The Qur’an on Deep Seas and Internal Waves

God has said in the Qur’an:

“Or (the unbelievers’ state) is like the darkness in a deep sea. It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds. Darknesses, one above another. If a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it…. “(Qur’an, 24:40)

This verse mentions the darkness found in deep seas and oceans, where if a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it. The darkness in deep seas and oceans is found around a depth of 200 meters and below. At this depth, there is almost no light (see figure 15). Below a depth of 1000 meters there is no light at all.

Figure 15

Human beings are not able to dive more than forty meters without the aid of submarines or special equipment. Human beings cannot survive unaided in the deep dark part of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.

Scientists have recently discovered this darkness by means of special equipment and submarines that have enabled them to dive into the depths of the oceans.

We can also understand from the following sentences in the previous verse, “…in a deep sea. It is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds….” that the deep waters of seas and oceans are covered by waves, and above these waves are other waves. It is clear that the second set of waves are the surface waves that we see, because the verse mentions that above the second waves there are clouds. But what about the first
waves? Scientists have recently discovered that there are internal waves which “occur on density interfaces between layers of different densities.” (see figure 16). The internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because the deep waters have a higher density than the waters above them. Internal waves act like surface waves. They can also break, just like surface waves. Internal waves cannot be seen by the human eye, but they can be
detected by studying temperature or salinity changes at a given location.

Figure 16

Source: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, p 20-22

The Qur’an on Seas and Rivers

Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity, and density. For example, Mediterranean sea water is warm, saline, and less dense, compared to Atlantic ocean water. When Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics. The Mediterranean water stabilizes at this depth.

Although there are large waves, strong currents, and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier.
The Holy Qur’an mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. God has said:

He has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier between them. They do not transgress.” (Qur’an, 55:19-20)

But when the Qur’an speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. God has said in the Qur’an:

“He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition.” (Qur’an, 25:53)

One may ask, why did the Qur’an mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?

Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity
separating the two layers.” This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water. (see figure 14)

Figure 14

This information has been discovered only recently, using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen dissolubility, etc. The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet, rather the two seas appear to us as one homogeneous sea. Likewise, the human eye cannot see the division of water in estuaries into the three kinds: fresh water, salt water, and the partition (zone of separation).

Source: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam p 17-19

The Qur’an on the Cerebrum

God has said in the Qur’an about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from praying at the Kaaba:

No! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)! (Qur’an, 96:15-16)

If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum (see figure 12).

Figure 12

What does physiology tell us about the function of this area? A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area: “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex…” Also the book says: “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression….”

So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth. Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Qur’an has said: “…A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!”

Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith L. Moore.

Source: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam p 16-17

Belief in Allah

Muslims believe in Tawheed. ’Tawheed’ means believing in Allaah alone as God and Lord and attributing to Him alone all the attributes of Lordship and divinity.

Allah is the Most Powerful and Most Wise. He Created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. Muslims believe that only He (Allah) deserves to be worshipped alone without any partner.

In the Quran, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

1. “Say (O Muhammad): He is Allaah, (the) One [Ahad].

2. Allaah‑us‑Samad [Allaah — the Self‑Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.

4. And there is none co‑equal or comparable unto Him”

[Quran 112:1-3]

Every Nation was Sent a Prophet

Prophets in islam

Muslims believe that thousands of prophets were sent periodically by God, at least one to every nation, as a mercy to mankind for their guidance. Some of the Prophets sent include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them).

In certain circumstances, the message of the Prophets was lost, corrupted, forgotten, neglected, or denied by the people. These were some of the reasons why a new Prophet would be sent to re-convey Allah’s message.

Muslims believe in and respect every Prophet sent by God. Muslims also believe in all of the divine books which were revealed to the Prophets, mindful of the fact that none of these books exist today in their original form, aside from the Quran.

“It is He (Allah) Who has sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” Quran 3:3

Characteristics of Prophets

All Prophets have common characteristics which make them exceptional human beings.

The main difference between an ordinary human being and a Prophet is that a Prophet receives revelation from God (Allah).

Prophets never sought personal benefits such as wealth, high status or power – rather, they only sought the approval of God.

Prophets were the best examples amongst their people in character and righteousness. They lived in obedience to God, with excellent morals and were always truthful in speech and conduct. For this reason, Muslims reject totally the false attribution of major sins to the Prophets, as appears in some scriptures of other religions.

Prophets are not divine

While Prophets are chosen by Allah Almighty, they are in no way divine and should not be worshipped. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was commanded to say:

“I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God.” Quran 18:110

It is clear even from the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, that the Prophets were not divine, and would worship and prostrate to the One True God.

“And he [Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed…” Matthew 26:39

“And they [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces…” Numbers 16:22

“And Abram [i.e. Abraham] fell on his face: and God talked with him…” Genesis 17:3

The Message of the Prophets

Since all Prophets were sent by the One True God, they all conveyed the same message and had the same mission – to remind and educate their people of the purpose of life.

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allâh (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Tâghût besides Allâh).””  Quran 16:36

The main focus of all the Prophets was to clarify the concept of God: that He has no partners or equals, and that all worship should be directed exclusively toward Him. In the Quran, there are numerous examples of Prophets proclaiming this message:

Noah (peace be upon him) said [Quran 7:59],

“O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other gods besides Him.”

Abraham (peace be upon him) said [Quran 21:66],

“Do you worship besides Allah, things that can neither bring you benefit nor cause you harm?”

Moses (peace be upon him) said [Quran 7:140],

“What! Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah even though He has made you excel (all) created things?”

Jesus (peace be upon him) said [Quran 3:51],

“Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord: so worship Him (alone): this is the Straight Way.”

Muhammad (peace be upon him) said [Quran 18:110],

“It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever expects to meet his Lord then let him do good deeds and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”

This message was consistent throughout the generations, and highlights the importance of having the correct belief in God.

The Final Prophet

As mentioned earlier, Muslims believe that thousands of Prophets were sent periodically by Allah to specific groups of people.

“And for every nation there is a messenger.” Quran 10:47

Over time, the messages with which the Prophets came were lost or corrupted.

However, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not sent to a specific people, but to mankind as a whole, and his message has been preserved both in the form of the Quran and the Sunnah. Since the Quran and Sunnah are preserved and easily accessible, there is no need for another Prophet.

“Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets.” Quran 33:40

The Quran is the spoken word of Allah, and is free of any corruption, errors or contradictions. It is a book of “guidance for mankind… and the distinction (between right and wrong).” Quran 2:185

God has guaranteed the Quran’s protection from any corruption or distortion. Allah says in the Quran,

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” Quran 15:9

The Sunnah is a collection of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as recorded by his companions and their students. The fact that there are thousands of these recorded and rigorously authenticated makes it very easy for anyone to follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) correctly.

The message of Prophet Muhammad is in complete harmony with the teachings of the previous Prophets, and reaffirms their message.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet for all mankind from his time up until the end of time, including current and future generations. He was a perfect example of an honest, just, merciful, compassionate, truthful and brave human being. He, like other Prophets before him, did not have any evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of Allah.

Sources:

  • “Prophethood in Islam” Pamphlet by islamicpamphlets.com
  • A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, I.A Ibrahim, Second Edition, Darussalam

What is Islam?

Makkah - Haram picture.gif
Muslims praying in Makkah facing the direction of the Ka’bah.

Islam is a monotheistic religion with over one billion followers all over the world. Islam means ‘submission to the will of Allah’. Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God (Allah) and the Truth revealed to the final prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Islam governs every aspect of life and teaches man to adhere to righteous deeds while restraining from all evil.  Allah says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning) :

“Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allah and Islamic Monotheism) by their Lord’s Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise. “ (Quran 14:1)

There is a misconception that Islam is a new religion which came into existence nearly 1400 years ago and that Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the founder of this religion. This is NOT the case as Islam has existed since man set foot on earth and Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not the founder of Islam, rather he is the last and final Messenger of God. Throughout ages, Allah has sent many Prophets and Messengers to people in order to invite them to the worship of Allah and Allah alone, to order them not to ascribe partners unto Him and bring them out of the darkness of polytheism into the light of Monotheism. Allah says in the Quran:

“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).’ Then of them were some whom Allah guided, and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth) .” (Quran 16:36)

All the previous revelations were sent for a particular group of people and was supposed to be followed till a particular time period. However the last and final revelation is the Quran, revealed to the last messenger Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) for the whole of mankind. Allah says:

Say: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believed in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.”  (Quran 7:158)

So the aim of sending these Prophets and Messengers to men and jinn was only that they should worship Allah Alone, as Allah says:

“I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me.”  (Quran 51:56)

And to worship Allah means to obey Him and to do all He has ordained and to fear Him by abstaining from all that He has forbidden. This present realm of existence contains trials and tests for each individual. However after death, the final destination for all is either Paradise or Hell.  As Allah says:

“But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are Companions of the Garden therein shall they abide (for ever)” (Quran 2:82)

“And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot and of a surety ye cannot then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith.” (Quran 2: 23-24)