QUR’AN : GOD’S WORD?.
Is it not true that Qur'an is the handiwork of Muhammad and not the work of God? How can you prove that the Qur'an is the word of God?
Answer : Reply is from Dr. Zakir Naik, president IRF
Many people have a misconception that Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) was the founder of the religion of Islam. In fact, Islam is in existence since man first set foot on the earth. God Almighty has sent several revelations and messengers to this earth. All the previous Prophets sent by Allah (SWT) were meant only for their people and their nation and the complete message was meant for a particular time period. That is the reason that the miracle they performed like the parting of the sea, like raising the dead to life convinced the people of that time but cannot be examined and verified by us today. Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) was the last and final messenger of God Almighty sent to the whole of humanity and his message is meant till eternity.
The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al-Ambiya :
“That we have sent not thee but as a mercy to the whole of humankind, as a mercy to all the world”. (Al-Ambiya 21:107)
Since Prophet Muhammad may peace be upon him, was the last and final messenger and his message was everlasting, that is the reason, the miracle given to him by Allah (SWT) should also be everlasting and examinable by us at all the time. Though Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him), performed several miracles which are mentioned in the Hadith, that is the traditions, he never emphasized them. Those Muslims believe in all these miracles. We only boast of the ultimate miracle given to him by Allah (SWT) that is the Holy Qur’an. Al-Qur’an is the miracle of all times. It proved itself to be a miracle 1400 years ago. It can be reconfirmed today and forever. In short, it is the miracle of miracles. Probably the only point common amongst the people, whether they be Muslims or non Muslims is that the Qur’an was recited the first time by the man born in the city of Makkah in Arabia in the 6th Century by the name Muhammad (May peace be upon him).
Regarding the source of the Holy Qur’an, there can be basically 3 different assumptions.
First : The Holy Qur’an author is Prophet Muhammad (May Peace be upon him) himself consciously, sub-consciously or unconsciously.
Second : Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) he obtained it from other human sources or from other religious scripture.
Third : Holy Qur’an does not have human author but it is verbatim the word or the revelation of God Almighty.
Let us examine all the three basic assumptions.
1. Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) was the author
It is highly abnormal to challenge the testimony of a person who disclaims the responsibility of any great work. Whether it is literally, whether it be scientific or otherwise. But this is exactly what the orientalists do who doubt the origin of the Qur’an, when they say that Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) was the author. The Prophet never ever claimed that he was the author of the Qur’an. In fact, he always said that it was a revelation from Allah (SWT). To think otherwise is illogical and would mean that he was telling a lie, God forbid.
History tells us that never has the prophet been ever reported of telling a lie till the prophethood that is till the age of 40. And all the people acclaimed him as a person who was honest, who was noble, who was chaste. No wonder they gave him the title Al-Ameen - the trustworthy by Friends and Foes alike. Even those people who said that he was a liar, God forbid, after he claimed prophethood, even then, they kept their valuables with him for safe keeping. Then why should an honest person lie and say that the Qur’an is a word of God and that he was a prophet.
Let us examine the claims made by the orientalists. Some say that prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) he attributed the Qur’an and said he was a prophet for material gains, for worldly benefits, I do agree there are several people who falsely claim to be prophets, saints and preachers for wealth. And they acquire riches and lead a luxurious life. We have several throughout the world, especially in our country India. Prophet Muhammad was financially better off before than after prophethood. He had married a rich business woman by the name of Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her) at the age of 25. 15 years before prophethood and his life after he claimed he was a prophet was unenviable.
According to the collection of Hadith by An-Nawawi in Riyadh as Saleheen, Hadith No. 492, it says, that Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) who was the wife of our beloved prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) said that there were times when one or two months would pass without having fire been lit in the house because they did not have any cooked food. They survived on water and dates and sometimes supplemented by the goat milk given by the people of Madinah. This was not just a temporary phase. It was a way of life for the prophet.
According to Riyadh as Saleheen, Hadith No. 465 and 466, Hazrat Bilal (May Allah be pleased with him) said that whenever the prophet received gifts and provision for the future he gave it to the poor and the needy and never kept it back for himself. Then why should you doubt that the prophet told a lie, Nauzubillah for material gains.
And there is a verse in the Qur’an which negates this thing. It is from Surah Al-Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 79, which says
‘Then vow to those who write the book with their own hands’ ‘And then say, this is from Allah’ ‘To traffic with it for a miserable price’ ‘Then vow to those for what their hands do write’ ‘Then vow to those for what they earn’. (Al-Baqarah 2:79)
This Verse is talking about the people who wrote the book with their own hands and said it is from God Almighty or they changed the words of Allah (SWT). There were every possibility that if Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) himself would have written the Qur’an and attributed it to Allah (SWT) in some point of his life, he would have been exposed.
Then he would be called as the biggest hypocrite and would called as the biggest hypocrite and would be cursing himself in his own book some people say that prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) attributed the Qur’an to Allah (SWT) and called himself a prophet for status, for power, for glory, for leadership. What are the qualities of a person who wants power, status, leadership and glory. He wears fancy clothes. He eats very good food. He lives in mansions and in monumental buildings. He has guards etc.,
Our beloved prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) milked his own goat, he mend his own clothes, he repaired his own shoes, he even many a times did the household work. He was an amazing model of simplicity and humbleness. He sat on the floor, he went to shop in the market without any guards. Even when the poor people used to invite him, he used to dine with them and eat graciously whatever was given to him. So much so that, that it is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Tauba, Ch. No. 9, Verse No. 61:
“Among them are men who molest the Prophet and say, "He is (all) ear." Say, "He listens to what is best for you: he believes in Allah, has faith in the Believers, and is a Mercy to those of you who believe." But those who molest the Messenger will have a grievous penalty” (At-Tawbah 9:61)
Once when the representative of the pagan Arab by the name of Udba came to the prophet and said… ‘If you give up this claim of prophethood, we will give you all the wealth in Arabia. We will make you the leader of Arabia and crown you the king. Only thing that we want is that you should give up this message that there is only one God’ and the prophet refused.
By the revelation of the Qur’an from Surah Fussilat, Ch. No. 41. There were several attempts made once through his Uncle Abu Talib that you give up your message and we will make you the wealthiest man in Arabia. The prophet said… ‘Oh! My Uncle, even if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I will not give up this mission until I die’.
Why should a person lead a life of such suffering and sacrifices when he was triumphant even with his advisories. And he was so humble and noble that, at all the times of victory, he always said, it is due to the help of Allah (SWT) and not my own genius. Some of the orientalists, they come up with a new theory, that the prophet, he was suffering from Mythomania. God forbid, Mythomania is a mental disorder in which a person tells a lie and he believes in it. So they said that our prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) told a lie Nauzubillah and he believes in it. If a psychiatrist has to treat a mythomaniac, he will pose him with facts because these people can not face facts.
Suppose a person says I am the king of England. The psychiatrist will not tell him that he is crazy, he is mad. He will say okay if you are the king of England, where is your queen. He will say she is gone to my mother in laws place. Where is your minister, he has died. Where are the guards, the moment you keep on posing facts, finally the mythomaniac will say I think I am not the king of England.
The Qur’an does the same. Qur’an poses the people with facts and questions. In fact it is not prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) who was Mythomaniac, it is these people who are actually Mythomaniac because they say that the prophet lied and they believe in it and Qur’an treats such people by posing facts by posing questions. If you doubt, if you think that the Qur’an has been forged, do so and so, so and so things. If you think that the Qur’an is not from Allah (SWT) what about this. It poses several questions, which we will be dealing with InshaAllah, during the course of the talk.
Some have come up with a theory called the religious illusion theory or the sub conscious theory in which the prophet they say Nauzubillah used to form his subconscious mind, he derived the Qur’an unknowingly. And some of them said he was crazy. God forbid. Let us analyze their claim.
A person if he is suffering from the disease or if he is crazy, they fail to realize that the Qur’an was revealed during a course of time which was 23 years. The Qur’an was not revealed at one time. It was revealed over a period of 23 years in stages part by part. If this Qur’an as they claim is from a mind which is sub conscious or a crazy mind, it could not have been so consistent. And neither can a person be under the false impression that he is a prophet when everything is coming from his sub conscious mind for a period of 23 years.
There are several facts in the Qur’an which can disprove this. For example Qur’an mentions about several historical events which no one at the time of the prophet knew. There are several prophecies, which are, mentioned which have been fulfilled. There are several scientific facts which were unknown by that time and had been confirmed today. It is impossible for these sorts of facts to come out from a subconscious mind or a crazy mind. And the Qur’an testifies :
“Do they not deflect that their companion is not one possessed with evil but he is a perpetious warner’. (Al-Araf 7:184)
‘Thou is not by the grace of thy lord crazy or possessed’. (Al-Qalm 68: 2)
‘Your companion is not possessed and mad’. (At -Tawkir 81 : 22)
So why should a person say about himself that your companion is not mad.
2. Prophet may have copied it from other religious scriptures?
The second assumption is that the prophet copied it from other religious scriptures or he got it from some human source. One historical fact is sufficient to prove this theory wrong. That is out beloved prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) he was an illiterate and Qur’an testified in Surah Ankabut, Ch. No. 29, Verse No. 48, that
“thou was not able to recite any book before this book was revealed, nor was thou able to transcribe it before this....”. (Al-Ankabut 29:48)
In that case indeed the talkers of vanities would have doubted. Allah (SWT) knew that people would doubt the source of the Qur’an. That is the reason that in his divine wisdom, he chose his last and final messenger Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) to be an Ummi, an illiterate and unlettered prophet. Otherwise, surely, the talkers of vanities, the babblers in the market place would have something to say and if the prophet was literate, the critics, the cynics would have had some weight to say that the prophet copied it from somewhere else and rehatched it in a new form, Nauzubillah!
But even this claim is denied. In Qur’an Surah Sajdah, Ch. No. 32, Verse No. 1 to 3 Allah says
‘Alif lam meem’. (1)‘This is the revelation of book without doubt from the lord of the worlds. (2) Do they say he has forged it? Nay! It is a truth from thy lord, so that thou may admonish a people to whom no warner was sent before. So that they may receive some guidance’. (As Sajdah 32:1-3)
The Qur’an is unlike any other religious scriptures which has a typical human type of narration like a story book. How does the story book begins? It begins with once upon a time, foxes and grapes, wolf and the lamb. Similarly, if you read other scriptures, it says, in the beginning was God, he made the heavens and the earth. In the beginning was the word. It may say now it came to pass as though so it happened. The Qur’an does not have such human narration in the beginning was so and so and if you read the other religious scriptures, they have a typical sequence of the human narration’s. It talks about a particular person, talks about his family, about the children and the sequence runs in order - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, it is in order.
Qur’an too speaks about people and their family lives but it speaks not in a particular sequence like the human story book. The Qur’an has its own unique style. It is a unique book.
The people who cannot prove that Qur’an is a work of a human being then they finally come up and say that the Qur’an is the deception? They will not be able to point out a single deception in the whole Qur’an. People they believe in things for which they have got no proof or reason. And they fool themselves but stick into it. For example if I believe that this particular man, he is my enemy for which I have got no proof for which I have got no reason. But the moment that man comes in front of me, because of my false belief, I start behaving like an enemy. He reacts and too behaves like my enemy and then I satisfy myself see! I was right. This man is my enemy because he is behaving like my enemy. If it had not been for my initial false belief, that man would have never behaved like my enemy.
So people believe in things without proof and reason and fool themselves by sticking to it. Qur’an says that the revelation goes in parallel with reason. Some people says that holy scriptures, they are beyond reasoning if they are beyond reasoning, then how can we decipher, which of the Holy Scriptures are true and which are false. The Qur’an infact encourages reasoning, it encourages a discussion. Many Muslims feel that you should avoid religious discussions. You should avoid getting into a dialogue where religion is concerned. And they are sadly mistaken.
The Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, Ch. No. 16, Verse No. 125…Arabic… that is,
‘Invite all to the way of thy lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them and reason with them in the ways that are best and most gracious....’. (An-Nahl 16:125)
Qur’an encourages discussion, encourages reasoning. No wonder the Arabic words ‘Qalu’ which means they say is mentioned 332 times and the Arabic word ‘Qul’ which means say is also mentioned 332 times. This proves that the Qur’an encourages discussion. There is a theory known as exhausting the alternatives. The Qur’an says that this book, this book Qur’an, it is a revelation from God Almighty. If it is not, then what is it?
You give the other alternative. Some may say it is a handiwork of Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him). It has been disproved. Some may say he lied for material gain Nauzubillah! That has been disproved whatever claims they have got, put forth and see whether they stand the test.
And Qur’an mentions in several places, that this is a revelation from God Almighty, and if it is not, then what is it?’ If it is not, where did it come from? In Surah Jathiyah, Ch. No. 45, Verse No. 1 & 2
‘Ha meem (1) This is a revelation of the book from Allah, the exalted in power full of wisdom’. (Al–Jathiyah 45: 1-2)
The scientific community, they have a different approach. If any one has a new theory, they say we do not have time to listen. And they have a reason for that. They say, that if you have a new theory do not bring it to me unless you have a way unless you have a test to prove your theory wrong. Unless you do not have a way or a test to prove your theory wrong, I do not have time to waste with you. It is called as the falsification test.
That is the reason that Albert Einstein in the beginning of the century, when he gave a new theory that I feel the universe works like that along with the theory he gave 3 falsification tests, saying that if you think my theory is wrong do these three things and my theory will be proved wrong. The scientists, they examined it for 6 years and then said yes the theory of Albert Einstein is correct. That does not mean that he is great person. It means he deserves a listening.
Qur’an has several such falsification tests. When you get into discussion in future, with anyone regarding religion, you have to ask him, that do you have a way to prove your religion? Believe me I have not come across any person who has told me that I have a way to prove my religion wrong. The Qur’an has, the Qur’an has several falsification tests. Some of them were only meant for the past. Some of them are applicable for all times.
Let me give you a few examples. The Prophet had an uncle by the name of Abu Lahab. He was the staunchest opponent of the Prophet. Whenever the Prophet spoke to any stranger, he used to follow the Prophet, the moment the Prophet departed he used to go to the stranger and ask what did the Prophet tell you? Did he say it is day, it is night? Did he say it is black, it is white? He spoke exactly the opposite of what the Prophet said. And there is a full chapter Surah Lahab, Ch. No. 111, of the Qur’an which was revealed and it says that Abu Lahab and his wife, they will perish in hell. And it says indirectly that people will never accept Islam. They will never become Muslims. This Surah was revealed 10 years before the death of Abu Lahab. In that span of time, many of his friends who were also opponents of Islam embraced Islam. But Abu Lahab did not embrace Islam. Since he used to lie always against the prophet the only thing he had to do to prove the Qur’an wrong was to say I am a Muslim. He did not have to behave like a Muslim. He did not have to act like a Muslim. He only had to say I am a Muslim and the Qur’an would have been proved wrong. It was so easy for him to prove the Qur’an wrong. Since he had lied before, he just had to say an additional lie. It is as though the prophet is telling him. You think I am your enemy, come on say this say I am a Muslim and I will be proved wrong. It was so easy. But he did not say it. It is proved that no human being can make such a statement in his book. It has to be a divine revelation.
Another such example is in Surah Al-Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 94 and 95, which says that "say: If the last Home, with Allah, be for you specially, and not for anyone else, then seek ye for death, if ye are sincere." (94) But they will never seek for death, on account of the (sins) which their hands have sent on before them, and Allah is well-acquainted with the wrong-doers" (Al-Baqarah 2 : 94 - 95)
This was revealed during a discussion during a confrontation between the Jews and the Muslims and the Jews said that the last home of Allah that is the paradise is for the Jews alone and not for anyone else. So a verse was revealed saying that if you think that paradise is specially meant only for the Jews you call for death, seek for death. The only thing the Jews had to do at that time anyone of them any one of those Jews a single person would have come out and said I seek for death. I want to die not that he had to die not that he had to act only thing he had to do was seek for death. Say I want to die and the Qur’an would have been proved wrong. It has so easy to prove the Qur’an wrong but none of the Jews came forward and said that I seek for death. It is a falsification test.
But now you may tell me, that all these tests are of the past how can we prove the Qur’an wrong today if you want to prove it wrong Qur’an has tests, falsification tests which are also meant for all times. For that time and for today and till eternity, the Qur’an mentions that many people claimed and said that the Qur’an is false. The Qur’an tells them it is mentioned in Surah Isra, Ch. No. 17, Verse No. 88, that
“say if all the humankind and jinn’s were to gather together to produce the like of the Qur’an they will not be able to do it even if they helped each other”. (Al-Isra 17 : 88)
It is a challenge that if all the humankind and jinn’s gathered to produce the like of the Qur’an, they will not be able to do it even if they helped each other. The Qur’an is acclaimed as the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth by the Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Arabic language of the Qur’an it is so clear so meaningful, intelligible, unsurpassable, miraculous. It does not deviate away from truth. Even though it rhymes unlike other poetry and literature. It is the highest order of rhetoric towards the revelation. The same verse of the Qur’an can convince even a common man as well as an intelligent person. It is a miraculous book. The same challenge that produce a recital like the Qur’an is given in Surah Tur, Ch. No. 52, Verse No. 34, which… later on God Almighty, He made the test easy for the people. In Surah Hud, Ch. No. 11, Verse No. 13, which says,
“do they say he has forged it, tell them produce 10 such Surahs forged and let them call for help anyone besides Allah if they speak the truth”. (Hud11: 13)
And no one could produce 10 Surahs exactly like the Qur’an. Allah (SWT) further simplifies the test and says in Surah Yunus, Ch. No. 10, Verse No. 38, that
“do they say he has forged it, say produce one Surah exactly forged like the Qur’an....”. (Yunus10 : 38)
One Surah forged exactly like the Qur’an and call to help anyone besides Allah, if you speak the truth and they could not do it. Then Allah (SWT) gives an easiest of easy of the test. The easiest falsification test in Surah Baqarah, Ch. No. 2, Verse No. 23 and 24, which says :
‘And if you are in doubt as what we have revealed to our servant from time to time’, ‘Then produce a Surah somewhat similar to it’ , ‘And call forth your helpless and witnesses if there are any besides Allah’, ‘If you speak the truth (23) ‘But you cannot’, ‘And of a surety you cannot’,‘Then fear the fire whose fuel shall be men and stones’, ‘Which is prepared for those who reject faith’. (Al- Baqarah 2 : 23 – 24)
First the Qur’an gave a challenge - produce a recital like the Qur’an. Allah (SWT) simplified and said produce 10 Surah like the Qur’an. Then produce one Surah. Here it says produce one Surah somewhat similar. ‘Mim mislihi’, the other places the Qur’an says ‘Mislihi’. Here it says ‘Mim mislihi’ some what similar to the Qur’an and the non-Muslim Arabs they failed miserably. Arabic was at its peak when the Qur’an was revealed. Several, several pagan Arabs, they tried but they failed miserably. Some of their works is yet present in the historical books and it makes them a laughing stock.
The challenge was there 1400 years ago, it is even there today. Today, there are more than 14 million Coptic Christians, Christians who are Arab by birth. Arabic is their mother tongue. This test is even for them. Even if they want to try and prove the Qur’an wrong, only thing they to do is produce one Surah somewhat similar. And if you analyze certain Surahs, certain chapters of the Qur’an, hardly containing a few words, but so far no one has been able to do it and no one will be able to do it in future InshaAllah.
You may tell me that Arabic is not my mother tongue. So where do I fit in this test. Qur’an has a test even for the non Arabs. For people who do not know Arabic every one in the world if they want if they want to try and prove the Qur’an wrong, they can very well try their level best.
Holy Qur’an from Surah Nisa, Ch. No. 4, Verse No. 82, which says…
‘That do not they consider the Qur’an with care? Had it been from anyone besides Allah, there would have been many contradictions. There would have been many discrepancies” (An-Nisa 4 : 82)
The Qur’an is saying that if you want to prove the Qur’an wrong, just point out a single contradiction. A single discrepancy, a single fault in the Qur’an and the Qur’an would be proved not to be the word of the God. It is so easy. I do know that there are hundreds of people who have pointed out mistakes and contradictions in the Qur’an. Believe me all of them 100 percent are either out of context, they are misquotations, mistranslation to deceive the people. So far no one has been able to take out a single contradiction, or a single mistake in the Qur’an.
Suppose there is a maulana who is very well versed in the history of Islam but is not very well versed with the scientific knowledge. I do know of several maulanas who are well versed in Islam as well as science but suppose there is a maulana who is only well versed with the historical facts of Islam but is not well versed with science.
And suppose you go to that maulana and tell him that here there is a scientific mistake in the Qur’an, just because he cannot clarify that alleged scientific mistake in the Qur’an, that does not mean that Qur’an is not the word of God because Qur’an says in Surah Furqan, Ch. No. 25, Verse No. 59, that “....ask the person who is well acquainted with those things”. If you want to ask about the Qur’an which speaks about science, ask a scientist and he will clarify what does the Qur’an say.
Similarly suppose any one of the audience point out an Arabic grammatical mistake in the Qur’an, as I am not an expert in Arabic and just a student, and if I cannot clarify that arabic mistake,(if I am able to Alhamdulillah), but if I am not able to clarify that Arabic mistake, it does not mean that there is really mistake but I will forward to a Musulim scholar who is perfect in Arabic, specially Quranic Arabic, and he will clear that misunderstanding. So for no one has been able to take out a fault in the Qur’an. And Insha Allah no one will ever be able to take out a fault in the Qur’an.
After these logical explanations no human being who believe in a God can say that Qur’an is not from God. Those people who do not believe in God Almighty, if they say it is different. But a person who does not know who is not a Muslim but who believes in God after producing these proofs even he cannot say it is not from God.
3. Quran must be from God
The only third basic assumption remains is that it is a divine origin. It is from God Almighty. It is from Allah (SWT).
Proving to Atheist :
Regarding the atheist those who do not believe in God and all those atheist that are present here I would like to congratulate them. My special congratulation to the atheist because they are using their intellect. They are using their reasoning power. Most of the people in the world who believe in a God they are doing blind belief. He is a Christian because his father is a Christian, he is a Hindu because his father is a Hindu. Some Muslims are Muslims because their father is a Muslim. They are doing blind belief.
This atheist even though he may belong to a religious background, to a religious family he thinks that how is it possible that the people around me they are worshipping a God which has got human qualities, qualities same as me. How can I believe in such a God so he says there is no God. He rejects, some Muslims may ask me. Zakir, how come you are congratulating an atheist. I am congratulating the atheist because he has said the first part of the Shahadah. The Islamic creed… ‘La ilaha’ there is no God. Now the only part remaining is ‘Illallah’ but Allah, which we shall do InshaAllah.
He has argued with the first part of the Shahadah that there is no God. He does not believe in a God, which has got human qualities. So it is our duty now to prove to him about the one and true God Allah (SWT). The moment an atheist tells me I do not believe in God, I will ask him a question - what is the definition of God? What do you mean by God and he has to answer. You know why? Suppose I tell you, that this is a pen. If I say this is a pen for you to say it is not pen, you have to know the meaning of a pen, you should know the definition of a pen, you may not know what this is, but if I say this is a pen and if you have to say this is not a pen, you should at least know the meaning and definition of a pen.
In the same way if an atheist says there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God, and the atheist tell me, see these people around me what they worship, what Gods they worship. It is their own creation, they have got human qualities, therefore I do not believe in such Gods. Because the concept of God that these people have, is a wrong concept. Since you reject the wrong concept even I as a Muslim reject these wrong concepts of God ‘La ilaaha’.
But the moment I agree with him, I have to also tell him the true concept of Allah (SWT). Suppose there is a non-Muslim who believes that Islam is a ruthless religion. It is merciless religion, it is a religion connected with terrorism, it is a religion which does not give rights to the women. It is a religion which conflicts with science. And if he rejects Islam, I will tell him I too reject such a religion which is merciless, which is ruthless, which does not give rights to the women, which is unscientific, at the same time, I have to correct the concept of Islam and tell him that Islam is a religion which is merciful, it has got nothing to do with terrorism. It gives equal rights to the women. It does not conflict with science, it conciliates with science. Then InshaAllah the non-Muslim will accept the religion of Islam.
It is our duty to correct the concept. In the same manner I have to correct the concept of God Almighty, of Allah (SWT) to the atheist. The best definition that I can give of Allah (SWT) of God Almighty from the holy Qur’an says ‘Allah the absolute and eternal’,(Al-Ikhlaas 112:1) meaning, he is absolute, he is eternal. He has no beginning, he has no end, he is the one who helps other people but does not require help, ‘Allah, the absolute and eternal’ (2) ‘He begets not nor is he begotten’ (3) he has no father and mother. He has got no children, no begotten children…‘And there is nothing unto him like in this world’. (Al-Ikhlaas112:1-4)
There is nothing comparable to him in this world. The moment you can compare Allah (SWT) to anyone, he is not Allah (SWT). This is a four line definition of Allah (SWT). If anyone who you claim to be God Almighty, who you claim to be Allah (SWT) fits in this four line definition, we Muslims, have got no objection to accept him as God Almighty.
To accept him as Allah (SWT) which are your candidates, bring your candidates one by one. Some may say, that Bhagwaan Rajneesh Osho, he is God Almighty. Let us put him to test. The first criteria is,
‘Say he is Allah one and only’, Rajneesh - we have several people like Rajneesh. We have plenty of them in our country, but still a follower of Rajneesh will say no, Rajneesh is unique, he is the only one. Okay give him a chance, okay let him pass the first test.
No problem, the second test is, ‘Allah the absolute and eternal’. He does not require any help. He is the person who helps other people. Rajneesh we know very well, he was suffering from ‘Asthma’ from ‘Diabetes’. He could not cure his own disease, what will he cure your disease and my disease. When he went to America, he was imprisoned by the American government, imagine God being imprisoned. He could not free himself, how will he free you and me when we are in trouble and then he gives a statement that they gave me poison, slow poisoning. Imagine God can be poisoned? Put him to test, the Archbishop of Greece said that if you do not throw this godman Rajneesh out we will destroy his houses and the houses of his disciples and the president had to throw him out of Greece. Is he absolute and eternal?
The third test, ‘He begets not nor is he begotten’, I do not know how many children’s he had but I do know that he had a father and a mother. He was born on the 11th of December 1931 in Jabalpur and he died on the 19th of January 1990. But when you go to his center in Pune, there it is mentioned ‘Bhagwaan Rajneesh - never born, never died, but visited the earth from the 11th of December 1931 to 19th January 1990’. They did not mention that he was not allowed to enter 21 countries of the world. He was not given the visa. He tried to enter he could not enter 21 countries. Imagine God is visiting the world, God is visiting the world, he cannot visit 21 countries. Is this the God you believe in?
And the last test, ‘And there is nothing unto like him’ (in this world).
There is nothing comparable, the moment you can think what God is, you can draw his figure, he is not God. We know very well that Rajneesh, he had long hair, he had a big flowing beard which was white in color, he wore a robe, the moment you can think you can draw a picture of God, he is not God.
If you say that God Almighty suppose is a thousand times as strong as Arnold Schwarzenneger, do you know Arnold Schwarzenneger? He was crowned Mr. Universe - the strongest man in the world. If you say that God Almighty is a thousand times as strong as Arnold Schwarzenneger or Dara Singh or may be King Kong, he is not God. The moment you compare him with anyone whether a thousand times, a million times, or ten million times, the moment you compare him with anything, he is not God. ‘And there is nothing unto like him’. There is nothing unto him like in this world, I leave it upto the distinguished audience, the intellectual audience to decide for themselves that whichever God they are worshipping, let them put their God to test.
To this 4 test of the Qur’an, if the God you are worshipping, if they pass these 4 test, we Muslims, we have got no objection in accepting him as God Almighty. Otherwise, you can decide for yourself. After giving these proofs some atheists, they may agree that now we believe in such a God. But most of the atheist will not agree. They will say we do not just believe in such definitions we believe in something, which is ultimate. We believe in science. I do agree today is the age of science and technology so lets put the scientific knowledge that we have. Let us apply it to the Qur’an.
The atheists, they say, this is the world of science and technology, we do not believe in such Gods, prove to us scientifically the existence of God. Then we will believe in it. The first thing I would like to ask a question to these atheists or any educated man who does not believe in a God and who believes only in science, that can you tell me the first person who will be able to tell you the mechanism of an unknown object? There is an object, an unknown object, an unknown machine, which no one in the world has ever seen before or heard of before. Now this machine is brought in front of that atheist or the educated man who believes in science that who will be the first person who will be able to tell you the mechanism of this unknown object. I have asked this question to hundreds of atheist, after little bit of thinking he replies, may be the creator, the person who has created the object, some may say the inventor. Some may say the manufacturer, some may say the producer. Whatever they will say believe me it will be somewhat similar. Either the creator, the maker, the manufacturer, the inventor.
I have asked this question to hundreds of atheists and all have given me somewhat similar answer. Whatever answer they give me I accept it. I only keep it in my mind. It will be somewhat similar. The next person may be the person whom the creator has told or may be that someone does a research but the first person will be the creator, the manufacturer, the inventor or the producer. I ask the atheist who believes in science how did this world come into existence?
He tells me that initially the full universe was one mass the primary nebula, then there was a big bang, the secondary separation, which gave rise to galaxies. And it formed the stars and the planet in which we live. I ask him, where did you get all this fairy tales from? He says no! These are not fairy tales, these are established facts, we have got proof for this. I will say where did you learn? When did you learn all these fairy tales? He says no! These are scientific facts. They are not fairy tales, we learnt it yesterday, yesterday in science means 50 years back, may be 100 years back. Yesterday and in 1973 a couple of scientists got the noble prize for discovering the big bang theory. So I tell okay you say it is a fact, I accept it but what do you have to say about what is mentioned in the Qur’an 1400 years ago, it is mentioned in Surah Al-Ambiya, Ch. No. 21, Verse No. 30
“Do not the unbelievers see’ that the heavens and the earth were joined together and we clove them asunder....” (Al-Ambiya 21 : 30)
My Qur’an, which was revealed 1400 years ago, there are enough historical proofs to show it was a book which was present 1400 years ago, how come my Qur’an says it speaks about your big bang theory? It speaks in a nutshell. You say it was discovered yesterday, 50 years back, 100 years back, who could have mentioned this in the Qur’an. So the atheist tells me may be somebody guessed. I do not challenge him, I do not challenge him, I proceed.
The world we live in what is the shape? He tells me, previously people thought the world was flat and people were afraid to venture too far lest they would fall over. But now we have enough scientific proof to show it is not flat, it is spherical. When did you learn? Yesterday! 100 years back, 200 years back in science. And if he has a good knowledge he replies that the first person who proved that the world was spherical was Sir Francis Drake in 1597. I pose him a question, analyze what the Qur’an in Surah Luqman, Ch. No. 31, Verse No. 29, it says that… “....It is Allah who merges the night into day and merges the day into night....”. Merging means a slow and a gradual change. The night slowly and gradually changes into day and the day slowly and gradually changes to night. This phenomenon is not possible if the world is flat. It is only possible if the world is spherical.
A similar message is given in Surah Al-Zumar, Ch. No. 39, Verse No. 5, that… “....The night overlaps the day and the day overlaps the night....”.
The Arabic word used is ‘Tanwara’ as though you coil a turban round the head, coiling, this coiling, this overlapping of the night over the day and the day over the night is only possible, if the earth is spherical. It is not possible if the earth is flat. You tell me it was discovered recently. Can you account for who could have mentioned this in the Qur’an 1400 years ago.
He says, “may be it is a good guess, it is a wild guess, it is a wild guess but it was a guess”. I do not challenge him, I proceed. The light that we have the light that we obtain from the moon, where does it come from? So he will tell me that previously we thought that the light of the moon was its own light, but today after science has advanced we have come to know that the light of the moon, its not its own light but it is a reflected light of the sun. I will ask him a question that it is mentioned in this Qur’an in Surah Al-Furqan, Ch. No. 25, Verse No. 61…
“Blessed is he who has created the constellation and placed there in a lamp and a moon which has reflected light”. (Al-Furqan 25 : 61)
The Arabic word for moon is ‘Qamar’ and the light described there is ‘Munir’ which is borrowed light or ‘Noor’ which is a reflection of light. The Qur’an mentions that the light of the moon is reflected light, you say you discovered it today how come it is mentioned in the Qur’an 1400 years ago? He will pause for a time. He will not reply immediately and then he may say may be, may be it is a fluke! I do not argue with him for sake just for the sake of discussion. I say okay you say it is a guess, I do not argue with you. Let us proceed,
I ask him that when I was in school I passed my tenth standard in 1982. I had learned that the sun was stationary, the sun revolved but it was stationery so he asked me does this what the Qur’an says. I say no! this is what I learned in school, is it true? He says no. Today science is advanced, recently we came to know that the sun besides revolving it also rotates, it is not stationary, it rotates about its axis and if you have an equipment you can have the image of the sun on a tabletop. The sun has got black spots and it takes about 25 days for these black spots to complete one rotation. Does the Qur’an say it is stationary? He starts laughing Ha! Ha!
I said no! the Qur’an in Surah Ambiya, Ch. No. 21, Verse No. 33,
“It is Allah who has created the night and the day, the sun and the moon, each one rotating about its own axis”. (Al- Ambiya 21: 33)
It revolves and rotates, each one rotating about its own axis. You tell me who could have mentioned this scientific fact in the Qur’an which was discovered recently? He is silent and after a long pause he replies that see the Arabs were very well advanced in the field of astronomy so may be some Arabs told your Prophet and he mentioned this in his book. I do agree, I do agree that the Arabs were very well advanced in the field of astronomy but I remind him that his dates are very poor. The Qur’an was revealed centuries before the Arabs became advanced in the field of Astronomy. So it is from the Qur’an which the Arabs learned about astronomy. It is not the vice-versa. So Qur’an mentions about several scientific facts.
The Qur’an says regarding the field of Geography regarding water cycle. It says in Surah Zumar, Ch. No. 39, Verse No. 21, that…
“Sees not thou that it is Allah who sends down rain from the top, from the sky and leads it into the sources of the earth and causes fields of various colors to grow....”. (Az- Zumar 39 : 21)
Qur’an speaks about the water cycle in great detail. It says in several other verses that the water from the ocean rises up, it forms into clouds. The clouds condense, there is lightning and rain falls from the clouds. It is mentioned in several places in the Qur’an, it is mentioned in Surah Muminun, Ch. No. 23, Verse No. 18. It is mentioned in Surah Rum, Ch. No. 30, Verse No. 24, it is mentioned in Surah Nur, Ch. No. 24, Verse No. 43, it is mentioned in Surah Rum, Ch. No. 30, Verse No. 48. In several places the Qur’an describes in detail this water cycle which was discovered by Bernard Palacy in 1580. Only in the year 1580 was this present coherent water cycle discovered. Who could have mentioned in the Qur’an, 1400 years ago?
In the field of Geology that atheist will tell you that there is a phenomenon known as ‘Folding’. The earth that we live on, the earth’s crust is very thin. These mountain ranges due to the phenomenon of ‘Folding’ prevents the earth from shaking. It gives stability to the earth. I tell him that the Qur’an mentions in Surah Naba, Ch. No. 78, Verse No. 6 and 7 that we have made the earth as an expanse ‘And the mountains as stakes’. The Qur’an says that the mountains are made as stakes as pegs and this is the description which the scientist gave us today that like the text pegs. The mountains are like text peg and the Qur’an gives more information in Surah Al-Ambiya, Ch. No. 21, Verse No. 31. ‘It says that “We have set on the earth, mountains standing firm lest it would shake....”. Qur’an says that we have made the mountains to prevent the shaking of the earth.
The atheist will tell as that even though the salt water and the sweet water though meet they do not mix, they do not mix. They remain separate, I will point out to him the verse in the Qur’an, from Surah Furqan, Ch. No. 25, Verse No. 53, which says…
‘It is Allah who has created two bodies of free flowing water. One sweet and palpable and the other salt and bitter and between them, he has made a barrier which is forbidden to be trespassed’. (Al-Furqan 25 : 53)
A similar message is given in Surah Rahmaan, Ch. No. 55, Verse No. 19 and 20 that…
“He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together (19) Between them is a Barrier which they do not trangress”. (Ar-Rahmaan 55 : 19 – 20)
Today science tells that salt water and sweet water do not mix. There is a partition.
He may tell me that may be some Arab, may be some Arab went underwater and he saw the partition and mentioned in the Qur’an. They fail to realize that this is an unseen barrier. The Qur’an says ‘Barzak’ an unseen barrier and this phenomenon is very much evident in Cape Town, that is the southern most tip of Africa, even in Egypt when the Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea. And the best example is the Gulf Stream which runs for thousands of miles. Both the waters are present but they do not mix.
The Qur’an says in Surah Ambiya, Ch. No. 21, Verse No. 30…
‘....We have created every living things from water, will they not they believe....’. (Al-Ambiya 21: 30)
Imagine in the deserts of Arabia where there is scarcity of water who would have ever thought that every living creature is made of water. If they had to guess, they would have guessed everything but water and today science tells us that cytoplasm which is the main constituent of the cell it contains 80% of water. And every living creature contains 50 to 90 percent water. Who could have mentioned this fact in the Qur’an 1400 years ago? And the atheist is mum does not give you a reply.
There is a theory of ‘Probability’ that suppose there are two options and out of those two options one is right and one is wrong. The chances that if you make a wild guess, you will get the right answer, it will be one out of two. It will be 50% for example if I toss a coin, the chances that I will get a right answer is one out of two. It is 50%. If I toss a coin the second time the chances I will be correct the second time is one out of two it is 50%. But the chances that I will be correct in both the tosses first and second will be one out of two into one out of two that is one fourth or 50 percent of 50 percent, that is 25 percent. If I throw a dice. The dice has got six sides. 1,2,3,4,5,6. The chance if I make a wild guess, I will be right is one out of six. The chance I will be correct all three times, the first toss, the second toss and the third throw the chances I will be correct all three times, is 1 out of 2 into 1 out of 2 into 1 out of 6. Will be 1 upon 24.
Lets apply this theory on ‘Probability’ to the Qur’an. Suppose, we agree for the sake of argument Possible, a person gets all the matter that is mentioned in the Qur’an, may be somebody has guessed. Let us put the theory of ‘Probability’ to the Qur’an. The Qur’an says that the world is spherical. What different shapes can a person think of the earth? Some may it is flat, some may say it is triangular, some may say it is quadrangular, some may say it has 5 sides, pentagonal, some may say hexagonal, some may say heptagonal, some may say octagonal, some may say spherical. Let us say assume that you can think of about 30 different shapes of the Earth. The chances that that if any one makes a wild guess, he will be right are 1 upon 30.
The light of the moon. It can be own light or it can be reflected light. The chances that any one makes a wild guess, he will be right are 1 upon 2. But the chances that both his guesses that the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected, both are correct is 1 upon 30 into 1 upon 2 that is 1 upon 60. In the desert of Arabia, what can a person think that a human being can be made of, that the living creature be made of? A person in the desert may think, it is made of sand, may be it is made of wood, may be it is made of aluminum, of iron, of copper, of oil, of water, of hydrogen, of oxygen, you can make at least 10 thousand guesses and the last that any one will guess in the deserts of Arabia is water. But the Qur’an says that every living being is made of water. In Surah Al-Ambiya, Chapter No. 21, Verse No. 30, it says in Surah Nur, Chapter No. 24, Verse No 45, that…
“Every animal is made up of water....”. (An-Nur 24 : 45)
And Surah Furqaan, Chapter No. 25, Verse No. 54
‘It is He Who has created man from water’. (Al-Furqaan 25 : 54)
If you make a wild guess, the chances that you will be right is 1 upon 10 thousand. The chances that anyone will make 3 guesses and all 3 will be right, that the earth is spherical, that the light of the moon is reflected light, and every living being is made of water will be 1 upon 30 into 1 upon 2 into 1 upon 10 thousand which is 1 upon 60 thousand. It works out to .00017 percentage. I leave it upto you the audience to decide for your selves that if you apply the theory of probability to the Qur’an.
The Qur’an mentions hundreds of facts, which were unknown at that time. If anyone made a guess, the chances that all the hundred would be right, it will be somewhere very very close to zero and in the theory o probability, it will be zero. Some may pose the question, that Zakir, are you using scientific knowledge to prove the Qur’an? I would like to remind that Qur’an is not the book of science ‘s-c-i-e-n-c-e’, it is a book of signs ‘s-i-g-n-s’, Qur’an has got 6000 signs, Ayats more than 6000,out of which more than a thousand have scientific knowledge. I am not using science to prove the Qur’an right because to prove anything right, we have to use a yardstick. Something which is ultimate.
For us Muslims, the ultimate is the Qur’an. Ultimate yardstick is the Qur’an. Qur’an is the Furqaan. It is the criteria to judge right from the wrong. But for that atheist, for an educated man who does not believe in God, for him, science is the ultimate. It is his yardstick. So I am using his yardstick to prove whatever Qur’an has said. And we know very well that many times science takes a U turn therefore I have only spoken about scientific facts which have got evidence and proof. I have not talked about theories, which are based on assumptions. I am using his yardstick to say that whatever your yardstick has said recently, 100 years back, it has already been mentioned in the Qur’an.
Finally we come to a common agreement that the Qur’an is more superior than science. Qur’an mentions about several scientific facts. Qur’an says in Surah Ta Ha, Chapter No. 20, Verse No. 53 that… “... With it have We produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others” which you discovered recently. It says in Surah Rad, Chapter No. 13, Verse No. 3, that… “....The fruits are created in pairs....”.
In the field of geology, it is mentioned in Surah Anam Chapter No. 6, Verse No. 38, that “....The animals and birds live in community....”, which science has discovered recently.
The Qur’an declares in Surah Nahl, Chapter No. 16, Verse No. 68 and 69, “which indicate that It is the female bee which goes out and collects the honey”. It is not the male bee which science has discovered recently. These bees, they describe the pathway of the new garden they have found by the flapping of the wings. It is mentioned in the Qur’an, which we discovered recently.
The Qur’an says in Surah Ankabut, Chapter No. 29, Verse No. 41, that… “The house of the spider is fragile”. Besides describing the physical nature, of the web of the spider, it is also describing about the relationship, the family relation in which many a times the female spider kills the male spider. The Qur’an says in Surah Naml, Chapter No. 27, Verse No. 17 and 18 that ants are talking to one another. You may think, it is a fairy tale book. What! Ants are talking to one another? Today science tells us, the insect or the animal, which has the closest resemblance to the lifestyle of the human beings, it is the ants. It buries the dead. It has a very higher system of communication. It has market place etc.
Qur’an also speaks about the medicine. It says in Surah Nahl, Chapter No. 16, Verse No. 68 and 69, that you get the honey from the belly of the bee which we discovered today and in the honey, there is a healing for man kind. Today science tells us in the honey, there are antiseptic properties. No wonder that Russian soldiers used it to cover their wounds which left very little scar tissue. It is used in the treatment of certain allergies.
Qur’an speaks about physiology. Its says in Surah Nahl, Chapter No. 16, Verse No. 66 and Surah Muminun, Chapter No. 23, Verse No. 21. It describes the blood circulation and the production of milk. And 600 years after the Qur’an speaks about blood circulation, Ibn Nafeez discovered it and 1000 years after the revelation of the Qur’an, did William Harvey made it famous to the western world.
Qur’an speaks about Embryology. The first verses of the Qur’an to be revealed were from Surah Alaq or Surah Iqra 96 verses 1 to 5. It says… “Read, In the name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), (1) Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) (2) Read! And your your Lord is the Most Generous , (3) Who has taught (the writing) by the pen (4) Has taught man that which he knew not [Al-Alaq 96:1-5]
This and several other embryological data which is given in Qur’an was taken to Professor Keith Moore who happen to be are of the highest authority in the field of Embryology. He lives in Toronto in Canada. And was asked the question. Whatever matter the Qur’an speaks about embryology, is it true? Some Arabs followed the guidelines of the Qur’an - if you are in doubt ask the person who knows so they asked Professor Keith Moore. Is it true?
He said that majority of the matter in the Qur’an is 100 percent perfect matching with the latest discoveries of embryology but there are certain statements in the Qur’an, which I cannot comment on because, I myself do not know it. And one such verse was this that we have created the human being from something, which clings - a leech like substance. He went and got a photograph of a leech and examined in his laboratory in a very… under a powerful microscope the early stages of an embryo and it exactly matched with the photograph. Then he said, whatever the Qur’an mentions, its perfectly right and whatever new data he got from the Qur’an, he incorporated it into his book- The developing human. And took out a 3rd edition for which he got, the best medical book written by any person in that year. And he said that whatever the Qur’an mentions, all the things about embryology, we discovered recently. It is one of the latest branch of medicine. It cannot be written by any human being, it has to be of divine origin. The Qur’an says in Surah Tariq, Chapter No. 86, Verses 5 to 7. It says “Does no man think from what he is created? (5) He is created from a drop (6) emitted from between his backbone and rib”. [At-Tariq 86:5-7]
And today we know, that the genital organs, testes and the ovaries, during the embryonic age, they develop from where the kidney is placed - between the backbone and the 11th and the 12th rib. The Qur’an says in Surah Najm, Chapter no 53, Verse no 45 and 46, and Surah Qiyamah, Chapter No. 75, Verse No. 37 to 39, it says that it is the male which is responsible for the sex of the child which we discovered recently. The Qur’an says that the embryo is covered that the fetus is covered in three layers of darkness, which is confirmed today, the Qur’an describes the embryonic stages in great detail.
In Surah Muminum, Chapter No. 23, Verse 12 to 14, and in Surah Hajj, Chapter No. 22, Verse No. 5, it says that “We created you out of the dust, then out of sperm, then out of leach-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed....”. From something which clings, a leech like substance, then made into a ‘mudgah’ a chewed like substance, then made into ‘izamaan’ that is bones, then clothed with ‘Laham’ that is flesh Qur’an describe the embryonic stages in great detail.
The Qur’an also mention in Surah Sajdah, Chapter No. 32, Verse No. 9 "....And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!" and Surah Insan, Chapter No. 76, Verse No. 2, that… ‘Verily We create Man from a drop of mingles sperm, in order to try him: So We have him (the gifts) of Hearing and Sight.’ and today medical knowledge tells us, that hearing comes first. It is developed completely by the 5th month of pregnancy. And then the eyes is split open by the 7th month of pregnancy. Qur’an gives the reply in Surah Qiyamah, Chapter No. 75, Verse No.s 3 to 4, that when the question is posed, how will Allah (SWT) assemble the bones on the day of judgement? Allah replies that we will not only be able to assemble your bone, we even assemble your very fingertips. Qur’an is saying, Allah (SWT) can also assemble your fingertips. What does it mean?
In 1880, Sir Golt, he described the method of finger printing, which today we use it to identify people. No two fingerprints even in a million people are identical. Qur’an speaks about finger printing method 1400 years ago. There are several examples of science, if you want to know more details, about the scientific knowledge, which is mentioned in the Qur’an, you can refer to my videocassette ‘Qur’an and Modern Science Conflict or Conciliation’ which, is available for sale in the foyer.
I would like to give one more scientific fact that there was a scientist in Thailand by the name of Professor Thagada Shaun. Who did a great deal of research in the field of pain receptors. Previously science thought that only the brain was responsible. Only the brain was responsible for the pain. But recently we have discovered, that there are pain receptor present in the skin, which is responsible, Qur’an mentions Surah Nisa, Chapter No. 4, Verse No. 56, that “as to those who reject our signs, we will cast them into the hell fire and as often as the skin is roasted, we shall change it with new skin so that they shall feel the pain ..." (Nisa 4:56)
Indirectly Qur’an is saying, there is something in the skin, which is responsible for the pain. It is giving an indication about the pain receptor. At first Professor Tagada Shaun could not believe. On verification when he realized that this book is speaking about pain receptor, 1400 years ago, he embraced Islam in a medical conference at Cairo and said ‘La ilaaha illallah Muhammad ur Rasool Allah’. That there is no God but Allah and Muhammad, May peace be upon him is the messenger of Allah.
Then you pose the question to the atheist - who could have mentioned all the scientific facts in the Qur’an? The only reply that he can give you, is the same, which he gave you earlier. Who is the person that can tell you the mechanism of an unknown object, It is the creator, It is the inventor. It is the maker, It is the producer. In the same way, the person who can mention all these facts in the Qur’an, is the maker the producer, is the creator of the Universe and its contents which we call in English language as God and more appropriately in the Arabic language as Allah.
Francis beacon has rightly said that little knowledge of science makes you an atheist but an in-depth study of science makes you a believer in God Almighty. No wonder today, scientists are eliminatory the model of God but they are not eliminatory God, they are eliminatory models of God, La ilaaha but not God illalah.
I would like to end my talk by giving the translation of the second verses I quoted in the beginning of my talk, from Surah Fussilat, Chapter No. 41, Verse No. 53 which says
“Soon we shall show them our signs in the furthest regions of the horizons and into their soul until it is clear to them, that this is the truth...” (Fussilat 41: 53)
(By Ahmed Deedat)
“Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Quran , they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support” (Al-Isra’ 17:88)
What is a miracle?
I think it is necessary that we have a clear picture of what we mean by a miracle. Here are some definitions:
"An event that appears so inexplicable by the laws of nature, that it is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God."
"A person, thing or event that excites admiring awe."
"An act beyond human power, an impossibility."
It is logical that greater the impossibility, greater the miracle. For example, should a person expire before our very eyes and is certified dead by a qualified medical man, yet later on a mystic or a saint commands the corpse to 'arise!', and to everybody's astonishment the person gets up and walks away, we would label that as a miracle. But if the resurrection of the dead took place after the corpse had been in the mortuary for three days, then we would acclaim this as a greater miracle. And if the dead was made to arise from the grave, decades or centuries after the body had decomposed and rotted away, then in that case we would label it the greatest miracle of them all!
A Common Trait
It has been a common trait of mankind since time immemorial that whenever a guide from God appeared to redirect their steps into the will and plan of God; they demanded supernatural proofs from these men of God, instead of accepting message on its merit.
For example, when Jesus Christ (pbuh) began to preach to his people - "the children of Israel" - to mend their ways and to refrain from mere legalistic formalism and imbibe the true spirit of the laws and commandments of god, his 'people' demanded miracles from him to prove his bona fides (his authenticity, his genuineness), as recorded in the Christian scriptures:
Then certain of the scribes and the Pharisees answered, saying master, we would have a sign (miracle) from thee. But he answered and said unto them, "an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign (miracle) and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Matthew 12:38-39 holy bible).
Though on the face of it, Jesus (pbuh) refuses to pamper the Jews here, in actual fact, he did perform many miracles as we learn from the gospel narratives.
The holy bible is full of supernatural events accredited to the prophets from their lord. In reality all those 'signs' and 'wonders' and 'miracles' were acts of God, but since those miracles were worked through his human agents, we describe them as the miracles of prophets (i.e. Moses or Jesus (pbuh) by those hands they were performed).
Some six hundred years after the birth of Jesus (pbuh), Muhammad (pbuh) the messenger of God was born in Makkah in Arabia. When he proclaimed his mission at the age of forty, his fellow countrymen, the mushriks of makkah made an identical request for miracles, as had the Jews, from their promised Messiah. Text book style, it was as if the Arabs had taken a leaf from the Christian records. History has a habit of repeating itself!
“And they say: why are not signs sent down to him from his lord?…” (Al-Ankaboot 29:50)
Signs! What Signs!!
"Miracles? Cries he, what miracles would you have? Are not you yourselves there? God made you 'shaped you out of a little clay.' Ye were small once; a few years ago ye were not at all. Ye have beauty, strength, thoughts, 'ye have compassion on one another.' Old age comes-on you, and grey hairs; your strength fades into feebleness: ye sink down, and again are not. 'Ye have compassion on one another': This struck me much: Allah might have made you having no compassion on one another, how had it been then! this is a great direct though, a glance at first-hand into the very fact of things...." "(On heroes hero-worship and the heroic in history"), by Thomas Carlyle.
"This Struck Me Much"
This, that "ye have compassion on one another", impressed Thomas Carlyle most from his perusal of an English translation. I presume, there verse that motivated this sentiment is:
1. “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect” (emphasis added) (Ar-Room 30:21) Translation by A Yusuf ALi
2. And one of his signs it is, that he hath created wives for you of your own species that ye may dwell with them, and hath put love and tenderness between you. herein truly are signs for those who reflect. (emphasis added) Translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell (M.A.)
3. By another sign he gave you wives from among yourselves, that ye might live in joy with them, and planted love and kindness into your hearts. Surely there are signs in this for thinking men. (emphasis added) Translation by N.J. Dawood.
The first example is from the translation by Yusuf Ali, a muslim. The second is by a Christian priest the rev. Rodwell and the last example is by an Iraqi Jew, N.J. Dawood.
Unfortunately Thomas Carlyle had no access to any one of these because none of them had seen the light of day in his time. The only one available to him in 1840 was as he said on page 85 of his book under referance - "We also can read the Koran; our translation of it, by sale, is known to be a very fair one."
Taint is in the Motive
Carlyle is very charitable to his fellow countryman. The motives of George Sale, who pioneered an English translation of the Holy Quran, were suspect. He makes no secret of his antagonism to the holy book of Islam. In his preface to his translation in 1734 he made it known that it was his avowed intention to expose the man Mohammad and his forgery. He records: "who can apprehend any danger from so manifest a forgery?... The protestants alone are able to attack the Koran with success; and for them, I trust, providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow". George Sale, and he set to work with his prejudiced translation. You will be able to judge how 'fair' and scholarly George Sale was from the very verse which 'struck' (Carlyle) 'much!' Compare it with the three example already given by a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew: And of his signs another is, that he had created you , out of yourselves, wives that ye may cohabit with them, and hath put love and compassion between you.
I don't think that George Sale was a 'a male chauvinist pig' of his day to describe our mates, wives or spouses as sexual objects. He was only keeping to his promise, which Carlyle overlooked. The Arabic word which he (Sale) perverted is 'li-tas-kunoo' which means to find peace, consolation, composure or tranquility; and not 'cohabit' meaning 'to live together in a sexual relationship when not legally married' (the reader's digest universal dictionary.)
Every word of the Quran ic text is meticulously chosen, chiselled and placed by the All-Wise Himself. They carry God's 'fingerprint', and are signs of God. And yet, the spiritually jaundiced...
Ask For A Sign
What signs?? They mean some special kinds of signs or miracles such as their own foolish minds dictate. Everything is possible for God, but God is not going to humour the follies of men or listen to their false demands. He has sent his messenger to explain his signs clearly, and to warn them of the consequences of rejection. Is that not enough? The trend of their demand is generally as follows:
In specific terms they asked that he - Muhammad (pbuh) - 'Put a ladder up to heaven an bring down a book from God in their very sight' - "Then we would believe," they said. Or "ye see the mountain yonder, turn it into gold' - "then we would believe." or 'make streams to gush out in the desert' - "then we would believe."
Now listen to the soft, sweet reasoning of Muhammad (pbuh) against the unreasonable and skeptical demands of the mushriks - "Do I say to you, verily I am an angel? Do I say to you, verily in my hands are the treasures of God? Only, what is revealed to me do I follow." Listen further to the most dignified reply he is commanded by his Lord to give the unbelievers.
"…. Say (O Muhammad): 'The signs (miracles) are indeed with Allah: And most certainly I am only a clear warner!" (Al-Ankaboot 29:50)
In the following ayah the holy prophet is made to point to the holy Quran itself as an answer to their hypocritical demand for some special kind of 'sign' of 'miracle' for which their foolish pagan mentality craved. For indeed all miracles are 'signs'; and it is their disbelief, their skepticism, their lack of faith which motivates their request for a sign. They are asked to - 'look at the Quran' and again, 'look at the Quran!'
“It is not enough for them that we have sent down to thee (O Muhammad) the book (al-Quran ) which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it (this perspicuous book) is a mercy and reminder to those who believe”. (Al-Ankaboot 29:50)
As a proof of the divine authorship and the miraculous nature of the Quran, two arguments are advanced by the almighty Himself:
1. 'That we' (God Almighty) have revealed to you (O Muhammed) 'the book to you' who art absolutely an unlearned person. An 'ummi' prophet. One who cannot read or write. One who cannot sign his own name. Let Thomas Carlyle testify regarding the educational qualifications of Muhammad -
2. One other circumstance we must not forget: that he had no school learning; of the thing we call school-learning none at all.' Moreover the divine author (God Almighty) himself testifies to the veracity of Muhammad's (pbuh) claim that he could never have composed the contents of the holy Quran; he could not have been its author:
"And thou (O Muhammad) was not (able) to recite a book before this (book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted." (Al-Ankaboot 29:48)
The author of the Quran is reasoning with us, that had Muhammad (pbuh) been a learned man, and had he been able to read or write, then in that case the babblers in the market places might have had some justification to doubt his claim that the holy Quran is God's word. In the event of Muhammed (pbuh) being a literate person, the accusation of his enemies that he had probably copied his book (Quran) from the writings of the Jews and Christians, or that perhaps he had been studying Aristotle and Plato, or that he must have browsed through the 'Torat,' the 'Zabur' and the 'Injeel' and had rehashed it all in a beautiful language, might have carried some weight. Then, 'the talkers of vanities' might have had a point. But even this flimsy pretence has been denied to the unbeliever and the cynic: a point hardly big enough to hang a fly upon!
3. 'The book'? Yes, the 'book' itself, carries its own evidence proving its divine authorship. Study the book from any angel. Scrutinize it. Why not take up the author's challenge if your doubts are genuine?
“Do they not consider the Quran (with care) had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy”. (An-Nisa 4:82)
It is inconceivable that any human author would remain consistent in this teachings and his preachings for a period of over two decades. From the age of forty, when Muhammad (pbuh) received his first call from heaven to the age sixty-three when he breathed his last, for twenty-three years the holy prophet practiced and preached Islam. In those twenty-three years, he passed through the most conflicting vicissitudes of life. Any man, during the course of such a mission, would be forced by circumstances to make 'honourable' compromises, and cannot help contradicting himself. No man can ever write the same always, as the message of the holy Quran is: consistent with itself, throughout! Or is it that the unbelievers objections are merely argumentive, refractory, against their own better light and judgement.? Furthermore, the holy Quran contains or mentions many matters relating to the nature of the universe which were unknown to man before but which subsequently through evolution and discoveries of Science have fully confirmed - a field where an untutored mind would have most certainly lost in wild and contradictory speculations!
Again and again when miracles are demanded from the prophet of God by the cynical and frivolous few, he is made to point to the Quran - message from high - as 'the miracle.' The miracle or miracles! And men of wisdom, people with literary and spiritual insight, who were honest enough to themselves, recognized and accepted Al-Quran as an a genuine miracle.
Says the holy Quran:
"Nay here are signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: And none but the unjust reject our signs." (Al-Ankaboot 29:49)
The Quran , Knowledge, and Science
Note: All translations of the Quran in this article are based on several translators including Yusuf Ali, Marmaduke Pickthal, T. B. Irving, and N. J. Dawood. However, there are some differences which the author felt made the English closer to the Arabic. The author is indebted to Dr. M. Zerroug for reviewing this article.
The Description of Knowledge in the Quran and by the Prophet (saas)
There are plenty of references to knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge in the Quran. The general feeling they leave the reader with is that the possessor of knowledge or wisdom has been given a very powerful gift, and that the pursuit of knowledge is something which should be done actively by everyone. Here are a few verses on the subject:
“Read! In the name of your Lord who created (1) Created the human from something which clings. (2) Read! And your Lord is Most Bountiful (3) He who taught (the use of) the Pen (4) Taught the human that which he knew not” (Al-Alaq 96:1 - 5)
These five verses make up the first passage revealed from the Quran to mankind through the Prophet Muhammad (saas). It is interesting that of all the things which Allah chose to begin His revelation with is related to the actions of reading and writing, especially the latter. The ability to write and store information is described by Professor Carl Sagan in his book COSMOS: "Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic." 
“He [Allah] grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted indeed receives a benefit overflowing. But none will grasp the Message except men of understanding”. (Al-Baqarah 2:269)
“High above all is Allah, the King, the Truth. Do not be in haste with the Quran before its revelation to you is completed, but say, "O my Sustainer! Increase my knowledge." (Ta’ha 20:114)
“Verily in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day - there are indeed signs for men of understanding (190) Men who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth (with the thought) "Our Lord! Not for nothing have You created (all) this. Glory to You! Give us salvation from the suffering of the Fire." (Aale-Imran 3:190 - 191)
These verses are a clear demonstration that 'science' and 'religion' were NOT meant to be fundamentally incompatible with each other by Allah. In fact, verses (3:190-191) strongly imply that "contemplating" the world around us is an integral part of faith.
“Say: Travel through the earth and see how Allah originated creation; so will Allah produce the second creation (of the Afterlife): for Allah has power over all things”. (Al-Ankaboot 29:20)
There are also references in the Quran describing the value (in the sight of Allah) of a knowledgeable person as opposed to an ignorant person. They are not equal:
“...Say: Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that remember (Allah's Message).” (Az-Zumr 39:9)
“...Allah will raise up to (suitable) ranks (and degrees) those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge…” (Al-Mujadila 58:11)
The first source of Islam is the Quran - and we have seen some verses above on the subject of knowledge. The second source is the life of Prophet Muhammad (saas). Here are a few of the Prophet's sayings on the subject of knowledge:
"Upon a person whom Allah desires good, He bestows the knowledge of faith." - from the hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim.
"A person who follows a path for acquiring knowledge, Allah will make easy the passage to Paradise for him." - from the collection of Muslim.
"A Muslim is never satiated in his quest for good (knowledge) till it ends in Paradise." - from the collection of Tirmidhi.
The Relationship Between the Quran and Modern Science
Modern scientific theory today finds itself quite close to the Quran. There are at least two reasons behind this observation. The first is the lack of inconsistencies between the Quran and observable natural phenomena. Science has not been able to produce theories or experiments that fundamentally contradict the Quran. Had our science done so, either our understanding of the Quran or of the world would have been to blame: the Quran itself is true for all times. The second reason for the remarkable harmony between the Quran and science is the presence in the Quran itself of very clear and positive encouragement to contemplate and investigate the world around us. As the verses quoted above indicate, Allah has not forbidden man to question, and in fact, it seems He wants us to do so.
However, the Quran goes beyond simply encouraging all human beings to be aware of the natural world. It also contains widely dispersed references on a variety of subjects which are not only scientifically accurate, but in some cases, quite advanced relative to the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). For the Muslim who reads and understands these references, they serve to strengthen his or her faith of course. For the non-Muslim who questions the authenticity or authorship of the Quran, these references provide some interesting answers. One possible reason for these Quranic verses which describe the natural world can be found in the following verse:
“Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (farthest) horizons, and within themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that it is the Truth...” (Fussilat 41:53)
The historical event which this verse alludes to is the conquest of Makkah. However, almost every verse in the Quran carries a historical and a universal meaning, and therefore one possible interpretation of this verse is that it refers to the gradual discovery of greater and greater natural "evidence" of the Creator's involvement in our world. Two of the most important and most fascinating goals of modern science are to peer farther and farther out to the edge of the universe, and to look deeper and deeper into the structure of the human body. It is in these two areas that we find the "signature" of Allah's creative power at its strongest.
A Selection of Quranic Verses which Comment on the Natural World
A. - On the ongoing process of creation
“...and He creates other things beyond your knowledge...” (An-Nahl 16:8)
“...Allah creates what He willsS...” (An-Noor 24 : 45)
These two verses, among others, indicate that Allah has not 'finished' creation; rather, it is an ongoing process. This is very significant from a scientific point of view because we are gradually beginning to observe and understand certain natural phenomena which are still in a process of formation. One prime example is our observation of still- emerging galaxies from huge clouds of nebulae. Another is the evolution of species, with its associated evidence of strange and exotic "intermediate" life forms turned into fossils. These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg; the following excerpt from the physicist Paul Davies' book The Cosmic Blueprint underscores the growing awareness of continuous creation:
"An increasing number of scientists and writers have come to realize that the ability of the physical world to organize itself constitutes a fundamental, and deeply mysterious, property of the universe. The fact that nature has creative power, and is able to produce a progressively richer variety of complex forms and structures, challenges the very foundation of contemporary science. 'The greatest riddle of cosmology,' writes Karl Popper, the well-known philosopher, 'may well be...that the universe is, in a sense, creative.'" 
B. - On pollution and the wasting of natural resources
“Rottenness (decay/corruption) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back (from evil)” (Ar-Room 30:41)
“O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah does not love those who waste” (Al-A’raaf 7:31)
The importance of understanding the ecological consequences of our actions as individuals or as a society was not fully appreciated until this century. We now understand that we cannot alter the face of the earth indiscriminately without paying some penalty, which may be disastrous. We also understand that caution ought to be applied globally, not just locally but truly "on land and sea". Ecological awareness does not imply asceticism however. According to the Quran, we are not forbidden to take pleasure in this life, however we are forbidden from wasting resources needlessly.
C. - On the dual nature of iron
“...And We sent down iron in which is mighty harm, as well as many benefits for mankind...” (Al-Hadid 57:25)
Iron is one of two metals found abundantly on the earth (aluminum being the other). It was known to many ancient civilizations, and is the most important metal we use today. The general description of it in the Quran was accurate in the time of the ancients, and it is even more so today: iron is the basis for most weapons of war and most of the everyday tools which we work with.
D. - On the origin of life in water
“ ...And We made every living thing from water...” (Al- Ambiya 21:30)
“And Allah has created every animal from water...” (An-Noor 24: 45)
Modern scientific theory on the origin of life was not firmly established up until the last two or three centuries. Prior to that, the predominant theory on the origin of life was based on a concept called "spontaneous generation" where living creatures literally popped out of inanimate matter spontaneously and continuously. This view was discredited with the work of many Renaissance scientists including Harvey and Redi, and in the 1850's, Louis Pasteur's research on bacteriology sealed the coffin on this theory. Starting with the work of Huxley up to the present day, an alternative theory has been proposed where life is understood to have emerged from a long, increasingly complex chain of chemical reactions. These reactions are believed to have begun in the depths of the oceans because the atmosphere was not sufficiently developed to protect living organisms from ultraviolet radiation:
"...it is believed that early forms of life developed in oceans or pools...It has been suggested that the colonization of land, about 425,000,000 years ago, was possible only because enough ozone was then produced to shield the surface from ultraviolet light for the first time." (20)
This idea of life originating in the oceans is strongly supported by the two Quranic verses quoted above.
It is important to note however that the Quran does NOT contain an exclusive endorsement for evolution. While the verses quoted above indicate beyond any doubt that Allah created all living things from water, there are many other verses that emphasize His Absolute power over everything.
"...For He (Allah) has power over all things." (Fussilat 41:39)
"...when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, 'Be', and it is." (Aale-Imran 3:47)
E. - On the diversity of mankind
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors; verily in that are Signs for those who know” ” (Ar-Room 30:22)
“O mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him...” (Al-Hujrat 49:13)
The racial and linguistic differences between humans are not meant as reasons to discriminate. Allah simply describes this diversity as a part of His creative power, and He does not single out any race as being inherently superior to the others. The emphasis in (49:13), in fact, is to learn to communicate with one another.
F. - On the Water Cycle
Most of us are familiar with the water cycle from our classes in middle school, where we learned how a drop of seawater evaporates, then becomes a drop of rainwater, and then finally returns to the sea via rivers or underground channels. The first person in modern times to understand this process was Bernard Palissy who described it correctly in 1580 . Prior to him, most of the ancient Greek and Roman scholars had various incomplete or incorrect theories on the water cycle (Plato, for example, believed that precipitation eventually descended into the abyss called Tartarus and from there it fed into the oceans ).
The Quran does not give a complete description of the water cycle from start to end, however there are a few precise references to specific stages. Perhaps the most fascinating of these references are the following two verses on rain clouds:
“It is Allah Who sends the winds, and then they raise clouds: then He spreads them in the sky as He wills and makes them dark, then you see the drops issue from the midst of them...” (Ar-Room 30:48)
“Don't you see how Allah drives clouds with force, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap? - then you see the drops issue from the midst of them. And He sends down from the sky mountains (of clouds) wherein is hail: He strikes therewith whom He pleases and He turns it away from whom He pleases. The flash of His lightning well-nigh snatches away the sight” (An-Noor 24:43)
The two verses are describing the stages in the formation of rain clouds, which is in turn a stage in the water cycle. A close examination of these two verses suggests that they make reference to two different phenomena, one of "spreading" the clouds and the other of "joining" them together, two different processes by which rain clouds might be formed.
Modern meteorology has come to this very conclusion within the last two centuries. [17,18,19]
There are two types of clouds which can yield precipitation, and they are classified by their shape: stratus (layer-type) and cumulus (heap- type). The precipitative layer clouds are further subdivided into stratus and nimbostratus (nimbo meaning rain). The first verse above on rain clouds (30:48) precisely sums up the formation of layer rain clouds. It is known today that these types of clouds are started under conditions of gradual, rising winds:
"...and then they [winds] raise clouds..." (Ar-Room 30:48)
Next, the cloud takes on its distinctive shape, that of a layer:
"...then He spreads them..." (Ar-Room 30:48)
If the conditions are right (i.e. low enough temperature, high enough humidity, etc.), the cloud droplets further condense into (larger) rain droplets, and we observe this effect from the ground as a darkening of the cloud layer:
"...and makes them dark..." (Ar-Room 30:48)
Finally, drops of rain fall from the cloud.
"...then you see the drops issue from the midst of them..." (Ar-Room 30:48)
The second type of precipitative cloud is the heap type, and it is subdivided into cumulus, cumulonimbus, and stratocumulus. These clouds are characterized by being puffy-shaped and piled upon each other. Cumulus and cumulonimbus are the true heap clouds - stratocumulus is a form of degenerated, spread-out cumulus . The second verse above on rain clouds (24:43) describes the formation of heap rain clouds. These clouds are formed under conditions of strong updrafts (thermals) and downdrafts of air:
"...drives clouds with force..." (An-Noor 24:43)
As the puffs of clouds form, they may unite into a single giant cloud, all piled up on top of one another:
"...then joins them together, then makes them into a heap..." (An-Noor 24:43)
At this point, either a cumulus or a cumulonimbus cloud has formed - either of which can yield rain. The rest of the verse is applicable to the case of a cumulonimbus (which is familiar to all of us as the towering thunderstorm cloud). If the heap cloud assumes large vertical proportions, then it can appear to the observer on the ground as a huge mountain or hill, but more importantly, by extending high into the atmosphere, the upper cloud droplets can freeze and thereby yield hail [17, 18]:
"...And He sends down from the sky mountains (of clouds) wherein is hail..." (An-Noor 24 : 43)
Finally, cumulonimbus clouds (i.e. thunderstorms) can have one last vivid property: lightning [17, 18]:
"...The flash of His lightning well-nigh snatches away the sight" (An-Noor 24:43)
Other Quranic verses deal with more stages in the water cycle.
“And We send down water from the sky according to (due) measure, then We cause it soak into the soil. And We are most certainly able to withdraw it” (Al- Momanoon 23:18)
This is a single verse stating that rainfall is absorbed into the ground and that it can eventually be removed (drained).
“He sends down water from the sky, and the rivers flow, each according to its measure...” (Ar-Rad 13:17)
“Don't you see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through the springs in the earth?...” (Az- Zumar 39:21)
Two methods by which absorbed rainfall is moved are described here: surface and underground rivers.
There are other references in the Quran to the water cycle [e.g. (40:13), (23:18), (25:48), (29:63) and others] and all of them have the same property as the verses quoted above: modern scientific findings are fully compatible with them (10).
A few other verses also deal with water but in a slightly different context. They are not nearly as numerous as the verses on the water cycle.
“Do you see the water which you drink? (68) Do you bring it down from the cloud or do We?” (Al-Waqia 56:68 - 69)
This rhetorical question emphasizes our inability to fulfill one of our oldest dreams: to control the rain. The fact is we cannot make it rain unless a pre-existing cloud is in the vicinity - and then only under the proper conditions, and even then we are not assured of success. The cloud should have different sized cloud particles, a high rate of condensation from the rising air, and good vertical development. If all of these characteristics are present, then we MAY coax some more rain out through cloud seeding and various other techniques. However, modern meteorologists are unsure of its effectiveness. Regardless, it is the presence of the necessary preconditions which we have no control over, and this ultimately stops us from arbitrarily bringing down the water of any cloud in the form of rain (10).
The following verse describes a property of large rivers.
“It is He who has caused to mix freely the two great bodies of water, this one pleasant-tasting and sweet and this one salty and bitter, and He made between them a barrier and a forbidding ban” (Al-Furqan 25 : 53)
A description of the estuaries of large rivers is supplied by the verse above. These estuaries are relatively unusual because the outgoing fresh water of the river does not immediately mix with the salt water of the sea into which the river empties. Instead, the fresh water penetrates deep into the salt water body before any mixing occurs, far from the mouth of the river. Small rivers do not have this property. (10)
Finally, one more reference to clouds.
“And were they to see a piece of the sky falling down, they would (only) say "Heaps of clouds!" (At-Tur 52:44)
Another reference to clouds but this time in the context of responding to a challenge by an earlier peoples who ridiculed a prophet by asking him to cause a piece of the sky to fall on them, apparently thinking it to be a solid cap around the earth. Allah refutes their challenge here, declaring that they would only find a pile of clouds, something all of us would understand today. (10)
G. - On Human Embryological and Fetal Development
The Quran has an extensive amount of information on the growth of the human embryo and fetus, especially the former. Before presenting this information, it may be helpful to provide a brief outline of human development in the womb as modern science understands it. 
· An unfertilized egg is produced by the female, and is subsequently placed in her Fallopian tubes.
· The male cohabits with the female, and a single sperm cell fertilizes the egg.
· The fertilized egg retreats into the uterus, and attaches itself to the uterine wall.
· Embryological growth (roughly 3 months).
· Fetal growth (6 months).
We will examine some of these stages in greater detail as the verses in the Quran require. First, however, two verses which give a general overview of human development:
“Seeing that it is He (Allah) Who has created you in stages” (Nooh 71:14)
“And Allah created you from dust, then from a drop....” (Fatir 35:11)
The first verse is a very general, yet accurate description of our creation as coming in stages (see the six-step outline above). The second verse puts some perspective on the whole affair: how man originally came from dust (Adam), and then from a drop.
There are at least four specific details regarding human development in the Quran which modern science has revealed only within the last few centuries, and in some cases only in this present century. The first concerns the emission of semen:
“Was he (man) not a drop of semen emitted?” (Al-Qiyamah 75:37)
In spite of the large amount of liquid which can be produced by a man during human intercourse, this verse emphasizes that only a small drop of it is important.
The second important detail in the Quran on human development is the description of the fertilizing liquid (i.e. semen):
“He (man) is created from a gushing liquid” (At-Tariq 86:6)
“We created the human from a drop which is a mixture...” (Al-Insaan 76:2)
“Then He (Allah) made his (Adam's) progeny from a quintessence of a despised liquid” (As- Sajdah 32:8)
The second and third verses relate to the contents of semen. Modern science has established that semen is in fact a composition of different secretions which come from four different glands during ejaculation: the testicles, the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland, and the urinary tract glands. The actual sperm cells come from the testicles; the other three glands produce no fertilizing agents. The Quran goes farther than just informing us that semen is a mixture of liquids. It tells us in (32:8) that only the "quintessence" of the liquid is used (the "despised" comes from the fact that semen is emitted from the same place as urine, and thus may be despicable in some people's sight). The Arabic word for "quintessence" in this verse signifies extracting the absolute best out of something. The numbers tell the story: a normal ejaculation involves about 3 ml of fluid containing between 120,000,000 and 150,000,000 sperm cells. Of these cells, only one fertilizes the egg in the female, and this is the point which (32:8) alludes to (15).
A third detail of human development mentioned in the Quran concerns the newly fertilized egg:
“Was he (man) not a drop of semen emitted? (37) Then he did become something leech-like which clings...” (Al-Qiyamah 75:37 - 38)
Recent observations of the fertilized egg in the womb have revealed that the egg literally implants itself into the uterine wall. It "clings" in the strongest sense, and it remains like so in the early stage of development. On top of that, the developing organism acts as a leech on the female host in the sense that it draws its sustenance directly from its mother's body .
Finally, the Quran gives a fascinating account of embryological development (the first three months) in the following verses (certain words have been transliterated directly from the Arabic):
“...We made the drop into an ALAQAH (leech-like structure), and then We changed the ALAQAH into a MUDGHAH (chewed-like substance), then We changed the MUDGHAH into IDHAAM (bones, skeleton), then We clothed the IDHAAM with LAHM (flesh, muscles), then We caused him to grow and come into being as another creation….” (Al- Momanoon 23:14)
“...We created you out of dust, then out of a drop, then out of a MUDGHAH, partly formed and partly unformed....” (Al- Hajj 22:5)
Verse (23:14) divides embryological development into four stages. The first stage picks up right after fertilization ("drop"), and is characterized by an ALAQAH or "leech-like structure" which describes how the egg implants itself into the uterus (see above). The second stage describes the embryo as evolving into a MUDGHAH which means something which has been chewed (especially a piece of meat), or which has the appearance of having been chewed. This seemingly crude description is in fact quite accurate: after the fertilized egg lodges itself in the uterus, it begins to receive its first nutrients and energy from its mother. Consequently, it begins to grow especially rapidly, and after a week or two it looks like a ragged piece of meat to the naked eye. This effect is enhanced by the development of small buds and protrusions which will eventually grow into complete organs and limbs.
The next two stages described in verse (23:14) tell of bones being made from the MUDGHAH, followed by the "clothing" of the bones with flesh or muscles. If we follow the progress of the embryo with our own eyes, we find that after approximately four weeks, a process called 'differentiation' begins, where groups of cells within the embryo transform themselves to form certain large organs. One of the earliest structures to develop in this stage is the cartilaginous basis of the human skeleton (in subsequent months, the cartilage hardens or ossifies). It is followed soon after by the appearance of a host of other organs including muscles, ears, eyes, kidneys, heart, and more. This maintains the order described in the Quran . Verse (23:14) concludes with the growth of the organism in the womb (and simple growth is the primary characteristic of the fetal stage) followed by its birth.
Verse (22:5) adds one more interesting note on the embryo. In this verse, the MUDGHAH is qualified with the phrase
"partly formed and partly unformed."
As alluded to above, our modern observations of embryological development have revealed how different structures and organs develop one after another through differentiation. This gives rise to unusual situations where the embryo is unevenly formed (i.e. lungs but no ears for example). [11,16]
H. - On Cosmology
Of all the references in the Quran to scientific matters, the most numerous are on the creation and structure of the universe and the earth. This area is singled out in several verses like the one below as an example of Allah's creative power:
“Verily, in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe” (Al-Jathia 45:3)
For a much more detailed exposition of the Quran and cosmology (and science in general), interested readers should consider reading M. Bucaille's book 'The Bible, The Quran , and Science' . Below, a brief summary of some of the more powerful verses.
First, a verse which makes a small note regarding the age of mankind with respect to the universe:
“Has there not been over Man a long period of Time when he was not yet a thing thought of?” (Al-Insaan 76:1)
The Arabic word for "Time" in this verse is "Dahr" and it can mean either all of eternity or simply a tremendously long time. Modern science can help us understand this verse better. The first appearance of humans on this earth is estimated to have occurred on the order of one million years ago. The age of the universe, on the other hand, is estimated at roughly fifteen billion years. If we normalize the age of the universe to one day, then man would be less than six seconds old.
The following verse deals with the creation of the heavens and the earth.
“And We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six days, and nothing touched us of weariness” (Qaaf 50:38)
Notice the sharp counterpoint to the Bible at the end of this verse regarding whether Allah "rested" after the sixth day from tiredness. However, a more subtle yet perhaps vastly more important difference is brought out when we look at the first verse in the Bible, Genesis [1:1]:
Bible [1:1] In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
There is no mention of "and all between them", as opposed to the Quran (which refers to this in several verses, no less). Modern science has just within this last century discovered that much of the mass of the universe is contained in the vast spaces between galaxies and stars (ignoring for the moment the possibility of 'dark matter' which would only make a stronger point). In spite of having only a single hydrogen atom every few cubic meters on average (interstellar material), the universe is so huge that the "empty" space may account for more of the total universe's mass than all the stars combined - at the very least, it is a significant amount. Thus, it is an important omission to leave out "all between" the earth and the other stars and galaxies ("heavens").
As to the debate which has wracked Christianity and Judaism for centuries regarding the meaning of "six days", the word "days" in classical Arabic has a secondary meaning of a "very long time" or an "era" . The Quran , however, presents a conclusive answer to this question via the following three verses scattered throughout the text:
“And yet they ask you to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily a Day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning” (Al- Hajj 22:47)
“He (Allah) directs (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him on a Day the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning” (As- Sajdah 32:5)
“The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a Day the space whereof is (as) fifty thousand years” (Al-Maaraj 70:4)
It is clear from these verses that a "day" in the Quran can easily have different meanings in different contexts, and is thus not constrained to mean a strict 24-hour period.
The next two verses address certain details of creation.
“Don't those who reject faith see that the heavens and the earth were a single entity then We ripped them apart?...” (Al- Ambiya 21: 30)
“Moreover, He applied His design to the heavens, while it was (yet) vapor,and He said to it and to the earth, "Come (into being), willingly or unwillingly." They said, "We do come in obedience." (Fussilat 41:11)
Verse (21:30) foreshadows the modern cosmological theory known as the Big Bang theory wherein all matter is presumed to have originated from a violent explosion. Verse (41:11) refers to a later stage in creation, one in which a cosmologist would describe the universe as filled with a nebulous gas undergoing a slow coalescence into gross structures such as clusters, galaxies, stars, and so on. The words of these two verses may seem coarse and simplistic to the modern eye, but this does not detract from their general accuracy.
Then there are verses that speak of the sun and the moon.
“Blessed is He Who put in the heavens constellations, and put in it a lamp and a light-giving moon” (Al-Furqaan 25:61)
This verse emphasizes the sun as a direct source of light ("lamp"), whereas the moon is not given this title. Man has long since established that the moon's light is simply reflected sunlight.
“The sun and the moon follow precise courses” (Ar-Rahman 55:5)
The meaning of this verse is obvious, and we have known the mathematical description of these "courses" since Kepler and Newton formulated them several centuries ago.
“It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon: all swim along, each in its rounded course” (Al- Ambiya 21:33)
This verse supplements the previous one: here, we learn that the sun and moon follow "rounded courses." It is significant that the Arabic word used here - "falak" - does not mean circular course, just rounded. Kepler was the first European astronomer to realize that the paths of the planets and the moon are elliptical. It was not until later, though, that astronomers also realized that the sun has an orbit as well - around the center of the Milky Way.
The Quran contains a number of verses on the structure and contents of the universe. There are too many to list here, but the following three form an interesting sample:
“And the heavens We did create with Our Hands, and We do cause it to expand” (Ad-Daryat 51:47)
Flatly stating what Einstein refused to believe at first, this verse anticipates Hubble's discovery of the expanding universe by approximately thirteen centuries. This verse makes a very clear point that the expansion is continuous (until the Day of Judgement, which is guaranteed by Allah to come upon us unexpectedly).
“And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through both of them...” (Ash-Shura 42:29)
“And He has subjected to you (man), from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect” (Al-Jathia 45:13)
These two verses are extremely interesting. Not only does the first one very strongly imply the existence of living creatures on other planets throughout the universe, but the second tells us that the heavens are "subject" to us. With a little imagination, we (or perhaps our children) can begin dreaming of the possibility of interstellar travel - and not just confined to our own solar system!