The Sun & Moon Move With Their Own Motion
The Qur'an makes the following statement about the sun and the moon: "Each one is travelling in an orbit with its own motion" (Qur'an 21:33; 36:40).
Why did the Qur'an say that the sun and moon move with their own motion? And, if that is true, where did the author of the Qur'an get this information?
The fact is that the sun and moon rotate on their axes and are in part animated by this rotating motion. The phrase "travelling with its own motion" in the verses quoted above is a translation of the Arabic verb 'yasbahoon'. This could also be translated 'they swim.' In that case, the verse would read that the sun and the moon, "Each swim in its own orbit." Those who translate the verse this way explain that the term swim refers to movement with one's own internally generated force. Furthermore the movement of a swimmer is graceful, measured, and smooth. This is a very fitting description for the movement of the stars and planets including the sun and the moon.
After describing the scientific data concerning the rotation of the sun and the moon, Dr. Bucaille says: "These motions of the two celestial bodies are confirmed by the data of modern science, and it is inconceivable that a man living in the seventh century A.D.... could have imagined them" (The Bible, the Qur'an and Science, p. 163).
It is also amazing that the Qur'an uses a different term for the movement of the clouds and the mountains (see Qur'an 27:88). Obviously, the clouds and mountains are driven by external forces. The cloud is driven by the wind and the mountains move with the rotation of the earth. The sun and moon, however, move with their own motion, and therefore the Qur'an uses a peculiar term "they swim" to refer to their smooth, graceful, self-propelled movement.
How did the author of the Qur'an know enough to make this choice of words that will reflect a modern scientific truth? The Qur'an is no less than a revelation from God.