Phenomena of Nature: The Well – Guarded Roof – Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud

(The defensive mechanism in the nearer heaven which protects life on the earth).

(21:32)

“And We have made the heaven as a roof well guarded, yet do they turn away from the signs which these things (points to)”.

In the above-said verse the Holy Quran points out that the heaven surrounding the earth is a well guarded roof which protects life on the earth. It is one of the most conspicuous signs which impresses upon man that the working of the physical laws as well as the laws given to mankind through revelation, originate from the same source. Yet the non-believers instead of pondering over this significant sign, turn away from it.

At yet another place it is said:

(41:12)

“And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps and (provided therein) Guards. Such are the measures of One Whose might and knowledge are boundless”.

To begin with let us clarify the words  . Literally it means the heaven surrounding our earth. But the question arises how far it extends? Does it mean the atmosphere surrounding our earth? Or does it mean the heaven which encloses our solar system? Or does it include the far away heaven of which stars are visible to us?

The Quran says:            /

(2:22)

“We have made the earth your floor and the heaven your roof and sent down rains from the heaven”.

In the above said verse the word  comprises only trophosphere from which the rain falls down and which extends only seven miles above the surface of the earth. And in the verse (41:12) it is said . “We adorned  with lamps”. What is meant

by lamps? Do they mean the stars which are billions of miles away from the earth? Because in that case,  shall extend very far away

from us. Or do they mean the planets and their satellites which are members of the solar system? The Quran clarifies itself by presenting a subject in different contexts. Thus it is said:

(37:6)

“We have indeed decked the near heaven with beauty in ‘Kwakib’.

Here the word (plural of  ) is used instead of which only mean lamps or luminaries. What is meant by the word ? The meaning of this word has been clarified in still another verse:

(24:35)

“Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp. The lamp is enclosed in a glass. The glass is as if it were a brilliant,  glittering like a pearl”.

It is said further in this verse that it is on account of this glass that it becomes “light upon light”. The Quran has thus made it abundantly dear that ‘Kawakib’ are those heavenly bodies which reflect light like glass and such heavenly bodies which send reflected light on the earth are none but planets.

Meaning of the word  (seven)

The word    Sabaa, as used in the verse (41:12) above is metaphorical. It does not indicate an exact number but gives an undefined idea of plurality. It is not possible to explain this figure in the present state of our knowledge, because the scientific observation has not revealed, so far, any limits to the universe; and as such our knowledge of the outer space is limited. Lane has mentioned with reference to Bezawi that Arabs use the word seven for plurality. Even in Urdu language certain numbers are used for plurality and they do not indicate an exact number. For example  – “I have told

you twenty times”. “I have told hundred times”.

“Beyond the seven seas”, which only mean a long distance.

The-word  occurs at various other places in the Holy Quran, in the same sense

For instance:

(78:12)

“We have built over you many strong heavens”.

(67:3)

“It is He who has created a number of heavens, closely fitting each other”.

(71:15)

‘”Do you not see, Allah has created a number of heavens, closely fitting one another”.

(23:17) ….

“And We have made above you many tracts”.

GUARDS

The other conspicuous word in the verse (41:12) is “guards”. Before we consider what these guards are and how they protect life on the earth, let us describe briefly the various physical factors involved in this phenomenon. As shall be described later, the sun’s rays consist of high energy radiation such as X-rays and Ultraviolet Rays and low energy radiation such as Heat and Light Rays. High energy radiation is dangerous to life and low energy radiation up to a certain limit is essential for the maintenance of life. When the sun’s radiation reaches nearer to the earth, it is disposed of in three different ways: (a) by reflection (b) by transmission and (c) by absorption. In general, gases are the best transmitters, liquids the best reflectors and solids the best absorbers.

Heat transfer. As regards heat there are three modes of its transfer-       (a) conduction, (b) convection and (c) radiation.

Conduction. When a solid is heated at one end, the motion of the molecules increases, they bombard neighboring molecules and give up some of their motion to them. Thus the increased molecular motion which we feel as heat is carried from one end to the other. This is known as conduction. Since increased heat means increased molecular motion, heat causes substances to expand.

Convection. It can take place only in liquids and gases. When a vessel of water is heated from below, the molecules at the bottom of the vessel move more vigorously. The liquid expands and becomes less dense so that an equal volume of colder liquid weighs more than the warmer liquid. The colder heavier liquid drops down and pushes the warmer liquid up. In this way the colder liquid becomes warmer in turn, until the entire contents are warmed. The continuous movement of the warm and cold portions of the liquid creates a convection current. Convection in air is analogous to convection in liquids.

Radiation. It is quite different from conduction and convection; whereas these two can occur only in material medium, radiation can pass through space which is devoid of matter. Conduction and convection are slow but radiation is instantaneous. For example, if we burn up fire in a room it gets warm immediately by heat radiation. On the other hand, with a steam heating system it may take an hour or more for a room to get warm by convection currents. A body radiates heat to every other body which is cooler than itself whether it is in contact with it or not, but conduction and convection currents can take place only between bodies which are in contact with each other.

How the atmosphere is heated. Dense air absorbs more heat than rare air. Carbon dioxide, water vapour and dust absorb heat better than air. When radiation passes through atmosphere, very little is absorbed by its upper layers. As it penetrates farther and farther into the denser, dustier and moister air, more and more of it is absorbed and the air is more and more heated. The air at the bottom is heated not only because of the greater absorbing power of the lower layers but also because of their contact with the warmer land and water surfaces. The heated air expands and rises, the cooler, heavier air above sinks and takes its place. Thus the entire mass of air gets mixed up by convectional currents.

Now let us proceed to describe the term  (Guards) as it occurs in

the Holy Quran. The earth’s atmosphere is a blanket of gases surrounding the planet. It enables life to exist on the earth, not only because it contains oxygen so essential to life but also because it provides a protective insulation to the earth. Without this insulation, the temperature would have swung from unbearable cold at night to unbearable hot during the day. Just compare it with the moon which is without an atmosphere. There the day temperature rises to 100oC, as high as that of boiling water; and at night the temperature sinks down to-180oC, as low as that of liquid air. Under these conditions no life can exist.

The earth’s atmosphere probably extends at least one thousand miles from the surface of the earth. The air is not a uniform mass but can be divided into layers, each with its own characteristics (Fig. 7). The lowest strata of atmosphere is called Trophosphere. It extends up to seven miles above the surface of the earth. The convectional currents in the atmosphere take place only in this region. It may thus be described as the region of clouds and weather. The temperature rises steadily from about 15″C (in temperate zones) at sea level, to about 56″C at seven miles, while the air thins out with the increasing height.

Above this, is a ten miles thick layer of Stratosphere. The temperature is more or less uniform in this region and is about 60″C. This is because there is no mixing up of air contents by convection. Thus the gases are supposed to exist in strata. Hence the name stratosphere. At its lower boundary the effects of earth’s weather are not usually felt.

Above the Ionosphere is the outermost layer of atmosphere known as Exosphere. The air in this layer is so ratified that its density is only one million-millionth of that at the ground level. Air particles move freely, some escaping into the near-vacuum of outer space.

From the above it becomes dear that the ‘guards’ ( ) as

described in the Holy Quran are the various factors involved in the protection of life on the Earth and these are distributed in the different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ionosphere forms the first line of defence which guards against the harmful effects of radiation from the solar system and of the cosmic rays which come from beyond the solar system. It serves as a filter through which only those rays of the sun are allowed to pass which serve to maintain life on the earth. Meteors which are members of the solar system itself, also burn up here. Chemosphere is the second line of defence which protects against the excessive heat of solar radiation. Trophosphere is the third line of defence. It serves to provide a protective insulation against the excessive rise and fall of temperature.

According to the Holy Quran the protection is provided against  ‘

rebellious forces’.

(67:5)

“We have adorned the nearer heaven with lamps and have made it as missiles to drive away the destructive forces and We have prepared for them the obstacle of fire”.

Above this layer is the layer of Chemosphere, which is 20-30 miles thick. It is mainly an accumulation of ozone gas which is a form of oxygen. When ultraviolet   rays   are   passed through oxygen, ozone is formed, but it is changed back to oxygen by water vapours. The absence of water in the Chemosphere has an important effect on the amount of ozone and this in turn has important effects on the amount of high  energy  solar  radiation received on the earth. Ozone acts in both ways. It protects the earth from high energy solar radiation and prevents the earth radiation to pass out which role is also performed by carbon dioxide. The temperature of Chemosphere is very high as compared with the layers above and below it.

Above this, is the layer of Ionosphere which extends for about 250 miles above the surface of the earth. In the Ionosphere the air particles are electrically charged (ionised) by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and congregate in four different layers, D, E, Fl and F2. It is these layers which reflect radio waves back to the ground. The temperature increases rapidly from 73°C at the D (lowest) layer to about 1600°C at 200 miles. It is mainly at the lower Ionosphere that meteors from the outer space burn up as they meet the increased air resistance. As already stated, when a meteor enters the Ionosphere it becomes intensely heated by friction against the air particles and destroys itself in the streak of luminosity, known as shooting star. It would have been harmful to life on the earth, if it could pass through the atmosphere. Relatively large bodies known as meteorites, however, are able to complete the journey to the ground without being destroyed, but major falls are rare and there is no authenticated record of any one having been killed by a meteorite.

Cosmic rays are fast moving particles continually entering the upper atmosphere from interplanetary space. Mostly they come from far beyond the solar system and their origin is uncertain. They are extremely penetrating and the heavy primaries may well be dangerous to living matter, but the primaries do not reach the Earth’s surface. They collide with nuclei of atoms in the Ionosphere and yield the harmless secondary cosmic rays.

Above the Ionosphere is the outermost layer of atmosphere known as Exosphere. The air in this layer is so ratified that its density is only one million-millionth of that at the ground level. Air particles move freely, some escaping into the near-vacuum of outer space.

From the above it becomes clear that the ‘guards’ ( ) as

described in the Holy Quran are the various factors involved in the protection of life on the Earth and these are distributed in the different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ionosphere forms the first line of defence which guards against the harmful effects of radiation from the solar system and of the cosmic rays which come from beyond the solar system. It serves as a filter through which only those rays of the sun are allowed to pass which serve to maintain life on the earth. Meteors which are members of the solar system itself, also burn up here. Chemosphere is the second line of defence which protects against the excessive heat of solar radiation. Trophosphere is the third line of defence. It serves to provide a protective insulation against the excessive rise and fall of temperature.

According to the Holy Quran the protection is provided against

‘rebellious forces’.

(67:5)

“We have adorned the nearer heaven with lamps and have made it as missiles to drive away the destructive forces and We have prepared for them the obstacle of fire”.

The word  (root ) means rebellious forces, which may be forces of nature as mentioned in the above said verse, (or the baser sentiments of man himself). As a matter of fact, all forces of nature are rebellious unless they are tamed or bound by measures. For example, an untamed river is rebellious but a river with boundaries raised on its banks becomes beneficial or an asset for mankind.
The arrangement of the lines of defence, one behind the other in order to protect against the rebellious forces, is described as follows:

(37-1-7)

“By the forces that range themselves in ranks and are so strong in repelling (the opposite ones). And thus proclaim the divine law. Verily, your Allah is One. He is the Sustainer of the heavenly bodies and the earth and all that is between them and provides sustenance at every point of the rising sun. We have indeed decked the nearer heaven with beauty in the planets and have provided guards against all the rebellious forces.

It is said further:

(37:8-10)

“The rebellions forces can not strain their ears in the direction of divine planning; and become cast away from every side. repulsed for they undergo perpetual obstacle. But such, as stealthily dart away (e.g., meteors), are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness”.

It means that although these rebellious forces try to find their way in, as it is consistent with their nature; yet they are unable to pass the barrier that lies against them by divine planning and adjustment.

“The word  used in the verse (37:8) above is translated as the Highest Assembly”. It means the Alam-e-Amar where tasks are assigned to the forces of nature.

The strata of earths atmosphere described above, which serve as guards to protect life on the earth, against the rebellious forces of Cosmic rays, Gamma rays X-rays, Ultraviolet rays, excessive heat and light rays, as well as metrors, are called  by the Holy Quran. ‘Burooj’ means forts or fortified spheres. Thus it is said:
(15:16-18)

“It is He who has set out in the sky fortified spheres and made it fair seeming to beholders. And We have guarded it from rebellious forces. But any that steals hearing (i.e., stealthily and silently darts away without being heard) is pursued by a clear flame of fire”.

Our non-scientist commentators, while explaining the above said verses, have related preposterous stories of some sooth-sayers who used to listen to the working of the ‘highest Assembly. They interpret the word  “steal hearing” (15:18) as ‘overhearing which is not correct.

Supposing A speaks and B overhears. In that case B steals the voice of A not his hearing.

Fortified Spheres. Amongst various other sign, the Holy Quran also describes the phenomenon of fortified spheres in ihe nearest heaven (i.e. in Solar System), in support of its truth:-

(85:1)

“By the sky that contains fortified spheres”.

The earth is surrounded by fortified spheres which protect life on the earth, against the rebellious forces of Cosmic rays, Gamma rays, X-rays and Ultra-violet rays. These are named as Trophosphere, Stratosphere, Chemosphere and Ionosphere as stated earlier.

 

588 total views, 2 views today

(Visited 185 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *