We read the Quran so you don’t have to.

13: Thunder (Part 1 — Pillars and mountains and fruit, oh my.)

with 27 comments

Hey, did you know that the sun revolves around a flat earth?  Well it does.  At least according to the Quran:

(2) It is God who raised the skies without support, as you can see, then assumed His throne, and enthralled the sun and the moon (so that) each runs to a predetermined course. He disposes all affairs, distinctly explaining every sign that you may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.
(3) It is He who stretched the earth and placed upon it stabilisers and rivers; and made two of a pair of every fruit; (and) He covers up the day with the night. In these are signs for those who reflect.

Oh I’m reflecting alright.  I’m reflecting real hard.

These two verses smell funny.  There are those suspicious sounding “skies without support” and “predetermined course” bits.  Plus the word “stabilisers.”  And the odd mention of fruit. I checked some other translations to see what’s up.  Lookie lookie what I found.  I bolded the good parts:

A. J. Arberry:
(2) God is He who raised up the heavens without pillars you can see, then He sat Himself upon the Throne. He subjected the sun and the moon, each one running to a term stated. He directs the affair; He distinguishes the signs; haply you will have faith in the encounter with your Lord.
(3) It is He who stretched out the earth and set therein firm mountains and rivers, and of every fruit He placed there two kinds, covering the day with the night. Surely in that are signs for a people who reflect.

Pillars.  Pillars!  PILLARS!!  Oh, lawsie mercy, I’m reflecting so hard, I shit my pants.  Holy flat earth, Batman.  The sun also moves and the earth was stretched out.  And those stabilisers Ahmed Ali was talking about?  They’re mountains.  I still have no idea what’s up with the fruit thing.

Here’s another translation:

(2) Allah it is Who raised up the heavens without visible supports, then mounted the Throne, and compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each runneth unto an appointed term; He ordereth the course; He detaileth the revelations, that haply ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.
(3) And He it is Who spread out the earth and placed therein firm hills and flowing streams, and of all fruits He placed therein two spouses (male and female). He covereth the night with the day. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought.

Visible supports?  Nice verbal gymnastics, Pickthall!  How far up your ass did you have to reach to pull that one out?  (My guess is to the elbows, at least.)  The sun runs an appointed term around an earth that was spread out.  Spread out has been the most incriminating one so far.  The stabilisers aren’t quite mountains in Pickthall’s world — they’re just firm hills.  As opposed to what?  Soft hills?  Squishy hills?  And, of course, there’s the fruit again.  Still have nothing on that one.

Yusuf Ali:
(2) Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.
(3) And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o’er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider!

Yusuf Ali’s text puts me to sleep.  Seriously.  Who says “o’er” anyway?

  • Pillars?  Check.
  • Revolving sun?  Check.
  • Earth was spread out?  Check.
  • Mountains and/or hills? Check.
  • Fruit?  Checkitty check.

So there you have it.  Flat earth in the Quran, consistent in all the translations I looked up.

I love how all of this is supposed to serve as evidence of God.  A “sign that you may be certain of the meeting with your Lord.”  You know what?  I’m not certain of what happens after we die.  But one thing seems pretty blatantly obvious to me:  this dude who thinks the sun revolves around the earth and uses this information to convince me of his existence?  Pretty sure I won’t be meeting him because he’s a phony.

(4) On the earth are tracts adjoining one another, and vineyards, fields of corn and date-palm trees, some forked, some with single trunks, yet all irrigated by the self-same water, though We make some more excellent than the others in fruit. There are surely signs in them for those who understand.

OK, I get it.  They lived in the desert, so you had to tell them about things they’d understand.  Things like date-palm trees (which come in forked and unforked varieties).  But I would have been way more impressed if God had described — I dunno — the coming of the internet.  Or something that hasn’t been so fucking obvious since forever.

I mean, seriously?  Water makes plants grow?  How hard is that one to figure out?  You come out of your little hut the day after it’s rained and see that the grass is taller and more lush.  And that happens every time it rains.  Ooh ooh ahh ahh, water make plant grow.  It’s not exactly rocket science.  Then again, we’re talking about people who believe in an invisible sky man and his invisible friends made out of fire and smoke, so you can’t expect too much.

(7) The unbelievers say: “Why no miracle was sent down to him by his Lord?” But you are only a bearer of warnings, and a guide for every nation.
(8) God is cognisant of what every female carries in her womb, or what the wombs want or exceed (of their disburdening time). With Him all things are in determined measure.

Did you catch how God totally dodges the question and answers it with something completely different?  How come Mo can’t perform any miracles?  Uhhh…he’s there to warn and guide you.  Also, God knows what’s inside women’s uteruses.  He know everything.  Next question!

Ugh, I’m having flashbacks of the Vice Presidential debates…

The whole “what the wombs want” thing pissed me off when I read it.  First off, a womb does not think.  It does not want anything.  And secondly, every woman wants to fill her womb up with a baby?  Really?  Lucky for me, nobody told my womb that before it shut the factory doors and went on a permanent vacation.

(12) It is He who makes the lightning flash for fear and hope, and raises massive clouds.
(13) The thunder sings His praises, and the angels too, for awe of Him. He sends thunder-bolts and strikes whosoever He will with them: Even then it is God they contend about! But mighty is He in (His) power.

Did anyone else get an image of God sitting on a cloud shooting lightning bolts at people’s asses?  No?  Just me then?  Fair enough. In all seriousness, this verse is pretty much saying that God is Zeus.  Man.  If only we could figure out how and why thunder and lightning occur, we could toss aside this pathetic argument for God’s existence.  …oh wait.

And finally, here’s my favorite verse so far:

(15) Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth bows to God in submission with a will or perforce, as do their shadows in the morning and evening.

Double you.  Tee.  Eff.  Everyone — literally everyone — bows down to God twice a day, regardless of whether they’re doing it on purpose.  Also, shadows bow down to God twice a day.  Most likely when the people they’re attached to bow down to God twice a day.  Since, you know…they’re just shadows.  Yeah.

That’s all I’ve got for part 1.  Part 2’s coming up, babies.  Stay tuned!


Written by kafirgirl

November 5, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Quran

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27 Responses

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  1. http://thewhitedsepulchre.blogspot.com/2008/11/shariah-law.html

    Please let me know whether this story is accurate.


    Allen In Fort Worth

    The Whited Sepulchre

    November 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  2. The flat earth etc. is the same in the bible. Here’s a repost from a ways back. It’s a bit to read but well worth in my opinion.

    Did god create everything?

    Not in the bible. One only need to read Genesis 1:1 – 1:10 to see that there was a water universe of chaos preexisting that god created the heaven and earth within.

    The cosmogony written is Genesis (and else where) is clearly taken from the older Enuma elish and mixed with other myths of the time..


    As is the “Firmament” which science has long since proven to be false, which is backed up by the Father religion (Jews) as well as it’s bastard child Christianity.



    November 5, 2008 at 11:29 pm

  3. or what the wombs want or exceed (of their disburdening time)

    I think that he’s saying that god knows when the wombs are going to spit the babies out (disburden them), whether it’s short of (want) or after (exceed) the due date.


    November 6, 2008 at 12:17 am

  4. WhitedSepulchre: That story was carried by the BBC and NY Times to my certain knowledge, and Amnesty have issued a statement about it, so it seems pretty likely. There are some doubts about the details – some have claimed the victim was a 23-year old who walked up to the beardies and said ‘Hi, I’m an adulterer, please put me in a hole and stone me until I’m dead’. Amazingly, some Muslim apologists have been arguing that her being 23 and guilty of adultery actually makes it OK that she was stoned to death. “We’d never do it if she was THIRTEEN! We’re not barbarians you know…”


    November 6, 2008 at 1:30 am

  5. (N. Fidell translation.)

    (2) It is God who raised the skies without wearing a supporter, as you see he has no balls, then took His seat upon the throne, for he had been holding it for eternity, and let loose a blast that set the sun and moon to spinning in their courses. After doing his business, he properly disposed of his scat, in the manner of Ceiling Cat, distinctly leaving clear sign for trackers to follow, that they may be certain of finding Him.

    (3) It is His heavenly dump that filled and stretched the earth to bursting, and He who upon it shat mountains and pissed rivers; His godly guano doubled the growth of every fruit; He blotted out the day with his night soil. Behold! In all things god has left His sign for those who recognize it.


    November 6, 2008 at 2:59 am

  6. The Whited Sepulchre – Here’s the BBC report:


    November 6, 2008 at 4:46 am

  7. and fruit of every kind He made in pairs

    uh, seriously, what up with the pairs of fruit thing?

    Nice blog, by the way, just felt the need to comment on this post after reading through the whole thing. This pretty much convinced me that there was indeed a religion more messed up than Christianity in terms of irrational holy book content.

    Perquisitor Omnia

    November 6, 2008 at 5:12 am

  8. “(3) It is he who stretched the earth and placed upon it stabilisers”

    So if I follow this correctly, once we’ve all got used to cycling the earth around in circles, Al will take of the stabilisers and we’ll get to try it out for real?


    November 6, 2008 at 5:43 am

  9. Manigen — we’ve been on training wheels this whole time!


    November 6, 2008 at 9:22 am

  10. In re fruit: many plant species are unisexual having reproductive structures that are female or male. This is my stab at the meaning behind the “two kinds” of fruit statement.


    November 6, 2008 at 10:51 am

  11. Ah, so it is Allah who gave us a nice pear! (pair)? :)

    Dave W

    November 6, 2008 at 10:57 am

  12. Well, I guess that twice a day your shadow does lie flat and “prostrate” on the ground in the morning and the afternoon, when the sun is lower on the horizon. In the middle of the day, when the sun is high in the sky, your shadow is more of a blob underneath you. If you know some math, you can use this fact to determine the height of pine trees and the circumference of the earth and stuff. I don’t think that was the sign he meant. . .
    I have no idea why fruit comes in pairs, but I totally saw the Zeus thing.


    November 6, 2008 at 11:08 am

  13. Nice post.

    I have a video about “Why Muslims Are Backwards In Science” which may amuse you.

    *Apparently* it’s because they don’t follow the Qu’ran closely enough. (Because, as we all know, all the really successful Muslim economists, doctors and scientists all use the Qu’ran as their only textbook, right!?)


    November 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

  14. Corn? Corn is a New World crop plant.. did not arrive in the Old World until well after Columbus visited..


    November 6, 2008 at 3:00 pm

  15. @kg:

    Pillars: If you re-read, you’ll see that the heavens (stars?) are held aloft by invisible pillars/supports. You can’t see them, but surely without their presence the stars would collapse down upon us. Even if you argue that it just refers to the Earth’s atmosphere, it fails. The atmosphere cliings to the Earth because gravity pulls it inward, not because something is pushing it upwards (like a pillar/support). Allah 0, Science 1.

    Stabilisers/Mountains: Here Allah implies that mountains stabilize the Earth — to prevent it from trembling. However, we know that the plate tectonics of our living Earth are what creates mountains. The movement of those plates is also what creates earthquakes. Allah 0, Science 2.

    Flat Earth/Sun’s Orbit: Well, you covered those. Allah 0, Science 4.

    Sun Prostration: “Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth bows to God in submission with a will or perforce…” The Sun is in the heavens and it bows to Allah? Because it has a will (is sentient) or because it is necessary? Really? Uhm, no. Allah 0, Science 5.

    Lightning: “It is He who makes the lightning flash for fear and hope…” Oh really? So when the guys (and gals) at the University of Florida’s Lightning Research Group trigger it lightning, they are actually making Allah shoot his wad? They are controlling Allah? Again, I’ll say no. Allah 0, Science 6.

    Lightning Research Group’s site:


    (BTW, I had trouble viewing that in Firefox with AdBlock installed, so you might have issues.)

    That’s a good place to stop. Science is routing Allah. He needs a timeout and to regroup. Maybe he needs a pinch hitter.


    November 6, 2008 at 3:20 pm

  16. Great catch, Kal. I’m embarassed I didn’t spot that. I checked through the translations, and ten out of 26 use the word ‘corn’. So much for Islamic ‘scholarship’. As far as I can tell the arabic word for corn isn’t in there either, so they can’t claim this one’s a miracle.
    Science 7; Allah 0.


    November 6, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  17. There are different definitions for “corn” I think your applying the wrong one to the quran.



    November 6, 2008 at 7:12 pm

  18. well fuck me four ways! I never knew that. It also explains why there are so many words for corn in the arabic dictioanry. thanks, Gad.


    November 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm

  19. The “pairs of fruits” thing is of course an affirmation of gay marriage. Watch out, California, you’ve got the wrath of Allah coming your way!


    November 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm

  20. You know, with all these mistakes, talk of the earth being flat and the sky held up by invisible pillars, you’d almost think that the Quran was written by a bunch of ignorant pre-medieval camel herders, rather than by the all-knowing creator of the universe. That can’t be true, of course, because the Quran says so. Maybe God put all this stuff in there so we wouldn’t feel he was being elitist.


    November 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

  21. Good one Watercat!


    November 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

  22. (7) The unbelievers say: “Why no miracle was sent down to him by his Lord?” But you are only a bearer of warnings, and a guide for every nation.
    (8) God is cognisant of what every female carries in her womb, or what the wombs want or exceed (of their disburdening time). With Him all things are in determined measure.

    Figures, he’s the asshole who allows for miscarraiges…


    November 7, 2008 at 10:03 pm

  23. Amatul Omar translation:
    (8) Allâh knows what every female carries and (He knows) what the wombs miscarry and what they nourish and help to grow.


    November 7, 2008 at 10:36 pm

  24. They covered that end, yet miscarriages still happen under his watch, worse yet, under his will.

    All in all, that’s interesting either way.


    November 8, 2008 at 2:05 am

  25. That reminds me of the part in Letter to a Christian Nation about the number of pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Some of them so early on that the women has no idea conception took place. God is one efficient abortion doctor, I guess.


    November 8, 2008 at 11:16 am

  26. Not only that, the Bible even gives instructions for how to perform an abortion. Stupid ones, naturally, but there’re there.


    November 8, 2008 at 11:59 am

  27. Damn! That’s what i like about Watercat – always bringing up some wildly informative shit! i’m digging this blog more and more!


    November 8, 2008 at 5:18 pm

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