ORBITS AND THE ROTATING UNIVERSE
of the most important reasons for the great equilibrium in the universe
is the fact that celestial bodies follow specific paths. Stars,
planets and satellites all rotate around their own axes and also
rotate together with the system of which they are a part. The universe
functions within a finely-tuned order, just like the wheels in a
There are more than 100 billion galaxies in the
visible universe and each small galaxy contains approximately a
billion stars. Furthermore, each big galaxy contains more than a
trillion. 16 Many
of these stars have planets and many of those planets have satellites.
All these celestial bodies follow the most finely calculated paths
and orbits. For millions of years, each one has been moving in its
own path in flawless harmony with all the others. In addition to
these, there are also a great many comets moving along in their
own pre-determined paths.
In addition, the paths in the universe are not restricted to a
few celestial bodies. The Solar System and even other galaxies also
exhibit considerable motion around other centres. Every year, Earth,
and the Solar System with it, move some 500 million km from where
they were the previous year. It has been calculated that even the
slightest deviation from celestial bodies' paths could have drastic
consequences which might spell the end of the entire system. For
example, the consequences of the earth's deviating from its course
by a mere 3 mm have been described in one source as follows:
While rotating around the sun, the earth follows
such an orbit that, every 18 miles, it only deviates 2.8 millimetres
from a direct course. The orbit followed by the earth never changes,
because even a deviation of 3 millimetres would cause catastrophic
disasters: If the deviation were 2.5 mm instead of 2.8 mm, then
the orbit would be very large, and all of us would freeze. If
the deviation were 3.1 mm, we would be scorched to death. 17
Another characteristic of heavenly bodies is that they also rotate
around their own axes. The verse which reads "[I swear]
by Heaven with its cyclical systems," (Qur'an, 86:11) indicates
this truth. Naturally, at the time when the Qur'an was revealed,
people had no telescopes with which to study bodies millions of
kilometres away in space, advanced observation technology or our
modern knowledge of physics and astronomy. It was therefore impossible
to establish that space had "its oscillating orbits,"
(Qur'an, 51:7) as described in the verse. The Qur'an however, revealed
at that time, provided clear information concerning that fact. This
is proof that this book is indeed Allah's Word.
Like many other comets in the universe,
Halley's comet, seen above, also moves in a planned orbit.
It has a specific orbit and it moves in this orbit in a perfect
harmony with other celestial bodies.
All celestial bodies—including
planets, satellites of these planets, stars and even galaxies—have
their own orbits that have been determined with very delicate
computations. The One Who established this perfect order and
maintains it is Allah, Who created the entire universe.
16. World Book Encyclopedia, 2003; contributor:
Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston
17. Bilim ve Teknik (Journal of Science and Technology), July 1983.