Does the Quran say that the earth is flat?

There are a number of verses in the Quran that appear to say that the earth is flat, which of course contradicts science. How do you interpret those verses?

  1. “And the earth- We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)” (50:7)
  2. “And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: How excellently We do spread out! ” (51:48)
  3. “And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out), ” (71:19)
  4. “And at the Earth, how it is spread out?” (88:20)
  5. “Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).” (2:22)
  6. “And the earth, after that, He rolled it out.” (79:30)

50:7 – A better translation is “stretched out”. Being stretched out is not the same thing as being flat. The earth is stretched out, isn’t it? Wherever you look, you see it stretched out. That is actually all the hint you need to realize that the earth is round! Because, if the earth is flat, then the only way for it to look stretched out from every spot on it is if it is endless, or that it is round.

If you prefer the translation “spread out”, consider that you can spread whip cream all around an apple, right?

51:48- فرشناها means furnished it, not spread it out. And الماهدون means paving. That’s also the word used in 2:22.

71:19 & 88:20- These two verses emphasize the blessing of stretching out the earth so that we can walk on it, and that’s how it is, isn’t it?

79:30- This is a key verse that most exegetes did not get. Sheikh Ash-Sha`raawi, may God bless his soul, noticed it and explained how it combines the stretching AND the roundness of the earth at the same time! That’s because the word دحاها means the action of rolling and unrolling of dough such as when you make a pie crust. It is a metaphor that indicates that the earth is stretched like the dough when it is unrolled and round like the dough when it is rolled.

The misunderstanding many people fall into is when they do not realize how large the globe of the earth is. If you try to walk on a beach ball, you will make one step before the ball rolls and realize that you’re walking on a sphere. But when you walk on the earth, you can walk for miles and you still have covered only a tiny distance, so you never feel that you are walking on a sphere.

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