Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earth. Show all posts

Monday, November 5, 2018

Qur'an al Kerim is a truthfinders' supreme linguistic challenge; Greek Philosophy Of Nature is a philosophical theory

The idea of a realistic and systematic plan and purpose for creation was familiar to the ancient Greeks; much of their philosophical effort to find logical explanation behind the regular forces of nature are inspired by the need to understand a universal cause behind it all. They found that much of their effort stranded on its unreachable quality. In their days, the modern tools for scientific research lacked. Yet, it didn't stop the Greeks from developing a mathematical language and methodology, and systematic philosophy, some of which are still in use today. They made educated guesses based on philosophical thinking, but, also based on their everyday life and social and religious environment. That led to theories that sometimes make us smile, today, and sometimes compel us to deep respect for their forwardness.

Earlier, we saw, Anaximander assume the Earth was a flat barrel floating in space, with people living on its top. Anaximander must have seen enough wine barrels in his days to make his thought plausibel and natural, but we know now, that it isn't true. It also led to efforts to gain correct knowledge of nature. But, today, we still use Thales' theorems of triangles and diameters. Another example, Demokritos' Atomism, can be seen as an early precursor to chemistry.

Diogenes of Apollonia, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, were among those who had formed theories about matter, particles, and the elements (water, air, earth, and fire were seen as the most prominent ones), but also here, disagreement was an issue.

Not to forget, Pythagoras and other mathematicians.

We won't find mathematical methodology in Qur'an al Kerim. Qur'an al Kerim has a different, more verbal approach to mathemetical phenomenons. Qur'anic verses below show the importance of knowledge in general and how knowledge may lead to thinking and eventually to faith; they are incentives to gather knowledge, even to personal growth in science and arts, rather than scientific treatises. Verses 55:17 and 70:40 can be seen as references to goniometry, but they lack the terminology and abbreviations. Yet, the thought behind them, is mathematically correct. Indeed we can conclude, the Earth has two permanent rotations: one around its own axis, and other as a larger circle in space. Also can we conclude, that East and West are infinite -- which very well may refer to the Earth being a ball. Qur'an is very consistent about this topic, too -- contrarily to Greek philosophers of nature, who disagreed. This, and the fact, that not very much of the oldest Greek philosophy of nature has been preserved in texts, makes it unlikely, that Qur'an al Kerim is just a blind copy of Greek philosophy.

The Greeks had noticed, that some things are naturally and logically impossible and Qur’an appears to support this idea. Optimization of proportion, goals, time plan, is essential in creation. Not without reason, Qur’an says: ‘but most of them do not know’; ‘no want of proportion in creation, seest thou any flaw?’; 'Not without authority shall ye be able to pass'; 'We created [...] them but for just ends, and for a term appointed'. The idea of duality in creation is mentioned in Qur’an in several verses, sometimes referring to gender; sometimes, like in verse 36:36, also to other opposing or complementing forces. Humans may certainly go search for knowledge, but there's no guarantee they will receive it.

As I've said earlier, many efforts have been made to prove, that Qur'an al Kerim is a book of scientific correctness. I'm familiar with Maurice Bucaille's book 'The Bible The Koran and Science'; I'll give an example that, in my opinion, shows, how careful we should be, looking at Qur'an al Kerim as such. Dr Bucaille says, in his comment to Qur'anic verse 16:66, page 130 and 131 at a pdf by Kalamullah.com, and I think he's right, that many translators are inclined to give too specific translations of Arabic homonyms, such as the words batn and baini. Batn means both 'belly' and 'center'; baini means 'in the middle of', and 'within'. Some translators said: 'We give you to drink of that is within their bellies, from betwixt the refuse and the blood'; Bucaille said 'We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, coming from a conjunction between the contents of the intestine and the blood' This is no doubt utterly true -- but, would it have been understood by Rasulullah and the sahabah? Not likely. And, they might have dismissed it -- if I may assume like that.

Good translators know their place. Modesty, honesty and precision, is their role; anything else, is interpretation. And not translation. They must stick to the most original, indisputable, and obvious solution, without filling in what they 'think' is 'meant' with a word. If the Arabic homonym has no same homonym in another language, then why not stick to a brief, ambiguous description, that leaves the homonym intact? In other words, a description that is multi-interpretable. If they don't know the true meaning, then why do they fill in their own, too specific assumption, no matter how well-educated and honest it may be? It is, as it is. Don't make more of it, than that is actually said. In this case, I, personally, would give this translation:

'We give you to drink from what is inside their bodies, from what's among their bowels and their blood' (16:66)

'Among' is a word that may catch precisely this ambiguous, both abstract and very literal, situational meaning, that we also may find in the word 'baini'.

Another, much simpler example: Qur'anic verse 13:4 mentions the palmtree. Some translations talk about palmtrees, sec; others about date-palmtrees. Dear translators, why are coconut palms not included in your words? Are you sure, here? We can spot many differences between translations, alas, that shouldn't be there.

Main issue, perhaps, is not even translation; it's honest, clean, undecorated, and uncoloured interpretation. That really is enough to appreciate the scientific correctness, or at least non-incorrectness, of the content. I mention translation, because, like Greek philosophy, most people must appreciate Qur'an al Kerim, in its full meanings, from a translation.

Personally, I say, that Qur'an al Kerim touches the meaning of life here: That it's meant to be experienced, foremost. Life as a classroom, test field, and finally launch market, is part of this experience. It triggers those who find happiness in gaining knowledge. And nearly all of us enjoy gaining knowledge; it is part of human nature to inquire. And, it's made one of humanity's assignments during lifetime.

Some Qur'anic verses:
16:8; 16:66; 22:5; 30:30; 32:5-9; 36:36; 44:38; 46:3; 55:17; 55:33; 67:3; 70:40

'And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and as an adornment; and He has created things of which ye have no knowledge.' (16:8)

'And lo! in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from betwixt the refuse and the blood, pure milk palatable to the drinkers.' (16:66)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5)

'So set thou thy face truly to the religion being upright, the nature in which Allah has made mankind: no change in the work by Allah: that is the true Religion. But most among mankind know not.' (30:30)

'He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. (5) Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, (6) Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9)' (32:5-9)

'Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own kind and things of which they have no knowledge.' (36:36)

'We created not the heavens, the earth, and all between them merely in sport. We created them not except for just ends, but most of them do not know.' (44:38)

'We created not the heavens and the earth and all between them but for just ends, and for a term appointed. But those who reject Faith turn away from that whereof they are warned.' (46:3)

'Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests!' (55:17)

'O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! Not without authority shall ye be able to pass!' (55:33)

'He Who created the seven heavens one above another, no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of the Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?' (67:3)

'But nay! I swear by the Lord of the rising-places and the setting-places of the planets' or 'Yet no, I swear by The Lord of the Easts and the Wests' (70:40)

Sources:
Quran Explorer
https://www.kalamullah.com/Books/BibleQuranScience.pdf



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Creation and Purpose of Humanity in Qur'an al Kerim

Humanity and Jinn, says Qur'an al Kerim, have been created to worship Allah swt. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. The creation of humanity, is briefly, but in good clarity, described in Qur'an al Kerim. Humans do not resemble Allah swt, may we conclude from Sourah Al Ikhlas. Several Qur'anic verses in Sourah 7 suggest, that humanity descends from first prophet Adam. It is likely to assume, he and his wife, were the first humans. Man was created from 'earth', from 'water', 'a single being, soul', and from 'a fluid', says Qur'an al Kerim. Qur'an does not confirm Darwin's evolution theory; that humans, and other living creatures, were gradually and over several generations, developed from one species into another. Qur'an says, the first human was, deliberately and willingly, created from 'mud', 'clay', 'earth', 'dust'; then from 'a drop of fluid'. Apparently simultaneously, each human is created from 'a soul'. Not only Adam; each individual is created from a single soul, as a man or as a woman, and is given a mate from it. Humans are created as pairs. Created from one soul, yet, no two humans are identical. It's most likely, that indeed Adam had a spouse, but Qur'an doesn't say, how she was created, nor if she was created 'from' Adam. She and Adam may also be created simultaneously from 'one soul'. Her name isn't mentioned. Tradition says, her name was Hawwa. (Chawa in Hebrew, or Eve in the Christian Bible.) There's a hadith saying, 'woman' is created of a 'rib' -- but, it doesn't say, what rib it is. Is it man's rib; is it the X-chromosome, or other. We now know, however, that the female egg contains two X-chromosomes, and only the male seed contains the gender-deciding X- or Y-chrosome. So, woman receives her gender, indeed, from man. And, the hadith seems to imply all women in general, not only Adam's spouse. Not all Qur'anic words have been verified. It's not verified, how humans are created in pairs. What's the plan behind that. Yet, the physical creation of humans, the pregnancy, has been described in fairly identifiable and accurate wording. Each fetus is developed and formed 'in stages', as say verses 22:5; 18:37; 39:6; 75:37-40. Traditionally, commentators focused more on the male seed than on the female egg, yet, Qur'an doesn't always mention, which of them is the 'fluid' that develops into a 'clot'. The female egg is the biggest human cell and is filled with, mostly, water and is transported through the fluid of the ovary. The male seed, however, is the smallest human cell and travels independently in water. So, sometimes, both can be the 'drop of fluid' mentioned in Qur'an.

Adam was created as 'viceroy' on Earth. He was given a leading position on Earth, however, he wasn't made with moral perfection. This much, the angels knew, when Allah swt announced, He had planned to place a leader figure on Earth, for whom they all had to prostrate. The angels had many questions, yet they all resigned to Divine rule -- except for one, Iblis. Iblis was the only angel, who couldn't accept Adam's leadership. Iblis's disobedience led to his downfall forever, away from the rank of angels. But, Iblis requested respite from downfall till the day of humanity's resurrection from their death. He was granted respite, but no forgiveness. From then, he received the title 'Satan'. Iblis, from then on, made it his life task to spite humanity and lead them astray from the righteous path of Allah swt. Adam and his wife were given a privileged dwelling place in the proverbial Garden, but not without strings attached. They were tested in their obedience to Allah swt. Everything in this garden was allowed to them as food, except a specifically mentioned tree. If more people were present in the Garden, is unknown, btw. Satan was swift to find them in the Garden and, successfully, entice them both to eat from this tree. Their disobedience, made Adam and his wife self conscious. Some commentators, compare this state of awkwardness and shame with coming of age: loosing childhood innocence, when committing the first act of grownup disobedience. They implored Allah swt for His forgiveness. Allah did forgive them partially. This incident led to a new decision by Allah swt: Humanity lost their privileged residence in the Garden and was sent 'down' to Earth. We can't say, however, Allah swt had made a new plan; it was plan to release then on Earth anyway. Residence on Earth, was, most probably, to be their main life assignment, as says verse 2:30. They were allowed to use whatever they needed on Earth, until a specified time, the day of humanity's resurrection. They would receive Divine guidance, however, Satan, too, was dismissed from the Garden. If more people were dismissed from the Garden, is unknown. If any human would lend his or her ear to Satan and his helpers and allow themselves to be led astray from the Divine path, he or she would then be assigned hellfire, after the day of resurrection. So, angels and humans alike, they all are given Divine bounty, but they may loose it, once they decide for disobedience. From then, Allah swt will stop His guidance to them, individually.

Humanity's second creation and new future will start at the day of resurrection, Yawm al Qiyamah. Then, those who followed Divine guidance, will be allowed into Jennah, paradise, and those who rejected it, will go to hellfire, Jahannam. In a nutshell.




These are applicable Qur'anic texts and ahadith:

'And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. (30) And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful. (31) They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. (32) He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. (33) And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (34) And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (35) But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (36) Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (37) We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (38) But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (39)' (2:30-39)

'O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.' (4:1)

'And He it is Who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and a repository. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have understanding.' (6:98)

'And We have given you (mankind) power in the earth, and appointed for you therein livelihood. Little give ye thanks! (10) And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (11) He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud. (12) He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded. (13) He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead). (14) He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. (15) He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. (16) Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). (17) He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. (18) And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (19) Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. (20) And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. (21) Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? (22) They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! (23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. (25) O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember. (26) O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not. (27)' (7:10-27)

'And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is immense reward.' (8:28) & (64:15)

'And his comrade, while he disputed with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man?' (18:37)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30) 

'We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (35)' (21:34,35)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5)

'And of His signs is this: He created you of dust, and behold you human beings, ranging widely! (20) And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. (21)' (30:20-21)

'Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9) And they say: When we are lost in the earth, how can we then be re-created? Nay but they are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord. (10) Say: The angel of death, who hath charge concerning you, will gather you, and afterward unto your Lord ye will be returned. (11)' (32:8-11)

'Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid, then He made you pairs (the male and female). No female beareth or bringeth forth save with His knowledge. And no-one groweth old who groweth old, nor is aught lessened of his life, but it is recorded in a Book, Lo! that is easy for Allah.' (35:11)

'He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no God save Him. How then are ye turned away?' (39:6)

'I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. (56) I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. (57)' (51:56,57)

'And that thy Lord, He is the goal; (42) And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46)' (53:42-46)

'Was he not a drop of fluid which gushed forth? (37) Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned (38) And made of him a pair, the male and female. (39) Is not He (Who doeth so) able to bring the dead to life? (40)' (75:37-40)

'And We have created you in pairs' (78:8)  

'From what thing doth He create him? (18) From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him, (19) Then maketh the way easy for him, (20) Then causeth him to die, and burieth him; (21) Then, when He will, He bringeth him again to life. (22)' (80:18-22)

'He is created from a gushing fluid (6) That issued from between the loins and ribs. (7)' (86:6,7)

'Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)' (112)


And, finally, these ahadith:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 114, Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women."

Book 008, Number 3467, Sahih Muslim:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.


Sources:


 MuslimMatters 
Quran Miracles
Embryology
BioNinja
Wikipedia
University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts) http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mentions of Life in Qur'an al Kerim

Water and earth are main components of life, says Qur'an al Kerim. 'Earth' as a concept, is more than just dead matter, such as sand, clay, or planet Earth itself. It also refers to the elements of all living and dead matter, including the tissue of plants, animals and people. Matter can be solid, as is clay, but also liquid, such as water. Qur'an acknowledges, water isn't the only liquid. Qur'an hints at difference between the elements, in verses 30:22, and 35:27&28. All living creatures develop from  'grain', 'seed', or a 'drop of fluid'. Qur'an doesn't elaborate on how the male and female component precisely form this 'seed', but it does hint at this process in several verses. Earth both undergoes, and molds, the life cycles of birth and death of its living species. Water has a key role in this process. But, at Yawm al Qiyamah, all the deceased, buried in Earth, are resurrected and brought back to life.

According Qur'an, the creation of life is a deliberate process, result of divine choices. Qur'an doesn't say, when exactly life first appeared. Nowadays, there's an evolution theory saying, that new species have gradually and randomly developed over generations, under influence of a selection process in a challenging, changing environment. Qur'an denies those theories. Yet, Qur'an confirms, that optimized solutions for creation are chosen (40:64 and 67:3). And when species have lost their function, they will be replaced by new ones (40:68 and 53:43-55). Evolution in creation means: Allah creates new species, from their beginning, in their finalized form and character. The succession of their appearance, however, may be seen as an evolution. Qur'an confirms nor denies existence of extra-terrestial life; same goes for hermaphrodites, or other kinds of a-sexual procreation. And anything else that we know exist, but isn't mentioned in Qur'an. Qur'an, however, says in verse 16:8, that 'He created that, which you know not.' There's enough, that people don't know. But, that doesn't mean, it doesn't exist.

Many living creatures, and also many other natural phenomenons, such as water, air, shadow, light, and celestial bodies, have been created to serve and feed man, and other creatures; for many purposes. But, firstly, each creature in nature, living or dead, is created to worship Allah swt; not man or other creatures. Qur'an gives examples, such as the bee; honey; cattle; birds; the spider (29:41); and the plants we use for agriculture.

The verses quoted below give a summary of the many Qur'anic verses about life: 2:28,29; 2:117, 2:164, 6:95, 6:143, 13:4, 16:3-14, 16:65-69, 16:77-81, 21:16-18, 21:30, 22:5, 24:41-45, 30:19, 30:22, 30:30, 32:5, 35:27,28; 36:33-36; 36:80-82; 39:52, 40:62, 40:68, 42:12, 51:49, 53:43-55, 67:3, and 78:8-16.




'How disbelieve ye in Allah when ye were dead and He gave life to you! Then He will give you death, then life again, and then unto Him ye will return. (28) He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.' (2:28,29)

'The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.' (2:117)

'Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense.' (2:164)

'Lo! Allah (it is) Who splitteth the grain of corn and the date-stone (for sprouting). He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and is the bringer-forth of the dead from the living. Such is Allah. ...' (6:95)

'Eight pairs: Of the sheep twain, and of the goats twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Expound to me (the case) with knowledge, if ye are truthful. (143) And of the camels twain and of the oxen twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain; or were ye by to witness when Allah commanded you (all) this?' (6:143)

'And in the Earth are neighbouring tracts, vineyards and ploughed lands, and date-palms, like and unlike, which are watered with one water. And we have made some of them to excel others in fruit. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who have sense.' (13:4)

'He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. High be He Exalted above all that they associate (with Him). (3) He hath created man from a drop of fluid, yet behold! he is an open opponent. (4) And the cattle hath He created, whence ye have warm clothing and uses, and whereof ye eat; (5) And wherein is beauty for you, when ye bring them home, and when ye take them out to pasture. (6) And they bear your loads for you unto a land ye could not reach save with great trouble to yourselves. Lo! your Lord is Full of Pity, Merciful. (7) And horses and mules and asses (hath He created) that ye may ride them, and for ornament. And He createth that which ye know not. (8) And Allah's is the direction of the way, and some (roads) go not straight. And had He willed He would have led you all aright. (9) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. (10) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. Therewith He causeth crops to grow for you, and the olive and the date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect. (11) And He hath constrained the night and the day and the sun and the moon to be of service unto you, and the stars are made subservient by His command. Lo! herein indeed are portents for people who have sense. (12) And whatsoever He hath created for you in the earth of divers hues, lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who take heed. (13) And He it is Who hath constrained the sea to be of service that ye eat fresh meat from thence, and bring forth from thence ornaments which ye wear. And thou seest the ships ploughing it that ye (mankind) may seek of His bounty and that haply ye may give thanks.' (16:3-14)

'Allah sendeth down water from the sky and therewith reviveth the earth after her death. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for a folk who hear. (65) And lo! in the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from betwixt the refuse and the blood, pure milk palatable to the drinkers. (66) And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, whence ye derive strong drink and (also) good nourishment. Lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who have sense. (67) And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying: Choose thou habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch; (68) Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of thy Lord, made smooth (for thee). There cometh forth from their bellies a drink divers of hues, wherein is healing for mankind. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect.' (16:65-69)

'And unto Allah belongeth the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and the matter of the Hour (of Doom) is but as a twinkling of the eye, or it is nearer still. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (77) And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts that haply ye might give thanks. (78) Have they not seen the birds obedient in mid-air? None holdeth them save Allah. Lo! herein, verily, are portents for a people who believe. (79) And Allah hath given you in your houses an abode, and hath given you (also), of the hides of cattle, tent-houses which ye find light (to carry) on the day of migration and on the day of pitching camp; and of their wool and their fur and their hair, caparison and comfort for a while. (80) And Allah hath given you, of that which He hath created, shelter from the sun; and hath given you places of refuge in the mountains, and hath given you coats to ward off the heat from you, and coats (of armour) to save you from your own foolhardiness. Thus doth He perfect His favour unto you, in order that ye may surrender (unto Him).' (16:77-81)

'We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in play. (16) If We had wished to find a pastime, We could have found it in Our presence - if We ever did. (17) Nay, but We hurl the true against the false, and it doth break its head and lo! it vanisheth. And yours will be woe for that which ye ascribe (unto Him).' (21:16-18)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5) 

'Hast thou not seen that Allah, He it is Whom all who are in the heavens and the earth praise, and the birds in their flight? Of each He knoweth verily the its worship and the its praise; and Allah is Aware of what they do. (41) And unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the journeying. (42) Hast thou not seen how Allah wafteth the clouds, then gathereth them, then maketh them layers, and thou seest the rain come forth from between them; He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smiteth therewith whom He will, and averteth it from whom He will. The flashing of His lightning all but snatcheth away the sight. (43) Allah causeth the revolution of the day and the night. Lo! herein is indeed a lesson for those who see. (44) Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four. Allah createth what He will. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.' (24:41-45)

'He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and He bringeth forth the dead from the living, and He reviveth the earth after her death. And even so will ye be brought forth.' (30:19)

'And of His signs is this: He showeth you the lightning for a fear and for a hope, and sendeth down water from the sky, and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who understand.' (30:24)

'... There is no altering (the laws of) Allah's creation. That is the right religion, but most men know not' (30:30)

'He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon.' (32:5)

'Hast thou not seen that Allah causeth water to fall from the sky, and We produce therewith fruit of divers hues; and among the hills are streaks white and red, of divers hues, and (others) raven-black; (27) And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, divers hues? The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.' (35:27,28) (And 30:22).

'A token unto them is the dead earth. We revive it, and We bring forth from it grain so that they eat thereof; (33) And We have placed therein gardens of the date-palm and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein, (34) That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks? (35) Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth groweth, and of themselves, and of that which they know not!' (36:33-36)

'Who hath appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! ye kindle from it. (80) Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the like of them? Aye, that He is! for He is the All-Wise Creator, (81) But His command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that he saith unto it: Be! and it is.' (36:80-82)

'Know they not that Allah enlargeth providence for whom He will, and straiteneth it (for whom He will). Lo! herein verily are portents for people who believe.' (39:52)

'Allah it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes, and hath provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!' (40:64)

'He it is Who quickeneth and giveth death. When He ordaineth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.' (40:68)

'His are the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlargeth providence for whom He will and straiteneth (it for whom He will). Lo! He is Knower of all things.' (42:12)

'And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.' (51:49) 

'And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46) And that He hath ordained the second bringing forth; (47) And that He it is Who enricheth and contenteth; (48) And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius; (49) And that He destroyed the former (tribe of) A'ad, (50) And (the tribe of) Thamud He spared not; (51) And the folk of Noah aforetime, Lo! they were more unjust and more rebellious; (52) And Al-Mu'tafikah He destroyed (53) So that there covered them that which did cover. (54) Concerning which then, of the bounties of thy Lord, canst thou dispute?' (53:43-55)

'... Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts? ...' (67:3)

'And We have created you in pairs, (8) And have appointed your sleep for repose, (9) And have appointed the night as a cloak, (10) And have appointed the day for livelihood. (11) And We have built above you seven strong (heavens), (12) And have appointed a dazzling lamp, (13) And have sent down from the rainy clouds abundant water, (14) Thereby to produce grain and plant, (15) And gardens of thick foliage.' (78:8-16)

Source:
http://www.quranexplorer.com




Friday, January 26, 2018

Mentions and Meaning of Water in Qur'an al Kerim

Water appears in Qur'an al Kerim as a circulating entity. It streams through earth, and through living and dead creatures. It serves as a nutrient and building element. It is carried by clouds and in larger streams; on, and through, earth. It is an independent element, and it is no integral part of the earth, or the organism. Yet, without water, a living organism just dies and dries out. And vice versa, earth 'comes to life' thanks to water, because both earth and water are living creatures' building materials. This basic fact of life and nature, is used as a metaphor for beginning and end of each creation, among which humanity and Earth. The metaphor of water may exhort humans to do their best in the life that is granted them, and it may fill them with a sense of gratitude. Water may come and go, and shouldn't be taken for granted. Hail and snow aren't ignored, as shows ayat 24:43. Water is important element of the entire system of nature, where each element has its exact place and, directly or indirectly, serves all others.

Apparently, water has existed since eternity, without first beginning, as says ayat 11:6.

Water is a carrier of small particles of different minerals and other solid goods from the Earth and from living creatures. Their quantities and qualities differ per lake, sea, or ocean, depending on the land on which the water flows, and depending on the time spent at location. Rain water comes fresh from the sky and is relatively pure, whereas water in the deeper parts of the ocean may have been there for centuries and will contain many small earth, plant, and animal particles. Hence, vast bodies of different seas meet, at several spots on Earth, but they don't easily mingle. Qur'an describes these phenomenons in some of the verses below.  

These are some of the many Qur'anic verses about water:

'The similitude of the life of the world is only as water which We send down from the sky, then the earth's growth of that which men and cattle eat mingleth with it till, when the earth hath taken on her ornaments and is embellished, and her people deem that they are masters of her, Our commandment cometh by night or by day and We make it as reaped corn as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do we expound the revelations for people who reflect.' (10:24)

'And He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days - and His Throne was upon the water - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct.' (11:6)

'And in the Earth are neighbouring tracts, vineyards and ploughed lands, and date-palms, like and unlike, which are watered with one water. And we have made some of them to excel others in fruit. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who have sense.' (13:4)

'He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, whence ye have drink, and whence are trees on which ye send your beasts to pasture. (10) Therewith He causeth crops to grow for you, and the olive and the date-palm and grapes and all kinds of fruit. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect. (11) ... And He it is Who hath constrained the sea to be of service that ye eat fresh meat from thence, and bring forth from thence ornaments which ye wear. And thou seest the ships ploughing it that ye (mankind) may seek of His bounty and that haply ye may give thanks.' (16:10,11,14)

'Allah sendeth down water from the sky and therewith reviveth the earth after her death. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for a folk who hear.' (16:65)

'(O mankind), your Lord is He Who driveth for you the ship upon the sea that ye may seek of His bounty. Lo! He was ever Merciful toward you. (66) And when harm toucheth you upon the sea, all unto whom ye cry (for succour) fail save Him (alone), but when He bringeth you safe to land, ye turn away, for man was ever thankless. (67) Feel ye then secure that He will not cause a slope of the land to engulf you, or send a sand-storm upon you, and then ye will find that ye have no protector? (68) Or feel ye secure that He will not return you to that (plight) a second time, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you for your thanklessness, and then ye will not find therein that ye have any avenger against Us?' (17:66-69)

'And coin for them the similitude of the life of the world as water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingleth with it and then becometh dry twigs that the winds scatter. Allah is Able to do all things.' (18:45)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30)

'And we send down from the sky water in measure, and We give it settle in the earth, and lo! We are Able to withdraw it. (18) Then We produce for you therewith gardens of date-palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you and whereof ye eat; (19) And a tree that springeth forth from Mount Sinai that groweth oil and relish for the eaters. (20) And lo! in the cattle there is verily a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, and many uses have ye in them, and of them do ye eat; (21) And on them and on the ship ye are carried.' (23:18-22)

'Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.' (24:40)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah wafteth the clouds, then gathereth them, then maketh them layers, and thou seest the rain come forth from between them; He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail, and smiteth therewith whom He will, and averteth it from whom He will. The flashing of His lightning all but snatcheth away the sight.' (24:45)

'Have they not seen how We lead the water to the barren land and therewith bring forth crops whereof their cattle eat, and they themselves? Will they not then see?' (32:27)

'And the two seas are not alike: this, fresh, sweet, good to drink, this (other) bitter, salt. And from them both ye eat fresh meat and derive the ornament that ye wear. And thou seest the ship cleaving them with its prow that ye may seek of His bounty, and that haply ye may give thanks.' (35:12)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah hath sent down water from the sky and hath caused it to penetrate the earth as watersprings, and afterward thereby produceth crops of divers hues; and afterward they wither and thou seest them turn yellow; then He maketh them chaff. Lo! herein verily is a reminder for men of understanding.' (39:21)

'He hath loosed the two seas. They meet. (19) There is a barrier between them. They encroach not (one upon the other).' (55:19,20)

'Have ye observed the water which ye drink? (68) Is it ye who shed it from the raincloud, or are We the Shedder? (69) If We willed We verily could make it bitter. Why then, give ye not thanks?' (56:68-70)

'Say: Have ye thought: If (all) your water were to disappear into the earth, who then could bring you gushing water?' (67:30) 

'Let man consider his food: (24) How We pour water in showers (25) Then split the earth in clefts (26) And cause the grain to grow therein (27) And grapes and green fodder (28) And olive-trees and palm-trees (29) And garden-closes of thick foliage (30) And fruits and grasses: (31) Provision for you and your cattle.' (80:24-32)

Sources:
http://www.quranexplorer.com
http://www.answering-christianity.com/oceanology.htm



Friday, January 12, 2018

Gog and Magog; Space, Sun, Moon, Earth and Celestial Bodies in Qur'an: True or False?


When the Qur'an mentions celestial bodies in space, it's unavoidable to talk about their beginning and their end. Yawm al Qiyama, the Day of Resurrection, is usually mentioned in the same verses. The verses' focus is on our destination and task during our lives, rather than on explaining physical creation, nature and function.

Qur'anic perspective is a long term, divine observation. It's not a human observation. Hence words as 'We molded the Earth and planted there firm mountains,' or 'a Day that lasts a thousand years in your calculation' (32:5 & 22:47); 'a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years' (70:4) or 'he reached the setting-place, or the rising-place of the Sun.' It refers to, firstly, the divine concept of time. Allah, God, is eternal, whereas every creature, has a temporary lifespan only. And, that lifespan is always 'short', compared with eternity. And, Allah can't be calculated in size, time, or limits. Therefore, it's justified to speak of 'molding' the mountains with 'hands', when to humans, the process of mountain formation, is a lengthy, immense, and sometimes violent process. And obviously, a day on Jupiter is longer than a day on Earth.

Living creatures, are created from water and 'clay', earth. Water is always same, but clay and earth, are not. The different colors of latter, indicate difference in substance, though Qur'an doesn't elaborate on that. (Verses 35:27,28 and 30:22.) We best read Qur'an as an invitation to gain knowledge of everything around us, because knowledge may help us connect with Allah. And, secondly, there's also reference to light and its sources. For a reason, the Sun and stars, are described as 'lamps' and the Moon as 'a light'. We know now, that the stars, among which the Sun, are direct sources of light.

Qur'anic stories about nature, usually can't be described as mythology. There's a few exceptions, such as the story of Gog and Magog. The story is an allegory rather than a myth. The story appears in other literature, too. Many commentators have referred to Alexander the Great being its main character. Alexander romances, which first appeared in Greece in the third century BC, were favorite reading and reciting material in medieval Europe. There are hadiths about a man claiming, towards the prophet, having seen the gate of Gog and Magog. The Torah and Bible (Ezekiel 38) mention Gog, ruler of land named Magog. Also in more recent days, these names have reappareared. Russian Jews spoke of Napoleon invading Russia. A few years ago, a book was written, 'Gog and Magog, the clans of chaos', with tales from all over the world about newcomers who are seen as primitive clans who overthrow the existing order. Turcs overthrew parts of ancient Persia; the Mongols overthrew Southwest Asia; Indonesian examples appear, too. I'd say, the Qur'anic story may be a reference to mythology, but Gog and Magog generally indicate change and ending, rather than hostile people or tribes. It perhaps indicates beginning and ending of world history. In the Qur'anic story, a primitive, perhaps ancient, people could florish after a heroic, traveling warrior had pushed back Gog and Magog by erecting a wall, with help of these people, as ordered by Allah swt. However, Gog and Magog return at the Day of Resurrection, which is the end of the world. If we look at it this way, the Qur'anic tale is a story of its own, with reference to mythology. It's meaning as a natural phenomenon cannot be disputed: Earth had a beginning, and it will have an ending. Earth was given the chance to live by keeping Gog and Magog at bay. But, it will die, at a pre-ordained day, under the turmoil of Gog and Magog. Qur'an says, Yawm al Qiyama is a misfortune only to those, who rejected Allah swt during their lives.

Qur'an doesn't say which was created first: Heaven; matter; celestial bodies, among which Earth; fluids; or gas. All Qur'an says, is: They've always been there, and once, heavens and earth were one clutter; then they were separated. This makes sense, because the thought that matter was created from the non-existing or nothing, is an impossibility. Qur'an doesn't say, whether only our planet Earth was made from this earth, or also the other celestial bodies. Heaven was 'a smoke', ie small, gaseous particles floating in space, some of which were 'molded' into bigger celestial bodies. Qur'an says, distances, positions and orbits of Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies, are regulated and planned. They are 'punctual', so people may orientate at sea and enjoy the benefit from the rotation of light: Night and day. The cosmos has been created and, then, extended. Life is created from water and earth, 'clay', in several colors. Let's remember, that Qur'an was written for an everyday human perspective; hence it uses metaphors that are useful to the average person. That doesn't mean, Qur'an contains incorrect texts. We can't falsify them. The texts correspond with modern theories -- and also theories, partly haven't been falsified.

Qur'anic verses quoted here, are 2:255, 6:95-99, 10:5, 18:83-99, 21:30-37, 32:5-10,47,65; 35:27,28, 36:36-42, 39:5, 41:9-12, 51:47-49, 54:1-6, 55:5-12, 70:1-11, 71:16, 75:6-10, and Surah 81:


'Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.' (2:255)

'Lo! Allah (it is) Who splitteth the grain of corn and the date-stone (for sprouting). He bringeth forth the living from the dead, and is the bringer-forth of the dead from the living. Such is Allah. How then are ye perverted? (95) He is the Cleaver of the Daybreak, and He hath appointed the night for stillness, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. (96) And He it is Who hath set for you the stars that ye may guide your course by them amid the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. (97) And He it is Who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and a repository. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have understanding. (98) He it is Who sendeth down water from the sky, and therewith We bring forth buds of every kind; We bring forth the green blade from which We bring forth the thick-clustered grain; and from the date-palm, from the pollen thereof, spring pendant bunches; and (We bring forth) gardens of grapes, and the olive and the pomegranate, alike and unlike. Look upon the fruit thereof, when they bear fruit, and upon its ripening. Lo! herein verily are portents for a people who believe.' (6:95-99)

'He it is Who appointed the sun a splendour and the moon a light, and measured for her stages, that ye might know the number of the years, and the reckoning. Allah created not (all) that save in truth. He detaileth the revelations for people who have knowledge.' (10:5)

'They will ask thee of Dhu'l-Qarneyn. Say: I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him. (83) Lo! We made him strong in the land and gave him unto every thing a road. (84) And he followed a road (85) Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness. (86) He said: As for him who doeth wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with awful punishment! (87) But as for him who believeth and doeth right, good will be his reward, and We shall speak unto him a mild command. (88) Then he followed a road (89) Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom. (90) So (it was). And We knew all concerning him. (91) Then he followed a road (92) Till, when he came between the two mountains, he found upon their hither side a folk that scarce could understand a saying. (93) They said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Lo! Gog and Magog are spoiling the land. So may we pay thee tribute on condition that thou set a barrier between us and them? (94) He said: That wherein my Lord hath established me is better (than your tribute). Do but help me with strength (of men), I will set between you and them a bank. (95) Give me pieces of iron - till, when he had levelled up (the gap) between the cliffs, he said: Blow! - till, when he had made it a fire, he said: Bring me molten copper to pour thereon. (96) And (Gog and Magog) were not able to surmount, nor could they pierce (it). (97) He said: This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord cometh to pass, He will lay it low, for the promise of my Lord is true. (98) And on that day we shall let some of them surge against others, and the Trumpet will be blown. Then We shall gather them together in one gathering.' (18:83-99)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe? (30) And We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake with them, and We have placed therein ravines as roads that haply they may find their way. (31) And we have made the sky a roof withheld (from them). Yet they turn away from its portents. (32) And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit. (33) We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (35) And when those who disbelieve behold thee, they but choose thee out for mockery, (saying): Is this he who maketh mention of your gods? And they would deny all mention of the Beneficent. (36) Man is made of haste. I shall show you My portents, but ask Me not to hasten.' (21:30-37)

'And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon.' (22:47)

'Hast thou not seen how Allah hath made all that is in the earth subservient unto you? And the ship runneth upon the sea by His command, and He holdeth back the heaven from falling on the earth unless by His leave. Lo! Allah is, for mankind, Full of Pity, Merciful.' (22:65)

'Allah it is Who created the heavens and the earth, and that which is between them, in six Days. Then He mounted the Throne. Ye have not, beside Him, a protecting friend or mediator. Will ye not then remember? (4) He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon. (5) Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, (6) Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9) And they say: When we are lost in the earth, how can we then be re-created? Nay but they are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord.' (32:4-10)

'Hast thou not seen that Allah causeth water to fall from the sky, and We produce therewith fruit of divers hues; and among the hills are streaks white and red, of divers hues, and (others) raven-black; (27) And of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, divers hues? The erudite among His bondmen fear Allah alone. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.' (35:27,28) (And 30:22)

'Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth groweth, and of themselves, and of that which they know not! (36) A token unto them is night. We strip it of the day, and lo! they are in darkness. (37) And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. (38) And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. (39) It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit. (40) And a token unto them is that We bear their offspring in the laden ship, (41) And have created for them of the like thereof whereon they ride.' (36:36-42)

'He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. He maketh night to succeed day, and He maketh day to succeed night, and He constraineth the sun and the moon to give service, each running on for an appointed term. Is not He the Mighty, the Forgiver?' (39:5)

'Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days, and ascribe ye unto Him rivals? He (and none else) is the Lord of the Worlds. (9) He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance in four Days, alike for (all) who ask; (10) Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient. (11) Then He ordained them seven heavens in two Days and inspired in each heaven its mandate; and We decked the nether heaven with lamps, and rendered it inviolable. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Knower. (41:9-12)

'We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof). (47) And the earth have We laid out, how gracious is the Spreader (thereof)! (48) And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.' (51:47-49)

'The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain. (1) And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: Prolonged illusion. (2) They denied (the Truth) and followed their own lusts. Yet everything will come to a decision (3) And surely there hath come unto them news whereof the purport should deter, (4) Effective wisdom; but warnings avail not. (5) So withdraw from them (O Muhammad) on the day when the Summoner summoneth unto a painful thing.' (54:1-6)

'The sun and the moon are made punctual. (5) The stars and the trees adore. (6) And the sky He hath uplifted; and He hath set the measure, (7) That ye exceed not the measure, (8) But observe the measure strictly, nor fall short thereof. (9) And the earth hath He appointed for (His) creatures, (10) Wherein are fruit and sheathed palm-trees, (11) Husked grain and scented herb.' (55:5-12)

'A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall (1) Upon the disbelievers, which none can repel, (2) From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways (3) (Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years. (4) But be patient (O Muhammad) with a patience fair to see. (5) Lo! they behold it afar off (6) While we behold it nigh: (7) The day when the sky will become as molten copper, (8) And the hills become as flakes of wool, (9) And no familiar friend will ask a question of his friend (10) Though they will be given sight of them. The guilty man will long to be able to ransom himself from the punishment of that day at the price of his children' (70:1-11)

'And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp?' (71:16)

'He asketh: When will be this Day of Resurrection? (6) But when sight is confounded (7) And the moon is eclipsed (8) And sun and moon are united, (9) On that day man will cry: Whither to flee!' (75:6-10)

And, Surah 81.

Hadith: Imam Al-Bukhari transmitted in his Sahih the following Hadith: A man told the Prophet (S.A.W.S) that he had seen the dam of Gog and Magog. The Prophet (S.A.W.S) asked: “How did you find it?” The man said: “I found it like Al-Burd Al-Muhabbar (striped garments).” The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “You have seen it.”

Sources & Further Reading:
Quran Explorer
The story of Dhul Qarnain at Wikipedia
The story of Gog and Magog at Wikipedia
The story of Yajuj and Majuj at IqraSense.com
Ezechiël 38 at Shalomgemeente
Cool Cosmos
http://harunyahya.com/ for comparative studies of Quran, Bible and science
https://archive.org/details/TheBibletheQuranScienceByDr.mauriceBucaille Open source full text of Maurice Bucaille's book 'The Bible, Qur'an, and Science

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quranic Verses about Earth: Are They Scientifically True?

The Qur'an contains many verses about the universe, Earth, creation, and life. Many philosophers, scholars, and scientists have tried to use them to either propagate or discredit the book of Islam. The first aspect that should be noticed, is that some verses deal with Earth itself as a body; its solidity; its size, compared either with our point of view as small humans, or that others deal with Earth as only a small planet in the vastness of space. Two perspectives -- therefore, two perceptions.

Qur'anic verses are brief and seemingly simple. There's a lot more to Qur'anic verses, than that superficially meets the eye: The water circulation on Earth; salt and sweet water, hence referring to material particles giving water its taste, and minerals; the relatively unchanging solidity of Earth, wherein mountains have their role; the Earth being divided in parcels and lands, also referring to continents and tectonic plates and their movements. Reference is made to the unchanging laws of nature, that allow change within their limits, yet, also to the infinity of creation in the long run, where change, eventually, doesn't really exist.

There's also a lot we can't verify, or not yet ~ we know, Earth has a limited life, yet, don't know, what will come after that. Nor do we know, what the universe originally must have looked like, yet, apparently, the universe is infinitely present. The relevant verses, are aspects of the 'Unseen', those topics closed to human observation.

People are exhorted 'to travel the land' to see what nature on Earth in its original form looks like, but also, to see what has happened to those who lived on Earth before. Humans have a task on Earth: To be worthy vicegerents in Nature.

Qur'an has many verses about Earth and nature, each applicable on certain situations, or on specific topics. Some deal with the Earth as a celestial body; others with very specific details. Hence, the different approaches to topics as East and West and the paradoxes between verses. Translations differ slightly in verses 37:5 and 70:40, yet a clear truth appears: Easts, rising places, of planets or Sun, are never the same. They differ, depending where on Earth we stand, or depending the season. This may be interpreted as reference to Earth being spheric, and to Earth having a fixed rotation, causing its different climate zones. Yet, Earth's rotation as a planet, has a constant circle, and also an unchanging angle of its surface towards the Sun's light, deciding light's intensity and, hence, climate. Truth is also, there's really no East point anywhere on a ball, or, we should see it as infinite, when we look at the overall picture. -- Yet, at each fixed point on Earth, East and West don't change: Two Easts, and two Wests, and all the points inbetween, according the day of the year. This says something about the law of nature. It dictates orbits, days, nights, and seasons.

Many topics are only mentioned in general terminology. And, perspectives change per verse; sometimes even within a verse. Sometimes, a divine perspective is chosen; sometimes, a human perspective. A text as 'And the earth have We spread out, and have flung firm hills therein ...' (50:7) shows a divine, or longterm perspective. To humans, the emerge of hills and mountains, seems a slow geographical development. Humans are small creatures with a relatively short lifespan. Seventy years, is nothing, compared with Earth's lifespan of probably nine billion years -- or compared with eternity. Time, is a relative concept, changing according perspectives. This makes Qur'an a challenge to read. But, the texts can't be dismissed as untrue, in spite of their wording that perhaps isn't used by scientists. It's the wording of popular, everyday knowledge, such as: When water starts to bubble, it cooks -- a scientist might then mention its precise temperature. And, obviously, there's Earth the planet versus earth the matter from which living creatures are created. Living creatures contain the same elements that we find in Earth. The verses aim to invite people to gather knowledge about the topics and creatures mentioned, and through knowledge, come to worship of their Creator. This blog, is only a brief beginning of a topic that many commentators have written elaborate works about.

Some quotes:

'Was not Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein?' (4:97)

'And with Him are the keys of the Invisible. None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record. (59) He it is Who gathereth you at night and knoweth that which ye commit by day. Then He raiseth you again to life therein, that the term appointed (for you) may be accomplished. And afterward unto Him is your return. Then He will proclaim unto you what ye used to do.' (6:59,60)

'He it is Who hath placed you as viceroys of the earth and hath exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by (the test of) that which He hath given you. Lo! Thy Lord is swift in prosecution, and Lo! He verily is Forgiving, Merciful.' (6:165)

'And in the Earth are neighbouring tracts, vineyards and ploughed lands, and date-palms, like and unlike, which are watered with one water. And we have made some of them to excel others in fruit. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who have sense. And if thou wonderest, then wondrous is their saying: When we are dust, are we then forsooth (to be raised) in a new creation?' (13:4)

'On the day when the earth will be changed to other than the earth, and the heavens (also will be changed) and they will come forth unto Allah, the One, the Almighty, ...' (14:48)

'And the cattle hath He created, whence ye have warm clothing and uses, and whereof ye eat; (5) And wherein is beauty for you, when ye bring them home, and when ye take them out to pasture. (6) And they bear your loads for you unto a land ye could not reach save with great trouble to yourselves. Lo! your Lord is Full of Pity, Merciful. (7) And horses and mules and asses (hath He created) that ye may ride them, and for ornament. And He createth that which ye know not.' (16:5-8)

'And He hath cast into the earth firm hills that it quake not with you, and streams and roads that ye may find a way. (15) And landmarks (too), and by the star they find a way.' (16:15)

'Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby We have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation, (53) (Saying): Eat ye and feed your cattle. Lo! herein verily are portents for men of thought. (54) Thereof We created you, and thereunto We return you, and thence We bring you forth a second time.' (20:53-55)

'Is not He (best) Who made the earth a fixed abode, and placed rivers in the folds thereof, and placed firm hills therein, and hath set a barrier between the two seas? Is there any God beside Allah? Nay, but most of them know not! (61) Is not He (best) Who answereth the wronged one when he crieth unto Him and removeth the evil, and hath made you viceroys of the earth? Is there any God beside Allah? Little do they reflect!' (27:60-62)

'Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah bringeth forth the later growth. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.' (29:20)

'So set thy purpose (O Muhammad) for religion as a man by nature upright - the nature (framed) of Allah, in which He hath created man. There is no altering (the laws of) Allah's creation. That is the right religion, but most men know not -' (30:30)

'Corruption doth appear on land and sea because of (the evil) which men's hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return. (41) Say (O Muhammad, to the disbelievers): Travel in the land, and see the nature of the consequence for those who were before you! Most of them were idolaters.' (30:41,42)

'Lord of the heavens and of the earth and all that is between them, and Lord of the sun's risings.' (37:5) (Or: 'The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them both and the Lord of the Easts.')

'And the earth have We spread out, and have flung firm hills therein, and have caused of every lovely kind to grow thereon, (7) A vision and a reminder for every penitent slave. (8) And We send down from the sky blessed water whereby We give growth unto gardens and the grain of crops, (9) And lofty date-palms with ranged clusters, (10) Provision (made) for men; and therewith We quicken a dead land. Even so will be the resurrection of the dead.' (50:7-11)

'Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests!' (55:17)

'O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction. (33) Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?' (55:33,34)

'Thou (Muhammad) canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any rifts?' (67:3)

'But nay! I swear by the Lord of the rising-places and the setting-places of the planets' or 'Yet no, I swear by The Lord of the Easts and the Wests' (70:40)

'Let man consider his food: (24) How We pour water in showers (25) Then split the earth in clefts (26) And cause the grain to grow therein (27) And grapes and green fodder (28) And olive-trees and palm-trees (29) And garden-closes of thick foliage (30) And fruits and grasses: (31) Provision for you and your cattle.' (80:25-32)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ancient Greece and Philosophy of Nature












ontstaan-cosmos-vlgs-anaxagoras



The first Greek philosophers of nature, were Thales, Anaximander, his student Anaximenes (appr. 570 BC) and, in turn, the latter’s assumed students Anaxagoras (appr 500 – 428 BC) and Diogenes. They were the first to distance themselves from mythological thinking and enter theoretical thinking. They started the tradition of trying to explain the facts of the universe and general phenomena. Their school of thought is called the Miletan School.

Thales was, according to Aristotle, the first person to investigate the origin of substances from matter. His advice, "Know thyself," was engraved on the front facade of the Oracle of Apollo in Delphi. He was the first philosopher whose written texts were preserved -- as little as it was, though. Thales was the first philosopher to maintain immortality of the soul. Soul was the cause of all movement. Aristotle had commented on that, and, perhaps mistakenly, said, that, 'according to Thales', all objects and creatures possess a soul and a god, because they move. He probably was the founder of natural philosophy. Thales believed, that water had all the qualities necessary to change from water into any possible matter, and then back again. Water is the 'Primary Principle' to all else. Like a ship, the Earth must float on water, with certain buoyancy. Earth must have had a lighter substance, than water. Water causes earthquakes, too. Aristotle said, Thales must have observed evaporation and the nutritive qualities of mist. There's conflicting reports about Thales' further ideas about Earth; whether it was flat and round; a flat drum shape, or, indeed, a round, spherical shape. He was a reputed astronomer; could predict solar eclipses and fix the solstices. It's likely, Thales must have made series of observations of Sunrises around mid-winter and mid-summer. Flavius Philostratus had said, that '[Thales] observed the heavenly bodies . . . from [Mount] Mycale which was close by his home'. Seven centuries later, Ptolemy acknowledged difficulties of this issue, ie the Sun remains immobile during several days around June 21 and December 21. From Diogenes Laertius we have the report: '[Thales] is said to have discovered the seasons of the year and divided it into 365 days'. Thales may very well have understood, that a spherical Earth explains, why and how stars dissapear and reappear at the northern and southern horizons. Not many writings have been preserved. Thales may have written the 'Nautical Star Guide'. He believed in one material, water, being the first substance to everything else. Thales must have been one of the first to experiment with instruments to measure the size of Sun and Moon. He used a water-clock -- method which was rejected, later. Thales thought, there was a correlation between the Sun's and Moon's diameter and their respective orbit: The diameters must be one hundred 720th of their orbit. Probably, Thales must have learned from the Babylonians, a circle is made up of 360 slices. He doubled that number and thus thought to have arrived at the planet's orbit. But, also today, we use Thales' theorems for triangles and diameters. Thales was disciple of ancient Egyptian and Babylonian astronomy and math, and he probably traveled those countries.

Anaximander, probaby Anaximenes' teacher, believed in the infinite, boundlessness, apeiron, as the primary substance. This primary substance, which was a boundless matter, had a cylinder-shape, and Earth and the other celestial bodies, originated from it. Anaximander, assumed that the Earth had the shape of a flat barrel floating in space, and people live on top of this barrel. Delphi was the very center of the Earth; surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. Earth was divided in two by a line. The northern  half of Earth was called Europe; the southern half, Asia. The habitable world consisted of two rather small strips of land at the Mediterranean's northern and southern shores: respectively the Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries. 'Asia' included the Middle East with Persia and Arabia. Further to Earth's peripheries, live, respectively, mythical peoples in cold, nordic countries, and black, Sunburnt peoples.  A question must have arisen: Why doesn't the Earth fall? Aristotle probably quoted Anaximander's argument like this: "But there are some who say that it (namely, the Earth) stays where it is because of equality, such as among the ancients Anaximander. For that which is situated in the center and at equal distances from the extremes, has no inclination whatsoever to move up rather than down or sideways; and since it is impossible to move in opposite directions at the same time, it necessarily stays where it is." Anaximander actually believed in the cosmos as space, instead of a celestial vault, with celestial bodies projected or nailed on it. He believed, that celestial bodies move in circles around the Earth, each in it's own lane, also under the Earth, and Earth is center of the universe. Earth floats unsupported in heaven. Anaximander believed, that the celestial bodies lie behind each other: First the stars; then the Moon, and finally, the Sun. Celestial bodies are wheels, filled with fire, that roll their circle in space around the Earth. They occasionally open and close their inner with doors. Their fire then becomes visible to man on Earth, as stars, the Sun, or the Moon. When the Sun door closes, that can be observed on Earth as an eclipse. The Moon door opens and closes according its monthly cycle. Earth started in a fluid state; then, in the Sunlight, dried into solid state. During this process, first fish emerged from water, and from them, other species and man emerged, in an evolutionary process. Man's helpless, lengthy childhood proves, that man must have originated from simpler, other species.

Anaximenes
believed that air was the primary substance to everything in the cosmos. Air has divine attributes. Fire had to be thin air; water was thickened air. From a felting process, further thickening, earth emerged, and finally, earth must have become stone, like felt emerging from wool. This must have been a gradual, two way process, depending on dominance of cold or heat. Also the human soul, was made of air. Planet Earth must have come into existence the same fashion, as a flat, round disk, floating on air currents encircling her. The Sun would circle around Earth, as did the Moon. Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, and perhaps other celestial bodies too, rest on air cushions, floating in heaven. Some reports suggest, that Anaximenes believed, that heaven was a cap or ceiling, with the stars as nails to keep it in place. Change was an important element in Anaximenes' theory, and air played a big role in changing matter and objects from one creature into another, but there's no scientifice explanation. This theory may be called material monism. Anaximenes proclaimed ‘like our soul, consisting of air, keeping us together, thus breath and air keeps the entire world in place’. Similar condensations of air should have led to the birth of the Sun and stars. These bodies’ fiery nature would be caused by the speed of their motion. Planet Earth had to be centre of the cosmos, with the stars as its most remote objects. The Moon was Earth’s most proximate object, then came the Sun, then the other planets. The Sun would not circle around the Earth. The Sun would disappear every night behind the horizon and return every morning at the usual point of rising. Anaximenes thought that the Moon itself casts no light; it reflects light rays from the Sun.

Anaxagoras believed that everything is infinitely divisible and that even the smallest portion of matter contains some of each element. The differences in form result from different portions of the elements and their seemingly endless numbers of possible combinations. Unlike Democritus, he apparently did not believe in smallest particles, atoms, that form a material. Both the big and the small are infinite. Anaxagoras believed that the mind is the supreme ordering principle, it is infinite and self-controlling, it is mixed with nothing, and is itself by itself. Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to introduce an abstract philosophical concept: Nous. Nous is the thinking, omnipotent, but impersonal Spirit or Mind. Thanks to this mind a well-ordered cosmos arose from the original chaos. This Nous seems to have been a first mover that left the universe to its own devices after initial creation, in Anaxagoras’ view. In everything, there is a share of everything, except mind, and mind is present in some things too. Everything is in everything, all qualities are present in even the smallest core and this enables a smooth transition from one material into another and makes birth and destruction of matter just false appearance. Living creatures possess, unlike dead creatures, Nous. This same Nous gives men and animals their soul. Men seem superior to animals, because they have hands. Visible differences in intellect are consequence of physical differences. Being an astronomer, Anaxagoras observed vortexes and spiral phenomena in nature. He believed, that the universe was created through the rotary motion of a spiral, where initially all mass was united in the center and driven by a centrifugal force driven by ‘mind’, celestial bodies and other things came into being through seperation of mass. Today, some say, that if the mass of a galaxy was concentrated at its center, it would have created a black hole and gravitation would be too strong for anything to escape from it. Stars and the Sun are fiery stones, but we can’t feel the heat, because of their distance, according to Anaxagoras. The heavenly bodies were fiery masses of rock whirling around the earth in ether. He thought to recognize mountains and living creatures on the Moon and the Sun had to be bigger than the Peloponnesos. Anaxagoras proved, that air was no vacuum, but material substance by blowing up utters, and a pipet that enclosed air by water. He concluded that sound had to be movement of air. Anaxagoras was highly respected in Athens, not in the least by statesman Pericles. But, later Anaxagoras was accused of Persian sympathies and heresy, when he taught the Sun was a fiery stone and the Moon only earth, and denied both divinity. He was initially sentenced to death, but instead, he was exiled from Athens. He had to leave Athens, in spite of Pericles’ protection, and return to Asia Minor, Lapsakis (now Lapseki, Turkey). Other records state, that Anaxagoras' exile didn't stop him :) from starting another influential school, where he taught at least twenty more years. Anaxagoras has written one book, according Simplicius and Aristotle, that may have survived until as far as the sixth century EC.

Diogenes of Apollonia, born 500 BC, who was a doctor, believed as well that air was the source of all that exists, from which all substances can be produced; the only difference between air and other beings, is its thickness. Diogenes, however, accredited air intelligence, being the first matter. ‘The air swirling within him (the first Being, and living creatures) not only supported, but directed also. Air as source of all things is necessary as perpetual and indestructible matter, but as a soul it is also equipped with a conscience’. Air is the soul. Diogenes also believed in an indefinite number of worlds and supported the idea that the Earth is a round ball supported by air. Diogenes did not follow dualism (ie thinking there's a counterposition between, for instance, mind and matter, or between being and non-being.) Diogenes probably had atheist sympathies, which may be reason why he strongly lost popularity in Athens.

Fragments and quotes of the ancient philosophers’ works, nothing more, have been preserved and quoted by later authors, such as passages from Diogenes’ most important work ‘De natura’. Other works from his hand are possibly ‘Against the sophists’, ‘Against the philosophists of nature’, ‘On Meteorology’ and ‘On the nature of man’. Anaxagoras has written one book, of which quotes have been preserved by Simplicius. Pythagoras left us no writings. Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BC) was the first author to use the name ‘Presocratic’ philosophy for the ancient Greek philosophers before Socrates. Orpheus' lyrics have been preserved, however, Aristotle denied their originality. Diogenes Laertius, 3rd Cent AD, wrote an extended biography on Greek philosophers. The work of these philosophers, however, meant a turning point from mythical and traditional religious thinking towards theoretical thinking and observation, even though many philosophers suffered disapproval or downright persecution in Athens. Not just devine explanations behind the universe were narrated and taught; from now on, thought was given to processes and characteristics in nature and man themselves.

Relevant to my study is, however, that these thinkers didn't agree among each other. They all had different philosophies about the origin of substance, and they weren't yet based on scientific tests. We musn't forget, ancient Greece didn't possess the equipment for scientific, empirical tests. They had no microscopes, nor telescopes. They really didn't know, what stars and other celestial bodies were, whether they were bodies at all, nor their size. Nor could the ancient Greeks know what matter was, or very small species, like bacteria. Is that good enough to serve as content for the holy Qur'an? Their philosophy, however, investigates causality, without copying mythological tradition. Some of their ideas reflect, perhaps, wishful thinking. Their ideas are quite creative and forward, and also today, largely still valid. I've read them with a smile and with admiration. Philosophers took big risks, too, since their ideas sometimes clearly contradicted compulsory religious worship. It led to their expulsion from Athens -- or worse. This has been good inspiration to scientists and thinkers in later days. But, not enough first hand writings has been preserved. It's not plausible to assume, that Rasullullah saws had copied them. Furthermore, the Quran stopped, where Greek philosophers started: They developed scholastic methods of causal thinking with its terminology and concepts, where Quran stuck to general first observations. This is especially valid for philosophy of nature. In the teachings of scepticism, we may find some more resemblances with Quran -- but, there's also many differences. All-in, we can say, Greek philosophy had two main branches: Metaphysics, and morality -- respectively philosophy of nature, and philosophy of virtue with the schools of scepticism and cynicism. My study will follow these two lines. Further, I won't spend too much time on Greek religion, as it doesn't involve this topic. Greek philosophers, however, frequently clashed with the temple, when their words were considered blasphemous.

Sources & Further Reading:
'From Orphism to Gnosticism'

Wikipedia.org 
The Philosophy of Anaxagoras http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaxagor/
Wolfram MathWorld
Anaximander http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaximan/
Anaximenes http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaximen/
Thales of Miletus http://www.iep.utm.edu/thales/
Anaxagoras http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaxagor/
'Beacon Lights of History' Volume I
Anaxagoras
Ancient Greek Religion

And thus comes a comparison with Qur'anic texts. And, then, a comparison with a man who was among the first to introduce religious skepticism, and who gained unrivaled status in philosophy when sophism was at its height of popularity: Socrates.