Spreading the earth has nothing to do with flattening it, sheets can be spread over non-flat objects, including a ball. The Hebrew Bible speaks of the arrangement of the earth with similar terms Isa42:5,44:24; although it adds the information that the earth has "corners", "boundaries" or "ends" Job38:13,Ps74:17 just like the heaven above it has four corners Zech2:10, and is established upon water Ps24:2, held afloat by pillars. Dahaha 79:30 means "he spread/expanded it". The ostrich nest's context isnt the primary meaning of the word (the nest is a pit which the ostrich expands and spreads with her legs) and neither is there any flattening linked to the meaning of the word. Sutihat 88:20 carries the same meaning, it stems from s-t-h meaning to spread or expand. Another synonym of spreading, expanding, used for the earth's arrangement is MADD 15:19 or mihadan/evened out 78:6-7. See also 51:48,71:19,20:53,13:3,2:22 for similar expressions.frankie wrote:The Quran makes three claims which are provably wrong.
Why are there errors in a book said to come from a divine being, which by the very title "god" should not make mistakes.
Claiming the earth is flat, 88.20
Claiming the Jews worship an eminent Jewish scribe Ezra, as God 9.30
Claiming sperm is produced between the backbone and the ribs 86.6-7
If Allah cannot get the basics right about his own creation, what hope is there for the rest of his book?
In 9:30 the Quran also accuses some Jews of over exalting one of their prophets, Ezra. It is important here to note that a statement that starts with "the people said" without being followed by a precise designation of the individuals concerned inside the group is a literary feature of Arabic usage of sentences; its aim is to point to a prevailing tendancy among a larger group. It is the equivalent to "Most people said". This is all the more true when the single feminine form is used, as in this case.
So in 9:30, it does not mean that all the Jews said this, but it does bring the attention to a significant group amongst them which happened to say it. The same verbal form is used in 5:64-66 for the Jews, and again because in the introductory statement "the Jews said" there was no precise designation of the guilty individuals, the passage ends by making a distinction between the sinners and the righteous, thus showing that although both belong to the same larger group, not all of them are concerned with the accusation levelled against their comunity.
The Quran is here making a historical observation pertaining to the beliefs of the Arabian peninsula. It is already well-documented that not all Jews had the same beliefs. Even within the HB and NT, one finds competing theologies such as the Sadducees' disbelief in the resurrection, while it is a pillar of the orthodox Jewish belief.
Ezra was believed to have ascended up to heaven without dying by certain Jews, just as Christians argued Jesus ascended to heaven. There is nothing far-fetched in the assertion of the Jews, their over exaltation of Ezra especially in the context of the religious competition that existed between Christianity and Judaism in the Arabian peninsula. The Quran often references this, and the following verse is a similar style to the one in question 2:113"And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ". It was in such religious prejudice that the Jews and Christians would even go as far as condemning their opponents on matters that had no religious basis from the book they shared. 9:30 is an example of the religious prejudices reaching extremes, but in this case, it caused them to utter words of unbelief regarding their own religious figures. The next verse states 9:31"They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one Allah only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him)".
Notice that the Quran distinguishes between Jews and Christians in their intent behind their utterence on Ezra and Jesus. Although both groups have raised their religious figures as God's sons, and both have set their scholars and monks as God's partners in the sense that they follow their authority blindly even if it innovates and contradicts what was revealed to them, yet only Jesus is mentionned as having been raised to a divine status. Another important point is that 9:30 does not necessarly state that what they uttered concerning Ezra and Jesus has scriptural basis. This means that although it might be the case, as in Jesus' case who is referred to with the title son of man and son of God, it isnt necessarly so as in Ezra's case. There are other such instances where the Quran exposes some false utterances of the Jews and challenges them to bring the scriptural basis 2:94,2:111,3:75 or sometimes denounces their misinterpretations aimed at satisfying their own interests, either by advancing certain concepts contrary to their scriptures' intent or hiding certain realities fully present in them but that could eventually damage their wordly pursuits and baseless ideas 3:71,78,98-99.
The point of the verse is that they were not interested in proclaiming the truth, they were interested in their partisanship, even at the expense of the truth. Serving God, as the above verse states, is not in their equation.
Elsewhere the Quran rebukes the people of the book for that same attitude, while abusing the phrase "son of God" metaphorically on themselves 5:18, with each claiming a special relationship with God while his mercy and guidance do not belong to a race or group but to all, and neither does His justice discriminate among any group regardless of their claims.
Besides exposing the prejudice of the people of the book towards eachother even at the expense of the truth, 9:30 warns both groups for their excessive usage of the phrase to personalities whom they exalted. Again this verse specifically mentions Ezra whom they had overly exalted, not that they worshipped him as a god, just as Paul's accusation of the Jews in Col2:18 for worshipping angels does not mean these Jews worshipped them as gods, a practice without any historical or scriptural basis.
This exaltation and appelation implies that someone might be compared in essence to God, belittling Him greatly when everything in the heavens and earth bow to His will willingly or unwillingly 3:83,19:88-95,13:15,22:18.
This title is so much honor no one deserves, not the greatest prophets or angels, not anything of His creation. The greatest of the greatest creations, although honored and drawn near to Allah, are only fit to be called His slaves 19:93,21:26"And they say: The Beneficent Allah has taken to Himself a son. Glory be to Him. Nay! they are honored servants".