Responses to "Islamic Information"

Science in the Quran

Chapter 2 : "The Fusing and Separating of the Heavens and the Earth"


How do modern scientists explain the formation of the universe? Dr. Maurice Bucaille explains it in his book, The Bible, the Qur'an and Science, as follows:

The basic process in the formation of the universe . . . lay in the condensing of material in the primary nebula followed by its division into fragments that originally constituted galactic masses. The latter in their turn split up into stars that provided the sub-product of the process, i.e. the planets" (p.149).

Shabir, and Dr. Bucaille, are attempting to suggest that the Qur'an correctly describes the origins of the Universe according to the "Big Bang Theory" which, they believe to be universally accepted by modern science. There are several problems with this approach which, in the end, defeat Shabir's claims for the Qur'an:

1. Some scientists question the "Big Bang Theory"

There is no unanimous opinion among the scientific community that the "Big Bang Theory" explains the origins of the universe.

Astronomer Fred Hoyle tells us:

"I have little hesitation in saying that a sickly pall now hangs over the big-bang theory. When a pattern of facts becomes set against a theory, experience shows that the theory rarely recovers." Fred Hoyle, "The Big Bang Under Attack," Science Digest, May 1984, p. 84.


Does the Qur'an say anything about this condensing and separation of the primary material to result in the formation of our universe? Let's have a look. Our creator, Allah, says in his final book:

"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then we clove them asunder . . ." (Qur'an 21:30).

This could also be translated as follows:

"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused together, then we separated them . . ." (Qur'an 21:30).

Dr. Bucaille sees this as "the reference to a separation process of a primary single mass whose elements were initially fused together" (p.143).

Thus the Qur'an gives an accurate account of the formation of the universe to call upon humankind to recognise the power of their creator.

2. Problems with the "Theory"

The main problem with this passage is: How do we "see" that the universe was fused together and separated, as the Qur'an, and "Big Bang Theory", suggests? We need to have some evidence, do we not? Or do we have to take the Qur'anic explanation without observation or experimentation - the hallmarks of science?

There are several observations which are presented as "proof" of this explanation, but how do these observations stand up to scientific scrutiny?

Proof 1: Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR)

All matter in the universe radiates heat. Throughout the Universe, we can detect an extremely uniform type of radiation, known as Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR). Apparantly, this radiation comes from matter whose temperature is 2.73 Kelvin, or very near absolute zero. "Big Bang" proponents tell us that this is left over from the big bang, and incorrectly believe that the big bang theory predicts this radiation. (See: Tom Van Flandern, "Did the Universe Have a Beginning?," Meta Research Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 3, 15 September 1994, p. 33.)

The problem with using the CBR as proof of the "Big Bang" is that CBR is uniform throughout the Universe, therefore, the matter [from which it originated] must also be uniformly distributed throughout the universe. However, if matter were uniformly distributed, it would not gravitate in any given direction - never! Galaxies, stars, and planets would never have evolved. Matter is concentrated in the universe in the form of galaxies, therefore, the CBR cannot be a remnant of a big bang.

Proof 2 : The Amount of Helium in the Universe

Proponents of the "Big Bang Theory" often cite the amount of Helium in the Universe as proof for their theory. However, on closer examination, the amount of helium in the universe is not explained by the "Big Bang Theory". In fact, this theory was modified, into the "Inflationary Big Bang", in order to "explain" the amount of helium in the Universe. (See Alan H. Guth, "A Possible Solution to the Horizon and Flatness Problem" in Physical Review, D, Vol. 23, 15 January 1981, pp. 348-356.). Even this modified "Big Bang Theory" is contradicted by of the lack of helium in some types of stars - B type stars for example. (See: Margaret J. Geller and John P. Huchra, "Mapping the Universe," Science, Vol. 246, 17 November 1989, pp. 897-903. and M. Mitchell Waldrop, "Astronomers Go Up Against the Great Wall," Science, Vol. 246, 17 November 1989, p. 885.)

Proof 3: Redshift

The redshift of distant starlight is often explained by scientists as a Doppler effect - stars that are moving away from earth, are stretching out (or "reddening") the wave lengths of light that we observe on the earth. Therefore, this expansion is proof of the "Big Bang Theory". There is no argument concerning the existence of Redshift, however, the "Big Bang Theory", and its assumptions concerning an expanding Universe, are not supported by the facts.

First, there are many objects in space, with have high redshifts, which appear to be connected with other objects which have low redshifts. Obviously, these objects cannot be traveling at such radically different velocities and remain connected. For example, there are some quasars which have very high redshifts, and they are clustered with galaxies which have low redshifts. (See: Halton M. Arp, Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies (Berkeley, California: Interstellar Media, 1987).

Second, there are observations [of the Redshift] which are inconsistent with the Doppler effect. For example, if redshifts are produced by objects moving away from the earth, we would expect the redshifting of all of these objects to have continuous values. However, we observe that redshifts cluster at specific, evenly-spaced values. (See: William G. Tifft, "Properties of the Redshift," The Astrophysical Journal , Vol. 382, 1 December 1991, pp. 396-415.)


Clearly, there is no scientific evidence which conclusively supports the theory that the universe was "clove asunder" as the Qur'an, or "Big Bang Theory" suggests. Therefore, until we "see" such evidence, we have no reason to believe the Qur'an, unless we simply accept whatever it says without investigation - which is not scientific!

3. Assuming that the "Big Bang Theory" is correct, how does the Qur'an fit this Model?

Let us assume, purely for the sake of argument, that the "Big Bang Theory" is true. How does the Qur'an fit this Theory?

Big Bang: Earth formed long after stars

Qur'an : Sura 41:10 tells us that Allah place mountains on the earth; then, Sura 41:11 describes how the Earth and the rest of the Universe, which was composed of "smoke", were called together by Allah; and Sura 41:12 tells us that Allah created the "seven firmaments". This implies that the Earth is older than the stars!

Big Bang: Plants evolved after the sun


Once again, Sura 41:10 tells us:

And He made in it mountains above its surface, and He blessed therein and made therein its foods, in four periods: alike for the seekers. (Shakir)

Yet, the rest of the Universe was created in Sura 41:11-12 when Allah called the already formed Earth, complete with plants (and possibly animals since they are also "foods"), together with the "smoke" with which He formed the stars. Therefore, according to the Qur'an, plants (and possibly animals) came before the stars.

Clearly, the Qur'an's account of the origins of the Universe do not fit the "Big Bang Theory" - nor does the Bible's account. Therefore, it is philosophical suicide to appeal to the "Big Bang Theory" to prove the Divine origins of the Qur'an because, if you use this theory to judge the veracity of the Qur'an, the Qur'an fails the test of truth.


This raises an interesting question: How could a man living in the seventh century invent these ideas which could not be confirmed until modern times? And how could he in so doing avoid the mythical and fanciful ideas prevalent in human history?

1. There were similar ideas in other cultures

Other cultures have similar tales. The Hindu Rig Veda says that the universe was created when the golden "cosmic egg" was split. The Vedic, as well as the Qur'anic account, are nice stories, however, they do not fit the "Big Bang Theory".

2. Does the Qur'an "avoid the mythical and fanciful ideas"?

How do you explain Sura 27:18-19 in which Solomon overhears a conversation of ants? (Cf. e.g. Talking Ants, A Fancy for Fables.)

Andrew Vargo

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