December 6, 2019 Quran Talk - Mountains as Stabilizers

Subscribe to the podcast:
Quran translation on iOS:
Additional Resources:
Contact: qurantalk (at) gmail (dot) com

[13:3] He is the One who constructed the earth and
placed on it mountains and rivers. And from the different kinds of fruits, He made them into pairs - males and females. The night overtakes the day. These are solid proofs for people who think.


[88:17] Why do they not reflect on the camels and how they are created? [88:18] And the sky and how it is raised. [88:19] And the mountains and how they are constructed. [88:20] And the earth and how it is built.

The distance to the center of the Earth is 6,371 kilometers (3,958 mi),

Earth's inner core is the innermost geologic layer of the Earth. It is primarily a solid ball with a radius of about 1,220 kilometres (760 miles), which is about 20% of the Earth's radius. We have no samples of the Earth's core available for direct measurement, but from analysis of seismic waves and the magnetic field the inner core is believed to be composed of an iron–nickel alloy with some other elements. The temperature at the inner core's surface is estimated to be approximately 5700 K (5430 °C or 9806 °F), which is about the temperature at the surface of the Sun.

Earth's outer core is a fluid layer about 2,400 km (1,500 mi or 40% of Earth’s radius) thick and composed of mostly liquid iron and nickel. Its outer boundary lies 2,890 km (1,800 mi) beneath Earth's surface. The transition between the inner core and outer core is located approximately 5,150 km (3,200 mi) beneath the Earth's surface.

Earth’s mantle: The mantle is the mostly-solid bulk of Earth's interior. The mantle lies between Earth's dense, super-heated core and its thin outer layer, the crust. The mantle is about 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles 40% of Earth’s radius) thick, and makes up a whopping 84% of Earth's total volume.

Humans have drilled over 12 kilometers (7.67 miles) in the Sakhalin-I. In terms of depth below the surface, the Kola Superdeep Borehole SG-3 retains the world record at 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) in 1989 and still is the deepest artificial point on Earth.

The Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of the Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volume. The Earth's crust ranges from 5–70 kilometres (3.1–43.5 mi) in depth. Because Earth’s crust are less dense than the mantle below, both types of crust "float" on the mantle.

Mountains Moving

Continental drift

The Earth has 7 major plates. Each of these plates float onto of the Earth’s mantle. Each year each plate moves about an inch. When these plates collide into one another the plate that is stronger moves below and the plate that is weaker moves on top. Then over millions of years this accumulation in moving causes the formation of mountains.

Mountains are waves of stone - their time horizon is much longer and move much slower

[27:88] When you look at the mountains, you think that they are standing still. But they are moving, like the clouds. Such is the manufacture of GOD, who perfected everything. He is fully Cognizant of everything you do.


[79:30] He made the earth egg-shaped.





And the earth


ا ر







ب ع د







ذ ل ك





spread it / made it egg-shaped.


د ح و


The root for the word has predominately two meanings: the first meaning is of an egg, but specifically an ostrich egg.

The word دَحَاهَا / dahaha in Arabic comes from the word for an egg, but specifically an ostrich egg. The Earth is not a perfect sphere it is an Oblate Spheroid, where the north and south pole are slightly compressed and the equator is slightly expanded.

What kind of an ostrich did the Arabs at the time of the revelation of the Quran have among them? It was called the Arabian ostrich (also known as the Syrian ostrich) that sadly went extinct in the early 20th century. But luckily for us one of these eggs was discovered and preserved. It was as a gift the poet C.M. Doughty gave to archeologist T.E. Lawrence.

Egg yolk = core, egg white = mantle, shell = crust

The second meaning of the root دَحَاهَا / dahaha means:

to spread, stretch, expand,

I equate this to the description of the tectonic plates of the earth. That God is giving us two pieces of information about the earth, one is its shape, the other is it’s make up.

When people describe the plate tectonics of the Earth they describe it like an egg that is cracked with its shell bumping into one another.


Without the fragmentation of the crust of the Earth through plate tectonics the only mountains we would of had would be volcanoes. The tallest mountain in our Solar System is on Mars. It is called Mount Olympus (72,000 ft) twice as tall as Mount Everest.

Early on, Mars had really active volcanoes, fed by hot, rising blobs of rock from deep inside. But Mars doesn't have tectonic plates that move over hotspots, like in Hawaii. So instead of getting a chain of volcanoes, you could keep building one huge one. And, with the lower gravity on Mars, that magma could be pushed to great heights.

Plate tectonics is not necessary for the creation of mountains, but without plate tectonics many of the minerals and nutrients that are part of the crust and mantle of the Earth would never get to the surface.

mountains act as elevators for minerals deep in the earth

What do we gain from mountains?

There are typically two words throughout the Quran that God uses in reference to mountains.

الْجَبَلَ (al-jabal) = mountain

رَوَاسِيَ (rawaseea) = stabilizers (78:7)


[15:19] As for the earth, we constructed it, and placed on it stabilizers (mountains), and we grew on it a perfect balance of everything.

How are mountains stabilizers

[78:7] And the mountains stabilizers (awtādan) ?






And the mountains


ج ب ل





(as) pegs / stakes (stabilizers).


و ت د


[16:15] And He placed stabilizers (mountains) on earth, lest it tumbles with you, as well as rivers and roads, that you may be guided.

[21:31] And we placed on earth stabilizers, lest it tumbles with them, and we placed straight roads therein, that they may be guided.

[31:10] He created the heavens without pillars that you can see. He established on earth stabilizers (mountains) lest it tumbles with you, and He spread on it all kinds of creatures. We send down from the sky water to grow all kinds of beautiful plants.

Rain Shadow Effect

Mountains catch the moisture of rivers of water in the sky and snow and produce fresh water

[77:27] We placed on it high mountains, and provided you with fresh water to drink.

Beetle in the desert goes to the tops of the dunes for moisture to drink, then the birds eat the beetles for water

Most mountain ranges occur along coastlines.

Minerals taken from mountains and dumped into oceans and rivers for life

Rain, snow and wind dissolve the limestone and send it back to the ocean, where it settles

That was enough to convince them that the forces that churn the earth’s crust into jagged peaks also help our climate stay relatively stable


Mountains are often called nature's water towers. ... It is no surprise then that in semi-arid and arid regions, over 70 to 90 percent of river flows come from mountains. But even in temperate areas, 30 to 60 percent of freshwater can come from highland watersheds.

Carbon Cycle

Climate cycle keeps temperatures stable


Deflects the winds

Stabilize the weather



[35:27] Do you not realize that GOD sends down from the sky water, whereby we produce fruits of various colors? Even the mountains have different colors; the peaks are white, or red, or some other color. And the ravens are black.

Without mountains, there will be a more uniform distribution of rainfall. Aesthetically, over time, plate movements, together with other geologic processes, have created some of Nature's most magnificent scenery.

Without mountains on our planet, we would lose our trees and our other plant life - moving down that chain of living things.

That bedrock would be ground away by storms. The Earth would become smaller and smaller and without plants, it would lose its atmosphere.

Something interesting about Mountains and specifically their tops, I don’t think any location is held more dearly to individuals globally as mountain tops.

Everywhere in the world, people consider their mountains and specifically their tops as sacred, but sometimes for vastly different reasons.

A perfect example of this is happening right now in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea, in Hawai’i on the Big Island. Its peak is 4,207.3 m (13,803 ft) above sea level. Most of the volcano is underwater, and when measured from its underwater base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world if you measure from its base which is ~20,000 ft below sea level, measuring over 10,000 m (33,000 ft) in height.

Everest from its base is 29,029′

For generations, the Hawaiian people considered the top of their beloved mountain as sacred, and this came to a tipping point because on top of Mauna Kea is also one of the best locations in the world to observe the night sky.

The brightest places in the world have the darkest skies

The location is near ideal because of its dark skies from lack of light pollution, good astronomical seeing, low humidity, high elevation above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere, clean air, good weather and low latitude location. Also, Mauna Kea is one of the only places in the world where you can drive from sea level to 14,000 feet in about 2 hours.

So it makes it one of the best places in the world to set up an observatory

Currently, there are 13 observatories at Mauna Kea summit.

Today there is an ongoing debate in Hawaii regarding the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is considered an Extremely Large Telescope. It will actually be the largest telescope in the northern hemisphere, if it is built.

Portal into the rest of the universe where you realize you are on this rock hurling through the cosmos 

Both groups appreciate and see the sacredness in mountain tops but for two fundamentally different reasons.

But both can appreciate that at these locations it instills a feeling of humility and reverence in human beings.

For one we realize how insignificant we are, how vast the universe is, and how great God who created all this is.


[41:10] He placed on it stabilizers (mountains), made it productive, and He calculated its provisions in four days, to satisfy the needs of all its inhabitants.





And He placed


ج ع ل







ف ي





stabilizers (mountains)


ر س و







م ن





above it


ف و ق





and He blessed


ب ر ك







ف ي



Mountains keep people balanced between

spiritual and scientific

Humble and aspirational

[17:37] You shall not walk proudly on earth —you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountains.

[7:171] We raised the mountain above them like an umbrella, and they thought it was going to fall on them: "You shall uphold what we have given you, strongly, and remember the contents thereof, that you may be saved."

Mountains humble the human instincts and reveal our insignificance

We look like ants Half Dome


Mountains Day of Judgment

[18:47] The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.

[52:10 / 56:5 / 81:3] The mountains will be wiped out.

[70:9 / 101:5] The mountains will be like fluffy wool.

[73:16] The day will come when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a weightless pile.

[77:10] The mountains are blown up.

[78:20] The mountains will be removed, as if they were a mirage.

[20:105] They ask you about the mountains. Say, "My Lord will wipe them out.

[69:14] The earth and the mountains will be carried off and crushed; utterly crushed.

[73:14] The day will come when the earth and the mountains will quake, and the mountains will turn into a weightless pile.

No Ego:

[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant.

[22:18] Do you not realize that to GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people? Many others among the people are committed to doom. Whomever GOD shames, none will honor him. Everything is in accordance with GOD's will.