Why is Solomon hearing ants absurd, but Jesus turning water into wine or Moses parting the Red Sea not?


The Qur'an said Solomon talked with ants and Christians claim this is absurd. But didn't Jesus turn water into wine, and didn't Moses divide the Dead Sea? Doesn't all this fall into the same category as Solomon's issue?


The Qur'an claims that Solomon communicated with ants through the great wisdom that God gave him.

At length, when they came to a valley of ants, one of the ants said: "O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it."

So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: "O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which Thou has bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace to the ranks of Thy Righteous Servants."
[Sura An-Naml [The Ant] (27):18-19]

No miracle of God is claimed for this story, it is supposedly an ability that came with wisdom. The problem is that ants do not communicate with sound. They are basically deaf. They can feel vibrations in their surroundings, but they cannot sense vibrations in the air. Ants communicate through odors. If Solomon "overheard" the speed of ants, it had to have been by a great miracle of God both to give the ants intelligence beyond their ability (this ant supposedly knew Solomon's name) and gave Solomon the ability to sense chemical communication. Yet, there is no claim of a miracle here. Therefore, it shows that the writer of the Qur'an did not understand how ants communicated, assuming that the reason we don't understand ant-speech is that we aren't smart enough.

Jesus turning the water into wine was claimed to be a miracle. It was an interruption of the natural order of things -- something only God can do. "This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him" (John 2:11).

Moses' parting the Red Sea was by the power of God as well. Moses obeyed God, but all acknowledge that it was God who did the work. "So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses" (Exodus 14:30-31).

By themselves, you could claim that the miracles of God were nothing but stories, but the problem is that there were witnesses. It made an impact on history. The crossing of the Red Sea, experienced by millions of Israelites, also resulted in the wiping out of Pharaoh and his army. Word of that spread through the nations. Rahab, a Canaanite in Jericho said, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed" (Joshua 2:9-10). The Canaanites had no love for God to promote evidence of His deeds, yet they knew what had happened. The Pharaoh whom historians suspect died in this event had his name expunged from monuments. Egyptians did not tolerate defeat well.

Jesus turning the water to wine was also witnessed by both the disciples and the servants at the feast. This particular miracle did not have an impact in history, but it was one of many events in which multiple witnesses, both favorable and neutral, could attest to the fact that it did happen.

The Qur'an was written 900 years after Jesus, 1900 years after Solomon. The story of the ants did not pre-exist the Qur'an. No one could verify the truth of the story or interview the witnesses. The event of the parting of the Red Sea was written down by Moses. Those living at the time, and there were a lot of witnesses, could testify that it really did happen. The event of the changing of water to wine was written down less than 40 years after it happened. The witnesses, and there were several, could be interviewed as to whether the recording was true. That is a big difference.

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