Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Zakat as Welfare System


With international welfare systems all but breaking down and with poverty and inequality rising, it is high time for economists to give serious thought to Islam’s Zakah system so that poverty, hunger and destitution may be removed throughout the world, writes SYED SUHAIL YAQOOB.
Islam was born in the sandy deserts of Arabia with profound implications for the world. Its impact is still felt around the globe due to its contact with other religions and communities.
Today, however, Islam is almost associated with terrorism which is nothing but the “manufactured perception” by media and some interested groups to control the resources of the Muslim world. The tag of terrorism to any Islamic country gives them an excuse to invade the country and destroy its history, culture and society. Some big multinational companies are involved in this process as well, as for the world it is necessary to control the markets and provide a readymade supply of raw materials.
By any standards, Islam is nothing but peace and it has come to world to establish a well-balanced and fair system. It just takes a rational man, without prejudices, to understand the implications of this system. Even European intellectuals have realized this fact. It is disastrous for the honour of the Muslims that they have to resort to writing off European intellectuals to justify good in Islam rather than simply relying on its tenets and principles.
This has been even though there is a sense of ‘Political Islam’ emerging, which has totally overshadowed the other sub-systems that are present in Islam – sub-systems which could relieve humanity from the burden of poverty, misery and destitution. The social welfare system of Islam, which is unique in all its manifestations, has almost completely receded into the background due to the political situation. Islamic social welfare should be provided a chance to remove poverty and destitution throughout the world.
Modern governments are based on the concept of welfare system. These take care of the health, education and other basic necessities and needs. The specific type of welfare system will be in keeping with the types of governments in each region – whether these be the capitalist, communist or the dictatorship type. There is some difference between these. However, all these systems aim at the promotion of peace and prosperity of their respective countries.
Having said that, we need to also consider the serious question as to whether, or not, these policies have worked. Globally, there are still more than one billion people who live in extreme conditions. There is this starvation limit beyond which people do not possess enough food to eat. Much of the world’s poverty, of this type, is concentrated in Asia and Africa.
To be sure, millions of dollars are spent on the welfare systems around the world; billions more are spent by NGOs towards the same purpose, but there is still no solution to the looming crisis that has engulfed humanity. The reason being that today’s welfare systems are based on political necessities and Machiavellian policies. The governments have billions to spend on weapons and wars but not to feed the starving mouths around the world.
It will take just fifteen percent of global spending on wars to feed the billions that die of starvation and to provide education to the illiterate. There will be more left to spend on scientific knowledge and for the progress of humanity.
Nevertheless, it seems crazy to believe that after spending so much, the welfare system of the world is unsustainable. It becomes even more unsustainable when there is depression and recession in the economy. The recession of the 1930s, the recession of 2008 and the Greek debt-crisis saw deep cuts in welfare expenditure around the world. It forced many millions to resort to violence on the streets.
However, the economy is to be seen in light of the ‘whole’ system. Governments in recession resort to tricky measures to cool flaring tempers by resorting to borrowing from banks and other entities. Very few realise that borrowing will cost them dearly in future. They will have to pay back the money and with due interest rates. It is no secret that millions of people are under debt even in developed countries. It is exactly what happened in Greece.
Similarly, in times of recession, the rich demand cuts in income taxes and other obligations to keep the economy afloat which, in turn, again impacts the welfare system. During recession, banks do not lend to the poor and to those who lost their jobs due to income credibility problems. If it lends, it lends these at higher charges. It ensnares them within the trap of the banking system which creates money out of nothing. The recession is the best opportunity for the banks to keep governments in check and to control economic resources. And when these institutions turn against these poor folks, they have no mercy.
The Islamic system of Zakah is significantly different from other welfare systems. The first principle of Zakah is that it is exclusively meant for the poor. This principle takes away the interference from political parties tampering with the welfare system. Irrespective of whether the fund generated is less or more, it has to be spent on the poor, and only on the poor. Granted this, since poverty is a relative term, the poverty-line can always be adjusted to keep spending on the poor in a country; and when everyone is wealthy enough, the same money can be given to other nations to feed their poor.
Islam does not make a difference between the poor residing in different countries. However, the welfare systems of today’s modern governments do make for this distinction. Zakah can be stored during prosperous times to meet basic necessities when the economy is in recession and when it is expected that the poverty ratio will increase.
Another important fact about the Zakah system is that it is provided to the poor free of interest and governments do not have to resort to borrowing it from the people. In Islam, it is a religious obligation on the rich to provide a certain amount of their wealth to the poor. This way, there will be no inter-generational debt problems.
The present consumption by the poor does not lead to an increase in income taxes for the next generation.  In fact, this is what all economies strive for. But, since there is a bias against Muslim institutions, these wise injunctions of Islam are not taken seriously.
One misconception about the Zakah system is that it will breed poverty in society, as people will choose to be poor, because, then the society will take care of them – or so they assume. So there is no incentive for hard work. However, human nature is against being at the bottom. There is a lot of evidence in economics that suggests that men, or women, if given enough space, will try to achieve a good life for them and their children.
Zakah has profound implication on the evils in society like theft, kidnapping etc., since Zakah will take care of the basic needs of the poor, and they are unlikely to indulge in social evils. It has a positive manifestation in society, since, with its implementation, social evils will come down rapidly. It strikes at the root of class war which Marx, the false prophet, proposed.
However, the Zakah system has to be seen as a sub-system of the Islamic economic system. Since the society will make resources available for the poor, the creation of better relations is a necessary – and, indeed, a natural – implication of Zakah. In fact, Zakah is a guarantee for peace and development, inasmuch as it enables growth, equality and distributive justice.
It is necessary that the prejudices against Islamic economic system must be removed. Its fundamentals will remove the defects of the present economic systems throughout the world. With international welfare systems all but breaking down and with poverty and inequality rising, it is high time for economists to give serious thought to Islam’s Zakah system so that poverty, hunger and destitution may be removed throughout the world.

 The author is pursuing PhD at Aligarh Muslim University at the Department of Economics. He receives his mail at

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Dagger of Islam


The Dagger of Islam: This is the title of a book written by John Laffin, an influential political writer and commentator, who traveled widely in the Middle-east and the Islamic world to author some 80 books, many of which are on Islam and Muslims. This book was first published in 1979.
Like Huntington (Clash of Civilizations) and their band of people placed in positions of power, wealth and influence, Laffin is trembling with fear and anxiety in his book. Warnings are issued with the help of quotations. One is from a Sufi:
“We are at war. And our battle has just begun. Our first victory will be one tract of land somewhere in the world that is under the complete rule of Islam…Islam is moving across the earth…Nothing can stop [it] spreading in Europe and America.” (`Abdul Qadir al-Sufi al-Darqawi in Jihad – a Grand Plan, published in Britain by Diwan Press, 1978)
Another is from two of his own tribal leader,
“Islam is once again on the march out of Arabia; it is a Muslim crusade, a religious and cultural jihad or holy war…Who knows what djinna has let loose upon the world.” (Christopher Dobson and Ronald Payne, The Sunday Telegraph, London, March 25, 1979)
The book has a dozen of such predictions and warnings by Muslim (taken out of context) and by non-Muslim (very much in context), writers, thinkers, and political pundits that can give jaundice to many a Western reader. The trembling then is understandable.
Like Huntington, too, and many political thinkers, Laffin and others are pleading for a plan of action – meaning: a plan of war. “Strike,” as if they are saying to their leaders, “before the new force strikes. Destroy, before the Islamic revival destroys you.”
Laffin further quotes:
“As a creed with which Europe and America has to do business, Islam has begun to make Marxism look decidedly familiar and manageable… It presents itself as a powerful third force in international affairs.” (Guardian Weekly, Editorial, London, April 14, 1979)
“A wave of religious fanaticism is sweeping the Arab world – indeed the whole Muslim world – and the consequences could be revolutionary.” (Editorial in To the Point International, Antwerp, November 14, 1977)
The message and warnings were well-received. Preparations began. Saddam was encouraged to invade Kuwait. The pretext came like Newton’s legendary apple, dropping down real into the Senate and Parliamentary baskets. Iraq was struck, Kuwait was saved, a couple of billions collected!
And, with the foothold obtained, thirteen years of bombing was let loose on Iraq, until Baghdad women were washing pots in Euphrates, until they were sure, there wouldn’t be any serious resistance when their mighty and the bravest ever forces set in foot.
But the pretext of chemical weapons wasn’t working out well enough. Further, the new age was predicting massive changes at the social, economic and political level in the West. Democracy was too good as a pretext, too good for others, but at home, some ugly realities were surfacing. People’s power had to be curbed, they had to be kept on war footing; they must look outside for the troubles inside, a permanent enemy was needed.
Islam and Muslims was the answer. And terrorism was the immediate enemy. To deal with this new enemy, they needed to terrorize their own masses: terrorize them into submission, bring the military into the streets, create a police state within the democratic state. It was like a naughty child at home. He had to be disciplined: They said, “The ghost is right there under the dark canopy. He will snatch you away.”
Terrorism was the dark enemy under the canopy.
Another plan of action was brought in. If you sent an aircraft into a high building, built entirely with wooden planks, bolts and nuts, you cannot make it collapse by striking at the top. You must strike at bottom to make it collapse. If it collapses, like a house of cards, storey after storey, in a couple of seconds, great forces must be set at work. No wonder workers heard “boom,” “boom,” “boom,” before every storey’s fall.
That done, the theater of action was shifted. There, resistance killed, imprisoned, placed out of action, the brave forces went in to transfer power to the dark forces within Islam’s house; those who believe in destruction, without following up with construction, those who lament, without ever smiling and letting the mainstream smile, who preach, without ever converting, who divide, without leaving any room for rapprochement – for, they know – you can’t go back in time to re-enact historical events.
Like Israel: a dagger in the heart – bleed and die, or submit. It was a dagger, but not the dagger of Islam. The Founding Fathers rest in the grave in peace, at last; or, is there going to be more of peace and security for those who laid down their arms and sued for peace 200 years ago, for those in the grave, for those being brought closer to their graves! Most probably no. Human blood is like nicotine. Given a little, the demand grows.
Unexpectedly, the dagger has become an arrow that pierces the hearts and, as the Roman Emperor Heraclius remarked addressing Abu Sufyan in the seventh century: “True faith is something that, when it has pierced a heart, cannot be forced out.”
The fears of men like John Laffin and a million others were not ill-founded. The Devil had directly planted those fears and apprehensions in their hearts and minds; otherwise, they could not have imagined the future so accurately. Who could have told them a quarter century ago that Islam will start to capture the hearts of their common folk?
Twenty-five percent population of Hague, the Capital of European Union, is Muslim. Most street hawkers in distant and cold countries – e.g. Holland – are Muslim. Popular cafeterias in Britain have white customers flocking in from distant neighborhoods. That is a country in which seven Mayors are Muslim, including that of London. When thousands of young boys and girls were looting in London – for hours – not a single Hijabi could be spotted.
A young girl asks her mother, “Mom. Can you buy me a Hijabi dress?” The mother in shock reacts, “What?” “Mom, you know, you look so beautiful in Hijab.”
A boy turns up home late after evening games. “Where have you been?” asks the mother sternly.
“Well, I was in the mosque with my pals learning the Qur’an.”
The mother reacts, “O my God! What’s wrong with you? Come on, boy! Tell me what have you learned?”
“Not much, Mom. Just a few verses.”
“Verses of the Koran!” she is almost screaming. “Tell me what they are.”
The boy reads out, “All praise for God, Lord of the worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful; the Owner of the Day of Reckoning. You do we worship, and Your help do we seek.”
The mother is as out of breath as the boy is. Her jaws are clamped hard upon each other, as she is wondering whether time has come to move away from this Paki-infested locality.
Muslims have come, and, without slogans, without demonstrations, and without noise, Islam has begun to play its role. The Jews have been in the West for last 2000 years. Besides Banks and as billionaires, what else have they given the society? Yes. Hollywood, but, otherwise, as little as none to be remembered for. Muslims are there perhaps for half a century; and we hear Angela Merkel saying: Islam is German!
When a Mayor was asked the reason for rejecting license to a Filfilah outlet in the United States, he replied: “Today Filfilah, tomorrow Shawarma, day after tomorrow the Qur’an. No sir, I will have none of it.”
The Filfilah and Shawarma outlets may, or may not, be there. But day after tomorrow, the Qur’an will be there.
The Mayors, Huntingtons, Laffins and their kind may be asked, “What have you given your masses? Nudity, child murderers, gay, lesbians, dangerous criminals, school shooters, porn-filled media, male and female prostitutes, pimps, drugs, homicides, drunkards, gamblers, mass-shooters, daily obliterates of innocent lives in distant lands, psychic patients and the homeless in millions?”
You name a degradation, and look into your glorious culture for its definition. What is your legacy: crime-infested streets and neighborhoods, parks and churches? The able-bodied, proud, hardworking honest folks suffering in humility for food stamps?
Worst of all – you have taken away your people’s hope. The hope that this life, this society, this world, will ever be better, will ever stop torturing them. A fair-skinned, fair-looking, blond girl is asked: “Why? Why at all did you have to become a Muslim?” She is in tears. “Look!” She says, “I had to choose between suicide and Islam.”
Why are you angry and frustrated if a man rejected by you for his skin-color leaves you and goes into the mosque to lead in the Prayers?
It’s not the dagger. Your dishonesty is despite your assumed objectivity in writings. You know it’s the arrow – the arrow of Islam – that frets you. Or rather, not an arrow. It’s showers of mercy right from He in the heavens. You might pay attention to His voice:
Nay, We generously provided these people and their forefathers, until a great length of time passed over them. Do they not notice that We set upon the land, decreasing it at its borders? Then, is it they who will prevail?” (The Qur’an, 21:44)

Friday, May 18, 2018


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Description: This article delineates the correlation between the most accepted scientific explanation of the origin and expansion of the Universe, and the description of its origin and expansion in the Quran.

Hubble’s Law

For thousands of years, astronomers wrestled with basic questions concerning the universe.  Until the early 1920’s, it was believed that the universe had always been in existence; also, that the size of the universe was fixed and not changing.  However, in 1912, the American astronomer, Vesto Slipher, made a discovery that would soon change astronomers’ beliefs about the universe.  Slipher, noticed that the galaxies were moving away from earth at huge velocities.  These observations provided the first evidence supporting the expanding-universe theory.[1]

Before the invention of the telescope in 1608, man could do little more than wonder about the origin of the universe. (Courtesy: NASA)

In 1916, Albert Einstein formulated his General Theory of Relativity that indicated that the universe must be either expanding or contracting.  Confirmation of the expanding-universe theory finally came in 1929 in the hands of the well known American astronomer Edwin Hubble.
By observing redshifts[2] in the light wavelengths emitted by galaxies, Hubble found that galaxies were not fixed in their position; instead, they were actually moving away from us with speeds proportional to their distance from earth (Hubble's Law).  The only explanation for this observation was that the universe had to be expanding.  Hubble’s discovery is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of astronomy.  In 1929, he published the velocity-time relation which is the basis of modern cosmology.  In the years to come, with further observations, the expanding-universe theory was accepted by scientists and astronomers alike.

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.
With the Hooker Telescope, Hubble discovered that the galaxies were moving away us.  Above are photos of known galaxies.  (Courtesy: NASA)

Yet, astonishingly well before telescopes were even invented and well before Hubble published his Law, Prophet Muhammad used to recite a verse of the Quran to his companions that ultimately stated that the universe is expanding.
“And the heaven We created with might, and indeed We are (its) expander.” (Quran 51:47)
At the time of the revelation of the Quran, the word “space” was not known, and people used the word “heaven” to refer to what lies above the Earth.  In the above verse, the word “heaven” is referring to space and the known universe.  The verse points out that space, and thus the universe, happens to be expanding, just as Hubble’s Law states.
That the Quran mentioned such a fact centuries before the invention of the first telescope, at a time when there was primitive knowledge in science, is considered remarkable.  This is more so considering that, like many people in his time, Prophet Muhammad happened to be illiterate and simply could not have been aware of such facts by himself.  Could it be that he had truly received divine revelation from the Creator and Originator of the universe?

The Big Bang Theory

Soon after Hubble published his theory, he went on to discover that not only were galaxies moving away from the Earth, but were also moving away from one another.  This meant that the universe happened to be expanding in every direction, in the same way a balloon expands when filled with air.  Hubble’s new findings placed the foundations for the Big Bang theory.
The Big Bang theory states that around 12-15 billion years ago the universe came into existence from one single extremely hot and dense point, and that something triggered the explosion of this point that brought about the beginning of the universe.  The universe, since then, has been expanding from this single point.  
Later, in 1965, radio astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson made a Noble Prize winning discovery that confirmed the Big Bang theory.  Prior to their discovery, the theory implied that if the single point from which the universe came into existence was initially extremely hot, then remnants of this heat should be found.  This remnant heat is exactly what Penzias and Wilson found.  In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) that spreads through the universe.  Thus, it was understood that the radiation found was a remnant of the initial stages of the Big Bang.  Presently, the Big Bang theory is accepted by the vast majority of scientists and astronomers.

Cosmic Background Explorer Data
A microwave map of the leftover from the Big Bang that gave birth to the universe. (Courtesy: NASA)

It is mentioned in the Quran:
“He (God) is the Originator of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 6:101)
“Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them?  Yes; and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 36:81-82)
The above verses prove that the universe had a beginning, that God was behind its creation, and all that God needs to do inorder to create is to say “Be,” and it is.  Could this be an explanation as to what triggered off the explosion that brought about the beginning of the universe?
The Quran also mentions:
“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing?  Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)
Muslim scholars who have explained the previous verse mention that the heavens and earth were once one, and then God caused them to separate and form into the seven heavens and Earth.  Yet, due to the limitations of science and technology at the time of the revelation of the Quran (and for centuries to follow), no scholar was able to give much detail about how exactly the heavens and earth were created.  What the scholars could explain was the precise meaning of each word in Arabic in the verse, as well as the overall meaning of the verse.
In the previous verse, the Arabic words ratq and fataq are used.  The word ratq can be translated into “entity” “sewn to” “joined together” or “closed up”.  The meaning of these translations all circulate around something that is mixed and that has a separate and distinct existence.  The verb fataq is translated into “We unstitched” “We clove them asunder” “We separated” or “We have opened them”.  These meanings imply that something comes into being by an action of splitting or tearing apart.  The sprouting of a seed from the soil is a good example of a similar illustration of the meaning of the verb fataq.
With the introduction of the Big Bang theory, it soon became clear to Muslim scholars that the details mentioned with regards to the theory go identically hand in hand with the description of the creation of the universe in verse 30 of chapter 21 of the Quran.  The theory states that all the matter in the universe came into existence from one single extremely hot and dense point; that exploded and brought about the beginning of the universe, matches what is mentioned in the verse that the heaven and Earth (thus the universe) where once joined together, and  then split apart.  Once again, the only possible explanation is that Prophet Muhammad had truly received divine revelation from God, The Creator and Originator of the universe.

Thursday, May 17, 2018




Description: The Quran seems to imply that the iron was something “sent down” and not from this earth, an idea not foreign to 20th century science.

Iron is one of the elements highlighted in the Quran. In the chapter known Al-Hadeed, meaning Iron, we are informed:
“And We also sent down iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind…” (Quran 57:25)
The word “anzalna,” translated as "sent down" and used for iron in the verse, could be thought of having a metaphorical meaning to explain that iron has been given to benefit people. But, when we take into consideration the literal meaning of the word, which is, "being physically sent down from the sky, as this word usage had not been employed in the Quran except literally, like the descending of the rain or revelation, we realize that this verse implies a very significant scientific miracle. Because, modern astronomical findings have disclosed that the iron found in our world has come from giant stars in outer space.[1]
Not only the iron on earth, but also the iron in the entire Solar System, comes from outer space, since the temperature in the Sun is inadequate for the formation of iron. The sun has a surface temperature of 6,000 degrees Celsius, and a core temperature of approximately 20 million degrees. Iron can only be produced in much larger stars than the Sun, where the temperature reaches a few hundred million degrees. When the amount of iron exceeds a certain level in a star, the star can no longer accommodate it, and it eventually explodes in what is called a "nova" or a "supernova." These explosions make it possible for iron to be given off into space.[2]
One scientific source provides the following information on this subject:
“There is also evidence for older supernova events: Enhanced levels of iron-60 in deep-sea sediments have been interpreted as indications that a supernova explosion occurred within 90 light-years of the sun about 5 million years ago. Iron-60 is a radioactive isotope of iron, formed in supernova explosions, which decays with a half life of 1.5 million years. An enhanced presence of this isotope in a geologic layer indicates the recent nucleosynthesis of elements nearby in space and their subsequent transport to the earth (perhaps as part of dust grains).”[3]
All this shows that iron did not form on the Earth, but was carried from Supernovas, and was "sent down," as stated in the verse. It is clear that this fact could not have been known in the 7th century, when the Quran was revealed. Nevertheless, this fact is related in the Quran, the Word of God, Who encompasses all things in His infinite knowledge.
The fact that the verse specifically mentions iron is quite astounding, considering that these discoveries were made at the end of the 20th century. In his book Nature’s Destiny, the well-known microbiologist Michael Denton emphasizes the importance of iron:
“Of all the metals there is none more essential to life than iron. It is the accumulation of iron in the center of a star which triggers a supernova explosion and the subsequent scattering of the vital atoms of life throughout the cosmos. It was the drawing by gravity of iron atoms to the center of the primeval earth that generated the heat which caused the initial chemical differentiation of the earth, the outgassing of the early atmosphere, and ultimately the formation of the hydrosphere. It is molten iron in the center of the earth which, acting like a gigantic dynamo, generates the earth’s magnetic field, which in turn creates the Van Allen radiation belts that shield the earth’s surface from destructive high-energy-penetrating cosmic radiation and preserve the crucial ozone layer from cosmic ray destruction…
“Without the iron atom, there would be no carbon-based life in the cosmos; no supernovae, no heating of the primitive earth, no atmosphere or hydrosphere. There would be no protective magnetic field, no Van Allen radiation belts, no ozone layer, no metal to make hemoglobin [in human blood], no metal to tame the reactivity of oxygen, and no oxidative metabolism.
“The intriguing and intimate relationship between life and iron, between the red color of blood and the dying of some distant star, not only indicates the relevance of metals to biology but also the biocentricity of the cosmos…”[4]
This account clearly indicates the importance of the iron atom. The fact that particular attention is drawn to iron in the Quran also emphasizes the importance of the element.
Moreover, iron oxide particles were used in a cancer treatment in recent months and positive developments were observed. A team led by Dr. Andreas Jordan, at the world famous Charité Hospital in Germany, succeeded in destroying cancer cells with this new technique developed for the treatment of cancer—magnetic fluid hyperthermia (high temperature magnetic liquid). As a result of this technique, first performed on the 26-year-old Nikolaus H., no new cancer cells were observed in the patient in the following three months.
This method of treatment can be summarized as follows:
1. A liquid containing iron oxide particles is injected into the tumour by means of a special syringe. These particles spread throughout the tumour cells. This liquid consists of thousands of millions of particles, 1,000 times smaller than the red blood corpuscles, of iron oxide in 1 cm3 that can easily flow through all blood vessels. [5]
2. The patient is then placed in a machine with a powerful magnetic field.
3. This magnetic field, applied externally, begins to set the iron particles in the tumour in motion. During this time the temperature in the tumour containing the iron oxide particles rises by up to 45 degrees.
4. In a few minutes the cancer cells, unable to protect themselves from the heat, are either weakened or destroyed. The tumour may then be completely eradicated with subsequent chemotherapy.[6]
In this treatment it is only the cancer cells that are affected by the magnetic field, since only they contain the iron oxide particles. The spread of this technique is a major development in the treatment of this potentially lethal disease. Iron has also been found to be a cure for people suffering from anemia. In the treatment of such a widespread diseases, the use of the expression “iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind” (Quran, 57:25) in the Quran is particularly noteworthy. Indeed, in that verse, the Quran may be indicating the benefits of iron even for human health. (God knows best.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


|Description: Details mentioned in the Quran about cloud formation over 1400 years ago has only recently been discovered by science.
Scientists have studied cloud types and have realized that rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and certain steps connected with certain types of wind and clouds.
One kind of rain cloud is the cumulonimbus cloud.  Meteorologists have studied how cumulonimbus clouds are formed and how they produce rain, hail, and lightning.
They have found that cumulonimbus clouds go through the following steps to produce rain:
1)                  The clouds are pushed by the wind: Cumulonimbus clouds begin to form when wind pushes some small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) to an area where these clouds converge (see figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1: Satellite photo showing the clouds moving towards the convergence areas B, C, and D.  The arrows indicate the directions of the wind. (The Use of Satellite Pictures in Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Anderson and others, p. 188.)

Figure 2: Small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds) moving towards a convergence zone near the horizon, where we can see a large cumulonimbus cloud. (Clouds and Storms, Ludlam, plate 7.4.)

2)                  Joining: Then the small clouds join together forming a larger cloud[1] (see figures 1 and 2).
Figure 2: (A) Isolated small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds).  (B) When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase, so the cloud is stacked up.  Water drops are indicated by ·. (The Atmosphere, Anthes and others, p. 269.)

3)                  Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase.  The updrafts near the center of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges.[2]  These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up (see figures 2 (B), 3, and 4).  This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger.  When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.[3]

Figure 3: A cumulonimbus cloud.  After the cloud is stacked up, rain comes out of it. (Weather and Climate, Bodin, p.123.)

Figure 4: A cumulonimbus cloud. (A Colour Guide to Clouds, Scorer and Wexler, p. 23.)

God has said in the Quran:
“Have you not seen how God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it....” (Quran 24:43)
Meteorologists have only recently come to know these details of cloud formation, structure, and function by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers, balloons, and other equipment, to study wind and its direction, to measure humidity and its variations, and to determine the levels and variations of atmospheric pressure.[4]
The preceding verse, after mentioning clouds and rain, speaks about hail and lightning:
“....And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky, and He strikes with it whomever He wills, and turns it from whomever He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning nearly blinds the sight.” (Quran 24:43)
Meteorologists have found that these cumulonimbus clouds, that shower hail, reach a height of 25,000 to 30,000 ft (4.7 to 5.7 miles),[5]like mountains, as the Quran said, “...And He sends down hail from mountains (clouds) in the sky...” (see figure 4 above).
This verse may raise a question.  Why does the verse say “its lightning” in a reference to the hail?  Does this mean that hail is the major factor in producing lightning?  Let us see what the book entitled Meteorology Todaysays about this.  It says that a cloud becomes electrified as hail falls through a region in the cloud of supercooled droplets and ice crystals.
As liquid droplets collide with a hailstone, they freeze on contact and release latent heat.  This keeps the surface of the hailstone warmer than that of the surrounding ice crystals.  When the hailstone comes in contact with an ice crystal, an important phenomenon occurs: electrons flow from the colder object toward the warmer object.  Hence, the hailstone becomes negatively charged.  The same effect occurs when supercooled droplets come in contact with a hailstone and tiny splinters of positively charged ice break off.  These lighter positively charged particles are then carried to the upper part of the cloud by updrafts.  The hail, left with a negative charge, falls towards the bottom of the cloud, thus the lower part of the cloud becomes negatively charged.  These negative charges are then discharged as lightning.[6]  We conclude from this that hail is the major factor in producing lightning.
This information on lightning was discovered recently.  Until 1600 AD, Aristotle’s ideas on meteorology were dominant.  For example, he said that the atmosphere contains two kinds of exhalation, moist and dry.  He also said that thunder is the sound of the collision of the dry exhalation with the neighboring clouds, and lightning is the inflaming and burning of the dry exhalation with a thin and faint fire.[7]  These are some of the ideas on meteorology that were dominant at the time of the Quran’s revelation, fourteen centuries ago.


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