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The Universe

"And the firmament (sky) We constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it" The noble Qur'an, Al-Thariyaat(51):47.

"Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused then We ripped them asunder, and We created from water every living thing, do they not believe?" The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):30.

"Then He settled/equilibrated unto the firmament (sky) when it was smoke and said unto it and to the earth: come willingly or unwillingly. They said: we come willingly" The noble Qur'an, Fussilat(41):11.

Allah Almighty has in these three concise verses answered questions that it has taken some of the greatest physicists and astronomers of history centuries to answer. It was only in this century that they finally found the truth.

Mankind has studied the heavens and the earth for countless centuries. The Greeks were some of the first people to attempt to describe various cosmological phenomena. They gave us many of the very first theories regarding the universe and it's composition. The major contribution came with the writings of Plato.

Plato claimed that the universe was created by what he called "The Demiurge." According to Plato, the universe was the result of reasoning and planning, it was constructed by the Demiurge upon precise mathematical and geometrical principles. Later on, Aristotle, Plato's student, adopted his teacher's basic concept. Aristotelian cosmology was based on the concept of an enclosed cosmos comprising a series of concentric, spheres revolving around a stationary Earth. Motion was provided by the "prime mover" and, once initiated, would remain circular, uniform and eternal.

Both Plato and Aristotle taught that the universe was eternal, with neither beginning nor end. The universe as a whole was considered steady and unmoving, and this was the basis for the later formation of the "steady state theory." In 1915, Albert Einstein had published the famous general theory of relativity.

Soon afterward he proposed a static model of the universe, but he would later declare that it was "one of the greatest mistakes of my career." Why?, Because in 1925, Edwin Hubble (after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, or as Stephen Hawking put it "The universe is not static, as had previously been thought, it was expanding."

Although mankind did not discover these facts till this 20th Century, still, we find that Allah Almighty had provided the answers for mankind 1400 years ago in the Qur'an through the agency of His illiterate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). During Muhammad's (pbuh) time, the Greeks were claiming that the cosmos was static and not expanding. So how did he know that the universe was expanding 1300 years before the foremost scientist of the West proved this to be a scientific fact?

However, this is not the only claim that the Qur'an makes with regard to the universe. Let us study the next two verses:

At the present time, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is the cosmological model most widely accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 20,000,000,000 years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a single, extremely condensed state of matter ("the heavens and the earth were fused then we ripped them asunder"). As mentioned above, a further development of this model, known as "inflationary theory," describes the original condensed matter as arising from virtually empty space.

It was only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937 AD that the necessary observational precision was achieved in order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. Out of the observations of such scientists has arisen the so called "Hubble Constant" (Ho) which is quantity currently used to gauge the rate at which the universe is expanding. In other words, the issue is no longer whether the universe is expanding or not, rather, it is only a question of how fast it is expanding.

The second and third verses presented appear to claim that the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were "ripped asunder," The exact root words used in the Qur'an are the words "ra-ta-qa" and "fa-ta-qa," or "the heavens and the earth were 'ra-ta-qa' then we 'fa-ta-qa' them"

"Ra-ta-qa" is an Arabic word which has the general meaning of "to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 325)

Similarly, "fa-ta-qa" has the general meaning of "To rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip open." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 296, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)

The verse then goes on to say that Allah Almighty created the heavens and the earth from a celestial "smoke." Astronomers today have pictures of galaxies being formed by exactly this process, i.e. the condensation of spiraling celestial "mists." Isn't it an incredible coincidence that an illiterate man from the desert, without the aid of observatories or satellite imaging was making these claims over 1400 years ago?. Was he just guessing?

Further, the cosmic phenomenon depicted in the following two figures is commonly referred to by astronomists as a cosmic "mist." However, if we were to read the second verse of the Qur'an presented above we will find that the Qur'an more accurately refers to it as a "smoke." This is because "mist" implies a cool and tranquil spray of water. However, "smoke" implies a hot gas containing airborne particles. This is indeed another example of the literary miracle of the Qur'an in that it manages to convey to us in a very concise language a very accurate and detailed description of the topic at hand.

Galaxy

Space Telescope

Many believe that the Hubble Space Telescope's recent distance measurement to this galaxy accurately calibrates the "Hubble's constant." A scientific debate involving the actual value of Hubble's constant titled "The Scale of the Universe" is scheduled to occur in April 1996 in Washington, DC.

"And those who have been given knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth" The noble Qur'an, Saba(34):6

"Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care) or are there locks upon their hearts?" The noble Qur'an, Muhammad(47):24 

The above information was copied from the free on-line book "What did Jesus really say?"

It was written so well that there was really no reason to say it any differently

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