Often do we hear famous scientists speak about the big bang theory. They insist that this massive universe doesn’t need an Omniscient Omnipotent creator to happen. In their opinion, ‘Chaos’ can ‘create’ on its own. Let’s try to indulge into what they say, then simplify, and analyze it. Kindly note that whenever we speak about matters like the start of creation and the early beginning of things, science did not, and cannot state a final opinion or theory about them, these were matters beyond humans’ observation. What science can do: is place theories based on the available evidences without forcing any ideology upon the evidence.
According to the established modern scientific theories, the universe was originated from a huge explosion in a singularity point turning it in to a massive universal celestial gaseous dust cloud. The cloud produced by the Big Bang was mostly formed of hydrogen gas alongside tiny dust particles. Gravity took its role between the close particles, the end product of which, is that stars and galaxies were formed. While galaxies continue to move away from each other due to the primary explosion, some of them are moving relative to each other due to their gravitational interaction. In 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the conclusive observational evidence for the expansion of the universe. The whole space itself is expanding, carrying galaxies with it, like spots on an inflating balloon. In a galaxy called “The Milky Way”, our solar system was formed in a similar way.
Scientists tell us that about 4.5 billion years ago a dying star in our galaxy exploded crushing down a massive dust cloud forming a cloud of gas and dust. From this massive cloud our solar system was originated. The previous incident was the first link in the chain of events that preceded the earth’s existence. A new star was born which became our sun, and as expected, gravity played its role among the tiny dust particles, forming the planets revolving around the new star including our own. After a massive amount of collisions the earth finally reached its semi spherical oblate shape. According to the prevailing hypothesis today, the moon is formed as a result from a massive collision between earth and another semi planet named “Theia.” During the previous events, the sun vaporized the water molecules in the solar system. Millions of miles away from the sun’s heat, this water vapor was condensed, frozen and accumulated on comets and asteroids as ice.
During the development of the rest of the planets of the solar system, namely the ones farther away from the sun than earth, and their stabilization within uniform orbits around the sun, a massive amount of comets and asteroids, probably trillions, were driven towards the earth bringing in water, and consequently life emerged in an aquatic environment. Thanks for volcanoes, gases evaporating from earth started to form the earth’s atmosphere. A new form of life started to evolve, photosynthetic organisms emerged to consume Carbon dioxide and produce Oxygen. Once oxygen had been produced, ultraviolet light split its molecules producing the ozone UV shield. At this point life moved out from the oceans and respiration evolved. The layers of the atmosphere were formed. Meanwhile the water cycle on earth began to stabilize.
Everything is now stabilized in a specific orbit. The sun is orbiting the center of the Milky Way at a distance of approximately 24,000–26,000 light-years from the galactic center. The earth is orbiting the sun, and the moon is orbiting the earth. The sun produces light in the day. The moon only reflects the Sun’s light, this is why it looks luminous at night, but it does not produce any light of its own. Thanks for the moon, the earth’s axis-tilt is preserved at 23.45o, this means that the North Pole is kept closer to the sun for 6 consecutive months than the South Pole, then in the next 6 months this is reversed resulting in the succession of the 4 seasons of the year. Consequently this makes most of the earth’s regions qualified for inhabitancy throughout the year.
To the previous, one may ask: How did this singularity point come to exist and why did it explode?! From where did the raw materials that formed this massive universe come from?! Is this massive universe with all of its planets, stars, and galaxies merely the result of ungoverned gravity forces between tiny dust particles?! Can unprompted order result from absolute chaos on its own?! How did the early photosynthetic organisms survive the UV rays, when there was neither Ozone nor oxygen?!
Now, I shall try to convey part of my theistic meditations on the Qur’an. Ever since the beginning of revelations, the Qur’an has been challenging its listeners in various intellectual methods, and urging its reader to think and ponder over its verses. If it truly is an everlasting miracle, its challenges must continue till the end of time. During the prophet’s era, the challenge was of a linguistic nature. With the advancement of time, this linguistic challenge diminished because people’s knowledge and interests changed, humanity has entered the age of scientific discoveries and modern technology. This new era needed a new challenge of a different nature that can cope up with the new developments. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“We shall show them Our signs on the horizons (i.e. the universe) and within themselves until it will become clear to them that it (i.e. The Qur’an) is the Truth. Does it not suffice that your Lord is Witness over all things?” [The Qur’an (41:53)]
Now, please ponder over the following verses from the Qur’an:
“In the creation of the skies and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people of understanding” [The Qur’an (3:190)]
This verse is an invitation for all people to mediate over the creation of the universe and specially the earth on which we are living in order to make sure if The Creator exists or not.
“Allah did not create (all) that (i.e. the universe) except in truth. He expounds the signs (in the Qur’an) for people of knowledge (i.e. scientists, scholars, truth seekers, etc.)” [The Qur’an (10:5)]
This verse is also an invitation, but this time for those who have knowledge about the universe, it’s an invitation for scientists to read the Qur’an, study the verses that discuss the creation of the universe and the earth, then make up their minds towards the truthfulness of the Qur’an, whether it is truly a message from The Creator or not.
“And those who were given knowledge see that which was sent down upon you (O Muhammad) by your Lord is the truth and guides to the path of the Exalted (in Might) the worthy of all praise.” [The Qur’an (34:6)]
This verse confirms that if scientists and scholars ponder over the verses of the Qur’an, they will find it an evidence that the Qur’an is truly a message from the Creator.
“Haven’t the disbelievers observed that the skies and the earth were combined, then We ruptured them, and We created from water every living thing. Would they still not believe.” [The Qur’an (21:30)]
A confirmation that the skies and the earth were once a single body then The Creator ruptured it. The reader here should understand that the Arabic word “Samawat” (singular: Sama’) translated as skies is used to refer to the universe around us, even if you checkup any English dictionary, you will find the same usage for the word. This verse is a clear reference to what scientists have discovered in the Big Bang theory.
“Then He (i.e. Allah) equilibrated unto the sky when it was (still) smoke and said unto it and to the earth: come willingly or unwillingly. They said: we come willingly (O Lord)” [The Qur’an (41:11)]
A confirmation that, at a certain point, the universe was still a celestial cloud of gases and dust, then a mighty force caused its particles to combine forming the planets and the rest of the universe around us. Please ponder over this infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope that shows the Orion nebula, the closest massive star-making factory to Earth. How do you describe this celestial cloud which you see?!
“And the sky We constructed with might and verily We are expanding it” [The Qur’an (51:47)].
A confirmation to the fact that the universe is expanding, which is what all scientists today confirm and what the Big Bang theory is based upon.
“He (i.e. Allah) is The One who created the night and day, and the sun and the moon each floating in an orbit.” [The Qur’an (21:33)]
A confirmation to the fact that the sun and the moon are celestial bodies floating in prescribed orbits.
“Blessed in The One (i.e. Allah) who made constellations in the sky, and made therein a lamp (i.e. the sun) and a luminous moon.” [The Qur’an (25:61)]
A confirmation to the fact that the sun produces its own light, like lamps do. On the other hand, the moon is described simply to be luminous. Of course 1380 years ago, these words did not catch the attention of the people receiving the Qur’anic message. Today, after we have discovered that the moon does not produce light but it only reflects it, we can understand why the verse gives different descriptions for the light of our two friends. Any science student today, even children know the importance of both the sun and the moon for the earth, without any of them, life wouldn’t have existed on earth. So absolutely, blessed is The Creator who created them both at their exact places.
“And Allah sent down water from the skies reviving the earth after it was dead. Surely, in that there is a sign for the people who listen (to this message).” [The Qur’an (16:65)]
A confirmation to the fact that the earth, at a certain period, was a dead waterless place having no form of life on it. Then water was sent to earth and life started to emerge. Scientists confirm that life did not start on earth except after water’s existence.
“And We sent down water from the sky in due measure, then We lodged it in the earth, and of course, We are able to take it away.” [The Qur’an (23:18)]
This verse is a confirmation to the fact that the underground water results from the rainwater that infiltrates the earth’s soil.
“Haven’t you seen that Allah makes the night penetrate into the day and He makes the day penetrate into the night…..” [The Qur’an (31:29)]
“He created the skies and the earth for a true purpose. Spherically He coils the night upon the day and spherically He coils the day upon the night.” [The Qur’an (39:5)]
The above 2 verses are an amazing description for the picture explaining the day-night changes. Verse (39:5) also alludes to the fact that the earth is of a spherical shape.
“Do they not ponder over the Qur’an? If it had been from anyone other than Allah (i.e. the true Creator of the universe), they would have found much variance in it.” [The Qur’an (4:82)]
The Qur’an is not a science book, but still, if you can see the allusions given in the previous verses to what science has discovered in the last 100 years about the start of creation, then please note that: Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. died about 1400 years ago. When he started preaching Islam and reciting such verses to his people, he was accused of being a mad man and a fabricator. Of course if any person preached such statements, claiming that he receives them from The Creator -not 1400 years ago- but only 200 years ago, he would have been accused of being a mad man. For Prophet Muhammad to have stated the previous verses during his lifetime, did he visit outer space? Did he have an infrared telescope? Did he have a time machine? Or was he a prophet inspired by The Creator who has created this massive universe?
As you can see in the above verses, the Qur’an does not demand belief, but it invites belief. In Islam there isn’t such a thing as “Blind Faith;” on the contrary, the Qur’an demands that you think logically, prove all things and build your faith on solid grounds that nothing can shake. Throughout the Holy Book, you can read expressions like: “Have they not considered?”, “Hasn’t man seen yet….”, “Do they not ponder over…..”, etc… So it’s always an invitation for each and every person not only to read the Book, but to examine it, check the evidence on its truthfulness, and finally reach a decision that is based on thorough study. Many other verses discuss creation, embryology, geology, Oceanography and sea currents, facts about other creatures like animals, bees, spiders, etc… Massive books have been written about the scientific implications alluded to by verses and statements in the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s traditions. By all means, don’t waste your time with what people say about this Book, get your own copy, and start your own examination, may we all reach the truth.
1st Image: bbc.com
2nd Image: nasa.gov
3rd Image: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight
Written by: Ehab Shawky