Article #1. Introduction
This is the first of a series depicting scientific facts stated in the Qur’an and what scientists are saying about these topics.
Many scholars have written books, articles and made presentations about science and the Qur’an. I am truly humbled by their contributions. It is not my objective or my intention to interpret (do tafseer) the pertinent Qur’anic verses in view of recent scientific discoveries, but to present the Qur’anic verses to the attention of the experts to consider and appreciate the wisdom in the creations of ALLAH SWT so that they see for themselves the miracles of the Qur’an. These are signs for us to consider and a testimonial to the authenticity of the Qur’an as the word of ALLAH SWT. These facts can serve as a guide for scientists who are looking into the creation of the universe and everything in it including our own selves.
Many of these Qur’anic verses address the creation of the universe, the design, formation, structure and control of the skies and the earth, the human body and many other important topics. Today, these topics are the subject of intensive research. Differing and sometimes conflicting theories have been formulated by scientists and extensive effort is underway to investigate these theories. Another objective is to motivate Arabic and English language experts to study words used in the Qur’anic verses that have science content, especially those unique words that are not used elsewhere in the Qur’an. One should distinguish between proven facts and theories. Theories change, and until proven they cannot be construed as facts. When speculative theories contradict each other, the facts stated in the Qur’an can serve as a guide for the scientists to improve their understanding of the universe and will help Muslim scholars better understand the Qur’an.
Since my childhood days, I was fascinated with science and by the little that we see of the majestic universe. When I was in third grade my geography teacher said that earth rotates around the sun. I could not conceptualize that, so I asked him to prove it. He said shut up, and I did. It continued to bother me, and I continued to search for an answer. I also asked my Islamic studies teacher about the unseen, the creator, the soul, resurrection, paradise, and hell fire. As my knowledge of the Qur’an and science increased, the number and scope of questions concerning these topics also increased in number, depth and complexity.
In 1963, a friend gifted me a book called “Rooh Al-Deen Al-Islami” or Spirit of the Islamic Religion by Afif A. Tubbara. It has a chapter on scientific miracles in the Qur’an which I read many times. I studied science and I continue to follow pertinent scientific discoveries. Science mentioned in the Qur’an enriched my belief in ALLAH SWT, and in the truthfulness of the message of prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and on all his Prophet Brothers. However, I must admit that even though I read the Qur’an many times I always discover new things in the Qur’an. I am sure there is still more in it that we have not yet discovered.
Your critique and comments will be greatly appreciated.
By Bassam Jamil Jody, Ph.D.