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Need an answer to this argument made by an atheist site:

First Scientific Mistake of Quran: Allah 'placed'/'cast' mountains over earth's surface (Quran 41:10) وجعل فيها رواسي من فوقها

(Quran Word by Word Translation by Quran Corpus) And He placed in it stabilisers (i.e. mountains) from above (من فوقها). (Word for Word Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh) And He placed therein firmly-set mountains from above it.

So according to quran mountains were cast into the earth from uphill trajectory.

According to the modern science, mountains are not 'placed'/'cast' over earth's surface, but they are formed when two plates tectonics collide with each other (i.e. when earthquake takes place), then crust of one plate goes upwards and forms a mountain, while the crust of other plate goes downwards.

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  • You are understanding it wrong because you are only referring to one translation, try reading others as well. The claim you make is also a misunderstanding as there is nothing in the said verse that suggests mountains were cast from an uphill trajectory.[And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface]. The translated word 'placed/cast' is causing your doubts. Dec 17, 2021 at 6:55

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That is quite a strange interpretation of this verse. It is attributing the "from above" to some kind of "trajectory" (?) which is not even mentioned in the verse.

All that was needed to do is look at other translations to get a better understanding. Sahih International:

And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures'] sustenance in four days without distinction - for [the information] of those who ask. (41:10)

And a person could also have looked up tafasir. See Maarif ul-Quran:

وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا (He has placed firm mountains in it (the earth) towering above it,...41:10) The mountains have been created to maintain the earth's balance as has been clarified in many verses of Qur'an. It was not necessary for this purpose to raise them above the earth's surface and to make them so high - they could have been placed inside the earth also. But in raising them above and making them so high as to keep them away from the reach of human beings and animals, generally, there were thousands, rather innumerable, benefits for the inhabitants of the earth. Hence the words, "towering above it" in this verse point out to this special blessing. (Maarif ul-Quran)

And you can also read Tabari's comments:

Allah says: And he made on the earth which He created in two days mountains as towers. These are stabilizers for the earth from above it, meaning: above the earth on its surface. (Tabari)

In simple terms, contrary to this strange interpretation, "from above" refers to the quality of the mountains. They are above the earth.

There may also be a confusion because "from" in English usually implies something coming from somewhere. So, someone who lacks Arabic knowledge might think "from above" necessarily implies something coming from the upward direction to the downwards direction.

But, this is a misunderstanding because "from above" is a common phrase in Arabic that is just a way of saying "above." See for one example out of many:

They fear their Lord above (literally: from above, but just means above) them, and they do what they are commanded. (16:50)

Another source of confusion could be the word "placed" because placing can come from a direction. A more literal translation of جعل, however, might be "made." And if you read it with such a translation, that makes it more clear that the direction is not about any "trajectory" because, obviously, "made" does not have a direction. So, you can read it as: "He made mountains (from) above it."

In conclusion: The mountains were made above the earth i.e. they were made high and tall.

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