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Science & Islam

Written by Theresa Corbin

I thought it would be interesting to write about how we can know that Quran is truly from God and that in fact God exists.

science and Isalm

God does not expect us to take any old charlatan who calls himself a prophet at his word. So, Allah has sent each prophet with miracles. Examples abound.

For Moses (peace be upon him-PBUH), one miracle was the parting of the seas. For Jesus (PBUH), bringing the dead back to life and many more. And for Muhammad (PBUH), among other miracle, the biggest was the Quran itself. And we can see the miraculous nature in the way scientific facts, discovered only recently, were explained 1400 + years ago.

Some people claim all kinds of weird and extrapolated scientific and mathematical miracles in the Quran. These folks are kinda zealous and get excited about looking for things that may or may not be there. As the saying goes, if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. 

Some claim that scientific topics in the Quran are prediction of later discoveries. Not really predictions of discoveries. This is a human-centric explanation. It is really Allah telling us how He created the world and all its intricate and amazing patterns. It is only that man came to know the processes of creation.

And then some say they don’t believe in God because they believe in Science. This is perhaps an attitude of a lot of ex-Christians who refuse to believe in the Church sponsored view of science that is closer to science fiction.

I don’t blame them.

The evidence to disprove Christian “science” is mounting.

And many Christian theologians are adapting to meet these discoveries. But what amazes me is that many people think there is nothing else, that there is no other belief system out there, or perhaps that all other theologies are founded on the same unscientific theories.

It makes me sad that these folks never know that Islam does not discourage scientific knowledge and exploration. In fact many Islamic scholars believe that learning the apparatus by which the creation works (Science) was a religious duty. And quite a few scientific discoveries have come from Islamic theologians who held this belief. Check out 1001 Inventions for more on this.

Allah (SWT) explains in the Quran explains that:

THE SEAS DO NOT MINGLE WITH ONE ANOTHER

The Halocline phenomenon wasn’t discovered until the late 19th century (13 centuries after the revelation in the Quran). Until then it was believed that the seas where just one homogeneous, free flowing body.

But Allah (SWT) says in the Quran 55:19-20

55:19
He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]
55:20

Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.

where the two seas meet
where the two seas meet

This property of the seas, that is, that they meet and yet do not intermix, has only very recently been discovered by oceanographers.

Because of the physical force called ‘surface tension,’ the waters of neighboring seas do not mix. Caused by the difference in the density of their waters, surface tension prevents them from mingling with one another, just as if a thin wall were between them.

It is interesting that, during a period when there was little knowledge of physics, and of surface tension, or oceanography, this truth was revealed in the Quran. (Source) 

THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE

In the Quran, which was revealed at a time when the science of astronomy was still primitive, to say the least, the expansion of the universe was described in the Quran in the following terms:

51:47
 And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander. (Quran 51:47)

At the beginning of the 20th century, the only view in the scientific community was that the universe was fixed in size and infinite in existence. However, modern research has revealed that the universe in fact had a beginning and that it constantly “expands.”

www.fas.org
http://www.fas.org
While observing the sky with a telescope, Edwin Hubble discovered that the stars and the galaxies were constantly in motion. And what’s more that they were moving away from each other. (Source)
In short, the stars were moving further and further away, all the time. In a time when telescopes and similar technological advancements were not even close to being invented, Allah (SWT) revealed that the universe is expanding and He is its expander.  

THE FUNCTION OF MOUNTAINS

Allah (SWT) explains a very important function of mountains:

21:31
 

And We placed within the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should sway with them, and We made therein [mountain] passes [as] roads that they might be guided. (Quran 21:31)

The verse states that mountains perform the function of preventing  the Earth from swaying (“lest it should sway”). This fact was not known by anyone at the time the Quran was revealed. It was brought to light only recently as a result of the findings of modern geological research. “The mountains, like pegs, have deep roots embedded in the ground.” (Anatomy of the Earth, Cailleux, p. 220.)

Formerly, it was thought that mountains were merely rising above the surface of the Earth. However, scientists realized that this was not actually the case, and that those parts known as the mountain root extended down as far as 10-15 times their own height. With these features, mountains play a similar role to a nail or peg firmly holding down a tent. (Source)

Schematic section. Mountains, like pegs, have deep roots embedded in the ground. (Andre Cailleux and J. Moody Stuart, Anatomy of the Earth (McGraw-Hill Companies: 1968), 220.)
Mountains are in green. Their roots go down deep into the earth.

In short, mountains can be compared to nails holding strips of wood together, a fact mentioned in the Quran in the 7th century.

These are just a few examples to show that science and religion (at least in Islam) are not diametrically opposed as some may assume.

More interesting info here:

God Created in Pairs?

Is Modern Science Compatible With Islam?

How Can a Science-Lover Believe in God?

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6 thoughts on “Science & Islam

  1. There is actually no scientific basis that can tell you that God does not exist. It is not science’s domain to test whether there is God or not.Science is simply a tool to test what is empirically true.Science operates on induction. The inductive method entails searching out things in the world and drawing generalized conclusions about those things based on observations. Scientists can only draw conclusions on what they find, not on what they can’t find.So how can Science disprove something which they can’t see and will never be able to. As GOD cannot be seen for sure.Because from Qur’an we know that GOD is unlike His creation [See Qur’an 42:11].And, No vision can grasp Him[see Qur’an 6:103]. Moreover, How can a Creator be a part of His Creation?

    It is totally unreasonable for one to think in a scientific framework to put God as an extra element. Within scientific framework, it is true that an extra element is not needed, since we already made the assumption that everything is contained and confined within the universe and nothing can be lost. But this does not mean that science denies the existence of God. There is no reason to think that way. People has a distorted view of Science. Because some take the position that if science doesn’t give us reason to believe in something, then no good reason exists. As Freeman Dyson says and I quote, “The public has a distorted view of Science because Children are taught in schools that science is a collection of firmly established truths.In fact, science is not a collection of truths.It is continuing exploration of mysteries.”

    There is no reason to consider God’s actions in a scientific framework and in the same time, there is no reason to consider that God does not exist based on scientific deduction. Scientific theories only propose that which is falsifiable. That means the scientific method can’t answer any questions but only shows what is a false answer out of innumerable possibilities. We should not try to apply science outside of the fields for which it is meant. Some take the position that if science doesn’t give us reason to believe in something, then no good reason exists. That’s simply the false assumption scientism. However, it would be a mistake to expect it to be able to test everything. In this case,”GOD’s existence”. There are many more intellectual tools available to us than just science, and as the old saying goes, when all you’ve got is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail! Science is not deficient in any way; but it’s just not the right way to find few particular kinds of truths. To try to do so would be like trying to ascertain whether a banana is tasty by sticking it in your ear and listening to it; it’s simply the wrong method!

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    1. HAHA! I love this: to ascertain whether a banana is tasty by sticking it in your ear and listening to it. You are absolutely right. And I agree on all points. If you have not, you should check out a post written by a co-blogger here who is a scientist working in Cancer research and talks about this in more detail: Why I am Not Losing My Religion to Science https://islamwich.com/2017/01/13/why-i-am-not-losing-my-religion-to-science/. I think, too often, people who are intrigued by scientific discovery and those “rock stars” who are atheist scientists and only wish to follow in those scientists’ footsteps not because they have any proof that God does not exist-they will never have such “proof” because you cannot prove a negative- but because they are just following them, thinking this is the new intellectual “cool”. Combine that with centuries of Christian confusion and oppression of science, many are led to the belief that science can only be believed in by those who disbelieve in God. This is a shallow understanding of both science and theology.

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