15 Nov Science and Religion.Part1
Science considers any fact established through empirical methods to be scientific. Therefore, assertions not established through observation and experiment are only theories or hypotheses.
As science cannot be sure about the future, it does not make definite predictions. Doubt is the basis of scientific investigation.
However Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who was taught by All-Knowing, made many decisive predictions.
Most have come true already; the rest are waiting for their time to come true. Many Qur’anic verses point to recently discovered and established scientific facts. As pointed out earlier, the Qur’an mentions many important issues of creation and natural phenomena that even the most intelligent person living fourteen centuries ago could not have known. Furthermore, it uses the Prophets’ miracles to allude to the farthest reaches of science, which originated in the Knowledge of the All-Knowing One.
•Does the Qur’an contain everything?
The Qur’an describes humanity and the universe. It declares:
With Him are the keys of the Unseen. None but He knows them. And He knows what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falls but with His Knowledge, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, nothing of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a Manifest Book. (6:59)
Ibn Mas’ud says that the Qur’an provides information on everything, but that we may not be able to see everything in it. Ibn ‘Abbas, the “Interpreter of the Qur’an” and “Scholar of the Ummah,” asserts that if he loses his camel’s rein, he can find it by means of the Qur’an. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, a major scholar who lived in Egypt in the 15th century CE, explains that all sciences or branches of knowledge can be found in the Qur’an.
•How can a medium-sized book, which also contains a great deal of repetition, contain everything we need to know about life, science, conduct, creation, past and future, and so on?
Before explaining this important matter, we should point out that to benefit from the Qur’an, which transcends time and location and is not bound by its audience’s intellectual level, we have to prepare ourselves to do so.
We should have firm belief in it and do our best to implement its principles in our daily life. We must refrain from sin as much as possible. As the Qur’an declares we only get what we strive for (53:39), we should, like a deep-sea explorer, dive into its “ocean” and, without becoming tired or bored, continue studying it until we die.
Moreover, we need a good command of Arabic and sufficient knowledge of all branches of the natural and religious sciences. A good interpretation necessitates cooperation among scientists from all natural and social sciences, and religious scholars who are experts in Qur’anic commentary, Hadith, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), theology, and spiritual sciences. While reciting and studying the Qur’an, we should regard it as being its first addressee, consciously aware that each verse addresses us directly. If we consider, for example, its historical accounts of the Prophets and their peoples as unrelated to us, we will derive no benefit.
According to its nature and significance, worth and place in existence, everything has its own place in the Qur’an:
•The Qur’an contains everything, but not to the same degree.
It pursues four purposes:
•prove the existence and Unity of God,
•worship of God and justice.
To realize its purposes, the Qur’an draws our attention to God’s acts in the universe, His matchless art displayed through creation, the manifestations of His Names and Attributes, and the perfect order and harmony seen in existence. It mentions certain historical events, and establishes the rules of personal and social good conduct and morality, as well as the principles of a happy, harmonious social life. In addition, it explains how to worship and please our Creator, gives us some information about the next life, and tells us how to gain eternal happiness and be saved from eternal punishment.