THE SEA SET ON FIRE

(And by the sea kept filled or it will be fire kindled on the Day of Resurrection).

(Surat At-Tur (the Mount):6)

This Qur’anic verse also comes in the context of an oath to emphasize the special significance of the subject matter by which the oath is given, as Allah (all glory be to Him) is definitely above the need to give such an oath. Now, what is the special significance of the ocean that is set on fire? Both water and fire were never thought to co-exist, as water quiches fire, and fire sets water to boiling and evaporation. How then can an ocean full of water be set on fire 7 Such contradiction has driven early commentators on the Glorious Qur’an to suggest that this could only happen on the Last Day, depending on another Qur’anic verse where such event is explicitly described

“And when the seas become as blazing Fire or overflow.”

(Surat At-Takwir (Wound Round and Lost its Light):6).

Nevertheless, the context in which the oath (And by the sea kept filled or it will be fire kindled on the Day of Resurrection).

“And 5 preceding realities are all in our present-day world, and hence another linguistic meaning for the adjective “al-masjour” other than ~~ set on fire” was earnestly searched for. Of the linguistic meanings derived from such an adjective is “full of water to a limit that does not allow any further transgression on the nearby continental masses” which is correct, because the largest quantity of fresh water today (77% of all water on land) is entrapped in the form of ice on the two polar regions as well as in the form of ice-caps to highly elevated mountains. Such a great mass of ice only needs an increase of 4O~5O C above the average summer temperatures to melt, and in such case, this melt can raise the water level in present-day seas and oceans by more than 100 m, which is enough to drown most of the present-day plains where the current civilizations mostly flourish, Nevertheless, Earth Scientists have recently discovered that some of the present-day seas and oceans (such as both the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans) are actually set on fire, while others (such as the Mediterranean, the Black and the Caspian Seas) are not. As mentioned above, more than 64,000 km of mid-ocean ridges have – so far- been mapped around mid-ocean rift valleys.

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