Quran and Modern Science :: GEOIDAL FORM OF THE WORLD

30- He made the earth egg-shaped.
79-The Snatchers, 30

The Arabic word “dahw” means rotundity like that of the ostrich’s
egg. The above verse was also interpreted to refer to the shaping of
the earth in the form of an ostrich egg. Prof. Dr. Suleyman Atefl, former head of Religious Affairs in Turkey, gives the following definition
of the word, based on the famous Arabic dictionary Lisan u’l Arab:
“The word ‘dahw’ means to spread out, giving (something) a round
shape.” The word “dahw” had also been defined as a game played
with walnuts. Derived from the same stem, the word “medahi”
referred to round stones. Despite the meaning of rotundity concealed
in words derived from the word “dahw” there have been translators
for whom a spherical earth was difficult to conceive, who had to translate it as “to spread out.” The actual shape of the earth does have the
shape of an ostrich egg. Thus the shape of the earth is spheroid with
depressions at the poles. The exact figure of the earth which had
posed a problem throughout history was established by the Quran.
Even the books written a few centuries after the descent of the
Quran likened the shape of the earth to a tray. Beliefs according to
which the earth rested on the horns of an ox or was supported by a
fish reigned over mentalities in the Arabic peninsula and many
believed that earthquakes occurred when the fish down below waved
its tail. The Prophet had no ocean-going ship to cross the earth from
one extremity to the other, that would have supplied him with evidence proving the spheroid shape of the earth, nor had he a spacecraft
from which he could have had an overall view of our world that would have provided him a photographic image of it, as he was not equipped
with a camera. Our knowledge of the sphericity of the earth, which
seems to us as an established fact, was then beyond the comprehension and imagination of the majority. Therefore, the Quran’s statement to this effect failed to be grasped. Men believed that the verse
referred to the plenitude of the earth, ignoring the sense of rotundity.
Thus, at a time when most of the people believed in the shape of
earth’s figure as a tray supported by an ox or fish, the Quran had
beautifully described its actual shape. The fact that ostriches abounded in the Arabian Peninsula at the time must have permitted those
who inquired into this mystery to hold an ostrich egg in their hands
and examine it. The geoidal form is a gentle indication of this. The
subtlety of the Quran’s expressions provides men with evidence.

174- O people! Verily there has come to you an infallible
proof from your Lord. We have sent unto you a manifest
light.
4-The Women, 174

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