The earth was considered to be a flat platform
At that time, it was generally believed that the earth was like a flat platform and there was a sea across it where according to them the world would end. The story of earth sinking into the sea and Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Varaha to rescue it or the story of Hanuman swallowing the sun was based on this concept. The sky was considered to be a gaseous roof where the constellations and the sun rested with some supernatural miracle and revolved around the earth. And astrology was based on the calculation of these constellations. Now in such situation gods could live only on mountains, distant from humans.
By the time of the Quran, a little wisdom had been developed, and even while adopting the old stuff, they edited and removed everything from the ground but were still stuck to the same concept with the sky and declared it to be made of seven levels like a multi-story building where prophets were allotted till the sixth level and God was placed on the seventh.
With this view, all the verses of the Quran which have been said about heaven will be clearly understood, but now the concept of earth and universe has been cleared, then to make those verses scientific, they connect irrelevant loops. Also, due to the compulsion of not editing, they prove the meaning according to their convenience by adding brackets. For example, it is said that sun and all the stars are completing their journey according to the same concept, but today the people put a bracket in the middle and wrote ‘the orbit’, to prove that we had already revealed that the stars and planets are all revolving in their orbits.
How much is the credibility of hadiths
Since many unscientific hadiths (related to heaven like Miraj, Burraq, hiding behind the throne of the sun, fearing eclipses, offering special namaz, a sign of doom, etc.) become obstacle so a new trend has been started to deal with it. It is said that a committee is investigating the hadiths, that which particular hadith has been narrated by which ravis (who had propagated the hadith) and what is the credibility and which of the hadiths/ incidents can be denied through their support?
That is, the credibility of the ravis of the hadiths written in the ninth century was not acknowledged by the people then. Their credibility is being checked after twelve hundred years now.
It was during Galileo‘s time when finding an out-of-earth condition was initiated when Galileo started looking into space by refining Lippershey’s ordinary telescope. Although this was started in the fifteenth century by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, which Bruno proceeded resulting in eight years imprisonment and eventually executed by burning and finally Galileo stamped Copernicus’ theory.
And since then religious scholars (especially Hindus and Muslims) have been constantly yearning to prove by twisting the symbolic statements that Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo have revealed it much later but we have known it thousands of years ago.
Here you have to note two fun facts. In both versions of the Bibles, according to the lineage that is told from Adam to Abraham, the creation would have been found at the most ten thousand years ago whereas several human fossils of many millions of years ago and fossils of dinosaurs from six million years ago have been found.
And all the religious texts of the world may say that the human civilization in the world started with the creation of the world, but they cannot tell a word about the huge animals like mammoths and dinosaurs, who once had a monopoly on earth.
Views of Muslims on pharaoh’s mummy
There is an even more famous story in the Islamic world, which is related to a miracle of the Quran that how God presented Firon’s corpse to be an example in order to enlighten the world.
A story is presented that (I will address this further as ‘Meem story’) how a corpse was found on the bank of the Red Sea and Muslims began to claim it to be Firon’s body. Then a Christian doctor/author Maurice Bucaille conducted tests on this corpse and converted to Islam himself, knowing that there was truth in the claims of the Muslims. This story is presented by magnifying a lot. How much truth is there in it, you should consider yourself.
The first oddity in this is that Firon is a title and not a name. The Quran or the Exodus (Part of Old Testament) has no period or identification of the Firon’s conflict with Moses but because Moses’ period It is believed to be three thousand BC and this mummy is also around the same period, then there is a possibility. But there is no proof anywhere that if this story associates with any of Seti I, Ramses II or Merneptah. While this famous mummy belongs to Ramses II or Merneptah. Actually, there is a big confusion in this whole episode between Ramses II and Merneptah. Bucaille mentions Merneptah in his book, while the entire discussion is about Ramses II.
There is an issue here that in history Ramses II is recorded as the son of Seti I and Merneptah, as the thirteenth son of Ramses but surprisingly both have similar ends and the events with mummy in their stories. This problem is also with this mummy that according to the recorded history, its face resembles Merneptah and also Seti the Great.
The history of Ramses does not match the story of Exodus
However, this man (Ramses II) was buried in the KV7 tomb of the Valley of Kings, but his mummy was removed from there due to the looting there, rewrapped and placed in Queen Inhapi’s tomb but 72 hours later it was removed again and was secured in the tomb of High Priest Pinedjem II (located at Deir El-Bahri) where more than 50 mummies of kings, queens and members of the royal family were safe. This information is recorded on linen, wrapping mummies. From here, it was discovered in 1881 by German egyptologists Emile Brugsch and French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero.
While Merneptah was buried in KV8, his mummy was found in the KV35 tomb of the Amenhotep II which Victor Loret discovered along with 18 other mummies and in 1907, at the Museum of Cairo, Dr G. Elliott Smith unwrapped and examined it.
During their visit in 1974, the archaeologists found that mummy’s condition was deteriorating and then it was deported to Paris as a king, issuing a passport. Where during the examination it was found that it was being attacked by a fungus, which was treated. Then some wounds and fractures in his body were confirmed by tests and scientific analysis. It was clear from the body that he was suffering from Arthritis badly. Recent studies also suggest that Ankylosing Spondylitis may be the cause. He was also suffering from Haunched back in the last decade of life, dental infections were confirmed as well and these things were considered the cause of death.
Ramses’ body was mummified
The examiners here paid particular attention to mummy’s thin neck. The x-ray revealed a wood stuck between his upper chest and head that was holding the head steady. It was concluded that since the people of Egyptian culture believed afterlife, people believed in life and would preserve themselves as mummies, in such a situation, they believed that if a body part is left, then the soul will not be able to exist in the life after death and during the mummification process, the head of the corpse may have been moved from its place, then they used wood to keep it stable.
The mummy was then sent back to Cairo where it was placed in the Museum of Cairo and was visited by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his wife. From here, an attempt to prove him to be Firon, associated with Moses began. The mainstay of which was sea salt traces found on mummy. Then there was no research on if this salt was part of the mummification process. This theory was implanted into Bucaille’s mind by Islamic scholar Yusuf Estes when Bucaille was talking about preserving the mummies over Merneptah’s mummy among scholars in the Museum of Cairo.
Now come to Maurice Bucaille. As per ‘Meem story‘ Bucaille was a Christian and had no knowledge of Islam or Quran beforehand (Yusuf Estes also insisted on it) while around this research Bucaille was the family physician of King Faisal and the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the then ruler of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, were also among his clients, who had given Bucaille a special exemption and facility for research on royal mummies. However, other researchers did not agree with the conclusion of the work at all, and they raised questions on this.
Bucaille did not write about drowning in the first official report, but the book that he wrote later, “The Bible, the Quran and Science“, emphasized this, while emphasizing more upon religious prejudice than fact. Though the Islamic world welcomed the book, it was severely criticized outside Islam. It is believed that Bucaille did this trick by finding an easy chance to make a different identity in Islam and to increase his influence among rulers like Anwar Sadat and King Faisal and he got all that.
Claims of Muslims v/s facts
Now come to the claims of ‘Meem story‘. The claim is that Firon’s corpse was found on the side of the Red Sea, while this mummy was found in the tomb of Pinedjem II. It is claimed that this is the same Firon who was drowned in the sea chasing Moses but neither it is clear from the Quran nor the Exodus that whom Moses had a conflict with among Seti I, Ramses II or Merneptah. Because they all were Firon or Pharaohs and interestingly, none of them died due to drowning.
It is claimed that God preserved Firon’s corpse in a natural way, while the reality is that it is a mummy and has gone through the mummification process to this stage. It is claimed that sea salt traces on the mummies confirm that he died of drowning, but sea salt and baking soda mixture were part of the mummification process that was also found on other mummies.
Then claim is that Firon associated with Moses was drowned in chasing Moses and his body was later taken out. Even if it is believed, the question arises that corpse would not have been left as unprotected as it was. While even the common priests of that era were mummified and preserved, then why would they not preserve their dead ruler? Although there is no evidence that his corpse was taken out after drowning, then left unprotected or safe. Secondly, this story is also mythological, originating from the Exodus and there is no description of this story with any other ruler of that period.
And yet, even if all the claims including Bucaille’s (except for the natural reserve / mummified part, because the mummy is proved) are believed, then how can a mummy be a lesson to anyone? This was human workmanship and was an art for the ancient Egyptians, with the help of this not only the royal family, the rich people of the state, the priests but also the common well-to-do people used to secure their bodies. The witness of which are many mummies still present. What is a miracle in them? On the official website of Egypt’s Department of Archeology, you can read about Ramses and other mummies that no one was died by drowning in the sea.