𝐃𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐐𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐡 𝐈𝐬 𝐅𝐥𝐚𝐭?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Do the Qur’an and the Bible support the flat earth theory, or the science on the subject of a round earth? Where is the belief coming from that they do?
Though the concept of a spherical earth was developed in ancient Greece around the seventh century BCE, starting with Pythagoras, the issue of spherical shape of the earth remained rather unsettled until the sixteenth century. Aristotle had hinted at the spherical shape of the earth some 330 years before Christ.
There is some evidence that the concept of a spherical earth was widely held by scientific community as far back as the early church period, but many lay people still believed in a flat earth model until a few centuries ago. (Some still do! Check out the” International Flat Earth Research Society “).
What did the Qur’an say on this subject?
Far from a unique concept at the time, the Qur’an however does refer to the spherical shape of the earth.
O company of Jinn and men, if you have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth; then penetrate (them)! You will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction. Quran (55:33)
You may very appropriately ask the question: Where does this verse say that the earth is spherical?
Good question indeed. It does not say it outright. But let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s ponder a little more, like the Qur’an repeatedly asks us to do.
The Arabic word used for “regions” in this verse is Aqtaar. It is a plural of the word Qutr or “diameter” and is frequently used in Arabic geometry texts. Thus, Yuksel has translated the verse as follows:
O Tribes of Jinn and humans, if you can penetrate the diameters of heavens and earth …
A diameter is obviously a measure for a spherical object. If earth were flat, it would not have a diameter.
This verse points out that the earth is spherical, in an indirect way—not an uncommon approach by the Qur’an, leaving the reader to do the pondering.
Moreover, there are several passages in the Qur’an that refer to the day and night merging into each other gradually.
See you 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 you do? Quran (31:29)
Once again one might take the meaning literally-days gradually turning into night. We all know that. There is really no new information there.
However, the merging of day and night gradually would indicate a rotating round earth, and thus can only mean that the earth is not flat, otherwise the night and day will not merge but change suddenly.
SHAPE OF THE EARTH IS SPHERICAL
In early times, people believed that the earth was flat. For centuries, men were afraid to venture out too far, for fear of falling 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’anic verse regarding the alternation of day and night:
اَلَمْ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يُوْ لِجُ الَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُوْ لِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي الَّيْلِ
“See you not that Allah merges Night into Day and He merges Day into Night?” (Al-Qur’an 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:
خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضَ بِالْحَـقِّ ۚ يُكَوِّرُ الَّيْلَ عَلَي النَّهَارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّهَارَ عَلَي الَّيْلِ
“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’an 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 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:
وَالْاَرْضَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ دَحٰىهَا
“And the earth, moreover, hath He made egg shaped.” (Al-Qur’an 79:30)
The Arabic word for egg here is dahaahaa (the Arabic word dahaahaa has been translated by A. Yusuf
Ali as “vast expanse”, which also is correct.
This word also means an ostrich-egg) which means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth.
Thus the Qur’an correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent notion when the Qur’an was revealed was that the earth was flat.
(from The Quran and Modern Science, Compatible or Incompatible? by Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik
The Miracolous concept of Spread out and the Arabic word Dahaha دحاها
Some critics of Islam have hinted out that the Arabic word Dahaha دحاها consider the ONLY meaning of the Arabic word Dahaha دحاها is SPREAD OUT.
The following Quranic Verse:
“As for the earth, He spread it out as well” Quran (79:30)
Well linguistically speaking Dahaha دحاها mainly means: SPREAD OUT AND spherical, oval or circular shape. The Arabic word Dahaha دحاها has the meaning of make it circular spherical shape by checking the root word Daha دحى and other variations in Arabic as per the screenshots below:
The trap that the Critics of Islam have placed for themselves:
Let us Assume that Dahaha دحاها means: SPREAD OUT only, well Since The Glorious Holy Qur’an is the Universal message to ALL mankind, which means The Glorious Holy Qur’an and every single verse of it is for all and every single human on Earth Planet Regardless of the location of this human.
When Allah Exalted, He send this Universal Quranic verse to every single human on Earth Planet: “As for the earth, He spread it out as well” Quran (79:30)
This means ALL and every single human on Earth planet will find that the Earth is SPREAD OUT to Him/her REGARDLESS of the Location which means that The Earth Does NOT have sharp Ended Edges, such as the shape of a square, rectangle, triangle, or any other shapes of form of ended Edges that goes against the Quranic Fact that the Earth is SPREAD OUT as per the Glorious Holy Verse:
“As for the earth, He spread it out as well” Quran (79:30)
If the Glorious Quran indicated that the Earth is flat, or has any sharp ended edges, mentioning that it is SPREAD OUT to ALL and every single Human on Earth Planet regardless of their location would not be valid, and that is not that case here.
Proof of the spherical shape of earth in the Holy Quran
Following some Quranic verses which proves beyond any reasonable doubts that Allah Exalted He tells us that Earth is NOT just flat Only or has any sharp ended Edges, the following Quranic verses need to be read and understood in conjunction the above-mentioned Quranic verse Quran (79:30)
The Holy Quran hinted at the spherical shape of earth in many ways such as:
- Sheikh Sharaawy, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “If you say earth is flat then it must occupy a specific area, so when you reach the edge of this area you will be at the border -after which there is only space- but God Almighty says:
((We spread the earth)) which means that wherever you go on earth’s surface you will see earth spread out before you, so if you go to the south pole, you will see it spread out, if you go to the equator, you will see it spread out and so on and this can never happen except if earth has a spherical shape.
Consequently, when God says: ((We spread the earth)) this is a proof that earth is spherical in shape.
So, whoever explains this verse as a proof that earth is flat and considered the flat shape of earth as a fact ensured by the Holy Quran is totally mistaken so when science proves that earth is spherical, he had the illusion that there is a contradiction between science and religion.
In this case the role of ignorance becomes apparent when some people start to attack the Holy Quran, but if they would only dig a little bit deeper, they would definitely realize that the spherical shape of earth and its rotation were already mentioned in the Holy Quran.”
- Sheikh Sharaawy, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “let’s consider the verse 5 in surah Az-Zumar where God Almighty says: ((He created the heavens and the earth with reason. He wraps the night around the day, and He wraps the day around the night. And He regulates the sun and the moon, each running along a specific course. He is indeed the Almighty, the Forgiver.)) – Surah Az-Zumar verse 5
Why did God Almighty use the word ((wraps…around))? We know that Gods’ words have to be perfectly precise so why would God use the word ((wraps…around)) and did not say spread out the night and day as long as earth is spread out or for example exchange day and night or any other similar expression?
If you (wrap) something around a sphere you would say that it is wrapped around the sphere which means you made it look like wrapped sphere and if you want a human to make something that looks like a sphere you would tell him to wrap it as a sphere, so he makes it look like a sphere and hence when God Almighty says:
((wraps the night around the day, and He wraps the day around the night)) means to make them surround earth at all times which is considered as a Quranic miracle. God Almighty did not say ((wraps the night around the day)) and then ((wraps the day around the night)).
But He says ((wraps the night around the day, and He wraps the day around the night)) which means that both day and night co-exist at the same time around the spherical earth…That’s what the Holy Quran said more than fourteen hundred years ago, a fact only lately known to mankind.
- God says: ((It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.)) – Surah Yassin verses from 36 to 40 The statement ((nor does the night outstrip (precede) the day)) was revealed to rectify a false notion that prevailed among the early Arabs. It negates something which was not true, although it appeared to be so.
And which therefore needed to be rectified. The Arabs used to say that night always preceded day. Their ‘day’ began with sunset and accordingly the month of Ramadan was confirmed after the sunset of the last day of Sha’ban. But if night preceded day, as the Arabs said, then day could never precede night.
Here we are faced with two statements: the first is that night precedes day, and the second is that day can never precede night. Allah did not refer to the latter statement because it was a true fact; but He corrected the former which was indeed a misconception affirming that ((nor does the night outstrip the day)).
With this answer, Allah affirms that day and night are always present, simultaneously, on both hemispheres. At the same time, He has provided the evidence that the earth is a sphere, for the phenomenon of day and night occurring simultaneously could never happen otherwise. Allah used the correction to tell us more about the earth.
If the earth had been created flat the sun would have been facing the upper surface at the moment of creation, and consequently day would have occurred first; but if, on the other hand, the sun had been facing the lower surface, then night would have occurred first. But Allah states in the above verse that both day and night have been created at the same time.
His saying that neither one preceded the other proves that the earth was created as a sphere, because this is the only shape which allows such a phenomenon to occur. Thus in a few words Allah has revealed to mankind a scientific fact which had remained a mystery for centuries until He deemed it suitable to make it available to science.
Noble Quranic verses 13:3, 20:53 and 15:19 in which God Almighty says that He has spread out the Earth could very well be referring to the spreading out of the continents. Geologists and archaeologists believe that the Earth’s land-masses were once a single land mass they call Pangea, the super-continent. Over time, the land was stretched apart into different continents.
This gradual movement of tectonic plates is also the cause of many mountain ranges. Is it any surprise that God mentions the mountains right after He mentions the “stretching” or “spreading out” of the land?
As for the “flattening” of the Earth, it should be noted that the fact that the Earth’s diameter is longer at the equator than between the poles is caused by Earth’s rotation (At least that appears to be conventional wisdom at this time). If the Earth were to start spinning faster, it would theoretically get “flatter” or in other words, its ellipsoid properties would be more pronounced.
- God says: ((And you see the hills you deem solid flying with the flight of clouds: the doing of Allah Who perfects all things)) – Surah al-NamI verse 88.
Mountains are considered to be a kind of stabilizing mass which eliminates the vibration and swaying of the earth. Their massiveness gives the beholder the impression that the earth is motionless and still.
Allah tells us ((you deem)) to dispel such false notions and illuminate our perception, Allah tells us in the above verse that the mountains which may seem to us to be stationary and immobile are in fact moving in the same manner as the clouds sailing above them. But how?
We all know that the wind is the force behind the movement of the clouds. But because the mountains are rooted in the earth they can move only if the earth on which they sit is moving. Nor are the mountains moving slowly; they are ((flying with the flight of clouds.)) Thus in a few words Allah provided science with the established fact that the earth is a sphere which rotates in space.
The word ((solid)) in the above verse needs some explanation for it unfolds a second scientific fact concerning the sensation of motionlessness which one experiences when there is no other body in relation to which it would be possible to estimate the movement of one body. The verse explains our inability to sense the movement of the earth.
The fact that to the beholder, the mountains and the earth are all rotating together, and the absence of a stable background against which he could contrast their movement, make the sensation of immobility quite real. This sensation is felt most acutely when one is flying in an aeroplane. If the aeroplane is flying at a very high altitude beyond all atmospheric disturbances, with all windows sealed, and vibration nonexistent, it becomes difficult to sense the movement or speed of the plane.
This is the sensation implied in the word ((solid)). Allah is actually giving us the reasons underlying our inability to sense or detect the movement of the earth and the mountains sitting on it simply by watching them; the fact that we are all rotating together, and the absence of a contrasting background that can be observed with the naked eye, make the mountains seem to be solid and still.
Allah, anticipating that the knowledge imparted in the above verse would be perplexing, asks us – in this verse not to wonder at His accomplishments: ((…the doing of Allah Who perfects all things)
More than one of the scholars have narrated that there is consensus that the Earth is round.
Note: Round does Not means 100% Circle but Circular spherical as evidenced below and above in this article
The Quran Described the Spherical Shape of the Earth and the Light of the Moon being Reflected …
Bible, “Four Corners of the Earth” and the Flat Earth Theory
The flat earth theory has taken momentum in recent times among (some) Christians, aided by the ease of spreading the message on social media. It is also claimed that the Catholic Church was preaching the flat earth theory until about 500 years ago. There are at least three references to the “four corners of earth” in the Bible.
And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:12
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Revelation 7:1
But the Christian scholars also point out that the “four corners” of the earth does not indicate a flat earth. The argument is put forth that, as is the case with numerous other passages, this is used metaphorically, or as an idiom, to mean ‘from all over the earth’.
Dr. Danny Faulkner, a physicist and astronomer, and editor of the Creation Research Society Quarterly argues in an article titled Does the Bible Teach That the Earth Is Flat? on Answers in Genesis, that the medieval church actually never taught the flat earth theory and further argues my point about the ‘four corner of the earth” being used as an idiom
The Celestial Bodies Moving in Orbits
For many centuries, the concept of a geocentric universe was prevalent among European scientists, whereby the earth stood still in the center and everything else, including the sun, moved around the earth. In 1543 CE, Copernicus published his theory of a heliocentric system, whereby the earth moved around a stationary sun, something Galileo championed and was sentenced by the Catholic Church for heresy in 1633 CE.
The Quran described that the sun and other celestial bodies move in orbits:
It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course. 21:33 (Translation by Yousuf Ali), or “And He it is Who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all (orbs) travel along swiftly in their celestial spheres.” (Translation by Shakir)
In another verse, the concept of the sun and the moon moving in their respective orbits is once again mentioned as follows:
Neither is it allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day, and all float on in a sphere. 36:40 (Shakir), OR “It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.” (Pickthall)
These verses indicate that the celestial bodies not only move in an orbit but also imply that each has their own distinct orbit, as they cannot “overtake” each other.
The sun and the moon will circle for an “appointed term”.
There is consensus in the scientific community that our sun will continue to burn its hydrogen and helium and it will eventually die when all the fuel is consumed.
But this concept of a finite life for stars (including our own sun and the moon) only came to be known in the last few centuries.
See you 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 you do? Quran 31:29
The Qur’an may not have told us something “groundbreaking” per se. At the very least, it is consistent with modern knowledge, and it invites us to ponder on the world and the universe around us.
You may argue the meaning of the verses is “stretched” to fit into modern knowledge. If that is indeed the case, what then is the idea or the purpose of mentioning all this in the Qur’an? What is the alternative meaning for these (and numerous other) passages?
As I have mentioned in our prior posts, the Qur’an is NOT a book of science. It does not teach us science. But it clearly invites us to ponder on science and God’s signs around us. The underlying message is clear: the “science” and “religion” are not mutually exclusive.
Bible On the Collapse of The Universe as A Scroll
Long before we knew that our solar system has finite life, the Bible mentions the end of the universe, not just the solar system.
And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves from a grapevine, or shriveled figs from a fig tree. Isaiah 34:4
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Revelation 6:12-14
What does Science tells us:
The Scientic Confirms that the Earth shape is NOT 100% Circle But A LITTLE Bit dented towards the North and South Polar and LITTLE Bit Flattened towards the Equator Know by The Equatorial bulge.
The Earth has a rather slight equatorial bulge: it is about 43 km (27 mi) wider at the equator than pole-to-pole, a difference which is close to 1/300 of the diameter. If the Earth were scaled down to a globe with diameter of 1 meter at the equator, that difference would be only 3 millimeters.
Reconciling between the view that the Earth is round and the verse “And Allah has made for you the earth widespread (an expanse)” [Noah 71:19]
Allah Knows Best.
Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.
Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan
Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
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