bismillah

Quran: A Teacher to Modern Scientists

Ours is an era of space probes computer chips, laser surgeries and cloning. If we were to label any book as a revelation from God, we couldn't help but to scrutinize this Scripture using modern scientific knowledge. It could not be that a revelation, proclaiming itself from God, could constitute aspects contradicting established scientific facts. How could we assume otherwise, when God is the one who created the universe and the laws operating within it.

The Quran was revealed 1400 years ago to the last Prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a guidance for all humanity. The entire Quran has been committed to memory by millions of Muslims around the world and has been preserved by God from any interpolations, for continuing guidance. Although the Quran is a religious book with a total of about 6600 plus verses dealing with many aspects of a person's life, about 1000 of those verses are of scientific nature, none contradicting established scientific facts.

Dr. T.V.N. Persaud1, professor of Anatomy, says: "You have an illiterate person (Prophet Muhammad) 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."

Besides providing guidelines in personal, social, moral and spiritual spheres of humanity, the Quran touches upon diverse scientific topics like astronomy, geology, embryology, genetics, biology, archeology, etc. Some of these are mentioned below to prove the Quran's Divine origin.

The Big Bang!

Currently, the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe is the cosmological paradigm most widely accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 15 billion years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely dense matter, the primordial mass. Only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 that the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. What does the Quran say about our universe's origin?

"Do not the unbelievers see that the Heavens and the earth were joined together, then We split them apart." (Quran 21:30)

Expanding Universe

In 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe. Stephen Hawking (author of 'A Brief History of Time') states: "The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it is expanding." So what did God reveal in the Quran, 1400 years ago?

"And the firmament, We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it." (Quran 51:47) ('We' is the Arabic plural of respect, not the Christian plural of 'trinity'.)

The Existence of Sun's Orbit

Ancient people used to believe that the Sun revolved around the earth. Later, Nicholas Copernicus in 1512 laid his Heliocentric Theory of Planetary motion, which placed the sun motionless in the center of the solar system with all the planets revolving around it. Modem science tells us now that the sun too is not still, but is in motion.

The sun traveling at roughly 150 miles per second takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the center of our Milky Way Galaxy and 25 days to make one complete rotation around its own axis. See how beautifully and accurately God revealed this phenomenon in the Quran:

"It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its orbit with its own motion." (Quran 21:33)

Conquest of Space by Humans

Human exploration and the conquest of space began with the launching of the Russian Satellite, Sputnik I on Oct. 4, 1957. Then followed the launching of humans into space, which eventually led to a manned space flight to the Moon on July 20th, 1967. Thus the dream of humanity since the dawn of civilization to go beyond the earth to the heavens was realized.

The Quran, 1400 years ago, clearly predicted human's advancement and the possibility of space flight.

"O assembly of Jinns and humans, if you can penetrate the regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them! You will not penetrate them save with a power (of God)." (Quran 55:33)

The Protective Atmosphere

Earth is constantly bombarded by meteoroids that disintegrate upon the atmosphere and by lethal rays emitted by the suns UV radiation is absorbed by the Ozone layer forming the outer fringe of our atmosphere.

Thus our atmosphere along with its Ozone layer is a protective covering for us. Life possibly could not have existed without it. How meticulously does our Lord sustain and protect us against this atmospheric destruction.

"And We have made the atmosphere a protective roof, yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things point to." (Quran 21:32)

Embryology

The Dutch naturalist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) produced lenses powerful enough to prove that many tiny creatures are not spontaneously generated but are produced from eggs. The science of Embryology as we know it today did not discover many of the detailed aspects of human embryonic development until the 1970s, using powerful microscopes, ultra sound and fiber optics technology. See how the Quran described the stages of embryonic development.

"God fashioned man from a small quantity (of sperm)." (Quran 16:4)

Fertilization takes place with only one sperm among several tens of million produced by man.

"Then We placed him as a drop in a place of rest." (Quran 23:13)

Implantation of the blastocyst in the uterus.

"Then We made the drop into a leech-like structure..." (Quran 23:14)

This resemblance of the human embryo to a leech is an appropriate description of the human embryo from days 7-24, when it clings to the endometrium of the uterus.

"And He (God) gave you hearing (ears), sight (eyes), and feeling and understanding." (Quran 32:9)

The internal ears appear before the eyes and the brain (the sight of understanding) differentiates last. Dr. E. Marshall Johnson2 Professor of Anatomy, concluded after studying verses from Quran: "The Quran 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... so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved..."

Gender Determination

The concept of 'Gender Determination' as being described by geneticists, is one of the outstanding informations revealed to us in the Quran. This information is now a known fact, that sperms are the deciding factors in determining the type of gender (male or female) in the new embryo. This determination through the male sperm is due to the fact that sperms have an X and Y chromosomes, while the female ovum has only X Chromosomes (X, X). Through the Quran, The Almighty informs us that it is the male sperms that determine the type gender for the new offspring:

"Does man think that he will be left uncontrolled (without purpose)? Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in humble form)? Then did (God) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. And of him He made two sexes, male and female..." (Quran 75:36-39)

Existence of Pairs in All Creation

Before the dawn of the modern era, humans conceived that only animal life was divided into two genders, male and female. Then the discovery was made that this phenomenon was present in plants and vegetation too. We have found this reality existing in every creation, animate as well as inanimate, though in different forms. In electricity, these two genders can be classified as positive and negative. North and South pole describe it in magnetism, electron and proton in atoms, matter and antimatter etc. Even bacteria could be positive or negative, while the truth is, this creation is made of pairs. At the time the Holy Quran was being revealed in the 7th century C.E., we knew of pairing in animals and plants only, but the Quran describes the phenomenon in the most lucid manner:

"Hallowed is He, Who created pairs in all things, those that grow from the earth and of themselves, and what they know not." (Quran 36:36)

The Quranic Statement:

"...And what they know not" is as true today, as it was when the Holy Quran was revealed. Though we have discovered that every created thing exists in pair, we have yet to discover many things that exist. We have expounded scientific marvels from the Holy Quran to convince sincere seekers of truth that it is the infallible Word of God. No mortal being can ever speak with such authority, finality, knowledge, perfection, and precision coupled with exotic beauties of expression, as does God in the Quran. By realizing these Truths about the Quran and the religion of Islam revealed by our Creator and Sustainer, many modern scientists are turning towards it.

Dr. Keith Moore3, Professor of Embryology, after analyzing the verses of the Quran for three years comments: "It has been a pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about Human Development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God or Allah because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later."

Dr. Maurice Bucaille4, French Physician, after studying Quran and comparing it with modern science, addressed the French Academy of Medicine in 1976 and proclaimed: "Our knowledge of these disciplines is such, that it is impossible to explain how a text produced at the time of the Quran could have contained ideas that have only been discovered in modem times."

Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson5, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, proclaims: "...these Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of the writer (7th century) ... 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 Quran shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Quran having been derived from God."

Dr. Tejatet Tejasen6, Professor of Anatomy, attending the Eighth Saudi Medical Conference, stood up and likewise announced: "From my studies and what I have learnt at this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Quran 1400 years ago must be true. That can be proved the scientific way."

These men of knowledge, in their unbiased studies of the Quran, all proclaimed its truthfulness as a Revelation of Almighty God. "Soon we will show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth) and in their own soul, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth..." (Quran 41:53)

Guidance to humanity proclaimed in the Quran is complete and applicable to all societies and all times. Whether we are living in the Stone Age or the Space Age, riding in horse pulled carriages or flying in Space Shuttles, we haven't changed a bit. We still possess physical and emotional desires, we live in societies, interact with one another, establish social, political and economic systems; thus the relevant need for guidance by our Creator in all these spheres of our life. Islam is the only religion which is totally compatible with scientific facts and provides complete, explicit and clear guidance in all spheres of life. The Quran was revealed in Arabic, but translation of its meaning are available in English and other languages for non-Arabs. Likewise Islam is not restricted to people, it is a universal religion revealed for all of mankind.

We invite all sincere humans to study Islam with an open mind. Don't blindly follow the whims and paganistic influences of the environment around us. God bestowed upon us this superb mind to seek and live the truth; for we all will be accountable on the Day of judgment for our beliefs and deeds.

References:

1. Dr. T.V.N. Persaud, Professor and Head of the Dept. of Anatomy, Univ. of Manitoba, Canada, received in 1991 the most distinguished award presented in the field of Anatomy, the J.C.B. Grand Award.
2. 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.
3. Dr. Keith Moore, Professor of Embryology, Department of Anatomy, Univ. of Toronto, Canada, recipient of numerous awards and honors, including in 1984, the J.C.B. Grand Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Canadian Association of Anatomists.
4. Dr. Maurice Bucaille, French Physician, Author of 'The Bible, the Quran and Science', Seghers, Paris, 1987.
5. Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and the President of the American Fertility Society.
6. Dr. Tejatet Tejasen, Professor and Head of Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chiang, Thailand.

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December 2000
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