Nuclear Warfare in the Quran and its Grim Effects

Instead of cooperating towards a collective and compete global disarmament of these weapons, research had gone forward to create ever more sophisticated and powerful nuclear missiles, designed to destroy at an unprecedented scale.
Instead of cooperating towards a collective and compete global disarmament of these weapons, research had gone forward to create ever more sophisticated and powerful nuclear missiles, designed to destroy at an unprecedented scale.

آگ ہے پر آگ سے وہ سب بچائے جائیں گے

جو کہ رکھتے ہیں خدائے ذو العجائب سے پیار

“There shall be fire, but all shall be saved from it who possess the love of God, the wonder of wonders.”

The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"

Without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest danger to the future of humanity at present is the potential use of nuclear weapons. Midnight on the doomsday clock indicates an apocalypse and in light of the worrisome situation of the world today, this threat looms ever near. In the wise words of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper", the state of today’s world is “Precarious” and “of huge concern”. Many new issues have especially arisen since the dawn of the twenty-first century and relations between numerous countries are deteriorating rapidly as time passes. The simple truth is that war is on the horizon

“The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty— ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”

Throughout the history of man, wars have always occurred. From the Stone Age to the 21st century, weapons have also evolved. However, the 20th century witnessed the most brutal and inhumane weapon coming into the limelight – the nuclear bomb. Now millions could be wiped away at the push of a trigger. In the following few pages, a few verses from the Holy Qur’an will be presented in relation to nuclear weapons and an explanation on the effects of a detonation on human society and the environment.

1400 years ago, at a time when the concept of a nuclear bomb could not be thought of even in the wildest dreams of an Arab, Allah revealed a Surah rich of explicit prophecies of the effects of nuclear warfare. These verses speak of tiny particles which contain inconceivable repositories of energy so much so that they have been likened to the fire of Allah. Allah the Almighty states:

وَيْلٌ لِكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُمَزَةٍ الَّذِي جَمَعَ مَالًا وَعَدَّدَهُ يَحْسَبُ أَنَّ مَالَهُ أَخْلَدَهُ كَلَّا لَيُنْبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحُطَمَةُ نَارُ اللَّهِ الْمُوقَدَةُ الَّتِي تَطَّلِعُ عَلَى الْأَفْئِدَةِ إِنَّهَا عَلَيْهِمْ مُؤْصَدَةٌ فِي عَمَدٍ مُمَدَّدَةٍ

“Woe to every backbitter, slanderer, Who amasses wealth and counts it time after time. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. Nay! he shall surely be cast into the crushing punishment. And what should make thee know what the crushing punishment is? It is Allahs kindled fire, Which rises over the hearts. It will be closed in on them In the form of extended columns”

The Holy Quran (104:2-10)

The first few verses shed light on a few traits which, in this day and age, many economically developed countries have a lot in common. Many in these countries lead extremely successful lives and accumulate money in millions. However, they refrain from spending it for the betterment of mankind, instead holding it to themselves and spending it for seemingly captivating worldly pleasures. However these people would eventually be thrown into the “Hotamah” or in other words, Allah’s kindled fire.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them" has, for the first time, in Revelation Rationality Knowledge and Truth, shed light upon how the word “Hotamah” refers to the nuclear weapons of this day and age. Huzoor rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them" states: “Authentic Arabic dictionaries describe حُطَمَة as possessing two root meanings; first, حطم, which means to ‘pulverize into extremely small particles’, and the second حِطْمَة,ِ which means ‘the smallest insignificant particle’. Thus حِطْمَة is the result obtained by breaking something down to its smallest parts. The two meanings just mentioned can rightfully be applied to any extremely minute particle which has reached the limits of its divisible potential. As the concept of the atom had not been born fourteen hundred years ago, the nearest substitute to it could only be حُطَمَة which also sounds intriguingly close to atom.”

A long time ago, the idea of a person being thrown into a tiny particle, as punishment, would have seemed absurd. However, since the secretly held Manhattan project in America in which America, shortly after developing this ultimate weapon, utilised it against Japan in WW2, it would not seem to be so farfetched. It is now widely understood that atoms, which make up all matter in the universe, have within themselves an enormous amount of energy within the nucleus which strongly holds the various parts of the nucleus together. When atoms are split, a gigantic amount of energy is released. In order to expound on the Quranic prophecy, a brief scientific outline is required of how this occurs:

Radioactive elements like uranium and plutonium are normally utilised in nuclear reactions because, unlike other elements, they are already unstable and as a result release plenty of energy through radioactivity. They also have larger nuclei. This means that they are easier splittable and tend to release energy on a far greater scale, in comparison to other elements. In fact, splitting 1 gram of Uranium 235 produces the same amount of energy as burning 3 tons of coal. When radioactive atoms such as these are split, it leads directly to a process called fission.

This process is briefly as follows: Neutrons are fired into the nucleus of the atom which then break down into smaller nuclei. At the same time, the breakdown of nuclei releases more neutrons which hit the nuclei, breaking them smaller and smaller. This chain reaction repeats itself over and over again. Throughout the whole process of nuclei breaking down, a lot of energy is released. This energy is harnessed for either nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons.

This was exactly what occurred when “little boy” was dropped on Hiroshima. Yet since that truly tragic day, instead of cooperating towards a collective and compete for global disarmament of these weapons, research had gone forward to create ever more sophisticated and powerful nuclear missiles, designed to destroy at an unprecedented scale. Thermonuclear bombs or hydrogen bombs are dozens if not hundreds of times more destructive in measure than atomic bombs. In Hiroshima, nuclear fission was only used but in thermonuclear blasts, nuclear fission is used as the trigger for a much bigger explosion, named nuclear fusion. For fusion to occur it requires the heat of fission and when it does, a tremendous amount of energy is released by joining the nuclei of hydrogen atoms together. The amalgamation of fission and fusion has resulted in an arsenal capable of wreaking unimaginable devastation across the face of the earth.

Nuclear Bomb "little boy"
“Little Boy” first ever Nuclear Bomb dropped on Hiroshima

Nuclear fusion is exactly how the sun produces energy from which we can enjoy a good summers day outdoors. However if a situation arises which we ought to pray never does, “playing with fire” would be a figure of speech no more but in reality, humans would literally be flinging the fire of the sun at one another.

So far, no thermonuclear weapon has been directed against a nation in an act of war although testing does occur occasionally. Countries adore flexing their muscles at rivals the way the USA and Russia did during the Cold War. Although they were both involved in an arms race with both eagerly showing how powerful their own arsenal was, none dared to fire a missile at the other.

The largest and most powerful thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb ever tested has to be the “Tsar bomba”, the king of the bombs, by Russia on October 30, 1961. It was said to be 1400 times as powerful as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined. The second characteristic of this fire is that it would leap on the hearts of men; meaning it would be a fire, unlike other fires, killing by launching an assault on the heart first, which is the primary organ upon which the body is dependent on, before the body. Today’s science gives us a clear explanation of how this occurs. In the blast itself, many types of radiation are released such as x-rays and gamma rays. X-rays are mainly responsible for the heat which incinerates and devours anything and everything in its path. But the gamma rays which move at the speed of light are much faster. It is the vibration of these rays which instantly turn off a person’s heart before the X rays can create the heat to burn up the body.

It is now intended to turn to the crux of the essay – the effects. This can be divided into two parts; the immediate and the aftermath. The most obvious and immediate effect noticeable is the sheer scale of the loss of life and the absolute destruction at the actual event of the blast. The reason why nuclear weapons come under the category of “weapons of mass destruction” is that they simply have it within themselves to incinerate masses in a split second and wipe out multitudes in the aftermath. What conventional weapons can achieve in a few months is an instantaneous occurrence with the launch of a nuclear warhead. This is why they are so deadly. One strike can degrade and cripple the economy and financial hub of a country and bring it collapsing to its knees.

Also, however much the bomber may not want to bomb civilians and instead target military centres and soldiers, such a situation will be an impossibility because nuclear blasts do not distinguish between whom is who. And civilian casualties will naturally be profoundly high in densely packed areas because urban areas tend to always be more populated than rural, as people go there to earn a living.

The level of destruction depends on the distance from the centre of the blast, known as the hypocentre. Near the hypocentre, everything is vaporized as temperatures exceed millions of degrees Celsius. At a certain distance from the hypocentre, depending on the power of the bomb, people die from burns caused by the scalding heat. Buildings collapse due to the shock waves and heat and bits of rubble flying about also results in injuries and death. A bit further on, the heat causes fires to erupt in unexpected places and widespread fires occur, much like wildfire.

Mushroom cloud
Height of the mushroom cloud of a nuclear bomb

The effects of the aftermath of the explosion will also lead to huge repercussions on mankind and the environment in which we live. Much of the secondary effects would occur as a result of a plethora of radioactivity fallout. The ominous mushroom cloud of a blast, which most have seen images of, is a cloud unlike any other; a cloud that is the source of suffering.

The Quran describes such a deadly radioactive cloud of the future in the following words:

‘Now move towards what you have been denying, ‘Move on towards a threepronged shadow, ‘Neither affording shade, nor protecting from the blaze.’ It throws up flames like huge castles, As though the castles were dusky yellow camels.

The Holy Quran (77:30-34)

Clouds normally stand between us and the harmful rays of the sun. They protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays or the heat of the sun. They are a means of shade which is particularly noticeable and understandable if you happen to be a Bedouin Arab in the barren deserts of Arabia. However, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them", expounding on this verse, has stated that man will “move towards” an age when he will have to confront a cloud that gives neither shade nor protection because of his bad deeds. The cloud would, rather, be the origin of the torment of the fire of God, as named previously.

In another chapter, Allah states regarding this cloud:

So watch thou for the day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, that will envelop the people. This will be a painful torment.

The Holy Quran (44:11-12)

Radioactivity is very harmful to human health and the environment. The tragic explosion at the Chernobyl power station led to 5 million people being exposed to radiation in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, there had been a large increase in thyroid cancer among children in the affected areas. This just goes to show how hazardous it is. As soon as the bomb explodes, radiation gradually starts to spread, often with the assistance of unruly weather. Much of the deadly material falls back down to the site of the explosion but some travel high up into the atmosphere and eventually end up in distant lands. The range of where and how far the radiation spreads depends on mainly the weather conditions, the height at which the bomb was dropped and the power and design of the bomb itself. From thereon it may enter any place and prove detrimental for many things. For instance, the water supply from which people drink.

As for the medical effects of radiation on people, they vary with the amount coming in contact with the body and which parts of the body it affects. When exposed to certain levels, the body incurs radiation poisoning. Radiation is very damaging for the cells of the body, especially cells that are continuously dividing like hair, bone marrow, intestine, reproductive cells etc. Hair loss, loss of blood cells and white cells, a weakening of the immune system, vomiting and diarrhoea are a few things one has to face when even exposed to a small amount. When exposed to high levels, many are condemned to an early death and vital parts of the body to stop working. Moreover, a door to a host of cancers and occurrences of deformed births is opened because cells are most affected.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper", writing to many world leaders, has warned them against a destructive war that could lead to such a situation. Writing to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, Huzoor abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" informed him that the brighter futures of our generations can only be guaranteed if everybody tries their best to extinguish the flames of hatred. However, if the governments of the world, who have the power to make a change, do not act, dire consequences are inevitable. In the same ٰletter, Huzoor abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" states:

“However, if we fail in this task, there should be no doubt in our minds that as a result of nuclear warfare, our future generations everywhere will have to bear the horrific consequences of our actions and they will never forgive their elders for leading the world into a global catastrophe.”

On the other hand, a full-scale nuclear war would most definitely not improve the environmental affairs of planet earth. More than anything, it would lead to a series of unfortunate events from which all living things on our big blue earth will have to suffer, not to mention the deterioration and destruction of scenic landscapes.

In the aftermath, when a series of blasts would occur and due to firestorms, millions of tonnes of soot, ash and black smoke would rise up into the atmosphere and spread to distant places. As a result, sunlight levels reaching the earth would be reduced to a dramatic degree. Global temperatures would drop and lead to a host of worries and issues across the earth. Many have named such a sinister effect as a “nuclear winter”. According to Wikipedia, as of 2016, the nuclear arsenal of the United States alone is capable of producing a deep nuclear winter by releasing so much soot in the atmosphere that global temperatures would go down by 10 degrees for a few years.

The sunlight is what drives life. When the climate temperatures plummet, plants and animals in different habitats will be unable to survive. Both predator and prey will die away and starvation would be common among people. Tiny changes in temperature cause negative effects. For example, when water temperatures rise, corals decrease which lead to a decrease in other marine animals that depend on these reefs for survival. Now let the imagination wander into how destructive a nuclear winter could be. Today, the United Nations tries to raise awareness of global warming but evades the fact that in reality, nuclear weapons are the greatest environmental danger to the planet from humans, not global warming. Professor Alan Roback, an American climatologist at the Rutgers University, New Jersey states:

“Global warming is a problem and we certainly should address it but in 20 years, the temperature might go up by a few tenths of a degree and it will be gradual. We’ll be able to adapt from some of it. But the climate change from even the small nuclear war we postulated would be instantaneous and such a shock to the system”.

What’s more, with the reduction of animal and plant population and reduction in crop growth and rainfall, humanity would have to encounter mass starvation and famine. It would be inevitable that humanity would have to face all the consequences as a result. The second issue we would have to face would be that landscapes would be rendered inhabitable for a very long period because they would have been polluted by deadly radiation. Most of the particles of radiation would decay and disappear. Nevertheless, they would be certain spots of land which would be contaminated by long-living radiation particles which could stay there for many many years to come. The only answer to radiation contamination is for humans to spend billions for the clean-up and even then, the radioactive material will not be gone; it will merely be stored in a “safe place”, maybe underground until it decays.

Various countries across the globe are spending a huge amount of their defence budget on the production and constant maintenance of these weapons. In our country alone, in 2015, the defence secretary Michal Fallon described £25 billion to refurbish the trident programme (the submarines in which the UK keeps their nuclear warheads) as “a price well worth paying to keep this country safe”.

The money could instead be redirected towards more sustainable and healthy aims which would boost the economies of countries and support less well off people.

On August 6th and 9th of 1945, the people of Japan witnessed two once populated and vibrant cities, bustling with human activity and infrastructure, transformed into barren and desolate wastelands when the American Air Force dropped two bombs, obscenely named “fat man” and “little boy” on the cities, reducing them to crumbling remains of worn out buildings and dust.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima’s painful tale still lives on. On a special reception at the Hilton Hotel in Tokyo 23 November 2015, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" stated:

“Your nation of Japan had to contend with the most horrific devastation and grief imaginable when hundreds of thousands of your citizens were mercilessly killed and two of your cities were demolished and destroyed in nuclear attacks that shamed humanity.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivering a speech in Tokyo, Japan
Beloved Huzoor abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" delivering a speech in Tokyo 2015

The issue of the pros and cons of possessing warheads has been fiercely debated over many years. People in the motion for keeping them argue their case for the same reason as people who argue against them. Survival is at stake. But the main thing which those against state is that it is something to be used “as a last resort” and as a “deterrence”. Meaning that two countries that have deteriorating relations will refrain from attacking one another as they can both expect a retaliatory response, thus maintaining peace. Besides the fact that this excuse is based solely on enmity and mistrust, in today’s world, when moral standards are dropping, people are distancing themselves from the purpose of their creation and when international tensions are increasing, this clearly cannot be guaranteed. Huzoor Aqdas abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper", in the same speech regarding the matter stated:

“Whilst perhaps the major powers keep nuclear weapons as a deterrent, there is no guarantee that the smaller countries will show such restraint. We cannot take it for granted that they will never use nuclear weapons.”

Moreover, the likelihood of terrorists laying their hands on them is probable and they would prize this weapon above others as a means of getting what they want.

On 18 October 2013, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad abaabbreviation for "May Allah be his helper" officially opened the ‘Khilafat Centenary Hall’, built next to the Bay’atul Huda Mosque in Sydney, at the inauguration he said:

“The state of the world today is clearly indicating that we are on the brink of an extremely dangerous global war. Such a war will include countries that possess nuclear weapons and whose leaders are trigger happy and do not care about the horrific consequences of their acts.”

Since the development, millions would be compelled to endure misery. This is why Einstein, who played a role in the development of the bomb, is reported to have said:

“If only I had known, I would have become a watchmaker”

For he had realised that he had helped open a Pandora’s Box which would be tremendously difficult to shut, if not impossible. And he was completely right. Superpowers and later on smaller powers exploited this opportunity to develop bombs designed to kill on a scale unparalleled to any other weapon in history. Worldly desire and concern only to fulfil one’s own benefit, a lack of trust and love for one another, a lust for power, jealousy and hatred were some of the factors and the driving force behind the dispersal and development of such ghastly weapons. Since Hiroshima, the world now possesses approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons, 95% of which are owned by the USA and Russia. Unfortunately, altogether, these have it within themselves to destroy the world many times over. According to some sources, an alarming figure of around 1800 is on high alert and ready for use on short notice. We undoubtedly live in extremely precarious times, especially when relations between superpowers are fast changing from casual friendship to enmity, in light of the recent Syrian crisis. The Quran prophesies a time when the superpowers of the world would clash with one another.

وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَمُوجُ فِي بَعْضٍ وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَجَمَعْنَاهُمْ جَمْعًا وَعَرَضْنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَرْضًا

“And on that day, we shall leave some of them to surge against others, and the trumpet shall blown. Than shall we gather them altogether. And on that day we shall present hell, face to face, to the disbelievers”

The Holy Quran (18:100-101)

Although a time of doom looms close and if and when it does, all will not be lost. Mankind will not be eliminated; rather it is the superpowers of the modern era who will be brought to their knees. They and their pride will be shattered as the Quran so emphatically prophesied 1400 years ago:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنْسِفُهَا رَبِّي نَسْفًا فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعًا صَفْصَفًا لَا تَرَى فِيهَا عِوَجًا وَلَا أَمْتًا

And they ask thee concerning the mountains. Say my Lord will break them into pieces and scatter them as dust; and he will leave them a barren, level plain; Wherein thou wilt see no depression or elevation.

The Holy Quran (20:106-108)

At the time of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", “mountains” referred to the powers of the time such as the roman and Persian empires and history is witness to the fact that the empires slowly disintegrated. But this is also a prophecy of the future, today’s future when superpowers have gained tremendous strength in every way. Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad rhabbreviation for "May Allah have mercy on him/her/them" has written that after this event, the people having lost their pride will be fit to believe in the messenger of God. Innocent lives are wasted away in a nuclear blast. Nothing justifies the unjust killing of a single person, let alone the elimination of millions simultaneously. Allah the Almighty states:

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا

“Whosoever killed a person – unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all of mankind.”

The Holy Quran (5:33)

Neither can nuclear weapons provide national security in such unstable times. It will certainly be eventually employed to serve the best interests of a nation and after a single detonation, many more will be brought about.

It is important to know that the existence of such weapons and such tension is due to a worldwide degradation in morality. The beautiful pristine teachings of Islam in the blessed era of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", where the rights to God and man were fulfilled in the most complete form, is today regrettably almost non-existent. This is the cause of overwhelming selfishness where countries, far from caring for their deprived neighbours, only focus on their personal vested interests. A century ago, the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" had predicted colossal wars in which “death and destruction would rain” from the sky and “the heaven would attack with a drawn sword”. Today, these prophecies are close to being translated into reality yet again but on another dimension. When comprehension would dawn on what would be about to occur, people according to the Quran would cry out:

رَبَّنَا اكْشِفْ عَنَّا الْعَذَابَ إِنَّا مُؤْمِنُونَ

“Our lord, remove from us the torment, truly we are believers.”

The Holy Quran (44:13)


This article was originally published in the Annual Printed Edition of Majallatul Jamia

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