Science in Islam"We (God) shall show them Our signs in the Universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth." Quran 41:53
The Quran, the book of Islam, is the final book of revelation from God to humanity and the last in the line of revelations given to the Prophets.
Although the Quran (revealed over 1400 years ago), is not primarily a book of science, it does contain scientific facts that have only been discovered recently through the advancement of technology and scientific knowledge. Islam encourages reflection and scientific research because understanding the nature of creation enables people to further appreciate their Creator and the extent of His power and wisdom.
The Quran was revealed at a time when Science was primitive; there were no telescopes, microscopes or anything close to today's technology. People believed that the sun orbited the earth and the sky was held up by pillars at the corners of a flat earth. Against this backdrop the Quran was revealed, containing many scientific facts on topics ranging from astronomy to biology, geology to zoology.
Some of the many scientific facts found in the Quran include:
Fact #1 - Origin of Life
Water is pointed out as the origin of all life. All living things are made of cells and we now know that cells are mostly made of water. This was discovered only after the invention of the microscope. In the deserts of Arabia, it would be inconceivable to think that someone would have guessed that all life came from water.
Fact #2 - Human Embryonic DevelopmentGod speaks about the stages of man's embryonic development:
Little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century, which means that the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge from the seventh century.
Fact #3 - Expansion of the UniverseAt a time when the science of Astronomy was still primitive, the following verse in the Quran was revealed:
The fact that the universe is expanding (e.g. planets are moving further away from each other) was discovered in the last century. Physicist Stephen Hawking in his book 'A Brief History of Time' writes, "The discovery that the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the twentieth century."
The Quran alludes to the expansion of the universe even before the invention of the telescope!
Fact #4 - Iron Sent DownIron is not natural to earth, as it came to this planet from outer space. Scientists have found that billions of years ago, the earth was struck by meteorites which were carrying iron from distant stars which had exploded.
Fact #5 - Sky's ProtectionThe sky plays a crucial role in protecting the earth and its inhabitants from the lethal rays of the sun, as well as the freezing cold of space.
God asks us to consider the sky in the following verse:
Fact #6 - MountainsGod draws our attention to an important characteristic of mountains:
The fact that mountains have deep 'stake'-like roots was not known until after the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the beginning of the twentieth century. God also says in the Quran (16:15), that the mountains have a role in stabilising the earth "…so that it would not shake," which has just begun to be understood by scientists.
Fact #7 - Sun's OrbitIn 1512, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus put forward his theory that the Sun is motionless at the centre of the solar system and the planets revolve around it. This belief was widespread amongst astronomers until the twentieth century. It is now a well established fact that the Sun is not stationary but is moving in an orbit around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.
Fact #8 – Internal Waves in the OceanIt was commonly thought that waves only occur on the surface of the ocean. However, oceanographers have discovered that there are internal waves that take place below the surface which are invisible to the human eye and can only be detected by specialised equipment.
The Quran mentions:
Fact #9 - Lying & MovementThere was a cruel oppressive tribal leader who lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). God revealed a verse to warn him:
Fact #10 - The Two Seas that do not MixRegarding the seas, our Creator says:
Couldn't Muhammad Have Authored the Quran?The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known in history to be illiterate; he could not read nor write and was not educated in any field that could account for the scientific accuracies in the Quran.
Some may claim that he copied it from learned people or scientists of his time. If it was copied, we would have expected to see all the incorrect scientific assumptions of the time also being copied. Rather, we find that the Quran does not contain any errors whatsoever - be they scientific or otherwise.
Some people may also claim that the Quran was changed as new scientific facts were discovered. This cannot be the case because it is a historically documented fact that the Quran is preserved in its original language - which is a miracle in itself
Just a Coincidence?
The Quran is a book of guidance that demonstrates that God did not create humans to simply wander aimlessly. Rather, it teaches us that we have a meaningful and higher purpose in life - to acknowledge God’s complete perfection, greatness and uniqueness, and obey Him
It is up to each person to use their God-given intellect and reasoning abilities to contemplate and recognise God’s signs - the Quran being the most important sign. Read and discover the beauty and truth of the Quran, so that you may attain success!