Short Islamic Courses

The Moon’s Orbit

If you carry out some research you will find that the Earth spins faster then the moon. The Earth spins at around 1,000mph according to NASA’s website. By comparison, the moon rotates about 10 mph. It takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate completely.

The Moon takes around 27.32 days to complete a rotation around the Earth. The Moons rotation pattern and phases are shown in the images below.

Phases_of_the_Moon

Moon-Orbit-Shape

moonorbit

Now, read the below verse from the Qur’an:

“And We have appointed positions for the moon till it returns like an old branch of the date palm. It is not for the sun to catch up with the moon, nor does the night surpass the day; and each one of them floats in its orbit.” (Qur’an, 36:39-40)

Other translations of the above:
Sahih International: And the moon – We have determined for it phases, until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk. It is not allowable for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.
Pickthall: And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.
Yusuf Ali: And the Moon,- We have measured for her mansions (to traverse) till she returns like the old (and withered) lower part of a date-stalk. It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).
Shakir: And (as for) the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm branch. Neither is it allowable to the sun that it should overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day; and all float on in a sphere.
Muhammad Sarwar: how We ordained the moon to pass through certain phases until it seems eventually to be like a bent twig; how the sun is not supposed to catch-up with the moon, nor is the night to precede the day. All of them are to float in a certain orbit;
Mohsin Khan: And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.
Arberry: And the moon — We have determined it by stations, till it returns like an aged palm-bough. It behoves not the sun to overtake the moon, neither does the night outstrip the day, each swimming in a sky.

Date-Branch

Date-Branch2

This is truly amazing. If you carry out your research you will find that the Moon does not follow a regular orbit like the other planets. As the Moon orbits the Earth, it sometimes moves behind it and sometimes in front. The Earth travels at around 1,000 miles per hour and is around 4 times larger then the Moon. As the Moon also moves with the Earth around the Sun, it actually follows a constant pattern resembling the letter “S” in space. As mentioned in the Qur’an, it resembles an old date branch and does indeed resemble the twisted form.

Who would have known this 1400 years ago. Another amazing discovery

God knows best

February 2, 2017

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