15 Nov Does the Qur’an Allude to Scientific Developments?.Part3
Below are further examples to illustrate the Qur’an’s allusions to scientific facts and developments.
• The Creator, Who is not bound by the human concept of time, informs us that, in a general sense, the future will be the age of knowledge and information, as well as an age of faith and belief:
Soon We shall show them Our signs in the outer world and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is truth. Is it not enough that your Lord witnesses all things? (41:53).
From the very early days of Islam, Sufis have interpreted this verse as a sign and assurance of the spiritual wisdom for which they strive. But if the verse is read in the context of scientific progress, a progress significantly initiated and advanced by Muslims, the mere fact of the verse will be seen to be a miracle.
Everything within the fold of human thinking and research affirms the Creator’s Oneness, as the true nature and interrelationship of microcosm and macrocosm come to be further disclosed and better understood. When we see hundreds of books on this point, we understand that what was Divinely revealed is near at hand. Even now we feel that we shall soon hear and even understand testimonies and praises to God through thousands of nature’s tongues:
The seven heavens and the Earth, and all things therein, de-clare His Glory. There is not a thing but celebrates His praise. And yet you do not understand how they declare His Glory. Truly He is Oft-Forbearing, Most Forgiving. (17:44)
We already understand something of this verse’s import. The smallest atoms as well as the largest nebu-lae speak to us, in the language of their being, of their submission to the One God and so glorify Him. However, those who can listen to and understand this universal praise are very few.
• What the Qur’an reveals about the embryo’s formation and developmental phases in the uterus is striking. Consider the following:
O mankind! If you have a doubt about the Resurrection, (con-sider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leechlike cloth, then out of a lump of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (what We will) to you. (22:5)
In another verse, this development is explained in greater detail, and the distinct phases are emphasized more clearly:
Man We created from a quintessence (of clay). Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed. Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood. Then of that clot We made a lump (embryo); then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh. Then We de-veloped out of it a new (distinct, individual) creature. (23:12–14)
• What the Qur’an says about milk and its production is as brilliant as the drink itself, and our understanding of it has brought us great benefits:
And verily in cattle (too) will you find an instructive sign. From what is from their bodies, between excretions and blood, We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it (16:66).
The Qur’an narrates the process in remarkable detail: part-digestion and absorption of what is ingested as food, and then a second process and refinement in the glands. Milk is a wholesome and agreeable source of human nourishment, and yet its owner rejects it as use-less.
• The Qur’an reveals that all things are created in pairs:
Glory be to God, who created in pairs all things, of what the earth produces, of themselves, and of which they have no knowledge (36:36).
Everything that exists has counterpart, whether opposite or complementary. The complementarity of human, animal, and certain plant genders has long been known. But what about the pairs of things of which we have no knowledge? This may refer to a whole range of entities, inanimate as well as animate. In the subtle forces and principles of nature within (and among) animate or inanimate entities, there are many kinds of pairs. All things, as our modern instruments confirm, occur in twos.
• The Qur’an recounts, in its own unique idiom, the first creation of the world and its living inhabitants:
Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as a single mass), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (21:30).
This meaning of this verse is clear, and should not be obscured with hypotheses as to whether the primary material in creation is an ether or a large cloud, a huge nebula or a mass of hot gas, or something else. The Qur’an states that every living thing was created of wa-ter. Whether the water itself was caused by gases and vapors rising from the ground, condensing, and then returning as rain to form seas and prepare a suitable environment for life, or by some other process, is relatively unimportant.
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