Scientific facts and Quran

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beebojl sul

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Nov 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/4/99
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in chapter 25( Al- furkan= the criterion) verse 53 Allah said
"It is He who let free the tow bodies of water:one palatable and
sweet,and the other salt and bitter,yet has He made a barrier between
them, a partition that not to be passed"
the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big
rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some cases
goes in the sea water for miles without mixing between the tow entities
of water. it is a well recognized phenoamenon these days by
scientist,also,the Quran clearly and undeniably point out to the reason
for that, sweetness of one and saltiness of the other, in modern
scientific terms,its differences in specific gravity between the tow
entities, which is also the explanation provided by modern scientist.

if it wasnt God revelatin to muhammad, how did the illetarite muhammad ,
who lived thousands of miles away from rivers and seas, knew,or even
talked about it?

Suleiman,MD

Andy Bannister

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Nov 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/5/99
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Dear Suleiman,

> in chapter 25( Al- furkan= the criterion) verse 53 Allah said

> "It is He who has let free the two bodies of flowing water:one palatable
> and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier
> between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed"

(I have taken the liberty of correcting your typing mousteaks, and corrected
the quotation to that of the Yusufali translation of the Qur'an, Sura 25:53)

> the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big
> rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some cases
> goes in the sea water for miles without mixing between the tow entities
> of water. it is a well recognized phenoamenon these days by
> scientist,

If this is your interpretation of the Qur'an at this point, this begs a
number of questions:

1) In what way do oceans "flow"? Yes, there are currents and tides, but
oceans do not flow in the same sense that a river "flows".

2) In what ways is river water "sweet"? Palatable (compared to brine), yes,
but "sweet"?

3) The text seems to suggest a barrier between the bodies of water that
cannot be passed by +anybody+. If it is only water that is not permitted to
pass the barrier, in what sense does "forbidden" come into play? Are you
suggesting that the salt water/fresh water barrier exists purely because the
salt water is "forbidden" to pass?

4) Where were these waters let "free" from?

My point is this: that the only way to construct a scientific statement
(like you have tried to do) from 25:53 is to take certain statements within
the text as poetic or metaphoric --- constructions that have no place in
science.

> also,the Quran clearly and undeniably point out to the reason
> for that, sweetness of one and saltiness of the other, in modern
> scientific terms,its differences in specific gravity between the tow
> entities, which is also the explanation provided by modern scientist.

But there is no reference to "specific gravity" in 25:53. If there was, if
Muhammad had written "say: one water is heavier than the other, and thus
they mix not" or something, then you would have a point. You have read your
science into the Qur'an.

To illustrate my point, consider this. Suppose I wanted to argue that
Muhammad believed that in paradise Allah had created a lake of sweet water
to bless the righteous, and in hell a lake of salt water to curse the
sinners. As one was in hell and one in paradise, there would exist between
the two a partition, unable to be passed by any soul. Now I could
proclaim --- look! Sura 25:53 fits my idea! Muhammad must have believed it!
Do you see how dangerous it can be to read ideas into the Qur'an. You need
to read Sura 25:53 in the context of 7th/8th century Arabia.

Finally, there is no "barrier" between salt water and fresh water in a river
estuary. This is by far the biggest problem with your interpretation. Of
course there is mixing, otherwise rivers wouldn't empty, for a start! The
only barrier between the two is kinetic; i.e. it takes some time for salt
water and fresh water to mix, the time (and the distance from the mouth of
the river) being dependant upon a) the speed of the river and b) the volume
of water it is dumping into the ocean at any give time.

> if it wasnt God revelatin to muhammad, how did the illetarite muhammad ,
> who lived thousands of miles away from rivers and seas, knew,or even
> talked about it?

I believe the word you wanted is spelt "illiterate".

How exactly did you arrive at the conclusion that Muhammad lived thousands
of miles from rivers and seas? The Red Sea is very, very close to Mecca; and
whilst trading for Khadija, Muhammad took trips as far as Aleppo, north of
Damascus in Syria. He would have come into contact with oceans, rivers, and
more especially, people who made their living from them.

At the end of the day, there are not any modern scientific facts found in
the Qur'an. And in fact, the problem is worse than that. Trying to prove the
Qur'an by science suffers from an inherent logical flaw, namely that using
science to prove the Qu'ran cuts both ways. As I understand it, Muslims
believe that if we can find modern science in the Qu'ran then the Qu'ran
must be divine because Muhammad could not have known the stuff? Am I right?
And I agree with the reasoning. If the science is there, Allah wrote the
Qu'ran. However ... by the SAME ARGUMENT, if there is bad science in the
Qu'ran, it is not divine, because Allah could not make mistakes. Do you see
my reasoning ... you cannot have one without the other. YOU cannot claim
science as a tool to validate the Qu'ran unless you prepared to let science
destroy it, and vice versa, I cannot use science to destroy it if I am not
prepared to let it prove it.

Now consider the following scientific absurdity:

018.086
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring
of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou
hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."

This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the Qur'an"
argument once and for all. Because either:

a) You take it literally. In which case we have a scientific absurdity in
the Qur'an. If this is the case then the Qur'an cannot be divine.

b) You take it figuratively. In which case it has been demonstrated that you
are simply diving upon those verses that can be made to look as if they
contain science, and ignoring those that do not hold up to the light of
science.

In short, science and the Qur'an do not mix --- it was not intended to be a
scientific text book, I imagine. If you persist in trying to use science as
a proof, it will surely be your undoing.

Regards.

Andy Bannister
an...@bannister.screaming.net

Mo

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Nov 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/5/99
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What's your point ? The two waters do mix so once again the
Quran is in the wrong that the 'partition is not to be
passed' . Well God got it wrong it does and in fact
sometimes the sea travels miles up and mixes it well before
the river has a chance to get to the seashore ..
Besides the Prophet may have been illiterate and this is
truly amazing , a man who got rich at age 25 by marrying a
wealthy widow never bothered to learn the Arabic script so
he was blind to all the calligraphy , but he did converse
with travellers and may have been told of this and may have
seen it himself when he went to Ethiopia ..

Nizam

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Nov 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/6/99
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In article <7vtuet$gcu$1...@samba.rahul.net>,
"Andy Bannister" <an...@bannister.screaming.net> wrote:

== 018.086
== Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found
== it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People:
== We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either
== to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."

== This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the
== Qur'an" argument once and for all. Because either:

This argument of your is alone is sufficient to prove that you tend
to read everything in Quran literally. And I know this is not
the last time this issue is going to be raised. Read the following
URL and find out the folly in your argument.

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Cable/5058/Quran/muddy.html

Nizam

--

Quran 2:112. Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to
God and is a doer of good,- He will get his
reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear,


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

abujamal

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Nov 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/6/99
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as-salaamu 'alaikum!

Andy Bannister wrote in his usual mannerly style,
sweet-sounding fatherly words to an errant young man,
correcting errors of semantic usage and immaterial ignorance
while subtly twisting the words to impute falsehood the the
Qur'anic text or the previous writer's understanding of it.
Observe:

> (I have taken the liberty of correcting your typing mousteaks, and corrected
> the quotation to that of the Yusufali translation of the Qur'an, Sura 25:53)

The previous writer is in need of minor corrections
and substitution of Andy's preferred mistranslation of the
particulat Ayat under discussion.

>> the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big
>> rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some cases

>> goes in the sea water for miles without mixing between the two entities
>> of water. it is a well recognized phenomenon these days by


>> scientist,
> If this is your interpretation of the Qur'an at
> this point, this begs a number of questions:
> 1) In what way do oceans "flow"? Yes, there are currents and tides, but
> oceans do not flow in the same sense that a river "flows."

This incorrect statement is quite possibly
disingenuous, else Andy is ignorant of some well-known facts
about the world he lives in. The oceans most certainly do
have currents, one major current running deep below the
current going in the opposite direction, which moves the
seawater south, around the tip of a continent and then
north, where it cools when it encounters the ice floes and
descends to flow south, around the tip of the continent, and
then north again. Think "Gulf Stream," Mr. Bannister, and
"El Nino," which is a related phenomenon. Oceans "flow" in
the same sense that a river flows, with a direction and a
current.

But that would certainly confuse someone who does
not read National Geographic, since what is taught in public
schools of science is rather slight these days. In going
after the weak in knowledge to deceive them, that wouldn't
matter a great deal to you.

> 2) In what ways is river water "sweet"?
> Palatable (compared to brine), yes, but "sweet"?

Well certainly "sweet," Mr. Bannister, to a palate
that has not been desensitized by the use of alcoholic
beverages and pork, or otherwise rendered insensitive to the
taste of pure water. This is a bit of a gamble, perhaps the
previous writer has tasted sweet water -- but your aim is at
the weaker, so perhaps that is immaterial.

> 3) The text seems to suggest a barrier between the bodies of water that
> cannot be passed by +anybody+. If it is only water that is not permitted to
> pass the barrier, in what sense does "forbidden" come into play? Are you
> suggesting that the salt water/fresh water barrier exists purely because the
> salt water is "forbidden" to pass?

And you are forbidden to walk through rock walls,
Mr. Bannister. Go ahead -- try it -- and tell me that you
are permitted. Physical laws are just as forbidding --
perhaps moreso -- than statutory provisions of civil
government. You're forbidden to eat pork and drink port --
but the salt water cannot penetrate the sweet. So which is
"forbidden"? Semantic quibbles are your stock in trade,
though, are they not?

> 4) Where were these waters let "free" from?

From the slavery of your mentality that suggests
that they do not follow a fixed and inexorable course.
Another semantic quibble, and hardly worthy of you. Are you
tired? Need a holiday or a sabbatical? Or a refresher
course in how to confuse and befuddle the muslims soon?

> My point is this:

________________________________

> Finally, there is no "barrier" between salt water and fresh water in a river
> estuary. This is by far the biggest problem with your interpretation. Of
> course there is mixing, otherwise rivers wouldn't empty, for a start! The
> only barrier between the two is kinetic; i.e. it takes some time for salt
> water and fresh water to mix, the time (and the distance from the mouth of
> the river) being dependant upon a) the speed of the river and b) the volume
> of water it is dumping into the ocean at any give time.

Oh, Mr. Bannister, how you've shot yourself in the
foot! It has been clearly determined that the water does
not gradually mix, and that for as far out into the ocean as
the river flow remains, it is pure river water here, and
pure seawater there, and there is no area between where
either is diluted with the other. Go check it now, do your
homework, and don't make such a silly mistake again.

> I believe the word you wanted is spelt "illiterate".

Yes, that's the word. And the period goes inside
the final quotation mark, not outside. Please don't be so
annoying with your spelling and punctuation fixation.

> If the science is there, Allah wrote the Qu'ran.

> I cannot use science to destroy it if I am not
> prepared to let it prove it.

Try the perfect description of pulsars and black
holes, found respectively in Surahs 86 and 55. Or the
mention of the hundred-ton balls of ice that enter earth's
atmosphere every few seconds that have now been found with
telescopes entering the upper atmosphere and disrupting
thermal air currents that were detected with infrared
photography. Or the complete description of the fetus at
every stage of gestation. Or the mention of skin as the
locus of sensation and in need of replacement to preserve
the capacity to feel burning.

But you know all these things, and yet you pretend
there is no science in the Qur'an, no discoveries that
mankiind has made that were not known or could not have been
known 1420 years ago when they were described with
penetratingly perfect clarity in the Qur'an, and you know
they are innumerable and increasing. How wretched must be
your life that you have to come here to entertain yourself
with false contentions.

> Now consider the following scientific absurdity:

I just did, in the above paragraph. What you say is
scientific absurdity, and you know it.

> In short, science and the Qur'an do not mix

LOL! ROFL! Andy Reverend Bannister, this is a
joke.

> Regards.
> Andy Bannister
> an...@bannister.screaming.net

I think I'd be screaming, too, it I had to look
ahead and see what you would see if you could look ahead.

was-salaam,
abujamal

Mo

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Nov 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/7/99
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[18.90] Until when he reached the land of the rising of the
sun, he found it rising on a people to whom We had given no
shelter from It;

Mo

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Nov 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/7/99
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What about the traveller Abu Jinn travelling to the east and
finding the sun rising from muddy springs on a 'people not
protected from its rays' as mentioned in the Quran ? Does
this not mean that the Prophet thougth the earth was flat
and arose at a point in the east where this traveller went
to and since the sun at that point was near - put a coin on
the table and raise another coin from east to west and see
that at both extremes it is very near the other coin and
hence these people would need protection from its strong
rays .
The fact that the Prophet thought so and has written it in
the Quran shows once and for all that the Quran is not from
God but from the Prophet ..

10/5 gave the sun his brightness and the moon her light
-wrong Moon does not have its own light
*2/258 god brings up the sun from the east ??

13/2 raised the heaven without pillars ; forced the sun and
moon into appointed course -ie Muslims think Heaven is just
above earth else why need for pillars ?
17/80 prayers at sunset shall make the earth barren
wasteland -what does it matter to God when we pray, why
threaten us with making earth barren

31/29 he has force the sun and moon into his service , each
running for an appointed time (1 day , 28 days etc.)-again
its not the sun which has been 'forced' but the earth which
is forced to revolve round the sun . Once again God doesnt
realize that it is the earth circling the sun and not vice
versa

36/38 sun hastens to its resting place)-hadiths say goes
under God's throne-, its course laid down moon daily wanes
until it appears like a bent and withered twig -moon does
not wane , it is the shadows

36/40 sun is not allowed to overtake the moon , each in its
orbit runs-they do not circle earth- and the moon DOES
overtake the sun at an eclipse so God is wrong once again !
-for a Supreme Being who claims to know it all , he makes an
awful lot of mistakes .

70/15 moon for a light , sun for a lantern in 7
heavens-which sun ?-if its our sun then heaven is in our
solar system !-how come we havent seen it yet ? Is it made
of strange quirky matter ?

81.1 sun ceases to shine . m blown away , stars fall down,
oceans roll together on J day
Again the Prophet didnt realize that these stars are
millions of times bigger than the earth and cant 'fall down'
on earth . He thought they were small lamps stuck in the
sky.

Rahim Choudhary

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Nov 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/7/99
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Salam:

Andy in this post has shown a remarkable inaptitude towards Quran. He has also
shown a disrespectful disregard to the original argument. He talked trivialities
with respect to some typos in the original post, he then goes on to mutilate the
entire argument by introducing trivialities and peripherals of his own.

I will stand up to the claim that science when correct is exactly in accord with
Quran. This is the argument that the original author made, in the context of a
specific case with respect to the behaviour of two types of water.

On the other hand the 'wrong" science or its lack of understanding by some can
not be held against Quran.

The biggest argument is that Allah created the universe and Quran is Allah's
book. There can be no contradiction between the two. None has been found so far
despite the tremendous leaps and bounds by which science has moved forward since
the 6th century or early 7th: AND Quran surely has held the weight it carries
with respect to being the correct guidance for humanity.

The example of the Sun setting that Andy quoted is just a lack of willingness on
the part of Andy to educate himself on Quran. It is perhaps upto Andy to educate
himself or not: however it is not upto him to broadcast his ignorance to cause
misguidance for others.

Andy Bannister

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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Dear Nizam,

Thank you so much for your reply. I will try my hardest to respond to
the
points you brought up ...

> == 018.086
> == Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found
> == it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People:
> == We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either
> == to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."
>
> == This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the
> == Qur'an" argument once and for all. Because either:
>
> This argument of your is alone is sufficient to prove that you tend
> to read everything in Quran literally.

I am not necessarily a believer in reading everything in the Qur'an
literally; I am sure that was not what Muhammad intended. However,
Suleiman --- and others who expound the 'modern science proves the
Qur'an is from Allah' argument --- drag the Qur'an into the field of
literalism. Let me repeat what I said in my last post, which explains
why I quoted Sura 18:86 :

"At the end of the day, there are not any modern scientific facts found
in the Qur'an. And in fact, the problem is worse than that. Trying to
prove the Qur'an by science suffers from an inherent logical flaw,
namely that using science to prove the Qu'ran cuts both ways. As I
understand it, Muslims believe that if we can find modern science in
the Qu'ran then the Qu'ran must be divine because Muhammad could not
have known the stuff? Am I right?

And I agree with the reasoning. If the science is there, Allah wrote
the Qu'ran. However ... by the SAME ARGUMENT, if there is bad science
in the Qu'ran, it is not divine, because Allah could not make mistakes.
Do you see my reasoning ... you cannot have one without the other. YOU
cannot claim science as a tool to validate the Qu'ran unless you
prepared to let science destroy it, and vice versa, I cannot use
science to destroy it if I am not prepared to let it prove it."

This is why Sura 18:86 is a problem; if you wish to find modern science
in the Qur'an, then ignoring or reading figuratively everything that
poses a problem to you is not the way to go about it.

> And I know this is not
> the last time this issue is going to be raised. Read the following
> URL and find out the folly in your argument.
>
> http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Cable/5058/Quran/muddy.html

Thank you for pointing me to this URL. As not everyone has the time or
the inclination to go chasing URLs I thought I would repeat the
arguments there word for word here. It is a short web page, and
actually weakens the 'modern science proves the Qur'an is from Allah'
position considerably.

=== Contents of Web Site follow ===
Sun Setting on Muddy Spring
Many people use the following verse to mean that Quran says that
sunsets in muddy spring.
Quran 18:86
18:86. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set


in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-
qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them
with kindness."

This verse appears during the narration of the story. It means a western
expedition terminated by a place with "spring of murky water".
Let us also look at another verse which follows this one
Quran 18:90
18:90 Until when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising
on a people for whom we had provided no covering protection againt the
sun.
However the very same people will never interpret the above verse to
mean that sun rises on people.
I wonder what these people do when see the board "Wet Paint" Go and wet
the paint or what?
================

Now the web site you referred to tries to defend Sura 18:86 by quoting
Sura 18:90:

"Until when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a
people for whom we had provided no covering protection againt the sun".

As the author rightly points out, of course most people have no problem
with the idea of the sun rising. From the point of view of an observer
on earth, the sun rises and sets. However, Sura 18:90 poses an
interesting problem with its phrase "when he came to the rising of the
sun". The rising of the sun can never be reached!

At the end of the day, this web page doesn't answer any of the problems
raised by Sura 18:86, namely:

1) How can one reach the setting of the sun? (or indeed its rising).
2) How can the sun set in a muddy puddle? (Yusufali's attempts in his
commentary on 18:86 to allievate this problem are almost laughable).

I am more than happy to accept that 18:86 needs to be taken
figuratively; but if that is the case, those who are trying to argue
for modern science in the Qur'an are guilty of twisting the Qur'an to
meet their own ends; as literalism is only acceptable when it can seem
to prove a point --- and why was Muhammad not being literal in Sura
18:86?

Thank you for your response, Nizam.

Warm regards.

Andy Bannister

Ashiqah

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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Bismillahir-Rahmaanir-Raheem

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Andy Bannister

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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Dear Abujamal,

Hello! It seems to be a long time since we have corresponding in SRI. I
hope that you are well.

> Andy Bannister wrote in his usual mannerly style,
> sweet-sounding fatherly words to an errant young man

I always try to be impeccably polite when I write in SRI. I am aware
that sometimes I can be prone to a slightly ironic sense of humour; if
you have a problem with my phraseology then by all means tell me, and I
shall endeavour not to offend you. Incidentally, I never suggested or
implied that Suleiman was an "errant young man". These are your words,
so I hope he doesn't mind.

> correcting errors of semantic usage and immaterial ignorance
> while subtly twisting the words to impute falsehood the the
> Qur'anic text or the previous writer's understanding of it.

Nowhere have I twisted either the words of Suleiman or of the Qur'an.
Indeed, I have tried to take them +absolutely literally+. And why?
Because Suleiman was endeavouring to claim that the Qur'an contained
modern science. For this to be true, it is important we are literal.
There is no real place in science for metaphor, as I wrote in my last
post.

Now before you jump up and down accusing me of things like "twisting" or
"imputing falsehood", let me repeat here EXACTLY what Suleiman wrote in
his post:

*******


"in chapter 25( Al- furkan= the criterion) verse 53 Allah said "It is

He who let free the tow bodies of water:one palatable and

sweet,and the other salt and bitter,yet has He made a barrier between
them, a partition that not to be passed"

the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big
rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some cases

goes in the sea water for miles without mixing between the tow entities
of water. it is a well recognized phenoamenon these days by

scientist,also,the Quran clearly and undeniably point out to the reason


for that, sweetness of one and saltiness of the other, in modern
scientific terms,its differences in specific gravity between the tow
entities, which is also the explanation provided by modern scientist."

*******

It is about to become quite important that you --- and other readers ---
are familiar with what he wrote and what I actually responded to.

> Observe:
>
> > (I have taken the liberty of correcting your typing mousteaks, and
> > corrected the quotation to that of the Yusufali translation of the
> > Qur'an, Sura 25:53)
>
> The previous writer is in need of minor corrections
> and substitution of Andy's preferred mistranslation of the
> particulat Ayat under discussion.

Now you will note that the translation Suleiman repeated WAS the
Yusufali translation; he had simply missed a couple of words and
mistyped a few others. (As one who is prone to typos myself, and who is
eternally grateful for a spelling checker, I know how easy it is do to.
Feel free to point out any errors of typing or grammar in my post --- I
will not be offended).

Just to prove my point, compare Suleiman's quotation from the Qur'an:

"It is He who let free the tow bodies of water:one palatable and

sweet,and the other salt and bitter,yet has He made a barrier between
them, a partition that not to be passed""

with my "correction" from Yusufali:

"It is He who has let free the two bodies of flowing water:one
palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a
barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed"

I point this fact out to illustrate that you are producing a lot of hot
air about nothing.

But I do have to thank you for you making a fuss about translations. It
caused me to look at what the other renowned translators of the Qur'an
translated for Sura 25:53:

PICKTHAL: And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas
(though they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish,
bitter; and hath set a bar and a forbidding ban between them.
SHAKIR: And He it is Who has made two seas to flow freely, the one sweet
that subdues thirst by its sweetness, and the other salt that burns by
its saltness; and between the two He has made a barrier and inviolable
obstruction.

I find it fascinating that both Shakir and Pickthal translate this
verse as talking about two SEAS that meet --- not a sea and a river. If
this is the case, then that blows the river/sea, salt/fresh theory out
of the water, if you'll pardon the pun.

However, as you and Suleiman obviously wish to make a case based on the
Yusufali translation, so be it. Rivers and seas it is. Let us see how
you responded to the rest of my post:

> >> the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big
> >> rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some
> >> cases goes in the sea water for miles without mixing between the
> >> two entities
> >> of water. it is a well recognized phenomenon these days by
> >> scientist,
> > If this is your interpretation of the Qur'an at
> > this point, this begs a number of questions:
> > 1) In what way do oceans "flow"? Yes, there are currents and tides,
> > but oceans do not flow in the same sense that a river "flows."
>
> This incorrect statement is quite possibly
> disingenuous, else Andy is ignorant of some well-known facts
> about the world he lives in. The oceans most certainly do
> have currents, one major current running deep below the
> current going in the opposite direction, which moves the
> seawater south, around the tip of a continent and then
> north, where it cools when it encounters the ice floes and
> descends to flow south, around the tip of the continent, and
> then north again. Think "Gulf Stream," Mr. Bannister, and
> "El Nino," which is a related phenomenon. Oceans "flow" in
> the same sense that a river flows, with a direction and a
> current.

Thank you, Abujamal. I concede that I rushed in here without thinking
too hard. However, currents and rivers are not the same, as I am sure
you realise. Many similarities, but not the same. Currents, for
example, can be different at different depths, can be affected by the
sea temperature, by the tides, and by the prevailing winds. Rivers,
however, always flow downhill. However, I accept that we are quibbling
about semantics. I can accept that, in Arabic, rivers and the
seas "move" in the same way; there is not a different word in Arabic
for "current". Interestingly enough, if the Qur'an had managed to
describe currents in more detail, as being different from a
river flow, then the 'science in the Qur'an' argument might have had
more ammunition.:-)

> > 2) In what ways is river water "sweet"?
> > Palatable (compared to brine), yes, but "sweet"?
>
> Well certainly "sweet," Mr. Bannister, to a palate
> that has not been desensitized by the use of alcoholic
> beverages and pork, or otherwise rendered insensitive to the
> taste of pure water.

Are you daring to assume that you know what I eat or drink? This is pure
conjecture.

> This is a bit of a gamble, perhaps the
> previous writer has tasted sweet water -- but your aim is at
> the weaker, so perhaps that is immaterial.

I have tasted all manner of water, but would not describe it as sweet.
Remember what we are talking about in this post; science. Now as I am
sure you are aware, the human mouth can only discern four different
tastes --- bitter and sour, sweet and salt. In its reference to tastes
(salt, sweet, and bitter are all quoted), the Qur'an seems somewhat
confused.

This may sound like I am envoking ardent literalism here, and indeed I
am. My point is this; that to make Sura 25:53 even remotely scientific,
you need to be prepared to say "this phrase is poetic" or "this
shouldn't be taken literally". And in doing so, science flies out the
window. You need to face up to the fact that the Qu'ran is a poor
substitute for even a first-grade science textbook. This is not a
criticism of the Qu'ran, but simply a recognition that the Qu'ran was
not written as a science textbook. To try to drag it into the field of
science is to destroy any credibility it might have. Muslims are far
safer talking about God and mankind's relationship to him; the Qur'an
speaks of this, and you can explain what Muhammad wrote. When it comes
to science, you are on wobbly ground.

> > 3) The text seems to suggest a barrier between the bodies of water
> > that cannot be passed by +anybody+. If it is only water that is not
> > permitted to pass the barrier, in what sense does "forbidden" come
> > into play? Are you suggesting that the salt water/fresh water
> > barrier exists purely because the salt water is "forbidden" to pass?
>
> And you are forbidden to walk through rock walls,
> Mr. Bannister. Go ahead -- try it -- and tell me that you

> are permitted.Physical laws are just as forbidding --


> perhaps moreso -- than statutory provisions of civil
> government.

What does a rock wall have to do with water!? Try an experiment; fill
one bucket with salt water, and one with fresh. Simultaneously pour the
salt water into one end of your bath, and the fresh water into the
other end. Then see if you can find any part of the bath that is
entirely filled with salt water, or any part entirely filled with fresh
water. There is no solid barrier, despite any number of appeals to
Allah. There is no physical law operable in this circumstance.

> You're forbidden to eat pork and drink port --
> but the salt water cannot penetrate the sweet. So which is
> "forbidden"? Semantic quibbles are your stock in trade,
> though, are they not?

The invention of physical barriers that transcend the rules of science
is not exactly a "semantic quibble"! Perhaps you'd like to try breaking
a few more; is the only reason you can't fly gravity, or is that just
a "semantic quibble"?

> > Finally, there is no "barrier" between salt water and fresh water
> > in a river estuary. This is by far the biggest problem with your
> > interpretation. Of course there is mixing, otherwise rivers
> > wouldn't empty, for a start!
> > The only barrier between the two is kinetic; i.e. it takes some
> > time for salt water and fresh water to mix, the time (and the
> > distance from the mouth of the river) being dependant upon a) the
> > speed of the river and b) the volume
> > of water it is dumping into the ocean at any give time.
>
> Oh, Mr. Bannister, how you've shot yourself in the
> foot! It has been clearly determined that the water does
> not gradually mix, and that for as far out into the ocean as
> the river flow remains, it is pure river water here, and
> pure seawater there, and there is no area between where
> either is diluted with the other. Go check it now, do your
> homework, and don't make such a silly mistake again.

I am afraid, Abujamal, that it is you who have missed the point. The
science is clear. The two waters - the fresh and the salt - homogenize
out beyond the river delta area. The faster the flow, the greater the
kinetic energy of the fresh water, and the further out the mixing will
occur. In fact you do not even need any geography or physics to help
you; if the two waters do not mix, why do the rivers not back up and
flood? Where are they dumping their contents to? And why is the "fresh
water" part of the ocean not constantly increasing? And remember, you
are watering down (another pun) the Qur'an when you suggest that the
salt and fresh water do not mix for as far out into the ocean as "the
river flow remains". That is not what the Qu'ran says. Rather it says:

"And He it is Who has made two seas to flow freely, the one sweet that
subdues thirst by its sweetness, and the other salt that burns by its
saltness; and between the two He has made a barrier and inviolable
obstruction"

The Qur'an strongly teaches NO MIXING. Look at the strength of the
language; BARRIER and INVIOLABLE OBSTRUCTION.

> > I believe the word you wanted is spelt "illiterate".
>
> Yes, that's the word. And the period goes inside
> the final quotation mark, not outside.

Only when when you are reporting speech. I.e. John said, "It's a nice
day." When using quotation marks to highlight one word, the period goes
outside. I.e. John picked up his Scrabble tiles and spelt "happy".

> Please don't be so annoying with your spelling and punctuation
> fixation.

I believe good that English and grammar is important. This is especially
true when it comes to science. NASA once lost a space-probe because a
programmer left out a comma in a line of code.

Please feel free to correct my spelling and punctuation anytime you
like.

> > If the science is there, Allah wrote the Qu'ran.
> > I cannot use science to destroy it if I am not
> > prepared to let it prove it.
>
> Try the perfect description of pulsars and black
> holes, found respectively in Surahs 86 and 55. Or the
> mention of the hundred-ton balls of ice that enter earth's
> atmosphere every few seconds that have now been found with
> telescopes entering the upper atmosphere and disrupting
> thermal air currents that were detected with infrared
> photography. Or the complete description of the fetus at
> every stage of gestation. Or the mention of skin as the
> locus of sensation and in need of replacement to preserve
> the capacity to feel burning.

These are oft-repeated claims with no substance. They also require the
most tortured exegesis I have ever come across. They also leave you
with the problem that you neatly snipped from your reply. As I am sure
this was an oversight, I will repeat it here:

Trying to prove the Qur'an by science suffers from an inherent logical
flaw, namely that using science to prove the Qu'ran cuts both ways. As I
understand it, Muslims believe that if we can find modern science in the
Qu'ran then the Qu'ran must be divine because Muhammad could not have

known the stuff? Am I right? And I agree with the reasoning. If the
science is there, Allah wrote the Qu'ran. However ... by the SAME
ARGUMENT, if there is bad science in the Qu'ran, it is not divine,


because Allah could not make mistakes. Do you see my reasoning ... you
cannot have one without the other. YOU cannot claim science as a tool
to validate the Qu'ran unless you prepared to let science destroy it,

and vice versa, I cannot use science to destroy it if I am not


prepared to let it prove it.

Now consider the following scientific absurdity:

018.086


Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a
spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-
qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them
with kindness."

This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the
Qur'an" argument once and for all. Because either:

a) You take it literally. In which case we have a scientific absurdity
in the Qur'an. If this is the case then the Qur'an cannot be divine.

b) You take it figuratively. In which case it has been demonstrated
that you are simply diving upon those verses that can be made to look
as if they contain science, and ignoring those that do not hold up to
the light of science.

So, tell me Abujamal, which is it?

1) The Qur'an contains a scientific absurdity
2) You are interpreting it inconsistently and twisting its words to fit
your idea of science.
3) The Qur'an was not written to speak into science, and should be left
to talk about those subjects that it does address.

I look forward to your reply.

Many blessings in Jesus.

Andy Bannister

Andy Bannister

unread,
Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
to
Dear Rahim,

> Andy in this post has shown a remarkable inaptitude towards Quran.

You will not be surprised if I say that I disagree. I openly admit that
I am beginner with the Qur'an; I only started reading it a year ago.
However, I believer the real inaptitude is displayed by those who
insist on a "scientific miracle" in the Qur'an. As I demonstrated in my
last post (and previously on this topic on SRI), in order to find such
a "scientific miracle" one must twist words, engage in tortured
exegesis, and apply double-standards, stating that "this verse is to be
interpreted scientifically" or "this verse should not be taken
scientifically but metaphorically."

> He has also shown a disrespectful disregard to the original argument.
> He talked trivialities with respect to some typos in the original
> post,

Please forgive me if my joke about typing was flippant. I am a bad typer
myself, and if it were not for a) a spell checker and b) my having
taught myself the habit of careful proof reading, I don't know what my
posts would look like!

> he then goes on to mutilate the entire argument by introducing
> trivialities and peripherals of his own.

I don't believe I introduced any trivialities. In his post, Suleiman
tried to give an example of modern science in the Qur'an (Sura 25:53).
I merely asked some scientific questions about that verse which, when
applied, raised more questions than answers.

> I will stand up to the claim that science when correct is exactly in
> accord with Quran. This is the argument that the original author
> made, in the context of a specific case with respect to the
> behaviour of two types of water.

I agree with you in one sense. If the Qur'an is from God (a debate for
another post), which Muslims claim, then of course no modern science
will contradict the Qur'an. (I am a Christian, as you are probably
aware, and believe this of the Bible). This is fine.

However, it is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT thing altogether to claim that
modern science is found WITHIN the Qur'an. These are two different
arguments. For instance, I can state that modern science will never
disprove the London Telephone Directory! However, it would be another
thing to say that the London Telephone Directory contained modern
science.

You need to ask yourself what questions, issues, and topics the Qur'an
was written to address; to try to find stuff in the Qur'an that is not
there and which the book was never written to tackle is only going to
do cause problems.

At the end of the day, Suleiman went far further than to say "science
when correct is exactly in accord with the Qur'an". He argued the other
way around, and tried to find a "scientific miracle".

> On the other hand the "wrong" science or its lack of understanding by
> some can not be held against Quran.
>
> The biggest argument is that Allah created the universe and Quran is
> Allah's book. There can be no contradiction between the two.

As a Christian I would agree. God did indeed create the universe.
However, it would an entirely different thing to say "and the
cosmological processes by which he did this are found in the
Bible/Qur'an".

> None has been found so far despite the tremendous leaps and bounds by
> which science has moved forward since the 6th century or early 7th:
> AND Quran surely has held the weight it carries
> with respect to being the correct guidance for humanity.
>
> The example of the Sun setting that Andy quoted is just a lack of

> willingness on the part of Andy to educate himself on Quran. It is


> perhaps upto Andy to educate himself or not: however it is not
> upto him to broadcast his ignorance to cause misguidance for
> others.

The example I gave of the sun setting has nothing to do with any lack of
willingness. It was to do with this; if the Qur'an contains science, if
you are going to jump and down and proclaim "Hoorah! A scientific
miracle!" then you have the problem of what to with examples like Sura
18:86. Let me repeat it here:

"Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a
spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-
qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them
with kindness.""

Now in order to deal with this you either have to:

1) Interpret it "metaphorical" or "non-literally" or any other term you
like to apply. In which case people are guilty of applying one exegesis
to verses that can be twisted to contain science, and yet another to a
verse which has problems. As a mere mortal, on what authority do you
say "this verse must be taken literally" and "this verse must be taken
non-literally"? I guess at the end of the day, the test is science; to
find a "scientific miracle" in the Qur'an you must use science itself
as a test; those verses that fail to come up to science must therefore
not be scientific ones. Do you spot the problem in this reasoning?

2) Accept that the Qur'an wasn't written to tackle science. I can
happily accept that Sura 18:86 may contain metaphor; however in order
to interpret it this way, people need to interpret the WHOLE book
consistently, not pick-and-mix methods of exegesis according to the
mood of the age.

3) Deal with the fact that there is a scientific absurdity in the
Qur'an, with the all the problems that creates.

You see, science is a two-edged sword. Trying to prove the Qur'an by


science suffers from an inherent logical flaw, namely that using

science to prove the Qu'ran cuts both ways. The "scientific miracle"
argument that Suleiman repeated basically states that if we can find


modern science in the Qu'ran then the Qu'ran must be divine because

Muhammad could not have known the stuff. And I agree with the


reasoning. If the science is there, Allah wrote the Qu'ran. However ...
by the SAME ARGUMENT, if there is bad science in the Qu'ran, it is not

divine, because Allah could not make mistakes. Do you see my reasoning;
you cannot have one without the other. You CANNOT claim science as a


tool to validate the Qu'ran unless you prepared to let science destroy
it, and vice versa, I cannot use science to destroy it if I am not
prepared to let it prove it.

Warm regards.

Abdalla Alothman

unread,
Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Asalam Alikum.

Andy Bannister wrote:

> Nowhere have I twisted either the words of Suleiman or of the Qur'an.

You did twist the Quran numerous times in the past, and never apologized
once. So don't blame people if they have doubts concerning what you bring
forth.

> Indeed, I have tried to take them +absolutely literally+. And why?
> Because Suleiman was endeavouring to claim that the Qur'an contained
> modern science. For this to be true, it is important we are literal.
> There is no real place in science for metaphor, as I wrote in my last
> post.

Whether you like it or not, the Quran mentions many facts, may these
facts be historic, scientific, and so forth. As I told you last year
(?) on ARI, the Quran is not a science book, it's a book of guidance,
and it also includes lots of facts; some happen to be related to science.



> with my "correction" from Yusufali:
>
> "It is He who has let free the two bodies of flowing water:one
> palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a
> barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed"

Just a side note. The word "sweet" is translated from the Arabic word
'athbun furaat which means pure.

> Please feel free to correct my spelling and punctuation anytime you
> like.

I don't think many people would go for your offer, only those
who are childish will accept it and follow your footsteps.
Brother Abujamal was showing you how childish you were when
you corrected brother Sulaiman's typos, that's all.

> Now consider the following scientific absurdity:
>
> 018.086
> Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a
> spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-
> qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them
> with kindness."
>
> This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the
> Qur'an" argument once and for all.

This is not an absurdity. You were given answers to this argument
before to which you weren't able to respond. So why do you raise
it again?

> Because either:
>
> a) You take it literally. In which case we have a scientific absurdity
> in the Qur'an. If this is the case then the Qur'an cannot be divine.

No, it's not to be taken literally, because:

1) It's foolish to teach an Arab that the sun is hot. The Arab
knows how hot is the sun. In where I come from, you can fry
eggs by leaving them in a pan for 20 minutes anytime in August.
We don't need an elementary science teacher to tell us that the
sun is hot.

2) There were more than one expedition targeting Thul-Qarnyan's
dam. Two expeditions were conducted during the time of Caliph
Al-Wathiq Billaah.

Now, you don't expect an Arab--who lives under the heat of the sun--to
ask for more heat by going right to its source! Secondly, the Arabs
knew where to "look" in their expeditions until they found the structure
Thul-Qarnyan supposedly built. They knew where to look, because they
had their hints from the verse in Surat Al-Kahf. And suppose they didn't
know where to look, would they plan on searching for the place if they
understood that the sun is located in that place? Unless, of course, you
expect our scholars to ask for more heat than what they already have! Is
it logical, in your opinion, to expect an Arab who lives in a hot area
to pack his bags and head towards the sun?

If the Muslim scholars understood the verse literally, they would have
thought of making rockets to reach the sun, but they didn't. They searched,
until they found the dam in some place documented by Ibn Katheer. Please
read Ibn Katheer's Tafseer or look for Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj Al-Bidaaya wal
Nihaaya to verify that the verse you're arguing about was pointing to a
specific location which Muslims planned on finding during the days of
Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab.

>From The Amazing Qur'an, by Gary Miller:

http://users.erols.com/ameen/amazingq.htm

"In concurrence with the advice given in the Qur'an to research
information (even if it is new), when 'Umar was caliph, he chose
a group of men and sent them to find the wall of Dhul-Qarnayn.
Before the Qur'anic revelation, the Arabs had never heard of such
a wall, but because the Qur'an described it, they were able to
discover it. As a matter of fact, it is now located in what is
called Durbend in the Soviet Union."


Salam,
Abdalla.
--
___________________________________________________________
|Abdalla S. Alothman mailto:ada...@blueskyweb.com |
|------------------- ----------------------------- |
|"And the servants of the Beneficent are they who walk on |
|the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address |
|them, they say: Peace." [Quran 25:63] |
|----------------------------------------------------------|
|Really, have you read the Quran? |
|http://www.unn.ac.uk/societies/islamic/quran/naeindex.htm |
|__________________________________________________________|

Abdalla Alothman

unread,
Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Asalam Alikum.

Andy Bannister wrote:

> Nowhere have I twisted either the words of Suleiman or of the Qur'an.

You did twist the Quran numerous times in the past, and never apologized

once. So don't blame people if they have doubts concerning what you bring
forth.

> Indeed, I have tried to take them +absolutely literally+. And why?


> Because Suleiman was endeavouring to claim that the Qur'an contained
> modern science. For this to be true, it is important we are literal.
> There is no real place in science for metaphor, as I wrote in my last
> post.

Whether you like it or not, the Quran mentions many facts, may these


facts be historic, scientific, and so forth. As I told you last year
(?) on ARI, the Quran is not a science book, it's a book of guidance,
and it also includes lots of facts; some happen to be related to science.

> with my "correction" from Yusufali:
>
> "It is He who has let free the two bodies of flowing water:one
> palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a
> barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed"

Just a side note. The word "sweet" is translated from the Arabic word


'athbun furaat which means pure.

> Please feel free to correct my spelling and punctuation anytime you
> like.

I don't think many people would go for your offer, only those


who are childish will accept it and follow your footsteps.
Brother Abujamal was showing you how childish you were when
you corrected brother Sulaiman's typos, that's all.

> Now consider the following scientific absurdity:


>
> 018.086
> Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a
> spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-
> qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them
> with kindness."
>
> This verse alone is sufficient to kill the "modern science in the
> Qur'an" argument once and for all.

This is not an absurdity. You were given answers to this argument

before to which you weren't able to respond. So why do you raise
it again?

> Because either:


>
> a) You take it literally. In which case we have a scientific absurdity
> in the Qur'an. If this is the case then the Qur'an cannot be divine.

No, it's not to be taken literally, because:

bee...@my-deja.com

unread,
Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
However,
> Suleiman --- and others who expound the 'modern science proves the
> Qur'an is from Allah' argument --- drag the Qur'an into the field of
> literalism.
>

understanding the facts as they are is not literalism, the picture in the
verse about the tow entities of water is about a (sea) with fresh water
drinkable, and runing.(forat) and if you know some arabic you will know that
forat is only used to refer to river waters, while it is common in arabic
speech to refer to large rivers like Niles, Amazon as seas,so the verse is
talking about rivers even if it used the tem(bahryeen) which means tow sea.
and the other water entity in the verse is salt and bitter sea clearly
refering to what is known in English as Seas and Oceans, and that in my
understanding is an emphasis on the point that I have talked about in my
original post the difference of specific gravity as the reason for their
unmixing.

you can read any dependable Quran explanation book and it will til you that
that the verse talks about rivers and seas,

so can ou till me where did I go literal.

explaining verses is not literalism. but finding the benifet in them.

and can you find me another explanation to the verse that doesnt speak about
rivers and seas in your "nonlitealism" ways

> 1) How can one reach the setting of the sun? (or indeed its rising).
> 2) How can the sun set in a muddy puddle? >
>

the last point you reach in west is the point where the sunsit for you, and
the last point you reach east is the sun rise for you,you have to understand
the verse in the contest where you find it. it talks about "thoalkarnyn" and
it decribe how far did he conqure lands, and you have to remember that the
old world only had three continets in it and was limited by seas from east
and west so you for "thoalkarnyn" there is a point where no other point is
east, and a point where there is no other point is west, and that
understanding the verse inti its contest,which is speaking about what
"thoalkarnyn" saw and found not what Allah is informing us about the nature
of universe. the verse which I usd in my initial post about the rivers and
seas was part of several other verses that talked about natural phenomanens
as God pointed them out to the people of Qurish ad foydy else to think about
and understand. whie the verses about "thoalkarnyn" are part of a story which
should be understood in regard to that story.

to be continued.

Suleiman

ps I had never and will never try to use Quran as a scientific tool, I said
it before and will say it now, I hav'nt used Quran to prepare for my finals
in Math or biochemistry, but if I find a verse in Quran that points to
scientific facts I will ot hesitate to point it out.because its worthy to see
and understand the miracles in Quran.

Mo

unread,
Nov 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/12/99
to
bee...@my-deja.com wrote:
> there is a point where no other point is
east, and a point where there is no other point is west,<
So when Allah says this traveller reached a point in the
east where the people were not protected from the sun's rays
, what does he mean ? Do the Japanese go without clothes ?
Why would Allah be interested in a traveller anyway ?..

abujamal

unread,
Nov 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/13/99
to
as-salaamu 'alaikum!

Andy Bannister wrote:

> Hello! It seems to be a long time since we have
> corresponding in SRI. I hope that you are well.

Much nearer to death and my return to Him, alhamdulillah.

> I always try to be impeccably polite when I write in SRI.

This is a primary element of your technique, and you do
it well in terms of the manner in which you offer your
falsity. You are such a nice, polite submitter, quick to
confess error about which there can be no substantial
argument. I do that myself at every opportunity. However,
I have charged you with coming in bad faith, and observe
that where there is any possible argument over error, in
other words when you are caught flat-footed but might be
able to turn it into a confusion by twisting things around
-- as I will demonstrate below -- or simply ignore it and
hope it will go away and be forgotten, then you consistenty
take that course.

> I am aware that sometimes I can be prone to a slightly
> ironic sense of humour; if you have a problem with my
> phraseology then by all means tell me, and I shall
> endeavour not to offend you. Incidentally, I never suggested
> or implied that Suleiman was an "errant young man". These
> are your words, so I hope he doesn't mind.

No, Mr. Bannister, my words describe your manner toward
Suleiman, who you discerned as one who would be impacted by
your attitude of superiority riding in on a mistake he might
have made that was of no consequence whatever.

You toy with the people here. You are enamoured of your
own argumentative skills, and delight in two things:
finding someone with whom you can enjoy a good duel, such as
myself or Mghounem or a few others, when you can engage us;
and finding someone who you can play like a cat plays a
mouse, leading him into one blind alley after another,
doubling him back, reversing his arguments on him, and
twisting his intellect every which way from Sunday, which
you do recreationally. You are possessed of singular genius
in this, and have perfected your styles of verbal contention
into a truly impressive art form -- but please do not
pretend that it is your "ironic sense of humor" that chooses
the moment for an almost-sarcastic comment, or a flippant
remark that just coincidentally triggers an emotional
response from your victim.

> Because Suleiman was endeavouring to claim that the Qur'an contained
> modern science. For this to be true, it is important we are literal.

And you expand that premise to assert -- speciously -- that
in order for one Ayat to contain literal modern science,
then all must, and metaphor and simile must not be found
anywhere that, taken literally, would confute the Qur'an.
How did you expect that would fly here?

> There is no real place in science for
> metaphor, as I wrote in my last post.

Linguistics and semantics are not sciences? What about
letter semantics -- are you familiar with that science, or
is it still too new to have reached you? It is used in
computer algorithms that translate from one language into a
mathematically precise and complete language and then into a
third language, without loss of meaning as there is in
translating from the first language directly to the third.
I believe it also is applied in artificial intelligence
research. Metaphor is singularly significant in the
scientific study of human communication and thought, and it
is found throughout the Qur'an alongside utterly literal
language that describes pulsars, black holes, and other
modern discoveries that could not have been known during the
period of revelation.

Your contention, against Suleiman's assertion that there is
that of the Qur'an that is accurately descriptive of reality
and has only recenty been discovered to be accurate through
"modern science," is specious and I believe that you know
that. "One verse is metaphorical or figurative therefore all
of them say nothing of substance to Suleiman's observation"
-- do you take us for a bunch of idiots or is that merely
your experience here?

> Now before you jump up and down accusing me of things
> like "twisting" or "imputing falsehood", let me repeat
> here EXACTLY what Suleiman wrote in his post:

You quibble. Before I detail how you quibble, please note
that the Ayat under discussion, Q25:53, begins "Wa
huwal-ladhee maraja al-bahrayn" which literally says "And He
it is Who has mixed the two seas ..." or "And He it is Who
has mingled the two seas ..." -- and there is no word which
might be translated "flow freely" or "let free" or
"independent." Actually it would be better translated "the
two waters," since bahr is used to describe both oceans and
rivers, while "seas" suggests oceans, but the word does not
thus appear as "water" in my Arabic dictionary so I demur.
In any case all your contentions about currents and flows
and such are of no account, they are neither stated nor
implied in the verse. Although I will return to those
contentions below ...

> The above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting


> between big rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where
> the river in some cases goes in the sea water for miles

> without mixing between the two entities of water. It is
> a well recognized phenomenon these days by scientists.
> Also, the Quran clearly and undeniably point out the reason
> for that, sweetness of one and saltiness of the other. In
> modern scientific terms, it's differences in specific gravity
> between the two entities, which is also the explanation
> provided by modern science."

What he says is exactly correct except for the fact that
there are huge streams of perfectly fresh water that move
through the salty oceans for thousands of miles, that have
also been recently discovered with deep-sea probes, so that
only the more obvious reference is to rivers coming to the
sea. What the Ayat says is that He has mingled the two
waters and maintained them from dissolving one into the
other. This is now an observed phenomenon. Now that we
have established that what the brother has said is exactly
correct in what it says, you quibble thus:

> It is about to become quite important that you --- and other readers ---
> are familiar with what he wrote and what I actually responded to.

I have snipped your discussion of corrections of
typographical errors. The proper way to correct someone's
typos in this medium is shown above in Suleiman's paragraph,
edited for spelling and clarity of expression without any
need on my part to suggest some intellectual inadequacy
indicated by such trivialities, as you chose to do with your
imputations on his "moustakes" [your spelling, you will
recall].

> I point this fact out to illustrate that you
> are producing a lot of hot air about nothing.

No, your notice and dwelling on his "moustakes" was the hot
air about nothing. The honest thing to do would have been
to correct them without mention, so as to present the
argument you wished to contest in its best light so that it
could be clearly seen by readers. But that would have been
effective only should you have been able to just as clearly
demolish it, which you aren't -- so instead you distract
attention to typographics.

> But I do have to thank you for you making a fuss about translations. It
> caused me to look at what the other renowned translators of the Qur'an
> translated for Sura 25:53:

"And He it is Who has mingled the two seas, this one fresh,
sweet, and this one salty, bitter; and He made between the
two an obstruction and a separating prohibition."

I will refer you to the science of letter semantics
mentioned above for my assurance that this is as
mathematically precise a translation as can be had in the
English language, with the exception of "seas" ("waters")
and the last two words, which translate "hijram-mahjooran"
which carries a fundamental connotation of quarantine that
these two English words do not adequately imply. Physical
science, Mr. Bannister, has discovered physical and
objective reality that is precisely and exactly described by
this Ayat, and has found it at the junctions of rivers and
beneath the oceans in the depths. Fresh waters and salt
waters are mingled and scientists have been unable to find
any case where the salt water is diluted by the fresh.
Explaining the "why" of that in terms of chemistry and
physics does not begin to suggest how these facts were known
to the Arabs of the seventh pagan century.

Now here is where you are caught flat-footed:

>>>> the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting
>>>> between big rivers and the larger seas and oceans, where
>>>> the river in some cases goes in the sea water for miles

>>>> without mixing between the two entities of water. It is
>>>> a well recognized phenomenon these days by scientists ...


>>> If this is your interpretation of the Qur'an at
>>> this point, this begs a number of questions:
>>> 1) In what way do oceans "flow"? Yes, there are currents and tides,
>>> but oceans do not flow in the same sense that a river "flows."

Never mind that this is all moot, take note of the fact
that you have raised a contention based on the "flowing"
element which we now know is not even implied in the Ayat --
it is your contention, however, against the probity of the
Ayat. Then ...

>> This incorrect statement is quite possibly disingenuous ...


>> Oceans "flow" in the same sense that a river flows, with
>> a direction and a current.

Which knocks your contention down completely, but you try to resurrect it
without conceding that "flowing" is accurate and withdrawing that contention ...

> Thank you, Abujamal. I concede that I rushed in here without
> thinking too hard. However, currents and rivers are not the
> same, as I am sure you realise.

Now even your "flow freely" translations -- again not
sustained by the Arabic exactitude -- are satisfied whether
the flows are similar or dissimilar. But that doesn't
matter any more, we're no longer talking about the Ayat, but
about your new contention in comparing the "flow" of the two
waters. Again you shoot yourself in the foot ...

> Many similarities, but not the same. Currents, for
> example, can be different at different depths, can be
> affected by the sea temperature, by the tides, and by
> the prevailing winds. Rivers, however, always flow downhill.
> However, I accept that we are quibbling about semantics.

There are deep-sea "rivers" that flow in channels exactly
as rivers flow in channels. Some of them are sweet water at
the bottom of the sea, some are salt. But you have confused
the issue -- it is now comparing the characteristics between
ocean "flow" and river "flow," which did not arise from the
Ayat, but from your challenge of the word "flow" being
applicable to oceans. So then you leave the field in this
confusion by admitting that it is a semantic contention. A
distracting semantic contention, though, moving to
comparisons and away from the actual issue regarding the
Ayat, which was "the two bodies of flowing water" and your
contention that the oceans did not "flow." The contention
is disproven and you are caught in error, but slide away by
injecting a new contention similar to the old and seeming to
arise from it -- but it arises only from your error, which
you have adroitly avoided.

> I can accept that, in Arabic, rivers and the seas "move"
> in the same way; there is not a different word in Arabic
> for "current". Interestingly enough, if the Qur'an had
> managed to describe currents in more detail, as being
> different from a river flow, then the 'science in the
> Qur'an' argument might have had more ammunition.:-)

You jest. Since what you said was "not so" proves instead to be so, then now
it's insufficient and should be more explicit. What does the manner of the flow
in the river and the sea have to do with separation of the two waters?

>>> 2) In what ways is river water "sweet"?
>>> Palatable (compared to brine), yes, but "sweet"?
>> Well certainly "sweet," Mr. Bannister, to a palate
>> that has not been desensitized by the use of alcoholic
>> beverages and pork, or otherwise rendered insensitive to the
>> taste of pure water.
> Are you daring to assume that you know what
> I eat or drink? This is pure conjecture.

I go to the sink and draw water from the tap and it tastes sweet, sometimes
it's like pouring a soft drink, the delectability of it is so pronounced. It
varies from day to day, perhaps hour to hour, but on occasion it is distinctly
sweet. This is not conjecture. Why you do not know of this is completely
beyond me and I have no idea what you eat or drink. For all I know you're a
computer programmed with artificial intelligence and letter semantics, analyzing
text for cogent argument and spewing out ways to distract the reader from it.
That's the effect you produce, at any rate -- here you've just jumped from a
semantic quibble over the taste of water to accusing me of prophetic assertions
and conjecture, an emotional issue. Do you have a team of people brainstorming
these rhetorical cyclones, or is it entirely the product of your own genius?

> I have tasted all manner of water, but would not describe it as sweet.
> Remember what we are talking about in this post; science.

No, Mr. Bannister, we are discussing a verse of the Qur'an
that science has come to realize is an accurate depiction of
something unknown until this century. And you are
presenting a semantic quibble -- naturally-occurring water
is of two varieties, saltwater and sweetwater, those are
universal conventions of contrast. "Sour" and "bitter" are
>from the bartender's recipes for mixed drinks, or from the
kitchen, you will find no reference to "sourwater" or
"bitterwater," the terms are merely descriptive of the taste
in your mouth when you read my posts to you.

> You need to face up to the fact that the Qu'ran is a poor

> substitute for even a first-grade science textbook. When it


> comes to science, you are on wobbly ground.

I suspect that the separation of the two waters is to be
found in a somewhat more advanced science textbook. And it
appears that you are on wobbly ground, while we are walking
on water.

> Try an experiment; fill one bucket with salt water, and
> one with fresh. Simultaneously pour the salt water into one
> end of your bath, and the fresh water into the other end.
> Then see if you can find any part of the bath that is
> entirely filled with salt water, or any part entirely filled
> with fresh water. There is no solid barrier, despite any number
> of appeals to Allah. There is no physical law operable in this
> circumstance.

First, there is no physical law stated to be operable in
this circumstance. Second, you will find that the entire
tub is full of salt water, more dilute than it had been
because of the addition of fresh. Third, this does not in
any way disturb the fact that in the seas, there are rivers
of fresh water that do not mix with the salt water through
which they pass, which is what the Qyur'an says.

> The invention of physical barriers that transcend the
> rules of science is not exactly a "semantic quibble"!

And here you're all the way around the bend. No one
"invented" a physical barrier that transcends the rules of
science, the Qur'an speaks in indelibly accurate terms of a
phenomenon that has now been found by science. You still
seem to be pretending that it is not so.

I have snipped the balance because it's merely tiresome.

> Andy Bannister

was-salaam,
abujamal

abujamal

unread,
Nov 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/13/99
to
as-salaamu 'alaikum!

Andy Bannister wrote:

> I am more than happy to accept that 18:86 needs to be
> taken figuratively; but if that is the case, those who
> are trying to argue for modern science in the Qur'an
> are guilty of twisting the Qur'an to meet their own ends;
> as literalism is only acceptable when it can seem to prove
> a point --- and why was Muhammad not being literal in Sura
> 18:86?

abujamal says: Reverend Bannister refers to the sun
"setting in a pool of muddy water" and "rising on a people
without protection," to avoid acknowledging that the Qur'an
has described reality in terms that science has now found to
be chllingly exact and correct, that could not have been
known to anyone in the time of the Revelation. His argument
is disingenuous and he advances it in full knowledge of its
falsity.

As usual, Andy Reverend Bannister twists his tongue with
the truth, seeking to confute the muslims and inject doubt.
He is quite skillful at this and has been doing it for a
long time.

Take it figuratively, Reverend Andy, that will work for
you. However, please refrain from adding the innuendo "why
was Muhammad not being literal" as if the Qur'an was written
by him. As I have seen you do often before, you argue a
point and then confuse the issue by adding or insinuating
another issue entirely, to divide the attention of the
person you are addressing. It is one of your favorite
rhetorical devices. Now to the absurdity of your contention
...

ALLAH describes the Qur'an as "A Book of redundant, matched
similes, chilling the skins of those who keep faith."
Elsewhere He says "Some of its Signs are clear and of
established meaning, and others are obscure." What is your
source for the argument that for one verse to be allegorical
or, as you prefer, "figurative," necessitates that all must
be therefore be figurative? This is your usual twist of
reason, Mr. Bannister, and will confuse only those who are
not familiar with your techniques of sowing doubt and
confusion.

ALLAH says that mountains of ice rain upon the earth. They
do, they have been found, photographed, and seen,
hundred-ton balls of ice that enter the atmosphere every few
seconds. He describes pulsars in recognizable terms, with
exacting precision, even to their rotational characteristics
and emission of penetrating rays. Similarly black holes are
described with perfect accuracy as stars that collapse into
themselves. None of these things are allegorical or
figurative, although scholars in the early centuries
believed them so and "explained" them in various imaginative
ways. Today, we have found the truth of those verses and
they are so exactly descriptive, of reality that we can now
measure and observe, that some very old and highly respected
writings are going out the window.

You strain at gnats and swallow camels, Mr. Bannister, and
invite us to join you in your calculated illogic. Jesus
'alaihi as-salaam would breathe on a clay figurine bird and
it would fly away. Zakariyya spoke to men for three days by
what you would call telepathy. Abraham walked unharmed and
unscorched from a blazing inferno. Muhammad sallallahu
'alahi was-sallam was given a Book that continues to
miraculously illuminate the universe we live in, the more we
discover what He's talking about in it. And you want to
require that all the verses of the Book be EITHER figurative
OR literal but not inclusive of both varieties. Your
contention is absurd.

You're not here to discuss Islam, Mr. Bannister, you're
here with an agenda to befuddle and confuse. You focus on
what suits the purposes of your particular attack on what we
believe or how we reason, and ignore whatever might
interfere with your pretense of argument. I find no
sincerity in this "debating style" whatever.

Prove me wrong. Acnowledge the balls of ice, the pulsars,
the black holes, and the miraculous way the Qur'an informs
us of what no man could have known, and find a substantive
criticism of how the muslims have misunderstood what ALLAH
ta'ala has said to them. There are plenty of issues that
could be brought of that variety, in good faith and to the
benefit of all.

But this is not what you do -- you quibble, you side-step,
you change horses in midstream, and you seize upon minor
failures in the expressions of others to belittle and reduce
them in their own eyes. I have addressed you with these
behaviors before, and I will not relinquish my perception to
your blindness or attempt to create some. I accuse you of
bad faith. How do you answer the charge, sir?

was-salaam,
abujamal

mahf...@my-deja.com

unread,
Nov 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/15/99
to
In article <7vtuep$gcr$1...@samba.rahul.net>,

10033...@compuserve.com (Mo) wrote:
> What's your point ? The two waters do mix so once again the
> Quran is in the wrong that the 'partition is not to be
> passed' .
come on you guys , Please do your research before arguing on such a
well searched and documented subject in the Holy Quran which indeed is
the words of Allah(SWT) the Almighty.
The verse you refer to says that there is a 'Barzakh' between the two
which is where the water mixes like where the Holy Quran states the
word 'Barzakh' as in reference to the time in between death and the Day
of Judgement.
So this Barzakh is the barrier where the waters mix and prohibts the
sea from overwhelmingly taking over the river, and that is why rivers
remain for all these centuries despite sharing boarders with the sea!!!
Praise be to Allah(SWT) the Creator and the magnificint
Author of Science proves Islam's Truth.
http://www.bensys.mcmail.com/Islam.htm

Andy Bannister

unread,
Nov 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/15/99
to
Dear Abujamal,

Thank you for your reply to my last post. Before I attempt to demolish once
and for all the "modern science proves the Qur'an argument", there is just


one particular point in your post I wished to pick up upon. You said:

> please refrain from adding the innuendo "why
> was Muhammad not being literal" as if the Qur'an was written
> by him

Now I have just two points to make here:

1) You know full well I am a Christian, and therefore do not believe the
Qur'an to be divinely inspired. Therefore it is my point of view that the
Qur'an was possible written by him.

2) You are more than happy to apply the same terms to Christianity. In fact
you used the term "Paulinanity" in your post "Do you have all the answers
about Jesus?" (dated 11-Nov-99). I believe that it is important to be
consistent and not apply double-standards.

Anyway, on to to the subject in hand:

======================

Rebuttal - "Modern Science in the Qur'an"

Every so often on "soc.religion.islam" and in other circles a particular
argument surfaces. This is the claim that within the pages of the Qur'an,
modern science can be found. Everything from comets to astronomy, embryology
to geology, all this and more are claimed to be found in various Suras. And
then it is argued that because Muhammad could not have known this science,
the Qur'an must be divine.

Rebutttals to this argument usually consist of debating the particular point
of science being advanced and whilst this is easy enough to do, it becomes
somewhat irksome having to do it again and again. Therefore in this short
paper, I have produced a rebuttal of the very +concept+ of modern science in
the Qur'an. The argument itself contains inherent logical flaws, and the
points in this paper can be used whether embryology, geology, or any other
point of science is being claimed as proving the Qur'an.

The paper arose out of a debate on "soc.religion.islam" about rivers and
oceans, hence some references to that subject.

Anyway, here are six inherent flaws in the "modern science proves the
Qur'an" argument.


A) Those who pursue the argument leave no room for alternative
interpretations

The very nature of the Qur'an means that Muslims often have alternative
interpretations of what a particular verse means. There is nothing wrong
with this; exegesis is often a difficult, tricky business, especially when
we do not know the exact historical context in which a particular verse was
revealed. For example, consider Dhu Al-Qarnayn/Zul-qarnain in the Qu'ran.
Muslims are divided over who this mysterious traveller, referred to in Sura
18, actually is. Some (e.g. Yusuf Ali) believed him to be Alexander the
Great, others disagree and have other theories as to his identity, such as
Cyrus the Great. There is plenty of room for healthy debate.

However, those who preach the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument
are not relying upon what a particular verse says, but upon their
interpretation. In fact, it might be better to rename their position as the
"Belief that an interpretation of the Qur'an contains modern science
demonstrates that it is from Allah." No verse in the Qur'an has yet been
found to contain +outright science+ (see point (B) below for more on this).

Consider Sura 25:53 which was what started this particular thread on
"soc.religion.islam":

"It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: One palatable


and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between

them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed. " (25:53; Yusuf Ali)

Now Suleiman (subsequently backed up by Abujamal, amongst others) argued
that:

"the above verse of Quran clearly refers to the meeting between big rivers
and the larger seas and oceans, where the river in some cases goes in the
sea water for miles without mixing between the tow entities of water. it is

a well recognized phenoamenon these days by scientist,also,the Quran


clearly and undeniably point out to the reason for that, sweetness of one

and saltiness of the other, in modern scientific terms, its differences in


specific gravity between the tow entities, which is also the explanation

provided by modern scientist." (Suleiman, in thread "Scientific facts and
Qu'ran", soc.religion.islam, 4-Nov-99)

However, when you compare the various English translations of the Qur'an,
you begin to see that the verse is not talking about rivers, but bodies of
water, according to the Arabic (thanks to Abujamal for pointing this out):

YUSUFALI: It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: One


palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a

barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed.

PICKTHAL: And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas (though
they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and hath
set a bar and a forbidding ban between them.

SHAKIR: And He it is Who has made two seas to flow freely, the one sweet
that subdues thirst by its sweetness, and the other salt that burns by its
saltness; and between the two He has made a barrier and inviolable
obstruction.

Now in order for a "modern scientific" interpretation to work, one has to
insist these are not two seas or sheets of water, but that one is a river.
The Arabic does not make that distinction. Why is this important? Because in
order to find modern science in this verse, Suleiman et al have to insist
that one body of water is a river (fresh water) and that one is an ocean
(salt water). They can then introduce the idea of rivers of fresh water
flowing into the seas and not mixing. Now, laying aside the issue of whether
(as I claim) or not (as Abujamal claims) these two waters mix, there is a
more fundamental issue. If the Arabic does not specify one is a river, then
there is a much simpler interpretation:

1) The first "sea" or "body of water" or "bahr" (thanks to Abujamal for the
Arabic) in question is the Red Sea (close to Mecca and Medina) and known to
Muhammad, which is +salt+ water.

2) The second "sea" or "body of water" or "bahr" in question could be any
local sheet of +fresh+ water (plenty of oases to choose from).

3) These two "seas" or "bodies of water" or "bahr" are separated by +land+;
this is the impassable barrier.

4) Hence Sura 25:53 was actually a comment by Muhammad on the wondrous
miracle (as he saw it), that Allah has seen fit to separate fresh and salt
water.

This interpretation has a number of advantages going for it over the
position but forward by Suleiman and others who would claim a modern
scientific miracle in this verse. The advantages are:

i) Suleiman claimed that Muhammad had probably never seen a river flow into
the sea (he "lived thousands of miles away from rivers and seas" according
to Suleiman's first post on 4-Nov-99) If Suleiman is correct in this
statement, then this fits the my latter interpretation above, as in
Muhammad's mind fresh water and salt water did not meet.

ii) It means that Sura 25:53 is applicable both to the time the verse was
written (circa 600AD) and today; the people who first read it could
understand it and praise God for his provision, as can people today. The
alternative interpretation requires that this verse was meaningless for
1,300 years until those of us with the advantage of modern science could
probably explain its meaning. Therefore the Qur'an was not relevant to all
men at all time.

iii) It explains why Muhammad wrote Sura 25:53. Despite having no concept of
rivers/oceans and mixing/non-mixing, he would, however, understand the
importance of fresh water, and it is perfectly understandable why he sees a
supply of fresh water, separate from undrinkable salt water, to be an
example of Allah's provision and therefore worthy of mention.

In order to use Sura 25:53 to support the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
position, then this latter interpretation needs to be rejected in favour of
the former, with no real arguments in favour of the former interpretation
other than it must be a miracle. (Note: Suleiman's interpretation does not
show that the Qur'an contains a miracle, merely that his +interpretation+ of
it is something special).


B) The argument as it stands makes Allah out to be weak

If Allah was going to use science to prove the Qur'an, then why not do it in
a way that does not depend upon clever exegesis from the supporters of that
argument? Rather, Allah could have done it in a way that was indisputable.
For instance, why not predict TV with a verse such as: "Say:'Men shall watch
images that move in a small box that stands in the corner of their
dwelling.'" Or the moon landings: "Say:'Lo! And men shall walk upon the face
of the moon, and plant a flag thereon." Do you see? Verses such as these
could have no argument against them, unlike the current situation, which
requires a) a somewhat tortured exegesis of these "miracle verses" and b) a
categoric insistence by those who interpret them that theirs and theirs
alone is the right interpretation (often ignoring over 1,000 years of what
previous Muslim scholars and interpreters have said.)

You see, elsewhere in the Qu'ran, when it speaks about a subject it is
crystal clear. Consider Sura 3:2:

"Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. "
(Yusuf Ali)

Nobody could argue other than that this verse is stating that Allah is the
only god, who is living, self-subsisting, and eternal. It is very clear as
to what it means. If a "scientific miracle" exists in the Qur'an, it would
be a wonderful proof of the divine authorship that Muslims claim for it. Yet
apparently this miracle is buried away, requiring clever exegesis and
interpretation to find it. Somehow this doesn't add up, does it? If Allah
had meant for there to be science in the Qur'an, it would have been written
clearly.


C) The argument is a modern polemic

I find it very interesting that the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
argument is a recent one. Can anybody find a Muslim scholar putting this
argument forward five hundred years ago? Or two hundred years ago? Or even
one hundred years ago? Answer: probably not. And the reason is that it is a
modern polemic. You see science is not a recent thing, yet this argument is.
Why? Because it is only recently that Muslims have found that people have
begun questioning the Qur'an, rather than accepting it blindly. The need has
arisen for more proofs of its "divine authorship", proofs that might appeal
to a scientific, Western mind-set, as Islam has sought to make inroads in
the west. And so this argument has arisen.

An interesting thought is this; that whilst the "modern science proves the
Qur'an" argument being a modern polemic does not prove it wrong per se, it
does pose Muslims who seek to use it with an interesting problem. And the
problem is this; that if they are not careful, they will bind the Qur'an to
one era. You see, if Allah intended to place science in the Qur'an as a
sign, then presumably one hundred years from now, Muslims must still be
able to find "modern" science. Yet science will have progressed. So
consider:

* The Qur'an consists of approximately 6,400 verses.

* Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that 10% of these can be cleverly
interpreted so that they appear to contain "science".

* Therefore we have 640 verses for our source material.

Now, as the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument has become so
popular in the last 30 years, verses have been quoted at a massive rate. Let
us assume that 20 new verses per year are put forward as containing science.
That means (given the 30 years figure) over 90% of such verses have already
been used up, and in less than 5 years time, there will be no more source
material. Do you see what this means; looking back in 10 years time, over
Muslim history from 700AD - 2010AD, people will see that the Qur'an
allegedly spoke to modern science from 1970 - 2002 and then fell silent on
the subject; that revelation ran out. What does this tell us? That the
"modern science proves the Qur'an" argument is a modern polemic, limited to
a small time frame, that will soon burn itself out as the source material
dries up.


D) At the end of the day, the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument
does not FIND science in the Qur'an, rather it uses science to JUDGE the
Qur'an

The arguments in "soc.religion.islam" over the exact meaning of Sura 18:86
prove this point marvellously. Here is that particular passage again:

"Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring

of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou
hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.""
(Yusuf Ali)

Now of course no Muslim would claim that this verse was supposed to contain
science. Why? Because we, at the close of the 20th century, know full well
that a man cannot reach the place where the sun sets. Why, given a fast
enough aeroplane, one can even "chase" the sunset (or indeed overtake it).
And of course we know full well that the sun certainly does not reside in
muddy puddles, lakes, or in any other body of water. Fine. But here comes
the rub: what you have done in this interpretation is to use science to
judge the Qur'an. Those verses that appear to be scientific are proclaimed
as a miracle, those verses that appear to contradict it are stated to be
metaphysical, or metaphoric, or +whatever+. For example:

* Sura 18:86 = talks about someone finding the sunset = scientific nonsense
= THEREFORE metaphoric

* Sura 25:53 (for example) = talks about two separate bodies of water, one
salt one fresh = does not contradict science = THEREFORE scientific

Do you see the problem? Muslims claim that the Qur'an is God's final
revelation, containing guidance for living and all that is true. Yet those
who pursue the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument inherently
contradict this fundamental tenet of Islam. Logically, they have to claim
that science, not the Qur'an, is the ultimate truth, and use the former to
judge the latter.


E) Selective interpretation can be used to prove anything

As I explained in point (D) above, the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
argument relies upon selective exegesis, picking up and using those verses
that seem useful, and ignoring those that cause difficulties. By +exactly
the same method+ one can prove anything. Suppose I want to convince people
that I am a prophet with the ability to foresee the future. Now consider the
England/Scotland football match that took place here in the UK yesterday
(Saturday 14 November). Now before the match, imagine I made three
statements:

1) England will win
2) Scotland will win
3) It will be a draw

Now after the match (which England won 2-0, incidentally), I simply say:
"Statements 2 and 3 were metaphoric, I never intended them to be taken
literally. However, in statement 1, I was talking about fact. Therefore I am
a prophet!" It does not take a genius to see the fundamental flaw in this
reasoning. Yet those who preach the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
argument rely on +exactly+ this reasoning; show them dozens of verses in the
Qur'an that appear to contradict science (I picked just the one in my
previous posts, Sura 18:86), and they will claim: "It's fictional, a story"
or "It's metaphysical" or any number of other possibilities. When it comes
to correct and proper exegesis, the end cannot be used to justify the means.


F) Applying the argument means that the Qur'an is no longer authoritive

If people wish to argue that the Qur'an contains modern science and is
therefore a miracle, then there is a further problem. The logical extent of
their argument is that the Qur'an is no longer authorative. Let us suppose
that Sura 25:53 does talk about the science of oceans. However, it is only
one sentence. In order to find out more about this subject, we need to step
+outside+ of the Qur'an, as it is not authoritive. There are a wealth of
journals, books, and scientific papers that we could read to find out +more+
than the Qur'an teaches on this subject. This then leads naturally to the
question: if we can learn more about one subject in the Qur'an by reading
externally, then why not others? How can Muslims claim that the Qur'an
contains all the guidance mankind needs for living? Perhaps we need to read
elsewhere? How do we know that the Qur'an teaches us all we need to know
about God's nature? Or about how he wants us to live? Perhaps we need to
read elsewhere to get the full picture? And so on. The "modern science
proves the Qur'an" argument destroys the authority of the Qur'an.


Conclusion

It is impossible to argue a position in isolation. There are always
consequences, implications of the position you choose to hold or preach. And
this is true of the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument. It sounds
very nice and neat in theory, and if only it were true. However the
implications are dire; it is restrictive, it demotes God, it sets up science
as a higher standard than the Qur'an, it doesn't prove anything at the end
of the day, and above all, it removes the Qur'an's authority over anything.
As a polemic it is both weak and dangerous, and as such I believe best
avoided.

Mo

unread,
Nov 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/16/99
to
mahf...@my-deja.com wrote:
>rwhelmingly taking over the river,
Praise be to Allah(SWT) the Creator and the magnificint
Author of Science proves Islam's Truth.<

Its just not true ! There is a backward flow in many rivers
including the amazon when the ocean tides can surge in fifty
miles or more . Once again Allah is proved to be wrong and
quite surprising since he created everything or maybe it was
to mislead ?..

mar...@vom.com

unread,
Nov 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/16/99
to
as-salaamu ^alaykum. a few odd points here and there:

"Andy Bannister" <an...@bannister.screaming.net> wrote:

>Thank you for your reply to my last post. Before I attempt to demolish once
>and for all the "modern science proves the Qur'an argument", there is just
>one particular point in your post I wished to pick up upon.

Andy shows us that Muslims have no monopoly on argumentative
arrogance...

>You [Andy is addressing Abu Jamal] said:
>
>> please refrain from adding the innuendo "why
>> was Muhammad not being literal" as if the Qur'an was written
>> by him
>
>Now I have just two points to make here:
>
>1) You know full well I am a Christian, and therefore do not believe the
>Qur'an to be divinely inspired. Therefore it is my point of view that the
>Qur'an was possible written by him.

However, it can be gratuitously rude to assume one's one point of view
in a discussion when one knows that one's point of view is offensive
to another. Granted, Andy is free to speculate here as to the
authorship of the Qur'aan, or to express his own conclusions that
Muhammad (SAS) was the author rather than being merely a messenger.

I am not personally offended by this, for though I do not consider
Muhammad the author of the Qur'aan, were he the author, I would be
sorely tempted to worship him....

>2) You are more than happy to apply the same terms to Christianity. In fact
>you used the term "Paulinanity" in your post "Do you have all the answers
>about Jesus?" (dated 11-Nov-99). I believe that it is important to be
>consistent and not apply double-standards.

While some of us are certainly rude in our argument, to term modern
Christianity "Paulianity" is merely to assert that Paul was central to
the formation of Christian doctrine. The fact is that Christians do
not really disagree with this; the question, rather, over which we
might argue, is whether or not Paul was right in the direction he gave
to the Church.

>Anyway, on to to the subject in hand:

[...]

>Every so often on "soc.religion.islam" and in other circles a particular
>argument surfaces. This is the claim that within the pages of the Qur'an,
>modern science can be found. Everything from comets to astronomy, embryology
>to geology, all this and more are claimed to be found in various Suras. And
>then it is argued that because Muhammad could not have known this science,
>the Qur'an must be divine.

What Andy does not note in his response is that many Muslims are
suspicious of these arguments and have expressed their reservations
many times.

>Rebutttals to this argument usually consist of debating the particular point
>of science being advanced and whilst this is easy enough to do, it becomes
>somewhat irksome having to do it again and again. Therefore in this short
>paper, I have produced a rebuttal of the very +concept+ of modern science in
>the Qur'an. The argument itself contains inherent logical flaws, and the
>points in this paper can be used whether embryology, geology, or any other
>point of science is being claimed as proving the Qur'an.

An ambitious effort. Andy is obviously capable of clear thought. Let's
see where he goes with this.

[...]


>Anyway, here are six inherent flaws in the "modern science proves the
>Qur'an" argument.

>A) Those who pursue the argument leave no room for alternative
>interpretations

Right.

[...]
[and in the middle of his argument on this, he notes]

>iii) It explains why Muhammad wrote Sura 25:53. Despite having no concept of
>rivers/oceans and mixing/non-mixing, he would, however, understand the
>importance of fresh water, and it is perfectly understandable why he sees a
>supply of fresh water, separate from undrinkable salt water, to be an
>example of Allah's provision and therefore worthy of mention.

By accepting the overall outline of Andy's argument, I am not thereby
accepting all the details. Andy's speculation about the mind of the
Prophet might equally well be refigured to note that Allah reminds us
by means of images known to us, not by images which we would not
understand.

>B) The argument as it stands makes Allah out to be weak

Without going into the details of this argument, this charge is
reasonable but not conclusive. The counterargument is that Allah has
embedded signs in his book which will not be understood except by
those who are in the possession of certain keys, in this case a key
would be knowledge of the science involved.

I'm pleased to note that Andy recognises the essential clarity of the
Qur'aan:

>You see, elsewhere in the Qu'ran, when it speaks about a subject it is
>crystal clear. Consider Sura 3:2:
>
>"Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal. "
>(Yusuf Ali)
>
>Nobody could argue other than that this verse is stating that Allah is the
>only god, who is living, self-subsisting, and eternal. It is very clear as
>to what it means. If a "scientific miracle" exists in the Qur'an, it would
>be a wonderful proof of the divine authorship that Muslims claim for it. Yet
>apparently this miracle is buried away, requiring clever exegesis and
>interpretation to find it. Somehow this doesn't add up, does it? If Allah
>had meant for there to be science in the Qur'an, it would have been written
>clearly.

Obviously we share a somewhat similar conception of Allah!

>C) The argument is a modern polemic

Andy is basically correct, but his argumentation specious:

[...]


>* The Qur'an consists of approximately 6,400 verses.
>
>* Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that 10% of these can be cleverly
>interpreted so that they appear to contain "science".
>
>* Therefore we have 640 verses for our source material.

Andy has made certain assumptions, and his result follows from his
assumptions. But he pulled his assumptions out of thin air. There is
no practical limit to the hashing of Qur'aanic text to produce
potential additional interpretations. Even one verse might produce
many possible interpretations relating to science. [I have omitted the
rest of this argument.]

>D) At the end of the day, the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument
>does not FIND science in the Qur'an, rather it uses science to JUDGE the
>Qur'an

This is, in fact, the reason why our scholars generally reject the
efforts to proclaim "science in the Qur'aan."

[...]

>E) Selective interpretation can be used to prove anything

Yes. We've seen it many times.

[...]

>F) Applying the argument means that the Qur'an is no longer authoritive
>
>If people wish to argue that the Qur'an contains modern science and is
>therefore a miracle, then there is a further problem. The logical extent of
>their argument is that the Qur'an is no longer authorative. Let us suppose
>that Sura 25:53 does talk about the science of oceans. However, it is only
>one sentence. In order to find out more about this subject, we need to step
>+outside+ of the Qur'an, as it is not authoritive. There are a wealth of
>journals, books, and scientific papers that we could read to find out +more+
>than the Qur'an teaches on this subject. This then leads naturally to the
>question: if we can learn more about one subject in the Qur'an by reading
>externally, then why not others? How can Muslims claim that the Qur'an
>contains all the guidance mankind needs for living? Perhaps we need to read
>elsewhere? How do we know that the Qur'an teaches us all we need to know
>about God's nature? Or about how he wants us to live? Perhaps we need to
>read elsewhere to get the full picture? And so on. The "modern science
>proves the Qur'an" argument destroys the authority of the Qur'an.

Basically, *Andy is right.*



>Conclusion
>
>It is impossible to argue a position in isolation. There are always
>consequences, implications of the position you choose to hold or preach. And
>this is true of the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument. It sounds
>very nice and neat in theory, and if only it were true. However the
>implications are dire; it is restrictive, it demotes God, it sets up science
>as a higher standard than the Qur'an, it doesn't prove anything at the end
>of the day, and above all, it removes the Qur'an's authority over anything.
>As a polemic it is both weak and dangerous, and as such I believe best
>avoided.

Now, why does this Christian come to do us such a favor?

>Many blessings in Jesus.

Indeed there are, and more in faith in God.

Having agreed with Andy in much of what he said, I will add something
which he did not say. The Qur'aan is remarkably susceptible to
scientific interpretation; that is, little if any of it is offensive
(in Arabic especially) to a modern scientific mind. It's very true
that it is not a science textbook, and it is also true that the
alleged miraculous scientific knowledge found in it is generally
dependent upon modern interpretation, as Andy explained so well. But
that interpretation is quite easy.

If the book was written by a man, as Andy seems to think, he was
remarkably able to keep it simple and to avoid inserting much -- if
anything -- in the way of the kind of speculation about causation and
so forth that frequently afflicted other religious works. He stayed
with what he knew from experience.

Alternatively, in reminding us, as we believe, Allah used what was
familiar to those to whom the message was revealed. He did not use
some strange science from the future. Why would he?

There was a book written by what is called automatic writing using one
of the earliest typewriters, in the late nineteenth century CE, called
the Book of Oahspe, if I remember the spelling correctly. It purported
to be an account of this section of the universe; I forget many of the
details, but I do remember the science that was in the book,
supposedly channeled from some high divine source. It was very clearly
late nineteenth century pseudoscience, marked with its time. I recall
finding math errors in some of the arguments in it. I think there are
still people who follow this book....

AbdulraHman Lomax
mar...@vom.com
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433
USA


Altway 2

unread,
Nov 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/16/99
to
In article <80oj67$ren$1...@samba.rahul.net>, "Andy Bannister"
<an...@bannister.screaming.net> writes:

Anyway, here are six inherent flaws in the "modern science proves the
Qur'an" argument.

A) Those who pursue the argument leave no room for alternative

interpretations.

Comment:-
This does not follow.
If something has several meanings then stating one of them does not remove the
others.

B) The argument as it stands makes Allah out to be weak

If Allah was going to use science to prove the Qur'an, then why not do it in
a way that does not depend upon clever exegesis from the supporters of that
argument? Rather, Allah could have done it in a way that was indisputable.

Comment :-
Here the writer assumes that he is wiser and because Allah does not conform to
the writer's criteria he must be weak.

>C) The argument is a modern polemic
I find it very interesting that the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
argument is a recent one.

Comment :-
The argument is certainly used but it is not the only one.
An argument is not necessarily polemic, and if it is polemic that does not make
it untrue.
The fact that it is recent merely shows that science has only recently
discovered facts which existed in the Quran for a long time or that readers did
not notice them until science rediscovered them, or that somethings in the
Quran can be interpreted to be in harmony with the way science interprets
nature. Consider, for instance, the verse which states that whole cosmos will
be rolled up until nothing but Allah remains. It has not yet been established
by science that the Universe will collapse into a Big Crunch. But when Science
does discover this will it become invalid to say that this fact was already in
the Quran?


>D) At the end of the day, the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument
>does not FIND science in the Qur'an, rather it uses science to JUDGE the
>Qur'an

Comment :-
The Quran must be understood and applied. There is no harm in trying to
understand the Quran in terms of modern experiences and knowledge. The same was
done in the past and will have to be done in the future.

This does not mean that Science is the criterion by which the Quran is judged
though there are certainly people who do this.

The Quran itself tells us that it is a Reminder to Creation. Allah who revealed
the Quran is also the one who created the Universe. There ought, therefore, to
be a correspondence between the two.
But, It is not necessarily the case that a particular scientific theory is
correct or that science is a synonym for knowledge or Truth.


>E) Selective interpretation can be used to prove anything

Comment :-
This is not strictly true unless you have an infinite number of different
verses from which to select and "anything" implies an infinite number of
things.
If, however, the number of verses is limited then it does become remarkeable
that there is a correspondence between it and something randomly selected from
an infinite number of things. It is, however, understandable if the same
restrictions apply to the infinite number of things as apply to the number of
different verses.


>F) Applying the argument means that the Qur'an is no longer authoritive

Comment;-
This is the same as D). And has already been dismissed.

It should be noted that many muslims reject the Theory of Evolution while
accepting the Big Bang. This shows that they accept and reject Science from the
point of view of their interpretation of the Quran.

I myself believe that the Quran does contain Evolution (though not necessatily
the Darwinian one in detail) and also Relativity (though not necessarily the
Einsteinian one). It also contains a third most important idea namely
Reciprocity (not yet properly described in science though the Feed Back ideas
come close). These ideas in the Quran refer to Facts and not just Theories.

Thus, though, it is inevitable that muslims should interpret the Quran (human
beings cannot know anything apart from the effect of things on their minds),
the criticism I would make would be against those who mistook their
interpretations for the Truth of God, i.e. as it exists apart from human
observers. In other words Muslims must keep an open mind which allows an
expansion of knowledge and inspiration.

In the meantime these logical speculations you have put forward impress me and
most muslims not in the least.

H.S.Aziz
Read "The Alternative Way"
www.altway.freeuk.com


Raza Rahman

unread,
Nov 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/17/99
to

Have this and other revelations catapulted scientific knowledge forward? If
not (i.e. they were touted after scientific discovery confirmed them), there's
no point in pointing out the "scientific correctness" of Islam and the Quran.
The fact that the picture of a mosque left standing amongst ruin after Turkey's
August earthquake's does not prove anything in terms of religion should not be
ignored. The picture was widely circulated in newspapers. A non-Muslim
commented to me that that was a truly amazing picture. A Muslim later
commented that he wondered why non-Muslims don't believe (in Islam) even after
seeing the picture! I'm sure you find that observation by our fellow Muslim to
be simple-minded. Similarly, while such "hindsight is 20/20" scientific
knowledge interpretation (and I'm not questioning the correctness of the
interpretation) of Quranic ayaat is corroborative of our faith, religion is a
matter of faith. Every religion, including Islam. If the mosque had fallen
and the other buildings were left standing would I cease to believe? Or if a
church were spared, would I convert? Hardly.

Therefore, it is wise to leave science to science unless this divine wisdom is
utilised as assumption and makes scientific progress easier and helps to breaks
through the barriers of human thought.
--

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To reply to me, remove ".nospam" from my email address in the header.


MyTajMahal

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Nov 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/17/99
to
In article <80qn5v$b5b$1...@samba.rahul.net>, alt...@aol.com (Altway 2) writes:

>n article <80oj67$ren$1...@samba.rahul.net>, "Andy Bannister"
><an...@bannister.screaming.net> writes:
>
>Anyway, here are six inherent flaws in the "modern science proves the
>Qur'an" argument.
>
>A) Those who pursue the argument leave no room for alternative
>interpretations.
>
>Comment:-
>This does not follow.
>If something has several meanings then stating one of them does not remove
>the others.

Then is no one to know the real truth? Or can everything be construed as being
absolute Truth? Here we are talking about Science, not speculation, proves the
Qur'an. If Science in the Qur'an is simply speculation with many different
possibilities each containing some truth then anything goes and science is
debased. Most of these people who engage in "Science proves the Qur'an"
don't understand what science is - They mistakenly take it for absolute
truth. Hence Andy's second statement B).

>B) The argument as it stands makes Allah out to be weak
>
>If Allah was going to use science to prove the Qur'an, then why not do it in
>a way that does not depend upon clever exegesis from the supporters of that
>argument? Rather, Allah could have done it in a way that was indisputable.
>
>Comment :-
>Here the writer assumes that he is wiser and because Allah does not conform
>to the writer's criteria he must be weak.

But the question is "Does Allah use science to prove anything?" - The answer
is NO. It is the frantic insecure who try to use science to bolster up
their insecurity. The fact that they do this makes Allah weak because Allah
then
becomes subject to human limitations in learning and the parameters of
human experience which by no means can be considered "absolute".

>>C) The argument is a modern polemic
>>I find it very interesting that the "modern science proves the Qur'an"
>argument is a recent one.
>
>Comment :-
>The argument is certainly used but it is not the only one.

The point missed is that the writer claimed that it was a "recent" one -
He did not claim that it was the "Only" one. And furthermore it is widely
trumpeted.



>An argument is not necessarily polemic, and if it is polemic that does not
>make it untrue.

All arguments advanced in the support of the Qur'an are polemic
(controversial and disputatious). Since they are polemic the truth has to be
established and the burden of proof lies with those who advance the theories.

>The fact that it is recent merely shows that science has only recently
>discovered facts which existed in the Quran for a long time or that readers
>did not notice them until science rediscovered them,

It is equally valid to claim that the process currently being undertaken by
"Islamoscientists" is actually the reverse of what is described above. Their
purpose is to discover science in the Qur'an - not to discover anything
useful for the advancement of science but to engage in a desperate attempt to
validate the divine inspiration of the Qur'an. This is nothing new in human
history many religions and cults engage in this pointless exercise.

> or that somethings in the
>Quran can be interpreted to be in harmony with the way science interprets
>nature.

But some ancient books (and not so ancient books) contain obscure statements
which can be interpreted to be miraculous discovery or prophecy - which, if one
wanted, could also be used to claim divine inspiration.

>Consider, for instance, the verse which states that whole cosmos will
>be rolled up until nothing but Allah remains. It has not yet been established
>by science that the Universe will collapse into a Big Crunch. But when
>Science does discover this will it become invalid to say that this fact was
>already in the Quran?

Maybe one could give us a more useful example - like, I suggest, the Qur'an
prescribes a remedy for the common cold? - and if scientists would only
believe the Qur'an then no one in the world would ever again suffer from a
cold?

Has there ever been a scientific discovery originating with the Qur'an which
has been accepted and published in any recognised scientific journal? It may
be more helpful to give such an example.

Andy has also drawn attention to many scientific absurdities in the Qur'an so
what is one to do? Go around with a telescope to the blind eye in those
cases? Or play the "interpretation" game?


>>D) At the end of the day, the "modern science proves the Qur'an" argument
>>does not FIND science in the Qur'an, rather it uses science to JUDGE the
>>Qur'an
>
>Comment :-
>The Quran must be understood and applied.

Andy is right. The game to date is to learn science and then go grovelling
for it in the Qur'an. Not to look for original science in the Qur'an as a
new discovery and then apply it.

What one need to do is give examples of scientific discoveries which
originated in the Qur'an which have been applied to the benefit of mankind.
The easiest science to discover might be in the feild of "social science" but
where is that? Is that what the Caliphate promoters are on about? Would it
not do their cause more good if they could get the world to accept some of
their "social scientific solutions" rather than use intimidation? Or is their
"social science" so flawed that no one in their right mind would consider it?


>There is no harm in trying to
>understand the Quran in terms of modern experiences and knowledge. The same
>was done in the past and will have to be done in the future.

Agreed there is no harm in that - but the point being discussed is the
validation of the Qur'an because it contains so called "science". However as
I said before there are other ancient books which can be interpreted as
containing scientific statements which were not known at the time and only
subsequently "discovered".

There is even a good example in the teaching of Messiah Jesus but it would be
silly to claim His divinity on the basis that he told his disciples how the
human eye worked 1000 years before Abu Ali Hasan ibn al-Haitham, more
commonly known as Alhazen, claimed knowledge of the very same process and
hailed it as a scientific discovery ! To the best of my knowledge he did not
attibute the discovery to something he read in the Qur'an.

>This does not mean that Science is the criterion by which the Quran is
>judged though there are certainly people who do this.

The argument cuts both ways - There is an obsession with this "science proves
the Qur'an" in the Muslim community today - it *is* a polemic and a
missionary tool. The very same arguments are being usd by Hindus 0 The
Swaminyrian sect for example. Interestingly, it appears that, intelligent
Muslims such as Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ziauddin Sardar do not waste their
time, to my knowledge, on this
kind of trivial pursuit but seek to understand the Islamization of science and
what part Islam can play in science.


>The Quran itself tells us that it is a Reminder to Creation.

Yet the claim has to be proved that it is a reminder of anything rather than
blatent threatenings of Hell fire and damnation towards those who question its
authority. Is Allah so inscure that he needs to threaten and blackmail people
into accepting his authority in the way that the Qur'an does?

>Allah who revealed the Quran is also the one who created the Universe.

Allah may have created the universe (Or may not if you are an atheist) but
the claim that he revealed the Qur'an is far from being proved. That
exercise is the one which "science proves the Qur'an" people are engaged in.

>There ought, therefore, to be a correspondence between the two.

Not at all. There have been many who claim divine revelation in and through
the discovery of science but that does not prove that either their belief
source or their belief in a creator God has been proved to the world at
large.

As Andy has shown this whole claim is built on a bogus understanding of the
nature of science.


>But, It is not necessarily the case that a particular scientific theory is
>correct or that science is a synonym for knowledge or Truth.

This is playing with words. The cake cuts how one wants it. The
purpose of those who advance the "Science in the Qur'an" theories is to claim
knowledge of the Truth and to try and place it beyond doubt. They claim the
Qur'an is absolute and use the crude tool of science vainly thinking they can
prove absolutes using scientific statements

>>E) Selective interpretation can be used to prove anything
>
>Comment :-
>This is not strictly true unless you have an infinite number of different
>verses from which to select and "anything" implies an infinite number of
>things.

What is stated is that "selective interpretation" can be used to prove
anything and it is true irrespective of the number of verses because it
proves by means of interpretation. It is the *interpretation* which is used to
prove
what one wants. The big difficulty is tieing the proof down to evidence and
known facts rather than playing sky hooks without any supporting structure.
In the end the exercise is futile as there is no absolute proof.


>If, however, the number of verses is limited then it does become remarkeable
>that there is a correspondence between it and something randomly selected
>from an infinite number of things.

The issue is "interpretation" and the scientific statements being forced to
fit the Qur'anic statements by means of "interpretation" - not the other way
round. This also applies to bad science in the Qur'an. One can see the
feverish attempts to deal with those issues by means of "another
interpretation".

> It is, however, understandable if the same
>restrictions apply to the infinite number of things as apply to the number
>of different verses.

This has nothing to do with Science proves the Qur'an. The only thing which
this exercise seems to need is to find a form of words which can be
"interpreted" to sound similar in some way to a known scientific form of
words held and demonstrated as such by respected authority. However
"scientific facts" are themselves always being challenged and sometimes being
proved to be flawed or partial in explaining observations.


>>F) Applying the argument means that the Qur'an is no longer authoritive
>
>Comment;-
>This is the same as D). And has already been dismissed.

It is not quite the same as D). Scientific statements are not necessarily
absolute and therefore to employ them in judging the Qur'an means that the
Qur'an looses its claim to absolute authority. It is being judged by that
which is less than absolute.

Hence Andy is right. It cannot be claimed that the Qur'an is authoritive on
the basis of science since science by its very nature is not necessarily
absolute. At least the kind of science being advanced by these people.


>It should be noted that many muslims reject the Theory of Evolution while
>accepting the Big Bang. This shows that they accept and reject Science from
>the point of view of their interpretation of the Quran.

This just goes to show that what Andy claimed in connection with
"interpretation" is correct. Interpretation is the name of the game when it
comes to Science proves the Qur'an.

What the statement above shows is that people use science to interpret the
Qur'an
in the way which suits their prejudice. This is evident throughout the Islamic
world from Afghanistan to Z.

>I myself believe that the Quran does contain Evolution (though not
>necessatily the Darwinian one in detail) and also Relativity (though not
necessarily >the Einsteinian one). It also contains a third most important
idea namely
>Reciprocity (not yet properly described in science though the Feed Back
ideas
>come close). These ideas in the Quran refer to Facts and not just Theories.

Again a matter of interpretation and not of authorititive absolutes.

>Thus, though, it is inevitable that muslims should interpret the Quran
(human
>beings cannot know anything apart from the effect of things on their minds),
>the criticism I would make would be against those who mistook their
>interpretations for the Truth of God, i.e. as it exists apart from human
>observers. In other words Muslims must keep an open mind which allows an
>expansion of knowledge and inspiration.

Here I agree with you in general terms - Interpretation is subject to our
human limitations reached at any point in human and scientific development.

Science cannot ever be the touchstone for absolute truth and the sooner that
Muslim apologists begin to understand this the sooner they will drop the
absurdity of "Science proves the Qur'an."

>In the meantime these logical speculations you have put forward impress me
>and most muslims not in the least.

I suggest you read them again. What Andy has done is expose the absurdity of
the people who promote "Science proves the Qur'an" and even you yourself
agree if I correctly understand your statement "the criticism I would make


would be against those who mistook their interpretations for the Truth of

God."


Kind regards
Jameel


Mo

unread,
Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
to
"Anjum Jaleel" <aja...@usa.net> wrote:
>Mo, I have pointed out to you what your real difficulty with the Quran is,
which requires a particular state of mind and character to
be understood.<
You mean a submissive non questioning state accepting all
the contradictions as true ?..

mar...@vom.com

unread,
Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
to
as-salaamu ^alaykum.

10033...@compuserve.com (Mo) wrote:

In a word, yes.

This is the state in which understanding comes, and not just
understanding of Islam, but understanding of all kinds.

Understanding is a process, and questioning is part of that process,
but if all there are is questions, there will be no understanding. At
some point one must stop and reflect and receive, and *allow*
understanding to arise.

One whose mind is already made up resists this process. We call this
*kufr*, because the potential understanding is "covered up" or
"denied."

Mo

unread,
Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
mar...@vom.com wrote:
>> You mean a submissive non questioning state accepting all
>the contradictions as true ?..

In a word, yes.<

You fell into the trap ! If you accept the contradictions
then which story do you believe is the true one ? For eg is
man made from sperm or a clot of blood or a bit of dust or
some clay or water or the fact that property to be
distributed after death adds upto more than 100% !...you get
the point !
These stories of Abu Jin finding the sun dipping in the
muddy springs and hiding under God's throne at night etc.
etc..In one verse Allah says he made the earth in four days
and in another in six and both are of course true for those
who want to submit so badly..

mar...@vom.com

unread,
Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
as-salaamu ^alaykum.

10033...@compuserve.com (Mo) wrote:

>mar...@vom.com wrote:
>>> You mean a submissive non questioning state accepting all
>>the contradictions as true ?..
>
>In a word, yes.<
>
> You fell into the trap ! If you accept the contradictions
>then which story do you believe is the true one ? For eg is
>man made from sperm or a clot of blood or a bit of dust or
>some clay or water or the fact that property to be
>distributed after death adds upto more than 100% !...you get
>the point !

Indeed. Mo has demonstrated very well the characteristics of the
rejecting mind.

It is an inherent quality of language that the representation of
things by it is limited and incomplete. What we do when we encounter a
description, if we are not engaged in rejection (kufr), is to consider
how the description matches our understanding of reality. If it
matches, we accept it; if it does not match, we look for more
information, for a lack of match may mean that we have not grasped the
manner in which language is being applied, or, possibly, our
understanding of reality is flawed. The rejector, when what he
dislikes does not match, cries "lies!"

Mo obviously thinks that man must be made of one thing and one thing
only, instead of being willing to consider that man is made from
sperm, and blood, and dust, and clay, and water. The question about
property division is an old one which I am not addressing here; others
have written at length about it.

All stories are true as heard by those who are awake. Even the liar
unwillingly confirms what God wishes to reveal.

If I remember the Sanskrit correctly:

ekam sat vipra bahudra vadanti sarvam khalvidam buddham tat tvam asi.

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