The moon's orbit

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And We have decreed set phases for the moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Qur'an, 36:39-40)

The Moon does not follow a regular orbit like the satellites of other planets. As it orbits the Earth, it sometimes moves behind it and sometimes in front. As it also moves with the Earth around the Sun, it actually follows a constant pattern resembling the letter "S" in space. This route, traced by the Moon in space, is described in the Qur'an as resembling an old date branch and does indeed resemble the twisted form of the date tree branch. Indeed, the word "urjoon" employed in the Qur'an refers to a thin and twisted date branch and is used to describe that part left after the fruit has been picked. The way that this branch is described as "old" is also most appropriate since old date branches are thinner and more twisted.

Since the Moon revolves around the Sun together with the Earth, it follows a path through space which resembles the letter “S.” The appearance of this orbit resembles the twisted shape of a dry date branch, as is revealed in the Qur’an.

There is no doubt that it was impossible for anyone to have any knowledge about the orbit of the Moon 1,400 years ago. The way that this pattern, identified by modern technology and accumulated knowledge, was revealed in the Holy Book is yet another scientific miracle of the Qur'an.

2010-06-28 01:09:13

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