Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Factual Accuracy of the Quran
After a discussion on whether Quran is human or divine in origin:
Okay, let’s leave aside whether this is a book about God by humans, or a book from God about humans.
Let’s discuss the factual accuracy part first. You ask “how we can study something factually, with so many authoritative arguments and divine authority getting in the way?” The authoritative arguments and divine authority are only for those who consider the Quran from God. For all others, its just book giving warnings and glad tidings about a future (hereafter) we cannot know of otherwise. It explains giving many examples and similitudes, and those explanations draw the reader’s attention to much that we can verify for factual accuracy.
For instance, the description of developmental stages of the human embryo has been verified by modern technology such as high-powered microscopes, similarly that the gender of the child is determined by the male sperm, that humans were formed first from clay (check RNA research) and then from ‘despised fluid’. As per modern science findings, and contrary to general religious perception, no where does the Quran state that Adam was the first human. Rather, it makes two statements: (a) creation of Adam and Jesus was similar: I take it to mean that both were created outside the normal human development process, without fathers: that is a matter of faith; however the other statement about humans, which is of interest to me from an evolutionary point of view, is that the Quran poses the question that wasn’t there a period of time over humans when they were unremembered / not mentioned?
If we consider verses mentioning time, it compares one measure of time with another measure of time, the concept of relativity of time has only been accepted by the scientific community for a century or so, whereas the Quran was revealed over fourteen centuries ago. It speaks of a land where the sun is rising and there is no protection from Sun: we now know the in the Antarctic spring, a continent-wide hole forms in the ozone.
Where it foretold the defeat of the Romans, it stated that they will be defeated in the lowest land: we now know that the region of the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth’s surface, in terms of heights measured in sea level, or as wikipedia describes: 'lowest elevation on land'
The Quran also stated that the body of the Pharaoh who drowned chasing Moses has been preserved. It was only in the last century that such a mummy was discovered about which scientists theorise that the cause of death was drowning.
The Quran claims that all creatures form communities like humans, and scientists are discovering more and more evidence for the same.
The Quran mentions many such things which can be verified for factual accuracy through honest, sincere, meticulous study and research.
Once you verify for yourself whether you find this book to be written by humans or sent by someone who really knows everything about everything, then its up to your will and choice whether to accept the theology in it. Willing and loving worship can only be possible once one is sure about their faith and beliefs. The paths may be different, some observe nature and their hearts and minds bear witness to an unseen Creator, some have experiences that just can't be explained as natural, some find scientific evidence, there are so many ways to stumble upon faith. The main purpose is to discover, appreciate and worship God, with gratitude for this gift of life, and hopes for a wonderful future.