How Mountains Strengthen The Earth's Crust
Earth's crust, the surface on which we daily walk and build our houses
safely, in fact moves on a layer called the mantle which is denser than
the crust. If there was not a system in place to keep this motion under
control, continual shocks and quakes would occur on the Earth and the
world would be a truly unlivable place. And yet, the mountains and their
extensions under the ground greatly decrease underground movements, and
hence such shocks.
The Earth's mountains have come about as a result of movements and
clashes of huge plates which make up the planet's crust. When two of
these plates collide, one usually slides under the other. The plate
on top is pushed up and so forms mountains. At the same time, the plate
at the bottom proceeds under the ground and forms a deep protrusion.
This means that mountains have deep downward protrusions that are as
large as those visible on the surface. In other words, mountains are
firmly rooted in the Earth's layer called the mantle.
Therefore, mountains effectively clench the Earth's plates by stretching
above and below the ground at the conjunctions of these plates. In this
way, mountains prevent the crust of the Earth from sliding on the magma
layer or between its own layers. In short, we may compare mountains
to nails firmly holding pieces of wood together. This characteristic
of the mountains, through counteracting the unstable nature of the Earth's
crust, prevents shocks to a significant degree.
These magnificent-looking mountains also have other roles to play in
maintaining certain balances on the Earth, especially in dispersing
The temperature difference between the equator and the Earth's poles
is about 100°C (212°F). If such a difference arose on the surface level,
storms at blinding speeds reaching 1,000 km (621 miles) per hour would
devastate the Earth. However the uneven surface of the Earth blocks
strong air currents that such heat differences could cause. These mountain
ranges begin with the Himalayas in China, continue with the Taurus mountain
range in southern Turkey, and then again up into the Alps of Europe.
The mountain ranges of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans also figure into
Like all other details on the Earth, what is manifested in the mountains
is part of the endless art of Allah. Allah has created the world where
we live in a perfect way. Seeing these magnificent examples, what man
must acknowledge is that the most important fact of his life is his
duty to serve Allah and to work for this and this alone. Because man
is in need of countless blessings, whereas Allah is Rich Beyond Need.
THE BALANCE OF THE OCEANS
rains, the seas, rivers, streams, the oceans, drinkable water that flows
when you turn on a faucet… People are so used to the existence of water
that they probably never think about the fact that a major part of the
Earth's surface -indeed, most of it- is covered with water. However, what
is singularly important here is that, among all known celestial bodies,
only the Earth provides drinkable water.
Water is a basic condition for life, but it is entirely absent from
the solar system's 63 other celestial bodies. However, fully four-fifths
of the Earth's surface is covered with water. In addition to large water
masses such as oceans, there are various other water sources whose sizes
and attributes are different from each other, such as rivers and small
lakes. Some of these waters are too salty to be drinkable, but others
are fresh. There is a perfect water balance that has been arranged according
to the needs of all living things on the Earth.
By virtue of water, millions of species of creatures exist on Earth,
and the balances that are necessary for life are preserved. For example,
clouds and rain are formed by the evaporation of large water masses.
Water has a high capacity for drawing and holding heat. For this reason,
the large water masses of the oceans and seas maintain the balance of
the world's heat. Therefore, the temperature difference between day
and night in regions near the sea is very small. This makes these regions
The existence of the oceans, a bird's-eye view of which is seen at
the top of the picture on the page to the right, is highly significant.
Because the oceans reflect the sun's rays less than land does, they
receive more sun energy, yet they disperse this heat in a more balanced
way. Therefore, the oceans cool the equatorial regions and prevent them
from becoming excessively hot, and also warm the waters of the polar
regions to prevent them from freezing completely.
Through the transparency of water, water mosses can photosynthesize
under the surface of the ocean. Water is one of the few substances in
nature that expands when frozen. It is because of this that the seas
and oceans do not freeze from bottom to top.
All of the physical and chemical features of water, of which only a
few have been given here, show us that this liquid has been specially
created for the needs of human life. It is surely no coincidence that
such water is not available on any other planet besides the Earth. The
Earth, which has been specially created for human life, has blossomed
with life through water, which has also been specially created. Allah,
Who has created countless blessings for His servants and bestowed on
them an easy mode of living, has created water with unique artistry
and delicacy. As He maintains in the Qur'an, "It
is He Who sends down water from the sky..." (Surat an-Nahl: 10)
THE HARMONY BETWEEN WATER AND PLANTS
plants, large and small alike, from grasses to tall trees and the multitudes
of flowers, can transport water and the nutrition they carry from the
soil up to their farthermost leaves and branches . Yet, this transportation
process is not achieved by means of systems present in the plants only.
For this transportation to happen, the characteristics of water itself
also need to be in harmony with the structures of the plants.
We can see this harmony by looking at the general structure of water.
It is evident that water, which is indispensable for the survival of
the Earth's living things, is a substance that has been especially designed
and created. One of the essential features of water is that it possesses
a high "surface tension." Surface tension occurs when the molecules
on a liquid's surface attract each other, thus creating a barrier between
the air and the liquid. Because of this, a water container can carry
an amount of water that is slightly higher than its own height without
overflowing. Also, a metal needle can float on water without sinking
if it is carefully put on the surface in a horizontal position.
The surface tension of water is higher than that of any other liquid,
and this has far-reaching biological effects for the Earth. We will
begin by examining its effect on plants.
Plants, by means of surface tension, can carry water found in the depths
of the soil up to heights meters above the surface, all without having
a pump or muscle system. In the realm of human-designed structures,
air pressure tanks, very complicated systems indeed, are required to
carry water to the upper floors of apartment houses. Plants, however,
have no such system. Water reaches the farthest points of the plant
purely by means of surface tension. The tubes in the plants' roots and
veins are designed in such a way as to make use of the surface tension
of water. Going upwards, these tubes become narrower and narrower and
so enable water to "climb" upwards. If the surface tension of water
were at a low level, as in most other liquids, then land plants would
be utterly unable to survive. This would negatively effect all living
things on the planet. However, due to the perfect creation of both water
and plants, such problems never arise.
The compatibility between the high surface tension of water and the
structure of plants which make use of this property indicates the perfect
creation of Allah. These constitute an important piece of evidence for
the fact that nature and living things came into being not by chance,
but through Allah's creation.
THE DESIGN OF SNOWFLAKES
who takes a close look at snowflakes can see that they come in a variety
of shapes. It is estimated that a single cubic meter of snow holds about
350 million snowflakes! These flakes are all hexagonal and have crystal-like
structures. However, each one of them possesses a unique shape. For years,
scientists have been searching for answers to such questions as how these
shapes ever came about, how it is that each one of them has a different
shape and what provides their symmetry. Every bit of information that
is gained reveals another magnificent mastery present in the snowflakes.
The variety and perfection of the hexagonal structure of snowflakes is
a manifestation of Allah's status as the Originator (al-Badi). Allah is
the One Who made good everything that He has created. The formation of
snowflakes constitutes yet another aspect of Allah's endless artistry.
These thin, small flakes look like multi-pointed stars or tiny needle
heads. The formation of the snowflakes in the pictures is truly amazing.
For years, the orderly structure of snowflakes has caught people's attention.
Since 1945, research has been carried out in a quest to discover which
factors give the final shape to the crystals. A single snowflake is
a pile of crystals consisting of more than 200 ice crystals. Snowflakes
are made up of water molecules that are shaped in a perfect order. Snowflakes,
one of nature's true architectural wonders, are shaped when water vapor
gets cold while passing through clouds. This takes place like so:
Passing through the clouds, water molecules scattered
everywhere in a disorganized way throughout water vapor begin to lose
their random movement due to the fall in temperature. After a while,
the water molecules, moving more slowly, begin to form groups and consequently
become solid. Yet, there is no disorder whatsoever in their groupings.
On the contrary, they always unite as microscopic hexagonal forms that
look similar to each other. Each snowflake at first consists of a single
hexagonal water molecule, then other hexagonal water molecules come
and attach to this first piece. According to experts on the subject,
the basic factor that determines the shape of a snowflake is that these
hexagonal water molecules are joined together just like links in a chain.
In addition, the pieces of crystals, which normally should look alike,
take on very different shapes according to the temperature and level
Why is it that there is a hexagonal symmetry in all snowflakes and
why is each of them different from the others? Why are their edges angled
rather then straight? Scientists are still trying to find answers to
these questions. Yet, this much is evident: Allah is the One Who has
no partners in creation, is the Possessor of an endless power and the
Originator of everything.
THE UNIQUE ARTISTRY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
and vegetables spring from the same soil and are watered with the same
water, yet they come in a dazzling variety. When we consider the multitude
of different tastes and smells of fruits and vegetables, the question
of how such a variety ever came about in the first place comes to mind.
What causes this miscellany of the tastes and fragrances of grapes, melons,
kiwis, pineapples and the like, using the same water and minerals for
centuries on end, yet without ever mixing them up with each other and
without ever getting them confused? Allah gives them their matchless tastes
Both animals and humans obtain the energy they need to survive through
nutrition which is produced by plants. In other words, plants have been
created as a blessing to benefit all living things. Most of these blessings
have been designed especially for humans. Let's take a look at our surroundings,
at what we eat, and then think. First let's look at the bone-dry stalk
and very thin roots of a grape vine. This bone-dry structure, one that
seems so fragile that it could be broken with the slightest pull, can
produce dozens of kilos of juicy grapes whose color, smell and taste
have been designed especially to give pleasure to man. Now let's think
about watermelons. This juicy fruit, which again comes out of dry soil,
develops precisely in the season when people begin to feel the need
for it, that is, in summer. Let's think about the marvelous smell of
the melon that has been provided since it first came into existence,
without any deterioration in its quality, and about its famous taste.
When fragrances are produced in factories, people use complex quality
controls and take great pains to produce a uniform odor that mimics
nature; but there is no need for quality checks to preserve the natural
odor of fruits.
In addition to their enticing smells, each fruit also contains ingredients
that are suitable to the season. In winter, for example, we have tangerines
and oranges, which are full of vitamin C and energy. Vegetables also
possess any and all kinds of vitamins and minerals that living things
By thinking in this manner, we could examine in turn all the plants
present in nature. And at the end of this examination, we would have
learned that the plants around us have been especially designed for
human beings and all other creatures, in other words they have been
created. Allah, Who is the Lord of the worlds, has brought into existence
all nutrition for living things and has created them in such a way that
the taste, smell and use of each one of them is wonderfully varied.
This reveals His might and matchless artistry in creation. He informs
us of this in the Qur'an:
And also the things of varying colors He has created
for you in the earth. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who
pay heed. (Surat an-Nahl: 13)