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housefly anatomy

Image by User:Al2, via en.wikipedia
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Quran verse 22:73 says that the pagan gods are so weak that all of them combined do not have the power to rescue something snatched away by a fly.

[The Arabic root of the verb means to rescue someone who is in danger of being harmed. An example is in Quran verse 3:103 where Allah saves someone who is in danger of falling into the flaming pits of hell.]

Somebody translated this into English as hidden by a fly instead of snatched away by a fly, using the phrase “secreted by a fly”. [As a quirk of the English language, it is pronounced with the first two vowels long, like in the word secrete, although its root is the word secret.]

Someone at a Muslim website confused this with the word (that has the same spelling and pronunciation, but whose root is secrete) that means released a liquid, and compounded the error by interpreting secretion (which is usually a liquid chemical produced by cells of an animal or plant) as feces.

Thus the Muslim website concluded that Quran verse 22:73 reveals the scientific fact that a fly has a digestive system that converts food into feces.

The Quran does not reveal scientific facts about how birds fly. The Quran merely says that Allah holds up the birds that spread and close their wings. (Actually, birds change the shape of their wings to move by a motion similar to swimming.)

Harun Yahya borrows from the Aisha Bewley translation the phrase “suspended in mid-air”, which is not present in the original Arabic words.
The orIginal Arabic “yum’sikuhunna”, which Quran Arabic Corpus translates merely as [Allah] “holds them up”, does not reveal anything about how birds fly.

Quran verse 54.7 says that on Judgement Day huge numbers of people will come out of their graves at the same time, like cicadas coming out of their graves. This is no miracle revelation about cicadas. Every farmer would have noticed that huge numbers of cicadas (or locusts) come out of their “graves” at the same time in a cycle of a fixed number of years.



The stairway from Mecca to the seven heavens.
Image by unknown painter from Kashmir, via Wikimedia Commons
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Quran verse 17:1 merely says that prophet Mohammed traveled at night to the farthest mosque, but provides no details.

The story of the prophet Mohammed flying on a white animal named al-Buraq, larger than a donkey but smaller than a horse, from Mecca to Jerusalem comes from a badith believed by many Sunnis.

A related hadith (that does not mention al-Buraq) says the prophet Mohammed ascended from Jerusalem to the 7th heaven on a golden stairway, ladder or beam of light.
An earlier version of the ascending into the heavens hadith says the stairway was at the Kaaba in Mecca, not in Jerusalem.

The story of ascending into the heavens is somewhat similar to a pre-Islamic story believed by Zoroastrians.



Image is a 17th century Indian (Mughal empire) depiction of al-Buraq, via Wikimedia Commons.

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The depiction (popular in India and Pakistan) of al-Buraq having the face of a woman is the result of a king of India (the Mughal empire) attempting to merge al-Buraq with the Hindu goddess Kamadhenu.

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