Answering WikiIslam’s allegation of Geocentricism on Astronomy found in Quran

Astronomy and Quran

WikiIslam, an anti-Islamic wing of Wikimedia brands Quran to have propagated many unscientific views of the reality—by wishfully introducing numerous reading errors. An impression that wikiIslam masters scholarship in Quranic language and interpretation. Sincerely, just by being a Muslim one does not automatically acquire abilities to interpret Quran accurately either. We Muslims in my opinion are primarily responsible for credulous interpretations of the Quran. Perhaps our bitter fighting over rights to its interpretation better explains the gravity of my assertion that we have in our past and presently a very wrong idea of reflecting upon the Quran.

Per many critics Quran contains numerous scientific and historical errors and to them it reflects a pre-scientific, 7th century view of the natural world. Unlike the claims of orientalist given to Islamophobia and its numerous critics. Quran does not chide away from clearly explaining the scientific phenomenon for—Metaphors or alternative meanings. As Quran is the truth from God, it is vivid and disfavouring to phenomenology. Although we may suppose many different meanings of its verses, which is perhaps due to our lack of understanding of many scientific phenomena. Wordings and content of the Quranic verses often not only dismiss the popular mythology and unscientific misconceptions of the time of its revelation but even the unscientific misconceptions of present times. The author of the Quran makes obvious statements that facilitated people of 7th century to understand the Quranic expression of the natural world and yet codified it for future generations to continue their reflections over it. Quran was beyond doubt delivered by an All-Knowing, All-Wise God, therefore its claim that ambiguity cannot be found in it stands uncontested.

Explaining merging of Day into Night

Quran 39:5 He created the skies and earth in truth. Wrapping the night over the day and wrapping the day over the night and has subjected the sun and the moon. All speeding [courses] for an estimated term. Unquestionably, He is the exalted in might, the immense forgiver.

In the verse above, the Arabic word كور translated as wrapping has the meaning of a ball (use google translator to verify. Copy the Arabic letters as shown on to translator).  The combination of planet Earth and its Skies is given to behave ball-like in an orbit with an orbital velocity and an axial spin wrapping day into night and night into day. And the sun and the moon along are subjected to run courses. This explains very clearly that these bodies the Earth and its Skies, the Sun and the Moon are all in their respective orbitals covering courses. The verse is certainly not indicative of a stationary Earth such as for the sun to revolve around it: that is supposed in the model of a Geocentric system.

The word ‘wrapping’ in the translation is not fully representative of the Arabic word used. In fact, I cannot think of a near appropriate replacement. Even the word rotate or spin do not come close to explaining the Arabic form. Because, any flat sheet about its centre of gravity-axis can be rotated and a dollar coin can be made to spin etc. The word in use is a form of verb يكور , it is very precise to illustrate of a ball spinning about its axis. Therefore, approximate phrases can be used to rendered meaning of ‘wrapping or merging’ of the day into night and vice versa.

Below, is a critic’s favourite cut-out from two different verses, Quran 31:29 and Quran 35:13-

He causes the night to enter the day, and He causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon. All running [courses] for an estimated term.

The Arabic word يولج: that has a root ولج means to penetrate or to enter or to merge. Again, clearly enough this word explains the causing of action such as to penetrate or to merge which is by the planetary spin as highlighted above. Both citations do not support the idea of stationary Earth. Further, the verse ending emphasise that all bodies the Sun, the Moon and Earth with its Skies as running orbital courses.

Why misinterpretation?

If you begin with an assumption that Earth is stationary: then the chances of these verse becoming susceptible to misinterpretation increases. Such that only the sun and moon are set in motion to orbit around the Earth solidifying the idea of Geocentric motion. If you like to begin on assumptions then it is not the Quranic narrative, rather it will be you who is clearly the fallible one!

To claim that Quran propagates Geocentric idea you need to cite the Quran for stationary Earth. Which again clearly stands dismissed due to this very verse where God has unambiguously mentioned that the Earth and its Skies are given to planetary spin يكور and orbital velocity indicative of the verb used يجري. The Arabic root جري means he ran; which is indicative of speed. For astronomical objects running can be better rendered as orbital cruise or velocity.

The then, ancient-prevailing understanding of the universe which did find its way into the interpretation of the Bible as can be found in the book of Job 26:11 that “the pillars that hold up the sky tremble” were dismissed by Quran 13:2 saying that “God created the Sky without any pillars that you can see”. According to the Quran, Bible is indeed from God and despite changes made to it, there is still in it many true teachings of God; this is undoubtedly, a core Muslim belief.

The following verses unfortunately are grossly misunderstood by WikiIslam. Which in a way explains their deliberate attempt to malign the Quran.

Quran 36:37-40 And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness.

And the sun runs [its course] as is determined for her. That is the decree of the Majestic, the Knowledgeable.

And the moon – We have measured for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk. 

It is not for the sun to trespass it (the moon’s phases), that it must outrace the moon. Nor does the night outstrip the day. All but in their orbits cruise.

To study the above verses the words needing definition are as follows:

Root              Word-Form         Meaning & description (from google translator)                                Translated Meaning

مستقر                  قرر                        he decided, stability or sanctioning is implied.                                   determined

تقدير                  قدر                          measure, decree, estimate.                                                                    decree

تدرك                 درك                         ride, like riding a horse; taking-over is implied.                                   outrace

ينبغي                  بغي                         punk, all 96 usages in Quran have negative connotation.                trespass

The context in the set of verses above from chapter 36 commence by announcing a sign for disbelievers; of those who think that God hasn’t made any effort to reach-out to them for demanding faith from them. Saying removal of day light leaves the planet in darkness. Which is explained by the wrapping of day and night due to planetary spin as discussed earlier. In the next verse sun’s run or float which must necessarily be interpreted in terms of speed, velocity or orbital cruise is appraised by a verb تَجْرِي before the passive participle لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ connecting it with a preposition. Therefore, I have translated it as the sun runs its courses as is determined for her. The ending letters “for her” is the ending of a nominal sentence using a preposition لَهَا connected to a feminine pronoun referring to the feminine noun, the sun.

The verse concerning the moon’s returning with its phases is indicative of its orbiting around the earth and the sun has nothing to interfere with moon’s orbit. As the verse is clear on their not being in common orbits for a race to outrun each other. But all bodies are in their respective orbits cruising as the verse ending goes- All but in their orbits cruise.

Many translations of the Quran in this area have weak translations perhaps due to not comprehending meaning behind these verse. For example, I will argue that the Arabic verb تَجْرِي meaning orbital cruise, a precursor will stand in contradiction with the passive participle لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ: if it is interpreted as a ‘ place of rest’ instead of a ‘determined orbital cruise’. Traditionally it has been translated as an ‘appointed term’ which in itself  has no apparent troubles- But if it is alluded to mean ‘some sort of a resting place’ then I prefer translating it as estimated term. The concept of appointed term is not physical; such that the sun is raced to a ribbon at the end of a 100 m dash. But, the appointed term is the reality of sun’s succumbing to death. Which is why I, prefer translating it as estimated term to avoid alluding to a physical stop.

Quran further explains the details of sun’s dying and nothing of it alludes to its coming to a stop. When the appointed/estimated term must draw-in due to several other necessities such as human responses to God on matters of faith/disbelief, repentance and righteous conduct. God will commence the doom which still has no implications for sun to cease its run along its orbit completely.

Solar End-Sun’s Death

In simple terms Quran highlights that the sun in that stage of dying would have expanded its outer layers growing up to the size to engulf moon’s orbit. See below:

Quran 75:6-9 He (A Disbeliever) asks: so, “When is the Day of Resurrection?” 

(Response) A while, when the vision is dazzled. And the moon darkens. And the sun and the moon are joined.

At the onset of judgement day, the sun would grow and expand to become more bigger and brighter. Such that our vision will be dazed. Its outer layers engulfing the moon would render it carbonising and darkening then consuming it totally- Collapsing of lunar calendar marks the end of planetary time. Where the scientists are unsure the Quran informs them, that there will be the merging of the moon and the sun. In the lower heaven, star bodies in the sky of this world with the sun will experience erratic paths indicative of verse 81:1-2. Than ceasing their orbital cruises as ill-conjectured by wikiIslam.

WikiIslam, for verses numbers 35:13, 31:29, 39:5, 13:2 which talk about the heavenly bodies in float or swim: for the Arabic verb تَجْرِي translated as “run” in 36:38. They insist appointed term as the only correct translation for لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى inducing the meaning of perhaps a complete physical stop. In clarification: I am justifying estimated term as the appropriate translation for reasons that the verb and its passive participle cannot be contradictory. Viz. passive participles found in these verses can never be translated to mean stopping or ceasing orbital cruise. Instead if translated as an estimated term, it necessitates requirements that contribute to determine doomsday per the Quran.

Sun’s light reflected- by Moon

Quran 91:1-4 By the sun and its brightness. 

And [by] the moon when it is followed by it. And [by] the day when it displays it. And [by] the night when it covers it.

Quran has no where alluded to common orbits of sun and moon as alleged by WikiIslam. Quran references the world view from a human reference frame: Which is obviously for the reasons of aiding relative understanding. Since Quran couples the mention of sun and the moon to be orbiting, wikiIslam grows more suggestive of attributing common orbits to them which is an erroneous interpretation.

Verses in 91:2-4 as shown above in Arabic has verb endings accompanied by a pronoun: that, which refers to a noun mentioned in verse 1. The complexity is that there are 2 nouns in verse 1. The obvious question is which noun in verse 1 is being referred to by the following pronouns? If we examine diligently, verse 3-4 talk about the light of the day as removed from night and thus, the planet is merged into darkness- This is indicative of referring to brightness of sun more than sun itself. Which clarifies the second noun ‘brightness’ is brought forward.

In verse 2, the Arabic verb تلى translated as followed by, has a root in Arabic تلو meaning ‘again’. Which if reworded the verse would read the moon again shows the brightness instead of using followed by it. Regardless of ‘followed by it’ translation the reasoning thus far clarifies that the second noun ‘brightness’ is brought forward in verses 2-4. As can be seen confirmed by an active participle used in the verse 25:61 discussed below.

Sun a star among constellations

Quran 25:61 Blessed is He who has placed in the sky constellations and placed therein a lamp and a shining moon.

The active participle منيرا translated as ‘shining’ is in the Arabic an accusative case of form 4, having the root which means ‘glow’. It entails that, the moon is an actor or the doer, as also previously explained by the verb in verse 91:2 تلى, meaning to ‘follow by’ the brightness of sun ‘shining’—the light thereof, rightly described by an adjectival noun منيرا meaning ‘lightsome’. To illustrate the characteristics nouns for the sun and the moon are clearly 2 different substantives and are never exchanged or mutually shared. Sun is always the سِرَ‌اجًا (loaded saddle) ,وَهَّاجًا (burning lantern) and ضِيَاءً (shining light source) whereas the moon is نُورً‌ا (glow of light) and مُّنِيرً‌ا (lightsome).

The noun that describes sun in verse 25:61 سراخا translated as lamp or a burning body has a root سرج meaning saddle, packsaddle or a harness, which explains the sun as a carrier of load: clearly, it is indicative of a heliocentric system. Its association traditionally to connote the meaning of light is because of the term mostly got used as another synonym for sun. Now, it stands very clear that the moon shines forth light from the sun. In this sense, it is translated in the verse as ‘followed by’ the sun’s light. In my opinion the verb in 91:2 must be translated as ‘reflects it’ instead of ‘followed by it’.

Therefore, the reworded translation is as follows:

Quran 25:61 Blessed is He (Allah) who has placed in the sky starry constructions and placed therein an anchor [sun] and a lightsome moon.

Quran 91:1-4 By the sun and its brightness.

And [by] the moon when it reflects it (its brightness). And [by] the day when it displays it (its brightness). And [by] the night when it covers it (its brightness).


Quran 78:13 And made [therein] a burning lamp.

The verse above hammers the nail to its depth neat and tidy. It defines the anchoring object sun سراخا by an adjective وهّاخا having a root وهج meaning glare, glow, heat, blaze, flame or lamp. Therefore, the sun is a burning saddle. Therefore the reworded verse is:

Quran 78:13 And made [therein] an anchoring (gravitating) lamp.

This is nothing less than—A heliocentric system.



We acknowledge all credits for the image showed for this article, copyrights 2014 Kevin M.Gill