Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Some Myths About Qur’anic Science

By Mumin Salih

Recently, Muslims scholars started to falsely claim that the Qur’an foretold many scientific discoveries that were not known in its time. None of the Muslims’ claims stands scientific or logical analysis. One wonders how the Muslim scholars dare to make such claims despite the obvious contradiction between the Qur’an and science. The answer to this question is that Muslim scholars became alarmed during the last decades as an increasing number of ordinary Muslims started to learn modern science. To pre-empt any suspicion about the contradictions between the Qur’an and science, the Muslim scholars started to claim that the Qur’an actually was ahead of time in science but early Muslims didn’t understand it. The strategy of the Muslim scholars is deception, pure lies and word games.

This article investigates only four of the most common claims that Muslims make about the Qur’an and science. It often escapes the minds of the Muslims that the existence of only one error in the Qur’an is a proof that the book is not divine and that Islam is a hoax.

1. Splitting the moon

The claim: according to the Qur’an, Mohammed made the moon to split into two halves and then glued them together. Fourteen hundreds years later, Nasa confirmed that splitting.

This extraordinary claim is based on verse Q. 54:1“The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder”. The verse describes an event that allegedly took place in Mecca when a few Meccan Arabs asked Mohammed to split the moon as a proof to them that he was a prophet. Mohammed simply made the moon split into two halves, one half on each side of the mountain Hira! However, this extraordinary cosmic event did not impress those Arabs who accused Mohammed of performing one of his magic tricks.

The irony is that the above myth was propagated by a Muslim scientist, more precisely a geologist, who was qualified in the UK! Dr. Zaghloul Al Najjar is an Egyptian who made a fortune from his appearances on Islamic TV channels. He is happy to turn his back to all that he learned at university and make the above false claim on Aljazeera television, the Islamists’ TV platform. For the sake of Allah, Dr. Al Najjar went one step further as he shamelessly lied to his audience and claimed that Nasa scientists have discovered that the moon was split into two halves and glued together!

Needles to say that Nasa never made that outstanding Islamic discovery but that doesn’t stop hundreds of Islamic websites from circulating the lie and publishing satellite images of the moon surface the that show grooves (which exist normally on the moon and many planets) which they claim were formed as a result of that split fourteen hundreds years ago!

Mohammed probably thought of the moon as a small ball in the sky and had no clue about its gravitational pull on our planet. By making such a lie, Mohammed imagined that splitting the moon would have no more consequences on the earth’s stability than splitting a small ball in the sky. We can explain Mohammed’s total ignorance in astronomy, which is evident throughout the Qur’an, but we cannot explain how educated people in the twenty first century can believe such nonsense. It is sad that, in the space age, we still need to discuss issues like these with Mohammed’s followers.

Muslims claim that the Qur’an is Mohammed’s only miracle, a claim they have completely forgotten as they believe this myth. The Qur’an says that Allah did not send any miracle to Mohammed because, in the past, people did not believe in those miracles. Muslims claim that when Allah sends a miracle and people do not believe in it, Allah punishes those people ( by annihilation). Well, in that case Allah must have made an exception to that rule because he did not punish the people of Mecca. It did not occur to the Muslims that apart from that handful of Arabs in Mecca nobody else noticed the alleged splitting, not even in the neighbouring Yathrib. It did not occur to the Muslims that splitting the moon would have been the most significant event since the Earth’s creation and would have been noticed and documented by all nations all over the world.

2.The expanding universe

The claim: The Qur’an speaks of an expanding universe.

This myth is based on verse Q. 51: 47 which can have any of the following translations, depending on how you want to understand the Arabic word moosi-oon:

a. Q.51:47 “And we built the sky using hands, and we shall be (moosi-oon) making things plentiful”.

b. Q.51:47 “And we built the sky using hands, and we are (moosi-oon) capable.
c. Q.51:47 “And we built the sky using hands, and we shall (moosi-oon) make spacious.

The early interpretations of the verse, as evident from the classic ‘tafseer’books, considered only the first two meanings, and the early translations reflected such interpretations. However, the modern Muslim scholars considered only the third meaning, so did the modern translations. The word ‘moosi-oon’, and its sister derivatives, are used frequently throughout the Qur’an to describe abundance of money or food but never used to mean spacious. We do not deny that spacious is one of the meanings of the word moosi-oon, but we find it bizarre that the modern Islamists decided to opt for this meaning in this particular verse.

The modern Muslim scholars went one step further and interpreted the word as to ‘expand’, which is not exactly the same as ‘to make spacious’. It is clear that the modern Muslim scholars are driven by their desire to make the verse conforms to the expanding universe theory rather than the true interpretation of the verse. The Arabic word for expand is ‘madda’, which is used many times in the Qur’an, but not in this verse.

For the argument sake, let us accept that the meaning of the Arabic word moosi-oon is ‘to expand’ as the Muslim scholars want us to believe. Also, for the argument sake, we will turn a blind eye on the vagueness of the verse “we built the sky with hands” (whose hands?) And “we shall expand” (expand what?) and accept the Muslims’ interpretation that Allah meant to say he used his own hands to built the sky.

I am afraid that despite all these concessions the verse still doesn’t say that Allah is expanding the universe! This is because the word moosi-oon is preceded by the prefix ‘la’ (la-moosi-oon) which has the function of indicating a promise to do something in the future. The meaning of the verse becomes like this: “we built the sky with (our) hands, and we shall expand it (in the future)”. According to the verse, the universe was not expanding in Mohammed’s time, but Allah vowed to expand it in the future!

Now, is that a scientific miracle or a scientific blunder?

All the Qur’an did was to mention the word ‘moosi-oon’ and the Muslims’ imagination went sky high. In the middle of this euphoria they did notice the Qur’an’s blunders when it described the sky as a roof built supported by invisible pillars to stop it from falling on the Earth.

3. The mountains

The claim: the Qur’an described accurately the formation and functions of mountains

The Muslim scholars claim that the Qur’an described the roots of the mountains that go deep into the earth’s crust, which is a scientific fact. In support of this claim, the Muslim scholars refer to this verse:

Q. 78: 7. “and the mountains as pegs (awtad)”

If you happen to read an article about this subject you would be amazed at the length of the article and the included scientific references and diagrams, which is a common pattern that is repeated whenever Muslims claim a scientific miracle. The Muslim scholars’ strategy is to overwhelm the reader with irrelevant scientific information to give the impression that the Qur’an speaks of real science.

The Muslims’ scholars claim that the Qur’an deliberately used the Arabic word ‘awtad’ because they are partially inserted into the ground, exactly like the mountains.

The fact is that Mohammed had no clue about the mountains roots or what goes under the surface, which is why he twice described the pyramids as awtad, even though they had no resemblance to the mountains’ structure.

Q. 38:12. ..and the Pharaoh, of the pegs,
Q .89: 10. and with Pharaoh, of the pegs.

The Muslims’ scholars also claim that it is a scientific fact that the mountains function is to stabilize the earth, which is purely a scientific myth.

Mohammed’s knowledge was just a regurgitation of the circulating myths in the seventh century Arabia. He believed that the earth was a flat surface floating on water, therefore it was necessary for Allah to create the mountains to stabilize it. According to the Qur’an, the mountains were not formed as a result of continental collisions but were dropped from above after the earth’s creation:

Q. 16:15. And He dropped on the earth mountains, lest it should shake with you.

The Arabic word ‘alka’, used in the above verse, has no other meaning but ‘to drop or throw something from above’. This translation, which is the only accurate one, has been deliberately avoided by the Muslim scholars in their attempt to conceal the Qur’anic blunders.

After dropping the mountains on the earth, Allah proceeded to fix them firmly in position in order they perform their function well:

Q. 79: 32. And the mountains hath He firmly fixed
Q. 88: 19. And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm

If that is science, what is ignorance?

4. The source of iron

The myth: The Qur’an described the source of iron, which is from outer space.

Muslim scholars claim that the Qur’an stated that the earth’s iron was ‘sent down’ from the sky, which, they claim, is a scientific fact.

Muslim scholars refer to verse 25 from surat al hadid:

Q. 57: 25. We sent aforetime our apostles with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His apostles: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might.

The Muslim scholars’ strategy in claiming a scientific miracle is to select a suitable word from the Qur’an and use their imagination to make it fit somewhere in modern science. In the previous examples, the key words were pegs ‘awtad’ and make spacious ‘moosi-oon’. The Qur’an only mentioned these two words and the Muslims’ imagination went out of control. Thousands of articles, books, tv programmes and conferences were published and arranged to discuss those miracles of the Qur’an!

In this example the keyword is the Arabic word ‘anzalna’. This word means ‘we sent down’ but the Qur’an also used it to mean ‘we created’ like in verses 7:26 and 10:59, which is the meaning chosen by the earlier interpretation books.

Like other nations in ancient times, the Arabs first encounter with iron was through the iron rich meteorites. They were unaware of the fact that iron is abundant in earth and had no clue about the technology required to extract it. The divine black stone at the side of ‘kaaba’ is believed to have come from an iron rich meteorite that hit the earth centuries before Islam. The black stone was sacred to the Arabs long before Islam and is still sacred to them today. The legendry Arab poet Antara Ibn Shaddad had a sword that is claimed to have come from a metal from the sky. Indeed all the ancient nations called iron the metal of the sky.

This Islamic claim about iron is propagated by Zaghlul Al Najjar through Aljazeera channel. Dr. Najjar is not confused or mistaken but he is a liar who relies on the audience’s trust to believe whatever he says without scrutiny. Al Najjar claims that all iron on earth came from the sky, which is a lie. He claims that the atomic weight of iron (57) equals to the number of surat AlHadid, which is a lie because the atomic weight of iron in its most common form is 56. He also claims that the atomic number of iron is 26 which is the number of the above verse in surat Alhadid, which is another lie because the verse is number 25. Al Najjar gets round this problem by counting the bismillah as a verse to make the numbers add up!

It is amazing how far Dr. Al Najjar was prepared to go to make his claim. He must have read the verse thousands of times but he didn’t notice the blunder at the end of the verse.

Q. 57: 25“..that Allah may test who it is that will help, Unseen, Him and His apostles..”.

According to this part of the verse, Allah didn’t know which men will help him and his apostles!

Allah, the all knowing, actually didn’t know!



No comments:

Post a Comment