A Scientific Error In The Qur’an?

Question

My question is regarding the following verse of the Qur'an:

It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each swims along in [its own] orbit [according to law]. (36:40)

The sun does not have an orbit. This is a proven scientific fact. Please clarify.


Answer

The referred to verse does not provide a scientific explanation of the phenomenon of the solar system or anything else. Rather it only communicates that the sun cannot leave its path and the night cannot come earlier even a split second of its prescribed time.

The words 'each swims along in [its own] orbit' is not a very accurate translation of the Arabic words: 'كُلّ فِي فَلَك يَسْبَحُوْن' The word 'فَلَك' means 'a prescribed path' – which may be circular, ovular, longitudinal or of any other shape.

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