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Islam in Perspective

Black holes: A manifestation of Allah’s name of Al-Hafiz

SURAH At-Tariq refers to a ‘piercing star’: “(I swear) by Heaven and the Tariq! And what will convey to you what the Tariq is? The Star Piercing (the darkness)!” (Qur’an, 86:1-3)
The term used in the verse is ‘althaqibu,’ meaning piercing, opening a hole, penetrating and passing through, from the root ‘thaqaba,’ meaning ‘hole.’ The word used in scientific publications when black holes are being described is ‘puncture.’ There is a considerable wisdom in the use of this word to describe the features of black holes in the Qur’an. The fact that this property of stars is mentioned in the Qur’an is important evidence that the Qur’an is indeed the very word of Allah.

The black holes
The 20th century saw a great many new discoveries regarding celestial phenomena in the universe. One of these entities, which has only recently been encountered, is the black hole. These are formed when a star which has consumed all its fuel collapses in on itself, eventually turning into a black hole with infinite density and zero volume and an immensely powerful magnetic field. We are unable to see black holes even with the most powerful telescope, because their gravitational pull is so strong that light is unable to escape from them. However, such a collapsed star can be perceived by means of the effect it has on the surrounding area. In Surah Al-Waqi’a, Allah draws attention to this matter in this way, by swearing upon the position of stars: “Nay I swear by the places of the stars — and that is indeed a mighty oath if you only knew.” (Qur’an, 56:75-76)
Light cannot escape from a black hole because it is such a high concentration of mass in a small space. The enormous gravitational field captures the photons and even the fastest particles. For example, the final stage of a typical star, three times the mass of the Sun, ends after its burning out and its implosion as a black hole of only 20 km (12.5 miles) in diameter! Black holes are “black,” i.e. veiled from direct observation. As well as depictions of the Day of Judgment, the verse below may also be pointing to this scientific discovery about black holes: “When the stars are extinguished.” (Qur’an, 77:8) This fact may be referred to in the verse about stars, and this is another important item of information demonstrating that the Qur’an is the word of Allah.
Almighty Allah provided information about “black holes” in the Qur’an as well as other celestial bodies at a time when mankind knew nothing about celestial bodies.

Information from black holes
Stephen Hawking, the world-famous British physicist, has said that a black hole begins producing nuclear energy when it forms, and that the radiation that forms can provide information about what is inside the black hole.
Stephen Hawking’s obtaining such information is most interesting because this theory is a clear manifestation of Almighty Allah’s title of Al-Hafiz (The Preserver), “He Who preserves all things in detail,” and this has been scientifically proved by the renowned physicist.
In the sight of Allah, everything has taken place and finished in a moment. Since the beginning of time, everything has taken place in this single moment. In the sight of Allah, all information pertaining to this moment is kept in a “Book.” This “Main Book,” or as the Qur’an calls it, “The Mother of the Book,” holds every bit of information about everything: “Certainly there is no hidden thing in either heaven or earth which is not in a Clear Book.” (Qur’an, 27:75)
The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, “Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?”
“They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all.” (Qur’an, 18:49) Allah has created everything, living or non-living, which has existed since the beginning of the universe and all events which have happened. Consequently, Allah is cognizant of them all. To put it in another way, “They all exist in the memory of Allah.” In this sense, the Mother of the Book is a manifestation of Allah’s attribute, the Al-Hafiz.
One of the miraculous features of the Qur’an proving that it is the word of Allah is these verses referring to black holes. Thanks to the way that the verses of the Qur’an may bear several meanings, it is highly probable that many more miracles of the Qur’an will emerge in the years to come. (Allah alone knows the truth of all things.)
As the word of Almighty and Omniscient Allah, the Qur’an contains much information that people do not understand, or which they as yet lack the knowledge to understand. This information comes to light by means of technological and scientific advances taking place at a time and level of our Lord’s choosing, thus confirming the miraculous nature of the Qur’an.

Destined to eternity
At this point, we come upon a striking fact; because the memory of Allah is infinite, nothing existent in Him becomes lost. In other words, no living being created by Allah vanishes, no flower fades, no drink finishes, no period comes to an end, and no food is consumed. Every moment Allah creates and every exact detail of everything are created in eternity and it is “destined to eternity.”
This explanation may be put in the following way: Eternity has begun for a being or an event by the time it is created. For instance, when a flower is created, it is, in reality, destined not to disappear. That this being ceases to become a part of one’s sensations and is erased from one’s memory does not actually mean that it has vanished or died. Its state in the Sight of Allah is what actually matters. Furthermore, all states of this being, be it its creation, all moments throughout its life or death, exist in the Memory of Allah.
Upon all that is created, Allah bestows eternity. In other words, existing things have attained eternity by the time they are created. To have a thorough grasp of this notion, however, one needs to reflect on all beings and events individually.
But, before proceeding with this subject, it would be useful to stress the following fact; what has been stated so far, together with the following, is no doubt the most important information one can ever acquire in one’s lifetime.
Most probably, many people are hearing and reflecting on these facts about timelessness for the first time in their lives. However, here is something important to keep in mind: Allah, in the Qur’an, draws our attention to the fact that “only those who sincerely turn to Allah” take heed. In other words, only those who truly seek the guidance of our Lord and endeavor to appreciate His infinite might and His greatness will heed these explanations and have a grasp of these facts.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.

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