Published on July 14th, 2021 | by Admin | Views:27
What Iam going to be talking about , and I’d to actually turn it into more of a conversation than a lecture, is the concept of science. In the Quran, but that is sort of abrupt as a topic because it needs a context, so I am going to present that context first, and thenwe’ll go into some examples of science in the Quran.
The Quran in Muslim belief is two things in one.It’s a divine message but at the same time, it is also a miracle. It’s considered a miracle. And when we talk about the word miracle – I
mean, the divine message part, I think everybodyunderstands – any people that adhere to
a religion or way of life hold certain words to be scripture or to be Holy and this is
the case of the Muslims with the Quran.But it’s just important to understand our concept of the word miracle before we go any further, because it is a very specific definition that Islam gives to the word that is not applicable to the word in common language.
So even though I am using the word miracle, it’s not necessarily what you would think of usually. Now, I want you to think – where’d you use the word miracle?
[Audience – inaudible]
You want me to stop?
[Audience – inaudible]
Ok, they want me to hold on and come back.
But I don’t want to waste time, so what I’ll do is…I’ll talk to you about some things, and when other people come in, I’ll start over and I’ll quiz you on what I’ve talked about. Ok?
This makes good use of our time. So you’ll signal me, and I’ll restart, no problem.Ok, Insha’Allah.
So, in common language, nowadays, where’d you use the word miracle. You are watching TV.
Who’d use the word miracle?
Do you use the word miracle?
Yeah, sports, definitely.
You know, the short clock’s running down, somebody takes a chuck at it from the half-court, and it goes in and everybody screams. It’s a miracle.
Basically, also, you call your friends after you’ve really tanked the exam , and then the day of the grades, you go into class and
you’ve got a 97, and you say this is…this is a miracle.
Miracles – basically what people think of, when they think of the word miracle, is something really good and unexpected that happens to you or someone else – as a miracle.
Somebody’s healed . Right?
Or something really great happened.
Or something very unexpected happened.
But not impossible.
It is highly unlikely, but not…impossible.
That’s the general connotation of the word miracle, in language. But it also has a spiritual sense, among religions in general. And in the spiritual sense, it has nothing to do with experiencing something or that something that can be proven. It rather has to do with something you feel in your heart. So, you can speak to someone of a particular faith and they can say well I believe that such and such religion is a miracle because I felt that miracle in my heart.
I feel it.
And I can’t give you that feeling – you’ll
have to feel it for yourself.
So, it’s basically – when we use the word in the spiritual sense, what you are actually saying is that it is not something provable at all. It is not something that can be gauged in scientific terms. It is a personal experience, really, right? So, that’s the second.
And thirdly, I want to say something a bit controversial – the word miracle is irrelevant…in the context of science. It’s irrelevant.
Because the scientific community in general, whenever they study a phenomena, what is their attempt?Are they trying to figure out if this is a miracle or is there a scientific explanation behind it?
What their attempt always?
To find a scientific explanation.
So, scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as a miracle. It has to have some sort of explanation. If you believe in miracles, then you are not
truly a scientist. That’s the new way of thinking. That…that’s modern thought.
Miracles are a religious thing. Or common language thing. But they are certainly not a scientific thing. It’s not a scientific thing. And wherever science has no answer, basically what it says is that we haven’t figured this out yet, but we are sure that there is an explanation. But it’s an unwillingness to take the leap
of faith – is what is termed usually, right? The leap of faith. So, for example, in the scientific community,
you may have a belief in the big bang.
And there may be a consensus about it. But when it comes to the question of what caused the big bang, an average scientist will tell you science can’t answer thatquestion, philosophy can, or religion can. We can’t…until we have better knowledge that’s not a question that…it’s not a scientific question. And if you were paying attention to the debate early last year, particularly in some of the North Eastern States, in the education system, there was a big debates between a…the teaching of evolution versus intelligent design…
do you remember this debate?
It was a pretty popular debate.
And essentially the argument on the scientific community’s end was that you can’t teach evolution, or rather intelligent design, for one simple reason. And what was their reason? Anyone knows?
No, it’s not as such about proof. It’s a religious thought. It’s a philosophical idea. It’s not something that can be gauged with the five senses. Again, this is something you learn in life. Third grade.
How you come to scientific conclusions? What do you use?
Yeah, the scientific method which involves, basically the five senses. And when you are talking about miracle, you are definitely asking people to go beyond…or believe something beyond the five senses.
Right? So, it seems like science and religion, at some point in time, they collide. And there doesn’t seem to be any reconciliation. Either you are religious, or you are scientific. And when there is…you know, on the other hand, there is this weird phenomenon that we are finding more and more of nowadays, there are people that are scientists but they are very religious.
You’ve got a very religious doctor. Doctor is a sort of a scientist. Or a physicist, right? But, they may or may not necessarily try to merge the two things. Meaning, they put their religion aside when they study science, and they put their science aside when they read revelation or when they listen to a sermon or pray or whatever. That’s a personal, spiritual thing, and science is sort of like an intellectual thing. And you can’t really reconcile them.
Even people that are religious and scientific, many of them have this problem. Right?
So, it’s something that can’t be reconciled. At least, that’s what it seems. But the term miracle in Islam, it has a very different connotation.
By the way, before I go into miracles in Islam, I’ll tell you some funny cases of miracles…or the word miracle being used in the news.
There was a lady, I think it was four years ago, some homeless lady. She found a slice of bread under a bridge in Chicago. And it looked like Jesus. And she called it a miracle. And she sold it on Ebay. For a few thousand. Because it was a miracle slice of bread, Right. And this, by the way wasn’t in the…you
know…alert international headline news. This was in the part of the news where they show a dog surfing and like, you know, silly news? This is where it belongs. Because, again, the term in irrelevant in the scientific sense.
So, what is a miracle in Islam?
The classical scholars of Islam listed many conditions for something to be considered a miracle according to Islamic theology. I’ll give you the conditions that are agreed upon universally. Across the centuries, some conditions everybody agree with. Those are the ones I am going to share with you.
And we are going to talk about them a little bit later on, and I’ll see if you can remember them if you are not writing them down. The first one is it’s impossible for human beings to do or perform. A miracle has to be something that can’t be manufactured. It’s not skills. It’s not a trick. It’s not a technology. It has no possibility to have come…or it couldn’t have originated from a human being. It just can’t. It’s impossible. If you were to see it…and just to give you a crazy example, if somebody is, for example, floating, which is…crazy – you wouldn’t think of that happening, and if they are, that’s not something human beings can do without a device, right. Or a baby speaking. And I think all of you know what I am referring to, right? And that’s not something human beings can do. The day of your birth, you speak? Right? That’s not something you can do. Or, being born of a virgin mother, something human beings can’t do. So, it has to be beyond human capability.
The second thing. Which is different from the first, is that it breaks the laws of nature. There are certain patterns, in life, and we observe them – science is a great way to observe them.
Gravity. Simple things from the ancients like fire-burns, right? And, here you have Ibrahim, or Abraham (AS) being thrown into the fire. But does it burn?
So that will be considered miraculous. So it has to be something that you can’t explain from nature. But there is an added thing that…I don’t know if I put in the latter points here – it defies patterns of history. It was never done before, it can’t be done again. When you get something that stands out in history, you could say it’s possible that it might happen again but it hasn’t, and it never did before it – meaning, it stands out uniquely in human history. Which is sort of like what I am saying, when I say, it can’t be repeated. It cannot be duplicated. Actually, probably duplicated is a better
word than repeated here.
It can’t be duplicated.
Now, why would an amazing card trick not be considered a miracle in Islamic…in the Islamic sense? Someone else can do it too. Right, more than a person can do it. But it’s (miracle) something that you can’t reproduce. It’s not something that you can come up
with over and over and over again. It’s a one time thing. That’s it. And this is part of its conditions. This is a unique condition in Islam. We don’t consider anything a miracle except something that is being claimed by a person who himself claims to be a messenger, of God of course, of Allah. A prophet…specifically a messenger – the word prophet is more general, the word messenger is more specific. This was just common sense. It doesn’t contradict the messenger. I’ll give you an example from Islamic history. We are not going to discuss miracles in the overall sense yet, but you know, there was a man at the time of the Prophet (SAW) in Islamic history. He claimed to be a prophet. He said, well, Muhammad (SAW) has pretty good popularity, if I claim to be a messenger, maybe I can be pretty popular too. So he decides he is going to claim to be a messenger.
His name was Musailmah – al-Kazzab.
And, in that same time, the Prophet (SAW) was brought a child who was very sick. And actually, then he was…first he was taken to a well that was almost dried up and he was asked to help and pray that this well recovers because the town was suffering from it. So the Prophet (SAW) he prayed – he made
Dua, and he spit in that well, and it became overflowing. As the narration goes. Musailmah-al-Kazzab, on the other hand, his town was also having a drought. So his people said, you are a messenger too, you can pull this off. And so his…their well was half-dry, and he spit in it, and as soon as he does that, the narration goes, the well dried up completely.
So what I…what I mean by ‘it contradicts the messenger’ is you are performing something, and what you are doing contradicts that fact that you are a messenger of Allah. It’s doing the exact opposite of what you claim to be. But probably the biggest condition – and this is the one that the scholars emphasize the most on, and put it at the end, is that it challenges mankind. The point of a miracle isn’t to show you
something really cool and say ‘wow, that was awesome’. The point of it, in Islam, in our belief, it’s always been, since the beginning of mankind, any prophet, any messenger that was given miracles, the point of it was miracles are…rather the messengers are bringing something really crazy…and before you can appreciate the last point, I am going to give you a scenario. Picture yourself in this time. Picture yourself living a couple of thousand years ago, you know, you live in a village, and there is a person living next to you – generally…middle-aged man, maybe forty years old; nice guy, you’ve known him your whole life, very wise person in the community – one day, he comes over to your house, knocks on your door, and says, Last night, an angel came into my house, and gave me revelation, that I am a messenger of God, and whatever I say from now on isn’t actually me speaking…I am just representing the message of God. So if you reject me, or deny anything I’m saying, it’s the same as you denying…who? God himself. And nothing I say is open to criticism any longer.
Whatever I have to say is repre…I am not divine myself but whatever I have to say is representative of a divine authority. And you have to listen and obey me alone over everything else, and if you don’t, you’ll be doomed in this life, and the hereafter. This is your neighbor.
What’d you say to him? What’d you say?
Nowadays, you’ll call 911…Haha.
If you were nice, you’d say ‘what did you eat last night’. Or ‘are you on any medication’. Or you…pretty much your first assumption would be what?
This person is crazy. That’s crazy. Why is that so crazy?
Now, I want you to think…why would you and I have that as our first reaction? Why do you think that’s crazy? I need to hear this. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
There is no tangible or empirical evidence, but it goes a step further. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
No, I am saying two thousand years ago. Yeah.
[Audience – inaudible]
Yeah. That…very good. You can’t trust something that just a person that just comes and tell you. But it’s more extreme than that. I mean the claim is pretty strong. Right? There is a very simple reason.
[Audience – inaudible]
It’s not questionable. How can human beings shut their minds off?By definition, we are programmed to think. And he’s asking us not to think anymore. So this is not acceptable There…but there is even a more core, more basic…very simple common sense reason. Yes.
[Audience – inaudible]
Exactly. Statistics. You have never seen anything like this ever being true in your life.
Nor does anyone else you know know of anything like this in their lifetimes. Nor has it ever been recorded in reliable history that you can think of. This is a completely unheard of phenomenon,
something way beyond our…your experience, something you definitely don’t consider normal behavior. You know, in Abnormal Psyche, day one, the professor comes in and says the difference between normal and abnormal behavior, in the society that you live in, a claim like that, by anyone, even one in a million, would be considered what? Absolutely abnormal behavior. This is not a norm. It defies what you expect to be normal behavior. It cannot be taken seriously. So, we have lots of reasons to reject this man. And by the way, if you read the Quran, also
other scripture…previous scripture, what do you find about the messengers? What did the people call them? What did the people call the messenger of Allah (SAW)? Magician. Insane. Right? Possessed. Does it make a little more sense now why would people say something like that? Because what he’s asking them to believe…ok, believing in one God…it’s not very far-fetched. Believing in a hereafter – possible. The biggest, the hardest thing to believe is what?
That the one…that just…I can’t see it happening…is what? A man being spoken to by an angel. That just…it goes…it’s beyond me. I can’t except that. Right? That’s the first reaction of many many people.
So, in order for people to…in order for their decision to be facilitated, in order for them to make that leap not of faith, but with open eyes, Islam says there were miracles sent, the point of which was simply this:
you think I’m crazy? Let me show you something God gave me that…as soon as you see it, it’s clear and evident nobody else could have given me this except God Himself. And this is the biggest proof that I am speaking the truth. Now, believe it…whether you believe it or not, put yourself in the hypothetical situation, if you were in a time when a man came, and claimed to be a messenger of Allah, a messenger of God, and he says to you believe that I am a messenger, and you say what’s your evidence? I mean, how should…why should I believe you?
And he says, you look at this boulder right here?
Go, check if it’s a real boulder or not. And you check, it’s a boulder, a big giant
boulder. And you say I am going to pray, and by God’s permission, a camel is going to come out of it. Which prophet am I talking about? Saleh (AS).
And a camel comes out of a boulder. What would you say? Fine. I mean, you…your first impression – maybe it’s magic, maybe a trick with my eyes, so you verify…you look, and use…in the end, you have to say this can’t be. This is beyond…you know…anything I have ever seen. Then, Maryam (AS) – Mary – comes to the people with the baby. With Jesus – with Eesa (AS). And people are accusing her of wrong-doing. And in Islam, this is something – I don’t think it’s in Christian scripture, but it’s in Islamic tradition, Eesa (AS) – or Jesus – in defense of his mother, speaks on the first day he is born, defending his mother, and saying I’m a messenger of Allah. She is innocent of the crime you accuse her of.
So now, if you didn’t believe – if you see a one day baby making a speech, a public speech, then, [Audience – inaudible]
start over, no…keep going…cool.
If you see a baby making a public speech on the first day he is born, then you’d probably be a believer. Or, I mean you’ve seen the Prince of Egypt, I’m sure.
If you were there when that water split, I’m sure that would turn you into a believer. Ok, this is actually a messenger of Allah, right. Messenger of God. This is beyond human capacity. It meets these conditions that I’m giving you.
But there is only one problem with all of this. In our time, I mean these are all of course a allegedly legends of ancient times. Stories made up. There was actually a BBS documentary, I think, a couple of nights ago, on, on Moses, and the…the…the exodus, whether it actually happened or not. And there, you know, scientifically trying to explain that it’s actually probably legend passed down, and it…with every generation, it got exaggerated to the point where it turned into the water parting, and that’s their
explanation of the exodus.
But, if you and I, in our day and age, were
to believe in a miracle, we would have to
see something beyond science.
Something that just can’t be explained otherwise. And that would make a believer out of me or
of you. Because we are living in an intellectual age. We are living in a scientific age. The age of faith that just…it was just like the atmosphere around the entire earth, no matter where on earth you went, what culture you visited, people were religious – whether they believed in one god or many, they were religious. That culture is slowly changing very fast. As much religion you see in the world today, there is this new movement that over a few…I mean…it’s the second century of this movement now, late into the…actually the middle of its third, that now people are bigger believers in science than they are in religion, even if they are religious people. Even if they are religious people. So we are living in an age of questioning and reasoning. And asking…you know…seeking intellectual answers. Now, does everybody understand the conditions of what constitutes a miracle in the Islamic sense?
The word miracle. In the Arabic sense, the classical scholars, the Islamic scholars use the word Mo’jiza- I put the apostrophe therefore a’in – Mo’jiza, but it’s used only by the scholars of Islam. It’s not a religious word. Meaning, it doesn’t appear in the Quran, it doesn’t appear in any statement of the Prophet (SAW). Ok. What does Mo’jiza mean? Mo’jiza – the word itself means that which incapacitates the opponent.
Something that is used to overpower the opponent, and they use this term because the idea is the miracle of Islam, which we are going to discuss in a little bit, is something whoever argues with it is incapacitated – that’s the argument. And, centuries of scholarship are dedicated just to this one subject.
The Mo’jiza of Islam.
But the word used in religious text – in Quran – and also in the sunnah – instead of Mo’jiza, the word used is Ayah. The word Ayah in Arabic means…actually Mo’jiza – you would probably literally translate into English as a miracle. Ayah, however, is translated as two things: it means a miracle, and it means a sign. Miracle and sign.
And so a good translate of Ayah that alludes to both would be a miraculous sign. That would probably be a good translation of the word Ayah. In the Quran, the smallest, or the lets go with the biggest…the biggest unit is a seventh. The unit under that is a Surah. Surah is kind of like a chapter, but not exactly. What’s the smallest unit in the Quran? Ayah. Every – I am not going to use the word verse
again, but just so you understand, every verse in the Quran is called, not a verse, but an Ayah. It’s called an Ayah. And actually using the word verse has some…implications, that I personally am not convinced of…of using the word verse because, for the of you who speak English as their first language, where do you hear the word verse? There are two main contexts where the word verse in used – poetry, music, songs, where else? One more place.
And the Quran is very emphatic in denying two things. At least two things.
-Number one, it’s not poetry.
-Number two, it’s not borrowed from previous scripture.
See, it becomes important for us not to use that term because it already comes with a connotation that the Quran very emphatically denies. So, verse is not to be used…rather, Ayah is to be used, which I…what translation did I offer you? Miraculous sign. Ok, so I discussed the difference between
these two words. But I want to get to the more…meaty part of the discussion.
I am gonna stop here, make sure you join our newsletter to read part 2. thank your for supporting us !
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