“And by the Earth which has its own Sad’a (Fault)”
(Surat At-Tariq (The Night-Comer):12)
the Arabic term mentioned in the verse Sad’a means Split or Fault. This Qur’anic verse comes in the context of an oath, while Allah (all glory be to Him) is definitely above giving such a pledge. Consequently, this is understood as an emphasis for the special significance of the matter by which the oath is given. Now, what is the special significance of the faults of our planet?
Early commentators on the Glorious Qur’an saw this significance in the fracturing of the soil by the sprouting plants, which is very true. Once you place a seed in the soil and water it properly, it starts to germinate and a green shoot starts to penetrate the soil and grow into a fully developed plant, bearing beautiful flowers, delicious fruits and / or magnificent wood.
However, Earth Scientists have recently discovered that the Earth’s outer rocky sphere (Lithosphere; which is about 65- 70 km thick under the oceans and 120-150 km thick under continents) is broken up by a network of deep faults (or rift systems) into 12 main rigid plates, added to a number of small ones (micro plates or platelets). These plates float on a semi-molten plastic layer known as the asthenosphere (the sphere of weakness) and move freely away from or towards each other, and past one another. At one boundary of each plate (or micro plate) molten rock (magma) rises to form strips of new ocean floor, and at the opposite boundary, the plate collides with the adjacent plate and moves to sink underneath it, to be gradually consumed in the underlying uppermost mantle layer (the asthenosphere) at exactly the same rate of sea-floor spreading at the opposite side.