mardi 19 juin 2012

And Ibn Baz changed his mind for that ...

As is well known, the Quran as much as Old and New Testaments was written before Heliocentrism became the vogue among astronomers. And of course, before Evolution became the vogue among biologists too. So, it is not quite surprising that there should be not just Protestants like Association for Biblical Astronomy or Catholics like Sungenis and me, and Lubavitchers (who apart from Biblica Hebraica - Massoretic version of Tanakh - also claim Maimonides for their view), but also at least one Islamic learned man to support stationarity of earth. So, there was, but he changed his mind:


In 1966, when Ibn Baz was vice-president of the Islamic University of Medina, he wrote an article denouncing Riyadh University for teaching the "falsehood" that the earth rotates and orbits the sun: "The Holy Quran, the Prophet's teaching and the majority of Islamic scientists prove...that the sun is running in its orbit and...that the earth is fixed and stable".[17] King Faisal was reportedly so angered by this statement he ordered the burning of all copies of the article.[17] In 1982 Ibn Baz published a book, Jarayan al-shams wa'l qamar wa-sukan al-ard ("The Motion of the Sun and the Moon and the Stationarity of the Earth"), in which he repeated his belief that the sun orbited the earth.[18] He threatened all who did not accept his view with a fatwa of takfir, declaring them infidels.[19] Ibn Baz did not change his mind until 1985 when Prince Sultan bin Salman returned home after a week aboard the space shuttle Discovery to tell him that he had seen the earth rotate.[17]

If I step into a helicopter, if it rotates around a building, it will look to me as if the building were rotating. So, Sultan bin Salman has documented, not any proof that earth rotates, but simply that there is such a thing as the illusion which Heliocentrics claim for all observers stationed on earth: looking at something which does not move from something which does and see the non-moving thing as a moving thing.

But Ibn Baz maybe thought that one view for one week by one Sultan bin Salman is surer indication of how reality really looks than the veiws of most 7 billion pairs of eyes seeing most of their lives the earth as stationary under them? Or that God has granted more to costly researchers and travellers than to the general plain man in respect of seeing reality as it is? Or, maybe he feared the wrath of the Saudi Monarchy, which he had partly already incurred.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Beauvais University Library

*Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz : Cosmology

1 commentaire:

  1. "Beauvais University Library"

    I found the signature as having "Beauvais Library University" - not sure if I had a hacker or if I was that absent minded, or if someone disturbed me just when I was signing.

    I gave correct locality now, the other one does not exist.