6.4.4 REPLY TO SDFJ’S – ATOM, RE- INTERPRETING THE QURAN POST

Sdfj said: Oct 24, 2008 in response to my article “6.4 Divisibility Of Atom In The Quran

“Both the translations you cite were published well after John Dalton’s theory of the atom. Translations before Dalton used “ant” or “speck of dust” in place of atom. This is obviously a case of reinterpreting the Quran in light of modern science”

My Response:

I agree that it is a clear case of re-interpreting the Quran in the light of modern science. But there is nothing wrong in it if the re-interpretation is more accurate and correct than the previous interpretations. In fact, it is the responsibility of educated people like you and me to re – interpret these verses if it serves the purpose of giving a better, more accurate and more closer meaning with respect to the original text.

That said, let me prove now to you that the reinterpretation of the word “Atom” from “ant” or “speck of dust” was in fact absolutely correct. I understand that you may not trust the Quranic translators. So I will prove to you that the above verses actually and definitely talk about “Atom” even by the standards of non Muslims. Perhaps then you will agree.

This is the actual Arabic text of Quran 10:61 (you don’t need to understand them. Just observe)

In the above verse, notice the highlighted Arabic word in red color? Well, that is the word that translates as “Atom” to me and as “speck of dust” or “ant” to you. Now let’s see what other non Muslims have got to tell about this word.
Google translator tool says: – The Atom means ال ذرة
You don’t need to know Arabic to know that the word in the Quranic verse and this one are the same. ال means “The” and ذرة means “Atom”.

Follow these steps to verify to yourselves: –

Step 1: open the Google translator tool http://translate.google.com/

Step 2: type the word “The Atom” in the given text field

Step 3: Set the translator options (found right below the text box) as ENGLISH >> ARABIC

Step 4: Hit the TRANSLATE button and see the result for yourselves.

I’ve got more. Microsoft also agrees with me.

Microsoft Office Word (2007) says: – Atom means ذرة

Follow these steps to verify: –

Step 1: Open Microsoft Office Word and type “Atom” on a blank page

Step 2: Select the word and right click. Choose “Translate” and again “Translate”.

Step 3: For “From” and “To” options give “English” and “Arabic” respectively. The result will be shown immediately.

For your ease I’ve tabulated the results: –

Quran says: –
Google translator says: –
Microsoft Office Word says: –
means “Atom”
ال ذرة means “The Atom”
ذرة means “Atom”

So brother/sister the Quranic verse definitely represents “Atom” and this is agreed by all – Muslims and non Muslims.

But brother/sister I haven’t told you the funny part yet. The reason why the Quranic translators may have used “speck of dust” or “ant” instead of “Atom” before Dalton is because the word “Atom” itself did not exist before Dalton! It was Dalton who coined the word “Atom”.

“Over 23 centuries later, this concept for matter was adopted by John Dalton, who coined the word atom.”

Giant Molecules By Charles E. Carraher, Charles E. Carraher, Jr., Raymond Benedict Seymour. Page 8

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=o37GjJRK4F4C&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=who+coined+the+word+%22Atom%22%3F&source=web&ots=6JtaSStYlw&sig=E4p3glChEbmmio8TmAdsren2Fm0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result

So you see, it is totally ridiculous to expect the Quranic translators to use the word “Atom” even before it was coined. But now that we all are familiar with “Atom” it was rightfully re – interpreted in the light of not just modern science, but also modern English. I hope that clears the matter.

–>Next Proof–>

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5 responses to “6.4.4 REPLY TO SDFJ’S – ATOM, RE- INTERPRETING THE QURAN POST

  1. Note from Moderator Mansoor – The brother sdfj is the same as brother Aardvark

    This doesn’t make any sense at all. As you admit, the use of this Arabic word to refer to the English word “atom” came hundreds of years after the Quran was written. So obviously Muhammad did not have this definition in mind when he authored the Quran, because that definition did not exist at the time!

    It is absurd to say that this verse is talking about modern atoms, and that it somehow anticipated the electron. Do you think Muslims were scratching their head over this verse for 1300 years, that none of them had any idea what it was talking about, because the electron hadn’t been discovered yet? Of course not! Did any Muslims disagree with Dalton’s atomic theory on indivisible atoms based on this verse? No, none did.

    This practice of reinterpreting verses to make them appear to be predictions of recent scientific discoveries is silly. If these verses really were predictions, their predictive quality wouldn’t need to be “discovered” after the predictions were fulfilled.

    Also, the Quran was not translated from English to Arabic, but the other way around. Try translating that word from Arabic to English. Google says it means “corn,” not “atom” – which is reasonable, because “corn” also originally meant “something small.” That “atom” happens to translate to the same word only means that there was no better Arabic term for the newly discovered particles. It does not mean that “atom” is the closest English word to that Arabic term.

    Oh, and John Dalton did not coin the word “atom.” It has been in use in English since “sometime before 1258.” (See http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/atom ). Newton wrote about atoms in his book Opticks, in 1704; Robert Boyle wrote about then in his Sceptical Chymist in 1661, and Sir Francis Bacon wrote about atoms in his Principles and Origins in the early 1600s. So Quranic translators could easily have used the word “atom” before John Dalton’s atomic theory, but they did not.

    Dalton was hardly the first person to suggest that matter was made of atoms. I mean, there’s only two options: either matter can be infinitely divided, or it cannot.

    Dalton discovered the atom in the modern sense: the realization that atoms are identical for a given element, that atoms cannot be changed chemically, that compounds are formed from multiple types of atoms in a chemical combination, that hydrogen is the lightest atom, and he calculated the weight of some atoms relative to hydrogen.

    I see nothing in the Quran that anticipated any of this, let alone the electron.

  2. Moderator mansoor - This is in reply to my work above and not brother Aardvark's post

    MashAllah makes sense..good research

  3. I understand brother Aardvark, that you will not believe come what may. It doesn’t matter who coined the word atom or when. Even if the word was available to the translators and if still they did not use it in the translations, then they did a splendid and wise job according to me or any other sensible person.

    We both agreed on the fact that Dalton’s Atom was something that was not divisible. To him and all the people, “Atom” , at that time was unbreakable. But the atom of the Quran happens to be a “breakable” one. For this very reason, there was no point in using the term “Atom” at that time.

    The usage of the word “Atom” at those times would have been a clear error. So you see, the Quranic translators of the old did a splendid job of not referring the word under discussion as “ATOM” back then.

    And now about the translation of the word in Google. Going by your statement that Quran was translated from Arabic to English and not the other way I did verify your claims of “corn”.

    This Arabic word ذَرَّةٍ translates as “corn” in Google translator alright. But did you cross check it in Microsoft Office Word too? In word it still translates as “Atom”. Verify it yourselves. By this it is clear that the word ذَرَّةٍ has two different meanings depending on the context of use. One is “Corn” and the other is “Atom”.

    Since I am not a pessimist who is in denial of plain things, in this particular context I take “Atom” to be the right meaning. Using “corn” in the verse is nothing short of foolery as it doesn’t need Muslims to scratch their heads or God to drop a book from heaven to discover that corn is divisible.

    I also notice that you are obsessed with the Quran not giving enough info about Atom. This is what you said: –

    Dalton discovered the atom in the modern sense: the realization that atoms are identical for a given element, that atoms cannot be changed chemically, that compounds are formed from multiple types of atoms in a chemical combination, that hydrogen is the lightest atom, and he calculated the weight of some atoms relative to hydrogen.I see nothing in the Quran that anticipated any of this, let alone the electron.

    Perhaps you did not understand when I told you the first time that Allah did not reveal the Quran to help you clear your term end exams in physics.
    It is a book that is meant to bridge the communication gap between the creator and his creation – us. It is a book to tell us things like the purpose of our existence, things that our creator wants us to do, things that our creator will do to us if we do or don’t do those things, his promises, his rewards, his glory and other such things.
    The Scientific facts contained in it are ONLY to prove you that it is from him. Or is it that you expect the people of this modern age to solely rely on fantasy miracles like turning water into wine (like the bible) etc etc in order to prove that it is from God?

    Your pessimism makes me think that you won’t believe even if the Quran really did tell you EVERYTHING about Atoms. Here is a small tit bit from the Quran to you: –

    “As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.
    Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).”

    Noble Quran 2:6-7

    I sincerely hope brother that you leave this pessimism and at the same time keep up with the great spirit of enquiry that you have.

    I’am not asking you to believe that Quran is from God by just giving ONE proof. I understand that it takes more than this for a book to be from God. I only ask for your patience and Inshallah (God willing) I will give all the necessary proofs in due time.
    -mansoor

  4. I wonder if “brother” Aardvark is a plant. He talks a lot but shows no more insight into the facts of history than your article, and he even repeats your mistakes in not talking about ALL of the quote you linked (such as the Democritus and 450 BC information) making him an ideal strawman.
    Let me step up and make a stab at refuting you.
    First off I remove your favorite weapon; I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN. I left that religion by the age of 15 because of the paradoxes and hypocrisy in the name of Deity.
    I AM however a theolgian and writer on deity as well as sceince and politics who feels most religous figures and most politicians have no more lock on “the Truth” than anyone else.
    While I understand your faith permits, and even commands you to lie and deceive if it protects or furthers that faith I find the level of disengenuousness here stunning.
    1) The THEORY of the Atom was proposed by Democritus almost a THOUSAND YEARS before the birth of Mohammed. The other main theory was of continuous matter made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. BOTH bring USEFUL INSIGHTS BUT, BOTH WERE WRONG!
    The idea that matter was divisible as mass ONLY DOWN TO A CERTAIN POINT where matter would become”unreal” was never propsed by ANYONE ANYTIME until quantum theory came around in the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s and made predictions that seemed nonsensical but HAVE NEVER BEEN PROVEN LACKING IN THE LABORATORY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! In fact, the MOST counterintuitive, least likely predictions of QT have been proven out in tests. The latest was a final refutation of Einseins last idea on how it might be invalidated. Look up Alain Aspect’s series of experiments in the 1980’s
    HOW can you claim that anyone got the word atom, or the concept, from a man who lived over nine hundred years AFTER the Greek who first proposed the idea AND word?
    Do you really depend on no one READING the full quote, and seeing that the word ATOMOS was coined 2400 years ago?
    The bottom line is that the entire Greek theory of atoms was limited in it’s accuracy and does NOT convey what we now KNOW to be the truth; and that hardly needs to be said, since you claim the CONCEPT was somehow lifted from the Quran 1,200 years BEFORE the Quran was written. This does not compute, to put it mildy.

  5. @ Guy DeWhitney –

    Nope- Brother Aardvark is definitely not a plant. He talks more sense than you. His refutations were real, accurate, to the point, challenging and fun to reply back unlike yours.Now lets disect your comment part by part

    you said –

    “The THEORY of the Atom was proposed by Democritus almost a THOUSAND YEARS before the birth of Mohammed. The other main theory was of continuous matter made up of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. BOTH bring USEFUL INSIGHTS BUT, BOTH WERE WRONG!”

    OK – this is fine with me. No one is talking here about who proposed the theory of Atom first. Here were are talking about who proposed the CORRECT theory of Atom first.

    you said –

    “The idea that matter was divisible as mass ONLY DOWN TO A CERTAIN POINT where matter would become”unreal” was never propsed by ANYONE ANYTIME until quantum theory came around in the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s and made predictions that seemed nonsensical but HAVE NEVER BEEN PROVEN LACKING IN THE LABORATORY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! In fact, the MOST counterintuitive, least likely predictions of QT have been proven out in tests. The latest was a final refutation of Einseins last idea on how it might be invalidated. Look up Alain Aspect’s series of experiments in the 1980’s”

    you are beating around the bush. The Quran never says that matter can be divisible “as mass ONLY DOWN TO A CERTAIN POINT where matter would become unreal”. It merely says that “Atoms” can be divisible. So please dont group the Quranic theory with the other theories of old and talk as if they are all one and the same. While the other theories have an end point – ie an indivisible or unreal particle beyond which no division can take place, the Quran doesnt have any such end point. So what part of Qurans claim are you trying to refute here? Maybe you wrote all that stuff for general Knowledge. Must be.

    you said –

    “HOW can you claim that anyone got the word atom, or the concept, from a man who lived over nine hundred years AFTER the Greek who first proposed the idea AND word? Do you really depend on no one READING the full quote, and seeing that the word ATOMOS was coined 2400 years ago?”

    You are a liar. Democritus – the greek man whom you are talking about did not coin the word “Atom”. He used “Atomos”. and You lie again. I never claimed that Muhammad ( peace) got his concept from this guy. Oh dude! does it really matter who coined what word when? All that matters is did anyone say before the Quran that Atom is divisible? No. that is all that matters.

    That greek guys theory is totally different from the Qurans theory. Greeks guys Atom is indivisible. But Qurans Atom IS divisible. Yet you talk as if they are one and the same. And you say brother Aardvark is a plant? Your refutations doesnt even come close to his in terms of sensibilty and validity. I wonder what you write. Please read Ardvarks refutations and see his level. They are the kind of refutations that deserve replys.

    and what is this: –

    “The bottom line is that the entire Greek theory of atoms was limited in it’s accuracy and does NOT convey what we now KNOW to be the truth; and that hardly needs to be said, since you claim the CONCEPT was somehow lifted from the Quran 1,200 years BEFORE the Quran was written. This does not compute, to put it mildy.”

    And now you accuse that i said “Democritus copied from Quran”? Dude… you are very talented for becoming a lawyer for USA. You could easily save all the asses of the inhuman military commanders stationed at Abu gharib or guantanamo bay by proving that they were actually on a vocation on seychelles or mauritius during the entire Iraqi invasion.

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