The Lowest Point on Earth

In the early 7th century, the two most powerful empires at the time were the Roman [eastern - Byzantine] and Persian Empires. Around 614-15 C.E. the two empires went to war in Greater-Syria, with the Romans (Byzantines) suffering a severe defeat at the hands of the Persians. Damascus and Jerusalem both fell to the Persian Empire. In the following verses from the Qur’ān, God states that although the Romans had been defeated, nine years would not pass except that they will gain victory. 

فِي بِضْعِ سِنِينَ فِي أَدْنَى الْأَرْضِ وَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ غَلَبِهِمْ سَيَغْلِبُونَ غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ

“The Romans have been defeated in [adna – nearest, lowest] land. But they, after their defeat, will be victorious. Within a few years [bida’ sineen – three to nine years]...” Qur’ān 30: 2-4

Indeed,  within nine years following the revelation of these verses, against all the odds, the Roman Empire defeated the Persians and the lost territories were eventually returned to them. 

In the  verse, God describes the geographical location as ‘adna al-ardh.’ The word ‘adna’ can be translated as the ‘nearest’ or the ‘lowest’ land. Classic Islamic scholars opted to interpret the word to concord to the first meaning of ‘nearest’. 

However, recent geological studies have shown that the  lowest point on Earth [dry land], is indeed the region where the main battles took place - around the Dead Sea. It is now established that there is no land point on Earth with a lower altitude than the shoreline of the Dead Sea [which is approximately 418m below sea level]. 

Is it a mere coincidence that the region described by God as ‘adna al-ardh’ – is actually the lowest point on Earth?

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