Responses to "It is Truth"

Chapter 11

Geological Information in the Qur'aan

How do you present proof of this religion to those who do not speak the language of the Arabs or know anything about the inimitable eloquence of the Qur'an? Is it the only way for them to learn this language of the Arabs and to master its sciences? The answer, of course, is `No', Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, has shown mercy to them and to all other generations by sending the appropriate evidence to all mankind, irrespective of their different races, languages, and times.

There is a major philosophical issue here. If we cannot understand Arabic, how can we know the words of God? If God's message is universal, what is the problem with translating it into other languages? Why would God choose to put his universal message into the only untranslatable language on this earth? This is not shown yet, but even if we were to be given proof by science for the divine origin of the Qur'an, is the call of this web site that we should follow a book that is incomprehensible to us who do not understand Arabic? How come the "scientific parts" of the Qur'an are translatable and for us to examine, while the rest of the book is not?

Another problem is that of honesty. According to an article by Daniel Golden in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 23rd, 2002 :

Similar prodding failed to sway geologist Allison "Pete" Palmer, who was working for the Geological Society of America. He stuck to his position that Muhammad could have gleaned his science from Middle Eastern oral history, not revelation. On one video, Mr. Zindani acknowledges that Mr. Palmer still needs "someone to point the truth out to him," but contends that the geologist was "astonished" by the accuracy of the Quran. Mr. Palmer says that's an overstatement.

We have Professor Palmer who is one of the foremost geologists in the United States of America. He headed a committee which organized the Centennial Anniversary of the American Geological Society. When we met him we presented the various scientific miracles in the Qur'an and Sunnah, he was greatly astonished. I remember a pleasant anecdote when we informed him that the Qur'an mentions the lowest part of the earth and states that it is near Jerusalem, where a battle took place between the Persians and the Greeks.

Allah, may He be Exalted and Glorified, said in the Qur'an:

Alif Laam Meem, the Romans have been defeated, in the lowest part of the land (adnal-ardh), but after defeat they will soon be victorious. (Qur'an 30:1-3).

Sura 30:3

Yusuf Ali: In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious-

Pickthall: In the nearer land, and they, after their defeat will be victorious

Shakir: In a near land, and they, after being vanquished, shall overcome,

The term adna means both nearer and lowest.

Seemingly the Muslim translators of the most common Qur'an translations into the English language, Yusuf Ali, M. Pickthall, and Shakir did not know this. Does it mean whatever you want it to mean?

The commentators of the Qur'an, May Allah be pleased with all of them, were of the opinion that adnal-ardh meant the nearest land to the Arabian Peninsula.


However, the second meaning is also there. In this way, the Glorious Qur'an gives one word several meanings, as described by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam) when he said:

I have been given the most comprehensive words. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Could you please cite the Hadith and quote it in context? Did it have anything to do with this passage from the Qur'an? Some doubt might be appropriate!

When we investigated the lowest part of the earth, we found that it was exactly the same spot that witnessed the battle in which the Romans were defeated.

The Qur'an says that this happened in the near land. Even if we use your translation, this passage claims that the battle occurred in the lowest part of the land, it does not say the lowest part of the entire earth! This interpretation is also historically incorrect because the Romans were routed at Aleppo and Antioch in AD 610 according to Syed Maududi's commentary on Sura 30. In any event, neither Aleppo nor Antioch are anywhere near the Dead Sea.

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