Is the Earth Flat according to the Qur’ān?
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Can you explain the following verse:

He [Dhu’l-Qarnayn] followed, until he reached the setting of the sun. He found it set in a spring of murky water. (18:85-6)

Does it not imply that the earth is flat and be considered a scientific mistake?


The problem seems to have arisen due to an erroneous translation of the said verses. A correct translation is:

He [Dhu’l-Qarnayn] made ready his resources, until he reached the place where the sun sets. He found it as if it was setting in a spring of murky water. (18:85-6)

The setting of the sun in murky waters is a figurative portrayal. When one is standing on the shores where the sun sets, the scene is very much like what the verse says. It seems as if the sun is setting in murky waters. The style adopted by the Qur’ān indicates that Dhu’l-Qarnayn had conquered all the known parts of the West at that time. He had reached the end of the known land territory and now only the expanse of water remained beyond it. It must be appreciated that the language of the Qur’ān is highly literary and it often employs figurative styles and constructions to convey its meanings. If one does not have a literary taste, he fails to grasp the delicacy and elegance of such styles.


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