Microburst in the Quran Non-Miracle

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Microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) [1]. Some Islamic apologists claim that the Quran talked about microburst before science discovered it. Just like with all other scientific "miracles", apologists started talking about the miracle only after science discovered it, as if it wasn't in the Quran before that.

The miracle claim

The miracle claim contains criticism of the Bible, citations of scientific facts and a vague verse from the Quran that supposedly talks about the scientic facts:

The Bible describes the four winds, one wind from each of the four corners of the Earth. Although this turned-out to be false, the Bible is talking about surface winds. Surface winds move parallel to the ground. Nobody knew at that time about downdrafts that hit the ground from above. However today this weather phenomena took the aviation industry by surprise.

A microburst is an intense small-scale downdraft produced by a thunderstorm or rain shower. There are two types of microbursts: wet microbursts and dry microbursts. They go through three stages in their cycle, the downburst, outburst, and cushion stages also called "Suriano's Stroke". A microburst can be particularly dangerous to aircraft, especially during landing, due to the wind shear caused by its gust front. Several fatal and historic crashes have been attributed to the phenomenon over the past several decades, and flight crew training goes to great lengths on how to properly recover from a microburst/wind shear event.

A microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees.

They usually last for seconds to minutes.

Wikipedia, Microburst, 2019

This strong downdraft hits the ground and can level trees... It is a serious threat to aviation with several human fatalities. This was only known recently, however this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered.

[Quran 22:31] Being true to Allah, without associating anything with Him. Whoever associates anything with Allah it is as though he has fallen from the sky, and was snatched by the birds, or was taken down by the wind to a deep place.

"Taken down by the wind to a deep place" here the wind has a downward direction and hits low grounds.

In the Quran this downdraft is a threat for humans in the air; today we know that microbursts are a threat for humans in the air.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that there are downdrafts that hit the ground?


The verse

Apologist translation

The verse 22:31 as translated by apologists doesn't claim that microbursts happen in nature. The part about wind is preceded by "as though":

Being true to Allah, without associating anything with Him. Whoever associates anything with Allah it is as though he has fallen from the sky, and was snatched by the birds, or was taken down by the wind to a deep place.


Quran 22:31, translated by miracles-of-quran.com

"as though" has a meaning:

You use as if and as though when you are giving a possible explanation for something or saying that something appears to be the case when it is not.


The Quran doesn't say that it actually happens. It says that the one who commits shirk (associating partners with Alalh) is as though he was taken down by the wind. Not that he actually is taken by the wind.

Before the supposed "microburst", the Quran talks about the mushrik (commiter of shirk) being as though he fell from the sky and was snatched by birds. Is this also a miracle? Do people regularly fall from the sky and get snatched by birds?

And what does it even mean to "be taken down by a wind to a deep place"? As we'll see, the verse doesn't actually say that.

Actual translation

Let's look at other translations:

Muhsin Khan: ..or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.

Pickthall: ..or the wind had blown him to a far-off place.

Sahih International: ..or the wind carried him down into a remote place

Yusuf Ali: ..or the wind had swooped (like a bird on its prey) and thrown him into a far-distant place.


As we can see, it can be translated simply as wind blowing the person away. Which also fits into the context and meaning of the verse, because mushrik is "blown away from the right path of Islam".

See also

References