The purpose with this blog is to expose the claim of modern Islamic apologists that the Qur'an is miracolous in its prediction of what they claim resembles modern science.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Debunking Qur'anic Science: Does the Qur'an Predict that the Moon Reflects Sun Light? Is this a Miracolous Prediction?

A whole range of Muslim apologists have claimed that the Qur’an is miraculous in its prediction of the moon reflecting sunlight; about this matter Zakir Naik writes:


It was believed by earlier civilizations that the moon emanates its own light. Science now tells us that the light of the moon is reflected light. However this fact was mentioned in the Qur?aan 1,400 years ago in the following verse:

"Blessed is He Who made Constellations in the skies, And placed therein a Lamp And a Moon giving light." [Al-Qur?aan 25:61]

Consider the following verses related to the nature of light from the sun and the moon: "It is He who made the sun To be a shining glory And the moon to be a light (Of beauty)." [Al-Qur?aan 10:5]

"See ye not How Allah has created The seven heavens One above another, "And made the moon A light in their midst, and made the sun As a (Glorious) Lamp?" [Al-Qur?aan 71:15-16]

See also a youtube video debunking Zakir Naik’s speculation:

Osama Abdallah has also made similar claims:

So why would Ibn Kathir come up with this statement, many centuries before man discovered that the earth was spherical and that the moon does indeed reflect the sun's light?

Notice that Osama Abdallah believes that Ibn Kathir came up with statements about this scientific accuracy only because the Qur’an makes such statements.

Firstly, I am not so sure whether Kathir got this idea from the Qur’an, I don’t think the passage from Kathir clarifies that.

See also two articles from Answering-Islam that refute the claim that the Qur’an even utters such claims:

However, let’s assume that the Qur’an does describe the moon reflecting sun-light; are Zakir Naik and Osama Abdallah then correct in their claims that these are miraculous statements, that these ideas were unknown prior to the revelation of the Qur’an?

The answer is no! This is yet again and example of the typical lies spread by modern Islamic apologists.

In fact the concept that the moon reflected sun-light was a very common concept even a thousand years prior to Islam.

Then why do individuals such as Zakir Naik and Osama Abdallah spread such lies to the masses?

There are three possibilities:

1) Either they knowingly spread such misconception and hence willingly deceive their readers and listeners.

2) Or they have simply not done their homework.

3) Or they are simply taken over by their emotionalism for Islam and are blinded from considering the related facts.

For example:

Anaxagoras (4-5 Century BC) indicated that within the ancient scientific of his time it was argued whether the moon shines by reflected light or emits its own light. Even in this era, even without divine revelation human thinkers got a number of ideas scientifically correct, such as Aristarchus (310-230 BC) whose ideas predicted the modern scientific discovery that the earth with the other planets orbits the sun and that the earth was in a constant rotation, and completed a full rotation once in every twenty-four hours (Russel, History of Western Philosophy, p.222-223).

Hence I wonder why Zakir Naik and Osama Abdallah not give up their faith in Islam and build a religion around Aristarchus, or include him as one of the greatest prophets ever; at least his ideas predict modern science and must therefore indicate divine revelation.

However, let’s look at how common this concept was prior to Muhammad and the rise of Islam:

Thales (585 BC):

The moon is lighted from the sun. 29; 360. Thales et al. agree with the mathematicians that the monthly phases of the moon show that it travels along with the sun and is lighted by it, and eclipses show that it comes into the shadow of the earth, the earth coming between the two heavenly bodies and blocking the light of the moon (Doxographi on Thales, Aet. ii. 1 ; Dox. 327) (6).

Anaxagoras (500-428 BC) considered the moon be to a false-shining star (255).

The Doxographist elaborate further on this:

The moon is below the sun and nearer us. The sun is larger than the Peloponnesos. The moon does not have its own light, but light from the sun (The Doxographists on Anaxagoras, Hipp. Phil. 8 ; Dox. 561) (260-1).

Empedocles (490-430):

As sunlight striking the broad circle of the moon. 154. A borrowed light, circular in form, it revolves about the earth, as if following the track of a chariot (Empedocles, translations of the fragments I) (177).

Ptolemy (90-168):

The Moon principally generates moisture; her proximity to the earth renders her highly capable of exciting damp vapours, and of thus operating sensibly upon animal bodies by relaxation and putrefaction. She has, however, also a moderate share in the production of heat, in consequence of the illumination she receives from the Sun (Ptolemy?s Tetrabiblos: Book the First: Chapter IV, The Influence of the Planetary Orbs) (13).

Lucretius (100-50 BC):

How then, if the sun is so small, can it give of such a flood of light (p.189)?

The moon, too, whether it sheds a borrowed light upon the landscape in its progress or emits a native radiance from its own body. What then of the moon? It may be that it shines only when the sun’s rays fall upon it. Then day by day, as it moves away from the sun’s orb, it turns more its illuminated surface towards our view till in its rising it gazes down face to face up the setting of the sun and beams with lustre at the full. Thereafter, it is bound to hide its light bit by bit behind it as it glides around heaven towards the solar fire from the opposite point of the zodiac (192-193) (Lucretius, The Nature of the Universe).

The Jewish Talmud gets this right:

Abraham once worshipped the moon and said: The light of the moon must be derived from the light of the sun (A Cohen, Everyman?s Talmud, London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd/NewYork: E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc, 1949: 2).

Hence once again we have refuted Zakir Naik, Osama Abdallah and a number of modern Muslim apologists who claim that the moon reflecting sun-light was a concept unknown prior to the era of Muhammad and the Qur’an, that is of course only if the Qur’an truly makes this prediction in the first place; but that is stuff for another article.

I urge therefore Zakir Naik, Osama Abdallah, Harun Yahay and others to correct this error.


  1. The Sun (of surface temperature of 5778 K) and the Moon (of orbital period of 27 days) are never going to join with each other because the Sun and Moon have already joined 355 years ago in India!
    According to Prophet Muhammad, Isa Ruh Allah was supposed to wear two garments. Therefore, the first garment of Isa Ruh Allah was the physical body of Devchandra Mehta himself. However, upon leaving his first garment, Isa Ruh Allah had to wear his second and final garment by entering into the physical body of Meher Raj Thakur! And this is how the Sun (Mahdi) and the Moon (Isa) would join together!

  2. Maybe it was known but it was not a *fact*. There were 1000s of Greeks who believed moon light to be its own light which Bible also says.
    2. It is also impossible to choose so many verses and all are correct.
    3. Qur'an mentions most of the things which were not even known at that time.

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  4. Big bang theory was first proposed in 1927, Can you please elaborate why same statement is present in 1400 years old Quran at Chapter No.21 Verse No.30 ..... ?
    "Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?"

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    2. "Big bang theory was first proposed in 1927, Can you please elaborate why same statement is present in 1400 years old Quran at Chapter No.21 Verse No.30 ..... ?"

      John Philoponus of Alexandria postulated around 530 AD that the universe is the creation of a single god (John Philopionus was christian) and cannot be eternal, i.e. the universe has a beginning and an end.

      Anaxoras (5th century BC) saw the universe as a primordial, inhomogenous, mixture of its components that were set in motion at some point in time and subsequently formed the celestial objects and matter we see today.

      Were they messengers of god, too?

    3. The idea of a big bang was around a lot longer than 1927. The issue with your claim that the Quran predicted it is that in 1927, the claims were made with the mathematical basis of general relativity - an old idea was formalized. The Quran have vague statements that were uttered long before it was written, but provided no basis of validity in its claims. If the Quran or any other source were divine, then they wouldn't be little more than vague descriptions with no justification for them. It sounds to me you're merely ignorant of what constitutes a claim of scientific theory and what constitutes regurgitating unjustified claims. The ancient Greeks got far more correct than the Quran, so maybe you should stay looking to them for your divinity.

    4. what is ancient greek say abaout multiverse, it is in Quran, 7 heavens 7 earths, how about ancient greek say about flat universe?

  5. It's funny, I just looked up all these sources and could not find one reference that matched the stated? I have a PDF of each of these works (some do not exist and I questions their validity) and I can not find the quotations being made!

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    3. After two attempts now the actual reply!

      Bertrand Russel:

      Not clear whether the paragraph in the text is supposed to be a direct or paraphrased quote from Bertrand Russel's book, but the collector's edition of History of Western Philosophy has an entire chapter on Anaxoras with the same meaning as the paragraph, see here:


      The quote is directly taken from "The First Philosophers of Greece" by Arthur Fairbanks. See page 7 of the book:


      There exist several translations of his Tetrabiblos, all with the same meaning. See slide/page 17 here:

      and a different translator here:

      The Doxographists on Anaxoras:

      The quote can be found here,

      and it seems to be a translation of parts of the original greek text that can be found on page 561 in "Doxographi Grecia" by Hermann Diels. A pdf of the book is here, just translate the greek yourself.

      I won't even look into the other quotes, I'm sure the results would be similar.

      Please don't lie. It's not befitting of a good muslim.

  6. If you took the time to refute this, at least pick up a Quran to check if its in there. It's not that long of a book you know. Are you afraid that you will change and go down a good path instead of a path to sin? I like how so many people want to destroy a book that simply tells one to do good in life. What is your agenda?

  7. Anaxagora made this claim around 500BCE to 428BCE not 4 to 5 century.