Talk:Scientific Errors in the Quran

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[Sticky] Instructions for editing this page[edit]

Under construction

This page is linked often from other websites and should be edited with care.

An error should be included only if it cannot be justified or explained in any way. In other words the error should be obvious. The following points should be noted:

  • The error should not be attributable to a translation issue and must be valid for the verse in Arabic (when necessary, Arabic speakers should be consulted)
  • The error should be shown in at least 2 translations (Shakir, Yusuf or Pickthall)
  • These are the only translations that can be used
  • Use the translation which is the most easy to understand.
  • The error is obvious and cannot be attributed to "figure of speech". An example is "We will blow up the sky" (this is just an example and may not be a real verse). This should not be listed as an error. A counter-claim may be that they may have been talking about the sun expanding and engulfing the Earth (this will eventually happen). Errors that can be explained by apologists in this way should not be listed.
  • If there is a plausible way that the verse could be interpreted that doesn't indicate an error (from an Islamic worldview where Allah exists), then it is not a demonstrable error unless evidence against the alternative explanation is given.
  • The error should contradict what we know from science, history etc. rather than these facts simply causing a theological difficulty. For example, the Quran says that the moon was created for our benefit to reckon time, but we know that the moon existed long before humans. It is more of a theological difficulty why Allah would create it before it was needed.
  • Weaker errors can be listed in a separate section at the bottom called "Other Quranic verses" with a note "The following are Quranic verses which may contain figures of speech but are still questionable". For this section, the verses should be listed without any section headings. The reason is that a record of such verses should still be kept but these verses should not be presented as obvious errors. These weaker verses are not as strong as others but they could still be seen as adding to the evidence against the Quran.

Tasks[edit]

See WikiIslam:Tasks/Scientific Errors in the Qur'an for tasks for this page.

Removed errors / candidates for removal[edit]

A record of the reasons errors were removed in case future editors unknowingly reinstate them.

Where is allah[edit]

It's the first contradiction and people to whom i gave the link thought the site was stupid because this first one isn't a contradiction. The quran says allah is everywhere metaphorically it means that he is on his throne but since he can see/hear/act everywhere we can say that he is everywhere. I think we should only have the clear contradictions here and there is many of them. There is no point in putting alot of contradictions that actually aren't that just takes down the credibility of the site.--ArabSagan (talk) 14:20, 8 October 2014 (PDT)

How do you know it is metaphorical? I think we shouldn't delete contradictions only because some apologetic made some excuse for it. This way we can say that every shitty quote from Muhammad is a metaphor and therefore everything is ok. Also I think that if we deleted it, then they would do the same thing, find excuse for the first one and dismiss the whole site.--Prekladator (talk) 14:09, 27 February 2016 (EST)

Constellations[edit]

For my edit here [2]

Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light; [3]

Basically its just saying "However the stars are made, we made them and we arranged them like that", so I agree with Lightyears (talk | contribs) unless Saggy you have any additional stuff to say. --Axius (talk | contribs) 15:13, 15 May 2014 (PDT)

"We arranged them like that" is the mistake. Same as the errors pointed out above it (sun, moon and its phases are made for our timekeeping and stars created for navigation). I wrote the light years to show stars are not where they appear (it may not be needed). Hence constellations are imaginations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saggy (talkcontribs) (Remember to sign your comments)
To humans stars have a certain arrangement. Yes that arrangement would change if we were looking it from another place for example the center of the galaxy buy they have an arrangement for people on Earth.
But good job on finding that other verse for the Stars in the lower heaven. Did you find that error verse yourself or you saw it somewhere else? If you saw it yourself, are you going through the Quran systematically chapter by chapter? Thats good. What are you using to browse the Quran, what website? --Axius (talk | contribs) 16:34, 16 May 2014 (PDT)
there are not many errors to find, i have not gone chapter by chapter recently (only for details article). decoration verse was already present.
You didnt yet decide on constel. What I am thinking upon recently is that we look for errors dont we? Then if something is removed, it has to be absolutely correct. Think like that. Is "Allah made constellations" or "mansions" correct? Any one of the two translations can be quoted and then the other explained. Also in 36:39, Moon has mansions (though the word is manzil and not burooj). one more question , if this constelation thing is refutable, doesnt it mean all mythology is true or zodiacs are true? I read this q somewhere. Then Why Islam rejects zodiacs as far as I know? This verse must soon go somewhere: here or the lack of details page or the questions to ask a muslim page. Saggy (talk) 07:30, 17 May 2014 (PDT)
So what website do you use for looking at the Quran? Islam awakened?
"we made constellations" = we arranged the stars like that. If it can be explained its not good to have it on the page. I dont know what the connection is for zodiacs. The verse is only talking about the stars arrangement, not zodiacs. I dont know what Islam says about zodiacs.
The moon verse [4] is just talking about the appearance of the moon. --Axius (talk | contribs) 08:50, 17 May 2014 (PDT)
Some stray translation includes zodiacs. "we arranged the stars" - as i said before, it cannot be explained. In 36:39 what i wanted to show is that moon has mansions. So its another case of faulty cosmology, same is with constellations being called mansions.Saggy (talk) 03:38, 18 May 2014 (PDT)
"The error should not be attributable to a translation issue"
We cannot have the approach that we have to find the translation that includes the 'error' we want to point out. Looking at the all the translations as a whole its clear its talking about the arrangement of the stars, nothing more. --Axius (talk | contribs) 04:52, 18 May 2014 (PDT)
Can you do one thing - just add the Scientific Quran errors to your Sandbox page for now: User:Saggy/Sandbox_-_Issues_with_Quran_and_Hadith. These can be reviewed and added to the main article in the end when you're done. Its more mental work to review them one at a time. It will also be easier for you as you can do what you like in your Sandbox without feeling restricted. --Axius (talk | contribs) 20:09, 18 May 2014 (PDT)
I see what Saggy means - what Saggy added when putting constellations back (and was originally missing) was that because stars are varying distances and a long way away, we are looking back in time when we see them - and a different amount of time for each star. So if a constellation consists of a star 50 light years away and another 1000 light years away, then their relative positions that we see today when their ancient light reaches our eyes does not reflect their actual relative positions. It's a clever and interesting point, but there are a couple of reasons why Muslims would still be very unmoved by the claim that there is an error here. Firstly, the stars that we can see in the constellations are all fairly close - a few hundred to about a thousand light years away. So what we see isn't significantly different to how they are (this indicates how much they move in 50000 years, but we're talking about hundreds). The other thing is that any Muslim who believes that Allah designed the constellations will have no trouble believing that he took the light travel time into account and was only concerned with how they look from earth.Lightyears (talk) 09:13, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
Your claims mean this: a Muslim must agree constellations have been made for us? Since constellations hardly change for hundred or thousand years and the age of those stars is certainly millions to billions of years, he must agree that Allah planted those stars with their perceived design on earth so long ago? We humans got separated from the chimps only some 1 or 2 million years ago? (for whoever is stuborn on Adam: he is dated as even more recent than evolution.) We started using those constellations for guidance or fun much later? All of this was planned for "us" billions of years ago? Saggy (talk) 10:57, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
Exactly that. They would say the same for the position of the continents today or any number of things. Clearly Muslims have no problem with multi-million or billion year processes being set in motion with today's world as the end result in mind. Otherwise endless things about the world today would seem a problem for them. What originally triggered me to question the quality of this entry was when I saw a Muslim saying they laughed when they saw this one. It shouldn't be easy for anyone to pick what they see as a weak example to dismiss the whole page.Lightyears (talk) 11:16, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
No, we are not Allah's reality TV. Such things were not pre-planned and anybody who still believes in the contrary is either ignorant or he's straight on the way to his 72 virgins which are obviously planned according to him :):):). Your approach is that somebody will cry out he has refuted an error and then we will have to cleanup. What about him digesting a hundred absurdities when trying to refute one? It always happens on answeringchristianity.org and all blogs where errors are discussed. Saggy (talk) 11:19, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
Oh you replied. So let me add, some people even try to refute the sun takes permission froh Allah to rise hadith. We cant have a standard for who will believe in nonsense and to what extent and how we will cater him, but we must not lose content thereby. Btw, what did that guy think about the rest of the article? How come he rejected everything? Doesnt that show how ignorant he is?Saggy (talk) 11:25, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
What i always have in mind and i suggested before is keeping the claim and gradually giving it a main article (then we dont have to worry whether it looks strong or weak claim at first sight). Look at the massive 2-part article on sun sets in muddy spring. I dont think anybody still wants to rescue that poor verse, does he? That must be the eventual aim.Saggy (talk) 11:37, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
You're right, some Muslims will laugh at any error claim so I take that back, though he thought this particularly bad. Re your previous point, yes it is absurd (as theology generally is), but it doesn't belong on the scientific errors page since it is a question of theology, how Allah behaves. It's not a statement about the world that can be proven false. No-one could prove scientifically that Allah wouldn't set things in motion at an early stage with today in mind. If there was something in the verse suggesting a time scale that would be potential for a scientific error. Rather, the verse implies a theological absurdity (given that we know the stars have been moving a long time), and one that would apply to all sorts of things like continental drift, not just consellations. It is good content as a theological point, so maybe there is / someone will make a page on this subject. Anyway, maybe we'll just have to disagree on this one. It's for someone else to decide whether the entry is put back on the scientific errors page or not. And the 2 part sun muddy spring article is mine (copied across by someone who runs this site from the quranspotlight blog I used to maintain) - I'm glad you like it :) Lightyears (talk) 11:54, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
How Allah behaves will easily go into the new article whose scope is not limited to errors.Saggy (talk) 13:08, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
hi Lightyears, I agree with you when you say: "but there are a couple of reasons why Muslims would still be very unmoved by the claim that there is an error here".
This is the problem with some of Saggy's additions to this page. Some of the additions can be justified and it creates a problem for whoever links this page. Sometimes he has problems understanding what a verse or hadith is saying (another example where there was no issue but he thought there was).
The word "constellation" is a translation issue. Some translations use "big stars". The Quran is just saying "See how we arranged the stars" - which is what it looks like to humans. So I think it includes the meaning 'constellation' but is not limited to it ("The word "burooj" in the first verse is translated to constellations, stars, and Zodiacal signs." [5])
Here is something that you said and I agree with it 100% but Saggy refuses to understand this and keeps adding "non errors" or weak errors (at one point he said "there is no such thing as a weak error", not true) to this page and weakening it:
What originally triggered me to question the quality of this entry was when I saw a Muslim saying they laughed when they saw this one. It shouldn't be easy for anyone to pick what they see as a weak example to dismiss the whole page.
(bold is mine) I myself have seen another location where Saggy's addition was being mocked and things like that concern me greatly. One bad addition can lead to someone mocking the whole website. The fact that this Scientific errors page is one of the top 10 most visited pages on the site, makes the issue even more critical and it is therefore even more important for this page to be of high quality. I have discussed various issues like this with him and finally I have asked him not to add any verses to this page until the review template is gone. I have told him to do what he wants in his own Sandbox page where he has more freedom to do what he wants.
Some of his additions may be issues of some kind but could be displayed on another page in another manner. At this point I'm not sure how that could be done but for now we can try to keep the Scientific errors page as strong as possible. --Axius (talk | contribs) 16:25, 23 May 2014 (PDT)
Hi Axius, I very much agree. Any new errors need to be very strong, having carefully considered counter arguments and where necessary how the key words are used in lexicons, other verses. Most people won't read the whole of an already long list of errors (not that lots of errors isn't a good thing in one sense!), so that's another reason to keep weak ones out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lightyears (talkcontribs) (Remember to sign your comments)
Thanks I agree. Its good to have a short strong page rather than a long weak/mediocre page.
Saggy, please also note what Lightyears said, in particular: "Any new errors need to be very strong, having carefully considered counter arguments". --Axius (talk | contribs) 17:22, 23 May 2014 (PDT)

Only Allah Knows the Gender of a Fetus (31:34)[edit]

I removed this since it doesn't say "alone" in the Arabic (though it is generally assumed). After it says he knows what is in the wombs it says "and not" rather than "nor". It also doesn't specify anything about gender. Hadiths suggest that it refers to a bunch of things ("his life span, his deeds, and whether he will be among the wretched or the blessed"). Shakir's translation is most accurate here: "Surely Allah is He with Whom is the knowledge of the hour, and He sends down the rain and He knows what is in the wombs; and no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow; and no one knows in what land he shall die; surely Allah is Knowing, Aware."Lightyears (talk) 05:58, 27 May 2014 (PDT)

Earth fixed in place[edit]

I removed the stuff on this from the geocentrism entry a few days ago since it's unclear from the Arabic (irrelevant that we know that the author of the Qur'an was a 7th century bedoin who almost certainly had such a view). It's still there using a different verse under the section The Earth does not rotate.

40:64 was already commented out (they probably saw that it only says fixed place in one translation). The Arabic word basically means a stable abode http://www.studyquran.org/LaneLexicon/Volume7/00000029.pdf. The question is whether qararan here means a settled thing / place, or a place for settling (by humans). The womb is elsewhere described with this word (fee qararin - in a resting place), but a pregnant woman moves around, though the fetus is settled there. Also 27:61 uses the same word while talking about mountains, rivers, so it is perhaps saying that it's a good place for us to settle (rather than that the earth is settled). See also 2:36 where Satan is sent down and given in Earth a dwelling/place of settlement (using the same word as a participle). I'll leave it to an Arabic expert to decide what to do. The stuff about Allah casting down mountains "lest it (the earth) shake with you" could be useful.

As for 35:41, the word deviate in the quoted translation (cease, be removed etc in others) is زول which means (Lane Lexicon) to go away, depart, remove, shift, make remote, absense, cease to be. Most translations use these other meanings. I don't think we can say Earth's orbit/spin meets this definition. The word translated grasp/hold مسك means (Lane's Lexicon) retain, withold, maintain, hold fast, grasp, restrain, confine. Just as these definitions could be used to read an error here, the verse can plausibly be interpreted to mean (if you believe in Allah) that he confines the heavens and earth lest they veer off their unmentioned orbits.

Perhaps it could be eventually added under the other errors section. I think it's enough that there is no mention of the orbit or spin of the Earth which gives rise to day & night, seasons (so very important to humans), given that it does mentions the orbits of the moon and sun (the latter having no relevence to humans if it meant around the galaxy).--Lightyears (talk) 09:19, 27 May 2014 (PDT)

Thanks for analyzing this. --Axius (talk | contribs) 17:10, 27 May 2014 (PDT)

Sun is a flat disc[edit]

That arabic word in 81:1 is kuwwirat which means the sun is wrapped. Same word as 39.5 about the night wrapping the day and vice versa. It could be wrapped in anything in the Islamic worldview, or somehow wrapping itself. Can't prove this kind of thing false and it weakens the page, especially as it stands based on a particular translation using the word 'folded', so I removed it.Lightyears (talk) 21:10, 12 September 2016 (EDT)

Night is a veil[edit]

This section used the Yusuf Ali translation which takes the opposite view compared to nearly all others. This is how Pickthall translates it ('cover' is the most accurate translation for the verb too):

Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then mounted He the Throne. He covereth the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it

The Arabic in this verse is somewhat ambiguous whether the day covers the night or the night covers the day. Most translators choose the former, and tafsirs take the view that it means both. Now it is still nonsense that day covers the night, but for now it needs a complete redesign if is to be added back, and may be too complex for this page. See the Counter-arguments section here Geocentrism and the Quran where 7:54 and related verses are discussed.Lightyears (talk) 21:48, 12 September 2016 (EDT)

Corn has Seven Ears, Each with a Hundred Grains[edit]

Verse 2.261 is obviously a parable about bountiful rewards. No-one thought grain had 7 ears. It fits with the parable of Joseph in 12.43 etc where he has a vision of 7 ears of green grain representing 7 good years. Lightyears (talk) 06:33, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

classification of creatures[edit]

Removed as it is obviously not supposed to be an exhaustive list (creeping on bellies, some with 2, some with 4 legs). It misses out 6 legged things which would include the obvious like ants too, not just millipedes.Lightyears (talk) 07:58, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

Humans created in paradise and then brought to earth[edit]

Removed as this is too weak, and we already have the stuff about Adam specially created from clay. 2:35-26 just refers to the garden and that there is in the earth an abode for them and provision for a time. It probably does mean the garden is not on earth, but too unclear. Ibn Kathir says the majority of scholars assert that the garden was in heaven, but I don't think that's enough as the Qur'an itself is too vague here.Lightyears (talk) 07:58, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

Space Flight is Impossible[edit]

Deleted as 55:33 doesn't say it's impossible. Rather, if spaceflight even falls into this category, it says that it can only happen with Allah's authority.Lightyears (talk) 07:58, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

Bees eat fruit[edit]

Removed because it is incorrect and easily debunked as an error. Bees will in fact eat from ripe fruits (thamarati ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ - fruits from trees), particularly if their skins have a break in them, such as dates and grapes, as well as eating pollen. Possibly they won't eat from all types of fruit, but I don't know where that could be proven if true. Lightyears (talk) 08:17, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

Stars are lower than the moon[edit]

This one was removed ages ago because 'in their midst' in 71:16 is feehinna which literally means simply, 'in them'. It doesn't indicate which of the seven heavens the moon is in, whether it be in the lowest heaven like the stars or not.Lightyears (talk) 21:37, 3 October 2016 (EDT)

Removed the Under Review flag[edit]

I have now removed the Under Review flag. I've gone through the whole page, making lots of corrections, removals and improvements (see also the discussion tab). Always room for improvement, and future changes might require the flag to be reapplied, but I think it's a good enough standard currently to be without the review flag.Lightyears (talk) 07:58, 20 September 2016 (EDT)

Adding hadith on shooting stars[edit]

To show that it isn't justa "false reading of the quran", you should give proofs that it was common mythology like what you said in the intro. For example concerning th shooting stars you should add this hadith http://www.yanabi.com/Hadith.aspx?HadithID=139555

done - good idea, thanks

Possible Additions[edit]

These are possible additions that need review/revision before being added to the page.

No Evaporation in Water Cycle[edit]

(add in the 3.11 water Cycle' section)

There is no Evaporation or Condensation in the Quran. Both processes are clearly described in Aristotle's Physics, Book 2, Section 8, "A difficulty presents itself: why should not nature work, not for the sake of something, nor because it is better so, but just as the sky rains, not in order to make the corn grow, but of necessity?

What is drawn up must cool, and what has been cooled must become water and descend, the result of this being that the corn grows.”

http://classics.mit.edu//Aristotle/physics.html

All the Quran mentions, is that winds blow clouds which bring rain, hardly a miracle.

Turner chris1 (talk) 08:16, 12 February 2016 (EST)

Crucifixions[edit]

(add in the main 'History' section)

There are no references from any culture anywhere in the world to crucifixion as a method of execution before 500BCE, and it is not clear that their crucifixions where the same as what we know(the Roman crucifixion)/they are the same type. Ancient Egypt has been extensively studied as well. However, the Qur’an tells of crucifixions in the time of Joseph(approximately 2000BCE) and Moses(approximately 1500BCE).

Not only that but they are often used in a very casual way in the qu'ran suggesting the practice was widespread and understood by the majority of people, as common people are being addressed in these surahs yet the practice only appears much, much later (over a 1000 years).

Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: "I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine." said the other: "I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating, thereof." "Tell us" (they said) "The truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all)."
He said: "Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you, I will surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this ere it befall you: that is part of the (duty) which my Lord hath taught me. I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a people that believe not in Allah and that (even) deny the Hereafter.
"And I follow the ways of my fathers,- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and never could we attribute any partners whatever to Allah. that (comes) of the grace of Allah to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful.
"O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or the One Allah, Supreme and Irresistible?
"If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the command is for none but Allah. He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not
O two companions of prison, as for one of you, he will give drink to his master of wine; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter has been decreed about which you both inquire."
Said Pharaoh: "Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this is a trick which ye have planned in the city to drive out its people: but soon shall ye know (the consequences).
I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will surely crucify you all."
They said: "For us, We are but sent back unto our Lord:


T`And you find no fault in us but that we have believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us (and we pray to Him), "Our Lord! pour forth upon us patience and perseverance and grant that we die in a state of complete submission (to You)".'