Difference between revisions of "Mosquito Miracle in the Quran"

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The word ends on the letter ة (''ta marboota'') and this letter is commonly added to nouns to make them ''grammatically'' feminine. But grammatically feminine doesn't necessarily mean having female gender.
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The word ends on the letter ة (''ta marboota'') and this letter is added to nouns to make them ''grammatically'' feminine. But grammatically feminine doesn't necessarily mean having female gender.
 
{{Quote|[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_nouns_and_adjectives#Collective_nouns Wikipedia: Arabic nouns and adjectives: Collective nouns]|
 
{{Quote|[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_nouns_and_adjectives#Collective_nouns Wikipedia: Arabic nouns and adjectives: Collective nouns]|
 
Certain nouns in Arabic, especially those '''referring to plants, animals and other inanimate objects that often appear in groups''', have a special collective declension. For those nouns, the formally singular noun has plural semantics, or refers to the objects as an undistinguished mass. In these nouns, '''the singular is formed by adding the feminine suffix ـَة (-ah), which forms the so-called singulative''' (اِسْمُ ٱلْوَحْدَةِ ʼismu l-waḥdah lit. "noun of unity").
 
Certain nouns in Arabic, especially those '''referring to plants, animals and other inanimate objects that often appear in groups''', have a special collective declension. For those nouns, the formally singular noun has plural semantics, or refers to the objects as an undistinguished mass. In these nouns, '''the singular is formed by adding the feminine suffix ـَة (-ah), which forms the so-called singulative''' (اِسْمُ ٱلْوَحْدَةِ ʼismu l-waḥdah lit. "noun of unity").

Latest revision as of 10:44, 16 May 2020

The Quran supposedly informed us that female mosquitoes have parasites.

Miracle claim

There are flying parasites that suck the blood from mosquitos.

In 1922, a scientist named F.W. Edwards published a paper describing a remarkable thing: a flying, biting midge collected from the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia that he named Culicoides anophelis. What made the midge was remarkable was the thing it bit: mosquitoes.
Scientific American, Mosquitoes Have Flying, Blood-Sucking Parasites of Their Own, 2014

So those parasites are sucking blood from mosquitos.

Today we know that female mosquitos need blood for their eggs:

Typically, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices, but in many species the mouthparts of the females are adapted for piercing the skin of animal hosts and sucking their blood as ectoparasites. In many species, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a blood meal before it can produce eggs, whereas in many other species, it can produce more eggs after a blood meal. A mosquito has a variety of ways of finding its prey, including chemical, visual, and heat sensors. Both plant materials and blood are useful sources of energy in the form of sugars, and blood also supplies more concentrated nutrients, such as lipids, but the most important function of blood meals is to obtain proteins as materials for egg production.
Wikipedia, Mosquito, 2018

So those parasites are actually sucking blood from female mosquitos.

However 1400 years ago the Quran said that mosquitos had their own parasites:

Quran 2.26 Allah does not shy away from making an example of a mosquito and what is above it. As for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did Allah intend by this example?" He leads astray many thereby, and He guides many thereby; but He misleads thereby only the evildoers.

"Mosquito and what is above it" this is a parasite on a mosquito. Bauda in Arabic " بعوضة " is female mosquito. So the Quran is referring to female mosquito that has parasite.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that female mosquitos have parasites?


Arabic grammar

Apologists claim:

Bauda in Arabic " بعوضة " is female mosquito.


The word ends on the letter ة (ta marboota) and this letter is added to nouns to make them grammatically feminine. But grammatically feminine doesn't necessarily mean having female gender.

Certain nouns in Arabic, especially those referring to plants, animals and other inanimate objects that often appear in groups, have a special collective declension. For those nouns, the formally singular noun has plural semantics, or refers to the objects as an undistinguished mass. In these nouns, the singular is formed by adding the feminine suffix ـَة (-ah), which forms the so-called singulative (اِسْمُ ٱلْوَحْدَةِ ʼismu l-waḥdah lit. "noun of unity").


And the word بعوضة is singulative:

بَعُوضَة • (baʿūḍa) f (singulative, collective بَعُوض‎ (baʿūḍ))


So it's not that بعوض is male and بعوضة is female, but rather بعوض is collective and بعوضة is singulative.

In a similar way شجر means "trees" or "tree" as a collective type, but شجرة means "a tree". The ة makes it singular, not of female gender.

The verse

The verse doesn't say "parasites", it only vaguely says "what is above it" (فما فوقها):

Allah does not shy away from making an example of a mosquito and what is above it (بعوضة فما فوقها). As for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did Allah intend by this example?" He leads astray many thereby, and He guides many thereby; but He misleads thereby only the evildoers.


Parasites live on their host and not above it, so why is the Quran saying "above it" (فوقها, fawqa-haa), when it could have said "on it" (عليها, alay-haa)?

Also, apologists ignore the context. The context is not a lecture on biology. The historical context is:

Al-Hasan and Qatadah said: “When Allah mentioned gnats and spiders in His Book and used them to coin similitudes for the disbelievers, the Jews laughed and said: 'this does not resemble Allah's speech', and so Allah revealed this verse”


Asbab al-Nuzul 2:26

The Jews were making fun of the Quran, because it used parables about insects, which according to them wasn't appropriate for god. And so the verse responds "Allah does not shy away from making an example of a mosquito and what is above it". And "what is above it" means:

فَمَا فَوْقَهَا (Or so much more when it is bigger than it) Fama fawqaha means, something bigger than the mosquito, which is one of the most insignificant and tiniest of creatures.


Ibn Kathir on 2:26

See also

The same trick of presenting the singulative form as "for females" was used in other miracles as well: