RELIGION AND THE SCIENTIST
And there they were, on a flight from Cape Town to Durban, seated side by side, two gentlemen from two different worlds. After the formalities were covered, the conversation continued……..
Bob: I don’t believe in God, but rather in science and technology, something tangible you see, but if you can prove to me scientifically that God does exist then I would consider such a thought.
Yunus: Okay, you being interested in technology, please answer this question……with regard to an advanced machine or electronic device, who would be the one to know the most about its mechanism or functioning?
Bob: Well, perhaps the person who has invented or manufactured such a machine.
Yunus: Can we agree that it is the maker or creator of the product who would know every-thing there is to know about the product.
Bob: I don’t see why not, it sounds reasonable.
Yunus: Being knowledgeable in these matters, the next question I’d like to ask you is, Just how did the world or the universe come into existence?
Bob: According to recent scientific research, the whole universe was one gigantic mass, which scientists call the primary Nebula, they tell us that it was a cosmic explosion or a secondary explosion that gave rise to the sun, the stars, the planets and even the Earth we live on.
Yunus: Is this what you believe?
Bob: Yes of course, these are established facts based on scientific proofs. In fact, this idea was realised in 1973 and termed the ‘BIG BANG’ theory.
Yunus: I see, well I have a surprise for you….In the Holy Quraan, chapter 21, verse 30 says. “Do the disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then I split them apart”. Here we can see that the Holy Quraan is speaking about this ‘BIG BANG’ theory and let me tell you that the Holy Quraan was revealed over 1400 years ago.
Bob: I have heard about the Quraan, but can you refresh my memory.
Yunus: Sure, the Muslim believes the Quraan to be the word of God, pure and unadulterated which was revealed verbally to the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed, Peace be upon him, through the agency of the Angel Gabriel. The Holy Quraan was completed over a period of 23 years, that is over the prophetic life of the Prophet of Islam.
Bob: Are you sure that the Quraan is over 14 centuries old and secondly, that the Quraan has not been changed.
Yunus: Absolutely, it is a historical fact that the Holy Quraan was completed in the seventh century and has remained unchanged ever since. Historians, whether friends or foes to Islam, testify to this.
Bob: Well then, perhaps it’s a guess.
Yunus:…..What does science say about the shape of the Earth ?
Bob: Previously, Man thought that the Earth was flat, until Sir Frances Drake in 1607 finally proved it to be spherical. Today, the term Geoid is used to describe this spherical shape.
Yunus: Amazingly the Holy Quraan in chapter 31, verse 29 says, “Have you not seen how God merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night.” The use of the word merges emphasizes a slow gradual change, and this is not possible if the earth is flat.
Bob: Go on.
Yunus: Further in chapter 39, verse 5, it says, “He coils the night upon the day and he coils the day upon the night.” The word used in the original Arabic text is “Kaw’wara” which means coils or winds, the significance of this verb is that you usually coil something around a rather spherical object. You say that this fact was discovered recently, well relatively recently, who could have mentioned this in the Holy Quraan over 1400 years ago ?
Bob: I’m not convinced.
Yunus: Fine, tell me where the light of the Moon comes from?
Bob: Centuries ago people thought that the Moon was a miniature version of the Sun and that both emitted their own light, but recently studies confirmed that the Moon reflected the Sun’s light.
Yunus: The Holy Quraan in chapter 25, verse 61 mentions, “Blessed is the one who placed the constellations in the Heaven and placed therein a lamp and a Moon reflecting light.” Here the Sun is referred to as a lamp for it has its own illumination, while the Moon is said to have reflected light or borrowed light, meaning not its own.
Bob: Its probably conjecture; guesswork.
Yunus: For the sake of a discussion I won’t argue. Anyway, let us proceed. When I was in school in the 80’s, my teacher told me that the Sun remains stationary whilst the planets although rotating around their axes do revolve around the Sun as well.
Bob: Is that what your Quraan says, that the Sun is stationary….Ha!
Yunus: No, the Holy Quraan does not say this. This is what I learned in school.
Bob: Today, science has advanced. We have come to know that the Sun does in fact revolve around its own axis. You see, the Sun if observed with the appropriate scientific apparatus reveals to possess the “Black spots”. Continuous observation shows that these black spots take 25 days to complete a revolution. Therefore we conclude that the Sun rotates and that it takes approximately 25 days to complete one full rotation around its axis.
Yunus: Well, this is nothing new to the Muslim for it is revealed in the Holy Quraan in chapter 21, verse 33, “(God is) the One who created the night, the day, the Sun and the Moon, each one spinning around its own axis (traveling in an orbit)”. Here it is evident that the Sun and the Moon both rotate and further the celestial law of orbital movement is made mention of. You tell me who could have mentioned these scientific facts in the Holy Quraan, which you say was discovered recently by your scientists? Before you answer that question, tell me, is there a difference between a star and a planet?
Bob: Yes, today we know that stars are heavenly bodies like the Sun in that they produce their own light, while planets on the other hand, do not produce their own light….like the earth on which we live.
Yunus: The Holy Quraan mentions scientific facts not only in the field of astronomy.
Bob: I’m listening.
Yunus: In several verses of the Holy Quraan the details of the water cycle is mentioned. It explains that the water from the earth and ground rises up and forms clouds. These clouds condense, there is lightning and rain falls from the clouds. This is evident from the following quotations chapter 39, verse 21, “Have you not seen that Allah sent rain down from the sky and caused it to penetrate the ground, and come forth as springs…….”, In chapter 23, verse 18, “We sent down water from the sky measure and lodged it in the ground and we certainly are able to withdraw it”, and also in chapter 24, verse 43, “Have you not seen that God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them a heap. And you see rain drops falling from the midst of it.”
Bob: According to my knowledge, the first coherent account of the water cycle was presented by Bernard Palissy in 1580.
Yunus: This is the exact distinction that the Holy Quraan makes between stars and planets. In chapter 86, verse 1-3, “By the sky and the night visitor, who will tell you what the night visitor is, the star of piercing brightness”, which obviously refer to the stars. The planets are described as ornaments in chapter 37, verse 6, as it reads, “We have indeed adorned the lowest heaven with ornaments, the planets”.
Bob: Hmmmmmm. It is no secret that the Arabs were advanced in the field of astronomy, and perhaps it was these learned astronomers that passed their findings to the Prophet Muhammad.
Yunus: I do agree that the Arabs were advanced in astronomy, but I’m afraid that you have the order or sequence of events incorrect.
Bob: What do you mean?!
Yunus: Let me remind you that the Holy Quraan was revealed centuries before the Arabs became advanced in this field of astronomy, so it was the Arabs who learnt about astronomy from the Quraan and most definitely not vice versa. The Holy Quraan in chapter 30, verse 48 mentions that, “God is the one who sends forth the winds which raised up the clouds. He spreads them in the sky as he wills and breaks them into fragments. Then you see rain drops issuing from within them.” While on the topic of Geography, I am sure you understand what is meant by the term “Folding”.
Bob: Yes, you see…. the crust of the earth is relatively thin and mountain ranges due to the phenomenon of folding provides stability for the earth.
Yunus: The Holy Quraan in chapter 78, verse 6-7 gives us an indication of the very same phenomenon as it says, “Have we not made the earth an expanse and the mountains stakes”. Here the word “stakes” is synonymous with the word pegs as in holding the earth in place. Further the first part of this verse shows us that the earth is not flat for it is an expans meaning that you can walk and walk without falling off. The former idea is clarified in chapter 21, verse 31″We placed the ground (mountains) standing firm so that it does not shake with them”. Here we are told that mountains allow for the maintenance of the earths stability by preventing the earth’s shape to change in such a way so as to cause it to move out of its orbit. Permit me to go on scientists pointed out recently that salt water and fresh water do not mix is that correct?
Bob: That is correct…..this phenomenon is observed at various locations……for example the region where the Nile river meets with the Mediterranean sea and more especially in the Gulf stream where these two bodies of water flow together for thousands of kilometres.
Yunus: In chapter 25, verse 53 it reads, “God is the one that has let free two seas, one is sweet and palatable and the other is salty and bitter. He placed an unseen barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to pass”. A similar message is given in chapter 55, verses 19 and 20, “He has loosed the two seas. They meet together. Between them there is an unseen barrier which they do not transgress.”
Bob: Maybe some Arabs whist diving or swimming made such an observation.
Yunus: Unlikely, what you fail to realize is that the Holy Quraan too testifies that it is an unseen barrier and therefore it could not and still cannot be observed.
Bob: I see. According to Darwinism and the theory of evolution, it is claimed that all life began in the sea or oceans. Can you tell me what does your Quraan say about this if anything at all.
Yunus: Yes, but first tell me just why does this theory have such a conclusion that life began in the Oceans.
Bob: Well, one of the reasons is that the chemical make-up or composition of human and animal life shows that water is the chief constituent. In fact between 50 and 90 %.
Yunus: In chapter 21, verse 30, it also says, “And We made every living thing from water. Will they still not believe.” Can you imagine that in the deserts of Arabia, where there is obviously a scarcity of water, who would have guessed that not only man but every living thing is made from water.
Bob: I am aware that Cytoplasm, the main constituent of the cell is composed of approximately eighty percent water and that every living creature is of fifty or ninety percent water.
Yunus: Who could have mentioned these facts in the Quraan over 1400 years ago. There are over hundreds of facts in the Holy Quraan that modern science cannot find fault with today. On the topic of theories, can you explain to me just what is meant by the theory of drifting continents.
Bob: Sure, all our continents were at one time parts of one consolidated land mass, then following an explosion, they were scattered or rather pushed away all over the surface of the earth. Therefore if you look carefully at the world map, you would see for example that the East coast of South America would fit neatly against the West coast of Africa.
Yunus: A similar idea is reflected in the Holy Quraan in the chapter 79, verse 30, “and the earth He extended after that and then drew from it water and pastures”. It says that the Earth passed through a stage when God had caused the land masses to drift apart.
Bob: Are you using scientific knowledge to prove the Quraan ?
Yunus: No, the Quraan is not a book of science but rather a book of signs. In fact, it has over 6000 signs (verses) out of which 1000 of these deal with scientific knowledge. I am not using science to prove something correct, you need a yardstick or knowledge that is absolute, something ultimate.
Yunus: To the educated men like yourself, those that do not believe in God, science is generally your yardstick but to the Muslim, the Holy Quraan is our ultimate yardstick….the Quraan is also referred to as the “Furqaan” which is the arabic word meaning, the criterion between that which is right and that which is wrong. Therefore I am using your yardstick ‘science’ to prove to you what is said in the Holy Quraan. What your yardstick has said in relatively recent times mine has said 14 centuries ago. Can we agree, therefore, that the Quraan is superior to science and that the Quraan is the ultimate yardstick.
Bob: Tell me more.
Yunus: The Quraan says in chapter 20, verse 53, “(God is the one) who sent down rain from the sky and with it brought forth a variety of plants in pairs”. Here the Holy Quraan mentions a scientific fact which was discovered much later in history and that is the plant kingdom too has male and female types. This is also echoed in chapter 13, verse 3, “and of all fruits (God) placed on the earth two pairs.”
Yunus: A branch of the field of Zoology has recently pointed out that there exists various social dynamics in the animal world. The Holy Quraan tells us the same, that the animals and birds live in communities in chapter 6, verse 38, “There is no animal on earth, no bird which flies on wings, that (does not belong to) communities like you”.
Yunus: If I tell you that the Holy Quraan tells us of ants talking to one another, you will probably laugh, but the branch of Zoology that I am telling you about, has found the animal or insect which closely resembles the dynamics of the human, is the ant far apart from an extremely ‘advanced’ system of communication (as is mentioned in the Holy Quraan, chapter 27, verse 18), The ants bury the dead and can have what can be said to be an equivalent of a market place.
Bob: Perhaps your Prophet Muhammad was a very observant man who made notes of them.
Yunus: First I would like to inform you that history years witness that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) of Islam was an illiterate man in that he had no formal schooling and therefore could not read nor write. In fact at that time a great majority of Arabs were illiterate with only a negligible number who were literate. Nonetheless, it is also mentioned that it is the female bee that collects honey. Do you think that anybody could be so observant as to pick this up? You have just reminded me about something even more significant; in chapter 16, verse 69, it reads, “From their (bees) bodies comes a liquor of different colors wherein is a remedy for men.” Today the medical scientists tell us that there are antiseptic qualities and applications of honey. Furthermore, I believe that it is used in the treatment of various allergies.
Bob: No wonder the Russian soldiers used to apply honey on their wounds. Yes, and as a result, the wounds left very little scar tissue.
Yunus: In chapter 16, verse 66, the Holy Quraan described blood circulation with regard to the production of milk in the cow a thousand years before William Harvey made it famous to the western world. Let us examine the above mentioned reference, “Verily, in cattle too is a lesson for you, we give to you to drink of what is in their bodies, coming from a conjugation between the contents of the intestine and the blood, a milk, pure and pleasant for those who drink it.”
Bob: Tell me, what does the Quraan say about human beings?
Yunus: This question calls for a dissertation, for the Quraan deals with humans from before the time of conception until after death. But will you accept a brief exposition on some of the human embryological data or proofs presented in the Quraan?
Bob: Please go on. This is interesting.
Yunus: We know that after fertilization, the egg or ovum descends from the fallopian tube to lodge itself inside the uterus for gestation. This is described in chapter 22, verse 5, “…. We cause whom we will to rest in the womb for an appointed term.” As you know, there are structures or elongations from the egg that develops to draw nourishment from the uterus that is necessary for growth. These structural formations make the egg or rather the zygote seem to be literally clinging to the uterus this, without a doubt, is a scientific discovery of modern times for the western world.
Did you know this appearance of clinging is described five times in the Holy Quraan. For example, in chapter 96, verses 1 & 2, “Read, in the name of your Lord who fashioned man from something which clings”. Similar ideas are found in chapter 22, verse 5 – chapter 23, verse 14 and chapters 40 & 75. Furthermore, fetal growth is described in great detail in chapter 23, verse 14, with regard to the development of the skeleton. “Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; Then made that clot into a lump (fetus); then We made out of that lump Bones and clothed the bones with flesh.” The verse goes on further in this manner of description.
Also with regard to the order or sequence of the senses, the Holy Quraan in chapter 32, verse 9 says, “He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and of sight.” Today, medical science cannot argue with this sequence development of the senses in the fetus for it confirms that the development of hearing is completed by five months of pregnancy and that the eye is split open by the seventh month of pregnancy.
These facts and more have been brought to light by the western world as late as 1940. Furthermore, Professor Keith More, an embryologist at the university of Toronto in Canada, was asked to make a comparative study of the Embryo logical data in the Holy Quraan with that of modern scientific knowledge and he responded as follows, “The 1300 year old Quraan contains messages so accurate about embryonic development that Muslims can reasonably believe them to be from God.”
Bob: If this is true then how come it has not been recorded in the media?
Yunus: But it was…check the archives. For example, the Citizen, a Canadian Newspaper dated 22 November 1984, under the heading “Ancient Holy Book 1300 years ahead of its time”. Or the times of India, New Delhi dated 10 December 1984 under the caption “Koran scores over modern sciences.”
Bob: This is really fascinating don’t stop continue.
Yunus: At this point I am reminded of a very powerful verse of the Holy Quraan which appears in chapter 41, verse 53, “Soon shall we show them our signs in the (furthest) regions of the earth , and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth.”
Yunus: The holy Quraan even speaks about diabetics.
Bob: What do you mean?
Yunus: You see, certain foodstuffs are declared unfit for human consumption and are therefore prohibited. Bob: While we are on the topic of food, tell me why is it that a Muslim is very particular about the words Halaal and Haraam. What do they mean?
Yunus: That which is permissible is termed Halaal and that which is not permissible is termed Haraam and it is the Quraan which draws the distinction between the two.
Bob: Can you give me an example?
Yunus: Yes, Islam has prohibited blood of any type. You will agree that a chemical analysis of blood shows that it contains an abundance of uric acid, a chemical substance which can be injurious to human health.
Bob: You’re right about the toxic nature of uric acid, in the human being it is excreted as a waste product……. in fact we are told that 98% of the bodies uric acid is extracted from the blood by the kidneys and removed through urination.
Yunus: Now I think that you’ll appreciate the special prescribed method of animal slaughter in Islam.
Bob: What do you mean?
Yunus: You see the wielder of the knife, whilst taking the name of the All-Mighty, makes an incision through the jugular veins, leaving all other veins of the neck intact.
Bob: I see. This causes the death of the animal by a total loss of blood from the body, rather than an injury to any vital organ.
Yunus: Yes, were the organs, example the heart, the liver, or the brain crippled or damaged, the animal could die immediately and its blood would congeal in its veins and would eventually permeate (spread throughout) the flesh. This implies that the animal flesh would be permeated and contaminated with uric acid and therefore very poisonous only today did our dietitians realize such a thing.
Bob: Again, while on the topic of food. Why do Muslims condemn the eating of pork or ham or any foods related to pigs or swine.
Yunus: Actually, apart from the Quraan prohibiting the consumption of pig flesh, ……in fact the Bible too in Leviticus chapter 11, verse 8. Regarding swine it says, “of their flesh (of the swine) shall you not eat, and of their carcass you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.” Further, did you know that a pig can not be slaughtered at the neck for it does not have a neck that is according to its natural anatomy. A Muslim reasons that if the pig was to be slaughtered and fit for human consumption the Creator would have provided it with a neck. Nonetheless, all that aside, I am sure you are well informed about the harmful effects of the consumption of pork, in any form, be it pork chops, ham, or bacon.
Bob: The medical sciences find that there is a risk for various diseases as the pig is found to be a host for many parasites and potential diseases.
Yunus: Yes, even apart from that as we talked about uric acid content in the blood…..it is important to note that the pig’s biochemistry excretes only 2% of its total uric acid content…… the remaining 98% remains as an integral part of the body. This explains the high rate of Rheumatism found in those who consume pork.
Bob: Let’s fasten our seatbelts; I think we are going to land shortly. I guess its true – time does fly when you’re having fun. I’ve never heard these arguments before and I’d like to hear more. Just what is the basic theme of the Holy Quraan anyway?
Yunus: The basic theme is of salvation, in this life and in the life hereafter. It does not fall into the category of any known arts or sciences of the world, but since it addresses itself to mankind, it touches on almost all the disciplines which concern Him. Thus the Quraan surprisingly encompassed truths which were to be discovered and confirmed much later as our discussion has shown.
Yunus: This reminds me of the wise words of Sir Francis, who said, “It is a little knowledge of science that makes you an Atheist, and it is an in-depth study of science that makes you a believer in God Almighty”.
Thereafter nobody said a word, they each sat back and looked forward waiting for touch down.
SOME QUR’ANIC VERSES ABOUT GEOLOGY AND THE ORIGIN OF THE EARTH
Extracted from the book called “This is the Truth”
By Abdullah M. Rehaili.
Professor Alfred Kroner: “…and that many of the statements made at the time could not be proven, but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what Muhammad said 1400 years ago”.
We present to you Professor Alfred Kroner who is one of the world’s most famous geologists. He is a Professor of Geology and the Chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenburg University, Mainz, Germany. We met him and presented several Qur’aanic verses and Ahadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). He studied and commented on them. Then we had a discussion with him.
Professor Kroner said: “Thinking about many of these questions and thinking where Muhammad came from, he was after all a bedouin. I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case.”
Professor Kroner chose an example from the Qur’aan which proved to him why the Qur’aan could not have come from Muhammad (saws) himself. The example which Professor Kroner chose is a description in the Qur’aan of the fact that this universe had its beginnings in one single entity. Allah, may He be Exalted and Glorified said: “Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together [ratqan], before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing…” [Qur’an 21:30]
The meaning of ratqan in this verse, as Ibn Abbas, Mujaahid, and others said, may Allah be pleased with all of them, is that the heavens and the earth were stuck together or blended together, and that they were later separated from each other. Professor Kroner used this as an example to prove that no human being during the time of Prophet Muhammad (saws), could have known this.
Professor Kroner: “Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here.”
Professor Kroner, so it seemed to us, has a special talent of being evasive. For example, we asked him to describe the geological conditions of Arabia. ‘Was Arabia full of orchards and rivers?’ He said: “During the Snow Age.” And it is further known that the North Polar icebergs are slowly moving southwards. When those polar icebergs become relatively close to the Arabian Peninsula, the weather will change and Arabia will become one of the greenest and wettest parts of the world. We asked him: ‘Will Arabia become the land of orchards and rivers?’ He said: “Yes, it is a scientific fact.”
This astonished us, and we wondered how he could state this as a scientific fact while it was related to the future and we asked: ‘Why?’ He said: “Because the new Snow Age has actually started. And we can see the snow crawling once again from the North Pole southwards. In fact, the polar snow is now on the way to get closer to the Arabian Peninsula. We can see the signs of this in the snow blizzards striking the northern parts of Europe and America every winter. Scientists have other signs and information proving the actual beginning of another Snow Age. It is a scientific fact.”
So we said to him: ‘What you have just mentioned has only been known to scientists after a long series of discoveries and with the help of specialized instruments. But we have already found this mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (saws) 1400 years ago. He said in a hadith transmitted in Saheeh Muslim: “The Last Hour will not come upon us until the lands of the Arabs are once again pasture lands and filled with rivers.”
At this point we asked Professor Kroner: ‘Who told the Prophet Muhammad (saws), that the lands of the Arabs were once filled with orchards and rivers?’ He immediately replied: “The Romans.” This reminded me of Professor Kroner’s evasive ability. We asked him another question, we said to him: ‘But who informed the Prophet Muhammad (saws), that the lands of the Arabs would once again become pasturelands and be filled with rivers?’. Professor Kroner becomes evasive if embarrassed. But whenever he was faced with the truth, he is courageous enough to state his opinion frankly and thus he replied: “This could have been known to him only through revelation from above.”
Finally, after our discussions with him, he made the following comments: “If you combine all these and you combine all those statements that are being made in the Qur’aan in terms that relate to the earth and the formation of the earth and science in general, you can basically say that statements made there in many ways are true. They can now be confirmed by scientific methods, and in a way you can say that the Qur’an is a simple science text book for the simple man, and that many of the statements made in there at that time could not be proven but that modern scientific methods are now in a position to prove what Muhammad said 1400 years ago.”
Allah confirms in His Book that: “This is no less than reminder to (all), the worlds. And you shall certainly know the truth of it all after a while”. (Qur’an 38:87-88).
GEOLOGICAL INFORMATION IN THE QUR’AAN
How do you present proof of this religion to those who do not speak the language of the Arabs or know anything about the inimitable eloquence of the Qur’aan? Is it the only way for them to learn this language of the Arabs and to master its sciences? The answer, of course, is no. Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, has shown mercy to them and to all other generations by sending the appropriate evidence to all mankind, irrespective of their different races, languages, and times.
We have Professor Palmer who is one of the foremost geologists in the United States of America. He headed a committee which organized the Centennial Anniversary of the American Geological Society. When we met him we presented the various scientific miracles in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, he was greatly astonished. I remember a pleasant anecdote when we informed him that the Qur’aan mentions the lowest part of the earth and states that it is near Jerusalem, where a battle took place between the Persians and the Romans.
Allah, may He be Exalted and Glorified, said in the Qur’aan: Alif Laam Meem, the Romans have been defeated, in the lowest part of the land (adnal-ardh), but after defeat they will soon be victorious. (Qur’an 30:1-3).
The term adna means both nearer and lowest. The commentators of the Qur’aan, May Allah be pleased with all of them, were of the opinion that adnal-ardh meant the nearest land to the Arabian Peninsula. However, the second meaning is also there. In this way, the Glorious Qur’aan gives one word several meanings, as described by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) when he said: “I have been given the most comprehensive words”. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
When we investigated the lowest part of the earth, we found that it was exactly the same spot that witnessed the battle in which the Romans were defeated. When we informed Professor Palmer about this, he contested saying that there were many other areas which are lower than the one referred to in the Qur’aanic verse. He gave examples and names of other areas in Europe and in the United States. We assured him that our information was verified and correct. He had with him a topographical globe that showed elevations and depressions. He said that it would be easy with that globe to ascertain which was the lowest spot on earth. He turned the globe with his hands and focused his sign on the area near Jerusalem. To his astonishment, there was a small arrow sticking out towards that area with words: The lowest part on the face of the earth.
Professor Palmer was quick to concede that our information was correct. He proceeded to speak, saying that this was actually the lowest part of the earth.
Professor Palmer: “It took place in the area of the Dead Sea which is up here and interestingly enough the labeling on the globe says “the world’s lowest point.” So it certainly is supported by the interpretation of that critical word.”
Professor Palmer was even more astonished when he found that the Qur’aan talks about the past and describes how creation first began; how the earth and heavens were created; how the water gushed forth from the depth of the earth; how the mountains were anchored on land; how vegetation first began; how is earth today, describing the mountains, describes its phenomena, describes the changes on the surface of the earth as witnessed in the Arabian Peninsula. It even describes the future of the land of Arabs and the future of the whole earth. At this, Professor Palmer acknowledged that the Qur’aan is such a wondrous Book which describes the past, the present, and the future.
Like many other scientists, Professor Palmer was hesitant at first. But soon later he was forthcoming with his opinions. In Cairo, he presented a research paper dealing with the inimitable aspects of geological knowledge contained in the Qur’aan. He said that he did not know what was the state of the art in the field of science during the days of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). But from what we know about the scanty knowledge and means at that time, we can undoubtedly conclude that the Qur’aan is a light of divine knowledge revealed to Muhammad (saws). Here are the concluding remarks of Professor Palmer: “We need research into the history of early Middle Eastern oral traditions to know whether in fact such historical events have been reported. If there is no such record, it strengthens the belief that Allah transmitted through Muhammad bits of His knowledge that we have only discovered for ourselves in recent times. We look forward to a continuing dialogue on the topic of science in the Qur’aan in the context of geology. Thank you very much.”
As you have seen, here is one of the giants in the field of geology in our world today, coming from the United States of America. He does not hesitate to admit and to come forth with his opinions. But he is still in need of someone to point the truth out to him. Both westerners and easterners have lived in the midst of the battle between religion and science. These battles, however, were inevitable, because all previous messages have been distorted. Thus, Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad, (saws), with Islam in order to correct that which had been corrupted.
Someone may ask: ‘How will these people accept what we tell them when we are materially inferior to them and we do not follow our religion closely?’ My reply to them is that knowledge increases the awareness of one who acquires it. People of knowledge care only to look at the facts, not at the outside picture. The wealth of Islam today is precisely this knowledge and scientific advancement. Modern science can but bow its head in reverence to the book of Allah and to the Sunnah of His Prophet (saws).
The primordial nature, Al-Fitrah, in which Allah created man does not attain tranquility except by means of Islam or eeman (faith). Those who do not have eemaan (faith) are in a constant state of uneasiness and confusion. Moreover, the atmosphere of freedom in the West helps Western scientists to express what they believe without any fear or timidity. We have heard them in many of these episodes confirming and recognizing the miracle of this age, the Qur’aan, which will remain living until the Last Hour.
SCIENTIFIC BACKING FOR ADAM (AS) BEING 90 FT TALL
From the English section of the September 2001 issue of the Hebrew-English Israeli popular science journal “Ha-Mada Ha-Yisraeli B’Angleet V’Ivreet.”
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – At the recent Israeli colloquium on science and religion, Dr. Shlomi Lesser of Hebrew University, and the Chairman of the Hofesh V’Mada Society (a stalwart for deeply skeptical Israeli scientists), led a heated debate between biologists and ultra-orthodox Rabbis on the origins of life. Many of the spectators, including those of a deeply religious stance, came away with the feeling that the Rabbis had not done very well against their “Epicurean” counterparts.
The hi-light of the evening came when Dr. Lesser engaged in a one-on-one question exchange with Rabbi Dovid Brown of Yeshiva University. At one point Dr. Lesser asked R. Brown how tall the first man was, to which the esteemed Rabbi replied “he was roughly the size of an average man according to chazal [Jewish sages].”
rom there Dr. Lesser revealed that genetic research has revealed that the human race coming from a single pair of parents is impossible in light of the biological bottle-neck [a term for the strain put on successive generations by inbreeding] they would have to travel through.
“Our research, in conjunction with the research of other respected institutions around the world, has demonstrated that the entire human population descending from a single pair of human ancestors is highly unlikely.” stated Dr. Lesser. “It would seem that the traditional view of groups, not individuals, evolving has been corroborated; the only way man could descend from a single pair (rather than from an entire group of transitional hominids) is if the original pair were literally giants in the pre-nutrition age.”
As Dr. Lesser pointed out, prior to the breakthroughs in nutrition that took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, genetic evidence revealed that man would have been shrinking if he came from a single human ancestor. His calculations revealed that in order for the human race to reach the state it was in during the 17th century, the “Adam and Eve” story would only be plausible if the first man was 90 feet tall (which is fantastic to say the least). “There is no other way man could traverse the genetic bottleneck” Dr. Lesser again said. “If Adam was the size of any other man according to the learned Rabbis of the Jewish religion, this demonstrates an obvious absurdity to this myth.”
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This is interesting to me because while the biologists think they crushed Judaism, they actually confirmed Islam! The scientists came up with genetic research that led them to calculate the size a first man would have to be if the story was true. They came up with 90 feet. Note that 1400 years before these learned men came to this conclusion, the Prophet (SAW) said something similar:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 543: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall (90 feet tall). [snip]”
Two cubits is a yard, so one cubit is a foot and a half. So for some reason, the Prophet (SAW) thought that Adam was 90 feet tall when he was created. It is a belief of Islam that man got smaller as life went on. How did the Prophet (SAW) and his companions (RA) know about the effect known as “bottleneck,” where animals get weaker if they have genetic exchanges that are too closely related?
DOES THE QURAN SAY THE EARTH IS FLAT?
By Dr Zakir Naik
Islamic Research Foundation
Q.Qur’an says that Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet. This gives an indication that the earth is flat. Does this not contradict established modern science? ?
A. 1. Earth made as a carpet: The question refers to a verse from the Qur’an in Surah Nuh: “And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out).” [Al-Qur’an 71:19]
But the sentence in the above verse is not complete. It continues in the next verse, explaining the previous verse. It says: “That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads.” [Al-Qur’an 71:20]
A similar message is repeated in Surah TaHa: “He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels)….” [Al-Qur’an 20:53]
The surface of the earth i.e. earth’s crust is less than 30 miles in thickness and is very thin as compared to the radius of the earth which is about 3750 miles. The deeper layers of the earth are very hot, fluid and hostile to any form of life. The earth’s crust is a solidified shell on which we can live. The Qur’an rightly refers to it like a carpet spread out, so that we can travel along its roads and paths.
2. Carpet can also be spread on other than an absolute flat surface: Not a single verse of the Qur’an says that the earth is flat. The Qur’an only compares the earth’s crust with a carpet. Some people seem to think that carpet can only be put on an absolute flat surface. It is possible to spread a carpet on a large sphere such as the earth. It can easily be demonstrated by taking a huge model of the earth’s globe covering it with a carpet. Carpet is generally put on a surface, which is not very comfortable to walk on. The Qur’an describes the earth crust as a carpet, without which human beings would not be able to survive because of the hot, fluid and hostile environment beneath it. The Qur’an is thus not only logical, it is mentioning a scientific fact that was discovered by geologists centuries later.
3. Earth has been spread out: Similarly, the Qur’an says in several verses that the earth has been spread out. “And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: how excellently We do spread out!” [Al-Qur’an 51:48] Similarly the Qur’an also mentions in several other verses that the earth is an expanse: “Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse” “And the mountains as pegs?” [Al-Qur’an 78:6-7]
None of these verses of the Qur’an contain even the slightest implication that the earth is flat. It only indicates that the earth is spacious and the reason for this spaciousness of the earth is mentioned. The Glorious Qur’an says: “O My servants who believe! truly. spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye Me – (And Me alone)!” [Al-Qur’an 29:56]
Therefore none can give the excuse, that he could not do good and was forced to do evil because of the surroundings and circumstances.
4. Earth is geospherical in shape: The Qur’an mentions the actual shape of the earth in the following verse: “And we have made the earth egg shaped”. [Al-Qur’an 79:30]
The Arabic word Dahaha means egg shaped. It also means an expanse. Dahaha is derived from Duhiya which specifically refers to the egg of an ostrich which is geospherical in shape, exactly like the shape of the earth. Thus the Qur’an and modern established science are in perfect harmony.
HOW ISLAMIC INVENTORS CHANGED THE WORLD
From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life. As a new exhibition opens, Paul Vallely nominates 20 of the most influential- and identifies the men of genius behind them
1. The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.
2. The ancient Greeks thought our eyes emitted rays, like a laser, which enabled us to see. The first person to realise that light enters the eye, rather than leaving it, was the 10th-century Muslim mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haitham. He invented the first pin-hole camera after noticing the way light came through a hole in window shutters. The smaller the hole, the better the picture, he worked out, and set up the first Camera Obscura (from the Arab word qamara for a dark or private room). He is also credited with being the first man to shift physics from a philosophical activity to an experimental one.
3. A form of chess was played in ancient India but the game was developed into the form we know it today in Persia. From there it spread westward to Europe – where it was introduced by the Moors in Spain in the 10th century – and eastward as far as Japan. The word rook comes from the Persian rukh, which means chariot.
4. A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn’t. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles’ feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing – concluding, correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it would stall on landing. Baghdad international airport and a crater on the Moon are named after him.
5. Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders’ most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed’s Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.
6. Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam’s foremost scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today – liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and other perfumes and alcoholic spirits (although drinking them is haram, or forbidden, in Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and was the founder of modern chemistry.
7. The crank-shaft is a device which translates rotary into linear motion and is central to much of the machinery in the modern world, not least the internal combustion engine. One of the most important mechanical inventions in the history of humankind, it was created by an ingenious Muslim engineer called al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation. His 1206 Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices shows he also invented or refined the use of valves and pistons, devised some of the first mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, and was the father of robotics. Among his 50 other inventions was the combination lock.
8. Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating material in between. It is not clear whether it was invented in the Muslim world or whether it was imported there from India or China. But it certainly came to the West via the Crusaders. They saw it used by Saracen warriors, who wore straw-filled quilted canvas shirts instead of armour. As well as a form of protection, it proved an effective guard against the chafing of the Crusaders’ metal armour and was an effective form of insulation – so much so that it became a cottage industry back home in colder climates such as Britain and Holland.
9. The pointed arch so characteristic of Europe’s Gothic cathedrals was an invention borrowed from Islamic architecture. It was much stronger than the rounded arch used by the Romans and Normans, thus allowing the building of bigger, higher, more complex and grander buildings. Other borrowings from Muslim genius included ribbed vaulting, rose windows and dome-building techniques. Europe’s castles were also adapted to copy the Islamic world’s – with arrow slits, battlements, a barbican and parapets. Square towers and keeps gave way to more easily defended round ones. Henry V’s castle architect was a Muslim.
10. Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century, another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood, 300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.
11. The windmill was invented in 634 for a Persian caliph and was used to grind corn and draw up water for irrigation. In the vast deserts of Arabia, when the seasonal streams ran dry, the only source of power was the wind which blew steadily from one direction for months. Mills had six or 12 sails covered in fabric or palm leaves. It was 500 years before the first windmill was seen in Europe.
12. The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it.
13. The fountain pen was invented for the Sultan of Egypt in 953 after he demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes. It held ink in a reservoir and, as with modern pens, fed ink to the nib by a combination of gravity and capillary action.
14. The system of numbering in use all round the world is probably Indian in origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic and first appears in print in the work of the Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi around 825. Algebra was named after al-Khwarizmi’s book, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, much of whose contents are still in use. The work of Muslim maths scholars was imported into Europe 300 years later by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. Algorithms and much of the theory of trigonometry came from the Muslim world. And Al-Kindi’s discovery of frequency analysis rendered all the codes of the ancient world soluble and created the basis of modern cryptology.
15. Ali ibn Nafi, known by his nickname of Ziryab (Blackbird) came from Iraq to Cordoba in the 9th century and brought with him the concept of the three-course meal – soup, followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts. He also introduced crystal glasses (which had been invented after experiments with rock crystal by Abbas ibn Firnas – see No 4).
16. Carpets were regarded as part of Paradise by medieval Muslims, thanks to their advanced weaving techniques, new tinctures from Islamic chemistry and highly developed sense of pattern and arabesque which were the basis of Islam’s non-representational art. In contrast, Europe’s floors were distinctly earthly, not to say earthy, until Arabian and Persian carpets were introduced. In England, as Erasmus recorded, floors were “covered in rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for 20 years, harbouring expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned”. Carpets, unsurprisingly, caught on quickly.
17. The modern cheque comes from the Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for goods when they were delivered, to avoid money having to be transported across dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash a cheque in China drawn on his bank in Baghdad.
18. By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, “is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth”. It was 500 years before that realisation dawned on Galileo. The calculations of Muslim astronomers were so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth’s circumference to be 40,253.4km – less than 200km out. The scholar al-Idrisi took a globe depicting the world to the court of King Roger of Sicily in 1139.
19. Though the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their fireworks, it was the Arabs who worked out that it could be purified using potassium nitrate for military use. Muslim incendiary devices terrified the Crusaders. By the 15th century they had invented both a rocket, which they called a “self-moving and combusting egg”, and a torpedo – a self-propelled pear-shaped bomb with a spear at the front which impaled itself in enemy ships and then blew up.
20. Medieval Europe had kitchen and herb gardens, but it was the Arabs who developed the idea of the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. The first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and the tulip.
“1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World” is a new exhibition which began a nationwide tour this week. It is currently at the Science Museum in Manchester. For more information, go to http://www.1001inventions.com