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Miracles of the Qur'an - Harun Yahya

MIRACLES OF THE QUR'AN

 



THE SCIENTIFIC MIRACLES OF THE QUR'AN

THE COMING OF THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE
THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE

THE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE BIG CRUNCH
CREATION FROM HOT SMOKE
THE SPLITTING ASUNDER OF "THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH"
THE CREATION OF WHAT LIES BETWEEN THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
THE PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM IN THE UNIVERSE
THE FINE TUNING IN THE UNIVERSE
THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS
ORBITS AND THE ROTATING UNIVERSE


THE COMING OF THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE

Until the mid-20th century, the prevalent view across the world was that the universe was infinite, had existed forever and that it will continue to do so for all time. According to this view, known as the "static universe model," the universe had no end or beginning.

In maintaining that the universe is a collection of fixed, static and unchanging substances, this view has constituted the basis of materialist philosophy and has consequently rejected the existence of a Creator. However, as science and technology progressed during the 20th century, the static universe model has been completely uprooted.

We have now entered the 21st century and a new dawn is upon us. Through numerous experiments, observations and calculation conducted by some of the world's most prominent thinkers, modern physics has proven that the universe did indeed have a beginning, that it came into being from nothing in a single moment in a huge explosion. Furthermore, it has been established that the universe is not fixed and static, as materialists still stubbornly maintain. On the contrary, it is undergoing a constant process of movement, change and expansion. These recently-established facts all act as nails in the coffin of the static universe theory. Today, all these facts are universally accepted by the scientific community.

The origin of the universe is described in the Qur'an in the following verse:

He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. (Qur'an, 6:101)

This information is in full agreement with the findings of contemporary scientists. As we stated earlier, the conclusion that astrophysics has reached today is that the entire universe, together with the dimensions of matter and time, came into existence as a result of a great explosion that occurred a long time ago. This event, known as "The Big Bang," is the catalyst for the creation of the universe from nothingness. This explosion, all parties in the scientific community agree, emanated from a single point some 15 billion years ago. (See Harun Yahya, The Creation of the Universe, Al-Attique Publishers Inc. Canada, 2000)

Before the Big Bang, there was no such thing as matter. From a condition of non-existence in which neither matter, nor energy, nor even time existed-and which can only be described metaphysically-matter, energy, and time were all created in an instant. This fact, only recently discovered by modern physics, was announced to us in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.


The sensitive sensors on board the COBE space satellite, launched by NASA in 1992, captured evidentiary remnants of the Big Bang. This discovery served as evidence for the Big Bang, which is the scientific explanation of the fact that the universe was created from nothing.


THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE


Edwin Hubble with his giant telescope

In the Qur'an, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago at a time when the science of astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described in the following terms:

And it is We Who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it. (Qur'an, 51:47)

The word "heaven," as stated in the verse above, is used in various places in the Qur'an. It is referring to space and the wider universe. Here again, the word is used with this meaning, stating that the universe "expands." The Arabic word "moosiaaoona" in the term "inna lamoosiaaoona," translated into English as "it is We Who are steadily expanding it", comes from the verb "evsea," meaning "to expand." The prefix "la" emphasises the following name or title and adds a sense of "to a great extent." This expression therefore means "We expand the sky or the universe to a great extent." This is the very conclusion that science has reached today. 1


Georges Lemaitre

Until the dawn of the 20th century, the only view prevailing in the world of science was that "the universe has a constant nature and it has existed since infinite time." However, modern research, observations, and calculations carried out by means of modern technology have revealed that the universe in fact had a beginning and that it constantly "expands."

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann and the Belgian cosmologist Georges Lemaitre theoretically calculated that the universe is in constant motion and that it is expanding.


From the moment of the Big Bang, the universe has been constantly expanding at a great speed. Scientists compare the expanding universe to the surface of a balloon that is inflated.

This notion was confirmed by the use of observational data in 1929. While observing the sky with a telescope, Edwin Hubble, the American astronomer, discovered that the stars and galaxies were constantly moving away from each other. This discovery is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of astronomy. During these observations, Hubble established that the stars emit a light that turns redder according to their distance. That is because according to the known laws of physics, light heading towards a point of observation turns violet, and light moving away from that point assumes a more reddish hue. During his observations, Hubble noted a tendency towards the colour red in the light emitted by stars. In short, the stars were moving further and further away, all the time. The stars and galaxies were not only moving away from us, but also from each other. A universe where everything constantly moves away from everything else implied a constantly expanding universe. The observations carried out in the following years verified that the universe is constantly expanding.

In order to gain a clearer understanding of this, let us imagine the universe to be the surface of a balloon being inflated. In the same way that the more the balloon is inflated, the further away the points on its surface move from one another, celestial bodies also move away from one another as the universe expands. This was theoretically discovered by Albert Einstein, regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. However, in order to avoid violating the "static universe model" that was generally accepted at that time, Einstein laid that discovery aside. He would later describe this as the greatest blunder of his life. 2

This fact was explained in the Qur'an in a time when telescopes and similar technological advancements were not even close to being invented. This is because the Qur'an is the Word of Allah: the Creator and Ruler of the entire universe.


THE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE BIG CRUNCH


The Big Crunch theory proposes that the universe, that began expanding with the Big Bang, will collapse in on itself with increasing speed. According to the theory, this collapse of the universe will continue until the universe has lost all its mass and turned into a single point of infinite density.

As we have stated above, the creation of the universe began with a huge explosion. From this point, the universe has been expanding ever since. Scientists say that when the mass of the universe has reached a sufficient level, this expansion will come to an end because of gravity, causing the universe to collapse in on itself. 3

It is also believed that the contracting universe will end in a fierce heat and contraction known as the "Big Crunch." This would lead to the end of all forms of life as we know them. Renata Kallosh and Andrei Linde, professors of physics from Stanford University, made the following statements on the subject:

The universe may be doomed to collapse and disappear. Everything we see now, and at a much larger distance that we cannot see, will collapse into a point smaller than a proton. Locally, it will be the same as if you were inside a black hole... We have found that some of the best attempts to describe dark energy predict that it will gradually become negative, which will cause the universe to become unstable, then collapse... Physicists have known that dark energy could become negative and the universe could collapse sometime in the very distant future... but now we see that we might be, not in the beginning, but in the middle of the life cycle of our universe. 4

This is how this scientific hypothesis of the Big Crunch is indicated in the Qur'an:

That Day We will fold up heaven like folding up the pages of a book. As We originated the first creation so We will regenerate it. It is a promise binding on Us. That is what We will do. (Qur'an, 21:104)

In another verse, this state of the heavens is described thus:

They do not measure Allah with His true measure. The whole earth will be a mere handful for Him on the Day of Rising the heavens folded up in His right hand. Glory be to Him! He is exalted above the partners they ascribe! (Qur'an, 39:67)

According to the Big Crunch theory, the universe will begin to collapse slowly and will then increasingly pick up speed. At the end of the process the universe will have infinite density and be infinitely hot and small. This scientific theory runs parallel to the Qur'anic explanation of this particular scientific concept. (Allah knows best)


The picture represents the Big Bang, which revealed once again that Allah created the universe from nothingness. The Big Bang is a theory that has been proven with scientific evidence. Although some scientists tried to advance arguments against the Big Bang, scientific evidence has caused the Big Bang theory to be completely accepted by the scientific community.

CREATION FROM HOT SMOKE

Scientists today are able to observe the formation of stars from a hot gas cloud. Formation from a warm mass of gas also applies to the creation of the universe. The creation of the universe as described in the Qur'an confirms this scientific discovery in the following verse:

He placed firmly embedded mountains on it, towering over it, and blessed it and measured out its nourishment in it, laid out for those who seek it-all in four days. Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, "Come willingly or unwillingly." They both said, "We come willingly." (Qur'an, 41:10-11)

The Arabic word for "smoke" in the above verse is "dukhanun," which describes the hot, cosmic smoke in question. This word in the Qur'an, in pinpoint fashion, describes this smoke very accurately for it is a warm body of gas containing mobile particles connected to solid substances. Here, the Qur'an has employed the most appropriate word from the Arabic language for describing the appearance of this phase of the universe. Let us note that only in the 20th century have scientists discovered that the universe emerged from a hot gas in the form of smoke. 5

The fact that such information about the creation of the universe is given in the Qur'an is nothing short of a miracle of the Qur'an.


THE SPLITTING ASUNDER OF "THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH"

Another verse about the creation of the heavens is as follows:

Do those who disbelieve not see that the heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that We made from water every living thing? So will they not believe? (Qur'an, 21:30)

The word "ratq" translated as "sewn to" means "mixed in each, blended" in the Arabic vernacular. It is used to refer to two different substances that make up a whole. The phrase "we unstitched" is the verb "fataqa" in Arabic and implies that something comes into being by tearing apart or destroying the structure of things that are sewn to one another. The sprouting of a seed from the soil is one of the actions to which this verb is applied.

Let us take a look at the verse again. In the verse, sky and earth are at first subject to the status of "ratq." They are separated (fataqa) with one coming out of the other. Intriguingly, when we think about the first moments of the Big Bang, we see that the entire matter of the universe collected at one single point. In other words, everything-including "the heavens and earth" which were not created yet-were in an interwoven and inseparable condition. Then, this point exploded violently, causing its matter to disunite.


THE CREATION OF WHAT LIES BETWEEN THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH

The Qur'an contains a great many verses concerning the creation of the earth, the heavens and what lies between:

We did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming, so turn away graciously. (Qur'an, 15:85)

Everything in the heavens and everything on the earth and everything in between them and everything under the ground belongs to Him. (Qur'an, 20:6)

We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game. (Qur'an, 21:16)

Scientists state that first of all, a mass of hot gas increased in density. This mass later divided into smaller parts to form galactic matter and later still, the stars and planets. To put it another way, the Earth along with stars around it, are all parts which separated from a united body of gas. Some of these parts brought the suns and planets into being, thus leading to the emergence of the many Solar Systems and galaxies. As we have set out in earlier sections of this book, the universe was first in a state of "ratq" (fusion: combined together, united) and then became "fataqa" (divided into parts). The emergence of the universe is described with the most suitable words in the Qur'an, in such a way as to confirm the scientific accounts. 6

On the occasion of every division, a few particles remained outside the new, fundamental bodies forming in space. The scientific name for these extra particles is "interstellar galactic material." Interstellar matter consists of 60% of hydrogen, 38% of helium and 2% of all other elements. 99% of the interstellar matter consists of interstellar gas and 1% of interstellar dust, which probably consists of heavy elements in small particles of 0,0001 to 0.001 mm in diameter. Scientists regard these substances as very important from the point of view of astrophysical measurements. These substances are so fine as to be capable of being regarded as dust, smoke or gas. However, when one considers these substances as a whole, they represent a larger mass than the total of all the galaxies in space. Although the existence of this interstellar galactic matter was only discovered in 1920, attention was drawn to the existence of these particles, described as "ma baynahuma"-translated as "everything between them"-hundreds of years ago in the Qur'an.7


THE PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM IN THE UNIVERSE

He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any discrepancy in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Qur'an, 67:3-4)

The billions of stars and galaxies in the universe move in perfect equilibrium in the paths set out for them. Stars, planets and satellites rotate not only around their own axes but also together with the systems of which they are an integral part. Sometimes, galaxies containing 200-300 billion stars move across each others' paths. Yet amazingly, no collisions take place that might damage the great order in the universe. This miracle is something over which all of us should reflect.

In the universe, the concept of speed assumes giant dimensions when compared to earthly measurements. Stars, planets, galaxies and conglomerations of galaxies-whose numerical properties can only be conceived by mathematicians-weigh billions or trillions of tons, and move through space at extraordinary speeds.

For example, the Earth rotates at 1,670 kmph. If we consider that the fastest-moving bullet today possesses an average speed of 1,800 kmph, we can see how fast the Earth is moving, despite its enormous size and mass.

The speed of the Earth as it orbits the Sun is some 60 times faster than a bullet: 108,000 kmph. If we were able to construct a vehicle capable of moving at that speed, it would be able to circumnavigate the Earth in 22 minutes. These figures apply only to the Earth.

Those for the Solar System are even more fascinating. The speed of that system is such as to exceed the bounds of reason: The larger the systems in the universe, the greater their speed. The Solar System's speed of orbit around the centre of the galaxy is 720,000 kmph. The Milky Way, with its 200 billion or so stars, moves through space at 950,000 kmph.

There is no doubt that there is a very high risk of collisions in such a complicated and fast-moving system. Yet nothing of the sort actually happens and we continue with our lives in complete safety. That is because everything in the universe functions according to the flawless equilibrium set out by Allah. It is for this reason that, as stated in the verse, there is no "discrepancy" in the system.


THE FINE TUNING IN THE UNIVERSE

He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Qur'an, 67:3-4)

Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers? (Qur'an, 71:15)

He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Qur'an, 25:2)

Materialist philosophy emerged with the claim that all the systems in nature and the universe were like machines that functioned on their own, that the flawless order and balance within them were the work of chance. However, today, the false nature of materialism and of Darwinism, its so-called scientific foundation, has been scientifically demonstrated. (See Harun Yahya, The Evolution Deceit, 8th ed., Taha Publishers, 2004 and Darwinism Refuted, Goodword Books, 2003.)

The scientific discoveries of the 20th century that followed swiftly, one after the other, in the fields of astrophysics and biology have proved that life and the universe were created. As the theses of Darwinism collapsed, the Big Bang theory has shown that the universe was created from nothing. Discoveries have revealed that there is a great design and fine-tuning in the material world and this has categorically demonstrated the groundless nature of the claims of materialism.

Considering the conditions necessary for life, we see that only the Earth meets these particular conditions. For an environment suitable for life, there are innumerable conditions taking place simultaneously and unceasingly all around us. There are some hundred billion galaxies, each with-on average-a hundred billion stars. In all the galaxies, there are perhaps as many planets as stars.8 In the face of such overpowering numbers, one can better comprehend the significance of the formation of such an exceptional environment on the Earth.

From the force of the Big Bang explosion to the physical values of atoms, from the levels of the four basic forces to the chemical processes in the stars, from the type of light emitted by the Sun to the level of viscosity of water, from the distance of the Moon to the Earth to the level of gases in the atmosphere, from the Earth's distance from the Sun to its angle of tilt to its orbit, and from the speed at which the Earth revolves around its own axis to the functions of the oceans and mountains on the Earth: every single detail is ideally suited to our lives. Today, the world of science describes these features by means of the concepts of the "Anthropic Principle" and "Fine-Tuning." These concepts summarise the way that the universe is not an aimless, uncontrolled, chance collection of matter but that it has a purpose directed towards human life and has been designed with the greatest precision.

Attention is drawn in the above verses to the measure and harmony in Allah's creation. The word "taqdeeran," meaning "to design, measure, create by measuring," is employed in Qur'anic verses such as Surat al-Furqan 2. The word "tibaqan," meaning "in harmony," is used in Surat al-Mulk 3 and Surah Nuh 15. Furthermore, Allah also reveals in Surat al-Mulk with the word "tafawutin," meaning "disagreement, violation, non-conformity, disorder, opposite," that those who seek disharmony will fail to find it.

The term "fine-tuning," which began to be used towards the end of the 20th century, represents this truth revealed in the verses. Over the last quarter-century or so, a great many scientists, intellectuals and writers have shown that the universe is not a collection of coincidences. On the contrary, it has an extraordinary design and order ideally suited to human life in its every detail. (See Harun Yahya, The Creation of the Universe, Al-Attique Publishers, November 2002 and A Chain of Miracles, Global Publishing, May 2004.) Many features in the universe clearly show that the universe has been specially designed to support life. The physicist Dr. Karl Giberson expresses this fact thus:

In the 1960s, some physicists observed that our universe appears to have been fine-tuned for the existence of human life. 9

The British astrophysicist Professor George F. Ellis refers to this fine-tuning in these terms:

Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word "miraculous" without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word. 10

Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Allah. All matters return to Allah.
(Qur’an, 3:109)

The speed of the Big Bang explosion:

The balances established with the Big Bang, the instantaneous formation of the universe, are one of the proofs that the universe did not come into being by chance. According to the well-known Adelaide University professor of mathematical physics Paul Davies, if the rate of expansion that took place following the Big Bang had been just one in a billion billion parts different (1/1018), the universe could not have come into being.11 In his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking recognises this extraordinary precision in the universe's rate of expansion:

If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size. 12

The Four Forces:

All physical motion in the universe comes about thanks to the interaction and equilibrium of the four forces recognised by modern physics: gravity, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force. These forces possess extraordinarily different values to one another. Michael Denton, the famous molecular biologist, describes the extraordinary equilibrium among these forces thus:

If, for example, the gravitational force was a trillion times stronger, then the universe would be far smaller and its life history far shorter. An average star would have a mass a trillion times less than the sun and a life span of about one year. On the other hand, if gravity had been less powerful, no stars or galaxies would have ever formed. The other relationships and values are no less critical. If the strong force had been just slightly weaker, the only element that would be stable would be hydrogen. No other atoms could exist. If it had been slightly stronger in relation to electromagnetism, then an atomic nucleus consisting of only two protons would be a stable feature of the universe-which would mean there would be no hydrogen, and if any stars or galaxies evolved, they would be very different from the way they are. Clearly, if these various forces and constants did not have precisely the values they do, there would be no stars, no supernovae, no planets, no atoms, no life. 13

The Distances between Celestial Bodies:

The distribution of celestial bodies in space and the enormous spaces between them are essential to the existence of life on Earth. The distances between celestial bodies have been set out in a calculation compatible with a great many powerful universal forces in such a way as to support life on Earth. In his book Nature's Destiny Michael Denton describes the distance between supernovae and stars:

The distances between supernovae and indeed between all stars is critical for other reasons. The distance between stars in our galaxy is about 30 million miles. If this distance was much less, planetary orbits would be destabilized. If it was much more, then the debris thrown out by a supernova would be so diffusely distributed that planetary systems like our own would in all probability never form. If the cosmos is to be a home for life, then the flickering of the supernovae must occur at a very precise rate and the average distance between them, and indeed between all stars, must be very close to the actual observed figure. 14

Gravity:

- If gravity were stronger, excessive ammonia and methane would collect in the Earth's atmosphere, which would have a most damaging effect on life.

- If it were weaker, the Earth's atmosphere would lose excessive quantities of water, making life impossible.

The Earth's Distance from the Sun:

- If this were any greater, the planet would grow very cold, the water cycle in the atmosphere would be affected, and the planet would enter an ice-age.

- If the Earth were any closer to the Sun, plants would burn up, the water cycle in the Earth's atmosphere would be irreparably damaged, and life would become impossible.-

The Thickness of the Earth's Crust:

- If the crust were any thicker, then an excessive amount of oxygen would be transferred to it from the atmosphere.

- If it were any thinner, the resulting amount of volcanic activity would make life impossible.

The Speed at which the Earth Revolves:

If this were any slower, the temperature difference between day and night would grow enormously.

-If it were any faster, then atmospheric winds would reach enormous speeds, and cyclones and storms would make life impossible.

The Earth's Magnetic Field:

- If this were any more powerful, very strong electromagnetic storms would arise.

- If it were any weaker, then the Earth would lose its protection against the harmful particles given off by the Sun and known as solar winds. Both situations would make life impossible.-

The Albedo Effect (Ratio between the amount of light the Earth reflects and the amount of light that is absorbed):

- If this were any greater, an ice-age would rapidly result.

- If it were any less, the greenhouse effect would lead to excessive warming. The Earth would first be flooded with the melting of the glaciers, and would then burn up.-

The Proportion of Oxygen and Nitrogen in the Atmosphere:

- If this were any greater, vital functions would be adversely accelerated.

- If it were any less, vital functions would adversely slow down.

The Proportion of Carbon Dioxide and Water in the Atmosphere:

- If this were any greater, the atmosphere would overheat.

- If it were any less, the temperature of the atmosphere would fall.

The Thickness of the Ozone Layer:

- If this were any greater, the Earth's temperature would fall enormously.

- If it were any less, the Earth would overheat and be defenceless against the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the Sun.

Seismic Activity (Earthquakes):

- If this were any greater, there would be constant upheaval for living things.

- If it were any less, the nutrients at the sea bottom would fail to spread into the water. This would have a damaging effect on life in the seas and oceans and all living things on Earth.-

The Earth's Angle of Tilt:

The Earth has a 23 degree angle of inclination to its orbit. It is this inclination that gives rise to the seasons. If this angle were any greater or any less than it is now, the temperature difference between the seasons would reach extreme dimensions, with unbearably hot summers and bitterly cold winters.

The Size of the Sun:

A smaller star than the Sun would mean the Earth would freeze and a larger star would lead to its burning up.

The Attraction between the Earth and the Moon:

- If this were any greater, the powerful attraction of the Moon would have extremely serious effects on atmospheric conditions, the speed at which the Earth revolves around its own axis and on the ocean tides.

- If it were any less, this would lead to extreme climate changes.-

The Distance between the Earth and the Moon:

- If they were just a little closer, the Moon would crash into the Earth.

- If they were any further, the Moon would become lost in space.

- If they were even a little closer, the Moon's effect on the Earth's tides would reach dangerous dimensions. Ocean waves would inundate low-lying areas. The friction emerging as a result of this would raise the temperature of the oceans and the sensitive temperature balance essential to life on Earth would disappear.

- If they were even a little further away, the tides would decrease, leading the oceans to be less mobile. Immobile water would endanger life in the seas, and the level of the oxygen we breathe would be endangered. 15

The kingdom of the heavens and earth belongs to Allah. Allah has power over all things. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are
Signs for people with intelligence.
(Qur’an, 3:189-190)

The Temperature of the Earth and Carbon-Based Life:

The existence of carbon, the basis of all life, depends on the temperature remaining within specific limits. Carbon is an essential substance for organic molecules such as amino-acid, nucleic acid and protein: These constitute the basis of life. For that reason, life can only be carbon-based. Given this, the existing temperature needs to be no lower than -20 degrees and no higher than 120 degrees Celsius. These are just the temperature limits on Earth.

These are just a few of the exceedingly sensitive balances which are essential for life on Earth to have emerged and to survive. Yet even these are sufficient to definitively reveal that the Earth and the universe could not have come into being as the result of a number of consecutive coincidences. The concepts of "fine-tuning" and the "anthropic principle" that began to be employed in the 20th century are further evidence of Allah's creation. The harmony and proportion therein were described with magnificent accuracy fourteen centuries ago in the Qur'an.


THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS

We built seven firm layers above you. We installed a blazing lamp. (Qur'an, 78:12-13)

As we know, the only source of light in the Solar System is the Sun. With advances in technology, astronomers discovered that the Moon was not a source of light but that it merely reflects the light reaching it from the Sun. The expression "lamp" in the above verse is a translation of the Arabic word "sirajan," which most perfectly describes the Sun, the source of light and heat.

In the Qur'an Allah employs different words when referring to such celestial bodies as the Moon, the Sun and the stars. This is how the differences between the structures of the Sun and Moon are expressed in the Qur'an:

Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers, and placed the moon as a light in them and made the sun a blazing lamp? (Qur'an, 71:15-16)

In the above verse, the word "light" is used for the Moon ("nooran" in Arabic) and the word "lamp" for the Sun ("sirajan" in Arabic.) The word used for the Moon refers to a light-reflecting, bright, motionless body. The word used for the Sun refers to a celestial body which is always burning, a constant source of heat and light.

On the other hand, the word "star" comes from the Arabic root "nejeme," meaning "appearing, emerging, visible." As in the verse below, stars are also referred to by the word "thaqib," which is used for that which shines and pierces the darkness with light: self-consuming and burning:

It is the star that pierces through darkness! (Qur'an, 86:3)

We now know that the Moon does not emit its own light but reflects that reaching it from the Sun. We also know that the Sun and stars do emit their own light. These facts were revealed in the Qur'an in an age when mankind simply did not have the means to make scientific discoveries of their own accord. It was an age when peoples' knowledge of celestial bodies was severely restricted, to say the least. This further emphasises the miraculous nature of the book of Islam.


ORBITS AND THE ROTATING UNIVERSE

One of the most important reasons for the great equilibrium in the universe is the fact that celestial bodies follow specific paths. Stars, planets and satellites all rotate around their own axes and also rotate together with the system of which they are a part. The universe functions within a finely-tuned order, just like the wheels in a factory.

There are more than 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe and each small galaxy contains approximately a billion stars. Furthermore, each big galaxy contains more than a trillion. 16 Many of these stars have planets and many of those planets have satellites. All these celestial bodies follow the most finely calculated paths and orbits. For millions of years, each one has been moving in its own path in flawless harmony with all the others. In addition to these, there are also a great many comets moving along in their own pre-determined paths.

In addition, the paths in the universe are not restricted to a few celestial bodies. The Solar System and even other galaxies also exhibit considerable motion around other centres. Every year, Earth, and the Solar System with it, move some 500 million km from where they were the previous year. It has been calculated that even the slightest deviation from celestial bodies' paths could have drastic consequences which might spell the end of the entire system. For example, the consequences of the earth's deviating from its course by a mere 3 mm have been described in one source as follows:

While rotating around the sun, the earth follows such an orbit that, every 18 miles, it only deviates 2.8 millimetres from a direct course. The orbit followed by the earth never changes, because even a deviation of 3 millimetres would cause catastrophic disasters: If the deviation were 2.5 mm instead of 2.8 mm, then the orbit would be very large, and all of us would freeze. If the deviation were 3.1 mm, we would be scorched to death. 17

Another characteristic of heavenly bodies is that they also rotate around their own axes. The verse which reads "[I swear] by Heaven with its cyclical systems," (Qur'an, 86:11) indicates this truth. Naturally, at the time when the Qur'an was revealed, people had no telescopes with which to study bodies millions of kilometres away in space, advanced observation technology or our modern knowledge of physics and astronomy. It was therefore impossible to establish that space had "its oscillating orbits," (Qur'an, 51:7) as described in the verse. The Qur'an however, revealed at that time, provided clear information concerning that fact. This is proof that this book is indeed Allah's Word.


Like many other comets in the universe, Halley's comet, seen above, also moves in a planned orbit. It has a specific orbit and it moves in this orbit in a perfect harmony with other celestial bodies.

All celestial bodies—including planets, satellites of these planets, stars and even galaxies—have their own orbits that have been determined with very delicate computations. The One Who established this perfect order and maintains it is Allah, Who created the entire universe.

 
 

    

1. S. Waqar Ahmed Husaini, The Quran for Astronomy and Earth Exploration from Space 3rd ed. (New Delhi: Goodword Press: 1999), 103-108.
2. www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/hubble.html.
3. Philip Ball, "Black Crunch Jams Universal Cycle," Nature, 23 December 2002; Dr. David Whitehouse, "Universe is 'doomed to collapse'," BBC News Online, 22 October 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2346907.stm; and Mark Schwartz, "Cosmic 'big crunch' could trigger an early demise of our universe," Stanford Report, 25 September 2002.
4. Schwartz, "Cosmic 'big crunch' could trigger an early demise of our universe,"
5. Dr. Mazhar U. Kazi, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur'an (New York, USA: Crescent Publishing House: 1998), 52.
6. Kazi, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur'an, 53.
7. Digitale Ausgabe LexiRom (Digital Expenditure LexiRom), Meyers Lexikon in drei Bänden (Meyers Encyclopedia in three volumes) (Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus AG: 1995).
8. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (Avenel, NJ: Wings Books: April 1983), 5-7.
9. Karl Giberson, “The Anthropic Principle,” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 9 (1997).
10. George F. Ellis, "The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments,” The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U. Curi (New York: Cambridge University Press: 1993), 30.
11. Paul Davies, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature, 1984, 184.
12. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (London: Bantam Press: 1988), 121-125.
13. Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (New York: The Free Press: 1998), 12-13.
14. Ibid., 11.
15. www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/01-ma10.htm#Elemental Forces.
16. World Book Encyclopedia, 2003; contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
17. Bilim ve Teknik (Journal of Science and Technology), July 1983.