From both of them emerge pearl and coral (Quran 55:22)
Fatwa No: 256738

Question

I have a question from the Koran. In Surah Rahman, the following sentences. He has made ​​the two seas, which will meet once each. Between them is a barrier which they can not cross. Which of the favors of your Lord would you deny it? (Quran 55:19-23) There are pearls and coral from both (seas) away. My question is: Here is clear that in both seas to find the pearls and corals? But coral grows only in salt water. Can you give me an explanation? In advance many thanks. Mohamed Kebdani

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

These two verses of Surat Ar-Rahmaan (Quran 55) highlight some of the Signs of Allaah, The Exalted, in nature. The verses specifically underline the greatness of the Creator manifested in the meeting of two water masses without mixing or transgressing the barrier or separator between them; from both of which pearl and coral are brought forth. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]; * Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.} [Quran 55:19-20]

Some scholars state that the verse refers to the meeting of two saltwater masses; therefore, there is no problem in this, given the fact that pearl and coral are extracted from them both because pearl and coral are found only in saltwater. On the other hand, some scholars – like Ash-Shinqeeti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book Adhwaa’ Al-Bayaan – maintain that the verses refer to the meeting of saltwater with freshwater without mixing. He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him interprets these verses in the light of other verses like those of Soorah Al-Furqaan (Quran: 25). Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And it is He who has released [simultaneously] the two seas, one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition.} [Quran 25:53] He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him does not maintain that pearl and coral are only found in saltwater; they may be extracted from freshwater as well. He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him supports his opinion with the verse of Soorah Faatir (Quran 35) Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And not alike are the two bodies of water. One is fresh and sweet, palatable for drinking, and one is salty and bitter. And from each you eat tender meat and extract ornaments which you wear, and you see the ships plowing through [them] that you might seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.}[Quran 35:12] He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the verses saying, “The verse means that people eat freshwater fish and saltwater fish and avail themselves of the adornment, i.e. pearl and coral, extracted from both of them. This is established beyond any doubt.

Another group of scholars hold that the verse refers to the meeting of a saltwater and freshwater and at the same time maintain that pearl and coral can be extracted from saltwater only. They interpret the verse and similar verses in the light of the fact that the Arabic structure used in the verse is commonly used by Arabs as such. For instance, Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his Tafseer (interpretation of the Quran), "The Arabic word 'minhuma', (=‘from both of them’), means that pearls and coral are only extracted from saltwater because Arabs may make mention of two different matters in one sentence and then speak about one of them apart from the other. For instance, Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {"O company of Jinn and mankind, did there not come to you messengers from among you…} [Quran 6:130] However, messengers are human beings only and not from the Jinn.”

Az-Zindaani underlined that it has been proven after extensive research conducted in water analysis stations that the Atlantic Ocean, for example, consists of four major water masses, although it is classified as one ocean. The research conducted at these stations differentiated between each water mass and underlined that each exhibited distinctive properties, in terms of temperature, salt concentration, salinity, marine life, and oxygen solubility. In the case of the Atlantic Ocean, there were two saline water masses (seas). Different water masses may meet in certain straits like the case of the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden… Thus, it has been discovered for the first time that some oceans and seas consist of different water masses and each water mass exhibits different characteristics and they meet in one ocean or in straits. They discovered isthmuses separating two seas or water masses that meet in one ocean or strait. Scientists succeeded in identifying these dividers or interfaces by accurate measurement of the temperature, salt concentration and salinity. These differences are not seen by bare eyes.

This is a brief account of what Az-Zindaani wrote on this issue. This supports the opinion that the verse refers to the meeting of two saltwater masses which eliminate the problematic point in the first place as highlighted above.

The above mentioned research and studies indicate the greatness and power of Allaah, The Exalted, and that the Quran is truly a divine revelation sent down by Allaah, the Knowing and the Acquainted, who perfected His natural and revealed signs. Praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. Verily, to Him belong the glory in the heavens and on earth. And His is the dominion in the heavens and on earth. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Allaah Knows best.

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