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This is the alleged error: Since we muslims believe that the sun and moon each have an orbit (which it does), and that the orbit of the sun the quran is referring to the galaxy orbit around the milky way (the suns orbit).

Why does this verse below allegedly say that "have you not seen"? How can we humans see the galaxy orbit of the sun?

Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is Informed of what ye do? Qur'an 31:29

Notice also that the path of the sun is something that the author expects people to have seen (another problem for the galactic orbit interpretation)

  • Your answer lies in the language, it is a simple example of communication barrier, the translation between Arabic and English is Complex, as you can see below in answers, so many ways of translating the same verse – user9301 Oct 12 '15 at 13:22
  • Also I think english isn't your primary language. The translation in your question can be interpreted as allah knows we see the changes in day and night amd then there is " ...,and hath subdued..." it is the information being provided and not expected to (of) the reader/listener – user9301 Oct 12 '15 at 13:26
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Assalaamu alaikum warehmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

Here are few translations from other Authors for Qur'an 31:29

Muhammed Asad

Art thou not aware that it is God who makes the night grow longer by shortening the day, and makes the day grow longer by shortening the night, and that He has made the sun and the moon subservient [to His laws], each running its course for a term set [by Him] and that God is fully aware of all that you do?

M. M. Pickthall

Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is Informed of what ye do?

Ali Quli Qara'i

Have you not regarded that Allah makes the night pass into the day and makes the day pass into the night; and He has disposed the sun and the moon, each moving for a specified term, and that Allah is well aware of what you do?

See you not (O Muhammad ) that Allah merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added in the hours of the day), and merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of day are added in the hours of night), and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do.

Conclusion:- there are various meaning to أَلَمْ تَرَ [here] i.e., (see, understand, regard, aware etc). See literally does not mean to actually 'see' but it means to have an understanding to how the miracle of Allah Azzawajal of the reduction in the day and addition to night, decrease in the night hours with increase in day-hours is explained (during winter and summer respectively).

Other explanations:-

(merges the night into the day,) meaning, He takes from the night and adds to the day, so that the day becomes longer and the night shorter, which is what happens in summer when the days are longest; then the day starts to become shorter and the night longer, which is what happens in winter.

(and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running its course for a term appointed;) It was said that this means, each runs within its set limits, or it means until the Day of Resurrection; both meanings are correct. The first view is supported by the Hadith of Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, in the Two Sahihs, according to which the Messenger of Allah said: (O Abu Dharr! Do you know where this sun goes) I (Abu Dharr) said: "Allah and His Messenger know best.'' He said: (It goes and prostrates beneath the Throne, then it seeks permission from its Lord, and soon it will be said: "Go back from whence you came.'') Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The sun is like flowing water, running in its course in the sky during the day. When it sets, it travels in its course beneath the earth until it rises in the east.'' He said, "The same is true in the case of the moon.'' Its chain of narration is Sahih.

Also in verse 20 in Surah Luqman, it has a similar start! I hope this explains!

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i am no expert, but the way i read the verse is that Allah asks us to see how the sun and moon follows his rules. one interpretation could be that he is referring to their periodicity in time, not path.

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Since we muslims believe that the sun and moon each have an orbit (which it does), and that the orbit of the sun the quran is referring to the galaxy orbit around the milky way (the suns orbit).

There's some scientific misconceptions here:

  • The rotation (spin) of the Earth is what causes days and nights. We experience these things directly---there's no conflict, we can literally see day turn into night and night into day (i.e., sunset and sunrise). [If we could get rid of orbits, holding the Earth and Sun in place, and spin the Earth, we would still have day and night.]

  • The Sun and the Earth both orbit around their barycentre (centre of mass). Since the Sun is far more massive than the Earth, the Earth has a lot wider orbit, and thus most people say the Earth orbits around the Sun. Due to the Earth's tilted axis of rotation, we experience this orbit through seasons (Summer, Winter, etc.) with longer/shorter periods of daylight.

  • The solar system (including the Sun and Earth) jointly orbit around the Milky Way's centre of mass. Indeed, we cannot see this directly (it takes about 225 to 250 million years to go around), but can detect it by comparing Doppler shift in stars' spectra (i.e., "these stars are going this way, these stars are going that way, and they form a circle"). This basically has nothing to do with anything (but isn't science fun).

In simple terms, the word "galaxy" has nothing to do with day and night. The word "orbit" has comparatively little to do with day and night. What's relevant is "spin" and what we see is consistent with the referenced ayah.


As for the Moon:

  • We see the Moon moving across the sky primarily due to the Earth's spin too (just like the Sun)---we can literally watch this happening.

  • The Moon also orbits the Earth, which is observable in the phases of the Moon (the side facing the Sun is brighter). In Islam, this is what gives rise to the lunar calendar (including when Ramadan starts and stops).


In regards to "to do their work", aside from the Sun providing a source of energy (which we couldn't live without), both the Sun and the Moon are responsible for tides. (Some animals use the Moon for navigation.)

In regards to "each running unto an appointed term", it's generally accepted by scientists that the Sun will turn into a red giant in a few billion years, swallowing and destroying the Earth and Moon, then becoming a white dwarf. Assuming this is what eventuates, the Sun, Earth, and the Moon all literally have appointed terms.

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People especially those are scholar but non Muslim failed to understand Quran because- a). of its delivery technique. ie the form of the Verse: Its verse are for example the leafs of a tree. You shake the tree and collect them under the tree randomly and makes a book with those and it is the structure of the Quran.

Again a verse may contain the sayings of God, sayings of the scriber of the mother book, sayings of the angel who brought it to the prophet.

b). form and content of the mother book: The mother book written not in any language but in a form. In a form of frequency and it contains the whole creation, death of birth of every creations but not their deeds and sayings excepts the Prophets.But not the date of destruction of the whole creation.

c). Geneses. the creation of 1st man and woman and how they came into this world:

d). lack of knowledge. and the question we are answering is in this category. ie. lack of knowledge of understanding scriptures. "have you not seen" it is a form of conversation. Say two English man exchange their personal experiences. ... and in a phase one says, "you know...."

all Scriptures are in a form that each of them shall be understood to them it send. But may not understandable to others. its perfect example is Christians. They have no scripture but they take one which was sent to the children of Israel. Thus they failed to understand what the scripture says. example-

"It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean".-[Matthew 15:11; Mark 7:15] if we asked a christian, a jews and a Muslim that what this verse says, what will be the answer? lets see-

Christian: It says, that entering into the mouth not defile a man: but those come out of him defile." Jew: It says, that entering into the mouth [except those forbade God] not defile a man: but those come out of him defile." Muslim: The Jew is right as Jesus was a Jew and he came to them. So they shall understand better his word.

Now, We have to inquire- Why the answer Differs?

The Christian Just translate the words and meanings accordingly. The Meanings is 100% correct, Yet they are Wrong, because they forget one thing- the following Verse-“I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”-[Mathew, 15:21-24]

Why this [Mathew, 15:21-24] remind so important? Because Jesus applied the verse -"It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean".-[Matthew 15:11; Mark 7:15] to the Jews who knows what is forbidden by the laws so Jesus need not to cite the exceptions.

Now you may understand why Jesus called the Christians [non Jew] "DOGs" saying- It is not right to take the children's [Son of Israel] bread"[Gospel] and through it to the Dogs [non Jew]. and WARNED them [non Jew] saying: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”-[Mathew, 15:21-24]

Because the TRUTH is- A "Neckless of PERL" [Gospel, the sayings of Jesus] never be valued by the "DOGs" [non Jew] and the "ABSOLUTE TRUTH" is that- "Every prophet when he came, borne to one nation only, which was the mark of the mercy of God. And so their words were not extended save to that people to which they were sent."

Again Scripture says in that ways because they understand properly in it in that way. For example- if a urban school boy who never seen a dove asked his teacher "what is a dove looks like?" what shall be the answer of the teacher? The teacher answers "the dove looks like pigeon". because the teacher knows that a urban boy familiar with pigeon. The answer may not correct according to the zoological criteria, but the wise teacher answers this way because his urban student understood dove better in that way.

And we still use some language that is nonsensical in the sense of science. for example we say sun rise and sun sets thou it never rise or sets.

Now for the Question? Why does this verse below allegedly say that "have you not seen" How can we humans see the galaxy orbit of the sun?

Hast thou not seen how Allah causeth the night to pass into the day and causeth the day to pass into the night, and hath subdued the sun and the moon (to do their work), each running unto an appointed term; and that Allah is Informed of what ye do? Qur'an 31:29

Now, if the question for the verse 31:29, then we have to say that the asker is noting but a STUPID, because the verse not means to see the galaxy orbit of the sun, but means- The phases of Day and night that every one observes regularly.

Yet with this stupidity of the Question Asker, we are not surprised, because it is much lesser than the stupidity of sir William Muir [see, THE BEACON OF TRUTH] or, Saint Jon Damascene [see, "Heresy of the Ishmaelites"].

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