The Byzantines were severely defeated in this battle by their Sassanid counterparts.

But where did this battle take place i.e. what was the precise location of this battle?

According to Wikipedia, it took place outside Antioch, Syria.

But according to this, this and this, the Romans where defeated near the Dead Sea Basin

So which of the information is correct?

This should help you in answering the question.

If there's any problem in my question please inform me. Thanks!


Questions about the historical accuracy of holy texts can get dicey, so I'll try to treat this like any other question.

First, I'm not an Islamic scholar, so I'm not going to try and work out whether the translation is "lowest land" or "nearest land", but just note there seems to be some contention about exactly what is meant in the passage in question, Qur'an 30:1-3. And I'm no expert on battles of antiquity.

What I can do, and you can do, is evaluate your sources.

When making a claim that bucks the academic norm you need good sources with good evidence. In particular when someone is trying to align history with a holy text, they need very good sources to counteract the researcher's confirmation bias. Let's take a critical look at your sources. I unfortunately can't evaluate your Arabic sources, so let's do the English ones.

Video Source: "Undeniable Quranic Miracle - Rome's Defeat at Dead Sea Basin"

The video Undeniable Quranic Miracle - Rome's Defeat at Dead Sea Basin has no sources and no credentials. It's Some Guy On The Internet making claims. They're probably repeated from somewhere, but with no sources we can't know. So while this is of no use historiographicly, though might provide some places for further research.

I'll note that I'm also Some Guy On The Internet, and a high score on History.SE doesn't make me a historian. So I cite other sources.

Video Source: "Byzantine – Sasanian War of 602–628 DOCUMENTARY"

While the video has good production value, it does not make up for its lack of sources. As before, these videos can be informative jumping off points for research, but they're not evidence themselves. I love watching folks like BazBattles myself.

And while it provides context, it doesn't appear to mention anything about the battle in question.

Video Source: "Fahad AlKandari - Faseero 2 -The lowest region on earth (Eps 5)| Ramadan 2018", a different battle, and no Romans.

Again, it provides no sources. It mostly talks about the Dead Sea being the lowest point on Earth. Critically, it doesn't link the Dead Sea to the battle. They talk about a battle. Then they talk about the Dead Sea.

The battle only seems to come up once from the unnamed "Doctor" the host is talking to. He talks about an eye witness, Straegous of Al-Quds who I believe is Antiochus Strategos, but it's unclear. The Doctor says it was "the last battle in which the Romans were defeated", that the battle was near the city of "Ariha", aka Jericho, and it happened "precisely" 15 April, 614.

Piecing this all together... 15 April 614, Antiochus Strategos's account, in the area of Jericho... this corresponds not with the Battle Of Antioch, but a Christian revolt in Jerusalem followed by a Persian siege.

There are differing accounts, but the Persian siege lasted weeks. It may have started on 15 April, or later, but one wouldn't use the word "precisely". The Roman army does not appear to have been involved, so it's a stretch to claim this is "the last battle in which the Romans (really Byzantines at this point) were defeated" as that evokes the idea of a field battle. And certainly the Romans/Byzantines would see more defeats after this.

This looks like an attempt to stretch the facts to fit the claim. Cast about to find a battle in about the right place (Jerusalem is near the Dead Sea, sort of, but at 700 meters elevation), at about the right time, involving about the right people (I guess Christians are Romans?). Then make a connection not with evidence, but by talking about them both back to back and hope nobody notices.

The claim evokes the idea that the Qur'an predicted a climactic clash of Roman and Persian armies with the backdrop of the Dead Sea! Instead we get a siege in a city 50 miles away from the Dead Sea at quite a high elevation involving not a Roman army, but a Christian revolt. Then they start talking about the Dead Sea 50 miles away to create an association between the battle and "the lowest point".

Your blog source is where things get really interesting.

Book Source: "This is the Truth - Newly Discovered Scientific Facts Revealed in Qur'an and Authentic Hadeeth"

A quick Google Books search finds The Lowest Point of Earth blog is copied from This is the Truth - Newly Discovered Scientific Facts Revealed in Qur'an and Authentic Hadeeth. Digging in, this appears to be the source of these claims. How good is this source?

What Evidence Does It Give For Its Claim?

It states that "When we investigated the lowest part of the earth, we found that it was exactly the same spot that witnessed the battle in which the Romans were defeated" but provides no reason how they determined this was the spot of the battle, let alone exactly the spot. The majority of the text is about the Qur'an and how to get people to believe them.

Professor Palmer, Argument From Co-opted Authority

Instead it makes an argument from authority centering around the authority of one "Professor Palmer".

We have Professor Palmer who is one of the foremost geologists in the United States of America. He headed a committee which organized the Centennial Anniversary of the American Geological Society.

This is Allison Palmer who appears to be a bona fide paleontologist working with the US Geological Survey. But the book hijacks his authority to lend weight to its argument. The text describes Palmer's astonishment, but all he actually confirms is that yes, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth (by looking at a globe?!).

When it quotes Palmer we get vague niceties of this sort:

We need research into the history of early Middle Eastern oral traditions to know whether in fact such historical events have been reported. If there is no such record, it strengthens the belief that Allah transmitted through Muhammad bits of his knowledge that we have only discovered for ourselves in recent times. We look forward to a continuing dialogue on the topic of science in the Qur'an in the context of geology. Thank you very much.

This is a polite closing remark, not a ringing endorsement of a historical theory, and a curious choice to devote so much space to. Likely this is the closest thing to a supporting quote they had. It would appear This is the Truth is co-opting Professor Palmer's authority to prop up its argument.

Newspaper Source: "Western Scholars Play Key Role In Touting 'Science' of the Quran"

Daniel Golden published an article about all this in The Wall Street Journal Western Scholars Play Key Role In Touting 'Science' of the Quran (sorry about the paywall). It talks about how various reputable scientists have had their quotes about the Qur'an taken out of context by Abdul Majeed al-Zindani and his Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah.

Bucailleism [the idea that the Quran prophesied contemporary scientific breakthroughs] has been propelled by a well-funded campaign led by Prof. El-Naggar's onetime protege, Sheikh Abdul Majeed Zindani, a charismatic Yemeni academic and politician. Founder and former secretary-general of the Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah, based in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Zindani organized conferences where Dr. Simpson and other scientists appeared and were videotaped.

Mr. Ahmed, who left the commission in 1996 and now operates an Islamic elementary school in Pennsylvania, says he reassured the scientists that the commission was "completely neutral" and welcomed information contradicting the Quran. The scientists soon learned differently. Each one was given a verse from the Quran to examine in light of his expertise. Then Mr. Zindani would interview him on videotape, pushing him to concede divine inspiration.


Marine scientist William Hay, then at the University of Colorado, was assigned a passage likening the minds of unbelievers to "the darkness in a deep sea ... covered by waves, above which are waves." As the videotape rolled, Mr. Zindani pressed Prof. Hay to admit that Muhammad couldn't have known about internal waves caused by varying densities in ocean depths. When Prof. Hay suggested Muhammad could have learned about the phenomenon from sailors, Mr. Zindani insisted that the prophet never visited a seaport.

Prof. Hay, a Methodist, says he then raised other hypotheses that Mr. Zindani also dismissed. Finally, Prof. Hay conceded that the inspiration for the reference to internal waves "must be the divine being," a statement now trumpeted on Islamic Web sites.

"I fell into that trap and then warned other people to watch out for it," says Prof. Hay, now at a German marine institute.

Similar prodding failed to sway geologist Allison "Pete" Palmer, who was working for the Geological Society of America. He stuck to his position that Muhammad could have gleaned his science from Middle Eastern oral history, not revelation. On one video, Mr. Zindani acknowledges that Mr. Palmer still needs "someone to point the truth out to him," but contends that the geologist was "astonished" by the accuracy of the Quran. Mr. Palmer says that's an overstatement. Still, he has fond memories of Mr. Zindani, whom he calls "just a lovely guy."

This is an unfortunately common tactic in pseudo-science: fund a conference or foundation with an important sounding name, invite some experts to comment on your topic, or things related to your topic, get them on tape, take their comments out of context. This was famously done with the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? which attempted to back up claims of "water memory" and the spirituality of consciousness by taking statements from famous physicists out of context.

In conclusion, these sources provide no evidence to counter the existing historical narrative.

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    At first, skimming the headlines in this post I was shocked to read that from you. I think a little distancing in the form of different formatting to mark these as quoted material might do some good. – LаngLаngС May 22 '18 at 19:24
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    @LangLangC I see what you mean. I've added quotes to help. – Schwern May 22 '18 at 19:38
  • @Schwern But the Arabic video has English subtitles, I think it's informative – Abu Safwan Md farhan May 23 '18 at 8:53
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    @AbuSafwanMdfarhan I didn't notice the subtitles, thank you. I've watched it now and, as near as I can tell, it's talking about a completely different battle, the Siege Of Jerusalem in 614. This happened at Jerusalem (elevation 700m, 50 miles from the Dead Sea) between the Persian Army and Christian rebels. I've added more detail to my answer. – Schwern May 23 '18 at 18:15

Whatever the exact location was, the battle of Antioch was obviously a lot closer to Antioch than it was to the Dead Sea.

The conquest of Antioch in 613 CE by the Persians was a decisive defeat for the Byzantines. From there, Persian/Sasanian forces quickly went on to conquer further into Palestine, including Jerusalem. The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia lays out these basic facts in several places.

According to one of the articles linked to in the question, the Roman defeat described in the Quran was more then a decade later in 627 CE. True or not, this does not seem to refer to Antioch.

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