Author: H.E. Sheikh Ahmad ibn Hamad Al-Khalili
Translator: ?Mohammed S. Al-Busaidy
The Holy Qur'an is a path to guidance, a Call to Wisdom and a code of life. It has not been revealed by the Almighty Allah to discuss the delicacies of medical science, astronomy or other spheres of knowledge.
He revealed it as a light that guides humanity to peace and enables mankind to comprehend what is useful and what is harmful.
However, man is part of all creatures that exist in this world and is strongly linked to it, being the axis around which it revolves. The entire creation is like leaflets prepared for man to study. Each of its lines is replete with innumerable signs of Allah, testifying to His presence, praising Him and glorifying Him.
Therefore, an intelligent and a fortunate man remains aware of the message of these lines, and as a result, his heart remains full of faith in the Creator of the worlds in Whose praise is engaged every atom in the creation and in recognition of Whose majesty and greatness every atom prostrates.
The intelligent and the fortunate man, therefore, finds it inevitable to join the atoms of this creation in glorifying the Almighty Allah, prostrating before Him and submitting himself before Him. Only those whose minds are distorted and possess no reason whatsoever would abstain from doing so.
Thus the Holy Qur'an has been revealed to open man's eyes to the exterior of this specious world and to explain to him the significance of all that the world contains.
The Holy Qur'an has, on scores of occasions, revealed to man facts about nature which he was not cognizant of in the past. While many of these facts relate to man himself, there are others that concern the earth which is his abode. Many of these facts are about the celestial bodies with which the earth is linked through gravitational force. The celestial bodies move about unobstructed and in an orderly manner.
By discovering these facts now, man has only discovered one of the wonders of the Holy Qur'an, which spoke about these realities fourteen centuries before they were conceived of by man.
In general, the Holy Qur'an is the address of the unseen to the entire humanity and at all times its facts remained valid and unchallenged.
This is one of its exclusive qualities. Whatever fresh discoveries science makes about the secrets of creation, it would find the Holy Qur'an either clearly confirming that or referring to the same indirectly. The Almighty Allah has undertaken to bring these facts to human knowledge with a view to establishing the authenticity of the Holy Qur'an and making man understand that the Qur'an, which refers to these facts, is the Word of the Almighty Allah. Hence scientific achievements only bear witness to what has been revealed in the Holy Qur'an 1400 years ago.
In the Qur'an Allah says : "Did you ever consider this : If this Qur'an were really from Allah, and you went on denying it, who could be more astray (lost) than the one who had gone far off in antagonism against it ? We shall show them Our Signs in the world around them, as well as in themselves, till it dawns (becomes clear) upon them that this Qur'an is indeed the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord watches every thing ? Look! these people are in doubt about meeting with their Lord. Listen! He encompasses everything". (Fussilat 41 : Verses 52 -54).
These verses unquestionably provide distinct evidences to the discoveries made by man about himself, the wonders of creation and the surrounding secrets of existence. All these bear undeniable testimony to the inimitability of the Holy Qur'an.
In the continued emphasis that Allah is Witness over all things and that He is surrounding all things, there is a sweeping evidence that the scope of the verse is wider and more embracing than human intelligence could discover before these discoveries.
Dr. Rafei, a reputed scholar, best commented on the verse when he said, "If human mind fails to acknowledge the really unique character of this expression, it apparently does not understand anything".
The Chapter 25 (Al-Furqaan), in its opening verses, mentions that the Holy Qur'an contains information about the wonders of creation. says : "Those who have rejected (disbelieved) the Message of the Prophet, say, 'This (Al-Furqaan) is a forgery which this man himself has devised, and some others have helped him at it'. What a cruel injustice, an impudent lie! They say, 'These things are the writings of the ancients which he got copied down for himself, and then these are recited to him in the morning and evening'. O! Mohammad say to them, 'This has been sent down by Him, who knows the secret of the heavens and earth' ". (Al-Furqaan 25 Verses 4-6).
In this reply to these baseless suppositions and misgivings, that the Qur'an is a forgery, there are ample evidences that it has been revealed by the One who knows the secrets of creation and is aware of its delicacies. These realities have begun to be discovered one by one, indicating the fact that no one else could be able to produce the like of the Qur'an.
This fact has been realized by non-Muslims who have spoken and written about the inimitability of the Holy Qur'an. Had they been blessed by the Almighty Allah, they would have certainly followed its light.
Among these is Dr. Maurice Buccaille, the author of the book 'The Bible, The Qur'an and The Science'. He says categorically in his book that the Qur'an could not have been produced or altered by man. He has proved that the two previous books (The New and the Old Testament) were subjected to twisting and alteration. He conducted his research in the light of the modern science.
We certainly cannot close our eyes to proved scientific facts to which the Holy Qur'an bears testimony, nor can we adhere to the sayings of the predecessors (incorporated in many forged scriptures) while (we have) the Qur'an which clearly mentions that the signs of Allah related to the creation of the world become abundantly clear to men and the disbelievers would be obliged to close their mouths once clear proofs of its unique nature are unveiled.
There is no need to twist the meanings of the verses to co-relate them to theories expounded by people who often base these theories on materialistic viewpoints, incapable of understanding the reality of the world and life.
There is no doubt that dealing with such a vast subject pre-requires the possession of experience and professionalism neither of which I claim to possess.
I have neither specialized in any of these sciences nor have I ever been to a university or a laboratory. As such my knowledge in science is very limited.
However, I seek the help of the Almighty Allah while talking about instances of the scientific inimitability of the Qur'an. In the light of the conclusion I have drawn during my study of the books written by authors who specialized in various fields of science, I narrate here for the reader whatever my mind remembers of them.
A WORD OF CAUTION
The interpreters of the Holy Qur'an have adopted varying attitudes to the disclosures referred to above. Some of interpreters are extremists while others are conservatives.
However, there are many who have preferred moderation. The first group has been fascinated by modern science and its multifarious theories, to the extent that it began interpreting the Qur'an to suit these theories, even though the Holy text may not contain a possible reference to them.
This group, howsoever sincere may be its intentions, has placed the context of the Holy Qur'an in jeopardy, as scientific theories are often replaced by others.
If the Qur'an is interpreted in the light of these theories, the replacement of one theory by another would only amount to the refutal of the Qur'an.
As for the conservatives, they have confined themselves to the opinions of their predecessors in interpreting the Holy Qur'an and closed their eyes to the modern science and theories proved by it.
It is the moderates who have treated the Qur'an as the text and studied the scientific facts which clearly substantiate its verses, without depending on the theories which do not remain the same all the time.
They have accepted those theories the authenticity of which has been established by the verses of the Holy Qur'an. As for those theories which are not supported by any verse, they tend to have reservations about them fearing that this might amount to altering or modifying the Book of Allah.
THE CREATION OF MAN AS REVEALED IN THE HOLY QUR'AN
The Almighty Allah says, "We have created man from an essence of clay (wet earth) : then turned him into a sperm-drop in a safe (lodging) place : then changed the sperm drop into a clot of blood (alaqah) and the clot into a (lump) piece of flesh : then turned the (lump) piece of flesh into bones : then clothed the bones with flesh ! and then brought him forth as quite a different creation (from the embryo). So blessed is Allah, the best of all creators." (Al-Mu'minuun 23: Verses 12-14).
|Drawing illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and |
a human embryo at the alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot) stage.
These holy verses mention the principle of human creation and its stages. The verses, were revealed by Allah to an unlettered Prophet who could neither read a book nor write. Nor did he attend any lecture in embryology.
His people had absolutely no knowledge of these subjects, nor were they capable of finding out such things. At the beginning of the verses, there is a statement which justifies that man was initially created from earth. This is unquestionably true as in man himself there are ample evidences which prove this.
All the elements of soil are available in his body. This is followed by a statement about the various stages through which the embryo passes in the womb. People had no prior knowledge of the nature of the womb which the Holy verse describes as a safe lodging.
This precise description depicts the true picture of the nature of womb which human mind has only been able to understand during the modern era.
The womb is surrounded by the bones of pelvis which protects the embryo from the jerks caused to the stomach or back of the mother.
On its door, there is a protection for the embryo containing secretions that safeguard the embryo against the possible danger of attack by germs. In the event of the absence of this protection, the attack is feared. The bones of pelvis protect the embryo like an inaccessible fort, while the secretions protect the embryo against germs like soldiers on borders.
The term 'safe lodging' used by the Almighty Allah is the most accurate description of this situation. The lodging is a place of stability and tranquillity and the word 'safe' is indicative of strength and firmness.
From the description of the womb, the Holy verse turns to the disclosure of the series of stages through which passes the embryo.
It soon turns from the drop to a clot as a result of the mutual contact between the spermatic animal and the ovum followed by their attachment to the wall of the womb and the piercing of the ovum into it with a distinct sharpness is characterized with it.
As a result, it explodes from the blood in whose great sea this new creation swims and from which it obtains its food. Until it reaches the next stage of embryo, it remains between the sides of the womb and its movements make it resemble a chewed morsel.
Thereafter, the structure of bones is created from it and clothed with flesh. People could not even conceive of the fact that bones are created before flesh. Until the modern science discovered this reality it was revealed by the Holy Qur'an giving a precise picture of the situation when it says that 'Then we clothed the bones with flesh'.
The word 'then' is indicative of sequence, emphasising that the clothing of bones with flesh follows the creation of bones. The modern science vindicates the ideas of the verse to us when it decrees that none of the cell of the flesh grows until the cells of the bones are created. The verse shows that the embryo, thereafter, turns into another creation in that the shape of man is given to it and it is provided with the breath of life.
This shows that man differs from other creatures in the womb after initially passing through a series of stages. Before that, the human embryo is not different from other embryos.
Does it, then make sense, to say that this unseen reality has been discovered by an unlettered man, brought up in a primitive society that was not only unaware of science but could not even conceive of it and that at a time when man faded to imagine the realities of the nature's creation except for the visible ones among them ?
A study of this Holy verse in the light of the scientific discoveries is sufficient to lead all sensible people to the inevitable conclusion that the Qur'an has been revealed by Allah, Who is all Wise and Praiseworthy and Who is aware of the secrets of the heavens and the earth.
If we go back to the society in which the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) was brought up, we will find that it was dark age, far away from the civilisation of the contemporary nations.
This society was so backward that it could not conceive of its enemy's skills at war, as outlined below.
THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF DITCH
The story of the Battle of Ditch bears evidence of this. The companion Salman Al-Farsi proposed to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) and the believers (when the Arabian peninsula threw them and their children away during the tragedy of Al-Ahzab) to dig a ditch around the Holy Madina town to protect its people from the attacks of their enemies.
Both the Muslims and the unbelievers were surprised when they saw the ditch, as they were absolutely unaware of such a means of defense. Could such people be expected to have become so advanced as to discover what science has discovered after the passage of thirteen centuries?
MOUNTAINS IN THE SKY
The Almighty Allah says, "He sends down hail out of the high up mountains in the heaven" (An-Nur 24 : Verse 43). This expression clearly shows that the clouds which we see with our eyes from the ground as rugs are like a mountain of hail.
Man on earth cannot, with his eyes, discover the nature of the clouds and realize that they are heaps like mountains, whether he is on the earth or up on the mountain hills. Their nature can be discovered by a traveller aboard an aircraft which can enter deep into the cloud.
He will find, as the Holy Qur'an has described it, like lofty mountains, intercepted by what looks like isolated hills and valleys. The aircraft at that time was not only non-existent but rather unknown. Men at that time had no telescope that could enable them to see the reality of the clouds.
The society in which the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) lived had no school giving lessons in nature that could find out this reality which was disclosed by the Holy Qur'an and which has only been discovered by man after he travelled on the aircraft passing over the mountains.
|Types of Clouds|
PARITY AND RELATIVITY IN THE UNIVERSE
The Almighty Allah, says, "And we have created every thing in (all things) pairs (that you may learn a lesson from it)? " (Adh-Dhariyat 51 : Verse 49).
He also says, "Glory be to Him Who created all species in (sexual) pairs, whether of vegetable kingdom or of their own (i.e. human) kind or of those things of which they know nothing" (Ya-sin 36 : Verse 36). These two verses bear undoubted testimony to the fact that the entire universe has been created in pairs.
The previous verse contained in the chapter "Adh-Dhariyat" is particularly significant as it used the word 'things' which is all embracing.
It clearly mentions that the Almighty Allah has created everything in pairs. In the past, man was not aware of the fact that this law of the nature is applicable to all the things other than man and animals. The information supplied by the Holy Qur'an in this respect has now been discovered by science.
The hydrogen atom for instance is the lightest of all the atoms containing negative and positive parts and as a result of their mutual interaction, energy is created.
Electricity does not give its varying benefits unless the positive and the negative charge meet and interact. With their separation, their effect stops and the electrical power disappears.
It may not be far when research scientists discover that the subject is wider and more comprehensive, as they are on their way to adopting the theory that the universe began with these atoms.
The Almighty Allah says "And We caused to grow therein all kinds of things in balanced measure." (Al-Hijr 15 : Verse 19). Science had discovered the precise proportions of the elements of earth in all species of fruits. An atom of a trivial element in one fruit is the same in all its species. If an apple, grape or pomegranate has just one atom more or less, it would turn into another species. A study of the nature of plants and fruits may help understand their entire system to which the Holy verse makes a reference. But this needs the writing of a bulky volume on the minute details of botany.
The Almighty Allah says "Verily, We have created all things in proportion and measure." (Al-Qamar 54 : Verse 49). He also says "Who created each and every thing and then ordained its destiny". (Al-Furqan 25 : Verse 2). At another place, He says, " .... And everything with Him has a fixed measured." (Ar-Raad 13 : Verse, 8).
In each one of these brief sentences there are words that carry deep meaning, determining the reality of the entire system of the universe.
Everything in the universe has been precisely measured. Should anything be more or less, it would undermine either the general balance or its own particular balance. In man himself, everything is measured and so is the case with the earth which is his cradle and abode. Water, earth, crust, circulation of the earth, the proportion of oxygen in it and distance which separates it from the sun and the moon as well as all the creatures in this gigantic universe have a certain measure of their own.
All the celestial bodies are well-measured in respect to their sizes, weights and movements, the distances that separate them from each other and the power bestowed upon them. Besides these huge bodies, there are delicate atoms which can only be seen with the help of a microscope.
The protons, neutrons and electrons which these atoms contain are also well measured.