Islam and Science- The Perfect Match
The miracle and challenge of the Qur'an
"We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it will become clear to them that it is the Truth. Does it not suffice that your Lord is Witness over all things?"
The noble Qur'an, Fussilat(41):53.
Muslims are taught that throughout the ages, Allah Almighty has sent a prophet to every nation as a warner and a bearer of glad tidings.
"Verily! We have sent you (O Muhammad) with the Truth, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner; and there is not a nation but a warner has passed among them,"
The noble Qur'an, Fatir(35):24.
Each prophet was wisely selected by Allah in order to be the best person for the job. He was then provided by Allah with miracles as proof of his truthfulness and his message. These miracles were wisely selected by Allah in order to be in the same field as that which these people excelled in so that they could fully comprehend the magnitude of these miracles.
For instance, the people during the time of Moses excelled at magical trickery. Their rulers used to surround themselves with the most powerful of these wizards as a sign of power. This is why Allah made the miracles of Moses (pbuh) similar to their magical trickery (changing a stick into a snake, parting of the sea... etc.) but of a much greater magnitude than anything they could ever hope to accomplish. For they were not tricks, but actual physical miracles.
The people at the time of the prophet Jesus (pbuh) excelled in matters of medicine. For this reason, his miracles were of a medical nature (raising of the dead, healing of the blind...etc.), but of a degree that they could never hope to imitate. Similarly, one of the major miracles of Islam was a new and unheard-of type of literature similar to the Bedouin's poetry but far beyond anything they could ever hope to match. Although they did indeed try. This new literature was called "The Qur'an."
The Arabic language, as can be attested to by any of its scholars, is a very rich and powerful language. The Bedouin people of the Arabian desert were, in general, illiterate people of very little scientific knowledge. The thing that set them apart, however, was their mastery of poetry. Spending their days as they did in the desert watching their sheep graze got quite boring. They alleviated their boredom by continually composing and refining poetry. They would spend entire years composing and refining their poetry in anticipation of a yearly face-down of the poetic compositions of their peers from all over the country. The fact that they were illiterate forced them to also train themselves in the memorization of works of literature to such an extent that they were able to memorize complete works from a single recitation. Even in matters of leadership, one of the major criteria for selecting the leaders of the various Bedouin tribes was the individual's prowess in literary composition and memorization.
The Arabian Bedouins took great pains to make their poetry as compact and picturesque as humanly possible, constantly expanding the language along the way. A single word could convey complete pictures. The Qur'an, however, has put even these great efforts to shame. You will notice that when a Muslim translates a verse of the Qur'an he usually does not say "the Qur'an says so and so" but rather "An approximation of the meaning of what the Qur'an says is so and so." You really need to know the language to comprehend this.
In the English language, we find that the words: "mustang," "colt," "mare," "pony," "stallion," "bronco"... etc. all refer to the same thing; a horse. Each one of these words conveys a slightly different mental picture. The mental picture we get when we hear the word "colt" is slightly different than the picture we get if we hear the word "mare." In a similar manner, the Arabic language progressed in such a fashion as to make it possible to convey such mental pictures in as concise and picturesque a format as possible. It is not at all uncommon to find over three hundred words that refer to the same thing in the Arabic language. Each one of these words gives a slightly different picture than the others.
Many centuries of this constant refinement eventually lead to a very complex and rich vocabulary, and the primary miracle of Muhammad (pbuh), the Qur'an, was in exactly this field
In the noble Qur'an we find a challenge from Allah to compose a literary work on a par with this Qur'an it is indeed the work of mankind. They could not. The Qur'an continued to reduce its challenge until the challenge finally became: "compose only a single verse comparable to this Qur'an and you will have won." They still could not. This in addition to the fairness, justice, and logic of the Qur'an eventually won them over and slowly more and more people became Muslims.
"Well then, if the Koran were his own [Muhammad's] composition other men could rival it. Let them produce ten verses like it. If they could not (and it is obvious that they could not), then let them accept the Koran as an outstanding evidential miracle"
Mohammedanism, H. A. R. Gibb, Oxford University Press, p. 42
"From the literary point of view, the Koran is regarded as a specimen of purest Arabic, written in half poetry, half prose. It has been said that in some cases grammarians have adopted their rules to agree with certain expressions used in it, and though several attempts have been made to produce a work equal to it as far as elegant writing is concerned, none yet has succeeded"
Glimpses of the Noble Qur'an, Muhammad Azizullah, Crescent Publications, pp. 104-105
"In making the present attempt to improve on the performance of my predecessors, and to produce something which might be accepted as echoing however faintly the sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran, I have been at pains to study the intricate and richly varied rhythms which - apart from the message itself - constitute the Koran's undeniable claim to rank amongst the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind... This very characteristic feature - 'that inimitable symphony,' as the believing Pickthall described his Holy Book, 'the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy' - has been almost totally ignored by previous translators; it is therefore not surprising that what they have wrought sounds dull and flat indeed in comparison with the splendidly decorated original."
The Koran Interpreted, Arthur J. Arberry, Oxford University Press, 1964, p. x.
"The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created an all but new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today."
G. Margoliouth, Introduction to J.M. Rodwell's, The Koran, New York: Everyman's Library, 1977, p. vii.
"A work, then, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader - distant as to time, and still more so as a mental development - a work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may begin its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration, such a work must be a wonderful production of the human mind indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad's contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organized body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribes, and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history."
Dr. Steingass, quoted in T.P. Hughes' Dictionary Of Islam, p. 526-528.
Many claims have been made against Muhammad in that day and this. Among them are the claims that he was a lunatic, a liar, or deceived by the devil. If Muhammad was a lunatic or a liar then we have to wonder how all of his prophesies came true?. Further, if he was a deceived by Satan then we are faced with another problem. For we know that all Muslims are taught that when reading the Qur'an they must first begin with the words "I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the stoned one." and then follow this up with the words "In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful" So we have to wonder if Satan would "inspire" a man to teach mankind to seek refuge in God from Satan? Indeed this is the exact same accusation which was made against Jesus (pbuh). Let us read how Jesus responded to this claim:
"But some of them (the Jews) said, He (Jesus) casteth out devils through Beelzebub (Satan) the chief of the devils. And others, tempting [him], sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub."
A number of books have been written on the topic of the various theories of authorship of the noble Qur'an as put forth by the Orientalists. They take an analytical and logical approach in their study of each claim in order to see if any of them can be supported by known fact, historical evidence or logic. Such claims include the allegations that Muhammad (pbuh) was insane, that he wrote the Qur'an as a result of epileptic seizures, that he was a very intelligent liar, that Jews and Christians were conspiring with him to write the Qur'an, and other claims. The interested reader may take these issues up at length by studying the books:
1.Muhammad's Prophethood: An Analytical View, By Dr. Jamal Badawi, WAMY Publications, Falls Church, VA, USA
2.The Sources of the Qur'an: A Critical Review of the Authorship Theories, By Hamza Mustafa Njozi, WAMY Publications, Falls Church, VA, USA.
It has been the case throughout the ages that with all previous prophets, their miracle was separate from their book. Although we may claim that we have the "Torah" of Moses, still, it is not possible now to bring Moses' (pbuh) staff and see it perform miracles as it did in his time. Similarly it is not possible today to see Jesus (pbuh) raise the dead as he did so many centuries ago. However, since the message of Islam was the final message of God to mankind, therefore, the book of Islam itself was made the main miracle of Islam and it has continued to renew its challenge to mankind throughout the ages.
What does this mean? Nowadays, the number of people who can appreciate the literary content of the Qur'an has dwindled and this challenge no longer has the same impact it did fourteen hundred years ago. However, as we have seen in the verse quoted at the beginning of this chapter, Allah Almighty has promised to continually renew the challenge of the Qur'an throughout the ages. So how will it be renewed?
Recently, a new field of study has opened up to scholars. People nowadays are fascinated with science. This is the age of technology and scientific discovery. For this reason, mankind has begun to study the religious scriptures of mankind from a scientific point of view in order to challenge the scientific claims made in these scriptures. Many works have been published on this topic. In this chapter I will give a brief taste of these matters and then leave it up to the interested reader to learn more from any one of the many books which have been published in this regard (see list at back of this book).
As mentioned previously, Muhammad (pbuh) lived among tribes of people who were for the most part illiterate. He himself was also illiterate. These people used to live extremely simple lives. Some were traders and businessmen, others were farmers, and yet others were nomadic sheepherders who traveled from place to place depending on where they could find grass for their sheep to graze. When Muhammad (pbuh) brought them the Qur'an, the believers found in the Qur'an the command to go out, seek knowledge, and confirm the presence of their Creator by studying His creation. Muslims began to fulfill this command of the Qur'an and this resulted in one of the greatest explosions of scientific advancement mankind has ever seen. All of this was going on during a period that the West calls "The Dark Ages," wherein the scientists of the West were being persecuted and killed as sorcerers and wizards. During this period, Muslims scholars introduced into the world such things as:
* Mathematical evolution of spherical mirrors
* Rectilinear motion of light and use of lenses
* Refraction angle variations
* Magnifying effects of the plano convex lens
* Introduced the concept of the elliptical shape of cosmological bodies
* Study of the center of gravity as applied to balance
* Measurement of specific weights of bodies
* Rule of algebraic equations
* Solutions to quadratic and cubic equations
* Work on square roots, squares, theory of numbers, solution of the fractional numbers
* Solutions of equations of cubic order
* Wrote on conic geometry elaborating the solution of algebraic equations
* Determined the Trinomial Equation
* Avicenna's "Canon of Medicine." He is know as the Prince of Physicians to the West
* Wrote the first description of several drugs and diseases as meningitis.
* Treatment of physiological shocks
* Expertise in psychosomatic medicine and psychology
* Al-Biruni mentions fifty six manuscripts on pharmacology
* Credited for identifying small pox and its treatment
* Use of alcohol as an antiseptic
* Use of mercury as a purgative for the first time
* First to describe the circulation of blood.
* "Holy Abbas" was, after Rhazes, the most outstanding Physician. His works were authoritative till the works of ibn Sina appeared
* Writings on Cosmology, Astrology, Science of numbers and letters
* Proved that the earth is smaller than the sun but larger than the moon.
* Final authorities on Chemistry for many Centuries
* Classified metals into three classifications
* Laid the basis of the Acid Base theory
* Distillation, calcination, crystallization, the discovery of many acids
* Cultivation of Gold - is a continuation of Jabir's work
* Theory of Oscillatory motion of equinoxes
* Addition of ninth sphere to the eight Ptolematic astronomy
* Discovered the increase of the suns apogee
* Gravitational force
* Responsible for the discovery motion of the solar apsides
* wrote ' On the Science of Stars '
* Determination of latitudes and longitudes
* Determination of geodetic measurements
* Described the motion of the planets
* Solved the problems of spherical trigonometry
* First to study the isometric oscillatory motion of a pendulum
* Invented the instrument ' Sahifah "
* Responsible for the proof of the motion of the apogee of the sun with respect to the fixed stars.
* authorities on the theory of the system of homocentric spheres
* Prepared a calendar that was more accurate than the Gregorian one in use today.
...............and much, much more.
All of this began with a single illiterate Arab from the desert fourteen hundred years ago. The book that was brought into the world by such a man cries out to be studied from a scientific aspect. We will now give you a glimpse of the results:
"So ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know"
The Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):7
Example Number 1: Embryology:
Dr. Keith L. Moore is a Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He is a world renowned scientist and a distinguished researcher in the fields of anatomy and embryology, he has published more than 150 research articles, chapters and books in this field. He is the author of several medical textbooks, such as the widely used and acclaimed "The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology" (now in its fifth edition, and translated into eight different languages), "Before We Are Born" and "Clinically Oriented Anatomy." He has also recently co-authored "Qur'an and Modern Science, Correlation Studies." Dr. Moore is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including, in 1984, the J.C.B. Grant Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has served in many academic and administrative positions, including the President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, 1968-1970. Let us see what Dr. Moore's opinion is on the scientific statements regarding embryology to be found in the Qur'an:
Dr. Moore was contacted by a Muslim scholar by the name of Abdul-Majeed Azzindani. He was asked to participate in a three-year study of around twenty-five verses of the Qur'an and the Sunnah (sayings of Muhammad, pbuh) which speak about embryology, and to determine the their correspondence to modern scientific discoveries. Dr. Moore's conclusion regarding this matter was:
Fig. 12 The human fetus in various stages of development, at six, eight and 14 weeks
"For the past three years, I have worked with the Embryology Committee of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, helping them to interpret the many statements in the Qur'an and the Sunnah referring to human reproduction and prenatal development. At first I was astonished by the accuracy of the statements that were recorded in the seventh century AD, before the science of embryology was established. Although I was aware of the glorious history of Muslim scientists in the 10th century AD, and of some of their contributions to Medicine, I new nothing about the religious facts and beliefs contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It is important for Islamic and other students to understand the meaning of these Qur'anic statements about human development, based on current scientific knowledge. The interpretations of the "verses" in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, translated by Shaikh Azzindani, are to the best of my knowledge accurate."
From the forward of "The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology," third edition, by Dr. Keith L. Moore.
The Qur'an and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) provide a very detailed description of the microscopic development of the human embryo from a mere sperm drop up to the stage of a completely formed human being. It is well known that microscopes were not developed until the sixteenth century AD, and even at that were very crude in design. Zacharias Janssen is credited with having invented the compound microscope in about 1590. With it, remarkable scientific discoveries were made in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch naturalist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek produced lenses powerful enough to prove that many tiny creatures are not spontaneously generated but come from eggs.
Before this period, theories on human reproduction ran rampant. Some scientist believed that the menstrual blood itself developed into the fetus. Later on, a new theory was developed wherein the sperm drop was popularly believed to contain a completely developed miniature human (homunculus) which later grew to the size of a baby. The science of embryology as we know it today did not discover many of the detailed aspects of human development which are taken for granted today until only about twenty years ago. Specifically, in 1941 Streeter developed the first system of staging which has today been replaced by a more accurate system proposed by O'Rahilly in 1972.
Now we must ask the question: where did Muhammad (pbuh) get such detailed knowledge of the microscopic development of the human embryo in the 6th century AD without a microscope, technical training, a laboratory of any kind, or even the ability to write his own name? The only logical conclusion is that it came from exactly where he claimed it did. From the one who created mankind, God Almighty!
Prof. Moore has since given numerous lectures on the topic of embryology in the Qur'an. He is quoted in one of these lectures as saying:
"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."
Prof. Moore was so impressed with the Qur'anic classification of the stages of development of the human embryo, that he suggested the adoption of the Qur'anic system in place of the system currently in use by scientists today. Prof. Moore said:
"Because the staging of the human embryo is complex owing to the continuous process of change during development. It is therefore suggested that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge."
When Dr. Moore first presented his findings in Toronto it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada. One newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore,
"Don't you think That maybe the Arabs might have known about these things - the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did some crude dissections on their own - carved up people and examined these things."
Professor Morre immediately pointed out to him, however, that he had missed a very important point. All of the slides of the embryo that Dr. Moore had based his study upon had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said,
"It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!." Dr. Moore taunted, "Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever?. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory."
When he was asked "How do you explain this information in the Qur'an?" Dr. Moore's reply was, "It could only have been divinely revealed."
Example Number 2: The Universe:
Another example of such scientifically accurate statements in the Qur'an can be found in the following analysis:
"And the firmament(sky) We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Thariyaat(51):47.
(Remember: "we" is the Arabic plural of respect, not the Christian plural of "Trinity," as seen in chapter 14).
"Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused then We ripped them asunder, and We created from water every living thing, do they not believe?"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):30.
"Then He settled/equilibrated unto the firmament(sky) when it was smoke and said unto it and to the earth: come willingly or unwillingly. They said: we come willingly"
The noble Qur'an, Fussilat(41):11.
Allah Almighty has in these three concise verses answered questions that it has taken some of the greatest physicists and astronomers of history centuries to answer. It was only in this century that they finally found the truth.
Mankind has studied the heavens and the earth for countless centuries. The Greeks were some of the first people to attempt to describe various cosmological phenomena. They gave us many of the very first theories regarding the universe and its composition. The major contribution came with the writings of Plato. Plato claimed that the universe was created by what he called "The Demiurge." According to Plato, the universe was the result of reasoning and planning, it was constructed by the Demiurge upon precise mathematical and geometrical principles. Later on, Aristotle, Plato's student, adopted his teacher's basic concept. Aristotelian cosmology was based on the concept of an enclosed cosmos comprising a series of concentric, spheres revolving around a stationary Earth. Motion was provided by the "prime mover" and, once initiated, would remain circular, uniform and eternal.
Both Plato and Aristotle taught that the universe was eternal, with neither beginning nor end. The universe as a whole was considered steady and unmoving, and this was the basis for the later formation of the "steady state theory." In 1915, Albert Einstein had published the famous general theory of relativity. Soon afterward he proposed a static model of the universe, but he would later declare that it was "one of the greatest mistakes of my career." Why?, Because in 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, or as Stephen Hawking put it "The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it was expanding."
Although mankind did not discover these facts till this 20th Century, still, we find that Allah Almighty had provided the answers for mankind 1400 years ago in the Qur'an through the agency of His illiterate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). During Muhammad's (pbuh) time, the Greeks were claiming that the cosmos was static and not expanding. So how did he know that the universe was expanding 1300 years before the foremost scientist of the West proved this to be a scientific fact?
However, this is not the only claim that the Qur'an makes with regard to the universe. Let us study the next two verses:
At the present time, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is the cosmological model most widely accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 20,000,000,000 years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely condensed state of matter ("the heavens and the earth were fused then we ripped them asunder"). As mentioned above, a further development of this model, known as "inflationary theory," describes the original condensed matter as arising from virtually empty space. It was only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 CE that the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. Out of the observations of such scientists has arisen the so called "Hubble Constant" (Ho) which is quantity currently used to gauge the rate at which the universe is expanding. In other words, the issue is no longer whether the universe is expanding or not, rather, it is only a question of how fast it is expanding.
The second and third verses presented appear to claim that the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were "ripped asunder," The exact root words used in the Qur'an are the words "ra-ta-qa" and "fa-ta-qa," or "the heavens and the earth were 'ra-ta-qa' then we 'fa-ta-qa' them"
"Ra-ta-qa" is an Arabic word which has the general meaning of "to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 325)
Similarly, "fa-ta-qa" has the general meaning of "To rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip open." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 296, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)
The verse then goes on to say that Allah Almighty created the heavens and the earth from a celestial "smoke." Astronomers today have pictures of galaxies being formed by exactly this process, i.e. the condensation of spiraling celestial "mists." Isn't it an incredible coincidence that an illiterate man from the desert, without the aid of observatories or satellite imaging was making these claims over 1400 years ago?. Was he just guessing?
Further, the cosmic phenomenon depicted in the following two figures is commonly referred to by astronomists as a cosmic "mist." However, if we were to read the second verse of the Qur'an presented above we will find that the Qur'an more accurately refers to it as a "smoke." This is because "mist" implies a cool and tranquil spray of water. However, "smoke" implies a hot gas containing airborne particles. This is indeed another example of the literary miracle of the Qur'an in that it manages to convey to us in a very concise language a very accurate and detailed description of the topic at hand.
Fig. 13 The Spiral Galaxy M100 courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope
Fig. 14 M100 again. The distance to the swirling grand design spiral M100 is causing quite a stir among astronomers. Many believe that the Hubble Space Telescope's recent distance measurement to this galaxy accurately calibrates the "Hubble's constant." A scientific debate involving the actual value of Hubble's constant titled "The Scale of the Universe" is scheduled to occur in April 1996 in Washington, DC.
"And those who have been given knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth"
The noble Qur'an, Saba(34):6
"Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care) or are there locks upon their hearts?"
The noble Qur'an, Muhammad(47):24
Example Number 3: Water and Life:
In the Qur'an we read:
"Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together then we split them asunder, and we created from water every living thing, do they not believe?"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):30.
"And Allah has created every trodding creature from water......"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Noor(24):45.
"It is He who created from water a human...."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Furqan(25):54.
Water is the most common substance on Earth, covering more than 70% of the planet's surface. All living things consist mostly of water; for example, the human body is about 60% water. Scientist tell us that all forms of life known to humanity today require three basic conditions: Temperature, the existence of water, and the existence of an atmosphere.
All metabolisms require water to survive, so animals that exist in arid regions have body mechanisms that protect against water loss and make maximum use of water (camels for example). Dehydration in humans results from lack of food, drink, and from sweating, in addition to other factors. This loss eventually affects the proper functioning of the heart, central nervous system, and organs containing smooth muscle. Finally, intercellular water is lost, which upsets vital chemical processes in the cells. If water is not restored to the body, death will usually occur within a few days.
The blood of all living creatures is composed of 55 percent plasma, which in turn is composed of more than 90 percent water. Jan Baptista van Helmont, the first experimental physiologist, around 1640 AD concluded that water is the only soil component required for plant growth. Again we find ourselves asking the question: How did Muhammad (pbuh) know that all living creatures are created from water centuries before mankind discovered this fact through scientific experimentation? Did he randomly select an element from the countless billions of possible choices? Why did he not claim that mankind was created from air, or from wood, or from light? Why water?
Example Number 4: Deep sea currents:
In the Qur'an we read:
"Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covers it a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Noor(24):40.
Mankind began to build submersibles in the seventeenth century. The first crude craft known to have ventured underwater was built by Cornelis Drebbel, court engineer to James I of England, and was demonstrated on the Thames river in 1620. From then onwards, development of submarines continued until the twentieth century, or 1954 to be exact, when the first nuclear submarine became a reality. With mankind's study of the sea came the realization that the waters lying underneath the surface waves were not the place of tranquil calmness they were previously envisioned to be. Rather, there were underwater currents called deep sea currents which could at times become such violent storms as to rearrange sediments in the ocean bottom. How did Muhammad (pbuh) know about these underwater currents centuries before mankind invented the tools necessary for underwater exploration?
"Say: It was sent down by He who knows the secrets in the heavens and the earth."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Furqaan(25):6.
It is worth mentioning here in connection with the above verse that some scientists have interpreted the "layer upon layer of darkness" to be the gradual separation of the light spectrum within the ocean, one color at a time until complete darkness is finally achieved. In other words, at one depth, the yellow bandwidth is suppressed and "yellow darkness" is achieved. At another depth, the red bandwidth is suppressed and "red darkness" is achieved, and so forth.
There are many other scientific statements made in the Qur'an which were only discovered to be scientifically accurate many centuries after Muhammad's death. Many of them have only been discovered in this century. They range over many fields of science including Anatomy, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Hydrology, and many other disciplines which are only beginning to be addressed by scientists today.
For example, the Qur'an makes reference to the fact that a human's pain receptors are located in the skin (Al-Nissa(4):56). That the frontal lobes of the brain are responsible for lying and sin (Al-Alak(96):16). That mountains have below them roots that extend deep into the earth's surface and stabalize the earth's crust as confirmed by the modern science of Isostasy (Al-Naba(78):7, Luqman(31):10). That there exists a physical barrier between bodies of fresh and salt water (Al-Rahman (55):20). There is also information regarding the formation of milk in cows (Al-Nahi(16):66). And much more. So where was Muhammad (pbuh) getting all of these scientific facts if not from the Creator of mankind and the universe? Allah Almighty askes:
"Is this sorcery or is it that you do not see?"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Tur (52):15.
Prof. Keith Moore is not the only scholar who has been presented with such verses of the Qur'an. Many other scholars from all over the world have been presented with similar statements from the Qur'an in their field of expertise. Only a few of these people are:
1) Dr. E. Marshall Johnson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA. Author of over 200 publications. Former President of the Teratology Society among other accomplishments. After studying the verses of the Qur'an he came to the following conclusion:
"The Qur'an describes not only the development of external form but emphasizes also the internal stages - the stages inside the embryo of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science... If I was to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described... I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammad had to be developing this information from some place... so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved..."
2) Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson. Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor Collage of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He is the President of the American Fertility Society, and has served in many other professional, national, and international organizations. He has received numerous awards including Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology Public Recognition Award in 1992. He has published more than 400 chapters and articles in journals and books. He says:
"... these Hadeeths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the writer'... It follows that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide science by adding revelation to some of the traditional scientific approaches... There exist statements in the Qur'an shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur'an having been derived from God."
3) Dr. T.V.N. Persaud. Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the author and editor of 25 books, has contributed 31 chapters to publications, and has published over 180 scientific papers. In 1991 he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He says:
"Muhammad was a very ordinary man, he couldn't read, didn't know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate... were talking about 1400 years ago, you have some illiterate person making profound statements that are amazingly accurate, of a scientific nature... I personally can't see how this could be mere chance, there are too many accuracies and like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which lead him to these statements."
4) After a study which lasted ten years, the famous French physician Maurice Bucaille addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 and expressed the complete agreement of the Qur'an and established findings of modern science. He presented his study on the existence in the Qur'an of certain statements concerning physiology and reproduction. His reason for doing that was that
"our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Qur'an could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modern times."
5) Dr. Tejatet Tejasen, Head of the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang Mai, Thailand. After his study on the Qur'an passages dealing with embryology:
"From my studies and what I have learnt at this conference I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur'an 1400 years ago must be true. That can be proved the scientific way."
6) Dr. Arther J. Alison. head of the Department of Electronical and Electronics Engineering in a British University after researching the field of Parapsychology and spiritual treatment of man in the light of the Qur'an and current scientific knowledge was so completely amazed at the scientific accuracy of the statements he found in the Qur'an in this regard that he converted to Islam and is now named Abdullah Alison. He urges all Western scientists to get acquainted with Islam which "addresses both intellect and sentiments at the same time." Dr. Alison worked for six years as the chairman of the British Parapsychology and Spiritual Studies Society. This position, led him to deeply study different religions and philosophies, including Islam. Dr. Alison placed special emphasis in his study on the relationship between death and sleep, and the conformance of scientific data to the claims he later found in the Qur'an were the reason for his final conversion. Dr. Alison exclaimed "my joy knew no bounds as the results of my study were so convincing and, thus I discovered Islam." he added. He regretted that the West is totally ignorant about the scientific approach of Islam. "During our discussion at this conference (In Cairo) , we have arrived at conclusive evidence that Islam does not contradict science, and plan to do further research on parapsychology in the light of the Qur'an."
7) Dr. Gerald C. Goeringer. Professor and Coordinator of Medical Embryology in the Department of Cell Biology in the Georgetown University school of Medicine. Washington, D.C. He has published numerous articles dealing mainly with the study of teratogenesis.
8) Dr. Alfred Kroner, Professor of Geology, Germany.
9) Dr. Yoshiodi Kozan, Director of the observatory of Tokyo, Japan.
10) Dr. William Hay, Professor of Oceanography, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
11) Dr. Pete Palmer, Professor of Geology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
12) Dr. Sayawida, Professor of Marine Geology, Japan.
13) Dr. Armstrong, Professor of Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
14) Dr. Draga Persaud Rauw, Professor of Marine Geology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
15) Dr. Schroeder, Professor of Oceanography, Germany.
The response of these scholars when presented with verses of the Qur'an in their field of specialization, varied. One thing however was always constant. They all confirmed the accuracy of the scientific statements made in the Qur'an, and they all could not explain how Muhammad (pbuh) could have known with such accuracy the scientific claims to be found in the Qur'an so many centuries before mankind discovered them to be scientific truths.
Allah Almighty tells us in the Qur'an:
"Allah did not create (all) that except in truth. He details the signs for people of knowledge."
The noble Qur'an, Yunus(10):5
"And those who were given knowledge see that which was sent down upon you by your Lord is the truth and guides to the path of the 'Exalted' (in Might) the 'worthy of all praise'."
The noble Qur'an, Saba(34):6.
"Had We sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder for fear of Allah. Such are the parables We put forth for mankind that they may reflect."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Hashr(59):21
"Verily! this Qur'an guides to that which is most upright, and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness that theirs will be a great reward"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Isra(17):9
"And We have indeed simplified [the comprehension of] this Qur'an for remembrance, so is there any that will remember [and be admonished]?"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Qamar(54):17
To obtain a more in-depth analysis of these matters including video tapes containing interviews with many of these pioneering Western scholars, contact one of the following (ask for the video tape titled "It is the Truth"):
1) Islamic Academy for Scientific Research.
8150 West 111 Street
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Phone: (708) 974-9151
2) Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
P.O. Box 38
Plainfield, Indiana, 46168
Phone: (317) 839-8157
3) Academy for the Miracles of Science in the Qur'an and the Sunnah
P.O. Box 5736
Phone: (2) 545-1519
Also look for the books:
1) "The Bible, the Qur'an and Science," by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
2) "The Qur'an and Modern Science," by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
3) "An Introduction to Understanding the Qur'an," by Syed Abdul A'ala Maudoodi
4) "The Sources of the Qur'an: A Critical Review of the Authorship Theories," by Hamza Mustafa Njozi
5) "Muhammad's Prophethood: An Analytical View," by Dr. Jamal Badawi
A sample of the scientific miracles in The Holy Qur'an
Scientific miracles and comments by various Doctors, and Scientists.
The Prophet Muhammed (SAAWS) And Science
What makes believers strongly believe that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is telling the whole truth, fact that his Message is wealthy with an exclusive Scientific facts that many people in his time couldn't even figure out!
Scientific Errors in the Noble Quran?
Answering the So Called Scientific "Errors"
Islam And Science The Final Outskirts
Take the Journey!
Scientific Boo-Boos in the Bible
Bibliolaters claim that the Bible is inerrant in every detail, in matters of history, science, geography, chronology, etc., as well as faith and practice. It is a claim that has won wide acceptance among fundamentalist Christians, but, as is true of most zealotic tributes that have been paid to the Bible, it has no basis in fact. This article shows what anyone who wants to know truth already does: the Bible is riddled with mistakes. Many of those mistakes were scientific ones.
What About Scientific Foreknowledge in the Bible?
Any challenge to the Bible inerrancy doctrine will sooner or later encounter the scientific-foreknowledge argument. "If the Bible is not the inspired word of God", the inerrancy spokesmen ask, "then how do you explain the many examples of scientific foreknowledge in it?" The claim implied in this question is that men writing in an age of relative ignorance indicated in various passages of the Bible that they understood scientific truths that were completely unknown at the time. The response the question seeks is that these scientific facts could not have been known to Bible writers without God's having revealed them during the verbal inspiration process. They see this as a compelling argument for the inerrancy doctrine. A basic problem with this argument is the same as the one found in the familiar harmonious-content, unity-of-theme, and fulfillment-of-prophecy arguments so often presented in the Bible's defense. It is based more on speculation, imaginative interpretations, and wishful thinking than on verifiable facts.
Did Bible writers demonstrate knowledge of scientific facts that were unknown at the time the Bible was being written? According to Farrell Till, "there is no more 'scientific knowledge' in the Bible than in any other literature of the same era." Seemingly, many of the Biblical authors would have flunked Biology 101.
Chew on This...Again!
Leviticus 11:6 mistakenly classifies the rabbit as a ruminant or cud-chewer, a problem for inerrantists, who claim that the Bible is scientifically accurate in every detail. This article shows why the inerrantist explanation of Leviticus 11:6 is difficult to swallow.
Does the Bible Speak of the Brain?
If the authors of the Bible were really inspired by God, how come they believed that the mind was centered in our intestines?
Still Chewing: Chasing Rabbits With Dr. Geisler
Jeffrey A. Justice responds to Dr. Geisler's attempt to explain away the biological error in Leviticus 11:5-6, in which it is said that rabbits chew their cud.
The Flat-Earth Belief of Bible Writers
Have you ever heard the claim that "the Bible teaches the earth is flat?" Adrian Swindler surveys the appropriate Biblical evidence to defend this view.
Nice article! The Bible and Science ? Oil and Water.....
Back to Answering Christianity