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Surah Ar-Rahman

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Published on Nov 28, 2013

BARRIER IN THE SEA - THE SEAS NOT MINGLING WITH ONE ANOTHER

One of the properties of seas that has only recently been discovered is related in a verse of the Qur'an as follows:

He has let loose the two seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not break through. (Qur'an, 55:19-20)

This property of the seas, that is, that they meet and yet do not intermix, has only very recently been discovered by oceanographers. Because of the physical force called "surface tension," the waters of neighboring seas do not mix. Caused by the difference in the density of their waters, surface tension prevents them from mingling with one another, just as if a thin wall were between them.

It is interesting that, during a period when there was little knowledge of physics, and of surface tension, or oceanography, this truth was revealed in the Qur'an.


This phenomenon occurs in several places, including the divider between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at Gibraltar. A white bar can also be clearly seen at Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, South Africa where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.

But when the Qur'an speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of "a forbidding partition" with the barrier.

"It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet, and the other salty and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, to be passed. [Al-Qur'an Furkan 25:53]

Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from that found in places where two salt water seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a "pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers."

This partition (zone of separation) has a salinity different from both the fresh water and the salt water.

This phenomenon occurs in several places, including Egypt, where the river Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea. These scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur'an was also confirmed by Dr. William Hay, a well-known marine scientist and Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, U.S.A.

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