Where does the sun set?
Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Jun 4, 2009 at 02:47
To Mohammad Waqas Raja
Where does the sun travel to after receiving permission from Allah to return on its course? The Qur'an gives us the answer:
"Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of black muddy (or hot) water. And he found near it a people. We (Allâh) said (by inspiration): "O Dhul-Qarnain! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness." Surah 18:86
Muhammad and his companions clearly believed that the sun literally set in a muddy spring.
Al-Zamakhshari remarks in his book, Al-Kash-shaf:
"Abu Dharr (one of Muhammad's close companions) was with Muhammad during the sunset.
Muhammad asked him: 'Do you know, O Abu Dharr where this sets?' He answered: 'Allah and His apostle know better.' Muhammad said: 'It sets in a spring of slimy water.'" (3rd Edition, Volume 2, p. 743, 1987)
Hence, Muhammad believed that the sun literally sets in a spring. In his book, The Lights of Revelation (p. 399), al-Baidawi indicates,
"The sun sets in a slimy spring; that is, a well which contains mud. Some of the readers of the Qur'an read it, '... a hot spring', thus the spring combines the two descriptions. It was said that Ibn 'Abbas found Mu'awiya reading it (as) hot. He told him, 'It is muddy.' Mu'awiya sent to Ka'b al-Ahbar and asked him, 'Where does the sun set?' He said in water and mud and there were some people. So he agreed with the statement of Ibn al-'Abbas. And there was a man who composed a few verses of poetry about the setting of the sun in the slimy spring."
Ibn Abbas, who was both a Sahabah and a cousin of Muhammad, also believed along with Ka'b al-Ahbar that the sun literally set in a muddy spring.
In Al-Jalalan's Commentary, p. 251, we are told that the setting of the sun is in a well that contains murky mud. The same interpretation is given by al-Tabari in his commentary (The History by Tabari, The Scientific Books, p. 339) as well as in the Concise Interpretation of al-Tabari (pt 2, p. 19) where he states that the well in which the sun sets "contains lime and murky mud".
Hence, Muhammad believed and the Qur'an teaches, that the sun rests in a muddy spring from where it then travels throughout the galaxy until it appears before Allah and returns back again!
The Qur'an having revealed to us where the sun sets, Muhammad revealed to us what the earth stands on,
"Hazrat Abdullah Muslem asked Muhammad (pbuh): Ya Rasul Allah! Please tell us, on what does this vast earth stand? Muhammad replied: Allah has placed this seven-layered, huge earth on the horn of a cow. This cow has four thousand such horns, and the distance from one horn to another is a journey of five hundred years. This gigantic cow is standing on the back of a giant fish. This fish is floating on glutinous water; the depth of this water is the distance of a journey of forty years. The glutinous water is resting on floating air. This air or atmosphere is resting on darkness. The darkness rests upon the Hell and that Hell is placed on a massive stone. This massive stone is resting on the head of an enormous Farishta (angel); the Farishta is standing on wind and the wind is resting on the empty world of Allah's Kudrat (glory)."
We would never have known these scientific gems of cosmology, unless Allah had revealed them to his prophet through the angel Gabriel, and we are indebted to Muhammad for having them so carefully recorded for our edification.
With kind regards and best wishes
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