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Verse 27:61 - the astronomical / practical view point required


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Author Topic: Verse 27:61 - the astronomical / practical view point required  (Read 782 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: October 16, 2010, 02:04:04 am »

 BismEm


A few days ago my husband and I were invited to a dinner at his friend's house.  That friend of his has several non-Muslim friends, and few of them came to this dinner.  A christian lady began arguing with me about Verse 27:61 which I quote as follows.
 
"Is not He (best) Who made the earth a fixed abode, and placed rivers in the folds thereof, and placed firm hills therein, and hath set a barrier between the two seas ? Is there any God beside Allah ? Nay, but most of them know not!"  (27:61) An-Naml

They were discussing with reference to Pickthall's translations and she claimed that the expression "fixed abode" meant earth being still and not moving in its orbit.   I told her that she was surely wrong and upon some research I would send her the exact elucidation of that expression, and for that purpose she gave me her email address. So, if anyone can please comment on this issue, I will send her this link, hoping she will learn the truth and realize her own misinterpretation.
 
Thanks folks.  Please, a quick reply would be appreciated.
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 03:52:39 am »

Oh NO sis!  That lady is dead wrong!!  She hasn't understood the Noble Quran nor is she aware of the transitional hurdles of tranlations.  The term "fixed abode" as translated by Pickthall does NOT by any means refer to being static or motionless.  "fixed abode" is a direct translation.  Thus, sometimes English translations don't literally fit into the original Arabic context of that Verse.  Such barriers arise often due to translations and different rules of grammar between Arabic and other languages.  We have discussed this issue before in our forum.  In Verse 27:61 "fixed abode" refers to being the 'safe home' or 'a place of rest' for all earthly living beings.

Actually the direct translation as mentioned in Corpus Quran for grammar says "firm abode." The expression "firm .." or "fixed abode" can also carry the connotation that earth is the only habitable part of the universe for living beings like us that need air (oxygen) and water.  That makes the earth the only habitat for us and thus a fixed home. 

The actual reference is that Allah has created the earth as a firm and secure place to live in.  Even though the earth is constantly moving, yet it feels still and peaceful to those living here.  It does not constantly vibrate or shake.  It only shakes during earthquakes which has a different cause and occurs only as a weather hazard.   Allah has made the earth a 'safe' or 'secure home' for humans because it stays in its orbit by the command of Allah and is protected from celestial hazards (like colliusion with other planets, asteroids etc.).

We can check all Arabic to English dictionaries, looking up the vocabulary of Verse 27:61.  All such dictionaries reflect a single basic theme in the meanings they mention, that is, 'land made secure by the decision of Allah.'  'Land' represents 'earth.'


MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS TOPIC.

It's interesting to note and important to keep in mind that the scientific information & scientific analgoies in the Noble Quran are simple and sober so that the people of the 7th century (a period when no scientific discoveries had been made and the society was largely illiterate) could understand and make sense of it.  Also, it's very interesting to observe that even though  Quranic information was delivered to the uneducated Arabs who knew nothing about science or astronomy, yet every information is realistically simple without any of those glamorous or dream-like unnatural illusionary descriptions that may appeal to the minds of the uneducated people.  Though a fascinating illusionary style not in conformity with science would be more easily understood and enjoyed by the 7th century Beduoins,  yet, because the Quran delivers only the truth, therefore the simple and sober scientific information in the Quran has been found perfectly compatible with modern findings concerning astronomy and all other scientific issues.

I would like to put some excerpts on the observations of Dr. Bucaille and Dr. Kozai.

Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Quoting Dr. Bucaille: 
"Whenever I describe to Westerners the details the Qur’an contains on certain points of astronomy, it is common for someone to reply that there is nothing unusual in this since the Arabs made important discoveries in the field of astronomy long before the Europeans. But, this is a mistaken idea resulting from an ignorance of history. In the first place, science developed in the Arab World at a considerable time after the Qur’anic revelation had occurred. Secondly, the scientific knowledge prevalent at the highpoint of Islamic civilization would have made it impossible for any human being to have written statements on the heavens comparable to those in the Qur’an. The material on this subject is so vast that I can only provide a brief outline of it here."

Sun and the moon
------------------
Whereas the Bible talks of the sun and the moon as two lights differing only in size, the Qur’an distinguishes between them by the use of different terms: light (noor) for the moon, and lamp (siraaj) for the sun.
"Did you see how Allah created seven heavens, one above the other, and made in them the moon a light and the sun a lamp?" (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 78 , Verses 12-13).
The moon is an inert body which reflects light, whereas the sun is a celestial body in a state of permanent combustion producing both light and heat.

Stars and Planets
-----------------
The word ‘star’ (najm) in the Qur’an ( 86:3 ) is accompanied by the adjective thaaqib (Alnajmu Althaaqibu) which indicates that it burns and consumes itself as it pierces through the shadows of the night. It was much later discovered that stars are heavenly bodies producing their own light like the sun. In the Qur’an, a different word, kawkab, is used to refer to the planets which are celestial bodies that reflect light and do not produce their own light like the sun.  The Quran has also differentiated between stars and planets by separating mentioning about planets in V.37:6, the "lowest heaven" referring to the solar system.
“We have adorned the lowest heaven with ornaments, the planets.” (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 37 , Verses 6).

Orbits
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Today, the laws governing the celestial systems are well known. Galaxies are balanced by the position of stars and planets in well-defined orbits, as well as the interplay of gravitational forces produced by their masses and the speed of their movements. But is this not what the Qur’an describes in terms which have only become comprehensible in modern times. In chapter al-Ambiyaa we find:“(God is) the one who created the night, the day, the sun and the moon. Each one is traveling in an orbit with its own motion.” (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 21 , Verse 33).
The Arabic word which expresses this movement is the verb yasbahoon which implies the idea of motion produced by a moving body, whether it is the movement of one’s legs running on the ground, or the action of swimming in water. In the case of a celestial body, one is forced to translate it, according to its original meaning, as ‘to travel with its own motion.’

The Day and Night
------------------
The Qur’anic description of the sequence of day and night would, in itself, be rather common place were it not for the fact that it is expressed in terms that are today highly appropriate. The Qur’an uses the verb kawwara in chapter az-Zumar to describe the way the night ‘winds’ or ‘coils’ itself around the day and the day around the night.
“He coils the night upon the day and the day upon the night.” (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 39 , Verse 5).
The original meaning of the verb kawwara is to coil a turban around the head. This is a totally valid comparison; yet at the time the Qur’an was revealed, the astronomical data necessary to make this comparison were unknown. It is not until man landed on the moon and observed the earth spinning on its axis, that the dark half of the globe appeared to wind itself around the light and the light half appeared to wind itself around the dark.

The Solar Apex
---------------
The notion of a settled place for the sun is vividly described in chapter Yaa Seen of the Qur’an:
"The sun runs its coarse to a settled place That is the decree of the Almighty, the All Knowing.”  (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 36 , Verse 38).
“Settled place” is the translation of the word mustaqarr which indicates an exact appointed place and time. Modern astronomy confirms that the solar system is indeed moving in space at a rate of 12 miles per second towards a point situated in the constellation of Hercules ( alpha lyrae ) whose exact location has been precisely calculated. Astronomers have even give it a name, the solar apex.

In this regard also read the post with us, titled:
The sun is not stationary


Expansion of the Universe
-------------------------
Chapter ath-Thaariyaat of the Qur’an also seems to allude to one of the most imposing discoveries of modern science, the expansion of the Universe.
“I built the heaven with power and it is I, who am expanding it.”  (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 51 , Verse 47).
The expansion of the universe was first suggested by the general theory of relativity and is supported by the calculations of astrophysics. The regular movement of the galactic light towards the red section of the spectrum is explained by the distancing of one galaxy from another. Thus, the size of the universe appears to be progressively increasing.

Conquest of Space
------------------
Among the achievements of modern science is the “conquest” of space which has resulted in mans journey to the moon. The prediction of this event surely springs to mind when we read the chapter ar-Rahmaan in the Qur’an:
“O assembly of Jinns and men, if you can penetrate the regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them! You will not penetrate them except with authority.” (The Holy Qur'an , Chapter 55 , Verse 33).
Authority to travel in space can only come from the Creator of the laws which govern movement and  space. The whole of this Qur’anic chapter invites humankind to recognize God’s beneficence.   
Also, the above verse clearly infers that man will never be able to conquer the vast expanse of space.  Scientists have acknowledged that they will never know most of the secrets of the heavens, and that whatever they know is very little compared to all that they don't know.

And now, Dr. Kozai's comments:

"Then he turned to the sky, and it had been (as) smoke (dukhaan): He said to it and to the earth: come you together, willingly or unwillingly. They said: we do come (together) in willing obedience." (Qur'aan 41:11).
Some scientists describe this dukhaan or smoke “mist”. But Professor Kozai of Tokyo univerity who was also director of National Astronomical Observatory, pointed out that the term “mist” does not correspond to the description of this smoke, because mist is characteristically cold, whereas this cosmic smoke is somewhat hot. Dukhaan indeed is made up of diffused gases to which solid substances are attached, and this is the exact description of the smoke from which the universe emerged even before the stars were formed. Professor Kozai said that because that smoke was hot, we cannot describe it as “mist”. Dukhaan is the best descriptive word that can ever be. In this way Professor Kozai continued to scrutinize each Qur'aanic verse we presented to him.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 04:51:07 am »

Very well explained dear sister Heba.  Do forward this link to that person, sister Ruhi.  I hope sister Heba's articulate and well-studied work clarifies that lady's gross misunderstanding.  
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 05:40:35 am »

MaashAllah, beautifully responded sister.  Do send this link to the lady who was arguing with u sister Rose.  Hope she wakes up and is able to understand her faulty ideas.
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 01:03:40 am »

JazekAllah Khair and tons of thanks dear sister Heba, for these brilliant and thoroughly well-read details.  I had actually read it day before yesterday in the evening and forwarded it to her immediately.  She nor her husband, who was also loudly talking crap, have so far commented.  Not that I was expecting them to.  At such times, Quran attackers respond with pin drop silence.  Their own blunder becomes much too obvious to them.  Yet they are full of pride to acknowledge their short sightedness.  The only escape is the back door.  If I get any comments on email, I'll post it here.  I also sent them the link of this place requesting to feel free to join.  But again, I know they won't  because getting caught in a debate here and losing will make it harder for such persons to find the back door without making their defeat embarrassingly obvious as has happened with some earlier. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 02:34:04 am »

u r welcomed sis.  May Allah (Subhana Wa'Taala) accept our efforts for spreading the Truth and trying to wake up those who are still snoring.
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 12:25:04 am »

Just a quick additional feedback. I came across this Verse tonight during our daily Quran reading time at home and thought of doing some further research.  For this reason a laptop is always next to us during Quran studies Smiley  I looked up Corpus Quran on V.27:61 to double-check on the expression "fixed abode."  Corpus Quran puts it as "firm abode."

"Or Who made the earth a firm abode and made (in) its midst rivers and made for it firm mountains and made between the two seas a barrier?" 27:61 (Translation Corpus Quran).

The original Arabic word "qararan" has been used in various Verses in different Quranic Chapters.  While its basic or root meaning is always the same, the slight variations of its definition may depend on the precise nature of the Ayat where it's used.  Firm abode (qararan), a place of settlement (qararan), a resting place (qararin), stability (qararin) are a few of the variations.  As you can see, all these slight grammatical variations carry the root meaning of suitability, reliability, permanency and sustainability.

Hence, in V.27:61 whether you take it as firm abode or fixed abode, both words convey the concept of the earth being the only safe habitat for humans and other living beings that conforms with the requirements to support life.

Check some of the above mentioned variations in the following different translations of Verse 27:61, all in line with the minor variations in the word "qararan" as highlighted in Quran Dictionary of Corpus Quran.

Abdel Haleem translates it as:
"Who is it that made the earth a stable place to live?" 

Muhammad Asad translates: 
"Who is it that has made the earth a fitting abode"

Ahmed Ali translates: 
"Who then made the earth a habitable place"

Aisha Bewley translates: 
"He Who made the earth a stable dwelling place" 

Syed Vickar Ahamed translates: 
"Who has made the earth strong to live on"

Bilal Muhammad translates:
"Who has made the earth comfortable to live on"

Abu Alaa Maududi translates: 
"Who has made the earth a place of resort"

All of these seem to be more explicit than the expression used by Pickthall and therefore more accurate.

But no matter which translation you like best, what is confirmed is that this Verse is most certainly NOT a reference to a sedentary earth.  That is as clear as bright daylight.
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 12:41:31 am »

O great!  That has made it still more complete.  You put it at the right time as I was intending to put up this post with a link at the board for responding to Answering-Islam.  Though I haven't yet seen the AI thugs bringing up this Verse for defamation, that hostile lady I came across was no different from them.  So I think it will be right to link this post with that board as well.

Many thanks for this my sis.


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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 12:44:04 am »

A warm welcome dear sis.  Btw, did you forward this info to that silly woman.  What did she say?
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 12:46:34 am »

O yep, I forwarded this page with your input and also copy & pasted it via a separate email just a day after you posted it.   No reply for the moron yet and it's been almost 5 years  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 12:50:09 am »

Applause to the moron.  She apparently has nothing worthwhile to say.  Must be a rookie with AI.
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2015, 12:51:20 am »

 teethsmile
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