GEOLOGY IN THE QURAN

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The concept of mountains nailing down the surface of the Earth originates in an ancient Arab myth about the flat Earth being nailed to the back of a huge fish.
Actually, mountains are like floating icebergs, and their “roots” do not prevent tectonic plates from crashing into each other.
Zakir Naik misquotes from geology books, and quotes from a book about miracles in the Quran.

A hadith explains that the mountain Qāf has roots under every city on Earth, and will shake a root to cause an earthquake when ordered to do so by Allah. Another hadith says Mount Qāf is so bright blue it is the reason why the sky is blue.
Mir Aneesuddin interpreted Quran verse 79:30 as spreading of continents caused by continental drift.
Edip Yüksel claims Quran verse 27:88 about mountains moving on Judgement Day is a revelation of scientific facts about plate tectonics.
Quran verse 30:3 does not reveal that the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth.
The Arabic word means “nearer place”, not “lowest place”.
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local-regional_isostasy_-_flexure_elastic_thickness

bow mountain “roots” form

A mountain, floating like an iceberg, slowly sinking under its own weight creates “roots”.

EXPLANATION OF MOUNTAIN  “ROOTS”
The “roots” of mountains do not hold mountains in place. As shown in the illustration above, “roots” are formed by mountains sinking of their own weight.
Earthquakes and mountains are caused by tectonic plates colliding, and the lighter (lower-iron-content or sometimes warmer) plate floats like an iceberg above the heavier plate as the heavier plate dives into the subduction zone.
Eventually, the weight of the mountain causes the mountain to sink (like an iceberg in water), forming what are sometimes called roots. If the vertical and horizontal use the same scale, the roots do not look like stakes.

MOUNTAINS DO NOT NAIL DOWN THE CRUST
Asad, unlike nearly all other translators, did not interpret “mountains as pegs” to make a scientifically false claim that mountains nail down the crust to prevent it from moving.
Instead, he interpreted pegs as only a symbolic metaphor. He explained in footnote 11 to Quran verse 16:15 that unlike the liquid core of the Earth, the surface of the Earth is solid and stable, and the weight of the crust and its mountains creates stability.
Zakir Naik falsely claims “Earth” ( http://www.gettextbooks.com/isbn/9780716702610/  ) by Frank Press “states that mountains are like stakes”. Actually, Frank Press instead explained that mountains are like icebergs made of rock that is lighter than the higher-iron-content rock it floats on, so like an iceberg most of the mountain is below the surface to provide buoyancy to support its weight. Zakir Naik may have looked at a diagram of the cross-section of a mountain and didn’t read the legend explaining the height to width ratio of the diagram was at a 10:1 scale. The roots of mountains do not look like stakes if the diagram is at a 1:1 scale.

At a lecture by Zakir Naik, someone placed on Naik’s table a printout of an email from Frank Press in which Frank Press wrote that Zakir Naik was misinterpreting what Frank Press wrote in the geology book “Earth”, but Zakir Naik refused to look at the email from Frank Press.
Zakir Naik then quotes from the book “The Geological Concept of Mountains In The Quran“, but omits the words “In the Quran“ which hides that he is quoting from a Quran miracles book, not from a geology book.
Zakir Naik also claims Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens, p. 157 supports his statements. I located the book, but page 157 is in a section of the book that does not mention mountains.


EARTH NAILED TO A HUGE FISH
The concept that mountains nail down the Earth may have originated in a pre-Islamic belief described in hadith Tabiri I:219
which states “He created the earth upon a big fish … The fish became agitated. As a result, the earth quaked, so Allah anchored the mountains and made it stable. This is why the Qur’an says, ‘Allah made for the earth firmly anchored mountains lest it shake you up.’
Hadith was obtained via an advertisement for book at  http://books.google.com/books?id=78Z0Eu42eXQC&pg=PA419&lpg=PA419&dq=tabari+I%3A219+big+fish&source=bl&ots=fKTrIbmNKH&sig=u-efcUj4zE4ZKgZFOZHX-92GOd8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z40MUMbcDubc2AWA4bAG&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBg

THE MOUNTAIN THAT CAUSES EARTHQUAKES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

Muslims copied from a pre-Islamic myth, claiming that the mountain Qāf has roots under every city on Earth, and will shake a root to cause an earthquake when ordered to do so by Allah.

According to a hadith, the mountain Qaf is so bright blue that it causes the sky to be blue.

PLATE TECTONICS
The term “plate tectonics” is more accurate than the term “continental drift” from a theory of the early 1900’s (which incorrectly theorized that the plates merely drift).
Plate tectonics is the modern theory that the oldest rock has cooled the most, making it heaviest, causing it to sink under another plate as it pulls its own plate behind itself. Greater iron content can also make a plate heavy and cause a plate to sink under another plate at the subduction zone.
In 1993, Mir Aneesuddin interpreted Quran verse 79:30 not as “Earth spread flat” or “Earth shaped like ostrich egg” but as spreading of continents caused by continental drift. http://al-quran.info/79/30

MOUNTAINS MOVE ON JUDGEMENT DAY
Quran verse 27:88 says you now think that mountains are solid and do not move. Then the verse mentions mountains moving. Nearly all translators interpret the verse as being about the destruction on Judgement Day.
The previous verse (27:87) is about “the Day the trumpet is blown”. The immediately following verse (27:89) says “those who have done good deeds ,,, shall be secure from the terror of that Day”. Therefore the context indicates that verse 27:88 is about Judgement Day.
Edip Yüksel interpreted the verse to be about the present time, and that mountains are moving so slowly, you think that mountains do not move. Therefore he is certain that the verse is revealing the scientific facts about plate tectonics.
Edip Yüksel translated the verb tamurru as “are passing”, and in his footnote claimed the verb means “are moving”.
Doing a Google search of “tamurru quran dictionary” reveals its definition of tamurru is “will pass”, which indicates it is in the future, and therefore about Judgement Day.

DEAD SEA
Some Muslim websites and Edip Yüksel falsely claim that Quran verse 30:3 reveals the scientific fact that the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth.
But the verse does not say “lowest place on earth”. It says “nearest land”. http://islamawakened.com/quran/30/3/w4wcv.html
adnā usually means near or nearer. Do a Google search of “adnā Quranic corpus” and click on the Dictionary link.
The only verse in the Quran where the Arabic word adnā is sometimes translated as “lower” is in verse 7:169 where it means “this world” as contrasted to “up in heaven”.  http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/7/169/default.htm
Image by Gaianauta, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Local-regional_isostasy_-_flexure,_elastic_thickness.jpg

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