What Holds up the Sky?

Today scientists speak of gravitational forces that hold the heavenly bodies apart from each other and prevent them
from colliding with each other. How was this to be conveyed to the first readers of the Qur’an? God tells us in the
Qur’an that He is the One Who raised the sky (Qur’an 55:7) and that he holds it back from falling on the earth (Qur’an 22:65). But how exactly does God do this? If the author of the Qur’an was a human being, it would have been very easy for the author to copy the answer to this
question from the Bible. But today no one will believe that answer.

In the New American Bible, a picture is drawn to show how the authors of the Bible imagined the world to look like.
In that picture, the sky “resembles an overturned bowl and is supported by columns” (The New American Bible, St.
Joseph’s Medium Size Edition, pp. 4-5). The earth in that picture is flat, and is also supported by pillars. After
describing the picture at length, the editors of that Bible conclude by calling that idea of the world a “prescientific
concept of the universe.”

At the time when the Qur’an was being revealed, anyone could have easily believed this description which was
already found in the Bible. It is only in modern times that people would know better. How did the author of the
Qur’an avoid this mistake?

God says in the Qur’an that He created the heavens “without any pillars that you can see” (Qur’an 31:10). Again, the
Qur’an says:

“God is the One Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see” (Qur’an 13:2).

Dr. Maurice Bucaille comments:

“These two verses refute the belief that he vault of the heavens was held up by pillars, the only things preventing the
former from crushing the earth” (The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, p.154).

To be able to avoid that prescientific error, the author of the Qur’an must have been either a modern scientist, or God
Himself.