Water Breakdown during Photosynthesis and Transpiration in Plants as a Scientific Miracle in the Qur’an

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Botany & Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Assiut University, 71516 Assiut, Egypt



This current study is an attempt for some scientific insights about the verse 45 of Surah Al-kahf. In this verse, God said, “And present to them the example of the life of this world, like water which we send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes broken, scattered by the winds”. In common interpretations, the pronoun in the statement “it becomes broken, scattered by the wind” has been directed to plants not to water. However, in my new approach to interpreting this verse, the pronoun will refer to water, not plants, which is also linguistically acceptable. The purpose of this paper is to show that, despite the common interpretation of this verse, an alternative interpretation can be provided that is both linguistically and scientifically plausible.
The results show that based on this new interpretation, it can be said that in this verse, the comparison of the scenario of life in relation to humans to the scenario of water in relation to plants is in good harmony with scientific findings about what happens for water in the plant. When water enters the plant, it can go through two pathways; transpiration or photosynthesis, in both of which a type of breakdown occurs for water. In the first pathway, i.e. transpiration, hydrogen bonds of water molecules are broken so that water is transformed from liquid to gas. In the second pathway, i.e. photosynthesis, the water molecules are broken into oxygen, protons and electrons. The products resulted (water vapor and oxygen) are scattered by external winds. Protons and electrons contribute to the electrochemical potential driving ATP and NADPH formation, or in another words, they are scattered by internal wind. Therefore, it can be said that referring to the phenomena of water breakdown in the plants and then its dispersion, in the verse, is an accurate expression that is also confirmed by science.