Why do we refer to science and scientific facts when explaining certain
The Qur�an declares: �Those who truly fear
God, among His servants, are those who have knowledge .�
The reason why we refer to science and scientific facts when explaining
our religion is that some people are determined that they will never accept
anything other than scientific facts. Materialists and anti-religious people
have sought to exploit science as a means of defying religion and use its
prestige to spread their thinking. By this means, they have distorted and
corrupted the minds of a great number of people. Therefore, using the same
materials we have to show that science and technology are not contradictory
to our religion. In other words, as opposed to materialists who evaluated
matter in their own way and thus went astray, we have to evaluate the same
matter and lead people to the right path. I personally do not disapprove of
this kind of argument. On the contrary, I hold that believers should be well
versed in such facts in order to fight back against materialism and atheism.
For, the verses of the Qur�an urge us to reflect and study, they direct us
to observe the stars and galaxies. They impress upon us the Magnificence of
the Creator. They exhort us also to wander among human beings and direct our
attention to the miraculousness of our organs and physical creation. From
the world of atoms to the largest beings, from man�s first being on the
earth to his leaving it, the Qur�anic verses place the whole creation before
our eyes. Touching upon a multitude of facts, the Qur�an tells us that those
who truly fear God, among His servants, are those who have knowledge (al-Fatir,
35.28), and so encourages us to seek �ilm, to reflect and to research.
However, it should always be borne in mind as a first condition that all
these reflections and research must comply with the spirit of the Qur�an.
Otherwise, while claiming to be following the advice and command of the
Qur�an, we shall in fact be departing from it.
Science and the facts it presents can and should be used to
expound Islamic facts.
Science and the facts it presents can and should be used to expound
Islamic facts. But if we use them to show off our knowledge or to impress
others with our authority, whatever we say does not influence its hearers in
the right way, if at all. Words and arguments in themselves bright and
persuasive lose their effectiveness on account of the intention in our
hearts: they get as far as the listeners eardrums and no further. Similarly,
if our argument aims at silencing people instead of persuading them, we
shall ourselves have blocked the listeners� way to understanding and so fail
to achieve our goals. However, if we try to persuade with a full and proper
sincerity, those who do need such arguments to believe will receive their
portion and benefit from it even if we ourselves do not notice this
happening. Sometimes an argument sincerely presented in this way, even if
you felt at the time it was ineffective, may in reality be far more
beneficial to the listeners than another when you spoke rather more freely
and eloquently. Our primary aim when introducing science and scientific
facts must be to win the pleasure of God, and we must present them according
to the level of the listeners.
It is not correct to regard science as superior in some way
to religion, or to present substantial Islamic issues with this attitude as
if to justify religion or reinforce its credibility by means of modern
It is not correct to regard science as superior in some way to religion,
or to present substantial Islamic issues with this attitude as if to justify
religion or reinforce its credibility by means of modern scientific facts.
This attitude is incorrect because it implies that we ourselves have doubts
about the truths of Islam and are, or to speak, in need of science. Equally
incorrect is it to accept science or scientific facts as absolute, as the
decisive criteria for the authenticity or supra-human origin of the Qur�an,
and so place them in a position which confirms the Qur�an. This is not only
absurd, it is abhorrent and by no means to be permitted or tolerated. Such
arguments and allusions to science have at best a secondary, supportive use
and may be of value in that they open a door onto a way which, otherwise,
certain people simply would not know exists.
Science is to be used as an instrument of awakening or
stirring some minds which, otherwise, might remain asleep or unmoved.
Science is to be used therefore as an instrument of awakening or stirring
some minds which, otherwise, might remain asleep or unmoved. We may think of
it as a dusting brush with which to brush the dust off the truth, and the
desire for truth, which lie hidden in unstirred consciences. By contrast, if
we set out from the position that science is the absolute, we shall end up
seeking to fit the Qur�an and Hadith to it, and where the Qur�an and Hadith
disagree with science we shall be the instigators of doubt and corruption.
The Qur�an and Hadith are true and absolute. Science and
scientific facts are true as long as they are in agreement with the Qur�an
Our position must be clear, and it is this: the Qur�an and Hadith are
true and absolute. Science and scientific facts are true as long as they are
in agreement with the Qur�an and Hadith, and are false inasmuch as they
differ or lead away from the truth of Qur�an and Hadith. Even the definitely
established scientific facts cannot be pillars to uphold the truths of iman
(faith). They can and should only be accepted as an instrument to give us
ideas or to trigger us to reflect. God it is Who establishes the truths of
iman in our conscience. To expect that that takes place, or could take
place, through science is a grave error: iman comes by Divine guidance, and
only by Divine guidance. Anyone who fails to grasp this is in an error from
which it is hard to recover. Because, while he is trying to look for and
gather evidence from the universe, he will attempt to make it speak
eloquently in the Name of God, and thus he himself will always remain as a
servant to nature and as a nature worshipper, though unaware of being so. He
will study and speak of flowers, of the verdancy and spring of nature, but
not the least greenness or bud of iman will sprout in his conscience. In his
lifetime, he may never feel the existence of God within his consciousness.
In appearance, he will be free from worshipping nature, but in reality that
is what he will be doing throughout his lifetime.
A man is mu�min owing to the iman he holds in his heart, not
to the heaps of knowledge in his head.
A man is mu�min owing to the iman he holds in his heart, not to the heaps
of knowledge in his head. After a person has got as far as he can in
understanding by means of evidence objective and subjective, he must rid
himself of dependence on the outer circumstances and qualities and
conditions of all such evidence if he is to proceed at all in making
spiritual progress. When he abandons that dependence and walks in the way of
his heart and conscience within the light and guidance of the Qur�an, then,
as God wills, he may find the enlightenment he is looking for: as the German
philosopher, Kant, said: �I felt the need to leave behind all the books I
read in order to believe in God.�
Undoubtedly, the grand book of the universe, the book of the
true nature of man, and the books that comment on these, have their proper
place and significance.
Undoubtedly, the grand book of the universe, the book of the true nature
of man, and the books that comment on these, have their proper place and
significance. But, after man makes use of them, he should be rid of them and
live with his iman, as it were, face to face. What we are here saying may
seem abstract to those who have not gone deep into the experience of faith
and conscience. But those souls whose nights are bright with devotion and
who acquire wings through their longing to aspire to their Lord will