Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The muslim prayer time (salat, salaat, solat, solah, adhan, athan, azan, ezan, ezen, azaan, namaz, namaaz etc.) is calculated by the special algorithms linked to the time of sunset, sunrise and a the time when sun is at the highest point and the length of the objects shadow e.g.
The Fajr prayer is mentioned by name in the Qur'an at 24:58.
The Asr daily prayer is mentioned by name in the Qur'an at 2:238.
The Dhuhr prayer is mentioned by name in the Qur'an at 17:78.
[Quran 17:78] You shall observe the Contact Prayer (Salat) when the sun declines from its highest point at noon, as it moves towards sunset. You shall also observe (the recitation of) the Quran at dawn. (Reciting) the Quran at dawn is witnessed.
This algorithms are doing quite well in many parts of the Earth. Even more, different Islamic centers help muslims to get the accurate prayer time in different locations with the google maps (e.g. www.pray-in-time.org)
But. The modern people know that there are places on the Earth where sun never goes on its peak or even a polar night or polar day can occur. For Asr, they have the only way to determine a time:
If the length of an object is 'x' inches. Its shadow's length at noon will be 'y' inches. When the length of the shadow becomes x+y inches, the time for Asr will have set in according to the majority. According to the minority, the shadow must reach 2x+y inches in order for Asr to begin.
This means that muslims living there will be unable to pray for half an year or calculate it using algorithms presented by Islam!
Try also to imagine muslim spaceman, going round the Earth many times per day and having sunrise every 80 seconds. The question can he observe the obligatory prayer times? No!
But let’s go a little deeper in future and try to imagine how Muslims landed on the other planets will make a salat, they would not have a sun at all. So, no salat on other planets?
First conclusion: The prayer times (times of salat) can not be calculated and observed at least at three unusual locations, e.g. polar and subpolar zones of the globe, space (e.g. Earth orbital space stations) and on other planets. Some muslims start discussions about it, e.g. you can find some at the Islamic portal mentioned above http://www.pray-in-time.org But they are discussing how to calculate this time (e.g. http://ulugbeck.blogspot.com/2006/10/islamic-daily-prayers-in-abnormal-time.html). We think we should discuss another issue. These locations can hardly be named as unusual for modern person, it was unusual, even unpredictable for person of pre-Islamic Middle East. Though author (authors) of Quran was (were) a realy talented, the level of their knowledge about Earth, space and future development of the mankind was limited by the objective level of knowledges available in the society they lived in. The era of Geographical discoveries was far later and the space exporation begun just in 20th century. If it was God (Allah) whoes words are in Quran, He should have known the real situation with sun in all these “unusual” zones. For Him, a sun and a space are definetly the most usual things and usual zones. If it was Him, he would gave more universal way to calculate obligatory prayer times. It proves that words in Quran have no divine origin, it was made by man. This man belonged to his era with all level of knowledge those era had and this man had all the mistakes and misunderstandings his contemporaries had. If these parts of Quran are doubtful, no one can be sure about others in Quran and Islam.
A fifth criticism of the Qur'an involves verses 5-7 of surah 86. They claim: Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted - proceeding between the backbone and the ribs. (86:5-7)
This contradicts the scientific fact that semen is produced by the testicles, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles, none of which are between the backbone and the ribs. Critics note  that Hippocrates, whose writings were widely available in the pre-Islamic Middle East,  had taught that semen passes from the kidneys via the testicles into the penis, and that this is a plausible source for the idea in this verse. Muslim apologist Maurice Bucaille states that these verses are "hardly comprehensible"  and finds his own translations of them using meanings not found in dictionaries.
A fourth scientific contradiction critics use is the claim that the quran says mountains were created to prevent earthquakes. In reality, mountians were created as a result of earthquakes, and mountains do not render the earth's crust stable.
And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves; (16:15)
And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them, and We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to pass through: that they may receive Guidance. (21:31)
Critics say these verses show that the writer of the quran did not know the reason for the creation of mountians. These verses say that mountians were created to prevent earthquakes, while modern geology tells us that mountians were created because of earthquakes and not to prevent them. 
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
A third claim that critics use is that the quran says the moon gives off light (some key arabic words in brackets):
Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp [siraaj] and a Moon giving light [noor] (25:61)
It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light [noor] (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand. (10:5)
See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and made the moon a light [noor] in their midst, and made the sun as a lamp [siraaj]? (71:15-16)
Critics interpret these verses to say that the moon shines light. Muslims interpret these verses to be saying the moon reflects light from the sun, and not that it produces its own light.
Monday, November 13, 2006
More examples of verses critics claim contradict science deal with the origin of mankind.
The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was. (3:59)
And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop; then He made you in pairs. And no female conceives, or lays down (her load), but with His knowledge. Nor is a man long-lived granted length of days, nor is a part cut off from his life, but is in a Decree (ordained). All this is easy to Allah. (35:11)
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood (96:2)
From the (earth) did We create you, and into it shall We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again. (20:55)
It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels prostrate to Adam, and they prostrate; not so Iblis; He refused to be of those who prostrate. (7:11)
But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing? (19:67)
Critics claim that these verses contradicts the scientific notion that man descended from a common ancestor with apes. Some Muslim scholars respond by stating that the verses are not referring to human evolution, but rather to the origin of life, similar to many other verses, for example:
He it is created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you). And there is in His presence another determined term; yet ye doubt within yourselves! (6:1)
One verse states that humans were created from clay (see clay theory of origin). Another verse also states that humans were created from mud molded into shape. 15:26 Also, the Qur'an also states that God created every living thing from/of water 21:30 24:45. The most common rebuttal by muslims is the denial of evolution being a fact.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
One example critics use states that the sun has a resting place, while it clearly does not:
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." (18:86)
And the sun runs his course for a period determined for him: that is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. (36:38)
Notable critics claim that these verses are a scientific error since the sun does not actually set in a spring of murky water.  Muslims respond by stating that this part of the Quran is a narrative from Zul-Qarnain's point of view; and Zul-Qarnain was describing the setting of the sun as he saw it (the sun looked like it set in a spring of water).
Do you think the explanation is satisfactory? We think it does not! Tell us what you think about Quran
Muslims believe the Quran, in its original Arabic, to be the literal word of God that was revealed to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years until his death. Muslims regard it as God's final revelation to humankind and view it as the closest thing to a part of God in the world. Muslims also call the Quran the "Final Testament", "The Book", "Book of God" or "The Revelation."
The Qu'ranic revelations were originally memorised by Muslims as Muhammad spoke them, with some being written down on whatever was at hand, from stones to pieces of bark. Compilations of the Qu'ran began under the Caliph Umar, but it was Uthman who decided upon a definitive copy and destroyed all other versions. All of the Muslims use just one Quran and there isn't any differences among the sects. The Quran has never changed in substance since.
Critics of Islam often point to the Quran to prove that it is not of divine origin and therefore conclude that Islam is false. The divine origin of the Quran and the morality of the Quran are hot topics of criticism in Islam.
In what follows we provide step by step proves and pinpoint scientific mistakes and common-sense errors and miseries in Quranic texts. Stay tuned for updates and hot discussions!