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The surah then puts aside, apparently, that great event which is at the centre of controversy, only to pick it up later on. We are then taken on a quick round of the universe in which we see a multitude of scenes, creatures and phenomena. Contemplation of which strongly shakes any human heart.
In this round we traverse the vast universe, observing a great multitude of scenes and phenomena, which are sketched out with great economy of words. This helps make the rhythm sharp and penetrating, like an incessant hammering. The form of questioning implying a statement is also used here deliberately. It may be likened to a strong hand shaking those who are still unaware. It draws their attention to all these creatures and phenomena which provide strong evidence of the deliberate planning and designing which go into their creation, the ability to create and recreate, and the wisdom behind creation, which dictates that no creature will be left out of the great reckoning. Hence we come back to the fateful tiding, the subject of the argument.
The first leg in this round takes us across the earth and the mountains: “Have We not spread and levelled the earth, and made the mountains as pegs?” Both facts mentioned here can be easily recognised and appreciated by everyone. Indeed, even primitive man can be affected by them once his attention is drawn to them.
As human knowledge advances and man acquires better insight into the nature of the universe and its varied phenomena, his appreciation of these two aspects is enhanced. He recognises more fully God’s elaborate planning of the universe, the accurate balance maintained between the individual kinds of creation and their respective needs, the preparation of the earth for human existence and man’s adaptability to his environment. That the earth has been specially prepared as a comfortable home for human life in particular is irrefutable evidence of the careful designing of this existence. It is sufficient to break one relation in the conditions available on earth or in the conditions and proportions required for life and the earth would no longer be that comfortable home for mankind to tread on.
Man recognises easily, by eyesight, that the mountains are very much like the pegs of a tent. From the Qur’an we learn that they steady the earth and keep its balance. This may be because the height of the mountains offsets the depth of the seas and oceans. An alternative explanation is that mountains balance out the inner with the outer movements of our planet. Or probably they merely increase the weight of the earth at certain spots to prevent its violent shaking with earthquakes, volcanoes or internal tremors. There may be another explanation not yet known to man. In the Qur’an we find numerous references to natural laws the essence of which was completely unknown to man at the time of revelation, but knowledge of which was acquired a few centuries later.