The Quran and GEOGRAPHY: Compatible or Incompatible?

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In 1580, Bernard Palissy was the first man to describe the present day concept of ‘water cycle’. He described how water evaporates from the oceans and cools to form clouds. The clouds move inland where they rise, condense and fall as rain. This water gathers as lakes and streams and flows back to the ocean in a continuous cycle. In the 7th century B.C., Thales of Miletus believed that surface spray of the oceans was picked up by the wind and carried inland to fall as rain. In earlier times people did not know the source of underground water. They thought the water of the oceans, under the effect of winds, was thrust towards the interior of the continents. They also believed that the water returned by a secret passage, or the Great Abyss. This passage is connected to the oceans and has been called the ‘Tartarus’, since Plato’s time. Even Descartes, a great thinker of the eighteenth century, subscribed to this view. Till the nineteenth century, Aristotle’s theory was prevalent. According to this theory, water was condensed in cool mountain caverns and formed underground lakes that fed springs. Today, we know that the rainwater that seeps into the cracks of the ground is responsible for this.
The water cycle is described by the Qur’aan in the following verses:
—>“Seest thou not that Allah Sends down rain from The sky, and leads it Through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, Therewith, produce of various Colours.” [Al-Qur’aan 39:21]
—>“He sends down rain From the sky And with it gives life to The earth after it is dead: Verily in that are Signs For those who are wise.” [Al-Qur’aan 30:24]
—>“And We send down water From the sky according to (Due) measure, and We cause it To soak in the soil; And We certainly are able To drain it off (with ease).” [Al-Qur’aan 23:18]

#>No other text dating back 1400 years ago gives such an accurate description of the water cycle.


“And We send the fecundating winds, Then cause the rain to descend From the sky, therewith providing You with water (in abundance).” [Al-Qur’aan 15:22]
The Arabic word used here is lawâqih, which is the plural of laqih from laqaha, which means to impregnate or fecundate. In this context, impregnate means that the wind pushes the clouds together increasing the condensation that causes lightning and thus rain. A similar description is found in the Qur’aan:
It is Allah Who sends The Winds, and they raise The Clouds: then does He Spread them in the sky As He wills, and break them Into fragments, until thou seest Raindrops issue from the midst Thereof: then when He has Made them reach such Of His servants as He wills, Behold, they do rejoice!” [Al-Qur’aan 30:48]
The Qur’aanic descriptions are absolutely accurate and agree perfectly with modern data on hydrology. The water cycle is described in several verses of the Glorious Qur’aan, including
—> He is the One Who sends the winds ushering in His mercy. When they bear heavy clouds, We drive them to a lifeless land and then cause rain to fall, producing every type of fruit. Similarly, We will bring the dead to life, so perhaps you will be mindful. [Al-Qur’aan 7:57]
—> He sends down rain from the sky, causing the valleys to flow, each according to its capacity. The currents then carry along rising foam, similar to the slag produced from metal that people melt in the fire for ornaments or tools. This is how Allah compares truth to falsehood. The ˹worthless˺ residue is then cast away, but what benefits people remains on the earth. This is how Allah sets forth parables. [Al-Qur’aan 13:17]
—> And He is the One Who sends the winds ushering in His mercy, and We send down pure rain from the sky, giving life to a lifeless land, and providing water for countless animals and humans of Our Own creation. [Al-Qur’aan 25:48]
—> And We send down blessed rain from the sky, bringing forth gardens and grains for harvest, and towering palm trees loaded with clustered fruit, as a provision for Our servants. And with this rain We revive a lifeless land. Similar is the emergence from the graves. [Al-Qur’aan 50:9-11]
—> Have you considered the water you drink?
Is it you who bring it down from the clouds, or is it We Who do so?
If We willed, We could make it salty. Will you not then give thanks?
[Al-Qur’aan 56:68-70]
—> Say, “Consider this: if your water were to sink into the earth, then who else could bring you flowing water?”
[Al-Qur’aan 67:30]

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