In this booklet, we explore the claims of the existing version of Quran translations in English available today as a book compatible with discoveries of modern science. Dr Zakir Naik (MBBS), a non-practicing medical undergraduate representing an organisation called IRF has attempted to explore mysteries of astrophysics through verses of Quran to claim that Quran is a book of so-called ‘signs’ that foretold revelations of modern science 1400 years ago. In this booklet, Indian Agnostic has scrutinized the medical undergraduate’s celebrated research in astrophysics presented in “THE QUR’AAN AND MODERN SCIENCE – COMPATIBLE OR INCOMPATIBLE?” which is a big hit among young students of Islamic science. You can download the original book from irf.net or a simple google search.
We welcome readers to freely download and distribute this review of Zakir Naik’s magnum opus. We also welcome readers to share their comments and have any further queries addressed through the comments section.
But more importantly, we request truth-seekers to reject falsehood. We understand that it would be difficult for Zakir Naik to do so because he seems to be trapped in an unholy nexus which believes in killing apostates and assigning hell for all non Muslims irrespective of their noble deeds. But for the lesser celebrities, may the light of truth eradicate all forms of superstitions and lies.
Dr. Zakir Naik, in his book The Quran and Modern Science: Compatible or Incompatible? places certain Quranic verses as evidence before us, in support of his claim that Quran and modern science are indeed compatible (The booklet can be downloaded from IRF Site)
In this article, we will examine his arguments and evidences to ascertain if there is any truth to the claim or it is yet another propagandist stunt of Dr. Naik.
This article is heavily inspired from the RATIONAL arguments/facts published on Islam-critiquing sites like FaithFreedom.org , Islam-Watch.org, AnsweringMuslims.org etc. So many a thanks to all of them for making the job a cinch 🙂
[ *Extracts from Dr. Naik’s book appear under the title “Zakir Naik says”, in Italic, followed by our response. Emphasis, underline ours]
Zakir Naik says:
“In this booklet, I intend to give an objective analysis of the Muslim belief regarding the Divine origin of the Qur’aan, in the light of established scientific discoveries.”
Tall claim Dr. Naik! Let’s see how objective, factual and rational you have been in this work of yours.
Zakir Naik says:
“There was a time, in the history of world civilization, when ‘miracles’, or what was perceived to be a miracle, took precedence over human reason and logic. But how do we define the term ‘miracle’? A miracle is anything that takes place out of the normal course of life and for which humankind has no Explanation”
“However, we must be careful before we accept something as a miracle. An article in ‘The Times of India’ Mumbai, in 1993 reported that ‘a saint’ by the name ‘Baba Pilot’ claimed to have stayed continuously submerged under water in a tank for three consecutive days and nights. However, when reporters wanted to examine the base of the tank of water where he claimed to have performed this ‘miraculous’ feat, he refused to let them do so. He argued by asking as to how one could examine the womb of a mother that gives birth to a child. The ‘Baba’ was hiding something. It was a gimmick simply to gain publicity. Surely, no modern man with even the slightest inkling towards rational thinking would accept such a ‘miracle’ “
Point well taken Dr. Naik! So, how about subjecting a Quranic miracle to a similar scrutiny?
- Let’s pick up a miracle claim of the Quran (Surah 57 Verse 1). This verse talks about the miracle of Prophet Muhammad splitting the moon in two!!!
(Source: http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/054.qmt.html#054.001 )
YUSUFALI: The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
PICKTHAL: The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.
SHAKIR: The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder
- Now ask yourself: If staying submerged in water for 3 days was ‘baba pilots’ gimmick to gain publicity, then what should we call Muhammad’s claim of him splitting the moon in two? If a man can split moon into two parts from earth, what is the big deal if some other person remains submerged in water without oxygen? Which one is more preposterous of the two claims?
Borrowing Dr. Naik’s words: No modern man with even the slightest inkling towards rational thinking would accept any of these ‘miracles‘!
The way Dr. Naik discards baba pilot staying under water for 3 days as irrational, we expect him to apply the same rationale in discarding Muhammad’s miracle of splitting the moon in two. So Dr. Naik, when you get to read this, we expect you to treat the Quran the same way you treat baba pilot.
Needless to say, a rational modern thinking man (and woman) would discard BOTH of these so-called ‘miracles’. Appears as if we have already rendered Dr. Naik’s booklet void. But anyways, for the sake of a more detailed postmortem, lets delve a bit deeper into Dr. Naik’s arguments.
Zakir Naik says:
THE CHALLENGE OF THE QUR’AAN
“Literature and poetry have been instruments of human expression and creativity, in all cultures. The world also witnessed an age when literature and poetry occupied pride of position, similar to that now enjoyed by science and technology.” Muslims as well as non-Muslims agree that Al-Qur’aan is Arabic literature par excellence – that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth.
The Qur’aan, challenges mankind in the following verses: “And if ye are in doubt As to what We have revealed From time to time to Our Servant, then produce a Soorah Like there unto; And call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, If your (doubts) are true. But if ye cannot -And of a surety you cannot. Then fear the Fire Whose fuel is Men and Stones – Which is prepared for those Who reject Faith.” [Al-Qur’aan 2:23-24] The challenge of the Qur’aan, is to produce a single Soorah (chapter) like the Soorahs it contains. The same challenge is repeated in the Qur’aan several times. The challenge to produce a Soorah, which, in beauty, eloquence, depth and meaning is at least somewhat similar to a Qur’aanic Soorah remains unmet to this day.
Dr. Naik understands that literature and poetry are instruments of HUMAN expression and creativity. This implies that the brilliance or mediocrity of a literary work can only be attributed to a HUMAN and not to some DIVINE entity. Despite that understanding, he naively reproduces the Challenge of the Quran to prove its Divinity.
How can an instrument of human expression prove or disprove the DIVINITY of a text? It’s impossible!
Let’s list down the facts that make the challenge of the Quran self-defeating and naive:
- Literary excellence is no guarantee of divinity of a text. So It’s futile to throw or accept this challenge, as it would not prove or disprove the divinity of the book even when the challenge is met!
- The challenge builds on a flawed assumption that if no comparable work exists for a given work, then it must be Divine. By that logic, even Mona Lisa is from God and Meghadootam of Kalidas is the word of God because these masterpieces have no parallels. Right?
- Another flaw in this challenge is that it sets the challenger as the arbitrator/judge. So any Tom, Dick and Harry with a bunch of his friends can defeat the author of the Quran. All they have to do, is to attest that their friend has written a surah better than the author of the Quran and we’re done!
- The biggest blunder of this challenge is that the author of the Quran was unaware of the almost zero structural impact of replacing nouns and pronouns with each other within certain statements/verses . For example, if we change “Muslims” with “kafirs” and “kafirs” with “Muslims” in any verse of the Quran, we would have created an ANTI-QURAN which matches exactly and undoubtedly with the Quran in literary excellence!!!
[[And interestingly this new book, being divine (as it fulfills Allah’s criterion of divinity which was to be something similar or better than Quran in literary excellence), will make Muslim friends along with Zakir Bhai shed tears as they will be now going to the hellfire for eternity and the Kafirs will be enjoying the houris (who were originally meant for Muslims) in everlasting heaven! In addition to it, Muhammad, being a non Muslim (as per new DIVINE book), ceases to be a messenger and thus Quran claimed to be revealed to him loses its divine status ]]
- Finally, it’s utterly dumb of a Creator to challenge his Creation to outdo Him. Why would a sensible creator do that? Imagine a car manufacturer (we like the car example because that’s a favorite of Zakir Bhai) throwing challenge at the car to run above its maximum design speed! Such a manufacturer would need a brain check up as he seems to forget that it is HE ALONE who has put the limits to the speed of his car. If he is not sure about the speed limits of his car, it implies that he lacks complete knowledge of his own product! On the other hand, if he does know the speed limits of the car and still challenges it, he needs mental treatment. Thus either Allah is not omniscient or He needs medical attention.
[[Here we would remind you of another eccentricity of the author of Quran in which He first made Adam knowledgeable keeping the angels deliberately dumb and then organized a GK competition between Adam and the illiterate angels! How fair!..Are you still looking for science in Quran? 😉 ]]
In one paragraph we found the irrationality of a Quranic miracle and in the next Dr. Naik offered us an irrational, preposterous challenge of Quran.
I am afraid, as we investigate further…Would we end up concluding that Quran is not meant for rational persons at all? Allah forbid!
[PS: Dear reader, these are additional facts. Not necessary, but good to know in this context:
- Many people have produced surahs like the Quran and few could tell the difference .Please Google about the furqan and suralikeit controversy to know more
- Many Muslim as well as non-Muslim scholars DO NOT agree with the claim that Al-Quran is literature par excellence. Ali Dashti, a famous scholar punctures this claim quite effectively in his works
Zakir Naik says:
A modern rational man, however, would never accept a religious scripture, which says, in the best possible poetic language, that the world is flat. This is because we live in an age, where human reason, logic and science are given primacy. Not many would accept the Qur’aan’s extraordinarily beautiful language, as proof of its Divine origin.
As has been explained above, literary excellence cannot by itself be the proof of divinity. So No rational person would ever accept Quran as divine because of that alone. But Dr. Naik brings up another point in this piece. Here he rightly suggests that if any religious scripture goes against scientifically established fact, it should not be accepted.
Now the question to ask is whether Quran goes against a scientific fact or not? What does the Quran say about the shape of the Earth?
We’ll know very soon 🙂 But please remember, if the Quran goes against a scientifically established truth, Dr. Naik requests you to not accept the Quran as a religious scripture.
Zakir Naik says:
The Qur’aan is not a book of science but a book of ‘signs’, i.e. ayats. There are more than six thousand ‘signs’ in the Qur’aan of which more than a thousand deal with science
Dr. Naik’s generalization that 1/6th of Quran is dedicated to science is without evidence. He does not provide any reference of the 1000+ verses dedicated to science. Appeal to false authority?
As far as signs of Allah are concerned, the less said about them the better. An example of such a sign is the natural phenomenon of eclipse, that is well explained and understood by science. But in Islam, this very natural phenomenon is treated as a ‘sign’ of Allah!
Zakir Naik says:
We all know that many a times Science takes a ‘U-turn’. In this book I have considered only established scientific facts and not mere hypotheses and theories that are based on assumptions and are not backed by proof.
Dr. Naik should have elaborated on the criteria he applied to distinguish between established scientific facts and mere theories that are prone to the U-Turn syndrome. It’s a very tricky game even for the scientists 😉 Anyways, let’s give him the benefit of doubt on this one and channel our energies in investigating the evidence (the Quranic Verses) he offers in support of science in the Quran instead.
Zakir Naik says:
CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE: ‘THE BIG BANG’
The creation of the universe is explained by astrophysicists in a widely accepted phenomenon, popularly known as the ‘Big Bang’. It is supported by observational and experimental data gathered by astronomers and astrophysicists for decades. According to the ‘Big Bang’, the whole universe was initially one big mass (Primary Nebula). Then there was a ‘Big Bang’ (Secondary Separation) which resulted in the formation of Galaxies. These then divided to form stars, planets, the sun, the moon, etc. The origin of the universe was unique and the probability of it occurring by ‘chance’ is zero. The Qur’aan contains the following verse, regarding the origin of the universe: “Do not the Unbelievers see That the heavens and the earth Were joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder?” [Al-Qur’aan 21:30]
Very poor evidence indeed! And that too factually incorrect!
Dr. Naik has let his imagination loose in correlating big bang with this verse (21:30) of the Quran. Let’s analyze this verse closely.
- It starts with “do not the unbelievers SEE” – This can mean two things- a) that the phenomenon being talked about can be actually seen AND/OR b) that the phenomenon being talked about here is already KNOWN to the people who it is being addressed to (unbelievers in this case). Look at it any which way, it only proves that the phenomenon was already known (and possibly verifiable) to the addressees in advance. So there’s no new knowledge that is being revealed here. I don’t know why Dr. Naik chose such a self-defeating verse in the first place.
- Then the verse says “that the heavens and earth were joined together, before We clove them asunder?” – This rustic imagination has nothing to do with the big bang. The earth was formed billions of years after the big bang!! And most importantly, earth was not parted from the universe, it is, was and will remain a part of the Universe!
A very bad choice indeed. This verse is scientifically unsound and rustic. It fails in parts and as a whole too 🙁
Another important thing to note is how conveniently (read unscientifically) Dr. Naik assumes the word ‘heaven’ in the verse to mean ‘universe’. Unfortunately, despite this innovation, the verse turned out to be a scientific disaster and a non-revelation.
By the way, the Quranic heaven is a 7 storied building/canopy over the earth. Interestingly, not only the Quranic heaven but the Quranic earth has seven layers too (Quran 65:12 [Yusuf Ali] “Allah is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number.”
(We would not be surprised if Dr. Naik comes up with some multiverse argument to explain the 7 universes, but what will he do about the 7 earths therein?)
So, after having analyzed the evidence (verse 21:30) we find that Quranic model of universe is very much against established scientific facts but it’s in perfect sync with Judaic, Greek view of its time. The author of Quran insists that the heavens can be seen by the unbelievers (or are already known to them).
To be doubly sure that the ‘heaven’ of Quran is NOT the ‘universe’, we look at another verse which unambiguously states that the earth was created first and thereafter the heavens (Universe as per Dr. Naik) were created.
Quran 2:29 “He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawâ (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.”
Now going by Dr. Naik’s terminology ,you get from this verse:
- a universe that was created after the earth was created !! (Allah had to rise over earth to reach the Universe…Enjoy the science!)
- a universe that was smoke while the earth was solid!!!
- a universe that was fragmented into 7 layers!!!
What a disaster!
Zakir Naik says:
The striking congruence between the Qur’aanic verse and the ‘Big Bang’ is inescapable! How could a book, which first appeared in the deserts of Arabia 1400 years ago, contain this profound scientific truth?
Rather, these verses only corroborate that the author of the Quran was only reiterating what the Arabs of 7th century believed in: 7 layers of flat disc earth and 7 layers of solid canopies of heaven on top. All borrowed from Greek, Talmud myths and reproduced by the author of the Quran.
As if all this was not bad enough, Dr. Naik dishonestly translates the word ‘heaven’ as ‘universe’…and despite that, his evidence not only falls short but goes anti the big-bang theory. We hope, being a modern rational man, he would do a ‘baba pilot’ with the Quran as well after reading this article.
Zakir Naik says:
CREATION OF GALAXIES
Scientists say that before the galaxies in the universe were formed, celestial matter was initially in the form of gaseous matter. In short, huge gaseous matter or clouds were present before the formation of the galaxies. To describe initial celestial matter, the word ‘smoke’ is more appropriate than gas. The following Qur’aanic verse refers to this state of the universe by the word dhukhan which means smoke.
“Moreover, He Comprehended In His design the sky, And it had been (as) smoke: He said to it And to the earth: ‘Come ye together, Willingly or unwillingly.’ They said: ‘We do come (Together), in willing obedience.'” [Al-Qur’aan 41:11]
How unscientific of a book which has just one word for sky, heaven, galaxy, universe! That which is heaven for Pickthall, is sky for Yusuf Ali, is Galaxy(!!!!!) for Dr. Naik. And mind you, in one of these Dr. Naiks ‘universes’ (or galaxies?) the author of Quran promises rivers of honey and milk and wine and what not. I hope NASA find’s one such heaven..oops galaxy ..oops Universe!
Just for fun, let’s assume that Dr. Naik is a bigger scholar of Arabic than any of the most reputed ones (like Yusuf Ali, Pickthaal, Hilali, Shakir etc.) and we use ‘Galaxy’ instead of ‘sky’ in the above verse. Even then, the author of the Quran fails miserably.. here’s how:
- The verse starts with “Moreover” ..Implying that before the creation of the galaxies, Allah did something else.
- We can find what precedes the creation of ‘galaxies’ by reading the preceding verse, of which, 41:11 is an obvious successor – “Quran Verse 41:10
He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).”
So what do we have from this verse: The Earth is formed before the formation of galaxies! As if earth is not part of a galaxy!!
- Now look the verse 41:11 by itself.. It says the ‘Galaxy’ was a smoke, as if the earth was not! Very Very unscientific!
- Read further into the verse “he said to it and the earth: ‘come ye together“.. IS THIS HOW THE GALAXY WAS FORMED? BY coming together of Earth and the rest of the Galaxy? What kind of a joke is this!!! Earth is, was a part of this galaxy… earth was formed with the same “SMOKE” of which the galaxy was formed.
We find that despite the innovative translation of the Quran by Dr. Naik, it still goes against established scientific facts. We are surprised and disheartened that such absurd unscientific arguments find many buyers in the Islamic world. Science has a lot of catching up to do 🙁
Zakir Naik says:
Again, this fact is a corollary to the ‘Big Bang’ and was not known to the Arabs during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). What then, could have been the source of this knowledge?
Dr. Naik .. The source of Quran’s ‘knowledge’ (?) is Greek, Babylonian, Jewish and Christian mythology of its time which it faithfully reproduces. Add to that your unscientific translation of the same word in any which way that suits you. And despite all this hanky panky, your argument still bites the dust.
Zakir Naik says:
THE SPHERICAL SHAPE OF THE EARTH
In early times, people believed that the earth is flat. For centuries, men were afraid to venture out too far, lest they should fall off the edge. Sir Francis Drake was the first person who proved that the earth is spherical when he sailed around it in 1597. Consider the following Qur’aanic verse regarding the alternation of day and night: “Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day And He merges Day into Night?” [Al-Qur’aan 31:29]. Merging here means that the night slowly and gradually changes to day and vice versa. This phenomenon can only take place if the earth is spherical. If the earth was flat, there would have been a sudden change from night to day and from day to night.
The following verse also alludes to the spherical shape of the earth: “He created the heavens And the earth In true (proportions): He makes the Night Overlap the Day, and the Day Overlap the Night.” [Al-Qur’aan 39:5] The Arabic word used here is Kawwara meaning ‘to overlap’ or ‘to coil’- the way a turban is wound around the head. The overlapping or coiling of the day and night can only take place if the earth is spherical.
- The underlined claim is false. A flat-disc earth with sun moving in a canopy above it will also result in gradual change of night and day. Thus, using this as an argument in support of a spherical earth is void.
- By the way , Let’s look at the complete verse (31:29) “Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do?” [verse 39:5 repeats the same claim]This verse when looked at in its entirety exposes the naïve understanding of the author of the Quran. The author believes that night merges into day and day merges into night because sun and moon follow their courses around the earth at appointed intervals. It’s a scientific blunder that assumes a geocentric world (as the Greeks used to believe)
- Also, the verse in its entirety is talking about how Allah makes night and day using sun and moon. It nowhere talks about the shape of the earth…or for that matter it does not talk about the earth at all! It talks about the courses of the sun and moon (not of earth).
- Gradual change of day into night and vice versa is a PLAIN OBSERVATION for anybody. It does not require any rocket science to be appreciated. Coupling this observation with the fact that Quran talks of spherical earth is as foolish as claiming that Quran talks about nuclear fusion because it mentions somewhere that the sun shines! Rather than fulfilling his promise of an objective analysis, we find that Dr. Naik has surrendered to his wild imagination to hunt for science in the Quran.
Dear reader, we know that you would have called the bluff of Dr. Naik by now. But let’s bear with a few more ‘evidences’ of Dr. Naik. Let this be dealt with once and for all.
Zakir Naik says:
The earth is not exactly round like a ball, but geo-spherical i.e. it is flattened at the poles. The following verse contains a description of the earth’s shape “And the earth, moreover, Hath He made egg shaped.” [Al-Qur’aan 79:30]
The Arabic word for egg here is dahaha, which means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth. Thus the Qur’aan correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent notion when the Qur’aan was revealed was that the earth is flat
As expected, the translation of the above verse is NOT from YUSUF ALI, it’s a later day addition by apologists like Dr. Naik. Here are the three reputed translations:
YUSUFALI: And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse);
PICKTHAL: And after that He spread the earth,
SHAKIR: And the earth, He expanded it after that.
Al-Taqiyya is at play and Dr. Naik deviates from his assurance that he would quote from Yusuf Ali. He created his own translation!!! Not a single scholar worth his salt translated dahaha as egg-shaped.
Well, that’s enough to refute this concoction But let’s refute it thoroughly:
- The word ‘dahaha’ DOES NOT mean Ostrich-egg…it means to flatten, roll out, spread etc as per the most trusted Arabic dictionaries. No Arabic dictionary of repute can make such a phenomenal blunder, but Dr. Naik is unfazed nonetheless, he is happy with his innovation. He must be reminded that Innovation is a GREAT SIN in Islam
- Again, even if hypothetically dahaha meant egg shaped, then again, scientifically speaking, the earth is an oblate spheroid and not an ovoid like the ostrich egg
- Now let’s look at other places where the Quran talks about the shape of the earth
- Quran 50:7 “And the earth have We spread out, and have flung firm hills therein, and have caused of every lovely kind to grow thereon”. [Waal-ardamadadnahawaalqaynafeeharawasiyawaanbatnafeeha min kullizawjinbaheejin]
The word used here is madadnaha – which means spread out, make plain, flatten – nothing spherical about it. [Quran 50:7]
- Quran 91:6 “And the earth and Him Who spread it [Waal-ardiwamatahaha]
- Quran 71:19 “‘And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out), [ WaAllahujaAAalalakumu al-ardabisatan ]
From the evidence above, we can safely ask Dr. Zakir Naik to take his ostrich egg back to his ostrich farm and not confuse Muslims as well as non-Muslims on the straight forward translations of the Quranic words/verses by the most reputed scholars of Quran.
And if there is still residual doubt in your minds, let’s read this verse of the author of Quran 79:19 “‘And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out),”
[Have you seen a spherical carpet? 😉 ]
Now let’s puncture Dr. Naik’s other claim that the prevalent notion at the time of Quran was that the earth is flat. We share with you the scientific understanding about earth’s shape and SIZE during the same time period (actually a century prior to) when the Quran was revealed. Aryabhatta was an Indian mathematician and wrote his treatise Aryabhatiya in 499 CE:
- Aryabhatta tells us that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight and that the orbits of the planets are ellipses.
[The author of the Quran was unaware of the fact that all planets reflect sunlight 🙁 ]
- He also correctly explained the causes of eclipses of the Sun and the Moon.
[Muslims including the prophet [and many Hindus even today] used to pray during eclipses because they did not understand this natural phenomenon. They thought it to be one of Allah’s or God’s signs – Quran is after all a book of signs 😉 ]
- His value for the length of the sidereal year at 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes 30 seconds is only 3 minutes 20 seconds longer than the true value of 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes 10 seconds.
[Now that’s what we call a substantial claim. Not something rustic like “we have divided the year into four seasons” kind of banal stuff]
- He estimated the value of ‘Pi’ as: “Add four to one hundred, multiply by eight and then add sixty-two thousand. The result is approximately the circumference of a circle of diameter twenty thousand. By this rule the relation of the circumference to diameter is given.” In other words, Pi=62832/20000 = 3.1416, correct to four rounded-off decimal places.
[PI is needed for anybody who understands circles (forget about spheres). The author of the Quran didn’t have anything to opine in this regard in his ‘1000+ scientific verses”?]
- Aryabhatta accurately calculated the Earth’s circumference as 24,835 miles, which was only 0.2% smaller than the actual value of 24,902 miles. This approximation remained the most accurate for over a thousand years [i.e. 100 years before Islam and 900 years after the advent of Islam !]
Dear Readers, please compare Aryabhatta’s knowledge on the shape and circumference of the earth versus Allah’s vague revelation that the earth is an expanse or even Dr. Naik’s innovative translation that earth is ostrich egg shaped (which is anyways wrong). Which one of the two sounds like science?
And don’t forget, Aryabhatta revealed all this a century before the author of the Quran came up with his so called scientific verses!
Guess what? Aryabhatta was 23 years old when he gave us his marvelous treatise on Astronomy, Algebra, Spherical geometry, trigonometry etc.
THUS IF MUHAMMAD BE REGARDED AS PROPHET BECAUSE OF THE SIGNS OR SCIENCE HE IS CLAIMED TO HAVE GIVEN IN A BOOK CALLED QURAN, ARYABHATTA DESERVES TO BE REGARDED AS AN EVEN BIGGER PROPHET FOR GIVING MUCH MORE ACUURATE SCIENCE IN HIS BOOK. If Quran be basis for regarding Muhammad as Rasul, then Aryabhatta is the true Rasul.
The derivatives of Aryabhatta’s work reached an Arab (Al-Khwarizmi), who translated it into Arabic and consequently took this knowledge to the West. He is now known as the father of algebra!
[Thank God! He was smart enough to know where to look for scientific knowledge from – and it was NOT the Quran]
Wondering why this particular rebuttal is so long and comprehensive? Well! Don’t you remember what Dr. Naik said? He said that if any scripture says that the earth is flat, you must discard that scripture. Now you know what you have to do..don’t you?
Zakir Naik says:
THE LIGHT OF THE MOON IS REFLECTED LIGHT
It was believed by earlier civilizations that the moon emanates its own light. Science now tells us that the light of the moon is reflected light. However this fact was mentioned in the Qur’aan 1,400 years ago in the following verse:. “Blessed is He Who made Constellations in the skies, And placed therein a Lamp And a Moon giving light.” [Al-Qur’aan 25:61]
The Arabic word for the sun in the Qur’aan, is shams. It is referred to as siraaj, which means a ‘torch’ or as wahhaaj which means ‘a blazing lamp’ or as diya which means ‘shining glory’. All three descriptions are appropriate to the sun, since it generates intense heat and light by its internal combustion. The Arabic word for the moon is qamar and it is described in the Qur’aan as muneer, which is a body that gives nur i.e. light. Again, the Qur’aanic description matches perfectly with the true nature of the moon, which does not give off light itself and is an inert body that reflects the light of the sun. Not once in the Qur’aan, is the moon mentioned as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya or the sun as nur or muneer. This implies that the Qur’aan recognizes the difference between the nature of sunlight and moonlight.
The Arabic word dahaha has been translated by A. Yusuf Ali as “vast expanse”, which also is correct. The word dahaha also means an ostrich-egg
Consider the following verses related to the nature of light from the sun and the moon: “It is He who made the sun To be a shining glory And the moon to be a light (Of beauty).” [Al-Qur’aan 10:5] “See ye not How Allah has created The seven heavens One above another, “And made the moon A light in their midst, and made the sun As a (Glorious) Lamp?” [Al-Qur’aan 71:15-16]’
- As has been already shared, Aryabhatta not only explained that moon and other planets reflect the sun’s light but also explained eclipses. Dr. Naik needs to read about some great non-Arabic civilizations of the time (I wonder how he missed this one being born in a civilization as great as Indian – anyways).
- Now if Dr. Naik is to be believed, Nur means reflected light. No previous Islamic scholar has made this scandalous claim before – and do you know why? Because one of the 99 Names of the God of Quran (Allah) is AN-Nur. If we translate this word according to Dr. Naik’s definition Allah’s name would become: THE REFLECTED LIGHT! Now the question to ask Dr. Naik is that if Allah is “reflected light” who is the Original Light Source? [We await Dr. Naik’s answer to this question eagerly]
- Dr. Naik, probably embarrassed, has not shared the entire verses 71:15-16. Here they are
15-16 “See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another. And made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (Glorious) Lamp?” So what do we have here:
–Again the Greek/Judaic philosophical thought of 7 heavens in which various stars and planets and sun and moon can be SEEN by the naked eye. Hence Allah’s insistence in this verse too. He is asking everybody to look at the planets which are visible at dawn and dusk, the stars, the planets, the moon all believed to be stationed in their respective layers of the 7 layered heaven
–Another blunder is that Moon is placed IN BETWEEN (in the midst of) these Layers. Another verse tells us that stars are in the lower heavens.. implying that moon is farther than the stars from us
- Another big hole in this argument is that it ties Nur with Moon. Aryabhatta told us 100 years before Quran that ALL PLANETS reflect sun light. Earth is also a Nur (borrowing Dr. Naik innovative translation) when looked from the Moon. [Ask Rakesh Sharma or Neil Armstrong. Better use Google].
Yes, Yes we do understand that all this is more than enough to debunk Dr. Naik’s entire booklet. Kindly let us know any other ‘scientific miracle‘ [oxymoron!] you are finding difficult to refute. We’ll respond in the comments section. Thanks for going through the looong article.