[Al-Qur'an 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Qur’an: a Revelation

A Literal Text, Not A Poem

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The Qur’an is a revelation, a literal text, which needs to be read as is. It is not poetry, and the Qur’an itself refutes any such assumption about it.      

Full Text
Surah At-Taariq
13 Lo! this (Qur'an) is a conclusive word,
14 It is no pleasantry.

The Qur’an repeatedly draws attention to the signs all around and within us, urging us to pay heed to them. In Q51:4, it states:

23 And by the Lord of the heavens and the earth, it is the truth, even as (it is true) that ye speak.

Unfortunately, many people assume that the Qur’an is difficult to understand. They claim that it is a poem, full of symbolism and analogies, and thus needs to be interpreted. The Qur’an itself refutes all such claims:

5 Nay, say they, (these are but) muddled dreams; nay, he hath but invented it; nay, he is but a poet. Let him bring us a portent even as those of old (who were Allah's messengers) were sent (with portents).
6 Not a township believed of those which We destroyed before them (though We sent them portents): would they then believe?      
7 And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not?

2 These are revelations of the Scripture that maketh plain
224 As for poets, the erring follow them.
225 Hast thou not seen how they stray in every valley,
226 And how they say that which they do not?
227 Save those who believe and do good works, and remember Allah much, and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. Those who do wrong will come to know by what a (great) reverse they will be overturned!

69 And We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry, nor is it meet for him. This is naught else than a Reminder and a Lecture making plain,           
70 To warn whosoever liveth, and that the word may be fulfilled against the disbelievers.

35 For when it was said unto them, There is no Allah save Allah, they were scornful
36 And said: Shall we forsake our gods for a mad poet?
37 Nay, but he brought the Truth, and he confirmed those sent (before him).

29 Therefor warn (men, O Muhammad). By the grace of Allah thou art neither soothsayer nor madman.
30 Or say they: (he is) a poet, (one) for whom we may expect the accident of time?
31 Say (unto them): Except (your fill)! Lo! I am with you among the expectant.
32 Do their minds command them to do this, or are they an outrageous folk?           
33 Or say they: He hath invented it? Nay, but they will not believe!     
34 Then let them produce speech the like thereof, if they are truthful.

40 That it is indeed the speech of an illustrious messenger.      
41 It is not poet's speech - little is it that ye believe!       
42 Nor diviner's speech - little is it that ye remember!   
43 It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.
44 And if he had invented false sayings concerning Us, 
45 We assuredly had taken him by the right hand         
46 And then severed his life-artery,          
47 And not one of you could have held Us off from him.

As clearly stated in the above quotes, the Qur’an is a revelation, a literal text, which needs to be read as is. It is not poetry!

[translations: Pickthal]

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Double Helix

Creation in Pairs

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Expressing wonder at the presence of the double helix shape at the molecular scale in water clusters and in the human DNA, the helical shape of the heart muscle, as well as the Double Helix Nebula, several light years in length, near the centre of our galaxy.   

Full Text
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

[Al-Qur’an 41:52-53-54] Say, "You see - if it is from Allah then you disbelieve in it, who (is) more astray than (one) who - he (is) in opposition far?"
Soon We will show them Our Signs in the horizons and in themselves until becomes clear to them, that it (is) the truth. 
Is (it) not sufficient concerning your Lord, that He (is) over all things a Witness? Unquestionably, they (are) in doubt about (the) meeting (with) their Lord? Unquestionably, indeed, He (is) of all things encompassing.

The Double Helix occurs in the molecular scale in water clusters and in the DNA of living things. Moreover, the shape of the heart muscle is helical. Strangely, the same shape appears in a nebula that is several light years in length.  The Double Helix Nebula is located near the centre of our galaxy.  

Code and the Double Helix
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلًا أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

[Al-Qur’an 35:1] All praises (be) to Allah, the Fatir (of) the skies and the earth, (Who) makes the Angels messengers having wings two or three or four. He increases in the creation what He wills. Indeed, Allah (is) on every thing All-Powerful.

The Qur’an stresses belief in the ‘Al-Kitab’, the Book. It also emphasizes the central role of the heart (qalb) vis-à-vis revelation.

The Qur’an keeps drawing attention to multiple forms of creation, as well as the diversity within each form. It claims that water is the basis of all life forms. Q30:30 warns us that there should be no change in the creation of Allah, especially the human nature.

Genes – shape: Double Helix - Pairs of DNA strands
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَزْوَاجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الْأَرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[Al-Qur’an 36:36 , Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] Glory be (to) the One Who created (in) pairs all of what grows the earth and of themselves, and of what not they know.

Modern science has learnt that the genome is the software of living things, containing all of the information needed to build and maintain an organism.  The genome is made up of DNA. The DNA molecule is in the shape of a double helix. 

[Quote] In molecular biology, the term double helix[1] refers to the structure formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids such as DNA. The double helical structure of a nucleic acid complex arises as a consequence of its secondary structure, and is a fundamental component in determining its tertiary structure.
The realization that the structure of DNA is that of a double-helix elucidated the mechanism of base pairing by which genetic information is stored and copied in living organisms and is widely considered one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century.  

ADN animation.gif
The structure of part of a DNA double helix
By brian0918™ - Own work

Water Clusters – Double Helix Water
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

[Al-Qur’an 21:30, Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] Do not see those who disbelieved that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We parted them and We made from [the] water every living thing? Then will not they believe?  

وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن رِّزْقٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ آيَاتٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ اللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

[Al-Qur’an 45:5-6, Translation: Yusuf Ali] And in the alternation of Night and Day, and the fact that God sends down Sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds,- are Signs for those that are wise. Such are the Signs of God, which We rehearse to thee in Truth; then in what exposition will they believe after (rejecting) God and His Signs?  

Science acknowledges that water is the basis of all life forms. Recent imaging of water clusters has revealed structures in a variety of shapes, including the double helix! The discoverer believes the double helix water to be the precursor of the double-helix DNA.   

[Quote] Stable water clusters tens of nanometres to millimetres in dimensions can be seen under the transmission electron microscope (TEM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM). These appear by drying specially prepared distilled water at room temperature and pressure (Lo A. et al., 2012). The clusters consist of millions to billions of water molecules and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes (Figure 1). They make up structures that are flexible, and can be deformed by the tips of the atomic force microscope probe if scanned in the contact mode. Otherwise, they remain stable for weeks, even months at room temperature and pressure. They have all the characteristics of ‘soft matter’ - liquids, liquid crystals, colloids, polymers, gels, and foams - that form mesoscopic structures much larger than the molecules themselves, but small compared with the bulk material (Web ref. 1 ).

Close-up, there appears to be a common fine structure to the clusters; they are all made up of small spheres tens of nanometres in diameter (see Fig. 1, right panel) lined up in strings that are further aggregated into rods (left panel) two of which wind around each other into a double-helix (second panel from left), or loops (middle panel) and wreaths (second panel from left). These and other observations suggest to the researchers that the spheres are dipoles, enabling them to line up end to end to form an infinite variety of shapes and sizes. Significantly, no diffraction pattern characteristic of crystals was recorded, neither the spheres making up the clusters nor the clusters are crystalline.

How This Finding Could Revolutionize Biology and Medicine
Shui-Yin Lo attaches special significance to the double-helix clusters (“double helix water”) found in some preparations of clustered water, which he believes – in the absence of real evidence – to be the precursor the double-helix in DNA …. [Unquote]

Human Heart – shape: Double Helix
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

[Al-Qur’an 8:24, Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] O you who believe! Respond to Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to what gives you life. And know that Allah comes (in) between a man and his heart, and that to Him you will be gathered.

Quran and prior scriptures inform us of the huge importance of the heart vis-à-vis knowledge and keeping our duty to God. For example, consider the prayer of Prophet Abraham: 
إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
[Al-Qur'an 26:87 - 90] ... And (do) not disgrace me (on the) Day they are resurrected, (The) Day not will benefit wealth and not sons, Except (he) who comes (to) Allah with a heart sound." And (will be) brought near the Paradise for the righteous. 

Interestingly, the shape of the heart muscle is a double helix:

[Quote] A revolution in cardiac anatomy
The heart was thought to have a helical structure for 500 years. However, unwinding the structure to define this configuration has not been possible until Dr. F. Torrent-Guasp used hand dissection to successfully unfold this “Gordian Knot” of anatomic architecture, and demonstrate for the world the ventricular myocardial band. Re-scrolling this cardiac structure into its natural biologic configuration shows two loops that are termed a transverse basal loop which is an external buttress embracing the left and right ventricles, and an oblique apical loop containing a figure of 8 configuration that forms a helix with a conical apex. This helix comprises the septum and left ventricle.
This helical shape causes the twisting (or wringing) and untwisting of heart muscle to allow for both the ejection of blood, and suction for cardiac filling. The power of this structure is the simplicity of formation, as these sequential actions follow each other before the next heart beat. Disruption of this normal shape relationship occurs when the conical (or elliptical) heart becomes a sphere. Such distortion of the normal geometric form causes the enlarged heart of patients with congestive heart failure.
This normal anatomic configuration is illustrated with the unfolded heart possessing a rope-like form comprised of a left and right segment of the basal loop. The sequential scrolling back into the natural form allows the basal loop to embrace the oblique segments (descending and ascending) of the apical loop and to form the helical shape and buttress wrapping that underlies cardiac function.
"Anatomists have traditionally dissected the heart, but they did not understand the perennial problem of where the heart started and where the heart stopped. Dr. Torrent-Guasp has solved this mystery by showing the site of origin and end of the myocardial fiber band."
Gerald D. Buckberg M.D., "Basic Science Review: The helix and the heart". The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Vol. 124, No. 5, Nov. 2002. [Unquote]

Double Helix Nebula
قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَىٰ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَىٰ

[Al-Qur'an 20:50, Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] He said, "Our Lord (is) the One Who gave (to) every thing its form, then He guided (it)."

Allah is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and everything and everyone within them. Belief in the Al-Kitab, the Book, is one of the articles of faith. I understand Al-Kitab to be the software of creation: 
يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

[Al-Qur'an 13:39, Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] Allah eliminates what He wills, and confirms, and with Him (is) the Mother (of) the Book.

The discovery of a nebula in the shape of a double helix is absolutely amazing! I wonder, and its a big question mark, if this Nebula contains some portion of the software of our galaxy. Perhaps, if Allah wills, He might grant us some insights into the wonders of His creation. The Qur'an does record the courtier of Prophet Solomon who had knowledge of Al-Kitab and thus was able to instantly transport the Throne of the Queen of Saba from Saba to the Court of Solomon: 

قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِندَهُ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ   

[Al-Qur'an 27:40] Said one who, with him (was) knowledge of Al-Kitab, "I will bring it to you before [that] returns to you your glance." Then when he saw it placed before him, he said, "This (is) from (the) Favor (of) my Lord, to test me whether I am grateful or I am ungrateful. And whoever (is) grateful then only he is grateful for his own soul. And whoever (is) ungrateful, then indeed, my Lord (is) Self-sufficient, Noble."

False-Color Image of Double Helix Nebula


Using observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers report an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The part of the nebula the astronomers observed stretches 80 light years in length. The research is published March 16 issue of the journal Nature. 

"We see two intertwining strands wrapped around each other as in a DNA molecule," said Mark Morris, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, and lead author. "Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm. Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas — space weather. "

The double helix nebula is approximately 300 light years from the enormous black hole at the center of the Milky Way. (The Earth is more than 25,000 light years from the black hole at the galactic center.)

Spitzer is an infrared telescope that is imaging the sky at unprecedented sensitivity and resolution, enabling it to see the double helix nebula clearly


أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

[Al-Qur'an 57:16, Translation: Literal (Word by Word)] Has not come (the) time for those who believed that become humble their hearts at (the) remembrance (of) Allah and what has come down of the truth? And not they become like those who were given the Book before, (and) was prolonged for them the term, so hardened their hearts; and many of them (are) defiantly disobedient.

References & Further Reading:



Water Clusters

Double Helix Nebula