Sunday, January 17, 2016
Signs, Science & Creature from the Earth
MSA objected to my literal approach to studying the Quran
My Response: Of course, Allah knows best!
I try to understand through whatever little knowledge of science we have, but science itself is in the toddler stage - discovering and learning, and then unlearning to learn better.
From the little we think we know, an organism's genome (complete set of DNA) contains all the information needed to build and maintain that organism. In humans, all cells with a nucleus contain a copy of the entire genome, about 3 billion DNA base pairs. We have come to know that the DNA molecule is a double-helix. We have also come to know that the heart muscle is also a double-helix. Though science has not yet established any connection between the shape of the heart and the shape of the DNA, it has discovered neurons in the heart which communicate with the brain.
Quran and prior scriptures inform us of the huge importance of the heart. The more we discover, the more we begin to understand, the deeper the realisation of how much we do not know. All I know is that the Creator who taught us speech has complete command over language and thus the guidance He has sent us must be literally accurate and lucid. Since the Quran repeatedly exhorts the use of 'aql', I try to make sense of what I read. I may understand this, I may not understand that, but as I try to understand, I continue on this amazing, wondrous journey of fascination with the text of the Quran.
MSA responded: "I try to understand through whatever little knowledge of science we have, but science itself is in the toddler stage - discovering and learning, and then unlearning to learn better."
Agreeing with the above stipulation, I humbly submit that placing science side-by side with the Quran is unfair to the former.
-Science has been existing from time immemorial. It picked up speed only after humans started thinking 'scientifically.' Science took off like a phantom in the late 1700s. If considered the age of science from this angle, it is about 400 years old.
-Science does not claim that what it says about something is final. Science is based on experiments. It conducts them, repeats them, checks and rechecks its findings and when science is relatively confident with them, only then it shares its experiments and findings with us. But when the finding of an experiment is found to be defective or untrue, science reverses itself and continues to experiment to go to the bottom of the matter at hand.
-Despite its young age, science has given us so many things that we can hardly count just in one go. The internet that we have been using for communication is a gift of science. The cell phone, which we use so often is also a gift of science. The instruments that surgeons use to perform surgery on human hearts came from science. The life-saving drugs owe their origin to science.
-Conversely, what the Religious Scriptures tell us is final. No experiment is required, nor any proof is called for, or is ever produced.
Religions cannot reverse what these taught their adherents. One example should suffice here:
-Three major religions of the world tell us that the first two humans were created in heaven, and then pushed to the earth after the couple disobeyed their creator's order. The creation of those two humans cannot be replicated on earth, nor can it be proven with
any testimony or evidence. Just believing in what the Scriptures tell us is the "belief" that their followers must follow without asking questions. The Quran makes believing in the "Unseen" a cardinal belief for all the Muslims.
-Islam is the latest monotheistic religion. To a great extent, it succeeded Judaism and Christianity. Islam is over 1400 years old. If compared with science, Islam is older to it by about 1000 years.
-Despite being around for such a long period of time, we can hardly find any scientific contribution from this religion. It does not mean that Muslims have contributed nothing to the wellbeing of mankind. They have, but it was not due to Islam, as what the Jews, Christians and the followers of other religions have given to humanity was also not due to the their religious beliefs.
-Scientists were curious, asked questions, sought answers and thus their scientific contributions, which we see all around us today, came to their grip in the form of answers to questions they asked of themselves and of others who had answers to them.
-In the world of religions, asking questions is often a taboo. Seeking truth is covertly forbidden. Inquiring into unknown is not generally encouraged, or appreciated. Sharing thoughts that are not religiously sanctioned is frowned up, and often the bearers of such thoughts are scorned, sanctioned, ex-communicated or declared unwanted in the societies they belong to.
Therefore, I strongly believe science and religions cannot be partners in endeavors that many humans undertake to make our lives easier and comfortable. Religions are more interested in the devotions of their followers. Offering Salat five times a day, is one of them.
In short, the life of hereafter for the religionists takes precedence over all things and matters on earth! Science is above this; it places no demands on the beneficiaries of its inventions, nor does it ask for a 'thank you' from the people who get a new life with its help!!
My Response: [Quran 27:82] And when (is) fulfilled the word against them, We will bring forth for them a creature from the earth speaking to them, that the people were, of Our Signs, not certain.
You state that 'Science is above this; it places no demands on the beneficiaries of its inventions, nor does it ask for a 'thank you' from the people who get a new life with its help!!'
The day is not far when Science will demand thanks, and those who did not strengthen their faith will knowledge will be deceived into worshipping the science which would appear to benefit them.
[Quran 36:69,70] And not We taught him [the] poetry, and not it is befitting for him. Not it (is) except a Reminder and a Quran clear, To warn (him) who is alive and may be proved true the Word against the disbelievers.
AP asks: Can you tell me, Samyia, what is the point of your message. What are you trying to proof with the Qur'an verses you sent? thanks