In our daily talk when we describe something as solid and firm, we say: It is solid as rocks. However, in geology we find that rocks, mountains, and everything on earth is not solid.
If we think about the nature of these firm mountains which are very high and these solid rocks which you exert efforts to break or move, we will find out that they are temporal features for the cortex of the earth which are changing and altering with the passing of time.
Rocks crumble and collapse, and mountains are formed then fade like clouds: "And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds. The Work of Allâh, Who perfected all things, verily, He is Well-Acquainted with what you do." [Surat An-Naml: 88].
The change which affects these mountains is extracted from air, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, heat, coldness which happens due to night, day, summer, winter, rain and snow, and sometimes sand which are moved by the wind: "And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He." [Surat Al Muddathir: 31].
These processes, which are natural, are called external effects in geology that cause the slow earth movements which are not noted by man during his lifetime, but their effects can be seen by the passage of time because they are responsible for the establishment of mountains and raising or lowering of continents. In most cases we see that most rocks are cracked as if they were placed between the jaws of huge universal billhook.
They are the earth movements which express, with this activity, about disturbance and the huge reserved energy which we feel its effects from time to time in the form of earthquakes and volcanoes, and these processes are called internal effects of quick earth movements which are done in a short time and man can feel and touch its quick effect.
These quick movements extract the necessary energy from the heat coming out from the earth. The earth is formed (in its oval shape) from sequent layers composed of the earth crust which is composed of sedimentary layers that is about 10 kilometers, then another layers which its density increases downward to reach the depth of 29 kilometers. Then, it is followed by the core of the earth which starts at about 35 kilometers and downwards until the center of the Earth, which is composed of iron mixture and proportion of melted nickel of high density, severe heat, and pressure. This explains the huge amount that the earth contains; this is clear in Allah's Saying: "Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth." [Surat Al Isra': 37].
Earthquakes erupt as a result of cracks in earthy rocks and the slip of rocks on the surface of that fraction, or an earthy movement on an invisible old crack. These earthy movements produce vibrations in the image of waves that spread in all directions through the crust coming out from the source of disturbance.
As for what happened in Egypt, the source of the earthquake was in the east-north of Qarun Lake where Al Fayyoum region contains some cracks as a result of some earthy movements since 20 million years. The new earthy movement on these cracks came because of increasing the weight of superficial precipitations that have been formed during the recent 10 thousand years which led to the imbalance of the crust, trying to empty the energy stored inside the earth and restoring balance again because any pressure increases in any area causes bending of rocks which may lead to its collapse followed by cracks in other rocks after that huge pressure. This is interpreted in geology with the theory of constant equilibrium or isostatic of the crust
which says that the crust in ordinary conditions is always balanced in all its parts which means that the state of building is equivalent to the state of destruction. In fact, the building process or restoring balance does not happen at the same speed of the erosion process and that is the reason for the imbalance of many areas on earth that lasted for a long time then restored the balance process again so slow.
We find that the Glorious Qur'an has addressed us 1400 years ago in a clear Ayah which reads: "And He has affixed into the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you." [Surat An-Nahl: 15].
This is now known as the law of balance where the least weight matter rose above the surface while the positions of heavy matters remained as depressions which you see in the form of seas. Thus, we find that rise and fall were able to maintain the balance of the earth. Upon the occurrence of any earthquake, the quake will be at the peak in the area which lies directly above the center of the earthquake, which is the most affected area, then quakes lose effect outside that area. Therefore, we find that the most affected areas were in Cairo because Cairo was the nearest to the center of earthquake, and the impact of the earthquake faded or lessened as far as we went away from the center. Prior to the occurrence of any earthquake, some relatively weak shocks occur then the strong earthquake occurs followed by some weak shocks which man does not feel but are recorded by devices. I think that the proportion of recording earthquakes in the world and Egypt has increased but actually this is due to the advancement of equipments and devices which measure earthquakes no matter how weak they are. It is possible to divide the area above the center into belts and sequential layers connected by curved lines and each line connects all the points of single seismic intensity and these lines are called lines of equal earthquake. Unfortunately, no device can predict the occurrence of an earthquake despite the advancement of equipments and researches in Japan and USA which are the biggest countries which are subject to dozens of earthquakes. An earthquake is a common process to the extent that observatories of the world record thousands every year, but most of these earthquakes are just simple earthy shakes that record only 2 degrees according to Richter scale. It is important to know that the increase of one degree does not mean that the earthquake increased by one degree, but more than 30 times stronger than the previous degree. The intensity and violence of any earthquake starts from 6 degrees, moreover, the time in which earthquake occurs is another factor that affects the size of destruction in addition to the distance of the earthquake from the center of the earthquake. There is another important factor which is the quality of earthy layers and rocks upon which buildings are built because there are rocky layers and sediments which are good conductors of earthy shocks, which means they can absorb the impact of this quake. Therefore, it is believed that the lack of a significant loss of the facilities in old Cairo goes back to the sandy layer upon which these buildings were built to absorb seismic shocks, and most of these collapsed buildings collapsed because they were flimsy or that its useful life was over. Allah (Glory be to Him) reminds and calls us to ponder over the creation and the universe. Allah (Glory be to Him) is the one who knows everything, so He says: Ponder over the universe and you shall see and read my Ayahs, the miraculuousness of the creation, and you shall accept fate and destiny. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur'ân) is the truth." [Surat Fussilat: 53]. So, We have to prepare ourselves to the Day of Resurrection and the horrors which we shall see on the Day of Recompense, and Allah (Glory be to Him) is a witness over them all. "When the earth is shaken with its (final) earthquake. * And when the earth throws out its burdens,* And man will say: "What is the matter with it?"" [Surat Az-Zalzalah: 1 - 3]. All the effects of earthquakes, horrors, fear, terror, and destruction that we have seen are worthless in compare to the earthquake of the Day of Recompense which is very obvious in the Book if Allah: "O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgment) is a terrible thing. * The Day you shall see it," [Surat Al Hajj: 1-2].
Earthquakes should be a quake for the indifferent hearts. They call the people to enjoin good and forbid evil, not to love the world, and to get ready for the next life.
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