By Hassan Ali El-Najjar *
At the beginning of the 21st Century, a lot of people in the world no longer believe in God. Even some of those who profess such belief are not sure. Others have a distorted belief, which makes them behaving in misguided and dangerous ways. In brief, there is a lot of ignorance on this planet, at this time, about the Creator of life and about His message to humanity, which has been told in the religious Holy Books.
But before addressing the problem of misguided believers, it is more essential to address the question of atheism, or the belief that God does not exist in the first place. This belief has developed as a result of lack of scientific evidence in teaching about God. Many world religions involve illogical myths and weird rituals that belittle the human mind, leading to the disbelief that these myths and rituals are from a Supreme Being, who is supposed to be more intelligent than humans worshipping Him.
A more important reason for atheism is that leaders of many religions, including the major ones, put themselves in a collision course with science. This has alienated the most educated and most intelligent people and made them susceptible to atheism, indifference, or at least not taking religion seriously.
So, how can this problem of God’s existence be resolved?
To convince the most intelligent beings on this planet that there is a God and that He does exist, scientific evidence supporting this fact has to be brought to the discussion.
The Holy Qur’an is full of such evidence. Actually, the Islamic Holy Book can be broadly divided into two parts. The first involves scientific evidence that it’s ultimate author is the Creator of life Himself, in order to convince humans that He exists and that the Holy Qur’an is His message to humanity. The second part involves His teachings, which if followed by humans will lead them to happiness in this life and in the everlasting hereafter.
The story of life on planet Earth, including human life, is told in the Holy Qur’an in a way that would light up the eyes of scientists if they read it. It’s the same story, which is told to students of biology. It leaves no doubt about the fact that life started in a very simple way a long time ago and kept evolving ever since (See: Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an).
The scientific story of creation of life is just one example of how the Holy Qur’an convinces its readers that no human on this planet could have authored this Book. Many of the scientific facts revealed became known only in the last century or so. The Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammed (Peace and blessings of God be upon him) was an illiterate man. It was impossible for him or for any other human being 1428 years ago to know about such facts.
Some of the Qur'anic verses explain facts about Earth, humans, and other creatures. For example, there is an invitation for humans to fly, indicating the possibility of flying, more than 1428 years ago.**
In Surat Al-Rahman (Chapter 55), Verse 33 states:***
O You jinn and men, if you can penetrate zones of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate! You will never penetrate them except with the power (of science).
يَـٰمَعۡشَرَ ٱلۡجِنِّ وَٱلإنسِ إِنِ ٱسۡتَطَعۡتُمۡ أَن تَنفُذُواْ مِنۡ أَقۡطَارِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأَرۡضِ فَٱنفُذُواْۚ لا تَنفُذُونَ إِلاّ بِسُلۡطَـٰن.
The Holy Qur'an tells us that there is intelligent life in outer space, where Allah (Praise to Him) is also worshipped and glorified.
In Chapter 30, Verse 26, Allah (Praise to Him) says:
To Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and the earth, all are devoutly obedient to Him.
وَلَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأرۡضِۖ ڪُلٌّ۬ لَّهُ ۥ قَـٰنِتُونَ
In Chapter 3, Verse 83, Allah (Praise to Him) also tells us about life in outer space saying:
Do they seek for other than the Religion of Allah? While all whoever in the heavens and the earth have willingly, or unwillingly, bowed to His Will (submitted to His Will as Muslims do), and to Him shall they all be returned.
أَفَغَيۡرَ دِينِ ٱللَّهِ يَبۡغُونَ وَلَهُ ۥۤ أَسۡلَمَ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأرۡضِ طَوۡعً۬ا وَڪَرۡهً۬ا وَإِلَيۡهِ يُرۡجَعُونَ
In Chapter 19, Verse 93-95, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes to the Most Gracious (Allah) as a worshipping servant. (93)
He does take an account of them, and has counted them exactly. (94)
إِن ڪُلُّ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأرۡضِ إِلآّ ءَاتِى ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عَبۡدً۬ا لَّقَدۡ أَحۡصَٮٰهُمۡ وَعَدَّهُمۡ عَدًّ۬ا
In Chapter 24, Verse 41, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
Do not you see that it is Allah is praised by whoever in the heavens and the earth, and the birds flying in lines? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah knows well all that they do.
أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلأًرۡضِ وَٱلطَّيۡرُ صَـٰٓفَّـٰتٍ۬ۖ كُلٌّ۬ قَدۡ عَلِمَ صلاتَهُ ۥ وَتَسۡبِيحَهُ ۥۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمُۢ بِمَا يَفۡعَلُونَ
Earth is described as egg-shaped (pointed at the poles, not a perfect circular globe), a fact which was discovered recently in the human history.
In Chapter 79, Verse 30, the Holy Qur'an mentions that:
And the Earth, after that, He made it egg-shaped.
وَٱلأًَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ ذَٲلِكَ دَحَٮٰهَآ
Other translators missed the meaning of the verb (dahaha, َ دَحَٮٰهَآ) translating it into "extended." The noun "dahya" is used by North African Arabs in reference to an "egg." The author heard it by himself in the early 1970s in Libya.
One verse explains that it is the female bee that makes honey, a very recent bit of knowledge for humans, which is another evidence that the author of the Holy Qur'an could never be a human being about 1428 years ago. Rather, He is the All Knowledgeable One.
"And thy Lord taught the (female) Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men's) habitations" (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 16, Verse 68).
وَأَوۡحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى ٱلنَّحۡلِ أَنِ ٱتَّخِذِى مِنَ ٱلۡجِبَالِ بُيُوتً۬ا وَمِنَ ٱلشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعۡرِشُونَ
Yusuf Ali did not pay attention to the feminine form of the Arabic verb ( ٱتَّخِذِى), which refers to female bees in particular, not bees in general.
Another verse mentions the female ant speaking to other ants, which is also a recent bit of knowledge. We know now that male ants die after mating and only female ants survive to be the workers. This bit of knowledge could never be known to humans before the invention and use of microscopes.
" ... one of the female ants said: "O you ants enter your dwellings" (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 27, Verse 18).
قَالَتۡ نَمۡلَةٌ۬ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّمۡلُ ٱدۡخُلُواْ مَسَـٰكِنَڪُمۡ
Other translators, also in this verse, did not pay attention to the feminine form of the Arabic noun ( ۡ نَمۡلَة), which refers to "a singular female ant."
The Holy Qur'an also provides us with an accurate description of deep waters in the ocean, where darkness prevails. Nobody could dive deep enough in the ocean 1428 years ago and come back to tell about what he saw there. Only the One who has created Earth and its oceans could know. For us, Philippe Causteau and his crew showed us some videos about only some parts of the ocean depth, in the 1980s.
In Chapter 24, Verse 40 of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (Praise to Him) says:
Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like layers of darkness in a vast deep ocean overwhelmed with waves topped by waves, topped by clouds: Layers of darkness, one above another, if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! For anyone to whom Allah does not make light, he has no light.
أَوۡ كَظُلُمَـٰتٍ۬ فِى بَحۡرٍ۬ لُّجِّىٍّ۬ يَغۡشَٮٰهُ مَوۡجٌ۬ مِّن فَوۡقِهِۦ مَوۡجٌ۬ مِّن فَوۡقِهِۦ سَحَابٌ۬ۚ ظُلُمَـٰتُۢ بَعۡضُہَا فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ إِذَآ أَخۡرَجَ يَدَهُ ۥ لَمۡ يَكَدۡ يَرَٮٰهَاۗ وَمَن لَّمۡ يَجۡعَلِ ٱللَّهُ لَهُ ۥ نُورً۬ا فَمَا لَهُ ۥ مِن نُّورٍ
In Chapter 24, Verse 43 of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (Praise to Him) vividly describes the water cycle, from winds to clouds, then to rain. He says:
Do not you see that Allah makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? Then, you will see rain coming out of it. And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds), which include hail. He strikes with it whom He wills and He turns it away from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning is close to blinding the sights (of people).
أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُزۡجِى سَحَابً۬ا ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيۡنَهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يَجۡعَلُهُ ۥ رُكَامً۬ا فَتَرَى ٱلۡوَدۡقَ يَخۡرُجُ مِنۡ خِلَـٰلِهِۦ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مِن جِبَالٍ۬ فِيہَا مِنۢ بَرَدٍ۬ فَيُصِيبُ بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَصۡرِفُهُ ۥ عَن مَّن يَشَآءُۖ يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرۡقِهِۦ يَذۡهَبُ بِٱلأًَبۡصَـٰرِ
In Chapter 30, Verse 48, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
It is Allah Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds. Then, He spreads them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until you see rain-drops coming out from the midst of it. When He makes them reach whoever He wills of his servants, then they rejoice!
ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى يُرۡسِلُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابً۬ا فَيَبۡسُطُهُ ۥ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ كَيۡفَ يَشَآءُ وَيَجۡعَلُهُ ۥ كِسَفً۬ا فَتَرَى ٱلۡوَدۡقَ يَخۡرُجُ مِنۡ خِلَـٰلِهِۦۖ فَإِذَآ أَصَابَ بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦۤ إِذَا هُمۡ يَسۡتَبۡشِرُونَ
The Holy Qur'an tells us in several verses that Allah (Praise to Him) has created plants in pairs (male and female) in order for plant reproductive activities to happen leading to giving us the fruits we enjoy on this planet.
In Chapter 20, Verse 53, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
"... and (God) has sent down water from the sky. With it We have produced diverse pairs of plants.
وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَأَخۡرَجۡنَا بِهِۦۤ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا مِّن نَّبَاتٍ۬ شَتَّىٰ
In Chapter 13, Verse 3, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
"and all fruits, He made in them pairs, two each (a male and a female).
وَمِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ جَعَلَ فِيہَا زَوۡجَيۡنِ ٱثۡنَيۡنِۖ
In Chapter 31, Verse 10, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
We send down water from the sky, (so) We cause goodly pairs (of plants and animals) to grow out.
وَأَنزَلۡنَا مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَأَنۢبَتۡنَا فِيہَا مِن ڪُلِّ زَوۡجٍ۬ كَرِيمٍ
In Chapter 36, Verse 36, Allah (Praise to Him) also says:
Glory to Him, Who created all pairs, of what the earth produces, of themselves (humans), and of others unknown to them.
سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلأًَزۡوَٲجَ ڪُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلأَرۡضُ وَمِنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ وَمِمَّا لا يَعۡلَمُونَ
More of this scientific evidence is found in the following article and four books.
Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an By Hassan El-Najjar
* Dr. Hassan Ali El-Najjar has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Georgia, USA. He is also a native speaker of Arabic.
** Yahiya Emerick mentioned some of the above verses on pages 24-27 of his educational book, "What Islam Is All About." (1997). New York: IBTS.
*** The author’s translation of the meanings of the verses mentioned in this article is solely his responsibility though he consulted with three other translations of the Holy Qur’an, namely those of Yusuf Ali, Mohsin, and Picthal, found in www.quranexplorer.com . The author also made use of the famous Bin Katheer’s interpretation of the Holy Qur’an.
Readers are advised that it is the meaning of the verses which is translated and interpreted here. It is a human effort that may be fallible and erroneous. Further, there are differences between a translator and another and between an interpreter and another due to differences in their linguistic, scientific, and cultural backgrounds. There is no claim of ultimate accuracy in the translation, as verses of the Holy Qur'an can be best understood through the Arabic text of revelation.