Sea Breeze Miracle in the Quran

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Some propagators of "scientific miracles in the Quran" claim that the verse 81:18 describes sea breeze. It doesn't bother them that the verse doesn't mention sea nor breeze. It also doesn't bother them that one doesn't need modern science to discover morning breeze.

Miracle claim

The sun causes reversal in wind direction between land and sea.

A sea breeze or onshore breeze is any wind that blows from a large body of water toward or onto a landmass; it develops due to differences in air pressure created by the differing heat capacities of water and dry land. As such, sea breezes are more localised than prevailing winds. Because land absorbs solar radiation far more quickly than water, a sea breeze is a common occurrence along coasts after sunrise. By contrast, a land breeze or offshore breeze is the reverse effect: dry land also cools more quickly than water and, after sunset, a sea breeze dissipates and the wind instead flows from the land towards the sea.
Wikipedia, Sea Breeze, 2019

The sun causes the wind direction to reverse. This was known recently, however this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered.

[Quran 81:18] And by the morning as it breathes.


"Subh صُّبْحِ" means onset of daylight. When we breath the direction of air reverses. Here the onset of daylight causes the wind direction to reverse. Today we know that the sun causes reversal in wind direction between land and sea.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about sea breeze?


The verse

Although it supposedly describes sea breeze, the verse doesn't mention "sea", nor "breeze":

And by the dawn when it breathes


Quran 81:18 translation by Sahih International

Dawn doesn't literally breathe, so the breath is most probably not meant literally. Saying that breath is wind is just one of many possible interpretations. And even if it meant wind, it still doesn't mean it is necessarily wind coming from the sea.

Yusuf Ali inserted his interpretation into his translation:

And the Dawn as it breathes away the darkness;-


Quran 81:18 translation by Yusuf Ali

So the verse is very vague and can be interpreted in more ways. Also the question is whether the author was more concerned with the content or with the rhyme, he obviously needed something that ends on -asa:

18:17 And by the night as it closes in (عسعس, 'asasa)

18:18 And by the dawn when it breathes (تنفس, tanaffasa)


The scientific discovery

Morning breeze was discovered long before the written history. All one has to do to discover morning breeze is just to exist in the morning and notice that breeze exists too.