Lord of the Worlds — 2 of 4: Qur’an and Impossible Knowledge

Quran and Science: Within the Qur’an, we find astronomical information that appears to be ‘out of place,’ meaning too advanced for that time. Could this knowledge have extraterrestrial roots?

 

“The revelation of this Book is — beyond doubt — from the Lord of all worlds.” — Quran 32:2

 

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Content in a Flash:

1. The role of Qur’an: The Book of Power — It is widely accepted that the influence of the Qur’an was one of the major elements that propelled an empire bound to and based on religion towards scientific and cultural excellence.
Quran Science: Advanced astronomical knowledge?: Does the Qur’an contains advanced astronomical knowledge?

2. Quran Science: Advanced astronomical knowledge? – Does the Qur’an contains advanced astronomical knowledge?

3. Earth’s Protective Atmosphere — Sura 21.32;

4. Quran and Science: Expansion Of The Universe — How did the Prophet know in 610 AD that the universe is expanding?;

5. Shining Moon — Ancient civilizations believed that the moon had somehow its own light. Today we know that the light of the moon is purely reflected light. Interestingly, the Qur’an acknowledged this fact already 1,400 years ago, taking it for granted;

6. Quran Science: 49.9: The Qur’an and Sirius’ orbit — An enigmatic numerical connection between the suras of the Qur’an and the star system of Sirius;

 

 

 

1. The role of Qur’an: The Book of Power

It is widely accepted that the influence of the Qur’an was one of the major elements (together with new writing systems and investments in the education such as the construction of the House of Wisdom) that propelled an empire bound to and based on religion towards scientific and cultural excellence.

However, the extent of the Quran’s influence on Arab cultural ascension, spanning a remarkable five hundred years — from the 8th to the 13th century — remains a subject of debate.

Some say that the Qur’an encourages the pursuit of knowledge; others say that it encourages the pursuit of knowledge only within the boundaries of the Qur’an itself.

One thing is certain: as we’ll see in the upcoming paragraphs, within the Quran, we find scientific, even astronomical, information that appears to be ‘out of place,’ meaning too advanced for that time.

Does the Qur’an contains “impossible” knowledge?

Who really revealed the Quran to Muhammad?

What if Gabriel, the angel believed to have revealed the Quran to Muhammad was, LITERALLY, coming from the stars?

 

Series: Quran Science

 

 

 

2.Quran Science: Advanced Astronomical Knowledge?

The Qur’ an take up and treat several times and with total ease various advanced astronomical concepts and the information we get from the text is clearly beyond the reach of a religious philosopher at the dawn of the medieval age, Muhammad.

The data that the Qur’an provides on this subject mainly deals with the solar system but references can also be found in regards to phenomena beyond the solar system as well; in some cases, as we we’ll soon see, this information was discovered by official science only in recent times.

In this regard, Maurice Bucaille, doctor and very influential Muslim author primarily known for his book The Bible, The Qur’an and Science explains:

“For many centuries, humankind was unable to study certain data contained in the verses of the Qur’an because they did not posses sufficient scientific means. It is only today that numerous verses of the Qur’an dealing with natural phenomena have become comprehensible.”

A reading of old commentaries on the Qur’an, however knowledgeable their authors may have been in their day, bears solemn witness to a total inability to grasp the depth of meaning in such verses. I could even go so far as to say that, in the 20th century, with its compartmentalization of ever-increasing knowledge, it is still not easy for the average scientist to understand everything he reads in the Qur’an on such subjects, without having recourse to specialized research.

This means that to understand all such verses of the Qur’an , one is nowadays required to have an absolutely encyclopedic knowledge embracing many scientific disciplines”.

 

In this series, we’ll delve into select surahs that pose intriguing questions, hinting at the possibility that the Prophet had access to scientific, astronomical — but not only — knowledge that seemingly surpassed not just his own but the understanding of anyone during his time.

Lets see a few examples:

 

3. Earth’s Protective Atmosphere

Series: Quran Science

 

 

Sura 21.32 reads : “And We made the sky a protected ceiling”

 

Quran and Science

Sura 21.32

 

Leon Teisserenc de Bort revolutionized our understanding of atmosphere around Earth In 19th century. Before that, we did not really understand the protective function of our atmosphere.

Sura 21.32 seems clear: “We made the sky a protected ceiling”. Protecting from what?

Today we know that the Earth’s atmosphere plays a vital role in protecting life on the planet from various potentially harmful elements like meteorites and radiations.

How could the Prophet Muhammad know that?

 

 

4.Quran and Science: Expansion Of The Universe

Surah 51:47: “We built the universe with ˹great˺ might, and We are certainly expanding ˹it˺.”

Edwin Hubble first proposed the expansion of the universe in 1929.

How did the Prophet know in 610 AD that the universe is expanding?

 

 

5. Shining Moon

Al-Qur’an 25:61: “Blessed be He Who hath placed in the heaven mansions of the stars, and hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light!”

 

Series: Quran Science

 

Ancient civilizations believed that the moon had somehow its own light. Today we know that the light of the moon is purely reflected light. This fact however was mentioned in the Qur’an already 1,400 years ago.

The Arabic word for the sun in this Surah is sirājan ( سِرَاجًا), which means ‘torch’ or “lamp” which is burning (wahhājan).

 

 

This description fits the sun, since it generates intense heat and light by hydrogen-combustion.

The Arabic word for the moon is instead qamara (الْقَمَرَ) and it is described as to be “muniran” (منير) which means shining, therefore it recalls the idea of something that reflects light, rather than being an actual light source itself.

 

 

Again, the Qur’anic description matches with the true nature of the moon which does not generate light by itself and is an inactive body that reflects the light of the sun.

Not once in the Qur’an, is the moon mentioned as sirājan or wahhājan nor the sun as muniran. This means that the Qur’an recognizes the difference between the nature of sunlight and moonlight.

Why did the prophet make such a careful choice of terms?

Who revealed the truth to the prophet, being the moon a reflecting light body?

 

 

 

6.Quran Science: 49.9 — The Qur’an and Sirius’ orbit

Another intriguing example of “impossible” astronomical knowledge, is the combination between verses 49 and 9 of the Sūrat l-najm (The Star).

This is what the surah says:

49. “That it is He Who is the Lord of Sirius”
9. “until he was as close to him as the distance of two bows, or even less.”

Interestingly, based on the irregularities in Sirius’ orbit, astronomers discovered that it is actually a binary star that comprises two stars: Sirius A and Sirius B, and they both follow an orbital path that brings them closer to each other, forming a bow shape in the sky, approximately every 49.9 years.

These data was unanimously confirmed by the astronomy departments at the universities of Harvard, Ottawa and Leicester.

The Sura seems to refer to the two stars and the bow shape they draw in the sky.

The question is: How is it possible that Prophet Muhammad or anyone else was aware, in 610 AD, that the Sirius system is actually made up of two stars, given that Sirius B was only discovered in the latter half of the 1800s?

And how to explain the enigmatic connection between Surahs 9 and 49 and the orbital cycles of Sirius A and Sirius B, completing, precisely, every 49.9 years?

As much as we realize this association of ideas might seem a bit forced, or maybe not — that will be for the reader to judge — there is a strong sensation that whoever revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad knew the stars very well.

 

 

“And the heaven We constructed with might, and indeed, We are expanding it.” — Quran 51:47

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