Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Genesis According to Muhammad

Quran and Hadith contain references to creation of the world and the physical realities that are nothing short of scientific heresies. Despite the effort of some Muslim apologists to reinterpret them and find some esoteric meaning hidden within these absurd talks, their obvious contrast with science and logic is enough to realize that Islam was not inspired by God. The following is one of them. 

 Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 414

"… He (Muhammad) said, "First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne). His throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth…"

Does this story make any sense? Notice that the contents of the parenthesis are from the translator. If there was ‘nothing’ how Allah could have put His Throne over the water? Where was Allah sitting prior to that? From the above hadith one perceives that the water was there before the creation of the heaven and the earth. There is no mention that God created water! What was holding that water? Don’t you have to have a space first to put the Earth in it? And don’t you need to have an Earth to contain the water? It appears as if there is an error in the order of creation.

According to Muhammad the Earth was flat and there are several verses as well as hadithes that confirm this belief.

Q: 18: 86-90
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."

Then followed he (another) way,

Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun.

Some scholars believe that Zul-qaranain is Alexander the Great who, according to the old folks had conquered from one end of the world to the other. What is important here, is that the sun rises and sets in ALL places. One does not have to go ‘another way’ to the other end of the world to find it rising. This gives an idea that Muhammad, just like the people of his time believed that the Earth is flat and the sun moves in the sky rising from one place and setting in another. There is also a hadith that supports this idea.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 421

Narrated Abu Dhar:
The Prophet asked me at sunset, "Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." He said, "It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: "And the sun Runs its fixed course for a term (decreed). That is The Decree of (Allah) The Exalted in Might, The All-Knowing."

Q. 6: 38 
See how this Hadith is confirmed in the Quran? So there is no doubt about it. It is sahih. But does it make sense?
Do you get the picture? Now compliment the whole thing with these verses.

Q. 78: 6-7
Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse,
And the mountains as pegs?

The word “expanse” gives an idea of something flat. The Arabic word used in Quran is "mehad", (bed). Beds are flat.

I don’t want to dwell on the obvious. Dose the whole story make sense? Doesn’t this Hadith and the one above it, backed by these verses from Quran, clearly describe a flat Earth, where the sun rises from one side of it and sets in the murky waters on the opposite side? Is there a Throne somewhere that the sun goes under it and gets permission? What Throne is he talking about? Is it the same Throne of God that is placed over the waters? When and how the sun prostrates itself? The Earth is spherical; can anybody look out and see any Throne anywhere? Has anybody noticed where in the sky the sun stops to ask permission? The absurdity of these tales is self-explanatory yet a Muslim would not pause for a moment to question their validity. If it is in the Quran, it must be true even if it is blatantly absurd.

For the origin of these stories one has to look into the tales of the people before Islam. In 1952 Theodor H. Gaster compiled a book called The Oldest Stories in the Word. It is a collection of the lore of the Babylonian, Hittite and Canaanite people of 3500 years ago; stories that were lost and then unearthed in the 20th century. One is astounded to find the similarities of those old stories and the stories in Quran and the Bible including the above Hadith, which proves that Quran is not a divine book but a collection of the, old tales that was part of the folklore of the people to whom Muhammad was talking. 

In another Hadith Muhammad compares the rise and the set of the sun to a bow. This is of course how the movement of the sun appears from the Earth. To the primitive people it appeared that the sun rises from the East and sets in the West making a bow in the sky. Therefore the comparison.  

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 51:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A place in Paradise as small as a bow is better than all that on which the sun rises and sets (i.e. all the world)." He also said, "A single endeavor in Allah's Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all that on which the sun rises and sets."

Ali Sina is the editor of He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'.  His latest book is Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.