Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Quran and Science

Day by day all enemies of Islam always attack Islam in whatever methods or ways to destroy Islamic teachings. From the prophet’s lifetime until now they are still finding way on how to decrease the followers of Islam. As for them, it is not enough to influence the Muslim by giving them entertainment alone, but they also challenge Muslim on their knowledge and understanding especially on al-Quran or Islam itself. The question of how the Quran and science relate to each other has been the subject of ongoing debate. This is one of the branches that they have created in order to make Muslims confuse with the authority of the Quran itself. So as Muslims, we have to understand and have knowledge on al-Quran and other various kind of knowledge because non Muslims will claim and make any false statement or wrong interpretation on Al-Quran as they like. In this case, we have to argue on whatever they said so that they will not have wrong assumption or understanding on Islam and it is our responsibility to preserve the Quran until we die.

Many people have wrong view or interpretation about Quran or religion and science. They thought that religion has no connection with science. Based on this perception, scientific revolution was deeply rooted in the cultural context of the secular humanism. Modern science took a completely new and secularized form. It is open to doubt because according to Ibn Taymiyya, authentic revealed knowledge is in harmony with established rational evidence.[1] Even though, there might be something that not suitable in a particular situation, but it was not much. Many things that we can adapt from the Quran are suitable and can be practiced in our live. In terms f scientific aspect, we can see Allah s.w.t. said about ‘smoke’ in Surah Fussilat verse 11:
ثم استوى الى السماء وهي دخان فقال لها وللأرض......
“Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: ……..” (Surah Fussilat 41:11)[2]
From this verse, the statement of the existence of a gaseous mass with fine particles for this is how the word ‘smoke’ (دخان) is to be interpreted.[3] Now we can see that religion (Quran) has connection with science.

Other than that, most of the modern western scientist said that what counted as genuine knowledge was only that which was derived from observation and experimentation. The validity of other ways of knowledge was denied. Science and religion by definition in conflict and it seems a paradox to discuss any relation between the Quran and science.[4] This statement is not true. It is because the opinion of Dr. Maurice Bucaille which is also a scientist and at the same time being also a Christian is different. After doing some research, he said that the statements about scientific phenomena in the Holy Quran are perfectly in conformity with the modern sciences whereas the Biblical narrations on the same subjects are scientifically entirely unacceptable.[5] According to Al-Quran:
فاليوم ننجيك ببدنك لتكون لمن خلفك ءاية......
“So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a sign to those who come after you!” (Surah Yunus 10:92)
From this verse, Dr. Maurice Bucaille was very surprised that the Quran made definite prediction about the preservation of the body of that same Pharaoh of Moses’ time. From what he had read from the Bible, Pharaoh had been drowned in pursuit of Prophet Moses.[6] This is one of the evidences in the Quran that show us that there are no conflict between religion and science. On the other hand, the claim that genuine knowledge can only be derived from empirical research is also false. Here we can argue that those methods have limitation and not suitable to verify knowledge about matters beyond sensory perceptions.

Besides that, modernists always make reinterpretation of religious ideas in order that they conform to modern knowledge and science. For instance, they believed that it is explained in the light or Darwinism where Adam, a symbol of humanity and not a real man, has originated from a chemical fusion of water and minerals.[7] This statement is contradicted with the evidence that has been stated in Quran. Allah s.w.t said:
ان مثل عيسى عند الله كمثل ءادم خلقه من تراب ثم قال له كن فيكون
“Verily, the likeness of I’sa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam a.s. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” – and he was. (Surah Al-Imran 3:59).

From the modernist perspective, all miracles recorded in the Quran are rejected and given new meanings. Most of them are regarded as legends, rendered in the Quran not as facts but as morality lessons.[8] This claim is also a very wrong statement because it also has been mentioned by Allah s.w.t. in Al-Quran:
ونزلنا عليك الكتب تبينا لكل شئ وهدى ورحمة للمسلمين
“And We have sent down to you the Book (the Quran) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy. And glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah s.w.t as Muslims).” (Surah An-Nahl 16:89)
From this verse, the word ‘هدى’ which means guidance told us that Quran is not legends. Quran has been revealed to all Muslims as guidance and we can make it as the main reference in order to govern our lives to be a better Muslim.

The rejectionists also make arguments against the use of science in interpreting the Quran. One of the arguments is that the Quran has not been revealed as a book where God speaks to the people about scientific theories and types of knowledge. This argument is true because the primary objective of the Quran is wider and more significant than giving details about the causes of natural phenomena. It aims to establish new concepts, values and rules to govern and shape human life. Quran is mainly concerned with the human soul and the state and direction of the human condition. When the relationship with the Creator has been developed, they are given full freedom to make scientific research to probe the mysteries of life and the universe.[9]

In conclusion, we can conclude that all Muslims should equip themselves with knowledge as much as they can, including knowledge of understanding the Quran in order to explain all those wrong understanding and to refute all false statements about Quran and science and other branches of knowledge that can give us benefit in defending Islam from false accusation by the enemies of Islam. The Muslim experience with science is in many ways distinct. Instead of being in defense of Islam against the offence of modern science, Muslims attempted to use science as new evidence to support the truths of the Quran. Using science in the interpretation of the Quran is not new in Islamic history. Nonetheless, it has resulted in ongoing debate that includes four distinct approaches: the modernists, advocates, rejectionists and moderates. All of their ideas have been influenced by Western ideas. Other than that, Muslims also should have iman and taqwa to preserve ourselves from being influenced by western or other enemies of Islam who have intention to destroy our Muslims society.
[1] Ibn Taymiyya, Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halim, Dar ta’arud al-‘aql wa’l-naql (Refutation of Any Contradiction between Revelation and Reason) (11 vols, Cairo : Maktabat Dar al-Kutub,1971)
[2] Dr Muhammad Taqi-ud-din Al-Hilali (Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah), Interpretation of the Meaning of The Noble Quran, (Darussalam Publishers, Riyadh Saudi Arabia)
[3] Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Quran and Science (Paris: Seghers, 1978)
[4] Colin Turner, The Koran Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, Routledge Curzon Taylor and Francis Group (London & New York, 2004)
[5] Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Quran and Science (Paris: Seghers, 1978)
[6] Ibid
[7] Dar, The Religious Thought of Sayyid Ahmed Khan, p.208
[8] Colin Turner, The Koran Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, Routledge Curzon Taylor and Francis Group (London & New York, 2004)

[9] Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Quran, trans M.A. Salahi and A.A Shamis (Leicester; The Islamic Foundation, 1999), vol.1, p.199.


  1. Dengarnya dr Maurice Bucaille tak masuk Islam lagi.

  2. Kita doakan semoga dia masuk islam..amin! Maklumat yg sy dapat drpd buku ni nak menunjukkan bukan orang islam je yang bersetuju dengan Al-Quran.. kebanyakan ilmuwan daripada barat(yang berbeza agama)pun bersetuju dengan Al-Quran.. Betapa hebatnya Al-Quranul karim.. SubhanAllah! :)