THE FORCE OF GRAVITY AND ORBITAL MOVEMENTS
No! I swear by the planets-that recede, that
ride their course [and] hide themselves. (Qur'an, 81: 15-16)
word "khunnas" in Surat at-Takwir 15 bears such meanings
as shrinking and cowering, retracting and turning back. The Arabic
expression translated as "hide themselves" in the 16th
verse is "kunnas." The word "kunnas" is the plural form
of "kanis" and refers to a specific path: entering a nest,
the home of a body in motion or things entering their homes and
hiding there. Again in verse 16, the word "aljawari," the plural
form of the word "jariya" which means one that moves and
flows, is translated as "that ride their course." Bearing in mind
the meaning of these words, it is very possible that these verses
refer to the gravitational forces of the planets and their movements
around their orbits.
These words in the above verses fully describe orbital movements
stemming from the force of gravity. Of these, the word "khunnas"
refers to the planets' attraction towards their own centres and
also their attraction towards the Sun, which is the centre of our
Solar System. (Allah knows best.) The force of gravity already existed
in the universe-although it was only possible to reveal this attractive
force with mathematical formulae with Sir Isaac Newton, who lived
in the 17th and 18th centuries. The word "aljawari"
in the following verse emphasises the orbital movements that arise
as a result of the centrifugal force that opposes this attractive
one. There is no doubt that the use of the word "aljawari"
together with "khunnas" (attraction towards the centre,
shrinkage) and "kunnas" (path, entering the nest, the home
of a body in motion) indicates an important scientific truth that
nobody could have known about 1,400 years ago. (Allah knows best.)
Moreover, these verses, one of the subjects sworn on in the Qur'an,
are another indication of the importance of the subject.