Is Islam Against Science?

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Islam, Islam And Science Values: Education, Knowledge Views: 24908
24908

It is chic nowadays to berate Islam not only as the source of problems faced by Muslims, but also of ALL problems. According to the proponents of this absurdity, Islam must be abandoned and replaced by secular humanism in order for Muslims to survive. A recent posting in an e-forum stated: "Muslims saw the light of science and glory exactly when they were living under liberal and progressive rulers like those Abbasid kings, i.e. when Muslims were away from the Islamic bondage and were allowed to think freely. Likewise, Christian Europe saw the light of science and modernity when they came out of the bondage of orthodox Christianity (through renaissance) and were allowed to think freely. And Muslims lost its science and glory when Muslims entered again in the bondage of religion Islam and lost the power of free thinking."

How accurate are such assertions? Is Islam against science? Is it responsible for the current sad state of affairs prevalent in many Muslim nation-states?

Before answering these questions, let me state at the outset that science, as the totality of human knowledge regarding natural phenomena, is as old as human civilization. However, as an organized body of systematic knowledge, based consciously on certain principles, it is a recent phenomenon. Modern science is based on the assumptions that (i) Nature is a self-contained system and for it to work, the principle of Godhead is not to be invoked (Nietzsche even proclaimed 'God is dead'), and that (ii) natural process exhibits universal laws of uniform behavior.

Without going into a detailed discussion about the philosophy of science and the divergent opinions around its building blocks, the underlying hypothesis of modern science had been the belief in universal causation, viz., the belief that there is a cause and effect relationship. That is certain phenomena are the effect of certain other phenomena that are the causes of the former, and that the same cause produces the same effect.  Philosophers, in general, and philosophers of science, in particular, have been busy explaining the notion of 'cause.'

The Muslim Scripture and Science:

The Quran - is not a book of science, and this, in spite of so many verses that incite people to think, to observe, to rationalize, to use sound mind. Nor is it a book of philosophy. It does not propound the Theory of Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, or other scientific facts that are recently discovered. To look for scientific treatises in the Quran, or indeed in any Scripture, is futile. As rightly pointed out by Professor Shamsi in his lecture at the International Conference on Science in Islamic Polity in Islamabad (1983), Quran is not even a book in the ordinary sense of the word, for it is not meant to be read as one would read al-Bairouni's Qanun al-Masudi or Newton's Principia, nor is it meant to adorn the bookshelves. [1]

The Quran embodies an open talk between man and his creator. It suggests a cause and effect relationship, that a law of requital is at work at every sphere of life, and that he has only to keep it in view if he has to avoid the pitfalls of life, and live in peace with his own self and at peace with his world of external relations. [2] In other words, the Quran's main purpose is to tell us about the relationships between: God and man, man and man, and man and his subconscious. It is a Book that guides us to conduct our lives in this world. Its ideology instills the spirit of humanism into man and protects him from every form of exclusiveness, as is summed up in the directive, 'Believe and act righteously.'   More >>

NGC 281: Cluster, Clouds, and Globules

The Quran provides a basis for the development of philosophy of nature, and thus a perspective to the philosophy of science. It awakens human curiosity and instills a spirit of inquiry in all those who adopt Islam as their way of life (see, e.g., the verses 2:164, 6:99, 10:101, 3:190, 21:22). Deductively, then, the Quran encourages mankind to engage in the pursuit of science. It inculcates a scientific mind-set, plainly indicating that false beliefs must be abandoned if facts and/or valid arguments lead to contrary conclusions. The Quran contrasts the perceptible with the imperceptible, and tells us that mankind's knowledge is limited to the perceptible but God's knowledge extends to what for mankind is imperceptible and as such incomprehensible (see, e.g., the verses 27:65, 59:22 and 36:6). The Quran says very categorically that Allah (God) is the sole cause of whatever has happened in the past or will happen in the future, in the sense that His will is the underlying cause of everything, including the apparent causal worth of the phenomenal things.

Having said that, let me now comment on the statement made in the e-forum. It is true, liberal and progressive Muslim rulers helped to provide an atmosphere for independent thinking, education, research and development that fostered growth and prosperity of their respective societies. But there has never been a schism between Islam and science as we have seen between Christianity and science.

1. Galileo was persecuted by the Papal church for his scientific finding that the earth moves, which was against the commonly held Christian belief that the earth was immovably fixed. The learned Filippo Bruno was burnt at a slow fire by the Inquisition for upholding the Copernican theory of revolution of the earth. Columbus was forced by persecution to recant that the earth was round. Christians destroyed the learning of the ancients in the name of Christ. They murdered many philosophers including Hypatia. Learning, in those days, was for them a devil's snare. These are horrid images of religion. However, religion does not necessarily have to be against independent thinking and pursuit of knowledge. It can be a boon for such activities. From the very first word (Iqra meaning read) revealed to Muhammad to the many Prophetic Traditions, and statements by followers and successors there are sufficient proofs to show that Muslims were encouraged to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.

Here below are some Prophetic Traditions regarding the importance of learning [3]:

  • To seek knowledge is a religious duty for every Muslim man and woman.

  • The best treasure is the pursuit of knowledge, the prayers of worthy men, and the friendship of agreeable brothers. 

  • Knowledge of God is my capital.  Reason is the root of my faith.

  • Knowledge is a treasure house whose keys are queries. 

  • One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his path to Paradise made easy by Allah thereby. 

  • A person who goes (out of his house) in search of knowledge, he is on Allah's way and he remains so till he returns.

  • To seek knowledge for one hour at night is better than keeping it (night) awake.

  • A Muslim is never satiated in his quest for good (knowledge) till it ends in paradise. 

  • A learned person is superior to a worshipper as the full moon is superior to all the stars.  The scholars are heirs of the prophets and the prophets do not leave any inheritance in the shape of dirhams and dinars (wealth), but they do leave knowledge as their legacy.  As such a person who acquires knowledge acquires his full share.

  • A scholar who is asked about something (about the religion) and he conceals it, such a person will be bridled on the Day of Judgment with a bridle of fire

  • The word of wisdom is [like] the lost property of a wise man.  So wherever he finds it, he is entitled to it. 

When the prophetic mission of Muhammad started, there were only a handful of Arabs who could read and write. But within a short period of time, following the Prophetic encouragement, many Arabs became literate. Universal education for men and women thus became the Sacred Law of Islam thirteen centuries before it was adopted by the civilization of the West. [4]  (The educated prisoners of wars from the opposing camp could buy their freedom from imprisonment by educating Muslim children.) The caliphs that followed were all literate men, some even literary men of distinction, who were munificent patrons of education.  The process did not stop there, it continued even during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods and then to those who came later, ending with the Ottomans. Without state sponsorship, Muslim scientists and philosophers probably could not have succeeded to the level they did. To believe otherwise would only reflect one's prejudice or ignorance.

2. Wherever the pursuit of knowledge or education was discouraged, it had more to do with authoritarian regimes than to the ideologies they seemed to espouse or propound. The case of Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks in the early days of the October Revolution and that of China during the Cultural Revolution can be cited as two glaring examples from the last century. In these two (anti-religious) countries, hundreds of thousands of intellectuals were imprisoned and killed, or forced into doing manual labor in factories and fields. Note that these regimes were highly secular who adopted the principle of 'religion being an opiate for the masses.' Organized religion was banned and replaced by secular ideals of Marxism and Leninism. Anyone with a comfortable level of education was considered a villain, an obnoxious bourgeois. So, in this regard, a close resemblance can be seen in the experience of people in (erstwhile) USSR and China with that in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, while the determining factor, i.e., the authoritarian regimes that ruled those territories, was different - Marxist/Leninist and religious Talibans (lit. students, not scholars). What the Taliban did in discouraging education, especially, of the women, is offensive and repugnant to the spirit of Islam and is highly deplorable.

3. In the life of a nation, social or national priorities often shift. There are periods when education takes precedence over defense, and then there are periods when defense is more important than education. In the early days of Islam, e.g., defending the community of believers from the marauding attacks of Makkan idolaters was of highest importance. Yet, the pursuit of knowledge or its encouragement was never abandoned. Within a short period of time, Makkah, Madinah, Kufa, Basra, Damascus (not to mention the conquered cities) became major centers of learning. It was because of such a positive attitude towards education that Islamic civilization was unrivalled for several centuries. The Muslim universities of those days led the world in learning and research where students came from far and beyond.

We see a similar pattern of advancement in many areas of learning (except religious sciences) within the USSR and China shortly after their revolutionary days. The Soviets even outperformed the Brits and Americans in aerospace engineering by being able to send their rockets first into the outer space. And with enough governmental funding and right resources, the US was later able to land the first man on to moon.

4. Although it may seem very strange to many of our so-called rationalist friends, most founders of many disciplines of learning, including modern science, were believing people, i.e., belonged to one religion or another.  Yes, Charles Darwin himself had faith in the supernatural. Contrary to assertions in some 'rationalist' quarters, Abu Rayhan al-Bairouni, who could be called the father of unified field theory,[2] never became a murtad (apostate). The same is also true for Abul Walid Muhammad ibn Rushd al-Qurtubi (popularly known in the West as Averroes) and Bu Ali Sina (Avicenna) and many others.

5. To think that, of all the Muslim rulers who had ruled the Islamic empire in the early centuries, only the Abbasids encouraged independent-thinking and material progress or national and social prosperity is wrong. It is equally wrong to think that the Abbasids had abandoned (or to use the cliche 'bondage of religion') Islam. All the Abbasids (including Caliph al-Mamun) were Muslims, none had abandoned Islam. The development of the science of Kalam, like many other branches of religion, may take a long time to mature (look at how many centuries it took for mainstream Christianity), and it was no different for Islam, either. Among the Muslim scholars of the first few centuries, deliberation was not limited to theology alone, but such discourses encompassed every branch of learning. Islam has proved that faith in God is compatible with independent thinking. [4]   More >>

Truly, reason and insight were never tabooed in Islam. Were it so, all study of the Quranic thought would seem futile, for the Quran openly invites its readers to express reason in their approach to it, and ponder on what it states (see, e.g., the verse 47:24). It is because such an open-ended invitation from the Quran that during the first few centuries of Islamic empire, philosophical discussion became a favorite pastime in many Muslim quarters. (It is even argued that preponderance of such discourses was responsible for the downfall of the last Abbasid monarch when the Mongols invaded Baghdad.)

It is because of such an open embrace of independent-thinking that so many schools of jurisprudence and religious thoughts emerged in Islam and that these days Tafsir-bir-rai (commentary of the Quran, which lets the text to be subservient to one's own personal opinion on any subject) has been pushed forth by zealous followers to explain away more recent scientific discoveries. So, truly the door of independent thinking in Islam was never closed. As is common anywhere in the world, however, sometimes the rulers preferred one set of ideas or views to others. Thus, we find that during Caliph Mamun's time, the Mutazilite thoughts were preferred over more traditional orthodoxy.

Nominally the Abbasid Khilafat of Baghdad lasted for full five hundred years, but for the last three hundred and fifty years of its nominal duration, the real sovereign power had passed on to others - Seljuks, Zanghis, Ayyubis and Fatimids. There was change of rulers, but Islamic civilization remained the same. Indeed it hardly, if at all, deteriorated, and the condition of the common people throughout the Muslim Empire remained superior to that of any other people in the world in education, general liberty, public security and sanitation. Its material prosperity was the envy of the West, whose merchant corporations competed with one another for the privilege of trading with it. No man in the cities of the Muslim Empire ever died of hunger or exposure at his neighbor's gate. [4]

The glory of Islamic civilization did not begin and end with the Abbasid. The Muslim creative power continued beyond the sack of Baghdad by Halagu Khan as can be verified through many brilliant works in arts, science, architecture, engineering and philosophy. The beginning of the process of decline must be sought not within but outside Islam. To quote Professor Alam, "It wasn't Islam that stumbled. Rather, Europe gathered speed and moved ahead, in gunnery and shipping, starting in the sixteenth century. Europe employed its maritime strength to plunder the gold and silver of the Americas, create an Atlantic economy, and dominate the commerce of the Indian Ocean. This deepened Europe's commercial and financial capital, while squeezing the trading profits of the major Islamic empires as well as the smaller trading states in the Indian Ocean. Over time, Europe's military advantage became decisive. And by the beginning of the nineteenth century - in India even before that - Europe started its project of dismantling the Islamic polities in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean." [5]

The Quran, as we submitted above, offered a great impetus to learning, especially in the field of natural science; and if, as some scholars have declared, the inductive method, to which all the practical modern discoveries primarily owe, can be traced to it, then it may be called the foundation of modern scientific and material progress. The Prophet of Islam, to whom the Quran was revealed, was a great patron of learning and so were those Muslims who ruled later the vast territories of Islam.

Islam is neither against science nor against progress. As much as ecclesiastical Christianity cannot be praised for the present material progress of Christendom, Islam cannot be blamed for the current pitiable state of Muslim nation-states. The causes for decline lie elsewhere.

 

References:

  1. F. A. Shamsi, Philosophy of Science in the Perspective of the Quran, presented at the Intl. Conf. on Science in Islamic Polity, Nov. 1983, Islamabad, Pakistan.

  2. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, The Tarjuman al-Quran, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India.

  3. H. Siddiqui, Islamic Wisdom, pub., Barry, Ontario, Canada (2000).

  4. Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, The Cultural Side of Islam, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India (1927).

  5. Prof. M. Shahid Alam, Is There An Islamic Problem? (Pub. www.islamicity.com Article Ref. IN0201-391, dt. 1/4/2002)


Habib Siddiqui

(About the author: Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected])


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society
  Topics: Islam, Islam And Science  Values: Education, Knowledge
Views: 24908

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Older Comments:
ABICAHYO FROM INDONESIA said:
ISLAM, what ever it'is, it's THE TRUTH & THE REAL RELIGION. Because Allah SWT (God they say) will not become human and will not have any child !!!
Allah SWT is the ONE and ONLY ONE.
What ever people said ...
2006-04-17

MUHAMMAD FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
I just believe that along the line Islam lost its way, Islam is blessed with the fact that it encouraged science and the Quran revealed so much science that should have served as a base for a scientific revolution to take place, but only a few early scholars took advantage of it. But down the lane they went the christian way with theories of what is meant to be will be and anything outside the orthodox teacings is venturing too far away from the fundamentals. Part of this I blame on the forms of governments that came when leaders started inheriting kingdoms from their fathers instead of a free and just system of transition that will guarantee fairplay. This unfortunately Islam suffers uptill today. Islam places almost equal emphasis on the pursuit of progress in this world and the pursuit of the hereafter, but our scholars have made it a point to remind us only of the hereafter than anything else, this creates in us a comfort that even if one does not contribute anything in this world 'materially', it is ok as long as you have guaranteed your hereafter by being piuos. Instead muslims today rely on who we call the infidels to feed us, to teach us science, for our health in fact for everything. If there was no oil in the middle east what would have been the fate of the muslim world today? just stop and think. How can we be so blessed and yet be in so much misery? I like what is happening to the muslim world now, it is a wake up call to those who never believed we had enemies and those who continue leaving their fate in the hands of a few individuals that do no have our own good in mind. It is a wake up call to the clerics that preach hate to only America and Israel when the enemies are right their with them feeding them with wealth. Islam is the only religion that accomodates science, this blessing is the greatest thing, because the christians do not have that, that is why they threw away christianity in order to progress scientifically.
2004-11-14

GEORGE FROM UK said:
It would be one of the deepest ironies of history if the 'Blaut thesis' about Aztec and Inca treasure propelling the West's rise to global domination were correct.

The distance from Europe west to the Far East was much too far for the ships available in Columbus's day. However Columbus claimed that the Earth was much smaller than it really was - which made a voyage west to Asia seem plausible.

In the Islamic world on the other hand the true size of the Earth as calculated by Eratosthenes at al was well known, so a similar deception would have been impossible. Thus it is the case that paradoxically, it was the _ignorance_ of Christian Europe which allowed it to dominate the world...
2004-09-26

MUSLIM FROM USA said:
To Shakir Ebrahim,

From what I gather in your response, you have missed the articles whole point. The main purpose of this article is to proove Islamic teachings are not against science, and the author has done a good job in qouting the Qur'an and hadiths were this point is clearly made.

The fact that some scholars interpret the religion in errounous and eschewed ways is not the fault of the religion, nor is Islam to be blamed for the stale of Muslims progress. There are many factors that contributed to this state of digression if one is really interested to know.

It is really frustrating that some Muslims and non-Muslims like to point the finger at Islam as the reason for all that is ill with Muslim countries, yet they do not blame the religions of non Islamic countries that face similar problems.
2003-07-09

MUSLIM FROM USA said:
I hope there will be a series of good articles which features the famous scientists, philosopers and mathematicians in Islamic history such as; Al-Khawarizmi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd etc....
2003-07-09

MUSLIM FROM USA said:
Great article. It is unfortunate when many who have wrong and hostile understanding of Islam, still argue and are offensive when they are presented with the Muslims' proof of Islam's virtues. As Allah said some will never accept the truth, no matter how much you tell them, they are described to be blind, deaf and dumb.

I urge Muslims not to get angry and react badly toward those people, as our religion teaches us to engage them in a calm and respectful way regardless of their provocations.
2003-07-09

SHAKIR EBRAHIM FROM INDIA said:
While Islam is not against science, the preachers of Islam (generally speaking after the Abbasids, except in Islamic Spain) stiffle the use of independent thought which leads to scientific discovery. Unfortunately, this is getting more strident as Muslims nations fall behind the rest of the world. I think the author of this article has not presented Islam of today, but has relied on past exploits of Islamic scholars to prove his case. Where are the Muslim scientists today?
2003-06-10

MARWAH ELIMAM FROM USA said:
How dare you Alain Jean-Mairet say such insulting words?! obviously you have no idea what Islam is since you summarized it to three absolutely wrong points. You make me laugh when you say that Islamic civilization is non-existent. Perhaps you haven't opened your historical textbooks during high school or maybe you just didn't do your homeowork before writing such an ignorant article. Islamic Civilization was the only civilization that didn't fall and still thrives till this day. The Sahabah in the past worked hard to spread a message of truth and peace with strength yet without losing the Mercy of Islam. Nothing is aggressive like someone who doesn't know what they're saying and concludes with such stereotypical facts without supporting them.
2003-06-02

MARWAH ELIMAM FROM USA said:
Without offending anyone, I'd just like to say that it doesn't suprise me to see that the individuals who disagree with this article have no reasoning behind they're disagreement or support to back up they're perspectives. This forum could be looked upon as being "unfair" since many have adequate "knowledge" of Islam and others only see the awful minority that "terrorize" and claim themselves muslims thus claiming it "agressive".
Islam has always supported Science and supported its scholars and scientists to thrive for knowledge whether from the Quran or from they're findings, and thus as a result the muslim world in the past was ahead of Medieval Europe. Many of today's modern Scientists' and Doctors' findings are found to be clearly stated in the Quran. One of these Doctors is Dr. Keith L. Moor, whose book "Developing Human" (which has won the prize for being the best book in the world written by one author) describes the stages the human germ passes through from sperm (described in the Quran as "Nutfah") then Bastinado (in Quran as "Ala'kah") and then Embryo ("Mudhghah") all in Surah Hajj Verse 5 in the Qura. This was all revealed to Prophet Mohamed during a period of ignorance and illetracy. Here are other facts concerning Quran and Science: In 1827 a British scientist by name of Brown has discovered that when the rain reaches the soil it creates shaking & trembling of molecules of soil. The British scientist found that when rains fall on soil the different packed mineral molecules in the soil get shaked and by their different electrical current they get ionized. What Brown, the British scientist has found has been called by his name.
Qur2an said before 14 centuries "And (further) thou seest, the earth barren and lifeless. But when we pour down Rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs)" [22:5] Therefore Quran preceded the modern science in revealing the shaking of soil caused by rain.
2003-05-29

MOHAMMED FROM USA said:
I don't know what others think but the religion Islam is indeed the truth, and nothing else can even get close to giving the knowledge that the Quran can. If you have read the Quran you know that the words aren't made up, no one can come up with such strong remarks as Allah the almighty. How do you think the Bilbe and the other books exist? did it come from a really good poet? no, it all came from Allah. People changed the words so Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (s) the last of all Prophets to correct people and revealed the Quran the last of all his books.
2003-05-26

MARK FROM USA said:
I am not sure what I am being asked to do. Am I being asked to agree or disagree with the articles title "Is Islam against Science?" I would have to say no, Islam itself is certainly not against science, because many of the early contributors to modern medicine were Muslims (Ibn Sinh). But the current practioners of Islam, some of whom seek to impose their will on others, certainly are against science.

On the other hand, the tone of the article seems to imply that Christianity is actually the oppressive religion, because of actions in the past against scientists like Galileo. The practitioners of Christianity at that time were oppresive, and saw science as a threat. Therefore, at that time, indeed, Christianity was against science.

But, if the nature of this article was to argue that Christianity is against science, I must say no. Both can be opressive, both can encourage enlightenment.
2003-05-22

ESTHER FROM USA said:
Fadumo, what are you talking about? And what is up with some of these posts being racist? The knowlege that the muslims gained was because they studied the knowlege of the ancient Greeks. The West has a lot to thank the Greeks for. Rome also took knowlege from the Greeks.
2003-05-21

ASMA FROM LONDON said:
Quran is what science is!everything that the scientists are learning/ inventing is through studying the Holy Quran! scientists know this that they can solve anyscientifical thing that's happening on the earth is from the Holy Quran!
i'm proud that we have the Quran! those who doesn't know nothing about the Quran talks rubbish!
2003-05-21

ESTHER FROM USA said:
Fadumo, what are you talking about? The knowlege that the Muslims got came because they studied the knowlege of the ancient Greeks. Even the West has learned a lot from the ancient Greeks. Rome adopted a lot from the Greeks.
2003-05-20

WILLIAM P. CECIL FROM U.S.A. said:
Islam is fractured amongst millions of local people that have their own answer!

Science can only have one answer regardless of any religion!
2003-05-20

FADUMO FROM USA said:
islam is not against science because they were the ones that were the frist scienctists and god bless us we are the smartest. (alhamdulillah)
2003-05-19

USAMA BUTT FROM UK said:
No certainly not, and as maulana moudodi leader of jama'at-e-islami rightly said that 'the nation who rule the world is the nation who holds 'ijtihad' strongly with them and its not necassarily should be muslims'. Though there are many definitons of ijtihad but generally ijtihad stands for seeking something which is not discussed in qura'n and sunna mainly which was not on that period but i believe looking beyond the orthodox islam and just simply carry on researching like ibn-rushd, bu ali sina, ibn-jarrah, al-baironi as the period of time require's.
And our delimma is only this that we are illeterate we don't know our history, we don't know where we stand and we don't know which direction should we go from here and thats all is because of one reason 'we don't know', lack of knowledge. And its not that we don't have potentials or we are gone far back from euorpeans and americans, simply not true. In the present time there are examples of great muslim scientists, a small example is Dr Qadeer khan and so many other scientists in his team who did the great job all by themselves and without anyone else's involvement.
Its been rightly stated in the article of abbasid, ummayyad and ottomans reasearch in field of science.
I sum up with this that we were world power when our mosques were jamia and we are no body when our mosques are only mosques.
2003-05-19

MOHAMMED FROM INDIA said:
Excellent Article.
2003-05-19

JANET BRADEN FROM USA said:
It is a tragic fate that 'knowledge' was diffused to western Europe and, subsequently to the United States because they are a 'people' who have severely abused this knowledge by going past its limits and using it to destroy the world and its inhabitants.
2003-05-19

JARKA AREFIN FROM USA said:
Islam can not be against Science.
As a muslim I understand our sacred duty to seek for true knowledge and that is our duty also.
As Islam encourages to practice science it can not be in anyway against Science.
2003-05-19

RUSTU AHMED FROM UNITED STATES said:
Christians are the most arrogent ones, not muslims. Nor Jews. It was muslims and jews who made great contributes to science, not christians. they destroyed many of the great scientists in fear that they may find the truth. The truth that their religion was false. But now they blame it on us.
2003-05-17

SA'EED JUNAID FROM NIGERIA said:
ASSALAMU ALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAH WABARAKATUHU,
ALL PRAISES AND ADORATION BELONG TO ALLAH, THE MAKER OF EVERYTHING MADE THEN,NOW AND SOON.I PRAISE HIM,I ADORE HIM AND SEEK HIS GREATEST AND MOST BENEFICIAL BENEDICTIONS ON THE SOUL OF HIS NOBLE PROPHET AND MESSENGER.HIS HOUSEHOLD AND THE GENERALITY OF BELIEVERS TILL THE DAY OF MUTUAL GAIN AND MUTUAL LOSS.
MY COMMENTS ARE SIMPLE IN THAT I SUPPORT THE ARTICLE ON ISLAM AND SCIENCE AS POSTED ON YOUR WEBSITE.AM AN ARDENT FOLLOWER OF EVENTS SINCE MY ISLAMIC AWARENESS AND UNDRESTANDING HAD BEING ON THE RISE.I HAVE REMAINED CURIOUS AND INQUISITIVE ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS CLOSE TO OR FAR FROM ME.
QUR'AN HAS ACTUALLY REMAINED MY ONLY SOURCE OF UNDERSTANDING EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS SUCH AS SURATUL SHAMS VRESE 2 THAT MAKES IT CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT THE MOON WILL ALWAYS FOLLOW THE SUN,SURATUL NABAI AMONGST OTHERS ALSO STATES THE FUNCTION OF THE HILLS,MOUNTAINSAND ROCKS AS BEING TO HOLD THE EARTH AS PEGS.I ALSO GOT TO KNOW THAT THE TIME AND PERIODS ARE ACTUALLY THE END RESULT OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE SUN AND MOON.THE MOON HELPS TO KNOW OUR DAYS AND DATES WHILE THE SUN HELPS TO KNOW THE ACTUAL TIME WE ARE IN THE DAYS.
IT IS ALSO PERTINENT TO MENTION THAT THE QUR'AN STATES CLEARLY THE FUNCTIONS OF THE STARS AS BEING TO BEAUTIFY THE SKY,GUIDE THE TRAVELLER AND TO BURN THE JINNS THAT GOES TO EAVES DROP FROM HEAVEN.
THE PROPHET OF ISLAM(PBUH) ALSO TAUGHT US AMONGST OTHERS A WAY OF GETTING RID OF THE POISON FROM FLIES WHEN HE SAID DEEP THE OTHER WING INTO WHATEVER IT HAD POISONED AND IT WILL NEUTRALISE THE EFFECT.TIME AFTER TIME,THEY HAVE DISCOVERED THE SAME.ALLAH-HU-AKBAR.
THERE ARE MANY MORE TO SAY FOR MANKIND TO KNOW THAT ALLAH IS THE LORD AND ISLAM IS THE WAY.AND SCIENCE WITH TIME WILL CONTINUE TO PROVE THE GREATENESS OF ALLAH AND ISLAM.
NONE WILL UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM OF THE WORDS OF ALLAH IN THE QUR'AN EXCEPT MEN OF UNDERSTANDING.
SURATUL AL-IMRAN VERSE 7.
MAA SALAM.
















2003-05-17

WILLIAM P. CECIL FROM USA said:
Islam is a religion and not a science. How may Nobel awards has Islam won?
2003-05-17

ABDUL RAHIM BIN MOHD YUSOF FROM MALAYSIA said:
In my opinion the problem is that the Muslim rulers whether they are democratic or autocratic are not Muslims in the true Quranic sense.We Muslims are liberal! We have a choice before us right across the whole spectrum that the Almighty Allah has place before us. Islam is science and science is Islam,that can never be anything else.We have not gone far,have we? Insha Allah, if Malaysians carry on the path of advancement that their leaders have set for them,they will carry the torch that will light the Islamic race once again.SubhanAllah! Work hard Muslims and get into the Fold. No more fighting against each other. We are One.
2003-05-16

SIMON-PIERRE BILODEAU FROM CANADA said:
Hi everybody,

The (very interesting) text says that
"the Quran encourages mankind to engage in the pursuit of science. It inculcates a scientific mind-set, plainly indicating that false beliefs must be abandoned if facts and/or valid arguments lead to contrary conclusions."

However, natural sciences brought the scientific community to understand that age of Earth should be estimated in billions of year and also that man comes from primates, not Adam nor Eve.

Per Quran, Earth and mankind were created by God about 6000 years ago.

Since it appears Quran stipulates we should drop false beliefs, shall we drop some parts of the Quran itself? What do we do with such contradiction?

Also, could a cause of the muslim's nations decline be the refusal of dropping such erronated chapters like the one about the Creation?
2003-05-16

NURAINI FROM MALAYSIA said:
it never ceases to amaze me how westerners (and even muslims and easterners) could think that islam impedes scientific thought! i've always thought that islam encourages science and thinking, but at the same time reminds us that man's reason is finite. but with that in mind, we're pretty much left free to discover all we can of this world.
2003-05-16

NAFIS AHMED FROM INDIA said:
the people who say that islam is against science are great liars and know nothing about islam and we shoulnt even try to get involved in a dialogue with these munafiquins. these are people who sell their iman for a green card.
2003-05-16

ALAIN JEAN-MAIRET FROM CH said:
This article is useless. It lacks rigor and honesty, or intelligence. Or both.

What is Islam? A dictionary would propose three levels of interpretations:
1. a religion
2. a people
3. a civilization
You can take bits of all three in order to prove just any point you happen to think is worth the effort. But the real point always is to try and see what is true *now* and what is to be done *now". And it sure is not a good service to do to Muslims to say to them they are great, their religion is great, their civilization is great, just keep up the good work. For Islam is the most aggressive religion of the time. For Muslims are quite often incapable to keep up with the pace of the modern world, let alone inspire it. For the present Islamic civilization is non-existent.

What Islam needs today is incentives toward a brighter future, not a purring apology of its past.
2003-05-16

HAMMAD FROM UAE said:
I enjoyed reading the article, but was surprised that Dr. Siddiqui would use it as a forum to bash the Taliban in Afghanistan without offering any proof for his claims. Yes Western media has for years now denounced the Taliban regime for claims that are provided without evidence. If girls weren't being educated at schools, neither were boys - the schools had been destroyed by the Russians. Ask anyone of knowledge of that environment and they'll tell you that the urban schools were destroyed but the rural ones were continuing as they always had. Nonetheless, I think this is not a good forum to propogate further propoganda against groups we have no knowledge of, besides what the Western media (whose biases should by now be quite obvious) enlightens us to.
2003-05-16

S SIDDIQUI FROM USA said:
It is true that Quran is not a book of science. It is a book of signs, signs from God. Some of these signs definitely point toward science. God has asked us in this book to ponder and learn. There are several aayaat that talk about astronomy, and creation of man. We are definitely encouraged to learn, and we must. We need to confront science if it starts defying morality and the law of God.
2003-05-15

A MUSLIM FROM DOMAIN OF ALLAH said:
Assalamo Alaykum,

Quran is the book which completes way of life for the entire mankind. It connects creation with creator, its about the laws governanace, its about science, it teaches coomerce, its about economics, its about politics, its about war n peace, its about Allah the almighty himself virtually its about everything we need in order to establish peace on earth.

Allah says in the quran close meaning of which "those who ponder over the creation of the heaven and earth and in the alteration of night and day, are the people of understanding. They remember allah while sitting, standing and laying down on their sides and say our lord you have not created heaven and earth without purpose and so on....

Allah through glorious quran inviting mankind think about the universe and recognize him as our lord so that we can obey him and liberate ourselves from the bondage of whims and desires. Mankind free from following whims and desires will work towards the eastablishing the peaceful community on earth.
2003-05-15

ASIF C FROM CANADA said:
Most of the article I agree with, as it makes some very interesting points. A very nice article indeed. There are some things I don't agree with:"It does not propound the Theory of Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, or other scientific facts that are recently discovered. To look for scientific treatises in the Quran, or indeed in any Scripture, is futile." Well first of all there has been many scientific discoveries confirming what is in the Qur'an. Check out www.it-is-truth.org along with many other sites.

Also, I don't think the author used those ahadith and stuff very well to prove that seeking knowledge in the field other than religion was encouraged. Those sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him stress about seeking knowledge of Islam and not science I believe. The first verse as the author says, revealed was "Read" --read what? A science book, nooo the Qur'an. Therefore seeking knowledge of Islam eg.Quran, etc is what was encouraged. Although I don't think there is nothing wrong with seeking that knowledge, as the Quran says nothing against it as well.

One interesting thing that should have been mentioned was how the Romans took over Arab libraries, etc and found out all this stuff and translated a lot of it..that was how the the knowledge came to Europe. I don't know much about it, but i firmly believe it happened as there is a lot more. The Romans were running around believing the earth was flat, while the qur'an specifically stated that the Earth is round and has an orbit (21:33). This idea of the earth being flat with many others was composed into the bible.

Email me: [email protected]
2003-05-14

MICHAEL AHRON FROM U.S.A said:
Amazingly we are at the edge of a great transformation within the 3 major world religious.
Soon the mergence of science and faith in G-d will be made manifest to all. This evolution of
human thinking is slowly working its way into the
mainstream of political and religious ideology.
The end result will be a world better suited to
G-ds will and man's needs.Unfortunately the price
of "growing pains" must be apportioned to both heart and intellect for true "wisdom" to surface.
In the end G-d's will prevails and man is once again an "enlightened being" joined to G-d in heavenly bliss.Regardless,the one "true" truth is that all science and intellectual pursuits are
G-ds will, since we as men of his creation are bound to our DNA sequence. Hence, evolution is
our destiny and G-ds will, our pilot.
Peace&Light Michael
2003-05-13

SAMUEL ABDULLAH FROM U.S.A. said:
In the Name of Allah, The Benificent; The Merciful,Praise be to Allah, The Lord of All the Worlds and His Peace be Upon Muhammad, His Prophet.

Islam is not against science, but it is and most remain against ignorance and human pride. The Muslim is encouraged to prosue kownledge, but it is not for himself but to the glory of Allah and the Brotherhood of Man and the Muslim community, that the Muslim should seek knowledge. Science as religion was made for man and not man for religion or science. When man lives in accordance to Islam or science he should do so with the knowledge that he is living in accordance with his nature. The nature which Allah gave him to the extinct that man fails to live in accordance to his nature, then he fails for live in accordance with Islam. regardless of what his scientific studies maybe.
2003-05-12

DELWAR MIAN FROM USA said:
One of the problems as I see that we Moslems while studying science majority abandon religious studies, and disconnect them with Islam or it's vice versa. My strong opinion is we need to combine both the knowledge so that we become man of understanding and become the leader. For that we need to work together, encourage the Moslems for learning, create funds for learning, reward those are excellent in learning, help those who needs to learn Islamic shariah, and keep it up.


Each community should come up with a priority of educating the members, general special funds for education, higher education in Islamic shariah, its different branches, and let them give anssers to those questions or attacks on Islam from different quarters.

2003-05-12

SEIF SALEH FROM TANZANIA,ZANZIBAR said:
thanks for your favouretytopic,ihave qeastion on this webi need meaning of fundementalist in islam and inwesternize views
2003-05-12

CHARLES JACKS FROM USA said:
The separation between science and religion is only as strong as the strength of the organization of the religion. As a cybernetic system an organized religion will crystallize around some organizing principles. It will violently rebuke any concept at odds with those principles as those concepts come to threaten the "truth" and thereby the viability of the organization. With greater communication and transportation abilities the organization is stronger and therefore more violent in its reaction to "alternative truths". Given the misguiding influences it is easy for an organization to crystallize at odds with The Truth.

Now this existence is for separating the wheat from the chaff and those theologians that will say "this is the only truth" are going to have a hard time with a being that can say "be" and there it is. By prior command the planets follow a course. And that creation is not random is one of God's great blessings. It allows humanity to develop some "domination" over the forces and use them to its own benefit. However the greatest problems are typically NP-complete and/or chaotic preventing humanity from being able to assign direct predictability and cause. Further, the scientific method depends on repeatability and intelligent beings such a Jinn, Angels and The Creator are only repetitive by their choice. For theologians to tell God how to constrain God's actions is the height of arrogance, possibly even a path to Hell.
2003-05-12

HANNA FROM UK said:
I believe that we cannot blame islam for what is happening to the muslim world, and the dire state it is in., But to be positive and for muslims to follow islam as it should be , and then inshallah will the situation for muslims will get better. There is always hope!!
2003-05-12

AHMAD AGBAJE FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
I am here to say my comment that Islam does not support Science because if we look at the beginning,Ai-Quran proves that men were created from clay but there are some scientist that prove it wrong and they even oppose the creation days and they say their owns word these means science against islam not thatIslam against it but if they they get the right things, we support them but almost everything they get was wrong.
2003-05-12

RASHEED AHMAD FROM INDIA said:
islam is not against of science . prophit MOHMMAD said ,if you will have to go China for knowaledge .
you shall go.Becouse at that time Cina was much more develope than anyother country.so Islam is not against of science.
2003-05-12

SYED SHAHABUDDIN FROM INDIA said:
It is an excellent article.To pick up the last sentence of the article that mistake lies somewhere esle,please continue this article with real causes of decline of muslim community in all sphere of knowledge with the possible solution.The decline in advancement in science and technology has led to decline in its defence and security and safegaurd of its political and economic empire.In the last 25 years, muslim world has faced catestrophic loss of its men and material due to conflicts in and around muslim world at the hands of themselves and by the other countries.How can the true religion of God, Islam be against science or scientific knowledge.Infact it is the real source of advancement of knowledge in all spheres.
2003-05-12

RASHEED AS SAMAD FROM AMERICA said:
Born in America and have lived here all of our life,We have learn that some who say they are "Muslim" are not in every day actions and use "Islam" out of convenience or when it is convenient. Every one knows that in the "African American" communities from east cost to west the so-called "Muslims" who own and operate Liqueur stores that sale other filth to the people that live there and go to "Jumah" on fridays. Through out the world it is witnessed that many who say they are "Muslim" operate in manerism that are no different than "Non-Muslims". The "Evil" one loves this foolishnes". No one reading this should not get offended when it is known that this is truth. Allah has shown his mercy with a guide book "Al Quarn". There is no reason to get "Al Islam" confused with the added (Culture,Raceism ect.) things that don't have any thing to do with it (Al Islam). We "Muslims" are suppose to be "One". Once that becomes true we will realize the full "Power and Blesings" of "Al Islam" and not continue to suffer at the hands of the "Disbeliever" and (some) so-called "Believers" who are Compromising with un-Islamic thought and activities for "Money","Position"and "Wealth". Right is right and wrong is wrong. As Salaam u Alaikum
2003-05-11

MICHAEL SHIPMAN FROM USA said:
I find that Islam confirms the theories of science in all aspects. It is not Islam that is astray, but theories fall short of admiting the true Reality of Creation. From an Islamic point of veiw the question is mote. Truth overspeads faslehood
2003-05-11

STEVEN FROM U.S said:
Great reading keep up the good work!
2003-05-10

ZAFAR NAIM FROM U.S.A. said:
The e-mail address ([email protected]) of the author Dr. Habib Siddiqui is not correct. Please send me the correct e-mail address.
Thanks
2003-05-10

L ALAHEM FROM USA said:
Well done and well said. To blame Islam for the state of being in poor Islamic Nations is a simple misdirection designed to shift responsibility for these problems. It is the same old same old. The real reason for these problems is the same as it has always been: Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the leaders of these nations have consolidated their power thru fear, coersion and solidified it by making crimes against their positions seen to be sin. It is no different from the theocratic rule of the Catholic church in Europe, or the early colony of the United States. This is an age old problem, and it has the same solution as it ever has had. Education and participation is the key, not blame and excuses. Those of us who would look down our noses because "it can't happen here", had better look around, because it can, and will unless we wake up and speak up.
2003-05-10

ABDULLAH FROM USA said:
Islam is a complete way of life. The Holy Quraan Is the True Road Map of our ways in this Life!!!
2003-05-10

ANAM FROM USA said:
Thank you Dr. Habib for a wonderful reading. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from reading your article.
2003-05-10

JIM GIFREDA FROM USA said:
The article has some wery interesting points; particularly that Allah (Creator God) is the origin of scientific thinking, cause and effect thinking, etc. I agree. The same could be said of the Bible- it soes not oppose science whatsoever. It is not a scientific text as the author has also recognized of the Quran.

It is unfortunate that the author asserts that Christianity is at odds with science, because it assumes that Christianity is made up of the most populous Christian groups, namely the Roman Catholics. In fact, Christianity cannot be judged by a group that contradicts and denies some of its own scriptures as the Catholic church does- just as Muslims should not be judged on the basis of one or another self proclaimed adherents to the faith.

Instead, the Bible should be the basis of criticism and opinions in this regard, and it should stand or fall on its merit, not its adherents "religions" or superstitions or narrow-mindedness. In the same way if the Quran is truly God's conversations with man it should be judged on its own merit, not those who claim to adhere to it but may in fact pervert it.

I feel strongly that there is more complementary teaching in the Quran and Bible than most would care to admit. (Obviously there are significant differences as well.) I encourage men and women of both books (and the Jews as well) to read each others literature carefully with objective scrutiny instead of simply taking the stance of the "party line". True "submission to Allah" means listening to what He has to say whether even if it contradicts our contemporaries.
2003-05-10

WARSPITE FROM USA said:
Excellent piece thank you very much for posting it. I believe that Islam led the World for generations in all the Sciences because, not in spite of, the progressive intellectual character of the faith. It was not by accident that the great centers of learning were inside the Islamic
Ummaa-it is impossible to read the Quran without being inspired into inquiry-Allah created human beings to explore his world so as better to understand and serve him. As it was in the glory days of the Caliphs, so it is today in the culture, inside the Islamic mind. The only area of Science that the Islamic World did NOT lead the world was Military Science. This is because of the inherently moral and peaceful nature of Islam as a moral code and a way of life. It is a rather sad observation that this is seen by some as a "deficiency"-the general, longstanding unwillingness to study and incorporate technology for war into Muslim Societies and cultures-it is not a "deficiency" at all, but a great strength. I praise Allah that it is so. All believers who follow the laws of God should trust in His guidence and not invest in organized mass murder. Modern war is the ultimate offense to Him. I would be very surprised to find a single Muslim-ot of the more than 1 Billion on Earth-who would disagree with me. Thank you for listening.
2003-05-10

LOUBNA NASSER FROM U.S. said:
THE ULTIMATE TRUTH IS MENTIONED IN THE QURAN FOR THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE OF THE QURAN. MUSLIMS ARE TO BE BLAMED FOR THEIR MISUNDERSTANDING OF THEIR RELEGION. THE ONLY OCASSION THAT THEY READ OR LISTEN TO THE QURAN IS WHEN SOMEONE DIES. IT IS ONLY A TRADITION TOWARDS DEAD PEOPLE.
2003-05-10

MOHAMMAD JAWED UMER FROM PAKISTAN said:
As-Salaamun-Alaikum
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I hope these comments will find all of my felow Muslims in Good health. I am fine, alhamdilillah.
I enjoyed the entire article except a comment made about Taliban of Afghanistan. I urge the writer he must have direct knowledge as to the circumstances in which Talibans came to existance and the problems which they faced throughout the entirity of their Rule. There have been many things said about them in the Western Media. We all know all too well how hoenst and how biased Westerm Media has been when anyone or anything that doesnot serve them. Just like what is said about Islam in the West, as to how Islam spread at point of Sword. I do not remember the name of the author but a book named, "Islam at the Crossroads" it is said that the accusation put up by the West that Islam spread through the Sword is one of the most Fantastic Lie ever created by the West. Today Afghanistan is back to the same violence which was the reason for the Taliban to rise-up. With all the coalition forces their they cannot give safety to any Afghany outside Kabul. Heroine trade is back gain with full force. One man, Mullah Umer, when he made a decree that there will be no more poppy grown and no more trade of Heroine will take place, instantly in the 90% controlled areas of Taliban, Heroine trade came to a halt. Even America had welcomed this decision taken by the Afghan Leader. I would ask my dear Muslim Brother Writer that please verify what was the condition of Afghanistan before Taliban rule, e.g., how the women were treated? and verify how realy Taliban ruled after they came into power with the resources available to them and the circumstance they faced after waring of more than twenty years. Thank you and Allah-hafiz
2003-05-10

SARA FROM EGYPT said:
I was very moved by the last paragraph - so simply put and so well.
2003-05-10

MAULA JUTT FROM PAKISTAN said:
it's truly an eye opener .
2003-05-10