Atomic energy and fission

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Allah splits the seed and kernel. He brings forth the living from the dead, and produces the dead out of the living. That is Allah, so how are you misguided? (Qur'an, 6:95)

The terms "seed" (al-habb) and "kernel" (an-nawa) in the above verse may indicate the splitting of the atom. Indeed, the dictionary meanings of an-nawa include "nucleus, centre, atomic nucleus." Furthermore, the description of bringing forth the living from the dead can be interpreted as Allah creating matter from dead energy. Producing the dead out of the living may refer to energy (dead) emerging from matter (living), since the atom is in motion. (Allah knows best.) That is because as well as "living," al-hayy can also mean "active, energetic." With its meaning of "non-living," al-mayyit, translated above as "dead," may very probably refer to energy.

Scientists define energy as the capacity for doing work. Matter, the material that comprises all things on Earth and in the universe, consists of atoms and molecules that can be seen to be in motion under an electron microscope. In the early twentieth century, Albert Einstein (d. 1955) theorised that matter could be converted into energy, suggesting that the two were inter-related at the atomic level.199 This may be the bringing forth of the dead from the living, as described above, or, in other words, obtaining energy from matter, which is in motion at the atomic level. In addition, yukhriju, translated as "bringing forth," also means "bringing out, emitting" (as in the case of electrical waves). Therefore, the terms in this verse may be indicating the form of energy obtained from the atom. (Allah knows best.)

Today, atomic nucleus can be split into smaller nuclei by means of nuclear fission.


Scientists can now split the atom by dividing its nucleus. Taking Einstein's theories as their starting point, they obtained energy from matter in the 1940s by means of nuclear fission, the process of splitting the atomic nucleus. The verb faliqu in Surat al-An`am 95, translated as "to split," may be a reference to fission's dictionary meaning: the process of splitting (the atom's nucleus). When this process takes place, enormous amounts of energy are released.

The words in Surat al-An`am 95 are very wise in terms of their meanings. The phenomena described in this verse bear a very close resemblance to the splitting of the atom's nucleus in order to obtain atomic energy. The verse may therefore be a reference to nuclear fission, which was only made possible by twentieth-century technology. (Allah knows best.)

199. “Energy and Matter,” Fundamentals of Physical Geography,

2010-07-02 00:55:42

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