QURAN AND MODERN SCIENCE :THE ORBIT OF THE MOON

39- And the moon. We have measured for it mansions. Till
it returns like an old curved palm tree branch.
36-Ya-Seen, 39a

In comparison with other satellites of the solar system, the moon is a
very large one. Competing theories have been developed regarding
the formation of the moon. According to the one most widely accepted, the earth must have collided with a celestial body, the impact
parcelling out a big mass from the earth’s crust that was eventually to
turn into the moon. Although this may not be the true story, recent
data obtained – with the help of the Lunar Prospector, the American
probing instrument – seem to corroborate this theory.
There are, in the Quran, many references to the moon and its
movements. The data provided by modern scientific findings demonstrated how necessary the moon is for life on earth. The moon with its
great volume, a well-designed distance in terms of proportions of a
satellite, fixes the earth’s center of rotation. This makes possible the
climatic conditions of our planet, creating the ideal medium for life on
it. This situation has been going on for billions of years. There are scientists who contend that the core of our world preserves its liquid
form thanks to the gravity exerted by the moon. This protects our
planet’s magnetic field .Had there been no magnetic field, the cosmic radiation would
destroy life on the earth. Had it not been for the moon, it is estimated that the earth would have rotated about its axis in ten hours, which
would seriously affect the life on earth. The moon’s exerting its attraction on oceans slowed down its rotation. All these formations, including the mass and the spinning velocity
of the moon, are the result of infinitesimal calculations made at the
time of creation by God. God used the word “qadar” (measured) for
the mathematics to which He had recourse. We are not going to dwell
on the erroneous interpretation of this concept haphazardly contrived
in the name of religion. In Verse 39 of the sura Ya-Seen, the mathematical arrangement is expressed by the word “qadar.” The moon’s
distance from the earth, its mass and the velocity of its revolution, its
position in relation to the sun and gravity are calculated with mathematical precision. Its “qadar” has been predetermined. The slightest
variation in these calculations would bring life on earth to an end. The
moon is not only the actor of romantic nights, the object of inspiration of poets, but also the sine qua non friend of life on earth.

OLD CURVED PALM TREE BRANCH

The moon orbits earth in 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes and 11 seconds. The Arabic word “qamar” meaning “moon” is used 27 times in
the Quran. (The miraculous character of this shall be dealt with in the
coming pages.) The moon’s orbit around the earth traces a sinuosity.
While the earth travels around the sun, the moon revolves about the
earth in a variable orbit, tracing a curvature, a sinuosity, a spiral. The
same face is always presented to the earth. The curve it traces is reminiscent of a curved branch. The Arabic word used to designate the
orbit of the moon is “urjun,” the curved palm tree branch. This
branch is qualified by the attribute “old” that denotes a thinner and
more curved branch. The simile beautifully describes the orbit traced
by the moon about the earth. As the moon orbits around the earth it has a sinuous orbit that looks like an old
curved palm tree branch. The illustration here demonstrates the moon’s orbit
through space.

MOON’S DEPENDENCE ON THE SUN

1- By the sun and its brightness
2- And the moon that follows it.
91-The Sun, 1-2

In the verses above, the moon’s relation to the sun is described. The
Arabic word “talaa” means a “follower,” “a hanger-on.” The moon
revolves around the sun together with the earth of which it is a satellite; they follow in the footsteps of the sun. Both the moon and our
world are dependent on the sun’s motion. They displace while pursuing the sun. The moon and the earth revolve around a moving sun.
The Quran’s revelation about the moon’s dependence on the sun is
another miracle that leaves us in awe.

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