Mr. Meherally begins by, once again, citing Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia:
"Although the atmosphere allows sunlight to reach the Earth's surface, it blocks out certain portions of solar radiation, especially X rays and ultraviolet light. Such radiation is very harmful, and, if the atmosphere did not filter it out, probably none of the life forms on Earth could ever have developed. So, the necessary conditions for these life forms--water, the right kind of atmosphere, and the right amount and kind of sunlight--exist on the surface of the Earth. The Earth is the only planet in the solar system known to have all of these "right" conditions."
True, the atmosphere, which is an envelope of gas (mostly nitrogen) that surrounds the earth, filters out harmful radiation and enables life to exist.
Yusuf Ali: And We have made the heavens as a canopy well guarded: yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things (point to)!
Pickthall: And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents.
Shakir: And We have made the heaven a guarded canopy and (yet) they turn aside from its signs.
The Qur'an mentions the "heavens" that is "well guarded". It says NOTHING about the atmosphere - even in the broadest terms. The Qur'an also does not mention why, or from what, the "heavens" guard us. I would interpret this passage as poetry, not a science lesson. It is based on torturing a meaning out of the text which is clearly not there.
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