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Offline Reader Questions

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Did the Word 'Atom' Exist for Classical Arabs?
« on: February 24, 2014, 01:23:03 PM »
Brother Joseph Islam

I have been arguing with atheists about the word atom. They say it didn't existed such word on classic arab. Can you please clarify this to me?"

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Did the Word 'Atom' Exist for Classical Arabs?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 01:28:28 PM »
As-salam alaykum

The Arabic word that your refer to as being translated as ‘atom’ is ‘Dharrah’

'Dharrah' literally means the young ones of an ant (the grubs), or small particles such as the motes seen in a ray of sun coming through a small aperture as if they were small sprinkled particles.

The term signifies something really small or whatever the Arabs knew to be really small at their time or of the least degree in size and weight. That is why the Quran says:

"...and not a ‘dharrah’s' weight in the earth or in the heavens escapes your Lord, nor what is less than that or greater than that, but it is in a clear record" (10:61 - part)

As the Quran is a guidance for all humanity irrespective of time, for a reader studying the Quran today, the expression 'what is less than' a dharrah would encompass anything known today that is the smallest known thing. This is could be electrons, quarks, black hole singularities, Planck lengths or whatever is perceived as the smallest known thing to human perception.

The message that is being imparted is that God is aware of everything in the Universe no matter whether it is greater than or less than anything known to mankind.

Therefore, the term 'dharrah' arguably did not mean an atom to the classical Arabs. However, the term's significance can encompass an atom, though it is not restricted to it.

I hope that helps, God willing
Joseph
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell