Islamic miracle 8 : Mountains & Earthquakes

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For many decades, atheists have claimed that the Quran makes a clear scientific mistake when it discusses mountains and earthquakes:

“…He has placed in the earth firm mountains (rawāsiya) that it may not quake with you…”

Holy Quran (31:11)

Critics alleged that the production of mountains occur at areas where earthquake activity is increased. Therefore, they argued, the verse is wrong.

But new scientific evidence about subduction has transformed our understanding of mountains and earthquakes. Subduction occurs when oceanic crust goes under continental crust, before being recycled in the Earth’s mantle. If the oceanic crust was entirely smooth, the two plates would get stuck against each other, build tension, then suddenly slip. This slip would produce massive ‘megathrust’ earthquakes.

Remarkably, the oceanic crust is not smooth. It is made uneven by huge undersea mountains, seamounts. Over the last decade, powerful evidence has shown that seamounts break up the plates at the subduction zone, leading to a slow but steady creep. This greatly reduces the chance of massive ‘megathrust’ earthquakes.

The Quran gives us further proof that these verses refer to seamounts. When discussing mountains reducing earthquake activity, the Quran only refers to mountains that are rāwasiya rather than jibāl. The arabic root r-s-w has the connotation of effecting harmony, and an anchor at the bottom of the sea. These meanings clearly apply to seamounts.

Thus, these stunning verses give an answer to all those who doubt the truth of the Holy Quran.

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