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Tuesday 28th of June 2022
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The Holy Qur’An with Respect to the Scientific Discoveries of our Time

Eighth Lecture
The Holy Qur’An with Respect to the Scientific Discoveries of our Time

The Holy Qur’¡n is not a book on natural science, medicine, psychology or mathematics; it deals instead with man’s guidance and his development and says what is necessary concerning these issues.

We should not expect to find an encyclopedia in the Holy Qur’¡n. Rather, we should look for spiritual guidance, piety, virtues, humanity, ethics, order and law and the Holy Qur’¡n has them all.

To achieve such an aim, the Holy Qur’¡n sometimes refers to some subjects related to the natural sciences, the mysteries of creation and the wonders of the universe. This is especially true regarding those topics which are related to monotheism. Depending on the course of the argument the Holy Qur’¡n, always, reveals some of the mysteries of creation and unveils some facts that were not known to the scientists and scholars of those days.

We shall refer to this group of Qur’¡nic expressions as “the scientific miracles of the Holy Qur’¡n” and we shall talk about some of these miracles here:

The Holy Qur’ªn on Gravity

Nobody had discovered the law Gravity before Newton. It is said that one day when Newton was sitting beneath an apple tree an apple fell upon his head and this incident occupied his mind for a number of years afterwards. He would ask himself “what was the force that attracted the apple?” “Why did it not rise toward the sky?” And only after years of hard work did he find out about gravity. His law ran something like this: “Every material body exerts a mutual attraction each other directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional with the square of their distance apart.”

The discovery of this law led man to discover the source of the solar system. It was found out why these gigantic heavenly bodies rotate around the sun on their orbits and why they could not escape from their orbits. It was discovered why they did not collapse over one another and what kind of power kept all the bodies rotating in this endless space.

Yes, Newton discovered the fact that the rotational movement of a body tends to let it escape from the center and the law of attraction pulls it toward the center and when these two powers are in equilibrium, their centripetal and centrifugal forces let them stay on their orbit and move in the correct direction.

However, the Holy Qur’¡n, more than one thousand years ago, explained the same notion in the second verse of S£rah Ra`d [Thunder]:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ.

Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you see, and He is firm in power. He made the sun and the moon subservient to you; each one pursues its course to an appointed time; He regulates the affair, making clear the signs that you may be certain of meeting You Lord. [Qur’¡n 13:2]

We read in a narration under this verse from Imam `Al¢ Ibn Moses Al-Reza (s):

أَلَيْسَ اللهُ يَقُولُ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا؟ قُلْتُ: بَلَى. قَالَ: ثَمَّ عَمَدٌ وَلَكِنْ لاَ تَرَوْنَهَا.

Doesn’t God say that He erected the skies without a pillar? The narrator says: I replied to the Imam (s): yes. He then replied: there is a pillar, but you cannot see it.

Is there a clearer and easier expression than this in the Arab literature to explain gravity? In another narration from Imam `Al¢(s) we read:

هَذِهِ النُّجُومُ فِي السَّمَاءِ مَدَائِنٌ مِثْلَ الْمَدَائِنِ الَّتِي فِي الأَرْضِ، مَرْبُوطَةٌ كُلُّ مَدِينَةٍ إلَى عَمُودٍ مِنْ نُورٍ.

These stars which lie in the sky are like the cities on the earth. Every city of this series is connected to the other city through a beam of light.

Scientists now agree that there can be millions of inhabitable stars with intelligent beings on them; the details are not clear yet, however.

The Discovery of the Rotation of the Earth around Itself and its Orbit around the Sun

It is said that the first scientist who discovered the rotation of the earth itself was the Italian Galileo who lived in Italy four centuries ago. Prior to him, scientists believed in the astronomy of the Egyptian scientist called Ptolemy who said that the earth was the center of the world and the heavenly bodies rotate around it.

Of course, Galileo was ostracized by the church due to this discovery. But when he expressed his repentance, he was rescued from an inevitable punishment of death. Later, however, other scientists followed up his theory and today the orbit of the earth around the sun has become an established fact, which could be perceived even through normal observation. Space flight has proven even more than this.

To Sum up: The assumption that the earth was the center of the universe was rejected and it was found out that this error only occurred because of our perception.

The Ptolemaic theory dominated scientific thought for nearly fifteen centuries and up to the appearance of the Holy Qur’¡n nobody dared to oppose this theory.

However, when we refer to the verses of the Holy Qur’¡n, we find out that in verse 88 of S£rah Naml [27], the orbit of the earth is explicitly expressed:

وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ.

And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud-the handiwork of Allah Who has made everything thoroughly; surely, He is Aware of what you do.

The above verse explicitly talks about the movement of the mountains despite the fact that we see them as stationary. Similarly, the movement of the earth and the clouds implies both speed and the quiet nature of this movement.

The above sacred verse employs the expression to mean the movement of the mountains for the movement of the earth for emphasis. This is because mountains cannot move unless the earth on which they lie moves as well.

Now, is it not a scientific miracle to talk about the movement of the earth at a time when everybody believed in the stationary nature of the earth?

And it is amazing that such a great assertion has been made by an illiterate person who lived in the most backward, parts of the world.

Now, isn’t this statement of the Holy Qur’¡n a sign of its validity?


THINK AND ANSWER

What is meant by the scientific miracles of the Holy Qur’¡n?

Who discovered the law of gravity for the first time and when did he live?

In which verse did the Holy Qur’¡n refer to the law of gravity and in what interpretation does it employ this law?

Who believed in the central status of the earth and who discovered its rotation?

In which verse did the Holy Qur’¡n refer to the rotation of the earth and in what interpretation does it use this term?

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