The Spherical Earth: Insights from the Quran and Modern Science

Feb 27


Mohammad Ali Abid

Mohammad Ali Abid

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The Quran, revered as the divine word of Allah, has long been a guide for worship and life for Muslims until the Day of Judgment. It is often said that there is a profound harmony between the teachings of the Quran and the findings of modern science. To fully appreciate this alignment, one must interpret the Quran with care, especially considering that scientific knowledge is ever-evolving and subject to revision. This article delves into the Quranic verses that hint at the Earth's globular shape and its rotation, drawing parallels with contemporary scientific understanding.

Quranic Verses and the Shape of the Earth

The Quran contains verses that,The Spherical Earth: Insights from the Quran and Modern Science Articles upon careful interpretation, suggest a recognition of the Earth's spherical nature. For instance, the verse "And the land We have spread out" (Quran 15:19) uses the term "spread," which can be understood as the Earth being stretched out in all directions. This description aligns with the experience of a person traveling across the Earth's surface; no matter the distance traveled, the Earth continues to unfold without end, a phenomenon that would not occur if the Earth were flat or of any shape other than spherical.

The Quran and Earth's Rotation

The Quran also touches upon the Earth's rotation in the verse "He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions); He makes the night overlap the day and the day overlap the night, He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law); each one follows a course for a time appointed..." (Quran 39:5). This verse describes the systematic transition between day and night, which is consistent with the rotation of a spherical Earth, where one hemisphere experiences daylight while the other is enveloped in darkness.

Quranic Insights on Earth's Orbit

Another Quranic verse that supports the Earth's rotation around the sun is "Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away..." (Quran 27:88). This verse suggests that while mountains may appear stationary, they are, in fact, part of the Earth's continuous movement, akin to the transient nature of clouds. This movement is not perceptible to us, just as we do not feel the Earth's rotation, yet it is happening nonetheless.

The Interplay of Science and Faith

The Quran's verses, when interpreted with an understanding of modern science, reveal a text that anticipated scientific discoveries about the Earth's shape and movements long before they were confirmed by empirical observation. For instance, astronauts have observed from space that the Earth is indeed illuminated on one side while the other remains in darkness, a testament to its spherical shape and rotation.

Statistics and Data: A Modern Perspective

Recent studies and surveys have shown that the relationship between science and religion is more nuanced than often portrayed. According to a study by Rice University, 36% of scientists have no doubt about God's existence, and many do not see a conflict between science and religion (Rice University). Furthermore, a Pew Research Center survey found that 59% of adults in the U.S. say that science and religion are often in conflict, but this perception is primarily held by those who are not very religious (Pew Research Center).

Conclusion: The Quran and Cosmic Realities

The Quran, as interpreted by scholars and believers, does not stand in contradiction to the cosmic realities and facts unveiled by modern science. Instead, it presents a narrative that has, in many ways, predated these discoveries by centuries. The verses discussed serve as a call to examine the Quran with an open mind and to recognize its potential in offering insights that resonate with scientific understanding. As we continue to explore the natural world, the dialogue between faith and science remains a testament to the enduring quest for knowledge and truth.