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Can you provide clarity on shooting stars mentioned in the Qur’an?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

The following Verses don’t make any sense to me, I need clarification. Do they mean that “shooting stars” are made for shooting down Jinn?

What is the end of the first Heaven? And How fast would the Jinn be traveling?

It seems like a contradiction with Quantum Physics. I understand Allah (SWT) doesn’t have to follow physics, but Jinns do, right?

Quran 72: 8 “And (the Jinn who had listened to the Qur’an said): We had sought the heaven but had found it filled with strong warders and meteors.
Quran 72:9. And we used to sit on places (high) therein to listen. But he who listeneth now findeth a flame in wait for him;” He repeated the same absurd idea again.
Quran 37: 6/10 ”We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars, (For beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious evil spirits, (So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side, Repulsed, for they are under a perpetual penalty, Except such as snatch away something by stealth, and they are pursued by a flaming fire, of piercing brightness.
Quran 67: 5 “And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.”


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu `alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The Qur’an is a source of guidance unto Mankind until the day of Qiyaamah (doomsday).

The Qur’an contains colossal amounts of knowledge. Many scholars of Tafseer (Exegesis) have attested to the unique knowledge encapsulated in the Qur’an.

Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu Anhu states: “Whosoever wishes to learn knowledge, then he should seek knowledge from the Qur’an”.

Allamah Suyoothi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), a famous Mufassir (exegete) and Muhaddith (expert in Hadeeth) states: “The knowledge of the Qur’an and that which is deduced wherefrom is, a sea which has no shore”[1]

Qaadhi Abu Bakr Ibnul – Arabi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), a famous Mufassir (exegete) discusses the unique knowledge of the Qur’an and states: “Indeed the Qur’an has seventy seven thousand four hundred and fifty branches (77, 450) of knowledge according to the number of words in the Qur’an. Each word contains four dimensional branches of knowledge which when multiplied, the total amount of branches of knowledge contained in the Qur’an is three hundred and nine thousand eight hundred (309, 800).

Each verse has the following four dimensions:

1. Apparent

2. Hidden

3. Internal

4. External

Qaadhi Abu Bakr Ibnul – Arabi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further states that: “This is a general figure without taking into consideration the unique syntaxical construction of the Qur’an. When that is taken into consideration, the amount of knowledge is infinite and is only known by Allah (Azza Wa Jalle)”[2]

The above statements clearly expounds the colossal and infinite knowledge contained in the Qur’an which we can never fully understand.

The Qur’an consists of innumerable branches of knowledge:

1. Biology

2. Ecology

3. Oceanography

4. Agriculture

5. Anatomy

6. Meteorology

7.  Psychology

8. Physiology

9. Embryology

10. Astronomy

11. Geology

12. Sociology

13. Jurisprudence

14. Theology

15. Chemistry

16. Zoology

17. Logic

18. Statistics

19. Mathematics

20. Earth Science

21. Botany

22. Engineering

23. Medicine

24. Astrophysics

25. Electromagnetism

26. Astronautics

27. Philosophy

28. Social Science

29. Economics

This is the tip of the iceberg; the Qur’an contains much more knowledge.

Only recently Scientists have discovered the enormous scientific facts and secrets hidden in the Qur’an.

Refer to the following links for more details:

1.  http://www.freewebs.com/proofofislam/scienceinthequran.htm

2. http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=7ddb033a053606fe0f483fea72526c45

3. http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1.htm

4. http://www.islamicmedicine.org/medmiraclesofquran/medmiracleseng.htm

5. http://miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html

Our weak intellectual capacities in front of Allah (Subhanau Wa Ta’ala)’s knowledge is like a drop of water in the ocean. We can never equate our knowledge with that of the Qur’an since it contains such   vast and infinite collections of knowledge.

By according Science the primary measure when relating to the Qur’an, you are actually challenging the Qur’an and equating it with Science, which is repugnant to the dictates of the Shariah. One should pay greater attention to the primary message of the Qur’an instead of focusing all ones energies in understanding the secondary aspects of the Qur’an.

Before we answer your query, we would like to draw your attention to some of your dangerous statements mentioned in your query:

1. You state: “They don’t make any sense to me…..” and …. “It seems like a contradiction…..” are repugnant and in conflict with the mindset of a Mumin (believer).As Muslims, we simply believe in every statement of the Qur’an. We are required to express our Eemaan in the form of total submission and attestation to the Shariah whether it appears to the human intellect as logical or illogical.

Such statements denote a lack of this mindset. You should be more cautious in this regard in the future as such statements are detrimental to ones Eemaan.

2. Quantum Physics does not have to conform to the Qura’an in order for one to belief in the Qur’an. By making Quantum Physics the measure for your belief in the Qur’an is tantamount to Kufr (disbelief) and extremely dangerous to ones Eemaan.

In the light of the different scientific theories that were proven wrong in the past, what guarantee do we have that Quantum Physics is absolute?

3. If your statement “He repeated the same absurd idea”, refers to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), you are no more considered as a Muslim, in fact you will be regarded as a Murtad (Renegade).[3]You will have to renew your Nikaah (marriage) if you are married. If you have children, they will be regarded as illegitimate. Furthermore, it will be necessary to renew your Eemaan and make sincere Tawbah (repentance).

You should be more concerned of your attitude toward the Qur’an and Shariah, rather than worrying about finding scientific basis for Qur’anic Aayaat (verses) which is not a necessary requirement for ones Eemaan as we are taught to belief without any objections or doubts. We are not duty bound to research and investigate the logical and scientific reasoning to every injunction, prohibition, concept and subtlety of the Shariah.

Hereunder is our response to your query:

The concept of Shooting stars has been mentioned in the Qur’an.

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:

انا زينا السماء الدنيا بزينة الكواكب و حفظا من كل شيطان مارد لا يسمعون الي الملا الاعلي و يقذفون من كل جانب دحورا و لهم عذاب واصب الا من خطف الخطفة فاتبعه شهاب ثاقب

Translation:  “Indeed we have adorned the lowest heaven with lamps, and (we have made such lamps) as a guard against every obstinate devil, (so) they should not eavesdrop into the upper heavens and they cast away from every side, repulsed, for them shall be a perpetual punishment/chastisement, except the one who snatches away something stealthily, after which, they are pursued by a flaming star, of piercing brightness” (Surah Saaffaat, 6-10/37)

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:

و لقد زينا السماء الدنيا بمصابيح و جعلناها رجوما للشياطين و اعتدنا لهم عذاب السعير

Translation:  “And indeed we have embellished the lowest heaven with lamps, and we have made them (to serve) as missiles to drive away the devils, and we have prepared for them the punishment of the blazing fire” (Surah Al- Mulk, 5/67)

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:

و انا لمسنا السماء فوجدناهل ملئت حرسا شديدا و شهبا

Translation:  “And indeed we had sought the heaven, but we had found it filled with mighty wardens and flaming meteors”

Brief background to the above Aayaat (verses)


Before the prophethood of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), the Jinn used to eavesdrop freely without being expelled from the upper terrestrial realms. They would listen to the discussions of the angels and learn about future events. They would return to the World and reveal this information to fortune tellers. When the future events transpired as foretold by the fortune tellers, they would believe that the fortune tellers possessed knowledge of the unseen, thus, they were deceived by the fortune tellers.

However, when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was sent to the World, the Jinn were barred from entering all the upper terrestrial realms and the flaming stars increased to an extent that it filled the terrestrial spheres, therefore, they could no more eavesdrop on the conversations of the angels. Whenever any Jinn would try to eavesdrop, it was pursued and struck by a flaming/shooting star which never missed its target.[4]

Objective of Shooting Stars


In reference to your first question as to the objective of Shooting Stars, we hereunder provide our response:

 The great Mufassir (Exegete), Qatadah (Radhiyallahu Anhu) states that: “these stars were created for three purposes:

1.1)          As an adornment for the heavens.

1.2)          As missiles to drive away the devils/evil spirits.

1.3)          As terrestrial signs through which people are guided in their journeys.[5]

It is clear from the above that the purpose of Flaming Stars is not merely restricted to striking the Jinn.

This is a clear manifestation of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s Qudrat (power) that he created a single star which has multiple benefits. On the one hand, it serves as benefit to Mankind and on the other hand it serves as a repellent to the Jinn.

Scientific Basis of Shooting Stars

Scientists have recently discovered that stars and meteors are the source of powerful electric waves called “Pulsars.”These Pulsars are released in the form of “spectral lines”.

In terms of Astrology, Pulsars are defined as: “a rapidly rotating neutron star which emits large amounts of electromagnetic radiation (light, x-rays, radio waves, etc.) and particle jets. A neutron star is what is left over when a star 4 – 8 times the mass of our sun burns up most of its fuel and explodes in a supernova. The outer layers of the star shoot outwards rapidly, while the stellar core collapses to a sphere approximately 20 km in diameter. Some neutron stars do not rotate very rapidly but those that do are known as pulsars.

Suns more massive than 8 times the mass of our sun collapse to form black holes, which emit very little radiation because their gravity well is so deep that nothing can escape from it. Suns less than 4 times the mass of our sun turn into Red Giants and then brown dwarfs, without collapsing into a neutron star. But those suns that do collapse into neutron stars release a massive amount of energy in the process, due to the sheer energy of the collapsing matter. Sometimes a small initial rotation in the stellar core will amplify greatly as the collapse ensues, as an ice skater tends to spin more rapidly and they draw their arms closer in towards themselves.”[6]

Observations of Pulsars

Neutron stars have very intense magnetic fields, about 1,000,000,000,000 times stronger than Earth’s own field. However, the axis of the magnetic field is not aligned with the neutron star’s rotation axis. The combination of this strong magnetic field and the rapid rotation of the neutron star produce extremely powerful electric fields, with electric potential in excess of 1,000,000,000,000 volts. Electrons are accelerated to high velocities by these strong electric fields. These high-energy electrons produce radiation (light) in two general ways: (1) Acting as a coherent plasma, the electrons work together to produce radio emission by a process whose details remain poorly understood; and (2) Acting individually, the electrons interact with photons or the magnetic field to produce high-energy emission such as optical, X-ray and gamma-ray. The exact locations where the radiation is produced are uncertain and may be different for different types of radiation, but they must occur somewhere above the magnetic poles. External viewers see pulses of radiation whenever this region above the magnetic pole is visible. Because of the rotation of the pulsar, the pulses thus appear much as a distant observer sees a lighthouse appear to blink as its beam rotates. The pulses come at the same rate as the rotation of the neutron star, and, thus, appear periodic.[7]

The following image clearly demonstrates the emission of Pulsars from stars from a scientific point of view:

Why is the Crab Nebula Pulsar Shooting off so Much Energy?

Astronomers have detected pulsed gamma rays from the neutron star at the heart of the Crab Nebula with energies far higher than their theoretical pulsar models can explain.

The emissions were detected by the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System of four 12-meter Cherenkov telescopes in Arizona. VERITAS, which began collecting full-scale observations in 2007, is used to examine the remains of exploded stars, distant galaxies and powerful gamma-ray bursts and to search for evidence of mysterious dark matter particles.

The study team was led by Nepomuk Otter, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The findings are published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

The Crab Nebula, which is some 6,500 light-years from Earth, was formed when a massive star exploded in a supernova that was observed on Earth in 1054. At the heart of the nebula’s colorful layers of gas is a so-called pulsar, the remains of the original star’s core that collapsed in on itself into a super-dense, spinning neutron star.

It is most typical for pulsars to be ejected from the stellar wreckage during a supernova. But in the case of the Crab system, the pulsar remained at its centre, producing radiation that covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Possible explanations for the Crab pulsar’s intense beams have been suggested, but the researchers said much more data will need to be collected before the mechanisms behind these gamma-ray pulses can be better understood.

“These are much, much higher energies than had been previously thought can come from a pulsar,” Otter said. There is something missing in the models of the “cosmic particle accelerators” that give rise to the gamma rays, he added. “It’s a very radical change to the picture of how we believe gamma-ray emission comes from pulsars.” [8]

The following animation clearly demonstrates a meteor which also refers to a shooting star as stated in the Qur’an:

Meteors, or shooting stars as they are more commonly known, are the streak of light produced when a meteoroid burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. It looks like a star falling towards us as it momentarily flashes above us. The meteoroids, which produce the meteors, are dust and rocks in space.”[9]

“A meteor is the visible streak of light that occurs when a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteors typically occur in the mesosphere, and most range in altitude from 75 km to 100 km.[4] Millions of meteors occur in the Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most meteoroids that cause meteors are about the size of a pebble. They become visible between about 40 and 75 miles (65 and 120 kilometers) above the earth. They disintegrate at altitudes of 30 to 60 miles (50 to 95 kilometers).”[10]




“The visible light produced by a meteor may take on various hues, depending on the chemical composition of the meteoroid, and its speed through the atmosphere. As layers of the meteoroid are stripped off and ionized, the color of the light emitted may change according to the layering of minerals. Some of the possible colors and the compounds responsible for them are: orange/yellow (sodium); yellow (iron); blue/green (magnesium); violet (calcium); and red (silicate).”[11]


The above mentioned facts form the scientific basis for the concept of Shooting Stars as mentioned in the Qur’an.

As Muslims, we believe in the Qur’an. We attest to the phenomenon and subtleties mentioned in the Qur’an without any shadow of a doubt. Many phenomenon have been mentioned in the Qur’an hundreds of years ago and only recently have scientists unearthed and discovered such unique phenomenon. This merely serves as a source of increasing our Eemaan.

The principles and fundamentals of Quantum Physics may differ with the above mentioned scientific basis for the concept of Shooting Stars mentioned in the Qur’an.

On many occasions scientists have differed on academics, therefore we cannot rely on science in our beliefs.

For further detail, kindly refer to the following link: http://phys.columbia.edu/~cqft/physics.htm 

Concluding Remarks

Science does not form the basis of the Qur’an, nor do the contradictions of Science have any impact on the authenticity of the Qur’an.

As Muslims, we are taught to believe in every aspect of our religion even though it transcends our senses and intellectual capacities. These scientific discoveries merely attest to the veracity and truth of Islam leaving no reason for us to disobey Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

And Allah knows best.

Ismail Desai,

Durban, South Africa

Student Darul Iftaa

Faculty of speciality in Tafseer and Qura’anic sciences

(Takhassuss Fil Tafseer)

Checked and Approved

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


 علوم القران و ما يستنبط منه بحر لا ساحل له.الاتقان في علوم القران.181/2.[1]

2  ذكر القاضي ابو بكر ابن العربي في كتاب “قانون التاويل” ان علوم القران خمسون علما و اربع ماءة و سبعة الاف علم و و سبعون الف علم، علي عدد كلم القران مضروبة في اربعة قال بعض السلف اذ لكل كلمة ظاهر و باطن و حد و مطلع.و هذا مطلق دون اعتبار تراكيبه. و هذا ما لا يحصي و لا يعلمه الا لله عز و جل.البرهان في علوم القران.24.فصل في علوم القران.دار الحديث بقاهرة.

        3  اذا انكر اية من القران او سخر باية من القران و في الخزانة او عاب فقد كفر.الفتاوي التاترخانية.كتاب احكام المرتدين.فصل فيما بتعلق بالقران.490/5.ادارة القران

فتاوي محموديه.109/2.مكتبه محمودية.   

   4   منعوا من السماولت كلها بالشهب فلما بعث ازداد تساقط الشهب حتي ملا الفضاء و صارت لا تخطئهم فمنعا من الصعود بالكلية لكن ما زالوا يتوجهون الي الصعود فتعالجهم الشهب. حاشية الصاوي.  عليه و سلم الله    فلما ولد صلي

435/4.المكتبة العصرية.

5  قال قتادة: انمل خلقت هذه النجوم لثلاث خصال خلقها الله زينة للسماء و رجوما للشياطين و علامات يهتدي بها.

1922/4.تفسير ابن كثير.دار الفكر.بيروت.

[6]  http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-pulsar.htm, link accessed at 03/01/2012.

Original Source Link

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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