UFO Conjectures

Monday, February 18, 2019

UFOs (and “alien encounters”) in the Qur’an

Copyright 2019, InterAmerica, Inc.

Reviews of two books, by Robyn Creswell, about Islam, in The New York Review of Books for March 7, 2019 – Sufism: A New History of Islamic Mysticism by Alexander Knysh [Princeton University Press, $21.95 and Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr by Husayn ibn Mansur at-Hallaj [Northwestern University Press, $18.95] – caused me to dig out my copy of The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, an explanatory translation by Mohammed  Marmaduke Pickthall [Mentor/New American Library, $1.25!]

The Koran, more properly the Qur’ an, is, as I see it, a recapitulation (corrective), in part, of The Hebrew Bible and the Holy Book of Islam, Allah’s [God’s] word revealed orally to the Holy Prophet Mohammad in 609 A.D. by the angel Gabriel and transcribed by others after The Prophet’s death.

As in the Hebrew Bible and The (various) Bibles we are familiar with, there appear indications of things we’d call today UFOs, along with encounters that some today would attribute to extraterrestrials, but I and others, think the encounters were actually with angels, going back to my previous posting about the nature of reality (via Teilhard de Chardin).

That aside, in the sûrah (verses) in my paperback copy listed above, I find, as one expects in early religious texts, accounts that smack of UFO sightings:

For instance, in Sûrah LIV there is an incident noted by author/translator Pickthall where “ ‘The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.’ A strange appearance of the moon in the sky, as if it had been torn asunder, is recorded in the traditions of several Companions of the Prophet as having astonished the people of Mecca …” [Page 379 ff.]

In SûrahXCVI, vv. 1-5 … “the Prophet suddenly again beheld the angel who had appeared to him on Mt. Ḥirâ, and wrapped himself in his cloak.” [Page 419-420]

Sûrah LXXIX refers to “lone stars floating, By the angels hastening.” [Page 428]

Sûrah LXXXVI At-Târiq refers to a comet that “alarmed the East about the time of the Prophet’s call.” [Page 436]

On Page 221 is recounted Sûrah  XVIII about “the youths who took refuge from persecution in a cave (vv. 10-27) and were preserved there as if asleep for a long period – a story which is generally identified by Western writers (e.g. Gibbon) with the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.” [Reminds me of some stories related by Albert Rosales in his Humanoid Encounters series.]

There are more examples, and you’d do well to reference them in an English translation of the Holy book.

N.B. The Hallaj book mentioned above, and reviewed in the NYRB, tells the story of “Al-Halaj, an ascetic who lived and preached in what is now Iraq … best known for … his claim, ‘Ana-l-haqq’ meaning ’I am the Truth’ or ‘I am God’.” He was publicly executed in Baghdad in 922.” [NYRB, Page 29]


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