In ancient times a well known theory by the name of ‘Theory of Atomism’ was widely accepted. This theory was originally proposed by the Greeks, by a man called Democritus, who lived about 23 centuries ago.
Democritus assumed that the smallest unit of matter was the atom and nothing small existed. The Arabs used to believe the same. The Arabic word dharrah most commonly meant an atom.
But, In recent times modern science has discovered that it is possible to split an atom. That the atom can be split further is a development of the 20th century. The following Qur’anic verse however, refuses to acknowledge this limit:
“And the disbelievers said, “The Last Day will never come upon us”; proclaim, “Surely yes, why not? By oath of my Lord, it will surely come upon you – the All Knowing of the hidden; nothing is hidden from Him – equal to an atom or less than it or greater – in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Book” (Qur’an 34:3)
Translations from others:
Sahih International: But those who disbelieve say, “The Hour will not come to us.” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [Allah is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register –
Pickthall: Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of the Unseen. Not an atom’s weight, or less than that or greater, escapeth Him in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record,
Yusuf Ali: The Unbelievers say, “Never to us will come the Hour”: Say, “Nay! but most surely, by my Lord, it will come upon you;- by Him Who knows the unseen,- from Whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth: Nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but is in the Record Perspicuous:
Shakir: And those who disbelieve say: The hour shall not come upon us. Say: Yea! by my Lord, the Knower of the unseen, it shall certainly come upon you; not the weight of an atom becomes absent from Him, in the heavens or in the earth, and neither less than that nor greater, but (all) is in a clear book
Muhammad Sarwar: The disbelievers have said, “There will be no Hour of Doom.” Say, “By my Lord, it certainly will come. My Lord knows the unseen. Not even an atom’s weight in the heavens or the earth remains hidden from Him. Nothing exists greater or smaller than this without its record in the illustrious Book.
Mohsin Khan: Those who disbelieve say: “The Hour will not come to us.” Say: “Yes, by my Lord, it will come to you.” (Allah, He is) the AllKnower of the unseen, not even the weight of an atom (or a small ant) or less than that or greater, escapes from His Knowledge in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a Clear Book (AlLauh AlMahfuz).
Arberry: The unbelievers say, ‘The Hour will never come to us.’ Say: ‘Yes indeed, by my Lord, it shall come to you, by Him who knows the Unseen; not so much as the weight of an ant in heaven and earth escapes from Him, neither is aught smaller than that, or greater, but it is in a Manifest Book;
The above verse refers to God’s knowledge of all things, hidden or apparent. The verse then goes further and mentions that God is aware of everything, including what is smaller than the atom. So the verse clearly shows that it is possible for something smaller than the atom to exist, a fact discovered only recently by modern science.
There may be further discoveries of smaller matters in the future. God knows best
Another amazing verse from the Qur’an