SPEED OF LIGHT IN THE QURAN

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This is the oldest post in category QURAN BEYOND THE SOLAR SYSTEM

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The claim that verse 32.5 gives the speed of light is a long convoluted claim that the distance the moon travels around the Earth in a thousand years is equal to the distance an angel made of light travels on Judgement Day to deliver to Allah the report of who deserves to go to heaven and who deserves to go to hell. It is assumed that it takes exactly 24 hours for the report to arrive.
Munir Munshey’s translation interprets Quran verse 22:47 to be saying that infidels taunted Muslims, asking them “Why doesn’t your Allah intervene to destroy the infidels today?”. The Muslims replied (implying that Allah works slowly but surely) that Allah eventually will keep his promise Muslim websites claim verse 32:5 [ http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/32/5/default.htm ] reveals the speed of light.
Although the moon is never mentioned in the verse, they let their imaginations run wild to claim that since time is measured by observing the phases of the moon, 1000 years must mean the distance the moon travels around the Earth in 1000 years.
The 2 calculations differ by about 20%, which is a very good coincidence but not perfect.

Others have instead imaginatively interpreted the phrase “whose length shall be a thousand years” to mean the report covers a time span of a thousand years, and interpreted the verse as saying that the Day of Judgement will seem to be a thousand years to those worrying about being sent to hell.

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gustave_dore_xiv

angels made of light


SPEED OF LIGHT NONSENSE CLAIM
The claim that Quran verse 32.5 gives the speed of light is nonsense. The calculation is actually a long convoluted claim that the distance the moon travels around the Earth in a thousand years is equal to the distance an angel made of light travels on Judgement Day to deliver to Allah the report of who deserves to go to heaven and who deserves to go to hell:
The Quran verse “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years” agrees with the Bible https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+3%3A8&version=KJV
Munir Munshey’s year 2000 translation interprets Quran verse 22:47 to be saying that infidels taunted Muslims, asking them “Why doesn’t your Allah intervene to destroy the infidels today?”. The Muslims replied (implying that Allah works slowly but surely) that Allah eventually will keep his promise to punish the infidels. A day to Allah is like a thousand years as man counts time.
Ten chapters later in Quran verse 32:5, the phrase about a day to Allah is a thousand years to man is repeated, but omitting the story about the taunting.  Muslim websites claim this verse 32:5 [ http://www.islamawakened.com/Quran/32/5/default.htm ] reveals the speed of light.
Although the moon is never mentioned in the verse, they let their imagination run wild to claim that since time is measured by observing the phases of the moon, 1000 years must mean the distance the moon travels around the Earth in 1000 years. They claim a day means the distance an angel made of light [the angel of destiny delivering a report of who has been naughty and who has been nice?] will travel in one day, in other words the distance from the Earth to Allah’s throne. There is nothing in the Quran about this angel. The Quran says nothing about how long it takes light to reach the throne of Allah, instead implying that light arrives instantly.

SPEED OF LIGHT CALCULATION
Let us calculate these 2 distances to see if they are equal.
According to a Google search of “moon speed”, the moon travels around the earth at a speed of 3683 kilometers per hour
This is 88,392 kilometers in a day, and 31,323,000.000 kilometers in 1000 years of the 354.367 day a year Hijri calendar used at the time of Mohammed (32,284,000,000 days in 1000 years of the modern calendar)
31,323,000.000 or 32,284,000,000 kilometers is amazingly close to the 25,902,000,000 kilometers that light travels through a vacuum in a day (299,792 kilometers in a second x 60 x 60 x 24). However the calculation is based on random nonsense.
However, Quran verse 70.4 says that a day to Allah is 50 thousand years [not 1000 years] to people.

OTHER MEANINGS OF “SPEED OF LIGHT” VERSE
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi instead claimed that when “the Day” arrives, a report prepared by the angels of destiny will ascend to Allah in heaven, giving details of what everyone had been doing for the last thousand years (as time is counted by humans), but which is only one day to Allah. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi imaginatively interpreted the phrase “whose length shall be a thousand years” to mean the report covers a time period of a thousand years.
[Allah will use the report to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.]

Maududi’s explanation is in footnote 9 of http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/32/index.html  which I assume obtained details about the angels of destiny from a hadith.
Asad’s misinterpretation of verse 32.5 does not support the “speed of light” interpretation. Asad instead claims in footnote 4 that the verse is merely saying that the Day of Judgement seems to be a thousand years to those worrying about being sent to hell.

Image by Gustave Dore, (died 1883), via Wikimedia Commons.

image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gustave_Dore_XIV.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

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