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DARKNESS IN THE SEAS AND INTERNAL WAVES

Or [the unbelievers' state] are like the darkness of


a fathomless sea which is covered by waves above
which are waves above which are clouds, layers of
darkness, one upon the other. If he puts out his
hand, he can scarcely see it. Those Allah gives no
light to, they have no light. (Qur'an, 24:40)

Measurements
made with
today's
technology
have revealed
that between
3 and 30
percent of
the sunlight is
reflected at
the surface of
the sea.
Then, almost
all of the
seven colours
of the light
spectrum are
absorbed, one
after another,
in the first
200 metres,
except for
blue light
(picture at
left). Below a
depth of
1,000 metres,
there is no
light at all
(above
picture). This
scientific fact
was pointed
out in Sura
Nur 40 in the
Qur'an 1,400
years ago.

In deep seas and oceans, the darkness is found at a


depth of 200 meters and deeper. At this depth,
there is almost no light, and below a depth of
1,000 meters there is no light at all.61

Today, we know about the general formation of the


sea, the characteristics of the living things in it, its
salinity, as well as the amount of water it contains,
and its surface area and depth. Submarines and
special equipment, developed with modern
technology, have enabled scientists to obtain such
information.
Human beings are not
able to dive to a depth
of more than 70 meters
without the aid of
special equipment. They
cannot survive unaided in
the dark depths of the
oceans, such as at a
The picture to the left depth of 200 meters.
represents internal waves For these reasons,
at interface between two scientists have only
layers of water of recently been able to
different densities. The discover detailed
lower layer is denser than information about the
the upper one. This seas. However, that the
scientific fact, declared in depth of the sea is dark
Sura Nur 40 of the was revealed in the
Qur'an 14 centuries ago, Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
has been discovered by It is certainly one of
today's scientists only the miracles of the
very recently. Qur'an that such
information was given at
a time where no equipment to enable man to dive
into the depths of the oceans was available.

In addition, the statement in Surat an-Nur 40 "…


like the darkness of a fathomless sea which is
covered by waves above which are waves above
which are clouds…" draws our attention to another
miracle of the Qur'an.
Scientists have only recently discovered that there
are sub-surface waves, which "occur on density
interfaces between layers of different densities."
These internal waves cover the deep waters of seas
and oceans because deep water has a higher density
than the water above it. Internal waves act like
surface waves. They can break, just like surface
waves. Internal waves cannot be discerned by the
human eye, but they can be detected by studying
temperature or salinity changes at a given
location.62

The statements in the Qur'an run parallel precisely


the above explanation. Certainly, this fact, which
scientists has discovered very recently, shows once
again that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.

61. Danny Elder, and John Pernetta, Oceans


(London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers: 1991), 27.
62. M. Grant Gross, Oceanography, A View of
Earth, 6th ed. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall
Inc.: 1993), 205.