It is general knowledge that there is no life without air and water. Does it ever occur to anyone that soil also is a prerequisite to life? The soil is in continuous development. Throughout thousands of years, especially by the effect of water, it has undergone transformation by erosion of the Lithosphere. As the rate of this erosion is 0.01 mm per year in hard rocks, this transformation is imperceptible (This rate rises up to 20 mm in warmer regions). In this transition process, the earth rises from the inorganic world of minerals to an organic sphere. In a fertile section of earth 1 m3 there are some 30 million bacteria.
…You see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down water on it, it vibrates, it swells and puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs. (22:5)
The above verse refers to reactions that occur in series after rainfall. The vibrating and swelling of soil were at first believed to be literary expressions. But Robert Brown’s discovery of the earth’s shaking referred to as “Brownian movement” was another proof of the Quran’s miraculous insight. Three stages are mentioned in the Quran, namely:
1) Earth’s vibrating
2) Earth’s swelling and
3) Earth’s products in pairs.
1) In the first stage, particles in the soil begin moving upon the fall of rainwater. Raindrops falling on the earth at random move in every direction. The particles are ionized. They are positively ionized as there is a fall in the electrical charge and negatively ionized as there is a rise in the electrical charge. With the arrival of water the ionized molecules begin vibrating. Robert Brown, who discovered this phenomenon in 1828, called this movement: “Brownian movement.”
2) The second point refers to the growth in size of the earth’s particles as they absorb water. Soil particles are composed of joint layers. Between any two layers, there are spaces that allow water particles and dissolved ions to enter. When water and the nourishing elements dissolve in it, they diffuse between layers, resulting in the swelling of the size of the soil particles. The soil’s property of holding water prevents its penetration any deeper, and thus provides for organisms and plants to live.
3) The third stage refers to the germination of seeds. As the verse points out, the fertilization process has started. The soil that seemed dead comes to life with water, giving in turn life to vegetation that begins to sprout.
There are many references to the creation of plants. Parallels are drawn between the creation and restoration to life of plants and the resurrection raising from the dead. The period when a plant begins to sprout is likened to youth, and the period when the plant ripens to adolescence, and then to maturity. Just like a man gets weaker and frailer as he grows older and wrinkles appear on his skin, so do plants dry and lose their luster. When they die, they mix with the soil, just like the corpse of a man. As plants grow again, so will man rise from the dead. God, who causes plants to die every year and regenerates them, so will He raise men from the dead.
One sign for them is the dead land. We revive it and produce from it grains which they eat. (36:33)