Scientific implications in this ayah:
1. First "All that is in the heavens"
The word heaven in the Arabic language is derived from the word “Sumu’w” meaning elevation and loftiness, which is why it is said that everything above you is the heavens. The lower heaven is the one that faces the earth in this universe. At the same time, it means the higher cosmos around us. It comprises the different celestial bodies which are found in various forms and what’s found in them, around them or emitted from them such as the energy which fills the universe in a vivid presentation or in some invisible hidden form.
Allah (SWT) created the heavens, just as He created everything, and He raised it with no pillars to rest on. He created angels and other creatures of whom we know nothing to inhabit the heavens. Allah has protected the heavens from devils. From an astronomical point of view, astronomers estimate the observed part of the universe is more than 24 billion light-years. This is equivalent to 24 billion x 9.5 thousand billion Kilometers, which is 228 thousand trillion Kilometers. This is only the lower heaven. This observed part of the universe is in a continuous state of extension, expanding at an astonishing speed to reach an end that no one knows but Allah (SWT). He says what can be translated as, "And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayâtîn (devils), and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire." (Surat Al-Mulk (Dominion): 5). About the heavens, Allah also says: "With power did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are Able to extend the vastness of space thereof. "(Surat Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter): 47).
The observed part of the universe has been constructed with considerable accuracy in a unified manner, starting with planets, moons, asteroids, comets and meteors all circling the stars which group together in thousands of millions to form galaxies. Galaxies then assemble in local galactic groups, then in galactic clusters, then in larger clusters and so on. These groups continue to get larger and larger, the extent of which is known only to Allah.
Astronomers estimate that the observed part of the universe (the lower heaven) has more than 200 thousand million galaxies, some of which are larger than our galaxy, the Milky Way, and some others are much smaller than ours. Galaxies also contain nebulae of various shapes and sizes some of these nebulae are hidden (Dark Matter). Matter spreads among the stars and galaxies in the form of a diffused cloud of interstellar dust or gases mostly consisting of hydrogen that is loaded with very tiny dust particles of solid substances. Stars are created by gravitational collapses of nebulae. Stellar evolution is as follows: birth, youth, maturity, old age, death, then –sometimes- turning to gases again. From the stages in the life of stars we have what’s known as: the proto-star. When an old star explodes, it becomes, depending on its mass; either a red giant or a red super giant. The red giant then becomes a planetary nebula, a white dwarf and then finally the first type of supernova. If, on the other hand, the red super giant becomes the second type of supernova, it either becomes a neutron star or a black hole, all of which depends on the primary mass of the proto-star. There is also what we call pulsars; they are forms of variable stars. They have minute masses and they spread along the outer edges of the observed part of the universe. They emit very high radio pulses but some of them are silent and emit no pulses at all.
These are the celestial bodies we are aware of in the observed part of the lower heaven, yet no astronomer, even now, knows whether these bodies are inhabited by creations of Allah or no. However ayah 29 of Surat Ash-Shura says what can be translated as, “And among His Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.) is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving (living) creatures He has dispersed in them both. And He is All-Potent over their assembling (i.e. resurrecting them on the Day of Resurrection after their death, and dispersion of their bodies) whenever He wills.” (Surat Ash-Shűra (The Consultation): 29). This ayah alludes to the presence of creation in the heavens. Science only knows little about the universe. Allah tells us in the Noble Qur’an that He created seven heavens, made up of layers one above the other. All the seven heavens and all that they contain belong solely to Allah (SWT).
2. Second: “what’s in the soil”
The Earth’s volume is equal to about one trillion cubic kilometers, has an average density of about 5.52 gm/cm3 and a mass of 6 thousand Million trillion tons. The internal structure of the Earth consists of seven zones:
1) First zone (continental and oceanic crust): the hard crust of earth upon which we live. Its thickness ranges from 5-8 km under the oceans and between 30 to 40 km in the continents.
2) Second zone (lithosphere): the layer under the rigid crust consists mainly of rocks (rock sphere). Its thickness ranges from 60-70 km under the oceans and 80-90 km under the continents.
3) Third zone: the upper part of the earth’s mantle; it is the zone of weakness in the earth known as the asthenosphere (weak sphere). In this zone, rocks are found in a plastic, semi melted and highly dense, viscous form. The thickness of this layer is about 280 km (with a depth of 120-400 km).
4) Fourth zone: the middle part of the earth’s mantle (intermediate sphere). In this layer, rocks are found in a solid, hard condition. This layer has a thickness of about 270 km (with a depth that ranges from 400-670 km).
5) Fifth zone: the lower part of the earth’s mantle. In this layer, rocks are also found in a solid, hard condition. The thickness of this layer is about 2215 km (with a depth that ranges from 670-2885 km from sea level).
6) Sixth zone (Outer Core): the liquid part of the earth’s core, consisting mainly of Iron (90%), Nickel (9%) and a few light elements (1%). All these elements are found in a liquid state. The thickness of this layer is about 2270 km and its depth ranges form 2885-5155 km.
7) Seventh zone (Inner Core): the solid part of the earth’s core. It consists of a spherical mass of iron (90%), nickel (10%) and other elements, such as sulfur, phosphorous, carbon and silicon (1%). The solid core (center of the earth) has a radius of about 1216 km.
8) The radius of the earth is estimated at about 6371 km, its average circumference is 40042 km and its surface area is approximately 510 million km2. As for the earth’s hydrosphere, it is about 1.4 million km3 covering an area of 362 million km2, leaving only 148 million km2 of land.
More than six billion people live on the earth today; they are all the descendents of Adam and Eve. There are more than one and a half million species of creatures on the earth and in the sea, in addition to the fossils of more than a quarter of a million extinct species. Through the annual rate of discovering new and extinct species (through fossils), scientists believe that the number of different species that have inhabited and/or continue to inhabit the earth may be anything up to five million.
The Earth is estimated to be five billion years old (4,600,000,000 years). The entire universe is estimated to be ten billion years old, whereas the average age of man is about 50 years.
The earth contains many mineral resources, chemical compounds and water and energy resources in addition to plant and animal resources. However, we are unaware of many of Allah’s blessings. These blessings are from and belong solely to Allah; they are the products of His kindness and benevolence.
3. Third: “all that is between them” (the Heavens and Earth)
There are 20 ayahs in the Qur’an that make explicit reference to the existence of the heavens (in their huge dimensions) and the earth (with its comparatively smaller size). All that is between the heavens and earth is a space characterized by both time and space. This space is filled with various substances and energy. In this space, the clouds, angels and other creatures known only to Allah are subjugated to Him. Allah’s orders are sent down to man on earth through this space.
Science shows that the creation of space, time, matter and energy were all completed at the same time as there is (in the known universe) no space without time or time without space. There is also no time and space without matter and energy. Thus matter and energy are present in all celestial bodies, such as the earth, the sun, the solar system and the stars. Allah caused volcanoes to erupt to release the liquid and gaseous layers of the earth. Then water returned to the earth, by the will of Allah, as the water cycle. At the same time, the gases on earth vaporized and mixed with the fumes in the heavens to form a distinct stratum surrounding the earth (lithosphere), distinct from the heavens and earth, named in the Qur’an as the troposphere. This field extends from the sea surface to heights that differ with climatic spheres, ranging from 6 to 17 km, in which more than 66% of the main substance of the whole atmosphere of the earth exists. This region is characterized by a drop in temperature with the increase in altitude. The temperature reaches about -60oC just above the equator. This level is known as the stagnant airspace as atmospheric pressure goes down in it to about 1/10 of the atmospheric pressure above the sea level.
This field which represents the separating boundary between the heavens and the earth (lithosphere) is mainly composed of nitrogen molecules (78.1%), oxygen (21%), argon (0.93%) and carbon dioxide (0.03%). This is in addition to varying amounts of water vapor and traces of methane, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen, helium, ozone and some inert gases, like argon. This composition is totally different from that of the matter in between other stars and planets; it is also different from that of the cosmic gases from which the heavens and the earth were first created. All of this demonstrates the miraculous nature of the Noble Qur’an, which informs us of these processes. It is also described in a Hadith which says: “We glorify Allah as numerous as His creations in the heaven, We glorify Allah as numerous as His creations on earth, We glorify Allah as numerous as His creations in between the earth and heavens, We glorify Allah as numerous as His creations in that field which separates between the heavens and earth. All that is in this field belong indisputably only to Allah with no partner, like, wife nor a son”.
4. Fourth: “all that lies beneath the soil”
Qur’anic commentators were puzzled by the phrase “all that lies beneath the soil”. Some explained that it stood for the fact that all forms of existences are owned, created, compelled and dominated by Allah. Others explained that it represented the fact that Allah is sole possessor of all that exists.
The word “thara” in Arabic means “moist soil”. Scientifically, the humus soil (that which contains humus substances or black matter formed due to the presence of organic substances of both plant and animal origin) has a great capacity for retaining water. It is a soil rich in various mineral compounds, such as nitrides and sulfides. It is a soil that is properly aired and it releases its water content easily. Due to all of this, this soil with the underlying zones and layers are extremely rich in living organisms, such as:
1. Microscopic plants or the remains of normal plants such as bacteria, fungi, algae and pollen of all types. Some bacteria act as fixing agents for nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, sulfur, iron, manganese or other compounds that enrich the fertility of the soil. Some others break up carbohydrates, cellulose, protein or fatty substances into the organic remains of the soil enriching it with substances that plants need.
2. Various animal life-forms, such as microscopic ones like protozoa (protista), medium-sized ones and the large ones like worms, mollusks, insects, larvae, spiders, some crustaceans, vertebrates and others.
The soil can be sub-divided into three distinguished horizons, which were formed by the weathering processes for the crust. These zones from up to down are:
- The upper horizon (the uppermost soil horizon): This zone is the most exposed to weathering and humidity. It can extend from the surface of the earth to the soil rocks or the unexposed rocks. Some organic remains can be traced in this zone but the downward movement of water leaches it of the organic content required by plant life. Its thickness varies from several centimeters to tens of centimeters.
- The middle horizon: starting from the end of upper soil horizon and goes down for about a meter. This soil horizon is less exposed to weathering, but the movement of water, from above is able to reach it, enriching it with various chemical compounds that have been leached from the above horizon. That’s why this horizon is the richest, most fertile soil.
- The bed rock: is the source of the upper two horizons by they effect of the weathering processes.
The life teeming “beneath the soil” was an unknown fact when the Qur’an was revealed and remained unknown for centuries to follow. Having such signs in Qur’an proves that it is the word of Allah, the Creator. It proves the Prophethood of the Muhammad, the seal of the Prophets, and that he was connected to the revelation, taught by the Creator.