People find it hard to believe that after we die and become dust we will be reassembled and brought back to life. Religion tells us that ALLAH (SWT) will bring us back: And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, “Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.” (45:25); Those who disbelieve have claimed that they will never be resurrected. Say, “Yes, by my Lord, you will surely be resurrected; then you will surely be informed of what you did. And that, for ALLAH, is easy.” (64:7); (The unbelievers say) When we have died and have become dust, [we will return to life]? That is a distant return.” (50:3); WE (ALLAH) know that the earth does not diminish of them, and with US is a retaining record.” (50:4). ALLAH gave us examples including giving Prophet Easa (Jesus) the ability to bring back the dead.
My objective is not to interpret Qur’an in the light of science nor to imply that this is how ALLAH does things, but to help us realize that the resurrection process is not impossible. Consider: (1) Qur’an stated that earth does not lose any bit of the bodies (50:4). Today we know that mass and energy are conserved and so all material and energy parts of the body will be conserved. After decomposition, parts of the human body become gas, solid or liquid absorbed in some solid or fossilized material and all will remain in the universe; (2) each tiny particle of a person is unique. People can be identified by DNA found in their saliva, bones, etc. The resurrection process involves collecting and assembling the different parts and then returning the soul to the body. By our limited knowledge the collection process sounds impossible. However, remember, tiny magnetic particles that are mixed with many other materials can be separated by their magnetic property (think of it as its own DNA). Today we know how to use markers such as DNA and carbon 14 to identify and date ancient fossils. There must be more secret markers that uniquely define every part of a person’s physical atom but yet undiscovered. One may ask how the different gas and dust particles can be located. Think how a conference call can be selectively placed to a few telephones from among the billions of telephones out there. ALLAH has his ways.
ALLAH, who has infinite knowledge placed these markers in the different creatures, not only in the humans. However, I do not imply that ALLAH needs such markers to bring us back. HIS command is be and it is. I am only trying to illustrate that the collection process is possible even according to our humble understanding of physics. ALLAH stated in the Qur’an (19:94-95, 72:28, 15:23-24) that He has perfect counting of what He created; He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting. (19:94); And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone. (19:95); That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number. (72:28); And We have already known the preceding [generations] among you, and WE have already known the later [ones to come] (15:24). In addition, ALLAH stated in the Qur’an (50:16-18) that every person is constantly watched by accompanying angels. And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein (50:16); Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record] (50:18). Today we know how sensors and computers can keep accurate records and find and retrieve stored data. For simplicity, imagine the angels that watch us as a super advanced form of heavenly computers.
The next article addresses cloning animals and birds that have been extinct for thousands of years. Scientists call the process de-extinction. This is not creation and it is not resurrection but using information (DNA) present in cells from species that died long ago to produce approximate replicas of the extinct species. The information is there and scientists are proving that the information can be retrieved and used.
By Bassam Jamil Jody, Ph.D.