Author Topic: Is the earth round or flat according to the Quran  (Read 7441 times)

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Offline abdullah

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Is the earth round or flat according to the Quran
« on: August 30, 2013, 06:01:52 PM »
Assalamualykum I recently came across this comment about if the quran claims the earth is flat or round. It is by far the best rebuttal to the anti-islamic polemicists.


"In addition to 18:86, they claim that 71:19, which says that God made the earth an expanse (wallahu ja'ala lakumu l-arda bisatan), implies a flat earth. However, the word bisatan means expanse, not flat. They apparently were asleep in kindergarten when the teacher went over shapes and sizes. Flat is a shape. Expansive is a size. For example, a piece of paper is flat, but not expansive. The earth is expansive, but not flat. They make the same mistake in translating and interpreting 51:48, which says that God made the earth expansive (farashnaha).

Curiously, they even cite 79:30 as evidence that the Quran says the earth is flat, even though it says the exact opposite (that the earth is shperical). 79:30 says, according to them, "and the earth, after that, He flattened it, and/or, and the earth, after that, He made it flat" (wa l-arda ba'da dhalika dahaha). They claim the word daha comes from the root for an Arabian ostrich's nest (madahy). According to them, the (now extinct) Arabian ostrich would flatten the ground before it layed it's eggs. Thus, they claim that dahaha means that He (God) flattened the earth like an Arabian ostrich flattens the ground before laying its eggs. However, the linguist, Prof. Martha Schulte-Nafeh, points out in her translation that the word daha also comes from the same root for the ostrich egg itself (dahyah). She points out that in the Libyan dialect, they still sometimes use the word dahyah for egg in addition to the more frequently used word baydah. Thus, she translates dahaha as "He made it egg-shaped". Now, take a look at this painting of an Arabian ostrich's nest from al-Jahiz's 9th century book on animals, "kitab al-hayawan":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_Ostrich

Does the nest (madahy) look "flat" to you? The eggs (dahy) do look spherical to me, though. In addition to implying that the earth is spherical like an ostrich's egg, when the Quran talks about the night following the day and the day following the night in 39:5, it uses the verb yukawiru. Yukawiru comes from the KWR root, which means to roll or become round/spherical. The Arabic word for sphere, kurah, is derived from the same root.

As for the notion that "Muslim apologists" only recently started interpreting the Quran as saying the earth is round, the 9th century Quran commentator al-Jubba'i interpreted it this way in his now lost commentary. The 11th century scholar, ibn Hazm, interpreted it this way in his book "al-fisal fi l-milal wa l-nihal". And The 12th centery Quran commentator, ar-Razi, also interpreted it this way.

In addition to the aforementioned Muslim scholars, other Muslim scholars also believed the earth was ROUND:

"Muslim scholars who held to the round Earth theory used it for a quintessentially Islamic purpose: to calculate the distance and direction from any given point on the Earth to Makkah (Mecca).[56] This determined the Qibla, or Muslim direction of prayer.

"A terrestrial globe (Kura-i-ard) was among the presents sent by the Persian Muslim astronomer Jamal-al-Din to Kubla Khan in 1267. It was made of wood on which "seven parts of water are represented in green, three parts of land in white, with rivers, lakes etc."[57] Ho Peng Yoke remarks that "it did not seem to have any general appeal to the Chinese in those days"."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Because Muslim scholars had to calculate the qibla on a ROUND earth, they practically invented spherical geometry:

"Muslims, according to Carra de Vaux, were "unquestionably the inventors of plane and spherical geometry, which did not, strictly speaking, exist among the Greeks".[2] The book of unknown arcs of a sphere written by Islamic mathematician Al-Jayyani is considered to be the first treatise on spherical trigonometry. The book contains formulae for right-handed triangles, the general law of sines, and the solution of a spherical triangle by means of the polar triangle.[3]

"The book On Triangles by Regiomontanus, written around 1463, is the first pure trigonometrical work in Europe. However, Gerolamo Cardano noted a century later that much of the material there on spherical trigonometry was taken from the twelfth-century work of the Spanish Islamic scholar Jabir ibn Aflah."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth#Islamic_world

I should also point out that the Muslim scholar, al-Biruni, calculated the circumference of the ROUND earth in the 11th century. And the Muslim scholar, Ali Qushji, asserted that this ROUND earth was rotating in the 15th century. And here's a painting of Ottoman Muslim scholars studying a ROUND earth in the 16th century:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Taqi_al_din.jpg

All of this was centuries before they claim modern "Muslim apologists" began saying that the Quran says the earth is round. This is by no means exhaustive treatment of this subject. It's just what I recall off the top of my head from my study of this subject."

Offline ThatMuslimGuy

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Re: Is the earth round or flat according to the Quran
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 04:15:13 AM »
AsalamuAlaikum,

Mash'Allah thankyou for sharing Akhi!

Offline abdullah

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Re: Is the earth round or flat according to the Quran
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 02:16:32 AM »
Assalamualykum
No problem Akhi, I think we need we need more articles like these: well researched, well written, and concise.

 

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