“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is as a Niche wherein is a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as if it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, (as) an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose fuel is luminous even though no fire touches it: Light upon Light! Allah guides whom He will to His Light: Allah sest forth parables for humankind. Indeed Allah has knowledge of all things”. (Koran 24:35)
The statement of the Koran reproduced above provides a detailed map of quasars and their location within a galaxy. For those who study the “light” in the heavens (the context of the Koranic statement), the astronomers, the description given by the Koran is very clear and easily discernable. Quasars or Quasi Stellar Objects were first discovered in 1963 (over 1400 years after the Koran). They represent the brightest objects in the Universe. Astronomers discovered that certain faint “star-like” objects existed in the Universe that due to their large redshifts must lie billions of light years away and emit massive amounts of energy, in order to still be visible. In the most widely accepted model of quasars, they are described as the bright nucleus of an active galaxy powered by a central black hole. The black hole is the “niche”, as the Koran states, wherein is the quasar, i.e. “the lamp”.
Also discovered recently is the fact that when viewed through the galaxy, the galaxy produces a gravitational effect which is similar to the quasar (the lamp) being surrounded by glass. This is exactly what the Koran states, “...the lamp enclosed in glass”. NASA astronomers state: “ The gravitational effect of the galaxy on the distant quasar was similar to the lens effect of a drinking glass on a distant street light - it created multiple images ("light upon light"- the Arabic word used in the statement "Nur" signifies reflected light). But stars in the foreground galaxy have been found to act as gravitational lenses here too.” (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap950711.html)
Timothy Ferris writes in his book, The Whole Shebang: “As light from a Quasar travels towards us…it may pass through either side of an intervening cluster of galaxies. The warped space surrounding the cluster can act as a lens, with a result that we see two images of what is (or was) actually one quasar.“ (Ferris 1997:61)
The Quasar is powered by the black hole when “stars and gas” from the galaxy are sucked into it. A “tree”- the Koran states, powers it. It is not unusual for astronomers to describe galaxies as “trees” comprised of stars, see the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, reproduced in the Timothy Ferris book mentioned above (Ferris 1997: 188).
Perhaps the most astonishing revelation in the Koran, in that particular verse, is the section that accurately describes the concept of non-fire combustion, the nuclear fusion that produces luminosity. The Koran states, "whose fuel is luminous even though no fire touches it”. Since there is no free form oxygen gas in space, no fire-based combustion is possible for stars or quasars to shine as they do, for as long as they do. Stars begin their life composed primarily of hydrogen. As the gas contracts, due to gravity, it heats up; hydrogen atoms collide and combine to form helium while energy is released. This released energy, which gets radiated into space, is the visible light that we see- even though no "fire" touches the fuel. The ancients did not know about non-fire combustion, it is a very recent discovery. It was long believed, even by the Greeks that the sun and the stars shone by burning their material like a fire through combustion. Correcting that erroneous notion, the Koran is the first book on earth to describe accurately the concept of luminosity produced through non-fire combustion. Let us recap the entire statement of the Koran:
“Allah (God) is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is as a niche (black hole) wherein is a Lamp (quasar) : the Lamp enclosed in Glass (gravitational lens effect of the galaxy) : the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree (the galaxy that feeds the black hole), (as) an olive (see image above), neither of the east nor of the west (stars and gas as fuel from all sides), whose fuel is luminous even though no fire touches it (non-fire/oxygen combustion) : Light upon Light (gravitational lens effect)! Allah guides whom He will to His Light: Allah sets forth Parables for humankind. Indeed Allah has knowledge of all things”. (Koran 24:35)
(Thanks to brother Salim who sent the article to us.)
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