It is a common misconception that science and religion are essentially incompatible. Scientific knowledge – the study of life and the universe – can only cement faith not weaken it. After hearing a minister preach about the dangers of science, Maria Mitchell, America’s first female astronomer wrote: “Scientific investigations pushed on and on, will reveal new ways in which God works, and bring us deeper revelations of the wholly unknown.”
With regard to the belief in an Almighty Being, we find that many scientists believe in God; in fact there are very few among them who deny the existence of God and there are more who do not deny. According to a 2009 Pew Research Centre survey, over half of American scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power.
The Holy Quran clearly indicates that the study of the creation of the heavens and the earth leads to Almighty God: “In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding.” (Al Quran 3:191)
The Holy Qur’an draws attention very effectively to the existence of God by referring to the creation as follows: “Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed up mass, and then We opened them out? And We made of water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” (Al Quran 21:31)
The verse suggests that the universe (the heavens and the earth) was at first a closed up mass and God then split this mass open and formed it into the universe, in particular our solar system, and then He created life out of water.
Now let us look at the universe from a scientific point of view. Scientists use the Big Bang theory to explain the origins of the universe. The theory is that around 14 billion years ago all the matter in the universe was packed into a single incredibly tiny point (a closed-up mass). This began to enlarge rapidly in a hot explosion, and it is still expanding today.
Furthermore – when it comes to living things – be it plants or animals – science has shown water is an essential element for life. In some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. And – a human newborn baby is 75% water. We’re born as wet as a fresh potato. Tomatoes are wetter (93.5% water). Apples, too, but only slightly (80%).
Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientist of the 20th Century said: “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the limitless superior being who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”
Now let us turn our attention to the alternation of night and day. Science has shown us that we have day and night because the Earth spins on its axis – an imaginary line passing through the North and South Poles. We don’t feel the earth moving because it turns smoothly and at the same speed. The Earth takes 24 hours to make one complete turn.
Furthermore – we have seasons because the earth is tilted – the Earth leans towards the sun (in summer – making it hot) or leans away from the sun (in winter – making it cold). The Earth is tilted at angle of 23.5 degrees.
According to Sir Isaac Newton (one of the world’s great scientists): “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and Powerful Being.”
Need further convincing? The origin of human life on earth is a scientific problem which is not yet solved. There are plenty of ideas, but few clear facts. The basic idea behind Darwin’s theory of evolution that all the different species have evolved from simple life forms – doesn’t hold. Through advances in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past 50 years, we now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of complex systems on the cellular level. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10 to the power of minus 12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.”
What is clear is that species change over time, give rise to new species, and share a common ancestor. The ‘Out of Africa’ theory suggests modern humans all share common ancestors who migrated out of Africa around 2 million years ago. This is supported by genealogy studies which show white Europeans carry at least 1% DNA that is African in origin.
The Holy Qur’an clearly indicates that God created mankind: “And certainly He has created you in stages.” (71:15) At another place the Quran says: “And We did create you and then We gave you shape; then said We to the angels, ‘Submit to Adam;” (Al Quran 7:12)
These verses indicate that man was created through a gradual process and that man had been in existence before Hazrat Adam(as).
In short, the Quran teaches that man’s physical creation and development and intellectual development are the result of a process of evolution. Hazrat Adam(as) was not the first human being, but was the first human being whose intellect was capable of accepting and bearing the responsibility of revelation.
Thus, the modern scientific theory of human evolution, origins of the universe and creation of life correlates with what was revealed fourteen hundred years ago in the Holy Quran. In other words – science has unwittingly proven the existence of God.
I conclude with the following verses from the Holy Quran: “This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it; it is a guidance for the righteous,” (Al Quran 2:3)
• The Holy Quran. Published by Islam International Publications Limited. UK edition 2006
• Scientists and Belief. Pew Research Centre. 2009 http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scientists-and-belief/
• Views of Scientists on the Existence of God. Prof. Saleh Muhammad Allahdin. May 2009 http://www.reviewofreligions.org/1493/views-of-scientists-on-the-existence-of-god/
• Quran, Adam and Original Sin. Belal Khalid. 2018 https://www.alislam.org/library/articles/quran-adam-and-original-sin/
• Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution. https://www.darwins-theory-of-evolution.com/