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Movement of the Sun: Qur'an & Science


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Could you explain clearly the hadith of Bukhari Volume 4 book 54 chapter 4 number 441 page 283. do these verses contradict science .I am totally confused and questions about throne of Allah, its size or the size


actually it is related to the sun, earth and the arsh of Allah. It seems to be confusing as science does not say like so. The summary of the hadith is something like our prophet, peace be up on him,  one day,  was telling  one of the companion that after the sun sets it reaches near to arsh , humbles to God and seek permission to rise again. We know that the sun never sets. It is the matter of the motion of earth in accordance with science. You know many scientifical facts which has been discovered within 100/150 years, which was mentioned in the glorious Quran 1400 years ago. So, please clarify as early as possible. 




In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh


We understand from your query that you are confused with regards to whether the sun moves around the earth or is it vice versa. Science tells us that the earth moves around the sun, whereas it appears from this narration that the sun moves and sets.


It should be understood that the teachings of the Noble Quran and Ahadith are absolute and not subject to error. To the contrary modern science is the outcome of ever changing research. There was a time when it was believed that the sun rotates the earth until around the 16th century when it was discovered that the sun did not revolve the earth.


Modern science proves that the sun has its own orbit and is moving (although not around the earth). This is exactly what Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Noble Quran


وآية لهم الليل نسلخ منه النهار فإذا هم مظلمون (37) والشمس تجري لمستقر لها ذلك تقدير العزيز العليم (38) والقمر قدرناه منازل حتى عاد كالعرجون القديم (39) لا الشمس ينبغي لها أن تدرك القمر ولا الليل سابق النهار وكل في فلك يسبحون (40)يس


[36:37] And a sign for them is the night. We strip (the cover of) the day from it, and they are suddenly in darkness. [38] And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination. That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. [39] And for the moon We have appointed measured phases, until it turned (pale, curved and fine) like an old branch of date palm. [40] Neither it is for the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night outpace the day. Each one is floating in an orbit.



It is as an explanation of the underlined verse that Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلمmentioned the narration you are referring to. The wording of the narration is as follows:



صحيح البخاري 3199


حدثنا محمد بن يوسف حدثنا سفيان عن الأعمش عن إبراهيم التيمي عن أبيه عن أبي ذر رضي الله عنه قال


قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأبي ذر حين غربت الشمس أتدري أين تذهب قلت الله ورسوله أعلم قال فإنها تذهب حتى تسجد تحت العرش فتستأذن فيؤذن لها ويوشك أن تسجد فلا يقبل منها وتستأذن فلا يؤذن لها يقال لها ارجعي من حيث جئت فتطلع من مغربها فذلك قوله تعالى


{ والشمس تجري لمستقر لها ذلك تقدير العزيز العليم }



Sayyiduna Abu Darr رضي الله تعالى عنهrelates that once at the time of sunset the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلمasked: O Abu Darr! Do you know where the sun goes to? I replied: Allah and His Messenger know best. He replied: It goes until it prostrates beneath the throne then it seeks permission and permission is granted. Soon a time will come when it will prostrate but it will not be accepted, it will seek permission but will not be granted permission. It will be said to it: Return from where you have come, so it will raise from the west. This is what is meant in the verse: And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination. That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.



In the above narration no mention is made of whether it is the sun which orbits the earth or vice versa. This narration speaks of the movement of the sun in general.



Furthermore, to the onlooker it seems as though the sun is moving that is why we find the sun rises from the earth and moves all the way to the west. In every language the movement is attributed to the sun. For example, in English we say “sunrise” and “sunset”. It could be in this context that Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم also attributed movement to the sun.  If the Noble Qurān said that the earth was moving around the sun, this would be difficult to comprehend as it appears that the sun is moving around the earth.


Moreover the prostration of the sun takes place in a manner different from our prostration. Some scholars have interpreted the prostration of the sun as the obedience and subjugation of the sun. At some time or the other the sun is setting in different parts of the world. This shows the complete subjugation of the sun to the power of All-Mighty Allah.


And Allah knows best

Wassalamu Alaikum

Ml. Ishaq E. Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Darul Iftaa,

Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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