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Islam and Science

The debate about religion and science dates back centuries. The debate is not about a technical matter, but about two realms of knowledge — theological and scientific....

As science has advanced considerably, we now take for granted our recognition of the consistency and universality of natural laws. In fact, science could not advance at all without assuming uniform patterns within the fabric of the universe. The law of gravity applies in the same manner to any object with mass, regardless of its location on earth or in deep space. Ironically, modern science implicitly depends upon a monotheistic premise....

 

Knowledge of God’s existence is often taken for granted by believers. The authentic religious experience – affirmed again and again in a Muslim’s daily life – makes faith in God feel so natural as to be assumed. But belief in God and the quest for existential truth is not an easy prospect for many people....

 
Digitalising Islam and Virtual Ummah: Globalising Local Discourses?
Digitalising Islam and Virtual Ummah: Globalising Local Discourses?
Irshad A Bhat and Zahid S Magray, New Age Islam

What we need to understand is the extent to which the Globalization of information and communication networks can provide a new framework within which Muslims can re-imagine the Ummah....

We are told of the vastness of Paradise and Hell in the Quran. Keeping in mind the structure of Cosmic bodies as well as the stated size of the Angels and Allah’s Throne in the Quran, it can be inferred that Paradise and Hell are immense structures, much like the massive Black Hole Gargantua in Interstellar. According to the theory of relativity, time dilation occurs near vast structures due to their strong gravitational fields. Hence, the slowing down of time in Paradise and Hell relative to the passage of time on Earth may be seen as an example of Gravitational Time Dilation....

The science that descended from Copernicus — the origins of modern Western science — are the product of international, multilingual, multicultural exchange and collaboration, with a special debt to Muslims. Restrictions on such exchange will ultimately damage science. We did not get where we are on our own. We would not have got here at all without Muslim scientists. And we still need each other....

 
Islam Can Be Reconciled With Darwinism
Alper Bilgili
Islam Can Be Reconciled With Darwinism
Alper Bilgili

Then Ertugrul claimed that the creation story in the Quran was open to an evolutionary interpretation. For instance, he believed that the several Quranic verses stating that man was created out of clay did not necessarily refer to direct creation. If God had created any earlier simpler forms of living beings from clay and if man evolved from those beings, then God could be said to have created man out of clay by means of evolutionary mechanisms....

Related Stories:

Darwinism is Consistent with Qur’anic Insights on Man’s Origin

Muslim History of the Theory of Evolution: A Challenge to Traditional Adam Story

Albert Einstein defined time “as something that we measure with clock. Time passes slowly within objects moving at speeds close to that of light and stops altogether at the speed of light. Time also slows near massive objects like earth, very dense stars called neutron stars and almost stops inside the super massive stars, the Black Holes. Time has a direction, it always moves towards the future. We see rains falling down from the sky, objects breaking up, people getting older, and people dying. We do not see a glass being unbroken, or anyone returning from the land of the dead. That could happen if Time ran backwards.”....

Sciences whose knowledge is deemed Fard Kifāyah comprise [all] sciences which are indispensable for the welfare of this world such as: medicine which is necessary for the life of the body, arithmetic for daily transactions and the divisions of legacies and inheritances, as well as others. These are the sciences which, because of their absence, the community would be reduced to narrow straits....

 

Ghazālī makes this very clear in the introduction to the Tahāfat al-Falāsifa: he is not contradicting philosophers on points of semantics and definitions, nor does he disagree with them on issues that have no religious significance (such as eclipses). His major disagreements pertain to questions with three fundamental theological implications: (a) has the universe existed forever? (b) Does God know all particulars? And (c) is bodily resurrection possible? It is in this topic and its likes, not any other, that one must show the falsity of their doctrine....

Related Articles:

Science and Religion

Deen-e-Islam or the Moral Way of Living in Islam

 
History of Arabic-Islamic Science and Fuat Sezgin
Hakan Arslanbenzer
History of Arabic-Islamic Science and Fuat Sezgin
Hakan Arslanbenzer

Though Fuat Sezgin had started with the Islamic aesthetics and hermeneutics, "Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums" concentrates on natural sciences undertaken by Muslims for more than seven centuries. However, the 17 volumes' study introduces poetry, history, Quran and Hadith studies, Sufism, Islamic theology together with natural sciences including medicine, pharmacology, zoology, chemistry, mathematics, botanic, astronomy, meteorology and such....

 

For Muslims, science was essential for cognitive and spiritual advancement. Since the glory of divine creation was superior to the lesser triumph of worldly discoveries, Muslim scientists delved into mysteries of divine creation to unravel un-manifested aspects of reality. This spirit of discovery contrasted starkly with mediaeval Europe where scientific inquiry was clawing out of the dark ages...

Especially during the last fifty years, developments in various scientific fields such as palaeontology, microbiology, genetics and comparative anatomy, and new discoveries show that the theory of evolution is untrue and living beings appeared on earth all of a sudden in their distinct and perfect forms. Therefore, there is no reason to suggest that God employed the process of evolution in Creation. God created every species individually and at one moment, with His command of “Be!” This is a certain and explicit fact....

In fact, the believer’s critique of modern science can be nothing short of “radical”. Full scale attacks have thus been launched against this brand of science, “which has shown itself unable to coexist with anything”. In the criticisms of many scholars, many common themes can be found revolving around the proper position of science, reason, and man in the worldwide scheme of things. They also focus on the evils of a godless science that demurs not to the Divine, but to the vicious desires of godless men....

 
Reconciling Faith and Sciences
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

In his analysis of the nature of prophecy, he reminds us of Ibn Arabi, Al-Farabi, Shah Wailiullah and Iqbal on the nature of prophecy that largely bridges – in practice/consequences – the division between saints/sages and prophets. He defends, like Shah Wailiullah in case of Islamic Sharia, rationale of every detail of the Sharia of Moses, its universality and its essentially unchanging foundations and deeper structure without sounding rather unduly apologetic...

The Deferred Promise of Islamic-World Science
Ehsan Masood and James Wilsdon

But amid the talk of paradigm shifts, as we know now, many brave women and men were crushed, often brutally, as existing regimes sought to reassert control. With the exception of Tunisia, their cries for freedom have largely fallen silent. And the subsequent rise of ISIS meant that many regimes parked other priorities – including science – in favour of spending on security, defence and deradicalisation.....

Even if Muslims had been developing science for centuries, their science could not have been exactly classified as modern: their practice was fused with a spiritual and religious understanding of the world, of man’s position as the vicegerent of God on earth. They didn’t share in the later European conceptions of nature as a raw force to be conquered and endlessly exploited to serve man’s needs….

 
Science and Technology in Islam
Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Science and Technology in Islam
Mohammad Hashim Kamali

Some of the Maqasid, especially in the Zaruriyaat (essential purposes) category, are taken from a general reading of the Quran and Sunnah, and are, therefore, textually based. There are five essential Maqasid of Shariah — protection of life, faith, intellect, property and lineage — and a sixth is added according to a variant reading. A minority opinion adds protection of honour to the list.....

Science and the ‘Sinful’ Eclipse
Nawar Fakhry Ezzi
Science and the ‘Sinful’ Eclipse
Nawar Fakhry Ezzi

The “heavens” and “celestial objects” have intrigued human beings on different intellectual levels throughout history. Mathematicians, physicists and astronomers have been interested in unravelling their scientific mysteries while ancient cultures attempted to understand them through myths and legends....

 

He recites plenty of verses from the Holy Quran, which could be scientific. The verses are then compared to myriad scientific theories from several disciplines for example: Medicine, Astronomy, Geology etc. But in the first place, why does Zakir Naik require scientific evidence to prove that Quran is a book of God or that it was never fabricated or altered for centuries?  Does faith require scientific validity? Zakir Naik and his acolytes should read Karl Popper’s Science as Falsification. It is a bizarre idea to use scientific principle to justify religion.…..

Talking further about human creation in terms of time, Quran tells us; “He is, Who has created you (human) from clay, then he spent a term of time (away from you), and (it is) a specific term he determined. Yet, you doubt (his ability)!” (6:2) Thus, the word ‘Then’ (Fa) prefixed to each stage represents a period of time between the stages. The question is what were the durations of time-periods between those stages? Being a divine book, the Quran talks in cosmic time which is different from how we perceive time. That is why, in places, it uses the term Kun Fia Kun which in scientific terminology is a time-space Warf, where time and space and the physical laws which govern them lose their existence.....

To start with, it challenges our intelligence about our existence in pre-life form when it says, “Do not man remember that We created him before, while he was naught (nothing, non-existent)?” (19:67). T his verse clearly points at existence in non-life form. What was that non-life form? Quran puts it in chronological order by saying: (1) “He created you of dust,” (30:20) corresponding to the initial phase of earth when its atmosphere was filled only with dust. (2) “We created man from sounding (noisy) clay,” (15:26)....

In what they hope will be a spark of light in years of darkness, a group of scientists circulated a beam of electrons around a ring in Allan, Jordan, in January. The group, called Sesame, is made up of physicists from several countries that rarely talk to one another — Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan — and also from the Palestinian Authority, but whose scientists are determined to collaborate.....

 

The Quran places great emphasis on individual and collective research. It gives great importance to ‘men of understanding’ – scientists and engineers – whom it frequently refers to as ‘men who are wise’, ‘people of knowledge’, ‘the ones who consider’ and ‘those who understand’. No wonder Islam’s inspiration for scientific investigation served as a catalyst for the Muslim spirit of enquiry in the heyday of their civilisation. They made revolutionary contributions to scientific thought and activity at a time when the pursuit of science was considered taboo and punished like witchcraft elsewhere in the world.....

 

There is unanimity among philosophers and researchers that Muslim world is currently lagging behind in key scientific and economic areas. The question can be raised why the second most populous human community of world is not able to contribute in science irrespective of the fact that many countries have immense natural resources. The sad part of the story is that the Muslim World, which once was at its peak in scientific endeavours...

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