The Spider in Bible and Quran

By: Prof.dr. Ibrahim Khalil

One of the expanded dogmas of mankind is that the Quran is quoted or borrowed from the Bible. This creed is established upon studies of many prejudiced intellectual scholars

In this series of articles (1-16), it is obvious that the Quran is quite different from the Bible. It is also very clear that the Quran preceded the sciences in many aspects.

In the present topic of the Spider, the smart reader will answer easily this fake dogmatic question: Is the Quran quoted from the Bible?

The Bible which says :1)Four things on earth are small, Ants, Coneys, locusts and a spider, 2)Locusts have no king, 3)The spider is found in kings' palaces and 4)Whoever eats the eggs of vipers will die.

Or the Quran which says 1) The female spider is the one mainly undertaking the building of the house,2) The spider's house, from the physical and spiritual point of view, is the weakest house of all and 3)The weakness is in the spider's house and not the threads

Before dealing with the topic of the Spider in Quran versus Bible versus sciences, it is essential to remember that the total words of the Bible are 788,280 while total words of the Quran are 77,473. It follows that, the Bible has the potential of more than 10 times the Quran to talk about the Different Colors word-wise.

The spider is mentioned in three verses in the Bible (all are in the Old Testament and never mentioned in the New Testament). The spider is mentioned in one verse in the Quran.

The Spider in the Bible:

Proverbs 30

24 "Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:

25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;

26 Coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;

27 locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;

28 a spider can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings' palaces.

In my "Arabic" Bible, the verse 24 says:" the smallest"; this adjective is modified in the modern English version to "small".

However, there are thousands of creatures that are smaller than the Ants, Coneys, locusts and a spider and are wise also as for examples the microbes, protozoa and fungi.

Also, why the spider is found in the kings' places specifically?

Again, why the locusts have no king although they have?

Job 8

13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.

14 What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web.

In this verse, the trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house. This meaning is a beautiful one.

Isaiah 59:5-6

Talking about those who are unjust and lie etc.

5 They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.

6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands.

Isaiah describes the wicked as those which "weave the spider's web" i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless.

However, scientifically speaking, the one who eat the eggs of vipers will not die. Guaranteed. Even the one who eats the viper itself will not die. I wonder why the Bible put itself in such critical scientific conflicts.

Spider in the Quran:

Surah 29:

[39] (Remember also) Qaroun, Pharaoh, and Haman: there came to them Moses with Clear Signs, but they behaved with insolence on the earth; yet they could not overreach (Us).

[40] Each one of them We seized for his crime: of them, against some We sent a violent tornado (with showers of stones); some were caught by a (mighty) Blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned (in the waters): it was not Allah who injured (or oppressed) them: they injured (and oppressed) their own souls.

[41] The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of the Spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the Spider's house; if they but knew.

[42] Verily Allah doth know of (every thing) whatever that they call upon besides Him: and He is Exalted (in power), Wise.

[43] And such are the Parables We set forth for mankind, but only those understand them who have knowledge.

[44] Allah created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): verily in that is a Sign for those who believe.

N.B.: Qaroun and Haman were the best friends of the Pharaoh of Moses. Qaroun was a very wealthy and powerful Israelite but was pro-Pharaoh. Haman was a top Egyptian official, he was chief of the army and police. Both Qaroun and Haman are not mentioned in the Bible.

Back to the Spider, the Surah number 29 is named "Al-Ankaboot" which means the spider.

Naming the Surah with the singular form "Al-Ankaboot" indicates the solitary life of this animal, except at times of mating and egg hatching. This can be compared to the Surah "Al-Nahel" (The Bees) and the Surah "Al-Namel" (The Ants), where the names are plural since these insects live in social groups.

The word "Al-Ankaboot" is used for the feminine singular.

The verse indicates that the female spider is the one mainly undertaking the building of the house. Accordingly, building the spider's house is an assignment carried on by the female spiders. It is the female which has in its body the glands for secretion of the silk substance from which the spider's house is made.

The spider's house, from the physical point of view, is the weakest house of all, because it is made out of a number of very delicate silk threads. These threads are interwoven, leaving large separating spaces at most times. Therefore, they do not protect from the heat of the sun, or the extreme cold. These threads do not form adequate shade, nor protect from the rain, storming winds, or the dangers of attackers.

The Quran is very strict and clear when saying that the weakness is in the spider's house and not the threads; (the flimsiest of houses).

the spider's house is the flimsiest house, whether physically or spiritually. This has been proven by the late studies in zoology. In other words, the Quran preceded the modern scientific findings by more than 1300 years.

The threads of the spider's house are made of very delicate silk. The thickness of one thread is usually one million of the squared inch, or one part of four thousand parts of the thickness of the ordinary human hair. Despite its delicacy, it is the strongest biological substance known to mankind so far. The silk threads which make up the spider's web are considered stronger than steel, and their strength is surpassed only by the melted quartz. The thin thread stretches to five times its length before it is cut. Therefore, the scientists call it "biological steel" or "bio-steel". It is twenty times stronger than the ordinary metal steel. Its tolerance measures 300,000 pound for the square inch. Hypothetically speaking, should there be a thick rope of the spider's threads, in the size of the thumb, it can easily carry a "jumbo" jet.

In addition, the spider's house, spiritually speaking, is the flimsiest of all houses, because it is deprived of all love and kindness, which are the pillars of any happy home. The female kills the male as soon as the fertilization takes place. Being larger in size and more violent, the female kills the male and eats its body. Also, the female eats its youngsters mercilessly. In some types, the female dies after fertilizing its eggs, which are usually fostered in a silk bag. When the eggs hatch, spider lings come out to find themselves in a very crowded place inside the eggs bag. The siblings then start to fight for food, space or both. The brother kills its brother and sister, and the sister kills its sister and brother, until the fight ends with a few spider lings remaining. These spider lings shed their skin and tear the eggs bag to come out one after the other with unhappy memories. They all then spread in the surrounding environment. Each female starts to build its house. On the road to achieve this goal, some of the spider lings die, whereas those who survive repeat the same tragedy. This makes the spider's house the most violent and ruthless house, lacking all forms of kinship. Hence, Allah the Almighty sets it as a parable in its weakness and frailty because it lacks the simplest form of kindness between the husband and wife, the mother and her children, the brother and his siblings, and the sister and her siblings.

These facts were unknown to any human at the time of revelation, and for long centuries thereafter. They have been discovered after extensive studies of the behavior of the spider by hundreds of scientists, for tens of years, until they were realized in the last decades of the twentieth century. That is why Allah ended the noble verse with His saying "if they but knew".

Some deep meaning of the verse:

A- The house of the spider is not merely its dwelling place. Being the sticky net it is, it constitutes a trap for flying insects such as flies and others. These insects are a prey on which the spider feeds. Similarly, those idolaters who revere gods besides Allah, and call people to those revered gods, are in fact calling them to an artful trap which leads them to their death and destruction in this life and the afterlife.

B- Warning against those with corrupt invocations who revere others besides Allah, whether money or whim. This warning is issued through indicating their hidden strings with which they hunt their victims. These strings can be money, sex, power, or any other hidden string which destroys the victim once it is trapped.

Now, I think it is easy to answer this forged dogmatic question: Is the Quran quoted from the Bible?


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