The Amazing Quran (part 1 of 10)
Description: A series of articles compelling the reader to ponder over the marvels of the Quran. Part 1: The experience of a merchant marine with the Quran, and the miracle in the mention of ‘something even smaller than an atom’ and honey.
By Dr. Gary Miller (edited by www.islamhouse.com)Published on 10 Dec 2012 - Last modified on 17 Dec 2012
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Category: Articles > Evidence Islam is Truth > The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran
Category: Articles > The Holy Quran > The Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran
One thing which surprises non-Muslims who are examining the book very closely is that the Quran does not appear to them to be what they expected. What they assume is that they have an old book which came fourteen centuries ago from the Arabian desert; and they expect that the book should look something like that - an old book from the desert. And then they find out that it does not resemble what they expected at all. Additionally, one of the first things that some people assume is that because it is an old book which comes from the desert, it should talk about the desert. Well the Quran does talk about the desert - some of its imagery describes the desert; but it also talks about the sea - what it’s like to be in a storm on the sea.
Some years ago, the story came to us in Toronto about a man who was in the merchant marine and made his living on the sea. A Muslim gave him a translation of the Quran to read. The merchant marine knew nothing about the history of Islam but was interested in reading the Quran. When he finished reading it, he brought it back to the Muslim and asked, “This Muhammad, was he a sailor?” He was impressed at how accurately the Quran describes a storm on a sea. When he was told, “No as a matter of fact, Muhammad lived in the desert,” that was enough for him. He embraced Islam on the spot.
He was so impressed with the Quran’s description because he had been in a storm on the sea, and he knew that whoever had written that description had also been in a storm on the sea. The description of
“…a wave, over it a wave, over it clouds” (Quran 24:40)
…was not what someone imagining a storm on a sea to be like would have written; rather, it was written by someone who knew what a storm on the sea was like. This is one example of how the Quran is not tied to certain place and time. Certainly, the scientific ideas expressed in it also do not seem to originate from the desert fourteen centuries ago.
The Smallest Thing
Many centuries before the onset of Muhammad’s prophethood, there was a well-known theory of atomism advanced by the Greek philosopher, Democritus. He and the people who came after him assumed that matter consists of tiny, indestructible, indivisible particles called atoms. The Arabs too, used to deal in the same concept; in fact, the Arabic word dharrah commonly referred to the smallest particle known to man. Now, modern science has discovered that this smallest unit of matter (i.e., the atom, which has all of the same properties as its element) can be split into its component parts. This is a new idea, a development of the last century; yet; interestingly enough, this information had already been documented in the Quran 34:3 which states:
“He [i.e., God] is aware of an atom’s weight in the heavens and on the earth and even anything smaller than that...”
Undoubtedly, fourteen centuries ago that statement would have looked unusual, even to an Arab. For him, the dharrah was the smallest thing there was. Indeed, this is proof, that the Quran is not outdated.
Another example of what one might expect to find in an “old book” that touches upon the subject of health or medicine is outdated remedies or cures. Various historical sources state that the Prophet gave some advice about health and hygiene, yet most of these pieces of advice are not contained in the Quran. At first glance, to the non-Muslims this appears to be a negligent omission. They cannot understand why God would not “include” such helpful information in the Quran. Some Muslims attempt to explain this absence with the following argument: “Although the Prophet’s advice was sound and applicable to the time in which he lived, God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that there would come later medical and scientific advances which would make the Prophet’s advice appear outdated. When later discoveries occurred, people might say that such information contradicted that which the Prophet had given. Thus, since God would never allow any opportunity for the non-Muslims to claim that the Quran contradicts itself or the teachings of the Prophet, He only included in the Quran information and examples which could stand the test of time.” However, when one examines the true realities of the Quran in terms of its existence as a divine revelation, the entire matter is quickly brought into its proper perspective, and the error in such argumentation becomes clear and understandable.
It must be understood that the Quran is a divine revelation, and as such, all information in it is of divine origin. God revealed the Quran from Himself. It is the words of God, which existed before creation, and thus nothing can be added, subtracted or altered. In essence, the Quran existed and was complete before the creation of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, so it could not possibly contain any of the Prophet’s own words or advice. An inclusion of such information would clearly contradict the purpose for which the Quran exists, compromise its authority and render it inauthentic as a divine revelation.
Consequently, there was no “home remedies” in the Quran which one could claim to be outdated; nor does it contain any man’s view about what is beneficial to health, what food is best to eat, or what will cure this or that disease. In fact, the Quran only mentions one item dealing with medical treatment, and it is not in dispute by anyone. It states that in honey there is healing. And certainly, I do not think that there is anyone who will argue with that!
|Next: The Amazing Quran (part 2 of 10)|
|Parts of This Article|
|The Amazing Quran (part 1 of 10)|
|The Amazing Quran (part 2 of 10)|
|The Amazing Quran (part 3 of 10)|
|The Amazing Quran (part 4 of 10)|
|The Amazing Quran (part 5 of 10)|
|View all parts together|