The sky above us, acts like a “a well protected roof”. Thanks to the sky that returns certain harmful and certain useful things, all necessary for the survival and safe living on this planet earth.
The sky protects our world by sending back the radioactive particles, radiation and harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the space. While it reflects back to space what is harmful for man, it prevents the evaporated water necessary for life on earth from leaving the atmosphere. The Quran’s reference to this characteristic of sky, explored only in the last century, and still being studied by the modern science , cannot be explained by the lore of the contemporaries of the Prophet.
If the atmosphere had not been endowed with this capacity, the maintenance of a desired temperature to foster life on earth would be impossible. Life is possible only within a narrow temperature bracket. In extreme low or extreme high temperatures, life cannot be sustained. The atmosphere helps a lot in ensuring that the earth stays within those liveable tempratures and is protected from life harming phenomena. The Arabic word “Samawat” is translated as “Skies” as well as “Heavens”, though it is very different from the heavens promised as a reward for good acts.
Verse 12 of Surah Fussaliat says :
And imparted its function to each heaven
We adorned the skies nearest to earth with lights and made them secure
Such is the ordaining of the all-mighty, all-knower
Quran(86:11) It is a great miracle that these facts, which could not possibly be discovered without the technology of the 20th century, were explicitly stated by the Qur’an 1,400 years ago.
It is a great miracle that these facts, which could not possibly be discovered without the technology of the 20th century, were explicitly stated by the Qur’an 1,400 years ago.
Seven Layers Of Atmosphere
The atmosphere is a word which denotes all the air surrounding the earth, from the ground all the way up to the edge from which space starts. The atmosphere is composed of several layers, each defined because of the various phenomena which occur within the layer.
As is known, the atmosphere surrounding the Earth consists of seven layers. According to the modern geological definitions the seven layers of atmosphere are as follows:
2. Stratosphere/ Ozonephere
Each layer serves an important purpose for the benefit of life on Earth. Each layer of the atmosphere has beneficial attributes for human beings. Research has revealed that these layers have the function of turning the materials or rays they are exposed to back into space or back down to the Earth. Now let us examine, employing a few fitting examples, this “returning” function of the layers encircling the Earth.
The lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, It extends from Earth’s surface up to 7 km (23,000 ft) at the poles, and about 17-18 km (56,000 ft) at the equator. The troposphere is bounded above by the tropopause, a boundary marked by stable temperatures. Although variations do occur, temperature usually declines with increasing altitude in the troposphere.
The troposphere is denser than the layers of the atmosphere above it (because of the weight compressing it), and it contains up to 75% of the mass of the atmosphere. Fifty percent of the total mass of the atmosphere is located in the lower 5.6 km (18,000 ft) of the troposphere. It is primarily composed of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%) with only small concentrations of other trace gases. This layer enables water vapour, so very essential for life on earth, rising from the surface of the earth to be condensed and turned back as rain.
The second lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, it lies above the troposphere and is separated from it by the tropopause. It extends from the top of the troposphere to about 50 km (32 mi; 170,000 ft).
The stratosphere contains the ozone layer, the part of the Earth’s atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone The atmosphere layer that blocks the rays that might be fatal to life on Earth is the Ozonosphere. It reflects harmful radiation and ultraviolet light coming from space and turns both back into space. hence preventing them from reaching the Earth and harming life.
The stratosphere defines a layer in which temperatures rises with increasing altitude. This rise in temperature is caused by the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun by the ozone layer. Such a temperature profile creates very stable atmospheric conditions, and the stratosphere lacks the air turbulence that is so prevalent in the troposphere. Consequently, the stratosphere is almost completely free of clouds or other forms of weather.
The mesosphere is the layer in which many meteors burn up while entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Imagine a baseball zipping along at 30,000 miles per hour. That’s how big and fast many meteors are. When they plow through the atmosphere, meteors are heated to more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, and they glow. A meteor compresses air in front of it. The air heats up, in turn heating the meteor. The falling stars we see at night are not stars at all; they are actually meteoroids burning up in our atmosphere due to the extreme heating they undergo.
The thermosphere (literally “heat sphere”) is the outer layer of the atmosphere, separated from the mesosphere by the mesopause. It extends from the top of the mesosphere to over 640 km (400 mi; 2,100,000 ft). Within the thermosphere temperatures rise continually to well beyond 1000 degrees C. The few molecules that are present in the thermosphere receive extraordinary amounts of energy from the Sun, causing the layer to warm to such high temperatures. Although the measured temperature is very hot, the thermosphere would actually feel very cold to us because the total energy of only a few air molecules residing there would not be enough to transfer any appreciable heat to our skin.
The lower part of the thermosphere, from 80 to 550 km above the Earth’s surface, contains the ionosphere. Beyond the ionosphere extending out to perhaps 10,000 km is the exosphere or outer thermosphere, which gradually merges into space. Temperature increases with height. Although the temperature can rise to 1,500 degrees C (2,730 degrees F), a person would not feel warm because of the extremely low pressure. This layer reflects radio waves broadcast from a certain centre back down to the Earth, just like a passive communications satellite. Thus, it makes wireless communication, radio, and television broadcasting possible over long distances.
This is the upper limit of our atmosphere. The atmosphere here merges into space in the extremely thin air. Air atoms and molecules are constantly escaping to space from the exosphere. In this region of the atmosphere, hydrogen and helium are the prime components and are only present at extremely low densities. This is the area where many satellites orbit the Earth. The International Space Station orbits in this layer, between 320 and 380 km (200 and 240 mi). The exosphere contains free-moving particles that may migrate into and out of the magnetosphere or the solar wind.
The magnetosphere layer turns the harmful radioactive particles emitted by the Sun and other stars back into space before they reach Earth is surrounded by a magnetic force field – a bubble in space called “the magnetosphere” tens of thousands of miles wide. The magnetosphere acts as a shield that protects us from solar storms. However, according to new observations from NASA’s IMAGE spacecraft and the joint NASA/European Space Agency Cluster satellites, immense cracks sometimes develop in Earth’s magnetosphere and remain open for hours. This allows the solar wind to gush through and power stormy space weather. Fortunately, these cracks do not expose Earth’s surface to the solar wind. Our atmosphere protects us, even when our magnetic field does not.
How would it be possible for a fourteenth century desert dweller to describe the sky in a manner so precise that only recent scientific discoveries have confirmed it? The only way is if he received revelation from the Creator of the sky.