Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul Akhir / Jamadiul Awwal 1423 H
July 2002
Volume 15-07 No:187

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Quran & Science


Secrets of Matter and Energy
The Quran on the Cerebrum


Secrets of Matter and Energy

By Mohd Shihabuddin Nadvi

Chemistry and physics are the two keys to the treasuries of the universe which are nothing but the blessings of the most benevolent Allah, on which is based the vicegerency of the earth.

In the holy Quran, the Creator has referred to His blessings and favours on the mankind at several places and has declared that all these are His gifts to man: He it is who created for you all that there is in the earth.... (Baqara: 29) It is He who hath made the earth subject to you, so that you may traverse over it in any direction you please and enjoy the provisions of life furnished by Him. (Mulk:15). In addition, He has declared that in consideration to the nature of human beings, He has not only made all things submissive to man, but made them to function for him. And these blessings man can never count.

Do you not notice how God hath pressed to your service all that is in the skies (in the space) and all that is in the earth and hath been bounteous to you of His favours (so as to benefit you) both inwardly and outwardly? (Luqman: 20).

And of everything which you ask Him, giveth He to you; and if you would reckon up the favours of God, you cannot count them! (Ibrahim: 34). The favours, those are both inwardly and outwardly, have been referred here. By ‘outwardly favours’ are meant all externally obvious blessings that have been common for the man of every epoch and the ‘inwardly favours’ might stand for all such amenities that have turned out to be accessible after the advent and development of the modern science which have unravelled the secrets of matter and energy. This reference covers all that is described under electricity, steam and atomic energy by virtue of which man has been able to achieve much on land and water. These innovations include various machines like motor, rail, aeroplanes, telephone, teleprinter, computer, chemical products, rubber products, steel products, electrical gadgets and thousands of such things. Even the defence equipment can be included in this list. Manufacturing all these products are sustaining many industries in the whole world. In fact, there is keen competition among the nations. The very mark of progress and development depends on the status of that country or nation in the field of industry and technology. Apart from being branded ‘progressive,’ the leadership also depends on these achievements. Even small nations by virtue of their industrial progress and achievement are being included among the ‘great’ nations. All this, as is evident, is due only to their knowledge of science and technology, which has been referred, in the holy Quran as “the science of names” and “the science of conquest”.

Of the sciences, which may be considered as basic, are the two main units. They are chemistry and physics. These are the two ‘keys’ to the ‘treasuries’ of the universe which are nothing but the ‘blessings of the Most Benevolent’ on which is based the vicegerency of the world. It is thus clear that, that nation alone will be the true vicegerent of the earth who is the most advanced in mastering the techniques advocated by these two branches of the science. One should not overlook another basic factor in this regard. Here there is no distinction between the ‘obedient’ and ‘disobedient’ of the Almighty. The law of nature is that whosoever advances, would unravel the mysteries of nature and utilise the knowledge of these sciences for constructive purposes alone. Such a nation would have a right to rule, to guide and to enjoy all the blessings of the Lord. If one lags behind in seizing the opportunity, it will be deprived of all the above favours and branded as ‘backward’. History bears testimony that as long as the Muslim nations held these sciences closer to their hearts, they were on the top. But as soon as they ignored them, they were beaten back. They are now at the nadir of the wheel of fortune. There are about 55 Muslim countries in the world, but in what position are they is self-evident. Imagine what would have been their status, had they continued their links with these sciences of which they were the torchbearers in many fields for such a long period. Had they, there was a possibility of checking the waywardness that has crept in due to the materialistic point of view. There certainly would not have been a leaning towards atheism. The negligence on their part has costed the world such irreparable loss that cannot be estimated. The Muslims have to seriously contemplate and rectify their attitude towards learning. For the renaissance of the Muslims it becomes imperative, nay it can be referred as Farz-e-kifaya according to Imam Ghazzali (vide Ihyaul Uloom, Vol. 1, P. 16), to devote to the learning of sciences and other technical subjects. I consider this to be Farz-e-Ain. We should have Quran and Hadith in one hand and science and technology in the other. Then only can we strike a balance and can march ahead in life, vicegerency and renaissance. The present times are competitive times with material advances of the first order. The laws and regulations of Almighty would certainly prevail. So we have to plan our course of action without losing courage and must shape the history.

Our responsibility does not merely rest with building up our strength and becoming self-sufficient. It is also to repel the advances of all mistaken materialistic philosophies that are pushing the humanity into the corners of destruction and waywardness. This great task of reforming and providing panacea to the ailing humanity can be achieved only when we too stand shoulder to shoulder with the materially advanced nations. Only by capturing coveted positions in the technological and scientific fields can we strengthen our religion and belief and can spread its healthy values. It becomes obligatory upon the Muslim governments to extend all possible help to all those who are aiming to achieve this goal.

For breaking the hard core of psychological barriers, the Muslim society has to first shatter that mental inertia which represents all its backwardness and helplessness. Then only can we have new ideological standards. The realistic and scientific attitude, which is nothing but an evolved form of the Quranic guidance, has to be adopted. We cannot live in this world with eyes closed to the physical causes and effects. Never has the Quran advocated such an attitude. In fact, along with complete reliance on the Almighty, consideration for the cause and effect has also been advocated throughout.

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The Quran on the Cerebrum

Allah has said in the Quran about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) from praying at the Kaabah:

“No! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)! (Quran, 96:15-16) Why did the Quran describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful? Why didn’t the Quran say that the person was lying and sinful? What is the relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness? If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum. What does physiology tell us about the function of this area? A book entitled, Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex. Also the book says, “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional centre for aggression.

The prefrontal area is located at the front of the cerebral cortex. So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behaviour. So it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Quran has said, “...A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!”

Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith L. Moore.

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