Thursday, February 9, 2012
Decades of arguments and counterarguments over the question “whether God exists or not?” have gone by with no perceptible result. The arguments still continue unabated as ‘evolution-creationism controversy’. The only way to end the controversy is to find answer to the biggest question scientifically and settle it once and for all. Here I suggest one such method.
We cannot prove or disprove the existence of God directly for obvious reasons. However in situations of this kind in science when a theory cannot be tested directly, scientists look at its predictions. The same approach can be followed here also. We can consider Scriptural revelations about the universe and natural phenomena similar to the predictions of a theory on the assumption the Scripture is from God. In this case, I suggest the Quranic revelation of nonmaterial basis of life as a prediction whose validity can be tested scientifically. As against this Quranic revelation (discussed below), modern biology treats life as material phenomenon. Life is believed to have originated as emergent phenomenon through chance encounters of chemical molecules. Three foundational theories of modern biology namely molecular gene (genome), theories of origin of life, and Darwin’s theory of evolution of species, are developed or explained now on the assumption life is material phenomenon. Biology tells us it is material genome that constitutes the biological program responsible for the phenotype and biological processes. To biologists, an organism is mere bundle of chemical molecules. There is nothing nonphysical or nonmaterial in an organism be it a cell, plant, animal or man.
The Quran reveals to us that life is nonmaterial phenomenon. God created Adam by “breathing rooh into clay model of man” (Q. 15:28-29). The term nafs is also used in place of rooh in the Quran (Q. 4:1). On ‘breathing rooh’, the clay model (nonliving matter) sprang to life (Adam). The Quran thus reveals the cause of life is a nonphysical entity – rooh.
These Scriptural revelations about the invisible rooh as the cause of life can be understood based on computer model of organism (Wahid, P.A. 2003. J. Islamic Sci. 18(1-2):137-147; Wahid, P.A. 2006. The Computer Universe. Adam Publishers, New Delhi). A computer has visible hardware and invisible software. The hardware is constituted by chemical structures (materials). The software is nonmaterial and invisible. It has no chemical structure. The nonmaterial software however requires a physical medium for its storage (e.g., hard disk). The very same way, an organism can be described as natural biocomputer based on the Quranic revelations. The chemical structures including DNA (from cell structures to organs) constitute the biohardware. The invisible nonphysical ‘rooh’ is the biosoftware of the organism. Like the computer software, the nonmaterial biosoftware also requires a physical medium for its storage. The storage device (hard disk) of organism is the chromosome. The ‘breathing of rooh’ mentioned in the Quran is a metaphor and can be understood as the process of installing the biosoftware. Thus when rooh (biosoftware) is breathed (installed) into the nonliving clay model, it sprang to life like a computer springs to ‘life’ when software is installed in it. In this way the Scriptural revelation of ‘breathing of rooh’ into the clay model of man to create living human being (Adam) can be explained. The invisible nonphysical rooh (or nafs) is the soul of an organism. Similarly, the invisible nonphysical software is the soul of a computer. In other words, computer software is the artificial counterpart of ‘rooh’, the natural biosoftware.
The Quran further reveals that it is the removal (in computer parlance, ‘deletion’) of nafs that results in death (Q. 6:93). It is this revelation that holds the key to understanding the phenomena of life and death. Deletion of software from a computer brings its operation to a halt. Likewise, deletion of nafs from the body cells brings the functioning of the natural biocomputer (organism) to a halt. It becomes no longer living. A dead body is therefore like a computer without software. Computers, robots, etc., which run on man-made software, can be considered as forms of ‘artificial life’.
Based on the Quranic revelations, life can be defined as the manifestation of execution of divine biosoftware stored in the body cells; and death, the result of deletion of biosoftware from the body.
Since biosoftware is irreversibly lost from the biosystem at death, it will be impossible to restore life to a dead cell or dead body. The Quran further reiterates that death is a certainty ordained for all (Q. 3:185, 4:78) and the lifespan of every individual has been fixed as if by writing (Q. 3:145) implying that lifespan and death are specified in the biosoftware (nafs) of human beings.
It may be recalled here that the original proposal of the gene made by Wilhelm Johannsen in 1909 was nonphysical gene. He had also cautioned against perceiving gene as physical entity and against distinguishing gene for particular character. Both these warnings have now been proved correct. Horace Freeland Judson (Nature, 2001, 409:769) notes: “The phrases current in genetics that most plainly do violence to understanding begin “the gene for”: the gene for breast cancer, the gene for hypercholesterolaemia, the gene for schizophrenia, the gene for homosexuality, and so on. We know of course that there are no single genes for such things.” Fogle observes: “Today, in the era of genomic sequencing and intense effort to identify sites of expression, the declared goal is to search for genes, entities assumed to have physical integrity. Ironically, the sharper resolving power of modern investigative tools make less clear what, exactly, is meant by a molecular gene, and therefore, how this goal will be realized and what it will mean” (Fogle, T. 2000. In Peter Beurton, Raphael Falk, and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution. Historical and Epistemological Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 3-25). The original proposal of nonphysical gene by Johanssen agrees well with the Quranic revelation. Organism is analogous to a computer system with material biohardware and nonmaterial biosoftware.
The universe may be considered to run on two divine programs namely the abioprogram (chemical information), which is encoded by chemical structure and is responsible for the characteristic properties and behavior of nonliving things; and the invisible nonmaterial bioprogram (biological information) stored on the chromosomes of organisms, which is the driving force of life. This bioprogram decides the phenotype and biological functioning of an organism. Thus we find the dead body and its living counterpart are materially (including genome) identical but yet the former does not show any sign of life. This anomaly cannot be explained in terms of material biological program (genome) but can be elegantly explained based on the Quran, which reveals to us that at death nonmaterial biosoftware is deleted from the body. This will explain why genome, like any other hardware element, is intact in a dead body. It also indicates genome does not encode the biological information. By treating material genome as the biological program, biologists are superimposing biological information over chemical information. More surprisingly, the concept implies that DNA is the only molecule in the whole universe to have the dual property of encoding both chemical information and biological information! Biological information cannot be encoded by chemical structure. The DNA technology is biohardware technology and not biosoftware technology. By altering DNA, biologists are trying to find hardware solution for software problem.
The revelation of nonmaterial nature of life by the Quran assumes special significance in the present context of numerous studies going on to create life from nonliving materials. Against this backdrop, it is possible to examine whether life is physical or nonphysical phenomenon. If we compare the Quranic and scientific viewpoints about the phenomenon of life, it will be clear that they are diametrically opposed to each other. In other words, if one of these is proved true, the other automatically gets invalidated. The experiments being conducted at several universities and research institutes in the world are attempts to create life from nonlife on the assumption life is material phenomenon.
Presently biologists try to chemically synthesize living cell in the laboratory. Instead of trying to synthesize cell from scratch, which is impossible with the available molecular tools, biologists can as well use dead cell as starting material in experiments to create life chemically. A dead cell is natural equivalent of prosthetic cell as it has all the material structures including genome except life. If life could be created through chemical synthesis or restored to a dead cell by chemical means without involving a living cell or organism at any stage during the process that will invalidate the Quran and prove the nonexistence of God. On the other hand, if the attempts fail, it will not only prove the validity of the Quran and existence of God but will also mark the end of atheism and modern biology. In this way, the existence or nonexistence of God can be confirmed scientifically. (For detailed discussion please see post 4 at my blog http://quranscienceblog.blogspot.com and post 4 at http://atheismpseudoscienceblog.blogspot.com
There used to be comments by Quran-bashers that whenever a discovery is made by scientists, Muslims will immediately start shouting that it was mentioned in the Quran 1400 years ago. There are of course several discoveries of natural phenomena that are consistent with the Quranic revelations. But by that, nobody is saying the Quran is book of science. The revelations about the phenomena of life and death quoted here are also verses of that kind. This means the verses have scientific significance. In fact the phenomena of life and death can be defined and understood only in the light of the Quran. The very fact that these phenomena remain undefined and unexplained in biology even today is the proof of that. These Quranic revelations challenging the material concept of life are brought to public attention here well ahead of the discovery of life as nonmaterial phenomenon by scientists rather than after its discovery.
This is the golden opportunity for the scientific community to establish scientifically there is no God instead of simply arguing against God and His Scripture – the Quran. By proving life is material phenomenon by creating it from nonlife, scientists will not only be falsifying the Quran but also be confirming the nonexistence of God. Until that time, however, in the true scientific tradition, the Quran and existence of God remain unchallenged. Any argument against the Quran and God will be deemed unscientific till that time scientists create life from nonlife. It is just a matter of time scientists realized the impossibility of creating life from nonlife and quit. The failure to create life from nonlife will mark the end of modern biology and more importantly, atheism. That will settle the question of God or no God for good.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
We have already discussed why man is tested by God (see post 7). Since human biosystem is bestowed with free-will, it becomes imperative to test his obedience to Master – Allah – and willingness to act in the interest of God. Needless to say, obedience of man and his wilful submission to God form the most crucial criteria for judgment of his worth to serve God. Further, it is also necessary that the performance of human beings should be evaluated on individual basis for the obvious reason that no two individuals are created alike by Allah. A question that may be asked in this context is if human system is programmed to obey God, it would have obviated the need of the test. Any programmed system without freewill can act only as it is programmed. A ‘programmed obedience’ is quite different from voluntary obedience because in the latter case, the system consciously admits the authority and power of God thereby satisfying the Master’s ego, the attribute of Creator alone.
Test history of human race
The first test of human beings was that of Adam and Eve, which took place in the Garden where they were living after their creation. They were ordered by Allah not to touch a Tree there and if they did, they would become losers. Allah also cautioned them that the Satan is their enemy and to be on guard against it. But the Satan deceived them with alluring suggestions and they ate the fruit of the Tree. They were thus expelled from the garden by Allah to the earth with the instruction that when Allah’s guidance comes to mankind, whosoever follow it they will be on the right path and they do not have to fear or grieve. Whosoever reject it, they will fall into misery and reside in Hell for ever (Q. 2:38-39). Thus the test of mankind began on the earth. “Verily the Satan is an enemy to you; so treat him as enemy. He only invites his party to be the companions of the Blazing Fire.” (35:6). It is to make the test more effective Satan virus was incorporated into the biosoftware of human species (Adam’s nafs) by Iblis with the permission of Allah (Q. 38:80-85) as already discussed (see post 6). With the Satan virus in the system, which constantly lures human mind away from God’s guidance, only the most determined servants can stay on the right path. The successful human beings thus represent the most devoted servants of Allah. Indeed the efficiency of the divine test is greatly enhanced and the test is made foolproof by the presence of Satan virus.
As stated by Allah, it is binding on Him to provide guidance (Q. 2:38-39; 92:12) to human robots. This is necessary because unless and until human beings know who created them and for what purpose, why they are here, what God expects from them and what is their fate, etc., they will not be able to respond to the test the way God wants them to. So to convey His messages to human beings under test, Allah designed the most effective means of communication with them by choosing representatives from among themselves and appointing them as His messengers or prophets (Q. 4:165; 6:48; 10:2). “Is it a surprise to people that We conveyed (the message) to a person (Prophet Muhammad) from among themselves to warn people and to give good news to the believers that they have lofty rank of truth with their Lord? (But) the unbelievers said: “This (man) is indeed a clear magician!” (Q. 10:2). “Messengers are conveyors of good news and warners so that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should not have any plea against Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Q. 4:165). “We had not sent the apostles except as bearers of good news and warners. So whoever believes and does good deeds, no fear shall be on them nor shall they grieve.” (Q. 6:48).
The history of mankind thus saw the advent of a string of prophets ending with Prophet Muhammad (Q. 10:47; 33:40). The Quran does not mention the names of all prophets. The names of Abraham, Ismail and Isaac, Jacob (Q. 2:133), Noah, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron (Q. 6:84), Zakariya, John, Jesus, Elias (Q. 6:85), Elisha, Jonas and Lot (Q. 6:86) are among those mentioned in the Quran. Human communities are identified by their apostle. We are the nation of Muhammad, the last prophet in the series. “To every community is an apostle. Thus upon arrival of their apostle, judgement would be passed between them with justice and they will not be dealt with unjustly.” (Q. 10:47). “Muhammad is not the father of any of you, but (he is) messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Q. 33:40).
All the prophets were human beings (Q. 14:11; 21:8) and males (Q. 12:109; 21:7). They all spoke the language of their people (Q. 14:4). Many prophets were bestowed with special abilities in order to convince the people of their divinity and authenticity. Thus we find that Prophet Moses could change a rod into a snake (Q. 7:106-109); Prophet Jesus could speak from the cradle, heal the sick, bring dead men back to life, restore eyesight to the blind, heal lepers, create living bird from clay, to cite but a few. All such superhuman feats performed by the prophets were actually acts of God (Q. 5:110, 112-115). Prophet Muhammad was not endowed with such superhuman abilities. Although people asked Prophet Muhammad for divine proof so that they could believe in the message he conveyed, Allah did not give because even if they are shown signs, they would not have believed (Q. 4:153; 6:37, 109, 111; 29:50-51). For the people of Prophet Muhammad, the Quran itself is the greatest miracle. Allah asks: “Is the Book (the Quran) We sent down to you (Prophet Muhammad), which is recited to them, not enough of (a miracle) for them? Verily, in that is mercy and Reminder to the believers.” (Q. 29:51).
Allah’s message conveyed through the messengers to humanity is simple and straight – to obey and worship the one and only God (tawhid). This is the basic tenet of Allah’s religion, Islam, which all the prophets preached (Q. 7:59, 65; 21:25). “We had not sent an apostle before you (Prophet Muhammad) except to convey to him, “There is no God but I; therefore serve (i.e., worship) Me”. (Q. 21:25). Prophet Muhammad also conveyed the same message – the oneness of God. “And your God is One God. There is no God but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Q. 2:163).
History of mankind reveals that man worshipped virtually every object in sight considering it as God. Even today a large number of people believe in the existence of gods and goddesses and worship them. Obviously, clear warnings were given by God to refrain from joining partners (gods and goddesses) with Him. “Certainly, it has been revealed to you (Prophet Muhammad) and to those before you that: “If you were to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be your deeds (in this life), and you will surely be among the losers.” So you worship Allah and be among the grateful.” (Q. 39:65-66). Whenever God’s messengers came to the people with the warning against joining partners with Allah, they mocked at them and rejected them. The Quran recounts to us the fate of those earlier nations (Q. 6:65; 7:4, 22:45). Allah destroyed them as they were rejecters of Faith. “Thus how many nations We had destroyed while they were engaged in wrongdoing! They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells were abandoned and lofty towers!” (Q. 22:45). And Allah asks us to travel through the earth and find out for ourselves how their end was. And He raised fresh generations in their place (Q. 3:137; 6:6). “Do they not see how many generations before them We had destroyed? We had made available to them on the earth what We had not given you. We had sent them the sky (i.e., rain) in abundance and We made the rivers flowing beneath them. Yet for their sins We destroyed them and raised another generation after them.” (Q. 6:6). Allah asks us to learn a lesson from the fate of earlier civilizations (Q. 7:100). “Is it not a guiding (lesson) to those who inherit the earth after its (previous) inhabitants that if We had so wished, We would have punished them (too) for their sins and sealed their minds so that they will not hear?” (Q. 7:100).
Even though the destruction of the cities and early nations were mentioned in the Quran, it is only recently that man ventured to trace the early history of man in a scientific manner. An examination of the archaeological finds belonging to the early civilizations that flourished in Mesopotamia (present Iraq where the first human civilization took place), Egypt, India and others would reveal that they all came up near the river banks (Euphrates, Tigris, the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.) confirming the message given in the Quranic verse cited above (Q. 6:6). Secondly, it is generally believed that many these civilizations had been buried underneath as a result of some natural calamities. The Quran reveals to us that the ancient people believed in gods and goddesses joining partners with Allah, the only God. This was why they were destroyed (Q. 30:42). The archaeological investigations of the ancient ruins had unearthed from almost every site, idols supposed to be representations of their gods and goddesses. These artefacts provide clear evidence of the nature of worship popular in those days. Their continued practice of worshipping gods, goddesses ignoring the warnings given by their prophets led to their own destruction (Q. 30:42). “Say: “Travel through the earth and see how was the end of those before (you). Most of them were mushriks.” (Q. 30:42). Besides the total destruction of the nations, the Quran also mentions several other methods of dealing with the wrong doers by Allah so that they receive admonition. To this list of punishments belong drought, food scarcity (crop failures), mass death, outbreak of locusts, lice, frogs, etc. (Q. 7:130, 132, 133).
The destructions and calamities were directed against worshipping false gods and goddesses, and joining partners with Allah. The message La ilaha illallah (There is no God but Allah) forms the most revered slogan of Islam. The messages revealed to the generations of mankind through a series of prophets show that. The doctrine of tawhid (God is one) revealed to the generations of mankind through a succession of prophets indicates that every prophet before Prophet Muhammad also preached Islam. The Holy Quran points to that in clear terms. “…Today I have perfected for you your religion, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…” (Q. 5:3). “The religion before Allah is Islam (i.e., submission to His Will). The People of the Book split (into groups) because of mutual jealousy after knowledge had come to them. Whoever denies the messages (i.e., the Quran) of Allah, then (know) Allah is indeed swift in calling to account.” (Q. 3:19). “…He has chosen you and He has imposed no difficulties on you in religion. It is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He who named you Muslims, both before and in this (Quran). (That is) for the messenger to be a witness for you, and you (i.e., believers) the witnesses for the mankind. So establish the Prayer, give charity and hold on to Allah firmly. He is your guardian – the best to protect and the best to help.” (Q. 22:78).
In support of this Quranic declaration, we do not find the terms Judaism and Christianity used by Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus in the Bible. Certainly, Prophet Moses was not preaching Judaism or a religion different from that preached by his predecessors. Similarly, Prophet Jesus did not say that he was preaching Christianity or a religion different from what his predecessors preached. None of the prophets including Prophet Muhammad told he was preaching a different religion, but they all said that they were preaching one and the same religion – the Religion of one and the only God. “It is He who sent down to you in truth the Book (i.e., the Quran) confirmin what went before it. And He sent down the Taurat (to Moses) and the Injeel (to Jesus) – before this, as guide to mankind. And He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). Verily, those who reject the messages (ayat) of Allah have a severe penalty. And Allah is Mighty, Lord of retribution.” (Q. 3:3-4).
The Quran – the divine software of human guidance
Holy Book is defined here as the one containing only the messages of God (i.e., His own Words). There is only one Book now available in the world which fits into this definition. That is the Quran. The Quranic messages were transmitted through Gabriel (Rooh-ul-qudusi) onto the qalb of Prophet Muhammad (Q. 2:97; 16:102). Immediately after the opening sura (chapter) giving an important prayer, Almighty Allah proclaims to the world, the nation of Prophet Muhammad, thus: “That is the Book. No doubt about it. It is guidance to the God-conscious.” (Q. 2.2). And the Creator Himself takes it as His responsibility to protect it. “We have indeed sent down this Reminder (i.e., the Quran) and We will certainly guard it.” (Q. 15:9). The Quran is therefore under Allah’s protection and none can corrupt it. And no wonder, it has stood (and will stand) the test of time without change. The Quran is Allah’s directives to man and He is testing whether man obeys His directions and submits to Him voluntarily.
The Quran informs us it is the guidance (divine instructions) to mankind (Q. 2:2). Acceptance of Allah’s instructions by man is in effect similar to installation of particular software in computer, which is also a set of instructions for its operation. When a person accepts Allah’s instructions, it means that he has willingly and voluntarily installed the instructions (divine software) in his biosystem (in the memory, sadr). The individual henceforth lives in accordance with Allah’s directives. The individual who accepts the Quran and lives according to the directions contained therein becomes a totally programmed robot of Allah. In other words, not only the biological activities (that CPU carries out as per the biosoftware) but also the conscious activities commanded by mind (qalb) will also be now governed by the divine directions. This point can be made clear with an example. We come across situations in our daily life wherein human mind does not exercise its freewill but accepts the rules and laws prescribed by the government of the country. For instance, while driving a car one obeys the traffic rules irrespective of whether he likes those rules or not. If the red traffic light is on, he stops the vehicle, which he is driving, even if he is in an emergency. No one violates this rule. This is equivalent to forgoing one’s freewill and acting as per the installed instructions; in this case, the traffic rules. Similarly voluntary acceptance of Allah’s directions (Islam) by an individual will make him a totally programmed robot of Allah. He will no longer be living according to his likes and dislikes but only according to the likes and dislikes of Allah as per His directions. He becomes a dedicated robot of Allah – the true Muslim. “There is no compulsion in the religion (Islam). Verily, the right path has become distinctly clear from the wrong. Whoever rejects Tagut (i.e., some false god the Pagan Arabs were worshipping) and believes in Allah, then he has grasped a strong rope that will never break. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Q. 2:256). Say: “This truth (i.e., the Quran) is from your Lord.” Then whoever wants (to believe), let him believe; and whoever wants (to reject), let him reject. Verily, We have kept for the wrongdoers Fire; its framework (i.e., smoke and flame) will envelop them. If they ask for help, they will be given a (kind of) water like molten metal capable of scalding their faces. What an awful drink and what a bad resting place!” (Q. 18:29). “Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if you turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on right guidance. There is no responsibility on the messenger except to convey the clear (Quran).” (Q. 24:54). These messages unequivocally declare that Islam cannot be thrust upon any one. Forced or coerced conversion will not make a person Muslim. It is against Islam. In fact the prophets had been instructed thus. The responsibility of the prophet is only to convey Allah’s message and nothing more (Q. 24:54). It is up to the individual to accept them or not. It is from this fact the religion of God derives the name ‘Islam’ – submission to the Will of God.
Duration of the test and its termination
Allah has prescribed lifespan for each individual in his biosoftware (Q. 3:145). Death is also thus a programmed phenomenon (Q. 3:145; 4:78). Death is ordained in the biosoftware to terminate the test period of human beings. “(He) who created death and life to test which of you is best in deed. And He is the Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.” (Q. 67:2). When the biosoftware program (nafs) reaches the END instruction, the software gets deleted from the human biosystem. This removal of nafs results in death (Q. 6:93). The software is no longer present in the body and the body loses its life.
With death the test life of an individual comes to an end. The Quran further reveals what happens to the biosoftware deleted from the body, how resurrection of an individual from nafs takes place followed by evaluation of performance during the test period, final judgement and award of Heaven or Hell.
As death is ordained to terminate the test life of human beings, end of the universe is also ordained with the completion of the human robot testing programme. The process of re-creation of the universe is discussed in post 2. Re-creation of the next universe will pave way for the resurrection of the entire mankind who have undergone the test. The resurrection scenario has been described at many places in the Quran reminding man of meeting with the Creator and Final Judgement (Q. 2:45-46; 16:38; 17:49-52; 19:66-67; 22:5; 30:8; 50:3-5; 75:3-4, to cite but a few). Most people, however, find it hard to believe and they ignore this certainty. “Man says: What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive? But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (Q. 19:66-67). “O mankind! if you have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that you may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth.” (Q. 22:5). “Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)!” (Q. 30:8).
The Quran reveals that creation and resurrection of human beings is like that of a single nafs (Q. 31:28). It is clear that resurrection takes place from the biosoftware and not from the dead body, which decomposes in a short time. Since the resurrection is from the nafs, the mechanism of human re-creation represents the true cloning process, i.e., the creation of the facsimile of a person from his biosoftware. In order to re-create the same human individuals (from their nafs) who lived on this planet, their biosoftware must be available. This would mean that biosoftware (nafs) of human individuals have to be stored until resurrection.
The Quran tells us that it is from the earth everyone will be resurrected after death. “He (Allah) said: “You (Adam and Eve following their failure in the test in the Garden) get down with mutual enmity among yourselves. And on earth is your dwelling place and means of livelihood for a term (fixed).” He (Allah) said: “Therein shall you live and therein shall you die and from there shall you be brought out (i.e., resurrection).” (Q. 7:24-25). “From the (earth) We created you, into it We shall return you and from it We shall bring you out another time.” (Q. 20:55). The Quranic revelation of resurrection of the dead from the earth implies that the biosoftware (nafs) removed from the human body at death is stored in the earth spaces. The Quran also sheds light on the resurrection phenomena by citing analogies. “It is He Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out (from the dead).” (Q. 30:19). “And among His Signs in this: you see the earth barren and desolate; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life 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.” (Q. 41:39). “It is Allah Who sends forth the winds so that they raise up the clouds, and We drive them to a land that is dead (to cause rain), and revive the earth therewith after its death; even so (will be) the resurrection.” (Q. 35:9).
In these verses Allah uses the similitude of a dried-up land that comes back to life upon receiving the rain to explain to us the mode of resurrection of human robots. From the allegorical description of the process of giving life to dead earth by sending rain, we may infer that it will be by a similar process human beings will also be resurrected. “Giving life to a dead earth” is a figurative statement. Although the dried-up earth may look “dead” without vegetation it is not strictly dead because it preserves seeds, spores, etc., in a dormant condition. When rain falls down, water will break the dormancy of those seed materials that lie scattered on the parched earth, enabling them to germinate and grow. In the dormant condition, the seeds do carry biosoftware and are hence ‘alive’. However, the biosoftware is in a sort of “rest mode” with little or no execution of the program. When the dormant condition switches over to “operation mode” as happens when the raindrop falls on the dormant seed, the biosoftware starts executing. The dormancy is broken by the water drops. The dormancy is a natural strategy to tide over a difficult draught period. The water molecules serve as abiomemetic switch to trigger the execution of the biosoftware stored in the seed materials. Through this analogy the Quran says human beings will also be resurrected like that on the Judgement Day. This would necessitate storage of human biosoftware in the earth spaces in dormant condition. It may be noted in this context that it is carbon-based chromosome that stores the biosoftware while the body is alive. Perhaps the clay surfaces in the soil may be serving as storage medium for the biosoftware removed from the body at death. This is suggested here because clay is silicon-based material. Since silicon is closely related to carbon chemically, it may also have similar property (of storing biological information) as carbon. These “biomemetic niches” in soil can be considered equivalent to dormant seeds. Further the Quran reveals that: “And among His signs is the existence of the skies and earth by His command. Then when He calls you by a single call (on the Day of Resurrection), behold you (all) come out of the earth!” (Q. 30:25). This means that on the Day of Judgement a single command from Allah will trigger the biosoftware stored on the clay surfaces from ‘dormant mode’ to ‘execution mode’ resulting in the development of the respective individuals. This is the true cloning process! Here Allah’s command plays the role of water drop that brings the biosoftware of dormant seeds into operation mode.
Several Quranic verses add strength to the suggestion that human nafs is stored in the earth spaces and on the Day of Judgement (the Day of resurrection) people will come out from these resting places: “Does he not know when that which is in the graves (quboor) is raked up…” (Q. 100:9); “They will come out from (their) graves (ajdathi) with their eyes humbled like locusts scattered over.” (Q. 54:7); “The Day on which they come out of their graves (ajdathi) in sudden haste as if they were rushing to a goal.” (Q. 70:43). The terms qabr (plural quboor) and ajdathi are translated by translators M.H. Shakir, M. Pickthal and Mohsin Khan as “graves” (Q. 36:51; 54:7; 70:43) while Yusuf Ali translated the word as “sepulchers” (meaning “graves”) at Q. 36:51 and 70:43 and as “graves” at Q. 54:7. This conventional interpretation of these words to mean the place of burial of the dead body is obviously wrong because not all people are buried below the earth for religious and other reasons but yet they are resurrected from their graves. Moreover as already discussed, the Quran reveals that resurrection of human beings is from nafs. Therefore the term “graves” implies myriads of biosoftware niches on the earth where biosoftware (nafs) of dead people are stored. This interpretation is further strengthened by the description of ajdathi as resting place or place of sleep (Q. 36:51-52) and the kind of feeling people will have while being resurrected. Between death and resurrection, one would feel as if he had hardly spent an hour (Q. 10:45) and was in sleep (Q. 36:51-52).
Following resurrection, human beings will be judged individually based on their dossiers (information on performance during test life stored in sadr) and the successful will be admitted to Heaven (the earth of the re-created universe) and the losers will enter Hell.
Heaven – the Muslim Earth
As can be logically expected, the re-created universe will have more or less the same environment and components as that of the present universe because the laboratory environment (present Earth) in which human robots are tested should be similar to the environment of the final abode (next Earth or Heaven) where the successful robots are deployed forever. The re-created earth of the next universe is the Heaven promised by Allah where the successful human robots will live forever serving Allah (Q. 21:105). This means there will be no more deletion of biosoftware (nafs) from the body. This is understandable because death is required only to terminate the test life. Allah’s declaration (Q. 21:104) that He will create another universe as He created the first one (the present universe) also suggests that the re-created universe will have more or less the same environmental conditions suggesting the laws and rules (physics and chemistry) of the next universe will be almost similar to the present one. It will be different in certain respects like size (the size of next Earth will be equal to that of the present universe), eternal nature (Q.57:12; 43:74), Allah’s bounties, provisions, etc. “One day the earth will be changed to a different earth, and so will be the skies and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” (Q. 14:48). “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden (Heaven) whose width is that (of the whole) of the skies and the earth, prepared for the righteous.” (Q. 3:133). “Be you foremost (in seeking) Forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (of Bliss), the width whereof is as the width of the sky and the earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His apostles: that is the Grace of Allah, which He bestows on whom He pleases: and Allah is the Lord of Grace abounding.” (Q. 57:21).
The Quran provides a fairly good account of the physical environment of the new Earth as well as its biosphere. The biosphere will be composed of not only human beings but all other living beings (plants, animals, etc.) as well. “(Here is) a parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord…” (Q. 47:15). “There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.” (Q. 6:38). “Reclining in the (Garden) on raised sofas they will see there neither sun’s (excessive heat) nor excessive cold.” (Q. 76:13). Garden will be full of fruits hanging low in humility (Q. 76:14), and people will be wearing silk there (Q. 76:12). “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there from, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” (Q. 2:25). “Whatever they wish they will get therein (Heaven). They will dwell (there) forever, a promise to be asked for from your Lord.” (Q. 25:16). They will have everything in plenty. That is the Heaven promised by Allah to His successful human robots. Since the inhabitants of Heaven are human beings totally submitted to the will of Allah, Heaven can be rightly called the Muslim Earth. They will live there forever.
With the deployment of the righteous human robots in Heaven and the rest in Hell, Allah’s mission revealed through the Quran comes to an end.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The divine purpose of creating this temporary universe is to provide infrastructure facility for testing human robots. The universe is nothing more than that. The earth, human habitat, is the test laboratory. The universe must be treated, studied, understood and taught as a system from this divine perspective. Incorporation of divine purpose into our understanding of the universe can alone help correct our present erroneous view about the universe. Scientific evaluation of the ground realities also reveals close correspondence with the divine objective stated in the Quran. This matching of the universal system with God’s purpose of creation provides another undeniable scientific proof of the divinity of the Quran and existence of creator God. The subject has also been discussed elsewhere .
Design of Earth vis-à-vis divine objective
Design of Earth vis-à-vis divine objective
To describe Earth in all its splendour is an impossible proposition. What is intended here is to draw attention to the Quranic revelation of divine purpose with Earth and to bring to focus how Earth is designed to achieve it. The universe is referred to in the Quran as “skies and the earth” (Q. 11:7). It may be noted that more importance is attached to Earth than any other region in the cosmos as it forms the venue of human robot testing, which is central to the divine mission. A lot of information is now available on various aspects of Earth that will help study the planet from the standpoint of divine mission [2, 3, 4]. NASA website also gives extensive information.
Studies in astronomy picked up momentum only during the last century. For centuries, astronomers believed that our galaxy, the Milky Way, made up the entire universe. In 1924, the American astronomer, Edwin Hubble, demonstrated that ours was not the only galaxy; there were billions of galaxies spaced far between. A galaxy is a huge collection of millions of stars, dust and gas. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy consisting of more than 100 billion stars. It is supposed to have come into existence ten to fifteen billion years ago. The earth is part of the solar system belonging to the Milky Way (Figure 1). Solar system is situated on the outer edge of the Milky Way about 28000 light years from the galactic centre. It takes 225 million years to complete one revolution around the Milky Way. Our sun, located centrally in the solar system, is a medium-sized yellow star. It makes up 99.8 per cent of the mass of the solar system. Its diameter is 1,390,000 km. Following the recent de-recognition of the planet Pluto, there are now eight planets belonging to the solar system. These are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Besides it also has at least three dwarf planets (Pluto is now treated as a dwarf planet), more than 130 planetary satellites, a large number of asteroids (rocky objects in space ranging from a few meters wide to several hundred kilometres) and comets, and the interplanetary medium.
Figure 1. The position of the earth in our galaxy, the Milky Way
Image: NASA, Galaxy M83, similar size and shape to the Milky Way.
(www.ecology.com/.../earth-at-a-glance-feature/ Accessed 27-1-07)
The temperature at sun’s surface is around 5800 K while at the core it may reach as high as 15,600,000 K. The sun is presently composed of 70% hydrogen and 28% helium and the rest 2% is made up of mainly metals. The nuclear fusion going on in the core converts hydrogen into helium and therefore, with time the composition of the sun changes with the depletion of hydrogen. This nuclear reaction generates immense energy. The sun’s energy output is 386 billion billion megawatts per second for which 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen are converted to about 695,000,000 tons of helium. The energy is produced as gamma radiation which while travelling from the core towards the surface gets continuously absorbed and re-emitted in longer wavelength region so that by the time it reaches the surface it will be primarily visible light. This is how Allah created the sun to serve as the primary source of energy to sustaining life on the earth, the human robot testing centre.
Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system which is situated third from the sun. Earth is supposed to have come into existence 4.5 to 4.6 billion years ago. The earth weighs 5.972 x 1021 metric tons and orbits around the sun at an average distance of 93.1 million miles at a speed of 67000 miles per hour (18.4 miles per second). It takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun. This duration forms the basis for reckoning a year. While orbiting the sun it also rotates with a tilt of 23.5o on its axis at a speed of 1070 miles per hour (at the equator). It takes 24 hours to complete one full rotation (360o). This duration is reckoned as a day. The earth pulls every object towards its centre. This gravitational force prevents every object from being thrown out into the space by its spin. Earth has a satellite, the Moon. The moon is at a distance of 384,000 km from the earth. A characteristic feature of the components of the universe be it a satellite, planet, star or galaxy, is their constant motion in their prescribed orbits. This is highlighted in the Quran at several places. “It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.” (Q. 21:33). It is the orbital motion that creates day and night, seasons, tides etc. All these have been designed so by the Creator for the benefit of man. “And He has made subject to you the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their courses; and the night and the day has he (also) made subject to you.” (Q. 14:33). “He has made subject to you the night and the day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.” (Q. 16:12). “It is Allah Who made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the days as that which helps (you) to see. Verily Allah is full of Grace and Bounty to men: yet most men give no thanks.” (Q. 40:61). “We have made the night and the day as two (of Our) Signs: the Sign of the Night have We obscured, while the Sign of the Day We have made to enlighten you; that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number and count of the years: all things have We explained in detail.” (Q. 17:12). Through these verses Allah describes the purposes of the components of the universe (Table 1).
Table 1. Divine purpose of creation from Islamic perspective
Allah has also provided sustenance and other resources on the earth for His test subjects enough to last the entire period of the test. Whatever there is on the earth, it is for us humans. “…On the earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a term.” (Q. 7:24). “It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse you through its tracts and enjoy of the sustenance which He furnishes: but to Him is the Resurrection.” (Q. 67:15). “It is He Who created for you all things that are on the earth….” (Q. 2:29). “It is We Who placed you with authority on the earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfillment of your life: small are the thanks that you give.” (Q. 7:10). “The (material) things which you are given are but the conveniences of this life and the glitter thereof; but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring: will you not then be wise?” (Q. 28:60).
The earth provides both renewable (e.g., water, solar energy, plants, animals, etc.) and non-renewable (e.g., minerals, petroleum, etc.) resources for human consumption. The earth is a giant storehouse of a wide variety of human requirements. The availability of natural resources as per the Quranic message (Q. 7:24) is guaranteed till the test is over; that is when the universe will end. It is also quite obvious that the availability of each resource is commensurate with the relative needs of humanity. This is discernible from the relative availabilities of resources that are required by human beings in huge amounts (e.g., water) and that required in small quantities (e.g., platinum, gold, etc.). Several mechanisms are also in operation to ensure their availabilities in sufficient quantities. Renewal through recycling and regeneration is adopted by the Creator to replenish the supply of high-demand resources. Water, plants, animals, etc. come under this category. Besides the sun, Allah has also provided other energy sources to suit our other purposes. Petroleum, coal and nuclear sources for energy generation, belong to this list. Studies of the relative availability of the resources vis a vis human needs will bring out clearly the natural scenario of the supply-demand equation. The outcome of such studies will certainly make people think and understand the purpose of Allah’s creations in the light of the Quran. It will also enable us to discover the truth about the universe and redefine our priorities in our life.
The Quran speaks at length about the facilities, amenities and infrastructure provided in the test centre – the planet earth.
Several verses highlight the physical resources provided on Earth. “(It is He) Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals to Allah when you know (the truth).” (Q. 2:22). “And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that you may guide yourselves And marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves.” (Q. 16:15-16). “And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance. And We have provided therein means of subsistence,- for you and for those for whose sustenance you are not responsible. And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” (Q. 15:19-21). “And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance), though you are not the guardians of its stores.” (Q. 15:22). “He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).” (Q. 41:10). “See you not that Allah has made subject to you all that is on the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His Command? He withholds the sky (rain) from failing on the earth except by His leave: for Allah is Most Kind and Most Merciful to man.” (Q. 22:65). “It is Allah Who made out of the things He created, some things to give you shade; of the hills He made some for your shelter; He made you garments to protect you from heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He complete His favours on you, that you may bow to His Will (in Islam).” (Q. 16:81). “It is Allah Who has subjected the sea to you, that ships may sail through it by His command, that you may seek of his Bounty, and that you may be grateful.” (Q. 45:12). “It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth and sends down rain from the skies, and with it brings out fruits wherewith to feed you; it is He Who has made the ships subject to you, that they may sail through the sea by His command; and the rivers (also) hath He made subject to you.” (Q. 14:32). “We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation.” (Q. 17:70).
“It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures: Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing spathes (enclosing dates); Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?” (Q. 55:10-12). “It is He who sends down rain from the sky: from it you drink, and out of it (grows) the vegetation on which you feed your cattle. With it He produces for you corn, olives, date-palms, grapes and every kind of fruit: verily in this is a sign for those who give thought.” (Q. 16:10-11). “Then let man look at his food, (and how We provide it): For that We pour forth water in abundance, and We split the earth in fragments, and produce therein corn, and Grapes and nutritious plants, and Olives and Dates, and enclosed Gardens, dense with lofty trees, and fruits and fodder,- for use and convenience to you and your cattle.” (Q. 80:24-32).
“See they not that it is We Who have created for them - among the things which Our hands have fashioned - cattle, which are under their dominion?- And that We have subjected them to their (use)? Of them some do carry them and some they eat: And they have (other) profits from them (besides), and they get (milk) to drink. Will they not then be grateful?” (Q. 36:71-73). “It is Allah Who made your habitations homes of rest and quiet for you; and made for you, out of the skins of animals, (tents for) dwellings, which you find so light (and handy) when you travel and when you stop (in your travels); and out of their wool, and their soft fibres (between wool and hair), and their hair, rich stuff and articles of convenience (to serve you) for a time.” (Q. 16:80). “It is Allah Who made cattle for you, that you may use some for riding and some for food; And there are (other) advantages in them for you (besides); that you may through them attain to any need (there may be) in your hearts; and on them and on ships you are carried.” (Q. 40:79-80). “And cattle He has created for you (men): from them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) you eat.” (Q. 16:5). “And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things of which you have no knowledge.” (Q. 16:8).
“It is He Who has made the sea subject, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that you may extract there from ornaments to wear; and you see the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that you may be grateful.” (Q. 16:14).
Through these and many other verses, the Quran enumerates so many kinds of resources and natural mechanisms (e.g., rain, wind, sailing of ships, etc.) that are provided for the benefit of man during the test period on the earth. It is significant to note that although there are millions of other species inhabiting the earth, the Quran does not mention about them as beneficiaries of the natural resources because they also form resources created for man. These organic beings are renewable resources sustained by Allah.
The Quranic revelation that everything on the earth is created for man may be called into question on the ground that other species are also utilizing the resources. It is to be realized that these other species are also created as resources for man. Their presence on Earth should be seen that way. Consequently, we find they require and consume only non-renewable resources for their sustenance. This can be explained as follows. Over two million biological species are catalogued and several million others are supposed to inhabit this planet. Of these, man alone has the natural tendency to exploit the non-renewable resources; the rest of the bioworld require only the renewable resources. This propensity is an instinct, a built-in character, i.e., biosoftware-determined. Every other organism has been programmed to utilize only renewable resources. If we examine the requirements of other organisms, it will be evident that they do not use any non-renewable resource for any purpose. For instance, their food, material for nest building, and every other requirement is met from the renewable resources. They do not therefore deplete any non-renewable resources. Only man needs them and only man depletes them. Since they are created by Allah for the exclusive use of man, their nature, distribution and availability must correspond to the human needs and requirements. And we find this is true. The following discussion will clarify this point.
The total area of the earth is 510.072 million km2 of which land is 148.94 million km2 (29.2%) and water 361.132 million km2 (70.8%) . Natural resources may be either biotic (living) or abiotic (non-living) in origin. They are materials essential or useful to man. These include land, air, water, plants, animals, fish, birds, microorganisms, forests, wildlife, minerals, natural gas, petroleum, coal, etc. The list is so long. Natural resources are classified under renewable, flow, and non-renewable groups. Renewable resources are water, plants, animals, etc. Wind, solar radiation, etc., are treated as flow renewable resources as they do not require regeneration. Non-renewable resources are finite and their supply is limited. Coal, petroleum, mineral deposits come under this category. The finite nature of the resources is well highlighted by the Quran (Q. 7:24 given above). We know it is a fact. For instance, the reserve of natural gas at the end of 2005 is estimated to be around 179,831,967 million m3 , that of oil is 1200700 million barrels  and that of coal is 909,064 million tons . There are over 450 kinds of minerals provided by Allah on the earth. Millions of biological species are also available. All the biological organisms are not used directly by us. Many are required to sustain the habitability of the environment and resourcefulness of the human robot testing planet. Apart from being our food, the bioresources cater to our needs ranging from ornament to experimental material. Statistics show world’s annual wood production (timber-equivalent) is 3.4 billion m3, meat production is 220 million tons, and marine fish catch is 90 million tons  to mention only a few. All the resources are provided and maintained as per the requirements of Homo sapiens. The natural mechanisms Allah devised for that are awe-inspiring. For example, take the case of water and how its supply is maintained.
The mechanisms involved in worldwide circulation and distribution of water through hydrologic cycle indicates how intricate the divine program is on a global scale. “And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water, though you are not the guardians of its stores.” (Q. 15:22). “It is Allah Who sends forth the winds, so that they raise up the clouds and We drive them to a land that is dead, and revive the earth therewith after its death…” (Q. 35:9). About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water although we can see only a very small portion of it in circulation. The oceans store 97.5% of the earth’s water, land contains 2.4% and the atmosphere holds less than 0.001% as water vapour. Of all the water that is present on the earth, only 2.5% is fresh water; the rest is salty. (In all these proportions, we can see Allah’s planning and strategy). Most of the fresh water remains frozen in icecaps, present as soil moisture or inaccessible in deep underground aquifers, leaving less than 1% accessible for use. The annual precipitation (Table 2) for the earth is more than 30 times the atmosphere’s total capacity to hold water indicating rapid recycling of water between the earth’s surface and atmosphere .
Table 2. Earth’s water budget
The process of hydrologic cycle (Figure 2) is responsible for circulation and conservation of the earth’s water [11, 12, 13]. The hydrologic cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean. As moist air is lifted it cools and water vapour condenses to form clouds. One would certainly have expected that water would remain as vapour as it goes up and it would continue to go higher and higher in the sky. But nature has the mechanism to prevent it from going up beyond certain altitudes by transforming it into clouds. These clouds literally serve as the mobile overhead reservoirs of water that can be dispatched to any point on the earth through the control of the wind. Such a controlling mechanism has been indicated in the Quranic verses (Q. 15:22; 35:9) given above. This is indeed a wonderful natural phenomenon when we consider the quantum of water involved in the global transport and circulation. Once the water reaches the ground as rain, two processes occur: a) some of the water may evaporate back into the atmosphere and b) some of the water may penetrate the surface and become groundwater. Groundwater either seeps its way into oceans, rivers, and streams, or is released back into the atmosphere through transpiration (via plants). The remaining quantity of water on the earth’s surface is the runoff, which empties into lakes, rivers and streams and is carried back to the oceans, where the cycle begins again. The total quantity of water that is transported to the atmosphere annually is about 423 x 109 km3; the same quantity of water is returned to the earth through precipitation, thus conserving the total water content of the planet [14, 15].
Figure 2. Global water cycle involving precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and runoff
Based on [http://www.unep.org/vitalwater/images/03-water-cycle.jpg. Original source given: Shiklomanov, I.A., State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, and UNESCO, Paris, 1999; Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1994; Freeze, Allen, John, Cherry. Groundwater, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1979.].
Note: The width of the arrows indicating processes is approximately proportional to the volume of transported water.
An important thing that we can infer from the hydrologic cycle is that not a single molecule of water on our planet is broken down to its constituent atoms (hydrogen and oxygen) or lost irreversibly. Water being the universal solvent and an essential component of life its total quantity is always conserved through recycling. Although water participates in almost every chemical reaction that is taking place on the earth and combines with a large number of compounds in a variety of ways, none of these reactions leads to its destruction or its irreversible loss. The molecule is recoverable from whatever substance or compound in which it exists. Without this unique characteristic of the water molecule, it would not have been possible to sustain life on this planet. It takes God to create it.
It is for man and man alone Allah created everything on this planet. It is impossible to estimate Allah’s blessings and bounties given to man on the earth. But still we are ungrateful to Him. To quote the Creator: “If you would count up the favours of Allah, never would you be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Q. 16:18). “And He gives you of all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” (Q. 14:34).
Mere availability of the resources is not enough; we should also be given knowledge to exploit and utilize them. “And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the skies and on the earth; behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect”. (Q. 45:13). “Don’t you see that God has made all that is on the earth subject to you (men)…?” (Q. 22:65). “And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect.” (Q. 45:13). “Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!” (Q. 31:20).
The Quranic statement that Allah has subjected all things in the skies and on the earth to man implies that they are so designed and created by Allah as to make them useful and amenable to human exploitation. Even taming of animals would have been impossible for us had not Allah designed them so. We develop our likes and dislikes as stipulated in our biosoftware, which in turn determine our needs. Therefore, the kind of resources provided by Allah on the earth would match our needs and are adequate to meet our requirements qualitatively and quantitatively. Thus we find the raw materials (natural resources) provided on the earth are amenable to our exploitation and they yield products appropriate for our use. But to exploit them successfully we need the right kind of knowledge. Allah has also given us that knowledge, which is science and technology (see post 6). If this knowledge were not available, we will not be able to utilize the natural resources. For instance, petroleum reserves on the planet would have remained untapped had Allah not given us the knowledge of its purpose, extraction and utilization. The technological know-how tells us which resource is to be used for what purpose(s). For example, we have been taught by Allah to use petroleum as energy source for our automobiles. Its supply and its technology match this purpose. We cannot think of using petroleum for a purpose not earmarked by Allah or another resource as energy source for automobiles if Allah has not ordained. In this way if we look at the world holistically, it will be self-evident that natural resources are created for human use alone. This reality justifies the view that the conditions on the earth are fine-tuned for sustaining human life. The purpose of all creations ultimately converges to a single objective – human robot testing.
Allah’s designs are all-embracing and comprehensive. He alone knows our ultimate potential, He alone knows the quality and quantity of knowledge we are entitled to get, and He alone knows how far science and technology will take us. Allah decided our physical and mental attributes which in turn decided our needs. Allah decided the kind of raw materials (natural resources) for meeting each of our needs. Allah alone knows how long the human robot testing will continue and the world will last. Allah alone knows the resource requirement of the test period. The purposes of each and every thing available on the earth are determined by Allah.
Allah’s declaration that Earth is the habitat created for man (Q. 7:24) indicates the relative importance of the earth and other universal components in the divine scheme. This means in the whole universe, earth alone can provide and meet the requirements stipulated in the biosoftware of human species. Anthropocentric creation of the earth can be best illustrated by a thought experiment. Let us consider trans-planetary migration of human beings, a subject often linked to space missions. Suppose a large number of people leave Earth for settlement on Mars. No sooner do they land on it than will they return. The reason is simple. They will find Mars unsuitable for human settlement. It will not provide the necessary resources and facilities in accordance with human requirements. Nor will they find themselves equipped with technological know-how to exploit Martian resources to their requirement. To put it differently, Mars is not created for human habitation. It is the earth created for mankind. So Allah has not provided resources to suit the human needs and requirements on Mars. Further, Allah has not given us knowledge to utilize Martian resources for our purposes. Both ways Mars will prove unsuitable for human settlement. Thus it can be shown in the light of the Quranic revelations that Earth alone was created as habitat for humans. No other region in the cosmos can serve as human habitat. That also validates the Quranic revelation of divine purpose of creation.
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