The Rotation of the Earth Is Mentioned in the Prophet's Words
Among the many signs and evidences of the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad is the scinetific evidences found either in the Holy Quran, the Holy Book revealed to him, or his sayings.
The Prophet's Ahadith, his traditional sayings, are miraculous in all its meanings even if these Ahadith are connected with science. There are about one thousand scientific words in Hadith and Qur'an (the book revealed to Muhammad) that are completely compatible with science. We should always bear in mind that scientific meanings implied either in Hadith or Qur'an are not given directly as this would conflict with the culture of its particular time.
In one of the marvelous Ahadith, the Prophet (pbuh) was asked, "Where does the sun set, and where does it rise from?" The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) answered, "It is going in a (nonstop) regular motion; it does not cease or disappear. It sets in one place and rises in another place, and sets in another place and rises in another place and so on. So, some people would say the sun has set and others would say it has just risen (at the same moment)." (Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas)
This Hadith implies three important scientific facts that are completely compatible with science:
(1) The sun is stationary in its solar system
(2) The earth rotates around the sun
(3) The earth is spherically shaped
1. The sun is stationary according its solar system; The Hadith says" It is going in a (nonstop) regular motion…"
These few words refer to the apparent motion of the sun and then the Hadith goes on to imply a very important fact; "…it does not cease or disappear…" so if it doesn't cease or disappear, this means it is always there, it is always stationary in its place in its solar system or according to the planets that surround it. Amazing?
2. The earth rotates around the sun
The Hadith also says "…it sets in one place and rises in another…"
This also implies that the sun is always there in its place in relation to the earth, rising in a certain place and setting at the same time at another place. This can't happen unless the earth rotates around its axis.
3. The earth is spherically shaped.
If the Hadith implies that the earth rotates around its axis and that the sun is stationary in its place, with "…alternating settings and risings…", then one can only conclude that the earth must be spherical. The same fact is stressed in the Holy Qur'an.
He must be a Prophet
Long before the existence of Nicolaus Copernicus, the first one who claimed that the earth rotates around itself, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to these striking facts. He (pbuh) was illiterate and never had a telescope, the best human culture at this time, which proved that other beliefs contrary to his were wrong. The question that poses itself here is: How could a person such as Muhammad (pbuh), who lived in a time where Ptolemy's opinions were reigning, indulge himself in such a sensitive question if he hadn't been a Prophet?
To those who claim that the Prophet (pbuh) copied from the Holy Book we would like to say that the Holy Book, or rather the human temperament in the Holy Book, says that the earth is the centre of the universe [(Psalm (39), Psalm (96), Psalm (104))].
The Church Standpoint
Both Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilee stood before the church court. They faced the death penalty being pronounced as infidels because they claimed that the earth is not the centre and that it moves around its axis and around the sun- this is contrary to Psalm (39), Psalm (96), and Psalm (104). Galilee was imprisoned for two years and was later put under house arrest where he remained until his death.
By Magdy Abdalshafy