Surah 16 Error Regarding the Bees?
On December 26, 2007 I received an email from a brother:
Brother this question was asked from me by non-muslim.
Here is his question
To an person such as myself, it appears that the almighty and wise made a little bit of a mistake that could pose a big challenge when trying to convince people that the Koran is the authentic word of God. Now I may be wrong, so I need you good muslims to clarify this error:
Here is what the almighty says in 16:69 (Sura Nahl): Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colours, in which there is healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.
The verse above does not sound correct. 1) Bees do not eat all fruits nor do they eat all produce (which Yusuf Ali says). 2) What kind of beverages of many colors come out from within?
So I replied back and said:
The better translation is "eat from the fruits" and not "eat of all the fruits". Surprisingly, only Palmer and Khalifa (the deviant) got it correct. In Arabic the word min means from.
Bees do eat fruits. Here is a picture of a bee feeding on a grape
You can read about the picture here.
The beverage (better translated as drink) is obviously the honey. The honey is a fluid correct? Bees have what is known as a 'honey stomach' and honey is produced from the bee's stomach.
The bee drinks nectar and produces honey from its stomach.
and there are several other links that speak about this issue.
It is well known that honey could be different colors from the same bee because that same bee could have collected different nectars at the time to produce the honey.
So thank the non Muslim friend for pointing out a scientific accuracy in the Qur'an that couldn't have been known by someone like Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
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