Egyptian researcher Ahmad Abdou Maher said in a November 16, 2020 interview on Al-Hadath Al-Youm TV (Egypt) that young people are becoming atheists because they see unscientific facts in religious texts, such as claims that the sun hides under God's throne when it sets or that a woman’s pregnancy can last as long as four years. He also said that the proportion of the religious texts that such statements comprise is irrelevant, much the same way the proportional weight of coronavirus in a person's body is irrelevant. For more about Ahmad Abdou Maher, see MEMRI TV clips No. 5999, 5669, 5409, and 5234.
Ahmad Abdou Maher: "There is no doubt that the young people who are becoming atheists are giving this a lot of thought. They do not become atheists because they are cowards who like heresy."
Interviewer: "Could you please clarify what you mean by that?"
Maher: "Today, when someone in high school, at university, or who has graduated... When he opens a [religious] book, he sees that according to all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, a man cannot bring his sick wife a doctor or some medicine. Do you see? When these [texts] say that a pregnancy can last four years, and that the child must be named after his father even if they have been divorced for three years, of if he has been dead for four years... Things like this are why these young people become atheists and heretics!
"For example, there is a hadith in the Bukhari collection in which it asked: 'Do you know where the sun goes [when it sets]?' [In the hadith,] a man named Abu Dhar said that Allah and the Prophet know best. [The Prophet Muhammad said that] the sun goes under God's throne until morning. Then it asks [God's] permission [to rise], and does so only when permission is granted. Whoever falsely attributed this hadith to the Prophet didn’t know that there is a celestial cycle, and that when the sun sets here, it rises in America, and vice versa. This person didn’t know this, so he falsely attributed this [hadith] to the Prophet Muhammad, and it was then cited by one person to the next, and so forth, until Abu Huraira stated that the Prophet actually said this. These things exist [in the texts] to this day."
Interviewer: "Sir, how common are such things? What proportion of the [texts] do they comprise?"
Maher: "Their proportional size can be compared to the size of coronavirus in one's body. I weigh 90 kg, and if I am infected with coronavirus, what is the proportional weight of the virus relative to my body weight? And look what [damage] it can do to me! I want to tell you: When Satan lies, he tells a small lie, but he embeds it deeply. If somebody wants to poison you, he won't spread the poison all over – it is enough for him to put half a teaspoon of poison in a container this big... Proportion is irrelevant in this case."