Thursday, October 23, 2014

No one can enter heaven without God's permission?

No one can enter heaven without God's permission?

By: Khurshid Imam

A. Has America broken challenge of Quran?

A brother sent me the question: 
"Quran says in 55:33 that no one can leave earth and enter heaven without God's permission. Its the challenge of Quran. But America has reached to moon. So does this mean that challenge of Allah has proven to be false. Please reply."

Here is my response:
The ayah in question is from Surah Rahman (55) Ayah 33:

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ

O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass through the diameters of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by power. Quran 55:33

B. Sultan does not mean GOD

The erroneous conclusion is because of wrong translation of word SULTAN. Word sultan refers to power. It does not mean God / Allah. Word sultan can be used with anyone in context with power or authority. Neither it is specific to God nor it means God.

C. Power required for penetrating through heaven

Star, sun, moon etc are part of lowest heaven called sama-ud-dunia. Quran talks about this in 15:16; 25:61; 37:6.
Those who think that sama refers to sky only can just go through Quran 2:22 where God says 
" (He) who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky (SAMA word is used here) a ceiling and sent down from the sky (SAMA word is used here), rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. "

Please ponder over this ayah. This ayah talks about two things :
1. sama as ceiling: We know that certain layers of atmosphere act as protective shield for human being. They prevent dangerous rays from reaching the earth. Is this layer sky? Of course not. This layer is only around hundred kilo-meter above the earth. 

2: Similarly this ayah also says that God sends rain from the sky. We know that cloud forms rain hardly a few kilometer above earth. If someone says that sky - that is beyond planets, starts, galaxies etc form rain then its false and absurd.
So sama refers to height. The lowest sama (translated as lowest heaven heaven) encompasses earth, galaxies, stars etc.

Quran 55:33 talks about future endeavor of mankind into space / heaven.

A very important aspect of this ayah is that - God makes clear that if you want to leave earth and penetrate through heavens then power is required. 
Without power you can not enter heavens. What is that power?

Progress of aero-science and astronomy has reached to a level where man has entered into space; man is capable of going beyond regions of earth into the sky. Man-made objects are floating in the heaven - millions of miles away from earth. We are actively exploring moon, planets, comets, rays, galaxies etc. As of 24 September 2014, there are two scientific rovers on the surface of Mars beaming signals back to Earth (Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, and Curiosity of the Mars Science Laboratory mission), and five orbiters currently surveying the planet: Mars OdysseyMars ExpressMars Reconnaissance OrbiterMars Orbiter Mission and MAVEN
Can you imagine!!  54.6 million kilometers away from earth - man made satellite / robots are exploring universe and other heavenly bodies. What an amazing feat by the mankind!!

But how they are capable of going beyond the earth?
We know that earth exerts gravitational acceleration of 9.8 meter/second square on every object on its surface. If someone wants to get rid-off this gravitational pull and enter heavens then it need to have minimum velocity = escape velocity. Power is required to achieve the escape velocity.

In physics, escape velocity is the minimum velocity needed to "break free" from the gravitational attraction of a massive body, without further propulsion, i.e., without spending more fuel. In case of earth its value is 11.2 km/second. If an object flies up with a minimum speed of 11.2 km/s then it can enter into heavens; free itself from earth's gravity. Of course; power is required for getting this impulse. Without power, without this velocity - no object can enter into heavens because it cannot break the gravitational pull of earth. This power is referred in the ayah under discussion as SULTAN. 
Hence, by entering into space USA / USSR has practically explained one aspect of this ayah. Space explorations have confirmed this ayah and proved this prediction to be true to the world.  

D. Importance of word aqtaar

It is very important to note the use of words aqtaar-is samawati wal ardh in this ayah. Word aqtaar is derived from the Arabic word qutur which means Diameter. Aqtaar is plural of qutur.
                                              ;Diameter - القطر
                                                ;Radius - نصف القطر

Its amazing that Allah has used the word aqtaar to indicate shape / region / area / boundaries of earth. aqtaar (diameters) is related to spherical bodies ONLY. Quran is saying that if you want to cross diameters of earth and heavens then you should have power. In an era (1400 years ago) - when general belief of people was that earth was rectangular- quran gave the clear indication that earth was having diameter and hence it was spherical and NOT rectangular. 

According to a law of science, every physical system in the universe tries to attain a state of minimum energy for maximum stability. It is an established fact that if a sphere is made from a given volume of any material it will have the least surface area compared to any other form. Consequently the spherical bodies have the minimum surface energy. Substances try to acquire a round form like a football in order to achieve the state of minimum energy, that is, the state of maximum stability. This is why the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth and all other heavenly bodies have a spherical shape. If not all then most of heavenly bodies are spherical and hence have diameters.

So Quran is saying that if you want to cross this diameter-associated-earth and penetrate through the heavens- that contains diameter-associated-planets / moons etc then you need to have sufficient power.

Also - its important to note that escape velocity (indirectly referred as power in this ayah) is co-related and dependent on aqtaar (diameter) that Quran talks about in this ayah. Radius is called nifs-qutur (Half of diameter).

E. Quran itself indicates that space explorations will come true

Immediately after this Ayah Allah says -
فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

"So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?" Quran 55:34

Allah is asking - will you deny this favour of Allah? Which favour he is talking about? Of course the favour mentioned just before this ayah. Surah Rahman mentions this statement 31 times. After mentioning many of his favor Allah tells us not to deny his favour.
When something is made clear / observable then only one can understand / experience that favor. If i give you an apple to eat then only you can appreciate my favor. If i don't give you
apple;  neither i show you; but i ask you not to deny my favor of apple then its absurd request. Only when you see / eat / observe the apple, you can accept that i have done favor to you.

Similarly when Quran tells us NOT to deny his favors then its but natural that those favors should be observable / understood / experienced by human being. Ayah 33 says that man can enter into heaven with the power. Next ayah says - don't deny favors of Allah. It means that man WILL for SURE conquer space, travel in space, go beyond the boundaries of earth. This way it indicates that space travel will be a possibility and we know that it became possibility. 

On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into space. Four years later on April 12, 1961, Russian Lt. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth in Vostok 1. His flight lasted 108 minutes, and Gagarin reached an altitude of 327 kilometers (about 202 miles).

F. Flame / fires encountered in space mission

It is important to note that next ayah (35) which is closely connected with ayah 33 gives another useful information.

يُرْسَلُ عَلَيْكُمَا شُوَاظٌ مِّن نَّارٍ وَنُحَاسٌ فَلَا تَنتَصِرَانِ

“On you will be sent a flame of fire (to burn) and a smoke (to choke): no defense will ye have.”

So next ayah (35) says that - once in space - you will be exposed to flame of fire and smoke. Except with power you will not be able to defend yourself with those flames.
During space mission space-crafts are exposed to enormous amount of heat, smoke etc. Powerful mechanism is required to bear and overcome this heat.
Roughly two-thirds of all spacecraft destined for Mars failed before completing their missions, and there are some that failed before their observations could begin. Indian origin astronaut Kalpana Chawla died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster which occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, with the loss of all seven crew members, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107
During the launch of STS-107, Columbia's 28th mission, a piece of foam insulation broke off from the Space Shuttle external tank and struck the left wing. When the Shuttle re-entered the atmosphere of Earth, the damage allowed hot atmospheric gases to penetrate and destroy the internal wing structure, which caused the spacecraft to become unstable and slowly break apart.

So Quran 55:35 says that without power you will not be able to defend against fire / heat during space mission.

G. Conclusion

1. Quran says in 55:33 that penetrating through heaven is possible with power. Without power it is not possible. Word sultan means power. It does NOT mean God.
2. By using the word aqtaar, quran gives the indication that shape of earth and other heavenly bodies are spherical. 
3. Quran gives indication that space explorations will be a possibility. This is a favor from our lord. This way we understand more and more about universe. This lead us closer to our creator. We get more and more proofs of our creator.
4. Quran also says that during space mission you will be exposed to fire / heat. Without power you will not be able to defend these. We know about lot of accidents that occurred for space missions. Many of them could not defend against fire and heat.
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