Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Expanding Universe predicted in Qur'an?

If only Allah could explain it so clearly!
with thanks to scienceblogs.com


وَالسَّمَاء بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ (
51:47)
Waalssamaa banaynaha biaydin wainna lamoosiAAoona



  • 51:47 (Asad) AND IT IS We who have built the universe with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. 
  • 51:47 (Y. Ali) With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.
  • 51:47 (Picktall) We have built the heaven with might, and We it is who make the vast extent (thereof).


  • The above ayat, it is claimed by miracle seekers, foreshadows the modern notion of the expanding universe. 
    I have given the Arabic and the transliteration because it is important to understand the claim in detail which rests upon the word لَمُوسِعُونَ  or  lamoosiAAoona. 

    You will note that Asad's 1980 translation renders the idea as "we are expanding it" and it is this translation, perhaps more than any other, that has led some Muslims to see a miraculous scientific knowledge in the Qur'an and helped them to foster the idea that thus Islam is superior to other faiths.

    But is this translation justifiable? Is there anything in the original Arabic to suggest that God is STILL expanding or stretching out the heavens? Or does the verse simply and more prosaically tell us that He has stretched out the heavens for us - much like the various verses in the Bible which refer, suspiciously, to the very same thing.

    For if we turn to Isiah we can read almost exactly the same idea.
    Isaiah, chapter 42: 5:
    ‘This is what God the Lord says—he who created the heavens and STRETCHED THEM OUT, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life two those who walk in it’ 


    So when we find Arabic dictionaries translating لَمُوسِعُونَ  or  lamoosiAAoona as "stretcher - noun", those without a desperate need to find miracles simply assume the most likely explanation for one of the most infamous verses in the Qur'an is that Muhammad was inspired by the Jewish scriptures.

    Indeed, we might claim that rather than proving the miraculous nature of the Qur'an, 51:47 is yet more proof that the author of the Qur'an used Jewish and Christian myths and writings for the basis of his revelation.

    PS It is interesting to note that some Islamic sites still refer to the Qur'an miraculously referring to the Big Crunch in the ayat:
    "That Day We will fold up heaven like folding up the pages of a book. As We originated the first creation so We will regenerate it. It is a promise binding on Us. That is what We will do". (Qur'an, 21:104)
    How do they explain that the Big Crunch has since been discredited, I wonder? 

    34 comments:

    1. Even in the unlikely event that this verse is describing modern knowledge about the creation of the universe: I'm not sure it really qualifies as a "miracle" .

      A miracle is: A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.
      A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment

      So, God describing the creation of the Universe with any accuracy, doesn't really fulfil the requirements of a miracle.

      For me, that is the most glaring flaw with this miracle claim - the fact that it's not actually a miracle in any way at all.

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      1. @Jasmine,
        According to Muslims, Muhammad, or any other man in that age could not have known this, so this is a miracle at least for them, right? Of course, Isaiah wrote of this before Muhammad.

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    2. @Spinoza,
      Thank God for another post! I was beginning to worry after not seeing your posts for a while. BTW, even the "Big Crunch is from Isaiah--
      And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. (Isaiah 34:4)

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    3. I don't think the Big Crunch has been discredited. It still remains as one possible fate of the universe, out of others.

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      1. Hi Varma - yes perhaps "discredited" was too strong. "Regarded as unlikely and lacking evidence" would have been better.
        And - you're quite right about Isiah also referring to this.

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    4. First of all, please be clear and accept that ‘LAMOSAOON’ in Arabic means the ‘Dilator / Stretcher’. There are no ifs and buts. It is understood as such in Arabic, the language of the Quran. So all Arabs and all those who know Arabic, have no confusion. Even a urdu speaker, like me can make out that the verse is talking about the heavens. So the Quran has no confusion or difficulty in explaining itself. It is not a book of science, but guidance. Yet since it is meant to guide humanity till the Last Day, as a miracle, Allah has mentioned some scientific facts in it (not known at the time of revelation) so that as humanity progresses in various fields of science, people of later generations may discover, reflect and hopefully believe in the guidance it contains.

      Scholars will translate the quran according to their own understanding of the language. And Arabic is one of the hardest languages to translate. Undoubtedly some bias will creep in and some nuances will be misrepresented. That’s why it is a translation. A means to understand quickly. For this reason, as a Muslim we offer all our recitations in Arabic. Although most non-arabs don’t know the meaning. We are encouraged to learn Arabic to know first hand what Allah wishes to convey.
      By the way which translation you are reading? 50% of the translations readily available on-line do convey the meaning of the verse 51:47 correctly :
      Sahih International: And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.
      Muhammad Sarwar: We have made the heavens with Our own hands and We expanded it.
      Mohsin Khan: With power did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are Able to extend the vastness of space thereof.
      Arberry: And heaven -- We built it with might, and We extend it wide.
      Pickthall: We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).
      Yusuf Ali: With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.
      Shakir: And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.


      This is what the eminent scholar Dr Gary Miller has to say about verse 51:47 :
      “The Expanding Heavens. Let me first show more of our examination of the Qur'an, and then an examination of some words of prophets to find this point of convergence. In chapter fifty-one, verse forty seven, it is mentioned that the heavens are expanding. As I mentioned earlier, this is in connection with the 'Big Bang' origin of the universe, as it is usually called, and it was in 1973 that the Nobel Prize was awarded to three men who were confirming that, after all, the universe is expanding.
      The comments of Muslims over the centuries on this verse which speaks of the heavens doing exactly that are very interesting. The wisest among them had stated that the words are very clear, that the heavens are expanding, but they could not imagine how that could be so. But they were content to leave the words as they were, to say: "Allah knows best"

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      1. Of all the translations available only Asad suggests the expansion is still going on!
        Asad (a Jewish convert) was well known as someone who looked for scientific evidence in his translations.
        I therefore strongly dispute your 50% figure.

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      2. coming back to the point.
        I think that is clear to you that the Quran talks about the expanding universe.
        So a scientific fact stated 1400 years ago in the Quran.

        From where it came is another matter.

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      3. I disagree that the Quran "talks about the expanding universe."
        It says that God stretched out the heavens (like a carpet) - a concept which was well-known by this time and was mentioned in the Bible and elsewhere.
        How else do you account for the use of the word لَمُوسِعُونَ or lamoosiAAoona which is the very word used in Isiah?

        It is therefore not a scientific fact. Rather it is, I would suggest, another example of plagiarism by the author of the Quran.

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      4. where does it say "like a carpet"
        typical lying person trying stupidly to disprove holy Quran

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      5. the verse DOESN'T say "like a carpet, anon.
        I was simply adding that to ease comprehension of my point...much like the translators of the Quran do ;-)

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      6. I have also seen hindus attempting to state that their books predict the expansion of the universe, check these sites;

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOJG9rNIcdI

        I think the explanation is a lot easier. Anyone at any point of time could describe the universe (or the heavens) as being "really big" which is synonymous with saying that it is "expansive"; it only takes a bit of semantics for any language to go "expansive" to "expanding".

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      7. excellent point, dfh.
        (can you check the link as youtube says video doesn't exist...)

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      8. @ Farrukh
        "From where it came is another matter"
        Surely where the idea came from is ENTIRELY relevant to the point Spinoza is making.
        If the very phrase "stretch out" to refer to the heavens is used in a text we know Muhammad had access to which then appears in the Quran, surely it is not unreasonable to suggest he was simply copying the idea. Nor is it unreasonable to use this to deny the dubious claim to miraculous knowledge

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      9. @Spinoza: You can find a video about the Hindu ideas of cosmology and the expanding universe in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bKq1XOwNyo
        The relevant bit starts around 34:40 and goes on for about 15mins. But the entire video is informative.
        It's not by a Hindu apologist but by a noted scientist.

        Asim

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      10. Thanks Azim - I'll check it out.

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    5. I think, looking at Isaiah, the Qur'an and other texts, that we can safely say many concepts which scientists discovered today were known to ancient people, mostly by coming up on it by right thinking. Sometimes I wonder how much they really knew, and was lost to us because of war and disease.

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    6. I said, “from where the idea came was another matter”, since i wanted to address it subsequently.
      While you people refer to the apparent similarity between the two holy texts as a sign of plagiarism. We as Muslims, know that the Bible and the Quran were both ‘written’ and ‘revealed’ by the same Author, Almighty Allah.
      Muhammad PBUH, like his predecessor Jesus PBUH was a prophet of Allah. The only difference is that the words of the Bible were subsequently changed and new text was added to it. (How much of it is original, is not known), while Quran remains unchanged and will remain so till the Last Day.
      In fact at the beginning of Islam, when Muslims were prosecuted in Mecca, they sought refuge in the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia, being ruled by a great and scholarly king Negus.
      The Negus wept, and his bishops wept also, when they heard the leader of the Muslim group recite [(Surah Mariam (Mary 19:16-21)], and when it was translated they wept again, and the Negus said:
      "This hath truly come from the same source as that which Jesus brought."

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    7. @Farrukh,
      We, as freethinkers, believe in neither the Bible nor the Qur'an. There's no proof either book is from God. Many Muslims show verses like the ones discussed above to show the divine inspiration of the Qur'an, but these are ideas that existed even before the Qur'an was written.

      And no, I don't say anything about plagiarism. We both know the universe expanded, and is expanding. Does that mean we plagiarized that knowledge from Hubble, or for that matter, Isaiah?

      My view is that ideas like this were common knowledge in the time and place of the Qur'an.

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    8. the writer of this blog is implying that the ideas in the Quran have been plagiarized by the Last Prophet from the bible and the Jewish scriptures, so let him reply to my post.

      by the way, sorry to break it to you, but the fact about the expanding universe is a fairly recent discovery, attributed to Edwin Hubble in 1929. In fact, research on the topic is still ongoing and 2011 Nobel prize in Physics was awarded to scientists who showed that expansion of the universe is speeding up. 1400 years ago people did not even know whether the Earth itself was flat or round.
      To say that such facts were well known and some how got muddled up and lost in time is irrational and pure conjecture.

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      1. @ Farrukh
        I have pointed out the fact that the Qur'an and the Bible both use the same idea to describe the vastness of the Heavens.
        There is no justification for claiming this idea refers to "expanding".
        Given we know that Muhammad was taught by Jewish and Christian theologians, it seems logical for anyone not obliged to believe in the supernatural origins of the Qur'an to see a connection.
        Further, why did God feel the need to refer to such baffling science? If it was to prove his divinity, then we must ask we he didn't refer to some fact that was not already related in other scriptures.

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    9. @ Spinoza
      i- Some degree of convergence and similarity exists between the Torah, Bible and the Quran, since they all originate from the same holy Source. Allah Almighty says 5:48
      ‘And unto thee (Mohammed) have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it.’

      ii- Vastness of space and the stretched out skies are mentioned at numerous places in the Quran too. However, what is different in 51:47 is the hint of expansion. While you claim that here is no justification for referring to the idea, it is clear to the vast majority of muslims:

      وَالسَّمَاء And the heavens
      بَنَيْنَاهَا We constructed
      بِأَيْدٍ with strength
      وَإِنَّا and We are
      لَمُوسِعُونَ its Expander

      Just as I should not try to teach you English, you should not be lecturing on the meanings of the Arabic word La Moo See Oona. Unfortunately for you, we the muslims know its meaning as well as what it implies and your attempts to dissuade us otherwise is serving no purpose other than to show case your desperation and ignorance (of arabic).
      iii- Your claim that the Holy Prophet was taught by Jewish and Christian theologians is ridiculous to say the least. The objection is very well answered. Quran 29:48, Allah Almighty says : ‘Not before this (Quran) didst thou recite any Book, or inscribe it with thy right hand, for then those who follow falsehood would have doubted’. Arberry
      Infact, the last Prophet PBUH is referred to as unlettered at many other places in the Quran. He had not received any schooling from anybody and was therefore unable to read or write throughout his life.
      By the way, I would like to know the names of the theologians you suspect were teaching the Holy Prophet PBUH. And why didn’t they raise any hue and cry when Muhammad PBUH claimed his prophethood on the basis of the knowledge gained from them?

      iv- Your last objection is regarding the examples that Allah Almighty chose to refer. Well what can I say? After all, it is His creation. we believe that a time will come when all the science in the Quran will be discovered and a free thinking person will convert on this basis alone.
      ‘We will show them Our signs in the universe and in themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is (the Quran), the Truth.’ (Qur'an 41 : 53).
      Allah does not shirk away from quoting any example. In fact, He says at 2:26
      ‘Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable– [that of] a mosquito and what is upon her; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! But He does not cause to err by it [any] except the transgressors” Holy Quran 2:26

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      1. @Faroukh: Why is it that all the early and most reliable translations of the Qur'an did not render the meaning to be an 'expanding' universe. Here are the 3 main translations we had until recently:
        - With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace. (Yusuf Ali)
        - We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof). (Pickthal)
        - And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample (Shakir)

        Why is it that not until Hubble came along that Muslims realised the expanding universe? Could Allah not have spoken clearly enough to give the Arabs a 1,400 year lead time in science ahead of the Kuffar West so they could show their religion's auspicious scientific origins?

        Also you should note that the verse in question is speaking about 'Heaven' or 'Firmament' and not the 'Universe'. According to Islamic theology, the earth is not part of heaven, it is separate. Hence to link this verse to an expanding universe is sheer self-delusion.

        Azim

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      2. @Farrukh: Khadija’s (Muhammad's first wife) cousin, Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul-Uzza bin Qusai, was a Christian priest who had converted from Judaism. From him Muhammad learned much about the Judeo Christian traditions.

        A little research will give you more details.

        Azim

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      3. @ Anonymous
        YES, a little research has showed me the fallaciousness of your argument :
        Warqa bin Nofal died very shortly after the Holy Prophet PBUH received the first revelation. But before his death he confirmed on the basis of his knowledge that what Mohammed PBUH (proclamation of prophethood was the truth) as he was receiving the revelation from the same source as Prophet Moses. He foretold the Prophet PBUH of the hardships ahead and wished to extend support to him if he lives that long. But he didn't and revelations continued to be received by the Prophet PBUH for the next 23 years.

        Moral : People of knowledge and insight recognize the truth. When the so called teacher accepted that his tutee's claim of prophethood (not a fact, but as per your argument), who are others to refute him and say that the Quran is inspired from Judeo Christian traditions. You cannot pick and choose, if you quote Nofal, then accept his conclusion also.

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      4. Farrukh, I did not say that Nofal was giving Muhammad revelations over the 23 years of Qur'anic revelations. You are trying to create a straw man here.

        Muhammad had access to Judeao-Christian ideas prior to announcing his prophethood. Also prior to Nofal Muhammad travelled on trade caravans run by his uncle which took him far and wide. And Sunnah tells us that during that time he was always inquisitive of the religions and cultures of the areas where he travelled.

        The fact that he could not read or write (which is something probably exaggerated in story telling) does not mean he was not intelligent and could listen, assimilate and re-tell stories.

        Also Islamic history will portray Nofal to say favourable things about Muhammad, but no one will know the truth, as at the time no one would have recorded Nofal's words, only hearsay many years afterwards. Also more factual is the fact that Nofal never accepted Islam but remained Christian. Hence he could not have thought much of Muhammad's prophethood.

        If you read hadiths also you will find that whenever Muhammad was put on the spot with certain questions he would turn to the Jews and ask, What does your scripture say about such and such, and based on their reply then he would give his take on the subject.

        It not rocket science or anything divine for someone over such a lengthy period of 23 years to come up a book like the Qur'an, most of which is repetitive or simply retelling stories from older well known scriptures.

        Azim

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    10. @Anonymous
      I also didn’t say that Nofal was giving any revelations. I was referring to the fact that Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet PBUH over a period of 23 years depending on the need of guidance as per the circumstances / situation, sometimes in solitude and sometimes in front of the people . Sorry, if the post sounded as such. My English expression needs improvement.

      Your claim that Muhammad PBUH had access to Judeo-Christian ideas prior to announcing his prophethood has no basis in history. He never travelled far and wide with his uncle in trade caravans. His first and only journey in his childhood along with a carvan was cut short and the incident is as follows:
      On the way to Syria, they met a learned Christian monk Bahira. Sitting in his monastery, Bahira saw the caravan and noticed something different; there was something special about it. He approached the caravan and insisted on seeing the faces of all the people constituting the group. When Bahira saw the face of young Muhammad he was delighted. He approached Abu Talib, the child’s uncle saying that Muhammad would be a great prophet one day. He said that when he had seen the caravan in the distance there was a cloud hanging over them, which was shading them from the great heat of the desert. When the caravan had stopped under a tree the cloud had also stopped above them. Bahira said that he had seen the stones and the trees prostrating to Muhammad as Muhammad had been walking by. They only do this for a prophet of Allah. He looked at the Muhammad's back and noticed the seal of the prophet, which was an oval shape protruding just below Muhammad's shoulder blades. He said that this was one of the signs of a great prophet to come that was taught to them in their Heavenly books. Bahira advised that Muhammad should be taken back to Mecca at once, if the Jews found out they would try to kill him. Abu Talib took the advice and retuned to Mecca. This was the last trade journey Abu Talib went on. He stayed and worked in Makkah. Muhammad also did not go on any trade journeys, instead he tended sheep on the outskirts of Makkah.
      Your notion that Nofal could not have thought much of Muhammad's prophethood is wrong since he extended all support to the Prophet and promised to help him out in times of need, if he lived long enough. Nofal did not accept Islam, because he died shortly after the first revelation. For your information, Mohammad PBUH was ordered to start preaching Islam three years after the first revelation.
      Your notion that the Holy Prophet PBUH was helped by the Jews to answer the awkward questions he was asked, is most telling about your ignorance of the subject you have chosen to critique. Jewish animosity for Muslims is not hidden from any body. History tells us that the Jews were awaiting their promised Prophet, foretold in their Scripture, to appear in Madinah. Some of their learned scholars had even migrated from other lands to Madinah, with the expectation of seeing a Prophet. But to their surprise, even though many of them recognized Muhammad PBUH as the Prophet of God, the fact that he was not from their decent/ race, caused them to reject him and his message. Allah says in the Quran 2:146

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      1. @Farrukh: Muhammad made other caravan trips. When he worked for Kadhija he also went to Syria. From Sirat Rasoul Allah: "She (Khadija) had heard of the veracity,honesty, and excellence of the apostle of Allah, and sent for him to propose that he take some of her goods to Syria as a trader." Read the Sira for full details of his trip.

        Actually Muhammad did ask the Jews for their opinions as seen in this hadith: "Sahih Muslim 17:4214 Allah's Apostle called the Jews and said: What is the punishment that you find in your Book (Torah) as a prescribed punishment for adultery? They said: We blacken the face with coal and flog as a substitute punishment for stoning. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: O Allah, I am the first to revive Thy command when they had made it dead. He then commanded and he the offender was stoned to death."

        Muhammad was married to Khadija for 15 years prior to his claim of revelations. He must have been conversant with Nofal for much of that period. And hence picked up much foundational concepts of his religion.

        Azim

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    11. ‘Those to whom We gave the Scripture know him as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it].’
      Far from helping him, the Jews and Christians were the ones asking questions. And Sunnah is not what you think it is. Sunnah are the sayings and actions of the Holy Prophet PBUH. And no, before his Prophethood, he was not inquisitive about Judaism or Christianity. He was renowned for his honesty and trustworthiness and accordingly called as the Sadiq and Al Amin. People used to deposit their valuables with him for safe keeping. Declaring prophethood was not a bed of roses. He was boycotted for years and then forced to migrate to a different city. The arabs even offered to make him rich beyond imagination and king of whole Arabia, if he just stopped preaching.
      You must appreciate that Quran, in its message and tone is very different from the Torah and the Bible. Historical facts about previous generations and nations have been mentioned in the Quran as warnings. They are sometimes repeated for emphasis. Haven’t you seen flashbacks in movies? Quran is the final revelation from the Creator of this Universe to whole of the humanity, till the last day. Quran tells you why the Universe was created by Allah. Why humans have been created. What is the purpose of life. It is a manual for operating (living) life as a human being, from his Creator. Just as a manufacturer of any gadget will specify the operating guidelines, procedures and warnings for his product.

      It is a miraculous book. Do you know it takes 30 hrs to read the book? Yet millions of Muslims memorize it by heart and recite it word by word, syllable by syllable in prayers. Do you know of any other book that could be memorized so easily? Allah says in the Quran 54:17: And We have certainly made the Qur'an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?
      "This phenomenon of Quranic recital means that the text has traversed the centuries in an unbroken living sequence of devotion (for more than 1400 years). It cannot, therefore, be handled as an antiquarian thing, nor as a historical document out of a distant past. The fact of hifz (Quranic Memorization) has made the Qur'an a present possession through all the lapse of Muslim time and given it a human currency in every generation never allowing its relegation to a bare authority for reference alone" reflects Kenneth Cragg ( The Mind of the Qur'an)

      In the end, i will strongly urge you to read a translation of the Quran with an intention to learn and understand. May be you will find truth.


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      1. Farrukh you say Qur'an is an operating guide for living? Do you really think it is helping Islamic nations? Are the citizens of Islamic nations benefiting from this guide?

        You say the Qur'an "tells you why the Universe was created, Why humans have been created. What is the purpose of life." Can you give in simple terms answers to these 3 questions based on the Qur'an.

        Also forcing boys to memorise a book by rote to be parrots, most of whom can't even understand classical Arabic is no achievement to boast about. Its called brainwashing. If only you knew the conditions under which boys are treated in madrassas to memorise this stuff you'll be shocked. Also its a shame that Allah didn't deem it necessary for girls to also memorise his book.

        Azim

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      2. Your concept about brainwashing is self contradictory. As per your logic, how can a person be brainwashed when he doesn’t even understand a word of classical Arabic? No body is forcing any body to memorize the whole Quran. 1/60 of the Quran is enough to say the mandatory prayers. People memorize the rest to show their devotion -- Men and women alike, with no distinction. You truly have a lot of misconceptions about Islam. And NO the conditions in the madrassas are not horrible, i have been to one and the Quran can be memorized in 1.5 years, and thereafter one can continue with the secular education, no big deal!

        You wanted to know about the reasons for creation of humans and this universe in “simple terms”. I can tell you that Islam is a very simple and beautiful religion. With no complexities. Allah says in the Quran :
        We have given all kinds of examples for the human being in this Quran so that perhaps he may take heed. An Arabic Quran, without any crookedness (therein) in order that they may avoid all evil which Allah has ordered them to avoid, fear Him and keep their duty to Him. 39:27-28
        Without further ado.

        REASON FOR CREATION OF HUMANS

        "We did not create the jinn and men except to worship us."
        [Al-Qur'an 51:56]

        There surely came over man, a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. We created the human being from the union of sperm and egg: We mean to test him, so We have made him hearing, seeing. We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving. 76:1-3

        REASON FOR CREATION OF UNIVERSE

        Allah is the One Who raised the heavens without a pillar as you can see. Then He established his control over the realm and made the sun and moon subservient to Him. Each of them will remain in motion for an appointed time. He regulates all affairs and explains the evidence (of His existence) so that perhaps you will be certain of your meeting with your Lord. 13:2

        Blessed is He in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things. It is He who has created death and life, to put you to the test and see which of you is most virtuous in your deeds. He is Majestic and All-forgiving. 67:1-2

        Indeed, the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind do not realize it. 40:57

        ROLE OF MOHAMMED PBUH

        Muhammad is no more than an apostle: and indeed many apostles have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (become disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful. 3:144

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      3. Happy New Year everyone! Glad to be back. Anyway, this is what I think about the whole plagiarization thing: We can't really say Muhammad plagiarized things from the Bible or other religions. Rather, I would say that he, and the Qur'an were products of their times. If the Bible and the Qur'an speak about the universe expanding, it is because such an idea was prevalent in those times. Of course,this is how I, as an unbeliever, see it. If someone wants to say that the Qur'an or the Bible speak of an expanding universe and that is because these books are divinely inspired, they are free to think so. If Isaiah wrote of YHWH stretching out the heavens, it is because the Jews of that day had such ideas. hat I think is that either the Arabs also had similar ideas, since both peoples are ethnically and culturally related, or the Arabs got the idea from the former.

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    12. There are a lot more other verses which seems ridiculous to me. For example:

      The moon is "Noor", which emits light too
      The moon does not emit light. The Arabic word for reflected (in`ikaas) does not appear in this sentence.
      There are the three recognized translations of the verse 71:16:

      Pickthall: And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp?

      Yusuf Ali: "'And made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (Glorious) Lamp?

      Shakir: And made the moon therein a light, and made the sun a lamp?

      Where does the sun rise?

      The sun rises equally upon every human on earth on a daily basis, except in the poles. However, the Qur'an advocates the geocentric idea and flat earth concept in the verse below:

      Here are the three recognized translation of the verse 18:90:

      YUSUFALI: Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun.
      PICKTHAL: Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom.

      SHAKIR: Until when he reached the land of the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people to whom We had given no shelter from It;

      Earth has invisible pillars keeping up the sky but as all knows that the sky is not a roof or something . .it's a space!!
      This originated from the ancient Greek myth.

      Supporting verse 13:2:

      YUSUFALI: Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.

      PICKTHAL: Allah it is Who raised up the heavens without visible supports, then mounted the Throne, and compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each runneth unto an appointed term; He ordereth the course; He detaileth the revelations, that haply ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.

      SHAKIR: Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you see, and He is firm in power and He made the sun and the moon subservient (to you); each one pursues its course to an appointed time; He regulates the affair, making clear the signs that you may be certain of meeting your Lord.

      Another verse which reflects that the sky is a roof according to Arabs:
      The Qur'an author thought that the sky is like a ceiling that can fall on someone while the earth can swallow someone too.

      YUSUFALI: See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? If We wished, We could cause the earth to swallow them up, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to Allah (in repentance).

      PICKTHAL: Have they not observed what is before them and what is behind them of the sky and the earth? If We will, We can make the earth swallow them, or cause obliteration from the sky to fall on them. Lo! herein surely is a portent for every slave who turneth (to Allah) repentant.

      SHAKIR: Do they not then consider what is before them and what is behind them of the heaven and the earth? If We please We will make them disappear in the land or bring down upon them a portion from the heaven; most surely there is a sign in this for every servant turning (to Allah).

      Enough!!!

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