Sunday, September 6, 2009

'The Miracle' of Floating Rock in Jerussalem

To begin with, just look at the image at right. It is a widely spread picture in the internet, especially within muslim community. Some call this floating rock, some flying rock or stone. Some even call this a miracle of Allah, of the Prophet or Islam. What make the picture an 'attention grabber' are also the stories that accompanied the emails or blogs about it.

Here are several summaries of the stories:

It is said that the rock is in Jerusalem. It was the rock where the Prophet Muhammad stood when he begin the ascend to heaven during the Israk Mikraj event. The rock was said wanted to follow the Prophet ascending to heaven, but the Prophet stop it. So it stopped the ascend and staying afloat until now.
Another story adds the above description and said that it is is now under the Dome of the Rock, in the Palestine. Some said the rock is now tightly guarded by the israely soldier as not to attrack muslim and to cover the miracle of the Prohet of Allah.
Some said it is a rock in eastern part of Saudi Arabia, in a village called Al Hassa. The rock is said to float about 10 cm from the ground at a specific time every year and then sit back on the ground.

Many muslims believe the stories and account the picture to be true and eagerly said: 'Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the great!)' or 'this is the miracle of Allah'. Many others questioned it. Still among the non-muslims, the picture raised some doubt and questions: is the picture real?

From my point of view, it is just a hoax because:

1. The picture is 'too good to be true'. If it is floating, and in open air, near a village (see the car, electricity cables and the house), flocks of people, radio and tv channel crews, and all sort of media would surely have published the pictures and the story. It should already have had its own blog, for sure. Yet, we only have this single picture and vague comments about where and what it is.

2. The story about the rock has no authentic reference from the islamic sources like hadiths or the saying of the Prophet. (if someone has the proof that IT HAS, please let me know)

3. It can be shown that the picture has been somehow manipulated or doctored. Several people pointed to the part below the rock, under the shadow. See below.

The true story of the 'floating rock'

After sometime of believing that the picture is not true without able to prove it, I finally come accross an arabic forum where the members discussing this. Thanks to image search engines, I can show you the pictures below that show the original rock in several viewing angles. The pictures show why the 'floating rock' is almost so convincing that many people reject to accept that such is only a manipulated image. The rock itself is unique, and is supported by at least three rock structures below it. The supporting rocks seem to be a continuous part of the rock that unite it with the ground. The supporting rocks are relatively very small compared to the size of the rock above them.

That fact explains why it is easy to manipulate the rock to be 'floating'. By photographing the rock at the right angle, one can have a picture where the supporting rock can be erased without manipulating other part of the whole image. Such small manipulation was enough to produce the miraculous 'floating rock'.

Here are several of the pictures:


Original foto of the floating rock. The original shows small rock structures that actually support the big rock above them.Original foto of the flying rock. The original shows small rock structures that actually support the big rock above them..Original foto of the floating stone. The original shows small rock structures that actually support the big rock above them.. Original foto of the floating rock. The original shows small rock structures that actually support the big rock above them..

From the forum, I also learned that the rock is actually located in Al Ahsa, near Tuwaithir village in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. You can see what the place looks like and the many unique rocky structures it has here, in Panoramio. There is also another reference to the original rock in flickr.

The original picture of the rock under the golden Dome of the Rock (Quba al Shahra)

Foto asli dari batu yang menjadi pijakan Nabi Muhammad saat ber-Isra' Mi'raj.This is the picture of the rock that is believed to be the standing point when the Prophet Muhammad about to ascend to heaven in the event of Israk Mikraj. It is located in the infamous Dome of the Rock, in Jerussalem, one of the famous landmark of the Palestine. Is this rock actually floating? Honestly, i do not know the answer. But this is a very famous place and many pilgrims visited it every day, they should have known it if it is floating in the air.

Concluding remark

I hope this is enough to prove that the so-called 'floating rock' - and the miracle story that accompany it - is not true. For fellow muslims, I just want to say that we should not hurryly believe pictures or stories that is attributed to be the miracle of Allah, or Islam. We can still be a believing muslim, even if we do not believe such 'miracle pictures'.

That rock is nothing compared to the Power of Allah.

by al habib.


Wilhelm T said...

Very well written. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. W

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