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The Failed Hypothesis – A ‘New’ Approach in Understanding the Qur’an and Science

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Hamza Tzortzis

Channel: Hamza Tzortzis

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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hamdu Lillah wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah. Brothers, sisters, friends,

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as salaam alaikum, wa Rahmatullahi wa better get.

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My name is Hamza Andreas zoetis. And I'm going to be delivering to you today

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a new approach in understanding the Quran in science. Now

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when I see a new approach,

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I don't mean it's new.

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I mean that it's new for some people.

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But the approach that I want to articulate today, concerning how to understand the Quran in science

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is really based

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on our classical tradition, it's based on the richness of our intellectual tradition.

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And I think some of the problems I'm going to be also talking about during this presentation,

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as a result of not having a strong link to our classical and intellectual tradition.

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And if we learn any lessons from

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what I'm going to be discussing, one of them should be that we should take a more active role and be more active, and linking ourselves back to our intellectual tradition.

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Because we are standing on the shoulders of giants,

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we are standing on these mountains of

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intellect, the likes of Allah ghazali, the likes of Rosie, the likes of being Tamia, the likes of the cook to be,

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and many, many others, and they all had

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a specific role to play in our intellectual tradition.

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So the summary of today's presentation is that I'm going to be basically

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going through

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some of the problems with the current scientific miracles in the Quran approach, because as you know,

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or you may be aware that a lot of the duart those who tried to convey compassionate and intelligent case for Islam to the wider community, they adopt certain arguments

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to justify the claim that the Quran is from the divine. And one of these arguments is that there are scientific miracles in the Quran. I want to basically deconstruct this approach,

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and show how, number one,

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it's not in line with Islamic epistemology. Number two, it's not in line with our Islamic tradition. Number three, it has a lot of conceptual, historical and linguistic problems.

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And not only that, number four,

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the whole approach is very incoherent and inconsistent within our tradition.

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Then, what I aim to discuss is the Orthodox, multi layered and multi leveled approach to the Quran, concerning natural phenomena concerning the empirical world concerning science if you like. And I do appreciate this approach. The multi layered and multi level approach is probably new for some.

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And what's very interesting is that this orthodox approach to the Quran, bypasses all of the issues and contentions and the negative popularization concerning the Quran in science.

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And in sha Allah, you'll be able to see the beauty of the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala

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because the multi layered and multi level approach is that the Quran has a scope of meaning.

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When it refers to

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scientific phenomena or empirical phenomena or natural phenomena,

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and the words that he uses has many layers of meaning, obviously, there is a scope, but there are many layers of meaning. And each layer of meaning can address a particular understanding across time.

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And this understanding not only refers to an empirical understanding

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byte can also refer to existential aspects, spiritual aspects, metaphysical aspects.

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So from this point of view, the Quran is very full dimensional.

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And I'll explain this a little bit later towards the end of the presentation.

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Now,

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before I get into the,

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the depths of depths of things, I want to basically highlight to you that the approach that I'm taking

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is not something I'm making up myself.

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And I've deliberately put a whole list of people here.

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Rather people is the wrong term to use Messiah, scholars.

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And I've deliberately chosen scholars from the past and from the present,

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and scholars from different

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positions in Islamic theology.

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And I've done this deliberately just to show that there's like a wide consensus or quasi consensus concerning this issue. So for example, you have the famous chef about his Hawk, a share TV, you have chef Mohammed Hussein, the hubby. You have the contemporary chef, aka I'm not doing

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the contemporary chef saw the Al foes on the American contemporary chef of the Nasir Jenga.

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The Thinker and writer on the Quran Mustafa Iqbal

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the contemporary American chef comes the use of

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the academic professor said Hossein Nasr.

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Shocked talking with many chefs, he had been bears.

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And there are many, many more to mention, but I wanted to mention these in particular because they represent the past and the present. And they come from different

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positions on the Islamic theological spectrum.

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And here are some statements. For example, Sheikh Akram nadwi said,

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I'm going to forward it to my friends and students, I will request you to make it available in other languages like Urdu, Turkish and Persian. The Arabic translation is excellent, may Allah reward you for writing such an amazing piece. This was a piece that

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was written concerning the new approach to the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala was not new, but reviving the kind of classical approach on how to understand natural phenomena in the Quran. And shikaka I'm not doing like the piece II like the Arabic translation of the piece and he basically wants you to push this out to his students. So from this point of view, he was in line with that understanding of how you

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attempt to see science in the book of Allah Subhana Woods

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was offered a cabal in the relatively recent publication, the study Quran on page 1691.

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He summarizes this approach. He says in general, it can be said that attempts at finding modern science in the Quran or proving the veracity of the Quran by way of modern science are fundamentally flawed, because they suffer from a conceptual confusion produced by various forms of scientism, produced by various forms of scientism, they disassociate and decontextualized, the Quranic vocabulary and concepts in order to graft modern scientific theories into the book. And I don't want to discuss what he really means by this, but it's just to show that scholarship,

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academia in our tradition, from different scholars, along the theological spectrum, are basically talking about this issue.

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For instance, you have chef is hopper a share to be he said, many have overstepped all bounds and made undue claims about the Quran, when they assigned to it all types of knowledge of the past and the present, such as the natural sciences, mathematics and logic. Have the use of said

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I would like to say I'm very wary of connecting anything in the Quran with scientific knowledge. I mean, Socrates had the last word on science. He said, How can you consider something knowledge that's always changing?

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And the nature of science is that it is always changing. And if you don't believe that you haven't studied the history of science.

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So notwithstanding what we discussed so far, it's interesting to go to history to really understand why this

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movement, if you like of trying to impose science into the Quran and trying to warn and justify our claim that the book of Allah Subhana water is from the divine in reference to science.

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Now, there are three main things, I think

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that happened in history

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that can really

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indicate to us why this movement

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grew.

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Now before I discuss the three main things, just type in science and the Quran of scientific miracles in Google, and you get, I think, over 50 million

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50 million search items.

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So coming back to the history,

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a major milestone in the kind of proving the core and using science was in 1976, when Dr. Morris buco, he wrote the famous book, the Bible, the Quran in science. And this book was translated into so many different languages. All of the dots were memorizing this book. I mean, I would even still argue today that many do not know this book.

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Better than they know the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And I'm not saying that rhetorically.

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And this book was translated in many languages. And it sparked off this discussion in this movement. And I think because

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the Muslim community, especially in the east,

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is still going through this kind of post colonial trauma. And with post colonial trauma, you have this kind of inferiority complex, anything that is written by a doctor or a white man,

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and is in some way supporting science and Islam, then we're going to take you without thinking without scrutiny without any kind of detailed understanding and just run with it. Right.

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So

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the book the Bible, the crime in science was a major milestone.

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The second main

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the second main thing that happened that sparked off this movement was basically the Commission on scientific science in the Quran and Sunnah this was a Saudi based commission, I believe.

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And what they did, they produced a video, entitled, this is the truth. This was in around the early 1980s. And the Commission on the scientific science in the Quran and Sunnah basically invited scientific scholars from the west, to

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the Arab world to sit on this commission. And there was speaking about religion, Islam and science, particularly the Quranic science.

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And as a result, they produced a video this is the truth, and this video was produced by chef, Abdul Majeed Zindani.

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And in this video, there are kinds of statements from these Western scientific scholars saying that, yes, it is impossible that the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu, ala, who was sent him could have known this, how can the Quran have said this, it must be from the divine. And what's interesting, relatively recently,

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online, atheist popularizes. They basically interviewed these scientists, most of them I believe, the majority of them

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30 plus years after the commission.

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And they basically said, you know, either they were they were, quote, mined or they were misquoted. And from our point of view, it's, it's a bit of a intellectual embarrassment, especially since many of the statements are still used in Islamic literature all around the world and translated into many, many different languages.

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The third kind of historical milestone that popularized this quote and science movement was basically you have many sincere, do art, like doctors, I could make use of esters and many others that were pushing this forward. And they were basically articulating this narrative in written format, in audio format, in visual format. And they've been doing this for over a couple of decades, I believe.

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So from this point of view, these three major historical milestones, if you like,

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are responsible for this movement.

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Number one, the Bible and the Quran in science published by Dr. Morris buco number two, the commission the scientific science in the Quran and Sunnah. And the video called This is the truth. And number three, various popularizers in the West in the East that adopt this narrative and the push it to everybody.

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Unfortunately, there's a growing counter movement from that point of view.

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if you for example, type in assignment science, you have so many different anti Islamic websites, or websites that are criticizing this approach. And showing that the Quran or trying to show that the Quran does not have any scientific miracles.

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You even have

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forums or fora, if you like, that, basically talk about various popularizers and say, you know, how can intelligent, do art talk about these issues?

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You have famous blogs, this particular blog, rational Islam, I believe, would get like 10,000 unique hits a week or a month. And there'll be scrutinizing the science in the Quran narrative.

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And this is one of the famous atheist popularizes. He basically did a Skype interview with Alfred crona, who was one of the scientists that attended the commission

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in Saudi Arabia, or in Arabia all those years ago, and he basically says that he was, quote, mind

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in his own words,

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even the Wall Street Journal

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over a decade ago, around 15 years ago, they even spoke about this issue. So you could see how this narrative has become extremely popular.

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Not only this, you have academic journals, for example, in the Journal of religion and science, there was a piece called snakes from staves, science scriptures, and the supernatural in Morris buco to the point that in the academic literature, you would find the term buki lism. They would even call it a Quran in science narrative, they wouldn't call it the scientific miracles in the Quran. They would basically say this is bouquet realism, right, the kind of

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movement or ism that claims that there are scientific miracles in the Quran or that the Quran predates modern science.

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So now we're ready to get into the crux of the matter here.

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So what is the scientific miracles claim? When someone says there are scientific miracles in the Quran? When someone says that the Quran predate science? What are they really saying?

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I believe most of the narratives

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around this topic can be summarized in three statements.

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Number one,

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the prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did not have access to the scientific knowledge mentioned in the Quran. Therefore, it must be from God.

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Number two,

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no one at the time of Revelation, the seventh century had access to the necessary equipment to understand or verify the scientific knowledge in the Quran. Therefore, it must be from God.

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And number three, the Quranic verses were revealed at a time where science was primitive, so no human could have uttered the truths mentioned in the Quran. Therefore, it must be from God. I believe that most of the approaches to the Quran using the scientific miracles in the Quran narrative can be summarized in these three statements

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are based on these three types of statements.

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So what we're going to cover is, in order to deconstruct this approach, and then reconstruct the traditional orthodox approach is number one talk about what is the purpose of Quranic verses, specifically, the Quranic verses referring to natural phenomena. Do they have a purpose if they do, what is the purpose of

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these verses?

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We're going to talk about the logical fallacy of this narrative that there are scientific miracles in the Quran. And I'm going to talk about the fallacy of the undistributed middle that it doesn't logically

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Follow, there is no

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logical connection between the conclusion that is made and the previous premises of the argument.

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Number three, and this is quite damning, actually. And this one really, really, really got me frustrated. And I was, I wouldn't say I was angry.

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It's very hard for me to get angry, I guess. But I'm not saying that just to show that don't get angry. But it's, it's something that my dad told me really.

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I think it was more frustration,

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bordering anger. I was like, Oh, my God, we have either lied to people, or we just have not bothered to investigate and read. Now, I'm not I don't want to, I don't want to come across as arrogant saying this, because I've done a hell of a lot of mistakes, especially when it comes to the dour. Everyone is on a journey. Everyone is learning, everyone is moving forward in Sharla. So I want you to understand it in that context, that

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we're all on a journey here. And we're helping each and every one of our brothers and sisters to be able to articulate a more positive case for themselves. And a more positive case for the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala.

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The fourth point is we'll talk a little bit about the philosophy of science, I mean, we're not going to get into huge academic detail. But if we understand some of the main issues in the philosophy of science, we'll understand why this whole approach is extremely incoherent, especially if we understand Islamic epistemology.

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The fifth point we're going to talk about is unscientific versus now what I mean by this is,

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in order for the Quran, and science narrative to be consistent,

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then they shouldn't be any verses that have some kind of scientific ambiguity, or that cannot be explained from a scientific point of view, or that can really go against our understanding of science. And I'll discuss that a little bit further.

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The sixth point, I'm going to talk very briefly on exegesis,

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the kind of

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Islamic understanding on how to approach the Quran from point of view of interpretation.

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So this is an issue of tafsir. And we're going to talk about you know, what are the rules here the very basic rules, and have we violated these rules by basically trying to superimpose science on the book of Allah subhana wa.

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And finally, we're going to talk about the Orthodox traditional multi layered and multi level approach to the Quran which really is going to hopefully elevate your understanding of the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala is going to make you see the Quran in different way. The Quran is very full dimensional from that point of view. Words that refer to natural phenomena have many layers of meaning, and each layer of this meaning addresses different understanding understandings across time. And those understandings are not just limited to the empirical domain, but they also basically refer to things like existential matters metaphysical matters spiritual matters, and it's gonna

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really inshallah

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encourage you to see the krona different light from this point of view.

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So the first point, what's the purpose of Quranic verses?

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It's very important to understand when we read the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala that we are holistic in our reading.

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And yes, the Quran does refer to natural phenomena in a very general way it points to these natural phenomena.

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And these natural phenomena are indicators. They are manifestations of Allah's creative power. You may have heard this as Allah's lordship or the creator's lordship or in Arabic, the Tao, he'd have a Ruby year, the Tao, he'd have the fact that Allah is the sole maintainer, sustainer,

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creator, monster owner of everything that exists.

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So Allah subhana wa tada is pointing to his creative power,

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his creativity, his divine creativity and his creative power. So when Allah says, look at the mountains, look at the stars, look at the celestial objects, look at all these things.

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The purpose of these ayat are not are not for you to say, well look, the Quran is giving us so much detail concerning these natural phenomena. This is a reductionist understanding of the book of Allah subhana wa Tada. It's a flawed and reductionist understanding

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because when we study the books of creed from different interpretations of the Islamic

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credo spectrum,

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we will see that when Allah refers to natural phenomena They are there to propel us to understand that a lot deserves worship, but Allah deserves praise, but Allah deserves glorification. But Allah Subhana water Allah is the one that we must single out to all of our internal and external acts of worship to.

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And you could take

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most of the ayat that refer to Allah as creative power. In other words, when Allah refers to his creation, and you will find eventually the conclusion that Allah deserves worship.

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Just pick up the Quran, do even now. Go to the 17th chapter, for example, see that Allah subhana wa tada is talking about the

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creation, he's talking about the mountains, he's talking about the plants and vegetation and he continues, and at the end, you will find that Allah is referring to the fact that he deserves worship.

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So the main purpose of the ayat of the verses that talk about

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Allah's creativity, Allah's divine creativity and creative power, the main purpose is to propel us intellectually and spiritually to the understanding that Allah deserves worship.

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Now, I found a really interesting quote from the subcontinent thinker, I mean, son is sloppy, in his to double equal and he summarizes this point quite well. He says,

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the reference to creation of the heavens and the earth, indicates and demonstrates the tremendous power and might of their Creator.

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The way there are fashioned testifies to the uniqueness of his In other words, Allah's handiwork and astounding wisdom. It also refers to the beneficial nature of the creation in its harmony with human life and needs, the benefits and oven and advantages we gain and depend upon. All of these are indicative of the grace and mercy of the Creator and his providential care for his servants.

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So,

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what I mean Hassan is slow he is trying to say here is that these ayat refer to creation and they demonstrate the creative power of Allah. And therefore, they refer to the fact that there is an astounding wisdom behind this and then you conclude that Allah is merciful, that Allah is wise, and therefore he deserves to be worshiped.

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Now, interestingly, even in academic work,

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they also allude to this and they say when

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the Quran refers to natural phenomena.

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It does so not to refer to scientific details, or empirical facts per se, but to show that there is an underlying wisdom behind this, there is an all powerful all knowing why is created behind this, therefore he deserves to be worshiped.

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Now in the academic reference work, Encyclopedia of the Quran under the section science in the Quran,

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I am a DLL says the marvel of creation is a recurrent theme of Quranic commentaries, these Marvels are viewed as signs of God, and prusa he exists, is, is all powerful and all knowing and is the willing creative or being. at a basic level such reflection leads to the conclusion that there is order and wisdom in creation, which in turn means that a wise maker must have created it. The Quran, according to these commentaries, directs people to reflect on the wisdom of the creation of nature provides no details on the natural order, or on the ways of deciphering it.

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Now, I know you're looking at this slide now and you're probably thinking, What on earth is Donald Duck doing on a slide?

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Now this is where I'm going to show you

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the role of AI x, and how I add a very different from scientific details.

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Now, listen to this story.

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It's a made up story, but it's a good story nevertheless. Nevertheless, to understand the point I want to make

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more the true part of this story that one of my favorite toys was Donald Duck.

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Okay.

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I had a plastic version of Donald Duck and his beak was chewed. I think I used to chew the beak.

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So when I was young, around five years old, I used to love Donald Duck. Anyway. So imagine

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me now, Hamza, I'm 36 years old, going to be 37. And I think a week in sha Allah

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and

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I go to my mother's basement, she doesn't have a basement but let's just be hypothetical here.

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And she tells me to clean up her basement. So I'm cleaning the basement up I'm moving bags, I'm I'm removing cobwebs I'm you know, cleaning up.

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After half an hour, a little bit tired. I moved the last bag before I want to sit down and I see in the corner.

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This kid's rucksack.

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It's got dust all over. It's a blue rock so I can use quite a familiar rock sack. So I'm a bit intrigued.

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I go to the corner.

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I unzip the rucksack it's a bit rusty the zip because it's obviously quite old.

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When I open the rucksack What do I find? I find my old favorite toy Donald Duck.

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Prior to this, I forgot all about my favorite toy.

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What happens to me when I open the bag and find my favorite toy?

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I say Oh yeah. Oh my god. It's Donald Duck, my favorite toy that used to play with when I was five years old. So what happened to me was this

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is I forgot, but that was my favorite toy. It wasn't at the forefront of my mind or in my consciousness.

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It was embedded deep within my memory but it wasn't at the forefront. It totally escaped me.

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But observing this toy now as a 36 year old in my mother's basement hoping to clean up

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the very fact that I interacted with this toy now and I observed it

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awaken the truth within myself that this was my favorite toy. It was a oh yeah moment.

00:32:25--> 00:32:33

Now I add in the Quran, when they refer to the creative power of Allah subhana wa tada are very similar.

00:32:35--> 00:32:44

They are there for the Oh, moment. Because when you understand Islamic theology, you understand that human beings have been created upon a fitrah.

00:32:46--> 00:33:13

Now, we get this term from the Quran and also from the center, we have a hadith from Sahih Muslim. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that every child is born in a state of fitrah. The word fitrah comes from the trilateral stem, for Torah. You have words like photron, Fatah who like something has been created within us to acknowledge the divine and to worship the divine.

00:33:14--> 00:33:49

So these ayat awaken the fitrah they awaken our previous knowledge and understanding or protocol knowledge that Allah exists and he deserves to be worshipped. So when a lot of talks about these I act in the Quran, referring to robia, referring to his creative power, and his creative, divine creativity, they are there to awaken within us that there is a wisdom behind this creative order, there is a all powerful knowledge behind this creative order. And this

00:33:51--> 00:34:36

is connected to Allah subhana wa tada and therefore he deserves to be worshipped. So and I when it talks about the sun, the celestial objects, the moon, the fact that we came from a blood clot, right, all of these things are there to awaken within within us that behind these things is a creative wisdom and power and knowledge. And this wisdom is from Allah subhanho wa Taala. This power is from Allah subhanho wa Taala. This knowledge is from Allah subhanho wa Taala. Therefore he deserves to be worshipped. So we move from a known to a known, we don't start with an unknown, and we conclude unknown. We don't start with skepticism in Islamic tradition,

00:34:37--> 00:34:50

this basic understanding of the affinity tokenizer to the divine, and to understand that he deserves worship is embedded within the human cetera. And these ideas are there to awaken the truth within.

00:34:52--> 00:34:54

So it's very important for us to understand this

00:34:57--> 00:34:58

and let me give an example

00:35:01--> 00:35:05

A given example concerning some of these I asked and by the way,

00:35:07--> 00:35:19

these AI ads when they refer to creativity, divine, creative order, the sun, the moon, the star, the celestial objects, the human being the animals.

00:35:21--> 00:35:45

They're not there to only awaken the truth within that there is a divine power and therefore he deserves worship. There is a secondary purpose as well that we always miss, because we become very reductionist, very binary when it comes to the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala. These ayat and especially we look at the classical to the Buddha, classic classical tafsir, concerning these ayat,

00:35:47--> 00:35:54

there was journey speaking, a conclusion about our spiritual state, and our metaphysical state.

00:35:56--> 00:36:24

Let me give you an example. Allah says in chapter 22, verse five, we created you from a sperm drop, and we settled in the wombs, whom we will for a specified term, then we bring you out as a child. And among you is he is returned to the most decrepit old age, so that he knows after once having knowledge, nothing. So we move from a sperm to a child, to an old person to eventual death.

00:36:26--> 00:36:47

There's nothing miraculous about this verse from the point of view of science and natural phenomena, we know this is the case, even with the naked eye, even with primitive understanding. But think about, think about the spiritual, existential metaphysical realities behind this verse.

00:36:49--> 00:37:01

If we were a sperm, and then a baby, then we become decrypted, decrepit and old, and we eventually die, then it should, number one, make us understand that we are ultimately dependent.

00:37:02--> 00:37:20

There is no such thing as a purely self sufficient human being. your very existence was based on variables outside of your control, your very existence was based upon things outside of yourself. In order for you

00:37:21--> 00:37:24

to become a baby and embryo.

00:37:25--> 00:38:00

There's almost an infinite number of physical variables that were in place for that to happen. In order for you to be born, I mean, consider you being a baby Subhan Allah, this is an idea for us, to make us realize that we should be humble and we are ultimately dependent on Allah subhanho wa Taala. A baby can't lift his neck up, a baby cannot even wipe its own pusteria it cannot feed itself, take a baby and put it in a corner of a room for two weeks and do not touch it forget two weeks, two days, it will die.

00:38:02--> 00:38:06

Obviously, don't do this. But I'm just saying, as an example.

00:38:09--> 00:38:54

And when we must realize that when we deeply reflect on these ayat, so you could change our understanding of ourselves and our understanding of reality and change our spiritual state. When we reflect on these, we must conclude that we're not individuals. And that's how we can adopt this false sense of individualism that is permeating our societies today. This false notion of I am primary, the primacy is on me as an individual. As the feminist philosopher, Marilyn Friedman, she says individually, individualism is the view that the human being is a entity divorced from social obligations, and attachments.

00:38:56--> 00:39:25

And this form of activism or individualism is actually false. We're not individual, we are dividual, we're part of so many other different things, and we all connect with one another in some different way. And we're all dependent on each other and all of these things that ultimately depend on Allah subhana wa Taala. But so panela many of us have this kind of ego centricity, this ego ism, that we think we were catapulted from our mother's womb with a briefcase and a tie.

00:39:27--> 00:39:59

And all reflect on our origins from that point of view. It should humble us and it should make us realize that will ultimately depend on Allah subhana wa Tada. Now, there's no point reflecting on the other aspects of this if I just wanted to show to you that yes, these ayat when they refer to natural phenomena, they're there to make us realize an underlying divine wisdom and power and therefore deserves to be worshipped. And they're there to awaken the truth within the Allah exists and exist to be worshiped. However, they have a secondary purpose, which is not to give us details about science, but to give us details of our suffering.

00:40:00--> 00:40:07

to state that we are dependent and we must be humbled before Allah subhana wa tada and humble before others.

00:40:09--> 00:40:10

So the second point

00:40:11--> 00:40:26

the science and Quran narrative adopts a logical fallacy. Now what is a logical fallacy a logical fallacy is basically there is a problem in the flow of your argument. That's that's what it's basically saying. There is a big problem in the flow of your argument

00:40:29--> 00:40:39

is a cute picture here. As you can see, it says penguins are black and white. Some old TV shows are black and white. Therefore, some penguins are all TV shows.

00:40:40--> 00:40:59

This is an example of a fallacy. So what is the fallacy of the undistributed middle with the fallacy of the undistributed middle is where two different things are made the same. Two different things are equated due to a common middle ground that is misused. For example,

00:41:02--> 00:41:12

they claim number one, all A's or C's, number two, all B's or C's, number three, therefore all A's are B's. Let me give an example.

00:41:13--> 00:41:30

Number one, john needs oxygen to survive. Number two, my dog needs oxygen to survive. So the common ground here is oxygen. Number three, therefore john is my dog. As you can see, this doesn't logically follow.

00:41:31--> 00:41:34

There's a common ground that is misused, which is oxygen here.

00:41:36--> 00:41:48

So this applies to the Quran what I mean by applying it to the Quran, applying it to the false narrative of the Quran has some scientific miracles, or that the Quran

00:41:49--> 00:42:25

is predate science. So here's a kind of generics summary of the fallacy applied in this context. Number one, a description of a scientific fact a uses C, a disk number two a description in the Quran B uses C. Number three, therefore the description in the Quran B is the description of a again, this doesn't logically follow. So, let me just give you some further detailed examples. Okay.

00:42:26--> 00:42:29

This refer to the embryology example.

00:42:31--> 00:42:38

Number one, the scientific fact in embryology is that the implantation of the blastocyst in the uterine wall

00:42:41--> 00:43:04

sorry, let me repeat that again. Number one, the scientific facts in embryology is the implantation of the blastocyst in utero and warn implantation can be attributed as a safe place. Number two, the Quran uses the word karate and McKean, which can mean a safe place. Number three. Therefore, the Quran is describing the scientific fact of the implantation the blastocyst This doesn't follow.

00:43:06--> 00:43:13

You have to provide a necessary link between the words of coloradan McKean and

00:43:14--> 00:43:16

the implantation, for example.

00:43:17--> 00:43:25

You can't You can't provide that thing because you have to assume that that's exactly what the Quran is talking about. But you can't make that claim.

00:43:27--> 00:43:40

You can make a suggestion, but you can't make the claim and therefore say it's miraculous. Because karate McKean according to many of the lemma didn't mean implantation. It just meant the womb. Right?

00:43:41--> 00:44:25

So it's very important to understand that in order to claim miracle that this is miraculous, you would have to show that the word coloradan McKean actually did mean the implantation of the blastocyst, by since you can't show that that is necessary. Or that is necessarily true. The only thing you can refer to that it might mean this, but the very fact that you say it might mean this takes away the fact that there's any miracles going on. Because you can't say that the Quran is a miracle by saying well, you might mean that. The best that you could do in this context is just do a top bar is just to do a reflection saying, well, isn't it interesting that it might mean this, and

00:44:25--> 00:44:27

that's the best that you can do here.

00:44:30--> 00:44:32

Let's give you another example the Earth's atmosphere.

00:44:34--> 00:44:59

Number one, there is a scientific fact that the Earth's atmosphere helps destroy meteorites as they approach Earth. Filters harmful light rays protects against the cold temperature of space. And it's Van Allen belt acts like a shield against the harmful radiation. The Earth's atmosphere can be activated as a protective roof number to the core and uses the words suck fun mouthful, then which

00:45:00--> 00:45:33

means a protected roof. Number three, therefore the Quran is describing the function of the Earth's atmosphere. Again, this is a logical fallacy, you cannot necessarily prove that the word suck fun mouthful then actually refer to the Earth's atmosphere. Just because the S atmosphere can be attributed as a protected roof. And just because the word suck fun math, who then can be you can be attributed as a protected roof, it doesn't mean it's actually referring to the atmosphere. That's a logical fallacy.

00:45:34--> 00:46:09

In order for you to claim miracle here, you have to show necessarily, that the words sacrifice and sacrifice my food then actually refer to the Earth's atmosphere, you can't do that. Therefore, you have to basically remove the kind of miraculous language, you know, the remove the idea that it's a miracle, and just merely suggests that it might mean that now the minute you say it might mean that, then you can't really prove the client is a miracle from this point of view at all. It would just be your top bar would just be your reflections without anything definite.

00:46:12--> 00:46:17

Let's not go to the third point, which is a little bit more damning, in my view.

00:46:19--> 00:46:34

The whole scientific miracles occur and exercise is based on some flawed historical assumptions. And some, maybe one would argue, deliberate misunderstanding of history.

00:46:36--> 00:46:39

Now, this is what we used to say right?

00:46:40--> 00:46:52

There are two main historical things we would say in order to try and to justify the scientific miracles and look for an argument. Number one, the knowledge implied by the Quranic verses,

00:46:53--> 00:46:56

was not available or discovered at the time revelation.

00:46:57--> 00:47:21

So many of these two are to believe that there are some verses that refer to science, and it refers to scientific knowledge. They say that this knowledge was not available or discovered at the time of Revelation, which by the way, is absolutely false. Number two, the prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam could not have had access to knowledge implied by the Quranic verses.

00:47:23--> 00:47:27

Again, this is absolutely false. And to be honest, it's a

00:47:28--> 00:47:33

it's a, it's ignoring the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu it who was said.

00:47:35--> 00:47:41

So let's go to the first point, the knowledge implied by the Quranic verses was not available or discovered at the time of Revelation.

00:47:43--> 00:47:46

This is frankly not true. And here's an example.

00:47:48--> 00:48:01

The sending down of iron you see this in the so called dour literature, the Quran is a miracle because it says iron was sent down, as Allah says in chapter 57, verse 25, and we sent down iron.

00:48:02--> 00:48:14

And we know this because if you go and look into the science literature, that iron ore was given to us by meteorites and meteorites I sent down on Earth.

00:48:15--> 00:48:16

Now,

00:48:17--> 00:48:23

it's not true that no one knew it at the time of revelation or prior to Revelation.

00:48:24--> 00:48:46

Because if you study history, you will see that the ancient Egyptians 1400 years before the prophet of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam referred to iron as Ba, n Pat pact, which meant iron from heaven. And here's a reference for you on the slide to investigate further. But this doesn't mean

00:48:47--> 00:48:51

the process of copying anything it doesn't mean the Quran copied anything Of course not.

00:48:52--> 00:49:05

We're merely saying that the Quran refers to no knowledge because the Quran wants to speak to people of all knowledge, meaning of all different types of understanding, to awaken the truth within.

00:49:09--> 00:49:13

Let me give you another example, the moon being a borrowed light.

00:49:14--> 00:49:22

Now, the word that is using the Quran is neuron neuron, which means they can mean a borrowed reflected light

00:49:23--> 00:49:31

of the losses in the Quran in chapter 10. It is here who made the sun is shining light, and the moon a derived or borrowed light neuron.

00:49:33--> 00:49:42

And people argue, you know, no one knew at the time, they thought the moon had his own light, but we know the moon just reflects it borrows the light of the sun.

00:49:44--> 00:50:00

Again, it is forced to claim no one knew this at the time or prior. Take for instance, Fowler's 1200 years before Quranic revelation in 500 BC, he said the moon is lighted from the sun and

00:50:00--> 00:50:15

Greek anaxagoras in around the same period, he asserted, the moon does not have his own light, but the light from the sun and another Greek are stockless of summers around 300 BC.

00:50:17--> 00:50:38

He also said the moon was lighted by the sun and there are references here for you to investigate further. So this historical claim that we make is absolutely false. And plus we need to be linguistically consistent. How can we say no Ron in this context means aboard right? Because the same word is used for the for

00:50:40--> 00:50:46

Allah Subhana Allah to Allah when Allah says Allah is the light of the heavens and earth, He uses the same word.

00:50:47--> 00:50:56

Are you saying that Allah is light is abode light? Allah is a board light, of course you are going to say this. So why take one meaning

00:50:57--> 00:50:59

in one particular linguistic construct,

00:51:00--> 00:51:13

but take another meaning in another particular linguistic construct what's making you shift? What's making you take one meaning over over another in these two different ayat? Obviously, you're not going to say Allah is the board light.

00:51:14--> 00:51:21

But why are you saying it for the moon is because you have presumed the science. And that's what's making you taking one meaning of another.

00:51:22--> 00:51:25

So we need to be a little bit more consistent, more consistent from this point of view.

00:51:27--> 00:51:39

What about the other so called miracle that the mountains have? roots? Firstly, the Quran doesn't mention roots at all. But we squeeze the answers on that understanding in the ayah. Allah says in Surah number

00:51:40--> 00:51:44

Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse and the mountains as pegs?

00:51:45--> 00:52:07

Now, one would argue that in geology today, and it's true, you have geology textbooks, and they discuss do mountains have roots and there is a discussion that mountains do have roots. I have a book somewhere here in the office that talks about that topic and it in it basically concludes mountains Do you have roots.

00:52:09--> 00:52:21

But firstly, the Quran doesn't mention roots and mentions pegs. But you may argue, tomatoes, tomatoes, potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, whatever. It's neither here or there. But the point I'm going to show you here is that

00:52:22--> 00:52:26

this type of knowledge was pre existing in the biblical literature.

00:52:27--> 00:52:55

In the Old Testament, for example, he explicitly mentions the roots of the mountains. In the Bible in Jonah to six it says the roots of the mountains I sank down the earth beneath by me in forever, but you brought me You brought my life up from the pit, oh Lord, my God. Now the key word, the key Hebrew word in this verse, literally means extremity, but it's a poetic description of the bottoms or roots of the mountains.

00:52:57--> 00:53:05

And there's a reference here for you to investigate further. So it just goes to show that this this description of mountains existed prior to the Quranic revelation.

00:53:07--> 00:53:09

What about the so called the Big Bang, right?

00:53:10--> 00:53:33

Allah says in the Quran have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens in the earth would have one piece and we parted them in Quran 2130. And people say love is the Big Bang, bro. You know, and you know, this is a joke, with all due respect, right? We need to elevate our understanding revive our intellectual tradition, revived thinking we need to be thinking beings.

00:53:35--> 00:54:01

Firstly, we talk about the Big Bang like this one model, and it's conclusive. This is popular science. We need to move away from popularization. This is why we're failing sometimes in the dour is because we've gone straight to the popularized discussions, we don't go to academia and unfortunately in the West, there is such a big gap between what's happening in academia and popularization and popularizes

00:54:02--> 00:54:43

and Alhamdulillah. Allah blessed me to recently complete two postgraduate degrees in philosophy. I did the postgraduate certificate, I did the MA. And I realized, and this gave me a little bit of a frustration, I realized there is such a gap between what's happening on YouTube and Google and Facebook. And what's happening in academia, even atheist secular academics that I sit with I had lunch with with disgust. They agreed with me said yes, we're frustrated about this to the point where the British government had a project called the impact project, which was to try and close the gap between popularization of academia and academia itself. Now, when it comes to the Big Bang, the

00:54:43--> 00:54:59

Big Bang is inconclusive. We have empirical data. Yes, I agree. But there are 17 different models that explain the same data. And these 17 different models. Most of them contradict each other but they have the same value, same weight, same emphasis

00:55:00--> 00:55:00

demmick wait.

00:55:01--> 00:55:08

So we take the Big Bang we read in a magazine we're here from one of the dogs we think is an absolute truth and we try and squeeze it in the Quran.

00:55:10--> 00:55:12

We need to be very careful brothers and sisters.

00:55:15--> 00:55:28

Now, this whole concept of the earth and the heaven will one piece then we parted them exist existed in Sumerian literature 1000s 1000s of years before the Quranic revelation,

00:55:29--> 00:55:39

in the Epic of Gilgamesh, it states when the heavens had been separated from the earth, when the earth had been delimited from the heavens when the fame of mankind had been established.

00:55:41--> 00:56:07

Now, I'm not saying the Quran is referring to CERN literature, of course not. What I'm saying here is, don't claim but there was, there was no form of pre existing knowledge. And by the way, we're not saying the Quran is wrong here. It's not wrong. Absolutely not. But what we're saying is, don't say that it gave us kind of new references to understand natural phenomena.

00:56:09--> 00:56:21

And even to make such a claim would be unjust because the Quran came for all people for all mindsets. So it's going to use a very unique, eloquent language and simple language in some cases, to describe natural phenomena

00:56:23--> 00:56:28

to refer to a particular understanding that people have so they could have the truth within

00:56:29--> 00:56:35

brought forward so they understand that yes, there is a divine creative power in the universe and he deserves to be worshipped.

00:56:36--> 00:56:39

Let us go to the second historical point that we make.

00:56:40--> 00:56:56

You hear this all the time, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam could who could not have had access to knowledge implied by the Quranic verses. With all due respect, this is absolutely false. This is this is ignoring, established Sunnah.

00:56:57--> 00:57:02

The professor salon would go to other civilizations from the point of view of investigate

00:57:04--> 00:57:07

to form his opinions about some medical practices.

00:57:08--> 00:57:35

So we can't say that the process arm did not have access to other civilizations. Of course he did. It's in our tradition. In Sahih Muslim for example, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he said, I intended to prohibit cohabitation with the suckling women, by Thai considered the Romans and the Persians and so that they sucker the children. And this thing, cohabitation

00:57:36--> 00:58:06

does not do any harm to them to the suckling women, and this is in Sahih Muslim. This authentic hadith shows that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had access to medical practices prevail in other civilizations. In actual fact, this hadith is beautiful, because it teaches us there's nothing wrong with sharing knowledge, and acquiring knowledge from a medical scientific point of view from other civilizations. That's why Islamic medicine grew to the point of view that you borrowed a lot of medical practices from the Hindus

00:58:08--> 00:58:12

and other cultures and from the Greeks. And that's why we were known to be number one in medicine.

00:58:14--> 00:58:20

From a historical point of view, because we follow the Sunnah, we're boring other human knowledge and making it better.

00:58:23--> 00:58:29

So it's very important for us to understand not to make false claims about our tradition. Also,

00:58:30--> 00:58:36

we have to understand that sixth, sixth and seventh century Arabia

00:58:37--> 00:59:05

was basically the center of many trade routes. And when many of these Arabs had to trade all the way to China and Africa, you think they went in some kind of teleportation system. In the immediate period, African China, took the goods, had a vow of silence and then came back to Mecca. And they didn't communicate with any other civilization, that would be so absurd.

00:59:06--> 00:59:20

It took months or years to travel to these places. And there's obviously a form of communication and discussion and dialogue. And therefore, there was a sharing of prevailing medical and scientific practices.

00:59:24--> 00:59:59

It's interesting to note that the historian, era and Lapidus in his book a history of Islamic societies. He clearly states that the Arabs and Mecca was established traders traveling far and wide. He says in his book on page 14, By the mid sixth century, as heir to Petra and Palmyra Mecca became one of the most important cover caravan cities of the Middle East. The Makins carried spices leathers drugs, cloth and slaves which had come from Africa, or the Far East to Syria and returned money weapons cereals and wine to Arabia.

01:00:00--> 01:00:02

So from this point of view,

01:00:03--> 01:00:08

there was obviously an ability to communicate with other civilizations and draw knowledge from them.

01:00:09--> 01:00:28

So we can't make the claim that it was impossible to have access other civilizations. That's what I'm trying to say here. So the two historical points that we make, to try and justify this so called scientific merggle grand narrative, absolutely false. And it's a shame that we're still peddling these false incoherent narratives.

01:00:30--> 01:01:03

Now you have to know something, I am not saying the onboard knowledge was inaccurate or is inaccurate. either believe the Quran is a miracle of Allah subhanho wa Taala for many, many other reasons that are far more, far more coherent. However, what I'm trying to say is this, that since a plausible naturalistic explanation is possible, to explain the so called scientific chron miracle, then you can claim it's a miracle because by definition, a miracle is an event that cannot be explained naturalistically.

01:01:05--> 01:01:17

So since it was that, since there was there was knowledge. There was some kind of scientific knowledge in other civilizations prior to the Quran, since it was well known in the Sunnah, that the process

01:01:19--> 01:01:36

took medical knowledge from other civilizations. And since we know, as in established history, that there were different trade routes, and this cross cultural fertilization, right, that we could gain knowledge from other cultures, then that provides a naturalistic explanation for some of the statements in the Quran.

01:01:37--> 01:01:49

So therefore, you can't it doesn't hold weight to say that it's a scientific miracle because you it can be explained naturalistically. This is why we need a new robust approach to overcome these intellectual hurdles.

01:01:52--> 01:02:04

Now, just to make the point clear, there's a there's an accumulative approach to the Quran, an array of arguments to show that the Quran is from Allah subhanho wa Taala. Obviously, it's not the point of this workshop. But

01:02:05--> 01:02:22

number one, you can refer to the teachings of oneness of tawheed in the Quran, the literary coherence in the Quran, the literary structure in the Quran, the social impact of the Quran, the linguistic and literary miracle of the Quran, the fact that it reveals lost historical knowledge and much, much more.

01:02:25--> 01:02:26

And that's why

01:02:28--> 01:03:08

i'm not i'm not saying here that the Quran borrowed anything? Absolutely not. It's actually even forced is a false claim to say that the Quran borrowed knowledge from other civilizations, because if it was the case that the crown borrowed knowledge, the Quran would just reflect a seventh century language, and it would convey meanings and it would point to realities that could only be appreciated for the seventh century man. But what we're going to discuss soon is that the Quranic language is not reflective of the seventh century. The Crown's language is timeless. And that's why even from this point of view, you cannot even claim that the Quran borrowed anything.

01:03:10--> 01:03:13

So the fourth point, the philosophy of science.

01:03:14--> 01:03:29

Now, I focused on analytical philosophy for my post grad, I did things like the idea of freedom, I did things like the philosophy of psychology, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science.

01:03:30--> 01:03:34

And when I specialized in the specialist module, the philosophy of science, I realized

01:03:37--> 01:03:37

that

01:03:39--> 01:03:41

it's based on shifting sands.

01:03:43--> 01:03:55

And it's very important for us to understand that if we believe the quarantine be absolutely miraculous that how can we prove the Quran using a method that

01:03:56--> 01:04:18

is limited, and a method that gives rise to conclusion results that can change? It doesn't make any sense at all. And that's why the cardiology Fellow at Indiana University School of Medicine jellies Rockman. He accurately and concisely articulate this major problem with the scientific miracles grand narrative,

01:04:19--> 01:04:20

he writes.

01:04:21--> 01:04:39

One danger of such attempts to correlate modern science with the Quran is that it makes a linkage between the perennial wisdom meaning the timeless wisdom and truth of the Quran, with the transient meaning that time bound ideas of modern science and modern science or any science is time bound.

01:04:41--> 01:04:57

Go to any sincere scientist or philosopher of science and they would say it is possible to have another observation that contradicts previous generalizations that were based on limited data, because we're never going to have all possible observations for for a particular reality.

01:05:00--> 01:05:03

Now, you may want to ask me why on earth is

01:05:04--> 01:05:24

science not absolute? Why does not science claim certainty or 100%? Truth? Well, the reason is because science is dynamic, and it changes over time. And there's always a possibility of new observations changing or negating previous conclusions. And this rests on the idea of something called the problem of induction.

01:05:26--> 01:05:32

Now, in the philosophy of science, the problem of induction is unresolved, is unresolved.

01:05:34--> 01:05:56

And the problem of induction is as follows. That we can never have certainty in scientific conclusions, because scientific conclusions are ultimately based on limited observations. If they're based on limited observations, then we can't with certainty, we can't with certainty, make,

01:05:57--> 01:05:59

it can make a definite conclusion.

01:06:01--> 01:06:12

Let me give you an example. A very crude example by bring the point home, I've observed 1000, white sheep, therefore, all sheep are white.

01:06:13--> 01:06:26

I have made a conclusion. But the conclusion I've made is not certain. Because I have observed all sheep. I've only observed 1000 sheep, and they happen to be white. And I'm making the conclusion

01:06:27--> 01:06:50

that all sheep Oh wait. This is a probabilistic conclusion. It's not certain it can only range from zero to 99%. Never 100%. Because I may have another observation that contradicts my previous conclusions. For example, I may observe a black sheep and black sheep do exist. And I may have observed the black sheep. And in observing that black sheep,

01:06:52--> 01:06:53

my conclusion now is false.

01:06:55--> 01:07:06

And this is basically the problem of induction. This is one problem amongst many problems in the philosophy of science, I'm even going to deeper things like epistemic holism, or

01:07:07--> 01:07:12

theory laid in this, or problems with observations or problems with theories, or

01:07:14--> 01:07:17

all of these crazy things that we learn in the philosophy of science, right.

01:07:18--> 01:07:28

But just by understanding the problem of induction, we see that scientific claims are never gonna be 100%. Certain, they can always change.

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And even if someone makes the claim all but science works, therefore it's true. It's absolutely true. Again, that's, that's that's a logical fallacy. Because just because something works, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's true, especially in science. Yes, science is great, and we love it, we respect it. And we were encouraged to do science when we have to. So we're not belittling science here, we're just giving you the

01:07:56--> 01:07:59

the reality of scientific conclusions that is not based on certainty.

01:08:02--> 01:08:05

because fundamentally of the problem of induction.

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And what's interesting is just because science works, it's not true. And we could see this in the history of science. For example, in the 1700s, they had this theory called the theory of phlogiston. Another theory of phlogiston was that when you burnt a combustible object and object that can burn it released floristic heated air. Now, Dan Rutherford, in 1772, I believe he used this theory to discover nitrogen. But later on, they realized that the theory of phlogiston was false.

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So what this teaches us is that you can get a truth, like the truth of nitrogen, from a workable theory, like phlogiston, even though that workable theory is based on a falsehood, so you can get truth from falsehood.

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And also, it shows to us just because the theory is working, and it's true, from a limited point of view, it's working, the theory of phlogiston was working, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

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An easy way to understand all of this is is as follows.

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You can have another observation, that is odds with your previous generalizations

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that were made as a result of limited observations. You can always have another observation that contradicts your conclusions that were based on limited data.

01:09:35--> 01:09:36

Now,

01:09:37--> 01:09:42

what's very interesting is Karl Popper, he came up with the

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view the idea of falsification.

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And he tried to solve the problem of induction. Yeah, actually, fact he said you can't solve the problem of induction. So therefore, he wanted to basically have a different approach to science and talk about falsification that theories could be falsified by

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You can't prove theories to be true, but you could prove them to be false.

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But that, again, is a very primitive understanding of the philosophy of science. Because even when you prove theories to be false, you could actually revive them again, and bring them back to life by changing some assumptions.

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I'm not going to go into this detail, because it's quite complicated, but read around something called epistemic holism, h o, l, I s m.

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So how can you now use science to prove the Quran when science doesn't need to certainty, and it's based on the shifting sands of science. And even by the way, many of the things that we claim our scientific facts in an absolute way, are not scientific facts at all. For example, even the Big Bang, there are 17 different models that explain the same data. And these 17 different models contradict each other, but yet, they have the same kind of explanatory power, in this philosophy of science is called underdetermination.

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So the fifth point, unscientific versus

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take Darwinism, for example. Now, I'm not saying Darwinism is absolutely true. Of course not. It's probabilistic. It has assumptions. And there are challenges to Darwinism even in academia.

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However, from a scientific point of view, Darwinism is on the same level as many other theories we refer to and we claim to be a fact. Take, for example, The Big Bang Theory, I would generally say that Darwinism is probably a little bit more conclusive than the Big Bang Theory, because there are 17 different models, right to explain the big bang the data that the Big Bang refers to.

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So why are we taking the Big Bang as a fact? and showing it's Quranic and therefore the scientific miracle? But we deny Darwinism, right? Because we can't really fit it in a orthodox interpretation of the Quranic verses.

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So I'm not saying one is true, and one is false. I'm trying to give you a principle here. We need to be consistent. We are so inconsistent, it's ridiculous, right? And it just shows our lack of thinking.

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Why do we say that the Big Bang miracle in the Quran is a miracle? Because the science has said it's a fact. The Quran said it way before science did therefore the Quran is a miracle.

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But Darwinism is as confirmed, if you like from a scientific limited point of view

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as the Big Bang Theory,

01:12:38--> 01:13:05

in actual fact, I don't think you have 17 different models to explain how we have to explain biological change. Right, we have less models left, less, less challenges, less competing models. So from even from that point of view, if you want to be consistent, you have to accept Darwinism over the Big Bang Theory, the Darwinian mechanism over the Big Bang Theory.

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But you can't do that, especially if you take an orthodox interpretation of the verses

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of the Quran. So why pick and choose? This exposes a severe inconsistency and incoherency in the scientific miracles argument?

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Point number six and no on Islamic exegesis. This is roughly based on a pseudo tafsir Okay.

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Now, it's very important to understand that when we say that something is miraculous, it means that there is no plausible naturalistic explanation. But there are plausible naturalistic explanations, right. And therefore, it breaks down the idea that the Quran is a scientific miracle.

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However,

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if you still want to follow the path of saying that the Quran is a scientific miracle, then you have to show that a word or verse in the Quran

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would only have only one meaning. And that meaning could only be the meaning that's associated with the scientific fact.

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However, if you study also tafsir

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You can't even make that claim.

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You can't say that that verse with those words have only one meaning. And that meaning itself can is only connected to the meaning of the scientific fact that we're talking about. You can't make such a claim because the general rule in our understanding of the book of Allah subhanho wa Taala.

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When it comes to ambiguous words that refer to natural phenomena in the Quran, the general rule is

01:15:00--> 01:15:12

That no one can claim that there's only one meaning and you can't claim there's only one intended meaning. So someone could not say that Allah intended word X to mean y.

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Rather, the only approach that you can take from osano tafsir point of view, concerning ambiguous words referring to natural phenomena is that x the word x may mean y. So a particular word may mean

01:15:30--> 01:16:03

the meaning y, but it may have also other meanings too. So the indefinite nature of a particular word, especially the words that are ambiguous and the words that describe natural phenomena, clearly highlight how it's impossible to claim miracle. Because for even from a linguistic point of view, to see is a miracle, you can only say that this is the only intended meaning and not meaning itself is associated with the meaning that we attribute to the scientific miracle. You can't do this in in accordance if you understand what sort of Tafseer

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so we have deconstructed the old approach in a very thorough way. Now is the time to talk about the new approach and it's not new, as I said, is based on a classical tradition.

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So this is the summary of the Orthodox approach of the traditional approach to the Quran.

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Now, the Quranic verses, they aim to make us reflect on Allah's creative power, wisdom and knowledge to conclude that He exists and deserve to be worshipped.

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And the Quranic verses, they aim to evoke the understanding that Allah subhana wa Taala has the totality of wisdom and knowledge, and we just have fragmentary knowledge.

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Now, the words used to describe natural phenomena in the Quran are multi layered, which means they have many layers of meaning, they don't have an infinite number of meanings, but it has a scope in the classical tradition. And that these words are multi leveled, these meanings address different levels of understanding, and D. And these levels of understanding do not have to be only scientific, they could be non scientific, such as spiritual, metaphysical and existential. And some of these words may not have any scientific backing at all.

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And it may mean that we it just encourages us to investigate further into the natural world.

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So let me give you some examples. Let's use this multi level, multi layered approach to the Quran. And see how amazing and empowering is. And it shows how amazing the book of Allah is because the book of Allah is not just a seventh century book, the book of Allah is a timeless book that aims to speak to old people, and that, in my view, is is extremely phenomenal.

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This is, in essence, a miraculous feature of the Quran, that is speaks to all people with different understandings and different levels of understanding across time. That's phenomenal. So take the orbiters example, the Quran says, and it is he he created the night and day and the sun and moon, all heavenly bodies in an orbit are swimming Yes, by hohner. They're swimming. Now what's interesting is this.

01:18:23--> 01:18:42

And this where the multi layered multi leveled aspect of the Quran comes into play. At the time of Revelation, this in the seventh century, the word Yes, bahonar, which means swimming or floating, was used to describe the motion of the son of moon. And this could be confirmed with the naked eye by desert Arab, there's nothing miraculous about this.

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A desert could be looking into the vastness of space, looking at the sun and moon,

01:18:50--> 01:18:54

and conclude, that these celestial objects are swimming.

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But what we have to understand brothers and sisters and friends, is that yes, you may have a primitive understanding. But that primitive understanding is to make the seventh century man look at in into the vastness of space. Look at that these these heavenly bodies are swimming, and say so upon Allah, Who put them there, who's doing this, Allah Subhana water Allah, He deserves my gratitude and praise. You see, moving from rubia to worship, moving from divine creative power, to the fact that Allah deserves worship. But interesting. Interestingly, the word can also make sense to us in the 21st century, because it can relate to today's scientific findings on celestial

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mechanics, that there are orbits.

01:19:48--> 01:19:51

So you see here, there are many layers of meaning

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to address different levels of understanding

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and even academics agree with this approach. For example,

01:20:00--> 01:20:23

Sameer is a professor of Islamic Studies at Youngstown State University. young young Youngstown State University. He says the word yes but hoonah Sumo flow in the verse that we've just mentioned, made good sense of the seventh century Arabs observing natural phenomena with the naked eye. It is equally meaningful to us in light of today's scientific findings, ie celestial mechanics.

01:20:25--> 01:20:50

Now, interestingly, one would argue here, well, well, the sun, the sun is orbiting as well according to this verse, but we know the sun doesn't orbit. The sun doesn't orbit the Earth. This is quite primitive. But say the seventh century Arab accepted this interpretation and this linguistic meaning. They also mean the sun is orbiting the Earth, just like the moon does. Yes, we know is sort of scientifically accurate, but say they took this meaning.

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It still allows them to conclude that Allah deserves worship, because they'll be like, wow, how does the sun do that there must be some divine wisdom and power behind this. Allah deserves worship, he deserves our glorification and praise. But interesting, interestingly, on close inspection of the language using the Quran, we can also conclude the addresses the accurate 21st century view that the sun has his own orbit, because we know the sun orbits the Milky Way. And according to scientists, it takes 226 million years to completely orbit around the center of the Milky Way. So again, you have many layers of meaning, addressing different levels of understanding over time.

01:21:34--> 01:21:48

What about the expansion of the universe, Allah says, In the Quran, and the heaven we constructed with strength, and indeed we are its expander. Now, the Quran explains that Allah created the universe with the power of strength, and that he is the only one who expands it.

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Now, this is indicated with the Arabic word used here. And essentially, it means

01:21:58--> 01:22:30

expanding. Now, from a seventh century classical perspective, this word didn't mean really expanding. Yes, it's one of the secondary meanings, but the primary meaning that was adopted, I believe this was the opinion of Ibn Abbas or Roger Lohan, is that the universe is big, it's vast, and there's risk in the universe. So for a seventh century man or woman, looking at the vastness of the cosmos, they're like, wow, it's massive, who did this Allah, He deserves worship, he deserves glorification and praise.

01:22:31--> 01:22:43

Now, interesting, the word also can mean that it is continuously expanding. Or it can mean that it's just being expanded. And this is

01:22:44--> 01:22:55

in line with the modern meaning, the morning discovery that the universe is expanding. Now, you may not be true to that it's expanding. I mean, I believe, I think a few years ago, some cosmologists actually were trying to disagree with this idea.

01:22:57--> 01:23:10

So it's neither here or there. But what we're trying to show here is an interesting Allah uses words that have many levels of many layers of meaning, that just different levels of understanding in order for us to conclude that there is a divine power that deserves worship.

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Now, let me give you a final case study. Okay, so we're going to and I know we've been going for quite a while, but this last five minutes final case study.

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Let's take the word Allah, the word Allah in the Quran is used to describe the kind of developing human embryo or the developing human baby if you like. Now, in a practical sense, there are five major meanings for the word Allah. Number one, blood in a general sense. Number two, it means a blood clots. Number three, clay that sticks to the hand. Number four, something that clings number five, a leech or a worm.

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Now, what's really interesting is that the word Allah was really appropriate for the time because the Arabs obviously adopted a Greek embryology a Greek medicine of the time. The second century, physician Galen, he wrote in his book, The 70, which means on semen, and I read this book in the original Greek,

01:24:16--> 01:24:30

the Greek, the ancient Greek. GALEN uses the words the Greek words Sadko II this and Mr. Das surco II, this means a fleshy thing and Mr. Das means bloody thing. So it's a blood filled thing. It's like a blood clot.

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And one of the meanings of the word Allah is blood clots. Now, it's not miraculous because

01:24:38--> 01:24:52

anyone who studied medicine when there are natural, natural abortions or miscarriages, right, so when you see miscarriages, especially at the early stage, it looks like a fleshy thing full of blood is a blood clot. There's nothing miraculous about this.

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So

01:24:56--> 01:25:00

the Hellenic physicians, such as Galen pretty

01:25:00--> 01:25:08

At the end from this point of view and describe the human embryo as a blood clot, and they also described it as a cleaning cleaning substance as well.

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But the point of view is this remember what is the what is the primary purpose of X ray saying, since you know that you came from a blood clot, something that looks like a blood clot, that should evoke a spiritual intellectual understanding within you thinking so panela Look at me now, I came from this blood clot,

01:25:30--> 01:25:39

who created the physical processes in the universe in order for me to be formed in this way, there must be a divine power, and this divine power deserves to be glorified and praised.

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So it's appropriate for the time

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as you can see,

01:25:47--> 01:25:48

but also,

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it's appropriate for our time as well.

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Now, the word Allah cause, you know, also refers to a worm or a leech. Now, this can correlate maybe to the external and internal appearance of the leech.

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And this view of the embryo could only have been discovered after the 15th century, because, as you know, you can't really see the embryo looking like a worm or leech

01:26:16--> 01:26:25

at the earliest stage, you know, because it's the size of a kernel of wheat. And these details can't be perceived without a microscope, and it was only

01:26:26--> 01:26:31

after the 15th century that we're starting to use the microscope.

01:26:32--> 01:26:44

So because some interesting images, now you one would argue that this seems to look like a leech, the external appearance of the embryo, around a 24 to 30 is a It looks like a leech.

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And even the internal structure release, so if you cut a leech in half, the internal structure of elites somehow looks like an emperor or around the same stage.

01:26:57--> 01:27:13

And even the sucker over leech close up looks like the leech the embryo around 22 days before when I thought these were these were code that I think they could neural flow. Yeah, I forgot the scientific term. But

01:27:14--> 01:27:19

these folds close, I believe, after a certain period of time.

01:27:21--> 01:27:25

Anyway, I'm obviously not a scientist. But the point I'm trying to say is this.

01:27:27--> 01:27:31

That it may mean, the external internal features of

01:27:32--> 01:27:42

the embryo because it seems to look like a worm or a leech, and interestingly, even Dr. Dale Lehmann, in his book anatomy demystified, he describes the embryo as a word.

01:27:44--> 01:27:54

Now, I'm not saying that's exactly the intention of the Quran, but it can relate. Remember, there many levels, many layers of meaning, addressing different levels of understanding over time.

01:27:55--> 01:27:58

But I prefer the non scientific perspective,

01:27:59--> 01:28:39

which is also in line with the Islamic tradition. Now, when Allah mentions that the embryo is like a worm or a leech, maybe Allah is saying that that's how we behave, we're just like leeches, and leeches, they are parasites, right? It cleans clings on to its host, and it starts to suck the blood. Now interesting, the embryo can be also be likened to a parasite we drains the resources of his mother raised, it reads the resources of its mother. So from this point of view, maybe Allah is saying you were just like a leech in your mother's in your mother's womb. And she willingly and willfully gave up her resources for you to survive. Therefore, you're not an individual, you're

01:28:39--> 01:28:49

dividual you depend on other people, and all those people and things that ultimately depend on Allah subhanho wa Taala, therefore, you're dependent on a lot too. So be humble.

01:28:50--> 01:28:56

And also low the wing of humility and mercy to your parents, especially your mother's because she sacrificed willingly for you.

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So this raises the spiritual perspective, that we're not independent, self sufficient or absolutely free. We are dependent, for example, in our mother's womb, and our mothers and this should instill a great sense of humidity and understanding that in some way, we'll all depend on Allah subhana wa Tada. This is far more profound.

01:29:18--> 01:29:28

You know, what's really interesting, Professor of science Lord Robert Winston, he actually makes the same point. He, he was a professor of science and society.

01:29:29--> 01:29:59

And in Americas, He is a professor of science and society, and he's the Emeritus emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College. He says, The leech takes whatever it needs to live by sucking the blood of water we can latch on to, in this case, that's me. So basically, he was on a video on the leech was sucking his hand. As it sucks my blood it takes from it all that it needs to live. It literally lives off me and the whole of pregnancy shaped by similar kind of parasitic relationship.

01:30:00--> 01:30:34

Unlike the leech, the developing embryo doesn't suck the maternal blood. But it does read her blood for the raw materials it needs to grow from the word go both Leach and embryo out for themselves. So you see, there's a deeper existential metaphysical, meaning here, but the reason I want to use Allah as an example, because it has a range of meanings, different layers of meaning, and these meanings can relate to different understandings across time. But even in saying that some of the words referring to natural phenomena may not have any scientific backing at all. Fair enough, who cares?

01:30:35--> 01:30:36

Science changes.

01:30:40--> 01:30:53

But what we're supposed to do here is look at the meaning of the word. And it can therefore encourage us to do more science and to encourage us further to find out what is really going on what is Allah saying here.

01:30:56--> 01:31:14

So in absence of a link between the meaning of a particular word or verse and the scientific conclusions, the meaning can be used as a motivation to find new data and develop innovative scientific solutions. So in absence of any correlation to one of science, there are still fulfills its role of showing us to infinite wisdom of Allah subhanho wa Taala.

01:31:17--> 01:31:28

Because even if we can't correlate to anything that we understand, it could encourage us to do more investigations, or not only that, it could show us the infinite wisdom of Allah and the finite wisdom of human beings.

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So from this point of view, brothers or sisters, brothers, sisters, and friends, if there's any contradictions with science, it should never be the source of doubt, because science is dynamic and subject to change. And there may be a new observation that negates or changes our current scientific conclusions. Now, this doesn't mean we shouldn't take effort to try and reconcile. But we should do from the point of view of top bar of pondering of possibility, and not to claim any certainty in this regard. Because we know the main purpose of these ayat is to awaken the truth within. And the main purpose of this act is to move from an understanding that there is a divine power and wisdom

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behind these things, regardless of our scientific details behind them. And if there is a divine power and wisdom, therefore Allah deserves glorification. And Allah deserves praise and worship. So the basic challenge I have to those people who like to sit articulate a false narrative of the Quran, so called scientific miracles, is to get them to answer two questions. Is the meaning you have chosen for a particular word in the Quran, the intended meaning

01:32:36--> 01:32:40

is the science you believe the quantity referred to never going to change.

01:32:42--> 01:32:43

Right?

01:32:47--> 01:33:02

So how can we answer the question is the meaning you have chosen for particular when the crime net the intended meaning, you can never say yes, also, is designed to believe the Chronicle friend to never going to change? You can't say yes.

01:33:04--> 01:33:26

I know there's a confusion on the slide. He says you can never say no to both of these questions. I didn't mean that I meant so you can never say yes to both of these questions. So you can't say yes, that is the intended meaning of a particular word in the Quran. And you can't say, yes, the science that we're referring to relate to the Quranic verse or word is never going to change. And therefore,

01:33:29--> 01:33:53

just just by posing these two questions, the whole narrative falls on the floor. So conclusion, the scientific miracles approach to the Quran is based on false assumptions and misrepresents The Book of Allah subhana wa, Tada. The Quran uses words that point to natural phenomena. These words have many layers of meaning and address many levels of understanding, they may not have a scientific meaning. The main point is this, regardless of what we know about the scientific phenomena,

01:33:55--> 01:34:16

regardless of this, it's to conclude that Allah deserves worship. Okay. So the main point is, the verse when they point to natural phenomena, regardless of our details about that natural phenomena. The main point is, is that it's to conclude that Allah deserves worship, because there must have been a creative power and wisdom behind the phenomena in question.

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So brothers, and sisters, and friends.

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I know it's been an hour and a half by thoroughly enjoyed your time. I don't know what we're supposed to be doing now. If there's questions, that's fine. We could have questions if there's no questions, and that's fine. Also.

01:34:36--> 01:34:38

I know some of you have been raising your hands.

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But that's the end of the webinar. I hope it's been quite informative. And you know, it's very important that when we go through these things that we basically

01:34:52--> 01:34:59

we basically take this knowledge, internalize it, and push a better narrative concerning the book of philosophy.

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Without a narrative that's in line with our tradition. And now, it's in line with sort of tafsir narrative that's in line with a classical tradition and a narrative that's in line with reason. And that is coherent. Because at the moment, you know, we still have to basically

01:35:17--> 01:35:38

undo the mess that I was also partly responsible for, as well. And we live in learn, and we progress in sha Allah. And that's now popularize this amazing narrative of the Quran. Because this new narrative shows to us that the Quran is timeless from that point of view. It's timeless.

01:35:39--> 01:35:51

It's four dimensional. It doesn't speak to the seventh century man who speaks to all people. And fundamentally it's there to create the realization that Allah deserves worship.