Flat Earth theory and Christian scholars
“During the early Church period, the spherical view continued to be widely held, with some notable exceptions. Early Christian beliefs mention a number of ideas about the shape of the earth. Athenagoras, an eastern Christian writing around the year 175 CE said, “The world, being made spherical, is confined within the circles of heaven.” Methodius (c.290 CE), an eastern Christian writing against “the theory of the Chaldeans and the Egyptians” who asserted that the earth was spherical said, “Let us first lay bare . . . the theory of the Chaldeans and the Egyptians. They say that the circumference of the universe is likened to the turnings of a well-rounded globe, the earth being a central point. They say that since its outline is spherical, . . . the earth should be the center of the universe, around which the heaven is whirling.” Lactantius, a western Christian writer and advisor to the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, and writing sometime between 304-313 CE, ridiculed the notion of Antipodes and the philosophers who fancied that “the universe is round like a ball. They also thought that heaven revolves in accordance with the motion of the heavenly bodies. . . . For that reason, they constructed brass globes, as though after the figure of the universe. (…) I am at a loss as to what to say concerning those who, once they have erred, continue in their folly, defending one vain thing by another vain thing.”Arnobius another eastern Christian writing sometime around 305 CE said, “In the first place, indeed, the world itself is neither right nor left. It has neither upper nor lower regions, nor front nor back. For whatever is round and bounded on every side by the circumference of a solid sphere, has no beginning or end…” The influential theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Western Church, similarly objected to the “fable” of an inhabited Antipodes: …But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours that is on no ground credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they say that the part that is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even, though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled. For Scripture, which proves the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, gives no false information; and it is too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are descended from that one first man…. The view generally accepted by scholars of Augustine’s work is that he shared the common view of his contemporaries that the Earth is spherical, in line with his endorsement of science in De Genesi ad litteram. That view has been challenged: …[Augustine] was familiar with the Greek theory of a spherical earth, nevertheless, (following in the footsteps of his fellow North African, Lactantius), he was firmly convinced that the earth was flat, was one of the two biggest bodies in existence and that it lay at the bottom of the universe. Apparently Augustine saw this picture as more useful for scriptural exegesis than the global earth at the centre of an immense universe… Yet other historians, however, do not view Augustine’s scriptural commentaries as endorsing any particular cosmological model. And while Diodorus of Tarsus, a leading figure in the School of Antioch and mentor of John Chrysostom, may have argued for a flat Earth; however, Diodorus’ opinion on the matter is known only from a later criticism. Chrysostom, one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Eastern Church and Archbishop of Constantinople, explicitly espoused the idea, based on scripture, that the Earth floats miraculously on the water beneath the firmament. Athanasius the Great, Church Father and Patriarch of Alexandria, expressed a similar view in Against the Heathen. Christian Topography (547) by the Alexandrian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes, who had traveled as far as Sri Lanka and the source of the Blue Nile, is now widely considered the most valuable geographical document of the early medieval age, although it received relatively little attention from contemporaries. In it, the author repeatedly expounds the doctrine that the universe consists of only two places, the Earth below the firmament and heaven above it. Carefully drawing on arguments from scripture, he describes the Earth as a rectangle, 400 day’s journey long by 200 wide, surrounded by four oceans and enclosed by four massive walls which support the firmament. The spherical Earth theory is contemptuously dismissed as “pagan”. Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d. 408), wrote that the Earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but “travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall”. Basil of Caesarea (329–379) argued that the matter was theologically irrelevant. With the end of Roman civilization, Western Europe entered the Middle Ages with great difficulties that affected the continent’s intellectual production. Most scientific treatises of classical antiquity (in Greek) were unavailable, leaving only simplified summaries and compilations. Still, many textbooks of the Early Middle Ages supported the sphericity of the Earth. For example: some early medieval manuscripts of Macrobiusinclude maps of the Earth, including the antipodes, zonal maps showing the Ptolemaic climates derived from the concept of a spherical Earth and a diagram showing the Earth (labeled as globus terrae, the sphere of the Earth) at the center of the hierarchically ordered planetary spheres. Further examples of such medieval diagrams can be found in medieval manuscripts of the Dream of Scipio. In the Carolingian era, scholars discussed Macrobius’s view of the antipodes. One of them, the Irish monk Dungal, asserted that the tropical gap between our habitable region and the other habitable region to the south was smaller than Macrobius had believed. Europe’s view of the shape of the Earth in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages may be best expressed by the writings of early Christian scholars: Boethius (c. 480–524), who also wrote a theological treatise On the Trinity, repeated the Macrobian model of the Earth in the center of a spherical cosmos in his influential, and widely translated, Consolation of Philosophy. Bishop Isidore of Seville (560–636) taught in his widely read encyclopedia, the Etymologies, diverse views such as that the Earth “resembles a wheel” resembling Anaximander in language and the map that he provided. This was widely interpreted as referring to a disc-shaped Earth. An illustration from Isidore’s De Natura Rerum shows the five zones of the earth as adjacent circles. Some have concluded that he thought the Arctic and Antarctic zones were adjacent to each other. He did not admit the possibility of antipodes, which he took to mean people dwelling on the opposite side of the Earth, considering them legendary and noting that there was no evidence for their existence. Isidore’s T and O map, which was seen as representing a small part of a spherical Earth, continued to be used by authors through the Middle Ages, e.g. the 9th-century bishop Rabanus Maurus who compared the habitable part of the northern hemisphere (Aristotle‘s northern temperate clime) with a wheel. At the same time, Isidore’s works also gave the views of sphericity, for example, in chapter 28 of De Natura Rerum, Isidore claims that the sun orbits the earth and illuminates the other side when it is night on this side. See French translation of De Natura Rerum. In his other work Etymologies, there are also affirmations that the sphere of the sky has earth in its center and the sky being equally distant on all sides. Other researchers have argued these points as well. “The work remained unsurpassed until the thirteenth century and was regarded as the summit of all knowledge. It became an essential part of European medieval culture. Soon after the invention of typography it appeared many times in print.” However, “The Scholastics – later medieval philosophers, theologians, and scientists – were helped by the Arabic translators and commentaries, but they hardly needed to struggle against a flat-earth legacy from the early middle ages (500-1050). Early medieval writers often had fuzzy and imprecise impressions of both Ptolemy and Aristotle and relied more on Pliny, but they felt (with one exception), little urge to assume flatness.” As for the perverse and sinful doctrine which he (Virgil) against God and his own soul has uttered—if it shall be clearly established that he professes belief in another world and other men existing beneath the earth, or in (another) sun and moon there, thou art to hold a council, deprive him of his sacerdotal rank, and expel him from the Church. The English theologian Bede (c. 672–735) wrote in his influential treatise on computus, The Reckoning of Time, that the Earth was round (‘not merely circular like a shield [or] spread out like a wheel, but resembl[ing] more a ball’), explaining the unequal length of daylight from “the roundness of the Earth, for not without reason is it called ‘the orb of the world’ on the pages of Holy Scripture and of ordinary literature. It is, in fact, set like a sphere in the middle of the whole universe.” (De temporum ratione, 32). The large number of surviving manuscripts of The Reckoning of Time, copied to meet the Carolingianrequirement that all priests should study the computus, indicates that many, if not most, priests were exposed to the idea of the sphericity of the Earth. Ælfric of Eynsham paraphrased Bede into Old English, saying “Now the Earth’s roundness and the Sun’s orbit constitute the obstacle to the day’s being equally long in every land.” St Vergilius of Salzburg (c. 700–784), in the middle of the 8th century, discussed or taught some geographical or cosmographical ideas that St Boniface found sufficiently objectionable that he complained about them to Pope Zachary. The only surviving record of the incident is contained in Zachary’s reply, dated 748, where he wrote: …Some authorities have suggested that the sphericity of the Earth was among the aspects of Vergilius’s teachings that Boniface and Zachary considered objectionable. Others have considered this unlikely, and take the wording of Zachary’s response to indicate at most an objection to belief in the existence of humans living in the antipodes. In any case, there is no record of any further action having been taken against Vergilius. He was later appointed bishop of Salzburg, and was canonised in the 13th century… A possible non-literary but graphic indication that people in the Middle Ages believed that the Earth (or perhaps the world) was a sphere is the use of the orb (globus cruciger) in the regalia of many kingdoms and of the Holy Roman Empire. It is attested from the time of the Christian late-Roman emperor Theodosius II (423) throughout the Middle Ages; the Reichsapfel was used in 1191 at the coronation of emperor Henry VI. However the word ‘orbis’ means ‘circle’ and there is no record of a globe as a representation of the Earth since ancient times in the west till that of Martin Behaim in 1492. Additionally, it could well be a representation of the entire ‘world’ or cosmos. A recent study of medieval concepts of the sphericity of the Earth noted that “since the eighth century, no cosmographer worthy of note has called into question the sphericity of the Earth.” However, the work of these intellectuals may not have had a significant influence on public opinion, and it is difficult to tell what the wider population may have thought of the shape of the Earth, if they considered the question at all.” ref
“What is the Bible really showing me concerning the nature of the heavens, the earth, the sun, moon and stars?” 60 Bible Verses Describing A Flat Earth Inside A Dome:
The Bible scriptures we’ve selected for you, arranged by topics, starting with the book of Job, followed by Genesis, since most scholars say the book of Job is the oldest in the Bible. Some of the words are in bold, meaning you should pay special attention to them. The list is not an exhaustive one, it’s not a definitive one either, it can and probably will be additionally expanded as we find more in the future.
Scriptures concerning the nature of the heavens/sky above and their relationship to the earth:
Job 9:8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
Job 22:14 (HCSB) Clouds veil Him so that He cannot see, as He walks on the circle of the sky.
Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
10 Psalm 104: 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who covers thyself with light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens like a curtain: 3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
11 Proverbs 8:27 (ESV) When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep.
12 Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in
13 Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself
14 Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
15 Isaiah 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
16 Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
17 Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
18 Amos 9:6 (NASB) The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth, The Lord is His name.
Scriptures concerning the nature of the earth below the firmament:
1 Job 9:6 Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.
2 Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
3 Job 26:10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.
4 Job 28:24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
5 Job 37:3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
6 Job 38: 1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
7 Job 38:13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? Genesis 1: 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
8 1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.
9 2 Samuel 22:16 And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
10 1 Chronicles 16:30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
11 Psalm 18:15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
12 Psalm 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
13 Psalm 93:1 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
14 Psalm 96: 9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
15 Psalm 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
16 Psalm 104: 5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. 6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
17 Psalm 136: 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
18 Proverbs 8: 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
19 Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
20 Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in
21 Isaiah 43:6 I’ll say to the north, ‘Give them up’! and to the south, ‘Don’t keep them back!’ Bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the ends of the earth
22 Daniel 4: 10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth.
23 Jonah 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
24 Matthew 4: 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
25 Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
26 John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.
27 Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
28 Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
29 Revelation 20:8 He will go out to deceive Gog and Magog, the nations at the four corners of the earth, and gather them for war. They are as numerous as the sands of the seashore.
Scriptures concerning the nature of the sun, moon and stars:
1 Genesis 1: 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
2 Psalms 19: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
3 Psalm 136: 7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
5 Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
6 Isaiah 13: 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
7 Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
8 Habakkuk 3:11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Now, what would someone who doesn’t have any previous knowledge on the subject think about the heavens, earth, sun, moon and stars after reading these scriptures? It’s a topic worth thinking about and discussing for sure!
Here is a study of what the Bible says about the flat earth in this 41 page PDF file.
(Zec 9:10) And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. You can not have “ends of the earth” on a globe. This verse indicates that the earth is flat. (Pro 8:27) When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: You don’t use a compass on a globe but you do use it on a flat surface. Click Here to get your PDF Bible study on the flat earth.
Flat Earth theory and Islamic scholars
A closer look at some of the Qur’anic verses that imply its author assumed the earth is flat. According to Abdullah Sameer The Quran paints a picture of the world that seems incorrect. It describes the world in such a way that a 7th century person in Arabia would have described it. It does not describe the world according to the way the Creator of the Universe would have known it. Or if we go by what makes more sense, maybe it wasn’t written by God. Maybe it was actually written by a man in the 7th century? ref
Here are links and info by Abdullah Sameer on Why HE left Islam nd its Core Issues. These are the main issues he found with Islam. If you want to understand the real problems he found:
- Prophet Muhammad Explains Stuff (Video)
- Quran, Creation Myths of the World and The Big Bang. (Video)
- Quran’s Geocentric Universe
- Islam, Biological Evolution, and Adam
- Dhul Qarnayn in the Quran
- Abrogations in the Quran
- Muhammad’s Just In Time Revelations
- Embryology in the Quran (and Sunnah)
- Linguistic Miracle of the Quran (Video)
- Jesus in Islam, The Copy-Pasted Prophet
Dialogues and discussions I had after leaving Islam. Some thoughts
- Why I believe in Islam – A dialogue
- The Eternal Damnation of Hell
- Why don’t you believe?
- Islam tries to explain stuff
- My family’s response to me leaving Islam
- The Watchmaker Argument For God
- The Fastest Growing Religion™
- Mathematical miracle in the Quran
- Is it okay to criticize Islam
These are not why he left Islam. They are reflections after leaving Islam. Keep in mind that even if he was completely wrong about every single one of these, it would not make him come back to Islam. As a Secular Humanist, Abdullah Sameer found these to be troubling issues we find and they seem to show that Allah is not the intelligent supreme being that sent us a beautiful wise religion but rather a 7th century invention with barbaric rules and orders that matched that early era but do not belong in today’s world.
- Divorce In Islam
- Sex while Menstruating
- Apostasy in Islam and Uthman’s foster brother Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh
- Death Penalty for Adultery
- Women, the Inferior Species in Islam
- Divorce in Islam
- Anti-Semitism in the Quran and Sunnah
- Does Islam Allow Sex with Female Captives of War?
- The Antagonism of Salafism and Wahhabism
Sometimes history is not what it seems
If you look at the verses that mention the sun’s orbit (falak, which means rounded or curved course) it is almost always in the context of night and day. It looks much more likely that the meaning is that the sun takes its path every day rather than that it is talking about its orbit around the galaxy once every 225 million years, which has no relevance to human timescales. If you look at these verses it seems that the sun’s path can be seen by the bedouins listening to Muhammad, Do you not see that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted? (Quran 31:29) and is a token (ayat – sign) that the listeners should be able to understand: …A token unto them is night. We strip it of the day, and lo! they are in darkness and the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit. (Quran 36:37-40) Again it is mentioned in the context of the night day cycle. Or look at this verse: …And the moon darkens And the sun and the moon are joined (Quran 75:8-9) This would require the moon to fly 98 million miles into the sun, which is 600 times the diameter of the moon. It would be a very strange apocalyptic plan, but is much more plausible as something a 7th century person would imagine, as it looks to them as if the sun and moon are about the same size and distance from the earth. Related to this are verses that say: …By the sun and his brightness, And the moon when she followeth him (Quran 91:1-2) It all fits very well with the view that a 7th century Arab would have that the sun and moon are about the same size and distance and traverse a similar path across the sky. “The sky won’t fall on you, unless I say so” This is one issue. The Quran repeatedly refers to the sky as if its a solid structure or object. It even talks about how Allah “holds up” the sky, the firmament , and prevents it from falling on us. …Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you whatever is on the earth and the ships which run through the sea by His command? And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission. Indeed Allah , to the people, is Kind and Merciful. (Quran 22:65) …It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain. (Quran 13:2) …And constructed above you seven strong [heavens] (Quran 78:12) The Babylonian universe also believed in multiple heavens with the water above it.. The same idea existed in the Bible too. There is this idea of a physical firmament. Then there is the issue of the sun going below the throne of Allah. Prophet Muhammad seemed to have thought that the sun went somewhere when it set, and that somewhere was below the throne of Allah. Yet in reality the sun is actually not setting, but rather the Earth is rotating in a certain way so that it seems to be setting. Apologists of course will try to make sense of this in some way or another, but the most obvious and apparent meaning is that Prophet Muhammad misunderstood how the world worked. In today’s age where we know that the sun sets on our part of the world, but its actually rising on another part, its hard to make sense of this explanation: …And the sun runs [on course] toward its stopping point. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing. (Quran 36:38) This verse was explained by the Prophet: Abu Dharr reported: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) the (implication of the) words of Allah, the Exalted: The sun glides to its appointed resting place. He replied: Its appointed resting place is under the Throne.” (Muslim 1.309) And in more detail here where the Prophet actually was with Abu Dharr when the sun set, and he explained to him where the sun goes: It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) one day said: …Do you know where the sun goes? They replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Verily it (the sun) glides till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it falls prostrate and remains there until it is asked: Rise up and go to the place whence you came, and it goes back and continues emerging out from its rising place and then glides till it reaches its place of rest under the Throne and falls prostrate and remains in that state until it is asked: Rise up and return to the place whence you came, and it returns and emerges out from it rising place and it glides (in such a normal way) that the people do not discern anything ( unusual in it) till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it would be said to it: Rise up and emerge out from the place of your setting, and it will rise from the place of its setting. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said. Do you know when it would happen? It would happen at the time when faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from the faith. (Muslim 1:306) Okay, we know that the sun does not actually set. It does not actually go anywhere. It’s staying in the same relative spot while the Earth spins around it. What if Allah didn’t want to freak out the people by describing the world in a way they didn’t understand? Well, he already did that when He told them that they will be raised up after death. When the Prophet claimed he went to Jerusalem in one night. So that obviously can’t be the reason. Maybe Allah didn’t want to correct the scientific misunderstandings of the time? To me this is one of the biggest issues in the Quran. I cannot see how the creator of the universe would describe the world in such an awkward and incorrect way. He could have said it in a way that was vague enough so that it wouldn’t have upset the people of the time, yet still be true to this day. …Our observations, in this case, our reading of biblical and Qur’anic statements about the natural world, look exactly as you would expect them to look if there was no new knowledge being revealed—just what was the human understanding of the day. That is, they look as if there is no God who speaks to humanity through scriptures or other revelations. (quote from Victor Stenger, God the failed hypothesis)
We have to ask, why would God:
- Allow information in the book that seems wrong
- Repeatedly describe the world in a way that is accurate to 7th century humans but inaccurate to us
- Allow confusion in a way that those in the future have to reinterpret the words in order to make them make sense
If the punishment is so severe, eternal damnation for eternity, why allow such doubts into His book?
- Allah’s Flat Earth (Youtube)
- The Quran – Muhammad’s Flat Earth (Video)
- Creation Myths of the World (AbdullahSameer.com)
- Flat teaching in a perfect book (now offline) – image from here. See PDF version
- Rational Islam – The Universe According to the Quran
The Quran mentions that the Earth (al-arḍ) was “spread out”. To this 12th-century commentary, the Tafsir al-Kabir (al-Razi) by Fakhr al-din al-Razi, states “If it is said: Do the words “And the earth We spread out” indicate that it is flat? We would respond: Yes, because the earth, even though it is round, is an enormous sphere, and each little part of this enormous sphere, when it is looked at, appears to be flat. As that is the case, this will dispel what they mentioned of confusion. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And the mountains as pegs” [an-Naba’ 78:7]. He called them awtaad (pegs) even though these mountains may have large flat surfaces. And the same is true in this case.” The 11th century Ibn Hazm stated, “Evidences show that the Earth is a sphere but public people say the opposite”. He added, “None of those who deserve being Imams for Muslims has denied that Earth is round. And we have not received anything indicates a denial, not even a single word”. If the Qur’an is a letter-by-letter dictation from Allah, it should also concur with this fact that was known throughout the world before its revelation, and it should contradict the flat Earth model widely believed in by the 7thcentury Bedouins of Arabia. Yet the evidence is that the Qur’an supports the flat Earth model (as well as geocentrism). For plentiful evidence that the earliest Muslims believed in a flat Earth, and a discussion of the failed attempts by ibn Taymiyyah and others to demonstrate that they believed in a round Earth, see the article Did Muhammad and the Earliest Muslims Know the Earth is Round?. In this analysis, we look at direct references to the shape of the Earth in the Qur’an. Verse 88:20 is particularly worth highlighting for its use of a word that was deeply associated with flat surfaces. Arabic word definitions in English are from Lane’s Lexicon of classical Arabic (not to be confused with modern Arabic). Note that the Arabic word al-ard can mean the land or the Earth. However, it is perfectly obvious from the context that in the verses below al-ard means the entire Earth, not a local area of land. The section after this one discusses indirect evidence that the Qur’an supports a flat Earth model, and perhaps contains even stronger evidence than the direct statements below.
Qur’an 2:22 – firashan (thing spread to sit or lie upon)
Allathee jaAAala lakumu alarda firashan
(Firashan = a thing that is spread upon the ground, a thing that is spread for one to sit or lie upon.)
[He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him]. Qur’an 2:22
Qur’an 15:19 – madad (extend, stretch out)
Waal-arda madadnaha waalqayna feeha rawasiya waanbatnafeeha min kulli shay-in mawzoonin
(Madad = extend by drawing or pulling, stretch out, expand)
And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance. Qur’an 15:19
Qur’an 20:53 – mahdan (bed)
Allathee jaAAala lakumu al-arda mahdan wasalaka lakum feeha subulan waanzala mina alssama-imaan faakhrajna bihi azwajan min nabatinshatta
(Mahdan = cradle or bed; a plain, even, or smooth expanse)
He Who has, made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky.” With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others. Qur’an 20:53
Qur’an 43:10 – mahdan (bed)
Allathee jaAAala lakumu al-arda mahdan wajaAAala lakum feeha subulan laAAallakum tahtadoona
(Yea, the same that) has made for you the earth (like a carpet) spread out, and has made for you roads (and channels) therein, in order that ye may find guidance (on the way) Qur’an 43:10
Qur’an 50:7 – madad (expand, stretch out)
Waal-arda madadnaha waalqayna feeha rawasiya waanbatnafeeha min kulli zawjin baheejin
And the earth- We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs) Qur’an 50:7
Qur’an 51:48 – farasha (spread out) mahidoon (spreaders)
Waal-arda farashnaha faniAAma almahidoona. And the earth have We laid out, how gracious is the Spreader (thereof)! Qur’an 51:48
(Farasha (see also 2:22 above for the noun) = spread or expand, spread a bed or carpet OR Mahidoon referencing = make plain, even, smooth, spread a bed)
Qur’an 71:19 – bisaatan (carpet)
WaAllahu jaAAala lakumu al-arda bisatan. And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out) Qur’an 71:19
(Bisaatan = A thing that is spread or spread out or forth, and particularly a carpet (from the same root we also have bisaatun = Land, expanded and even; and wide or spacious)
Qur’an 78:6-7 – mihadan (bed)
Alam najAAali al-arda mihadan Waaljibala awtadan. Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, And the mountains as pegs? Qur’an 78:6-7
Qur’an 79:30 – daha (spread out or ostrich egg?)
Many Islamist apologists attempt to deflect criticism that the Qur’an promotes the mistaken belief of a flat earth by the word دَحَىٰهَآ (dahaha) used in Qur’an 79:30, commonly translated as ‘He spread it’ or ‘He stretched it’.
Arabic: والارض بعد ذلك دحاهاTransliteration: Waal-arda baAAda thalika dahaha; Literal: And the earth/Planet Earth after that He stretched/spread it. Qur’an 79:30
Word by word:
- وَ – wa – and
- ٱلْ – al – the
- أَرْضَ – ard – Earth
- feminine in Arabic
- بَعْدَ – ba’ada – after
- ذَٰلِكَ – dhalika – that
- دَحَىٰ – dahaa – (he) spread
- هَآ – ha – her
- or “it” in the English translation, referring to the Earth.
- دَحَىٰ – dahaa – (he) spread
دَحَىٰهَآ is a verb with a suffixed pronoun, so it cannot mean a noun “ostrich egg”. In the apologist interpretation the verb would have to mean “he made it in a shape of an ostrich egg”. It is absurd to think that such a little word could mean something so complex. The هَا (-ha) suffix pronoun meaning literally “her” is also repeated in the surrounding verses as a literary device:
أَأَنْتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمِ السَّمَاءُ ۚ بَنَاهَا 79:27 Aantum ashaddu khalqan ami alssamao banaha
79:28 رَفَعَ سَمْكَهَا فَسَوَّاهَا RafaAAa samkaha fasawwaha
79:29 وَأَغْطَشَ لَيْلَهَا وَأَخْرَجَ ضُحَاهَا Waaghtasha laylaha waakhraja duhaha
79:30 وَالْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ دَحَاهَا Waalarda baAAda thalika dahaha
79:31 أَخْرَجَ مِنْهَا مَاءَهَا وَمَرْعَاهَا Akhraja minha maaha wamarAAaha
79:32 وَالْجِبَالَ أَرْسَاهَا Waaljibala arsaha Qur’an 79:27-32
So the -ha in 79:30 is a pronoun as well as in other verses and the pronoun is completely missing in the translation “ostrich egg”. There are two problems with the egg-shaped Earth claim. One is that their statements about the words daha and duhiya are false, as proven further below. But even if they were right about that, it would prove the Qur’an to be incorrect because while the Earth and an ostrich egg are both spheroids, they are of fundamentally different types of a spheroid. But some translations have attempted to translate the word dahaha to mean made egg-shaped or like an ‘ostrich egg’:
Other Qur’an Translations:
The Earth is very nearly, but not absolutely a perfect sphere. It is, in fact, an oblate spheroid, which means that the radius from its center to either of its two poles is shorter than the radius to the equator. In other words, there is a very slight bulge around the equator. The radius from the center of the Earth to the north or south poles is 6,357km, and the radius from the center to the equator is 6,378km, a difference of less than 1 percent. This is caused by the rotation of the Earth around its polar axis, which produces a centripetal force that is greatest at the equator. An ostrich egg, much like all eggs, can be described as a prolate spheroid. This is because the radius from its center to either of its two poles is longer than the radius to the equator, as though it were a sphere that had been pulled from two ends. It certainly is not an oblate spheroid. You can see in the image an oblate spheroid (top left), and a prolate spheroid (bottom left). Even holding an egg on its side (top), you cannot make it look like an oblate spheroid in 3D. They are fundamentally different shapes. The shape of the ostrich egg is in fact like a prolate spheroid (bottom). No matter how you hold the egg, it is a prolate spheroid and not an oblate spheroid. Oblate and prolate spheroids are fundamentally different shapes. In a flat 2d image without texture or shading they might look the same, but in three dimensions you cannot make one look like the other no matter how you turn it. In Arabic, each word must be derived from its root. The root usually consists of three letters that can be manipulated, by adding vowels, prefixes and suffixes in order to produce different words with different meanings. For example, “ka-ta-ba” (to write) is the root for many words such as kitab (book), maktaba (library), katib (author), maktoob (written), kitabat (writings) et cetera. Let’s now take the word claimed to mean egg of an ostrich, “Duhiya”. This word is not a root. It is a noun and is derived from “da-ha-wa” (the same root that the verb “dahaha” in 79:30 comes from (the ‘ha’ at the end there is just a pronoun suffix meaning ‘it’). Furthermore, Duhiya does not even mean the egg of an ostrich. This is what the most respected dictionaries have to say on this subject: Lisan Al Arab – Al-udhy, Al-idhy, Al-udhiyya, Al-idhiyya, Al-udhuwwa: Translation, The place in sand where an ostrich lays its egg. That’s because the ostrich spreads out (tadhooh) the earth with its feet then lays its eggs there, an ostrich doesn’t have a nest. AND To daha the earth: means to spread it out. Then it mentions a couple of Arabic poems that confirm this meaning. Anyone who can read Arabic will find this to be the definitive proof that Daha means to spread out. “Ostrich egg” mentioned in a hadith: Contrary to apologetic claims, there is no hadith saying that the Earth is shaped like an ostrich egg. But “ostrich egg” is mentioned in one hadith so we can check whether the word دَحَىٰهَآ (dahaha) is used in the original Arabic. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, concerning an ostrich egg (بَيْضِ النَّعَامِ) taken by a Muhrim: “Its cost (must be paid as a penalty).” Sunan Ibn Majah 4:25:3086 Of course, it isn’t, because “ostrich egg” needs two words. “Egg” is بَيْضِ (baydi) and “ostrich” is النَّعَامِ (an-na’ami). So ostrich egg is called baydi an-na’ami and not dahaha in Arabic.
Qur’an 88:20 – sutihat (spread out flat)
Wa-ila al-ardi kayfa sutihat. refering “to spread out or forth, expand” And at the Earth, how it is spread out? Qur’an 88:20 The word was used to describe making the flat top or roof of a house or chamber and making a top surface flat. Words from the same root mean the flat top surface or roof of a house or chamber, a flat plane in geometry, a level place upon which dates can be spread, a rolling pin (which expands the dough), plane or flat.
Qur’an 91:6 – taha (spread out)
Waal-ardi wama tahaha. By the Earth and its (wide) expanse. Qur’an 91:6
Qur’an 18:86 – Setting and rising places of the sun
Hatta itha balagha maghriba alshshamsi wajadaha taghrubu fee AAaynin hami-atin wawajada AAindaha qawman qulna ya tha alqarnayni imma an tuAAaththiba wa-imma an tattakhitha feehim husnan. Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness. Qur’an 18:86
This can only happen on a flat Earth. For a detailed discussion of the key words in these verses, evidence showing that early Muslims took it literally, and contemporary Arabic and Syriac poems of the same legend, see the article Dhu’l-Qarnayn and the Sun Setting in a Muddy Spring.
Qur’an 2:187 and 17:78 – Fasting and prayer times
Qur’an 2:144 – Praying towards the Ka’aba
We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. Qur’an 2:144
This verse tells all Muslims to pray towards the Ka’aba (qiblah being the direction that one has to face in order to do this). This is only possible on a flat earth model. Due to the sphericity of the earth, a prayer in any direction will point towards the sky/outer-space, not Mecca.
For people who are praying a great distance from Mecca, their qiblah would be somewhere down towards the ground, and the people who are located on the opposite ‘side’ of the earth would have to pray vertically downward towards the center of the earth. So, for example, Muslims in the Solomon Islands, in fact, blaspheme against Allah, because they defecate toward the direction of the Ka’aba when they answer the call of nature. Even if we were to use the traditional Muslim method of determining qiblah (i.e. a great circle) this would still be blasphemous because you would be simultaneously praying with your face and backside aimed towards the Ka’aba. There is also one point on the opposite ‘side’ of the earth where any direction for all 360 degrees would be facing ‘towards’ Mecca and consequently, there would be no one direction that would be the correct one.
In addition to all of the direct evidence we have provided, this is just one of the problems which indirectly indicate that the narrator/writer of the Qur’an believed in a flat earth model.
Qur’an 18:47 – Without mountains the Earth will be entirely apparent
Wayawma nusayyiru aljibala watara al-arda barizatan wahasharnahum falam nughadir minhum ahadan. And (bethink you of) the Day when we remove the hills and ye see the earth emerging, and We gather them together so as to leave not one of them behind. Qur’an 18:47
(Baarizatan = Wholey, or entirely, apparent or manifest, Land that is open, apparent, or uncovered, upon which is no mountain or any other thing.)
Qur’an 20:105-107 Without mountains the Earth will be a level plain
Wayasaloonaka AAani aljibali faqul yansifuha rabbee nasfan Fayatharuha qaAAan safsafan La tara feeha AAiwajan wala amtan. They will ask thee of the mountains (on that day). Say: My Lord will break them into scattered dust. And leave it as an empty plain, Wherein thou seest neither curve nor ruggedness. Qur’an 20:105-107-1 The word Fayatharuha (‘And he will leave it’) has the feminine ‘ha’ suffix, meaning ‘it’. It almost certainly refers to the Earth, which is not explicitly mentioned, and is a feminine noun. Similarly the word translated ‘Wherein’ is فِيهَا feeha (literally ‘in it’) and has the feminine ‘it’ suffix too. There are no other singular feminine nouns in these verses, so because we have some additional context to this verse thanks to 18:47, we should conclude that they refer to al-ard (the Earth).
(QaAAan = an even place; plain, or level, land that produces nothing; plain, or soft, land, low, and free from mountains.; Safsafan = a level, or an even, tract of land or ground.; AAiwajan = crookedness, a curvity, bending, winding, contortion, wryness, distortion, or unevenness.; Amtan = curvity, crookedness, distortion, or uneveness; ruggedness and smoothness in different places; depression and elevation; small hills and hollows.; AND AAiwajan and amtan are inconclusive regarding their implications for the shape of the Earth as a whole, but qaAAan safsafan means a level, barren plain.)
Qur’an 55:17 – The two easts and two wests
Rabbu almashriqayni warabbu almaghribayni. (He is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests. Qur’an 55:17 The commentaries (tafsirs) are unanimous that this refers to the two places where the sun rises on the summer and winter solstices (almashriqayni), and where it sets on those solstice days (almaghribayni), which also fits with the literal meanings of mashriq and maghrib. Similarly, verse Qur’an 70:40 was understood to refer to all the different places where the sun rises and sets between these ranges (almashariqi waalmagharibi). This might seem perfectly fitting for an author who believed in a flat Earth and a sun that moves around the world every day, where these locations are objective facts of cosmography. The problem is that in reality, the Earth is a spinning sphere, so that even if we consider these locations to be points on the horizon, they are entirely a matter of perspective. Any two viewpoints on Earth will have different points on the horizon where the extremities of rising and setting appear during the year, and if they are at different latitudes, then even the angular range between these perceived extremities is different too. Indeed, the entire Earth is covered with places from which the sun can appear to someone, somewhere, to rise, and similarly, to set.
Qur’an 2:22 – The heavens are a canopy / building
Allathee jaAAala lakumu al-arda firashan waalssamaa binaan waanzala mina alssama-i maan faakhraja bihi mina alththamarati rizqan lakum fala tajAAaloo lillahi andadan waantum taAAlamoona. Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth). – Qur’an 2:22 The word translated as canopy is binaa or binaan ( بِنَاء ). This word means “building”. The heavens are as a multi-story building over the earth. There are seven layers or stories to this building called the heavens. The heavens are built on a “flat” foundation called “the earth”. The tafsir of ‘ibn Kathir confirms this: …These Ayat indicate that Allah started creation by creating earth, then He made heaven into seven heavens. This is how building usually starts, with the lower floors first and then the top floors. Muslims sometimes claim “Merging here means that the night slowly and gradually changes to day and vice versa. This phenomenon can only take place if the earth is spherical. If the earth was flat, there would have been a sudden change from night to day and from day to night.” This claim is false. Consider that everyone who has ever believed in a flat Earth was aware of the gradual transition from night to day. The gradual shift from day to night and vice versa would still happen on a flat earth model. The only difference is that the flat earth model would be lit up at the same time, there would be no timezones just the same night and day for everyone. A simple experiment can be done to demonstrate the point. All that is needed is a dark room, table , nd flashlight. If the flashlight is slowed raised above the edge of the table (similar to a sunrise), a gradual shift from darkness to light will be observed. So verses 31:29 and 22:61 give no information about the Earth’s shape. They are merely observations that anyone can make. Looking now at verse 39:5, it is sometimes claimed that the word يُكَوِّرُ yukawwiru (he overlaps / winds around) implies that the Earth is round because this verb كور was used for example, for wrapping a turban around a head. The first problem with this claim is that it is very much compatible with ancient conceptions of a flat Earth with a hemisphere or spherical firmament. Similarly, verses such as Qur’an 21:33 that mention the sun and moon (as well as the night and the day) each having a falak (rounded course) do not interfere with a flat Earth model. In addition, these verses, as well as others, erroneously refer to night and day as two active entities. They are in fact simply the times when, for an observer on the surface of the Earth, they are on the sunlit or shadowed side of the planet as it rotates upon its axis. The night does not “overlap” or “wrap” around the day because there is only light, and darkness is nothing but the absence of light. The Qur’an could hardly be more wrong here. A less bad description would be to say that the Earth passes through night and day. Moreover, attempts to interpret 39:5 as the rotation of the Earth require contradictory shifts in the meaning of the words halfway through the sentence, as explained in a more detailed discussion of 39:5 on the page Geocentrism and the Qur’an. Earth is flat only from our perspective: According to the people of knowledge the Earth is round. Indeed, Ibn Hazm and other scholars have declared that there is consensus on this matter among the people of knowledge This means that all of the surface of the Earth is connected together so that the form of the planet is like a sphere. Nevertheless, Allah has spread out the Earth’s surface in relation to us, and He has placed upon it firm mountains, the seas, and life as a mercy for us. For this reason, Allah said: “And (do they not look) at the Earth, how it was spread out flat (sutihat).” [Sûrah al-Ghâshiyah:20] Therefore, the Earth has been made flat for us in regards to our relationship to it to facilitate our lives upon it and our comfort. The fact that it is round does not prevent that its surface has been made flat for us. This is because something that is round and very large, then its surface will become very vast or broad, having a flat appearance to those who are upon it.” Some Islamic websites attribute the above quote to Sheikh Ibn Bâz, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who at one time believed the Earth was flat. While some of the verses quoted in this article make reference to humans, most do not. They are describing what Allah supposedly did when creating the entire Earth, not that the Earth seems flat to a human from a small local perspective on its spherical surface (an illusion that would be dispelled for the Arabs in the 8th century as they gained astronomical knowledge). Moreover, some of these verses also mention Allah placing mountains, or the sky as a ceiling or canopy, and therefore such verses must apply to the Earth’s shape as a whole. The argument further ignores the very unambiguous choice of word in verse 88:20 quoted above, which also means a flat surface in geometry. Try as they might, apologists cannot give “flat” and “round” the same meaning. Most importantly, the argument ignores the indirect and further evidence in the Further Proof section above. That section contains the best evidence for a flat Earth cosmography in the Qur’an, stronger even than the verses that directly describe the creation of the Earth. Moreover, Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baaz, the former supreme religious authority of Saudi Arabia, believed the earth is flat, and so does Muslim Researcher on Astronomy Fadhel Al-Sa’d, who declared in a televised debate aired on Iraqi Al-Fayhaa TV (October 31, 2007) that the Earth is flat as evidenced by Qur’anic verses and that the sun is much smaller than the Earth and revolves around it. As devout Muslims, they have good reason to conclude the Earth is flat; the Qur’anic verses 15:19, 20:53, 43:10, 50:7, 51:48, 71:19, 78:6, 79:30, 88:20 and 91:6 all clearly state this and not a single verse in the Qur’an hint to a spherical earth.
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