Friday Focus | Soil: Secret of its vitality

… events enlivening the dead earth

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 12 2017 11:09PM | Updated Date: Oct 12 2017 11:09PM

The secret of vitality of the soil and the life imparted to it is laid down in a Holy Verse, and implicit in it is how the dead earth is brought alive by a natural sequence of events devised by Almighty Allah:

‘’And a sign for them is the way in which we gave life to the earth that is dead: we quickened it and brought forth from it grain, of which they eat’’ (36:33)

In order to comprehend the Holy Verse in all its subtleties, one has to know first the concepts of life and vitality in their true scientific sense. The concept of vitality—the living has changed greatly and come closer to inner truth stated in Holy Quran 1400 years back. Biological knowledge coming to fore in recent time confirms this. Life is a mathematical programme coded on a giant chemical molecule. It stands testified in another Holy Verse: 

‘’We created him from a drop of liquid; we shaped and programmed him’’ (80:19) 

Vis-à-vis soil, God created bacteria fixing nitrogen in the soil. In chemical terms, these are laboratories of synthesis; that is, they take nitrogen from the air and prepare compounds with negative valences.  These bacteria reduce nitrogen by a method we still cannot fathom, and convert it into a form in which it can combine with hydrogen. They require water and rain for this purpose. This is why we observe that life springs forth from the soil when it rains.

A second type of bacteria in the soil break down everything falling to the ground, preparing the way for synthesizing bacteria, the soil thus resembles a vast chemical factory. Soil is a living being, ever since origin of life on earth. A great miracle of the Holy Verse is that it informs us of this fact 14 centuries before biological facts of modern science came to fore.