[Al-Quran 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].

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Subterranean Waters in Pharaonic Egypt

وَنَادَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ فِي قَوْمِهِ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَلَيْسَ لِي مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَـٰذِهِ الْأَنْهَارُ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِي ۖ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ

[Al-Qur’an 43:51, translator: Sahih International] And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said, "O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see?” 

The phrase: ‘rivers flowing beneath’ is mainly associated with the imagery of the Gardens of Paradise promised as the perpetual home to the righteous in the Hereafter. 

Subterranean Rivers in Africa
According to recent discoveries, massive underground reserves of water have been discovered in Africa. ‘Groundwater resources are unevenly distributed: the largest groundwater volumes are found in the large sedimentary aquifers in the North African countries Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan’.  [http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/2/024009/pdf/1748-9326_7_2_024009.pdf]  
Related Links: 

Quran: Pharaonic Egypt and the Mission of Moses
In Surah az-Zukhruf (meaning The Gold Adornment or Ornaments of Gold), Pharoah, who claimed to be divine, is quoted as drawing attention to the ‘waters flowing beneath’ while describing his glorious, flourishing kingdom. During the prophetic mission of Prophet Moses, the Messenger of God, the nation was shown sign after sign, and each time they asked Moses to pray that the trial be removed, yet after its removal, they still continued to disbelief, as narrated in these verses:  
[Al-Qur’an 43:45-56, translator: Shakir]
45 And ask those of Our apostles whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Beneficent Allah?
46 And certainly We sent Musa with Our communications to Firon and his chiefs, so he said: Surely I am the apostle of the Lord of the worlds.
47 But when he came to them with Our signs, lo! they laughed at them.
48 And We did not show them a sign but it was greater than its like, and We overtook them with chastisement that they may turn.
49 And they said: O magician! call on your Lord for our sake, as He has made the covenant with you; we shall surely be the followers of the right way.
50 But when We removed from them the chastisement, lo! they broke the pledge.
51 And Firon proclaimed amongst his people: O my people! is not the kingdom of Egypt mine? And these rivers flow beneath me; do you not then see?
52 Nay! I am better than this fellow, who is contemptible, and who can hardly speak distinctly:
53 But why have not bracelets of gold been put upon him, or why have there not come with him angels as companions? 
54 So he incited his people to levity and they obeyed him: surely they were a transgressing people.
55 Then when they displeased Us, We inflicted a retribution on them, so We drowned them all together,
56 And We made them a precedent and example to the later generations

Quran: a manifestation of Divine Kindness 
Earlier in Surah Zukhruf, while those being invited to faith are resisting it, the kindness of the Merciful God is manifested in the question posed in verse 5 below:  
[Al-Qur’an 43:5-8, translator: Shakir]  
5 What! shall We then turn away the reminder from you altogether because you are an extravagant people?
6 And how many a prophet have We sent among the ancients.
7 And there came not to them a prophet but they mocked at him.
8 Then We destroyed those who were stronger than these in prowess, and the case of the ancients has gone before,

Further reading on Ancient Egypt:

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