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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ramadan (Arabic: رَمَضَان, romanized: Ramaḍān [ra.ma.dˤaːn]),[a] also spelled Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan or Ramathan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset is fard (obligatory) for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar. Although fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca, it is common practice to follow the timetable of the closest country in which night can be distinguished from day.
The spiritual rewards (thawab) of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to salat (prayer) and recitation of the Quran.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: All prophets are human and never part of divinity: they are the most perfect of humans who are recipients of revelation from God. When God wishes to speak to a human, he sends an angel messenger to him or makes him hear a voice or inspires him.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: If you ask, who is God
Knower of the seen and unseen.
Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
the Most Holy,
the Source of Serenity,
the Watcher ˹of all˺,
the Supreme in Might,
Glorified is God far above what they associate with Him ˹in worship˺
He ˹alone˺ has the Most Beautiful Names.
Whatever is in the heavens and the earth ˹constantly˺ glorifies Him.
And He is the Almighty, All-Wise.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: God is One ˹and Indivisible˺;
God—the Sustainer ˹needed by all˺.
He has never had offspring, nor was He born.
And there is none comparable to Him
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: Islam Fast Facts
(CNN)Here's a look at Islam. The word Islam translates as "submission" or "surrender." Surrender to the will of Allah - Arabic for God.
Islam is partially based on the Judeo-Christian religions. It has a monotheistic (belief in one God) message, and follows some of the same principles as Christianity and Judaism.
The followers of Islam, Muslims, believe in one God, Allah, and believe Muhammad was his prophet. They also believe Adam, of the Bible's Old Testament, was the first prophet.
Other prophets include Abraham, Moses, Noah, David and Jesus.
There are five "Pillars of Islam" that Muslims follow:
- The Shahadah - A statement of faith all Muslims recite at least one time in their lives.
- The Salat or Salah - A daily ritual prayer of faith done five times a day.
- Zakat - a tax paid to benefit the poor or those in need.
- Sawm - a fast done during the month of Ramadan.
- Hajj - a pilgrimage every Muslim must do at least once in his/her life, if he or she can afford it, to the Holy city of Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage begins on the seventh or eighth day of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and ends on the 12th day of that same month.
The Kaaba is the shrine located in Mecca, which is visited during the pilgrimage (or Hajj). It is the most holy place for Muslims.
Two other main holy places are the Prophet Muhammad's mosque in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia, and "Al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem.
Muslims believe the Quran is the divine words or revelations on which they base their faith. Muslims believe the Angel Gabriel delivered the ideas in the Quran to Muhammad.
There are 114 chapters in the Quran.
The Hadith is a collection of the traditions and sayings of Muhammad, also used to frame the Muslim way of life and beliefs.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: THE STORY OF ADAM (PART 1 OF 5): THE FIRST MAN
Islam provides us with the astonishing details of the creation of Adam. Both Christian and Jewish traditions are remarkably similar yet importantly different to the Quran. The Book of Genesis describes Adam as being made from “the dust of the earth,” and in the Talmud, Adam is described as being kneaded from mud.
And God said to the angels:
“‘Verily, I am going to place mankind generations after generations on earth.’ They said: ‘Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You.’ God said: ‘I know that which you do not know.’” (Quran 2:30)
So begins the story of Adam, the first man, the first human being. God created Adam from a handful of soil containing portions from all its varieties on Earth. Angels were sent to earth to collect the soil that was to become Adam. It was red, white, brown, and black; it was soft and malleable, hard and gritty; it came from the mountains and the valleys; from infertile deserts and lush fertile plains and all the natural varieties in between. The descendants of Adam were destined to be as diverse as the handful of soil from which their ancestor was created; all have different appearances, attributes and qualities.
Soil or Clay?
Throughout the Quran, the soil used to create Adam is referred to by many names, and from this we are able to understand some of the methodology of his creation. Each name for soil is used at a different stage of Adam’s creation. Soil, taken from the earth, is referred to as soil; God also refers to it as clay. When it is mixed with water it becomes mud, when it is left to stand the water content reduces and it becomes sticky clay (or mud). If it is again left for some time it begins to smell, and the colour becomes darker – black, smooth clay. It was from this substance that God moulded the form of Adam. His soulless body was left to dry, and it became what is known in the Quran as sounding clay. Adam was moulded from something akin to potter’s clay. When it is rapped it produces a ringing sound.
The First Man is Honoured
And God said, to the Angels:
“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” (Quran 38:71-72)
God honoured the first humman, Adam, in countless ways. Allah blew his soul into him, He fashioned him with His own hands and He ordered the Angels to bow down before him. And God said to the Angels:
“....Prostrate to Adam and they prostrated except Iblees (Satan)....” (Quran 7:11)
While worship is reserved for God Alone this prostration by the Angels to Adam was a sign of respect and honour. It is said that, as Adam’s body trembled into life, he sneezed and immediately said ‘All praise and thanks is due to God;’ so God responded by bestowing His Mercy upon Adam. Although this account is not mentioned in either the Quran or the authentic narrations of the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, it is mentioned in some commentaries of the Quran. Thus, in his first seconds of life, the first man is recognized as an honoured creature, covered with the infinite Mercy of God.
It was also said by the Prophet Muhammad that God created Adam in His image. This does not mean that Adam was created to look similar to God, as God is unique in all His aspects, we are unable to comprehend or form an image of Him. It does mean, however, that Adam was given some qualities which also God has, although incomparable. He was given qualities of mercy, love, free will, and others.
The First Greeting
Adam was instructed to approach a group of Angels sitting near to him and greet them with the words Assalamu alaikum (May God’s peace be upon you), they answered ‘and also upon you be God’s peace, mercy and blessings’. From that day forward these words became the greeting of those submitted to God. From the moment of Adam’s creation, we his descendents were instructed to spread peace.
Adam, the Caretaker
God told mankind that He did not create them except that they should worship Him. Everything in this world was created for Adam and his descendants, in order to aid us in our ability to worship and know God. Due to God’s infinite Wisdom, Adam and his descendants were to be the caretakers on earth, so God taught Adam what he needed to know to perform this duty. God mentions:
“He taught Adam all the names of everything.” (Quran 2:31)
God gave Adam the ability to identify and designate names to everything; He taught him language, speech and the ability to communicate. God imbued Adam with an insatiable need for and love of knowledge. After Adam had learned the names and uses for all things God said to the Angels...
“‘tell me the names of these if you are truthful.’ They answered ‘Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily it is You the All Knower, the All Wise.’” (Quran 2:31-32)
God turned to Adam and said:
“‘O Adam! Inform them of their names,’ and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the unseen in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been hiding?” (Quran 2:33)
Adam tried to speak with the Angels, but they were occupied worshipping God. The Angels were given no specific knowledge or freedom of will, their sole purpose being to worship and praise God. Adam, on the other hand, was given the ability to reason, make choices and identify objects and their purpose. This helped to prepare Adam for his coming role on earth. So Adam knew the names of everything, but he was alone in Heaven. One morning Adam awoke to find a woman gazing at him.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: FINE-TUNING OF THE UNIVERSE (PART 1 OF 8): PHYSICAL LAWS
What is Fine-Tuning?
FineTuning1.jpgOver the past century, scientists have discovered that if certain properties of the universe were changed very slightly from what they are, we would not be here. They have to be within a very narrow range for our universe to make life possible and be habitable.
The universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life with a complexity and delicacy that literally defy human comprehension. The sensitivity of the ‘habitability’ of the universe to small changes is called ‘fine-tuning.’
This was recognized about 60 years ago by Fred Hoyle who was not a religious person at the time he made the discovery. Scientists like Paul Davies, Martin Rees, Max Tegmark, Bernard Carr, Frank Tipler, John Barrow, and Stephen Hawking, to name a few, believe in fine-tuning. These are prominent names in cosmology as they are heard in the media whenever a news headline is made.
Types of Fine-Tuning
1. Fine-tuning of the laws of nature.
2. Fine-tuning of the constants of physics.
3. Fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe.
We will explore each category below:
1. Fine-Tuning of the Laws of Nature
There are two ways to look at this aspect of fine-tuning:
1. Precisely the right laws are needed for highly complex life to exist. If one of these were missing, such life would not be possible. To say that the laws are fine-tuned means that the universe must have precisely the right set of laws in order for highly complex life to exist. Perhaps this type of fine-tuning is the easiest of the three to understand.
Example 1: The law of gravity states that all masses attract each other. What would the universe be like if gravity did not exist? There wouldn’t be any stars or planets. Matter would be equally distributed around the universe with no place for life to form or energy sources like the sun that provide food to plants through photosynthesis that in turn become food for animals.
Example 2: One type of force can play multiple roles in this very well designed system. For example, the electromagnetic force refers to the combination of electric and magnetic forces. James Clerk Maxwell unified the two forces in 1800’s.
If there were no electromagnetic force, there would be no atoms because there would be no force to hold the negatively charged electrons with the positively charged protons that allow for chemical bonds. There would be no building blocks of life as there would be no chemical bonding, and therefore no life.
The electromagnetic force plays another role in light which is a type of electromagnetic radiation. It allows energy to transfer from the sun to our planet. Without this energy we would not exist.
2. Harmony between nature and mathematics: Only in the 20th century have we come to understand that what we observe in nature can be described by only a few physical laws, each of which is described by simple mathematical equations. Just the fact that these mathematical forms are so simple and few in number that they can all be written on one sheet of paper is amazing.
Table1. The Fundamental Laws of Nature
· Mechanics (Hamilton’s Equations)
· Electrodynamics (Maxwell’s Equations)
· Statistical Mechanics (Boltzmann’s Equations)
· Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
· General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
For life to exist, we need an orderly and intelligible universe. Furthermore, order at many different levels is required.
For instance, to have planets that circle their stars, we need Newtonian mechanics.
For there to be multiple stable elements of the periodic table to provide a sufficient variety of atomic "building blocks" for life, we need the atomic structure given by the laws of quantum mechanics.
We need the orderliness in chemical reactions that is the consequence of Boltzmann’s equation for the second law of thermodynamics.
And for an energy source like the sun to transfer its life-giving energy to a habitat like Earth, we require the laws of electromagnetic radiation that Maxwell described.
Physicist and Nobel Prize winner Eugene Wigner in his widely quoted paper, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences notes that scientists often take for granted the remarkable - even miraculous - effectiveness of mathematics in describing the real world. He says:
"The enormous usefulness of mathematics is something bordering on the mysterious…There is no rational explanation for it…The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve."
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: THE TRUTH IS ONE (PART 1 OF 2)
Often when discussing religion, one hears the statement that none has the right to judge anyone else’s beliefs, or that religion is a person’s private matter and we can not say that it is wrong or right. Throughout history, societies have based their laws and ethics upon “absolute truths” which they deem to be “right”, and this is either a result of an exterior text regarded as supreme, or of the trait found in the innate nature of humans that causes them to see certain things as good and others as evil. Humans, to a limited scale, can see certain things as good and evil. For example, all humans, left to their natural state without perversion of the mind, will see feces and urine as filthy. Also, certain deeds, like stealing, killing and lying are also known to be evil, while truth, sincerity, and honor are seen to be lofty. This is a result of a trait that was created in all humans, but as mentioned above, this sense is limited.
If one says that they do not have the right to judge other’s beliefs or actions, they are, in fact, contradicting themselves. If you were to ask many of these people whether killing infants or suicide is correct and acceptable, they will naturally answer that it is not. But when we look into certain societies, such as some religions found in Central America, infanticide was seen to be a way to draw near to their gods. Also today, in Hindu religion, it is praiseworthy for a wife to kill herself after the death of her husband. If they truly believe that religion is something left to the individual and that none have the right to interfere or judge them, then this would necessitate allowing that killing babies is something which is correct to those who believe it is praiseworthy, and that people have no right to judge them.
If we were to bring this issue to an individual level, we would see that each person has their individual perception of good and evil, whether this perception is based upon religion, law, culture, or individual contemplation. One might believe that it is perfectly acceptable to commit adultery while another might think it to be wrong. One might believe that it is permissible for them to indulge in narcotics since it is their own body, and others might believe it to be a crime. None would be able to say that anything is right or wrong, and all people would be left to their own devices to believe and practice what they perceive as “correct.”
If we were to implement this belief in society, we would have a community based upon anarchy, where no laws could be legislated nor executed, for law is based upon the principle that certain things are to be good and others are evil. If one were to say that there are certain truths agreed to by all humans which can be used to legislate laws, this statement is true to a certain limit, as we stated that all humans do naturally have a trait to know right from wrong in a limited sense. But as seen, this trait many times becomes perverted through environmental, psychological, or religious factors, in that certain acts which were at one time seen as evil and immoral are later seen as sound and acceptable, and some things which do not accord to human nature are seen to be the keys to salvation. This can be clearly observed in democratic societies which base their laws on the majority. We see that many things which were considered to be outright absurd or immoral are now socially acceptable, to the extent that if one holds a different opinion in regards to the issue, they are seen as outcasts.
For this reason, humans cannot be left to their own accords to legislate what is correct and incorrect. Even in societies of the same religion which have instituted the separation of religion and state, although they are in agreement to those things which they maintained from their religion, they differ greatly in regards to what is deemed correct and incorrect in their societies. What is considered as the legal age of consent to sex in France is considered rape in America. While abortion is legal in one country, it is a crime in another, and when homosexuality is seen as a valid way of life in one society, it is seen as a grave sin in another.
So if we now say that the truth is absolute and one and is not relative to each individual and society, then the next question is what are the morals which make truth manifest and who is to decide them? What are the laws which should be implemented in society? Should they be decided by lawyers and judges who have reached a level of “legal enlightenment”, politicians who usually make decisions for their own benefit or the benefit of their own countries, or philosophers which have come to know the universal truths through their own contemplation? As seen earlier, humans cannot be left to decide these issues, lest there be catastrophic results, as seen today in many societies ridden with numerous ills. The only One who has the right to legislate right and wrong is the One who created us and knows what is best for us, and that is God Almighty. It is God who created the world and it is God who set the scales of justice. It is God who is perfect and it is God who has no faults whatsoever.
Most of our discussion has dealt with the issues of belief which deal with morality and deeds, but what is even more important is those beliefs which deal with God, and this will be discussed in the following article.
Those who believe that the truth is relative and that all beliefs are correct deem that it is not possible to say that a person’s beliefs are wrong, because religion to them is a purely individual belief. The falsehood of this statement is quite apparent and we do not need to delve into great detail to prove it. If one religion believes that Jesus was a false prophet, another maintains he is God, and yet another that he was a human specially chosen to be a prophet, how can they all be true? Jesus, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, must inevitably be one of the three things mentioned above, and all three statements cannot be correct. Therefore, as only one of these statements can be correct, whichever is established as true determines that the others must then be considered as false.
This does not, however, mean that a person does not have the right to believe as they wish, as this is a right that God has invested to all humans. But at the same time, it does not mean that one must take the other extreme and say that they are all correct, and that one does not have the right to form a judgment about them. Also, giving a person the right to believe what he wishes does not necessitate that they have right to openly practice or publicize these beliefs, for laws implemented in society always look at the effects of actions at the greater societal level and whether those actions are advantageous or harmful to the society at large.
From what we have discussed, we can unequivocally come to the conclusion that all the religions found today in the world are either all false, or that there exists one among them which is the comprehensive Truth; for although various religions do contain similarities, they also have fundamental differences.
If we were to say that no religion in the world today is correct, then this would entail believing that God is unjust because He left us to wander about on earth in sin and transgression without showing us the right way to do things, and this is impossible for a Just God. Therefore the only logical conclusion is that there is One True Religion, which contains guidance in all spheres of life, religious, moral, societal, and individual.
How do we know what this one true religion is? It is upon each and every human to investigate this matter. Humans were created to fulfill a great purpose, not just to eat, sleep and go about finding their daily sustenance and satiate their desires. In order to fulfill this purpose, one must try to find what their purpose is, and this can only be done by investigation. If one believes that there is a God, and that God must not have left humans to wander in misguidance, then they must search for the religion and way of life which God revealed. Furthermore, this religion would not be hidden or hard for humans to find or understand, for that would defeat the purpose of guidance. Also, the religion must contain the same message throughout time, since we mentioned that everything returns to one absolute truth. Also, this religion cannot contain any falsities or contradictions, for falseness or contradiction in one matter of the religion proves the falsity of the religion as a whole, since we would then doubt the integrity of its texts.
There is no other religion which fulfills the conditions mentioned above except for religion of Islam, the religion which is accordance to human nature, the religion which has been preached by all prophets since the dawn of man. Other religions found today, such as Christianity and Judaism, are the remnants of the religion brought by the prophets in their time, which was Islam. However, over time, they have been altered and lost, and what is left today of these religions is a mix of truth and falsehood. The only religion which has been preserved and preaches the same message brought by all prophets is the religion of Islam, the one true religion, which rules all sphere’s of humans’ lives, religious, political, societal, and individual, and it is upon all humans to investigate this religion, to ascertain its truth, and to follow it.
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: BIBLE PROPHECIES OF MUHAMMAD (PART 1 OF 4): WITNESSES OF SCHOLARS
The Bible is the sacred scripture of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books not accepted as scripture by Protestants. The Jewish Bible includes only the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. Furthermore, the arrangements of the Jewish and Christian canons differ considerably. Prophet Muhammad has been prophesized in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Jesus and the Apostles are believed to have spoken Aramaic. Aramaic continued in wide use until about AD 650, when it was supplanted by Arabic. The present day Bible is not, however, based on the Aramaic manuscripts, but on Greek and Latin versions.
Quoting the Bible prophecies does not entail that Muslims accept the present day Bible in its entirety as God’s revelation. For the Islamic belief on previous scriptures, please click here.
It is not a pre-condition of acceptance that a prophet be foretold by an earlier prophet. Moses was a prophet to Pharaoh even though he was not prophesized by anyone before him. Abraham was God’s prophet to Nimrod, yet no one prophesized his coming. Noah, Lot, and others were true prophets of God, yet they were not foretold. The evidence of a prophet’s truth is not limited to old prophecies, but it includes the actual message brought by him, miracles and more.
Discussing prophecies is a delicate matter. It requires sifting through Bible versions and translations, recently discovered manuscripts and searching out Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words and investigating them. The task becomes especially difficult when: "prior to the printing press (15th century), all copies of Bibles show textual variations." This is not an easy subject for lay people. For this reason, the best testimony comes from ancient and modern experts in the area who acknowledged the prophecies.
We have records of early Jews and Christians, both monks and rabbis, who witnessed that Muhammad was the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies. The following are some examples of these people.
The Awaited Prophet
Pre-Islam Jews and Christians of Arabia were awaiting a prophet. Before the appearance of Muhammad, Arabia was home to Jews, Christians, and pagan Arabs who, on occasion, went to war with each other. The Jews and Christians would say: "The time has come for the unlettered prophet to appear who will revive the religion of Abraham. We will join his ranks and wage fierce war against you." When Muhammad actually appeared, some of them believed in him, and some refused. This is why God revealed:
"And when there came to them a Book [Quran] from God confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of God will be upon the disbelievers." (Quran 2:89)
The first witness was Buhaira, the Christian monk, who recognized Muhammad’s prophethood when he was still young and told his uncle:
"…a great fortune lies before your nephew, so take him home quickly."
The second witness was Waraqah ibn Nawfal, a Christian scholar who died soon after a solitary meeting with Muhammad. Waraqah attested Muhammad was the Prophet of his time and received revelation exactly like Moses and Jesus.
The Jews of Medina were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a prophet. The third and fourth witnesses were their two famous Jewish rabbis, Abdullah ibn Salam and Mukhayriq.
The sixth and seventh witnesses were also Yemeni Jewish rabbis, Wahb ibn Munabbih, and Ka’b al-Ahbar (d. 656 CE). Ka’b found long passages of praise and the description of the Prophet prophesized by Moses in the Bible.
The Quran states:
dr_mohamed_mahmoud: THE SCIENTIFIC MIRACLES IN BRIEF
Scientific Facts in the Quran
The Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
Science at the time was primitive, there were no telescopes, microscopes or anything even close to the technology we have today. People believed that the sun orbited the earth and that the sky was held up by big pillars at the corners of a flat earth. Within this backdrop the Quran was revealed, and it contains many scientific facts on topics ranging from astronomy to biology, geology to sociology.
Some people may claim that the Quran was changed as new scientific facts were discovered but this cannot be the case because it is a historically documented fact that the Quran is preserved in its original language. The Quran was written down and memorised by people during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. One of the copies of the Quran which was written a few years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad is preserved in a museum in Uzbekistan. This copy is over 1400 years old and is exactly the same as the Arabic Quran that we have today.
The following are nine scientific facts found in the Quran:
1. Origin of Life
Water is essential for all living things. We all know that water is vital to life but the Quran makes a very unusual claim:
We made every living thing from water? Will they not believe? (Quran 21:30)
In this verse water is pointed out as the origin of all life. All living things are made of cells. We now know that cells are mostly made up of water. For example, 80% of the cytoplasm (basic cell material) of a standard animal cell is described as water in biology textbooks.
The fact that living things consist mostly of water was discovered only after the invention of the microscope. In the deserts of Arabia, the last thing someone would have guessed is that all life came from water.
Iron is not natural to the earth. It did not form on the earth but came down to earth from outer space. This may sound strange but it’s true. Scientists have found that billions of years ago the earth was stuck by meteorites. These meteorites were carrying Iron from distant stars which had exploded.
The Quran says the following on the origin of Iron:
“We sent down Iron with its great inherent strength and its many benefits for humankind.” (Quran 57:25)
God uses the words ‘sent down’ for Iron. It is clear from the verse that Iron is not an earthly material, but was sent down for the benefit of humanity. The fact that Iron came down to earth from outer space is something which could not be known by the primitive science of the 7th century.
3. Sky’s Protection
The sky plays a crucial role in protecting the earth. The sky protects the earth from the lethal rays of the sun. If the sky did not exist then the sun’s radiation would have killed off all life on earth. It also acts like a blanket wrapped around the earth, to protect it from the freezing cold of space. The temperature just above the sky is approximately -270oC. If this temperature was to reach earth then the planet would freeze over instantly. The sky also protects life on earth by warming the surface through heat retention (greenhouse effect), and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. These are some of the many protective functions of the sky.
The Quran asks us to consider the sky in the following verse:
“We made the sky a protective ceiling. And yet they are turning away from Our signs!” (Quran 21:32)
The Quran points to the sky’s protection as a sign of God. The protective properties of the sky were discovered by scientific research conducted in the 20th century.
The Quran draws our attention to a very important characteristic of mountains:
“Did We not make the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?” (Quran 78:6-7)
The Quran indicates that mountains have deep roots by using the word stakes to describe them. In fact mountains do have deep roots, and the word stakes is an accurate description for them. A book titled ‘Earth’ by Geophysicist Frank Press explains that mountains are like stakes, and are buried deep under the surface of the earth. Mount Everest (pictured below), the height of which is approximately 9 km above ground, has a root deeper than 125 km.
The fact that mountains have deep ‘stake’ like roots was not known, until after the development of the theory of plate tectonics in the beginning of the 20th century.
5. Expansion of the Universe
At a time when the science of Astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described in Quran:
“And it is We who have built the Universe with [Our creative] power and keep expanding it.” (Quran 51:47)
The fact that the universe is expanding was discovered in the last century. The physicist Stephen Hawking in his book ‘A Brief History of Time’ writes, “The discovery that the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.”.
The Quran mentioned the expansion of the universe even before the invention of the telescope!
6. Sun’s Orbit
In 1512 the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus put forward his theory that the Sun is motionless at the centre of the solar system, and that the planets revolve around it. The belief that the Sun is stationary was widespread amongst astronomers until the 20th century. It is now a well-established scientific fact that the Sun is not stationary, but is moving in an orbit around the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.
The Quran mentions the orbit of the Sun:
“It is He who created night and day, the Sun and the Moon, each floating in its orbit.” (Quran 21:33)
The Quran would have been wrong according to astronomers just a couple of decades ago. But we now know that the Quranic account of the Sun’s motion is consistent with modern Astronomy.
7. The Ocean
The Quran uses imagery to covey its deep meanings, here it describes the state of the unbelievers as:
“Darkness out in a deep ocean which is covered by waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. Those God gives no light to, they have no light.” (Quran 24:40)
It is commonly thought that waves only occur on the surface of the ocean. However oceanographers have discovered that there are internal waves that take place below the surface of the ocean. These waves are invisible to the human eye, and can only be detected by specialist equipment. The Quran mentions darkness in a deep ocean above which are waves, above which are waves, then clouds above that. This description is not only remarkable because it describes the internal waves in the ocean, but also because it describes darkness deep in the ocean. A human being can dive no more than 70 metres without breathing equipment. Light is present at that depth, but if we go down 1000 metres it is completely dark. 1400 years ago there were no submarines or specialist equipment to discover internal waves or the darkness deep inside the oceans.
8. Lying and Movement
There was a cruel oppressive tribal leader named Abu Jahl who lived during the time of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. God revealed a verse of the Quran to warn him:
“No Indeed! If he does not stop, We will seize him by the forehead, his lying, sinful forehead.” (Quran 96:15-16)
God does not call this person a liar, but calls his forehead (the front part of the brain) ‘lying’ and ‘sinful’, and warns him to stop.
This verse is significant for two reasons. The first is that the front part of our brain is responsible for voluntary movement.This is known as the frontal lobe. A book titled ‘Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology’ which includes the results of research on the functions of this area states: The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. The part of the brain that is responsible for movement is said to be seized if the man does not stop.
Secondly, numerous studies have shown that this same region (frontal lobe) is responsible for the lying function of the brain. One such study at the University of Pennsylvania in which volunteers were asked questions during a computerized interrogation, it was found that when the volunteers were lying there was significantly increased activity in the prefrontal and premotor cortices (frontal lobe region).
The front part of the brain is responsible for movement and lying. The Quran links movement and lying to this area. These functions of the frontal lobe were discovered with medical imaging equipment which was developed in the 20th century.
9. Pain Receptors
For a long time it was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was dependent on the brain. However it has been discovered that there are pain receptors present in the skin. Without these pain receptors, a person would not be able to feel pain.
Consider the following verse on pain:
“We shall send those who reject Our revelations to the (Hell) Fire. When their skins have been burned away, We shall replace them with new ones so that they may continue to feel the pain: God is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Quran 4:56)
God tells the people who reject his message that when they are in Hell and their skins are burnt off (so they can’t feel any pain), he will give them new skins so that they continue to feel the pain.
The Quran makes it clear that pain is dependent upon on the skin. The discovery of pain receptors in the skin is a fairly recent discovery for Biology.
These are just some of the many scientific facts found in the Quran. It is important to note that the Quran is not a book of science, but that it is consistent with science. To claim that scientific facts in the Quran are due to coincidence would be irrational. The best explanation is that God revealed this knowledge to the Prophet Muhammad.
Just like the Quran contains knowledge about the natural world, it also contains information about the inner dimensions of our souls. It relates to our feelings, wants and needs. The Quran informs us that we have a purpose in life, and that following God’s guidance will lead us to inner peace in this life, and Paradise in the hereafter. And that rejection of his message will lead to depression in this life and Hellfire after death.
“We shall show them Our signs in the Universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is the witness of all things?” (Quran 41:53)