Saturday, October 2, 2010
Frequently asked questions part I
The Qur’an says that Allah has put a seal on the hearts of the Kuffar and they will not believe. Science tells us today that the brain is responsible for understanding and believing and not the heart. Isn’t the Qur’an contradicting Science?
1. Allah has set a seal on the heart of the Kuffar
The Glorious Qur’an says:
"As to those who reject Faith it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil great is the penalty they incur." [Al-Qur’an 2:6-7]
2. The word qalb in Arabic means heart as well as intelligence
The Arabic word qalb used in these verses means the heart. It also means intelligence. Thus the above verses also mean that Allah has put a seal on the intelligence of the kuffaars (unbelievers) and they will not understand and believe.
3. In the Arabic language heart is also used as a centre of understanding
In the Arabic language the word ‘heart’ is also used to connote one’s centre of understanding.
4. Several words used in English language whose literal meaning is different
Even in English language there are several words which are used to explain something, though the literal meaning of these words are different. Consider the following examples
a. Lunatic - Struck by the moon:
The word ‘lunatic’ literally means struck by the moon. Today people use the word lunatic for a person who is insane or mentally unstable. People very well know that a mad or a mentally unstable person is not struck by the moon. Yet even a medical doctor uses this word. This is normal in the evolution of a language.
b. Disaster – An evil star
The word ‘disaster’ literally means an evil star. Today the word disaster is used for a great or sudden misfortune or calamity. We know very well that a misfortune has nothing to do with an evil star.
c. Trivial – Three roads meet
The word ‘trivial’ literally means where three roads meet. Today the word ‘trivial’ is used for something of small nature or little importance. We know very well that if something is of small value it has nothing to do with where three roads meet.
d. Sunrise and Sunset
‘Sunrise’ literally means rising of the sun. Today when the word ‘sunrise’ is used most of the people know that the earth is rotating and is moving in relation to the sun. Most of us know that the sun does not rise during sunrise. However even an astronomer uses the word ‘sunrise’. Similarly we know that during sunset, the sun does not actually set.
5. In the English language heart is the centre of love and emotion
In the English language heart means an organ in the body which pumps blood. The same word heart is also used for the centre of thought, love and emotion. Today we know that brain is the centre of thought, love and emotion. Yet while expressing emotions a person is likely to say "I love you from the bottom of my heart". Imagine a scientist telling his wife, "I love you from the bottom of my heart" and the wife replies, "Don’t you even know the basics of science, that the brain is responsible for the emotions and not the heart? In fact you should say I love you from the bottom of my brain."
6. Arabs know that the word heart in Arabic is also used for centre of thought and understanding
No Arab will ever ask the question as to why Allah has sealed the hearts of the kafir because he knows that in this context it refers to the centre of thought, understanding and emotions.
If Allah has sealed the hearts of the Kuffar i.e. non-Muslims, then why are they to be blamed for not accepting Islam?
Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Al Baqarah chapter 2 verses 6 and 7
"As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them Whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.
Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur)." [Al-Qur’an 2:6-7]
These verses do not refer to common Kuffar who reject faith. The Arabic words used are al-lazina kafaroo, those who are bent on rejecting the truth. It will not make any difference to such people whether you warn them or not, they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil. It is not because Allah has set a seal on their hearts that these kuffar do not understand and believe, but it is the vice-versa. It is because these kuffar are bent on rejecting the truth and whether you warn them or not they will not believe, that Allah has set a seal on their hearts. Therefore Allah is not to blame, but these kuffaar who are bent on rejecting the faith are responsible.
2. Example of teacher predicting a student will fail
Suppose an experienced teacher, before the final examinations, predicts that a particular student will fail in the exams, since the student is very mischievous, not attentive in class and does not do his homework. If after the student appears for the examination, he fails, who is to be blamed for the student failing: the teacher or the student? Just because the teacher predicted, it does not mean that the teacher is to be blamed but the student himself is responsible for his failure.
Similarly Allah (swt) knows in advance that there are some people who are bent on rejecting the faith and Allah has put a seal on their hearts. Thus these non-Muslims themselves are responsible for rejecting the faith and not Allah (swt).
Does the Qur’an say that the Earth is flat?
1. Earth made as a carpet
The question refers to a verse from the Qur’an in Surah Nuh:
"And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out)."
But the sentence in the above verse is not complete. It continues in the next verse, explaining the previous verse. It says:
"That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads."
A similar message is repeated in Surah TaHa:
"He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels)...."
The surface of the earth i.e. earth’s crust is less than 30 miles in thickness and is very thin as compared to the radius of the earth which is about 3750 miles. The deeper layers of the earth are very hot, fluid and hostile to any form of life. The earth’s crust is a solidified shell on which we can live. The Qur’an rightly refers to it like a carpet spread out, so that we can travel along its roads and paths.
2. Carpet can also be spread on other than an absolute flat surface
Not a single verse of the Qur’an says that the earth is flat. The Qur’an only compares the earth’s crust with a carpet. Some people seem to think that carpet can only be put on an absolute flat surface. It is possible to spread a carpet on a large sphere such as the earth. It can easily be demonstrated by taking a huge model of the earth’s globe covering it with a carpet.
Carpet is generally put on a surface, which is not very comfortable to walk on. The Qur’an describes the earth crust as a carpet, without which human beings would not be able to survive because of the hot, fluid and hostile environment beneath it. The Qur’an is thus not only logical, it is mentioning a scientific fact that was discovered by geologists centuries later.
3. Earth has been spread out
Similarly, the Qur’an says in several verses that the earth has been spread out.
"And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: how excellently We do spread out!"
Similarly the Qur’an also mentions in several other verses that the earth is an expanse:
"Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse"
"And the mountains as pegs?"
None of these verses of the Qur’an contain even the slightest implication that the earth is flat. It only indicates that the earth is spacious and the reason for this spaciousness of the earth is mentioned. The Glorious Qur’an says:
"O My servants who believe! truly. spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye Me –(And Me alone)!" [Al-Qur’an 29:56]
Therefore none can give the excuse, that he could not do good and was forced to do evil because of the surroundings and circumstances.
4. Earth is geospherical in shape
The Qur’an mentions the actual shape of the earth in the following verse:
"And we have made the earth egg shaped".
The Arabic word Dahaha means egg shaped. It also means an expanse. Dahaha is derived from Duhiya which specifically refers to the egg of an ostrich which is geospherical in shape, exactly like the shape of the earth.
Thus the Qur’an and modern established science are in perfect harmony.