Alan K. Henderson's Weblog

HOME   |   BLOGGER PROFILE   |   BLOGROLL  MAP   |   HENDERSON  PRIZE   |   EMAIL

COMMENTS TEMPORARILY CLOSED - MIGRATING FROM HALOSCAN/ECHO TO DISQUS
Old comments migrated to Disqus, currently working outtechnical issues

Monday, October 13, 2008

 
Blogging the Qur'an: Suras 54, "The Moon," 55, "The Merciful," 56, "The Inevitable," and 57, "Iron"

Robert Spencer has the installment here.

The first of the listed suras begins with a supernatural phenomenon: "The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain" (Pickthal). What hour? Yusufali adds a qualifier, in parentheses: "The hour (of Judgment)." This places verse 1 in context with the following verses, which describe nonbelievers' rejection of this sign and, in vv. 7-8, the wages of this disbelief:

They will come forth,- their eyes humbled - from (their) graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad, Hastening, with eyes transfixed, towards the Caller!- "Hard is this Day!", the Unbelievers will say. [Yusufali translation]

All three translations reference unbelievers rising from their graves - this is obviously the scene of Final Judgment. That doesn't prevent some imaginative sorts to conjure this sort of (ahem) moonbattery, as Spencer explains:

Some modern-day Muslims, however, claim that this verse constituted a prophecy that was fulfilled during Neil Armstrong’s moon landing in 1969, when the astronauts dug up a bit of the lunar soil and brought it back – although, despite their imaginative forays into numerology in connection with this claim, it is more than a stretch to consider that gathering of a small amount of soil as amounting to a splitting of the moon.

Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

Labels: ,




Site Meter


Blogger