Recent Scientific Findings and the Qur'an
Verses Of The Qur'an And The Universe
In the 88th verse of Surat al-Isra, Allah refers
to the divine nature of the Qur’an: "Say:
‘If both men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this
Qur’an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they
backed each other up.’" (Surat al-Isra: 88) Allah
sent the Qur’an to people fourteen centuries ago. Some facts that
could only be discovered with the technology of the 20th century
were stated in the Qur’an by Allah fourteen centuries ago. This
plainly shows us that the Qur’an is one of the most important pieces
of evidence that let us acknowledge Allah’s being.
In the Qur’an, there are many pieces of evidence
that the Qur’an is from Allah and that mankind can never produce
anything like it. One of these pieces of evidence is that the verses
of the Qur’an exist in our universe:
In accordance with the verse "We will show them
Our Signs on the horizon and within themselves until it is clear
to them that it is the truth. Is it not enough for your Lord that
He is a witness of everything?" (Surah Fussilat: 53), much
of the information given in the Qur’an finds its correlate in the
external world. For Allah has created everything in the universe
and, therefore, possesses complete knowledge of it. He, also, has
revealed the Qur’an. For this reason, a great deal of the information
and analyses given in the Qur’an, will be seen and recognised by
wise, conscientious believers who have insight.
However, it should not be forgotten that the
Qur’an is not a "book of science". The purpose of the revelation
of the Qur’an is stated thus in the verses:
"Alif Lam Ra This is a Book
We have sent down to you so that you can bring mankind from the
darkness to the light, by the permission of their Lord, to the path
of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy." (Surah Ibrahim: 1)
"…as guidance and a reminder for people of
intelligence." (Surat Ghafir: 54)
In brief, Allah sends the Qur’an to believers
as a guide. It explains to them how to be slaves of Allah and seek
His good pleasure.
He who created the
seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the
creation of the All-Merciful. Look again - do you see any
gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to
you dazzled and exhausted!
(Surat al- Mulk: 3-4)
The Qur’an, however, also gives some basic information
on certain subjects such as the creation of the universe, the birth
of man, the structure of the atmosphere, and the balances in the
heavens and on the earth. That these pieces of information are in
harmony with the most recent findings of modern science is important
in the sense that it again confirms that the Qur’an is "the Word
of Allah". For according to the verse "Will
they not ponder the Qur’an? If it had been from other than Allah,
they would have found many inconsistencies in it" (Surat an-Nisa:
82), there is perfect harmony between the statements of the
Qur’an and the external world.
In the following pages we will dwell on the extraordinary
parallels between the pieces of information about the universe given
by the Qur’an and science.
The Big Bang Theory and what it teachs
The questions of how the seamless universe originated,
where it leads to, and how the laws maintaining its order and balance
work have always been topics of interest.
The prevailing materialist opinion for some centuries
until the early 20th century was that the universe had infinite
dimensions, that it had existed since eternity, and that it would
continue to exist forever. According to this view, called the "static
universe model", the universe has neither a beginning nor an end.
Laying the groundwork for materialist philosophy,
this view denied the existence of the Creator while it maintained
that the universe is a constant, stable, and unchanging collection
of matter. However, the 20th century’s developing science and technology
demolished primitive concepts such as the static universe model.
Today, on the brink of the 21st century, modern physics has come
to the conclusion, with many experiments, observations and calculations,
that the universe had a beginning and that it was created out of
nothing and began with a big explosion.
In addition, it is maintained that the universe,
contrary to the claims of materialists, is not stable and constant,
but that it is in constant motion, change, and expansion. Today,
these facts are admitted by the world of science. Now, let us look
at how these very important facts are brought to light by the world
In 1929, at the California Mount Wilson observatory,
an American astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble made one of the
greatest discoveries in the history of astronomy. While he observed
the stars with a giant telescope, he found out that the light emitted
by them was shifted to the red end of the spectrum and that this shift
was more pronounced the further a star was from the earth. This discovery
had an electrifying effect on the world of science, because according
to the recognised rules of physics, the spectra of light beams travelling
towards the point of observation tend towards violet while the spectra
of the light beams moving away from the point of observation tend
towards red. Hubble’s observations showed that the light from stars
tends towards red. This means that they are constantly moving away
The expansion of the universe
Before long, Hubble made another very important
discovery: Stars and galaxies move away not only from us, but also
from one another. The only conclusion that can be made about a universe
where everything moves away from everything else is that the universe
To better understand, the universe can be thought
of as the surface of a balloon being blown up. Just as the points
on the surface of a balloon move apart from each other as the balloon
is inflated, so do the objects in space move apart from each other
as the universe keeps expanding. In fact, this had been theoretically
discovered even earlier. Albert Einstein, who is considered one
of the most renowned scientists of the century, had originally concluded
during his work on General Relativity that his equations showed
that the universe could not be static. However, he artificially
altered his equations by the addition of a ‘constant’ to produce
a static model of the universe because that was the dominant idea
of the time. Einstein was later to identify his act as "the greatest
mistake of his career".
What importance, then, did the fact that the
universe expands have to the existence of the universe?
Everything in the
heavens and the earth glorifies Allah. He is the Almighty,
the All-Wise. The kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs
to Him. He gives life and causes to die. He has power over
(Surat al- Hadid: 1-2)
The expansion of the universe
implies that the universe would prove to have originated from a
single point. Calculations show that this "single point" that harboured
all the matter of the universe must have had "zero volume" and "infinite
density". The universe had come about by the explosion of this single
point with zero volume. This great explosion that marked the beginning
of the universe was named the "Big Bang" and the theory took its
name from that.
It has to be said that "zero volume" is a theoretical
expression used for descriptive purposes. Science can define the
concept of "nothingness", which is beyond the limits of human comprehension,
only by expressing it as "a point with zero volume". In truth, "a
point with no volume" means "nothingness". The universe has come
into being from nothingness. In other words, it was created.
This great fact, which was discovered by modern
physics only towards the end of this century, was announced to us
in the Qur’an fourteen centuries ago:
He is the Originator of the
heavens and the earth. (Surat al-An’am: 101)
When we compare the statement in the verse with
the Big Bang theory, we see that there is a striking resemblance.
However, the Big Bang was introduced as a scientific theory only in
the 20th century.
The expansion of the universe is one of the most
important pieces of evidence that the universe was created out of
nothing. Although this was not discovered by science until the 20th
century, Allah has informed us of this reality in the Qur’an revealed
1,400 years ago:
It is We who have built the universe with
(Our creative) power, and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding
it. (Surat adh-Dhariyat: 47)
In 1948, George Gamov came up with another idea
concerning the Big Bang. He stated that after the formation of the
universe from a big explosion, a surplus of radiation, left over
from this explosion, should have existed in the universe. Moreover,
this radiation ought to be uniformly diffused across the universe.
This evidence which "ought to have existed" was
soon to be found. In 1965, two researchers, by the name of Arno
Penzias and Robert Wilson, discovered these waves by chance. This
radiation, called "cosmic background radiation", did not seem to
radiate from a particular source but rather pervaded the whole of
space. Thus, it was understood that the heat waves that were radiating
uniformly from every direction in space were left over from the
initial stages of the Big Bang. Penzias and Wilson were awarded
a Nobel Prize for their discovery.
In 1989, NASA sent the Cosmic Background Explorer
(COBE) satellite into space to do research on cosmic background
radiation. It took only eight minutes for the sensitive scanners
on this satellite to confirm the measurements of Penzias and Wilson.
COBE had found the remains of the big explosion that had taken place
at the outset of the universe.
Another important piece of evidence for the Big
Bang was the amount of hydrogen and helium in space. In the latest
calculations, it was understood that the hydrogen-helium concentration
in the universe agreed with the theoretical calculations of the
hydrogen-helium concentration remaining from the Big Bang. If the
universe had no beginning and if it had existed since eternity,
its hydrogen should have been completely consumed and converted
All of this compelling evidence caused the Big
Bang theory to be embraced by the scientific community. The Big
Bang model was the latest point reached by cosmologists concerning
the beginning and formation of the universe.
Defending the steady-state theory alongside Fred
Hoyle for years, Dennis Sciama described the final position they
had reached after all the evidence for the Big Bang theory was gathered.
Sciama said that he had taken part in the heated debate between
the defenders of the steady-state theory and those who tested that
theory with the hope of refuting it. He added that he had defended
the steady-state theory, not because he deemed it valid but because
he wished that it were valid. Fred Hoyle stood out against all objections
as evidence against this theory began to unfold. Sciama went on
to say that he had first taken a stand along with Hoyle but as evidence
began to pile up, he had to admit that the game was over and that
the steady-state theory had to be dismissed.
Prof. George Abel from the University of California
also said that currently available evidence shows that the universe
originated billions of years ago with the Big Bang. He concedes
that he has no choice but to accept the Big Bang theory.
With the Big Bang’s victory, the concept of "eternal
matter" that constituted the basis of the materialist philosophy
was thrown into the trash-heap of history. What, then, was before
the Big Bang and what was the power that brought the universe into
"being" with this big explosion when it was previously "non-existent"?
This question certainly implies, in Arthur Eddington’s words, the
"philosophically unfavourable" fact (unfavourable for the materialists),
that is, the existence of the Creator. Renowned atheist philosopher
Anthony Flew comments on the issue:
Many scientists who are not blindly conditioned
to be atheists have admitted the role of the almighty Creator in the
creation of the universe. This Creator must be a being Who has created
both matter and space/time, yet Who is independent of them. Well-known
astrophysicist Hugh Ross has this to say:
Notoriously, confession is good for the soul.
I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist
has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus.
For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific
proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically;
namely, that the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe
can be comfortably thought of as being not only without end but
also without beginning, it remains easy to urge that its brute
existence, and whatever are found to be its most fundamental features,
should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates. Although I believe
that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither easy nor
comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big Bang
Matter and space/time are created by the almighty
Creator Who is independent of all these notions. This Creator is Allah
Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth.
If time’s beginning is concurrent with the
beginning of the universe, as the space-theorem says, then the
cause of the universe must be some entity operating in a time
dimension completely independent of and pre-existent to the time
dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion is powerfully important
to our understanding of who God is and who or what God isn’t.
It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God contained
within the universe.
Allah has let us know the scientific pieces of
evidence of this in His Book, which He sent to us fourteen centuries
ago as the manifest evidence of His being.
The perfection in the universe
He who created the seven heavens in layers. You will
not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again
– do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will
return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Surat al-Mulk: 3-4)
billions of stars and galaxies in the universe move in their separate
orbits yet in total harmony. Stars, planets and satellites revolve
both around their own axes and within the systems to which they belong.
Furthermore, sometimes galaxies consisting of almost 200-300 billions
stars flow through each other. During this transition in some of the
very famous examples observed by astronomers, no collisions occur
to cause havoc in the great order in the universe.
Across the universe, the magnitude of the velocities
is difficult to comprehend when compared with our earthly standards.
Magnitudes in space are enormous when compared with the measurements
we employ on earth. Stars and planets, with masses of billions or
trillions of tons, galaxies, and galaxy clusters, with sizes in
numerical values that can only be represented numerically by mathematicians,
move in space at tremendous velocities.
For instance, the earth rotates about its axis
at a mean velocity of about 1,670 km an hour. When we remember that
the fastest bullet has an average velocity of 1,800 km an hour,
it becomes clear how fast the earth is moving despite its giant
The earth’s orbital velocity around the sun is
about sixty times that of the bullet’s: 108,000 km an hour. (If
it were possible to manufacture a vehicle that could move so fast,
it would orbit the earth in twenty-two minutes.)
He is the Originator
of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when
He has no wife? He created all things and He has knowledge
of all things. That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but
Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible
for everything. Eyesight cannot perceive Him but He perceives
eyesight. He is the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware. Clear
insights have come to you from your Lord. Whoever sees clearly,
does so to his own benefit. Whoever is blind, it is to his
(Surat al-An'am: 101-104)
These figures, however, only relate to the earth.
The solar system is even more amazing. The velocity of this system
is at a level which pushes the limits of logic. In the universe,
as systems increase in size, velocities also increase. The solar
system revolves around the centre of the galaxy at 720,000 km an
hour. The velocity of the "Milky Way" itself, comprising some 200
billion stars, is 950,000 km an hour in space.
This overwhelming speed actually shows that our
lives on the earth are lived on the knife-edge. Normally, it would
be quite likely for huge accidents to occur in such a complex system.
However, as Allah says in the verse, in this system is no "flaw"
or "want of proportion". The universe, just as everything within
it, is not left "on its own" and it operates according to the balance
Allah has established.
One of the most important causes of the great balance
in the universe is unquestionably that the heavenly bodies follow
certain orbits or ‘spheres’. Though unknown until recently, these
orbits are emphasised in the Qur’an:
Orbits and the rotating universe
It is He who created night
and day and the sun and moon, each one swimming in an orbit. (Surat
Stars, planets and satellites revolve both around
their own axes and within the systems to which they belong, and the
larger universe works in a subtle order just like the gears of a machine.
The orbits in the universe are not confined to
the motions of certain celestial bodies. Our solar system and the
galaxies have a great activity around other centres as well. Each
year, the earth and the Solar system move 500 million kilometres
away from their location of the previous year. It has been computed
that even a minor deviation of the celestial bodies from their orbits
would lead to results that would turn the system upside down. For
instance, let us look at what a 3 millimetre deviation above or
below the normal in the world’s orbit would cause:
"While rotating around the sun, the earth follows
such an orbit that, every 18 miles, it only deviates 2.8 millimetres
from a direct course. The orbit followed by the earth never changes,
because even a deviation of 3 millimetres would cause catastrophic
disasters: if the deviation were 2.5 mm instead of 2.8 mm, then
the orbit would be very large, and all of us would freeze. If the
deviation were 3.1 mm, we would be scorched to death." (Bilim ve
Teknik, July 1983)
150 million km away from the earth, the sun uninterruptedly provides
us with our required energy.
In this celestial body with its huge energies, hydrogen atoms are
continuously converted into helium. Each second, 616 million tons
of hydrogen is converted to 612 million tons of helium. During that,
the energy released is equivalent to the explosion of 500 million
Life on earth is made possible by the energy
from the sun. The permanence of the balance on earth and 99% of
the energy needed for life are provided by the sun. Half of this
energy is visible and comes in the form of light. The rest of the
energy is in the form of ultraviolet rays, which are invisible,
and in the form of heat.
Another feature of the sun is its dilating itself
periodically like a bell. This is repeated every five minutes and
the surface of the sun moves 3 km closer to the earth and further
away from it at a speed of 1,080 km per hour.
The sun is only one of the 200 billion stars
comprising the Milky Way. Although 325,500 times bigger than the
earth, it is considered one of the small stars in the universe.
It is at a distance of 30 thousand light years from the centre of
the Milky Way, which has a diameter of 125 thousand light years.
(1 light year = 9,460,800,000,000 km.)
The journey of the sun
And the sun runs to its resting place. That
is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Surah Yasin: 38)
According to the calculations of astronomers,
the sun, due to the activity of our galaxy, travels at a speed of
720,000 km per hour towards the Solar Apex, a place on the celestial
sphere close to the star Vega. (This means that approximately, it
travels a distance of 720,000x24=17,280,000 km a day, as does our
earth which is dependent on it.)
Seven layers of heavens
''It is Allah who created the
seven heavens and of the earth the same number.'' (Surat at-Talaq:
Throughout the Qur’an, Allah mentions the seven
heavens or skies. When we examine the composition of the earth's atmosphere,
we find that it is made up of seven layers. In the atmosphere, interfaces
divide the layers from one another. According to Encyclopaedia Americana
(9/188), the following layers are one on top of another depending
1st Layer TROPOSPHERE: Its thickness reaches
8 km at the poles and 17 km at the equator. This layer contains
a great amount of clouds. The temperature goes down 6.5o C a kilometre
depending on altitude. In one part of it, called the tropopause,
where there are fast air currents, the temperature stays constant
2nd Layer STRATOSPHERE: It reaches an
altitude of 50 km. Here, ultraviolet light is absorbed causing heat
to be released and the temperature to rise to 0oC. During this absorption,
the ozone layer, which has vital importance for the earth, is formed.
3rd Layer MESOSPHERE: Its altitude reaches
up to 85 km. Here, the temperature drops to -100o C.
4th Layer THERMOSPHERE: Temperature rises
at a decelerating pace.
5th Layer IONOSPHERE: Gases in this region
are found in ionic form. Because radio waves are reflected back
by the ionosphere, communication on earth becomes possible.
6th Layer EXOSPHERE: Being between 500
km and 1000 km, the characteristics of this layer change according
to the activities of the sun.
7th Layer MAGNETOSPHERE: This is the area
in which the earth's magnetic field lies and which looks like a
great void. Energetically charged subatomic particles are retained
in regions called the Van Allen radiation belts.
The mountains preventing the earthquakes
It is Allah Who created the heavens with no
support – you can see them – and cast firmly embedded mountains
on the earth so that it would not move under you, and scattered
about in it creatures of every kind. (Surah Luqman: 10)
Have We not made the earth a flat carpet and the
mountains its pegs? (Surat an-Naba: 7)
The information obtained by geological investigation
of mountains is in full accord with the verses of the Qur'an. One
of the most significant characteristics of mountains is their rising
at the conjunction points of the earth’s plates, which are closely
pressed together as they draw close to one another, and their "fixing"
them. Having this attribute, mountains may be likened to nails that
keep wood pieces together.
In addition to this, the pressure exerted by mountains on the earth's
crust prevents the impact of magma activity at the centre of the earth
from reaching the earth's surface and thus crushing the earth's crust.
The seas' not mingling with one another
''He has let loose the two
seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not
break through.'' (Surat ar-Rahman: 19-20)
In the verse above, it
is stressed that two bodies of water meet together, yet do not mingle
with one another due to a barrier. How is this possible? Normally,
what would be expected is that the waters of the two seas mingle with
one another when they meet together and that the proportions of salts
and the temperatures of each of them would tend to balance. The case,
however, is different. For instant, although the Mediterranean Sea
and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean physically
meet together, their waters do not mingle with one another. The reason
for this is a barrier between them. This barrier is a force known
as the ''surface tension''.
Iron is one of the four most abundant elements in
the world and for ages, it has been one of the most vital metals for
mankind. The verse referring to iron is as follows:
The two codes of iron
"…And We sent down iron in
which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind."
(Surat al-Hadid: 25)
This verse incorporates two very interesting mathematical
"Al-Hadid" (Iron) is the 57th surah of the Qur’an.
The numerical value (in the "Abjad" system of Arabic in which each
letter has a numerical value) of the letters of the word "Al-Hadid"
is the same: 57.
The numerical value (Abjad) of the word "Hadid"
(iron) alone, without the definite article "al", is 26 and 26 is
the atomic number of iron.