Folding is responsible for the formation of mountain ranges. The earth’s
crust, on which we live, is like a solid shell, while the deeper layers are hot
and fluid, and thus inhospitable to any form of life.
It is also known that the stability of the mountains is linked to the phenomenon of folding, for it was the folds that were to provide foundations for the reliefs that constitute the mountains.
Geologists tell us that the radius of the Earth is about 3,750 miles
and the crust on which we live is very thin, ranging between 1 to 30 miles.
Since the crust is thin, it has a high possibility of shaking. Mountains act like stakes or tent pegs that hold the earth’s crust and give it stability. The Qur’aan contains exactly such a description in the following verse:
“Have We not made The earth as a wide Expanse, And the mountains as pegs?” [Al- Qur’aan 78:6-7]
The word awtad means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they are the deep foundations of geological folds. A book named ‘Earth’ is
considered as a basic reference textbook on geology in many universities
around the world.
One of the authors of this book is Frank Press, who was the
President of the Academy of Sciences in the USA for 12 years and was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter. In this book he
illustrates the mountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itself as a small part of the whole, whose root is deeply entrenched in the ground.*
According to Dr. Press, the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth.
The Qur’aan clearly mentions the function of the mountains in preventing the earth from shaking:
“And We have set on the earth Mountains standing firm, Lest it should shake with them.” [Al-Qur’aan 21:31]
* Earth, Press and Siever, p. 435. Also see Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens,