirius A & B about their common centre of gravity is 49.9 years. This scientific data is today accepted with one accord by the departments of astronomy at Harvard, Ottawa and Leicester Universities.51 However, this scientific fact, the accuracy of which was only realised in the late 20th century, was miraculously indicated in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago. When verses 49 and 9 of Surat an-Najm are read together, this miracle becomes apparent:
… it is He Who is the Lord of Sirius, (Qur’an, 53: 49)
He was two bow-lengths away or even closer. (Qur’an, 53:9)
The description in Surat an-Najm 9 may also describe how these two stars approach one another in their orbits. (Allah knows best.) This scientific fact, that nobody could have known at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an, once again proves that the Qur’an is the Word of Almighty Allah.
[He is] the Originator of the heavens and earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, “Be!” and it is.
Praise belongs to Allah Who created the heavens and the earth and appointed darkness and light… (Qur’an, 6:1)
We all know that without light a person cannot see his surroundings with the naked eye. However, the light that we can see is only a very small part of all light-emitting energy. There are other kinds of light-emitting energy that human beings cannot perceive, such as infra-red, ultra-violet, x-rays and radio waves. Human beings are effectively blind to such light waves.
It is interesting, therefore, that the word for “darkness” in the Qur’an is always in the plural. The Arabic word, “ththulumat,” is used in the plural in 23 verses of the Qur’an, and never used in the singular. The use of the word “darkness” in the Qur’an indicates that in addition to those light waves we can see, there may also be other kinds.
Only recently did scientists discover why the plural may have been used here. Wave lengths vary in a form of energy known as electromagnetic radiation. All the different forms of electromagnetic radiation behave as energy waves in space. This can be compared to the waves which form when a stone is thrown into a pond. As the waves on a pond can be of different sizes, so electromagnetic radiation has different-sized waves.
Stars and other sources of light do not all give off the same kind of emissions. These different rays are classified according to their wavelengths. The spectrum of wavelengths is quite wide. There is a 1025 (a billion times a billion times a billion) difference between gamma rays, with the smallest size wavelength, and radio waves, which are the largest. Nearly all the rays emitted by the Sun are squeezed into just one part of this 1025 spectrum.
In order to better understand the colossal dimensions of this figure, it will be useful to make a comparison. If we wanted to count to 1025, and if we counted day and night without pause, it would take us 100 million times the age of the Earth to finish. The different wavelengths in the universe are distributed within a spectrum of just such a size. 70% of the different wavelengths emitted by the Sun are limited to a very narrow spectrum between 0.3 microns and 1.5 microns. There are three kinds of light within that band: visible light, infra-red light and ultraviolet light. Despite occupying a band less than 1 in 1025, the rays known as visible light represent 41% of all the Sun’s rays.
As has been discussed, electromagnetic waves perceivable to the human eye are responsible for only a very small part of the light spectrum. The other regions represent only darkness for human beings, who are blind to wavelengths outside that band.52
taken from United Indian Muslims grOup