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Quran and Modern Science

Introduction

God has created the universe and everything in it, and He has also given us knowledge so we can find out mysteries in His creations through investigations and observations to understand with our logic and facts over time. He revealed the Quran, the Final Testament to the world is replete with scientific information that became known to us centuries after the revelation of the Quran.
[7:54] Your Lord is the one God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then assumed all authority. The night overtakes the day, as it pursues it persistently, and the sun, the moon, and the stars are committed to serve by His command. Absolutely, He controls all creation and all commands. Most Exalted is God, Lord of the universe.
[10:3] Your only Lord is God; the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then assumed all authority. He controls all matters. There is no intercessor, except in accordance with His will. Such is God your Lord. You shall worship Him. Would you not take heed?
[13:2] God is the One who raised the heavens without pillars that you can see, then assumed all authority. He committed the sun and the moon, each running (in its orbit) for a predetermined period. He controls all things, and explains the revelations, that you may attain certainty about meeting your Lord.

Since there is a Creator and a Designer behind all the creation, there is an intelligent design too. As with any scientific discovery, God’s amazing creations becomes more and more impressive as we learn more about it. Although the Quran was revealed more than 1400 years ago in the Dark Ages but it contains many verses related to many scientific discoveries that have occurred recently. Let us analyze and confirm a few of them:

1. Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological modem for the birth of the universe. The model postulates that at some moment all of space was contained in a single point from which the universe has been expanding ever since. Modern measurements place this moment at approximately 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe. After the initial expansion, the universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, and later simple atoms. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies. The Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the universe; rather it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on.
[21:30] Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?
[21:31] And we placed on earth stabilizers, lest it tumbles with them, and we placed straight roads therein, that they may be guided.
[21:32] And we rendered the sky a guarded ceiling. Yet, they are totally oblivious to all the portents therein.

The creation of the universe is explained by the astrophysicists in a widely accepted phenomenon, popularly known as the “Big Bang.” According to their findings and research for decades, they concluded that the whole universe was one big single entity known as ‘Big Bang’ which resulted in the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, the sun, the moon etc. This theory was revealed in 1927 a few hundreds of years ago whereas we find it in the Quran 1400 years ago.

Once scientists understood that the universe was expanding, they immediately realized that it would have been smaller in the past. At some point in the past, the entire universe would have been a single point. This point, later called the big bang, was the beginning of the universe as we understand it today.

2. The Expanding Universe

For thousands of years, astronomers wrestled with basic questions about the size and age of the universe. In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an astronomer at Caltech, discovered that the universe is expanding whereas God has mentioned it in the Quran 1400 years ago.
[51:47] We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it.
[69:17]The angels will be all around, and Your Lord’s dominion will then encompass eight(universes).

In 1929 Edwin Hubble, working at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, measured the redshifts of a number of distant galaxies. He also measured their relative distances by measuring the apparent brightness of a class of variable stars called Cepheids in each galaxy. When he plotted redshift against relative distance, he found that the redshift of distant galaxies increased as a linear function of their distance. The only explanation for this observation is that the universe was expanding.

The expanding universe is finite in both time and space. The reason that the universe did not collapse, as Newton’s and Einstein’s equations said it might, is that it had been expanding from the moment of its creation. The universe is in a constant state of change. The expanding universe, a new idea based on modern physics, laid to rest the paradoxes that troubled astronomers from ancient times until the early 20th Century.

3. Discovery of Subatomic Particles

In recent times, modern science has discovered that it is possible to split even an atom. There are about 200 subatomic particles have been proposed so far but all of them have not been discovered or confirmed yet. They are either elementary or composite in nature. For example, the nucleus is composite while the quantum is elementary. The elementary particles are either Quarks, Leptons or Bosons. Very recently, i.e., 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics was given to British scientist Peter Higgs and Belgian scientist Francois Englert for producing the new discovery of Higgs boson. Their research finding came from the project called “God Particle.” Hence, the Higgs boson is also popularly known as “God Particle.” Although it is popularly known as “God Particle”, it does not have any relation with religion as Peter Higgs is an atheist. But let us see below what God said about it 1400 years ago in His final scripture.
[34:3] Those who disbelieve have said, “The Hour will never come to pass!” Say, “Absolutely―by my Lord―it will most certainly come to you. He is the Knower of the future. Not even the equivalent of an atom’s weight is hidden from Him, be it in the heavens or the earth. Not even smaller than that, or larger (is hidden). All are in a profound record.”

This verse refers to the Omniscience of God, His knowledge of all things, hidden or apparent. It then goes further and says that God is aware of everything, including what is smaller or bigger than an atom. Thus it becomes clear that it is possible for something smaller than an atom to exist, a fact discovered relatively recently.

4. Evolution

Evolution linked with the theory of natural selection as the primary cause by which species change has occurred over historical time. When there is a Creator and a Designer behind all the creation, there must be an intelligent design, which means species change does not happen haphazardly. Thus, evolution is a divinely designed fact along with creation and the concept that life began in water:
[24:45] And GOD created every living creature from water. Some of them walk on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. GOD creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent.
[21:30] Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?

From the research and study of modern science, do we know that cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell is made up of 80% water. Modern science research has also revealed that most organisms consist of 50% to 90% water and that every living entity requires water for its existence.

Evolution is possible only within a given species. For example, the navel orange evolved from seeded oranges, not from apples. The laws of probability preclude the possibility of haphazard evolution between species. A fish cannot evolve into a bird; a monkey can never evolve into a human. However, humans are not descendants of monkeys as they are created.
[32:7]He is the One who perfected everything He created, and started the creation of the human from clay.
[32:8] Then He continued his reproduction through a certain lowly liquid.
[32:9] He shaped him and blew into him from His spirit. And He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains; rarely are you thankful.
[25:54] He is the One who created from water a human being, then made him reproduce through marriage and mating. Your Lord is Omnipotent.

5. Spherical Shape of Earth

At early times it was believed that the earth was flat but the later discovery confirms that the earth is actually round.
[39:5] He created the heavens and the earth truthfully. He rolls the night over the day, and rolls the day over the night. He committed the sun and the moon, each running for a finite period. Absolutely, He is the Almighty, the Forgiving.
[79:30] He made the earth egg-shaped.

The verse (39:5) clearly informs us that the earth is round. The Arabic for “He rolls” is ‘Yukawwir’ derived from the Arabic word, Kurahmeans “ball”. Since the Earth is not exactly round, a specific reference to its shape is given in 79:30 and the Arabic word “dahhaahaa” mentioned in the verse means the shape of an egg. The earth is not exactly round like a ball, but it is flattened at the poles resembling the shape of an egg. Hence, it proves that the rolling of the day and night cannot take place unless the shape of the earth is spherical.

Though the earliest evidence of a spherical Earth comes from ancient Greek sources, there is no account of how the spherical shape of the Earth was discovered. The first direct demonstration of Earth’s spherical shape came in the form of the first circumnavigation in history, an expedition captained by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. Whereas we find it in the Quran 1400 years ago.

6. Movement of Sun, Moon and Earth

The movement of sun, moon and earth became common knowledge very recently. Whereas God has mentioned it in the Quran 1400 years back.
[21:33] And He is the One who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; each floating in its own orbit.
[27:88] When you look at the mountains, you think that they are standing still. But they are moving, like the clouds. Such is the manufacture of God, who perfected everything. He is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

The verse 21:33 informs us the sun and the moon rotates. Now we know that the moon completes its rotation around the earth in 29 days while the sun completes its rotation on its own axis in 25 days.

The earth rotates on its axis at the speed of 1040 miles per hour and completes its rotation in 24 hours while around the sun at the speed of 67,000 miles per hour and completes its rotation in a year. The verse 27:88 not only informs us the rotation of the earth on its axis but also confirms the higher speed of rotation around the sun which is 1000 times faster than the speed we go at on a highway. God has created day and night through the rotation of the earth on its axis, and the season changes earth on due to rotation of the earth around the sun.

7. Fingerprint Technique

Sir Francis Galton knighted in 1909 founded psychometrics, the science of measuring mental faculties and differential psychology and the lexical hypothesis of personality. He devised a method for classifying fingerprints based on finger tips that proved useful in forensic science.

In a Royal Institution paper in 1888, Galton estimated the probability of two persons having the same fingerprint, and studied the heritability and racial differences in fingerprints. He wrote about the technique, identifying common patterns in fingerprints and devising a classification system that survives to this day. The method of identifying criminals by their fingerprints had been introduced in the 1860s by Sir William James Herschel in India.

[75:3-4] Does the human being think that we will not reconstruct his bones? Yes indeed; we are able to reconstruct his finger tip.

It is clear from the research of Sir Galton and specifically as mentioned in Quran that the fingertips of two persons are different.

8. Embryonic Development

As recently as the 18th century, the prevailing notion in human embryology was “preformation” that semen contains an embryo — a preformed, miniature infant that simply becomes larger during development. According to epigenesis, the form of an animal emerges gradually from a relatively formless egg. As microscopy improved during the 19th century, biologists could see that embryos took shape in a series of progressive steps, and epigenesis displaced preformation as the favoured explanation among embryologists.

In the 1980s Keith Moore worked with the Embryology Committee of King Abdul Aziz University (Saudi Arabia) on a comparative study of the Qur’an, and modern embryology. And after studying the following verses he was astonished.
[23:13-14] Subsequently, we reproduced him from a tiny drop, that is placed into a well-protected repository. Then we developed the drop into a hanging (embryo), then developed the hanging (embryo) into a bite-size (fetus), then created the bite-size (fetus) into bones, then covered the bones with flesh. We thus produce a new creature. Most blessed is GOD, the best Creator.

He came to the conclusion that the description of the human embryo in the Quran could not have been fully detailed by a living man at the time of Muhammad, as the study would have required powerful microscopes that scientists have only possessed for a few decades.

It takes just one sperm to fertilize an egg and achieve a pregnancy, but for each sperm that reaches and fertilizes an egg, there are millions that don’t. The average ejaculation contains close to 100 million sperm; according to the World Health Organization.
[22:5] O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the worst age, only to find out that no more knowledge can be attained beyond a certain limit. Also, you look at a land that is dead, then as soon as we shower it with water, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants.

9. Sex Determining Factor

Edmund Beecher Wilson and Nettie Stevens are credited with discovering, in 1905, the chromosomal XY sex-determination system; the fact that males have XY sex chromosomes and females have XX sex chromosomes.

The first clues to the existence of a factor that determines the development of testis in mammalians came from experiments carried out by Alfred Jost, who castrated embryonic rabbits in utero and noticed that they all developed as female. In the wake of Jost’s experiments, C. E. Ford and his team discovered that the Y chromosome was needed for a fetus to develop as male. All these observations lead to a consensus that a dominant gene that determines testis development (TDF) must exist on the mammalian chromosome Y.

The search for a testis-determining factor (TDF) led a team of scientists in 1990 to discover a region of the Y chromosome that is necessary for the male sex determination, which was named SRY (Sex-determining Region of the Y-chromosome).
[53:45-46] He is the One who created the two kinds, male and female―from a tiny drop of semen.
[75:37-39] Was he not a drop of ejected semen? Then He created an embryo out of it! He made it into male or female!

This proves that the sex determination of the child depends upon the chromosomes of the father. A recently-discovered fact, mentioned centuries ago in the Quran.

10. Discoveries in Animal and Plant

There are many discoveries in animal and plant that have been predicted in the Quran 1400 years ago. Let us review and confirm a few of them:

  • Nociceptors

Nociceptors (pain receptors) were discovered by Charles Scott Sherrington in 1906. In mammals, nociceptors are sensory neurons that are found in any area of the body that can sense pain either externally or internally. External examples are in tissues such as skin, cornea and mucosa. Internal nociceptors are in a variety of organs, such as the muscle, joint, bladder, gut and continuing along the digestive tract.
[4:56] Surely, those who disbelieve in our revelations, we will condemn them to the hellfire. henever their skins are burnt, we will give them new skins. Thus, they will suffer continuously. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

The above mentioned verse clarifies that our skins have very sensitive pain receptors. Hence, God has mentioned about changing the new skins as soon as their old skins are burnt in the Hellfire.

  • Sexual Characteristics in Plant

Previously humans did not know that plants too have male and female gender distinctions. Every plant has a male and female gender. Even the plants that are unisexual have distinct elements of both male and female. Fruit is the end product of reproduction of the superior plants. The preceding stage is the flower, which has male and female organs (stamens and ovules). Once pollinated, they bear fruit, which in turn matures and frees its seed. All fruits therefore imply the existence of male and female organs. In some species, fruit can come from non-fertilized flowers (parthenocarpic fruit), e.g., bananas, certain types of pineapple, fig, orange, vine etc. They also have definite sexual characteristics.
[13:3] He is the One who constructed the earth and placed on it mountains and rivers. And from the different kinds of fruits, He made them into pairs―males and females. The night overtakes the day. These are solid proofs for people who think.
[20:53] He is the One who made the earth habitable for you, and paved in it roads for you. And He sends down from the sky water with which we produce many different kinds of plants.
[36:36] Glory be to the One who created all kinds of plants from the earth, as well as themselves, and other creations that they do not even know.
[51:49] We created a pair (male and female) of everything, that you may take heed.

Thus, the above mentioned verses in the Quran clearly prove that 1400 years ago only this Holy Scripture could reveal such important information about the creation of plants and fruits in pairs. And to verify this fact we don’t need any sophisticated instrument.Just stroll around a garden and observe the creation of God carefully. You can find umpteen number of specimens for verification.

  • Animal Culture

“Animal culture” describes the current theory of cultural learning in non-human animals through socially transmitted behaviors. This behavior is shared by a group of animals, but not necessarily between separate groups of the same species. The notion of culture in animals dates back to Aristotle and Darwin, but the association of animals’ actions with the actual word “culture” first was brought forward with Japanese primatologists’ discoveries of socially transmitted food behaviors in the 1940s.
[6:38] All the creatures on earth, and all the birds that fly with wings, are communities like you. We did not leave anything out of this book. To their Lord, all these creatures will be summoned.

The creatures on earth live in communities. This was mentioned in Quran 14 centuries ago. Whereas the communal behavior of the birds and animals was only discovered by the scientists in the 20th Century.

  • Bird migration

Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway between breeding and wintering grounds, undertaken by many species.
[16:79] Do they not see the birds committed to fly in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up in the air except GOD. This should be (sufficient) proof for people who believe.
[67:19] Have they not seen the birds above them lined up in columns and spreading their wings? The Most Gracious is the One who holds them in the air. He is Seer of all things.

Historically, migration was recorded as much as 3,000 years ago by Ancient Greek authors including Homer and Aristotle, and in the Book of Job, for species such as storks, Turtle Doves, and swallows. More recently, Johannes Leche began recording dates of arrivals of spring migrants in Finland in 1749, and scientific studies have used techniques including bird ringing and satellite tracking. Approximately 1800 of the world’s 10,000 bird species are long-distance migrants. The Bible also notes migrations, as in the Book of Job (39:26), where the inquiry is made: “Doth the hawk fly by Thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?”

  • Honey Bee Communication and Product

Honey bees are an excellent animal species to study with regard to behavior because they are abundant and familiar to most people. Karl von Frisch, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1973 for his study of honey bee communication, noticed bees communicate through the language of dance. Honey bees are able to direct other bees to food sources through the round dance and the waggle dance.
[16:68] And your Lord inspired the bee: build homes in mountains and trees, and in (the hives) they build for you.

Thus, the above mentioned verse points towards the bees communication with inspiration from God to find the suitable place for building homes where there is a source of food available.
[16:69] Then eat from all the fruits, following the design of your Lord, precisely. From their bellies comes a drink of different colors, wherein there is healing for the people. This should be (sufficient) proof for people who reflect.

After decades of experiments, Dr. Peter Molan found that all kinds of honey have antibiotic properties. This may be traced to hydrogen peroxide produced from enzymes that bees add to the nectar. He identified a type of honey with unique broad-spectrum antibiotic properties for which there was no synthetic equivalent known. God put this in the Quran 1400 years ago.

  • Ants’ Communication

Scientists have known for decades that ants use a variety of small chemicals known as pheromones to communicate. Perhaps the most classic example is the trail of pheromones the insects place as they walk. Those behind them follow this trail, leading to long lines of ants marching one by one. However, the insects also use pheromones to identify which nest an ant is from and its social status in that nest. Because this chemical communication is so prevalent and complex, researchers long believed that this was the primary way ants shared information.

However, several years ago, researchers began to notice that adults in some ant genera, such as Myrmica, made noise. These types of ants have a specialized spike along their abdomen that they stroke with one of their hind legs, similar to dragging the teeth of a comb along the edge of a table. Preliminary studies seemed to indicate that this noise serves primarily as an emergency beacon, allowing ants to shout for help when being threatened by a predator.

Some scientists feel that the discovery doesn’t mean that chemical communication in ants is less important. Dr. DeVries, an entomologist, says, “Ants live in these enormously sophisticated societies,” he says. “Acoustic signaling adds another gorgeous piece to what we know about how insect societies communicate.”

We find specific information about the communication between ants in the following verses.
[27:17-18] Mobilized in the service of Solomon were his obedient soldiers of jinns and humans, as well as the birds; all at his disposal. When they approached the valley of the ants, one ant said, “O you ants, go into your homes, lest you get crushed by Solomon and his soldiers, without perceiving.”
[45:3-4] The heavens and the earth are full of proofs for the believers. Also in your creation, and the creation of all the animals, there are proofs for people who are certain.

11. Water Cycle

In earlier times people did not know the source of underground water. They thought the water of the oceans, under the effect of winds, was thrust towards the interior of the continents. In 1580 C.E, Bernard Palissy was the first man to describe the present day concept of ‘water cycle.’ But his theories were scientifically tested and authenticated in 1674 by Pierre Perrault. He described how water evaporates from the oceans and cools to form clouds. The clouds move inland where they rise, condense and fall as rain. This water gathers as lakes and streams and flows back to the ocean in a continuous cycle.
[23:18] We send down from the sky water, in exact measure, then we store it in the ground. Certainly, we can let it escape.
[39:21] Do you not see that GOD sends down from the sky water, then places it into underground wells, then produces with it plants of various colors, then they grow until they turn yellow, then He turns them into hay? This should be a reminder for those who possess intelligence.

No other text dating back 1400 years ago gives such an accurate description of the water cycle.

12. Barrier between two Seas

Modern oceanography has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity and density. However, when the water from one sea enters the other sea, it loses its distinctive characteristic and becomes homogenized with the other water. In a way this barrier serves as a transitional homogenizing area for the two sea waters. Oceanographers have been researching this subject from 1873 by collecting data from several meeting points of the two seas, but the actual answer appeared for the first time in scientific books in 1942. Studies of marine characteristics revealed these separations between neighboring seas which maintained the distinctive properties of each sea with respect to density, salinity, marine life, temperature and solubility of oxygen in water.
[25:53] He is the One who merges the two seas; one is fresh and palatable, while the other is salty and undrinkable. And He separated them with a formidable, inviolable barrier.
[27:61] Who is the One who made the earth habitable, caused rivers to run through it, placed on it mountains, and created a barrier between the two waters? Is it another god with GOD? Indeed, most of them do not know.
[55:19-20] He separates the two seas where they meet. A barrier is placed between them, to prevent them from transgressing.

Except God who could have explained so much detail of this phenomenon 1400 years ago?

13. Discovery of Earthly Creature

The recent discovery of computer is a breakthrough for the present world as we cannot think life today without it. It does not only make our life easier on earth through faster information processing and automation of many manual works but it also can be used to find and confirm our right path unveiling the truth from our revelations to make our life easier and comfortable in the Hereafter as well that God told us 1400 years ago.
[27:82] ​When the punishment is almost due against them, we will produce for them a creature from the earth speaking to them that the people are not certain about our revelations.

The computer programs are used to interpret data to find the physical facts to confirm that God does exist and the Quran is from Him. Thus, the concept of such creature from any corner that this creature will directly speak with people would be misinterpretation to misguide us to make us disbelievers.

14. Landing of Man on the moon

The first time landing of man on the moon on July 16, 1969 was not only a scientific advancement but also is a remarkable event in the history of mankind. Astronauts explored the surface of the moon for 2 and a half hours. They collected samples and took pictures that they brought back to earth.
[54:1] The Hour has come closer, and the moon has split.

Now the samples collected from the moon are being tested and analyzed in different laboratories of the world. There is no doubt that this is the sign of approaching end of the world that God stated in His book 1400 years ago but this scientific event is also an warning for the believers to prepare them for the Day as they should be prepared knowing that the Day will not be easy for the disbelievers.
[74:8-10]Then, when the horn is blown. That will be a difficult day. For the disbelievers, not easy.

Conclusion

The above scientific facts based on modern science undoubtedly prove that there is no conflict between Quran and science, rather Quran contains many scientific information which were even impossible to think of when the Quran was revealed. The required tools and techniques developed with the technological advancement in the world help us discover these scientific facts. However, just to recite Quran in Arabic would not help us to find these scientific facts in the Quran. So the thorough study of the Quran as well as our knowledge of the scientific advancement around us could only help us find the references of therecent scientific discoveries in the Quran.

The mathematical proofs and scientific facts in the Quran along with its literary excellence without any doubt prove that this book indeed is from God. It is simply impossible for any human being to produce such a book 1400 years ago. What else do we need to confirm our belief that God does exist and the Quran is His book? Now, it is the duty of all followers of this book to study it NOT to just read in Arabic and memorize it to utilize this ocean of knowledge to strengthen their belief and perfect their practices.

To attribute the presence of scientific facts in the Quran to coincidence, would be not only illogical but against common sense and a true scientific approach. Yet Quran invites all humans to reflect on the creation of this universe in the following verse.

[3:190] In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for those who possess intelligence.

God has also informed us in the Quran that His proofs will only be recognized by the believers who have attained certainty.
[6:39] Those who reject our proofs are deaf and dumb, in total darkness. Whomever God wills, He sends astray, and whomever He wills, He leads in a straight path.
[27:80] You cannot make the dead, nor the deaf, hear the call, if they turn away.

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (12/19/2014 and 12/26/2014)

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
2. 2014 Feb, Marchand April Submitters Perspective published by Masjid Tucson.