Earth in the Qur’an

We seek knowledge of our surroundings and therefore to seek this knowledge we look to our understanding to comprehend the beautiful world we live in. However, who knows more about this creation than the Creator Himself?

As human technology improves, so does our perception of the physical ground that we stand on, the depth of the ocean we swim in and the limitless skies that we roam.

These planes (a level of existence) that we see around us were originally taken for granted but, as time passes on, we as humans seek knowledge of our surroundings and therefore to seek this knowledge we look to our understanding to comprehend the beautiful world we live in. However, who knows more about this creation than the Creator Himself?

Allah’s words presented through the Qur’an provide a solid explanation of the floating rock we call home. Many discoveries made about our planet have only come around within the last couple of decades, but the Qur’an, the Word of the Creator, mentioned many of these newly found creations to its followers 1400 years ago.

Allah knows His creation and His truth is presented in the revealed book – The Holy Qur’an.

The Qur’an covers many questions on the topic of Earth such as its shape, clouds, ocean, seas, purposes of mountains and many more.

In this essay, some of these topics will be explored using references from the book of Allah to show how the Creator explains His creation to His believers.

Flat Earth?

Although there is countless evidence that our Earth is indeed spherical along with countless explanations on the many difficulties that arise with an impossible “Flat Earth”, there is still people around the world who will raise the argument that we are being tricked by the global corporations to believe their lies. Some believers of this theory are actually Muslims who have mistranslated small words to completely change the verse’s meaning. From some of the verses that are used as “proof” for their bizarre theories, is the verse:

وَالْأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا

The Holy Quran (50:7)

In this verse, the Arabic word “مدد” is used. This is mistranslated by these Muslims as “flat” whereas the word for “flat” is “مسطح“. They often use this verse to prove that Allah has stated in the Quran “And the earth we have made flat” using this misinterpretation to prove their belief. However, the word “مدد” means “to spread out” therefore the correct translation is “And the Earth we have spread out”.

What does the Quran say?

Let’s take a look at the verse:

مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَنْ تَنْفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانْفُذُوا لَا تَنْفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ

The Holy Quran (55:34)

In this verse, Allah has used the word “يُكَوِّرُ” which literally means “To make into a ball” and contextually in this verse, this word is used to describe how:

اللَّیْلَ عَلَی النَّھَارِ

This translates to “(Allah) overlaps the day with the night” The Quran says that the overlapping of the night and the day makes a ball (sphere). This translation explains the possibility of the round shape of the Earth.

Looking at the previous verse mentioned, if we focus on the word “اقطار”, which is the plural of “قطر”, it translates to “diameter”. Mathematics teaches that radii and diameters are only properties of circles and spheres. Of course a flat Earth can possibly be a circle with a diameter but looking back to the previous verse, in which the word يُكَوِّرُ” is used –“to make into a ball”; we can see the clear correlation between the words “diameter” and “ball”. Therefore the translation is: ‘O company of Jinn and men! If you have power to go beyond the diameters (confines) of the heavens and the earth then do go. But you cannot go save with authority’ (The Holy Qur’an (55:34))

Mountains

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا

‘And the mountains as pegs’

The Holy Quran (78:8)  

In this verse we can that Allah has mentioned mountains as ‘pegs’. Pegs are pins of a sort that are mainly used to secure something into place, if mountains are proverbial ‘pegs’ then what are they securing?

Let’s take a look at what science says about mountains.

‘Earth’ is a book written by Professor Emeritus Frank Press.  He was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter, and for 12 years was the President of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. In this book, there is a detailed explanation of mountains.

Professor Press illustrated a side view of the Earth’s crust near a mountain. He explains how a mountain roots deep into the Earth mantle giving it very strong stability. The mountain is rooted almost 50 Km beneath the surface providing an immense amount of firmness into the ground. 

The author of Author of Anatomy of Earth, Cailleux, also elaborates how mountains are rooted deeper below the surface than they rise above the surface. Linking this back to how these mountains are described as like ‘Pegs’ by Allah. We know that a peg provides stability for a structure such as a tent by being rooted deep below the surface of mud. Just like pegs, mountains are stable due to their roots deep below the ground.

The evidence for rooted mountains was only discovered in the late 19th century whereas Allah had already vaguely explained their ‘peg’ like structure 1400 years before.

Continuing with the topic of mountains, what is their purpose and furthermore, how does their peg like structure help with their purpose?

So, firstly, what is the purpose of mountains? If look at the verse:

وَأَلْقَى فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَأَنْهَارًا وَسُبُلًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

‘And He has placed in the earth firm mountains lest it quake with you, and rivers and routes that you may take the right way.’

The Holy Quran (16:16)

‘Lest it quake with you’ in this section of the verse, it can be deducted that Allah is stating his purpose of the mountains, the purpose to provide stability against quakes of the Earth.

Advancements in geology have established the fact that mountains have indeed in actuality provided security against earthquakes through helping stabilise the tectonic plates of the Earth that cause quakes.

If we take a look back at the previous verse mentioned about the mountains created like ‘pegs’ we can begin to see that the structure of mountains explained by the verse:

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا

‘And the mountains as pegs

The Holy Quran (78:8)

And the purpose explained by the verse:

وَأَلْقَى فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَنْ تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ

‘And He has placed in the earth firm mountains lest it quake with you

The Holy Quran (16:16)

The Partitioned Seas

For example if a peg provides stability by creating resistance to the tent against winds, then mountains (pegs) provide stability of the earth (tent) by securing it against earthquakes (winds).

While cruising, people often saw a strange but spectacular phenomenon wherein ocean edges had an invisible barrier between them that stopped them from mixing. As this phenomenon became more and more abundant, scientists began to work on figuring out how this division came about. Now modern science has the answer, but then, so did the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" 1400 years ago when Allah revealed these verses to him:

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ

‘He has made the two bodies of water flow. They will one day meet.’

The Holy Quran (55:20)
بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَا يَبْغِيَانِ

‘Between them is now a barrier; they encroach not one upon the other.

The Holy Quran (55:21)

Taking a look at the word “Barrier” and how Allah has stated that they will not “Encroach” on each other, we can see that Allah may be referring about the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean in which this phenomenon is seen. The “barrier” is referencing the split between the “Two Bodies” and when Allah says that they don’t “Encroach” one another (a word here which means surround each other) we can see that it very similar to what this phenomenon is explained to be.

Allah also explains the in the Quran that:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هَذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ وَهَذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخًا وَحِجْرًا مَحْجُورًاجُوۡرًا

And He it is Who has caused the two seas to flow, this palatable and sweet, and that saltish and bitter; and between them He has placed a barrier and a great partition.

The Holy Quran (25:54)

This verse may be referring to how rivers’ “sweet” water does not mix with the oceans “bitter” water because he has placed a barrier between them. These discoveries were made when recent technology allowed us to measure salinity and temperature of oceans yet, here it is, present in a 1400 years ago book of God, how then can we deny the presence of a Creator.

Clouds

Using advanced technology, nephrologists can now understand with detail how clouds function and more specifically how the Cumulonimbus cloud produces rain.

This process is explained in 3 steps:

Step 1:

The clouds are pushed by the wind. Cumulonimbus clouds begin to form when the wind pushes some small pieces of clouds to an area where these clouds converge. Smaller cloud (Cumulus) are pushed towards the larger clouds (Cumulonimbus) because of the winds.

Step 2:

The process of joining. In this process, the smaller clouds (cumulus) begin to converge into a bigger cloud. These smaller clouds are pushed by the wind towards each other and simply combine with one another to form a larger cloud. This larger cloud is then pushed upwards by the wind and begins to form a Cumulonimbus cloud.

Step 3:

The final process is called stacking by Nephrologists. In this process, the updraft, which pushes the clouds up, begins to increase. This increased updraft is stronger inside the cloud than the outside edges. This cause the cloud to grown vertically in a process labelled ‘stacking’. This stacked cloud holds water vapour and ice crystals which, when raised into a colder temperature, begin to grow larger and in more abundancy. When the upper region cannot hold the water and ice anymore, they begin to fall from the cloud causing it to rain or hail.

It is a very delicate process explained through a lot of detail after months of research. What is further proof then, that the Qur’an is divine knowledge? For in this great book, Allah the Creator has stated:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُزْجِي سَحَابًا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَامًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ

‘Hast thou not seen that Allah drives the clouds, then joins them together, then piles them up so that thou seest rain issue forth from the midst thereof?

The Holy Quran (24:44)

The 3 steps are clearly explained in the verse through the 3 verbs: Drives, Joins, and Piles. If we look back to the 3 steps:

Firstly, the clouds are ‘driven’ by the wind. Secondly, they converge and are ‘joined’ together. Finally, they stack up or are ‘piled’ on top of each other.

Looking at the second half of this verse, Allah has mentioned lightning within the clouds. Lightning was a phenomenon for which the cause was only discovered late into 1600 AD’s. Before which no one would ever guess that clouds were the reason behind them.

In this verse Allah states:

يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ جِبَالٍ فِيهَا مِنْ بَرَدٍ فَيُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَنْ مَنْ يَشَاءُ يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالْأَبْصَارِ

‘And He sends down from the sky clouds like mountains wherein hail is, and He smites therewith whom He pleases, and turns it away from whom He pleases. The flash of its lightning may well-nigh take away the sight’

The Holy Quran (24:44)

In this verse, Allah refers to the clouds as mountains, there are two reasons for this, and the first is that physically they look like very soft mountains in the sky with their huge size and curved peaks. Secondly, mountains can have peaks that reach 5 miles in the sky, very similar to the distance between the ground and clouds in the sky.

We can see in this verse that Allah has explained that from these clouds, hail falls and from this hail comes the lightning.

In Meteorology Today, they explain that hailstone causes a cloud to become electrified. Falling hailstones transfer positively charged particles on to ice crystals which are lifted to the upper cloud by updrafts. The negatively charged bottom half builds up charge and then it discharges through lightning.

The discovery that hail is a major cause for lightning was made by scientist in 1600 AD, which was roughly 900 years after the demise of the Holy Prohet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" to whom this verse was revealed to 1400 years from the present.

Why then do they still not believe, in everything we see, there is the signs of Allah, everything that seems unexplainable is already explained by Allah, in his beautiful book, The Holy Qur’an.

Disclaimer

This article was originally published in the Annual Printed Edition of Majallatul Jamia

Ehtesham ul Islam

Ehtesham ul Islam

Student Jamia Ahmadiyya UK

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