9 Astonishing Facts in the Quran that will Surprise You

IN SEARCH FOR TRUTH

Ever since the dawn of mankind, we have sought to understand nature and our place in it.

In this quest for the purpose of life many people have turned to religion. Most religions are based on books claimed by their followers to be divinely inspired, without any proof. Islam is different because it is based upon reason and proof.

There are clear signs that the book of Islam, the Quran, is the word of God and we have many reasons to support this claim:

· There are scientific and historical facts found in the Quran which were unknown to the people at the time, and have only been discovered recently by contemporary science.

· The Quran is in a unique style of language that cannot be replicated, this is known as the ‘Inimitability of the Quran.’

· There are prophecies made in the Quran and by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which have come to be pass.

The following are some facts found in the Quran:

1.  Origin of Life

Water is essential for all living things. We all know that water is vital to life but the Quran makes a very unusual claim:

{We made every living thing from water. Will they not believe?} (Quran 21:30)

In this verse water is pointed out as the origin of all life.  All living things are made of cells.  We now know that cells are mostly made up of water[1].  For example, 80% of the cytoplasm (basic cell material) of a standard animal cell is described as water in biology textbooks.

The fact that living things consist mostly of water was discovered only after the invention of the microscope.  In the deserts of Arabia, the last thing someone would have guessed is that all life came from water.

2.  Iron

Iron is not natural to the earth.  It did not form on the earth but came down to earth from outer space.  This may sound strange but it’s true.  Scientists have found that billions of years ago the earth was stuck by meteorites.  These meteorites were carrying Iron from distant stars which had exploded.[2]

The Quran says the following on the origin of Iron:

{We sent down Iron with its great inherent strength and its many benefits for humankind.} (Quran 57:25)

God uses the words ‘sent down’ for Iron.  It is clear from the verse that Iron is not an earthly material, but was sent down for the benefit of humanity.  The fact that Iron came down to earth from outer space is something which could not be known by the primitive science of the 7th century.

3.  Sky’s Protection

sky quranThe sky plays a crucial role in protecting the earth.  The sky protects the earth from the lethal rays of the sun.  If the sky did not exist then the sun’s radiation would have killed off all life on earth.  It also acts like a blanket wrapped around the earth, to protect it from the freezing cold of space.

The temperature just above the sky is approximately -270oC.  If this temperature was to reach earth then the planet would freeze over instantly.  The sky also protects life on earth by warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night[3].  These are some of the many protective functions of the sky.

The Quran asks us to consider the sky in the following verse:

{We made the sky a protective ceiling.  And yet they are turning away from Our signs!} (Quran 21:32)

The Quran points to the sky’s protection as a sign of God.  The protective properties of the sky were discovered by scientific research conducted in the 20th century.

4.  Mountains

The Quran draws our attention to a very important characteristic of mountains:

{Did We not make the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?} (Quran 78:6-7)

The Quran indicates that mountains have deep roots by using the word stakes to describe them.  In fact mountains do have deep roots, and the word stakes is an accurate description for them.

A book titled ‘Earth’ by Geophysicist Frank Press explains that mountains are like stakes, and are buried deep under the surface of the earth. Mount Everest (pictured below), the height of which is approximately 9 km above ground, has a root deeper than 125 km.

The fact that mountains have deep ‘stake’ like roots was not known, until after the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the beginning of the 20th century.[6]

5.  Expansion of the Universe

At a time when the science of Astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described in Quran:

{And it is We who have built the Universe with [Our creative] power and keep expanding it.} (Quran 51:47)

The fact that the universe is expanding was discovered in the last century.  The physicist Stephen Hawking in his book ‘A Brief History of Time’ writes, “The discovery that the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.”.[4]

The Quran mentioned the expansion of the universe even before the invention of the telescope!

6.  Sun’s Orbit

In 1512 the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus put forward his theory that the Sun is motionless at the centre of the solar system, and that the planets revolve around it.  The belief that the Sun is stationary was widespread amongst astronomers until the 20th century.  It is now a well-established scientific fact that the Sun is not stationary, but is moving in an orbit around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy[5].

The Quran mentions the orbit of the Sun:

{It is He who created night and day, the Sun and the Moon, each floating in its orbit.} (Quran 21:33)

The Quran would have been wrong according to astronomers just a couple of decades ago.  But we now know that the Quranic account of the Sun’s motion is consistent with modern Astronomy.

7.  The Ocean

The Quran uses imagery to covey its deep meanings, here it describes the state of the unbelievers as:

{Darkness out in a deep ocean which is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other.  When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it.  Those God gives no light to, they have no light.} (Quran 24:40)

It is commonly thought that waves only occur on the surface of the ocean.  However oceanographers have discovered that there are internal waves that take place below the surface of the ocean.  These waves are invisible to the human eye, and can only be detected by specialist equipment[6].

The Quran mentions darkness in a deep ocean above which are waves, above which are waves, then clouds above that.  This description is not only remarkable because it describes the internal waves in the ocean, but also because it describes darkness deep in the ocean.

A human being can dive no more than 70 metres without breathing equipment.  Light is present at that depth, but if we go down 1000 metres it is completely dark[7].  1400 years ago there were no submarines or specialist equipment to discover internal waves or the darkness deep inside the oceans.

8.  Lying and Movement

There was a cruel oppressive tribal leader named Abu Jahl who lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). God revealed a verse of the Quran to warn him:

{No Indeed! If he does not stop, We will seize him by the forehead, his lying, sinful forehead.} (Quran 96:15-16)

God does not call this person a liar, but calls his forehead (the front part of the brain) ‘lying’ and ‘sinful’, and warns him to stop.

This verse is significant for two reasons.  The first is that the front part of our brain is responsible for voluntary movement[8]. This is known as the frontal lobe.

The-Truth-is-From-Your-Lord-Surat-al-Baqarah-Quran-2-147-Quran-2-147-A book titled ‘Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology’ which includes the results of research on the functions of this area states: The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area[9].  The part of the brain that is responsible for movement is said to be seized if the man does not stop.

Secondly, numerous studies have shown that this same region (frontal lobe) is responsible for the lying function of the brain[10].  One such study at the University of Pennsylvania in which volunteers were asked questions during a computerized interrogation, it was found that when the volunteers were lying there was significantly increased activity in the prefrontal and premotor cortices (frontal lobe region)[11].

The front part of the brain is responsible for movement and lying.  The Quran links movement and lying to this area.  These functions of the frontal lobe were discovered with medical imaging equipment which was developed in the 20th century.

9.  Pain Receptors

For a long time it was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was dependent on the brain.  However it has been discovered that there are pain receptors present in the skin[12].  Without these pain receptors, a person would not be able to feel pain.

Consider the following verse on pain:

{We shall send those who reject Our revelations to the (Hell) Fire.  When their skins have been burned away, We shall replace them with new ones so that they may continue to feel the pain: God is Almighty, All-Wise.} (Quran 4:56)

God tells the people who reject his message that when they are in Hell and their skins are burnt off (so they can’t feel any pain), he will give them new skins so that they continue to feel the pain.

The Quran makes it clear that pain is dependent upon on the skin.  The discovery of pain receptors in the skin is a fairly recent discovery for Biology.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many facts found in the Quran.  It is important to note that the Quran is not a book of science, but that it is consistent with science.  To claim that scientific facts in the Quran are due to coincidence would be irrational.  The best explanation is that God revealed this knowledge to the Prophet Muhammad.

Just like the Quran contains knowledge about the natural world, it also contains information about the inner dimensions of our souls.  It relates to our feelings, wants and needs.  The Quran informs us that we have a purpose in life, and that following God’s guidance will lead us to inner peace in this life, and Paradise in the hereafter.  And that rejection of his message will lead to depression in this life and Hellfire after death.

{We shall show them Our signs in the Universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth.  Is it not enough that your Lord is the witness of all things?} (Quran 41:53)

Abridged from onereason.org.

[1] Bruce Alberts, Essential Cell Biology

[2] M. E. Walrath, History of the Earth’s Formation

[3] Joseph M. Moran, Meteorology: the Atmosphere and the Science of Weather

[4] Naomi Oreskes, Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History Of The Modern Theory Of The Earth [10] Stephen Hawking, A Brief History Of Time

[5] Lambert M. Surhone, Orbital Period: Orbit, Sun, Earth, Conjunction, Orbital Node, Apsis, Semi-Major Axis

[6] M. Grant Gross, Oceanography: A View of Earth

[7] Danny Elder, Oceans

[8] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2289137)

[9] Rod R. Seeley, Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology

[10] (http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/1/205.full.pdf)

[11] (http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/2002/3/diogenes-new-lamp)

[12] Michael Darmon, Molecular Biology of the Skin: The Keratinocyte

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Unbelievable: Treat Diabetes, Asthma, Cholesterol And Kidney Diseases With Okra “lady’s finger” Water

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Now You Can Make It Yourself Okra or “lady’s finger” Bindi

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is a very popular vegetable.The plant is cultivated with the help of the tropical and warm temperature regions around the world. Moreover, this plant is highly nutritious since it contains 30 calories, 21 milligrams of vitamin C, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 7.6 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 80 micrograms of folate, and 60 milligrams of magnesium. What’s more, this plant can be consumed throughout the entire year in boiled, fried, and stewed form.Some of the many benefits which okra offers are:-lowers cholesterol-suitable for diabetics-strengthens the immune system-prevents kidney diseases-helps with asthma symptoms-lowers the amount of glucose absorbed from food
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Health Benefits of Okra (Lady’s Finger)

The mucilaginous content in okra sets it apart
from other vegetables for its extraordinary benefits.

 

 

Description

Okra is also known as “lady’s finger” in some parts of Asia. And various other names in other parts of the world. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

Okra is an edible pea pod and although can be eaten raw, I’ve never acquired the raw taste. You can lightly blanch, steam or give it a quick stir-fry to reduce the “green” taste.

Use when it’s tender, as it gets very fibrous when it’s older. In the okra pods, the white soft seeds (edible) are arranged in 5 to 10 vertical columns, giving it the angled appearance on the outside.

 

Nutritional Benefits

Okra is very low in calories and dense with nutrients. It is high in fiber, vitamin A, C, and folate content.

It is also a good source of the B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and traces of magnesium and manganese.

Okra is one of those few vegetables which have the highest content of phytonutrients and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein.

RECIPE:Needed:-2 fresh “Bindi”okras 
Preparation: Cut the heads and tails and then put 2 to 3 pieces in a glass of water. Leave them overnight, and in the morning, half an hour before your breakfast, drink the whole glass.Do not forget to share this healthy and beneficial drink with all your friends!

Health Benefits

Okra is one of the best medicinal vegetable although it is not everyone’s favorite. You may like to try it if you knew about its immense health benefits:

Anemia:  Helps red blood cells production and prevent anemia.

Anti-Cancer:  The high antioxidants in okra helps protect the immune system against harmful free radicals and prevent mutation of cells.

Asthma:  The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra useful for reducing asthmatic attacks.

Bone Strength:  Folate in okra builds strong bones and density, preventing osteoporosis.

Cholesterol:  The soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, thus also reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of heart diseases.

Constipation:  The rich fiber and mucilaginous (slimy) content in okra pods help increase bulk, bind to toxins and ensure easy bowel movements with its natural laxative properties. Regularly eating okra also reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Diabetes:  It has insulin-like properties that help to reduce blood sugar level.

Gut flora:  The fiber helps improve the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Immune Booster:  The high antioxidants and vitamin C content make okra a good immune booster food that reduce your catching the cough and cold.

Peptic Ulcers: The mucilaginous content provides a temporary coating to the digestive tract and stomach lining while healing the ulcers.

Pregnancy:  The rich folate content in okra can help decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in babies.

Skin Health:  With good bowel movements, skin health will improve. Helps reduce acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Vision Health: Okra contains beta-carotenes (precursor of vitamin A), xanthin and lutein, all antioxidant properties that are helpful for vision health, preventing eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.

 

Consumption Tips

Choose smaller-sized okra over the big ones.  The feel should be crisp and firm to be sure they are tender and not overly fibrous. Avoid those which color does not look fresh and are soft.

As with most vegetables, okra may be subject to insecticide/pesticides. Buy organic if possible. If not, soak okra in water with apple cider vinegar and seasalt for about 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Cut off the tops and cut okra into smaller pieces of 2-3 inches if desired. Lightly blanch, steam or quickly stir-fry to reduce the mucilage and the “green taste”. It can be added into your salad, or dipped into your home-made chilli sauce, or eat it just on its own.

Okra cannot be juiced due to its very fibrous texture and mucilaginous (slimy) content.

Caution

Like most vegetables, okra has a small amount of oxalic acid and does not generally bother. Avoid okra if you have a history of kidney stones

brought to you by Mohassin Hassan

Sopore Massacre

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An eyewitness of the infamous “Jan 6 Sopore massacre”, Abdul Hamid Bhat, narrates the horrid tale of the slaughter and arson by men in uniform.On Jan 6, 1993, it was 8:55 in the morning and there was an explosion somewhere nearby. From a young age I have the habit of reading the newspaper every morning on time.
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As usual I went to the newspaper stall near Degree College, to get my newspaper. Everything appeared to be okay, still there was some unease in the air. People were talking about that explosion which, it was later known, was actually an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast in the ‘New Colony’ area of Sopore.I got my newspaper and went to a nearby shop, Nishat Textiles, in the Main Chowk to get something. It must have been around 9:55 am that a sound of a single bullet shot was heard. Nishat Textiles was visible from the bunkers of a nearby BSF camp housed in the State Bank Building. We ran a few paces towards main Bazar, which we thought was a bit safer. It was just behind the main Chowk where a J&K Bank branch is located now. We took shelter inside a building and went upstairs on the 2nd floor. More gunfire was heard.There were around 10-12 men and some women in the room. Everybody lay flat. I wasyoungest among the people marooned in that room. Unmarried and just over 24 then, Itried to peep through the window. Other people wouldn’t move even when we heard heavy footsteps on the roads and the BSF men saying, ‘Jo be samney aayai maar daalo sab ko. (Kill whosoever comes your way!).At 10.30 a.m. we heard a bus coming and I again peeped through the window. A SRTC bus, JKY 1901 was moving on the Sopore-Bandipora Road. The BSF men stopped the bus and ordered the driver out. Some BSF men boarded the bus and started firing on the passengers indiscriminately. There was a bloodbath but some still escaped bullets. They were bundled in the groups of threes and shot one by one. More than 20 people were killed in that bus alone.After killing the passengers, the troopers started spraying gun powder, petrol and kerosene on the surrounding buildings and then torched them. They building that we were hiding in was also set on fire. The BSF men were looking like hungry beasts; they were slaughtering anybody coming their way.We thought we would die any moment. If we left the building, the marauding troopers would kill us and if we stayed there in the room we would be burnt alive. As the ceiling of our room caught fire, we started think thatdeath was now imminent. It was so close. I said to the other people in the room that “if anybody among you survives and my body is found, please tell the people that I was actually a resident of Islamabad and was working here in a finance company.” I also requested them to send my body to my native town for burial only if my face was recognizable. “Otherwise get me buried in Sopore”, I remember telling that to the people in that room.We again heard sound of a vehicle approaching, this time it was a ‘gypsy’ of J&K Police. ASP Bali came out of it. I decided to make a last ditch effort for survival. I was a chain smoker and had an empty cigarette pack in my hand; I crushed the cigarette pack and threw it down on that ASP. It touched him on his shoulder. He looked up and I waved at him through the window.I heard him telling the BSF men not to shoot further and he asked me to come down. I refused. I could not trust the troopers. The ASP came to our room and asked all of us tocome out [in Kashmiri- naebar neerew saare]. I saw dozens of people coming out from other rooms of the building also. ASP Bali, ordered his men to make a way for us so that we could come out safely. We crossed the road and survived which was not less than a miracle.Next day, on Jan 7- we– I and my other two friends– came out to bury the bodies of yesterday’s massacre. There were some more volunteers also. We checked their pockets for identity cards. Among the dead lying around, we found 37 were from Soporealone. Others were from Bandipora, Baramulla and two were from Srinagar.Two youngsters had gone to bury the bodieson the same day but they too were killed. They were shot dead while removing the bodies.I dug up 14 graves myself and helped bury 37 bodies of Sopore. For others, we kept their identity cards on their bodies so that they could be recognized. There were so many bodies of men lying on the streets thathand carts were used to retrieve them. Total bodies found were 57-among them 48 died due to bullet shots and 9 were burnt alive. 16 got injured and among them 12 died laterand only 4 could survive.We didn’t lose human lives only. More than 400 commercial establishments and 75 residential houses were set ablaze in five localities of Sopore- Armpora, Muslimpeer, Kralteng, Shallapora and Shahabad. Among the burnt buildings there were some landmark buildings like Women’s Degree College and Samad talkies.One burnt body was outside a shop, near myrented accommodation. That body was severely burnt and would have dismembered on being touched. I eagle-spread my pheran on the road, and pulled it under the charred body.I remember how they killed my friend, Farooq Banday who was traveling in that Bandipora bound bus, they pulled him down and then a volley of bullets was showered on him. I was helpless and could do nothing to save my friend.After the incident I was still searching for myanother friend, who was a tailor and would have normally been in his shop at the time of the incident. When I entered his shop I saw a heap of bones at the same place where my friend used to sit in the shop. I first thought of wrapping the bones in my pheran but then my eyes saw a black mourning flag hanging on the road side and I decided to wrap his bones in that mourningflag only.While coming out of his burnt shop, some high rank BSF officer had come to the place and asked me to show me the bones but I refused, I told him I can’t allow you to touch his bones. I still remember those bones werejust of 1 or 2 Kgs. That was Jan 9, and it hadtaken me three days to find his charred remains.Sopore massacre of Jan 6, 1993 is one of the bloodiest massacres in Kashmir’s recenthistory. Many politicians and officials tried to come to Sopore after the incident but people didn’t even bother to listen to them. Visits of then Governor, Grish Chander Saxena, his advisor, Lt General Zaki, DGP Bedi were opposed with strong protest demonstrations.And then, the visit of a teamfrom the centre of Ghulam Nabi Azad, ML Fotedar and PCC President, Ghulam Rasool Kar on Jan 9, was too opposed by the people of Sopore.Later, we came to know that the bullet shot that we heard at 9.55am on Jan 6, was actually shot at a BSF man. A militant had run away with the machine gun lying besides a BSF trooper. Another militant shot the trooper who was shouting that his gun had been snatched.That incident is believed to be provocation behind that massacre. However, many of us believe that another incident which took place only some days before the incident might have contributed to the BSF troopers’ fury. In Dec 1992, militants had burnt down Sopore’s old bridge- Hathi Shah bridge– near the Jamia Masjid. There were two largeBSF bunkers on both sides of that bridge. Lt.General M A Zaki was Governor’s advisor then. It was said that he had reprimanded the BSF on how could the militants burn a bridge when there were bunkers on both of its ends.After that mayhem of Jan 6, I could not sleep for 10 days. I went to my home in Islamabad on Jan 19, where mourners were coming to our house thinking I had also been killed in that incident. My mother askedme why I had returned home after so many days.“You should thank God that at least I am alive and came back”. I gave her an exampleof a family of 5 members, whose 4 membersincluding their one school going child had been killed.I still remember how that tragic incident changed our lives. Whenever I remember that day, I tremble and my body starts sweating. On some occasions I really feel alone, and depressed, like in the last year when my tailor friend’s daughter got married. I could not sleep. I smoked throughout the night. All the scenes of that bloody day were flashing in front of my eyes.Abdul Hamid Bhat

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The Holy Quran is a book of guidance and spiritual progress. This book outlines the values and beliefs that can make you the best person you can be. It teaches a way of thinking that is positive, progressive and solution oriented. Any person who adopts the worldview of this book becomes a person who believes in justice for all, equality for all and personal responsibility. The Quran is a book of persuasion – it is a book that speaks to you like a friend. Stories of famous people are given only as a way to prove a point, laws are few and are connected with trying to make you a better person. Poetic phrases become beautiful ways to remember sound advice and good teachings. You can open the book at any page, start reading and learn something useful, In short, the Quran is a personal letter from God to you, asking you to become something more than you thought you could be, someone whom God loves and someone who loves His world so much that he or she will do everything in their power to take good care of it. This translation of the meaning of the Quran is not the same as the original Arabic Quran. You can use this book to get at the meanings and message of the Quran, but it is the original Arabic text where the message truly resides. May your search bear fruit and may the message of the Quran guide your way for all the rest of your days. Ameen