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The Function of Mountains

According to modern geological findings, mountains emerge as a result of the movements and collisions of massive plates forming the Earth’s crust. When two plates collide, the stronger one slides under the other, the one on the top bends and forms heights and mountains. The layer beneath proceeds under the ground and makes a deep extension downward. That means that mountains have a greater portion stretching downwards. In a scientific text, the structure of mountains is described as follows:

“Where continents are thicker, as in mountain ranges, the crust sinks deeper into the mantle.” (General Science, Carolyn Sheets, Robert Gardner, Samuel F. Howe; Allyn and Bacon Inc. Newton, Massachusetts, 1985, s. 305)
The most amazing aspect of mountains is that what we see above ground is only about one eigth of the total mountain; seven eigths of the mountain remains underground where, according to the Quranic verse below, they act as pegs that stabilise the earth’s crust, much like a tent peg stabilises a tent when it is hammered into the ground. This has been borne out by geological knowledge uncovered during the past century.

In the following verse, this role of the mountains is pointed out by a comparison with “pegs”:

“Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs?” 78:6-7

In the above words we note the similarity of mountains to pegs, not only in their function, but also in their shape. The triangular shape of the mountain that appears above the ground is coupled with an inverted triangular mountain below the ground, just as the shape of a peg.

The stabilising effect of mountains over the earth’s crust helps prevents the movement of the layers that lie below.

This fact was not known by anyone at the time the Quran was revealed. It was in fact brought to light only recently as a result of the findings of modern geology.

The following Quranic verse accurately describes the role of mountains in preventing movement to the layers that lie beneath the Earth’s crust:

“We placed firm stabilisers (mountains) on the earth, so it would not move with them…” 21:31

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