Hafsa Ahsan offers a selection of scientific evidences found in the Quran, which prove that science and religion can go hand-in-hand.
There has always been an ongoing debate between science and religion. The characteristic of science to prove objectively with hard core evidence seems to clash with the basis of religion, i.e., faith. However, the Quran is filled with the minutest scientific details which increase the faith of those aware of the latest research. Following are some of the scientific miracles in the Quran.
The orbits in motion
“And He it is Who has created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each in an orbit floating.” (Al-Anbiya 21:33)
At the time, when there were no advanced technologies of telescopes, the Quran revealed the existence of orbits. Today, we know orbits as fixed paths, along which all the planets and satellites travel. Even the Sun travels in an orbit called the Solar Apex. Another verse in the Quran can be translated as: “By the heaven full of paths.” (Adh-Dhariyat, 51:7)
Mountains as pegs
“And We have placed on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with them…” (Al-Anbiya 21:31)
Another verse (Al-Naba 78:7) mentions ‘the mountains as pegs’. Combined with the above verse, this gives us a good idea regarding the function of mountains as pegs. The peg of a tent is used to fix it firmly on the ground. A major portion of the peg is under the ground, while a small part protrudes out. Similarly, mountains also extend under the ground ten to fifteen times their height. These underground parts of mountains are called mountain roots and play a critical role in stabilizing the Earth. If not for them, the plates floating on molten magma in the outer layer of Earth would have been moving rapidly, as the Earth revolves on its orbit. Hence, no life would have been possible on Earth, as no soil could be cultivated, seeds germinated or houses constructed. Mountains, hence, hold the Earth firmly, so that it remains steady.
The two seas, which do not mix
“He has let loose the two seas (the salt and fresh water) meeting together. Between them is a barrier, which none of them can transgress.” (Ar-Rahman 55:19-20)
Modern science has proven that two seas can meet without mixing. An example is that of the Mediterranean Sea with its warm and saline water and the Atlantic Ocean with its fresh and cool water. Where the Mediterranean Sea enters the Atlantic Ocean, it moves into the latter at a depth of a thousand metres. Even with large waves, strong currents, and tides in both, there is an unseen barrier between the two, which they do not cross. Science has attributed this to a phenomenon known as surface tension, whereby waters of different densities repel each other and do not mingle.
“He creates you in the wombs of your mothers: creation after creation in three veils of darkness.” (Az-Zumar 39:6)
It is now known that the above verse refers to the three stages of creation in the development of the embryo in the mother’s womb. The first is the pre-embryonic stage, where the fertilized egg divides into two, and then into four cells and so on. The cells continue to divide, till they form a hollow ball of cells, which is called an embryo. This pre-embryonic stage lasts for two and a half weeks. The embryonic stage, which follows, lasts for five and a half weeks. In this stage, the basic organs and tissues of the embryo begin to develop. The final is the fetal stage, when all the organs have been developed; the embryo is then called a fetus.
The phrase ‘threefold darkness’ is an indication of the three layers around the embryo/fetus: the abdominal wall of the mother, the wall of the uterus and the amnio-chorionic membrane. The latter membrane contains the amniotic fluid, which, among other things, protects the embryo from mechanical injury and allows it to move freely during growth.
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” (Luqman 31:14)
Today, it has been proven that mother’s milk contains a balanced proportion of nutrients and is free from harmful bacteria. Plus, it contains those elements, which help to prevent diseases in a newborn. It is more easily digestible and the baby is less likely to develop milk allergies. Breastfeeding also helps in the emotional development of a baby by inculcating a sense of closeness to the mother. Also, it is custom-made for the baby.
Everything in pairs
“And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember (the Grace of Allah).” (Ad-Dhariyat 51:49)
Every single thing has been created along with its pair. Flowers have their male and female forms in the stamen and ovules, respectively. Plants have a male and female gender, and even the atoms, which conduct electricity, have their pairs – electrons with a negative charge and protons with a positive charge.
The above are only some of the many millions of miracles that we can find in the Quran. Scientific phenomena in the Quran, a book of signs and guidance, have gone a long way in causing many enlightened intellectuals to enter the folds of Islam. The presence of such accurate scientific facts in a book revealed at a time when science was not advanced is proof that the Quran is the word of Allah (swt).