15 Nov Does the Qur’an Allude to Scientific Developments?.Part1
Before answering this question, we should point out one important fact:
Considering science as opposed to religion and scientific study as separate from and independent of the Qur’an is just as mistaken as trying to reduce the Qur’an to a science textbook by showing that every new scientific theory or fact can be found in it.
•For example, some have claimed, that the dabbet al–ard (a little moving creature) mentioned in Qur’an 27:82 is the virus that causes AIDS. However, this is a hasty conclusion for several reasons: the Qur’an is silent about this dabbe’s nature; if we accept this assertion, we also must accept other venereal disease-causing bacteria or viruses; and, we cannot know whether new and more lethal viral diseases will appear in the future. The context in which dabbet al-ard appears suggests that it will emerge toward the end of this world, when almost no one believes in God. So, we must not show haste in trying to find some type of correspondence between a Qur’anic verse and every new development in science and technology.
•Scientific theories are usually like clothes—both are discarded after a while. Trying to show that every new scientific fact or theory can be found in the Qur’an displays the Muslim world’s inferiority complex and makes science more important than the Qur’an.
Each Qur’anic verse and expression has a universal content. Therefore, any time-specific interpretation can address only one aspect of that universal content.
•Every interpreter, scientist, and saint prefers a particular aspect as a result of his or her spiritual discovery or intuition, personal evidence, or natural disposition. Besides, we accept both Newton’s physics and Einstein’s physics as science and therefore true. Although in absolute terms both may be false, there certainly must be some truth in both.
Causality is a veil spread by God Almighty over the rapid flux of existence so that we can plan our lives to some degree.
•This means that Newton’s physics and Einstein’s physics are only relatively true. In short, while pondering the Qur’anic verses, we should consider the relative truths found in existence and our lives, which are much more numerous than the unchanging absolute truths.
Qur’anic expressions have multiple meanings. For example, consider the verses:
He let forth the two seas that meet together, between them a barrier, they do not overpass (55:19-20).
•These verses indicate all the pairs of “seas” or realms, spiritual and material, figurative and actual, from the realms of Lordship and servanthood to the spheres of necessity and contingency, from this world to the Hereafter (including this visible, corporeal world and all unseen worlds), the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Mediterranean and Red seas, salt water and sweet water in the seas and underground, and such large rivers as the Euphrates and Tigris that carry sweet water and salty seas to which they flow. All of these, together with many others I do not need to mention here, are included in these verses, whether literally or figuratively.
•So even if a Qur’anic verse or expression appears to point exactly to an established scientific fact, we should not restrict its meaning to that fact. Rather, we should consider all other possible meanings and interpretations as well.
•On the other hand, sometimes the Qur’an does point or allude to specific scientific developments and facts. Being the Divine Revelation that includes everything of wet or dry (6:59), it cannot exclude them. Indeed, it refers to them directly or indirectly, but not in the manner of science and materialistic or naturalistic philosophy.