Fish Spells Allah and Muhammad

Status: Pareidolia
image Oscar, who's a fish, lives in a tank in Waterfoot, England. He's attracting quite a bit of attention because markings on one side of his body seem to spell out the name Allah in arabic script, while markings on his other side seem to spell out Muhammad. Since I don't know arabic, I'm not in a position to judge how much the markings look like these words. But at least saying that markings spell a word is a bit more cut-and-dry than saying that markings look like Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or someone else whose appearance is unknown. (And now that I think about it, I suppose the Muslim ban on images of Muhammad means that the world will never get to see pieces of toast or frying pans bearing the image of Muhammad.) People who have examined Oscar are quite confident that the markings haven't been painted on in any way. I'm sure Oscar's new-found status as a miracle fish won't hurt the price the pet shop owner can fetch for him. (Thanks to Paul Farrington for the link.)

Animals Pareidolia Religion

Posted on Fri Feb 03, 2006


I can very vaguely make out, among all the other blots, something that can sort of be almost said to partly resemble the name Muhammad in Arabic. But only because I was actually looking for it. If somebody hadn't pointed out to me that it was there, I would never have been able to see it. It starts at the circular mark on the tail, and goes forward for about half the fish.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  02:13 PM
I can just make it out. Loosely translated, it reads "George W is right". I gotta get a picture of the other side to get the correct context. Right about what?
Posted by Eric  in  Gilbert, Arizona  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  02:28 PM
"Oscar" is the popular name for this species of fish. It's Astronotus ocellatus for those who prefer scientific names. It's native to South America and is a popular pet fish, despite the fact that it gets pretty big (adults are over a foot long). The Oscar has very variable markings, so it's not surprising that one might turn up with something that looks like writing to people with vivid imaginations.

There's a marine fish sometimes kept in saltwater aquariums that's known as the "Koran Angelfish," because most specimens have markings near the tail that look like an Arabic scripture, at least to some people.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  02:57 PM
Eric, I have seen the other side and the translation is partly correct (Allah) but my friend there is more. The complete translation is, "Allah is the Axis of Evil"
Posted by Ken  in  VA  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  03:01 PM
Interesting, I never would have guessed Allah would have such terrible handwriting!
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  04:15 PM
By the way, the article in the Guardian says this Oscar is an albino, which, obviously, it isn't.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  04:48 PM
Didn't some Muslims have a problem with the package of Burger King ice cream at one point too? A swirling soft ice cream image when held sidways looked like Arabic spelling out either Allah or Mohammed.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  09:12 PM
Posted by jol  on  Sat Feb 04, 2006  at  04:39 AM
Muhammad is clearly written on the side of that fish regardless of whether we consider it a sign, a miracle or a coincidence
Posted by jancuitm  on  Sun Feb 05, 2006  at  09:50 AM
I wouldn't exactly say "clearly". You have to use a bit of imagination, and sort it out from among all the other markings.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sun Feb 05, 2006  at  08:31 PM
Yes, it clearly spells Mohammed in Arabic. Facinating! Peace.
Posted by Samir  in  Yemen  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  12:34 AM
"We will show them Our signs in all the regions of the earth and in their own souls, until they clearly see that this is the truth ..." (QUR'AN, Surah Fussilat, 41:53)
Posted by Hamid  in  Africa  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  05:09 AM
Uh oh... my cultural-danger alarm is starting to go off... potential fight alert.
Posted by Soldant  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  05:47 AM
I see Elvis, the face of Jesus and Waldo (standing slightly to the right of Elvis reading Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code"), but not Muhammad.
Posted by Michael  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  08:16 AM
Just so people who can't read Arabic will know what's going on, <a >here's</a> where it looks sort of like it says "Muhammad" on the fish. And <a >here's</a> what Muhammad in Arabic is supposed to look like (yes, I know it's a poor example, but it's the best I could find online).
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  08:43 AM
Thanks, Accipiter - I had been wondering. And Samir and jancuitm, I think 'clearly' is stretching it a bit.
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  08:59 AM
Thank you, Accipiter.
Like most of these kinds of "signs," I think you have to filter out a lot of surrounding stuff, and use some imagination, to see that marking as a written word.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  09:56 AM
There are many evidences to whome is cleaver enough to figher out the truth. People who are wise enough can know without any doubt that Allah exists whither humans admit it or not. He is the one and only how created the whole univers and is able to recreat it a second time , And that Muhammad , the best of mankind ,is his last massenger to the whole world,And those who do not believe him will regrets that whither in this life or in the hereafter because they have just wronged themselves.
Posted by omadeem  in  new zealand  on  Mon Feb 06, 2006  at  08:33 PM
It's a shame he couldn't teach you how to spell, nor how to be tolerant and open-minded, Omadeem.
Posted by OpenMinded  in  England  on  Tue Feb 07, 2006  at  08:15 AM
People are the enimies of what they do not know, OpenMinded.By the way,thank you for your remark about the spelling mistakes , although you have not been openminded enough since you refer my spelling mistakes to others !!!
Posted by omadeem  in  new zealand  on  Tue Feb 07, 2006  at  05:45 PM
What poor spelling has to do with openmindedness I have no idea. Spelling is a basic skill - I follow the dictionary of the language in which I am typing, as most educated human beings do.

As for people being the enemies of what they don't know, I agree with that to a degree. Certainly people are afraid of the unknown and therefore treat it with caution, and unfortunately also with contempt and intolerance more often than not, however I'm not sure what it is that you are inferring that I don't know so I can't comment on whether I am the enemy of it.

Part of your comment, "People who are wise enough can know without any doubt that Allah exists whither humans admit it or not", is completely intolerant, suggesting that people who do not know or believe that Allah exists are not wise.

Anyway, enough of this religious debate, I am neither religious, nor intolerant of other peoples' religious beliefs. If you wish to be intolerant then that is your decision to make, however I would be prepared for many people to take you to task should you decide to take that route.
Posted by OpenMinded  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  04:01 AM
Sounds like Allah, God, Mohhamad, and Jesus are all the same to me. I wonder why?
Posted by BIG WHEESEY  on  Sat Feb 11, 2006  at  12:02 AM
BIG WHEESEY, Allah and God are the same - I think it's only rare oddball ignoramuses like P*t R*******n who think otherwise. If you're a Christian, Jesus and God are one, and Mohammed is an impostor - while if you're a Muslim, Mohammed is a prophet, and so is Jesus.

Which raises a question: if images of Mohammed are forbidden because images of the prophets are prohibited, why is there not continual outrage about the depictions and even sculptures of Jesus - and indeed Abraham, Moses et al - that are, well, ubiquitous?

How appropriate that my spambot word is 'peace', eh?
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  05:52 AM
Why be rascist about it or call allah axis of evil.I am a muslim and people who disgrace other religions are jus people who are lost.It is my friends fish and i have seen it with my own eyes and it clearly has "ALLAH" in arabic on one side and "Muhammed" on the other.If you have decent things to say then that would be appreciated.
Posted by Shaby!  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  05:55 PM
For Accipiter I would say that you have been a bit sparing with the truth. More obvious mapping of word Muhammad would be like this... dont you think?

Nevertheless I would warn the muslims not to get over excited about these things as these are not part of Islam. These things can be considered as 'signs' for the beleivers like many other signs and miracles around you. Non beleivers will never be able to accept this indirect sign as proof of anything since they have been rejecting even greater miracles such as Quran and such. This little fish cant show them any more than some random dots...
Posted by ramem  in  UK  on  Sun Feb 19, 2006  at  01:45 PM
"...more obvious..."

I like the joke:)
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  01:50 AM
this is Mohammed name, doubt about does need a translator to judge..
this is an answer to all those who suspect islam and don't believe that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah.
..i ask all of those who read my post..please..before arguing and debating...go and read about about him...and if u won't be convinsed , at least u will respect this man(Mohammed)..who was really mercy of all the net about Islam or prophet Mohammed..and u will find out that this fish is the least sign proving that he is a messenger of God, you will read about the sooooo many scientific miracles in Quraan, you will know surprising facts about islam..u can go to is a comprehensive site about islam...this is my advice to you as a loving brother for all of you..believe will do nothing but reading..just surfe this website and then judge..then add any comments u want to add..i will read them all...
peace be upon all of you...
Posted by WiseThinker  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  01:55 AM
'WiseThinker', I've read the Qur'an (though in translation, and I understand that there's a strong school of thought that says that doesn't count)... While there is much in it that s interesting, and certainly for its time some parts are progressive, it struck me as no more persuasive or credible than any other religious texts.

The Qur'an does not convince those that read itr of its sacred origin - only those that read it when already convinced of this. The faith, in almost all cases, comes first. I've had a couple of Muslim friend who, like you, seem to assume that to read the Qur'an is to be conviced of its holiness. It just ain't so. Certainly it nothing I've read has convinced me that he 'was really mercy of all mankind' (any more than Jesus was, or Buddha, say)...

And what the F is a 'scientific miracle' (apart from an oxymoron, heh heh!!)?
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  02:23 AM
Dear outest,i really liked ur way of thinking..but i'm totally different with you about that to believe in Quraan u have to have faith in ur heart outest..millions and millions of persons all over the world believe in God and islam only and i repeat it..only when they have read this holy book..but the difference is that they've read it while they wanted to understand, while other's read it to offend..other's read it as an ordinary a only right way to get convinced by any to understand and to be unbiased while reading it..
about scientific mericals in Quraan u were laughing at..i wanted only to tell u that many many non-muslim scientists had converted to islam as soon as they found out that quraan has preceeded their findings with 1400 years at least..u can know all about islam at me..if all of u didn't do that..u will be a loser..this is my advice to u...
Posted by WiseThinker  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  06:14 AM
WiseThinker, it is simply false to say that the Qur'an (or the Bible, for that matter) preceded the discoveries of science, though I am aware that there are some mystical references that, viewed in the light of scientific knowledge, can be reinterpreted in ways that are potentially compatible with science. However, far more crucially a Qur'anic approach to knowledge is fundamentally different from a scientific, naturalistic approach. Take this claim (from a link from islamworld):

Science has not been able to produce theories or experiments that fundamentally contradict the Qur'an. Had our science done so, either our understanding of the Qur'an or of the world would have been to blame: the Qur'an itself is true for all times.

This kind of thinking is antiethical to science: if we comnpare a model (such as a theory or, in this case, the Qur'an) with reality, and the model fails to predict reality, then the flaw is in the model. To suggest anything else is to get things arse-forwards, but this is precisely what Qur'anic thinking does. By no coincidence, this is the same thing that pre-Enlightenment Europe did - one reason that the heliocentric model of the galaxy was rejected for so long, for example, was that it was believed that what was said in the Bible had precedence over what was observed.

In the case of Qur'anic 'science', what we really have is verses which described the world as it appeared to people one and a half thousand years ago (It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon: all swim along, each in its rounded course.) reinterpreted and tortured to fit modern knowledge ('It is significant that the Arabic word used here - "falak" - does not mean circular course, just rounded. Kepler was the first European astronomer to realize that the paths of the planets and the moon are elliptical. It was not until later, though, that astronomers also realized that the sun has an orbit as well - around the center of the Milky Way.'). Irt's purest sophistry. To justify the claims made of the Qur'an with regard to science, a Qur'anic scholar ought really to be able to use the book to resolve some of the unanswered questions of science before science answers them first...

Of course, all this only has point if you start out believing such assertions as that the Qur'an could - or should - have anything to say about the natural world. But that's something that depends on a critical assumption - that the Qur'an is the work of God, not men.
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  06:52 AM
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