An alleged miracle had spread lately about the number of the planets in the solar system and that the Quran had pointed out to it in His, the Almighty, speech on the tongue of our master Joseph, peace be upon him: “O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves to me.” (Yusuf: 4). so what is the fact behind this matter?
I say my brothers and sisters that some people rush in giving the word “miracle” on any phenomenon that he sees or believes, and the believer is wise and clever and he has to make sure of the truth of the information before spreading or believing it. The noble verse is not necessarily pointing the number of planets in the solar system as our master Joseph saw eleven planets and Allah, the Almighty, had not informed us that there are no planets except eleven in our solar system; rather, these planets are symbols for the brothers of our master Joseph, peace be upon him.
One of the western scientists who deeply studied the Universe and Galaxies, and after doing statistical study for the number of galaxies and stars in the Universe and with the probability of the presence of other planets outside the solar system: the number of planets in the Universe that are similar to our planet is more than the number of stars in our galaxy, even there are thousands of billions or may be more!!
Therefore, we can not limit the number of planets to eleven only, as the number of planets rotating around the sun is ten including the earth, and if we exclude the earth we find it nine, and may be the scientists will discover other planets in the solar system because we are unable yet to move out of the borders of the solar system.
And therefore, our information remains little, even if the scientists discovered that the number of the planets in the solar system is eleven, this does not invite us to say that the Quran specified this number before 14 centuries as the scientists may discover more planets, and we can give the following advices:
1. The noble verse ” I saw (in a dream) eleven stars” does not talk about the number of the planets but it talk about the number of Joseph brothers, and the planet is a symbol for the brother in the dream, while the number 11 symbolizes the number of Joseph brothers. And dreams come symbolized or coded as we know.
2. The number of planets rotating around the sun is unknown, we have known 10 of it and the scientists are still discovering more. And there are billions of planets spread in the universe and the number is not limited to eleven.
3. Any information should be clarified before spreading it through the internet as a response to His speech, all praises to Him: “So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.” (7: Al Anbiya’a). Because we do not want the scientific miracles in the Quran to be an entrance for the suspicious and disbelievers to criticize this great religion.
By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel
1-A Tool for Finding Life in Outer Space, www.technologyreview.com, April 25, 2007.
2- Discovery of new planet helps search for life in outer space, www.abc.net.au, April 26, 2007.
3- Sugar in meteorites find lends support to space origin of life’s building blocks, www.findarticles.com, March, 2002.
4- Life: did it come from outer space? www.abc.net.au, 10 July 2002.
5- Life from outer space, or panspermia redux, www.findarticles.com, July, 1987.
6- Building blocks for life may have come from outer space, www.spaceflightnow.com, January 30, 2001.
7- Meteorite Reveals Signs of Life from Space, www.dsc.discovery.com, May 06, 2007.
8- Did Life Arrive Before the Solar System Even Formed? www.universetoday.com, 04 May 2005.
9- Lederman, Leon, and Schramm, David. From Quarks to the Cosmos (Scientific American, 1999).
About the Author: Engineer Abduldaem Al-Kaheel is a researcher in the Scientific Miracles of the Quran and Sunnah. He is born in the city of Homs (Syria) in 1966. He is married and has two children, "Firas" and "Alaa".