THE PEGS OF THE EARTH
It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that;
"The mountains which you take to be firm will pass away
[The Ant; 88]
"Did we not spread the earth like a bed and raise the mountains like pegs".
In pre historic times man used to live in caves and take shelter in them. He did not know how to build houses until the end of the stone age. And he used to live in caves or dig such shelters to protect himself from the wrath of nature and its fluctuations; like the cold, the snow, the rain, and the heat as well as floods and hurricanes, and to protect himself against beasts and wild animals. The Quran expresses these meanings in the following Ayats:
their dwellings into thc mountains and lived in safety"
(Surah Al Hajar:82)
"I shall seek refuge in a mountain which will protect me from the flood"
(Surah Hud: 43).
The mountains are an integral part of the solid shellof the earth. (the crust) If the crust shakes or if the earth trembles the mountains will shake too.
" The day when the earth shakes with all its mountains" (AI-Muzzammil: 14)
The mountains' rocks contain all kinds of metals, such as gold, silver, copper,iron... e.t.c.
"In the mountains there are streaks of various shades of red and white, and jetblack rocks "(Fatir: 27)
The rotation of the mountains although they seem to be unmoving, indicate that earth too is rotating and travelling in the vast space.
"The mountains which you take to be firm will pass away like clouds" (The Ant: 88)
One of the most important functions of the mountains is to hold together the solid outer layers of the crust of the earth, in the same way the pegs hold the tents and act as the pillars that support them:
"Did We not spread the earth like beds and raise the mountains like pegs"(al-Naba:7)
Mountains also help in preserving the stablity of the earth's crust. As we know the crust undergoes an on-going change as a result of many factors. This change creates a state of instability between its rising parts (the mountains) and its falling ones (the seas), which creates earthquakes and causes volcanoes to errupt.
"We set firm
mountains upon the earth lest it should move away with you;"
(The Bee: 15)
And now let us take a look at the surface of the earth with all
its mountains, seas, valleys, rivers, deserts, gulfs...etc..
Do you think that they are all fixed in their places? furthermore do you believe that they are still the same as Allah, the Most Exalted, founded them? or do they transfrom and change?The fact that we ought to know and keep in mind is that the surface of the earth is in a state of constant change, but one that is so slow that it cannot be noticed in thousands of years.
The slow changes take place due to the activity of a number of atmospheric and natural factors, the most important of which is the differences in temperatures whether between day and night or between winter and summer. which cause the earth's crust to crack and crumble.
Winds, rains, floods, rivers. and waves play also an important role in eroding the rocks and carrying the crumbled particles to lower sea depths, where they form sedimentary lavers.
These factors are called eroding factors, which play an amazingly contradictory role; for it erodes on the one hand and forms new rocks on the other hand.
In this context, we can distinguish four distinct kinds of rocks, according to the way they were formed:
1- Igneous Rocks: such as granite and Basalt.
2- Sedimentary Rocks: such as limestone and sandstone.
3- Transformed Rocks: These rockswere originally igneous of sedimentary rocks but were transformed by heat, pressure and other factors, and changed into marble, slate or other such rocks.
It is generally admitted nowadays that the face of the earth did not remain the same throughout the ages. Rather it has undergone, as we mentioned above, an on-going process of change inwhich the eroding factors were able to wipe out mountains, and fill its sediments at the depths of seas and oceans.
These sedimentary layers will cause floods that would overflow the
continents carrying with them various precipitates, which the land can not
carry their weight.Consequently a new phase of the geological cycle would be
initiated, in the form of an unruly revolution that would end in the formation
of new mountains, which in turn will be subjected to the same natural factors,
and the whole circle will be repeated again...
The most recent revolutions are the ones that resulted in the formation of the Hamalaya and the Alpes mountains, which are young mountains that have not been subjected yet to the ruining and destruction factors.
The Earth's crust is similar to a very delicate balance with each
of its two plates in exact balance with the other. If the weight that is
carried by any of the two plates changes, the other plate will be affected; and
the whole balance will be in a state of turmoil, that would not end until the
weights would be equal again.
May be the best scientific comment that expresses this fact is what Allah, the Most Exalted. said in the HolyQuran:
"We set firm
mountains upon the earth lest it should move away with you"
"We set firm mountains upon the earth lest it should move away with them"
[The Prophets: 31]
The earth's crust is also affected by the high
pressures inside the earth's mantle, that generate currents which spread slowly
between itself and between the earth's crust.
The intensity and the temperature of these fluids, coupled with the outside factors we discussed above, leads to the creation of new high and low lands. Water would then cover the low lands forming what is known as geological seas. And these seas are usually shallow and wide ones which are located in the middle of the continents or at their edges. As the geological time passes. the depths of these seas will become the storing place of huge sedimentary rocks that are driven by the various eroding factors. These rocks will accumulate until they form the base of the "future mountains". Then as a result of the high pressure these mountains will bend and rise gradually until they emerge above sea level. The water will then ebb away forming new geological seas.
This is what is known as the geological revolutions, or the
movements of building mountains which has been predetermined by Allah, the
All-Mighty. Praised is He who has created the mountains and made them serve as
pegs to hold the land and keep its balance.
Source:Noor Al Islam
AuthorDr. Muhammad Jamal ElFindi