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6. Science

6. Science.  The Qur’an draws attention to a wide range of physical phenomena in order to teach moral lessons.  The statements were not meant to teach science.  Yet modern scientists are amazed at the accuracy of these statements.  For example, the Qur’an said things about the growth and development of the human embryo which could not be studied without the use of a microscope.  Dr. Keith Moore was professor and chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Toronto.  After reviewing the Qur’anic statements he said: “I am amazed at the accuracy of these statements which were already made in the 7th century AD.”  Such knowledge in the Qur’an points to God as its source.
 

Big Bang Theory (21:30)

Expanding universe (51:47)

Subatomic particles (10:61, 34:3)

Distinction between stars and planets (86:1-3; 37:6)

Moon (reflecting light); sun (lamp) (10:5, 71:16, 91:2).

Orbit of the sun and the moon (21:33, 31:29, 36:40, 55:5).

Shape of Earth (31:29, 39:5).

Earth rotates on own axis (27:88)
Fertilizing (fecundating winds) (15:22, 20:53).

Evolution (71:14, 17-18)

Embryology (23:12-14)

Barriers between sea (55:19-20, 25:53)

Cerebrum (96:15-16)

Female Bee (16:68-69)
Formation of milk (16:66).

Time Zones (79:42, 46).
Alcohol – harm outweighs good (2:219).



Big Bang Theory (21:30)


Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were closed up, so We rent them. And We made from water everything living. Will they not then believe? (Qur’an 21:30).

How could  a man living in the 7th 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?

How could a man living fourteen hundred years ago have made corrections to the existing description to such an extent that he eliminated scientifically inaccurate material and, on hios own initiative, made statements that science has only in the present been able to verify? (p.151 Dr. Maurice Bucaille)

The Qur’an gives an accurate account of the formation of the universe to call upon humankind to recognize the power of their creator.

The Qur’an and modern science confirm that the heavens and the earth were created simultaneously, having been separated from a primary nebula. It is important to understand that the Bible , the most famous record of the creation prior to the Qur’an gives us a sequence for the creation of the heavens and the earth that is today found unacceptable from a scientific standpoint. If the Qur’an was the work of human beings it is difficult to imagine how they could have avoided the human errors so firmly fixed in the minds of people from the previous records.

In the Bible, in Genesis, chapter 1, we read that God created light which He called day, and separated it from the darkness which He called night (1:3). Today we know the alternation of the night and day is caused by the earth’s movement in relation to the sun. But, according to Genesis, the sun was not created until the fourth day (v. 16). So how could day and night alternate before that? A related problem is that vegetation is created on the third day (vv 11-12) whereas the sun which is necessary for sustaining vegetation does not appear until the fourth day.

The Qur’an by speaking of the simultaneous creation of the heavens and the earth, has judiciously avoided the errors of the Genesis account. Could the Qur’an have been authored by a human? No!

Gary Miller says:

Here in the Qur'an we have a book which claims that is author is one who was present at the beginning of the universe, at the beginning of life. So, we have a right to address that author and say, "Well, tell me something prove to me that you were there when the world began, when life began." The Qur'an gives us an interesting statement. It reads:

"Have not the disbelievers seen that the Heavens and the Earth were one piece and we parted them? Will they not then believe?" (Qur’an 21:30)

There are three key points here. First of all it is the disbeliveers who are mentioned as being those who would see that the heavens and the earth were one piece and then parted and would see that all life came to be made from water.

As it happens the universally accepted theory of the origin of the universe is now the Big Bang theory. It maintains that at one time all of the heavens and the earth were one piece, the 'monoblock' as it is called. At a particular point in time, this 'monoblock' burst and it continues to expand. This gives us the universe we have today. This was a recent discovery, a recent confirmation.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded only a few years ago to those who confirmed the Big Bang origin of the universe. It was only about two hundred years ago that Leeuwnhoek and others perfected the microscope and discovered for the first time that living cells are composed of about eighty percent water.

Those Nobel Prize winners and the Dutchman who invented the microscope were not Muslims. And yet they confirmed the vital statement that at one time the universe was one piece, that life was made from water, just as this verse says"

Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were closed up, so We rent them. And We made from water everything living. Will they not then believe? (Qur’an 21:30).

Well, this sounds like an answer to the question we stated with when we ask the author: "Tell me something that shows me you were present when the universe began when life began?"

Expanding universe (51:47)


"And it is We who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it." (Qur’an 51:47).

How did Muhammad (pbuh) know the universe in expanding which happened to be biggest idea revolution in the 20th century!?

 

Gary Miller writes:

In Chapter 51, verse 47, it is mentioned that the heavens are expanding. As I mentioned earlier, this is in connection with the 'Big Bang' origin of the universe, as it is usually called, and it was in 1973 that the Nobel prize was awarded to three men who were confirming that, after all, the universe is expanding.

The comments of Muslims over the centuries on this verse which speaks of the heavens doing exactly that is very interesting. The wisest among them stated that the words are very clear, that the heavens are expanding, but they could not imagine how that could be so. But they were content to leave the words as they were, to say: "Allah knows best."

Subatomic particles (10:61, 34:3)

And thou art not (engaged) in any affair and thou recitest not concerning it any portion of the Quran, and you do no work, but We are Witness of you when you are engaged therein. And not the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from thy Lord, nor anything less than that nor greater, but it is (all) in a clear book. (Qur’an 10:61).

And those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come to us. Say: Yea, by my Lord, the Knower of the unseen! it will certainly come to you. Not an atom’s weight escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, nor is there less than that nor greater, but (all) is in a clear book, (Qur’an 34:3).

 

The Smallest Matter

 

For example, there is a word which is translated today usually in Arabic as zarrah. This is usually translated as "atom" and it is usually thought of in Arabic as being the smallest item available at one time. Perhaps the Arabs thought it was an ant or a grain of dust. Today the word is usually translated as "atom".

 

Those who would outsmart the author of the Qur'an have insisted that, well, the atom is not after all the smallest piece of matter because in this century it has been discovered that even the atom is made of still smaller pieces of matter. Is it then possible to outsmart the author who chose to use this word? Well, there is an interesting

verse, in chapter ten, verse sixty one, which speaks of items the size of a zarrah, (atom) or smaller. There is no possibility that on this subject someone is going to say a new discovery has outdated the words of the Qur'an on the issue of the size of matter or the ultimate particles. The verse talks about items the size of a zarrah (atom) or smaller. 

 

Many centuries before the onset of Muhammed'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 Qur'an which states:

 

" He [i.e., Allah] 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 Qur'an is not outdated.

Distinction between stars and planets (86:1-3; 37:6)

 

By the heaven and the Comer by night! And what will make thee know what the Comer by night is? The star of piercing brightness— (Qur’an 86:1-3).

Surely We have adorned the lower heaven with ornaments, the planets, (37:6).

Is there a difference between a star and a planet? Yes, today we know that stars are heavenly bodies like the Sun in that they produce their own light, while planets on the other hand, do not produce their own light like the earth on which we live.

 

This is the exact distinction that the Holy Quran makes between stars and planets. In chapter 86, verse 1-3, "By the sky and the night visitor, who will tell you what the night visitor is, the star of piercing brightness", which obviously refer to the stars. The planets are described as ornaments in chapter  37, verse 6, as it reads, "We have indeed adorned the lowest heaven with ornaments, the planets.”

 

Evolution (71:14, 17-18).

"And indeed He has created you by various stages... And Allah has caused you to grow out of the earth as a growth, Then He returns you to it, then will He bring you forth a (new) bringing forth (Qur’an 71:14, 17-18).

 

"And Allah has created every animal of water. So of them is that which crawls upon its belly, and of them is that which walks upon two feet, and of them is that which walks upon four. Allah creates what He pleases. Surely Allah is Possessor of power over all things" (Qur'an 24:45)

 

"And We made from water everything living" (Qur'an 21:30)

Allah is our
Rabb (translated as Lord
throughout the Qur’an for the sake of brevity), and according to the Arabic lexicon, it signifies "the fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of completion" or more briefly "Nourisher unto Perfection!

Note, one of the alleged contradictions raised at anti-Islamic sites is:
What was man created from? A blood clot [96:1-2], water [21:30, 24:45, 25:54], "sounding" (i.e. burned) clay [15:26], dust [3:59, 30:20, 35:11], nothing [19:67] and this is then denied in 52:35, earth [11:61], a drop of thickened fluid [16:4, 75:37]

Answer: Do any of these verses say that any of the others are not part of the process? No.
"And indeed He has created you by various stages" (Qur'an 71:14)

 

Moon (reflecting light); sun (lamp) (10:5, 71:16, 91:2).

He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness, and the moon a light, and ordained for it stages that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah created not this but with truth. He makes the signs manifest for a people who know. (Qur’an 10:5)

And made the moon therein a light, and made the sun a lamp? (Qur’an 71:16).

And the moon when she borrows light from him! (Qur’an 91:2).



Tell me where the light of the Moon comes from? Centuries ago people thought that the Moon was a miniature version of the Sun and that both emitted their own light, but recently studies confirmed that the Moon reflected the Sun's light.

 

“Blessed is the one who placed the constellations in the Heaven and placed therein a lamp and a Moon reflecting light." (Qur’an 25:61). 

 

Here the Sun is referred to as a lamp for it has its own illumination, while the Moon is said to have reflected light or borrowed light, meaning not its own.

Orbit of the sun and the moon (21:33, 31:29, 36:40, 55:5).

And He it is Who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon. All float in orbits. (Qur’an 21:33)

Seest thou not that Allah makes the night to enter into the day, and He makes the day to enter into the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient (to you) — each pursues its course till an appointed time — and that Allah is Aware of what you do? (Qur’an 31:29).

Neither is it for the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. And all float on in an orbit (Qur’an 36:40).

The sun and the moon follow a reckoning, (Qur’an 55:5).



When I was in school in the 80's, my teacher told me that the Sun remains stationary whilst the planets although rotating around their axes do revolve around the Sun as well. Today, science has advanced. We have come to know that the Sun does in fact revolve around its own axis. You see, the Sun if observed with the appropriate scientific apparatus reveals to possess the "Black spots". Continuous observation shows that these black spots take 25 days to complete a revolution. Therefore we conclude that the Sun rotates and that it takes approximately 25 days to complete one full rotation around its axis.

 

"(God is) the One who created the night, the day, the Sun and the Moon, each one spinning around its own axis (travelling in an orbit)". (Qur’an 21:33).

 

Shape of Earth (31:29, 39:5).

“Have you not seen how God merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night" (Qur’an 31:29).


“He coils the night upon the day  and he coils the day upon the night." (Qur’an 39:5). 

 


Previously, Man thought that the Earth was flat, until Sir Frances Drake in 1607 finally proved it to be spherical. Today, the term Geoid is used to describe this spherical shape.

 

“Have you not seen how God merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night" (Qur’an 31:29).

 

The use of the word merges emphasizes a slow gradual change, and this is not possible if the earth is flat.

 

“He coils the night upon the day  and he coils the day upon the night." (Qur’an 39:5). 

 

The word used in the original arabic text is  "Kaw'wara" which means coils or winds, the significance of this verb is that you usually coil something around a rather spherical object. You say that this fact was discovered recently, well relatively recently, who could have mentioned this in the  Holy Qur’an over 1400 years ago ?

 

Earth rotates on own axis (27:88)

You see the mountains and imagine them to be stationary whereas they are moving like the moving of clouds. (Qur’an 27:88)


How did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) know that the earth rotates on its own axis? 


How did the Prophet Muhammad pbuh know that the earth rotates on its own axis?  The author of the Holy Quran speaks of the mountains in the following verse, and presents them as floating or coasting like clouds, while people perceive them to be stationary.

 

Fertilizing (fecundating winds) (15:22, 20:53).

And We send the winds fertilizing, then send down water from the clouds, so We give it to you to drink; nor is it you who store it up. (Qur’an 15:22).

Who made the earth for you an expanse and made for you therein paths and sent down water from the clouds. Then thereby We bring forth pairs of various herbs. (Qur’an 20:53).


 

Embryology (23:12-14)

Man we did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then we placed as (a drop of) sperm (nutfah) in a place firmly fixed; Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (‘alaqah); Then of that clot we made a (fetus) lump (mudghah); then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. (Qur’an 23:12-14).

 


 Yet in every age there have been Muslims who have followed the advice of the Qur'an and made surprising discoveries. If one looks to the works of Muslim scientists if many centuries ago, one will find them full of quotations from the Qur'an. These works state that they did research in such a place, looking for something. And they affirm that the reason they looked in such and such a place was that the Qur'an pointed them in that direction.

 

For example, the Qur'an mentions man's origin and then tells the reader, "Research it!" It gives the reader a hint where to look and then states that one should find out more about it.

A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all if the verses in the Qur'an which discuss embryology – the growth of the human being in the womb. They said, "Here is what the Qur'an says. Is it the truth?" In essence, they took the advice of the Qur'an: "Ask the men who know." They chose, as it happened, a non-Muslim who is a professor of embryology at the University of Toronto. His name is Keith Moore, and he is the author of textbooks on embryology - a world expert on the subject. They invited him to Riyadh and said, "This is what the Qur'an says about your subject. Is it true? What can you tell us?" While he was in Riyadh, they gave him all of the help that he needed in translation and all of the cooperation for which he asked. And he was so surprised at what he found that he changed his textbooks. In fact, in the second edition of one of his books, called Before we are born... in the second edition about the history of embryology, he included some material that was not in the first edition because of what he found in the Qur'an. Truly this illustrates that the Qur'an was ahead of its time and that those who believe in the Qur'anknow what other people do not know.

 

Man we did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then we placed as (a drop of) sperm (nutfah) in a place firmly fixed; Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (‘alaqah); Then of that clot we made a (fetus) lump (mudghah); then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. (Qur’an 23:12-14).

 

The Arabic word ‘alaqah has three meanings. The first meaning is “leech”. The second is “a suspended thing”. The third meaning is “a blood clot”.

 

Keith Moore mentioned that some of the things that the Qur'an states about the growth of the human being were not known until thirty years ago. In fact, he said that one item in particular - the Qur'an's description of the human being as a "leech-like clot" ('alaqah) at one stage – was new to him; but when he checked on it, he found that it was true, and so he added it to his book. He said, "I never thought of that before," and he went to the zoology department and asked for a picture of a leech. When he found that it looked just like the human embryo, he decided to include both pictures in one of his text books.

 

Dr. Moore also wrote a book on clinical embryology, and when he presented this information in Toronto, it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada, and some of the headlines were quite funny.

For instance, one headline read: "SURPRISING THING FOUND IN ANCIENT BOOK!"!

It seems obvious from this example that people do not clearly understand what it is all about. As a matter of fact, one newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore, "Don't you think That maybe the Arabs might have known about these things - the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did something crude dissections on their own - carved up people and examined these things."

 

The professor immediately pointed out to him that he [i.e., the reporter] had missed a very important point all of the slides of the embryo that had been shown and had been projected in the film had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said,

"It does not matter if someone had tried to discover  embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!"

All of the descriptions in the Qur'an of the appearance of the embryo are of the item when it is still too small to see with the eye; therefore, one needs a microscope to see it. Since such a device had only been around for little more than two hundred years, Dr. Moore taunted,

"Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory."

In fact, when he was asked "How do you explain this information in the Qur'an?" Dr. Moore's reply was, "It could only have been divinely revealed!”

 

Barriers between sea (55:19-20, 25:53)

He has let free (maraja) the two seas meeting together: Between them is a barrier which they do not transgress. (Qur’an 55:19-20).

 

"God is the one that has let free two seas, one is sweet and palatable and the other is salty and bitter. He placed an unseen barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to pass". (Qur’an 25:53)


How did Muhammad (pbuh) know what scientists pointed out recently about salt water and fresh water not mixing?!

 

How did Muhammad(SAW) know what scientists pointed out recently about salt water and fresh water not mixing?! Muhammad (pbuh) afterall, lived in the desert.

 

The Holy Qur’an and scientists testify to the fact that there is an unseen barrier and therefore it could not and still can not be observed.

 

Professor Hay replied: I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scripture of the Holy Qur’an, and I have no way of knowing where they would come from, but I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and that this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages.

 

He was asked: “Then you have flatly denied it to be just from a human source. Whom do you think is the original source of such information?”

 

Professor Hay: Well, I would think it must be the divine being!  Truly this is divine knowledge which Allah sent in order to support the Message of the Prophet

 

Cerebrum (96:15-16)

Let him beware! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naasiyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naasiyah!  (Qur’an 96 :15-16)


Why did the Qur’an describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful? Why didn't the Qur’an say that the person was lying and sinful? How did Muhammad(SAW) know there is a relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness?

 

If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefontal area of the cerebrum. What does physiology tell us about the function of this area? A book entitled, Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, says about this area: The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefontal area (see Figure 9.1). This is a region of the association cortex... The book also says: In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression.

 

So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior, and is responsible for telling lies and speaking the truth.

 

Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Qur’an said: ...a lying, sinful naasiyyah (front of the head)! Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith Moore!

Female Bee (16:68-69)

 



And thy Lord revealed to the bee: Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build, Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of thy Lord submissively. There comes forth from their bellies a beverage of many hues, in which there is healing for men. Therein is surely a sign for a people who reflect. (Qur’an 16:68-69).

The gender used for the bee is the female gender('fasluki' and 'kuli'), indicating that the bee that leaves its home for gathering food is a female bee.

In the 16th chapter the Qur'an mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food. Now, a person might guess on that, saying, "The bee that you see flying around - it could be male, or it could be female. I think I will guess female." Certainly, he has a one in two chance of being right. So it happens that the Qur'an is right. But it also happens that was not what most people believed at the time when the Qur'an was revealed. Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bee? Well, it takes a specialist to do that, but it has been discovered that the male bee never leaves his home to gather food. However, in Shakespeare's play, Henry the Fourth, some of the characters discuss bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespeare's time - that the bees that one sees flying around are male bees and that they go home and answer to a king. However, that is not true at all. The fact is that they are females, and they answer to a queen. Yet it took modern scientific investigations in the last 300 years to discover that this is the case. It is
mentioned that it is the female bee that collects honey ........ Do you think that anybody could be so observant as to pick this up? In chapter 16, verse 69, it reads, "...... from their (bees) bodies comes a liquor of different colors wherein is a remedy for men." Today the medical scientist tell us that there are antiseptic qualities and applications of honey. Furthermore, I believe  that it is used in the treatment of various allergies.

 

No wonder the Russian soldiers used to apply honey on their wounds. Yes, and as a result, the wounds left very little scar tissue.

 

Formation of milk (16:66).

 



And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle: We give you to drink of what is in their bellies — from betwixt the faeces and the blood — pure milk, agreeable to the drinkers. (Qur’an 16:66).

 

Time Zones (79:42, 46).

 


They ask you about the hour, when it will come… On the day that they see it, it will be as though they had not tarried but the latter part of a day or the early part of it. (Qur’an 79:42, 46).


Seeing as back fourteen centuries ago people probably did not understand much about time zones, the Quran's statements about this subject are considerably surprising. The concept that one family is having breakfast as the sun comes up while another family is enjoying the brisk night air is truly something to be marveled at, even in modern time. Indeed, fourteen centuries ago, a man could not travel more than thirty miles in one day, and thus it took him literally months to travel from India to Morocco, for example. And probably , when he was having supper in Morocco, he thought to himself, "Back home in India they are having supper right now." This is because he did not realize that, in the process of traveling, he moved across a time zone. Yet, because it is the words of Allah, the All-Knowing, the Qur'an recognizes and acknowledges such a phenomenon. In an interesting verse it states that when history comes to an end and the Day of Judgment arrives, it will all occurring an instant; and this very instant will catch some people in the daytime and some people at night. This clearly illustrates Allah's divine wisdom and His previous knowledge of the existence of time zones, even though such a discovery was non-existent back fourteen centuries ago. Certainly, this phenomenon is not something which is obvious to one's

eyes or a result of one's experience, and this fact, in itself, suffices as proof of the Qur'ans authenticity.

                      

But what no one can deny is the following; What are the odds that Muhammad an illiterate,  guessed correctly about thousands and thousands of subjects, never once making a mistake, are so high that any theory of his authorship of the Qur'an must be completely dismissed - even by the most hostile enemies of Islam!

 

Alcohol – harm outweighs good (2:219).

 



They ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them is a great sin and (some) advantage for men, and their sin is greater than their advantage. And they ask thee as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the messages that you may ponder (Qur’an 2:219).

 

 

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