Q: I am interested in astronomy and I read much about other planets, stars and galaxies, their formation and the possibility of life on any of them. May I ask what does Islam say about such possibility, or should we not pursue such avenue at all?
A: You may pursue your interest as far as you wish. The Qur’an repeatedly invites us to study and try to explore the universe, because such study is bound to strengthen our faith. As we learn more about the universe, we are bound to recognize that it could not have come to existence by mere coincidence, as some atheist scientists claim. We will learn that it is created by God who continues to control it and conduct its affairs. The more we know about the universe, the greater our faith in God and His power. As for life on other planets or in other galaxies, the Qur’an does not tell us much about that. However, it only fits with God’s system of creation and His power that there should be other forms of life on other planets and in other solar systems and galaxies. If we get to know about these we will be most amazed at the extent of God’s power. On the other hand, if we assume that our planet earth is the only one in the universe, which supports life, we only betray our ignorance.