Muslims consider the Qur’an as a not only a holy book but also a book of miracles. This holy book came to exist through Prophet Muhammad’s revelation from Allah, the God of Islam. The Islamic holy book was revealed to Muhammad through prophet Jebril. The Qur’an is both conciliatory and contradictory with modern science.
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Research has revealed a conciliatory relationship between the Qur’an and modern science especially in the way it focuses on the miraculous ways in which the world will end and the big crunch. There is also conciliation between modern science and the miracles of the Qur’an in matters of the eventual expiry of the sun. However, in the same vein, contradictions are evident between the Qur’an and modern science on matters of miracles. The Qur’an cites that pork has various harmful effects on health.
Modern science has highly opposed this claim. On the contrary, contemporary science has posed that there are health benefits of consuming well-cooked pork. In fact, it has moved on to improve on pork production in its endeavor to ensure food security in the world. Based on this foundation, this study seeks to research and discuss the conciliations and contradictions between the Qur’an and modern science.
Overview of Qur’an and its miracles
“So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast, and the ground and the mountains are lifted and crushed with a single blow. On that Day, the Occurrence will occur and Heaven will be split apart, for that Day it will be very frail” (Qur’an, 1988, Surat al-Haqqa, 69:13-16)
The above words are a clear evidence of the Qur’an predicting the end of the universe and the big crunch. The inference created by this excerpt is that Allah will end the universe at his own will.
In fact, the foretelling of this end occurs in many parts of the holy Qur’an, for instance when Mohammad observes that people have not been regarding Allah in the right way failing to know that He will one day fold up the universe into his hand (Qur’an, 1988, Surat az-Zumar, 39:67). In fact, the end of the universe is made clearer by the Qur’an in the phrase “folded up” that shows how easy it will be for Allah to clear it with His mighty powers.
Moreover, the Qur’an predicts that the sun will eventually expire at a particular time that is only known to Allah who says that the sun will become still one day in the future (Qur’an, 1988, Surah Ya Sin, 38). This verse indicates that the sun and its functions will end that at a particular time in the future and that no Allah’s creation has the power to foretell this time.
For over 5 million years, human beings, animals, and plants have depended on sun’s energy for survival. Bussey (2013, p. 17) asserts that, although the sun may continue for a long duration, Allah will eventually stop it. In fact, the Qur’an affirms this claim in, “When the sun is compacted in blackness” (Qur’an, 1988, Surat at-Takwir, 1).
This verse means that the sun will exist in a lifespan that is predetermined by the Almighty Allah who will then terminate it, and hence it’s eventual expiry. The Qur’an is clear that the sun and the moon will run for a ‘specific’ period. Moreover, similar information in the Qur’an affirms that Allah makes the day and night and that He also makes the sun and the moon run for a specified period (Qur’an, 1988, Surah Fatir, 13).
The verse further asserts that Allah is in control of the universe. The idea of the sun existing for a specific time is evident when the Qur’an highlights how Allah has the power to create everything. From this assertion, one would also conclude that He has the power also to destroy any of His creation: the sun, the moon, and the earth among others (Qur’an, 1988, Surah az-Zumar’, 5).
The miracles of the Qur’an have also indicated that consumption of pork is harmful to human health. The Qur’an asserts that consumption of pork will result to the contamination of human bodies that are consecrated for Allah. Consumption of pork is also forbidden since pigs are dirty according to Islam since they eat their feces and that they have excess production of growth hormones.
In addition, certain worms that are harmful to the human heart muscles can infest pigs and eventually result in death. The Qur’an records that Allah has forbidden Muslims from carrion, pork, blood, and all things that are dedicated to him.
Conciliation of Qur’an with Modern Science
End of Universe and the Big Crunch
The prediction of the end of the world is in conciliation with modern science. Both the Qur’an and modern science explain that the world will end through a collapsing mechanism. The Qur’an records that the world will be folded up while modern science brings to light the issue of the big crunch that will result from the fierce heat. This process is clear in the Qur’an. In fact, it records that Allah will fold up the heaven as if it were pages of a book.
The suggestion here is that Allah will eventually bring the world into an end just as he created it. However, one would wish to know whether Allah created the world and everything in it. In response to this puzzle, Bussey (2013, p. 17) asserts that Allah is the creator, and that He formed the universe and everything it accommodates. Besides, the Qur’an bestows Him with the power to fold it up in his own time, thus resulting in its end and hence the end of all creations.
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According to Battersby (2011 p.42), science has it that the universe will eventually collapse, and form a very minute point. In fact, modern science states that the earth will form a point that is less than a proton, but one, which will have the potential to destroy everything. This process is similar to what the Qur’an depicts, when it brings to light the power of one super being (Allah, just as a proton) amidst many other beings, which will have the capability of dismantling the shape of the universe.
Hajdukovic (2010, p.1023) affirms that modern science depicts that, through ‘the Big Crunch’ theory, the universe will slowly collapse. Confirming the claim, Merali (2013, p.38) and Ling (2013, p.47) reveal how the dark energy in the world will eventually turn negative, thus making the world unstable and hence its collapsing. The inference is that, due to destabilization of the universe because of too much continuous extension, the force of gravity shall be overpowered. The result will be an inward collapse of the universe.
This process is similar to the folding up of the world by Allah to the point of fitting in his hands. Just as energy will make the world collapse, Allah will use his Almighty power to crinkle it. Similarly, according to Battersby (2011 p.42), modern science explains the expansion of the universe will eventually reach its limits due to gravitational pull. The implication here is that a further pull of gravity will automatically distort the shape of the universe.
The Sun will eventually expire
There is a striking similarity in the teachings of the Qur’an and modern science on the subject of the expiry of the sun. The Qur’an records that the sun will run to a fixed point of rest (Qur’an, 1988, Srah Ya Sin, 38). From a similar perspective, Scafetta, (2012, p.27) observes that modern science also depicts that the sun will eventually die. Although the sun may have lived for over five million years performing the function of lighting and heating the world, its reserve is predetermined to end in the future.
It will expire after outdoing its life span that has been specified by its creator: Allah. Similarly, Dajani (2012, p.343) affirms that, from the expositions of modern science, approximately 4million tons of matter is used to produce energy in one second.
The sun will therefore expire when this matter eventually diminishes. The continuously burning matter continues to lessen with time. The inference here is that it will eventually reach a point of depletion. It is out of the chemical reactions that take place during the combustion of this matter that the universe gets light and heat, which are produced in the process of consuming matter and converting hydrogen nuclei into to helium gas.
According to the contemporary science, production of light and heat happens due to nuclear fusion. Grant (2011, p.34) asserts that, when the source of hydrogen (matter) will end, the sun will also end. In this case, the core of the big star will collapse inwards. The process of igniting the core of the sun requires a massive source of energy to ignite helium atoms.
Merali (2013, p.38) observes that, after the depletion of the energy source, there will be no more energy sources and that the sun will therefore become a white dwarf. In fact, it will fade away and gradually become dim. Finally, there will be no light. The heat and light that the sun generates make human beings, plants, and animals exist based on the role that they (heat and light) play in their (human beings, plants, and animals) life.
However, Dajani (2012, p.343) clings to the notion upheld by modern science that the sun also has a lifespan. With time, the sun will become hotter and hence expand more. These extreme temperatures will result in the evaporation of water bodies and consequently the death of all living things since human beings, animals, and plants depend on water for survival.
Evaporation of water bodies will therefore mean the end of life. During that time, Grant (2011, p.34) foresees that the big star will become big, thus lessening gravitational pull. This situation will later on lead to its shrinking into carbon and oxygen dwarf. Conciliation between the Qur’an and modern science becomes true since the Qur’an was written a long time ago, approximately 1400 years ago.
However, scientists realized the knowledge on how the sun functions and/or obtains its energy in the recent past, just as the Qur’an had revealed. When the Qur’an was authored, there was little or no scientific study of the sun and/or how it operates. Nevertheless, it indicated that the sun and its day-to-day occurrences would end one day in the future. The author of the Qur’an seems to have had a certain level of revelation in science that the chemicals that keep the sun in operation will go out.
Pork and its harmful effects on health
The above section has shed light of the various similarities that are evident between the Qur’an and modern science. However, it is crucial to note that there are also a handful of contradictions.
One of such contradictions is based on the way the two present the mystery behind the effects of pork on human health. The Qur’an depicts, “He has only forbidden you carrion, blood” (Qur’an, 1988, al-Baqarah 2: 173). The Qur’an teaches that pork eating is harmful to human health in many ways regardless of the methods that one may use to prevent such detrimental effects.
The argument behind this claim is that pigs live in a dirty environment besides consuming virtually every dirty thing including their own fecal materials. Due to the filthy environment that the pigs prefer living in, their bodies emit a lot of antibodies and hormones, which eventually move to their tissues. Pork also contains a lot of cholesterol and lipids, which are harmful to human health. Hormones, lipids, and cholesterol are dangerous to human health.
Proponents of the Qur’an’s teaching on the harmful effects of pork also argue that trichina, which is a very harmful substance, is found in most pig’s pork. When human beings eat pork, the substance gets into their bodies and settles in their heart muscles. Previously, there were no veterinary measures to detect trichina worms. However, modern science can detect them. It is also possible to protect people against the worms using the modern science medicine.
However, modern science contradicts the teachings of the Qur’an on harmful effects of pork. Modern science does not oppose the consumption of pork. In fact, it has endeavored to teach people not to eat undercooked or uncooked pork since it hampers tapeworms and bilharzias worms.
Cooking of pork makes the meat healthy for consumption just like any other meat. Contemporary science also teaches that pork is a good source of animal protein. Veterinary medicine and other animal health disciplines are working hard to ensure that they increase pork consumption in the world. Various breeds of pigs have also been produced through modern methods of crossbreeding. Scientists have invested in the production of modern pig feeds.
Modern methods of producing rearing feeds have also been developed. The argument that is posed by proponents of the teachings of the Qur’an concerning the harmful effects of pork has also been found wanting by modern scientists. Although these proponents have cited pork as the major cause of obesity in America, Germany, and other nations that record a high consumption of pork, scientists argue that there are many other causes and predisposing factors of obesity.
Eggar (2009, p.78) observes that the major cause of obesity according to the modern science is poor lifestyle. People in countries such as America, where obesity is a major problem affecting more than 50% of the population, have poor life styles. In America, cultural factors are the leading causes of obesity.
The American people prefer foods such as French fries, hamburgers, and even doughnuts. These foods have high fat contents since they are deep-fried. These foods are also easy to make, package, and sell. Due to their working habits, the Americans have no formal mealtime. In fact, they depend on snacks, which they take at any time of their choice. Their children have also been absorbed into this feeding habit.
The American social life involves a lot of eating. For example, there is food that is available for people who transact businesses or during burials and even when they meet for social activities. This eating of readymade food and eating at all occasions rather than eating pork have increased rates of obesity. Eggar (2009, p.78) observes that technology is also to blame for obesity as opposed to eating pork in America and many other countries.
People depend on machines to do the work instead of doing it themselves. Besides, they are rarely exercising. The availability of energy saving technologies is the indicator of a developing economy while it constitutes the ingredients of expanding the waistlines and chronic diseases. For example, people use electronic technology to clean cars, dishes, and/or drive cars. These are the major causes of increased calories rather than pork eating as the Qur’an depicts.
Based on the expositions made in the study, the reader would stand a good chance of witnessing the conciliation and contradiction of the Qur’an’s miracles and modern science. Although the Qur’an is the holy book of the Islamic religion, it differs with modern science in some areas. However, the book is seen as a perfect prediction of various scientific occurrences that are happening today congruent to what the contemporary science forecasts to happen in the future.
Despite of the fact that the Qur’an was authored about 14000 years ago, it had some valid insights that science has come to prove in the modern days, some of these conciliatory facts include the reality that the universe will eventually end contrary to the belief of many people who see the impossibility of this happening.
The Qur’an predicts that the world will end through the act Allah. The universe will therefore collapse inwards, thus destroying all the creatures living on it. In addition, the Qur’an also records that the sun will eventually fall. It depicts that Allah will stop both the sun and the mood from functioning in a particular time that He has set in the unknown future.
People have all along questioned on how this can happen considering that the atom, the size of which the earth will take, is a very small object. However, the shape and size that the other particles will assume and/or disappear to remain a mystery that is yet to be unraveled, though known to Allah alone. However, there is a contradiction between the Qur’an and modern science on matters of the harmful effects of pork on health.
The Qur’an depicts pork as a prohibited food since it results in harmful effects such as obesity on human health. However, modern science has proved that a well-cooked pork is healthy and a nutritious source of protein. Further research indicates other more severe causes of obesity such as poor lifestyles. Hence, according to the contemporary science, pork is not to blame for the increased obese people in countries where it is highly consumed.
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