DARKNESS IN THE SEAS AND INTERNAL WAVES
Allah says in the Quran:
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. (Quran 24:40)
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.
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 “…like 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.
The statements in the Qur’an run parallel precisely the above explanation. Certainly, this fact, which scientists have discovered very recently, shows once again that the Qur’an is the word of Allah.
- Danny Elder, and John Pernetta, Oceans (London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers: 1991), 27.
- M. Grant Gross, Oceanography, A View of Earth, 6th ed. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc.: 1993), 205.