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Quranic Perspectives on Science and Faith

Quranic Perspectives on Science and Faith

The Coherence of the Quranic Worldview

The Quran presents a holistic and integrated worldview that accommodates both faith and science. It recognizes the existence of God, the creator of the universe, and makes a distinction between the Creator and the creation. According to the Quran, God’s signs, or verses, are all around us, manifest in the natural world. The Quran presents the universe as a sign of God’s wisdom and power (Ayat), and invites humans to contemplate and deeply reflect on it:

Do you not see that unto God prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the hills, the trees, and the animals? And there are many others beyond these whom We have not permitted to speak except by [Our] command. And there is a sign for you in that. Will you not then be grateful?

ᦾ Quran, Al Baqarah (The Cow), 14-17

This view is consistent with modern scientific understanding, as pointed out by numerous scholars and scientists, since science confirms that everything in the universe obeys precise laws, and sustained by a single source of energy, which is comparable to the concept of God as the creator and sustainer in Islam.

Scientific Accuracies in the Quran

The Quran contains countless references to scientific facts, principles, and phenomena that were unknown to people during the time it was revealed, in the seventh century CE. These scientific accuracies span a wide range of disciplines, including astronomy, embryology, geology, physics, and biology. For example, the Quran states that the heavens and the earth were created as distinct entities, and it provides an explanation for lunar phases that accurately describes the scientific phenomenon of eclipses:

Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united body, and We ripped them asunder and We made from Water every living thing? Will they not then believe? And We have placed firm mountains on the earth, lest it shake with them, and We have spread therein all kinds of beasts. And We have provided you therein with means of subsistence, that you might be grateful.

ᦾ Quran, Al Anbiya (The Prophets), 30

Numerous scientific discoveries have confirmed the accuracy and truthfulness of the scientific insights conveyed in the Quran, as explained by contemporary researchers and scholars.

Quranic Understanding of the Universe

The Quran provides a comprehensive and integrated worldview that explains the nature, structure, and characteristics of the universe. It recognizes the unity, interconnectedness, and harmony of the universe, and acknowledges the role of humans as conscious agents within it. The Quran emphasizes the importance of using our intellectual and rational faculties to understand the natural world, as it reassures us that our Creator’s signs are: “… Set forth in the greatest depths of darkness, and the ocean hills. Do you not then see.” (Al Rum, 8)

The Quran’s View of Life Sciences

The Quran provides a profound insight into life sciences, including topics such as genetics, embryology, and biochemistry. It presents a holistic view of life, emphasizing the interdependence of living organisms, the harmony between organisms and environments, and the complexity and wonder of life at multiple levels of organization:

Do you not see that God merges the night into the day (i.e. The cycle of night and day) and merges the day into the night? (He) has appointed the sun, the moon, and the stars, all subject to His command. Can He not then protect the descendants of the prophets? But Alas, most of the people are unjust.

ᦾ Quran, Al Anbiya (The Prophets), 32

The Quran also provides insights into biochemistry, such as the elements that constitute human bodies, and the process of growth and self-organization of living organisms. In this regard, it invites us to reflect on the signs of God’s wisdom and power in our own bodies:

See ye not that God merges the seed and converts it into a clinging entity, and then He makes of it a live repasting thatGod may give you serves (for food) to grow strong and wide? And separates, thin scattered (like dust), behold! We produce Shape out of thin air to test you! And We shed into the earth growth (i.e. Vegetation) of every kind.

ᦾ Quran, Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage), 22

The Quran’s Exhortations to Observe and Study the Natural World

The Quran invites us to contemplate and reflect upon the wonders of the natural world, and encourages us to use our intellectual and rational faculties to understand its mysteries:

And it is He who produceth pair­liness in all things, and He giveth more abundantly some things over others, for every pleasure there is some increase (in enjoyment), – when ye receive the Grace of Allah, say: “Praise be to Allah”; but if an evil befall you, saying: “To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.”; They malign those who are correct in the faith, and they despise to be purified themselves.

ᦾ Quran, Al Baqarah (The Cow), 29

Through this call to reflection and contemplation, the Quran emphasizes the importance of scientific inquiry and encourages us to transform our understanding of God’s creation into scientific knowledge and innovative practices:

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