The Qur'an and the Bible, in the light of Science - Part-2
Question And Answer Session By Dr. Zakir Naik
Thursday, June 18, 2009
(Dr. Campbell) Near the end of the video we heard Dr. Naik explain the Arabic word for ‘moon’ is ‘Qamar’, and the light described there is ‘Munir’, which is ‘borrowed light’ or ‘Nur’, which is a reflection of light.’ Please do not forget what he said… ‘Munir is borrowed light, and Nur is reflected light.’ Not only is this claim to be a statement in keeping with scientific truth, but it also claimed to be scientifically miraculous, since this was supposedly only discovered relatively, recently. It is correct that the moon does not emit its own light, but only reflects the light of the sun - But this was known already almost a thousand years before Mohammed. Aristotle in about 360 BC discussed, knowing that the earth was round, by its shadow on the moon. He could only speak of the Earth’s shadow crossing the Moon, if he knew that Moon’s light is reflected light. If you still insist that this is a miracle of scientific knowledge, then we must ask ourselves…‘Do the Qur’anic words themselves support this claim?’ ‘Siraj’ - first we shall look at ‘Siraj.’ In Surah Nur which was read above, in Surah Al Furqaan, 25 : 61, it is simply ‘lamp’… referring to the Sun. In Surah Naba, 78:13, ‘Siraj Wahjan’ means ‘a dazling lamp’, again indicating the Sun. The words ‘Nur’ and ‘Munir’ comes from the same Arabic word - root. The word Munir is used 6 times in the Qur’an 4 times Suratul Imran, 3 : 184, Al Haj 22 : 8, Lukman 31: 20 and Fatir 35 : 35. It is the phrase ‘Kitabul Munir’, which Yusuf Ali translates as… ‘A book of enlightenment’ and Picktall uses… ‘The Scripture giving light.’ Clearly this indicates a book which is radiating the light of knowledge. Nothing about ‘reflection’… ‘Nur’. It says in Surah Nur, 71:16 and Yunus, 10:5 that… ‘Allah made the light… the Moon a light.’ Thus we find that the Qur’an says that the Moon is a light, and it never says that the Moon reflects light. Moreover in other Verses, the Qur’an says that… ‘Allah is a Nur… a light.’ Surah Nur, 24:35, one of the most beautiful passages in the Qur’an reads… ‘Allah is the light… Nur of the Heavens and the Earth.
The parable of His light, is as if there was a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp enclosed in glass. The glass as it was a brilliant star and so forth.’ Thus we see that the word ‘Nur’ is used for both, ‘the moon’ and ‘Allah.’ Are we going to say that Allah gives off reflected light? I think not. But if you continue to insist that ‘Nur’ used for the Moon, means ‘borrowed’ or ‘reflected light’, and we saw above, that Allah is ‘the light’… Nur of the Heavens and the Earth - What is the source of this light? ‘Siraj’, of which Allah is only a reflection. Think about it - If Allah is named ‘Nur’ or a ‘reflected light’… who or what, is the ‘Siraj’? Well the Qur’an tells us who the ‘Siraj’ is - But the answer will shock you. In Surah Al Ahzab, 33:45, 46 we find… ‘O Prophet! Surely We have send thee as a witness - A bearer of glad tidings and a warner, and as a lamp spreading light. Here it says that Mohammed is the lamp spreading light. In Arabic it is ‘Sirajaan Munira’ Linguistically and spiritually, this is the end of the discussion. Linguistically ‘Siraj’ and the adjective ‘Moon’ here are used together for the same shining thing - the person Mohammed. It is clear ‘Munir’ does not mean reflected light in this verse – or in any other verse. It means shining. The people of Mohammed’s time understood that the Moon was shining, and they were right. Just as the people of Moses’ time understood that the Sun was the greater light, and the Moon the lesser light, and they were right. But if you insist, the Arabic words ‘Nur’ and ‘Moon’ here mean reflected light, then based on the use of these words in the Qur’an, Mohammed is like the ‘Sun’ and ‘Allah’ is like the ‘Moon.’ Does Dr. Naik really want to say that Mohammed is the source of Light, and Allah is only his reflection? Why are these so called scientific claims made, which no Muslim can support, if he make a serious study of his own Qur’an. In a dialogue like tonight it makes an honest discussion very difficult - almost impossible. Let us go on and look at the water cycle. Some Muslim authors claim that the Qur’an shows pre scientific knowledge of water cycle. What is the water cycle? Here in this slide, you see four steps. The first step is evaporation - The water evaporates from the seas and the earth. Second step – it becomes clouds. Third step – it gives rain. And fourth – this rain causes the plants to grow. Seems all very straight forward, and everybody knows 2, 3 and 4. Even if they live in a town, they know that clouds come and rain comes, and their flowers grow.
But what about step one – ‘the evaporation.’ We cannot see it - It is difficult. And the Qur’an does not have step one. Now we are going to look at a Prophet from the Bible - Prophet from 700 B.C… Prophet Amos And he writes… ‘He who made the Pleiades and Orion, Who turns blackness into dawn, and darkens day into night, and then Who calls out for the waters, of the sea.’… Stage one. And pours them out over the face of the land… stage three - The Lord (Yahweh) is His name. And one other Prophet is Job, in 36:26-28, at least a thousand years before the Hijra. He says… ‘How great is God – beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. Stage one – He draws up the drops of water which distill from the mist as rain -that is stage three And then the clouds are mentioned – Stage two - Which pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. So here in the Bible, this difficult stage one, is there for more than a thousand years, before the Qur’an.
Now let us go on and look at Mountains. The Qur’an has more than a dozen Verses stating that God placed firm and unmovable mountains on the Earth. And in some of these Verses, the mountains are listed as either a blessing for believers, or a warning for the unbelievers. One example of this is found in the Surah Luqman, 31:10,11, where the mountains are one of five warnings. It says… ‘He has created the heavens. Says… ‘He has created the heavens without support, that you can see, and has cast aalqa onto the earth…‘firm mountain’–‘Rawaasiya’, lest it should shake with you. In ‘The Prophets’… Al-Ambiya, 21:31, as one of seven warnings we read… ‘And We have set on the earth, firm mountains lest it should shake with you….. with them.’Finally in ‘The Bee’… Nahl, 16:15, says that… ‘He has cast ‘aalga’ onto the earth… ‘firm mountains’ ‘Rawaasiya’, lest it should shake with you. We see then that the believers and the Non-believers are told, that Allah has done this great thing - He strolled down and placed the mountains, so that the earth will not shake violently with them. Therefore we must ask ourselves… ‘What did they understand ?’ In the next two Verses, another picture is given, ‘The News’, Al-Naba 78 : 6-7… “Have We not made the Earth an expanse, and the mountains as stakes ‘Al – jebaala awtaad’, as those used to anchor a tent in the ground. And then ‘The Overwhelming’ Al-Ghashiya, 88:17-19… ‘Do they…the unbelievers not look at the mountains… ‘Al-jibaal’… how they have been pitched like a tent.’ Here men are told that the mountains are placed as tent pegs -Tent pegs keep the tents, stable. So again the idea is put forward that the pegs… the mountains will keep the earth from shaking. A third picture is presented in the word ‘Rawaasiya’, used for mountains. This word comes from the Arabic root ‘Arsa.’ And the same root is used for the Arabic word for ‘anchor.’ To ‘throw out’ or ‘cast the anchor’ is aalgaa almirsaa. So instead of ‘Cast the anchor to keep the ship from moving’ - ‘We have cast the mountains, to keep the earth from shaking’. From these pictures, it is clear that Mohammed’s followers understood that the mountains were thrown down like tent pegs, to keep a tent in place like an anchor to hold the ship in place - To stop the earth from moving or limit earthquakes.
But in fact this is false - the forming of mountains causes
earthquake. Therefore these Verses present a definite problem. Dr. Maurice
Bucaile recognised this, and discussed them in his book… ‘The Bible, the Qur’an
and Science.’ After quoting the above Verses about ‘Mountains’, he says…
‘Modern Geologists described the faults in the Earth, as giving foundations to
the mountains, and the stability of the Earth’s crust results from this
phenomenon of these faults. When asked about this, Professor of Geology, Dr.
David A. Young says… ‘While it is true that many mountain ranges are composed
of folded rocks and the folds maybe of large scale, it is not true that the
folds render the crust stable. The very existence of the fold, is evidence of
instability in the crust.’ In other words, mountains don’t keep the earth from
shaking - their formation caused and still causes the surface of the earth to
shake. Geological theories of the present time propose, that the hardened crust
of the earth is made of sections and plates, which slowly move with relation to
each other. Sometimes the plates separate, like North and South America,
separating from Europe and
In many parts of the world, as one travels along the roads,
one sees a hillside, where the sand storm layers which were horizontal when
they were deposited, are now sticking up at angles. And so here you can see,
these sand storm layers, which were horizontal in the beginning, now they are
striking up at 75 degrees. They were pushed up there by an earthquake, by the
mountains being formed. Sometimes the plates get caught on each other and
starts sliding - During this period, great forces are built up. When the forces
of friction are overcome, the piece of plate that was stuck, lurches forward,
causing a shock wave of a thrust quake, and then all of a sudden it goes ‘dumm’
like this. In a recent earthquake, it was calculated that the Coco Splade in
However it is clear that the followers of Mohammed were understanding these Verses, to say that Allah threw the mountains down, as a tent peg or anchors, to keep the Earth from shaking. Throwing the mountains down under the Earth may be poetry, but to say that mountains keep the Earth from shaking, is a severe difficulty, which is out of step with modern science. Now we are going to take a little look at what the Sun says about… what the Qur’an says about the ‘Sun.’ In the Surah of the Kahf, 18:86, it says… ‘Until when Zulqarnain… that is Alexandra the great, reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water.’ I’m sorry - In 20th Century Science...20th Century Science... the Sun does not set in a spring of murky water. And then in ‘The Criterion’, Al Furqaan, 25:45 to 46, it says… ‘Hast thou not turned thy vision, to thy Lord - how He prolongs the shadow! If He willed, He could make it stationary! Then do We (God) make the sun its guide.” What about this? Has the sun… if we think of the sun overhead, you have no shadow or a little tiny shadow, and then as the sun goes down, your shadow gets longer on the other side. Well the sun is stationary in relation to the Earth - It is not what causes the shadow to shift. The rotating Earth guides the shadows. So if you demand 20th century accuracy, the Surah should say… ‘The rotating earth causes the shadows to change. I would look at a different subject… ‘Solomon’s death.’ Whether this is Science, I don’t know -May be sociology. Solomon’s death – He is popped up on his staff. Says… ‘The jinn worked for him, as Solomon desired. ‘Then when We decreed death upon Solomon, nothing showed them his death, except a little creeping creature of the earth, which gwaned away his staff. And when he fell, the jinn saw clearly how - If they had known the unseen, they would not have continued in the humiliating penalty of work.
So here Solomon… he’s dead, propped up on his staff, like a
(Dr. Mohammed) Thank you Dr Campbell for your presentation. Now we have Br. Sabeel Ahmed presenting an introduction of our next speaker, Dr. Zakir Naik.
(Br Sabeel Ahmed) As Salaam
He is popular for his critical analysis and convincing answers to challenging questions posed by audiences, after his public talks. In the last four years itself, Dr. Zakir Naik has delivered more than 400 public lectures world wide, in addition to many public talks in India. He appears regularly on many international TV and Satellite TV channel programs in several countries of the world. He has authored books on Islam and comparative Religion. He has also participated in several symposiums and dialogues, with prominent personalities of other Religious faiths.
(Dr. Mohammed) May I announce, after the talks by both the speakers and the response session, we would be having an open Question and Answer session. So those who have come late, kindly note, we’ll have questions on the mikes, followed by questions on index cards. Ladies and gentlemen, may I call upon Dr. Zakir Naik to present his talk.
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