Science vs Islam

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by abu Hasan, Jun 18, 2020.

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  1. mabmrqra

    mabmrqra New Member

    I rang the dar ul ifta of dawat e islami today here in pakistan and asked about those who do not consider the earth to be sakin; the essence of the reply i got was that they are khata phar, 'mistaken', and that the correct position is that the earth is sakin as is manqul in tafsir; as for their takfir or being gumrah, i was told that neither will their takfir be made nor will it in fact even be said that they are gumrah, and that if someone holds the earth as not being sakin for whatever reason then although we regard that person as erring, it is not at all an issue about which a big hoohah should be made.
  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    a similar example is mentioned in sharh al-mawaqif.

    if no light falls on an object - does it have any colour? so what is the colour of the object in the dark?
    in other words, in reality there is NO colour at all. it is all just 'perception' that something is red or blue or green based on the light reflected off the object.

    check this article.

    [this is a bad habit of many science writers. when they do not have a clear answer, they grope for false analogies. if a tree falls in the forest, there WILL be sound even if there is no one around to hear it.]

    many people don't know that the colour pics of space are not real. they are colorised.

    in this article the author does not deny that colours are not real, just justifying the use.

    you cannot believe everything you see.
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  4. SaadSohail

    SaadSohail Active Member

    وفلاسفة العصر كانوا يزعمون أن الشمس لا تجري أصلا، وأن القمر يجري على الأرض، والأرض تجري على الشمس، وقد سمعنا أنهم عدلوا منذ أعوام عن ذلك، فزعموا أن للشمس حركة على كوكب آخر وهذا يدل على أنهم لم يكن عندهم برهان على دعواهم الأولى كما كان يقوله من كان ينتصر لهم، والظاهر أن حالهم اليوم بل وغدا مثل حالهم بالأمس، ونحن مع الظواهر حتى يقوم الدليل القطعي على خلافها وحينئذ نميل إلى التأويل وبابه واسع

    "And the philosopher of this age used to claim that the sun does not move at all and (they used to claim) that the moon moved in orbit around the earth. And the earth around the sun. And we have heard that they changed their opinion. So they claimed that the sun moves (according to) another planet. And this indicates that they don't have a proof for their first claim - as the one who used to support them said. And the apparent is that their condition today and even tomorrow is the same as their condition from yesterday. And we follow the apparent meanings until there is an absolute proof for the opposite and then we will lean for ta'wiil and it's door is wide"

    (Imam Alusi Ruh al-Ma`ani)


    Shaykh Abu Adam on this issue:


    Someone asked

    "I have read in a number of places that there were and are ‘Ulama from the Ahl us Sunnah who held that certain verses of the Qur’an and certain Ahadeeth absolutely proved that the Earth is stationary and does not move, and that it is the Sun and other bodies which move around the Earth.

    How would Islam deal with this issue, taking into account the weight it gives to observational proof versus revealed proof?"

    Shaykh Answers:

    I think this entire issue is a bit problematic from a logical standpoint. To determine what is moving and what is stationary is a relative issue. If you have two objects which are changing in position relative to each other, then you cannot tell if both or one of them are moving without a 3rd reference point. Then you have to decide which one is stationary, and only after that will you be able to say which of the two is moving. However, deciding the reference point, and determining it as being stationary is arbitrary, or dependent on another arbitrary reference point. The only way to decide what is moving and what is not then, is by reference to a 3rd reference point, arbitrarily determined as being “stationary.” In other words, when you say that the sun is moving, and not the Earth, what is the reference point, and how do you determine it without arbitrary choice? Now, clearly modern scientists make these conclusions based on what is known about physics, and their belief that the was a big bang somewhere in the middle of cosmos perhaps (which is, like Darwinism, only a theory). Basically, as I understand it, they consider larger objects as more stationary than smaller objects that move in relation to them. This is not completely arbitrary, but it is also not something we can say is the unequivocal truth, and known with certainty. Alternatively, if the objects at the outer surface of creation has no changing position relative to one another, then we can consider everything inside in relation to it. This is because the movement of creation as a whole is impossible, because it has no relative position to something else outside of it. So in this sense, the creation as a whole is not moving, relative to something else. However, this outer surface is not observable to us. For this reason, I see not reason for why both cannot be correct at the same time, as they are based on different assumptions of what is to be considered relatively stationary. It has an element of comparing apples with oranges in it in other words, so there is no need to exaggerate and make this issue very big.

    Someone said:

    The Earth is fixed without a doubt. Jump and you land back to the same spot. Plains land on fixed earth runways. Those who claim the earth spins, their words hold no weight whatsoever. Just one more thing, why do we see the moon/stars in the same spot when we go out to veiw them? If the world was spinning the speed they claim, we would not be able to see what we see in the upper direction.

    Shaykh Answers:

    Someone wrote the following comment. I decided to keep it anonymous to avoid embarrassing anyone. The comments was: “The Earth is fixed without a doubt. Jump and you land back to the same spot. Plains land on fixed earth runways. Those who claim the earth spins, their words hold no weight whatsoever. Just one more thing, why do we see the moon/stars in the same spot when we go out to view them? If the world was spinning the speed they claim, we would not be able to see what we see in the upper direction.”

    My comment on this is as follows: “My brother, it is not that simple. Try to read what I wrote and understand the issue well. I think you will find that this entire issue is a bit ambiguous, and there is no need to be very bombastic. As for the arguments you presented, take a second look. These are merely rhetorical, you are making assumptions about physics and astronomy without sufficient proof. This is exactly why modern science is successful, it does not accept such assumptions, i.e. about the existence and relations of possible things, without testing them by meticulous study and experiments. What makes it impossible that someone that jumps should land in the same spot if the earth was moving? And what is moving anyway? Take a look at the discussion I presented. It is merely relative change of positions, so what prevents the jump to be in the same relative position before and after the jump, or that the change in position is so small that it cannot be noticed? Moreover, what they say is that the Earth moves relative to the sun, not that you are stationary and the earth is spinning under you. You are drawing analogy to e.g. jumping off a car, but is this analogy correct, and how do you know?

    When we go public with an opinion that is based on premises taken (rightly or by misunderstanding) from the religion, we must be check our proofs and assumptions carefully, especially if the opinion is going to be looked at as ridiculous by 99% of mankind. Even after checking your bases you should carefully consider not telling, because even if you are right and have strong proofs, you are not going to succeed in convincing anybody, because most people are MUCH more concerned about not being ridiculed than being right.

    In this particular case you have not even presented proofs that will convince anyone. This is not your field of expertise, how can you accept the idea that you can easily show wrong the entire community of thousands and thousands of physicists and astronomers, in their fields of expertise, after decades and billions of dollars in research, with a slight of hand argument like this? Do you really think that this has not entered their mind? I do not think that is reasonable, and you should at least have made an effort to find out what their answers would be before expressing such an opinion. It is not only your own reputation that is at stake here, as a Muslim you are by default looked at as a representative of Islam. I suggest you take a careful look at my previous comment on this issue above.”

    Someone says

    They say the world spins on an axis. Now with the observation (i.e. our senses) and the intellectual logic we are blessed with. I have flown in jet aircraft and the world from up there is fixed in my eyes and others.

    Shaykh Answers:

    This is still the “jump off car at high speed” analogy. It is not enough. You are assuming that the plain gets completely detached from the Earth’s rotation, and that according to the idea that the Earth rotates, the plain is now moving independently of the Earth, and only relative to the sun. Is this what they say? Take a look, as an example, here:
  5. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    very sadly, most if not all Sunni scholars just "teach" or "propagate" Sunniyat on emotionalism and aqidat and not knowledge; and that is assuming they are thoroughly well versed with the length and breadth of Fatawa Ridawiyyah to start with! (if not other fiqh books)

    it's an embarrassment when year after year a scholar mentions the 'beginning of la-makan' (talking Sunnis situation in general, not at all about Imran Attari sahib) in his Me3raj night speeches (actually and directly related to Sunni 3aqidah and going exact opposite of Ala Hazrat's beliefs), but will fight tooth and nail on 'la 3adwa' for covid (despite actual sahih ahadith in favor of not mixing as well) and Ala Hazrat's interpretative/extrapolated position on geocentricity

    'Ala Hazrat's way or the highway' is a magnificent SOP for zarooriyaate deen and zarooriyaate Ahle Sunnat; it will safeguard your Sunni beliefs and heritage and is love for the imam; but for matters open to differences of opinion in interpretation and extrapolation, be it matters of fiqh or secondary matters of 3aqidah which have valid Sunni ikhtilafat, or such topics as these (contagion, stationary earth, etc.), it is ghuluww and actually against Ala Hazrat's own ways and the ways of Ahlus Sunnah

    no wonder ignorant opportunists (Sunnis or otherwise) take advantage of common awam and make everything a matter of Sunni 3aqidah just to keep the sensationalism going, be it on donating blood, or using black dyes, or iman of Abu Talib or anything else.
  6. FaqirHaider

    FaqirHaider Shajar-e-Sharjeel Shajar-e-Uthman

    Imam Ghazali’s Munqidh serves a good framework in dealing with these matters.
  7. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    (ran out of editing time)

    Haji Imran Attari should be careful with what he says. he is a public figure, and if he wants to present a viewpoint on a topic conclusively, he should have done some basic homework on the topic as a bare minimum, both from a science perspective, as well as conclusively and thoroughly going through Ala Hazrat's discourse. he is a representative of a Sunni organization and our imam and should not let other Sunnis trying to clean up his act, after the liberals and atheists have a go at us. alas!

    of course we don't love the liberals and secularists and the "scientific minded" atheists, it's but natural for them to seize this opportunity. why decry the enemy for doing his job as the enemy? it's our job to not give them that chance.

    yes we love our imam and are not embarrassed of him, but this is misguided aqidat and Ala Hazrat himself would not stand for such ghuluww and aqidatmandi, even towards his own akabir, just as he is our elder - that we shut the doors of any and all critical thinking.

    Shaykh Abu Adam's website has some good comments on this topic here -

    this comment by Abu Adam is directly related to this thread

  8. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    not exactly a 100 yrs ago... more like 1940's and perhaps 1950's too. science really hadn't progressed much in Ala Hazrat's times. i don't see anyone taking the american medical association of then to task based on the new information they have now.



    Haji Imran Attari should be careful with what he says. he is a public figure, and if he wants to present a viewpoint on a topic conclusively, he should have done some basic homework on the topic as a bare minimum.

    yes we love our imam and are not embarrassed of him, but this is misguided aqidat and Ala Hazrat himself would not stand for such ghuluww and aqidatmandi that we shut the doors of any and all critical thinking.

    this is not an issue of aqidah and should not be treated as such.

    i have personally been told by big name scholars of pakistan that a person who doesn't subscribe to Ala Hazrat's view of a stationary earth, he is "gumrah" (exact word). i'm not sure now if he said that the person would be a kafir if he witnessed Ala Hazrat's daleels and still disagreed.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  9. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    Sidenote: if anyone has ever had access to academic sites via uni credentials, even if you've long since graduated, try the brill site for those two volumes with your uni login. You might still be able to download the pdf.
  10. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    many verses of the qur'an are interpreted - they cannot be taken on face value - the concept of majaz is well known. if someone merely disagrees on interpretation, they cannot be considered as having 'refuted' the qura'nic verse.

    in fact this very verse is open to interpretation; albeit all interpretation hitherto have been taking it literally. but if there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we will have to interpret it such that it does not defy that which is observed or that which can be empirically proven.

    who can give us the guarantee that it is indeed the meaning revealed by Allah ta'ala and that is exactly the meaning as conveyed by the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam? and that it should be treated as nass qaTyi?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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  11. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    Are there any tafasīr that say that an orbiting earth is a possible and valid interpretation?
  12. Adham12

    Adham12 New Member


    In regards to Science, the question that keeps popping up on reddit and Quora is of mountains as stated in the Quran.

    وَجَعَلْنَا فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِهِمْ وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا فِجَاجًا سُبُلًا لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ - Quran 21:31

    "And We have placed mountains as anchors in the earth so that it may not shake with them; and We kept wide roads in it, so that they may find guidance." - Kanzul Iman translation

    وَوَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَأَنْهَارًا وَسُبُلًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ - Quran 16:15

    "And He placed mountains as anchors in the earth so that it may not shake along with you, and streams and roads for you to find course." Kanzul Iman translation

    How do we respond when many research articles state that mountains are not pegs or roots due to the principle of isostasy, and that mountains do not prevent shaking - they are the result of collision of tectonic plates. They claim that many mountainous areas such as the fault of the Himalayas actually are sources of earthquakes.

    I saw Shaykh Asrar's explanation, , at 5:55, he states that the word for earthquake (zalzalaa) is not used in this context. It should be interpreted that mountains prevents the earth from convulsing.

    However, I also found that convulsing can also mean earthquake when found in the dictionary.

    I have read that there are a few words for the use of mountains in the Quran, namely جِبَالُ and رَوَاسِيَ . رَوَاسِيَ is used mainly for underground or the seafloor mountains, whereas جِبَالُ is used mainly for something that is rough, big or course or land mountains. Therefore, according to a questionable source, in the first verse above it is talking about sea mountains which play a critical role in providing relief in preventing major earthquakes while still allowing smaller earthquakes to occur.

    Further, it can also mean that the earth doesn't shake for with you. I.E. we don't feel the shaking.

    However, the reasoning from above was taking from an Ahmadi source, so I wasn't sure if it was acceptable to consider this rationale.

    How do we respond to murtads or atheists who bring up this objection?

  13. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    yes alahazrat emphatically leans towards the view that the verses of the qur'an that describe astronomical phenomena should be taken literally. however, he does not do takfir of those who do not agree with him.

    the risalah "nuzul e aayat e furqaan ba sukun e zameen o aasman" was written as a response to a query by mawlana Hakim ali from lahore, who provides his viewpoint and tries to persuade alahazrat to accept this view.

    fatawa v27 p199

    FR v27p199.png

    in response, alahazrat does not mention that such a view is kufr and that he should abstain from it. indeed, he tries to prove that the position of mawlana hakim ali is incorrect; the position of science is false, but does not mention takfir:

    see the same risalah, v27 p222

    FR v27p222.png

    if it were indeed takfir-able, i do not think alahazrat would have hesitated to at least mention the danger. while he say that it is against the understanding of the qur'an, and as understood by sahabah etc. there is no word of this being deemed a zaruri precept.

    let us suppose those who believe that the earth is not stationary are wrong. their opposition only implies an opposition to this aayat; no muslim will ever say: 'i don't accept that aayat'. al-iyadhu billah.

    think about it!

    a person who believes in the literal meanings of the qur'anic verses related to sifaat is hoped to be forgiven because of his error in ta'wil; and will someone who only makes an error due to astronomical phenomena be condemned to hell forever?

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
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  14. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    since when is it a part of aqidah? while alahazrat presents verses of the qur'an and ahadith (which are NOT marfu') but he interprets it as implicitly marfu' and it is implied because of other hadith of manaqib.

    unfortunately, his fauz e mubin has remained incomplete; and the last portion in which he intended to explain the verses of the qur'an is either lost or was not completed.

    one of the aayats of the qur'an is interpreted as being proof that the earth is stationary. but this is not nass qaTyi. this is deemed the commonly held interpretation, but if there is evidence to the contrary, then obviously it has to be interpreted.

    one should not forget the context: the astronomy of alahazrat's time was mainly based on calculations and observations from the earth. it is not wise to take accept his conclusions at face-value in the face of evidence in our time. whether we like it or not, there have been leaps and bounds in terms of research, observational and experimental data available in our times.

    in my opinion, it is not.

    imam ghazali in his qanun al-ta'wil says that there are three kinds of approaches to interpret verses of the qur'an. for want of time, i have summarised his approach below. [link for a translation provided far below].

    1. purely based on narrations (manqul) reject anything that appears to contradict it

    2. the other extreme. purely rational and reject what has been narrated (manqul) to the point of even rejecting matters of faith if they couldn't comprehend it (or describe in rational terms)

    3. the third are those who do ta'wil; but the primary basis of their ta'wil is to satisfy rational thought. and they go to ends to satisfy a rational explanation. and if they cannot do it, they reject the nass or belie narrators.

    4. the fourth are those who do ta'wil: but their primary basis is naql / text and narration. they are well-versed in their knowledge of tradition and text; and they do ta'wil even if such ta'wil is not plausible.

    5. fifth is the moderate group: those who seek to balance manqul with ma'qul [narrated proofs, texts with rational explanations]. because we cannot deny or ignore the rational approach. after all, the proofs of prophethood and other issues are examined on a rational basis. they seek to find a balance without outraging or falling foul of either denial or rejection of texts; OR propound something that seems irrational.​

    imam ghazali also draws attention towards epistemology, albeit briefly - because what the mind deemed rational and scientific 500 years ago, was not rational 100 years ago. many things that sounded perfectly reasonable or 'commonly known and accepted by the scientific community' 100 years ago is rejected in our time as unscientific or irrational.

    the point is that one should not feel obliged to accept the research or theories prevalent in one's time and touted as THE truth. the truth according to a muslim is the qur'an and hadith. this is the major takeaway from alahazrat's rasail on this topic.

    qanun al-kulli in arabic:

    a good translation can be found here:

    frank griffel's appraisal of 'qanun al-kulli' from the brill work: islam and rationality. vol.1 p.89 onwards is a good read.

    BRILL links here: vol.1 and vol.2 (brill series numbering #94 and #98). if you find a PDF link on the net, please don't post it here as it may not be authorised. just sayin'.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
  15. RazaRaza

    RazaRaza New Member

    Jalali sb says the aqida of the earth being stationary is proven from nass e it really a clear cut issue in the quran?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  16. faqir

    faqir Veteran

  17. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    Addendum: which of the following categories does this issue come under?

    Originally translated by @Aqdas

    Look how lucidly #Alahazrat writes about primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary aqidah issues:


    1. Necessities of faith (đarūriyyāt al-dīn)

    These are proven from the Quran, mass transmitted hadith (mutawātir) or decisive (qatýī) ijma'a (so qatýī al-thubūt). The inferences of the text are definitive (qatýī al-dalālah) and what is deduced from them is clear which has no doubt or room for interpretation (ta'wīl). The denier of these or one who finds implausible interpretations is a kafir.

    2. Necessities of Ahlu's Sunnah (đarūriyyāt madh'hab Ahlu's Sunnah wa'l Jamāáh)

    These too are proven from texts whose inference is definitive (dalīl qatýī) but there is one reason for doubt and chance of interpretation in the establishment of the text being definitive (so not qatýī al-thubūt). Therefore, its denier is not a kafir but rather misguided, deviant and not on the religion.

    3. Established decisively (thābitāt muhkamah)

    Speculative evidence (dalīl żannī) is enough to establish these as long as what is deduced from them is a majority opinion which renders the opposing opinion to be disregarded, defunct and unworthy of being heard. Proofs for these are hadith ahād, sahih or hasan, and they are enough. The opinions of the greater group (sawād al-aáżam) and the majority of scholars is evidence for these.

    The denier of these, after learning the truth, is mistaken, sinful and a wrongdoer but not away from the religion or misguided or a kafir or out of Islam.

    4. Speculatively probable (żanniyyāt muhtamalah)

    Even that speculative evidence (dalīl żannī) is proof for these which has the possibility of being interpreted differently. Denying these will only render a person mistaken and blameworthy but not sinful, never mind being a deviant or kafir.


    Each issue requires proof according to the category it belongs to. One who does not differentiate in them and asks for proof of a higher level for an issue of a lower level is an silly ignoramus or a deceptive philosopher.

    ہر سخن وقتے ہر نکتہ مقامے وارد
    Each word has a time and each point has a place;

    گر فرق مراتب نہ کنی زندیقی
    If you do not differentiate ranks, you will be a heretic
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  18. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    "This is just a small segment of one of the simpler arguments put forward by A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). In fact he even went on to refute, with numerous proofs, the assumption of scientists that the atmosphere also rotates with the earth, i.e. the bird will also move together with the branch due to the earth’s motion. However, it is too complicated to discuss here.

    We can therefore see that without doubt the earth is stationary. It does not rotate on its axis nor does it rotate around the sun. It is the sun, moon and stars that rotate in orbits and it is obligatory on us to believe in this, since refutation of even a single verse of the Holy Qur’an throws us out of the fold of Islam."


    Mawlana @abu Hasan , is believing the Earth:
    • Rotates on its axis, and/or
    • Orbits the sun
    a takfirable offence? If not, is it something that takes one out of Ahlus Sunnah?
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  19. Juwayni

    Juwayni Well-Known Member

    If you take a look at the journal's (IJAS) website, it looks rather ... empty. No links to papers, or abstracts. Hardly any information about contributors. Three conferences a year, and up top in big bold letters they're advertising what free educational tours are available for attendees (who pay the $295 fee). Quoting the site:

    "As one University of Cincinnati professor put it upon attending the IJAS conference in Prague, if a delegate presents a paper and leaves, the experience is no different than if one did the same thing at a bigger conference such as the American Psychological Association's. She then described what it was like to listen to a wide variety of presentations at the IJAS conference:

    The American presenters [were] highly energetic and data driven about helping low income NYC students... The Polish presenter had highly multicolored slides about how the sounds of poetry make us happy. The German presenter and the Romanian presenter [spoke] about theology. The grad student in English studies read a paper full of whimsical self disclosure about reading Mrs. Dalloway in the tub. An Israeli Buddhist gave a moving account of his moment of enlightenment in the Judean desert. Having such variety in culture, kinds of questions being asked, and styles of presentations is an experience of widening the world that would not occur in discipline specific situations. This pulls you out of your silo if you let it."​

    Key takeaways:
    • It does not appear as though these are subject matter specialists discussing the scientific rigor of an idea that is within their domain. On the contrary it is a multidisciplinary conference that may or may not double as a vacation opportunity.
    • Being hosted by Harvard does not necessitate that the university acknowledges the validity/falsity of the ideas discussed. The Dr. Naseeb's paper might have been seen as an attempt to document the history of science in the Indian subcontinent. It remains to be seen what he wrote because the full paper isn't up.
    • Granted, many of the secular clique are blind-following alleged evidence for many of the theories they ascribe to but that doesn't mean we should presume our scholars to be completely mistake free. Moreover, it may well be a matter of not seeing certain measurements or experiments that led some of our aimmah to reach the conclusions they did.
    If we choose to defend AlaHazrat because we want to defend Alahazrat in a partisan sense without understanding:
    • what he said and what current measurements say (or omit),
    • where that opinion is in the scope of acceptable difference of opinion, and
    • where we are as Sunnis in the timeline,
    then what that will do is make us look like we don't understand our current context, the Imam we claim to represent, or the Orthodoxy he stood for. We should think seriously about how we present ourselves in this situation and how we're representing the Ulama we attribute ourselves to and their credibility.
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  20. AMQadiri

    AMQadiri Seeker

    One of our brothers, Dr. Naseeb Ahmed Siddiqui, has written a research paper on the issue of the Earth's motion through the lens of Sayyidi AlaHazrat Azeemul Barakat radhi Allah anh. This should be sufficient in shutting up those ignoramuses who make accusations on AlaHazrat's research.

    This research was presented at Harvard University!

    (If someone can get permission to post the full PDF here, please do so)

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