And We have made the heaven a roof, well protected, still they turn away paying no heed to its (heavenly) signs.
(Al-Anbiya 32. Verse)
The atmosphere surrounding the world performs extremely vital functions for the continuation of life. When they approach Earth, it destroys many large and small asteroids, preventing them from falling into the earth and damaging living things. Meteors enter Earth's atmosphere at a speed ranging from 11-72 km per second. Due to the heat caused by friction, most of it can melt and land in dust particles. Despite its transparent structure, our atmosphere provides protection like a steel barrier against this meteor bombardment.
In addition, the atmosphere filters harmful rays to creatures from space. The most striking feature of this function of the atmosphere is that it only allows harmless and useful rays, ultraviolet light and radio waves to pass. All this radiation is very important to life. Ultraviolet rays, partially permitted by the atmosphere, are crucial for photosynthesis of plants and the survival of all living things. The majority of intense ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun are filtered by the ozone layer of the atmosphere. Only a limited and significant part of the ultraviolet spectrum reaches Earth.
The protective function of the atmosphere does not end here. The atmosphere also protects the Earth from the freezing cold of space, which is about -270 degrees Celsius. The atmosphere allows the heat on earth to be distributed in a balanced manner depending on the air movements that occur inside it. Where it's too hot, the air masses move to places where it's not hot and strike a balance. Thus, excessive temperature increase is prevented in places that are constantly warming around the equator; similarly, in places near the poles, the temperature that constantly loses heat is prevented from overdropping.
Van Allen Belt
The atmosphere isn't the only one that protects the Earth from harmful effects. In addition to the atmosphere, the Van Allen Radiation Belt, the layer caused by earth's magnetic field, acts as a shield against harmful radiation that threatens our planet. It is an invisible shield that prevents high-energy electrons from reaching Earth, about 58,000 kilometers from Earth. This radiation, which is constantly emitted by the sun and other stars, is deadly to creatures. Without the Van Allen Belt, massive bursts of energy, often called solar flares in the Sun, would destroy all life on Earth.In fact, Earth has the highest density of any planet in our Solar System. This large nickel-iron core is responsible for our large magnetic field. Mercury is the only other rocky planet with any magnetic field – but its field power is 100 times less than Earth's. Even Venus, our sister planet, has no magnetic field. The Van Allen radiation shield is a Earth-specific design.
In recent years, only one of these solar explosions has been detected in the world. The bomb on Hiroshima in World War II was estimated to be about 40 million times. Along with heat and light, radiation and winds containing protons and electrons are born at 1.5 billion km per second from the sun. However, winds from the sun cannot pass through the Van Allen shield, which forms magnetic rings 640 km to 58,000 km from Earth.
In short, a perfect system up in the world is at work. It surrounds our world and protects it against external threats. Centuries ago, Allah informed us in the Qur'an that the earth's atmosphere functioning as a protective shield.
Those whom Allah (in His plan) willeth to guide,- He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying,- He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.
(Al-An'am 125. Verse)
Altitude disease is an ailment caused by rapid exposure to low oxygen at high altitude. It causes the chest to tighten due to the expansion of the gases in the body cavities and the pressure on the lungs. In addition, the development of dissolved gases (in the body) in the form of high-altitude blisters causes serious chest pain.
Mountain disease, or shortness of high-altitude shortness of breath, was clinically defined in 1937 and is probably not known before the late 1800s. There are several reasons for this, but most importantly, mountain disease requires a rapid rise, an altitude of 2500 meters or more in general. Before the twentieth century, such ascensions were sometimes made, but almost never done quickly.
There was little reason for old people to climb mountains and especially to rise to high altitudes. Mountaineering was almost never heard, especially in the Middle East. The mountain populations were used to the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere they lived in. Those who went higher to graze their flocks had no problem with their bodies rising at a slow altitude.
Therefore, we can conclude that the phrase "maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies" refers to the physical fact that air pressure decreases at high altitudes and makes it difficult to breathe. This is a scientific issue that we now know, but 1400 years ago, no one was aware of this reality, especially on Arabia's hot desert peninsula!
God knows best of all.