Friday, November 21, 2008
The Scientific Miracles of the Qur'an
Fourteen centuries ago, God sent down the Qur'an to mankind as a book of guidance. He called upon people to be guided to the truth by adhering to this book. From the day of its revelation to the day of judgement, this last divine book will remain the sole guide for humanity.
The matchless style of the Qur'an and the superior wisdom in it are definite evidence that it is the word of God. In addition, the Qur'an has many miraculous attributes proving that it is a revelation from God. One of these attributes is the fact that a number of scientific truths that we have only been able to uncover by the technology of the 20th century were stated in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
Of course the Qur'an is not a book of science. However, many scientific facts that are expressed in an extremely concise and profound manner in its verses have only been discovered with the technology of the 20th century. These facts could not have been known at the time of the Qur'an's revelation, and this is still more proof that the Qur'an is the word of God.
In order to understand the scientific miracle of the Qur'an, we must first take a look at the level of science at the time when this holy book was revealed.
In the 7th century, when the Qur'an was revealed, Arab society had many superstitious and groundless beliefs where scientific issues were concerned. Lacking the technology to examine the universe and nature, these early Arabs believed in legends inherited from past generations.
They supposed, for example, that mountains supported the sky above. They believed that the earth was flat and that there were high mountains at its both ends. It was thought that these mountains were pillars that kept the vault of heaven high above.
However all these superstitious beliefs of Arab society were eliminated with the Qur'an. In Sura Sad, verse 2, it was said: "God is He who raised up the heavens without any support..."(The Qur'an, 38:2). This verse invalidated the belief that the sky remains above because of the mountains.
In many other subjects, important facts were revealed at a time when no one could have known them. The Qur'an, which was revealed at a time when people knew very little about astronomy, physics, or biology, contains key facts on a variety of subjects such as the creation of the universe, the creation of the human being, the structure of the atmosphere, and the delicate balances that make life on earth possible.
Now, let us look at some of these scientific miracles revealed in the Qur'an together.
THE COMING OF THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE
The origin of the universe is described in the Qur'an in the following verse:
"He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth."(The Qur'an, 6:101)
This information given in the Qur'an is in full agreement with the findings of contemporary science. The conclusion that astrophysics has reached today is that the entire universe, together with the dimensions of matter and time, came into existence as a result of a great explosion that occurred in no time.
This event, known as "The Big Bang" proved that the universe was created from nothingness as the result of the explosion of a single point. Modern scientific circles are in agreement that the Big Bang is the only rational and provable explanation of the beginning of the universe and of how the universe came into being.
Before the Big Bang, there was no such thing as matter. From a condition of non-existence in which neither matter, nor energy, nor even time existed, and which can only be described metaphysically, matter, energy, and time were all created. This fact, only recently discovered by modern physics, was announced to us in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago.
The sensitive sensors on board the COBE space satellite which was launched by NASA in 1992, captured evidentiary remnants of the Big Bang. This discovery served as evidence for the Big Bang, which is the scientific explanation of the fact that the universe was created from nothing.
The Expansion of the Universe
In the Qur'an, which was revealed 14 centuries ago at a time when the science of astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described like this: "And it is We who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it."
(The Qur'an, 51:47)
The word "heaven", as stated in this verse, is used in various places in the Qur'an with the meaning of space and universe. Here again, the word is used with this meaning. In other words, in the Qur'an it is revealed that the universe "expands". And this is the very conclusion that science has reached today.
Until the dawn of the 20th century, the only view prevailing in the world of science was that "the universe has a constant nature and it has existed since infinite time". The research, observations, and calculations carried out by means of modern technology, however, have revealed that the universe in fact had a beginning, and that it constantly "expands".
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian physicist Alexander Friedmann and the Belgian cosmologist Georges Lemaitre theoretically calculated that the universe is in constant motion and that it is expanding.
This fact was proved also by observational data in 1929. While observing the sky with a telescope, Edwin Hubble, the American astronomer, discovered that the stars and galaxies were constantly moving away from each other. A universe where everything constantly moves away from everything else implied a constantly expanding universe.
The observations carried out in the following years verified that the universe is constantly expanding. This fact was explained in the Qur'an when that was still unknown to anyone. This is because the Qur'an is the word of God, the Creator, and the Ruler of the entire universe.
The Splitting Asunder of "The Heavens and The Earth" Another verse about the creation of the heavens is as follows: "Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We clove them asunder, and We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?"
(The Qur'an, 21:30)
The word ratq translated as "sewn to" means "mixed in each, blended" in Arabic dictionaries. It is used to refer to two different substances that make up a whole. The phrase "we unstitched" is the verb fataqa in Arabic and implies that something comes into being by tearing apart or destroying the structure of ratq. The sprouting of a seed from the soil is one of the actions to which this verb is applied.
Let us take a look at the verse again with this knowledge in mind. In the verse, sky and earth are at first subject to the status of ratq. They are separated (fataqa) with one coming out of the other. Intriguingly, when we remember the first moments of the Big Bang, we see that a single point included all the matter in the universe.
In other words, everything, including "the heavens and earth" which were not created yet, were included in this point in a condition of ratq. This point exploded violently, causing its matter to fataqa and in the process created the structure of the whole universe.
When we compare the expressions in the verse with scientific findings, we see that they are in perfect agreement with each other. Interestingly enough, these findings were not arrived at until the 20th century.