All praises to Allah the Unique, the Bountiful, The Merciful and the Omniscient who sent down the Qur’ān on his Prophet and Apostle Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) and made it the bearer of all knowledge as He said:
We have omitted nothing in this book (6/38)
Every Prophet had a miracle which he showed to his people and challenged them with. Some of the Prophets even had more than one sign as a definite proof that they were sent by Allah; challenging their nations to bring anything similar to it if they denied it. Every sign given to any of the Prophets was exclusively meant for his people and when he died, his signs ceased to exist.
However one such miraculous sign shall remain complete and preserved with the command of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection. This miracle is the inimitable Qur’ān, the everlasting Book of Allah given to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him). Anyone who lives after the death of this Prophet of Mercy will be able to see it, read it, and realise for themselves the truth that it contains.
Many miraculous features of the Qur’ān prove it is the Word of Allah. Facts are revealed in the verses through scientific facts, descriptions of the past and mathematical codes, which could never have been known to anyone at the time of revelation. In addition, developments that could never have been learned with the level of knowledge and technology of the time were also indicated in the verses of the Qur’ān before the actual events. The fact that some scientific facts we only attained with the 20th and 21st-century technology were revealed in the Qur’ān 1400 years ago is clear evidence that the Qur’ān cannot be the work of any human being. Science has never been separate from Islam. Let us take a look at just a few scientific miracles of the Qur’ān, the ultimate guidance for all mankind.
THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE
Surah 51, Verse 47, states, “And it is We Who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it.”
Is the universe infinite? Or is it finite in a steady state? This had once been the subject of philosophical speculations before it yielded its place to the science of physics. The Qur’ān describes it as a continuously expanding and dynamic universe. According to this description, the universe has a new aspect every instant that deviates from the concept of an infinite space; its perpetual expansion defies the concept of a confined and steady state universe. The greatest minds in history, basing their arguments on observations and formulas they had ingeniously devised, claimed either that the universe had its confines or that it was an endless space, but it occurred to none of them to think of a dynamic expanding universe, until the 20th century when Edwin Hubble, by means of a telescope, demonstrated that the universe was expanding. The theory of expansion of the universe was first advanced in the 1920s. Until the descent of the Qur’ān no other source had made such an assertion!
CREATION IN PAIRS
“Glory to Allah Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.” (36/36)
The mystery of sex runs through all creation – in man, in animal life, in vegetable life, and possibly in other things of which we have no knowledge. Then there are pairs of opposite forces in nature, e.g., positive and negative electricity, etc. The atom itself consists of a positively charged nucleus or proton, surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The constitution of matter itself is thus referred to pairs of opposite energies.
THE CREATION OF MOUNTAINS
The Qur’ān draws attention to a very important geological function of mountains:
We placed firmly embedded mountains on the earth, so it would not move under them… (Qur’ān, 21:31)
The verse states that mountains perform the function of preventing shocks in the earth. This fact was not known by anyone at the time the Qur’ān was revealed. It was, in fact, brought to light only recently, as a result of the findings of modern geological research. Formerly, it was thought that mountains were merely protrusions rising above the surface of the earth. However, scientists realised that this was not actually the case, and that those parts known as the mountain root extended down as far as 10-15 times their own height. With these features, mountains play a similar role to a nail or peg firmly holding down a tent. For example, the Mount Everest, the summit of which stands approximately 9 km above the surface of the earth, has a root deeper than 125 km.
In other verses, this role of mountains is pointed out by a comparison with “pegs”:
Have We not made the earth as a bed and the mountains its pegs? (Qur’ān, 78:6-7)
BIRTH OF A HUMAN BEING
In many verses, people are called upon to consider their own creation. They are often reminded how man came into the world, which stages he has passed through:
It is We Who have created you. Why, then, do you not accept the truth? Have you ever considered that [seed] which you emit? Is it you who create it? Or are We the Creator? (Qur’ān, 56:57-59)
The miracle of man’s creation is emphasised in many verses. Some of the information within these verses is so detailed that it was impossible for anyone living in the 7th century to have known it. Examples of these are as follows:
1. Man is not created from the entire semen, but only a very small portion of it (sperm).
2. It is the male that determines the sex of the baby.
3. The human embryo adheres to the mother’s uterus like a leech.
4. The embryo develops in three dark regions in the uterus.
The items of information just quoted were far above the level of learning of the people living at that time. The discovery of these facts could only become possible by the technology attained in the 20th century.
SEQUENCE IN DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANS
“It is He Who has created hearing, sight and minds for you. What little thanks you show!” (Qur’ān, 23:78)
“Allah brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and minds so that perhaps you would show thanks.” (Qur’ān, 16:78)
The above verses refer to a number of senses given to human beings by Allah. These are always referred in a specific order in the Qur’ān: hearing, sight, feeling and understanding. In a paper in the Journal of the Islamic Medical Association, Dr. Keith Moore states that during the development of the foetus, the eye begins to form after the inner ear has assumed its first form. He says the brain, the centre of feeling and understanding, begins its development after the ear and the eye.
The foetus’ ears begin to develop as early as the twenty-second day of pregnancy and become fully functional in the fourth month. After that, the foetus can hear sounds in its mother’s womb. For that reason, the sense of hearing forms before the other vital functions for a new-born baby. The order set out in the Qur’ān is striking from that point of view.
FORMATION OF MILK
“There is instruction for you in cattle. From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow.” (Qur’ān, 16:66)
The basic material which allows nourishment of the body comes about as a result of chemical changes in the digestive system. These digested substances then pass through the wall of the intestine into the blood stream. Due to the circulation of the blood, the nutriments reach the relevant organs. Like other bodily tissues, milk glands are nourished by nutriments brought to them by the blood. The blood therefore plays the most important role in the collection of nutriments from foodstuffs. Milk is secreted by milk glands after all these stages and its nutritional values are particularly high.
High-nutrition milk is thus produced from blood, which cannot be consumed directly, and semi-digested food. The formation of milk is by itself an enormous creation miracle. And it is another miracle altogether that such detailed information about that formation should be contained in the Qur’ān. It is quite clear that such information, requiring detailed knowledge of mammals’ digestive systems, could not have been known at the time when the Qur’ān was revealed.
MIRACLE OF HONEY
“From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.” (Qur’ān, 16:69)
Honey is a “healing for men” as stated in the verses above. Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch of research in scientifically advanced parts of the world. Other benefits of honey may be listed as below:
Rapidly diffuses through the blood
Supports blood formation
It can easily be seen from this information that honey has great “healing” properties. This is undoubtedly one of the miracles of the Qur’ān Allah, Who is Exalted in Power, has revealed.
BARRIERS BETWEEN SEAS
One of the properties of seas that has only recently been discovered is related in a verse of the Qur’ān as follows:
“He has let loose the two seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not break through.” (Qur’ān, 55:19-20)
This property of the seas, that is, that they meet and yet do not intermix, has only very recently been discovered by oceanographers. Because of the physical force called “surface tension,” the waters of neighbouring seas do not mix. Caused by the difference in the density of their waters, surface tension prevents them from mingling with one another, just as if a thin wall were between them. It is interesting that, during a period when there was little knowledge of physics, and of surface tension, or oceanography, this truth was revealed in the Qur’ān.
IDENTITY IN THE FINGERPRINT
“Yes, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.” (Qur’ān, 75:4)
The emphasis on fingerprints has a very special significance. This is because shapes and details on everyone’s fingerprint are unique to each individual. Even identical twins having the very same DNA sequence have their own set of fingerprints. That is why fingerprints are accepted as a very important proof of identity, exclusive to their owner. The science of fingerprints has been used as a non-erring identity determination method. Nonetheless, what is important is that this feature of fingerprints was only discovered in the late 19th century. Before that, people regarded fingerprints as ordinary curves without any specific importance or meaning. However in the Qur’ān, Allah points to the fingertips, which did not attract anyone’s attention at that time, and calls our attention to their importance. This importance has only been fully understood in our day.
The above mentioned miracles of the Qur’ān are just a few. There are umpteen more waiting to be discovered. The Qur’ān is not for us to keep safely on our shelves. It is to be read with understanding so as to get the proper guidance in all walks of our lives. May Allah the Exalted help us attain the ultimate guidance from the best of all books!