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Physics in the Quran



Support to the Muslim - Challenge to the Non Muslim



Source: History of Truth - The Truth about God and Religions Vol. 4, page 221, By Dr. Adel Elsaie




Time Dilation | Einstein's Relativity



As stated before, any repetitions in the Quran of an Ayah require special attention. Also we mentioned before, that the Quran includes over 700 verses that deal with scientific miracles. In our present time, some of these verses are understood and some are not. This is because the Quran is a challenge for humanity throughout the generations until the end of the physical world. This challenge in no way represents a negative process, but a positive one that keeps humanity reflecting on the many miraculous signs of God.

Vibration and Earth

There are two Ayat, with almost the same words, that relate the earth to rain and oscillation. Translations and commentaries of the Quran do not exactly explain this relationship. However, we will attempt to explore this link. The following argument may shed some light on the exact meaning of this relationship and Allah knows the best.

Vibrations occur regularly in our surroundings. These are motions that repeat themselves. There are oscillating guitar strings, bells, diaphragms in telephones and speaker systems and quartz crystals in wristwatches. Less obvious are the oscillations of the molecules of the air that transmit the sensation of sound, of the atoms in a solid that convey the sensation of temperature and of the electrons in the antenna of radio and TV transmitters.

Vibration is divided into free and forced vibration. A person swinging in a swing without any other help is an example of free vibration. If a friend keeps on pulling or pushing the swing periodically, we have a forced vibration. Free vibration happens if the friend pulls or pushes once and then the swing is left to oscillate freely.

One important property of oscillatory motion is its natural frequency, or the number of oscillations that are completed in one second. Any system has one or more natural frequencies of vibration depending upon its mass and how stiff it is. Resonance happens when a system is excited at one of its natural frequencies. The amplification of the sound from a radio is a case of resonance. When you move the station selector to get a certain station, you are actually bringing the frequency of the circuit in the radio in balance with the signal frequency of the selected station. When that happens, you get the maximum amplification of the sound. When you move the station selector, i.e. changing the circuit frequency from the input frequency, the sound decreases and then disappear.

Allah defined precisely this case of forced vibration where an input with driving frequency causes plants to grow as follows:

“...And (further) you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), (oscillates), it swells and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).” (Surah 22, Ayah 5)

“And among His Signs in this: thou seest the earth barren and desolate; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life (oscillates) and yields increase. Truly, He Who gives life to the (dead) earth can surely give life to (men) who are dead. For He has power over all things.” (Surah 41, Ayah 39)


The existing translation refers to the Arabic word “oscillate” as “it is stirred” which does not reflect the actual Arabic word. A possible explanation of the above phenomenon is that when rain drops on the dead ground, particles of earth oscillate and grow. If there are seeds in the ground, rain causes them to grow or germinate. The exact mechanism of the effect of rain on germination may not be fully understood. However, this may be left to specialists in the field of botany to examine from the point of view of vibration.

Regardless of discovering the exact mechanism of the above phenomenon, the above Ayat clearly describe a case of vibration. Understanding this phenomenon of vibration is undoubtedly a knowledge that was not available in the seventh century and may not be fully understood in our present time. No one can claim that Muhammad was a master dynamist and knew about vibration. Where did he get this information? It is from the Master and Only Creator of vibration.

The Relativity of the Time

There is absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever in the Biblical description of the Creation in six days followed by a day of rest, the Sabbath, analogous to the days of the earthly week. This clearly shows the interjection of human concepts to a divine action. The word “day”, in the Bible, means the interval of time between two successive sunrises or sunsets for an inhabitant of the earth. When defined this way, the day is conditioned to the rotation of the earth on its own axis. It is obvious that, logically speaking, there can be no such definition of “days” as explained in the Bible, if the mechanism that caused them to appear - the existence of the earth and the sun - had not already been created.

On the other hand, we read in the Quran in many Ayat, the Creation process in six days without any analogy to the earthly days. To understand what the Quran means by a day, one should put all the verses in which the word “day” is mentioned and then attempt to extract a common meaning.

“Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days.” (Surah 7, Ayah 54)

“He directs the affairs from heavens to the earth; then it ascends unto Him on a day, the measure of which is (as) a thousand years of your reckoning.” (Surah 32, Ayah 5)

“The angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) ascend unto Him in a day, the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years.” (Surah 70, Ayah 4)

How could the immense mystery of time be enforced in our minds better than that? A day in the standard of Allah may be one day, or 1,000 years or 50,000 years, depending on the event, relative to the human standard of time!

According to the theory of relativity, the time change of a fast moving object is very real and has nothing to do with any mechanical changes that take place in a clock because of its motion. An example to understand this time change is to imagine an astronaut travelling in space at a speed close to the speed of light. It would appear to him that he traveled an incredibly large distance in a very short time. On his return back to earth, he would find that thousands of earthly years had passed and many generations had been born and died during this time expansion, while he might still be middle aged!

The relativity theory postulates that the maximum speed attainable is that of the speed of light. But who would say that this is really a fact that can be applied on all conditions? What if the speed of light represents a singularity or a barrier between two classes of realities? Our physical reality goes from zero speed to the speed of light. And beyond this barrier, there may be another reality that has speed range from the speed of light to, perhaps, a much faster speed.

During a dream one can travel enormous distances in a very short period of time, may be at a speed faster than the speed of light. So, the above Ayat describe that on a spiritual level something that takes one day, according to the Divine Standard, could take a thousand or fifty thousand years according to the human standard. Therefore, the day in the Quran signifies a period of time and may not be equal to the earthly 24 hours. Modern commentators of the Quran, such as Yusuf Ali (1934) stressed the importance of taking the word “day” to mean in reality “very long period, or Ages, or Eons.”

How were the different events in the Quran described in different time frames? Who told Muhammad that time has a relativistic property? It is the Creator of time itself.