said: “O people! Behold the stationary sun1 and rotating earth and the swarming millions of living beings in creation, then conceive of the Maker’s grandeur!”, it would have driven the people either to denial, or to deceive themselves or to compete with it. For because of their superficial view, rather their false view, they look on the earth as self-evidently flat and the sun as rotating. So indeed, to confuse people’s minds, especially over the period of a thousand years just to satisfy a few people of our times would have been contrary to wise guidance and opposed to the spirit of eloquence.
Friend! Don’t assume that you can draw an analogy between theoretical future matters and the conditions of the hereafter. [That is, don’t suppose that the matters of the hereafter and its conditions, which are unknown to us, are similar to theoretical matters that will be discovered in the future.] For since the external senses cannot perceive any aspect of [the matters of the hereafter], they remain within the bounds of the possible and may be believed in confidently. What they clearly require is to be elucidated. However, when it comes to our subject [the discoveries of science], since in the view [of the people of those times] they were outside the bounds of possibility and probability, and due to their erroneous perceptions [what they thought to be true] was self-evident, what was required in the view of eloquence was for those discoveries [to be mentioned] in vague and general [terms] out of respect for the people’s feelings and so as not to confuse their minds. Nevertheless, the Qur’an indicates, hints at, and makes allusion to the truth, and opens the door to minds and bids them enter by planting signs and associated meanings (qarā’in). Friend! If you are fair-minded, reflect on the rule “Speak to people in accordance with their level of understanding,”2 and understand that since the times and environment of those people had not equipped them mentally they would have been unable to support or sustain such matters [as the discoveries of science],
One time when I was ill, in a state between sleeping and waking, [the following] occurred to me about “And the sun runs it course to a place appointed.”(36:38) That is, [it turns] “in” its appointed place so that its [the solar] system can be upheld. That is, by rotating it generates the force of attraction [gravity] which holds the solar system in its order. Otherwise, it would fall apart. (This sleepy footnote is subtle and meaningful) – Said Nursi
In his work Lemeât (1921) (See, The Words, 732.) Said Nursi expressed this idea in “semi-verse:”
The sun is a fruit-bearing tree; it shakes itself so that the planets fall not, its fruits.
If it rested motionless the attraction would cease, and they would weep through space, its ecstatics.
See, al-Suyūṭī, Kanz al-‘Ummāl, x, 307; al-Firdaws, v, 359.