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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Qur'aan Foretold Electric Fluorescent Bulbs

In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Study the Qur'aan, in Qur'aanic light, to understand Islam in its pristine simplicity, clarity, beauty and purity

Qur'aan Foretold Electric Fluorescent Bulbs

1. In verse 41.53, the Qur'aan tells us that "WE shall show them Our Signs in the Universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (Qur'aan) is the Truth. ..."

2. And, surely, the Almighty and All-knowing Allah has been showing the Signs! It has already been documented that several scientific and other discoveries had been foretold or indicated in the Qur'aan. And the greatest Sign of them all is the fact that no scientifically established Truth (and not theory, mind you) has ever contradicted any divine assertion, about embryology, astronomy etc., that has been made in the Qur'aan.

3. And in this context, let me paraphrase to you verse Q: 24.35: "Allah is Light of the heavens and the earth. Similitude of His Light is as if there were a niche. Inside the niche, a lamp. The lamp, inside a glass. The glass, as it were, a bright star, fuelled by a blessed tree of olive, neither of east nor of west, oil of which would glow forth even when no fire touched it! Light over light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah makes use of similitudes for mankind. And Allah is aware of everything!"

4. "And there is none comparable unto Him." [Q: 112.4] So Allah makes use of similitudes or parables to convey to mankind some ideas about His absolutely unique Being. Similitudes, in terms of things mankind knows of. At the time the verse was revealed, over 1400 years ago, people had niches in the walls of their houses. They placed lamps there. The white-washed wall in the background acted as reflector to give comparatively better light to a room on a dark night. They used olive oil as a fuel for the lamp.

5. But no lamp then could be kindled without an external source of fire. And there was no source of energy, available to mankind then, that could be made to glow forth by itself. Allah therefore said that the source of His Light was unlike anything known to human beings then ("neither of east nor of west"). But in similitudes, references are made to things that are known to people. Why then did Allah make references to things unknown, in the similitude He gave?

6. The All-knowing Allah fashioned His last Book of Guidance in such a way that it would be valid for all future generations till the Last Day. HE knew beforehand then, of the generations that would be given the knowledge of a source of energy - a fuel - that would glow by itself, 'even when no fire touched it'! No marks for guesssing that electricity is such a source of energy.

7. It is the electric current that makes the electric bulb glow, without fire (as people, at the time the Qur'aan was revealed, knew of it) 'touching' it. The reflector has replaced the old-time niche for the modern-day 'focus' light. And the fluorescent material of the glass cover, for the electric lamp, glows in addtion, producing the effect so aptly described as noorun alaa noor (light over light) in the divinely given similitude.

8. It is thus abundantly apparent that the similitude given in verse 24.35 was meant for people raised on this earth after the discovery of electricity, rather than for people living at the time of revelation of the Qur'aan. By giving the similitude much before its time, the Almighty and All-knowing Allah has foretold the use of electricity, by future generations, for generation of brighter light.

Mohammad Shafi
26th August, 2004


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