Is Science contradictory to Quran?

Beliefs & Practices, Chapter 08, Islam & Modernism / Sunday, August 17th, 2008

There is a group of simple people who think that all these attempts to conquer moon and space are contradictory
to the views of the Quran and the tradition and (God forbid) they are a challenge to the authority of God. So much so that, some people have been heard saying, purely out of love for Islam, that all the news about landing on the moon are fictions and they cannot be relied upon. But the fact is that if the scientists of America or Russia
or any other country reach the moon or mars or any other planet, it does not in any way clash with the Quran and the traditions, nor does it affect the supreme authority of God. There is not a single verse of the Quran or narration of the Prophet which denies the ascent of man to moon or Mars or any other planet.

On the contrary, if those travelling in the space keep their eyes open to realities they will find clear signs of the truth of the Quran and the traditions. They will observe with their naked eyes the realities of many Islamic concepts which are made more comprehensible through the progress of the scientific knowledge, and which were previously mocked at by the blind followers of Rationalism. For instance, the description of the incredible speed of the ‘Buraq’ in the Holy Traditions, with reference to the Ascension, was regarded as fairy-tale by the so-called pioneers of rationalism. But the astronauts of today have circled around the world in less than an hour and thus proved that speed is something that can not be confined to any limits. So when the American scientist and astronauts can exhibit such an astonishing super speed through the limited powers of their mind why can’t the unlimited power of the Cherisher and Sustainer (Allah) of this universe give even a higher speed, to any of His creatures.

In short, we have firm belief, and there is nothing to shake it, that man is bound to salute and acknowledge the realities of the Quran and the Sunnah with the ever increasing progress of science and technology, if, of course, he remains within the bounds and does not claim his calculations to be scientific observations. The religion brought by
the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is not like the religion of Christianity which should be frightened by the progress of science. This is the religion which is the most symmetrical with human nature. It had openly proclaimed fourteen centuries ago that:

“We shall soon show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth”. (Ha Mim As Sajdah: 53)

Imam Razi has quoted earlier commentators to say that the ‘signs in the Horizons’ means the wonders of the skies, moon and stars and the elements. The phrase “We will show our signs” means that these wonders have no limits. Thus Allah will continue exhibiting new wonders in every era of time.

On the other side there is a group among the Muslims who are so much dazzled with the grandeur of science that they see nothing more valuable, more important and worth following than throwing rockets on the planets. The overawed tone and longing with which these people talk of this type of scientific advancement gives an impression that for them the most fortunate and exalted and benefactor of mankind is the nation that has performed this wondrous feat, and most deprived are those who have lagged behind in this “sacred” race.

You must have heard people saying “the world has entrapped the moon and planets but the Muslims are still entangled in the problems of Salah, fasting, marriage and divorce.” This expression actually depicts the same mentality that the Western nation has surpassed all other nations in every walk of life by inventing the rockets and satellites, and hence the solution to all our problems must be sought by following the footsteps of the West.

In fact both these trends are dangerous. We have no hesitation in acknowledging that this is an amazing achievement, and from the scientific point of view, it is a great success of man. But the question arises whether this “achievement” was worth attempting in view of the price man had to pay for it? There are many who take pleasure out of the success of space explorations but very few know what quantity of wealth was spent in each of
these space journeys? The expenses incurred on Apollo-8 were one trillion and twenty billion rupees (Jang, Karachi, 14 January 1969). This amount was equivalent to at least twenty annual budgets and six years of national income of Pakistan. In other words the amount spent by Pakistan in twenty years and the money earned by 100 million people of Pakistan in six years was spent on only one space journey. It is the amount spent only on the journey of the Apollo-8. The journey of Apollo-l0 must have cost far more money than the Apollo-8. It is equal to the money that could be spent by Pakistan in 80 years.

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