A Response to Richard Car­ri­er : Cos­mol­o­gy and the Holy Qur’an

This paper is intend­ed to respond to athe­is­tic crit­i­cism as pro­posed by Richard Car­ri­er, in a rather large piece that is in my per­son­al opin­ion and under­stand­ing, replete with errors and mis­un­der­stand­ings with regards to basic cos­mo­log­i­cal con­cepts, the Islam­ic view­point, as well as his­to­ry. I also address a few polemics that were put for­ward by Freethought Mec­ca. Their arti­cle con­tains the par­tic­u­lar objec­tions that I shall address Insha’Al­lah, along with a spu­ri­ous argu­ment for Isa­iah and then a few links to some oth­er polem­i­cal sites ; need­less to say at least for now these few objec­tions are the only ones that are rel­e­vant to this par­tic­u­lar paper. So let us begin Insha’Al­lah ; Richard Car­ri­er has argued as of late that not only does the Holy Quran fail to pre­dict any­thing amaz­ing with regards to cos­mol­o­gy ; he goes one step fur­ther and claims that the Holy Quran is in stark con­tra­dic­tion with mod­ern day cos­mol­o­gy. So on Car­ri­er’s view, to accept the Holy Quran as the Word of Allah Sub­hana Wa Ta’alaa is to fly in the face of mass amounts of evi­dence to the contrary.

To begin I have to say that I did not like the title of his paper A Response to Mus­lim Fun­da­men­tal­ists”; I mean it in a sense I am a Mus­lim fun­da­men­tal­ist as I adhere strict­ly to the fun­da­men­tals of the Deen ; how­ev­er that is not what Car­ri­er was try­ing to say. Car­ri­er is seek­ing to under­mine the Islam­ic view­point before even pre­sent­ing it ; fun­da­men­tal­ists as most per­ceive them at least from a pop­u­lar media stand point, are those who refuse to accept any con­clu­sions of the mod­ern times and are those who alien­ate them­selves from the mod­ern world. In Car­ri­er’s argu­ment, any­one who does not agree that the Holy Qur’an is replete with errors is a dog­mat­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist, com­plete with the usu­al bias asso­ci­at­ed with the term he gives off the impres­sion that the Mus­lim view­point is not even seri­ous. Hence the title of his paper has its place of pow­er in Car­ri­er’s argu­ment ; how­ev­er, I do not think it holds weight as I will demon­strate in this paper, Insha’Allah.

Car­ri­er first of all fails to pro­vide a seri­ous basis for his over­all crit­i­cism ; because the site that he links us to as the Mus­lim” source is a site owned by a non-Mus­lim. To my knowl­edge the author of the link is a Quran­ite ; mean­ing he rejects cer­tain Holy Ayaats in the Holy Quran which endow the Prophet(P) with author­i­ty through his prophet­ic Sun­nah.1 Imag­ine if my source for the athe­is­tic argu­ment was a mys­tic hip­py who rejects the exis­tence of God, yet on the same note accepts absurd beliefs that do not reflect the major­i­ty of athe­ists’ opin­ion on the sub­ject. This is just one aspect that reveals Car­ri­er’s severe igno­rance to Islam and his poor research in the progress of his paper. Now I must say that I do not find what some call sci­en­tif­ic mir­a­cles” to be mir­a­cles at all ; the Holy Qur’an is the Word of Allah Sub­hana Wa Ta’alaa, hence it is not all that mirac­u­lous that He the Exalt­ed has out­lined all aspects of the uni­verse with­out error. I do feel that Mus­lims who are unfa­mil­iar with Quran­ic Ara­bic and or Tafsir lit­er­a­ture ; have indeed total­ly mis­con­strued cer­tain Holy Ayaats and thus made the Holy Quran a sub­ject of mock­ery amongst the bet­ter edu­cat­ed, I how­ev­er con­tend that the Holy Quran con­tains no errors point blank peri­od and that the Holy Quran can be put to the empir­i­cal test and con­firmed Alhamdulillah.

How­ev­er, Car­ri­er is not all that famil­iar with mod­ern cos­mol­o­gy which makes his arti­cle an intel­lec­tu­al bore for me ; the Infi­dels team should have request­ed that Quentin Smith or Adolf Graun­baum address the claims as opposed to Car­ri­er who has been known to be com­plete­ly alien to cer­tain cos­mo­log­i­cal real­i­ties ; and is known to attack them when he fails to grasp such facts.2 So nat­u­ral­ly Car­ri­er ini­tial­ly avoids any seri­ous cos­mo­log­i­cal discussion.

Cos­mo­log­i­cal Argu­ment Or Poor­ly-Struc­tured His­to­ry Lesson ?

To begin, Car­ri­er once again seeks to under mime the Mus­lim posi­tion with an open­ing bar­rage of ver­bal hol­low tips (very hol­low indeed), he starts off with “.….Things like this have proven hard to explain to fanat­ics who are more prac­ticed at pious denials than in actu­al his­tor­i­cal research.” The same man who attacked one of the most empir­i­cal­ly valid real­i­ties ever to arise from the field of cos­mol­o­gy now accus­es all Mus­lims and non-mus­lims alike who do not agree with his brief brows­ing of clas­si­cal polem­i­cal sources on Islam, of prac­tic­ing pious denials ; rich indeed. How­ev­er let us push pass the poor ver­bal barbs if for noth­ing else ; for the sake of brevi­ty, now the first fault that Car­ri­er com­mits is he assumes that Islam arose from Judeo-Chris­t­ian sources he writes Jews and Chris­tians were exten­sive­ly Hel­l­enized, and Islam sprung from these very same reli­gious tra­di­tions…” First of all Islam did not spring” from Judaism nor Chris­tin­i­ty and the bulk of the claims put for­ward in order to try and demon­strate how this is even phys­i­cal­ly pos­si­ble, let alone his­tor­i­cal­ly plau­si­ble, have been refut­ed in great detail.3 One of Car­ri­er’s own sources, Richard Bell, states :

…in spite of tra­di­tions to the effect that the pic­ture of Jesus was found on one of the pil­lars of Ka’a­ba, there is no good evi­dence of any seats of Chris­tian­i­ty in the Hijaz or in the near neigh­bor­hood of Makkah or even of Mad­i­na.“4

Car­ri­er seems to offer a response to him­self by acknowl­edg­ing that the Mus­lims began trans­lat­ing Greek texts among oth­ers, with­in a cen­tu­ry after the prophet­ic mis­sion of Muham­mad(P). Hence Car­ri­er’s argu­ment could be, if I am under­stand­ing him, struc­tured as such Mus­lims had access to Gre­co-Roman sources in abun­dance ; after Islam’s ini­tial spread.” Of course that argu­ment pro­vides no fire­pow­er in favor of his over­all claims in the least bit ; the Arabs accord­ing to all seri­ous his­tor­i­cal sources were bar­bar­ic, illit­er­ate, idol­aters who pre­ferred trib­al war­fare to edu­ca­tion, and went as far as to bury their own female infants ; that is, before Islam.

The Arabs remem­bered their entire blood­lines off by heart so as to avoid writ­ing them down and they were indeed wise to do so as Car­ri­er points out elsewhere :

    …even a sin­gle page of blank papyrus cost the equiv­a­lent of thir­ty dol­lars-ink, and the labor to hand copy every word, cost many times more. We find that books could run to the tens or even hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars each. Con­se­quent­ly, only the rich had books, and only élite schol­ars had access to libraries, of which there were few.5

No Arabs had such resources ; in fact, as mis­sion­ary Dr. William Camp­bell demon­strat­ed the best nat­u­ral­is­tic anti-Islam­ic argu­ment for cor­rect state­ments in the Holy Qur’an regard­ing mod­ern embry­ol­o­gy involves a doc­tor of the Prophet (P) who was taught in Per­sia !6 Car­ri­er offers no evi­dence that dis­plays that Arabs had any Greek texts present in Makkah, in fact he him­self admits that at best Arabs may have been taught in Greek edu­ca­tion cen­ters even then this does not demon­strate that th Holy Quran is the prod­uct of old­er Greek texts ; nor can Car­ri­er sight which texts have pre­sum­ably been pla­gia­rized. In sum Car­ri­er’s argu­ment so far is noth­ing but fan­ci­ful heresy it could have been like this..”, maybe…”, per­haps..”; he pro­vides noth­ing sol­id he mere­ly tries to ground the idea that Arabs would have been mas­ters of Greek sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture and Car­ri­er dis­ap­point­ing­ly fails miserably.

He also is under the false assump­tion the Holy Quran was writ­ten after the death of the Holy Prophet Muham­mad alay­his salatu wasalam7. Fact is we have a copy of the Holy Quran from the time of the right­eous com­pan­ion Uth­man (R) which was com­piled from the per­son­al copy of the wife of the Prophet (P), Haf­sa (R) which was from when the Prophet (P) was alive. Fur­ther­more, the Holy Quran’s order and sequence was Divine­ly Revealed to the Prophet (P) who super­vised the writ­ing of the Holy Quran ; even if Car­ri­er does not believe in the Super­nat­ur­al he can­not deny the sim­ple fact that the Prophet (P) super­vised the writ­ing as well as the sequenc­ing of the Holy Quran dur­ing his life­time, and if he wish­es to do so ; he thus shoul­ders the mas­sive bur­den of evidence.

Car­ri­er then impos­es the fan­tas­tic premise that the Prophet (P) was well edu­cat­ed and lit­er­ate. First of all I am not aware of a sin­gle his­tor­i­cal source that sup­ports his claim and he him­self does not pro­vide one ; Car­ri­er is I think, con­fus­ing Arab his­to­ry with roman­tic Greek his­to­ry. A Noble Arab of the Prophet’s (P) time meant that he would be fash­ioned into a good wrestler, hunter and even­tu­al­ly a war­rior. The very year the Prophet (P) was born trib­al war­fare near­ly destroyed the Ka’abah ; fur­ther­more the Holy Prophet (P) was an orphan who were not viewed high­ly in ancient Arab soci­ety. The Prophet (P) would lat­er become a hum­ble trades­man (hard­ly the high life that Car­ri­er envi­sions for nobles) and in all real­i­ty almost all Arabs were illit­er­ate and being a noble actu­al­ly increased their chances of remain­ing illit­er­ate as nobles were to be skilled war­riors and vio­lent pro­tec­tors of their tribes hon­or ; not to be edu­cat­ed young men in large hous­es with maid­ser­vants and mas­sive libraries. Even clas­si­cal polemi­cists such as J.M Rod­well and Alan Jones admit that the Prophet (P) was indeed illit­er­ate ; Car­ri­er seems to have a habit of going against the grain with­out putting in the hard yards. He sim­ply states some­thing that is con­trary to the facts and hopes we will buy it ; for exam­ple the claim that Chris­tians and Jews pop­u­lat­ed Makkah we of course know that there was no real Chris­t­ian influ­ence in Makkah and that the Jews pop­u­lat­ed al Med­i­na. To quote Dr. Nabîh Aqel :

The big dif­fer­ence between Chris­tian­i­ty and Judaism is that Chris­tian­i­ty unlike Judaism did­n’t have any bases in Hijaz, Chris­tian­i­ty was an exter­nal source of enlight­en­ment echoed in Hijaz either by mis­sion­ary activ­i­ties from Ethiopia, Syr­ia and Iraq or from Alheer­ah’s Chris­t­ian cen­ters…“8

Car­ri­er even goes so far as to state that the Prophet’s (P) fam­i­ly ruled Makkah. The fact is that there were var­i­ous tribes in Makkah ; none of which were Sov­er­eign rulers of the city not only are Car­ri­er’s claims pre­pos­ter­ous ; he his­elf does not argue in favor of them. Appar­ent­ly we are sup­posed to just accept his claims in the severe absence of evi­dence which in accor­dance with the old say­ing actions speak loud­er than words”, I think, demon­strates that Car­ri­er has no real empir­i­cal back­ing behind his claims.

Car­ri­er also assumes that Islam­ic sources are all but buried in leg­ends ; once again this shows just how lit­tle research was involved with his paper. The ear­li­est Islam­ic sources have been dat­ed back to the time of the Com­pan­ions and show no traces of leg­endary inter­po­la­tions and the fact of the mat­ter is that the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith lit­er­a­ture were both record­ed to prompt­ly to have accu­mu­lat­ed leg­endary inter­po­la­tions. The ear­li­est man­u­scripts of the Holy Quran show that the scribes did not even space out Holy Ayaats (a true tes­ti­mo­ny to their lit­er­ary mas­tery, the ear­ly Mus­lims sim­ply mem­o­rized when a Holy Ayaah began and end­ed) and fur­ther­more the ear­ly Mus­lims would have soon­er died as opposed to sit­ting down in the face of scrib­al tampering.

Even anti-Islamists agree that the Islam­ic sources are sound ; to quote Dr.” Ali Sina, one of today’s staunchest crit­ics of Islam and most infa­mous online Islamophobe :

    The truth about Muham­mad can only be found in the ear­ly books of his­to­ry writ­ten in the first three cen­turies of Islam.“9

Car­ri­er’s view of Arab his­to­ry is thus idio­syn­crat­ic and bears no resem­b­lence to reality.

Would You Like Some Cos­mol­o­gy With That History ?

Car­ri­er final­ly looks posed to offer a detailed cri­tique of the Holy Quran’s rela­tion to cos­mol­o­gy ; how­ev­er he pre­dictably fails to address the Holy Quran’s out­line of the uni­ver­sal cre­ation. Car­ri­er focused on the Quran­ite site from which he draws his con­clu­sions on the Islam­ic view of cos­mol­o­gy, thus he writes

    The idea that the uni­verse began as some sort of gaseous vor­tex was ubiq­ui­tous through­out Per­sian and Greek ide­ol­o­gy. That the Koran says the same thing is thus not at all surprising.”

The prob­lem is that the Holy Qur’an makes no such asser­tion. Car­ri­er is going pound for pound with a phan­tom at this point in time. Now before going any fur­ther which will just in all real­i­ty draw us fur­ther away from the top­ic of cos­mol­o­gy due to Car­ri­er’s inabil­i­ty to stay on top­ic ; I feel it is a worth­while endeav­or to out­line the Holy Quran’s expla­na­tion of the uni­vers­es existence.

The Holy Quran does not say that the uni­verse came from gaseous mate­r­i­al, Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa says : He (Allah) is the Orig­i­na­tor of the heav­ens and the earth…“10 The afore­men­tioned Holy Ayaah clear­ly states that Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’ala is the Orig­i­na­tor of the uni­verse, thus the uni­verse was not in an infi­nite gaseous state until lat­er inter­ven­tion rather the uni­verse has an ori­gin ; a point of cre­ation that is com­ing into exis­tence from non-exis­tence and Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa is indeed the Cre­ator. Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’ala then says Do not the Unbe­liev­ers see that the heav­ens and the earth were joined togeth­er (as one unit of Cre­ation), before We clove them asun­der?“11

The impor­tant point in this Holy Ayaah is that the Ara­bic con­text refers to the uni­verse and the earth as one. Ratq mens mixed or blend­ed” so ratq describes the ini­tial first mate­ri­als that formed the entire uni­verse ; includ­ing the earth and states clear­ly that they were mixed or blend­ed. In the very ini­tial stages of the uni­verse ; the heav­ens expand­ed and cooled. Par­ti­cles of mat­ter and anti-mat­ter rose briefly for minute peri­ods of time ; how­ev­er the tem­per­a­ture would not sus­tain them for long. Then the elec­tro­mag­net­ic and weak inter­ac­tion were cleaved ; lat­er the neu­tri­nos would sep­a­rate from the pho­tons aswell. Now almost all of the anti-mat­ter and mat­ter was anni­hi­lat­ed in this cleav­ing, except the minute amount that remained. Thus the first ele­ments came about ; and all this came to pass in around three min­utes after the cre­ation of time itself. These ele­ments just as Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’ala stat­ed would ulti­mate­ly form the con­tents of our uni­verse ; includ­ing the earth.12

So the Holy Ayaah stat­ed that the uni­verse and the earth where once one unit of cre­ation ; true to the Quran­ic con­text mixed or blend­ed this demon­srates that the Holy Quran does not mean that the earth was as it is now ; rather the Holy Qur’an I think explains that the earth had a long cre­ation process(evolution if you will), begin­ning at the ini­tial point of the Cre­ation of the uni­verse ; sec­ond the Holy Quran acknowl­edges that the uni­verse was cleft asun­der ; and that this cleav­ing of the uni­verse would per­mit the exis­tence of the ini­tial ele­ments that would form our uni­verse as we see it now and more explic­it­ly : our earth.

Thus the Freethought Mec­ca camp lodges a com­plaint ; which in turn does a won­der­ful job of unveil­ing their igno­rance of Ara­bic and plac­ing it on dis­play. While always past­ing the Ara­bic text of a Holy Ayaah com­plete with a translit­er­a­tion when­ev­er quot­ing from the Holy Qur’an in their arti­cles, fact is it is appar­ent that they do not speak Ara­bic nor encom­pass the com­plex­i­ty of the Holy Qur’an’s lan­guage with­in their research. If I under­stand the argu­ment they pre­sup­pose that the Holy Quran was com­posed by an illit­er­ate man for an ancient peo­ple thus the Qur’an seems to be out­lin­ing that the event described in Surah al-Anbiyaa : 30 must have been pre­sum­ably observ­able by the ancients. Fact is just like oaths, this is one of the idio­syn­crasies of Qur’an­ic Ara­bic. The Ara­bic expres­sion that can be trans­lat­ed as Do not the Unbe­liev­ers see…” is just a lin­guis­tic fea­ture to draw the read­ers atten­tion to a spe­cif­ic mat­ter in order illus­trate point ; in this case the read­ers atten­tion is direct­ed to to the fact that Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa clove the heav­ens and the earth asunder.

Freethought Mec­ca then claim that due to some cre­ation myths that have been ren­dered to an infin­i­tes­i­mal extent ; in a sim­i­lar fash­ion, the Holy Ayaah is thus noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar. The first prob­lem is that the Holy Ayaah does not say sep­a­rat­ed the heav­en and earth”; fatq is an explic­it ref­er­ence to a cleav­ing” or pow­er­ful strik­ing of one unit of blend­ed or mixed enti­ties. So googling an erro­neous trans­la­tion does not help their case. Sec­ond if we over­look their ini­tial blun­der from the out­set of their polemic and read the cre­ation myths ; none of the them explain that the heav­ens and the earth were mixed or blend­ed”; on the con­trary they assume that either there was a sol­id cos­mic egg, or that the the heav­ens and the earth where two sol­id objects that some­how got inter­twined. All of the myths con­tain leg­endary aspects from mag­i­cal wind coil­ing like a mas­sive ser­pent ; to phys­i­cal beings breath­ing in space.

The Holy Qur’an con­tains none of the afore­men­tioned flaws/​errors rather, Allah (T) explains that the heav­ens and the earth were once mixed or blend­ed, we thus reach their next polemic. How can the earth exist at this point in time ? As I explained before, I think that the Holy Quran does not state that the earth was as it is in the present time frame, rather it had a long cre­ation process which began at the ini­tial instance of the uni­vers­es Cre­ation. The Ara­bic con­text quite sim­ply rules out the sol­id earth/​connected to the uni­verse hypoth­e­sis ; so the Holy Quran describes I think an evo­lu­tion of the earth from the very ini­tial stages of the uni­vers­es exis­tence ; that is the only way the Holy Ayaah can in my opin­ion be inter­pret­ed due to the con­text of the word employed ratq”. In fact Abdal­lah Yusuf Ali ; who did not have the same knowl­edge nor resources that I have avail­able to me at the present time, still wrote in his com­men­tary on the Holy Ayaah in ques­tion : The evo­lu­tion of the ordered worlds as we see them is hint­ed at. Any­one famil­iar with the present day data knows ; that the ini­tial prop­er­ties in the ear­ly uni­verse are what makes up the con­tents of our uni­verse today, hence we can look at the begin­ning of the uni­verse as the ear­li­est point of the earth­’s exis­tence as it over time evolved by the Will of Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa ; the earth itself was Cre­at­ed from ini­tial cos­mic gas. The same way if I show my favorite pic­ture of my moth­er and I you could object and say I am no where to be seen and that she is hold­ing a baby ; the objec­tion is mute that was me in the ini­tial stages of my life and I grew over time by the Grace of Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa.

And last of all search­ing out sim­i­lar expla­na­tions does not imply pla­gia­rism, indeed is this not the way of the athe­ist ? Speak­ing out of both sides of their mouths I mean for the exis­tence of God its all about empir­i­cal evi­dence ; when it comes to crit­i­ciz­ing reli­gion its all about fea­si­ble fan­ci­ful heresy. Take any ran­dom state­ment from lets say ; the Hawk­ing-Har­tle paper on the wave func­tion of the uni­verse, ensure that the state­ment is in quo­ta­tion marks put the state­ment in a google search engine and watch how many hits you get. It does not imply pla­gia­rism nor does it under mime their con­clu­sion ; to be per­fect­ly sure this is the last resort of the athe­is­tic argu­ment so when ratio­nal empir­i­cal expla­na­tions fail, cut and chopped the­o­riz­ing pre­vails. Fact of the mat­ter is the Holy Quran is exempt from the errors of the cre­ation myths and worse still for the athe­ist ; I think the Quran is cor­rect on the mat­ter. And my inter­pre­ta­tion is in accor­dance with the con­text of the Holy Ayaah, to the point that he ear­li­er com­ment ors who did not have the present day data formed sim­i­lar conclusions.

Now ; we then reach the gaseous point of the uni­verse and the oth­er instances of Cre­ation Allah (T) says : He placed firm­ly embed­ded moun­tains on it, tow­er­ing over it, and blessed it and mea­sured out its nour­ish­ment in it, laid out for those who seek it, all in four days. Then He turned to heav­en when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, Come will­ing­ly or unwill­ing­ly.” They both said, We come will­ing­ly.“13. And then the beau­ti­fy­ing of the stars as Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’ala says : And We adorned the low­er heav­en with lights, and (pro­vid­ed it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalt­ed in Might, Full of Knowl­edge.“14. So we can out­line the Islam­ic per­spec­tive of the Cre­ation of the uni­verse and its con­tents as such :

    1. Cre­ation of the uni­verse from noth­ing. (Surah al An’aam, verse 101)
    2. The heav­ens and the earth were mixed or blend­ed in the ini­tial con­di­tions of the uni­verse. This is after the uni­vers­es ini­tial instant of cre­ation (Surah al-Anbiyaa, Holy Ayaah 30)
    3. Fatq” the cleav­ing asun­der of the elec­tro­mag­net­ic and weak inter­ac­tion ; which then anni­hi­lat­ed all of the anti-mat­ter as well as most of the mat­ter, except a small rem­nant thus the first ele­ments came about. (ibid.)
    4. The uni­verse remains noth­ing but vapor i.e gaseous ele­ments as the earth is cre­at­ed. (Surah Fussi­lat, vers­es 9 – 12)
    5. Stars are beau­ti­fied and the rest of the cos­mos con­tin­ue to change by the Will of Allah Sub­hana Wa Ta’ala. (Sura’ al Imran, verse 109)

Nadir Ahmed drew atten­tion to point five on radio with Car­ri­er15. Allah (T) uses the term cre­at­ed’ over 200 times in the Holy Quran. How­ev­er the word used in Surah Fussi­lat Holy Ayaah 12 is zayyan­na which means to beau­ti­fy or adorn ; so the stars where already in exis­tence at this point in time. The ques­tion then aris­es how can the uni­verse be but smoke and still have stars ? First of all allow me to clar­i­fy the smoke mat­ter which was the sub­sidiary tar­get of Car­ri­er’s polemic that fol­lowed his erro­neous inter­pre­ta­tion of the Holy Qurans expla­na­tion on the uni­vers­es Cre­ation. Instant­ly he applies the strictest lit­er­al­ism pos­si­ble hence ignor­ing the real­i­ty of the Ara­bic con­text ; the word used here for smoke is dukhan which can mean smoke”, mist” or vapor”. Smoke in clas­si­cal seman­tics can mean fly­ing par­ti­cles as well as a mist or vapor accord­ing to the Mac­quar­ie dic­tio­nary. Mist can mean a cloud of par­ti­cles resem­bling a fog or a cloud like enti­ty, and vapor is just a sub­stance in the gaseous state. All of which can describe the uni­vers­es ini­tial con­di­tions after baryo­ge­n­e­sis, inflation(e xpo­nen­tial increase in R), the fun­da­men­tal par­ti­cles, and the cleav­ing asun­der of the elec­tro­mag­net­ic and weak interaction.

He then asks why Allah (T) did not name the com­po­nents of the ini­tial gaseous make up. This is where I must stress that the Holy Qur’an is not a sci­ence book ; the Holy Qur’an is not meant for uni­ver­si­ty grade cos­mol­o­gy on the con­trary, the Holy Qur’an is for all of mankind not a select few edu­cat­ed indi­vid­u­als. Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’alaa says : And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to under­stand and remem­ber : but will any take heed?“16 How many peo­ple would seri­ous­ly under­stand what the Holy Qur’an meant if it described the ini­tial cos­mic make up in the most explic­it terms pos­si­ble ? How many would derive any ben­e­fit and or under­stand­ing from such a book ? The answer is only those with uni­ver­si­ty grade edu­ca­tion ; keep­ing in mind that the Holy Qur’an is for all of mankind that means from the aver­age stu­dent, to the guy who begs for change at the train sta­tion. Thus those who seek fan­tas­tic sci­en­tif­ic mir­a­cles in the Holy Qur’an are seri­ous­ly mis­ak­en ; the Holy Qur’an does of course describe the Cre­ation of the uni­verse and yes it is indeed con­sis­tent with the obser­va­tion­al evi­dence (unlike any oth­er text claim­ing to be from Allah Sub­hana Wa Ta’ala) how­ev­er It does not ever claim to be a sci­ence book ; sci­ence is com­ple­men­tary to the Holy Qur’an and in encour­aged therein.

Thus I par­tial­ly agree with Car­ri­er’s last point in his ini­tial open­ing of bul­let point objec­tions, he writes The very pas­sage in ques­tion is neat­ly quot­ed out of con­text…”; how­ev­er the oth­er four objec­tions raised, have I think been cleared up as has the remain­der of his last point. So far it is clear that Car­ri­er is igno­rant to the Ara­bic con­text of cer­tain Holy Ayaats and has no real grasp on the Quran­ic account of the uni­vers­es Creation.

To sum up, whether bla­tant­ly or indi­rect­ly Car­ri­er’s entire paper is thus far based upon clear cut igno­rance to the Islam­ic view­point. Of course he is not fin­ished as of yet ; Car­ri­er wish­es to des­per­ate­ly dri­ve one point home, adorned with var­i­ous lit­tle shots at Islam in between. He wish­es to demon­strate the Holy Quran’s pre­sum­ably most vivid con­tra­dic­tion to cos­mol­o­gy. But nat­u­ral­ly the point proves to be Car­ri­er’s most astound­ing blun­der in the entire essay.

He starts off by try­ing to make it seem as though Mus­lims have to rein­ter­pret” the word day”; once again dis­play­ing his supreme igno­rance to the lan­guage of the Rev­e­la­tion, yaum just means peri­od” and not a lit­er­al 24-hour cycle as Car­ri­er tries to ground with­in the read­er’s mind. Thus the Holy Quran is exempt from the Bib­li­cal error ; he con­tin­ues on and thus makes our case for us and reveals the largest error this poor mis­in­formed man has espoused thus far in this par­tic­u­lar paper. He writes

    But then we see that verse 41:11 estab­lish­es an unde­ni­able con­text in which the uni­verse exists as smoke at the same time that the earth already exists…” 

Very metic­u­lous read­ing indeed, Car­ri­er. Two thumbs up, hom­bre. How­ev­er he then states

    since here the gaseous state” co-exists with a ful­ly-formed Earth. That is sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly impossible..”

Excuse me ? Come again, Mr. Car­ri­er ? Do you seri­ous­ly believe your state­ment ? For lack of bet­ter words allow me to quote Pro­fes­sor John F. Haw­ley and Kather­ine A. Holcomb :

All stars are huge balls of gas, most­ly hydro­gen held togeth­er by grav­i­ty.“17

Keep­ing in mind that grav­i­ty is mere­ly a force and is in fact the weak­est of the four fun­da­men­tal forces and it is car­ried by a pure­ly hypo­thet­i­cal mass­less boson the gravi­ton”, which has not yet been detect­ed. Now the gas that makes up a star is held togeth­er by two com­pet­ing forces, keep­ing in mind that dukhan can be trans­lat­ed as vapor as dis­cussed before ; which is in turn mere­ly a sub­stance in a gaseous state. Stars can thus be count­ed in the uni­ver­sal stage that is described in Surah Fussi­lat, Holy Ayaah 12, as stars are mere­ly gas held togeth­er by their hydro­sta­t­ic equi­lib­ri­um, keep­ing in mind that the major­i­ty of the galaxy is still filled with clouds of gas. Car­ri­er then tries to form a polemic based upon the erro­neous idea that the stas were yet to be Cre­at­ed ; I already cov­ered this and Nadir Ahmed made it clear on the radio that Car­ri­er was pro­pound­ing a straw-man claim.

Car­ri­er then — much like Freethought Mec­ca — resorts to claims of cul­tur­al bor­row­ing” indeed these tac­tics are tau­to­log­i­cal, it is clear that the Holy Quran did not bor­row from the Bib­li­cal events or else the Quran would con­tain the same gross errors. Car­ri­er him­self states in his paper Greek philoso­phers guessed a lot of sci­en­tif­ic details cor­rect­ly – they antic­i­pat­ed atoms, oth­er solar sys­tems, evo­lu­tion, the laws of ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, the rain cycle, you name it. That does­n’t make them super­nat­u­ral­ly pre­scient…” I agree so when Dar­win pro­posed the the­o­ry of evo­lu­tion I sup­pose he was plagiarizing/​borrowing from the Greeks ? Car­ri­er needs to re-ass­es his crit­i­cism, the ancients did indeed guess var­i­ous details so if the Quran men­tions a cor­rect phe­nom­e­na that was per­haps encom­passed in old­er myths ; that is not grounds to accuse the Author of the Holy Qur’an of cul­tur­al bor­row­ing”. Car­ri­er’s strongest point was the sev­en heav­ens argu­ment whih I think he refutes him­self, Car­ri­er wrote “…“the sev­en heav­ens” are tra­di­tion­al­ly delin­eat­ed by the sev­en plan­ets,” i.e. the sun, moon, Mer­cury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Sat­urn…” And yet the Holy Quran nev­er says a word about sev­en plan­ets and clear­ly dis­tin­guish­es the sun and the moon from the cat­e­go­ry of plan­ets ; hence Car­ri­er’s claim is an ad hoc asser­tion ; he needs to show how the Author of the Holy Quran pla­gia­rized. Then he needs to explain as to why the Author decid­ed against includ­ing the erro­neous sev­en plan­ets” myth and then if Car­ri­er can­not demon­strate any of the above he would need to prove that there are no Sev­en Heavens.

In the Ara­bic con­text, it seems to denote sev­en sep­a­rate uni­vers­es ; if the self-repro­duc­ing chaot­ic infla­tion mod­el is cor­rect then this is very plau­si­ble. Infla­tion ensures that the uni­vers­es ini­tial con­di­tions would be smooth, flat and homo­ge­neous regard­less of how it came about (it does not, how­ev­er, solve as to why infla­tion took place nor why it was so well-cal­cu­lat­ed). The prob­lem pro­posed ear­ly on, was the fact that from the clas­si­cal pro­pos­als it did­nt seem that the uni­vers­es infla­tion field would be con­stant every­where with­in the uni­verse. So Andrei Linde pro­posed that cer­tain por­tions of the uni­verse are caused to inflate by quan­tum fluc­tu­a­tions to a high degree while oth­ers to a much low­er degree. In this sce­nario child uni­vers­es form from cer­tain regions of the over­all moth­er uni­verse ; and the child uni­vers­es are con­nect­ed to the moth­er uni­verse by worm­holes how­ev­er the worm­hole that con­nects them also per­ma­nent­ly sep­a­rates the chil­dren. In some of these child uni­vers­es infla­tion may not even­take place, and of course they may be gov­erned by a com­plete­ly unknown set of phys­i­cal laws.

The Holy Qur’an could be cor­rect in Hugh Everett’s many worlds inter­pre­ta­tion too, even if the ekpy­rot­ic mod­el or Smith’s black hole the­o­ry is cor­rect ! The fact remains that there could be sev­en sep­a­rate heav­ens as the Holy Quran states. Thus iron­i­cal­ly the Qur’an­ic claim is real sci­ence, it can be fal­si­fied or con­firmed via obser­va­tion­al evi­dence ; con­sid­er­ing the accu­ra­cy of the Holy Qur’an I think we have every rea­son to place our faith in it as opposed to athe­ism. As Car­ri­er stated :

    It is they who are being irra­tional and unrea­son­able if they deny the obvious.”

Indeed, Mr. Car­ri­er, and you, sir have been most irra­tional, Good Day scholar.

And only Allah knows best !Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Servi­dor Her­nan­dez Ibn Musa, A Response to Richard Car­ri­er : Cos­mol­o­gy and the Holy Qur’an,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Sep­tem­ber 10, 2006, last accessed April 14, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​p​o​l​e​m​i​c​a​l​-​r​e​b​u​t​t​a​l​s​/​c​o​s​m​o​l​o​g​y​-​a​n​d​-​t​h​e​-​q​u​r​an/
  1. Please see The Impor­tance of the Prophet­ic Sun­nah in Islam is Unde­ni­able.[]
  2. Richard tried to deny that the Big Bang took place and ded­i­cat­ed a paper to demon­strat­ing this hypoth­e­sis ; he lat­er admits that he did not accept the Big Bang because he did not under­stand the evi­dence and has since retract­ed the embar­rass­ing arti­cle. Is this hon­est­ly a schol­ar­ly approach ? If I don’t under­stand it ; then it just must be wrong ?[]
  3. There was no Ara­bic ver­sion of the Bible, fur­ther­more the Jews refused to show the Prophet (P) the Torah as they fired polemic, after polemic seek­ing to dis­prove his Prophet­hood. Bor­row­ing the­o­ries and Judeo-Chris­t­ian sources” hypothe­ses have been answered here and here[]
  4. Richard Bell, The Ori­gin of Islam in its Chris­t­ian Envi­ron­ment, 1925 and reprint­ed in 1968, The Gun­ning Lec­tures Edin­burgh Uni­ver­si­ty, Lon­don : Frank Cass and Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed, p. 42[]
  5. Richard Car­ri­er, Why I Don’t Buy The Res­ur­rec­tion Sto­ry, 6th Edi­tion 2006, avail­able online here[]
  6. See the Zakir Naik vs William Camp­bell debate on the Quran and the Bible in Light of Mod­ern Sci­ence. Also please see this link[]
  7. http://​www​.islam​ic​-aware​ness​.org/​Q​u​r​a​n​/​T​e​x​t​/​M​ss/[]
  8. Dr. Nabih Aqel, Tarîkh al-Arab al-Qadim, 1983 (Third Edi­tion), Dâr al-Fikr, Beirut, p. 305[]
  9. The syn­op­sis of Sina’s soon-to-be-released book ; Under­stand­ing Islam and the Mus­lim Mind” should be a real treat.[]
  10. Surah al-An’aam, verse 101. Also ren­dered by some trans­la­tors as He cre­at­ed the heav­ens and the earth from noth­ing…”[]
  11. Surah al-Anbiyaa, Holy Ayaah 30[]
  12. Pro­fes­sor John F. Haw­ley and Kather­ine A. Hol­comb, Foun­da­tions of Mod­ern Cos­mol­o­gy, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press 2006 ; Pages 14 – 15. Cleaved” was their own word­ing iden­ti­cal to the Holy Ayaah’s expres­sion.[]
  13. Sura’ Fussi­lat, vers­es 10 – 11[]
  14. Surah Fussi­lat Holy Ayaah 12[]
  15. http://​www​.exam​ine​thetruth​.com/​R​i​c​h​a​r​d​_​C​a​r​r​i​e​r​_​c​h​a​l​l​e​n​g​e​.​htm[]
  16. Surah al-Qamar, Holy Ayaah 32[]
  17. John F. Haw­ley and Kather­ine A. Hol­comb, Foun­da­tions of Mod­ern Cos­mol­o­gy, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press 2006 ; p. 126[]

Comments

8 responses to “A Response to Richard Car­ri­er : Cos­mol­o­gy and the Holy Qur’an”

  1. Siraj Islam Avatar

    AN ANSWER TO RICHARD CARRIER’S COSMOLOGY AND THE KORAN” 

    Sir­aj Islam

    Here is an answer to Richard Carrier’s Cos­mol­o­gy and the Koran : a Response to Mus­lim Fun­da­men­tal­ists (2001)”: http://​infi​dels​.org/​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​/​m​o​d​e​r​n​/​r​i​c​h​a​r​d​_​c​a​r​r​i​e​r​/​i​s​l​a​m​.​h​tml

    RICHARD CARRIER’S FIRST CLAIM IS THAT THERE IS NOTHING MIRACULOUSLY NEW IN THE KORAN’. 

    And this is because, accord­ing to Richard Carrier’s hasty deduc­tion, what­ev­er inter­est­ing one may find in the Quran must have exclu­sive­ly derived from the inher­it­ed Hel­lenic wis­dom of old ! Doesn’t our com­mon sense tell us that the Quran can­not con­tain any­thing original ?

    So, if there is any notice­able mer­it in the Quran at all, it is only thanks to that great’ knowl­edge, once con­tributed by those ancient Greek giants, which was some­how trans­mit­ted, evi­dent­ly via Arab inter­ac­tion, to the poor author/​s’ of the Quran ! 

    This infer­ence is far from true. Rather, when vers­es of the Quran are care­ful­ly con­sid­ered in cur­rent sci­en­tif­ic light – simul­ta­ne­ous­ly com­par­ing with the best Greek texts or with the hadith books or with the tafsirs writ­ten cen­turies after the Quran, such as by Qur­tubi, Ibn Kathir, Tabari, Nasafi etc – the whole ancient and medieval sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge, includ­ing Gre­co-Roman, appears mis­er­able and infan­tile in front of the Quran. 

    For any unbi­ased stu­dent of the Quran this is enough to high­light the unique­ness of the Quran. 

    For instance, the Quran very inter­est­ing­ly refers or alludes to too many aspects of our cur­rent knowl­edge of the phys­i­cal uni­verse that have been dis­cov­ered only very recent­ly by mod­ern science. 

    Out of the numer­ous ref­er­ences, we can cite here just a few : Big Bang and Expand­ing Uni­verse (e.g. 21:30, 2:117, 6:73, 36:81 – 82, 13:2 – 3, 30:25, 35:1, 35:41, 51:47 – 49, 52:1 – 7, 55:7 – 9, 79:27 – 31); mat­ter, ener­gy and action (13:2, 31:10, 32:5, 35:1, 51:47, 55:29); mat­ter-anti­mat­ter, atom­ic and sub­atom­ic world (4:40, 10:61, 19:93 – 94, 34:3 – 22, 36:36, 72:28, 89:21, 99:7 – 8); struc­ture of atom and ener­gy lev­els (24:35, 34:3, 65:12, 79:1 – 5); analy­sis of colours (16:13, 16:69, 24:40, 30:22, 35:27, 35:27, 35:28, 39:21); uni­ver­sal flux (27:88, 28:88, 39:21, 55:26 – 27, 57:20, 84:16 – 20); uni­ver­sal dialec­tics (13:3, 35:11, 36:36, 39:6, 42:11, 43:12, 51:49, 53:45, 75:39, 78:8); grav­i­ta­tion and iner­tia (22:65, 24:35, 37:1 – 7, 41:11, 42:5 – 32, 51:1 – 4, 55:33 – 35, 77:25 – 26, 79:1 – 7); dark ener­gy (13:2, 31:10, 36:36, 51:47); dark mat­ter and bright mat­ter (6:1, 6:13, 6:73, 19:65, 27:25, 31:10, 34:9, 69:38 – 39, 79:27 – 31); Solar system/​helio­cen­tric mod­el (79:27 – 31, 91:1 – 6, 24:35, 12:4, 6:74 – 79, 78:12 – 13, 41:12, 27:24, 37:1 – 7, 67:5, 10:3 – 6); Earth’s axi­al rota­tion (2:164, 3:27, 3:190, 7:54, 10:6, 22:61, 23:80, 24:44, 45:5, 25:62, 31:29, 35:13, 36:40, 39:5, 57:6, 91:3 – 4, 92:1 – 2); Earth’s orbital motion (20:53, 21:33, 35:13, 36:40, 39:5, 43:10 ; cf. 78:6, 79:27 – 31, 91:1 – 6, 24:35, 12:4, 6:74 – 79, 78:12 – 13, 41:12, 27:24 , 37:1 – 7, 67:5, 10:3 – 6); explod­ing stars (77:1 – 9); space trav­el (6:125, 12:105 – 106, 15:14 – 15, 16:8 – 9, 17:70, 36:40 – 44, 37:8 – 11, 51:7 – 8, 51:22, 52:37 – 41, 54:1, 55:33 – 35, 84:18 – 20); extrater­res­tri­als (42:29, 16:49, 3:83, 30:26, 17:55, 5:18, 37:8 – 11, 55:33, 74:31, 27:65, 19:93 – 94, 16:8, 65:12); Cre­ative evo­lu­tion of the Uni­verse and life (2:106 ; 10:3 – 4 ; 11:7 ; 20:50 ; 21:30 ; 21:104 ; 24:45 ; 27:64 ; 29:19 – 20 ; 30:19 ; 31:10 ; 35:1 ; 39:67 ; 54:49 – 50 ; 55:29 ; 57:4 ; 59:24 ; 65:12 ; 70:3 – 4 ; 79:27 – 30 ; 87:1 – 3); pho­to­syn­the­sis and res­pi­ra­tion (3:27, 6:98 – 99, 10:24, 10:31, 11:6, 15:19 – 20, 20:54, 22:63 – 66, 27:64, 29:60, 30:19, 32:27, 35:3, 35:20 – 27, 36:77 – 80, 40:13, 45:5, 51:22, 56:71 – 73, 79:29 – 31, 80:32, 81:17 – 18); embry­ol­o­gy (22:5, 23:12 – 14, 23:78, 32:9, 32:8, 39:6, 76:2, 86:6 – 7, 96:1 – 2); Human evo­lu­tion (4:1 ; 6:2 ; 6:38 ; 6:133 ; 7:11 ; 17:61 ; 15:26 ; 15:28 – 29 ; 18:37 ; 22:5 ; 23:12 – 14 ; 23:79 ; 25:54 ; 30:20,22 ; 31:28 ; 31:71 ; 32:7 – 9 ; 33:72 ; 35:16 – 17 ; 35:39 ; 36:67 ; 37:11 ; 38:71 – 72 ; 40:64 – 67 ; 42:11 ; 45:4 ; 55:3 – 4 ; 55:14 ; 56:60 – 62 ; 64:3 ; 71:13 – 18 ; 75:36 – 39 ; 76:1 – 2 ; 76:28 ; 82:6 – 8 ; 90:4 ; 91:9 – 10 ; 95:4 ; 96:1 – 5) and so on. 

    A seri­ous study of these vers­es, includ­ing their inter­ac­tive mes­sages, will demon­strate that the Quran­ic descrip­tion of the Earth, life, Solar sys­tem, Cos­mos and the ori­gin and evo­lu­tion of the Uni­verse is cen­turies ahead of the time of its first rev­e­la­tion. Mirac­u­lous, indeed !

    In fact, a sim­ple, irrefutable proof of the divine author­ship of the Quran is that, though it was revealed in a time when super­sti­tions and mytholo­gies were preva­lent – includ­ing the seri­ous igno­rance and defi­cien­cies con­tained in ancient Greek ideas – the Quran does not con­tain even a trace of them. 

    Com­pared with the divine wis­dom of the Quran, the whole ancient Greek sci­ence looks no more than embryonic !

    _​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​_​

    RICHARD CARRIER’S SECOND CLAIM IS THAT THE KORAN GETS COSMOLOGY PREDICTABLY WRONG’. 

    And this claim, he thinks, can be eas­i­ly proved’ by a quick inter­pre­ta­tion of the pas­sage 41:9 – 12, which alleged­ly con­tains sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly wrong information’. 

    First Richard Car­ri­er chal­lenges the word smoke’ (‘dukhan’) in 41:11.

    He main­tains that smoke’ doesn’t rep­re­sent the orig­i­nal primeval mate­r­i­al and also that, even if smoke’ meant gas, the Uni­vese in fact didn’t begin as a gas. 

    Well, let us read the verse in question : 

    Also, He turned to the Heav­en, and it was smoke, so He said to it and to the Earth, Come both, will­ing­ly or unwill­ing­ly’. They said, We do come, in will­ing obe­di­ence.’ 41:11

    The verse doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly men­tion the imme­di­ate after­math of Big Bang, as claimed by Richard Car­ri­er, though it def­i­nite­ly address­es cer­tain details of the ear­li­er stages of cos­mic evolution. 

    Rather than imply­ing a lit­er­al mean­ing of smoke’ as a chem­i­cal sub­stance as under­stood by RC – here the term Smoke’ is actu­al­ly a metaphor that refers to a state of chaos of dis­or­gan­ised mat­ter, lack­ing order, shape and pattern. 

    This metaphor­i­cal mean­ing is sup­port­ed by the sub­se­quent expres­sion Come both’ (and the next verse 41:12 that describes cos­mic organ­i­sa­tion), which indi­cates a com­mand to get organ­ised out of chaos.’ Please note that this com­mand is both to the Heav­ens and to the Earth. It cer­tain­ly indi­cates that the Earth itself was part of this shape­less cos­mic chaos’. 

    Also the word come’, obvi­ous­ly a verb involv­ing move­ment – here refer­ring to both the Heav­ens and the Earth – points to motion of every­thing in the Uni­verse includ­ing the Earth.

    Then Will­ing obe­di­ence’ of the Heav­en and the Earth implies that they spon­ta­neous­ly fol­lowed (‘will­ing­ly’) their inher­ent divine­ly-guid­ed laws of nature’ rather than being inter­rupt­ed (‘unwill­ing­ly’) by any coer­cive force exter­nal­ly or addi­tion­al­ly act­ing on them. 

    Thus, if smoke’ alludes to shape­less dis­or­gan­ised scat­tered pri­mor­dial mat­ter, then com­ing’ real­ly means con­dens­ing or coa­lesc­ing under the influ­ence of grav­i­ta­tion in order to acquire organ­i­sa­tion and shape. 

    Obvi­ous­ly, the verse very well accords with cur­rent astro­nom­i­cal knowl­edge as it cor­rect­ly refers to a stage of cos­mic evo­lu­tion when the space-time of the new­born Baby Uni­verse’ was filled with shape­less dis­or­gan­ised mat­ter con­tain­ing scat­tered sub­atom­ic par­ti­cles, atoms and mol­e­cules grad­u­al­ly under­go­ing slow coa­les­cence into gross struc­tures such as clus­ters, galax­ies, stars, plan­ets and so on. 

    Thus the mes­sage of this verse, though appears sim­ple, is mirac­u­lous­ly very accu­rate from mod­ern sci­en­tif­ic point of view.

    Then Richard Car­ri­er makes a super­fi­cial con­sid­er­a­tion of the vers­es 41:9 – 12 and con­cludes that they con­tain sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly wrong infor­ma­tion’ that the Earth was cre­at­ed before the Heaven. 

    His mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the time sequence men­tioned in these vers­es aris­es from his fail­ure to under­stand the word thum­ma’. Trans­lat­ed above as also’ (in Also, He turned to the Heav­en’), this word in Ara­bic has a pletho­ra of mean­ings : and’, more­over’, fur­ther­more’, also’, then’, so’, like­wise’, sim­i­lar­ly’ etc. He fails to under­stand that thum­ma’, in con­trast with fa’ or baAA­da’ (‘then’ or after’), doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly con­tain any time sequence. 

    Inter­est­ing­ly, in anoth­er descrip­tion of cos­mic evo­lu­tion (79:27 – 30) we read – instead of thum­ma’ – the expres­sion baAA­da tha­li­ka’ (or after that’), which makes a clear ref­er­ence to time sequence, where the Earth is specif­i­cal­ly men­tioned to have been shaped after the Heaven. 

    Oth­er­wise, if we were to take the whole thing in the vers­es 41:9 – 12 as a strict­ly tem­po­ral suc­ces­sion, assum­ing that thum­ma’ here implies a time sequence, then there would be eight days of cre­ation, not six. This would con­tra­dict the unequiv­o­cal state­ment that the Heav­ens and the Earth were cre­at­ed in six days’, which appears in the Quran in sev­en instances’ (7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 32:4, 50:38, 57:4) and which per­sis­tent­ly refers to six days’, but nev­er eight days’. 

    Thus, as the Quran is explained by the Quran itself, we need to under­stand – in light of all these vers­es – the total num­ber of days in 41:9 – 12 as six days, not eight. 

    In oth­er words, the two peri­ods’ which involves the cre­ation of both the Heav­ens and the Earth (41:12) must be the same as the two peri­ods’ ini­tial­ly men­tioned for cre­ation of the Earth (41:9).

    This sim­ply indi­cates a chi­as­tic struc­ture in the order of vers­es 41:9 – 12, pos­si­bly func­tion­ing just as yet anoth­er lit­er­ary device in the Quran.

  2. NaturalboredKiller Avatar
    NaturalboredKiller

    He placed firm­ly embed­ded moun­tains on it, tow­er­ing over it, and blessed it and mea­sured out its nour­ish­ment in it, laid out for those who seek it, all in four days. Then He turned to heav­en when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, Come will­ing­ly or unwill­ing­ly.” They both said, We come willingly.”13. And then the beau­ti­fy­ing of the stars as Allah Sub­han Wa Ta’ala says : And We adorned the low­er heav­en with lights, and (pro­vid­ed it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalt­ed in Might, Full of Knowl­edge.” To me the above descrip­tion seems more focused on the earth itself rather than the entire uni­verse. The plan­et was cre­at­ed and then the heav­en” which was smoke were told to come will­ing­ly or unwill­ing­ly” might very well be the atmos­phere. Many sci­en­tists claim the atmos­phere had earth­ly ori­gins but anoth­er the­o­ry is being pro­posed, where its stat­ed that the atmos­phere orig­i­nat­ed from out­side the plan­et. check http://​www​.wired​.com/​w​i​r​e​d​s​c​i​e​n​c​e​/​2009​/​12​/​e​a​r​t​h​-​a​t​m​o​s​p​h​e​r​e​-​a​l​i​en/ . Also the only rea­son why the stars twin­kle is due to the atmos­phere. Thus after cre­at­ing the earth, God joins the earth and the atmos­phere where­by beau­ti­fy­ing” the low­er heav­en with stars. Quite beau­ti­ful and simple,i don’t know why no one has yet approached the vers­es in a sim­i­lar man­ner as i just proposed.

  3. Mohamad Latiff Avatar
    Mohamad Latiff

    May Allah accept your good deeds.

    The arti­cle had been a very refresh­ing, in-depth and infor­ma­tive one that I had read from a Mus­lim in a very long time.

    I wish to here share with all of you one of my pre­vi­ous blog posts con­cern­ing the rela­tion­ship of Islam with Sci­ence. It is about a great Imam or Teacher of Islam who also hap­pened to be one of the direct descen­dants of the Prophet, peace and bless­ings be upon him and his prog­e­ny and his right­eous com­pan­ions (descen­dant in knowl­edge and in blood­line, but of course, his descen­dantship of the right­eous­ness and knowl­edge is more important).

    Dis­claimer : Broth­ers, I am one from the Shi’ah school of thought, but I come to you all in peace and sin­cere­ly wish to share this resource with you. I hope this will not come in the way of our polem­i­cal and intel­lec­tu­al jihad. Let us set aside our dif­fer­ences and be unit­ed in our strug­gle to let Truth pre­vail over Falsehood.

    Here is the link to my arti­cle : http://​mohamad​lat​iff​.com/​l​a​t​i​f​f​o​l​o​g​y​103​/​?​p​=​575

  4. shoeb Avatar
    shoeb

    A very well writ­ten response, could­n’t have been with­out the Help of Allah, who guid­ed you, broth­er, to such a wis­dom, may Allah accept all your goods deeds and for­give oth­ers. I had not stopped read­ing the arti­cle until I fin­ished it off, and I felt there should have been more words in it ;).

  5. Ashgar Hussein Avatar
    Ashgar Hussein

    Masha Allah Masha Allah.

    Well done broth­er. I havent read the ful arti­cle borther because it is too long. But you have done good job in expos­ing Islam haters. Only truth will win inthe end.

    ALLAHU AKBAR
    ALLAHU AKBAR
    ALLAHU AKBAR

  6. Hassan Avatar
    Hassan

    You are tru­ly a man of knowl­edge and wis­dom. Charecter­is­tics that are built from read­ing and heed­ing to the word of the most high. Well writ­ten response. Allah yihdeek habibi.

  7. AAN Avatar
    AAN

    YaY. My assign­ment is final­ly done based on this topic
    THANK YOU
    ;p

  8. Hamza Avatar
    Hamza

    Fan­tas­tic Response. I wish I could read all of it, but I’m low on time. Look­ing for­ward to read­ing the rest tommorrow.

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