Fault Lines Miracle in the Quran

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to: navigation, search

The Quran contains a verse which says that the Earth has "cracks" (صدع, sad'a). Some Islamic apologists try to portray it as scientific information that wasn't available in the 7th century.


As usually, the claim is detailed scientific information followed by a vague verse from the Quran:

In geology, a fault is a planar fracture or discontinuity in a volume of rock, across which there has been significant displacement as a result of rock-mass movement. Large faults within the Earth's crust result from the action of plate tectonic forces, with the largest forming the boundaries between the plates, such as subduction zones or transform faults. Energy release associated with rapid movement on active faults is the cause of most earthquakes.
A fault plane is the plane that represents the fracture surface of a fault. A fault trace or fault line is a place where the fault can be seen or mapped on the surface. A fault trace is also the line commonly plotted on geologic maps to represent a fault.
Wikipedia, Fault (geology), 2019

Earth's crust is full of cracks and fault lines. This was only known recently. However the Quran said that Earth had cracks long before it was discovered:

[Quran 86.12] And the Earth that has faults.

"Tasaddaa in Arabic تصدَّعَ" means got cracked. In this verse "Sadaa صَّدْعِ" means the crack itself. Here the Earth has internal cracks.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that Earth has faults?

The verse

The word الصدع is not usually translated as "faults" in the verse:

والأرض ذات الصدع

Sahih International: And [by] the earth which cracks open,

Pickthall: And the earth which splitteth (with the growth of trees and plants)

Muhsin Khan: And the earth which splits (with the growth of trees and plants),

Yusuf Ali: And by the Earth which opens out (for the gushing of springs or the sprouting of vegetation),-

Dr. Ghali: And by the earth comprising crevices (producing verdure),

Mufti Taqi Usmani: and the earth that cracks open (for plants),

From dictionary:

صَدْع ( اسم ): شَقّ

breach ; break ; chasm ; chink ; cleft ; crack ; cranny ; crevice ; fault ; fissure ; flaw ; interstice ; rent ; rift ; split

The صدع can be any type of crack/opening/split/flaw.. on Earth. So the verse is extremely vague. I doesn't specify what kind of crack it is and whether it's big or small. It could be even metaphorical.

This is the opinion of Muhammad's companions, which was also supported by most of the translations:

(And the earth which splits.) Ibn `Abbas said, "Splitting to bring forth plant growths. This was also said by Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others.

Ibn Kathir on 86:12

Ibn Abbas was known as "turjuman al-quran", because Muhammad asked Allah to give Ibn Abbas the knowledge of the correct interpretation of the Quran:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (raa): The Prophet (saws) embraced me and said, “O Allah! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (Quran).”

See also