- Posts: 47
- Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:31 pm
(C) Copyright 1997
6:19 Say (O Messenger), "What could be the greatest witness?” Say, “Allah is Witness between me and you. This Qur’an has been revealed to me so that I may warn you as well as whomever it reaches. Do you bear witness that there are other deities besides Allah?” Say, “I bear no such witness.” Say, “He is the One God. I disown what you associate with Him.”
Religion throughout the history of humankind has had a tremendous hold on humanity. According to Emile Durkheim, the French Sociologist, the first organized institutions of mankind were religious in character. Even today, religion is of primary importance to millions of individuals who try to live by it and give it a special place in their lives. Therefore, any issue involving religion in today's world is worthy of discussion. Science, in its popular usage, is generally defined as the systematic observation of natural phenomena and their workings. Since the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century it is seen as the thing in control of human destiny and its future survival. Those who fail to utilize science and modern discovery are kept at the lowest strata of society in today's highly competitive world.
As today, both science and religion are widespread, each having dogmatic believers, antagonism has resulted. The common notion being that science and religion are opposites; i.e. they repel each other as like poles of a magnet. According to the sociologist Max Weber, in his article, Science as a vocation, science has resulted in the "disenchantment" of the world. The enchantment of the world was due to, according to him, people relying on religion and giving magical explanations to perfectly logical, natural phenomena.
This article attempts to use the Koran to examine Max Weber's claims about religion. The source of Islam is a book, just one book, the Koran. Modern Islam however has added other sources, which the Koran doesn't validate. The Koran, is historically the earliest written text we possess in the the Arabic language and as such is the only valid authority on Islam as conveyed by the prophet Muhammed. The other sources Hadith and Fiqh date from over 200 years after Muhammed's death. I will therefore not deal with these other sources as they do not historically represent the "original" Islam.
Within its text, the Koran names itself many times as a book revealed directly by God, in which God is speaking in the first person. The Koran says that true believers "reason about the origin of the heavens and the earth (Koran 3:190-191)." This itself is science by definition when done in a systematic way. According to the Koran, by applying science in this way a person gets to the truth by discovering the "nature of God [His Sunna- in Arabic]," as reflected by his creation and brought to mind by the Koran that claims to be his revelation. In constrast to the concept of a "supernatural", the Koran talks about nature and creation being an expression of God's attributes. We can therefore look inside the "Mind of God" so to speak by studying his creation.
The scientific system of inquiry is emphasized time and again by the Koran. The linking of science and rationality with the verses of the Koran is not only legitimized but also encouraged by God in the Koran. The Koran tells the reader that if he/she does not know something or are unsure they should ask"those who are informed (Koran 25:59)." In the case of all the scientific and natural phenomena discussed in the Koran, the people having knowledge and information would most definitely be the scientists. Thus the Koran discourages unreasoned belief.
Why I came to be interested in the scientific analysis of the Koran, is a long story that traverses my entire life after thirteen. It was at that age, while going through my father's closet, in the process of moving to a different city in Pakistan, that I discovered several English translations of the Koran. I was curious about this book. I had heard its name being raised in a so called "Islamic environment," yet no one ever told me what the book was about. In the society in which I grew up, most people claim to be Muslims, but they never read the Koran in a language they understand. They merely chant it in Arabic, which they have learned to read mechanically, but whose meaning they don't know. It would sound very unusual here, to the American culture, to be able to read in English but not understand a word of it. No one asked me to read the book, I read it because its daily reading made sense to me. It motivated me to question and I could confirm it with the little knowledge that I had from school at that time.
As time progressed, discussions with the people I met raised many questions regarding religion and its relation to science and reason. A human mind can never rest on uncertainty and so till I succeeded in my attempts to find answers to questions that arose in my mind, I was always restless. The results were amazing: Muslim tradition, i.e. fiqh and hadith, that have broken up Islam into sects, do not stand the test of science, but the Koran does indeed. The attitude that I carry with me even today, after over thirteen years of extensive research is that the day I find a confirmed scientific error in the Koran, I'll stop believing in it. Objectivity and concern for value-free truth demands that. I have yet to find one though, so I consider myself a Muslim at present. This attitude is encouraged by the Koran itself when it challenges people to find errors in it. In my daily life, whenever I read the Koran, I read it critically, trying to analyse it objectively; by doing so I'm following Koran 4:82:
4:82 Will they not then, try to understand this Qur’an? If it were from other than Allah they would surely have found in it much contradiction.
If the Koran is indeed the word of the Creator, as it claims to be (Koran 4:166), then it must be error-free when it discusses details about proven facts of science, like description of stages in embryology. The Koran claims, to originate from the one who has "knowledge of everything" (Koran 20:98). Thus it implies complete inerrency.
The Koran encourages verifying its claims when it presents information. For example, the details about embryology in the Koran are presented in a fashion that would facilitate belief only after those verses have been checked by known findings. They are presented as a challenge: "If you are in doubt then (consider this).... (22:5 etc)"
The same is also witnessed throughout the Koran when the book makes statements like, "Do you not know.... (Or) Have you not seen and considered etc." Also consider all the falsification tests contained in the Koran, like the one which challenges people to produce a chapter comparable to the Book (Koran 2:23). All these legitimize and encourage a rational/scientific inquiry into the truthfulness of the Koran.
Maurice Bucaille, one of the first to popularize the linking of the Koran and Science, in his best selling books, The Bible, the Koran and Science, and What is the Origin of Man, concluded that given the history of the origin of the Koran, it could not have been the work of a man or group of men living in Arabia or anywhere else at that time, considering the nature of the scientific information in the Koran. Lecturing at the French Academy of Medicine, he concluded on the subject:
"It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammed's time to have been the author of such statements on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are what give the Koranic revelation its unique place and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely on materialistic reasoning."(Bucaille 1985)
Keith Moore, head of the department of anatomy, at the University of Toronto, was shown verses of the Koran dealing with the microscopic stages of the human embryo. He was so surprised at what he found that he went back and revised the history of embryology in his standard texts on the subject. The books that Keith Moore authored are used at prestigious institutions like Yale and at universities all around the world. He stated, after being unable to provide an explanation on how microscopic details of the embryo could be accurately described in a book written before the discovery of the microscope:
"It is clear to me that these statements (in the Koran on embryology) must have come to Muhammad from God. This proves to me that Muhammed must have been the messenger of God or Allah." (Rehaili 1995)
Consider yourself an inhabitant of 7th Century Arabia. Society has very little scientific knowledge. Myth and magic control people's thoughts. How far would you go if you wanted to discover the true origin or the universe? How much progress would you make if you wanted to uncover the origin of life? We can move away from Arabia and scan the world scene at that period in history. Nothing in the literature of the world comes even remotely close to the scientific accuracy of statements about the natural world contained in the Koran. In fact some of the information that we come across in the Koran wasn't known till about 40 years back and some of it wasn't known until the day it was read in the Koran by scientists just a few years ago.
Since the Koran claims to originate with the one (God) who originated everything (Koran 55:2), and has knowledge of everything (Koran 20:98), we have every right to logically inquire if the originator of the earth and the heavens, in the knowledge that he gives us about them knows what we have discovered about their origin through modern science. The Koran can thus be scientifically tested in order to verify its claims.
The Koran exists in the world today. Therefore, if we do not accept the book's claim of being a revelation, then we must come up with an explanation as to its origin. The existence of the Koran cannot be denied. If we choose to deny it then we need to at least present a sound explanation to justify denial.
People who reject the Koran's claim throughout the ages have come up with explanations and theories as to the origin of the Koran. No matter what the details of the particular theory might be, they all reduce to basically two hypothesis:
i) Muhammad was a liar. He got his information from the outside and presented it to people as a revelation from God. The proponents of this hypothesis claim that the Koran was composed by Muhammad who "borrowed" information from other sources. Some even suggest that Muhammad was helped by a "group" of people to compose the Koran.
ii) The second hypothesis suggests that Muhammed was deceived or deluded in that he believed that he was a prophet when in fact he was not. To the people who offer this hypothesis, the Koran is the product of the "deluded" mind of Muhammed. Muhammad's hallucinations.
It may sound surprising but the book that is being attacked, the Koran, is also well aware of these two hypothesis that people have been presenting throughout the ages in trying to reject it:
Hypothesis 1 suggests that Muhammad was a liar. The Koran states:
25:5 And they say, “Fables of ancient times which he has written down as they are dictated to him morning and evening.”
Hypothesis 2 suggests that Muhammed was self-deceived. The Koran states:
68:51 And behold, those who deny the Truth, offend you (O Prophet) with their eyes when they hear the Reminder. And they say, "Behold, he is a madman."
Most people who present these hypotheses are forced to take them together in conjunction. Logically speaking however, both these hypothesis are mutually exclusive and cannot be taken together. They can stand on their own, if facts support them, but taken together they collapse. As an example: If a man is a liar (Hypothesis 1) then when someone asks the man a question, he has to search for the answer. He looks either within himself for the answer or asks his friends in secrecy so that he can give the inquirer a satisfactory response. He knows that he is not a prophet so he has to lie to convince the questioner. On the other hand, if the man is deluded (Hypothesis 2) then when someone asks the man a question, he does not search for the answer, if he doesn't know it. He is deluded, self-deceived, he believes he is a prophet and the answer will be given to him by revelation.
To repeat the above, if the man is a liar, he knows he is not a prophet and investigation can provide evidence as to where the material came from, but if he is deluded, even though the material presented is his own hallucinations, still he cannot be termed a liar for he believes he is a prophet. If a man is a liar then he is not self-deceived, if he is self- deceived then he is not a liar. Therefore Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 cannot be mixed up in explaining the Koran. However, what we see is that people need both excuses to explain certain things in the Koran. They often start by presenting Hypothesis 1 (Muhammed was a liar) and end up with Hypothesis 2 (Muhammed was self-deceived), i.e. Muhammed was a liar and self-deceived. This cannot be, logically speaking as we have seen above.
It may again surprise you but the Koran is also aware of this illogical stand that people take by terming Muhammad both a liar and self deluded. The Koran states:
44:14 Whereupon they had turned away from him, and said, “Taught and tutored is he, a man possessed?”
The Koran can be Hypothesis (1) i.e. the product of a liar, or Hypothesis (2) i.e. the product of a deceived mind, or it can be what it claims to be, i.e. God's revelation; but it can never be both Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 at the same time.
Hypothesis 1 and its implications: If the Koran is the product of a man's mind who is a "liar", who got his information from the outside and then presented it to the world as a revelation then:
1. We have to explain the confidence portrayed by the various statements in the Koran. A confidence that shows that whosoever is presenting this is convinced that he indeed has the truth. As examples: a) The Koran challenges people to find a mistake in the book by its claim that if God was not the author many mistakes would be found in it (Koran4:82) Now only a person who is convinced about what he has can make such a claim. Do you know of any book that makes a claim that it doesn't contain any errors and that if it had a human origin it would contain many. The Bible never makes such a claim.
b) Another example would be the invitation given to Christians who dispute with Muslims about the nature of Jesus as presented in the Koran. The verse says:
3:61 If anyone argues with you concerning him, after the Knowledge has come to you, then say, “Come! Let us call upon our children, and your children, and our women and your women, and our people and your people to leave one another alone knowing that Allah's condemnation is upon the liars.” (‘Bahl’ = To leave alone = Let someone hold on to his views = Let others do as they will = Erroneously, but commonly, 'Mubahila' = A contest of mutual cursing).
This shows that whoever is presenting this is confident and sure that he has the truth on which the challenge is based.
c) Another example of this confidence that a liar is incapable of portraying, is the account of when the Meccans who wanted to kill Muhammad came unto the mouth of the cave in which he and his friend Abu-Bakr were hiding. Abu-Bakr was afraid, Muhammed told him to "relax", "God will save us," he told him. Now if the man is a liar, one who lies to convince people that he is a prophet, you might expect him to say, "Go and look for a back way out," or "lie low and be quiet." But what he actually said shows that he had no doubt that he was a prophet and that God would save them.Hypothesis 1 cannot explain these in the Koran.
2. If the Koran is a lie, the product of a man's lying mind, how do you account for the following: The Koran claims that it contains information that was "new" to the people it was being read to. Now the Meccans hated Muhammad, if this statement in the Koran was not true and the information was not "new" they would have loved to point out the source. Yet they never answered this challenge to produce similar "knowledge" as the Koran (chapter 46: verse 4)
As proof of the above, I'll give two examples:
1. The Koran mentions the wall of "Zulqarnain," the two-horned one. It gives a complete description of this wall and how it was built to protect a people from outside invaders (Koran 18:96-98). The Arabs had never heard of it, or what it looked like, neither had the Arab Jews or the Arab Christians. Now, after the death of the prophet, they were curious about this wall mentioned in the Koran. Omar the Khalif sent out travelers to verify the existence of this wall. It is in Durbent in the former Soviet Union. It is referred to as Alexander's wall however modern historians dispute on whether Alexander had anything to do with it.
Compare what the Koran said over fourteen centuries back, before any Arab had set foot on Derbent to what the Columbia Encyclopaedia says:
"Derbent was founded (A.D 438) by the Persians as a strategic fortress at the Iron Gates. There are remains of the Caucasian Wall (also called Alexander's Wall), built by the Persians in the 6th century. as a bulwark against northern invaders. (6th Edition, 2000)."
If Muhammed was a liar, who told him about this wall thousands of miles to the east, about which no one in his area knew anything?
2. The Koran mentions a city by the name of Iram where a prosperous people the AAD lived. It was a city of "tall pillars":
89:6 Have you noted how your Lord dealt with Aad? (They had refused to see the Light 7:65-72).
89:7 Those whose capital was Iram, the city of towers and lofty mansions.
89:8 The like of which (the towers and castles) were never built in other cities.(26:128-134).
Until very recently no historic or non-historic record existed about Iram. However in 1973, the ancient city of Ebla was excavated in Syria. While going through the tablet library of Ebla archaeologists came across a list of cities that Ebla traded with and on that list was a city named Iram. When reporting it in the National Geographic of December 1978, the only reference to Iram they could cite other than the tablets was the Koran, chapter 89.
In 1992 using SIR-C imaging [Synthetic Aperture Radar] using the Space Shuttle, GPR [Ground Penetrating Radar] and GMT [Geophysical Diffraction Tomography], scientists discovered Iram [also called Ubar] in southern Oman, buried under 12 meters of sand. The city contained evidence of "tall pillars" exactly as mentioned in the Koran chapter 89. The Koran described this fact, over fourteen centuries back at a time when no one in the world could have had access to this city. Now, if Muhammad was a liar where did he get this information?
Hypothesis 2 and its implications:
Hypothesis 2 suggests that the Koran is the product of a man's deluded mind. If the Koran is a product of a man's hallucinations then what comes out as a result are things that are in his mind. What do you think went on in Muhammed's mind? He didn't have an easy life. He was an orphan to start with, then his grandfather who looked after him died, then his uncle who adopted him died as well. After that, his life companion, his wife of 24 years Khatija died. All his children except for one daughter died in his lifetime. Does the Koran reflect any of this? It doesn't even mention these things at all. Yet these were the things that surely bothered him and caused him pain through his whole life, but they never show up in a book, which is said to be the product of his deluded mind!
In fact, the information contained in the Koran is such that no man living anywhere in the 7th century could have known it. I'll give some examples, which should make the point clear:
1. THE ORIGIN OF LIFE
The Koran mentions that all life originated from water (Koran 21:30) and that man himself is "created" of water and so are all the animals on earth (Koran 25:54, and 24:45). Now these statements to an Arab would have sounded atrocious in that day and age. Even today such statements in the Koran might cause you to wonder if scientific facts about them are unknown. The fact that all life originated in water is well established by the scientific community today. They have evidence to support the fact that the first living beings were algae, and they existed in water. The fact that human beings and animals are created of water is also well established since cytoplasm the basic component of "life" in any animal cell is over 80% water.
The Koran mentions that a human being reaches full maturity at age forty (Koran 46:15). This is a very unusual statement. Even today most people accept that full maturity is reached at puberty and laws usually put it between 18 to 21. However, the Koran is scientifically correct where even modern laws are inaccurate. If we analyze the statement based on psychological tests conducted by scientisits, what we find is that the "overall quantity of stored knowledge in the mind of an individual reaches a peak at age thirty-nine and after that it gradually declines." Arthur C. Guyton, in his standard textbook on physiology, Physiology of the Human Body( 6th ed, pg.207), states this. Guyton's book is used as a standard text in at many pre-medical schools around the world.
3. THE FEMALE BEE
The Koran mentions the bee, which leaves its home in search for food, in the verses that discusses honey (Koran 16:68,69). It uses the female verb in describing the bee, in Arabic faslukee. This, to the Arab, suggests that the bee, which leaves its home in search for food, is female.
Does anyone except an expert know how to differentiate between a male and a female bee? Even today, let alone Muhammad's time, 1400 plus years back, we need a specialist to differentiate between a male and a female bee. The Koran is accurate when it mentions that the female bee leaves its home in search for food; the males never leave their homes for food, it is the females who have to feed them.
4. EMBRYO SEX DETERMINATION
The Koran says that the "ejaculated drop" determines the sex of a human baby (Koran 53:45). It is common knowledge that semen is the fluid that is ejaculated by males during sexual acts. Females do not possess such "ejaculated semen."
The sex of the baby, whether it be male or female, will indeed be determined by the 'ejaculated drop', i.e. the father's sperm, as mentioned by the Koran. It has been scientifically established only recently that the female ovum contains only X-chromosomes. If the ejaculated drop, the father's sperm bears the Y chromosome, the offspring will be male, and otherwise the offspring will be female. No one living at the time of Muhammed or even Darwin for that matter had any knowledge of such genetics foretold centuries earlier in the Koran.
5. THE INVISIBLE BARRIER
The Koran states that there are two seas that meet but don't intermingle because of a barrier between them (Koran 55:19-20).
It is a necessity that seas intermingle through straits between them. The Koran however is aware of a very unusual phenomenon, which scientists discovered only recently. The Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans differ in their chemical and biological constitution. The French scientist Jacques Yves Cousteau conducted various undersea investigations at the Strait of Gibraltar and explaining these phenomena concluded:
"Unexpected fresh water springs issue from the southern and northern coasts of Gibraltar. These mammoth springs gush towards each other at angles of 45 degrees forming a reciprocal dam. Due to this fact the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Oceans cannot intermingle (as quoted by Nurbaki)."
Did Muhammed do research on the chemical and biological components of seawater to discover this unusual phenomena?
6. THE GASEOUS ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE
The Koran mentions that the universe originated, at a stage, from a "gaseous material." (Koran 41:11). It uses the Arabic word Dukhan, which stands for smoke. A perfect analogy for gas and particles in suspension and the gasses being hot.
Scientists have only very recently confirmed that the universe did indeed originate from a gaseous mass composed of hydrogen and helium, a big mass of hot gasses, a mass over 300,000 times that of the earth. That mass then fragmented to form galaxies. Muhammad, who had no schooling of any kind and was illiterate before the revelation of the Koran, could not have possibly known this.
7. THE BIG BANG
The Koran gives an accurate visual description of the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe. In the 21st chapter, verse 30 (21:30), the Koran states:
21:30 Are the unbelievers not aware (after this proclamation) that the heavens and the earth used to be one solid mass that We exploded into parting?...
This is exactly how the 'rejecter' scientists envision the creation of the universe, from one singularity, which then exploded, termed the 'big bang'. Thus the Koran told us about the "common origin" of everything in the universe much before scientists described it in the 20th century. How do we explain this information in the Koran if it is not what it claims to be, the words of an all-knowing ?
Professor Alfred Kroner, chairman of the Department of Geology at the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenburg University, Mainz, Germany stated about this verse in the Koran:
"Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here.(Rehaili 1995)"
8. THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE
The Koran talks about a universe that is continually "expanding" (Koran 51:47).
The concept of an expanding universe is very popular with scientists today, however no one knew of it until recently. Do you know that the universe is expanding? Can you feel or see it expanding? No, the verification of this requires specialized knowledge and instruments, which no one at the time of Muhammad had access to. The Koran states:
51:47 And it is We Who have built the Universe, and behold, We are steadily expanding it.
9. THE DEATH OF STARS
The Koran mentions the 'death of stars' (Koran 77:7-8). Astronomers including Dr. Patterson of Southwest Missouri State are surprised at finding this information in the Koran. They know that at the time of Muhammad, people believed that once a thing was formed, it was permanent. The Koran is very accurate when it mentions dying stars. Our own sun is a dying star.
10. PHASES OF THE MOON
The Koran talks about the phases of the moon (Koran 36:38-39). There is no book, to my knowledge, that predates the Koran that mentions the modern term "phase" in connection with the moon. Dr. Patterson confirms this. The Arabic word used for "phase" in the Koran is Manazil.
11. MOVEMENT OF THE SUN
. The sun's movement is not something that is evident to our eyes or experience but requires specialized equipment. The Koran states in chapter 36, verse 39:
36:38 And the sun: it runs its appointed course. That is the measure of the Almighty, the Knower.
Modern science has found out that the sun rotates around its axis every 26 days . The Koran mentions the movement of the sun, with its own motion, signified by the verb Yasbahoon in Arabic. Thus according to the Koran the sun is not just flying through space but moving on its own, i.e. rotating. The sun is also continually on a journey in space towards its homing place, the solar apex, just like mentioned in the Koran (36:39). How could Muhammed have known these facts if the Koran is the product of his mind?
12. ISOSTACY AND MOUNTAIN ROOTS
The Koran states that mountains are like "tent-pegs", i.e. they have a root extending down into the earth like "anchors" and this gives stability and balance to the earth.
78:6 Did We not make the earth a cradle for you?
78:7 And the mountains as pegs?
31:10 He has created the skies without any pillars and supports that you can see, and has placed firm mountains upon the earth, lest it sway with you..
This fact was discovered less than 150 years ago by scientists and now accepted as a fundamental law in geology, the concept of isostacy. M. J Selby in a standard-text on the subject entitled "Earth's Changing Surface (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1985) states:
"G.B Airy in 1855 suggested that the crust of the earth could be likened to rafts of timber floating on water. Thick pieces of timber float higher above the water surface than thin pieces and similarly thick sections of the earth's crust will float on a liquid or plastic substratum of greater density. Airy was suggesting that mountains have a deep root of lower density rock, which the plains lack. Four years after Airy published his work, J.H Pratt offered an alternative hypothesis...By this hypothesis, rock columns below mountains must have a lower density, because of their greater length, than shorter rock columns beneath plains. Both Airy and Pratt's hypothesis imply that surface irregularities are balanced by differences in density of rocks below the major features (mountains and plains) of the crust. This state of BALANCE is described as the concept of ISOSTACY (Selby1985:32) ."
13. HUMAN EMBRYOLOGY
The Koran is known to be the first book to give microscopic details of human embryology(Koran 23:13-14 etc.), hundreds of years before the discovery of the microscope! The Koran contains information on embryology, which was not discovered till about 30 years back and certain details were new even to modern scientists but were immediately confirmed as being accurate.
The Koran mentions that at a certain stage, the developing human is like "allaqa", a leech-like clot. If you take a microscopic picture of a human embryo of days 7-12 and place it next to a picture of a leech, they both look identical. Not only do they look the same but they function in the same way too. Just like a leech derives nourishment from its host's blood, the embryo derives nourishment from the decidua or the pregnant endometrium. These facts about the Koran are well documented and listed by Keith L. Moore in his standard textbooks on embryology, books used in such prestigious institutions as the Yale Medical School.
14.RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
"Nay! I swear by the Day of Resurrection.
Nay, I call to witness the person who shows remorse after wrongdoing.
Does the human being think that We will not assemble his bones?
Yes indeed, Yes, We have the Power to restore even his finger tips with
Does man think he will be left alone like a soundless broken musical
Was he not gametes that moved to join?
Then he became a zygote.
And He shaped and fashioned him in due proportion
And He has made of humans pairs, male and female.
Is not He, then, Able to bring the dead to life?
The above verse of the Koran questions those who reject the notion of the resurrection of the dead. What is the more difficult task: That you were created from an insignificant drop, which was so small that it couldn't be seen except through a microscope, or that one day you will be formed from your remnants?
Russian scientists recently discussed reproducing an extinct species of elephant by use of a microscopic unit of long-dead gene material. No one in the scientific community said that that was unreasonable. The point is that the resurrection of the dead might be an unusual think but it certainly is not unreasonable. The use of cloning techniques throws further light on the amazing nature of the Koranic verse which compares the resurrection of the dead with human development from an insignificant zygote to the fetus. Cloning provides theoretic and empirical evidence for the resurrection of the dead.
15. CIRCULATION OF BLOOD AND FOOD
16:5 And surely in the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of what is inside their bodies, from between digested food and blood, pure milk, pleasant to those who drink it/ And cattle He has created for you. From them you derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and from them you obtain food.
The above verse of the Koran calls our attention to the food distribution function of blood. It should be kept in mind however that a Muslim scientist formally discovered the circulation of blood 600 years after Muhammed's death and it was made known to the west by William Harvey, 1000 years after Muhammed had died. If Muhammed was the author of the Koran how would he have known, at the time that he lived that digested food is transported via blood and then becomes the constituent of milk secreted by the mammary glands?
16.THE "CONSTANTS" AND THE INITIAL CONDITIONS
31:20 Do you not realize that Allah has made of service to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth?..
54:49 Behold, We have created all things in due measure and proportion.
Compare these statements in the Koran to what the physicist Paul Davies writes in his book, The Accidental Universe (1982):
"The numerical values that nature has assigned to the fundamental constants, such as the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and the Newtonian Gravitational constant, may be mysterious, but they are critically relevant to the structure of the universe that we perceive. As more and more physical systems from nuclei to galaxies have become better understood, scientists have begun to realize that many characteristics of these systems are remarkably sensitive to the precise value of the fundamental constants. Had nature opted for a slightly different set of numbers, the world would have been a very different place and we would not be here to see it." (Davies 1982)
At around 300,000 years after the big bang, all parts of the universe, even separated by more than 20 times the horizon distance, and expanding in opposite directions, in causally disconnected regions (i.e.. no cause or physical effect could pass from one region to the other), began to expand with the same expansion rate and temperature.
No natural explanation exists to explain how a chaotic explosion, the big bang resulted in a uniform expansion pattern among causally disconnected regions, expanding in opposite directions. Calculations indicate that when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old, it consisted of 10 to the power 80 causally disconnected regions, and no physical effect could have traveled from one region to another and yet 300,000 years after, cosmic background radiation proves that they all started expanding with the same expansion rate and the same temperature. It was as if they acted upon uniformly communicated intelligent direction. Consider what the Koran says:
41:12 And He it is Who ordained that they become seven Heavens in two stages and assigned to each heaven its function...
The "Flatness" or "smoothness" of the universe is established by modern science and leads scientists to wonder as to how a uniform distribution of matter resulted from the big bang. The Koran is aware of this and presents the "smoothness" of the universe as a challenge to unbelievers:
67:3 He has created seven Cosmic Systems in great harmony. Look! No fault will you see in the creation of the Beneficent. And turn your vision upon it once more. Can you see any flaw?
If we deny the Koran's claim of being God's revelation, we have to account for the above information, and how it made its way into the Koran, always without error, and always accurate. Justice and truth demand that or we are fooling ourselves alone.
The Koran offers what is not offered by religions, generally speaking. It offers what the scientific community demands before they even listen to any new theory, falsification tests. The Koran presents itself with tests to disprove it, if it is false.
¨ The Koran in 4:82 challenges people to find a mistake or contradiction in the book and hence disqualify it, if it is indeed a lie.
¨ The Koran talks about people and how they will behave. If they were to act contrary to how the Koran pre-told their behavior, it would be disqualified.
Muhammad had an uncle by the name of Abu-Lahab. This man hated Muhammad and was always strong in opposing him. Many years before the man died, the small chapter in the Koran documented his behavior, saying that he will be condemned and will never change< color="blue"> (Koran 111:1-5). All he had to do to prove the Koran wrong was say: "I am a Muslim, I change my behavior, your book is wrong." Yet he never did do it, never thought of it even though he would have loved to.
¨ The Koran claims that in a pluralistic society, the Christians would always treat the Muslims better than the Jews and Idolaters (Koran 5:85,86).
Scan the world scene where Jews, Christians and Muslims live together. Are the Jews closer to the Muslims or the Christians? The only thing the Jews have to do to disprove the Koran is to band together and treat the Muslims better than the Christians do for a little while and the Koran is disproved. However this has not happened yet.
¨ The Koran says that if it is not what it claims to be then people should produce a document comparable to it (Koran 2:23 etc).
Comparison criteria would be what I have discussed earlier: i) It should contain information, which no one knows today, but will be found out tomorrow as scientifically accurate. ii) It should contain falsification tests as the Koran. iii) It should stand the test of "forgery" and "hallucination" as the Koran does. iv) It should give "sound" scientifically testable social advice as the Koran. v) Equal the Koran on literary merits. vi) Should have God speaking in the first person as the Koran does and then pass the test of inerrancy.
In the face of all the facts that the Koran provides, it is evident that it challenges human intellect and explanation and presents itself as a challenge to traditional religion and skeptical scientists. In the light of this, let us consider this claim that it makes:
If all of humankind and the other intelligent life were to band together to produce the like of this Koran, they would not be able to, even if they backed up each other with help and support (Koran 17:89).
1. Miller, Gary. The Amazing Quran. (Video Recording, transcribed, Sept 1990, Asadi, Muhammed. Lahore, Pakistan).
2. Asadi, Muhammed A. 1992. Koran: A Scientific Analysis. Lahore. Pakistan.
3. Asadi, Muhammed A. 1995. The Message of Qur'an and Islam. Lahore, Pakistan: Ferozsons' Ltd.
4. Asadi, Muhammed A. 2000. The Unifying Theory of Everything: Koran & Nature's Testimony.Writer's Club Press. New York.
5. Koran. Translated from the Arabic-QXP by Shabbir Ahmed
6. Maurice. What is the Origin of Man? 1987. Seghers, Paris.
7. Bucaille, Maurice. The Bible, the Qur'an and Science. 1985. Seghers. Paris.
8. Rehaili. Abdullah. M. This is the Truth. 1995. Riyadh. Saudi Arabia