|At one place the Qur'an mentions that man is created from sperm and in another place it mentions that man is created from dust. Are these two verses not contradicting? How can you scientifically prove that man is created from dust?|
;1. Man created from sperm and dust
The Qur'an refers to the lowly beginnings of a human being from a drop of sperm, in several verses including the following verse from Surah Al-Qiyamah:
"Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)"? [Al-Qur'an 75:37]
The Qur'an also mentions in several places that human beings were created from dust. The following verse makes a reference to the origin of human beings:
"(Consider) that We created you out of dust". [Al-Qur'an 22:5]
We now know that all the elements present in the human body (i.e. the constituent elements of the human body), are all present in the earth in small or great quantities. This is the scientific explanation for the Qur'anic verse that says that man was created from dust.
In certain verses, the Qur'an says that man was created from sperm, while in certain other verses it says that man was created from dust. However this is not a contradiction. Contradiction means statements, which are opposite or conflicting and both cannot be true simultaneously.
2. Man created from water
In certain places the Qur'an also says that man was created from water. For instance in Surah Al-Furqan it says:
"It is He Who has created man from water". [Al-Qur'an 25:54]
Science has proved all the three statements to be correct. Man has been created from sperm, dust as well as water.
3. It is not a Contradiction but a Contradistinction
Suppose I say that in order to make a cup of tea one needs water. One also needs tea-leaves or tea powder. The two statements are not contradictory since both water and tea leaves are required in order to make a cup of tea. Furthermore if I want sweet tea I can even add sugar.
Thus there is no contradiction in the Qur'an when it says that man is created from sperm, dust and water. It is not a contradiction but a contradistinction. Contradistinction means speaking about two different concepts on the same subject without conflict. For instance if I say that the man is always truthful and a habitual liar, it is a contradiction, but if I say that a man is always honest, kind and loving, then it is a contradistinction.
1. Qur'an mentions Allah is the Lord of two Easts and two Wests
The verse of the Qur'an which refers to Allah being the Lord of two easts and two wests is the following verse from Surah Ar-Rahman:
"(He is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests:" [Al-Qur'an 55:17]
In the original Arabic script, the words east and west have been used in the dual form. It implies that Allah is the Lord of two easts and two wests.
2. Allah is the Lord of both the extremes of East and West
The science of geography tells us that the sun rises from the east, but the point of sunrise keeps shifting throughout the year. Only on two days of the year known as 'equinox', does the sun rise exactly from due east. On the remaining days, it rises either from a little north or a little south of due east. During summer solstice the sun rises from one extreme of the east and during winter solstice it rises from the other extreme. Similarly, the sun sets in one extreme of the west in summer solstice. It sets in the other extreme of the west in winter solstice. This phenomenon can be easily seen in Bombay or any other city, by people living in certain areas, or in tall skyscraper buildings, from where the rising or setting of sun can be seen. They are able to notice that during the summer solstice the sun rises from one extreme of east and during winter solstice it rises from the other extreme of east. In short, through out the year, the sun keeps rising from different points of the east and sets on different points of the west. Thus when the Qur'an refers to Allah as the Lord of two easts and two wests, it means that Allah is the Lord of both the extremes of east and both the extremes of west.
3. Allah is the Lord of all the points of the East and West
Arabic language has two types of plurals. One is the dual plural i.e. the plural that implies the existence of two. The other is the plural for more than two, i.e. three and above. In Surah Rahman verse 17 the Arabic words used are mashriqaini and magribaini which are in dual plural and therefore imply two easts and two wests.
Consider the following verse of the Qur'an:
"Now I do call to witness the Lord of all points in the East and the West." [Al-Qur'an 70:40]
The Arabic words for east and west used in this verse are mashaariqi and magharibi'which are plurals that imply the existence of more than two.
We can thus conclude that the Qur'an refers to Allah being the Lord of all the points in the east and all the points of the west, as well as the Lord of both the extreme points of east and both the extreme points of west.
A particular verse of the Qur'an says that one day in the sight of Allah is equal to 1000 years. In another verse of the Qur'an it says that one day is equal to 50,000 years. Isn't the Qur'an contradicting itself?
1. Time of Allah is incomparable to earthly time
The Qur'an says in two verses, (22:47 and 32:5), that the measure of one day in the sight of Allah is equal to 1,000 years of our reckoning. In another verse (70:4) it says that the measure of one day in the sight of Allah is equal to 50,000 years of our reckoning.
These verses generally mean that the time of Allah (swt) is incomparable to the earthly time. The examples given are of one thousand years and fifty thousand years of the earthly time. In other words thousands of years or a very, very long time of the earth a day in the sight of Allah is equal to:
2. Yaum also means Period
The Arabic word used in all these three verses is yaum, which, besides meaning a day also means a long period, or an epoch. If you translate the word yaum correctly as 'period' there will be no confusion.
a) The verse from Surah Hajj reads as:
"Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! but Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning". [Al-Qur'an 22:47]
When the unbelievers asked to hasten the punishment the Qur'an says Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily a period in the sight of Allah is like a thousand years of your reckoning.
b) The verse from Surah Al-Sajdah says:
"He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs) go up? To Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning". [Al-Qur'an 32:5]
This verse indicates that a period required for all the affairs to go up to Allah (swt), is a thousand years of our reckoning.
c) A verse from Surah Al-Maarij says:
"The angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years". [Al-Qur'an 70:4]
This verse means that the period required for angels and the spirits to ascend unto Allah (swt) is fifty thousand years.
d) The period for two different acts need not be the same. For example the period required for me to travel to destination 'A' say Vashi is one hour and the period required for me to travel to destination 'B' i.e. Kashmir is 50 hours. This does not indicate that I am making two contradictory statements.
Thus the verses of the Qur'an not only do not contradict each other, they are also in perfect harmony with established modern scientific facts.
1. Incidence of Iblis and Angels mentioned in the Qur'an
The story of Adam and Iblis is mentioned in the Qur'an in various places in which Allah (swt) says, "We said to the angels bow down to Adam: and they bowed down: not so Iblis".
This is mentioned in:
Surah Al Baqarah chapter 2 verse 43
Surah Al 'Araf chapter 7 verse 17
Surah Al Hijr chapter 15 verses 28-31
Surah Al Isra chapter 17 verse 61
Surah Ta Ha chapter 20 verse 116
Surah Sad chapter 38 verses 71-74
But in Surah Al Kahf chapter 18 verse 50 the Qur'an says:
"Behold! We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam." they bowed down except Iblis He was one of the Jinns." [Al-Qur'an 18:50]
2. Arabic Rule Of Tagleeb
The English translation of the first part of the verse 'We said to the angels bow down to Adam: they bowed down except Iblis', gives us the impression that Iblis was an angel. The Qur'an was revealed in Arabic. In Arabic grammar there is a rule known as Tagleeb, according to which, if the majority is addressed, even the minority is included. If for example, I address a class containing 100 students of whom 99 are boys and one is a girl, and if I say in Arabic that the boys should stand up, it includes the girl as well. I need not mention her seperately.
Similarly in the Qur'an, when Allah addressed the angels, even Iblis was present, but it is not required that he be mentioned separately. Therefore according to that sentence Iblis may be an angel or may not be an angel, but we come to know from Surah Al Kahf chapter 18 verse 50 that Iblis was a Jinn. No where does the Qur'an say Iblis was an angel. Therefore there is no contradiction in the Qur'an.
3. Jinns have free will and can disobey Allah
Secondly, Jinns have a free will and may or may not obey Allah, but angels have no free will and always obey Allah. Therefore the question of an angel disobeying Allah does not arise. This further supplements that Iblis was a Jinn and not an angel
According to Arun Shourie there is a mathematical error in the Qur'an. In chapter 4 verses 11 and 12 when you add up the differ-ent parts of inheritance given to the heirs, it is more than one. Therefore the author of the Qur'an does not know mathematics.
The Qur'an mentions about inheritance in many places, in
Surah Al Baqarah chapter 2 verse 180
Surah Al Baqarah chapter 2 verse 240
Surah Al Nisa chapter 4 verses 7 to 9
Surah Al Nisa chapter 4 verses19 and 33
Surah Al Ma'idah chapter 5 verses 105 and 108
Regarding the share of inheritance it is clearly given in Surah Nisa chapter 4 verse 11, 12 and 176.
Let us examine the verses quoted by Arun Shourie, i.e. Surah Nisa chapter 4 verses 11 and 12:
"Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half.
For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise."
"In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts." [Al-Qur'an 4:11-12]
Islam explains the law of inheritance in great detail. The broad and basic outline is given in the Qur'an and the minute details are given in the Ahadith i.e. the tradition and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh).
A person can spend his full life only on the research of the Islamic law of inheritance with its various permutations and combinations. Arun Shourie expects to know the law only by superficially reading two verses of the Qur'an without knowing the criteria.
It is similar to a person who wants to solve a mathematical equation but does not know the basic rule of mathematics, i.e. BODMAS which says that in a mathematical equation, irrespective of which mathematical sign appears first, you will first solve BODMAS: 1st
Brackets Off, 2nd Division, 3rd Multiplication, 4th Addition and 5th Subtraction. If Arun Shourie does not know mathematics and first does multiplication then subtraction, then brackets off, then division and finally addition, the answer that he will obtain is bound to be wrong.
Similarly, when the Qur'an mentions the law of inheritance in Surah Nisa chapter 4 verses 11 and 12, even though the children's share is mentioned first and then that of the parents and spouses, according to the law of inheritance in Islam after paying off the debts and liabilities first, the share is given to the spouses and the parents depending on whether the deceased has left children or not, and whatever portion of wealth is remaining is divided between the sons and the daughters according to their respective shares.
So where does the question arise of the total coming to more than one? So it is not Allah who does not know mathematics but it is Arun Shourie himself who is ignorant about mathematics
1. Allah is most Merciful
The Qur'an says several times that Allah is the most Merciful. In fact all the 114 Surahs i.e. chapters of the Glorious Qur'an except for Surah Taubah chapter 9, begin with the beautiful formula, Bismillah-hir-Rahman-nir-Rahim, which means, "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
2. Allah is Forgiving
The Glorious Qur'an mentions in several verses including Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 25 and Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 74:
"And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
3. Allah gives severe punishment to the deserving
Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving is also strict in giving punishment to the deserving. The Qur'an mentions in several verses that Allah will give severe punishment to the unbelievers and rejecters of faith. He will give punishment to all those who disobey Him. Several verses of the Qur'an describe the various types of severe punishment that Allah will give in hell to all those who disobey.
"Those who reject our Signs, we shall soon cast into the Fire; as often as their skins
Are roasted through, we shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise". [Al-Qur'an 4:56]
4. Allah is Just
The question is, whether Allah is forgiving or revengeful? An important point to be noted is that Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving, He also has to give severe punishment to the deserving wicked or evil people, because He is also Just. The Qur'an mentions in Surah Nisa:
"Allah is never unjust in the least degree". [Al-Qur'an 4:40]
It is further mentioned in Surah Al-Ambiya:
"We shall set up scales of justice for the day of Judgement, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, we will bring it (to account): and enough are we to take account". [Al-Qur'an 21:47]
5. Example: Teacher forgives a student who copies in the examination
If during an examination, a student copies and the teacher who supervises in the examination catches the student red-handed, the teacher says that he is very merciful and kind and forgives him and allows him to continue copying. Those students who have worked hard for the examination will not call the teacher merciful and kind but will call him unjust. This merciful act of the teacher will encourage the other students to also copy. If all the teachers are merciful and kind and allow the students to copy then no student will ever study for examinations and all will pass with flying colours by copying. The theoretical results of the examinations will be excellent in which all the students will pass with first class and distinction but practically these students will be a failure in life. The whole purpose of the examination would be defeated.
6. This Life is a Test for the Hereafter
The life in this world is a test for the Hereafter. The Qur'an says in Surah Al Mulk:
"He who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving". [Al-Qur'an 67:2]
7. If Allah forgives all and punishes none, who will obey him?
If Allah (swt) forgives each and every human being and punishes no one, then why should the human beings obey the command of Allah (swt)? I do agree that no one will go to hell, but this world would become hell to live in. If all human beings are going to go to heaven then what is the purpose and use of the human beings to come to this world, this life cannot be called a test for the hereafter.
8. Allah only forgives if a person repents
Allah (swt) only forgives if a person repents. The Qur'an says in Surah Al-Zumar, chapter 39 verse 53-55:
"Say: 'O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
"Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (will), before the penalty comes on you - after that ye shall not be helped."
"And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you - of a sudden, while ye perceive not!" [Al-Qur'an 39:53-55]
There are four criteria for repentance: First, agree that the act is wrong. Secondly, stop it immediately. Thirdly, never do it again in future. And lastly, compensate for the loss if caused to anyone.