Islamic Prophecies: Formation of petroleum/gasoline

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Formation of petroleum/gasoline
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"He brings out the pasture. Then turns it into a blackish floodwater. " (87:4-5)

Petroleum is primarily the outcome of a long process during which herbage like algae and fern in the interstices of rocks is exposed to the chemical effects of various bacteria. Today the origin of petroleum is believed to be organic material. Pastures created before man was created were destined to turn in time to petroleum within the framework of the ecological balance of the world. Oily organic residues decomposed beneath the floor of the seas for millions of years. The underlying oily substance eventually was transformed into petroleum.

Petroleum presents the properties of “floodwater.” Petroleum, more often than not, moves away from where it was originally formed. It does not have a settling property. Petroleum behaves like flood liquid, traveling long distances and collecting at spots where it comes across hard rocks without pores. Petroleum beds have been discovered in places where they were found as deposits, hindered from continuing their course.

In brief, petroleum, as described in the verses, is

1. made of organic matter,

2. blackish and

3. moves like floodwater.


Let's have a look at these verses in context in three famous translations:

Yusuf Ali: Glorify the name of thy Guardian-Lord Most High, Who hath created, and further, given order and proportion; Who hath ordained laws. And granted guidance; And Who bringeth out the (green and luscious) pasture, And then doth make it (but) swarthy stubble.

Pickthal: Praise the name of thy Lord the Most High, Who createth, then disposeth; Who measureth, then guideth; Who bringeth forth the pasturage, Then turneth it to russet stubble.

Shakir: Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High, Who creates, then makes complete, And Who makes (things) according to a measure, then guides (them to their goal), And Who brings forth herbage, Then makes it dried up, dust-colored.

Qur'an 87:1-5

Again, the author uses a very loose translation of the two verses in question. When read in context, the verses appear to be saying that Allah causes the plants to grow, and then wither away again. The three translations above do not even hint at the word 'black'; nor of petroleum, as suggested. 'Dust-colored' does in fact, fit the layman's interpretation; that plants grow and then die. Moving on to the tafsir's for this verse:

[وَالَّذِى أَخْرَجَ الْمَرْعَى ]

(And Who brings out the pasturage,) meaning, all types of vegetation and crops.

[فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَآءً أَحْوَى ]

(And then makes it dark stubble.) Ibn `Abbas said, "Dried up and altered. It has been narrated that Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd, all made similar statements.
{ وَٱلَّذِيۤ أَخْرَجَ ٱلْمَرْعَىٰ }

and Who brought forth the pasture, [Who] caused herbage to grow,

{ فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَآءً أَحْوَىٰ }

then made it, after verdancy, blackened stubble, desiccated broken chaff.
{ وَٱلَّذِيۤ أَخْرَجَ ٱلْمَرْعَىٰ }

(Who bringeth forth the pasturage) green pasture by means of the rain,

{ فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَآءً أَحْوَىٰ }

(Then turneth it) after being green (to russet stubble) i.e. He makes it dry and black when it exceeds a year.
وَالَّذِي أَخْرَجَ الْمَرْعَى ﴿87:4﴾

87:4) Who brought forth the pasture, The word mar`a as used in the Text means the fodder for animals but the context shows that here it dces not imply mere fodder but every kind of vegetation that grows out of the soil.

فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَاءً أَحْوَى ﴿87:5﴾

87:5) and then made it into a blackish straw.

That is, "He does not only bring about spring but autumn as well. You witness both the manifestations of this power. On the one side, He causes lush green vegetation to grow, the freshness of which pleases the hearts and, on the other, He renders the same vegetation pale, dry and black rubbish, which is blown about by winds and swept away by floods. Therefore, no one here should be involved in the misunderstanding that he will only experience spring and will never see autumn." This same theme has been expressed at several other places in the Qur'an in other ways. For example see Yunus: 24, Al-Kahf: 45, Al-Hadid; 20.


It is clear from reading reputable translations, the views of scholars, as well as in context, that these verses refer to the life cycle of plants; things that are observable to normal humans. There is no indication of the word "black", except in the context of withering plants, nor anything "moving like floodwater" in these verses. This has obviously nothing to do with petroleum or gasoline.

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