Monday, 13 February 2012


Ever since the dawn of human life on this planet, Man has always tried to understand Nature, his own place in the scheme of Creation and the purpose of Life itself. In this quest for Truth, spanning many centuries and diverse civilizations, organized religion has shaped human life and, to a large extent, has determined the course of history. While some religions have been based on written text, claimed by their followers to be divinely inspired, others have relied solely on human experience. Al-Qur’an, the main source of the Islamic faith, is a book believed by its followers, the Muslims, to be completely of Divine origin. Muslims also believe that it contains guidance for all humankind. Since the message of the Qur’an is believed to be for all times, it should be relevant to every age. But does the Qur’an pass this test? In this booklet, I intend to give an objective analysis of the Muslim belief regarding the Divine origin of the Qur’an, particularly in the light of established scientific discoveries. There was a time, in the history of world civilization, when ‘miracles’, or what were perceived to be miracles, took precedence over human reason and logic. Of course, the normal defination of ‘miracle’ is simply, anything that takes place out of the normal course of life and for which humankind has no explanation. However, we must be careful before accepting something as a miracle. In 1993, ‘The Times of India’, Mumbai, reported that ‘a saint’ by the name ‘Baba Pilot’ claimed to have stayed continuously submerged under water in a tank for three consecutive days and nights. However, when reporters wanted to examine the bottom of the tank of water in which he claimed to have performed his ‘miraculous feat’, he refused to let them do so. He argued by asking as to how one could examine the womb of a mother that gives birth to a child. Obviously the ‘saint’ had something to conceal! His claim was a gimmick simply to gain publicity. Surely, no modern person with even the slightest inkling towards rational thinking would accept such a ‘miracle’. If such false miracles are the tests of divinity, then we would have to accept all world famous magicians known for their ingenious magical tricks and illusions, as genuine God-men! A book, claiming to be of Divine origin, is in effect, claiming to be a miracle. Such a claim should be easily verifiable in any age, according to the standards of that age. Muslims believe, that the Qur’an is the last and final revelation of God, the miracle of miracles, revealed as a mercy to mankind. Let us therefore investigate the veracity of this belief.


Literature and poetry have been instruments of human expression and creativity, in all cultures. The world also witnessed an age when literature and poetry occupied pride of position, similar to that now enjoyed by science and technology.

Even non-Muslim scholars agree that the Qur’an is Arabic literature par excellence – that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth. The Qur’an challenges mankind to produce the likes of it:

002.023► وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

002.024► فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَلَنْ تَفْعَلُوا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ

“And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers(if there are any) besides Allah,if your (doubts) are true.“But if ye cannot –and of a surety you cannot –then fear the Fire which is prepared for those who reject Faith.” [Al-Qur’an-Surah Al-Baqara 2:23-24]

The challenge of the Qur’an, is to produce a single Surah (chapter) like the Surahs it contains. The same challenge is repeated in the Qur’an several times. The challenge to produce a Surah, which, in beauty, eloquence, depth and meaning is at least somewhat similar to a Qur’anic Surah remains unmet to this day.

A modern rational man, however, would never accept a religious scripture which says, in the best possible poetic language, that the world is flat. This is because we live in an age, where human reason, logic and science are given primacy. Not many would accept the Qur’an’s extraordinarily beautiful language, as proof of its Divine origin. Any scripture claiming to be a divine revelation must also be acceptable on the strength of its own reason and logic.

According to the famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein, “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” Let us therefore study the Qur’an, and analyze whether the Qur’an and Modern Science are compatible or incompatible?

The Qur’an is not a book of Science but a book of ‘Signs’, i.e. Aayaats. There are more than six thousand ‘Signs’ in the Qur’an of which more than a thousand deal with hard core Science.

We all know that many a times Science takes a ‘U-turn’. In this book I have considered only established scientific facts and not hypotheses and theories based on mere assumptions and not backed by proof.

1 Al-Qur’an 2:23-24 indicates Surah or Chapter No. 2 and Aayaat or Verses 23 and 24. The same notation is followed throughout this book. References and translation of the Qur’an are from the translation of the Qur’an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, new revised edition, 1989, published by Amana Corporation, Maryland, USA.

The sun rotates

The sun rotates

For a long time European philosophers and scientists believed that the earth stood still in the centre of the universe and every other body including the sun moved around it. In the West, this geocentric concept of the universe was prevalent right from the time of Ptolemy in the second century B.C. In 1512, Nicholas Copernicus put forward his Heliocentric Theory of Planetary Motion, which asserted that the sun is motionless at the centre of the solar system with the planets revolving around it.

In 1609, the German scientist Yohannus Keppler published the ‘Astronomia Nova’. In this he concluded that not only do the planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun, they also rotate upon their axes at irregular speeds. With this knowledge it became possible for European scientists to explain correctly many of the mechanisms of the solar system, including the sequence of night and day.

After these discoveries, it was thought that the Sun was stationary and did not rotate about its axis like the Earth. I remember having studied this fallacy from Geography books during my school days.

Consider the following Qur’anic verse:

21:33 ►“ وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ “

“It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: All (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.” [Al-Qur’an- Surah Al-Anbiya 21:33]

The Arabic word used in the above verse is yasbahoon . This word is derived from the word sabaha. It carries with it the idea of motion that comes from any moving body. If you use this word for a person on the ground, it would not mean that he is rolling but would imply that he is walking or

running. If you use this word for a person in water, it would not mean that he is floating but would imply that he is swimming.

Similarly, if you use the word yasbah for a celestial body such as the sun, it would not only mean that it is flying through space but would also mean that it is rotating as it goes through space. Most school textbooks have now incorporated the fact that the sun rotates about its axis. The rotation of the sun about its own axis can be proved with the help of an equipment that projects the image of the sun on the top of a table, so that one can examine the image of the sun without being blinded. It is noticed that the sun has spots which complete a circular motion once every 25 days i.e. the sun takes approximately 25 days to rotate round its axis.

The sun travels through space at roughly 240 km per second, and takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy.

36:40 ►“ لا الشَّمْسُ يَنْبَغِي لَهَا أَنْ تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ “

“It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).” [Al-Qur’an –Surah Ya-Seen 36:40]

This verse mentions an essential fact discovered only recently by modern astronomy, i.e. the existence of the individual orbits of the Sun and the Moon, and their journey through space with their own motion.

The ‘fixed place’ towards which the sun travels, carrying with it the solar system, has been located preirsely by modern astronomy. It has been given a name, the Solar Apex. The solar system is indeed moving in space towards a point situated in the constellation of Hercules (alpha Lyrae) whose exact location is now firmly established.

The moon rotates around its axis in the same duration that it takes to revolve around the earth. It takes approximately 29½ days to complete one rotation.

One cannot help but be amazed at the scientific accuracy of the Qur’anic verses. Should we not ponder over the question: “What is the source of knowledge contained in the Qur’an?”

The Heavens & Earth

Creation of the heavens & Earth

The Qur’an contains a great many verses concerning the creation of the Earth, the heavens and what lies between:

015.085وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلا بِالْحَقِّ وَإِنَّ السَّاعَةَ لآتِيَةٌ فَاصْفَحِ الصَّفْحَ الْجَمِيلَ

We did not create the heavens and Earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming, so turn away graciously. (Qur’an, Al-Hijr- 15:85)

Moreover Allah says in Al-Quran-

020.006► لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى

Everything in the heavens and everything on the Earth and everything in between them and everything under the ground belongs to Him. (Qur’an, Ta Ha-20:6)

021.016► وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالأرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لاعِبِينَ

We did not create heaven and Earth and everything in between them as a game. (Qur’an, Al-Anbiya -21:16)

Scientists state that first of all, a mass of hot gas increased in density. This mass later divided into smaller parts to form galactic matter and later still, the stars and planets. To put it another way, the Earth along with stars around it, are all parts which separated from a united body of gas. Some of these parts brought the suns and planets into being, thus leading to the emergence of the many Solar Systems and galaxies. As we have set out in earlier sections of this book, the universe was first in a state of “ratq” (fusion: combined together, united) and then became “fataqa” (divided into parts). The emergence of the universe is described with the most suitable words in the Qur’an, in such a way as to confirm the scientific accounts.7

On the occasion of every division, a few particles remained outside the new, fundamental bodies forming in space. The scientific name for these extra particles is “interstellar galactic material.” Interstellar matter consists of 60% of hydrogen, 38% of helium and 2% of all other elements. Of the interstellar matter, 99% consists of interstellar gas and 1% of interstellar dust, which probably consists of heavy elements in small particles of 0.0001 to 0.001 mm in diameter.8 Scientists regard these substances as very important from the point of view of astrophysical measurements. These substances are so fine as to be capable of being regarded as dust, smoke or gas. However, when one considers these substances as a whole, they represent a larger mass than the total of all the galaxies in space. Although the existence of this interstellar galactic matter was only discovered in 1920, attention was drawn to the existence of these particles, described as “maa baynahuma”-translated as “everything between them”-hundreds of years ago in the Qur’an.

Sun’s trajectory

Sun’s trajectory

It is stressed in the Qur’an that the Sun and Moon follow specific trajectories:

021.033► وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

It is He Who created night and day and the Sun and Moon, each one swimming in a sphere. (Qur’an, Al-Anbiya -21:33)

The word “swim” in the above verse is expressed in Arabic by the word “sabaha” and is used to describe the movement of the Sun in space. The word means that the Sun does not move randomly through space but that it rotates around its axis and follows a course as it does so. The fact that the Sun is not fixed in position but rather follows a specific trajectory is also stated in another verse:

036.038► وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

And the Sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Qur’an, Ya-Seen- 36:38)

These facts set out in the Qur’an were only discovered by means of astronomical advances in our own time. According to astronomers’ calculations, the Sun moves along a path known as the Solar Apex in the path of the star Vega at an incredible speed of 720,000 kmph (447,000 mph). In rough terms, this shows that the Sun traverses some 17.28 million km (10.74 million miles) a day. As well as the Sun itself, all the planets and satellites within its gravitational field also travel

Sun will be extinct

Sun will be extinct

The light of the sun is due to a chemical process on its surface that has been taking place continuously for the past five billion years. It will come to an end at some point of time in the future, when the sun will be totally extinguished, leading to extinction of all life on earth. Regarding the impermanence of the sun’s existence, the Qur’an says:

36:38 ►“ وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ “

“And the Sun runs its course for a period determined for it; that is the decree of (Him) the exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.” [Al-Qur’an –Surah Ya-Seen- 36:38]1

The Arabic word used here is mustaqarr, which means a place or time that is determined. Thus the Qur’an says that the sun runs towards a determined place, and will do so only up to a pre-determined period of time – meaning that it will end or extinguish.

Structural difference

Structural difference

078.012► وَبَنَيْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ سَبْعًا شِدَادًا

078.013► وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَاجًا وَهَّاجًا

We built seven firm layers above you. We installed a blazing lamp. (Qur’an, An-Naba 78:12-13)

As we know, the only source of light in the Solar System is the Sun. With advances in technology, astronomers discovered that the Moon was not a source of light but that it merely reflects the light reaching it from the Sun. The expression “lamp” in the above verse is a translation of the Arabic word “siraaj,” which most perfectly describes the Sun, the source of light and heat.

In the Qur’an Allah employs different words when referring to such celestial bodies as the Moon, the Sun and the stars. This is how the differences between the structures of the Sun and Moon are expressed in the Qur’an:

071.015► أَلَمْ تَرَوْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا

071.016► وَجَعَلَ الْقَمَرَ فِيهِنَّ نُورًا وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجًا

Don’t you see how He created seven heavens in layers, and placed the Moon as a light in them and made the sun a blazing lamp? (Qur’an, Nooh -71:15-16)

In the above verse, the word “light” is used for the Moon (“noor” in Arabic) and the word “lamp” for the Sun (“siraaj” in Arabic.) The word used for the Moon refers to a light-reflecting, bright, motionless body. The word used for the Sun refers to a celestial body which is always burning, a constant source of heat and light.

On the other hand, the word “star” comes from the Arabic root “najama,” meaning “appearing, emerging, visible.” As in the verse below, stars are also referred to by the word “thaaqib,” which is used for that which shines and pierces the darkness with light: self-consuming and burning:

086.003► النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ

It is the star that pierces through darkness! (Qur’an, At-Tariq- 86:3)

We now know that the Moon does not emit its own light but reflects that reaching it from the Sun. We also know that the Sun and stars do emit their own light. These facts were revealed in the Qur’an in an age when mankind simply did not have the means to make scientific discoveries of their own accord. It was an age when peoples’ knowledge of celestial bodies was severely restricted, to say the least. This further emphasises the miraculous nature of the book of Islam.

Perfect equilibrium

Perfect equilibrium

067.003► الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا مَا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ فُطُورٍ

067.004► ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنْقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ

He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any discrepancy in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Qur’an, Al-Mulk -67:3-4)

The billions of stars and galaxies in the universe move in perfect equilibrium in the paths set out for them. Stars, planets and satellites rotate not only around their own axes but also together with the systems of which they are an integral part. Sometimes, galaxies containing 200-300 billion stars move across each others’ paths. Yet amazingly, no collisions take place that might damage the great order in the universe. This miracle is something over which all of us should reflect.

In the universe, the concept of speed assumes giant dimensions when compared to earthly measurements. Stars, planets, galaxies and conglomerations of galaxies-whose numerical properties can only be conceived by mathematicians-weigh billions or trillions of tons, and move through space at extraordinary speeds.

For example, the Earth rotates at 1,670 kmph (1,038 mph). If we consider that the fastest-moving bullet today possesses an average speed of 1,800 kmph, we can see how fast the Earth is moving, despite its enormous size and mass.

The speed of the Earth as it orbits the Sun is some 60 times faster than a bullet: 108,000 kmph. If we were able to construct a vehicle capable of moving at that speed, it would be able to circumnavigate the Earth in 22 minutes. These figures apply only to the Earth.

Those for the Solar System are even more fascinating. The speed of that system is such as to exceed the bounds of reason: The larger the systems in the universe, the greater their speed. The Solar System’s speed of orbit around the centre of the galaxy is 720,000 kmph. The Milky Way, with its 200 billion or so stars, moves through space at 950,000 kmph.

There is no doubt that there is a very high risk of collisions in such a complicated and fast-moving system. Yet nothing of the sort actually happens and we continue with our lives in complete safety. That is because everything in the universe functions according to the flawless equilibrium set out by Allah. It is for this reason that, as stated in the verse, there is no “discrepancy” in the system.

Orbital Universe

Orbital Universe

One of the most important reasons for the great equilibrium in the universe is the fact that celestial bodies follow specific paths. Stars, planets and satellites all rotate around their own axes and also rotate together with the system of which they are a part. The universe functions within a finely-tuned order, just like the wheels in a factory.

There are more than 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe and each small galaxy contains approximately a billion stars. Furthermore, each big galaxy contains more than a trillion.17 Many of these stars have planets and many of those planets have satellites. All these celestial bodies follow the most finely calculated paths and orbits. For millions of years, each one has been moving in its own path in flawless harmony with all the others. In addition to these, there are also a great many comets moving along in their own pre-determined paths.

In addition, the paths in the universe are not restricted to a few celestial bodies. The Solar System and even other galaxies also exhibit considerable motion around other centres. Every year, Earth, and the Solar System with it, move some 500 million km (310 million miles) from where they were the previous year. It has been calculated that even the slightest deviation from celestial bodies’ paths could have drastic consequences which might spell the end of the entire system. For example, the consequences of the Earth’s deviating from its course by a mere 3 mm have been described in one source as follows:

While rotating around the sun, the earth follows such an orbit that, every 18 miles, it only deviates 2.8 millimetres from a direct course. The orbit followed by the earth never changes, because even a deviation of 3 millimetres would cause catastrophic disasters: If the deviation were 2.5 mm instead of 2.8 mm, then the orbit would be very large, and all of us would freeze. If the deviation were 3.1 mm, we would be scorched to death.

Another characteristic of heavenly bodies is that they also rotate around their own axes. The verse which reads

086.011► وَالسَّمَاءِ ذَاتِ الرَّجْعِ

“[I swear] by Heaven with its cyclical systems,” (Qur’an, At-Tariq -86:11)

indicates this truth. Naturally, at the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people had no telescopes with which to study bodies millions of kilometres away in space, advanced observation technology or our modern knowledge of physics and astronomy. It was therefore impossible to establish that space had “its oscillating orbits,” (Qur’an, 51:7) as described in the verse. The Qur’an however, revealed at that time, provided clear information concerning that fact. This is proof that this book is indeed Allah’s word.

Mooon’s orbit

Mooon’s orbit

036.039► وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ

036.040► لا الشَّمْسُ يَنْبَغِي لَهَا أَنْ تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

And We have decreed set phases for the Moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. It is not for the Sun to overtake the Moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Qur’an, Ya-Seen- 36:39-40)

The Moon does not follow a regular orbit like the satellites of other planets. As it orbits the Earth, it sometimes moves behind it and sometimes in front. As it also moves with the Earth around the Sun, it actually follows a constant pattern resembling the letter “S” in space. This route, traced by the Moon in space, is described in the Qur’an as resembling an old date branch and does indeed resemble the twisted form of the date tree branch. Indeed, the word “urjoon” employed in the Qur’an refers to a thin and twisted date branch and is used to describe that part left after the fruit has been picked. The way that this branch is described as “old” is also most appropriate since old date branches are thinner and more twisted.

There is no doubt that it was impossible for anyone to have any knowledge about the orbit of the Moon 1,400 years ago. The way that this pattern, identified by modern technology and accumulated knowledge, was revealed in the Book is yet another scientific miracle of the Qur’an.

Fine tuning universe

Fine tuning universe

067.003► الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا مَا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ فُطُورٍ

067.004► ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنْقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ

He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Qur’an, 67:3-4)

071.015► أَلَمْ تَرَوْا كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا

Don’t you see how He created seven heavens in layers? (Qur’an, Nooh -71:15)

Moreover its mention in Quran

025.002► الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا

He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Qur’an, Al-Furqan -25:2)

Materialist philosophy emerged with the claim that all the systems in nature and the universe were like machines that functioned on their own, that the flawless order and balance within them were the work of chance. However, today, the false nature of materialism and of Darwinism, its so-called scientific foundation, has been scientifically demonstrated. (See Harun Yahya, The Evolution Deceit, 8th ed., Ta-Ha Publishers, 2004 and Darwinism Refuted, Goodword Books, 2003.)

The scientific discoveries of the 20th century that followed swiftly, one after the other, in the fields of astrophysics and biology have proved that life and the universe were created. As the theses of Darwinism collapsed, the Big Bang theory has shown that the universe was created from nothing. Discoveries have revealed that there is a great design and fine-tuning in the material world and this has categorically demonstrated the groundless nature of the claims of materialism.

Considering the conditions necessary for life, we see that only the Earth meets these particular conditions. For an environment suitable for life, there are innumerable conditions taking place simultaneously and unceasingly all around us. There are some hundred billion galaxies, each with-on average-a hundred billion stars. In all the galaxies, there are perhaps as many planets as stars.9 In the face of such overpowering numbers, one can better comprehend the significance of the formation of such an exceptional environment on the Earth.

From the force of the Big Bang explosion to the physical values of atoms, from the levels of the four basic forces to the chemical processes in the stars, from the type of light emitted by the Sun to the level of viscosity of water, from the distance of the Moon to the Earth to the level of gases in the atmosphere, from the Earth’s distance from the Sun to its angle of tilt to its orbit, and from the speed at which the Earth revolves around its own axis to the functions of the oceans and mountains on the Earth: every single detail is ideally suited to our lives. Today, the world of science describes these features by means of the concepts of the “Anthropic Principle” and “Fine-Tuning.” These concepts summarise the way that the universe is not an aimless, uncontrolled, chance collection of matter but that it has a purpose directed towards human life and has been designed with the greatest precision.

Attention is drawn in the above verses to the measure and harmony in Allah’s creation. The word “taqdeer,” meaning “to design, measure, create by measuring,” is employed in Qur’anic verses such as Surat al-Furqan 2. The word “tibaaq,” meaning “in harmony,” is used in Surat al-Mulk 3 and Surah Nuh 15. Furthermore, Allah also reveals in Surat al-Mulk with the word “tafaawut,” meaning “disagreement, violation, non-conformity, disorder, opposite,” that those who seek disharmony will fail to find it.

The term “fine-tuning,” which began to be used towards the end of the 20th century, represents this truth revealed in the verses. Over the last quarter-century or so, a great many scientists, intellectuals and writers have shown that the universe is not a collection of coincidences. On the contrary, it has an extraordinary design and order ideally suited to human life in its every detail. (See Harun Yahya, The Creation of the Universe, Al-Attique Publishers, November 2002 and A Chain of Miracles, Global Publishing, May 2004.) Many features in the universe clearly show that the universe has been specially designed to support life. The physicist Dr. Karl Giberson expresses this fact thus:

In the 1960s, some physicists observed that our universe appears to have been fine-tuned for the existence of human life.10

The British astrophysicist Professor George F. Ellis refers to this fine-tuning in these terms:

Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word “miraculous” without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.

The Speed of the Big Bang Explosion:

The balances established with the Big Bang, the instantaneous formation of the universe, are one of the proofs that the universe did not come into being by chance. According to the well-known Adelaide University professor of mathematical physics Paul Davies, if the rate of expansion that took place following the Big Bang had been just one in a billion billion parts different (1/1018), the universe could not have come into being. 12 In his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking recognises this extraordinary precision in the universe’s rate of expansion:

If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.

The Four Forces:

All physical motion in the universe comes about thanks to the interaction and equilibrium of the four forces recognised by modern physics: gravity, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force. These forces possess extraordinarily different values to one another. Michael Denton, the famous molecular biologist, describes the extraordinary equilibrium among these forces thus:

If, for example, the gravitational force was a trillion times stronger, then the universe would be far smaller and its life history far shorter. An average star would have a mass a trillion times less than the sun and a life span of about one year. On the other hand, if gravity had been less powerful, no stars or galaxies would have ever formed. The other relationships and values are no less critical. If the strong force had been just slightly weaker, the only element that would be stable would be hydrogen. No other atoms could exist. If it had been slightly stronger in relation to electromagnetism, then an atomic nucleus consisting of only two protons would be a stable feature of the universe-which would mean there would be no hydrogen, and if any stars or galaxies evolved, they would be very different from the way they are. Clearly, if these various forces and constants did not have precisely the values they do, there would be no stars, no supernovae, no planets, no atoms, no life.

The Distances between Celestial Bodies:

The distribution of celestial bodies in space and the enormous spaces between them are essential to the existence of life on Earth. The distances between celestial bodies have been set out in a calculation compatible with a great many powerful universal forces in such a way as to support life on Earth. In his book Nature’s Destiny Michael Denton describes the distance between supernovae and stars:

The distances between supernovae and indeed between all stars is critical for other reasons. The distance between stars in our galaxy is about 30 million miles. If this distance was much less, planetary orbits would be destabilized. If it was much more, then the debris thrown out by a supernova would be so diffusely distributed that planetary systems like our own would in all probability never form. If the cosmos is to be a home for life, then the flickering of the supernovae must occur at a very precise rate and the average distance between them, and indeed between all stars, must be very close to the actual observed figure.


- If gravity were stronger, excessive ammonia and methane would collect in the Earth’s atmosphere, which would have a most damaging effect on life.

- If it were weaker, the Earth’s atmosphere would lose excessive quantities of water, making life impossible.

The Earth’s Distance from the Sun:

- If this were any greater, the planet would grow very cold, the water cycle in the atmosphere would be affected, and the planet would enter an ice-age.

- If the Earth were any closer to the Sun, plants would burn up, the water cycle in the Earth’s atmosphere would be irreparably damaged, and life would become impossible.

The Thickness of the Earth’s Crust:

- If the crust were any thicker, then an excessive amount of oxygen would be transferred to it from the atmosphere.

- If it were any thinner, the resulting amount of volcanic activity would make life impossible.

The Speed at which the Earth Revolves:

- If this were any slower, the temperature difference between day and night would grow enormously.

- If it were any faster, then atmospheric winds would reach enormous speeds, and cyclones and storms would make life impossible.

The Earth’s Magnetic Field:

- If this were any more powerful, very strong electromagnetic storms would arise.

- If it were any weaker, then the Earth would lose its protection against the harmful particles given off by the Sun and known as solar winds. Both situations would make life impossible.

The Albedo Effect (The Fraction of Light Reflected by the Earth):

- If this were any greater, an ice-age would rapidly result.

- If it were any less, the greenhouse effect would lead to excessive warming. The Earth would first be flooded with the melting of the glaciers, and would then burn up.

The Proportion of Oxygen and Nitrogen in the Atmosphere:

- If this were any greater, vital functions would be adversely accelerated.

- If it were any less, vital functions would adversely slow down.

The Proportion of Carbon Dioxide and Water in the Atmosphere:

- If this were any greater, the atmosphere would overheat.

- If it were any less, the temperature of the atmosphere would fall.

The Thickness of the Ozone Layer:

- If this were any greater, the Earth’s temperature would fall enormously.

- If it were any less, the Earth would overheat and be defenceless against the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the Sun.

Seismic Activity (Earthquakes):

- If this were any greater, there would be constant upheaval for living things.

- If it were any less, the nutrients at the sea bottom would fail to spread into the water. This would have a damaging effect on life in the seas and oceans and all living things on Earth.

The Earth’s Angle of Tilt:

The Earth has a 23 degree angle of inclination to its orbit. It is this inclination that gives rise to the seasons. If this angle were any greater or any less than it is now, the temperature difference between the seasons would reach extreme dimensions, with unbearably hot summers and bitterly cold winters.

The Size of the Sun:

A smaller star than the Sun would mean the Earth would freeze and a larger star would lead to its burning up.

The Attraction between the Earth and the Moon:

- If this were any greater, the powerful attraction of the Moon would have extremely serious effects on atmospheric conditions, the speed at which the Earth revolves around its own axis and on the ocean tides.

- If it were any less, this would lead to extreme climate changes.

The Distance between the Earth and the Moon:

- If they were just a little closer, the Moon would crash into the Earth.

- If they were any further, the Moon would become lost in space.

- If they were even a little closer, the Moon’s effect on the Earth’s tides would reach dangerous dimensions. Ocean waves would inundate low-lying areas. The friction emerging as a result of this would raise the temperature of the oceans and the sensitive temperature balance essential to life on Earth would disappear.

- If they were even a little further away, the tides would decrease, leading the oceans to be less mobile. Immobile water would endanger life in the seas, and the level of the oxygen we breathe would be endangered.

The Temperature of the Earth and Carbon-Based Life:

The existence of carbon, the basis of all life, depends on the temperature remaining within specific limits. Carbon is an essential substance for organic molecules such as amino-acid, nucleic acid and protein: These constitute the basis of life. For that reason, life can only be carbon-based. Given this, the existing temperature needs to be no lower than -20 degrees and no higher than 120 degrees Celsius (248oF). These are just the temperature limits on Earth.

These are just a few of the exceedingly sensitive balances which are essential for life on Earth to have emerged and to survive. Yet even these are sufficient to definitively reveal that the Earth and the universe could not have come into being as the result of a number of consecutive coincidences. The concepts of “fine-tuning” and the “anthropic principle” that began to be employed in the 20th century are further evidence of Allah’s creation. The harmony and proportion therein were described with magnificent accuracy fourteen centuries ago in the Qur’an.

Earth is spherical

Earth is spherical

In early times, people believed that the earth was flat. For centuries, men were afraid to venture out too far, for fear of falling off the edge! Sir Francis Drake was the first person who proved that the earth is spherical when he sailed around it in 1597.

Consider the following Qur’anic verse regarding the alternation of day and night:

31:29 ►“ أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ “

“Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and He merges Day into Night?” [Al-Qur’an-Surah Luqman- 31:29]

Merging here means that the night slowly and gradually changes to day and vice versa. This phenomenon can only take place if the earth is spherical. If the earth was flat, there would have been a sudden change from night to day and from day to night.

The following verse also alludes to the spherical shape of the earth:

39:5 ►“ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ يُكَوِّرُ اللَّيْلَ عَلَى النَّهَارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّهَارَ عَلَى اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لأجَلٍ مُسَمًّى أَلا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفَّارُ “

“He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night.”[Al-Qur’an -Surah Az-Zumar- 39:5]

The Arabic word used here is Kawwara meaning ‘to overlap’ or ‘to coil’– the way a turban is wound around the head. The overlapping or coiling of the day and night can only take place if the earth is spherical.

The earth is not exactly round like a ball, but geo-spherical, i.e. it is flattened at the poles. The following verse contains a description of the earth’s shape:

79:30 ►“ وَالأرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ دَحَاهَا “

“And the earth, moreover, hath He made egg shaped.” [Al-Qur’an-Surah An-Naziat 79:30]

The Arabic word for egg here is dahaahaa1 which means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth.

Thus the Qur’an correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent notion when the Qur’an was revealed was that the earth was flat.

1 The Arabic word dahaahaa has been translated by A. Yusuf Ali as “vast expanse”, which also is correct. This word also means an ostrich-egg.

Creation Hot smoke

Creation from hot smoke

Scientists today are able to observe the formation of stars from a hot gas cloud. Formation from a warm mass of gas also applies to the creation of the universe. The creation of the universe as described in the Qur’an confirms this scientific discovery in the following verse:

He placed firmly embedded mountains on it, towering over it, and blessed it and measured out its nourishment in it, laid out for those who seek it-all in four days. Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the Earth, “Come willingly or unwillingly.” They both said, “We come willingly.” (Qur’an, 41:10-11)

The Arabic word for “samaa’,” translated here as “heaven,” refers to the entire universe. The word “dukhaanun” for “smoke” describes the matter before the universe took its shape-the hot, cosmic smoke present during the creation of the universe, as now acknowledged by scientist.5 This word in the Qur’an, in pinpoint fashion, describes this smoke very accurately for it is a warm body of gas containing mobile particles connected to solid substances. Here, the Qur’an has employed the most appropriate word from the Arabic language for describing the appearance of this phase of the universe. Let us note that only in the 20th century have scientists discovered that the universe emerged from a hot gas in the form of smoke.

In addition, the word “thumma,” translated as “then” in the expression “Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke,” bears other meanings such as “at this, in addition, furthermore, moreover, again, once more.” Here, “thumma” is employed not as an expression of time, but as an additional clarification.6

The fact that such information about the creation of the universe is given in the Qur’an is nothing short of a miracle of the Qur’an.

Creation of universe

Creation of universe

The creation of the universe is explained by astrophysicists as a widely accepted phenomenon, popularly known as ‘The Big Bang’. It is supported by observational and experimental data gathered by astronomers and astrophysicists for decades. According to ‘The Big Bang’, the whole universe was initially one big mass (Primary Nebula). Then there was a ‘Big Bang’ (Secondary Separation) which resulted in the formation of Galaxies. These then divided to form stars, planets, the sun, the moon, etc. The origin of the universe was unique and the probability of it happening by ‘chance’ is nil.

The Qur’an contains the following verse regarding the origin of the universe:

21:30 ►“ أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ أَفَلا يُؤْمِنُونَ “

“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder?” [Al-Qu’ran –Surah Al-Anbiya-21:30]

The striking similarity between the Qur’anic verse and ‘The Big Bang’ is inescapable! How could a book, which first appeared in the deserts of Arabia 1400 years ago, contain this profound scientific truth?

Computing lunar year

Computing lunar year

010.005► هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلا بِالْحَقِّ يُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

It is He Who appointed the Sun to give radiance, and the Moon to give light, assigning it phases so you would know the number of years and the reckoning of time. Allah did not create these things except with truth. We make the signs clear for people who know. (Qur’an, Yunus -10:5)

More verse mention in Quran-

036.039► وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ

And We have decreed set phases for the Moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. (Qur’an, Ya-Seen -36:39)

In the first of the above verses, Allah has clearly revealed that the Moon will be a means of measurement for people to calculate the year. Furthermore, our attention is also drawn to the fact that these calculations will be performed according to the positions of the Moon as it revolves in its orbit. Since the angles between the Earth and Moon and the Moon and Sun constantly change, we see the Moon in different forms at different times. Furthermore, our ability to see the Moon is made possible by the fact that it is illuminated by the Sun. The amount of the lighted half of the Moon we see from Earth changes. Bearing in mind these changes, a number of

calculations can be made, making it possible for human beings to measure the year.

In former times a month was calculated as the time between two full moons, or the time it took the Moon to travel around the Earth. According to this, one month was equal to 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. This is known as the “lunar month.” Twelve lunar months represent one year, according to the Hijri calendar. However, there is a difference of eleven days between the Hijri calendar and the Gregorian calendar, in which a year is the time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun. Indeed, attention is drawn to this difference in another verse:

018.025► وَلَبِثُوا فِي كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلاثَ مِائَةٍ سِنِينَ وَازْدَادُوا تِسْعًا

They stayed in their cave for three hundred years and added nine. (Qur’an, Al-Kahf -18:25)

We ca

n clarify the time referred to in the verse thus: 300 years x 11 days (the difference which forms every year) = 3,300 days. Bearing in mind that one solar year lasts 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.5 seconds, 3,300 days/365.24 days = 9 years. To put it another way, 300 years according to the Gregorian calendar is equal to 300+9 years according to the Hijri calendar. As we can see, the verse refers to this finely calculated difference of 9 years. (Allah knows best.) There is no doubt that the Qur’an, which contains such pieces of information, which transcended the everyday knowledge of the time, is a miraculous revelation.

Universe formation

Formation of the Universe

Until the mid-20th century, the prevalent view across the world was that the universe was infinite, had existed forever and that it will continue to do so for all time. According to this view, known as the “static universe model,” the universe had no end or beginning.

In maintaining that the universe is a collection of fixed, static and unchanging substances, this view has constituted the basis of materialist philosophy and has consequently rejected the existence of a Creator. However, as science and technology progressed during the 20th century, the static universe model has been completely uprooted.

We have now entered the 21st century and a new dawn is upon us. Through numerous experiments, observations and calculation conducted by some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, modern physics has proven that the universe did indeed have a beginning, that it came into being from nothing in a single moment in a huge explosion. Furthermore, it has been established that the universe is not fixed and static, as materialists still stubbornly maintain. On the contrary, it is undergoing a constant process of movement, change and expansion. These recently-established facts all act as nails in the coffin of the static universe theory. Today, all these facts are universally accepted by the scientific community.

The origin of the universe is described in the Qur’an in the following verse:

He created the heavens and the Earth from nothing. (Qur’an, 6:101)

This information is in full agreement with the findings of contemporary scientists. As we stated earlier, the conclusion that astrophysics has reached today is that the entire universe, together with the dimensions of matter and time, came into existence as a result of a great explosion that occurred a long time ago. This event, known as “The Big Bang,” is the catalyst for the creation of the universe from nothingness. This explosion, all parties in the scientific community agree, emanated from a single point some 15 billion years ago. (See Harun Yahya, The Creation of the Universe, Al-Attique Publishers Inc., Canada, 2000)