Science

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Islam's holy book, the Quran, strongly encourages scientific research and the pursuit of knowledge, as did the prophet of Islam, Muhammadsa. As such, Muslims see no conflict between science and religion. In the centuries after the advent of Islam, Muslim scientists made a great deal of progress, becoming world leaders in their field and making a number of discoveries for the first time.



Cosmology in the Quran


Big Bang Theory

Some of the theories relating to the creation of the universe have been verified as facts, whereas some others are still being explored. The concept of the expanding universe belongs to the former category, and has been universally accepted by the scientific community as 'fact'. This discovery was first made by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s. Yet some thirteen centuries before this, it was clearly mentioned in the Quran: "And the heaven We built with Our own powers (aydin) and indeed We go on expanding it (musiun)" (Quran 51:48) 

It should be remembered that the concept of the continuous expansion of the universe is exclusive to the Quran. No other Divine scriptures even remotely hint at it. The discovery that the universe is constantly expanding is of prime significance to scientists, because it helps create a better understanding of how the universe was initially created. It clearly explains the stage by stage process of creation, in a manner which perfectly falls into step with the theory of the Big Bang. The Quran goes further and describes the entire cycle of the beginning, the end and the return again to a similar beginning. The first step of creation as related in the Quran accurately describes the event of the Big Bang in the following words: "Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass (ratqan), then We clove them asunder (fataqna)? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (Quran 21:31) It is significant that this verse is specifically addressed to non-believers, implying perhaps, that the unveiling of the secret mentioned in this verse would be made by the non-believers, a sign for them of the truth of the Quran.

- Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth

Rotation of a spherical Earth

The most striking feature of this description relates to the way the motion of the earth is described without glaringly contradicting the popular view prevailing in that age. All the scholars and sages of that time were unanimous in their belief that the earth is stationary while other heavenly bodies like the sun and the moon are constantly revolving around it. In view of this, the motion of the earth as described by the Quran may not be apparent to the casual reader, but to a careful student the message is loud and clear. If the Quran had described the earth as stationary and the heavenly bodies as revolving around it, then although the people of that time might have been satisfied with this description, the people of the later ages would have treated that statement as a proof of the ignorance of the Quran's author. Such a statement, they would emphasise, could not have been made by an All-Knowing, Supreme Being.

Rather than literally comparing the motion of the earth to that of other heavenly bodies, the Quran makes the following statement: "The mountains that you see, you think they are stationary while they are constantly floating like the floating of clouds. Such is the work of Allah Who made everything firm and strong..." (27:89) If the mountains are declared to be in constant motion, then the only logical inference to be drawn from this would be that the earth is also rotating along with them...

It is likely that the people may have believed verse 89 of Surah Al-Naml, referred to a future event associated with Doomsday. But as has been demonstrated, this misinterpretation would be absolutely unacceptable for the following reasons:

1- The verse clearly speaks in the present tense and not in the future tense. The letter vaow used here can literally be translated as 'while' instead of 'and', so the meaning could be, 'you think the mountains are stationary, while they are moving'. To refer this part of the statement to the future is impermissible.

2- If they, the mountains, were to fly in the future then how could man, even if he were perched at a safe distance on another planet, believe them to be stationary despite watching them flying in space? Hence such a translation is out of the question. Also, to translate this verse to indicate that though humans today consider the mountains to be stationary, they are not so because in future they will fly, would be evidently wrong. If the mountains are stationary today the humans would certainly see them to be stationary. It is not a question of their thinking them to be stationary. The Quran would have said 'You know them to be stationary and so they are but in future they will no longer be so'. This is not what the Quran says at all.

3- At the end of the same verse, a tribute to the firmness of God's creation is the last clinching proof that the mountains, despite flying, are firmly entrenched.

It is noteworthy that the early commentaries maintain silence on the true meaning of this verse which suggests that it was too difficult for them to interpret.

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth


Evolution in the Quran


"That you shall assuredly pass on from one stage to another." (84:20) This is the all-embracing plan of Creation. At different stages of evolution, the processes that governed and shaped life were different but their direction remained the same - always pointing at man.

- Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth


View of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community


The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community promotes the scientific education of its members and awards are given annually to those who excel in higher education. These efforts in the field of science are perhaps best epitomised by the work of Dr Abdus Salam, an Ahmadi Muslim who became the first Muslim Nobel Prize winner, for his work in physics.


See also