“Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away.” (an-Naml: 88)
With this verse, the Quran informs us that mountains are not motionless as they seem, but are in constant motion. What does the movement of mountains like clouds mean? What do scientists say about this fact informed by the Quran 1.400 years ago? Now, let us see what science says about it:
For the first time in history, a German scientist called Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents of the Earth had been attached together when it first formed, but then drifted in different directions, and thus separated as they moved away from each other.
However, geologists understood that Wegener was right only 50 years after his death that is, in the 1980. As Wegener pointed out in an article published in 1915, the land masses on the Earth were joined together about 500 million years ago, and this large mass, called Pangaea, was located in the South Pole. These continents, which emerged after the split of Pangaea, have been constantly moving on the Earth’s surface at a rate of several centimeters per year, and in the meantime changing the sea to land ratios of the Earth.
This movement of the earth’s crust, which was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century as a result of the geological researches, is explained as follows in science resources: The earth’s surface, which consists of the crust and upper mantle, is made up of parts called “plates”. There are six big plates and numerous small plates forming the surface of the earth. According to this theory called “Plate Tectonics”, these plates move on the earth by drifting the continents and the ocean floor. It is calculated that the continental movement is 1 to 5 cm a year. As the plates move like that, changes happen in the geography of the world. For instance, the Atlantic Ocean expands every year.
An important point to mention here is this: In the verse, Allah uses the word “tamurru” (drifting) to describe the movement of the mountains. It is interesting that the term used by scientists today is “continental drift”. The word used by the Quran and the term scientists use is the same. Both the Quran and scientists use the word “drifting” for this movement.
Now, let us analyze this scientific miracle:
The movement of the continents is a fact that could not have been observed at the time when the Quran was sent down; it is impossible for a human being to have this knowledge on his own at that time. This fact was discovered as late as the beginning of the 20th century.
Therefore, Allah used the phrase “you see the mountains and think them firmly fixed” in the verse and stated beforehand how people would evaluate the issue. However, He explained a fact after that and stated that mountains were drifted just like clouds were drifted. That is, he attracted attention to the movement of mountains and the fact that the continents moved along with mountains.
As it is seen, attention is attracted to the motion of the plate on which mountains are located. It is a great miracle that this fact, which has been discovered by science recently, is mentioned in the Quran. And this proves clearly that the Quran is the word of Allah and the person who informs us about it is the Messenger of Allah. Those who reject it have to explain how Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) obtained this knowledge 1.400 years ago.