DARKNESS IN THE SEAS AND INTERNAL WAVES
Or [the unbelievers' state] are like the darkness
of a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above which are
waves above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the
other. If he puts out his hand, he can scarcely see it. Those
Allah gives no light to, they have no light. (Qur'an, 24:40)
|Measurements made with today's technology have revealed that
between 3 and 30 percent of the sunlight is reflected at the
surface of the sea. Then, almost all of the seven colours of
the light spectrum are absorbed, one after another, in the first
200 metres, except for blue light (picture at left). Below a
depth of 1,000 metres, there is no light at all (above picture).
This scientific fact was pointed out in Sura Nur 40 in the Qur'an
1,400 years ago.
In deep seas and oceans, the darkness is found
at a depth of 200 meters and deeper. At this depth, there is almost
no light, and below a depth of 1,000 meters there is no light at
Today, we know about the general formation of the sea, the characteristics
of the living things in it, its salinity, as well as the amount
of water it contains, and its surface area and depth. Submarines
and special equipment, developed with modern technology, have enabled
scientists to obtain such information.
The picture to the left represents internal waves at interface
between two layers of water of different densities. The
lower layer is denser than the upper one. This scientific
fact, declared in Sura Nur 40 of the Qur'an 14 centuries
ago, has been discovered by today's scientists only very
Human beings are not able to dive to a depth of more than 70 meters
without the aid of special equipment. They cannot survive unaided
in the dark depths of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.
For these reasons, scientists have only recently been able to discover
detailed information about the seas. However, that the depth of
the sea is dark was revealed in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago. It is
certainly one of the miracles of the Qur'an that such information
was given at a time where no equipment to enable man to dive into
the depths of the oceans was available.
In addition, the statement in Surat an-Nur 40 "
the darkness of a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above
which are waves above which are clouds
" draws our attention
to another miracle of the Qur'an.
Scientists have only recently discovered that
there are sub-surface waves, which "occur on density interfaces
between layers of different densities." These internal waves cover
the deep waters of seas and oceans because deep water has a higher
density than the water above it. Internal waves act like surface
waves. They can break, just like surface waves. Internal waves cannot
be discerned by the human eye, but they can be detected by studying
temperature or salinity changes at a given location.62
The statements in the Qur'an run parallel precisely the above explanation.
Certainly, this fact, which scientists has discovered very recently,
shows once again that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
61. Danny Elder, and John Pernetta,
Oceans (London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers: 1991), 27.
62. M. Grant Gross, Oceanography, A View of Earth, 6th ed. (Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc.: 1993), 205.