OXIDATION IN THE BLOOD

No indeed! Rather what they have earned has rusted up their hearts. (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 14)

The term ‘rusted’ used to describe hearts in verse of Surat al-Mutaffifin may be a reference to biochemical reaction that takes place in the heart. (Allah knows the truth.) Rust is the result of iron reacting with oxygen – oxidation. The oxygen we absorb from the air is carried through the body thanks to the iron in the hemoglobin in the blood. During this process, the oxygen reacts with the iron in the blood. This means there is a constant process resembling rusting in the blood in the human body, and therefore in the heart, the center of the circulation system.

An excess of iron in the blood can even lead to premature aging in all the body’s cells by causing rust-like oxidation.1 In the disease known as ‘hemochromatosis,’ caused by excess iron accumulating in the body, iron produces a toxic effect and causes organs such as the liver to collapse. Since this is the result of iron oxidation, this phenomenon is often described as organs ‘rusting’ or ‘rust accumulation’ in organs.2 In the journal Science News Dr. Sharon McDonnell describes the iron oxidation in cells making up organs as ‘rusting’.3

Another reference says this about the disease: “…those with hemochromatosis absorb iron, storing it in their organs. Over time, it accumulates in toxic amounts, causing organs to fail because they literally rust.” 4

It is only possible to identify the reaction of iron with oxygen in the body – oxidation in the blood – in laboratories with highly advanced equipment. The fact that such a comparison, so compatible with the scientific data, appears in the Qur’an is an evident miracle, given the time when the Qur’an was revealed. The fact that the Qur’an also contains countless other pieces of information all in agreement with modern science is another sign that it is the revelation of Omniscient Allah, our Lord and the Creator of all things.

1 E. Griffiths, Iron and Infection, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1987, pp. 1-25; http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/sardi10.html

2 Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, "Personal Health", 5 March 1997.

3 Kathleen Fackelmann, Science News, "Rusty origins: researchers identify the gene for iron-overload disease - hereditary hemochromatosis", 18 January 1997.

4 Deborah Weisberg, Post Gazette, "New center treats victims of chronic iron poisoning", 10 November 1998; http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/19981110hemo1.asp