Science vs Islam

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by mabmrqra, Jun 23, 2020.

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  1. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    The Action Lab video, that I posted, throws an important question (though somewhat unrelated to stationarity of Earth) (watch from 4:40 min mark).

    Cosmic background radiation data point to fact that the Universe has directionality which aligns with the ecliptic plane of solar system and that the Earth is at the centre of the Universe (where everything in the Universe revolves around what happens on the Earth). This has upset long-held cosmological "belief"/science that Earth has no "special" place in the Universe. Instead of accepting the conclusive evidence of the data, the ruffled "scientific" community is working hard to prove the alternative hypothesis i.e. data/measurement (from several independent sources/models) are wrong!
  2. AbdalQadir

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

    1) Sunni theological boundaries - related to metaphysics and kalam, something they should be champions of

    2) modern science - they should know what it says and then offer suitable commentary (yay or nay or 'doesn't matter either way' or 'not enough data to comment') in light of the former

    example - as of today nov 1, 2021, assuming there's no govt mandate, what should be the ruling on socially distanced sufoof and masks in mosques, based on all the information we have acquired since the start of the pandemic? (there are some people still ruling it as required despite no requirements from govt. is this backed by thorough scientific and Islamic daleels and a thorough analysis of the so far accumulated data on the pandemic? should the rulings issued in july 2020 change or still be considered valid?)

    3) this is related to hikmah

    sadly many many Sunnis are lost on all three counts.

    on the first point, they'd certainly have ratta-fied some lines from Hussam ul Haramayn or Subhan As-Subbuh and the final rulings and will blast the devbandis in their bayans, but other than that many of our scholars can't endure a closed book exam on either of these treatises.
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  3. Khanah

    Khanah Well-Known Member

    It is a lack of wisdom/not knowing the time you live in. People already think the maulana's are backwards and have no clue and then you have the war on religion from atheists online and offline, often using science as a basis for their arguments... If a scholar is not going to prefer an interpretation of the ayah (respecting sunni theological boundaries) that is in conformity with modern science, then when he speaks to the public, he should at least not provide his understanding as if it is definitive when the two differing interpretations can be valid.
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  4. AbdalQadir

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

    surely not as can be clearly seen from the ijtihadi issues he tackled for his time, but sadly (forgive me) many of his serious and genuine admirers fall into the second group in many ways (that is what i alluded to in post # 21 & 23). Ala Hazrat is free of such admirers' error.
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  5. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    oh yes, it's a gem and I have posted some excerpts earlier from this translation (by W. Montgomery if I remember right?).

    Thanks for refreshing memory, the Ghazzalian teachings never lose their freshness.
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  6. Khanah

    Khanah Well-Known Member

    Found the following quote from Imam Al Ghazali, Deliverance from Error:

    ''The mathematical sciences deal with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. But nothing in them entails denial or affirmation of religious matters. On the contrary, they concern rigorously demonstrated facts which can in no wise be denied once they are known and understood. From them, however, two evils have been engendered.

    One of these is that whoever takes up these mathematical sciences marvels at the fine precision of their details and the clarity of their proofs. Because of that, he forms a high opinion of the philosophers and assumes that all their sciences have the same lucidity and apodeictic solidity as this science of mathematics. Moreover, he will have heard the talk of the town about their unbelief, their negative attitude, and their disdain for the Law. Therefore he ceases to believe out of pure conformism, asserting: "If religion were true, this would not have been unknown to these philosophers, given their precision in this science of mathematics." Thus, when he learns through hearsay of their unbelief and rejection of religion, he concludes that it is right to reject and disavow religion. How many a man have I seen who strayed from the path of truth on this pretext and for no other reason!

    One may say to such a man: "A person skilled in one field is not necessarily skilled in every field. Thus a man skilled in jurisprudence and kalam is not necessarily skilled in medicine, nor is a man who is ignorant of the speculative and rational sciences necessarily ignorant of the science of syntax. On the contrary, in each field there are men who have reached in it a certain degree of skill and preeminence, although they may be quite stupid and ignorant about other things. What the ancients had to say about mathematical topics was apodeictic, whereas their views on metaphysical questions were conjectural. But this is known only to an experienced man who has made a thorough study of the matter."

    When such an argument is urged against one who has become an unbeliever out of mere conformism, he finds it unacceptable. Rather, caprice's sway, vain passion, and love of appearing to be clever prompt him to persist in his high opinion of the philosophers with regard to all their sciences. This, then, is a very serious evil, and because of it one should warn anyone who would embark upon the study of those mathematical sciences. For even though they do not pertain to the domain of religion, yet, since they are among the primary elements of the philosophers' sciences, the student of mathematics will be insidiously affected by the sinister mischief of the philosophers. Rare, therefore, are those who study mathematics without losing their religion and throwing off the restraint of piety.

    The second evil likely to follow from the study of the mathematical sciences derives from the case of an ignorant friend of Islam who supposes that our religion must be championed by the rejection of every science ascribed to the philosophers. So he rejects all their sciences, claiming that they display ignorance and folly in them all. He even denies their statements about eclipses of the sun and the moon and asserts that their views are contrary to the revealed Law. When such an assertion reaches the ears of someone who knows those things through apodeictic demonstration, he does not doubt the validity of the proof, but rather believes that Islam is built on ignorance and the denial of apodeictic demonstration. So he becomes all the more enamored of philosophy and envenomed against Islam. Great indeed is the crime against religion committed by anyone who supposes that Islam is to be championed by the denial of these mathematical sciences. For the revealed Law nowhere undertakes to deny or affirm these sciences, and the latter nowhere address themselves to religious matters.''

    Note- for clarity, clearly Ala Hazrat does not fall into the first or the second evil mentioned above, I just found the above interesting in light of the discussion on the thread.
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  7. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Does the Earth have "Special"/ "Central" place in the Universe? The puzzle of background cosmic radiation.

    Mind you, this channel doesn't indulge in sensational half-truths. Action Lab is a very reputable science populariser channel.

  8. 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.
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  9. 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.
  10. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

  11. SaadSohail

    SaadSohail Well-Known 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:
  12. 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.
  13. FaqirHaider

    FaqirHaider اللَه المقدر والعالم شؤون لا تكثر لهمك ما قدر يكون

    Imam Ghazali’s Munqidh serves a good framework in dealing with these matters.
  14. 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

  15. 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
  16. Juwayni

    Juwayni Veteran

    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.
  17. 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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  18. Juwayni

    Juwayni Veteran

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

    Adham12 Active 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?

  20. 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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