Chapter 3: THE EARTH
this chapter, you will come to know the planet Earth better.
You will understand the importance for our lives of Earth's
shape and of the blue sky. You will also have a chance to
recognise that the perfect systems you observe are created
by Allah only to make our lives liveable.
THE FINELY-TUNED BALANCES OF OUR EARTH
the sixteenth century, that is 500 years ago, although some
of the Greeks did have an idea about it, people did not generally
know that Earth was a planet. Observations made at that time
helped people to recognise this. In the 20th century, mankind
was sure about the location of Earth in the Solar System.
Earth is the third farthest planet from the Sun and the fifth
Scientists believe that Earth has an iron
core which has a temperature of 7,500°C (13,500°F). This is
even hotter than the surface of the sun. However, because
you never feel a bit of this terrible warmth, you can sit
in your classroom listening to your teacher or sleep soundly
in your bed. Earth's crust insulates us from this heat. Allah
is very merciful to us because He has created the Earth's
crust on which we live thick enough to prevent the heat getting
through it. Moreover, Allah has created a human-friendly atmosphere
for us. He has also given plants some features so that they
can maintain the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance.
This structure of Earth and other fine
balances reveal that Earth is specially designed for mankind
to live on.
fish in an aquarium requires meticulous care. The atmosphere
provides this care for Earth.
From its atmosphere to its geography,
from its distance from the Sun to all forms of balances, Earth
is a special planet created to support life. For example,
we may compare our Earth to an aquarium. An aquarium provides
the most appropriate conditions for fish. A thermostat maintains
the proper temperature of the water, there is a motor for
ventilation and sand placed on the bottom. There are special
pills to be placed in the water, there is the protective cover
of the aquarium, a filter system continually filtering the
water, and a continuous food supply… All these support the
life of the fish in the aquarium.
However, the fish within the aquarium
are unaware of this artificial environment. They assume they
live in a "natural" setting or an environment that came into
existence spontaneously. They are unaware that someone has
supplied the thermostat and adjusted the levels of the water
or the functioning of the ventilating motor. They also do
not know who provides the food that suddenly appears on the
surface of the water. Nevertheless, the source is obvious;
the owners of the aquarium provide everything the fish need.
Obviously, life on Earth requires more
delicate systems than life in an aquarium.
person of wisdom does not spend his life in ignorance like
fish in an aquarium. He understands that Earth is "ready-made"
for him and it has a Creator and a Governor. Without doubt,
Allah established these delicate balances and this order that
make life possible on Earth. An intelligent person wants to
know the Lord Who gives all these blessings to him and to
learn what He expects from him. In the Book He has sent us,
Allah lets us know Him and informs us about His expectations
No doubt, Allah set up the fine balances
and the order making life on Earth possible. Allah tells us
about this in the Qur'an:
We placed firmly embedded mountains on the earth, so it would
not move under them, and We put broad valleys as roadways in it, so that perhaps
they might be guided. We made the sky a preserved and protected roof … (Surat
Allah designed, balanced, and harmonised
every detail on Earth to make it a liveable place for us.
Anyone who realises this fact should believe in Allah, see
His infinite power and be grateful for everything He has given
Now, let's examine some of the balances
Allah, our Creator, has created on our planet and witness
His infinite Might.
Location of Earth in the Universe
What would happen if our Earth were a
little closer to the sun? The answer is obvious because everybody
knows that the heat of the Sun is scorching. Indeed, because
of this enormous heat, we would neither have the current atmosphere
nor the oceans and the seas… The temperature would be so high
that the majority of the water on Earth would evaporate. In
that case, no water would remain on Earth. Earth would be
as dry as a desert.
For example, in an earlier chapter we
mentioned that the planet Venus is closer to the Sun than
our planet. Therefore, the temperature of Venus is higher
than that of Earth. At times, this temperature may rise up
to 475°C (885°F). In order to visualise how high this temperature
is, just think that when you put some water on the hot-plate,
it starts boiling at 100°C (212°F).
the Sun were a little closer to our planet, Earth would
be scorched dry like a desert, as the picture above
depicts. If the Sun were more distant, then Earth would
be entirely covered with ice, as is shown in the picture
on the right.
Now, let's think of the opposite. What
if Earth were farther from the sun? In this case, our Earth
would receive less heat. You can imagine that if this were
the case, a great part of Earth would freeze and turn to ice.
Earth's surface would resemble the dry, icy surface of Mars,
which is the planet a little bit farther from the sun than
the earth. We can draw a conclusion from these cases: Our
Earth is located just at the right place! How do you think
this has happened? Could it be a coincidence that our Earth
is in exactly the right place? Surely, that cannot be. The
Earth is a non-living and unconscious planet. It is unlikely
that it could work out the most appropriate place on its own,
or settle itself there by coincidence. The fact that Earth
is in the most suitable location is a sign of Allah's perfect
The latest astronomical findings have
shown the importance of the other planets' existence for Earth.
For example, Jupiter's size and position turn out to be critical.
As the biggest planet in the system, Jupiter makes the Earth's
orbit more stable.
If a planet of such size did not exist
where Jupiter is, Earth would be the target of meteors and
comets wandering about in space. In short, Jupiter is like
a shield protecting Earth. If Jupiter were in some other orbit,
our earth, and therefore we would not be around.
A wise person who knows all these things,
understands that nothing in this universe is created without
purpose. This understanding is described in the Qur'an as
In the creation of the heavens and
the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are
Signs for people with intelligence. (Surah Al 'Imran: 190)
As the verse suggests, we should think
over the creation of the heavens and the earth. What you have
learned from this book illustrates Allah's creation of the
universe. When you reflect on this knowledge, you will have
a better comprehension of Allah's power.
OUR EARTH'S SHAPE IN THE QUR'AN
Dear Children, you know that our Earth
is round. Thanks to technological breakthroughs, this fact
is also observed in the photographs of Earth taken from space.
The Qur'an that Allah sent us 1,400 years ago makes certain
statements that led Muslim scientists to understand that the
Earth is round.
He created the heavens and the earth with truth. He wraps
the night around the day and wraps the day around the night… (Surat az-Zumar:
"Takwir," the word used for "wrapping
around" in Arabic, means "to fold something round about as
cover". The information provided in the verse about night's
wrapping around day and vice versa, (takwir) also stimulates
one to think of the world as a globe.
During that period, however, it was extensively
believed that the Earth was not round but flat. All scientific
computations and explanations were based on this flawed approach.
At the period, people were so ignorant about space that some
people held the weird belief that the Earth was placed between
the horns of an ox.
Dear Children, you have recognized that
the information scientists could only attain centuries after
the revelation of the Qur'an were hinted at by Allah in the
Qur'an a long time ago. This is one of the obvious proofs
that the Qur'an is the Word of Allah, the One Who has created
the entire universe and Who has knowledge of all things.
The Temperature of Earth
Dear Children, do you know what the average
temperature in space is? -270°C (-455°F)! Such a low temperature
makes life impossible. The average temperature of our Earth
is between 15°C and 20°C (60-70°F). This temperature varies
considerably as one rises to the upper layers of the atmosphere.
to the existence of different altitudes on Earth, at
one altitude some people can swim and sunbathe, while
at higher altitudes in the same region others can play
snowballs and ski.
For instance, the African continent is
a hot region. What would you say if we asked you, "Can you
make a snowman in Africa?" We already know your answer. Probably
most of you will answer: "In order to make a snowman you need
some snow. Since it is unlikely to find snow in such a warm
region, there is no chance of making a snowman." However,
you are wrong, because you can make a snowman in the African
continent at any time you like, even though it is known to
be extremely warm. To do so, you must climb mount Kilimanjaro,
whose peak is the highest point on the continent. The upper
parts of this mountain, which are quite high above sea level,
are always covered with snow. That is because, moving uphill
from the ground, the temperature decreases. The temperature
falls to nearly -50°C (-58°F) in the atmospheric layer called
the "Stratosphere". Rising further, the weather warms up again.
Owing to the protection Allah provides for us, no huge temperature
differences exist on Earth.
The maintenance of this temperature range
is both related to the amount of heat that the Sun radiates
as well as the distance between Earth and the Sun. In the
previous chapters, we touched on this topic. We will tackle
this issue in detail here. According to calculations, a reduction
of just 10 percent in the energy given off by the Sun would
result in the Earth's surface being covered by layers of ice
many metres thick. Yet if the Sun's energy were to increase
a little, all living things would be scorched and die.
The speed the Earth spins at also helps
keep the temperature distribution in balance. The Earth makes
a complete rotation once every 24 hours. For this reason,
the alternating periods of daylight and darkness are short.
Because they are short, the temperature differences between
night and day are quite small.
The importance of this can be seen in
the extreme example of Mercury, where a day lasts longer than
a year and where the difference between day-time and night-time
temperatures is almost 1,000°C (1,800°F).
Geography also helps distribute heat equally
over the Earth. There is a difference of about 100°C (212°F)
between polar and equatorial regions of Earth. If such a temperature
difference were to exist over a completely level area, the
result would be wild winds sweeping away everything in their
The mountain chains that cross
Earth prevent the violent storms at polar regions from
creating chaos on Earth, and help to keep the planet's
temperature in balance.
Instead, Earth is full of geographical
barriers that block the huge movements of air that such temperature
differences would otherwise cause. Those barriers are chains
of mountains like the one that stretches from east to west,
beginning with the Himalayas in China and continuing with
the Taurus mountains in Anatolia and the Alps in Europe.
We have learned how our Earth maintains
its temperate, although the temperature in outer space is
around -270°C (-455°F). If the temperature of Earth were too
cold or too hot, to the extent of becoming a threat to human
life, we would simply not be able to survive. Therefore, the
moderate temperate level on Earth is Allah's blessing. In
return for this blessing, we ought to show gratitude to Allah,
Who provides the most beautiful conditions of life for us.
This is one of the most important things we need to keep in
How big is Earth and how does Allah protect
our Earth against other bodies in space?
In the next section, we will answer these
The Size of Earth And
Its Protection from Other Celestial Bodies
As you will remember in earlier sections,
we mentioned the varying sizes of planets.
Now let's compare our Earth with other
planets with respect to their sizes. Lets start by making
the following comparison: Let's imagine that our Earth is
a pea. In this case, Mercury could be considered a sesame
seed, Venus a pea like our Earth, Mars a watermelon seed,
Jupiter an orange, Saturn a tangerine, Uranus and Neptune
cherries, and Pluto a sesame seed. These apart, the Sun would
be a huge ball bigger than a basketball in comparison to our
Is the size of Earth as compared to other
planets "coincidental"? Or, on the other hand, is it deliberate?
When we examine the size of Earth, we
can easily see that our planet was designed to be exactly
as large as it is.
If Earth were a little smaller, gravitation
would weaken and prove too feeble to hold the atmosphere around
it. Without the atmosphere, our world would be vulnerable
to meteors and harmful radiation from space. In addition,
loss of oxygen would mean the end of life. If the Earth were
larger, the gravitational pull would increase tremendously,
turning the atmosphere into a deadly mixture since it would
preserve some poisonous gases.
item produced by a shoemaker, a carpenter or a coppersmith
is a design peculiar to these craftsmen. They plan every
stage of their work and make careful measurements. No
one would dare to assert that these works of art have
appeared spontaneously, without design or plan. Similarly,
it would be nonsense to assert that billions of galaxies,
planets and stars in the universe have come into being
In addition to its mass, the interior
of Earth is also specially designed. The layers of the core
move around each other, and this movement is what creates
Earth's magnetic field. This magnetic field has a vital role
in the preservation of life. Extending far beyond the surface,
this field protects Earth from the effects of harmful radiation
from outer space.
Other scientific findings show us that
the universe has not been left abandoned. Certainly, Allah;
the Lord of the universe, the Creator, holds control over
the entire universe, and creates and sustains the galaxies,
stars and planets under His power.
The blue planet on which we live is a
special creation of Allah. In the Qur'an, Allah describes
this amazing creation in the 2nd verse of Surat al-Furqan
with the words "He created everything and determined it most
exactly." It may be that this statement makes it plain, as
do many other verses of the Qur'an, that on this planet, Allah
provides everything man needs.
Dear Children, from now on we will start
exploring Earth. First, let's examine the reason why our Lord
created blue oceans and seas and learn the blessings they
Oceans - Seas
71 percent of Earth's surface is covered
with water. Earth is the only planet where water is in its
liquid form. Water gathering in giant holes forms the oceans,
which are essential for life to exist.
Delicious seafood is another
blessing Allah has created for us in the seas.
For example, they prevent sudden variations
in atmospheric temperature and thus help living things to
exist within a stable range of temperatures. They also soften
the climates. In addition, oceans shape seashores through
erosion and corrosion. On no other planet does there exist
such a system.
Moreover, oceans offer a variety of fish
and seafood to us. Eating this delicious seafood, swimming
in the sea and travelling by boat are all blessings that Allah
has given us.
Dear Children, Allah has created everything
we need perfectly. Of course, apart from these beautiful things,
there are also dangerous things such as the volcanoes that
sometimes erupt, although they usually remain silent. Now,
we will turn our attention to these volcanoes.
Mountains That Spray Magma
Because the magma, or melted rock, under
Earth's crust is in liquid form, it occasionally finds a way
out through the cracks on Earth's crust and violently erupts.
This scary event is called a volcanic eruption.
eruptions reveal that the interior of our planet is
immensely hot. If Earth were not under Allah's protection,
we would have to face tremendous volcanic explosions.
Often with a great explosion, the volcano
erupts spewing tons of dust and ash into the atmosphere. This
eruption forms a giant, dark cloud in the sky. Then magma
starts moving over Earth's surface, wiping out the forests
and cities it encounters.
The magma flowing from the volcano over
the Earth is called "lava". In time, lava cools on the Earth's
surface and solidifies, forming rocks. Throughout history,
many cities were destroyed because of such disasters. For
instance, in the first century CE, sudden volcanic eruptions
obliterated the town of Pompeii, then a very prosperous Roman
town, from the face of the earth. It was so sudden that people
in the town died before they had a chance to escape. The lava
rapidly reached the town of Pompeii and covered the whole
town, leaving all its residents for dead.
No soul remained alive; the people of
Pompeii, who were known for their disobedience to Allah's
commands and their immorality, died at once. The inevitable
end awaiting these and similar people is described in the
Qur'an as follows:
…Against some We sent a sudden squall of
stones; some of them were seized by the Great Blast; some
We caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned… (Surat
Dear Children, these verses indicate that Allah
has power over all things and He can destroy everything on
Earth whenever He wills. Nobody is safe from His punishment.
However, Allah is also very compassionate and merciful to
His servants. Throughout this book, we have seen much evidence
of Allah's endless compassion. That these volcanic eruptions
only occasionally take place is another blessing of Allah
if we would only reflect upon it.
Children, do you ever wonder what is happening in the sky
when you look up? We believe you are all curious about it.
Let us now turn our minds towards the skies!
The layer of air around Earth is called
the "atmosphere". The atmosphere is made up of seven layers.
Each layer is composed of different gases, all in perfect
harmony with one another.
In the Qur'an, Allah mentions that He
arranged the heaven into seven heavens:
In two days He determined them as seven heavens… (Surah Fussilat:
The word "heaven" used in many verses
in the Qur'an also means "sky". It is also thought to refer
to the different depths of space as well as the Earth's sky.
If this second meaning of the word is considered, it is stated
in the verse that Earth's sky, that is, the atmosphere is
made up of 7 layers. Of course, there can be other meanings
of the verse, but it is very interesting that when we study
the sky, we find that it is composed of seven layers:
This is the part closest to Earth's surface. The thickness
of this layer varies according to the climates. The temperature
drops as the altitude increases, and the temperature at the
highest altitude is between -51°C (-60°F) and -79°C (-110°F).
The layer above the troposphere. The temperature rises
as one moves upwards.
- Mesosphere: The
layer above the stratosphere. Here, the temperature drops
to -73°C (-100°F).
This is the layer above the Mesosphere. The temperature rises
at a slower rate. The temperature difference between night
and day is more than 100°C (212°F).
- Exosphere: The
layer that begins at an altitude of 500 kilometres (310 miles)
above Earth's surface.
Gases in this region are found in ionic form. These ionised
gases are what give the layer its name.
Due to the Earth's magnetic field lying in this layer, it
is called the Magnetosphere. This layer, which functions like
a protective shield, is located between 3,000 and 30,000 kilometres
(1,850 and 18,500 miles) above the surface. As we explained
before, this region, which protects the Earth against harmful
radiation coming from space, is called the Van Allen belt.
To have a better grasp of how important
the atmosphere is for us, let's also look at the other planets.
For example, let's assume we are on the planet Mercury. There
is no atmosphere on this planet. However, an atmosphere is
essential for life. So far, we have mentioned the importance
of the gases in the atmosphere, such as oxygen, or the protective
features of the atmosphere. There is, however, also the weight
of the atmosphere, which is fundamental to human life.
The atmosphere is made of light air.
This does not mean that the atmosphere
has no weight. Actually, these layers of air kilometres-thick
rising above us are very heavy.
According to research, the atmosphere
applies tons of weight in pressure on every one of us. This
is called "air pressure". Now you may raise the question,
"So, why aren't we crushed?" We aren't crushed because our
bodies are created with the strength to withstand the weight
of the atmosphere. We would no longer function or even exist
in an environment with a lower air pressure. That is because,
without this pressure, the blood circulating rapidly in our
body would exert tremendous pressure on our veins. Unless
balanced by atmospheric pressure, our veins would burst due
to the high pressure.
Therefore, it is not possible for human
beings to live in an environment, such as Mercury's, lacking
There is an atmosphere on the planet Venus.
Because the pressure on Venus is ninety times greater than
the pressure of Earth's atmosphere, it does not provide suitable
conditions for human life. From this information, we understand
that no life can exist on the planet Venus since under its
great pressure all living things would be crushed.
Let us go over the points we made earlier:
The atmosphere is one of the essentials for life on Earth.
The atmosphere has many functions, some of which have been
briefly explained above. As you will remember, one of these
is the importance of the gases that make up the atmosphere
for human life. If the atmosphere did not exist, living things
could not breathe, and thus there would be no life on Earth.
atmosphere protects our planet from meteors and the
harmful radiation of the Sun.
Another function of the atmosphere is
to protect our Earth against threats from outer space, such
as meteors. The atmosphere prevents meteors from falling on
Earth and causing harm.
The atmosphere also blocks harmful radiation
coming from space. Thanks to the atmosphere, only 7 percent
of this harmful radiation reaches Earth. Here is another topic
to think over: The radiation that is capable of supporting
life on Earth is just the kind of radiation that Earth receives.
As you will remember too, the distance of our Earth from the
Sun is just right, neither too far away nor too close.
you believe it if you were told that the delicious cakes
you enjoy eating could come into being spontaneously?
Knowing your mother made the cakes, you would find this
a nonsensical idea. Similarly, the universe couldn't
have come into being by accident, since it has a Designer
and a Creator.
Dear Children, could the atmosphere, which
is so critical for our lives, have originated by itself, by
A good analogy showing that this is certainly
not a possibility is the following: Think about delicious
sweet cakes. What gives these cakes their delicious taste?
No doubt, they are so delicious because your mother adds just
the right amount of ingredients to the flour, kneads the dough
properly and finally bakes it at the right temperature. Would
you believe someone who says, "You actually don't need your
mother for these delicious cakes; they can cook themselves
spontaneously"? Of course, you would find these words nonsense.
In this case, could the atmosphere surrounding our Earth have
come into existence spontaneously? We already know that this
Someone who knows all this would probably
say the following when he looks at the sky, "If Allah had
not created the atmosphere, it would be impossible to live
on Earth." Or, he would think to himself, "Allah is Exalted
in power. If our Lord did not protect our Earth, giant meteors
would strike Earth and destroy it completely." You can reflect
on all the information you learn in a similar way. This is
also a way to show your gratitude to Allah.
The Atmosphere's Suitability for Life
Earth's atmosphere is equipped with all
kinds of features essential for life. Now, let's describe
the special structure of our atmosphere.
atmosphere consists of 77 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen
and 1 percent carbon dioxide, argon and other gases. Let us
first examine oxygen.
Oxygen is essential for life, since the
energy needed for living beings is obtained through chemical
processes most of which take place through oxygen. That is
why we always need oxygen, and breathe to meet our need for
The level of oxygen in the atmosphere
is just right for life. If this ratio were 22 percent instead
of 21 percent, just one flash of lightning would be enough
to burn a whole forest. If this ratio were 25 percent, huge
fires would burn the Earth, since oxygen is a flammable gas.
the oxygen ratio in the atmosphere were 22 percent instead
of 21 percent, the atmosphere might catch fire and would
pose a great threat to life on Earth.
The following question might occur to
you: What would happen if all oxygen in the atmosphere were
used up? Despite the heavy air pollution of the last century,
this hasn't yet become a threat, since more than 80 percent
of the oxygen produced on our Earth is generated by microscopic
organisms in the oceans. That is, even if all the forests
disappeared, there would still be oxygen in the atmosphere.
A perfect system maintains the oxygen
content in the atmosphere. This is called the recycling system.
Animals and human beings use up oxygen and produce carbon
dioxide. Plants, on the other hand, consume carbon dioxide
and produce oxygen. They maintain the continuity of life by
turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. Every day, billions of
tons of oxygen are produced by plants and released into the
percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced
by the microscopic marine organisms seen in the picture
One point deserves special mention here.
Why do only plants produce oxygen? Would not life be easier
if all living beings produced oxygen?
No, absolutely not! Life would not be
easier. On the contrary, if animals and human beings also
produced oxygen, the oxygen ratio in the atmosphere would
increase so much that the atmosphere would become "flammable"
in a short while. Consequently, a tiny spark would cause enormous
On the other hand, if all living beings,
including plants, produced carbon dioxide, then the oxygen
in the atmosphere would be quickly consumed and living things
would start dying of "suffocation" in great numbers, since
there would no longer be any oxygen to breathe.
Dear Children, as you see, apart from
protecting us, the atmosphere preserves the oxygen we need
to breathe. Allah has created many interrelated systems to
keep the oxygen level stable. That is, Allah has created many
delicate balances. This is very easy for Allah.
Always keep in mind that every breath
you take without difficulty is a reason to be grateful to
Allah. That is because, if Allah did not so will it, there
would be neither atmosphere nor oxygen.
CLOUDS THAT DRIFT
When we look at the sky, we see white
or grey clouds that look like lumps of cotton-wool. Sometimes
we think they resemble some other objects, don't we? Have
you ever thought how clouds come into existence? Now, let's
A rain cloud of an average
size holds about 300,000 tons (300 million kilograms,
or 660 million pounds) of water.
Every day, the Sun's heat causes water
on the Earth's surface to evaporate. This form of water existing
in the air is called "water vapour". Air coming closer to
the ground grows warm. Warm air rises, and on its way it carries
the water vapour to higher altitudes. At high altitudes, the
water vapour inside the warm air encounters cool air and thus
turns into tiny water droplets and forms clouds.
Water evaporating from oceans rich in
salt and lakes with a high mineral content carries these salt
particles upward to higher altitudes. These particles of salt
are so tiny that they are invisible to the naked eye. Winds
that carry these droplets collect 27 million tons of salt
in a day in the atmosphere. These salts form the centres of
Clouds look like cotton-wool from Earth.
You may therefore assume that they do not weigh very much.
However, when these water crystals turn into rain, you see
tons of water falling to the ground. An average rain cloud
consists of 300,000 tons of water. (One ton is equal to 1,000
kilograms (2,200 pounds). 300,000 tons is 300 million kilograms
(660 million pounds). If you consider that the weight of an
average adult is about 60-70 kilograms (130-150 pounds), you
can see how enormous this figure is.) 300,000 tons hangs in
Allah brings down the rain from these
giant clouds to revive the Earth. In this way, every corner
of Earth receives enough water. In the Qur'an, our Lord informs
us how clouds cause rain:
Do you not see that Allah propels the clouds then makes them
coalesce then heaps them up, and then you see the rain come pouring out of the
middle of them… (Surat an-Nur: 43)
Besides that, Allah draws our attention
to the purity of the water He sends down from the sky:
… And We send down from heaven pure water.
(Surat al-Furqan: 48)
As the verse above suggests, rain falls on the
ground pure and clean. It includes a very small amount of
salt and minerals. This is surely a blessing of Allah, since
soil receives the salt and minerals it needs from rainwater.
If the water evaporating from the oceans contained a high
ratio of salt, when it fell on land in the form of rain this
would be very harmful to life on our planet. If rainwater
were very salty, it would wither the soil and plants away,
which would result in the death of all living things. In brief,
life on Earth would soon come to an end. However, this never
happens, because Allah has great compassion for people. This
we are informed in the Qur'an:
Have you thought about the water that you
drink? Is it you who sent it down from the clouds or are We
the Sender? If We wished We could have made it salty, so will
you not give thanks? (Surat al-Waqi'a: 68-70)
The explanation in the verse above makes
it clear that Allah specially created everything on Earth
suitable for human life.
Dear Children, as you have seen, we have
no power over anything we need for our lives. Unless Allah
willed it, we could not live on Earth. For this reason, at
every moment we should remember that Allah is the Creator
of everything and we should always thank Him.
We have learned how water on Earth evaporates,
how clouds form and turn into rain. Now, how about learning
how rain falls on Earth in due measure?
MEASURE OF THE RAIN
Rain falls down to Earth in a certain measure.
This measure has only been worked out by contemporary research.
Computations reveal that 16 million tons of water evaporate
every second. In a year, this amounts to 505 trillion tons.
Again, each year, 505 trillion tons of rain fall on Earth's
surface. As it turns out, this amount is the same from one
year to another. This fact, which has recently been discovered
by scientists, is reflected in the Qur'an, which was revealed
1,400 years ago:
It is He Who sends down water in due measure
from the sky … (Surat az-Zukhruf: 11)
year on average, 505 trillion tons of water fall on
Earth. This amount does not alter from one year to another.
This is an example of the fact that Allah creates everything
in due measure and balance.
Dear Children! It is very fascinating
that Allah refers to an exact measure, or amount, in which
He sends down water from the sky, as is the discovery that
the amount falling every year is constant. Here, the parallel
is very striking.
The evaporation and condensation of equal
amounts of water mentioned above, that is the "water cycle,"
maintains the continuity of life on Earth. Maintaining this
measure artificially would be impossible, even if all contemporary
technological means were put to use.
A minor change in the water cycle would
cause great instability in nature in a very short time, which
would ultimately mean the end of life. However, that never
happens; Earth's surface always receives the same amount of
rainfall. Allah "sends down water in due measure…"
You must by now have understood that Allah
holds the measure of rainfall under His control. Otherwise,
how could it be possible that the same amount of rain falls
on Earth each year? This is improbable. Allah is the Lord
of the entire universe, and everything happens by His will.
Now we will turn our attention to a very
interesting topic, the rainbow.
THE COLOURFUL RAINBOW
You must have seen a rainbow at least
once in your life. If not, you have probably seen a picture
of one in a book or on television. The sight of a rainbow
is quite astonishing, since its colours and shape are enchanting.
Have you ever wondered how this colourful arc comes into existence?
If you haven't, let us tell you.
rainbow forms when sunlight separates into seven different
colours while passing through raindrops. Observed from
space, a rainbow is a circle, but we can only see half
of this circle.
A rainbow sometimes appears when the Sun
comes out after rain. It is an arc of seven colours lined
up one after another. The rainbow looks like a crown and has
a very impressive appearance.
A rainbow is actually a trick of the light.
It consists of the basic colours of sunlight. Indeed, the
white rays of the Sun are actually multi-coloured. These colours
coming from the Sun are called the spectrum. The basic colours
of the spectrum are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo
and violet. The white of sunlight is formed when these colours
are combined. Once sunlight passes through a drop of rain,
the colours that make it up appear. That is because water
refracts, or separates the colours of, light. These separate
colours pass through the raindrop and refract out at different
Does this seem complicated? If you think
it is, find a crystal glass and flash a strong light through
it. Here, the glass assumes the role of the raindrop. You
will see that when the glass is exposed to a strong light,
a small rainbow appears on the wall.
While talking about rainbows, we always
see them as semicircular. However, this is not true, since
the rainbow is actually a circle. However, it is not possible
to observe all of this circle from the ground. Therefore,
we always see the rainbow as semicircular. Only from an aeroplane
could we see the rainbow as a circle.
centre of the rainbow's circle is always a point exactly opposite
the Sun. When the Sun rises higher, the rainbow also moves
higher to remain at the level of the Sun.
Our Lord creates this colourful and enchanting
sight of a rainbow especially so that we can take pleasure
from the beauties of Earth, and reflect on His power and attributes.
Allah has the power to create an infinite number of beautiful
things. Therefore, this does not surprise us but makes us
appreciate Allah better and be more grateful to Him.
Now we will focus our attention on another
astonishing splendour. This time, we will examine a small
celestial object, the moon that astonishes us with its beauty
THE MOON THAT ILLUMINATES OUR NIGHTS
The moon resembles an enormous stone ball
that spins around our Earth. At night, in a cloudless sky,
the moon shines brilliantly in the pitch-black. However, the
Moon is not a real source of light. Just like a mirror, it
reflects the light of the Sun. This feature of the moon is
referred to in the Qur'an:
be He who placed constellations in the sky and put a blazing lamp and shining
moon among them. (Surat al-Furqan: 61)
We always see the same side of the Moon
since it rotates both around itself and around the Earth every
twenty-nine days. Since the period of rotation in both cases
is the same, we always see the same face of the Moon.
When we look at the sky at night, the
moon sometimes appears as a circle and sometimes as a semicircle.
As the Moon rotates around Earth, its illuminated face takes
and the Moon attract one another, but the gravitational force
of Earth is six times greater than that of the Moon. Despite
this, the gravitation of the Moon influences Earth and causes
"lunar tides" in the oceans and seas. A regular variation
occurs in the surface level of the oceans. If the gravitational
attraction of the Moon were stronger, the tides would cause
water levels to rise and fall considerably. Under such circumstances,
regions near the oceans and seas would be flooded regularly.
However, during tides, water usually rises
to a moderate level because our Lord has "fine-tuned" the
gravitational forces of the Moon and Earth so as to protect
us from disaster.
NIGHT-DAY AND THE SEASONS
Earth is inclined to its axis at 23° 27'. If this angle
did not exist, there would be no seasons.
During its rotation on its axis, our Earth
is slightly inclined from its orbit. This is what causes the
formation of the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and
If Allah willed, however, our Earth would
stand straight upright to its orbit. Then there would be no
seasons. The temperature would be the same all over Earth.
From the food we eat to the air we breathe, our lifestyles
and environment would be completely different.
Dear Children, have you ever wondered
how night and day come into existence? Space is completely
dark. However, on our Earth, which is also in space, there
is an alteration between night and day. In the morning, we
wake up to sunshine but when night falls, it becomes dark.
Well, how do you think our Earth becomes bright in the morning?
As our Earth moves along its orbit, it
also turns around itself like a spinning top. As Earth revolves
around itself, the side facing the Sun becomes light.
Unlike our planet, Uranus rotates on its
side, as if the planet has fallen over. This causes the planet
to roll around the Sun in its orbit like a barrel. The equator
of Uranus is tilted at 98° with respect to its orbit, so that
each pole is almost facing the Sun during part of each orbit.
It takes Uranus 84 earth years to orbit the sun! Therefore,
for years at a time, each of the poles receives either continuous
sunlight or is continuously in shadow.
What would happen if it were always daytime
on one side of Earth and night on the other? If this were
the case, people would not have specific times for sleep.
Everyone would sleep or be awake at different times. There
would be much confusion in relationships between people.
traveller continuously moving at a certain speed to
the West by plane is always in daytime since the Sun
never sets. If Earth did not rotate around its own axis,
we would never see the night, just like this traveller
on the aeroplane.
Let's first imagine that we only had daytime:
Would we be able to sleep soundly? Besides, we would never
be able to see the moon and stars that are visible only in
the darkness of the night.
Alternatively, what if we were always
in darkness? First, we would never be able to see the Sun,
blue skies or other beauties we can only see during the day.
No one knows how our sleeping hours or schedule at school
would be. We would go to school in the darkness of the night
and have our breaks in darkness.
What is more important is that plants
that need both night and day to live would quickly disappear.
Eventually this would mean the end of life.
However, Our Lord has created night and
day to make our lives easy. By creating night and day, He
has put our lives into order. The reasons for the creation
of night and day are stated in the Qur'an as follows:
is He who made the night a cloak for you and sleep a rest,
and He made the day a time for rising. (Surat al-Furqan: 47)
Consider that every day new discoveries
and inventions are being made. However, none of these are
unprecedented; that is, they are all inspired by things and
beings already existing in nature. Which one of these inventions
could make Earth rotate around itself and thus cause night
and day? None of them, right? Only Our Lord, the Creator of
the heavens, the earth and everything in between could accomplish
Always keep in mind that just as Allah
has created the night and day, He could well remove them.
Then our lives would be in turmoil. Furthermore, we would
not be around to read these lines. In the Qur'an, Allah informs
us that if He wills He could well lengthen the night or day:
If Allah made it permanent night for you till the Day of Rising, what god is there
other than Allah to bring you light? … (Surat al-Qasas: 71)
… If Allah made it permanent day for you till the Day of Rising,
what god is there other than Allah to bring you night to rest in? (Surat al-Qasas:
These verses make it clear that neither
night nor day could have come into existence without Allah's
will. This universe and everything in it belongs to Allah,
Dear Children; never forget that Allah
the All-Mighty has perfectly created you and everything you
know and can imagine.