Selected Surahs & Ayaats
Selected Surahs & Ayaats
On May 12, 2022, Astronomers obtained the 1st direct image of the Milky Way’s black hole. It is the first, direct visual confirmation of the presence of this invisible object. The spiral ring of fire in the above image has generated much interest around the world especially among the scientific community. Our galaxy called the Milky Way contains millions of solar systems including ours, each carrying their own group of planets, suns (stars) and moons. The function of a Black Hole is to swallow and destroy planets, stars and other galactic material that comes within its range. The reason we notice a spiral of energy surrounding a black hole is because it absorbs massive energy from the stars before destroying them.
Our solar system which includes the Sun, the Earth and a group of planets travels in the Milky Way at 13 miles/second revolving around its galactic center. The image below reflects the positioning of our Sun in the Milky Way (on top) and its distance from the super massive black hole (marked GC) at its center. Latest estimates claim our solar system to be 25000 light years away from the galactic center. In the 1980s it was estimated to be 27000 light years away, which means our solar system continues to circle and move closer to the center of the galaxy.
The Sun’s traveling path through Milky Way is called Solar Apex. The Quran mentions the Solar Apex and also its final destination: (Al Quran 36:58) And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. The sun is running its course to its appointed place. That is the ordaining of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. - As we learn about the black hole and its ability to devour massive stars, we have striking imagery in the Quran where Allah ﷻ warns us about the day when the sun along with the earth will reach a point where their present existence will vanish and transform in to a new beginning for humankind:
(Al Quran 81:1–14) WHEN THE SUN is Kuwwirat (shrouded in darkness), and when the stars inkadarat (lose their light), and when the mountains are made to vanish,…and when the seas boil over, and when all human beings are coupled [with their deeds]…and when the scrolls [of men's deeds] are unfolded, and when heaven is laid bare, and when the blazing fire [of hell] is kindled bright, and when paradise is brought into view: [on that Day] every human being will come to know what he has prepared [for himself].
The verb kuwwirat in Arabic means shrouding and covering like a turban is wrapped around the head which fully covers its top, hence the Sun will be fully covered and loose its light, and at the same time the stars in our solar system’s neighborhood will also be scattered and loose their light (inkadarat). Additionally the seas on earth will boil like fire when they come in to contact with the massive heat of solar (stars) energies surrounding the black hole. Surah At-Takwir teaches us the final destiny of our existence and how our space environment will transform on the day of judgment. This Surah and what is teaches can best be understood in the light of the black hole's functioning I believe. Therefore as the world learns new things about Black Hole we should also be reminded how these holes might play a significant role on the Day of Judgment.
Salatul Kusoof - Solar Ecclipse Prayer
At this point it is also pertinent to mention why Prophet Muhammad ﷺ highly advised the Muslims to pray when solar eclipse occurs. When it occurs the moon eclipses the bright Sun’s light, temporarily covering the earth in darkness and the incident becomes a reminder of judgment day when the Sun will actually loose its light and the life will come to its end:
Narrated Abu Musa (r.a) The sun eclipsed and the Prophet (ﷺ) got up, being afraid that it might be the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment). He went to the Mosque and offered the prayer with the longest Qiyam (bowing and prostration) that I had ever seen him doing. Then he said, "These signs which Allah sends do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah makes His worshipers afraid by them. So when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allah, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness." (Sahih al-Bukhari 1059)
When the world gets fascinated and wears special binoculars to observe the solar eclipse, Muslims at that time should avoid indulging in such ignorance and pray 2 rakaats (rounds) of salaat and pray extensively for Allah’s protection, forgiveness and mercy.