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SEPTEMBER 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-09 No:165    *   SEPTEMBER 2000 / JAMADI-UL-THANI 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

RELIGION

Dr. Zakir Naik

Dr. Zakir Naik

Does the Quran say that the Earth is flat?
Does only Allah know the sex of the Child in the Mother's Womb?

Does the Quran say that the Earth is flat?

Question : Quran says that Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet. This gives an indication that the earth is flat. Does this not contradict established modern science?

Answer:

1. Earth made as a carpet

The question refers to a verse from the Quran in Surah Nuh:

“And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out).” [Al-Quran 71:19]

But the sentence in the above verse is not complete. It continues in the next verse, explaining the previous verse. It says: “That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads.” [Al-Quran 71:20]

A similar message is repeated in Surah TaHa:

“He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels)....” [Al-Quran 20:53]

The surface of the earth i.e. earth’s crust is less than 30 miles in thickness and is very thin as compared to the radius of the earth which is about 3750 miles. The deeper layers of the earth are very hot, fluid and hostile to any form of life. The earth’s crust is a solidified shell on which we can live. The Quran rightly refers to it like a carpet spread out, so that we can travel along its roads and paths.

2. Carpet can also be spread on other than an absolute flat surface

Not a single verse of the Quran says that the earth is flat. The Quran only compares the earth’s crust with a carpet. Some people seem to think that carpet can only be put on an absolute flat surface. It is possible to spread a carpet on a large sphere such as the earth. It can easily be demonstrated by taking a huge model of the earth’s globe covering it with a carpet.

Carpet is generally put on a surface, which is not very comfortable to walk on. The Quran describes the earth crust as a carpet, without which human beings would not be able to survive because of the hot, fluid and hostile environment beneath it. The Quran is thus not only logical, it is mentioning a scientific fact that was discovered by geologists centuries later.

3. Earth has been spread out

Similarly, the Quran says in several verses that the earth has been spread out. “And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: how excellently We do spread out!” [Al-Quran 51:48]

Similarly the Quran also mentions in several other verses that the earth is an expanse: “Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse “And the mountains as pegs?” [Al-Quran 78:6-7]

None of these verses of the Quran contain even the slightest implication that the earth is flat. It only indicates that the earth is spacious and the reason for this spaciousness of the earth is mentioned. The Glorious Quran says: “O My servants who believe! Truly spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye Me . (And Me alone)!” [Al-Quran 29:56]

Therefore none can give the excuse, that he could not do good and was forced to do evil because of the surroundings and circumstances.

4. Earth is geo-spherical in shape

The Quran mentions the actual shape of the earth in the following verse: “And we have made the earth egg shaped”. [Al-Quran 79:30]

The Arabic word Dahaha means egg shaped. It also means an expanse. Dahaha is derived from Duhiya which specifically refers to the egg of an ostrich which is geo-spherical in shape, exactly like the shape of the earth.

Thus the Quran and modern established science are in perfect harmony.

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Does only Allah know the sex of the Child in the Mother's Womb?

Question : The Quran says that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb of the mother but now science has advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb by ultrasonography. Isn’t this verse of the Quran conflicting with medical science?

Answer:

Allah is Omnipotent and Omniscient. Allah has granted knowledge of certain things to humankind. But Allah has knowledge of the seen as well as the unseen.

1. Allah has knowledge of all things

Many people believe that the Quran claims that Allah alone knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb.

The Glorious Quran says: “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He who sends down Rain, and He who knows what is in the wombs....” [Al-Quran 31:34]

A similar message is given in the following verse: “Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, By how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion." [Al-Quran 13:8]

2. Sex can be determined by Ultrasonography

Today science has advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb of a pregnant mother, using ultrasonography.

3. The word ‘sex’ is not mentioned in the verse of the Quran

It is true that many translations and commentaries of this verse of the Glorious Quran say that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb. If you read the Arabic text of this verse, there is no Arabic word corresponding to the English word ‘sex’.

In fact the Quran says the knowledge of what is in the womb is with Allah alone. Many commentators have misunderstood it to mean only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb, which is a mistake.

4. No one besides Allah can determine the nature of the child

This verse does not refer to the sex of the child in the womb but it refers to, how the child in the mother’s womb will be.

How will his nature be? Will he be a blessing or a curse to his parents? Will he be a boon or a bane to the society? Will he be good or evil? Will he go to heaven or hell? The complete knowledge of all things is with Allah alone. No scientist in the world, no matter how advanced his equipment, will ever be able to accurately determine the knowledge of these things about the child in the mother’s womb.

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News from Islamic World | Community Roundup | Editorial | Reader's Comments | Community Initiative | Features | Book Review | Special Report | Investigation | Children's Corner | Understanding Quran | Hadith | Quran and Science | Muslim Women in Action | Our Dialogue | Religion | Why I Embraced Islam | Matrimonial | Search new | Subscription | Guest Room | Previous Issue | HOME | Islamic Links | Al-Nasr Exports | Preserve Flowers

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