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Iron -57 essay 2nd place winner

Reza Katanbaf

The iron (Alhadid)-57. Sounds like a good topic for a Quran lesson, right? True. But take another look. Iron-57. Sounds like chemistry to me. If I am not mistaken, is this not a form of iron; an isotope of the element listed in the periodic table? Don’t doubt yourself, because it is. How so? How did a book written nearly ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED years ago make this the 57th Surah, and also name it Alhadid (the iron)? Is it just mere coincidence that this happens to also be the atomic weight and mass number of the element iron in its natural form? Maybe it was. But do you think that the Quran, the book of Allah, would make a point as evident as this just by mere coincidence? This is your opinion, but I believe this was something more than just coincidence. I believe this was yet again another point to prove that the Quran is truly the book of Allah, and that Islam is the right religion.

Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum).  It is the most common element in our entire planet, and forms much of the earth’s outer and inner core. It is also the fourth most common element in the earths crust. Iron is also abundant in biology. Iron-proteins are found in all living organisms, ranging from the evolutionarily primitive archaea to humans. The color of blood is red due to the hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein. Just from those few facts, you can realize how much we rely on iron. Iron is no ordinary metal; it is essential to life. Iron-57 has also been used in a very important discovery by the 1961 Nobel Prize winner Rudolph Mössbauer, known as the Mössbauer spectroscopy. This discovery states that gamma rays emitted by one nucleus can be resonantly absorbed by a sample containing nuclei of the same isotope, and this absorption can be measured. To prove this statement, Mössbauer used Iron-57.

Note however, that this is all from a scientific standpoint. Scientists are working on making these discoveries more clear everyday. But take a look at the Quran. Does it not give you a good idea, or a basis to rely on, for all of this detailed information?

As I wrote before, Iron is one of the four most abundant elements in the world and for ages, it has been one of the most vital metals for mankind. After looking at iron from a scientific only standpoint, we should look at it from a religious standpoint as well. The verse referring to iron in the Quran is as follows:

“…And We sent down iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind.” (Surat al-Hadid: 25)

When you read this verse, you can think of it from a religious standpoint, or a physical standpoint. When I read this verse, I noticed that it said “we ‘sent down’ iron”. Does this mean it was sent down by natural cause, such as a meteor? Or does it mean that it was sent down by miracle, such as the cane of Prophet Musa turned into the snake? Once again, this puts us into deep thought. Should we think like a modern day astronomer would, or like an intelligent, properly educated Muslim? I believe the answer to this is simple. We should think like both of them. Because we are taught at an early age about simple astronomy, we think of it as everyday life, and neglect to realize that it is such an extraordinary creation. Not everything has to be a big deal for it to be a miracle. Everything that is given to us: this earth, our family, our friends, the food we eat every night at the dinner table, this is all a miracle in itself, just on a smaller scale. Since it is part of our everyday life, we tend to forget that this is not a guarantee, and it could all be taken from us at any moment if we are not appreciative. This brings us back to the point about the term, “sent down”. The iron very well may have been sent down by a meteor, but who says that this is not a miracle? Where in the Quran is there a guarantee that we will have unlimited supply of iron? Everything Allah does for us should be considered a miracle, or a blessing. We are not guaranteed these things, and we should always be grateful to Allah for what he does for us every day, because only he knows what is truly best for us.

After reading this article, I hope you have been convinced that Alhadid was not just coincidentally made the 57th Surah of the Quran. There is a reason behind everything Allah does, and nothing is done by mistake or by coincidence. He has power over everyone and everything, and we can not doubt his greatness. So who are we to question his book, the Quran? In the 88th verse of Surat al-Isra, Allah refers to the divine nature of the Qur’an:

“Say: If both men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up.” (Surat al-Isra: 88).