Quran, the source of the Islamic faith, is a book believed by Muslims to be of completely divine origin. Muslims believe that it contains guidance for all mankind. Since the message of Quran is believed to be for all times, it should be relevant to every age. There was a time in the history of human civilisation when miracles took precedence over human reason and logic. A book claiming divine origin is in effect claiming to be a miracle; rather, the miracle of miracles.
Another age in Islam was the age of poetry and literature. Even non-Muslims agree that the Quran is Arabic literature par excellence. At several places in the Quran the Almighty challenges mankind to produce a single surah like the surahs it contains. This challenge is unmet to this day.
The famous scientist Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” The Quran contains more than six-thousand verses, of which more than a thousand deal with science. Let’s therefore see how learning or understanding science helps in strengthening one’s faith in the one supreme creator of this universe.
In this article I will elaborate only on the astronomy branch of science. In my next articles I shall try to include other branches of science as well.
1) The creation of the universe is explained by scientists through the phenomenon of ‘Big Bang’. It is supported by observational and experimental data gathered by scientists for decades. According to the ‘Big Bang theory’, the whole universe was initially one big mass (primary nebula). Due to the Big Bang, galaxies were formed. These then divided to form stars, planets, the sun and the moon etc. Regarding the origin of universe, Allah says, “Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and earth were joined together before we clove then asunder” (Quran 21:30).
2) In early times, people believed that the earth was flat. In 1597 Francis Drake proved that the earth is, in fact, spherical. The shape of the earth is geospherical, i.e., flattened at the poles. Allah says, “And the earth moreover hath he made egg-shaped” (Quran 79:30).
3) Regarding the alternation of day and night Allah says, “Seest thou not that Allah merges night into day and he merges day into night.” Allah further says, “He created the heavens and earth in true proportions. He makes the night overlap the day, and day overlap the night” (Quran 39:5).
4) For a long time scientists and philosophers believed that the earth is stationary in the centre of the universe and every other body including sun revolves around it. In 1512 Nicholas Copernicus put forward his theory describing that the sun is stationary at the centre with the planets moving around it. In 1609 Kepler in “Astronomia Nova” concluded that planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun at regular speeds. Allah says in the Quran, “It is he who created the night and day, sun and moon. All swim along each in its rounded course”. In fact, the sun travels through space and takes 200 million years to complete one round around the Milky Way galaxy. Allah says, “It isn’t permitted to the sun to catch up the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. Each swims in its own orbit” (Quran 36:40).
5) The light of the sun is due to the chemical process taking place at its surface for the past five billion years. In future at some point of time it will come to an end, leading to extinction of all life on earth. Allah says, “And the sun runs its course for a period determined for it” (Quran 36:38).
The Quran isn’t a book of science but a book of signs. These signs invite man to realise the purpose of his existence on earth and to live in harmony with nature. Professor Tejson required only one sign/ verse of Quran to accept Islam. Some people may require ten or hundred signs to accept Islam. Some would be reluctant to accept Islam even if you show them thousands of signs. About them Allah says, “Deaf, dumb and blind, they will never return to the right path” (Quran 2:18).
What modern science is showing us now or has shown/ proved very recently, has been revealed in the glorious Quran 1442 years before. It shows the divine origin of the Quran and the sovereignty of one supreme creator of this universe.
The writer teaches at Govt BHS Anderwan Ganderbal.