On Cosmic Verses in The Quran
The formations of modern science have been founded on the difference between conviction and speculation. Recognition of this difference is the pillar on which rests the structure of all sound and solid cultures. While the Holy Quran addresses sound minds, scientists also do not recognize any of the branches of knowledge except those which have the support of reason and sound argument or potent experience.
It is deeply regretted that despite the fact that the Holy Quran has made vigorous appeal for this lofty ideal as regards sciences, which was actually the basis of the success achieved by the modern scientific renaissance and differentiated between conviction and speculation, Muslims, during a certain period of time, wasted time and effort in useless talk, adoption of an aimless philosophy and making studies in baseless metaphysics which encouraged the spread of myths, fancies and imageries. At that time, baseless talks and arguments, trying to explain the familiar natural phenomena, took place. They, for instance, interpreted ebb and tide as an act of a sea angel who was supposed to put his. thumb in the water to make it bubble and expand and to take it off to make it recede, causing ebb. The Holy Quran says:
"Say: Have you any knowledge so you would bring it forth to us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies." (Surat Al-Anaam: The Cattle).
"And most of them follow naught but conjecture will not avail aught against the Truth." (Surat Yunus: Jonah).
It is a fact that the scientific renaissance in the West was due to correct observations and sound experiments. Scientific laws are nothing but interpretations of phenomena in the material world. Although we do not claim absolute authenticity of such laws, yet we agree that they represent the largest possible amount of authenticity and precision. These laws are gradually moving towards perfection with the advancement of sciences. With the passage of time and expansion in the horizon of knowledge, and in view of growing accuracy in observation, scientists introduce, from time to time, amendments or modifications in some of the scientific laws so as to bring them closer to fact or to make them more useful.
This means that scientists are continuously carrying on research work about the universe. They are making us in this endeavour of a variety of matters for research, the foremost of which deal with theory. Next to this are experiments in the laboratory, farms or in nature as a whole. This is exactly what the Holy Quran ordains in matters of understanding realities, as it says:
"Say: Travel in the earth then see how He makes the first creation." (Surat Al-Ankabut : The Spider).
"See they not the clouds, how they are created? And the heaven, how it is raised high?" (Surat Al Ghashiyah: The Overwhelming Event).
Do they not consider the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what things Allah has created ?" (Surat Al-Aaraf: The Elevated Places).
There are several other verses with similar meanings. This shows that it is not wise for the people to have mere fantasy as the basis of their religious ideologies or scientific theories. A conclusion which has no support of experience or proof will not do. In so doing, they will be like those who deduce the characteristics of matter or the phenomena of the universe without studying the objects they are observing, or like those who inherit their beliefs without putting them to test to find out right from wrong. The Holy Quran, describing such people, says:
"And when it is said to them, Come to that which Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, they say: Sufficient for us is that wherein we found our fathers. What Even though their fathers know nothing and had no guidance." (Surat Al-Maida: The Food).