Salman Ahmed Shaikh
Qur’an is not a book of science. But, to present its basic message, it focuses our attention on different realities, both within our consciousness and in the outside natural phenomena. Modern science has not found any error in Qur’an’s descriptive statements about nature.
As a matter of fact, Islamic texts fourteen centuries back do not say that the earth was created a few thousand years ago. In fact, Qur’an mentions that at different places in the universe, the length of the day could be hugely different as compared to earth. When Qur’an discusses the material world, its descriptions are found to be consistent with established facts of modern science. In 650 A.D., those things could not have been conceived, observed and communicated by a person who did not receive any formal scientific education.
When Qur’an focuses our attention to nature, some of its descriptive statements about the state of early universe (Qur’an, 41:11), movement of mountains and continents (Qur’an, 27:88), human development in a mother’s womb (Qur’an, 39:6), non-mingling nature of seas (Qur’an, 55:19-20), rotation of planets, stars and celestial bodies (Qur’an, 39:5), expansion of the universe (Qur’an, 51:47), relative nature of time in the universe (Qur’an, 32:5), shining of moon by reflected sunlight (25:61) and determination of sex (Qur’an, 53:45-46) are not contradictory to what we now know through established scientific knowledge.
It is inconceivable to many modern scientists who have also studied Qur’an that how can a person without extensive travel, writing ability and attending modern universities of knowledge, could explain things about history, nature and make socio-political predictions that would appear perfectly correct afterwards.
Dr. Moore, former President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists and of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists remarked at a conference in Cairo:
“It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah.”
The historical accuracy of Qur’an’s socio-political predictions, perfect transmission through ages of its text, the unique eloquent language it carries and its accurate description of humans and nature should compel one to give it a sincere reading and reflect on its basic message. The basic message for us is that we are not created without any purpose. As per Islam, the purpose is to excel in our duties to Allah with a thankful attitude and be kind to all of His creations including humans, plants and animals we interact and live with.
If a religious text is transmitted generations after generations with perfect historical accuracy and consistency and whose descriptive statements about history and future are verified perfectly and whose descriptive statements about what we see across nature and within ourselves is accurate and verified by established discoveries of modern science, then it is certainly a very serious candidate for us to consult in exploring the question of why life and for what purpose? As a matter of fact, Qur’an is such a book which comes true on all the above mentioned characteristics.