THE CONQUEST OF SPACE
- From: SALY <ssssssssss121@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 17:51:55 -0700 (PDT)
Dr. Maurice Bucaille
The Bible, The Quran and Science
From this point of view, three verses of the Qur'an should command ourfull attention. One expresses, without any trace of ambiguity, what
man should and will achieve in this field. In the other two, God
refers for the sake of the unbelievers in Makka to the surprise they
would have if they were able to raise themselves up to the Heavens; He
alludes to a hypothesis which will not be realized for the latter.
1) The first of these verses is sura 55, verse 33: "O assembly of
Jinns and Men, if you can penetrate regions of the heavens and the
earth, then penetrate them! You will not penetrate them save with a
The translation given here needs some explanatory comment:
a) The word 'if' expresses in English a condition that is dependent
upon a possibility and either an achievable or an unachievable
hypothesis. Arabic is a language which is able to introduce a nuance
into the condition which is much more explicit. There is one word to
express the possibility (ida), another for the achievable hypothesis
(in) and a third for the unachievable hypothesis expressed by the word
(lau). The verse in question has it as an achievable hypothesis
expressed by the word (in). The Qur'an therefore suggests the material
possibility of a concrete realization. This subtle linguistic
distinction formally rules out the purely mystic interpretation that
some people have (quite wrongly) put on this verse.
b) God is addressing the spirits (jinn) and human beings (ins), and
not essentially allegorical figures.
c) 'To penetrate' is the translation of the verb nafada followed by
the preposition min. According to Kazimirski's dictionary, the phrase
means 'to pass right through and come out on the other side of a
body' (e.g. an arrow that comes out on the other side). It therefore
suggests a deep penetration and emergence at the other end into the
regions in question.
d) The Power (sultan) these men will have to achieve this enterprise
would seem to come from the All-Mighty.'
There can be no doubt that this verse indicates the possibility men
will one day achieve what we today call (perhaps rather improperly)
'the conquest of space'. One must note that the text of the Qur'an
predicts not only penetration through the regions of the Heavens, but
also the Earth, i.e. the exploration of its depths.
2) The other two verses are taken from sura 15, (verses 14 and 15).
God is speaking of the unbelievers in Makka, as the context of this
passage in the sura shows:
"Even if We opened unto them a gate to Heaven and they were to
continue ascending therein, they would say: our sight is confused as
in drunkenness. Nay, we are people bewitched."
The above expresses astonishment at a remarkable spectacle, different
from anything man could imagine.
The conditional sentence is introduced here by the word lau which
expresses a hypothesis that could never be realized as far as it
concerned the people mentioned in these verses.
When talking of the conquest of space therefore, we have two passages
in the text of the Qur'an: one of them refers to what will one day
become a reality thanks to the powers of intelligence and ingenuity
God will give to man, and the other describes an event that the
unbelievers in Makka will never witness, hence its character of a
condition never to be realized. The event will however be seen by
others, as intimated in the first verse quoted above. It describes the
human reactions to the unexpected spectacle that travelers in space
will see: their confused sight, as in drunkenness, the feeling of
This is exactly how astronauts have experienced this remarkable
adventure since the first human space flight around the world in 1961.
It is known in actual fact how once one is above the Earth's
atmosphere, the Heavens no longer have the azure appearance we see
from Earth, which results from phenomena of absorption of the Sun's
light into the layers of the atmosphere. The human observer in space
above the Earth's atmosphere sees a black sky and the Earth seems to
be surrounded by a halo of bluish color due to the same phenomena of
absorption of light by the Earth's atmosphere. The Moon has no
atmosphere, however, and therefore appears in its true colors against
the black background of the sky. It is a completely new spectacle
therefore that presents itself to men in space, and the photographs of
this spectacle are well known to present-day man.
Here again, it is difficult not to be impressed, when comparing the
text of the Qur'an to the data of modern science, by statements that
simply cannot be ascribed to the thought of a man who lived more than
fourteen centuries ago.
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