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Tafseer: Earth On A Whale’s Back Or Something

June 21, 2011

Ibn Abbas, in his tafseer (explanation) of the Qur’an, makes many ridiculous claims, including in his explanation of Sura “nun” that the earth is on the back of a whale. That may not have seemed so ridiculous over a millennium ago, but now we know better. However, many fundamentalist Muslims still insist on using these interpretations since Ibn Abbas is from the salaf and hence is from the “best of mankind“:

 


TAFSIR IBN ABBAS (Please verify original at this link)

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah’s saying (Nun): ‘(Nun) He says: Allah swears by the Nun, which is the whale that carries the earths on its back while in Water, and beneath which is the Bull and under the Bull is the Rock and under the Rock is the Dust and none knows what is under the Dust save Allah. The name of the whale is Liwash, and it is said its name is Lutiaya’; the name of the bull is Bahamut, and some say its name is Talhut or Liyona. The whale is in a sea called ‘Adwad, and it is like a small bull in a huge sea. The sea is in a hollowed rock whereby there is 4,000 cracks, and from each crack water springs out to the earth. It is also said that Nun is one of the names of the Lord; it stands for the letter Nun in Allah’s name al-Rahman (the Beneficent); and it is also said that a Nun is an inkwell. (By the pen) Allah swore by the pen. This pen is made of light and its height is equal to the distance between Heaven and earth. It is with this pen that the Wise Remembrance, i.e. the Guarded Tablet, was written. It is also said that the pen is one of the angels by whom Allah has sworn, (and that which they write (therewith)) and Allah also swore by what the angels write down of the works of the children of Adam, (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs)

From → The Ridiculous

3 Comments
  1. Abu Taleb permalink

    Although Quran doesn’t say like Ibn Abbas says in the tafseer, Quran does mention the pen, nun, and the rock.

    031.016
    YUSUFALI: “O my son!” (said Luqman), “If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them).
    PICKTHAL: O my dear son! Lo! though it be but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.
    SHAKIR: O my son! surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, Allah will bring it (to light); surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware;

    The above verse speaks about the existence of a rock which is not in heaven nor on earth. It must be the rock mention on the tafseer.

    So it was not Ibn Abbas who was made the ridiculous claims, it was Islam as a whole.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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