Islamic Prophecies: Rapid transfer of things
The Prophet King Solomon wanted the throne of the Queen of Sheba brought to him as soon as possible. Someone came forth telling Solomon that he would bring it before the King could stand up. Upon this, the person “who was given knowledge of the Book” promised that he would bring it within the twinkling of an eye, and granted Solomon’s wish.
Emphasis is made here to the knowledge of the person who performs this feat. It is not said that this so-called miracle was the doing of the Prophet or due to the jugglery of a jinn. What is of particular importance here is the fact that if one has the true knowledge of something, it is possible to convey it at a very high speed.
Thanks to the state-of-the-art science and technology in our age, the sound and image of a material in any part of the world can be transmitted at a speed almost equal to the one expressed in the verse. This is not the transportation of the matter itself, though. Could the transfer of matter itself be possible one day?
As a matter of fact, scientists have made some progress. For example, in 1993, researchers from Innsbruck University in Austria were able to transfer photons from one spot to another. They dreamed of conducting the transmission of atoms and molecules using the same method. In the future, even the teleportation of the human body is speculated.
The attitude of Solomon in the verse quoted must set an example for all scientists. What he saw led Solomon to realize that he was being tried as to whether he was ungrateful or grateful, and thus he decided to turn toward God, in thanks. A scientist should take cognizance of the fact that whatever he discovers or invents is due to the brain, eyes and hands given to him by God, within the laws He has laid down, and give thanks to Him.
Let's go through this one claim by claim. First off, the author states that "someone" promised to bring Solomon the throne. Actually, according to the previous verse, this 'someone' was a jinn. (demon)
One audacious among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it.
Secondly, the person who actually performed the feat is reported by Kathir to have been Asif a Scribe of Solomon; and a knowledgeable Muslim:
(An `Ifrit from the Jinn said: ) Mujahid said, "A giant Jinn. Abu Salih said, "It was as if he was a mountain.
[أَنَاْ ءَاتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن تَقُومَ مِن مَّقَامِكَ]
(I will bring it to you before you rise from your place.) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Before you get up from where you are sitting. As-Suddi and others said: "He used to sit to pass judgements and rulings over the people, and to eat, from the beginning of the day until noon.
[وَإِنِّى عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِىٌّ أَمِينٌ]
(And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.) Ibn `Abbas said: "Strong enough to carry it and trustworthy with the jewels it contains. Sulayman, upon him be peace, said, "I want it faster than that. From this it seems that Sulayman wanted to bring this throne as a demonstration of the greatness of the power and authority that Allah had bestowed upon him and the troops that He had subjugated to him. Power such as had never been given to anyone else, before or since, so that this would furnish proof of his prophethood before Bilqis and her people, because this would be a great and wondrous thing, if he brought her throne as if he were in her country, before they could come to it, although it was hidden and protected by so many locked doors. When Sulayman said, "I want it faster than that,
[قَالَ الَّذِى عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ]
(One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: ) Ibn `Abbas said, "This was Asif, the scribe of Sulayman. It was also narrated by Muhammad bin Ishaq from Yazid bin Ruman that he was Asif bin Barkhiya' and he was a truthful believer who knew the Greatest Name of Allah. Qatadah said: "He was a believer among the humans, and his name was Asif.
[أَنَاْ ءَاتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ]
(I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!) Meaning, lift your gaze and look as far as you can, and before you get tired and blink, you will find it before you. Then he got up, performed ablution and prayed to Allah, may He be exalted. Mujahid said: "He said, O Owner of majesty and honor. When Sulayman and his chiefs saw it before them,
[قَالَ هَـذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّى](he said: "This is by the grace of my Lord...)
Next, the author states that "If someone has true knowledge of something, then it is easy to convey it at very high speed" and falsely claims that "emphasis is made on the knowledge of the person who perform the feat." The verse in question says no such thing. It clearly states: "Said one who had knowledge of THE BOOK" What is "The Book"? Since its in the Quran, and Solomon was a Muslim, then it had to be either the Taurat/Injeel or the Quran. The verse does not say to someone who has (great) knowledge.
The author then goes on to talk about as yet unrealized achievements such as matter transportation (from one place to another). This article is supposed to be about 'fulfilled prophecy' not 'what lies in the future'.
Regarding the phrase In the Twinkling of an Eye" the Quran is not unique in its usage of the phrase. The Bible, in 1st Corinthians states:
Therefore we know that the phrase was known, and possibly even used outside of religious texts; therefore it could have been a meme garnered from everyday life.
The explanatory text as to the prophetic nature of this 'miracle' grossly misrepresents the verse's intended meaning. It is a 'stretch' at best, to call this 'prophetic' of anything. Considering the verses in context, and the scholar's explanations of the meaning of each part of this verse, renders it not prophetic. Nowhere does it even hint at literal transference of objects/matter.
- Al Islam's "Fulfilled prophecies of the holy Quran"
- "Hidden prophecies of the Quran"
- Quran miracles