thought today is in the midst of a raging battle between religion and science. It is
almost impossible for a western thinker today to accept the fact that there may be a
meeting ground between religion and science. The Bible, in which the Christians
believe, states that the tree from which the Prophet Adam (alaihi salaam) was
forbidden to eat was the tree of knowledge. Thus, after he ate from it, he gained certain
knowledge that he had not had before. For this reason, Europe spent two centuries
arguing whether or not to accept scientific knowledge coming from Muslims.
The Church ruled that the pursuit of
such scientific knowledge was the cause for the original sin. The bishops drew
their evidence from the Old Testament, where it is mentioned that when Adam ate of
the tree and gained some knowledge, Allah Almighty was displeased with him and
denied him mercy. Scientific knowledge was therefore rejected entirely by
the Church as a taboo.
Finally, when the free thinkers and scientists
of the West were able to overcome the power of the Church, they took revenge by
going in the opposite direction and suppressing any power of the religion. They
went to all possible extremes in order to overcome the power of the Church and reduce
its influence into a narrow and a confined corner.
Therefore, if you discuss the issue of religion
and science with a westerner, he readily goes into sheer wonderment. They do not know
Islam. They do not know that Islam accords a very high status to knowledge and men of
knowledge, regarding them as witnesses, after the angels, to the fact that there is no god
worthy of worship in truth but Allah Almighty, as Allah Almighty Himself
has told us in the Qur'aan:
There is no Allah but He: That is the witness
of Allah, His angels and those endued with knowledge. (Qur'aan 3:18)
And Allah Almighty, may He be exalted and Glorified has also told us:
Know, therefore, that there is no true deity
but Allah. (Qur'aan 47:19)
It is known from the Qur'aan that Adam
(alaihi salaam) was favored over the angels by virtue of the knowledge given
to him by Allah Almighty. The Qur'aanic story contradicts that of the Bible
which Muslims hold to have been distorted. According to the Qur'aan, the fact that
Adam was given knowledge is a mark of honor, and not the cause of his expulsion
from Paradise. Hence, if one discusses Islam and science with Western thinkers, they tend
to expect an argument similar to what they have in their own religious and cultural
context. That is why they react with surprise when they are presented with the crystal
clear facts of the Qur'aan and Sunnah.
Among those who were taken by surprise is Dr.
Joe Leigh Simpson, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and
Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.
When we first met him, Professor Simpson insisted on verifying the Qur'aan
and the Sunnah. We were able, however, to remove his suspicion. We presented to him
the text outlining the development of the embryo. We proved to him that the Qur'aan
informs us that the hereditary and the chromosomal make-up of the new being
take place only after a successful union between the sperm and the ovum. As we know, these
chromosomes contain all the characteristics which the new human being will have such as
the color of the eyes, skin, hair, etc.
Hence, many of the details in the human
beings make-up are determined in his chromosomes. These chromosomes begin to form
during the early nutfah stage of embryonic development. In other words, the
distinguishing features of the new human being are determined from the very beginning at
the nutfah stage. Allah, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorified, has stated this fact
in the Qur'aan:
Woe to man! What has made him reject Allah?
From what stuff has He created him? From a sperm-drop: He has created him, and then molded
him in due proportion. (Qur'aan 80:17-19)
During the first 40 days of gestation, all the
body parts and organs are completely, though consecutively formed. We can notice in Figure
2.1 that the organs begin to be formed, assembled, and the fetus appears twisted. The Prophet
Muhammad peace be upon him, (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam), has informed us
in a hadeeth that: In every one of you, all components of
your creation are gathered together in your mothers womb by 40 days.
(Narrated in Saheeh Muslim and Al-Bukhaari).
In another Hadeeth, Prophet Muhammad peace
be upon him (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) said: When forty-two nights have
passed over the drop (nutfah), Allah Almighty sends an angel to it, who shapes it
and makes its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones. Then he says,
O Lord, is it male or female? and your Lord decides what he wishes.
Professor Simpson studied these two
hadeeths extensively, noting that the first 40 days constitute a clearly distinguishable
stage of embryo genesis. He was particularly impressed by the absolute precision
and accuracy of those hadeeths. Then during one of the conferences which he attended he
gave the following opinion: "So that the two hadeeths that have been noted can
provide us with a specific time table for the main embryological development before 40
days. Again, the point had been made repeatedly by other speakers this morning that these
hadeeths could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was
available at the time of their recording."
Professor Simpson says that religion can
successfully guide the pursuit of knowledge. The West, as we said, has rejected this. Here
is an American scientist who says that religion, namely Islam, can achieve this
with success. By analogy, if you go to a factory and have with you the operation manual of
the factory, then you will be able to easily understand the kind of operation that goes on
in that factory, thanks to that manual by the factory designer and builder. If you do not
have this manual with you, chances are much less that you will have good understanding of
the various processes there.
Professor Simpson said: "It
follows, I think, that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion, but in
fact religion can guide science by adding revelation to some traditional scientific
approaches. That there exist statements in the Qur'aan shown by science to be valid, which
supports knowledge in the Qur'aan having been derived from Allah."
This is true. Certainly, the Muslims can lead
the way in the pursuit of knowledge and that they can accord knowledge in its proper
status. Moreover, Muslims know how to use knowledge as a proof of the existence of Allah
Almighty, May Allah be Exalted and Glorified, and to affirm the Messenger ship
of Muhammad peace be upon him (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam).
Allah Almighty said in the Qur'aan:
will 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. Is it not enough that thy
Lord does witness all things? (Qur'aan 41:53).
After having realized through examples of scientific
miracles in the Qur'aan as well as knowing the related comments of the objective
scientists on them, let us ask ourselves these questions:
Could it be a coincidence that all this recently
discovered scientific information from different fields was mentioned in the Qur'aan
which was revealed 14 centuries ago?
Could this Qur'aan have been authored by Muhammad peace
be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) or by any other human being?
The only possible answer to that is that the
Qur'aan must be the literal word of God (Allah) revealed by Him. The Qur'aan is the
literal word of Allah Almighty which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad peace
be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) through the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel). It was
memorized by Muhammad peace be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) who then
dictated it to his companions. They in turn memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it
with the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam).
Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon
him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa sallam) reviewed the Qur'aan with the Angel Jibreel once
every Ramadhan (the month of fasting) and twice in the last year of his life in the same
Islamic calendar. Since the Qur'aan was revealed, up until today, there has always been a
huge number of Muslims who have memorized all of the Qur'aan, letter by letter. Some of
them have been able to memorize all of the Qur'aan by the age of ten. Thus, it is
not surprising to note that not one letter of the Qur'aan has been changed for centuries
up to now.
The Qur'aan which was revealed 14 centuries
ago mentioned facts that are only recently discovered by proven scientists. This
proves without doubt that the Qur'aan must be the literal word of Allah Almighty,
revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi wa
sallam) and it also proves that Muhammad peace be upon him (sallAllahu 'alaihi
wa sallam) is truly a Messenger and Prophet sent by Allah Almighty. It is beyond
reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or
proven very recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated methods.