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Qur'an and Modern Science

Dr. Maurice Bucailles









Let us first examine the Creation as described in the Qur’an.

An extremely important general idea emerges: its dissimilarity with Biblical narration. This idea contradicts the parallels which are often, and wrongly, drawn by Western authors to underline solely the resemblances between the two texts.

When talking of the Creation, as of other subjects, there is a strong tendency in the West to claim that Muhammad only copied the general outlines of the Bible. It is indeed possible to compare the six days of the Creation as described in the Bible, plus an extra day of rest on God’s sabbath, with this verse from surahh Al-A`raf (7:54).

Your Lord is Allah Who created the Heavens and the Earth in six days.

We must point out straight away that modern commentators stress the interpretation of ayyam, one translation of which is “days” as meaning “long periods” or “ages” rather than periods of twenty-four hours.

What to me appears to be of fundamental importance is that, in contrast to the narration contained in the Bible, the Qur’an does not lay down a sequence for the Creation of the Earth and Heavens. It refers both to the Heavens before the Earth and the Earth before the Heavens, when it talks of the Creation in general, as in this verse of the surah Taha  (20:4).

A revelation from Him Who created the Earth and the Heavens.

In fact, the notion to be derived from the Qur’an is one of a concomitance in the celestial and terrestrial evolutions. There are also absolutely fundamental data concerning the existence of an initial gaseous mass (dukhan) which is unique and whose elements, although at first fused together (ratq) subsequently became separated (fatq). This notion is expressed in the surah Fussilat (41:11):

* And God turned to Heaven when it was smoke.

And the same is expressed in the surah Al-Anbiya’ (21:30).

* Do not the Unbelievers see that the Heavens and the Earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder?

The separation process resulted in the formation of multiple worlds, a notion which crops up dozens of times in the Qur’an, once it has formed the first verse in the surah Al-Fatihah (1:1).

Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds.

All this is in perfect agreement with modern ideas on the existence of primary nebula and the process of secondary separation of the elements that had formed the initial unique mass. This separation resulted in the formation of galaxies and then, when these divided, of stars from which the planets were to be born.

Reference is also made in the Qur’an to an intermediary Creation between the Heavens and the Earth, as in the surah Al-Furqan (25:59).

God is the One Who created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them.

It would seem that this intermediary Creation corresponds to the modern discovery of bridges of matter which are present outside organised astronomical systems.

This survey certainly shows us how modern data and statements in the Qur’an agree on a large number of points. We have come a long way from the Biblical text with its successive phases that are totally unacceptable; especially the one placing the Creation of the Earth 9on the 3rd day) before that of the Heavens (on the 4th day), when it is a known fact that our planet comes from its own star, the Sun. In such circumstances, how can we imagine that a man who drew his inspiration from the Bible could have been the author of the Qur’an, and, of his own accord, have corrected the Biblical text to arrive at a general concept concerning the formation of the Universe, when this concept was not to be formed until centuries after his death?

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