Friday, May 28, 2010

The Quran On Astronomy

The Quran was revealed in the seventh century. Many statements pertaining to physical phenomena are dispersed throughout the Quran. These are there in the Quran to draw the attention of people to the wonders of God’s creation. Any other seventh century book making statements about the physical universe would surely contain mistakes. Our knowledge of physical sciences in the 20th century is far advanced beyond the imagination of people living in the seventh century. What will come as a surprise to many people is that of all the numerous statements about scientific matters found in the Quran, not one of those have proved contrary to the established facts of science. On the other hand, many of those statements have already been verified by modern scientific studies, and we confidently expect that as various fields of knowledge advance, other Quranic statements will likewise prove true. Let us look at some of the statements which science has already verified.

How do modern scientists explain the formation of the universe? Dr. Maurice Bucaille explains it in his book, “The Bible, the Quran and Science”, as follows: "The basic process in the formation of the universe . . . lay in the condensing of material in the primary nebula, followed by its division into fragments that originally constituted galactic masses. The latter in their turn split up into stars that provided the subproduct of the process, i.e. the planets" (p. 149).” Does the Quran say anything about this condensing and separation of the primary material to result in the formation of our universe? Let's have a look. The creator, God, says in His final book: "Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused together, then we separated them . . ." (Quran 21:30). Dr. Bucaille sees this as "the reference to a separation process of a primary single mass whose elements were initially fused together" (p.143). Thus the Quran gives an accurate account of the formation of the universe to call upon humankind to recognize the power of their creator. This raises an interesting question: How could a man (Muhammad) living in the seventh century invent these ideas, which could not be confirmed until modern times? And how could he in so doing avoid the mythical and fanciful ideas prevalent in human history? Dr. Bucaille mentions some of these myths for contrast: "When, as in Japan, the image of the egg plus an expression of chaos is attached to the above with the idea of a seed inside an egg (as for all eggs), the imaginative addition makes the concept lose all semblance of seriousness. In other countries, the idea of a plant is associated with it; the plant grows and in so doing raises up the sky and separates the heavens from the earth. Here again, the imaginative quality of the added detail lends the myth its very distinctive character" (p. 152). In contrast to those myths, the Quranic statements are "free from any of the whimsical details accompanying such beliefs; on the contrary, they are distinguished by the sober quality of the words in which they are made, and their agreement with scientific data" (p. 152).

It must be that the Quran is not the product of any human or humans, but a revelation from God. The Quran says: "The revelation of the scripture whereof there is no doubt is from the Lord of the Worlds" (Quran 32:2). The sun is a star that is roughly 4.5 billion years old, according to experts in astrophysics. It is possible to distinguish a stage in its evolution, as one can for all the stars. At present, the sun is at an early stage, characterized by the transformation of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. Theoretically, this present stage should last another 5.5 billion years according to calculations that allow a total of 10 billion years for the duration of the primary stage in a star of this kind. It has already been shown, in the case of these other stars, that this stage gives way to a second period characterized by the completion of the transformation of hydrogen into helium, with the resulting expansion of its external layers and the cooling of the sun. In the final stage, its light is greatly diminished and density considerably increased; this is to be observed in the type of star known as a 'white dwarf'. The above dates are only of interest in as far as they give a rough estimate of the time factor involved, what is worth remembering and is really the main point of the above, is the notion of an evolution. Modern data allow us to predict that, in a few billion years, the conditions prevailing in the solar system will not be the same as they are today. Like other stars whose transformations have been recorded until they reached their final stage, it is possible to predict an end to the sun. The second verse quoted above (Surah 36, verse 38) referred to the sun running its course towards a place of its own. Modern astronomy has been able to locate it exactly and has even given it a name, the Solar Apex: the solar system is indeed evolving in space towards a point situated in the Constellation of Hercules (alpha lyrae) whose exact location is firmly established; it is moving at a speed already ascertained at something in the region of 12 miles per second. All these astronomical data deserve to be mentioned in relation to the two verses from the Quran, since it is possible to state that they appear to agree perfectly with modern scientific data.


Concerning the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Quran says that prior to the creation, the Heaven was smoke. God then commanded it and the earth to come into being and they came willingly (see Surah 41:1 1). How does that compare with modern scientific explanations? Let us hear a scientific explanation and then judge for ourselves. The French scientist Dr. Maurice Bucaille in his book called “The Bible, the Quran and Science” explains: "At the earliest time it can provide us with, modern science has every reason to maintain that the universe was formed from a gaseous mass principally composed of hydrogen and a certain amount of helium that was slowly rotating" (p.147, Big Bang Theory) Didn't the Quran say that the Heaven was smoke before its creation? Dr. Bucaille explains the connection between his description and that of the Quran as follows: "Smoke is generally made up of a gaseous substratum, plus, in more or less stable suspension, fine particles that may belong to solid and even liquid states of matter at high or low temperature" (p. 143). He therefore sees no contradiction of the Quranic use of the Arabic word dukhan (translated smoke) and a modern interpretation of that word as a gaseous mass with fine particles, when speaking of the formation of the universe.

We notice here two remarkable features of the Quran. The first feature is that it expresses scientific truths that will be verified many centuries later. The second feature is that the Quran expresses those truths using terms and expressions that would avoid confusing its first readers in the seventh century. The seventh century reader of the Quran can easily relate to the image of smoke, and the twentieth century scientist can easily interpret the word as a gaseous mass.

For the extended article:

Blogger Comment:
Some people in the west found out from old scriptures that humans were contacted by other beings, possibly UFO's (Angels in the Bible and Quran). They tried in this way to found explanation for religion, particularly the majestic Quran. They know that Muhammad (PBUH) could not come with this book himself and the evidences are overwhelming. However, they still can not explain to us prophecies how UFO's would know the future. Jesus (PBUH) told the Jews that the temple will be destroyed in 72 years and it did happen. The Quran as well has many prophecies. We have to humble ourselves to God. See how our minds get lost, no-God, a God who does not connect with us, many Gods, Idols, UFO's, the nature,....... As you see anything but God. For God our worst sin is against him, then come our sins among ourselves.

No comments: