First of all, I am not a scholar. I am just a very ordinary Muslim. Brothers please read Quran daily and many of your questions will be solved when you would realize the power & knowledge of Allah.
@hunter I am not sure in which context Sahabah asked about the moon when they were replied in Al-Bakara 2:189.
Allah clearly has knowledge of everything, please see the translation on page below..Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder) - سورة الرعد, 13:2
It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can]
see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the
sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He
arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the
meeting with your Lord, be certain. [sahih international]
same verse Pikthall translation
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
Of-course It's Allah who created them and He knows about them more than anyone. Please also note that science at that time would not know that moon and sun are running in their own course in space. Scientist did not use to know that they actually move or they stand still. Science also did not know at that time that all of this is going to end after a specified term (Although these days scientists say that the world is going to end one day).
Allah has told us clearly what a moon is scientifically and it run in its course and this is all going to end one day!!!
@MarcGravell. The link you shared is nothing but more than proving a logic through manipulation of the meaning of the words. Here is an example: If sun is a source of light and an electric bulb is also a source of light, I cannot just "Find & replace" word "Sun" with "Bulb" in every book of science. So, if Allah calls his Messenger "siraajan muneeran", you cannot just replace this word with all characteristics of sun and the moon etc which has been said in a different context. Allah gave us wisdom to understand the meanings of the words and not to just play around with them to aruge. Exampple 2: If a father says to his son, you are my heart, the son is not the "actual" heart of the father. There are millions of examples where a particular word said in a particular context would give a different meaning to if it was used in another context. Example 3: Please search on Google "Wall St laid an egg", Should we just say that Wall St is same as a chicken cause someone said they both laid eggs?
Please see the translation below which describes the difference.
Surat Yūnus (Jonah) - سورة يونس 10:5
It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived
light and determined for it phases - that you may know the number of
years and account [of time]. Allah has not created this except in
truth. He details the signs for a people who know [sahi international]
Same verse Pickthall translation
He it is Who appointed the sun a splendour and the moon a light, and
measured for her stages, that ye might know the number of the years,
and the reckoning. Allah created not (all) that save in truth. He
detaileth the revelations for people who have knowledge.
Even this line describes that the moon has its phases. If you visualize it scientifically, you would realize that the the moon is running in its own course.
@Marc: Brother, English is not my first language so i am unable to describe here what the word noor means. May be someone else can differentiate it to help you out, Or I will try to find a better explanation. Here is wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nur_(name), noor means a shining light, but it does not differentiate whether the object where the noor is coming from is the source of the light or not.
We Muslims use the word "noor" in many other ways where it does not convey the meaning of reflected light. For example if someone looks very beautiful we say to him/her you have "noor" on your face. Honestly, in my mind, I take "noor" as a shiny light and the source of the noor could be the source of the light or it could be reflecting the light.
Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentrism. It says that "It was not until the 16th century that a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system was presented", This page says that Heliocentrism was just a theory which was not supported by most. Further reading tells that no one actually knew anything for sure. All of these were theories with variations of views. But Quran does not present a theory, Quran says it is The Truth.
@hunter moon does not change its size, it's just bright part of the moon that we see when sun light hits part of it.
@both of you: Also, please have read of http://quran.com/81, Lines 15 & 16 tells that there are retreating stars and the stars run in their courses. This answers the original question whether God had the knowledge of moon and stars or not.
P.S. Before the modern science, no one ever proved that the stars run in their courses. Please share a link if it says for sure that it was the case.
@hunter, Bro. Where it says in Quran that sky is concrete? i think you just assumed it because you read that sky has been created without pillars. e.g. If I say that Ozone layer is in the atmosphere without pillars, it does not mean that it is a solid matter.
I think the we all including scientists don't know yet the definition of the sky. In science, the sky is just an imaginary sphere...
We also don't know what is the shape of this universe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_of_the_Universe Scientists believe that they only know very little about universe. I don't have the source (but i read somewhere) scientists believe that they only know 3% of the universe.
Also, i think, by making the sky without pillars Allah means that everything in sky is just hanging and it does not fall on earth and Allah did not use any pillars to hang them in space. As we need walls or pillars when we build the roof of a building (otherwise it will fall down). Allah talks about the sky as the roof but Allah does not mention whether it is concrete or not. For example: We have Ozone layer in Earth's atmosphere but it is not concrete.
"By using of pillars it also means, there is something stationary..." if a plane has pillar and walls and it flies in the sky, having pillars does not make it stationary. e.g. If we assume that the shape of universe is round, there are no pillars inside that circle from one end to the other end.
This was just an assumption that universe is round, it's not round and Allah did not use pillars, so it does not make it stationary.
I just need to add a clarification about noor. The difference between noor and light is that light is emited from the original source while noor is only a reflection. For example: Sun emits light while moon emits noor ( the reflection of sun's light.)