Rayleigh Scattering Not In The Quran

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The Quran doesn't talk about Rayleigh scattering at all.


1400 years ago people thought that the sky is blue and the sun is yellow. Today we know that this is false; the sky is black and the sun is white.

Rayleigh scattering provides explanations for many natural as well as astronomical phenomena. In the visible spectrum, blue light is scattered more than red light because the wavelength of blue is shorter. This explains why the setting Sun looks reddish. The rays of the setting Sun have to traverse through a larger distance of the atmosphere, where blue light is selectively scattered away, leaving more red light in the beam compared to the blue light. On the other hand, the daylight sky looks blue because the dust particles in the sky scatter more blue colour from the sunlight into our eyes. When starlight passes through interstellar dust, it also becomes redder due to the selective scattering of blue light by the dust particles.

'Astrophysics For Physicists', Choudhuri, Cambridge University Press (2010) p 51.
Rayleigh scattering of sunlight in Earth's atmosphere causes diffuse sky radiation, which is the reason for the blue color of the daytime and twilight sky, as well as the yellowish to reddish hue of the low Sun... Viewed from space, however, the sky is black and the sun is white.
Wikipedia, Rayleigh Scattering, 2019

So black is the true color of the sky. However this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years it was discovered. The Quran says the sky has the same color as tar.

[Quran 70:8] On the Day when the sky will look like tar.

Muhl in Arabic مُهْلِ means tar. Tar is black in color. Today we know why the sky looks like tar; because the sky is actually black.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known the true color of the sky?

The verse

It is obvious from the context that the verse 70:8 talks about the Day of Judgement:

70:1 A supplicant asked for a punishment bound to happen

70:2 To the disbelievers; of it there is no preventer.

70:3 [It is] from Allah, owner of the ways of ascent.

70:4 The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.

70:5 So be patient with gracious patience.

70:6 Indeed, they see it [as] distant,

70:7 But We see it [as] near.

70:8 On the Day the sky will be like murky oil

Quran 70:1-8, Sahih International translation

So the Quran doesn't talk about today's sky and the miracle claim is baseless.

  • Since it claims that the sky will be black on the Day of Judgment, that indicates that the sky is not black today. So the verse actually says the exact opposite from what the apologists claim it says.
  • "the true black color of the sky" can be seen every night. So it wouldn't be a miracle even if it was about today's sky.

See also