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Chapter XIII

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Miscellaneous Scientific Facts in The Quran

THE QURAN AND THE PHARAOH

The pyramids of the Egypt are the living example of the civilization of the pharaoh's times. One among them was known as the pharaoh of the Exodus. Exodus is the second book of the Old Testament.

The pharaoh of the biblical Exodus is Merneptah. He was the son of Ramses II. The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was sent to Pharaoh. He was aided with portents, they were more than nine. But number nine is particularly mentioned as these were shown to Pharaoh and his nation to establish his prophet-hood.

The signs were:

  • Moses staff,
  • his radiant hand,
  • the years of draught,
  • the dearth of fruit,
  • hail storm,
  • the locusts
  • The vermin,
  • the frogs (30), and
  • the water running to blood.

After every portent, Moses demanded Pharaoh to let his people go from Egypt, and every time Pharaoh falsely promised that, he would let Israelites go if Moses prayed his God to remove the calamity falling from the portent.

However, Moses arranged the exodus of Israelites during a night. They were about six hundred thousand. Pharaoh and his people pursued them by sunrise till they saw each other by the Red Sea. Israelites thought they would be overtaken, but Moses said, No. God would guide him. The Quran telling this event said:

Then We inspired Moses, saying: Smite the sea with thy staff. Then it (sea) parted and each part became like a huge mass of a mountain.

I wrote this brief background to explain a Quranic truth about the Pharaoh upheld all the world over.

God said: We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh With his hosts pursued them in rebellion and transgression, (to God) till, when the fate of drowning overtook him, He exclaimed: I believe that there is no God save Him in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those who are Muslim (i.e. surrender unto Him) (It was said to him). What! Now! But hither to thou hast rebelled and been of the wrong doers. THIS DAY WE SAVE THEE IN THY BODY THAT THOU SHOULD BE A PORTENT FOR THOSE WHO COME AFTER THEE. But verily most of mankind are heedless of our portents. (10/90-92)

In the Arabic inscription of the aforesaid revelation the words, 'Al yaum nonajjeeka bebadneka le takoona leman khalfaka ayah,' means, 'This day We give deliverance to thy body, that thou should be a portent for those who come after thee.' Here the Quran used the imperative mood and declared that the body of Pharaoh would be a portent, token or sign (of the greatness of God) for those who come after him.

It may be recalled that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was in 12th century B.C. The Quran declared that his body was given the then deliverance. This declaration of the Quran came in 7th century of Christian era. i.e. about 1900 years of the death of Pharaoh.

It was said that if God saved him in his body then where is the body? The deliverance of his body being a sign of Allah's Greatness.

In saying, 'Who come after him,' the Quran did not restrict the time but it kept it open to an indefinite period for generations coming after the Pharaoh.

However, it was presumed that the body of Pharaoh was thrown out of the sea and must have been found by the persons left behind. His body was a lesson for them, because they believed in his godhood. Pharaoh who had assumed godhood was not a god but was mortal, laid there in the dust of the sea beach.

However, the opponents never failed to contest the revelation saying, if God gave deliverance to his body, the body should be unharmed. They said that the truth is with Bible, which declared that Pharaoh with all his hosts was drowned.

In my book 'THE CHIEF OF THE PROPHETS' (part III Ch: II Vol. 1), I have proved the unreliability of the Gospels, the same arguments stand for Old Testament. The original versions have irretrievably been lost. The Old Testament does not have any authenticity.

Napoleon Bonaparte launched a military expedition in Egypt in 1798. After this French expedition, an era of study of ancient Egypt began. Napoleon brought a commission of scholars who worked hard to record many of its ancient monuments. The Antiquities Service of Egypt was found in 1858. The French scholars Auguste Mariette was its first director. Sir Flinders Petrie an Englishman started work in 1880. He established a School of Excavators. He worked quite scientifically until World War I.

Loret in the Royal Valley of Taibah (Egypt) discovered the mummy of Pharaoh Merneptah in 1898, and it is still intact among royal mummies of the Cairo Museum.

How strange! How amazing! How wonderful! It is that the Quranic truth was upheld all the world over after about more than 3000 years. The Pharaoh's body was examined, no symptoms of long submersion or deterioration were found. It seemed that his body was thrown off the beach by some strong wave.

The Judeo-Christian revelation had lost its originality and all its intrinsic value. It is a book containing hearsay evidence. It only mentioned the drowning of Pharaoh and his people whereas the Quran along with the incidence of drowning mentioned very precisely the saving of the Pharaoh's body. It is said why Pharaoh after acknowledging the faith was not regarded as Muslim? The answer is:

God said: But their faith could not avail them when they saw Our doom. This is Allah's law, which hath ever taken course for His bondsmen. And then the disbelievers will be ruined. (40/85)

Pharaoh's admission of faith was only when he saw his doom. Even then, God saved him in his body and made him a portent for those who came after him.

Would that the disbelievers believed in the Quran, the Book of God, that He is Unique and Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallaho alaihi wasallem) is His Prophet before they see the jaws of death taking over them.

THE QURAN AND THE COAL FORMATION

The Quran said: And who drought out the pasture Then made it decomposed with water turning it into black swarthy stuff. (87/5)

I have given the literal translation of the aforesaid revelation.

The English translators have used the present tense but the Arabic version refers to an act done by the Creator in the past. The words used in the Arabic text are 'Jalaho' i.e. made it, 'Ghusaan' meaning decomposed with water, 'Ahwa', black swarthy stuff. Imam Razi said, 'Al ghusaan ahwa' which turns from green to dry and then changes into blackening stuff, he also said, 'Ahwah' which turns into blackness after its gets moisture.'

If we look into the details of the coal formation, we shall certainly find that the Quranic revelation is positively referring to the pasture and its conversion into coal . These details could be classified during 19th and 20th century. I shall very briefly peep into some of the encyclopedic facts to understand the very spirit of the revelation.

Two eras of coal formation are known in the geological history. The older era which extents from the lower carboniferous to the Permian (Paleozoic) period, i.e. from 225 to 345 million years ago. The second era is known as Cretaceous (Mesozoic) period. It reached its peak during the Tertiary period i.e. in between 2.5 to 70 million years past. This is known as the third great division of the geological record.

The Quran also refers to an act done in the past by the Creator, and the past is past. We do not have any grammatical division of the past tense like near past or far past.

The Quran tells us decomposition of the plantation. The geologists are of the opinion that when the ground water was sufficient to cover the surface of the soil, a certain amount of drift replenished the oxygen and and the water didn't get acidified.

Decomposition of plant debris under these conditions occurred to a greater degree. Some believed that bacterial decomposition had been the controlling factors in the formation various types of coal. Decomposition of the organic matter in the soil is considered the initial stage of coal formation.

It is also considered that the great pasture beds in swamps or in water logged areas, or aquatic plants in lagoons sank gradually causing sedimentation with plant debris into the stagnant water. These deposits are called peat beds. They gradually sank more and more deeply in the earth's crust. When water logged peat is covered by an impervious sediment the past is slowly altered by chemical reactions. It is called metamorphosis. The carbon contents of the fossil plants material increase gradually. This chemical change is called coal formation.

Thus, the Quran in the very comprehensive short text described the formation of coal from the greenery of the pastures, which include all kinds of the plantation:

And Who brought out the pasture. Then made it decomposed with water turning it into black swarthy stuff.

THE QURAN AND IRON

The Quran said: And We sent down iron in which is violent power and many benefits for mankind. (57/25)

It is said that iron is taken out from the depths of the earth then how is it that the Quran mentions its sending down?

The answer is that we know that heaven and earth were gaseous mass. They were separated. Later the earth cooled down and condensed till it was enveloped in a hard layer of 10 to 15 miles of solid crust. The original gaseous mass had in it the metals of all types like iron, gold, silver, copper and lead etc. Therefore, when the Quran spoke of sending the iron down, it referred to the original nebula, which contained all the materials.

When the earth cooled and condensed these metals took to their shape along with other matter present in gaseous mass. That is why these metals can be turned into liquid magma.

The iron is most important among the metals. The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) said, "Lo! Allah has descended four blessing from the sky, the iron, the fire, the water and the salt."

No doubt, all these things were the part of the gaseous mass wherein the heaven and the earth were conjoined. Later after separation, the earth with all its treasures came down. Therefore, all these matters did descent from the sky.

The Quran speaks of the benefits of iron. Use of iron has all along been an inseparable part of our life. We won't get a house without iron utensils. In farming, building, industry and even in governing country we use machinery and weapons made of iron. Only one thing remained undefined of which the Quran spoke of i.e. "We sent down iron in which is violent power."

During the advent of the Quran in the 7th century, weapons were limited to swords, spears, arrows, and armours. The people in those times could not apprehend the violent power of iron. In 12th century when cannon was made, the people became aware of it's mighty power. But after the development of blast furnaces in 19th century the use of iron shot up to many folds. Machines, automobiles, ships, trains, rails, engines, industrial plants, pistols, revolvers, rifles, guns, cannons, grenades, dynamites, armoured cars, tanks, bombs, missiles, rockets and atomic reactors, in shot all the dangerous weapons did prove the violent power of iron.

No doubt, the Quran is the Book of God, which contains His omniscient knowledge. Whatsoever development the world may achieve, it shall never go beyond the Quranic knowledge as God said:

We have sent down the Book unto thee as an exposition of all things. (16/89)

THE ETERNAL LIFE OF HEAVEN AND OUR SCIENCE

God giving glad tidings to his believers said: And as for those who believe and do good deeds, We shall admit them to the Heaven underneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever, there for them are pure wives, and We shall make them enter deepening shades. (4/57)

The believers are those who do not seek partners in His Godhood, they believe, He is Unique, Absolute, eternally besought of all, and there is no God but He and no Lord but He. They believe in all the prophets and apostles and that Muhammad is the very last of the Prophet, and any one claiming prophet-hood after him is a liar. They believe in all the books of God like Torah, Psalms and Bible and that these books at the time of their descent were revelations (later altered) and the Quran is the last Book revealed by God to Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihi wasallem) (unaltered to a letter). The Quran and the sunnah i.e. Islam repealed all the pervious religions and orders. The Muslims are the believers who follow the Quran and the sunnah.

The faith is be followed by good deeds. The believer has to observe five times daily prayers. Other obligatory duties are, one month's fasting during Ramdhan, paying of poor due (two and a half percent of saving after a year, or on ornaments of gold and silver if gold is more than 7 tolas and silver is more than 52 tolas), and Haj once during the life time if financial condition permit.

He should observe the rights and duties as defined by Sunnah and not to encroach upon others rights. Such believers will enter into the Heaven with rivers flowing therein.

30. History repeats itself. Saudi Television in its broadcast dated 15th Rabi al Awwal 1408 H. of World Event showed its viewers millions of frogs attacking Iranian soil after a torrential rain and ate up all the crops.