Channel: Jamal Badawi
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Another episode of focus. We're continuing with our series dealing with the sources of Islam. Today we have our fourth segment dealing with the topic of the Quran and modern sciences. I'm your host handle Rashid Am I have joining me on the program as usual Dr. Jamal battery of St. Mary's University Village Jamal Assalamu alaykum Pani.
Have you very quickly summarize the main points that we touched on in our last segment dealing with this very interesting, fascinating topic of the Quran in modern sciences, when we try to expose or
share some of the information in the Quran, about certain aspects pertaining to scientific,
scientific discoveries, if you will, something that was known only for hundreds of years after the Quran was revealed, including things like the interstellar galactic material,
the meaning of the day, and that the currency is a day could be like 50,000 years, it doesn't mean that the heavens on Earth are created in six days by 24 hours.
We talk also about the sequence of creation, and he said that there is no conclusive evidence of one preceding the other.
And there's a good possibility that will occur unexpressive, of a sort of interlocking status in the development of Earth alongside with the development of other heavenly bodies. We talked a little bit also about the balance of all of these various elements in the universe, and the divine order behind them and how the Quran also specifies this fact.
A little bit of discussion about the expansion of the universe, which is a relatively recent type of theory, which has some
hint about it in the Quran, or appears to have that sent. The reason why the Quran speaks about heavens and give the number seven, that doesn't mean necessarily numerical, but it means also numerous. And the last question dealt with the constant motion and movement of heavenly bodies. And he quoted, for example, two passages in the Quran, in which it says that the various heavenly bodies are actually swimming along in their orbit. And the question there was, how could anyone at the seventh century with the kind of environment in which Prophet Muhammad was raised, learn about these things unless it's coming from some other source? And he said that the reasonable
conclusion here is that this is a revelation, actually divine revelation.
What I'm the concluding passages that we started in last week's program and then touched on again today, in your summary, a very interesting concept or term swim along with us, is there any particular reason why this concept was was used or these virtues went along? I believe there is, in fact, one of the scholars,
Shanghai Machado we come at
you with a very nicely reflection on the term used here, that's especially actually an analysis of the terms and why one term use rather than a very similar term, that might give a different indication.
before even getting to Shashank, perhaps I could make a commentary that that kind of expression was puzzling. Also to commentators in the Quran, as we have seen in the previous program, nobody could imagine for example, that the heavenly bodies float or swim or move.
And Dr. Buckley in the Bible and science coats, a very famous commentator on the Quran by the name of Atari from the 10th century in the Christian era.
Widely explaining or commenting on verses like this or passages like this in the Quran, he said that it is our duty to keep silent when we don't know.
In other words, it was
an expression says I don't know Yeah, but that shows again that something was
unclear and within the level of their understanding what what the meaning of the passage swimming along the be interesting
Imagine that Chuck Shara gets to this is that he says that when you talk about swimming, for example, when you swim, it means that nothing is moving you, you are moving yourself so it's internally generated movement from within yourself. Okay? And it says if you really think about the rotation of this heavenly bodies, it's not that something is turning it of course gravitational forces could be affected and all that, but essentially, it is internal movement. In other words, the the heavenly bodies are moving, nothing is moving them, no artificial
power, for example, is moving then the second reflection on it also is that the term swimming along if you're a good swimmer, you know how a good swimmer actually floats in a smooth type of movement. And this is a beautiful analogy again of what we know of the, the nature of the rotation, smooth rotation of those heavenly bodies and that is quite different for example, from the Quranic expression of motion, as it relates to mountains as will probably come arises later when we deal with the earth itself from the motion of the earth, the expression is different than for very good reason, I suppose.
With respect to the notion of the sun and the moon, does the Quan mentioned anything about the differences in their life giving characteristics? Yes, there's in the entire Quran. There was not a single occasion that the sun was described for example, in the Arabic term, which means life, which could possibly mean reflection of life. Always the Quran refers to the sun as Suraj or Siraj and Mahajan, which means a source of light Suraj means something that is not just reflecting light, it means also a source of that light we find that for example, in the Quran, in in 10, five and in 7813.
By the same token, whenever the Quran speaks about the moon,
not once was the moon referred to in this in the same term that was used to describe the sun. In other words, nowhere in the Quran does it say that the moon is Suraj, which could be the indication that it is a source of life, always the moon is referred to as
light, which could mean also a reflection of life but cannot mean at all. And at least in that context, a source of that light.
Additional differences to this kind of distinction beside the two passages mentioned,
include, for example, 2561, and 7116.
Now, it is very interesting here, at least for comparative purpose is that when you compare the notion, for example, in the book of Genesis, about the sun and the moon, you find that both of them were described as light. One is a measure of light, that's the sun bather is a lesser light, and that is the moon. The Quran, unlike the expression in Genesis makes that very delicate distinction between the sun and the moon, which obviously means that the moon does not have light of its own does not generate that light. But simply it's a reflection of the Suraj of the source of light that come to it, which is the sun. And again, the very basic question we asked me throughout this series,
how could Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in the seventh century, undeterred in an uneducated environment in a world which didn't have a notion about that, and all this was that there is life in the moon and nobody really could understand this kind of affliction until hundreds of years letters letter? How could he have obtained that knowledge? And if it was true, like some writers claim that he copied from other previous scriptures or sources? How come the disinformation is not there? It's only in the Quran.
Nice move simply, simply reflects the light received from the sun. Does that mean that if the sun cools off like the earth did, that life on earth will be it will be destroyed? It would be catastrophic. But of course, I don't want to give any indication or impression to anyone that that catastrophe is imminent. Of course, if God wanted to happen at any time, it could happen without the following of the natural laws that we understand it, but at least as far as
scientific information about it, yes, it would, because what's happening now is that the sun is in a constant process started actually, from the in the process of transforming hydrogen atoms.
When death transformation is completed, it will automatically mean that the sun would cool off.
And finally its light of course will greatly diminish,
the density will increase. And it will be just like a dead star like other stars that died before, before the before the sun. But as I said earlier, there is no reason for alarm because that process of transformation will probably take another maybe five and a half more billion years.
But there's something fascinating here about the destiny of the Sun
which is mentioned also in the Quran or hinted to in the Quran.
It says mushroom strategy must occur Kabila delicata Denali, and Sora 36 that the sun
runs its course for a period determined or a certain place they could be translated both ways. This is the decree of the Almighty the flow of knowledge, the original Arabic word that talks about the destiny of the Son, or final resting place if you translate it literally is the word Mr. Curry. And Mr. Carter could mean as Dr. McKay explains, could mean
case wise words could also mean
timelines that there is a certain determined period. That is when that transformation is finished, as you understand it, now, the sun is finished, or at least as we know it today
sure our viewers are pleased to learn that we're not going to lose the sun anytime in the near future.
I was going to be around for a little while. I'd like to look at another aspect and that has to do with the question of the day and night cycle What does the Quran say about the day night cycle?
Well, this is another interesting area also let me first start by citing some of the quotations from the Quran which has some bearing under this question.
Yoshi Lilian and naraku hotties and let's say, Allah covers the day with the ninth which is in haste, to follow it constant
cycle of day and night in 3637
that is an assigned unto them assign unto mankind assign that means of God's omnipotence power and mercy is the night
we strip it of the day and they are in darkness.
In fact, you went 29 years later from the heart that has you not seen that Allah merge is not the term and we come to that later a lot of marriages the night into the day and then the day into the night
and notice this one and 39 five, you covered a lot in heart, it is hearing that Allah He Coins Coins are the ones
the night upon the day and coins the day upon the night
they term here have
used to refer to this coining or winding is what scientists basically call interpenetration that is to say the earth as we know is turning around its own axis Alright, which means that half of the spheres of the
next one revolution around the Earth in 24 hours
okay while the other half remains in darkness,
alright. So, in other words, there is a hint this becomes of this coiling or winding of the existence of the day and night simultaneously, depending of course on the position of the earth, visibly,
the original Arabic word which was translated as calling actually you call would come from the Arabic word Cora,
which means a broad
sea, which is again a very, very early mentioned
of the shape of the earth as a sphere. All right. Now, when you compare, for example, the Bible and Koran with respect to the Earth Day or night, as you might recall, in one previous program, it was indicated that the Bible says that in the first day of creation, the night
And they were created. Whereas was our understanding now that the day and night actually on Earth are a phenomena, phenomenon that only emerged after the creation of the sun. Whereas the Genesis say that the sun or the firmament were created later on after the day night has been created, you don't find this difficulty at all, with the Quran at all in terms of compatibility with what we know in science today.
A similar expression also that shows that it was not just a casual or
unique or peculiar passage in the Quran.
In 3640, for example, it says, the shampoo and body the hand to the coconut that is the one that we cited before the knowledge cannot outstrip the day and the day cannot outstrip the night. And all of these references, obviously,
give a clear indication of constant motion on the earth. And this is by the way, not the only evidence in the Quran of,
of the rotation of the Earth
is a very
interesting points, I want to perhaps I could have you to expand on it a little bit further and give us some more references. Even about the question of rotation of the year Oh, there's one. There's one particular citation in the Quran, which many scholars including Okay, Shahada and others,
have really made very nice commentary on and it's amusing, really, in sort of 27
in passage 88. It says, What around Japan at SFO, hi, Jamie Dutton. We're here tomorrow, Madras.
That is, you see the mountains, that's when you look at them. And you think that they are firmly fixed, ie stationary.
And, in fact, it passes away as the clouds pass away, such as the handiwork of Allah, Who disposes of all things in perfect order.
first question is, what does the Quran means by the Quran by saying that the mountains while
appealing to us as stationary, in fact, you know, unless this is actually a reference to the movement of the earth,
to the point, you think it's stationary, but it's actually no, but you know, that the mountains do not move on their own, there's nothing that's, you know, that provide them with this self generated motion, which means that it is moving how it's moving along with it.
That's one thing.
But there is another equally interesting commentary about the meticulous accuracy, and sober language used in the Quran only deals with scientific aspects, free from any myth that was predominant in the days of the prophet or even after him.
And that it describes the motion of the mountains and make an analogy between that and the motion or movement of the clouds.
Remember, in the previous program, we talked about the sun and moon swimming along? Right. And we said that this is different from the expression that the Quran describes about the motion of the earth.
Why did the Quran say that the the mountains pass like now like clouds rather than past like animals move or some other things?
It means that
the motion is not coming from the mountain itself. Because the cloud does not move by itself. We all know that. The motion that you see in the cloud is because of what the wind, the wind is moving. So again, the mountains since they're not move, they do not move by themselves. They are moving just like the cloud, they are driven by some other force, which is actually the rotation of this. How could this meticulous
description be given 1400 years ago, unless it has a different source, a nonhuman source?
Another aspect which is related to the daylight cycle is the
question of determination of direction when the Quran refers to the east and the west. What does that mean? We think of east or west but not the east and west included Yes. In fact, there's a third expression also used in the Quran.
In some cases, it speaks about a man being the lord of east and west, in the singular, which of course means a simple meaning that anyone can relate to or understand east and west.
For example, you find that in two 116
And to 142 into 177 and 25. Eight There are numerous citation like that.
In some cases, it is even describes the east and west and to like to East, the north of the two East's and tourists.
Like for example, in 5517.
And still like you indicated, there are also citation in the Quran speaking about east and west and proto numerous.
The difficulty arise here with respect to these two and numerous, numerous is easy.
If you really watch the sunrise and sunset, in different seasons, you will notice that the sun does not always rise, at least as you see it from the same spot and sets in the same spot.
So with the change of seasons, you don't only have one east and one West, but you have several points from which the sunrise and several points to which the sun sets. You can now how about the expression Lord of the two insights and tourists?
There have been some
explanations given to that.
Some people, for example, said that when it talks about two East's and two West's or two sunrises and sunsets, or two rises in two sets, if you will, it is quite possible that this may be a reference to sunrise and sunset. moonrise moonset.
Okay. Other people said that could possibly be referring to the basic change in seasons between winter and summer. So we talk about the two points from which the sun rises from in winter and summer. And the two points again, of sunset.
There could be other explanation, reversal of the axis of the earth, Allah. Allah knows, there are some scientists also speak about, you know, some of these possible things to happen in terms of reverse some of the polls, for example. However, this is an area that I don't think that anyone really can give the final answer on that but one Eastern one West, we understand it. East and Western program, it is understandable, but the to Eastern to West, we may have some
luck in our interpretation, we could be wrong, and maybe there is mine, too. But the point against the remains.
Neither of these expressions can be proven to be
incorrect, quote, unquote, from the scientific standpoint, to wait for further developments may be like the early interpreters of the grant who didn't understand the full meaning at one particular point in time. But later, when the light of other discoveries, it became more clear, and they said, This is what we understand so far. Now, maybe some other generations may be able to see more.
Well, in recent times, we've spent an awful lot of money
in space space exploration, and there's I'm sure there are many people who are watching the program. Who would like to
know whether or not the crown has anything to say with respect to this, whether or not there may be other planets like our Earth. Is there any answer to this question in the Quran?
Well, let me start first with the Quran. And you will notice that in the very first surah in the Quran, it says al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil aalameen Praise be to Allah or God, capital G, Lord of the worlds and plural.
It didn't forget example, use the term universe even though universe in a sense could mean also words, but it uses the plural of Ireland word and
some people in the past of course, try to understand that and some of their interpretation also, it should be regarded as valid, because they said it could be a reference to the world of human beings and the world of spirits or jinn.
I mean, this this could be a valid interpretation, it could be the world of humans and the world of angels, for example, as other level of existence. However, we find that there are certain expressions in the Quran that are quite explicit in describing heavens and plural as we described, for example, in the previous program, but also some describe or use the term s, and arreguin are the word the term words itself actually means that it could be also other words similar to our own world.
Now, as far as the state of knowledge we have so far is that
most scientists believe that it is highly unlikely that there is any other planet in our solar system, which has an atmosphere which is conducive to life. And this has been already been proven partly for example,
By going to the moon that there is no water, for example, which is fundamental thing for the beginning of life.
But our solar system is not the only one. If you go beyond the solar system, for example to our galaxy,
you're talking really about 10 billion stars. And scientists estimate that half of those stars are rotating. So about 5 billion of them are rotating also very slowly, in a similar fashion,
to the rotation of the sun. And they say that this sort of rotations seem to suggest that they are surrounded by planets that each of these stars is surrounded by other planets, which are the satellites of those stars. But the main problems are the main problem in coming with more conclusive results about this is that the stars are so far away, that it is very difficult. It's not almost impossible to make very clear observation of them, but they deducted from what they called the tragic story characteristics of the stars or the curved path, that there is a possibility that there could be other Earths similar to ours. But this is something that no one can really say for sure.
Whether there is other Earth's was living creatures on it or not. Another fascinating program. Thank you. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you join us next week.