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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Correspondence with the late Brother Muhammad [I]

ADVICE TO A STUDENT IN AMERICA ON LIVING THE LIFE OF ISLAM

Assalam alaikum dear brother ___,

(From your email)
I realize that, of late, the level of purity in my thoughts and actions is
rapidly declining toward being more and more secular materialistic in
nature. I have a feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with me
because I can no longer pray in deep contemplation, don’t act in sincere
honesty for Allah, and do not seek guidance from only Allah. I strongly feel
that I am overly exposed to such a secular social lifestyle, and that there
is hardly anything I do/hear/see that has spiritual value. Even when I do
things that might be considered beneficial, it still seems to take me
further from Allah than closer to Him. Some of those actions include reading
world news, studying maths, being nice and helpful to others, reading books,
etc. I so desperately hope that I don’t do further damage to my soul. One
main consequence is that I cannot fully focus when I study.

This feeling that I have is totally new to me. I definitely had not expected
to be in such a predicament. Perhaps you notice a serious flaw in me? (End
of your email)

I feel really sad to hear how you have been feeling. During our many talks I
think it would be true to say we became friends, besides the fact that your
father is my good friend also. The loss of faith is just about the saddest
thing that can happen to a Muslim. I wish you could feel how much I love
Allah and the wonderful Islam He gave us as the right way of life. Few
Muslims would know how attractive the ideas of secular materialism can be as
I have had the opportunity to experience for myself. It was not for feeble
reasons I was so convinced God did not exist at the time when I had for
years been beguiled by the attractiveness and seeming rightness of the basis
for secular materialism. If I had not been an objective scientist in the
extreme I could never have been able to fairly and rationally observe that
the undeniable necessary logical implications of modern science,
particularly modern physics, pointed so powerfully to the fact that God must
exist.

You would have to have available to you all the facts that I have gathered
over the many years of study to know how certain I am now that what exists
to support secular materialism is so paltry as to be embarrassing, and how
the totality of the facts and their implications proving the rightness of a
spiritual God-centered world is so overwhelming there is not even faint hope
that the acceptance of secular materialism could ever rise again. Much of
what I know that provides me with the most high degree of certainty that
secular materialism offers nothing but a path to hellfire is in the subtle
interconnections of facts existing within the sphere of all true knowledge,
but still I guess I am a bit surprised that what you have had the
opportunity to learn from me, although must less than the whole, was not
sufficient to provide you with more protection from the seduction of the
secular world.

For myself I don’t worry that my obligatory prayers are seldom times of
“deep contemplation” since the true depths of my contemplation take place as
in my mind as I delve into the intimate actions of Allah as He creates,
sustains, and directs His physical creation. Also late at night I have
conversations with Allah that might seem to some to be more appropriate to a
totally free and open discussion of the very closest friends. I think
sometimes we have the expectations of others determining for us what should
be determined only by our own souls. Then we have the effects of the
“secular social lifestyle” which can be a major trial for Muslims anywhere
along the path of spiritual progression. I am now Blessed with the
opportunity to isolate myself from direct interaction with most of secular
society. At times when I did not have this opportunity I had many times of
doubt as to whether, regardless of how committed I was to Islam, that I
could resist all that a secular society offered. I have become a much better
person, and a much better Muslim as I have had less and less direct contact
with the secular world.

In answer to your question, I am most pleased to be able to say I see no
major fault in you at all. I have mentioned the one thing that could be
considered a flaw and which could cause you some difficulty and that is the
fact that I see you making assumptions that are not the assumptions of
highest probability given the available data. It is hard to say how that can
be corrected, it takes a lot of objectivity, logic, and a standard which
gives a good understanding of what is most likely given the nature of our
world. To me this standard is now Islam, which I am convinced is by far the
most comprehensively good and right system of thought that that has ever
existed. That is the fair, honest, and positively motivational world view I
am always taking about.

Sometimes it might be true that ignorance is bliss. By this I mean that for
any Muslim the cultural and spiritual shock of moving from a more or less
Islamic environment (such as Malaysia) to one of the most powerful secular
materialistic environments that has ever existed is always going to be very
difficult to deal with. For someone who has accepted the truth and facts of
Islam without question they may be able to fall back upon this unthinking
certainty as their armour against wrong thought and wrong influence, but to
someone who has been somewhat of an intelligent, independent thinker and has
asked hard questions about those things that others never questioned they
would not have the same safety of certainty to fall back on. A God-centered
spiritual life is increasingly difficult to successfully achieve in the
world we have today. Ultimately no one but you can decide to walk that path.
Please know how sincerely I can say this to you, “Life with Islam is so much
better than life without Islam.”

I wish I could do more, but I can only pray that you will find something in
this message that touches both your heart and your reason in such a way that
it makes your relationship with Allah, and your life in Islam a little
easier.

Wasallam my very dear brother and friend, may Allah Bless you and be with
you during these difficult times.

muhd

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Why Don’t I Feel Safe?Why Don’t I Feel Safe?

My dear Muslim bothers and sisters, we have been robbed of our basic right to be able to walk on our streets without fear. It is an indication of the severity of moral sickness in society when its law-abiding members feel tyrannized by thugs, snatch thieves, robbers, road bullies, sex offenders, murderers and all other perpetrators of lawlessness.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us that every illness has its remedy. The Holy Qur’an says in Surah Al-Isra’, verse 82:

“We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur’an that which is a healing and mercy to those who believes to the unjust, it causes nothing but loss after loss.”

In a fully and truly Islamic world, all members of the society would be completely safe – be they Muslims, non-Muslims, men, women or children of whatever race, social background and political affiliation.

Indeed the only one who ought not be safe would be those who violate the basic rights of every human being, the right to protection of his life, property and honor.

The Holy Qur’an says in Surah Al-Maidah, verse 33 and 34:

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and run about to spread mischief in the land is this: they should be put to death, or crucified, or their alternate hands and feet should be cut off, or they should be banished from the land. This is the disgrace and ignominy in this world and there is in store for them a harsher treatment for them in the Hereafter. Except for those who repent before you have the power over them for you should know that Allah is Forgiving and Compassionate.”

“Waging war on Allah and His Messenger” means the hostile opposition to and willful disregard of the belief and actualization of Islamic principles as ordained by Allah and as explained by all His Messengers.

In a rightly guided Islamic state, an equitable system of social welfare and justice must be put in place and tenaciously preserved so that it will guarantee security to all human beings, animals, and the environment which may enable human beings to develop to the fullest of their God endowed capabilities.

As an illustration, consider the abhorrent mischief of theft and robbery that has diseased many societies in the world today. The Holy Qur’an says in Surah Al-Maidah, verse 38:

“As for the thief, whether man or woman, cut off the hand of either of them, it is the recompense for what they have earned and an exemplary punishment from Allah…”

It is the unanimous opinion of Islamic scholars that this extreme severity of the Qur’anic punishment for theft can only be implemented in a truly Islamic state where every citizen is entitled to share in the country’s economic resources, that is he or she must be assured of an equitable standard of living commensurate with the resources at the disposal of the community. In a truly Islamic state, the society collectively provides for both the spiritual needs of the human being and for his physical and intellectual needs as well.

To be truly Islamic, the society (or state) must be so constituted that every individual, man and woman may enjoy the minimum of material well-being and security. Without this, there can be no human dignity, no real freedom and ultimately, no spiritual progress.

How can there be true happiness and security in a society that permits some of its members to suffer undeserved privation while others have more than they need, and yet are unwilling to share sufficiently? If the available resources of a community are so unevenly distributed that certain groups within it live in affluence while the majority of the people are forced to use up all their energies in search of their daily bread, such oppressive poverty becomes a dangerous enemy of spiritual progress. The entire community may then be driven away from God-consciousness and instead become a victim of destructive materialism. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said “Poverty leads the believer to Kufr, that is, the denial of truth”.

In a truly Islamic society, the social legislation of Islam must be executed such that every man, woman and child has (a) enough to eat and wear (b) an adequate home (c)equal opportunities and facilities for education, and (d) access to medical care in health and in sickness, equitably priced. Implicit in these rights, is the right to productive and remunerative work while of working age and in good health. Also, a provision either by the state or the community to provide adequate nourishment, shelter, etc, in cases of disability arising from illness, widowhood, enforced unemployment, old age, or under age. Such a comprehensive social security system in a truly Islamic state is a communal obligation (fardh kifaayah).

It is against the background of this comprehensive security system envisaged by Islam that the Holy Quran imposes the severe sentence of hand-cutting as a deterrent punishment for theft and robbery. In a community where everyone is assured of full security and social justice, any attempt on the part of an individual to achieve an easy, unjustified gain at the expense of other members of the community must be considered an attack on the community, that is “waging war on Allah and his Messenger”.

So, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, the finest of Allah’s revelation, the Holy Quran provides the remedy for the moral illness of insecurity in our society.

We make sincere dua’ to Allah that He imbues us with the strength toward the correct practice of His Religion – Islam. As always, our response is:

“We hear and we obey!”      (Surah Al-Baqarah: 285)

[Reference: Muhammad Asad, “The message of the Quran”]

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How astray we have gone: When Muslims brothers fight one another.

On Friday 9th day of DhullHijjah in the 10th year of Hijrah, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) delivered his last sermon on the Mount of Arafat. It was the Assembly Day on Arafat during what is now known as the Farewell Pilgrimage.

In his sermon, our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spoke thus:

“Verily Allah has made inviolable for you each other’s blood and each other’s property, until you meet your Lord, even as He has made inviolable this holy day, this holy land and this holy month…”

“O men, and ponder my words which I now convey to you. I am leaving you with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet. If you follow them, you will never go astray. O men, harken well my words. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore, do injustice to your own selves…”

Fourteen hundred and seventeen years have since passed. My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, how our hearts do bleed when we witness the violent in-fighting within the Muslim brotherhood. Most heartrending is the bitter animosity among Palestinians – between the Hamas supporters and the forces loyal to the Fatah Party of President Mahmood Abbas. We beseech them to stop spilling the blood and destroying the property of their own brothers.

Do not give the enemies of Allah and His Religion, Islam cause to rejoice over our shameful behavior. It only results in weakening our position against the aggressor Israel and their patrons – the entire Western world. They have cunningly orchestrated the crippling economic and political situation in the Palestinian territories that has caused the inevitable eruption of conflict between a Muslim Palestinian brother and his fellow Muslim Palestinian brothers.

Our beloved Prophet warned us to steadfastly adhere to the Holy Qur’an and his Sunnah. Did he not face persecution and hostility far torturous from the Quraish and Meccan tribes that what our Palestinian brothers are suffering now? Take heed from his example, only through unbreakable solidarity among the Muslim brotherhood then did Allah’s help lead them out of their oppressive state.

Allah admonishes in the Noble Qur’an:

“All believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and be conscious of Allah, that you may receive mercy.” (49:10)

“And hold together unto the bond with Allah, and do not draw apart from one another. And remember the blessings of Allah when you were enemies. He brought your hearts together so that through His blessings you became brethren… and be not like those who have drawn apart unto them, these will face a tremendous suffering.” (3:103-105)

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, let us unite in one Ummah and with one voice, respond with sincere conviction:

“We hear, and we obey…” (2:285)

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Khalifah Project booth at ISNA 2006

Khalifah Project booth at the ISNA Conference 2006 in Chicago

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Aphorism: Progressive understanding of the unchanging revealed truth

In Islam we must learn to correctly distinguish between the unchanging revealed truth and our changing understanding of that revealed truth. That Allah is God and that Allah is the Creator and Sustainer of the physical existence in an unchanging revealed truth. How well we can understand the nature of Allah and how well we understand the processes by which Allah creates and sustains the physical existence are constantly undergoing progressive change. It is against the true nature of Islam to at any point believe that the changing understanding of revealed truth is in fact the unchanging revealed truth.

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