English Subtitles for Islam & the whale that carries the Earth on its back

Subtitles / Closed Captions - English

Hello and welcome once again!

In this video I'll be speaking about an element of early muslim understanding of our universe that really makes it inseparable to the ridiculous myths and legends of all the cults and religions that preceded or followed it. This video will look at the islamic myth of creation and the role of the giant whale that carries the earth on its back. Yes! You heard that right. The giant whale that carries the earth on its back. But before I get into that, I'd like to mention something that comes up frequently when debating muslims in particular. When I'm speaking to them about their religion and highlighting errors in scripture

I often hear muslims say this to me: "Talk to a scholar" I've even had this from some of my family and friends. A friend even suggested I fly all the way across the world to talk to his own personal favorite scholar. Now I wonder if muslims themselves ever bother speaking to scholars of other religions before dismissing them all. Do I need to speak to a hindu scholar to be sure I looked properly into hinduism and therefore can safely disregard it?

Do I need to do the same with sikhism or buddhism? Since I have a limited time in this world, it's impossible to study all religions on earth in detail and be able to dismiss them all before settling on one as the ultimate truth. And some muslims will even go further and demand you learn fluent classical arabic and only then can you judge islam fairly. Well, again - do they make the effort to learn all the other foreign languages

to read other scriptures in their original form before dismissing them? I somehow doubt it. Since we have so little time on earth to discover what is ultimately true It wouldn't be too much to expect absolutely no problems with the one true religion whatsoever. We would have no need for apologists and differing interpretations. We wouldn't see this one true religion divided into numerous sects.

Let alone sects who appear to violently persecute each other to uphold their version of this supposed one true religion. So anyway, I want to see where we can get to by talking to scholars? Just who are the best scholars to ask? Muslims today live 1400 years after Muhammad, so they in this day and age obviously cannot tell us what was meant by the Quran's verses. And whether particular hadiths are true or not with a 100% accuracy.

In fact, all modern scholars will depend on muslim scholars in the past who have dedicated their entire lives to understanding the religion The Quran claims to be clear and generally speaking, it is, but there are plenty of verses which aren't universally agreed upon by the experts who analyzed those verses. This is where the mufassireen, or exegetes come in. They often devote their entire lives to understanding islam and the Quran

in order to make it clearer for other muslims, what the verses are supposed to mean Sho who better to tell us what islam is really about than these people who have dedicated their entire lives to this religion? There are over a hundered tafsirs available for muslims to read from and no two are the same. This in itself kind of leaves the whole concept of divine preservation useless.

At best a muslim can claim that the Quran is preserved perfectly in its words and letters, but they cannot claim that the meaning of the Quran is preserved perfectly as we have differing interpretations which disagree among themselves what's the point of preserving the texts but leaving the text ambiguous in plenty of areas thereby not preserving the message and the meaning of the scripture? Several tafsirs are regarded more highly than others.

The top two for mainstream sunni islam are probably the tafsirs of Ibn Kathir and Tabari. This is why I use those two in particular when looking at the interpretation of verses in my videos. Others like Qurtubi and Jalalayn are also quite reputable. But don't take my word for it. Let's listen to some muslim clerics and prominent islamists and hear their opinion on which tafsirs are the best The tafsir is something different. It quotes the meanings of the verse in details according to another quranic verse or according to the hadith

Derived from huge references, such as Ibn Kathir, At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and the great scholars of the interpretation of the Quran. In english now there is a fantastic book, 10 volumes available - the abridged tafsir of Ibn Kathir And the publisher is Dar-us-Salam Publications I highly recommend for every muslim to have this book at home As far as arabic tafasirs are concerned There are many tafasirs in arabic

The two most well-known amongst all the arabic tafasirs is of Tabari and the other is Ibn Kathir There are many other tafasirs. For example Qurtubi , then Zamakshari, Kashaf and various others but the two most famous are Tabari and Ibn Kathir According to Ibn Khuzaymah, he says, that he has read the book from the start to the end and he does not know of any person more knowledgable than Ibn Jarir. In the full word: "..as far as knowledge of the Quran is concerned." There are many comments by many various scholars on the commentary of At-Tabari

Another famous person Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah He says, regarding this commentary, he says that amongst the commentaries available now - at his time he is talking, amongst the commentaries available at his time, the best commentary is of Ibn Jarir At-Tabari Because he used the views of the salafs or the predecessors The salaf al-salih

and he also calls from authentic sanad the sanad is authentic He does not quote sources which are dubious, which are doubtful. Neither does he quote bid'ah - that's inovation That is the reason Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah him preferred, his commentary the best so these two commentaries At-Tabari and Ibn Kathir are the best

In short: As far as these two best commentaries are concerned At-Tabari is more famous and better, but especially for the scholars and the seekers of knowledge. It will not be good for a layman or ordinary person but as far as Ibn Kathir is concerned, it is good for the scholar as well as the seeker of knowledge as well as for the ordinary muslim

These two commentaries in arabic are the two best from the point of my knowledge. So back to the topic of the video I want to look at the interpretation of islam's biggest scholars regarding the first verse of the 68th chapter - the chapter of the pen. Now, just to be clear, the verse in question reads this: "Nun" - which is an arabic letter

"Nun. By the pen and that which they write" As we can see, the verse itself doesn't tell us much. What is meant by the letter nun? This is where the scholars have come in to tell us their opinion on the matter based on the early narrations. Now let's begin with Ibn Kathir. He states this in his tafsir for this verse.

He is quoting Tabari, the other great mufassir who in turn is quoting Abd Allah ibn Abbas - Muhammad's cousin and a widely respected authority on islam and the Quran. The first thing god created was the pen, he ordered it to write. It said: What shall I write? He said: Write the fate of everything! So it wrote what will happen from that day until the day of judgement. Than he created the Nun - which is the whale -

then he raised the water and created the heavens with it and laid the earth on the back of the nun the nun moved and so did the earth, so it was fixed down with mountains. So let's recap here for a minute. God makes a talking pen, not some typewriter or laptop, has a conversation with this pen, the pen writes everything that's ever going to happen - presumably including me making and uploading this video. So much for free will.

Then god creates a big fat whale and then lifts the waters at ground level up to create the sky. That's probably because they saw a blue sky and thought it was water floating above us - an idea that seems supported by this verse (11:7). Then the flat earth is placed on the whale's back, the whale doesn't like this heavy thing on it so it tries to shake off the earth above it but being a smart god - he decides to fix the earth in its place with mountains!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of creation. Who needs the Big bang and evolution when this obviously makes a lot more sense. Now you may be thinking - Ibn Kathir's tafsir is available in english. So why did I show you the arabic version when this is an english video? Well, his tafsir has been recently translated into english, but for some mysterious reason, the evidently dishonest translators

chose not to translate what he says about this verse in the english translation. Like.. maybe they have something to hide from you.. If we go to the Tanwir al-Miqbas tafsir, it has been translated honestly They haven't left this out, so let's read: "And from his narration on the autority of Ibn Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (Nun) (Nun) He says: Allah swears by the Nun, which is the whale that carries the earths on its back while in water."

Notice here it says "earths", which means plural, which is seven earths. "...and beneath which is the bull and under the bull is the rock and under the rock is the dust and no one knows what is under the dust save Allah." Notice in this variation, he refers to earth in the plural form - "earths".

This is because of this verse in the Quran (65:12), which basically tells us there are seven earths. This story and many of its variations primarily originates from Abd Allah Ibn Abbas Muhammad's cousin and one of his loyal followers who has respect among sunni and shia muslims alike. Now the major tafsirs from mainstream sunni muslims according to the clerics we heard from earlier in the video

and according to this great tafsir website are the following: Tabari, Zamakhshari, Ar-Razi, Al-Qurtubi which is fairly popular with salafists alongside the Baghawi Ibn Kathir, which we've seen already And Baydhawi, Jalalayn and Al-Shawkani We find this story of the whale and the earth being laid on its back

in seven out of eight of these major tafsirs if we include the Baydhawi as well, it would be eight out of nine. And one of these was even written as late as the year 1835 and still talks about this great whale carrying the earth on its back. Incidentally, all those major tafsirs who mention it do not discredit the story as false in any way. The only tafsir from the major ones that does not include a variation of this whale story is tafsir Jalalayn

which is generally regarded as a summarized tafsir which may be a reason why it didn't mention this story but regardless, Jalalayn understood the earth to be flat and so we see yet another great muslim scholar who didn't understand the reality of our universe based on his reading of islamic texts. The writers of this tafsir explicitly say so in their interpretation of verse 20 in chapter 88, where they say:

As for his words sutihat "laid out flat", this on a literal reading suggests that the earth is flat, which is the opinion of most of the scholars of the revealed law and not a sphere as astronomers have it. Notice how he tells us the earth being flat is the opinion of most of the scholars of the law. If you actually look at the arabic version of this tafsir, he doesn't even say "most" there. He just says: This is the opinion of muslim scholars. As always, you can find the sources for everything mentioned in this video in the description box. Now, my muslim critics will undoubtedly not be happy with the facts presented and throw some arguments my way.

So let me try to preempt them briefly. I am muslim and I am proud. Your video is stupid. Everything you say is false. Haha. LOL. LMAO. Hahaaa. Oh come on! I don't have time for this. The video is running longer than I originally planned anyway. Can you leave these classic playground insults behind and bring forward your objections in a civil and constructive manner? OK you filthy infidel. Heh. LOL.

First of all, these hadiths are not authentic. That's simply wrong. While there are plenty of variations for this hadith some of which are classified as weak there are a number of other variations which are fully authentic this one reads as follows: Ibn Abbas says:

"The first thing that Allah created was the pen, he told it to write so it wrote everything that will happen until the final hour arrives then he created the Nun whale above the water, then he placed the earth on it." Some other variations are also confirmed as authentic and in line with the methodology used by sahih Bukhari and sahih Muslim by a scholar who used to classify hadiths

called al-Haakim in his book called Al-Mustadrak These are referenced on this page by Islam QA which tries to wiggle out of the problem but does not deny, it has been classified as authentic. Also, as I've said earlier, none of the tafsirs I showed doubt the authenticity of this story in their tafsirs.

Well, who cares what Ibn Abbas said? It's just his opinion. He could have got it from the jews. If he got the story of the whale from the jews, then please cite the verse of the Torah or the passage in the Talmud where this is found besides, the whole point of my argument is why so many muslims, including people like Ibn Abbas and the top scholars share this story? Surely if the Quran revealed a lot of excellent scientific information that conform to reality,

they wouldn't make such huge errors in their own understanding of reality. And by the way, muslims hold Ibn Abbas as the very credible authority on the Quran's interpretation. So Allah says: Oh Muhammad (sallā llāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam) asks Allah (Subḥānahu wa ta'alā) O Allah, give this young boy a deep understanding of the deen and grant him knowledge of the interpretation of the revelation - which means tafsir of the Qur'an. And truly, later on, this Abd Allah Ibn Abbas was known as Hibr Ul-Ummah wa Turjuman ul-Quran. He was known as the jurist of the Ummah.

The one who had the most knowledge in jurisprudence of the whole Ummah. And he was known as Turjuman ul-Quran which means the one who had the deepest knowledge of tafsir and the revelation and why verses were revealed and what they meant. Let me just quote him again there He was known as the one with the deepest knowledge of tafsir and revelation and why verses were revealed and what they meant.

Ahh, well, this scholar doesn't know what he is talking about. OK, there are several narrations that show us that Muhammad himself held Abd Allah Ibn Abbas and his knowledge in high regard. Here's one: The messenger of Allah embraced me and said: Oh Allah, teach him wisdom and the correct interpretation of the book.

Well, scholars can be wrong, but Allah is never wrong. That my friend is a presupposition that the book is divine and a trap that believers like yourself fall into. If you insist on maintaining Allah wrote the Quran despite all the evidence that suggests otherwise Than you're simply dismissing information blindly that doesn't suit your own narrative. You'll never reach the truth if you block out information that refutes your present beliefs.

You are a liar! Islam is the best! Ee, I just refuted you! Hahaaa , LOL! Jeez, what is wrong with some people ? I want to add one more thing before I conclude this video. All the sources so far have been from sunni authorities and texts.

So a shia watching this is probably smiling and laughing along with us at how ridiculous the sunnis can be with all this whale nonsense. So in the interest of balance Here is a hadith the most reputable shia source that quotes imam Ja'far al-Sadiq - one of Muhammad's infallible descendants according to shia doctrine as saying the following: "The whale which is carrying the earth secretly said to itself that it is carrying the earth by its own strength.

So Allah, the high, sent to it a fish smaller than a palm's length and larger than a finger. So it entered in its gills and shocked it. It remained like that for forty days. Then Allah raised it and was merciful to it and took it out. So whenever Allah intends the earth to be in a quake, he sends that small fish to that big fish . So when he sees it, it becomes restless, so the earth gets engulfed by the earthquake." There is another hadith about this whale in the shia hadiths, also attributed to the same imam

but shias will no doubt tell us that this hadith which is trying to explain how earthquakes happen is not authentic and to a degree they don't actually hold hadiths as sacrosanct like many sunnis do with Bukhari and Muslim. But nevertheless, we can see very clearly that this myth of the earth flying on the back of a giant whale is not isolated. It's found in numerous places in both sunni and shia islam. It's found in many credible islamic texts and sourced to companions like Abd Allah Ibn Abbas, who was largely recognized as an expert on what the Quran means. We also found a few authentic narrations to back this up.

The word Nun, which could be understood as a letter is also used to refer to a whale in chapter 21, verse 87 where prophet Jonah, Yunus in arabic is called the Nun because he was swallowed in the story by a whale. So it appears very plausible for the meaning behind this verse was indeed referred to this very large whale that carries the earth on its back. Now, just to be clear. Despite the evidence I just laid out as to why this whale story could in fact be the actual meaning for the verse I cited, my argument is not

I repeat: Not! that the Quran clearly mentions this story of the great whale. Because we only find it clearly stated in interpretations and hadiths and not through a literal reading. My argument is as follows: If the Quran is completely perfect and it is best understood, perhaps only understood by scholars who dedicated their lives to understanding its content, then why did many highly credible muslim scholars speak about this giant whale that carries the earth on its back? Surely if the Quran spoke clearly about the true realities of our world, these top scholars wouln't have given this whale story any credibility whatsoever.

If the best islamic scholars were dead wrong. Then why ask me to speak to today islamic sholars? Who are only basing their understanding on what previous islamic scholars have said. Will I be getting the original understanding of islam? Or will it be heavily reinterpreted, because of the influence of today's social norms and modern scientific understanding? How can we trust their interpretation for any other verse, for that matter?

If they were all so wrong on this verse and pretty much in agreement on their mistake, how do we know that they understood any other verses correctly? If people who dedicated their entire lives to understanding islam and the Quran can reach such poor conclusions despite their great dedication well, what hope does that give us, that we can understand it any better? Thank you for watching. Share this video far and wide and until next time, goodbye!

Video Description

In this video I look at a bizarre part of Islam's creation myth within Islam that has been successfully swept under the carpet in recent generations by Muslim sheikhs to avoid facing embarrassment and awkward questions on why this was such a commonly held belief in Islam among the most reputable scholars until very recently.

I look at what the biggest exegetes (mufassireen of the Quran) have to say about verse 68:1 of the Quran and ask why Muslims always insist that Muslims with doubts should speak to a scholar. I argue here if the best scholars got the very basics of their understanding of reality completely wrong, then something is likely to be wrong with the texts they dedicated their lives studying.

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Thanks to MrProkletije for his great whale animation

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Sources / references to video:

Tafsir website: (Major exegetes in Arabic version can be found)

Ibn Kathir's tafsir on whale verse:
[Arabic] http://main.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=1&tTafsirNo=7&tSoraNo=68&tAyahNo=1&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=1

Ibn Kathir's English translation for the verse which does not translate the whale story in the Arabic original.

Tafsir of Jalalayn on God's throne being on water in chapter 11:7 - indicating the author of the Quran thought the blue skies were oceans of water held up above the Earth.

Tafsir of Tanwir al-Miqbas in English speaking about the whale story.

Tafsir of Jalalayn explaining the position of most Islamic scholars is that the Earth is flat and not a sphere as astronomers say.

Authenic hadith for the Earth on the back of a whale story

Islamic website admitting the whale hadiths were made authentic by a number of sources, but then they go to justify the errors by claiming it's likely taken from the Jews without referencing any Jewish scripture to prove their point.

Mufti Menk video explaining why Ibn Abbas was one of the best exegetes of the Quran

Authentic hadith explaining that Mohamed prayed Ibn Abbas would be very educated on the Quran's interpretation

Authentic hadith by Sahih Muslim on Mohamed praying that Ibn Abbas gains deep understanding of religion

Authentic hadith by Bukhari on Mohamed praying that Ibn Abbas becomes a learned scholar

Shia hadith by Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq speaking about the whale that carries the Earth on its back and that earthquakes occur when the whale sees a small fish it's terrified of.
Al-Kafi hadiths, volume eight, part six
Page 45 of link

English tafsir of Jalalayn explaining "Nun" means whale as part of Jonah (Yunus)'s nickname in Quran 21:87

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