THE POWER OF THE QURAN
THE UNIQUENESS OF THE QURAN
One of the greatest signs that the Quran is the word of God is its uniqueness and inimitability. Those who do not speak Arabic cannot understand the Quran’s miraculous rhetoric, but everybody can understand its miraculousness by looking at its impact on the world. Before the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Arabs were a weak and ignorant nation with no influence on the world. They would consider women below animals and bury their daughters alive, they would engage in unnecessary wars and murders which they would regard as sources of glory, and their rich would suppress their poor as much as they could. Arabs after Islam became the highest civilization in the world with great advances in all sciences, and their moral standards were completely transformed in a positive way. They defeated the two superpowers of their time, the Byzantines and the Persians, in a very short time with very few resources. The Abbasids and the Andalusians initiated the Islamic Renaissance and taught the Western world new sciences, arts, and how to establish a civilization. The same cycle is true for Turkish history as well. The Turkish nation was a nomadic nation with no basis in governance, science, philosophy, art, and architecture before Islam; but they managed to become the greatest civilization in the world after professing Islam. Oghuz Turks who were an obscure nation for a long time became the leaders of Islam as soon as they embraced it, they established the Seljuk Empire and the Ottoman Empire. They conquered everywhere from Central Asia to as far as Vienna, thus capturing and controlling more than half of the Christian world. No other nation has created a shock and fear in Europe matching that created by the Turks. All four of the powerful Islamic empires in the pre-Modern age were either Turkish or Turkic: Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals, and Kazakhs. The dominion of the Muslim Turkish empires had reached from Vienna to India, and this age was called “the golden age of Turks”. It is very intriguing that what caused this huge impact in the world is nothing but a six-hundred-page book. This six-hundred-page book transformed the most primitive nations into the greatest civilizations.
“Or do they say [about the Prophet], "He invented it?" Say, "Then bring forth a surah (chapter) like it and call upon [for assistance] whomever you can besides God, if you should be truthful." (Qur’an 10:38)” Those who claim that the Quran was invented by Muhammad (pbuh) should accept the challenge stated above and write something similar to the Quran. For example, let Africans congregate and write a book that will make them the greatest civilization of the future. Let all authors congregate and write a book that is powerful enough to alter the lives of millions of people completely even 1400 years later. It is clear that these possibilities are so far-fetched that they sound funny. According to disbelievers, the book which cannot be written with the collaboration of all humans, scientists, sociologists, and historians was written by an illiterate man called Muhammad (pbuh), and everything in that book is bogus.
Of the things that make the Quran unique is the beauty of recitation. There is no other book in the world whose pure recitation without music sounds as beautiful as that of the Quran. One experiences the beauty of the Quran’s recitation regardless of whether he is Muslim or not, and whether he understands Arabic or not. Another feature that makes the Quran unique is the ease of its memorization. Although it consists of more than six hundred pages, it has been memorized word for word by millions of Muslims all around the world. Every Muslim knows at least one acquaintance who knows the entire Quran by heart. What makes the situation even more intriguing is that most of these people do not understand Arabic; they memorize sounds that are meaningless for them and this makes their task even more challenging. No other book in the history of mankind has been memorized by this many people despite being fairly long. The Quran’s ease of memorization is surely one of the miracles that make it unique.
Predictions about the Future
“It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with God dislike it. (Qur’an 61:9)” God told in the Quran that Islam will one day dominate the world. The Messenger of God (pbuh) stated boldly in the letters that he sent to the emperors of Persia and the Byzantine Empire, the two superpowers of that era: “My religion and my dominion shall reach as far as the king of Kisra has reached and extend to the utmost reach of camel’s pad and horse’s hoof.” There are many Prophetic narrations foretelling the Muslim conquests of particularly the Byzantine and Persian Empires. Suppose for a second that I claim to be a prophet of God and announce that my religion will dominate the world in the future, and my followers will conquer Europe and America. Moreover, suppose that I send letters to the presidents of the USA and Europe, asking them to obey me before my followers capture their lands. Would you see any possibility of my prophecy of dominating the world coming true? No, because the probability of this prophecy coming true is infinitely small unless it really depends on a divine revelation. Well, if you were to witness this prophecy coming true, would you have any doubt regarding the truth of my prophethood claim? No. Although we have never seen the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we have witnessed the truth of everything he predicted, and this alone presents sufficient evidence for the truth of his message.
“The Romans have been defeated. In the lowest territory. But following their defeat, they will be victorious. Within a few (three to nine) years. The matter is up to God, in the past, and in the future. On that day, the believers will rejoice. In God’s support. He supports whomever He wills. He is the Almighty, the Merciful. The promise of God—God never breaks His promise, but most people do not know. (Qur’an 30:2-6)” What is more interesting than the Prophet’s (pbuh) predictions about the distant future is his predictions about the near future. This is because if his predictions regarding the near future had turned out to be false; his claim of prophethood would’ve collapsed while he was alive, and people would’ve turned away from him and even his life would’ve been at stake. Despite this huge risk, the Quran challenged the entire world with the verses above. If there had been no wars within three to nine years, the Prophet Muhammad’s claim of prophethood would’ve collapsed. If there had been a war that resulted in Persian victory –the Persians had the upper hand since they had won the last war-, his claim of prophethood would’ve collapsed again. However, the smallest possibility happened and the weak Byzantine Empire won a victory against the strong Persian Empire in a battle that began seven years after these verses were revealed. Why would the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) take such a huge risk by making a near-future prediction if he were a liar? Another interesting point in this verse is the expression “Adna al-Ard”, which can be translated as “the lowest place of the Earth”. The word “adna” means “the lowest” in Arabic, and the word “al-Ard” means the Earth. This war was historically fought in proximity to the Dead Sea (Israel) which is really the lowest territory on the Earth in terms of altitude, and Jerusalem was captured by the Persians in this war. We think that the expression “adna al-Ard” is used deliberately to refer to this region. This geographical fact was surely unknown at the time the Quran was revealed. This verse alone is enough of a sign to prove the miraculousness of the Holy Quran. Since the word “Adna” can also mean “the nearest” as well as “the lowest” in Arabic, many translators have translated this verse as “Romans have been defeated in the nearest land.” However, there are problems with understanding this phrase as meaning “the nearest”. Firstly, according to where is this land the nearest? The region that can be called near is very different for someone who is reading the Quran in America than for someone who is reading the Quran in China. Even if we accept Mecca (the place where this verse is revealed) as the reference point for proximity, there are many cities, towns, and villages that are closer to Mecca than where this battle took place, and it is not very meaningful to call the whereabouts of this battle “the nearest land”. Translating this phrase as “the lowest land” doesn’t only point to a tremendous geographical fact, but also makes the verse more meaningful.
There are other interesting verses in the Quran foretelling a future event. For instance, God tells in Surah Al-Fath: “Certainly has God showed to His Messenger the vision in truth. You will surely enter al-Masjid al-Haram, if God wills, in safety, with your heads shaved and [hair] shortened, not fearing [anyone]. He knew what you did not know and has arranged before that a conquest near [at hand]. (Qur’an 48:27)” God informs the Muslims of that time that they will reach Mecca (al-Masjid al-Haram) and make a pilgrimage in there although Mecca was held by the pagan enemies of Islam back then. If this incident had not happened during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh), the Quran would have been proven false. It is very luck of the Prophet (!) that this prediction also came true and the Muslims safely completed their pilgrimage a few years later.
The Qur’an implicitly makes reference to some of the events in the distant future. One of these events is the Turks’ taking over the leadership of Islam and the caliphate from the Arabs. “O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion - Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him, [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (Quran 5:54)” When the Qur’an was being revealed, the Muslims were predominantly Arabs and nobody would’ve predicted that one day the religion of Islam will be associated with a different nation. God, on the other hand, proclaimed in this verse that another nation is going to carry the banner of Islam if the Arabs fail to fulfill this duty. Turks became the most prominent Muslim nation after their conversion to Islam. They ruled over much of the Muslim lands including the lands of the Arabs, they spread Islam in various regions, and they took on the caliphate during the Ottoman era. The Turks were so deeply associated with Islam that in the Middle Ages, the word “Turk” was used as a synonym for the word “Muslim”. The phrase “a people He will love and who will love Him” in the verse is also remarkable, because Turkish culture is built on the love of God with the influence of Sufism. Although Arab culture was mainly concerned with the fear of God, Turkish culture was more focused on the love of God. Although the verse doesn’t specify the Turkish nation as the candidate for taking over the caliphate, there is an implicit hint at this in the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Prophet once said to his companions: “Let the Turks alone as long as they leave you alone.” It is possible that the Prophet (pbuh) said this because he knew that the Turks will convert to Islam in the future.
Another example of the Quran’s distant-future predictions is about the painful fate of the Jews. “And [mention] when your Lord declared that He would surely send upon them (Jews) until the Day of Resurrection those who would afflict them with the worst torment. (Quran 7:167)” God tells in this verse that Jews are doomed to face torment by cruel people and rulers until the final day. Indeed, Jews really did face severe persecution throughout their history, they got banished from various lands and they were often prevented from practicing their religion. The most popular and recent of these torments is the genocide committed by the Nazis, which is considered one of the worst atrocities committed in human history. This Quranic verse predicts the arrival of people like Adolf Hitler more than a thousand years ago.
There is a very interesting allusion to cloning in the Quran. “(Satan:) ‘And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.’ (Quran 4:119)" This verse in the Quran establishes a relationship between slitting the ears of cattle and changing the creation of God. It has now become a commonplace to change living organisms (the creation of God) through genetic engineering. Cloning, as a subset of genetic engineering, has been applied to many species so far. Somatic cells from the living being to be cloned are needed for cloning, and these cells have been taken from the ears of the living being on many popular occasions. Now, I am going to present you an article published in NewScientist that talks about cloning methods and the harm caused by cloning: “the Embryo Transplant Institute of Snow Brand Milk Products, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, cloned two calves using stray mammary gland cells in the secretion. “The previous method for cloning used somatic cells taken from the cows’ ears,” says Nobutaka Shiono of Snow Brand. The new technique will cause less distress and allow researchers to screen larger numbers of cells for cloning. However, cloning results in the deaths of many animals in infancy. A team led by Jean-Paul Renard of INRA, the French agricultural research agency in Jouy-en-Josas near Paris, describes the problems that afflicted a calf which was a clone of a clone. It died of severe anaemia aged seven weeks after its spleen, thymus gland and lymph nodes failed to develop normally.”
The Quran has proved its divinity numerous times by telling scientific facts that couldn’t have been known at the time it was revealed. I referred to some of these scientific miracles in different parts of my writings. God gave magical miracles to Moses (pbuh) such as turning the staff into a snake because his society was renowned for mastering magic, God gave Jesus (pbuh) medical miracles such as healing the sick and bringing the dead back to life because his society was renowned for mastering medicine, and God gave Muhammad (pbuh) the literary miracle named “the Quran” because his society had mastered literature. God thus challenged every society in their own expertise and used their own weapons against them. In the modern era, humanity has progressed in science a lot and put science at the center of their lives. God allowed us to discover the scientific miracles of the Quran with perfect timing and he beat irreligious so-called scientists by using their own weapon against them, just like he beat previous nations with their own weapons.
These scientific miracles are placed so subtly that someone reading them 1400 years ago wouldn’t find them weird. If the Quran had explicitly stated the roundness of the Earth, the people of 1400 years ago would’ve rejected the Quran, but the Quran implicitly hinted at it by using a verb that is derived from the “ostrich egg” in the 30th verse of Surah An-Nazi’at. For example, the verse “Does man think that We will not assemble his bones? In fact, We are able to reshape his very fingertips. (Qur’an: 75:3-4)” implies the uniqueness of fingertips by pointing out the difficulty of reorganizing them. As I had remarked before, this is an implicit implication rather than an explicit statement so that it wouldn’t confuse ancient people who didn’t know the uniqueness of fingertips. “It is He who produces fire for you out of the green tree, and then from it you ignite. (Qur’an 36:80)” In this verse, igniting a fire is associated with green trees. This association becomes very meaningful with the discovery of a popular biological phenomenon: photosynthesis. Green trees produce oxygen through photosynthesis; on the other side, burning is a reaction between a combustible and oxygen, and it doesn’t happen in the absence of oxygen. Indeed the reason why trees are green is that they photosynthesize; they take their green color from chlorophyll which is responsible for photosynthesis.
The Quranic words are picked so accurately that even a tiny difference between two different words that appear identical in translations can have profound implications. For example, both the words “diyaa” and “noor” are translated as “light” into English, but there is a subtle difference in their actual meanings. The word “diyaa” means “the source and essence of light” while the word “noor” means “reflected and derived light”. The Quran uses “noor” for the Moon and “diyaa” for the Sun in the 5th verse of Surah Yunus, and this is scientifically very accurate. The light of the Moon doesn’t belong to itself, it reflects the Sun’s light.
“And that He creates the two mates - the male and female - from a sperm-drop when it is emitted (Quran 53:45-46)” This verse alludes to two important scientific facts that were unknown when the Quran was revealed: Sex is determined by the sperm and sex is determined at the time of fertilization. Sex is determined by the sperm because the baby becomes female if the X chromosome comes from the sperm, and it becomes male if the Y chromosome comes from the sperm. The egg has no contribution to sex determination because it always gives the X chromosome. The male chromosome becomes XY and the female chromosome becomes XX after fertilization. The second scientific fact is that sex is determined at the time of fertilization and not during pregnancy. The sex of the zygote is certain since the moment of fertilization and it remains that way regardless of what happens during pregnancy. In my opinion, this Quranic verse’s association of sex determination with the time when the sperm-drop is emitted alludes to this scientific fact.
Here are the scientific miracles I discussed in other sections in case you’d like to have a look at them: The rotation of the Earth in Quran 27:88 is discussed in “Religion and Science”, the functions of the brain in Quran 96:15-16 is discussed in “What Makes Us Human?”, the gender of worker bees in Quran 16:68-69 is discussed in “The Incredible Designs of Creatures”, and the expansion of the universe in Quran 51:47 is discussed in “The History of Creation”. I am not going to discuss these scientific miracles again in this section.
THE EVIDENCE OF PROPHETS
What would you do if someone on the radio told while you are driving home that there is a traffic jam on the route you are about to take, and advised those who are about to use it to follow another route? Would you say “I won’t believe it unless I see it” and keep on driving towards that route? Surely the most logical thing to do is taking heed of the warning and taking the route with no traffic jam because you will lose nothing by doing this even if the warning happened to be incorrect; but if the warning is correct and you do not take heed of it, may God help you in the traffic. There have been 124,000 prophets throughout history who commanded people and warned them against more or less the same things. When there are 124,000 witnesses in favor of something and there is no witness against it, we would assume it is true. When there are 124,000 people warning you of the same thing, you would start taking them seriously and assume that there should be an element of truth in what they say.
If we ranked the most influential people in history objectively; Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses (pbut) would definitely be among the top ten. How logical is it to claim that these three most influential people in history were pure liars and every action they took was meant to deceive people? The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was either a liar who declared prophethood just to gain worldly benefits, or a lunatic who did not know what he was saying, or a true prophet of God. His suffering for the sake of his cause, his isolation from his society, his ejection from his home and city, the killing of his loved ones for professing Islam illustrate that he sought no worldly benefit in his prophethood because his prophethood brought him much more suffering than benefit in this world. His convincing tens of thousands of people including the most intelligent ones of his society of professing Islam and his becoming the leader of all of them, his billions of followers even after his death, the power of his message that attracts thousands of professors 1400 years after his death although he was an illiterate, his governance of all of Arabia before his death and the unprecedented revolution he brought about prove that he definitely wasn’t lunatic. Even the haters of Islam admit that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a very intelligent and successful man by looking at what he accomplished. We are left with the last possibility: The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the messenger of God and he was directed by God in all his affairs.
One can ask this question here: people like Aristotle, Confucius, and Gautama Buddha influenced and transformed the world a lot with their ideas as well, does that mean we should accept the teachings of these people too? We have to differentiate between religion and philosophy here. Philosophers propose sincere opinions with which people may or may not agree, but nobody would blame the philosopher for lying. On the other hand, prophets come up with a claim which is either true or false. Those who do not buy that claim automatically blame the prophet for lying and deception. People like Aristotle, Confucius and Buddha are philosophers, and they did not create a religion. We can’t blame them for lying even if we disagree with some of their opinions, the most we can do is expressing our disagreement. No liar in the world can influence the world as much as these people did. Neither Aristotle, Confucius, Gautama Buddha nor Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (pbut) can be liars because a lie never lives to be old.
CRITICISMS AGAINST THE QURAN
Criticism: Why is the Quran so harsh on disbelievers? Isn’t it disturbing that God often describes his punishment for disbelievers?
This question can be asked in two ways: 1-) Why does God punish disbelievers? 2-) Why does God mention his punishment for disbelievers in the Quran? I have already answered the first question in the section “The Meaning Life”, and I am not going to discuss it again here. Let’s instead discuss the second question: If a very grave end is awaiting disbelievers, is it more suitable for God to warn them kindly or harshly? If you knew that a particular road is leading to a deadly cliff, would you write on the warning sign “You are kindly requested not to use this road” or “Stay away from this road, else you will die!”? Surely the second warning is more suitable because the seriousness of the warning must be directly proportional to the graveness of the consequence. If God didn’t mention his torment in the Quran, the people of Hell would present an excuse by saying that they weren’t informed about the seriousness of this punishment.
The threats of the Quran against disbelievers urge non-Muslims who read the Quran to take Islam more seriously. A non-Muslim who is reading the Quran for the first time will intuitively think that if this book is really the word of God, his end is going to be very bad if he remains in rejection of Islam, therefore he has to make deeper research to see whether this book is truly the word of God. This fear alone is sufficient to urge a non-Muslim to contemplate and learn more about Islam. If the Quran only talked about those things that people like, a non-Muslim who is reading the Quran would see it merely as a cultural activity, and he wouldn’t consider it seriously even if he would appreciate and respect it.
The fear of God is one of the best emotions in this world. The one who fears God wouldn’t fear anything else but God, and the one who doesn’t fear God would fear everything but God. The one who doesn’t fear God would fear death, diseases, failure, wars, poverty, lack of love… Whereas the one who thoroughly fears God would be insensitive to the scariest things in this world. This fear of God would cleanse him of his animalistic instincts and raise him to the spiritual realm. Those who are disturbed by God’s punishment threats are those that have never tasted the beauty of fearing God.
Criticism: The Quran isn’t chronologically written, it frequently switches between different topics and is quite difficult to understand.
Those who bring this criticism to the Quran usually do so because they are accustomed to the chronological structure of the Bible and they expect the same from the Quran. In reality, the fact that the Quran is not chronologically written and its chapters have no connection with each other is a blessing from God. You have to read a chronologically written book from the beginning to the end to make sense of it; because if you dive into the book from the middle, you will not be familiar with the context and the characters. This is not the case in the Quran, the contents of the chapters of the Quran are independent of each other and each chapter summarizes the fundamental message of the Quran in its own right. This lets you understand the fundamental message of the Quran by reading a single chapter without having to go through the entire six hundred-page book. This feature of the Quran is very useful for those who can’t devote enough time to read it, and nobody can plead his busy life for not taking the time to read the Quran. This feature of the Quran was even more useful in the past. In the past when there was no internet and no easy access to books, most people couldn’t have access to the Quran in its entirety and had to make do with knowing only a couple of chapters. The couple of chapters they knew were sufficient for them to understand the message of God. This is one of the reasons why the Quran was open to all Muslims throughout Islamic history whereas reading the Bible was generally exclusive to the clergy in Christian history.
Although the Quran contains very profound messages, its language is simple enough even for someone of low intelligence to understand; this is because the Quran is sent to all people, not only to intelligent people. If the Quran were too complex and intricate to understand, unintelligent and ignorant people would plead their failure to understand the Quran as an excuse for not obeying it. It is true that the Quran sometimes makes allusions to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and to the events narrated in the Torah, it would be helpful to know the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Torah to have a better understanding of the Quran. This rule applies to all books. If you’re reading a book about philosophy, you have to have some basic background knowledge about the history of philosophy because the book will inevitably make frequent allusions to popular philosophers and philosophical terms in history. If you are reading a book about engineering, you have to have some basic background knowledge about engineering so that you can understand the technical terms mentioned in the book. If you are reading a novel belonging to Western literature; knowing Western culture, the popular events in Western history, Western mythologies, and the Bible will be very helpful because Western novels frequently make allusions to these things. If the Quran were to explain every single thing it alludes to without assuming that the reader already knows it, it would be a very long and boring book.
The Quran presents the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as an example of how a Muslim is supposed to live, and it enjoins the legal and moral injunctions by alluding to the life of the Prophet instead of telling them directly. It is a well-known fact that human beings understand better by practical examples than by theoretical information; we all have witnessed in our education that many topics whose theoretical part didn’t make any sense became much clearer once it is explained using examples. The Quran, taking this simple human attribute into consideration, makes its commands, prohibitions, and warnings much clearer by using the events in the Prophet’s life as a reference. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went through many of what may incur a Muslim in his life such as persecution, emigration, war, victory, defeat, marriage, marital conflict, and slander; God sent revelations in these instances to guide the Prophet, and to teach all Muslims what they should do in each of these instances by using the Prophet’s life as a practical example. This is why the Quran and the Sunnah (The traditions of the Prophet) complement each other and they cannot be separated. Some people ask: Why are there so many verses about the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the Quran if it is a universal book? Those who ask this type of questions have definitely failed to understand the Quranic method mentioned in this paragraph. God gets his messages across to all Muslim women by using the wives of the Prophet as a reference and lets all Muslim women empathize with the wives of the Prophet (pbuh). Let’s give the following Quranic verse as a simple example to this matter: “O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality - for her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah, easy. (Quran 33:30)” We may think at first glance that this verse addresses the wives of the Prophet and is irrelevant to us. However, the primary message of the verse is as follows: Those who occupy high positions in a society must be extra careful not to commit immorality because the immoral acts committed by these people will have a deeper impact on society. Namely, the message of this verse is universal although it addresses a particular instance during its revelation.
People who fail to properly comprehend the Quran try to present some of its verses as contradicting scientific facts. These people often do not even condescend to look up the Arabic text of the Quran to validate their claims. Now, let’s respond to some of the allegations of these people.
Surah at-Tariq (86) – 5-7: “So let man observe from what he was created. He was created from a fluid, ejected, emerging from between the backbone and the ribs.”
Some people speculate that the Quran considers the emerging place of semen to be between the backbone and the ribs, and this is scientifically incorrect. Although it is true that we get this false meaning while reading this translation; the fault belongs to the translator, not to the Quran itself. The subject of the following two sentences should be “man”; the last sentence is not meant to describe the fluid, but man itself. Here is the right translation of these verses: “So let man observe from what he was created. He was created from a fluid, ejected. Then he emerges from between the backbone and the ribs.” Unfortunately, some translators have added their own interpretation into the verse that is not present in the original text, and have made it appear as if it contradicts physiological facts. In fact, humans emerge from between the backbone and the ribs at birth and this is scientifically correct. The last sentence doesn’t describe semen.
Surah al-Kahf (18) – 86: “Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people.”
Those who disbelieve in the Quran blame this verse of envisioning the flat Earth model because scientifically there is no point on the Earth where the sun sets. To answer this, first, we should scrutinize the expression “maghrib as-shams” which is translated as “the setting of the sun”. In Arabic, the conjugation “fealah -> maf’el” of verbs denote the time or place in which the verb is done. The word “gharaba” means “setting of the sun” in Arabic, and its conjugation “maghrib” can mean “the time of the setting of the sun” or “the place of the setting of the sun”. It is well known that the word “maghrib” is used for the time of the evening prayer in Arabic. There is nothing wrong with translating this verse as follows: “when he reached the setting time of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people.”
We have a different and unique explanation for this verse and its following verses in the section “Dhul-Qarnayn’s Space Travel”. If we assume that the word “maghrib” refers to the setting place of the sun, we have to accept that these events took place in space because the setting place of the sun is not on the earth. In this case, we have to reanalyze the adventures of Dul-Qarnayn from a different perspective and this analysis was made in the section “Dhul-Qarnayn’s Space Travel”, we refer you to that section if you are interested in this topic.
Surah at-Tawbah (9) – 29: “Fight those who do not believe in God or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what God and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
This is the only verse in the Quran that mentions the tax of jizyah. Since only the people of the Scripture (Christians and Jews) are mentioned openly in the verse, some scholars have decreed that Muslims can accept jizyah only from the people of the Scripture, and all non-Muslims except Jews and Christians should be forced into accepting Islam at times of conquests. This interpretation contradicts numerous verses in the Quran that forbid forcing people to accept Islam, the most popular of them being “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion who do not believe in God or in the Last Day. (Qur’an 2:256)”
This verse has been subject to many translators' mistranslation. The part “who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture” is discrete and independent of the preceding descriptions. The preceding descriptions do not describe the people of the Scripture, rather, they describe all disbelievers except for the people of the Scripture. Maybe a clearer translation would be as follows: “Fight those who do not believe in God or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what God and His Messenger have made unlawful; and from those who were given the Scripture, who do not adopt the religion of truth- [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” This translation is more consistent because the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) do believe in God and in doomsday, it would be contradictory if the expression “who do not believe in God or in the Last Day” described the people of the Scripture. In summary, this verse permits the acceptance of jizyah from all disbelievers: we should accept jizya from anyone even if they disbelieve in God and doomsday, and consider lawful what Islamic teachings have made unlawful; and from Jews and Christians who do not adopt the religion of truth despite believing in God, divine laws and doomsday. Nobody should convert to Islam under compulsion.
Jizyah is not a high tax. If we consider the fact that Muslims pay Zakat (obligatory charity) unlike non-Muslims and they fight for protecting non-Muslims at times of war (non-Muslims are not obliged to join the army in Islamic states), jizyah is definitely not an unjust tax. In some sense, it is a tax that non-Muslims pay for being protected by Muslims. Muslims serve their country by doing military service and joining wars, and non-Muslims serve their country by paying jizyah tax.
Surah al-Mulk (67) - 5: “And We have decorated the nearest sky with lamps, and have made them devices to stone the devils, and We have prepared for them the punishment of Hell.”
Citing this verse, some non-Muslims claim that the Quran falsely assumes that the stars are thrown at the devils and this is a superstitious belief about astronomy. In fact, what is thrown at the devils is what the stars emit, not the stars themselves. The things that are thrown at the devils are described in another verse as follows: “Except one who steals a hearing and is pursued by a clear burning flame. (Quran 15:18)” Clear burning flames that are thrown at the devils may correspond to rays or radiation that the stars emit in modern terminology. Things like rays and radiation that the stars emit prevent the devils from ascending to the sky by harming their bodies. If the things that are thrown at the devils were the stars themselves, the phrase “pursued by a star” would be used instead of “pursued by a clear burning flame” in the abovementioned verse. In another verse, the stars are likened to the burjs in the sky, and the burj means “tower” in Arabic: “And We have placed within the heaven burjs and have beautified it for the observers. And We have protected it from every devil expelled. (Quran 15:16-17)” According to this comparison, the stars are like protective towers that God placed in the heavens. Just like how the towers of castles keep the enemy at bay by throwing cannonballs, arrows, and bullets at the enemy, the stars keep the devils at bay by emitting rays. Since we don’t know the bodies of the devils, we cannot know how they are affected by the things that the stars emit. A similar situation is also true for humans; we cannot live in space because our bodies are vulnerable to the radiation emitted by the stars. The devils may ascend to the heavens and listen to the angels thanks to their ability to move very quickly, but God prevented them from doing this by protecting the heavens from them.
 İbn Hacer, İsâbe, 765-757. 4-H. A. Akk, Uzama Havle’r-Resûl, 1/507.
 Sunan Abi Dawud, al-Malahim
 Hadfield, Peter, and Matt Walker. “Cows Cloned from a Drop of Milk.” New Scientist, 8 May 1999, www.newscientist.com/article/mg16221850-400-cows-cloned-from-a-drop-of-milk/.