Contemplating the Skies

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One proof of the power and majesty of the Almighty lies in the Divine Sovereignty displayed on earth, in the skies and in the stars. Failing to contemplate the marvels of the skies deprives human understanding from a splendid exhibition of wisdom.

Compared to the skies, the Earth is like a drop in an ocean, even smaller. There is almost no chapter in the Holy Quran in which the grandeur of the skies is not given mention to. There are even many oaths made in the name of the skies:

“By the heaven, holding mansions of the stars” (al-Buruj, 1)

“But nay! I swear by the falling of stars. And most surely it is a very great oath if you only knew…” (al-Waqiah, 75-76)[1]

The immensity of the universe, the separate motions of its objects and the distances separating them are given in gigantic figures that exceed the wildest imagination and the most penetrating comprehension. Scientists have even felt compelled to admit:

“The universe is more terrifying, startling and greater then we can possibly imagine, for the objects in space are distancing themselves from one another at frightening speed.”[2]

Scientists estimate the radius of the universe as 14 trillion light years. The speed of light, as known, is approximately 300,000 km (186,411 mph) per hour.

The Galaxies

There are some hundred billion galaxies in the universe visible to state-of-the-art telescopes. That makes the galaxy a colossal community of spatial bodies that each harbors well nigh a billion stars, including their raw material and residues.[3] The Milky Way, which is home to the solar system, is simply one galaxy among these.

Communities of hundreds or thousand galaxies are called clusters. In turn, communities made up of galaxy groups are called galaxy super-clusters.[4]

Our Milky Way galaxy and the some 30 galaxies near us constitute the local galaxy cluster. The Virgo Cluster, a near cluster which stands at a distance of approximately 65 million light years, includes an estimated 2000 galaxies. A single super-cluster, it should be known, lies amid tens of galaxy clusters, boasting a circumference of a 100 million light years.[5]

Another aspect exhibiting Divine Splendor throughout space is the collision of galaxies. Galaxies collide on a frequent basis. If their orbits cross paths or if they have gained enough proximity their mass gravity attracts them closer to each other. No matter how many billions of stars galaxies may have, owing to the enormous distance separating them, stars pass by each other during the collision without coming into contact. The impact of the collision, however, causes the gases and dust, from which stars are made of, to converge in certain spots, stimulating the formation of stars. Observed, for that reason, is an escalation in the formation of new stars in galaxies that have undergone a collision. According to estimations, a collision of a similar kind looms between the Milky Way and her neighbor Andromeda.[6] The two galaxies are approaching one another at a speed of nearly 500,000 km’s (310,685 mph) per hour. Remembering they are separated by a distance of 2.2 million light years, a collision is imminent in around 3 billion years.[7]

There are approximately 200 billion stars in the Milky Way, just one of which is the Sun. The Milky Way has a circumference of 100,000 light years. Orbiting at a pace of 630 km per second (391 mps), it proceeds at a speed of 900,000 kph (559234 mph) towards the Star Vega.

The Hercules Cluster is made up of 100 small galaxies and lies at a distance of 650 million light years from Earth.

The Solar System

Lying amid the Milky Way, the Solar System has a circumference of 12 billion km (7,566,454,306 miles).  The sun, located at a distance of 30,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way, is believed to be around 4.5 to 5 billion years old.

The Sun transforms 564 million tons of hydrogen to 560 million tons of helium at each second. In the process, 4 million tons of gas radiates forth as rays of energy. In terms of lost mass, the Sun loses 4 million tons of mass per second and 240 million tons per minute. Considering the sun has been consistently consuming energy at this speed for the past 3 billion years, it means that until now, it has lost 400 billion × million of mass. Still, even a massive amount like that is equivalent only to about 1/5000 of the Sun’s current mass.

The temperature of the Sun’s surface is 6000 degrees C° (10,832 F ).  The heat of its core, on the other hand, reaches 20 million degrees C°. While the Sun’s temperature increases constantly, so does it circumference. It is therefore considered a possibility that the ever-growing the Sun could one day explode and spell an end to the planets closest to it, in Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Exactly 324,529 times greater than Earth, the Sun has a mass of 2 x 1027 tons, that is a billion times a billion times a billion, multiplied twice, and a gigantic radius of 700,000 km, or 434.969 miles.[8]

The Holy Quran reminds:

“Blessed is He Who made the constellations in the heavens and made therein a lamp and a shining moon.” (al-Furqan, 61)

The Skies are Constantly Expanding

Allah, glory unto Him, states that He constantly expands the flawlessly created skies. The verse declares:

“And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.” (ad-Dhariyat, 47)

In 1929, scientists discovered that nebula[9] constantly travel further away from our galaxy, a finding later used as a basis for the theory that space is undergoing constant expansion.[10] According to this theory, doubtless one of the most significant turning points in 20th century space research, galaxies are increasingly moving away from each other in proportion with the accumulated distance.[11]

Applying this theory to the objects in space in 1950, scientists proceeded to calculate the speed with which galaxies travel away from each other. While a galaxy 10 million light years away from our own cuts loose at a speed of 250 km’s per second, the breakaway speed of a galaxy 10 billion light years away is 250,000 km’s per second.[12]

That the universe, the enormity of which is spoken of here, is ever-growing in dimension without ever remaining the same, goes to show the impossibility of perfectly comprehending the splendor of the Almighty.

Beautifully expressed is the feeling of awe that envelops one upon contemplation of these countless exhibitions of Divine Majesty:

     Grand You are Lord, grand, so grand,

     Greatness itself  to You is a strand!

(Ali Haydar Bey)

Constantly expanding this colossal universe, Allah, glory onto Him, will eventually roll it up, just like a scribe rolls up a piece of paper.[13] Again, when the time comes, He will transform Earth to an earth of another kind, and the skies to skies of another sort.[14] This entails the creation of a new universe, signaling the beginning of a new life.[15]

The Seven Heavens

In the Holy Quran, the Almighty also makes mention of seven heavens or levels of skies. Presuming what has been mentioned up until now pertains to the first level, how are human reason and comprehension expected to bear the mysteries of the others?

Allah, glory unto Him, asserts:

“Who created the seven heavens one above another; you see no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent Allah; then look again, can you see any disorder? Then turn back the eye again and again; your look shall come back to you confused while it is fatigued. And certainly We have adorned this lower heaven with lamps and We have made these missiles for the devils, and We have prepared for them the chastisement of burning.” (al-Mulk, 3-5)

Now, lift your head and turn your gaze to the skies! Reflect on the innumerable objects in space, faltering not even for a split second in their orbit amid this grand order, each loaded with an underlying mystery and wisdom in its movement.

If the Earth did not rotate on its axis, one side of it would constantly be bright, while the other side doomed to perpetual darkness. There would have been no way of separating the hours of work from the hours of rest.

There is also inherent wisdom in the fact that it takes 24 hours for Earth to rotate once around its axis. Were it to take longer, Earth would have been something like Mercury, where the difference between daily and nightly warmth exceeds 1000 C° (1,832 F). Excess heat would have scorched the Earth in those long days, leaving only for a menacing cold come the evening, freezing everything in its wake.

With these in mind, take note of how the Almighty has blanketed the day with night and rendered the former a time to work, while the latter a time to rest. Think of the manifestations of Divine Power and Mercy in their relentless pursuit of each other!

Again, had the Earth not rotated around the Sun with a tilt of 23 degrees and 27 minutes, there would not have been the four seasons so vital for life. Furthermore, had the Earth not been given this tilt, water evaporating from the oceans would have surged north and south, turning continents into daunting icebergs.

If the moon, say, was 50,000 miles further away from where it is now, the tides would have been so enormous that the continents would have been deluged twice on a daily basis. Even the mighty mountains would have eroded to utter annihilation, in almost the blink of an eye.[16]

So therefore, do not be stuck in awe of the sky simply for the sake of its immensity and the myriad of stars it boasts. Instead, proceed to reflect on its Creator and how He has fashioned and ordered it all! How is it that the Almighty holds those massive stars together without a visible pillar or peg?

Just think of the Sun and the Moon; do they ever breakdown? Is there ever a time when they are sent to repair? While traveling in their predestined orbits do any of the countless objects in space step out of their Divine course and have accidents?

It is a Grave Sin to Abandon Contemplation

How amazing it is that man is infatuated upon seeing an ostentatious, embellished palace. The sight never leaves his mind, as he keeps on spreading the news of its beauty for the rest of his life. But in spite of constantly seeing the grand Divine masterpiece of art that is the universe, he shrinks back from thoroughly reflecting on it and shies away from making an adequate mention of it. He takes no notice of it and carries on, like it is an ordinary thing. Little is he aware that the palace he admires so much is but a tiny particle of Earth, which in turn is one of the smallest specks of the grand universe…

A person oblivious to contemplating Divine Power resembles the ant in the below parable:

An ant builds a nest in a king’s palace, which is surrounded by high walls, built on a solid foundation, decorated by the most exquisite furniture and swarming with servants. When encountering its friends upon making its way out of its nest, the ant speaks to them about nothing but its nest, the crumbs it gathers and how it stocks them for the morrow. The ant is utterly and almost hopelessly remote from the thought of the magnificent palace in which it roams and the power, splendor and sovereignty of the king. Its ignorance is all the more compounded by the fact that he is completely unmindful of those who live there.

An ignorant man is also unmindful of the Almighty’s divine masterpieces of art, the angels and the righteous person living in His dominion.

There is no way that an ant can become aware of a palace and the beauties it boasts. But through contemplation and imagination, we humans can journey through many realms. In a humble return for the countless blessings the Almighty has endowed him with, a person can come to terms with his nothingness and vulnerability, and prostrate in gratitude. Only a ‘human’ can do this; or in other words, only those who do this can carry the honor of humanness. Indeed, humanity has a natural predisposition and ability for contemplation. Gradually laying waste to this potential by not putting it to use is to betray Divine trust and to bid farewell to one of man’s most defining attributes.

The great Mawlana Rumi provides the following parable to describe those who roam on the display of eternal mysteries and wisdom that is Earth with an idle heart and respond to the glaring Divine messages radiating forth from creation with so little as a dim-witted expression.

An ox one day came to Baghdad and strolled around town from tip to toe. But amid all the beautiful sights, tastes and masterpieces, only some melon and watermelon peels dumped on the side of the road caught its attention. After all, befitting the gaze of an ox or a donkey is either hay scattered on a road, or weed and grass growing from its fringes.” (Mathnawi, v.4, couplet: 2377-2329)

It is said that a certain man during the time of Musa –upon him peace- had worshiped persistently for thirty years; such that a cloud had even begun to shade him during his times of worship, owing to his piety. But there came a day when the cloud did not make its appearance, leaving the man to worship in the sun. He went to his mother to see if she might know the reason.

“You must have committed a sin”, she commented.

“No”, he responded. “I do not believe I have!”

“Did you not gaze at the skies, the flowers? Were you kept back from contemplating the splendor of Allah despite seeing them?” she asked.

“Yes”, the man then confessed. “I failed to contemplate in spite of seeing the wonders around me.”

“Are you looking for a greater sin than that?” his mother then said. “You must repent immediately!”

A believer of right mind must therefore never neglect the duty to contemplate.

The more a person learns of the magnificence of the Almighty’s art and the more he contemplates it, the more his wisdom of the Almighty’s Glory and Majesty and his proximity to the Truth will be.

Ali –Allah be well-pleased with him- has said, “Expanding knowledge of the Quran with some knowledge of astronomy enables one to grow in faith and certainty”, after which he quoted the following verse:

“Most surely in the variation of the night and the day, and what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs for a people who guard (against evil).” (Yunus, 6)

Every single being created by the Almighty, serves a specific purpose within the Divine order. Until now, mankind has been able to gain acquaintance with only a few of these purposes. Wisdom unseen and as yet not comprehended are multitudes infinitely greater in number than compared to those thought to have been understood.

If we know what sound is, it is because we have receptive organs like ears. If we know what color is, it is all thanks to our eyes. Who knows of the many Divine manifestations in this infinite realm of being of which we have absolutely no clue, simply because we are deprived of the receptive organs to sense them.[17]

Restrained by a limited power of reason, how can man be able to perfectly comprehend Allah, glory unto Him, when he cannot even completely grasp the entire creatures and their specific characteristics? Muslim scholars, who were able come to terms with just an infinitesimal glimpse of the Almighty’s Splendor and the manifestations of His attributes, felt compelled to admit, in awe and dazzle:

To understand Him is to understand He cannot be comprehended.”

This is because created beings contain no reflection or manifestation of the Almighty’s essential reality. Everything created by Allah, glory unto Him, is constituted by the combinations of Divine attributes. The fact that there has not been created a single space that can endure an essential manifestation of the Almighty is proven by the Divine response “لَنْ تَرٰينِى / You can never see Me” [18] given to Musa –upon him peace- upon his adamant request to see the Almighty, as a consequence of which he ended up passing out.  It is for that very reason that, let alone seeing the Almighty’s essential reality, man is limited by an insufficiency to even comprehend the reality of His attributes.

Elegantly depicting this is the late Necip Fâzıl:

The atoms in revel, bedecked, festive,

And a light all around, a light all around,

An architecture entwined, the self entwined,

I identify you Lord, the Famous Unidentified!

 The Atmosphere

The air that envelops the Earth holds many secrets and is underlain with numerous wisdoms. The clouds that suddenly appear in the sky, the wind that breezes through the air, sometimes light sometimes in a burst, lightings that emit a tremendous sound, the pelting rain, the falling snow; each is a fabulous manifestation that occurs in line with a magnificent measure.

The Holy Quran summons man to contemplate such manifestations rampant between the Earth and the sky and to behold the proofs that verify the Power of the Almighty, stating:

“Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.” (al-Baqara, 164)

The atmosphere, which compassionately embraces our Earth, is one of the most splendid orders of the Almighty in alluding to His boundless mercy for human beings. It is made up of 77% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% of a combination of carbon dioxide, argon and other gases. So easily flammable is oxygen that it is estimated that each increase of a hundredth of oxygen in excess of the 21% spoken of, would increase the probability of a lighting strike induced bushfire by around 70%. An oxygen ratio in excess of 25%, on the other hand, would be more than enough to turn an overwhelming majority of the vegetables we consume to ash.

On another note, despite the constant use of oxygen and carbon dioxide, their ratios in the air are maintained. If it only were humans and animals that inhabited the Earth, they would have used up all the oxygen in the air and turned it into carbon dioxide, and in swift time, they would have been poisoned through inhaling carbon dioxide, which would have increased in an inverse proportion to the decreasing oxygen. But the Power who created the universe also created vegetation. And by giving it an ability to process carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen, He has endowed the universe with a magnificent balance and a life that never ceases.

The Earth’s crust has been set with such a delicate measure that had it been just a little thicker, it would have absorbed all carbon dioxide and oxygen, leading to the end of all vegetation.[19]

Oxygen is a vital need for the biochemical functions our bodies constantly perform at every moment. We ceaselessly inhale air through our lungs and then exhale the very same air. That an appropriate density of oxygen in the atmosphere is needed to accommodate this process of inhaling-exhaling shows that coincidence can not play a hand in maintaining this delicate ratio. Allah, glory unto Him, who has created our bodies in a way that requires a constant need for oxygen, has abundantly blessed us with our most vital, primary need. Not only has He made oxygen easily accessible, He has also placed it in the air in the most perfect ratio. Each simple breath we take is in fact a complex and meaningful exercise and an enormous Divine gift.

When aboard a state-of-the-art airplane, we hear an announcement right before it takes flight, advising us to “Wear the oxygen masks that will automatically deploy in case of a drop in pressure in high altitude.”

But in everyday life, none of us carry the slightest apprehension that, the amount of oxygen in the air will rise to, say, 25% or plummet to 18% by tomorrow and anxiously rush to buy an oxygen mask. A believer or not, every single person leads a life of utmost dependence on the Divine Order. Life would have been unbearable if one was aware of each and every life threatening factor surrounding him.

The air is also like a mirror enlightening our surroundings. Light cannot radiate forth without making contact with matter. A light that crashes into a particle spreads itself around, like a firecracker, in the forms of heat and light. As there are no particles like molecules or atoms in the void of space outside of the atmosphere, they remain in darkness, despite them receiving the light of the Sun just the same.

The Moon, for instance, deprived of an atmosphere, has no layer of gas that can disperse the incoming light of the Sun and enlighten its surroundings. For that reason, whereas the surface of the Moon is bright, the surface above always remains in the dark despite it being inundated by a rain of light.

These wonderful manifestations are clear proofs that the Earth has been created in a way to accommodate human life and according to an all-important purpose. Together with being a grand blessing of the Almighty to His servants, this delicate balance which makes life possible is at the same time a proof of His existence and endless power. That each being in the universe moves in accordance with a set Divine program and that everything we encounter discloses an inner plan, measure and order necessitates the existence of a Power who plans, orders and measures this tremendous balance.

This makes the atheist claim that life and the universe for that matter have come to be and exist through sheer coincidence, a ridiculous nonsense.

İsmail Fennî Ertuğrul (1855-1946) illustrates this fact by way of the following analogy:

“Stumbling upon a measure and order at any given place, reason necessarily infers the existence of an ordering and measuring power.

Suppose you have a garden. You had the gardener consecutively plant many saplings around it. You turn up there one day to see that some of the saplings have been knocked down here and there, haphazardly. You ask the gardener for an explanation and he tells you that they were knocked down by a sudden storm. You will accept that answer. But you turn up there another day and this time see that the saplings have been knocked down in a pattern; you see, for instance, the fifth sapling in each line knocked to the ground while the previous four have been left in tact and you observe this pattern all around the garden. You, again, ask for an explanation and the gardener tells you, once again, that the storm is to blame. Will you believe that? Certainly, you will not. You will instead blame it on someone’s malicious intent. Even though the first case could be explained through coincidence, the second can not; for this time both measure and calculation have come into the picture.”[20]

No person of their right mind could dispute the fact that the universe maintains its existence through meticulous calculation and a most delicate balance.

Below are just some instances of this Divine balance:

Air Pressure

The gases that comprise the atmosphere apply a pressure of approximately 1 kg to a 1 cm square area, or 14.22 pounds per square inch. That is to say, the human body is under the constant pressure of 15 tons of weight. But Allah, glory unto Him, has balanced that out magnificently, too. Whatever amount of pressure there may be outside, our bodies contain the same amount of outward moving pressure. This drastic difference in air pressure is the very reason behind the illnesses and nasal bleeding experienced by some who ascend to higher elevation. Astronauts, who traverse beyond the atmosphere, on the other hand, can only travel wearing uniforms with inbuilt air pressure.

The Cold-Heat Harmony

With their capacity to retain high heat, carbon dioxide and vapor molecules adequately dispersed in the air enable the maintenance of a perfect harmony. Absorbing some of the rays of sunlight that come during the day, these molecules prevent an excess increase of heat. When night falls and the Sun withdraws its rays, the heat absorbed during the day is withheld by these molecules in the air, just like a hothouse, and is not released into the void of space. Because it does not have a protective roof of this kind, the Moon, for instance, is scorched by excess heat during the day and is under the grip of a blistering cold at night.

The Winds

In terms of its purposes with regard to heat, pressure, level of moisture and many other activities that take place therein, the atmosphere is divided into different layers. The troposphere, the first of these layers, is through which rain, snow and winds occur. The layer extends to almost 16 km’s (10 miles) to the sky from above ground level and its temperature gradually decreases all the way to -56°C (-74 F).  Founded in this layer of the atmosphere is a flawless cyclical system.

As the Earth’s axis is a fraction tilted, it is not only the equatorial region that receives the rays of the Sun in a straight trajectory. This enables the distribution of heat to tropical regions. Consequent upon higher temperatures in these regions, a high amount of heat is stored; and the storage of this heat enables the maintenance of the required force and energy for winds.

Millions of tons of water vaporized from the seas and oceans mount the gentle air. From there, they are delivered by winds to lands in need of water. As a result of this cyclical motion, rainfall is not reserved only for wet regions, but, through a perfectly executed plan, each and every region receives its due share of rainfall.

The immaculate motion of the atmosphere enables the transfer of heat. With help from the north to south motion of the low and high pressure systems and the strong currents, the cold air of the northern latitudes makes its way down south, while the southern heat makes its way up north.

That the Sun provides different parts of Earth with various intensities of heat enables the masses of air in the atmosphere to heat up in different levels. Hot air, compliant with the Divine command it is given, rises immediately. Constituted that way are active sources of air, known as low pressure centers in warm climates and as high pressure centers is cool climates. As a result, the tiny particles of air begin to move in the form of a wind, through which moisture, heat, intensity and energy found in the atmosphere, as well as pollens that reproduce plants, are shifted to their required places.

The Holy Quran declares:

“And We send the winds fertilizing, then send down water from the cloud so We give it to you to drink of, nor is it you who store it up.” (al-Hijr, 22)

Winds, just like the rest of creation in the universe, comply, in absolute obedience, with the Almighty’s sovereignty. It is a means of mercy when our Lord commands it to be so, yet also a manifestation of a destructive wrath when, again, our Lord decrees.

A vivid illustration of this fact is the below verse, depicting how the Ad Tribe was annihilated by a vigorous gale:

“For We sent against them a furious wind, on a Day of violent Disaster. Plucking out men as if they were roots of palm-trees torn up (from the ground)” (al-Qamar, 19-20)

The Other Benefits of Air

As well as carrying on its gentle shoulders millions of tons of water, the air also lifts airplanes boarded with hundreds of passengers. It distributes light and heat. It also brings, to our hearing, sounds of hundreds of different wavelengths, of which mobile phones are perhaps the most noteworthy example.

On the other hand, air presents our sense of smell with various types of fragrances without mixing them together. If it were not for the atmosphere, neither would we have been able to make ourselves audible to the person right by our side, nor flick on the light switch with the hope of seeing what lies in front of us. Circulating through our lungs, air moreover performs a vital task. By all these, it reminds believers with a knack for contemplation of the infinite glory, power and mercy of Allah, glory unto Him.

A Divine Filter

The layer above the troposphere that reaches a height of 50 km (31 miles) from ground level is called the stratosphere. The stratosphere blocks out dangerous rays of excess energy from the Earth. Found here is the ozone layer. An oxygen molecule consisting of a triad of atoms, the ozone filters the harmful aspects of the Sun’s rays.

Ultraviolet rays emitted by the Sun decrease growth in plants, cause skin cancer human beings, damage the eye and increase the risk of catching a number of contagious diseases. What the stratosphere does is that it catches the ultraviolet rays that come from the Sun and reflects them back, and at once, turns oxygen to ozone through a superbly balanced chemical reaction.

In fact, so dangerous a gas is ozone that inhaling 1/200 grams of it is enough to kill a person. But just look at the mercy of the Almighty that He has made a filter out of such a layer of poison and put it to use in maintaining the climactic balance and in preventing a harm that would have had fatal consequences for human beings.

The Guarded Canopy

The layer that extends to 80 km, (49.7 miles) above ground level and which is considered the middle layer of the atmosphere is the mesosphere, serving firm as a shield against pelting meteors.

Passing the obstacles of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, meteors come under the force of the Earth’s gravity and enter the atmosphere at an incredible speed. What is commonly referred to as a shooting star is actually a meteor which comes into contact with the atmosphere and is burned to dust in the mesosphere. Had there not been a protective layer of the kind enveloping Earth, or if the current layer was a fraction thinner, millions of meteors would have fallen on Earth and wreaked destruction, punching countless holes on its surface just like that of the Moon. But the boundless mercy of Allah, glory unto Him, turns these giant cannons bound for Earth into dust before they ever make contact with its surface. Then, each particle of this dust turns into the nucleus of a tiny raindrop.

The formation of clouds requires fine particles that are a combination of both earth and space. On top of that, these particles are required to reach the highest atmospheric level. The moist winds that breeze their way into there apply an intensity on the nuclei and form a cloud particle. According to a physical and mathematical plan, the cloud particles, in turn, become tiny drops of rain, which will then fall once again on earth.

Long before anything about the atmosphere had been discovered, the Almighty, the Owner of the Earth and skies, had said:

“And We have made the skies a guarded canopy and (yet) they turn aside from its signs.” (al-Anbiya, 32)

[1]     Also see, ad-Dhâriyât, 7; an-Najm, l; at-Takwîr, 15; at-Tarıq, 1; as-Shams, 1-2, 5.

[2]     Yûsuf al-Hajj,  Mawsûatu’l-I‘cazi’l-Ilmi, p. 413.

[3]     http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr, Evren/Evrenin Yapıtaşları Gökadalar, (Accessed, 06.12.2005).

[4]     http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr, Evren/Gökbilim Sözlüğü, (Accessed, 06.12.2005).

[5]     http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr, Evren/Evrenin Yapıtaşları/Gökadalar/Gökada Kümeleri, (Accessed, 06.12.2005).

[6]     http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr, Evren/Evrenin Yapıtaşları/Gökadalar/Çarpışan Gökadalar, (Accessed, 15.12.2005); http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr/haberler/gokbilim/99-08-4.pdf

[7]     http://www.newsandevents.utoronto.ca/bin/000414b.asp; http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr/haberler/gokbilim/2000-05-3.pdf

[8]     See,http://www.physics.metu.edu.tr/~ecevit/bilinen_evren_gercekleri.ppt, (Accessed: 21. 06. 2007); http://gokyuzu.org (Accessed: 21.06.2007); http://www.ozaltin.8k.com/NN/2.htm. (Accessed: 16.10.2004); Yûsuf al-Hajj,  Mawsûatu’l-I‘cazi’l-Ilmi,, p. 413-417; Akram Ahmed İdrîs, al-Falak wa’t-Tıbb Amama Azameti’l-Qur’ân, 19-112; Prof. Dr. Osman Çakmak, Bir Çekirdekti Kâinat, p. 66.

[9]     Nebulas are the massive white spots, apart from stars, found in space, given the name due their resemblance of whitish clouds.

[10]    Celâl Kırca, Kur’ân-ı Kerîm’de Fen Bilimleri, p. 165; an-Najjâr, as-Samâ, p. 82-93; Faruk Yılmaz, Kâinâtın Yaratılışı, p. 64-67, 255-258.

[11]    Şakir Kocabaş, Kur’ân’da Yaratılış, Istanbul 2004, p. 19.

[12]    Prof. Dr. Osman Çakmak, Bir Çekirdekti Kâinat, p. 28.

[13]    al-Anbiya, 104.

[14]    Ibrâhîm, 48.

[15]    See, an-Najjâr, as-Samâ, p. 82, 105-106, 187-194; http://www.biltek.tubitak.gov.tr, Evren/Evrenin Kaderi/Kapalı Evren.

[16]    See, İlim-Ahlâk-Îman, prepared by, M. Rahmi Balaban, Diyanet Publishing, Ankara, p. 187.

[17]    The universe, according to Muslim scholars, consists of substances and accidents. Substances are material entities. Accidents, on the other hand, are the perceptible qualities of a material entity. Color and smell, for instance, are accidents perceptible only through the subsistence of a material being. As mentioned above, color would not have been perceived had there been no such thing as eyesight, and smell it were not for smelling. As we are to begin a life of a unique character in the Hereafter, presuming we will then begin perceive accidents of an entirely distinct nature is as conceivable as considering many other accidents to exist, here on Earth, that lie beyond our perception.

[18]    al-Arâf, 143.

[19]    See, İlim-Ahlâk-Îman, prepared by: M. Rahmi Balaban, p. 187.

[20]    Îman Hakîkatleri Etrafında Suallere Cevaplar, p. 21-22, Sebil Publishing, Istanbul, 1978.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, Contemplation in Islam, Erkam Public.

Contemplation Of The Universe

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