My Conclusion About Quranic Geology

Purpose of this post
Anyone can be deceived by anything. This post is there to help me practice my critical thinking and help other ex-Muslims who may have fallen for the same verse by the dishonest translation of Umar Nasser, the author at RationalReligion.

And, this is my thinking. Your way could be different. I just went deep because I fell hard for it once.

Original claim

Unknown source (possibly translated by the author himself, Umar Nasser): “The mountains that you see, you think they are stationary while they are constantly floating like the floating of clouds. Such is the work of Allah Who made everything firm and strong.”

"Here, the Quran tells us that visible mountains appear stationary while in reality they float like clouds. There are only two ways in which this can be true: either the entire Earth is rotating, causing the mountains to float in space, or mountain ranges are somehow floating on top of the Earth.

Incredibly, both are true! The Earth is indeed rotating. Not only this, but mountain ranges float on top of the Earth’s crust:

“… as a mountain range forms, it slowly sinks under the force of gravity, and the continental crust bends downward. When enough of a root bulges into the mantle to provide buoyancy, the mountain range floats.” Understanding Earth, Grotzinger & Jordan, pg. 630 (2014). "

My Conclusion

• Could the knowledge mentioned be attained by observation

Yes, there is a possibility. A 7th century mind may assume that the land they live on is floating on water just like boats float on the water. It’d just take someone to see a small island or ask someone to see something like that and report back. Deep diving is not possible without oxygen equipment so there’s no way anyone could swim deep enough to find out that there’s land under the sea as well. Thus, they may assume that all land is floating on endlessly deep water. There are similar ancient beliefs as well.

• Could the knowledge be humanly attained by traveling, questioning qualified figures, asking someone to travel to another place to ask for you?

Yes, there are many myths about the world floating on a large endless ocean.

In early Egyptian and Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a disk floating in the ocean. (H. and H. A. Frankfort, J. A. Wilson, and T. Jacobsen, Before Philosophy (Baltimore: Penguin, 1949) 54)

The Israelites also imagined the Earth to be a disc floating on water with an arched firmament above it that separated the Earth from the heavens. (Berlin, Adele (2011). “Cosmology and creation”. In Berlin, Adele; Grossman, Maxine (eds.). The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion.)

Hecataeus of Miletus believed that the Earth was flat and surrounded by water.

Keeping these ancient beliefs in mind, one could have very well assumed that if the Earth is on the water, then it means it is floating. It could then be assumed further that each continent is a fragment of the Earth individually flowing on the water. But an ancient mind might assume that even islands are fragments of the Earth that are floating individually on the water. This would mean each and every mountain on that particular continent was also floating along with it.

• Is the claim of knowledge in translated version different from the original language i.e. change in words, replacing archaic vocabulary with modern vocabulary, change of tenses, contextual isolation (taking a statement out of a group and isolating it to make it independent) or anything else?

Yes, according to the original Arabic and the earliest commentaries on it [27:88], this verse is explained in combination with 27:87 - 27:90. This is known as the concept of ‘ruku’ where thematically similar verses are grouped together. Commentaries attempt to narrow down and create groups of verses that are similar in terms of things happening on the Day of Judgement, how the universe began, and etc. Rukus.

The author Umar Nasser has distorted the meaning of the original Arabic with the influence of modern scientific findings. This is English translations that are as old as possible happen to be the closest to what the original Arabic text is saying.

In the original Arabic, according to Ibn Kathir, Maudadi and others, the verses of Surah 27, 87-90 are talking about what will happen on the Day of Judgement. Thus, the verse has been isolated from its group in an attempt to prove that mountains are 24/7 moving like clouds. After analyzing the word to word morphology of the verse, it becomes clear that the author of this post, Umar Nasser, has added words, changed tenses and replaced archaic, original words with the modern Arabic vocabulary.

The error of contextual isolation starts by omitting the conjunction ‘And’ from the start of the verse, thereby trying to prove that this verse is independent, whereas in reality it’s conjoined with the phrases it’s preceded by.

Secondly, it starts by changing the verb ‘will pass’ (future imperfect) to a present imperfect form. Before this is done, the verb ‘to pass’ is replaced by the word ‘to float’. From Lane’s lexicon and earliest Quranic commentaries, it becomes clear that the root of the verb used in the original Arabic by no means ever refer to ‘floating’. The new version, with the updated verb and tenses, becomes ‘mountains are constantly floating like the floating of clouds’ instead of the original ‘mountains will pass like the passing of the clouds’. Quranic polysemy is ignored here as it is very plausible and highly probable that the verb refers to the future because of its context.

To summarize, the changed words and verbs include:

Constantly = new addition
You think = new addition
Are floating (present imperfect) instead of will pass (future imperfect) = verb replacement + ignorance of Quranic polysemy + contextual isolation
Stationary instead of fixed
While = new addition after ‘stationary’
Who made everything firm and strong instead of Allah is aware of everything you do = distortion of the original phrase

• Is the evidence 100% correct in what it says or could it be interpreted differently, even if it is from a legitimate book, research paper or other source?

A mountain range is rarely floating in its entirety. The books that mention it are failing to point out that it’s only the tip of the root that is floating in the deeper mantle region, not the entire root and far from the entire mountain. The sides of the root are smashing against the sides of the plates and are not exposed to the mantle. In addition, not every kind of mountain has roots deep enough that’d go in the mantle region and float there. In the cases that the entire root is inside the mantle, the mountain range can be considered floating. It is also possible that one end of the root is floating on the mantle while the other end isn’t, creating a gap between the surface of that part and the mantle. This could happen in the formation of ‘block mountains’.

For the ranges whose tips of the roots do happen to be touching the viscous mantle, can be said to be floating but at the same spot without any movement. This happens when a mountain forms by convergent movement of the plate tectonics, where two or more plates are constantly colliding into each other.

On the other hand, all plates are always in a form of constant motion. Some are going nowhere by moving against each other, resulting in a constant growth in the height of the mountain and the root of the mountain. The Eurasian and Indian plates are good example where the Mount Everest is becoming taller by a few cm every year.

Every mountain is different.


The verse has been distorted in its translations and modified to cunningly fit the modern findings of science. However, the author’s lack of knowledge in geology, and thus tectonic plates, suggests that the author has no idea that mountains, on their own, are never floating. It is their tips that can bulge deep down in the mantle and part of them can float there. But, according to the author, the entire mountains are constantly floating like clouds.

In addition, the original wording of the Arabic verse has been taken out of context and isolated to make it look like an independent miracle of a knowledge that nobody could’ve acquired 1400 years ago. Unfortunately, due to author’s lack of knowledge in ancient myths about the planet Earth’s physical form, he fails to consider that the concept of Earth floating on endless oceans was already present, hundreds of years before the merchant Muhammad was born.

But, because the verse specifically belongs to the group of Day of Judgement, it would be dishonest and fallacious for anyone to even consider the distorted version of the verse a reality. It is justified to consider it Umar Nasser’s own English version of Quran. Last but not least, mountains in Quran are only referred to as pegs or stakes hammered down the Earth to stabilize it from earthquakes (another fallacious claim) or their fate is described in frightening ways on the alleged Day of Judgement.

It turns out that Muslims like Umar Nasser are willing to become intellectually dishonest and disloyal to their own religious book by justifying their actions as spreading the scientific miracles of Islam and Quran. You cannot spread something that doesn’t exist.

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My conclusions about theology; At its very best; a waste of a good mind.

Generally; “Theology : The effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing” (H L Mencken)

However, there are Some pretty interesting Muslims thinkers, and a lot of the stuff is available free in PDF form

EG :

Seventeenth century theologian and philosopher the Mulla Sadra. For interest the poet and Sufi mystic Omar Khayyam. For fun which may make you think, the jokes of the Sufi teacher Nasreddin

Good job… you’re very detail oriented!

FYI - this tactic that Umar used is common. That why without even knowing the Koran, I could tell by “tells” there was some heavy twisting going on “to fit a theology”.

The bible apologists have us well trained… but the Koran and beliefs were built upon it, eh? Soooo - what’d ya expect? :wink:…newer bullshit from bullshitters - then the SHINIEST “Book of Morons” (lol)…

Hey - you Arab?

Now I can’t remember where or when I read this, but I think it’s right: In Islam it is permissible for a Muslim to lie to save life. It is also permissible for a Muslim to lie to a kafir (non believer) at any time.

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Yes i agree with you 100% on this point, as I’ve been through in the similar situation, my closest friend was lying that he support me when he knew that I’m atheist and when i rejected him many time after he wanted to sleep with me, he revealed my private information and secrets, accused me, and said that I’m not stable because I’m not rational

that was so insane for being betrayed from my best friend, when i said a BIG NO for having sex with me, and he claimed that he is an atheist too, but I recently know that he back to ISLAM again

I think he wasn’t an atheist at the first place, however i believe religious people really have awful opinion and thinking

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Same with Jehovah’s Witnesses - call it “spiritual ware fare”.

Except they also lie to their own :persevere:

I haven’t even read the whole quran as yet and I already see what a piece of work it is. :joy: So far, I’ve flagged different quotes into the themes of punishment for disbelievers, mentioning of the devil, benefit for believers, reassurance that god is all wonderful, inability to do good and just utter dogma. It’s going great. Maybe I’ll put up the version with notes somewhere here. Reading a religious text makes you actually lose brain cells. But its great because you can have evidence from their actual religious text. :roll_eyes:

That would certainly explains a lot. However, I haven’t seen any empirical evidence supporting that claim.

Reading the Quran, will probably leave you more confused than you are already. It’s as contradictory as the new testament and the Torah. There is no one right way of interpreting the contents. That’s
Islam has man different sects, just like Christianity. Then of course there are the Hadith. They are not the same for every sect.

Yes, I’ve read the Quran, as background for papers I was writing on aspects of Islam. That was in 1983. I did not take away a hatred of non believers nor a call for violent Jihad***. The feature I noticed the most was how much of the Quran has been lifted from the Torah.


***the word ‘jihad’ means ‘struggle’ an dis usually taken by Muslims as referring to the struggle of daily life, but also means violent conflict although it also means violent struggle, depending on context.

"The Arabic term jihad literally means a “struggle” or “striving.” This term appears in the Quran in different contexts and can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. This falls under the category of “jihad of the self,” an important subject in Islamic devotional works.

In the specific context of Islamic law, however, jihad generally signifies an armed struggle against outsiders

Medieval scholars of Islamic law delineated two basic forms of armed jihad: defensive jihad, an armed struggle against invaders; and aggressive jihad, a preemptive or offensive attack commissioned by a political authority.

Not surprisingly, Muslim scholars have long debated when exactly warfare can be justified.

Much less controversial, however, is the general rule that various categories of civilians must not be targeted.

This rule of civilian immunity is so widely accepted that it is even typically recognized by violent Muslim radicals. But such radicals also invoke loopholes to get around this rule. When attempting to justify 9/11, for instance, Osama bin Laden argued, among other things, that American civilians could be targeted since, he asserted, American forces had previously targeted Muslim civilians.,to%20become%20a%20better%20person.

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