The Land - Sea ratio
May God forgive me and guide me regarding any sign that would have been misinterpreted in this study and elsewhere. May He always guide us to a better understanding of His profound scripture so we can purify ourselves and increase our knowledge.
One of the most famous scientific miracles in the world of Islam is how the Quran acknowledges precisely the Land/Sea ratio on planet Earth thanks to the masterly distribution of the words “Land” and “Sea” throughout the Holy Book of Islam, confirming what modern science has estimated through geographical studies and more recently via satellite imagery.
The primary purpose of this short article is to provide the exact detail regarding this profound phenomenon, as it is most of the time not explained in detail wherever it is mentioned, especially on the internet, which allows lots of people to deny it either because of lack of knowledge, relying on the wrong data, or because of lack of sincerity. In the process of verifying this extraordinary scientific aspect of the Quran, an additional astounding phenomenon has been discovered, which amazingly and further confirms what was initially witnessed. By the end of this study, everyone will be able to verify directly the veracity of the claim based on what we believe are unquestionable facts.
The last section of this article will insist on the fact that the Quran is a prophetic book which contains the details of future events, and we will show that the Quran seems to take into account the future variation of sea levels over the remaining life of planet Earth. We will give our opinion about the potential rise of sea levels before the End of the World in the light of precise Quranic observations.
Table of contents:
1. Definition of “Hydrosphere”.
2. Repartition of water and land over the surface of the Earth.
3. Distribution of the key words “Land” (بر = Barr) and “Sea” (بحر = bahr) throughout the Holy Quran.
3.1 “Land and “Sea”: Facts of the Quran.
3.2 A Quranic exception: When “Sea” actually means “Land”.
3.3 Land/Sea ratio based on word occurrence in the Quran.
3.4 Gematrical value calculation of the 13 occurrences of “land/dry Sea” and 32 occurrences of “Sea” as they are literally found in the Quranic text.
3.5 Land/Sea ratio based on gematrical values of all “Land”/”Sea” occurrences in the Quran.
4. Future sea levels prophesized by the Quran ?
4.1 The symbolic dimension of 20:77.
4.2 Calculation of the future Land/Sea ratio on Earth based on these observations.
1. Definition of “Hydrosphere”:
In Physical Geography, one of the definitions of the word “hydrosphere” is “the coverage of all the water on the surface of the Earth, including oceans, lakes, glaciers, etc…”
The word “Sea” (بحر = “Bahr”) in Arabic is remarkably ideal to define the concept of “hydrosphere” because it it means “sea”, as well as “ocean”, “lake”, “river” and “stream”, whether the water is saline or not. The word “Bahr” in a wide sense simply reflects all substancial amounts of water that cover planet Earth.
2. Repartition of water and land over the surface of the Earth:
“The abundance of water on the Earth's surface is a unique feature that distinguishes the "Blue Planet" from others in the Solar System…About 70.8% of the surface is covered by water (Source: Pidwirny, Michael, 2006: "Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition) ... The remaining 29.2% not covered by water consists of mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, and other geomorphologies.” (quoted from Wikipedia 2011).
Remark: In the Encyclopedia Britannica published in 1910-1911, Geographs had already estimated the Land/Sea ratio as 29%/71%, more exactly 29.18%/70.82% based on the exact data they provided in the Encyclopedia, so we can say that the Land/Sea ratio is known pretty accurately for at least about a century.
If we average the above figures, we get a 29/71% repartition between Land and Water on our planet. Over the past 14 centuries, only tiny variations regarding that repartition have occurred due to accidental floods, human interference like the creation of artificial lakes, drying up of areas by diverting streams and rivers, or minor climatic change. No major climatic change that would have largely affected the Earth’s hydrosphere and ocean levels has occurred so far on our planet since the Quran was revealed in the early 7th century.
3. Distribution of the key words “Land” (بر = Barr) and “Sea” (بحر = bahr) throughout the Holy Quran
As usual every time an article is written on this website which involves counting words in the Quran, it is very important to precise that there is a specific way of counting words in Arabic, as only simple singular forms (or generic forms) are taken into account (unless we specifically deal with counting plurals). For instance, every time a possessive pronoun is attached to a word, it is discarded in the count since it is no more a simple form. This is the same consistent method which has already allowed to witness multiple scientific wonders in the Holy book of Islam, some very simple like the well known fact that the words “day” and “month” occur 365 and 12 times respectively, symbolizing a solar year cycle.
3.1 “Land and “Sea”: Facts of the Quran
- The simple singular form of the word “Land” (بر = barr) occurs exactly 12 times:
5:96 (1); 6:59 (1); 6:63 (1); 6:97 (1); 10:22 (1); 17:67 (1); 17:68 (1); 17:70 (1); 27:63 (1); 29:65 (1); 30:41 (1); 31:32 (1);
- The simple singular form of the word “Sea” (بحر = bahr) occurs exactly 33 times:
2:50 (1); 2:164 (1); 5:96 (1); 6:59 (1); 6:63 (1); 6:97 (1); 7:138 (1); 7:163 (1); 10:22 (1); 10:90 (1); 14:32 (1); 16:14 (1); 17:66 (1); 17:67 (1); 17:70 (1); 18:61 (1); 18:63 (1); 18:79 (1); 18:109 (2); 20:77 (1); 22:65 (1); 24:40 (1); 26:63 (1); 27:63 (1); 30:41 (1); 31:27 (1); 31:31 (1); 42:32 (1); 44:24 (1); 45:12 (1); 52:6 (1); 55:24 (1).
Let us point out here that the word “بر” (letters “B” and “R”) has several meanings aside from “Land” depending on how it is pronounced: It is a divine attribute (Al Barru), which means “Benign”; “Birrun” has several meanings for instance “piety”, “favor”, “Righteousness”, “Thoughtfulness”… The Quran is so precise when it comes to code mathematical miracles that it takes into account the precise meanings of words and even differentiates words written with the very same letters. Needless to say, only the 12 words meaning “Land” have been selected out of about 23 words written with the very same two letters “B” and “R”.
To be precise, the word “Bahr” (letters B + H + R) always has a meaning consistent with the hydrosphere of the earth throughout the Quranic text, whether it means “Sea”, “Ocean”, ”Lake”, “River”, etc…
3.2 A Quranic exception: When “Sea” actually means “Land”
Let us mention here a very specific feature regarding the distribution of the two words:
We are trying to determine if there is a correlation between the hydrosphere on Earth and the distribution of the words “Land” and “Sea” in the Quran. In one instance only, the word “Sea” is written in an unusual manner in the Quranic context because it means exactly the opposite of a physical “Sea”:
(20:77) And verily We inspired to Moses: "Travel by night with my servants and strike for them a path through the sea [that is] dry (البحر يبسا = al bahri yabasan); you shall not fear that you may be overtaken [by Pharaoh] and you shall not be afraid [while passing through the dry sea.]"
It is obvious that once we take into account the actual meaning of 20:77, “the sea [that is] dry” cannot possibly symbolize part of the Earth’s hydrosphere (Water coverage of the earth) since it does not account for the physical “Sea” that covers our planet. It refers on the contrary to the exact opposite, and it actually means “dry Land” not covered by the Sea in the Quranic context.
Bearing in mind this crucial distinction in the Quranic text, we are therefore logically going to include the expression “the sea that is dry” in 20:77 (البحر يبسا = al bahri yabasan) in the total count for the word “Land”:
After this “transfer” between “Sea” and “Land”, we are now left with 32 words “Sea” (instead of 33) where the word specifically refers to the “water coverage of the Earth”, and 12 occurrences of “Land” + the additional expression “the sea that is dry” (= 13 words/expression) which specifically refer to “land coverage of the Earth”.
3.3 Land/Sea ratio based on word occurrence in the Quran
Let us now establish the ratio of the 32 words “Sea” and 13 occurrences of “Land/Dry Sea” in relation with the 100% coverage of planet Earth which both words combined represent:
32 “Sea” + 13 “land/Dry Sea” = 45 = 100%
“Land/Dry Sea”: 13/45 x 100 = 28.8888…%
“Sea”: 32/45 x 100 = 71.1111…%
Remark: If we had not understood the necessity to include “Dry Sea” in the count of the word “land”, the ratio between “Land” and “Sea” would have been calculated as 26.67/73.33% and the real Land/Sea ratio as coded in the Quran would have gone unnoticed.
3.4 Gematrical value calculation of the 13 occurrences of “land/dry Sea” and 32 occurrences of “Sea” as they are literally found in the Quranic text
Each letter in Arabic has a mathematical or “gematrical value”, which has originally allowed Arabs to count before numbers as we know them today were created (See: http://www.islamrevolution.org/miracleof19.htm). Let us add the respective gematrical values of every occurrence of the words “Land/Dry Sea” and “Sea” in two separate groups, exactly as they are written every time they occur throughout the Quran:
- (1) 13 Occurrences of “Land/Dry Sea”:
Let us add every individual gematrical values:
233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 314 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 = 3110 = “Land/dry Sea” total gematrical value.
- (2) 32 Occurrences of “Sea”:
- The simple singular form of the word “Sea” (بحر = bahr) occurs exactly 32 times:
Let us add every individual gematrical values:
241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 482 + 241 + 210 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 = 7681 = “Sea” total gematrical value.
Remark: You can verify the accuracy of the above gematrical calculations directly from the Quranic verses in the appendix (tables 3 and 4).
3.5 Land/Sea ratio based on gematrical values of all “Land”/”Sea” occurrences in the Quran
Gematrical values of all 13 words “Land/Dry Sea” as written in Quranic verses: 3110
Gematrical values of all 32 words “Sea” as written in Quranic verses: 7681
Let us now establish the Earth coverage of 13 words “Land” and the 32 words “Sea” in accordance with the way all words have been individually written and calculating their respective gematrical values:
We get respectively 28.88%/71.12 (Land/Sea ratio based on frequency of words) and 28.82%/71.18% (Land/Sea ratio based on gematrical values) which displays a less than 0.1% difference (about 0.07%) between the two figures.
Remark: Gematrical values between words are usually extremely different (for instance they can be as different as 17 to over a thousand. Surprisingly, there is a difference of only about 3% between the gematrical value of “Land” (202) and “Sea” (210). This difference is still too substantial to preserve the same ratio between words and gematrical values. The only way we could witness an extremely small difference of 0.07% was too design a system where the expression “dry Sea” was part of the gematrical value count of “Land” to offset the difference in gematrical value. A section at the end of the appendix provides more detail as why such a very small difference is normally almost impossible.
This incredibly small difference serves several purposes:
- It is a symbol of the fact that the hydrosphere varies very slightly but remains stable.
- The Quran provided (1) a very close approximation of the Land/Sea ratio based on the number of words, and (2) what may be a miraculously accurate figure (God knows best) zooming into the detail of gematrical values of the very same words. The completely accurate Land/Sea ratio (28.8203/71.1797%) was the one when the Quran was revealed on the 27th Night of Ramadan in 610 CE; as we know, the ratio has been varying very slightly over time. The Quran is, at this point in history, proven (1) to provide very close scientific approximations with words and various allegories (for instance the solar/lunar year ratio of 1.03, 365 occurrences of the word “Day”), and (2) to provide in a second phase miraculously scientifically accurate figures using various techniques:
We will refer people to the article “365 days” on this website to provide examples of such miraculous evidence, for instance regarding the Solar/lunar year ratio which is provided both averaged, as well as the 100% proven scientific figure as confirmed for instance by NASA.
- Aside from the above symbol, and as is often the case in the Quran, this ridiculously small 0.07% difference is a test of sincerity for the human race. People need to be extremely careful as it is actually an incentive for people who are bent on denying the truth no matter what kind of proofs are presented to them to show their true colors:
(29:2) Do people (really) think that that they will spared (simply) because they proclaim “We believe” and without them being put to the test ?!
(7:132) And they said: "No matter what kind of sign you may produce before us to attempt to dupe us, we will not believe you."
Insincere people will refuse to understand the big picture of the Quran and rush to say that if the Quran were truly from God, both figures would be strictly 100.00% identical, denying the fact that a very close approximation based on word frequency, further detailed by the miraculous precision based on gematrical value, makes perfect sense. Scientists use broad figures or averages all the time to simplify things and make their work more easily accessible to the public; the Quran does exactly the same, for instance with the frequency of the word “day” - occurs 365 times, an average or broad figure - further confirmed with the more exact figure of 365.25 days including leap years (see article entitled “365 days”).
4. Future sea levels prophesized by the Quran ?
4.1 The symbolic dimension of 20:77
The only reason why we were able to witness the amazing symmetry between the frequency of “Land and Sea” and their respective gematrical values as written in the Quran is first and foremost the fact that we understood that the peculiar expression “Dry Sea” in 20:77 had to be logically included in the count of the word “Land” as explained earlier. We read that the verse refers to Moses striking the sea with his staff to create a TEMPORARY dry path in the sea by God’s leave. In the context of the Land/Sea ratio and the hydrosphere on Earth which is subject to constant variations overtime, we cannot ignore the hidden allegory behind 20:77, that is to say that this key verse not only refers to one of the greatest miracle of all times, but also hints at hydrosphere variation at a symbolical level once the dry path in the sea returns to its normal state. In 20:77, it is an absolute certitude that the “dry path” will return to “Sea” after Moses and the people of Israel cross the sea.
If we solely look at the Land/Sea ratio as coded with words, which we saw reflects the Land/Sea ratio at the time the Quran was revealed, we do not have enough information to operate the precise transition between “dry Sea” returning to “Sea” because the symbolical occurrences of “Land” and “Sea” alone do not take into account the precise passage between “Dry Sea” and “Sea”, as “Dry sea” accounts only for 1 occurrence of ”Land”, even though the expression has two words. On the other hand with gematrical values, once you understand that “Dry Sea” has to be counted with “Land”, we can logically deduce that once “Dry Sea” returns simply to “Sea” we have to erase the word “Dry” to be able to make the perfect transition. Based on this simple and logical remark, we can calculate the future maximum amount of water on earth which variation mainly relies on ocean levels:
Ice on earth (Seawater ice and glaciers) is the most likely factor for substantial hydrosphere variation if it melts.
We can assume that any substantial variation in the hydrosphere will depend on climatic changes, with glaciers and ice at the North and south poles melting partially, which will mainly affect and flood areas adjacent to the shores that are close to current sea levels.
4.2 Calculation of the future Land/Sea ratio on Earth based on these observations
New Land/Sea ratio once “Dry Sea” returns to a normal state of “Sea”:
Total Gematrical values for the 12 words “Land” (discarding the word “Dry Sea” in 20:77, as we assume the ocean levels are going to rise and the “Sea” will no longer be “Dry”), as written in the entire Quran:
Let us add every 12 individual gematrical values:
233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 + 233 = 2796 = “Land” total gematrical value.
- Total Gematrical values for the 33 words “Sea” (not counting anymore the word “dry” (يبسا) in 20:77, as we assume the sea levels are going to rise) as written in the entire Quran:
Let us add every 33 individual gematrical values:
241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 482 + 241 + 210 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 + 241 = 7922 = “Sea” total gematrical value.
New/Maximum Land/Sea ratio before the End of the World:
7922 + 2796 = 10718 = New Symbolical 100% Sea/land coverage of planet Earth.
New Land Coverage: 2796/10718 x 100 = 26.09 %
New Sea Coverage: 7922/10718 x 100 = 73.91 %
Remark: If we base our calculations solely on the frequency of words in the Quran, we have the following new Land/Sea ratio:
33 + 12 = 45 = 100% = Symbolical 100% Sea/land coverage of planet Earth.
New Land Coverage: 12/45 x 100 = 26.67 %
New Sea Coverage: 33/45 x 100 = 73.33 %
This is why the calculation based on gematrical values (likely to be the most precise) shows that the actual amount of Land available on Earth will probably be even smaller than if we simply rely on a calculation based on the frequency of words.
The Earth’s surface is estimated as 510 065 621.724 km2 (http://home.online.no/~sigurdhu/WGS84_Eng.html ).
Let us calculate the projected “Land” coverage in square kilometers using precise, non averaged data:
510 065 621.724 km2 x 26.086956521739130434782608695652% = 133,060,596.97… km2.
New Water coverage in square kilometers:
510 065 621.724 km2 x 73,913043478260869565217391304348% = 377,005,024.75… km2.
Based on the above data, this means that the current surface of land on earth will shrink by:
148,940,000 km2 (current estimate of land coverage) - 133,060,596.97 km2 = 15,879,403.03 km2.
- Land coverage = 148,940,000 km2: Source: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/8o.html, Table 8o-1.
It means that an area slightly smaller than the largest county in the world (Russia = 17,098,242 km2) will be eventually covered with water (God knows best), which is an area over 1.5 times the size of the United States (9,629,091 km2).
It means that the current land area on Earth will shrink by about 10.66%.
Needless to say that such a scenario would be catastrophic in many ways, mostly to sustain the lives of billions of humans on Earth, as massive amounts of cultivated land would then be covered with water, and because most of humans currently live by the sea, which would trigger progressively a gigantic exodus inland.
The Quran is a prophetic book which is designed to warn and protect people who take heed. Many scientists have already warned us of the terrible threat related to global warming and sea level rise. Humans continue to pollute the Earth foolishly driven by greed instead of fulfilling our role of stewards of the Earth. What the Quran tells us in my opinion is that such a catastrophic scenario will actually happen. All we can do is take into account what the Quran tells us to the best of our knowledge, and protect ourselves accordingly. Unlike careless human beings, Muslims need to take appropriate steps towards the future. This is a warning to future - and God knows - maybe even present generations.
Geographers can draw very accurately what will be the new map of planet Earth based on a 10.66% shrinkage of currently available Land.
This calculation is based on my personal understanding, the data that is available to me, and observations made in the Quran. In the final analysis, God knows best, and He is the One who already knows exactly what will happen.
The Noble Quran was revealed in 610 C.E. and the Land/Sea ratio on earth can be calculated based on the frequency of the words “Land” and “Sea”, which provides us a ratio of 28.89/71.11%. This ratio is amazingly confirmed and further defined by establishing a ratio based on the gematrical values of the very same words “Land” and “Sea”, exactly as they are written in the Quran, which is 28.82/71.18%.
This ratio is extremely close to the ratio estimated by modern science which is 29.22/70.78%. 14 centuries have elapsed between the revelation of the Quran and today, and we can still witness today that the average coverage of Land and Water on Earth is roughly 29/71%.
The peculiar way the expression “Dry Sea” in 20:77 is written is likely to be an allegory when we meditate on the actual meaning of the verse: A temporary path of “dry sea” made available by God to save the people of Israel. If we derive from this allegory that the current Land/Sea ratio is only “temporary” and that the “Dry Sea” will be covered again with water, we can reevaluate the eventual Land/Sea ratio at 26.09/73.91 %. This means that the current amount of Land available to humans (148,940,000 km2) will shrink by 10.66% due to sea level rise.
This scenario makes profound sense in the light of what scientists have warned us regarding global warming, and in the light of logical reasoning based on the mathematical miracle of the Quran. In the final analysis, God knows best.
The Land/Sea ratio miracle in the Quran has already contributed
to increase the faith of tens of millions of Muslims around the world, and is
among the many signs that have helped people to embrace Islam because they
recognized the truth. It is up to everyone to evaluate if what has been
described in this article is simply coincidence or profound signs from God. God
displays His signs; it is up to us to show our appreciation. It is how God puts
the human race to the test and how the sincere is made distinct from the one
who will never acknowledge God’s signs, no matter what kind of proofs are
presented to him or her.
﴾41:53) We will show them our proofs in the horizons, and within themselves, until they realize that this is the truth. Is your Lord not sufficient as a witness of all things?
The following two tables will allow you to verify the gematrical value count of “Land” and “Sea” for yourself directly from Quranic verses:
3110 (GV of occurrences of “Land/Sea that is dry) + 7681 (GV of occurrences of “Sea”) = 10791 = 100%
“Land” ratio according to gematrical values:
3110/10791x100 = 28.8203...%
“Sea” ratio according to gematrical values:
7681/10791x100 = 71.1797…%
This confirms the 29/71% Land/Sea ratio calculated by modern scientists.
Land/Sea ratio between words and gematrical values: Why is such a mathematical symmetry normally almost an impossibility?
(1) We calculated the Land/Sea ratio based on the frequency of the two words in the Quran, and (2) we calculated the Land/Sea ratio exactly the same way based on the addition of gematrical values of the respective occurrences of the two words as they are written in the Quran: Normally the only way we could potentially observe an almost perfect mathematical symmetry based on the ratio of words and ratio of gematrical values would be if gematrical values of the two words were strictly identical (to preserve the same ratio), which is almost impossible in Arabic as gematrical values of words are almost always different, as is the case between “The Land” (GV 233) and “The Sea” (GV 241).
Furthermore, if we consider any two different words in Arabic taken randomly and their respective frequency in the Quran, gematrical values of any given words are extremely different and are regularly in the two, three, or four digit range.
For example: The word “one” has GV of 19, The word “the proof” has a GV of 98, the word “al Salaat” (the prayer) has a GV of 162, the word “al salawat” (the prayers) has a GV of 557, the word “the Earth” has a GV of 1032...
The only possible way that the Land/Sea ratio based on word frequency was going to be almost identical to the ratio based on gematrical values was to have designed a system where words as they are written catch up almost exactly with the difference they have in gematrical values to keep the exact balance that was calculated between word frequencies.
Let study the detail of what happened:
- First of all we know that no Land/Sea ratio would have been noticed without the expression “Dry Sea” being included in the count of the word “Land”, which is valid both for the system based on word frequencies as well as gematrical values.
- The first big surprise is that the word “The Land” (GV 233) and “The Sea” (GV 241) have two gematrical values that are very close (only a difference of 8 between the two) !
If all words as they are written in the Quran were written “the land” and “The sea” (as is the case for over 95% of words “Land” and “Sea”), the ratio of gematrical values would be 28.20% for “Land” and 71.80% for “Sea”, versus the ratio of words being 28.89/71.11%; not only would we have shifted away from the Land/Sea ratio, but such a result would be nothing more than a logical, insignificant consequence of gematrical value differences.
- We notice that the word “Barr” (Land) is consistently written “al Barr” (the Land, GV 233) every single time it occurs. The first way we were able to start catching up with the difference in total gematrical values was that one word “Sea” is written “Bahr” (GV 210) without the article “al” (GV 31) in 24:40, which helps reducing the difference by 31. The problem is that it is not enough.
- The other way was to have one word “Bahr” written in a peculiar way (Dry Sea) so it actually meant “Land”, so it would be switched over to the column of the frequency of the word “Land” and we would then have an additional “241” (GV Sea), plus the gematrical value of the additional word “dry” (GV 73). So the real way it adds gematrical values compared with the word “Land” is that it adds one “H” (ح = GV 8) which is the difference in gematrical value between “Sea” (بحر) and “Land” (بر), and that it adds the gematrical value of the word “Dry” (73).
This is how such a genius system was designed to make up for the difference in gematrical values and get an almost perfect symmetry down to 0.07% instead of the initial 0.69% difference in the ratio, which was already surprisingly small given the fact that only 8 separate the gematrical values of both words.
All in all, such a system was able to add “112” [31” (The) + 8 (H) + 73 (Dry)] to make up almost completely with the difference in gematrical values between “Land” and “Sea”, compared with the expressions otherwise consistently written “al Bahr” (Sea) and “al Barr” (Land).
Moreover, given the choice of words in the Land/Sea verses, no further addition or withdrawal of any article or word could have possibly achieved a closer approximation to the initial ratio based on word frequency than what has been achieved in the system !
(41:53) We will show them our proofs in the horizons, and within themselves, until they realize that this is the truth. Is your Lord not sufficient as a witness of all things?