Parity in living
by Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar
“And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51:49)
This Qur’anic ayah appears in the last fifth of Surat Adh-Dhariyat, which is a Makkan Surah that contains 60 ayahs. The main topic of the Surah is the Islamic creed.
Signs of creation in Surat Adh-Dhariyat:
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(1) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) swears by the winds that He employs to blow away and scatter dust and the role of that in the erosion of rocks, the leveling of the earth’s surface, the formation of the soil and the propagation of clouds; and which He employs to carry pollens and the role of that in the pollination of plants.
(2) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) also swears by the clouds that bear the heavy weight of water vapor and which He causes to fall as rain, according to His judgment and knowledge, where He wills, in the amount that He wills, at the time that He wills, as a mercy from Him or as a punishment and chastisement.
(3) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) also swears by the ships that easily float on the surface of the water. If it were not for the special properties that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) gave water, the ships would not have sailed on its surface so easily and gently.
(4) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) also swears by the angels that deliver Allah’s decrees in the universe, according to His divine orders and will. The angels carry the divine orders and execute them according to the will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) among His creatures and within the universe, in extreme precision and discipline. Moreover, although the angles are among the transcendental things that we cannot see their effect in the universe is undeniably perceived and cannot be ignored.
(5) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) swears by the heavens that are built according to precise laws and principles and which are full of pathways (orbits in which celestial bodies move), which are also built to precision, and whose parts are in perfect and masterful intactness and unity with one another and which have limitless variability in their density.
(6) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) confirms that the earth contains countless obvious signs of miraculous nature that serve to demonstrate Allah’s omnipotence, power and authority, which are recognized by those whose hearts are seeking faith with certainty, as He says, “And on the earth are signs for those who have Faith with certainty”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 20)
(7) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) confirms the countless miraculous signs in the creation of human beings as He says, “And signs within yourselves, can you not see?” (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 21)
(8) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) confirms the fact that what people have been promised (i.e. the truth that Allah has promised them) and their sustenance are all decided in the heavens and descend upon them, as He says, “And in the heaven is your provision, and that which you are promised”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 22)
(9) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) refers to the expansion of the universe, as He says, “With power did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are Able to expand the vastness of space thereof”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 47)
(10) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) refers to the paving and leveling of the earth’s surface, as He says, “And We have spread out the earth: how excellent a Spreader are We! (And how excellent was it prepared for life!)”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 48)
(11) Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) emphasizes that all creations are in pairs [that complement each other], as He says, “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 49)
Each of the above ayahs needs to be dealt with individually to be understood clearly. Since this is not possible in the scope of this article, I am therefore forced to focus the discussion on the last point of the above signs of creation; namely Allah’s (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) emphasis that all creations are in pairs [that complement each other], as He says, “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 49. Before starting, there is a need to examine the interpretations of this ayah by scholars of Qur’anic exegesis, classical and contemporary.
The interpretation of the following ayah by scholars:
“And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51:49)
Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) explained this ayah as follows: It means that all creatures are in pairs: heaven and earth, night and day, sun and moon, shore and sea, light and darkness, belief and disbelief, life and death, happiness and misery, paradise and hellfire, even animals and plants, and that is why Allah says, “… that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” i.e. for you to know that the Creator is One with no partner.
The book, Tafseer Al-Jalalain (may Allah have mercy on its authors), explains that, “And of everything” relates to the creation; “We have created pairs” two kinds like male and female, heaven and earth, sun and moon, valley and mountain, summer and winter, sweet and sour, light and darkness; “that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” that you may know that the Creator of the pairs is One, so worship Him alone.
In the book, Safwat al-Bayan (may Allah have mercy on its author), “parity” means two opposite kinds such as day and night, heaven and earth, guidance and straying away from the right path and from truth, etc.
The authors of Al-Muntakhab in the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an (may Allah reward its authors generously) explained the ayah as follows [as appears in the original Arabic-English Egyptian translated version of the book]: And of everything, spiritual, animate and inanimate, did We create pairs, complementing each other: night and day, positive and negative, love and aversion, rest and fatigue, mercy and punishment, sea and land, light and darkness, belief and disbelief, life and death, happiness and misery, heaven and hell, male and female, and so on. And when we come to the universe as a whole, there is He who complements it and sustains it, whereas He is One and He does not need anything to complement Him, that you people may hopefully ponder.
Scientific implications of this noble ayah
The ayah which can be translated as, “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)” (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 49) is an assertion of the rule of Parity in the creation of all beings, whether animate or inanimate. In other words, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has created everything in true pairs and this parity is manifested across the board in all created beings and things and at all levels: from elements composing matter to human beings and beyond to the units composing the universe. It is a characteristic signifying uniformity, harmony and congruity in creation and is an attestation to the absolute Oneness of the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), Oneness that affirms that the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is above all His creations. He is, as He describes His sublime Self to be, “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Al-Quran, Ash-Shura, 42: 11)
He also describes this sublime Self in the following ayah, that He ordered the seal of His prophets (Peace be upon him) and consequently every believer to repeat as often as possible: “Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): “He is Allah, (the) One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need (while He is in need of no one). He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (Al-Quran, Al-Ikhlas, 112: 1-4)
This Parity in creation, which attests to the Oneness of the Creator, demonstrates itself in the following stages:
1. Parity in all
2. Parity in reproductive cells (gametes): (ovum) and sperm;
3. Parity in the male sperm that contains either a male or female sex chromosome;
4. Parity in chromosomes that are present inside the nucleus of a living cell;
5. Parity in genes that carry heredity information and which are located on every chromosome from these ones.
6. Parity in nucleic acid structure;
7. How the four nitrogenous bases that build the (” steps”) of the DNA connect together in a parity.
8. Parity in how the deoxyribose molecule (organic) is linked with the phosphate molecule (non-organic) to form the (“sides”) of a DNA molecule;
9. Parity in the building of amino acids in both its forms: right-handed isomers and left-handed isomers;
10. Parity in proteins and anti –proteins.
11. Parity in the molecule by its two parts positive (cat ions) and negative (anions);
12. Parity in the atom and its nucleus which has a positive charge and its electrons which have a negative charge;
13. Parity in particles and antiparticles – it means in existence and non- existence.
14. Parity in the primary units of the matter and its opposing elements;-it means in existence and non- existence.
15. Parity in matter and antimatter it means in existence and non- existence.
16. Parity in positive and negative energy charges;
17. Parity in matter and energy, which are two sides of the same coin and two forms of the same essence that signifies the Oneness of the Great Creator.
Anyone who contemplates the universe can go on and on infinitely proving the truth about parity that exists in every aspect of the universe, whether big or small. Thus being an attestation to the absolute Oneness of Allah, the Creator, and only Him. No associate or partner shares this attribute (of Oneness) with Allah, nor does anyone contend with Him for it. It is an attribute of the One and Only, the Absolute, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, while He is in need of no one, He begets not, nor was He begotten and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
To fully explain the above pattern of parity, each point would need to be dealt with in a separate article. Therefore, I will only choose a few examples of them in the following analysis:
I. Parity in living organisms:
Humans and animals reproduce by mating of a male and a female, which is known as sexual reproduction. In most cases, the male and female exist separately from one another (i.e. in separate individuals). However, in some simple animals, the male and female reproductive cells are found in the same individual, which give the male type of cell to another individual.
In sexual reproduction, fertilization can occur either inside the body or outside it. In simpler animal organisms reproduction occurs through binary division, budding, fragmentation, and creation of colonies or through virgin reproduction (without fertilization). This is all known as asexual reproduction. A single animal can sometimes alternate between sexual and asexual reproduction during its life cycle.
Through our knowledge of Parity in elements and particles we can maintain with high certainty that some form of pair pattern takes place in asexual reproduction.
In plants, parity clearly appears in plants that produce flowers, which constitute more than a quarter of a million species. The flowers of these plants, which are produced through the blossoming of their buds, carry the reproductive organs made of male & female cells. These organs could be present in one flower, in two different flowers in the same plant or there could be male and female kinds of the same plant.
Fertilization in flowering plants leads to the production of seeds. Every seed contain the zygote of the new plant and an amount of stored food reserve for it given by the greatest Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). The seeds are usually contained in the fruit or are the fruit itself.
Non-flowering plants, however, reproduce both sexually and asexually through two phases of one life-cycle known as the alteration of generations. In its first phase, the plant produces both male and female gametes. The male gamete separates and is transferred through watery media to reach a female gamete to pollinate and fertilize it by uniting with it. In the second phase, the plant produces reproductive cells called haploid gametes which dispersed from the plant that is carrying after maturity, and grow in a suitable environment into a new plant.
II. Parity in male & female reproductive cells (sperms and ova):
Allah, the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) endowed the body of a sexually mature male the ability to produce male gametes known as sperms. Likewise, He endowed the body of a sexually mature female the ability to produce female gametes known as (ovum). When a pair of these gametes unites, it produces a zygote (nutfa amshaj). By the will of Allah, when the zygote is implanted in the wall of the uterus it undergoes cell division and the new baby comes into formation.
III. Parity inside the male gamete (sperm) itself:
Every sperm contains one of two sex chromosomes, either an X sex chromosome that represents the female or a Y sex chromosome that represents the male. An ovum can contain only an X sex chromosome. If the sperm that fertilizes the ovum contains a Y sex chromosome then, by Allah’s Will, the baby will be a boy, having a pair (XY) of sex chromosomes. However, if the fertilizing sperm contains an X sex chromosome then, by Allah’s Will, the baby will be a girl, having a pair (XX) of sex chromosomes. Therefore, parity is clearly also present inside the male gamete itself, besides the fact that there are male and female gametes.
IV. Parity in the chromosomes themselves:
Chromosomes are found inside the living cell nucleus in the form of string-like structures that are intertwined and packed in a substance called chromatin. These create the granular or net-like appearance of the nucleus. Chromosomes are primarily composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which carries the genetic code of the cell, as well as being composed of proteins in roughly proportionate amounts. Each chromosome (whose number is one of the factors determining its type) is composed of two strings that are held together at a point called the centromere, which is a small point that has a determined location on every chromosome. Its location is sometimes close to the middle of the two strings and in most cases close to one of their two edges. This is one of the incredible representations of Parity in creation.
V. Parity in genes (which carry hereditary information):
Genes are distributed along each chromosomal strand in the form of individual segments of DNA. They are found in clear pairs, because one allele (one member of a pair of genes) comes to the embryo from the father and the other allele comes form the mother.
VI, VII, VIII. Parity in the structure of DNA and in the structure of its steps and sides:
Each DNA molecule is structured in the form that is known as the double helix, which can be structurally described as a twisted ladder. The “sides” of this ladder which are composed of deoxyribose sugar and phosphate groups demonstrate parity (in how the sugars and phosphate groups are alternately linked). Furthermore, the “steps” of the ladder, which are each composed of two out of four nitrogenous bases, demonstrate Parity in how they pair with each other. The four nitrogenous bases that make up the steps are: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The first two bases always pair with one another and the latter two always pair with one another. Each of the bases lines up perfectly with its pair but not with any other base. Each pair of nitrogenous bases is attached to a pair made up of a sugar and a phosphate group composing deoxyribonucleotides, which are the units making up DNA. This proves how everything from the smallest to the largest unit is created in pairs.
IX, X. Parity in the structures of amino acids and proteins:
Amino acids are the building blocks of the various protein molecules, which make up the bodies of living organisms. Amino acids in most cases dissolve in water. In its crystallized form, an amino acid is very optically active due to its molecule being composed of a central carbon atom © bonded to four different groups: amino group (NH2), carboxyl group (COOH), one of 20 different ® groups, and a hydrogen atom (H). Therefore, the amino acid molecule is asymmetrical and these four groups rotate around the carbon atom. This means that the amino group can be found at different positions with regards to the carboxyl group. Due to the resulting asymmetry of the amino acid molecule, amino acids exist in either of two forms: the ones that rotate plane polarized light to the right (known as a right-handed isomer), or those that rotate plane polarized light to the left (known as a left-handed isomer). [Isomers are compounds having the same molecular formula but different arrangements of atoms in the molecule].
It has been proven that amino acids in the bodies of all living organisms (plants, animals and humans) are all left-handed isomers.
When the organism dies, the amino acids in its remnants start to re-arrange the atoms inside their molecules from being left-handed to being right handed, in fixed rates, until both left and right-handed molecules are present in equal amounts. Such a mixture of a pair of optical isomers with the same number of molecules is known as a racemic mixture. A racemic mixture cannot rotate plane polarized light [as both right and left-handed rotations cancel each other out], however it represents Parity in its narrowest form.
The proportion of right-handed to left-handed forms in one amino acid in the remnants of a plant, animal or human can be used to determine the exact moment of death, with very high accuracy.
There are 20 known types of protein building amino acids, each of which is in a clear pair. Through bonding of the 20 types of amino acids, more than a million types of proteins can be built. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has given the living cell the ability to produce 200,000 types of proteins. Similarly to the above mentioned structures, each protein molecule can exist in a right-handed or left-handed form. In the bodies of all living organisms the proteins have a left-handed form.
Similarly, nucleotides found on chromosomes, which are the smallest units that compose deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), have right-handed and left-handed forms. In the bodies of living organisms they are found in their left-handed form.
Increasing in structure size, each protein has its antiprotein and each body has its antibody. In addition, there are constructive proteins and destructive proteins.
XI – XVII. Parity in matter and its compounds:
Parity is clearly evident in compounds which are composed of positive ions (cations) and negative ions (anions). Pairs can also be detected in the structure of an atom, where its nucleus has a positive charge and its electrons that revolve around the nucleus have an equivalent negative charge.
It has been proven that matter is composed of about 30 types of primarily chemical elements, each of which has its corresponding antimatter element. Similarly, particles of matter have their corresponding antiparticles. Matter as a whole has its corresponding antimatter. If a thing meets with its opposite (for example: every time a particle collides with an antiparticle) they annihilate each other, because they lose their material nature and are converted into energy, which declares the annihilation of matter. This brings closer the understanding of existence and non-existence; and the power to make something exist from a state of non-existence (i.e. to create without a previous model) or the power to annihilate to non-existence. Nothing has these powers except Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), the Creator. In the same way, each form of energy has its opposite: electricity has positive and negative charges and magnetism has periods of normal magnetism and periods of reversed magnetism. Even light has clear parity, as it sometimes moves in the form of waves and other times in the form of particles.
It has also been proven that matter and energy are two sides of the same coin and two forms of the same essence that indicates the Oneness of the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). The creation of elements in the form of pairs, their conversion into energy that also takes the form of pairs and the ability to convert energy back to its material state, confirms the truth that creation was initiated from a state of non-existence and confirms the possibility of annihilating it back to a state of non-existence.
We can detect Parity in all forms of creation, beginning from its smallest to its largest units. This is in such a way that the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) continues to possess, Him and Him alone, the attribute of Oneness rising above all of His creation. Furthermore, the standardized building pattern in creation signifies the Oneness of the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).
In other words, each particle of an atom has its antiparticle and all of particles and antiparticles compose matter and antimatter; and antiparticles possess opposite properties to their corresponding particles, including opposite electrical charges, magnetism and rotational direction. Accordingly, whenever any or all of these opposites are found in one place, they annihilate each other.
Glory be to Allah Who created creation in clear pairs that bear witness to His complete Divinity and Oneness, raised above all of His creation. Glory be to Allah Who created matter and antimatter and energy and anti-energy. Glory be to Him Who created all of these opposites at the same time and in the same amount, to prove to us the reality of creation from a state of non-existence, and the possibility of annihilation to a state of non-existence!
Glory be to Allah Who separated matter and antimatter to allow for the existence of this vast, intricately built universe, the movement of which is masterfully perfected; anything that pertains to it is perfectly regulated and it is built according to one pattern that attests to the Creator’s (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) Oneness.
Glory be to Allah, who kept antimatter hidden somewhere in his realm until, if He wishes to annihilate the universe, He brings together matter and antimatter with His order “Be!” and it will be; and if He wishes, He resurrects everything by separating matter and antimatter again, through an order “Be!” and it will be.
Glory be to Allah, Who affirmed this sign of creation and said, “And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (and hopefully ponder)”. (Al-Quran, Adh-Dhariyat, 51: 49)
This scientific truth has only been discovered by man in the last decades of the twentieth century. Its appearance in Allah’s Book (the Qur’an) that was revealed to the seal of His prophets (PEACE BE UPON HIM) 1400 years ago, proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Noble Qur’an contains the words of Allah, the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), and affirms the Prophethood of Mohamed Ibn Abd-Allah, (blessings and peace from Allah be upon him, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance and invoke by his invocations until the Day of Judgment).
All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer