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Allah created a singularity

I will be talking at times about that which comes from beyond space and matter where there is no time. However, our language and our conceptual system does not allow us to speak or think outside of that. So I will have to “misuse”’ some words. For example, I will say “Before the Universe began,” but there was no “before” because there was no time – but I have to say something and since I don’t know what other word to use, I will have to say “before”!

Before the Universe began, there was spiritual existence and Allah. And exactly what Allah’s relationship is with the spiritual existence, I don’t think we know yet. But we know that beyond space and time, there is a spiritual existence and there is Allah.

Before the universe comes into existence, about 14-15 billion years ago, there was no space, no time and no matter. Then Allah chooses to create a singularity. Refer to Diagram 1. The dot ‘x’ represents the singularity. Though, in the diagram, the singularity dot looks extremely minute compared to the whole universe, in reality it is even tinier than that. A singularity is a point with no dimensions, meaning it has no size at all.

What is a singularity?

If the matter in the universe were spread uniformly, then it must have been infinitely compressed at the first moment. In other words, the entire cosmos would have been squeezed into a single point. At this point the gravitational force, and the density of material, were infinite. A point of infinite compression is known to mathematical physicists as a “singularity”.

Although one is led on quite elementary grounds to expect a singularity at the origin of the universe, it required a mathematical investigation of some delicacy to establish the result rigorously. This investigation was mainly the work of British mathematical physicists Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking. In a series of powerful theorems, they proved that a big-bang singularity is inevitable as long as gravity remains an attractive force under the extreme conditions of the primeval universe. The most significant aspect of their results is that a singularity isn’t avoided even if the cosmic material is distributed unevenly. It is a general feature of a universe described by Einstein’s theory of gravitation – or, for that matter, any similar theory.

There was a lot of resistance to the idea of a big-bang singularity among physicists and cosmologists when it was first mooted. One reason for this concerns the above-mentioned fact that matter, space, and time are linked in the general theory of relativity. This linkage carries important implications for the nature of the expanding universe. Naively, one might suppose that the galaxies are rushing apart through space. A more accurate picture, however, is to envisage space itself as swelling or stretching. That is, the galaxies move apart because the space between them expands. (Readers who are unhappy about the idea that space can stretch are referred to my book The Edge of Infinity for further discussion.) Conversely, in the past, space was shrunken. If we consider the moment of infinite shrunk, it must literally disappear, like a balloon that shrivels to nothing. And the all-important linkage of space, time, and matter further implies that time must disappear too. There can be no time without space. Thus the material singularity is also a space-time singularity. Because all our laws of physics are formulated in terms of space and time, these laws cannot apply beyond the point at which space and time cease to exist. Hence the laws of physics must break down at the singularity.

The picture that we then obtain for the origin of the universe is a remarkable one. At some finite instant in the past the universe of space, time, and matter is bounded by a space-time singularity. The coming-into-being of the universe is therefore represented not only by the abrupt appearance of matter, but of space and time as well.

The significance of this result cannot be overstressed. People often ask: Where did the big bang occur? The bang did not occur at a point in space at all. Space itself came into existence with the big bang. There is similar difficulty over the question: What happened before the big bang? The answer is, there was no “before”. Time itself began at the big bang. As we have seen, Saint Augustine long ago proclaimed that the world was made with time and not in time, and that is precisely the modern scientific position.

No space, no time, no matter

No matter how hard you try you will never be able to grasp just how tiny, how spatially unassuming, is a proton. It is just way too small.

A proton is an infinitesimal part of an atom, which is itself of course an insubstantial thing. Protons are so small that a little dib of ink like the dot on this ‘i’ can hold something in the region of 500,000,000,000 of them, or rather more than the number of seconds it takes to make half a million years. So protons are exceedingly microscopic, to say the very least.

Now imagine if you can (and of course you can’t) shrinking one of those protons down to a billionth of its normal size into a space so small that it would make a proton look enormous. Now pack into that tiny, tiny space about an ounce of matter. Excellent. You are ready to start a universe.

I’m assuming of course that you wish to build an inflationary universe. If you’d prefer instead to build a more old-fashioned, standard Big Bang universe, you’ll need additional materials. In fact, you will need to gather up everything there is – every last mote and particle of matter between here and the edge of creation – and squeeze it into a spot so infinitesimally compact that it has no dimensions at all. It is known as a singularity.

In either case, get ready for a really big bang. Naturally, you will wish to retire to a safe place to observe the spectacle. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to retire to because outside the singularity there is no where. When the universe begins to expand, it won’t be spreading out to fill a larger emptiness. The only space that exists is the space it creates as it goes.

It is natural but wrong to visualize the singularity as a kind of pregnant dot hanging in a dark, boundless void. But there is no space, no darkness. The singularity has no around around it. There is no space for it to occupy, no place for it to be. We can’t even ask how long it has been there – whether it has just lately popped into being, like a good idea, or whether it has been there for ever, quietly awaiting the right moment. Time doesn’t exist. There is no past for it to emerge from.

And so, from nothing, our universe begins.

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, pg 27-28

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Allah created the universe out of nothing

For thousands of years there have been only two theories on the creation of the universe or the origin of the universe.One of the theory state, that the universe has always been as it is now. This is known as the Steady-State universe (or static Universe) Theory.

The other theory was that the universe was created in its present form.

Neither of these theories turn out to be right. It was only in the early 1900’s when Albert Einstein came up with his General Theory of Relativity that proved that the universe had a beginning. Although at that time, many scientists found it exceedingly difficult to accept this fact, that the universe had a beginning, almost all cosmologists and astrophysicists now regard it as an undeniable fact that the universe did have a beginning.

The Universe had a beginning

In less that half a century, man’s view of the universe, formed over millennia, has been transformed. Hubble’s discovery that the universe was expanding, and the realization of the insignificance of our own planet in the vastness of the universe, were just the starting point. As experimental and theoretical evidence mounted, it became more and more clear that the universe must have had a beginning in time, until in 1970 this was finally proved by Penrose and myself, on the basis of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. That proof showed that general relativity in only an incomplete theory: it cannot tell us how the universe started off, because it predicts that all physical theories, including itself, break down at the beginning of the universe. However, general relativity claims to be only a partial theory, so what the singularity theorems really show is that there must have been a time in the very early universe when the universe was so small, that one could no longer ignore the small-scale effects of the other great partial theory of the twentieth century, quantum mechanics. At the start of the 1970s, then, we were forced to turn our search for an understanding of the universe from our theory of the extraordinarily vast to our theory of the extraordinary tiny. That theory, quantum mechanics, will be described next, before we turn to the efforts to combine the two partial theories into a single quantum theory of gravity.

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, pg 54-55

This is crucial because then we can start to expound the creation of Allah’s universe, and of life in particular, at the very beginning … when there was “nothingness”.

Allah, the Originator of the Universe

  1. (1) To Him (Allah) is due the primal origin (Arabic: bada’a) of the heavens and the earth: When He decrees a matter, He says to it: “Be”, and it is.

    Al Baqarah 2:117

    Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s commentary on the above verse:

    Lest anyone should think that the heavens and the earth were themselves primeval and eternal, we are now told that they themselves are creatures of God’s will and design. Cf. vi. 102, where the word bada’a is used as here for the creation of the heavens and the earth, and khalaqa is used for the creation of all things. Bada’a goes back to the very primal beginning, as far as we can conceive it. The materialists might say that primeval matter was eternal: other things, i.e. the forms and shapes as we see them now, were called into being at some tome or other, and will perish. When they perish, they dissolve into primeval matter again, which stands as the base of all existence. We go further back. We say that if we postulate such primeval matter, it owes its origin itself to God. Who is the final basis of existence, the Cause of all Causes. If this is conceded, we proceed to argue that the process of Creation is not then completed. All things in the heavens and on the earth are created by gradual processes. In “things” we include abstract as well as material things. We see the abstract things and ideas actually growing before us. But that also is God’s creation, to which we can apply the word khalaqa, for in it is involved the idea of measuring, fitting it into a scheme of other things. Cf. liv. 49; also xxv. 59. Here comes in what we know as the process of evolution. On the other hand, the “amr” (Command, Direction, Design) is a single thing, unrelated to Time “like the twinkling of an eye” (liv. 50). Another word to note in this connection is ja’ala “making” which seems to imply new shapes and form, new dispositions, as the making of the Signs of the Zodiac in the heavens, or the setting out of the sun and moon for light, or the establishment of the succession of day and night (xxv. 61-62). A further process with regard to the soul is described in the word sawwã, bringing it to perfection (xci. 7) but this we shall discuss in its place. Fatara (xlii. 11) implies, like bada’a, the creating of a thing out of nothing and after no pre-existing similitude, but perhaps fatara implies the creation of primeval matter to which further processes have to be applied later, as when one prepares dough but leaves the leavening to be done after. Badaa (without the ‘ain), xxx. 27, implies beginning the process of creation: this is made further clear in xxxii. 7 where the beginning of the creation of pristine man from clay refers to his physical body, leaving the further processes of reproduction and the breathing in of the soul to be described in subsequent verses. Lastly, baraa is creation implying liberation from pre-existing matter of circumstance, e.g. man’s body form clay (lix. 24) or a calamity from previously existing circumstances (lvii. 22). See also vi. 94, n. 916; vi. 98, n. 923; lix. 24, nn. 5405-6.

  2. Praise be to Allah, who created (out of nothing) (Arabic: fatara) the heavens and the earth, …

    Al-Fãtir 35:1

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Modern Science and the Qur’ān

The work of a popular presenter of Islamic Sciences of French doctor who reverted to Islam by the name of Dr Maurice Bucaille will be very well accepted by Muslims but not among non-Muslims and scientist (although no langable).

What many Muslims have tried to do is to use specific facts in the Qur’ān and prove from science that the facts in the Qur’ān are true.

I think that when we present as science certain facts, we are actually doing Islam a disservice because for Muslims in the first place, we should not be looking for proofs in science that the Qur’ān is true. I actually resent people proving, through science or any other methods, that the Qur’ān is true. I can tell the Qur’ān is true when I read it, and these other ways do not make the Qur’ān any more true. IT IS TRUE!

And I am convinced that these other ways are not convincing to non-Muslims as to the veracity of the Qur’ān. So I wonder what the purpose of these “scientific proofs” of the truthfulness of the Qur’ān is although I am aware that they greatly increase the confidence of Muslims who generally find them attractive. This is because so many Muslims today are influenced by the ideas of secular materialism that they feel they read some proof that the Qur’ān is true. But we Muslims should not feel this way at all!

I have been asked several times what the difference is between my approach and that of others.

I am taking a very different approach in presenting an Islamic perspective of the creation of the universe. I am going from accepted science and I do not refer to many facts in the Qur’ān (except for only a handful – such as Ad Dhariyyah 51:46 which states that the universe is expanding with Allah’s power).

What I will do is show the relationship between accepted facts of modern science and what are generally the beliefs of Islamic theology and Islamic metaphysics, and I will show how there is no separation between them.

I believe this approach is much more effective because now in the Western world, the scientist will be unable to reject there own scientific facts which I use to draw logical conclusions which in turn are in total conformity to Islamic theology and metaphysics.

Allah has told us that to be able to fulfill our role as His Khalifah on earth we must study the two Books of Revelation He has given us, that is, the first Book of Revelation, the Qur’ān, and the second Book of Revelation, the Book of Nature, or Allah’s Physical creation. The second book can only be studied by the combination of all the numerous fields of science.

I have spent most of my life studying this Second Book. And I am convinced that the science contained in this Second Book of Revelation provides an inscrutable basis of the Islamic worldview.

For many centuries, the science that man knows and understood, and the conclusion that he draw from it was neither very deep nor was it accurate. But now science has became a very accurate way to read the facts of the book of the universe.

Western science, though, is a very terrible way to interpret those facts. So my approach is to take these same facts of science (in all its major fields – cosmology, physics, chemistry, biology, etc) and to interpret them from an Islamic perspective not from a secular materialistic point of view.

Hence, what you will notice as I present my interpretation of these most modern scientific facts on the creation of the universe and the progressive development of biological life on earth is that while the facts are exactly what you will find in the book of the foremost cosmologist, physicists and evolutionists, I will be inserting a mechanism that puts Allah in the centre of every single change that takes place.

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Evolution – Does it accurately explain the origin of man?

Evolution was not a naïve or stupid theory. When on looked at the data that was available evolution was not a bad idea and there are some truths to some aspects of evolution. But the bottom line is that evolution was not the way biological life was created, and it is not the way biological life went from simple one-celled organism to more and more complex mammalian forms. Evolution was not the way the first man, Adam, was created. Hence, it is important to have an alternative “theory” to evolution.

But what would be an alternative explanation? A problem arises with the word evolution itself. If we were to ask a group of Muslims if they believed in evolution, they would reply ‘No’. But really, in Islamic theology, Allah has revealed to us that evolution did take place. Because evolution has two meanings.

The first meaning of evolution is “progressive development through stages”. We have no difficulty with this meaning at all in Islam. Allah has revealed to us that that is the way He did the creation.

However, we have difficulty with the second use of the term evolution which has come to refer to the mechanism or the driving force that causes these progressive steps to take place, particularly the one that is the most prominent is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution started out as the concept of natural selection does take place, it is not the driving force that results in the emergence of life forms of greater one-celled organisms to mammals, and then on to man. Biologists have recognized this now.

Apart from the concept of natural selection, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution also expounds the concept of genetic mutation. The major problem with the concept of genetic mutation is that 99% of mutation is harmful to nature. Hence, a theory that asserts that the driving force of progressive development of life forms that is 99% movement in a negative direction is very naïve. Biologists have recognised this also.

There is no currently held biological theory that supports the actual mechanism itself by which we can go from simple one-celled organism to complex mammalian life, and to man (Adam). Despite the widely accepted untenability of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution among the foremost scientists and biologists, the general scientific body still holds on to it. And so, surprisingly, it is common to see on the mainstream medic, such as the Discovery Channel, programmes which put forth explanations on the origin of biological life based on these two concepts of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – natural selection and genetic mutation.

There is an interesting theory that has been proposed after these two concepts have been dispumen. This is called “morphic genetic fields” and a scientist by the name of Penrose proposed it. However, it is not widely accepted by the scientific community. This theory of “morphic genetic fields” states that throughout the universe there is an underlying field which is like a template that leads matter to progress in a certain unfolding plan. This does not sound too far what Allah has said He does. Thus, we can note that as the scientists move away from their naïve concept of natural selection (which is a process that is happening in this world that has no control (by Allah), the serious evolutionist biologists finally propose a theory very close to the Islamic understanding of the origin of man in the universe. This theory is greatly discredited because it is obviously so close to a religious theory of the progressive of development of the material universe. So although this theory has some adherents, it is not widely discussed and expounded. However, I will be doing so.

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