Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Expanding universe predicted in Qur'an!

 Abdur Raheem Green, author of iERA's latest cloying dawah initiative, The man in the Red Underpants, seems unconcerned with little things like intellectual honesty. We have examined thus far two examples of Abdur's willingness to leave out salient facts and mislead his readers all in the name of growing the ummah. We shall look at one more example (although there are many, many more) because, to be honest, it's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, and I want to return to my exchange with "Kevin" - a much more worthy debating opponent.
Here's what Abdur has to say about the wonderful miraculous signs regarding the universe in the Qur'an:
“And it is We who have constructed the heaven with might, and
verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it.” [The Quran; Chapter
51 - The Winds That Scatter, verse 47]
When Einstein was conjuring up his theories, the consensus among
scientists was that the universe was static and had been like that
forever, but new observations made it clear that this was not the
case and that in fact galaxies were moving away from each other
at a constant rate. In other words, the universe is expanding. More
than strange is how these things came to be found in a book 1400
years old.
At first sight this looks pretty convincing and there are many naive and trusting readers who will take this at face value and, together with other apparently equally convincing "signs" mentioned in this duplicitous little rag, use it to build an argument in favour of converting.
However, you will notice there is no mention of the translator chosen by our friend. Perhaps it would be enlightening to look at some alternative renderings of these lines then...
YUSUFALI: With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.
We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).
And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.
Hmm...no mention of "steadily expanding" you'll notice. In fact no translation PRIOR to the discovery of the big bang and the fact that the universe is expanding mentions expanding BECAUSE THE ARABIC VERSE CONTAINS NO SUCH VERB.

So here's my question to Abdur Raheem Green and his friends at iERA: if the Qur'an is full of miraculous scientific signs, why do you feel obliged to pick one which requires such obvious FIDDLING WITH THE FACTS?

If iERA would like to take me up on this I'd be delighted to debate in the comments section....


  1. Have you studied the arabic language to verify these claims?

    The word vaasi’ in Arabic means vast, and moowsi’oon [which comes from the root word vaasi’] is the word used in that verse which signifies that someone is an expander and expanding that certain thing, in the context of the verse – the heavens or space is gradually being expanded by God’s control.

  2. I disagree. While the root of the word is awsa´a, which indeed can mean expanding, stretching and enriching, the correct word for ‘expanding’ would be noosi´u and ‘continuous expansion’ would read noosi´uhaa.