Difference between revisions of "Pollination Miracle in the Quran"

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Latest revision as of 15:12, 25 March 2020

The Quran doesn't describe pollination, but some Islamic apologists like to claim that it does.

"Miracle"

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of a plant to the female part. Pollinating agents are insects, animals, water and wind. Some plant species even rely solely on wind for pollination.

Anemophily or wind pollination is a form of pollination whereby pollen is distributed by wind. Almost all gymnosperms are anemophilous, as are many plants in the order Poales, including grasses, sedges and rushes. Other common anemophilous plants are oaks, sweet chestnuts, alders and members of the family Juglandaceae (hickory or walnut family).
Wikipedia, Anemophily, 2020

Wind plays an important role in pollination. This was known recently, however this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years ago.

[Quran 15:22] And We sent the seeding winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, and gave you water to drink, though you are not the guardians of its stores.

Today we know that wind plays an important role in pollination.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about wind pollination?


The verse

And We have sent the fertilizing winds and sent down water from the sky and given you drink from it. And you are not its retainers.


The classical interpretation is:

Benefits of the Winds


﴿وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ﴾

(And We send the winds fertilizing.) i.e., fertilizing the clouds so that they give rain, and fertilizing the trees so that they open their leaves and blossoms. These winds are mentioned here in the plural form because they give results, unlike the barren wind (Ar-Rih Al-'Aqim, see Adh-Dhariyat 51:41), which is mentioned in the singular and described as barren since it does not produce anything; because results can only be produced when there are two or more things.


﴿وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ﴾


(And We sent the winds fertilizing.) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The wind is sent bearing water from the sky, then it fertilizes the clouds until rain begins to generously fall, just as the milk of the pregnant camel flows generously. This was also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Qatadah. Ad-Dahhak said: "Allah sends it to the clouds and it gets fertilized and becomes full of water. `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi said: "Allah sends the wind which stirs up the earth, then Allah sends the wind which raises clouds, then Allah sends the wind which forms clouds, then Allah sends the fertilizing wind which pollinates the trees. Then he recited,


﴿وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ﴾


(And We sent the winds fertilizing,)


Tafsir Ibn Kathir on 15:22

The interpretation that the wind "fertilizes" the clouds makes more sense in the context of the verse:

And We have sent the fertilizing winds, then/so we sent down water (فأنزلنا) from the sky and given you drink from it. And you are not its retainers.


It's not وأنزلنا (wa-anzalnaa) but فأنزلنا (fa-anzalnaa) so it's "so we sent down" or "then we sent down" rather than "and we sent down", which connects it even more to the previous part about fertilizing wind. And the verse doesn't mention pollen nor plants, the end result is drinking water for people. Not fertilized plants.

So it's just another verse about Allah sending rain from the sky, which is a scientific error, because rain is a part of the water cycle, which is a completely natural process that doesn't require supernatural beings.

See also