Monday, May 13, 2013

The Land of the Prophets - The Lowest Point on earth

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Surah Rum 30:1-4
Alif, Lam, Mim.
The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will be victorious within three to nine years.
The affair is Allah's from beginning to end.
On that day, the believers will rejoice. (Qur'an, 30:1-4)

These verses were revealed around 620, almost 7 years after the Persians had severely defeated Christian Byzantium in 613-14. In fact, Byzantium had suffered such heavy losses that it seemed impossible for it even to survive, let alone be victorious again. Following their defeat of the Byzantines at Antioch in 613, the Persians seized control of Damascus, Cilicia, Tarsus, Armenia, and Jerusalem. The loss of Jerusalem in 614 was particularly traumatic for the Byzantines, for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed and the Persians seized the "True Cross," the symbol of Christianity. The emperor of Byzantinne at the time is Emperor Heraclius. He scrambled to regain strength and money to defend what was left. Gold, silver and bronze of statues are melted down to fund for the army. Many governors had revolted against Heraclius, and Byzantium was on the point of collapse. Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia, which had earlier belonged to Byzantium, were invaded by the Persians.

Everyone was expecting Byzantium to be destroyed. But during this time, the first verses of Surat ar-Rum were revealed, announcing that Byzantium would triumph in 3 to 9 years. This predicted victory seemed so impossible that the Arab polytheists thought it would never come true.

In 622, Heraclius gained a number of victories over the Persians and conquered Armenia.177 In December 627, the two empires fought a decisive battle at Nineveh, some 50 kilometres east of the Tigris river, near Baghdad. This time too, the Byzantine army defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to sue for peace with Byzantium, which obliged them to return the territories they had taken from it.

The Byzantine victory was completed when Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persian ruler Khosrow II in 630, recaptured Jerusalem, and regained the "True Cross" for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.179 In the end, "the victory of the Romans" proclaimed by Allah in the Qur'an miraculously came true within the verses' stated "three to nine years" time frame.

An interesting geographical fact that could not have been known by anyone at that time: that the Romans had been defeated in the lowest region of Earth. This Arabic expression adna al-Ard is interpreted as "a nearby place" in many translations. However, this is not the literal meaning, but rather a figurative interpretation. The word adna, derived from the word dani (low), means “the lowest”. The word ard means “the world.” Therefore, adna al-ard means "the lowest place on Earth." The Dead Sea, one of the regions in which the Byzantines were defeated in 613-14, is the lowest region on Earth.

The Byzantines and the Persians actually fought at the Dead Sea basin, which is situated at the intersection point of the lands belonging to Syria, Palestine, and Jordan. At 399 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the "lowest" place on Earth's surface.

Also the day the the Romans won was the day that the Muslims won the Battle of Badr. The battle that is the pivot point for the Muslims onwards. And that is why in Surah Rum, Allah says the believers will rejoice. Not for the victory of the Romans but for their victory which was really against all odds.

Sadaqallahul Adzim
Indeed Allah has said the truth.

Do you know that Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. When we were in Jordan, most places are cold below 10 but after passing Mount Nebo and driving towards the Dead Sea, the temperature increases to 20+. The salinity at 31 which is 9 times the ocean. Is it the high salinity? the low level it is at?

Anyway just some info, dead sea is also losing its water. the river that goes into Dead Sea is drying up. Some naturally, some are diverted to farms and residential. Not to mention, Jordan is also facing water problem in general.

They are thinking of bringing pipleline of water from the Red sea into teh Dead Sea. from red to Dead. Would that affect the salinity and mineral contents it used to have? All the time they get freshwater from the river.

What impact would it give to the surrounding area if there is no Dead Sea. Tourism will be affected for sure. Weather also maybe, perhaps pulling the temperature of Jordan and Occupied Palestine lower.

Allah knows best.

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