Friday, December 23, 2022

The Quranic Truths of Qayamat and Resurrection

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam 23 December 2022 The Argument That The Quran Is A Book Of Spirituality And Morality Does Not In Any Way Make It Less Of A Book Of Mathematical/Logical/Absolute Truths. Allah Has Precisely Determined Every Moral Code To Produce The Most Optimum Outcome In Terms Of Our Happiness And Well-Being Considering The Nature Of Man. This Is The Language Of Mathematics And Logic. ------ The Nature of the Quran The Quran makes a claim that it is the word of God without a doubt who is the all-knowing, all-Hearing and all-wise Creator. What logically follows from it is that it is a Book of absolute truths. That is axiomatic. It is therefore only to be expected that as our knowledge about our material world grows with the pursuit of science, the absolute truths in the Quran about our material world are empirically proved correct progressively. Until such time, science lags behind the Quran. The Quran claims and it is also expected that being the word of God, it is internally consistent, and without any discrepancy. The Quran also claims that it is a Book that makes itself clear without crookedness, amenable to deriving its single true meaning, unlike poetry which can be interpreted in many ways. The message is repeated in different ways to prevent misunderstanding any part. This property makes it possible to treat the Book as a system of logic and apply the rules of logic to derive its meaning or for drawing logical inferences. The Quran is a Book of: 1. The Deen, religion or Moral code. These are simply God-given rules which we obey as from God who knows best what is good for us. 2. The Unseen truths or the Al-Ghayab truths such as God, Heaven, Hell, Angels etc. These are neither provable nor unprovable as there is no empirical evidence to go by. 3. The truths about our material world in the Book. These are subject to proof with empirical evidence. Proof of Fallibility The disbelievers who disagree that the Quran is a reliable system of logic and of absolute truths have their task cut out. They need to prove the following: 1. Prove that it has discrepancies, errors or contradictions 2. Prove any Quranic truth about our empirical world to be factually incorrect With over 6000 verses and with numerous verses about our material world, there is enough opportunity to prove the Quran unreliable and factually incorrect if that is the case. Failure to do so is confirmation that the Quran is indeed a Book of absolute truths and a reliable system of logic amenable to applying rules of logic to derive its single true meaning or to draw logical inferences. The Meaning of Faith In this respect, the Quran does not differ from any other system of logic such as mathematics. People who have no knowledge of mathematics, repose faith in it because it has proved useful even though it is also based on unprovable axioms/postulates as its foundation. Mathematics, as a system of logic also collapses if you can prove something and its opposite as true or a truth that falsifies its axioms. It is the same with the Quran. The believer’s faith in the Quran is therefore not any different from a belief in mathematics provided the believer’s faith is confined to the clear indisputable message of the Quran alone. If it is contrary to the clear message of the Quran, then such a person’s beliefs are suspect. The argument that the Quran is a book of spirituality and morality does not in any way make it less of a Book of Mathematical/Logical/Absolute truths. Allah has precisely determined every moral code to produce the most optimum outcome in terms of our happiness and well-being considering the nature of man. This is the language of mathematics and logic. The mathematics involved is too complex and beyond us at least till now and in the foreseeable future and therefore we take these simply as God-given rules and follow them faithfully. This is the meaning of faith. We repose faith in what is not yet proved and, in the Al-Ghayab based on the assurance provided by what has been proved from among the provable truths and the fact that nothing of the provable has been proved false. Belief in the Quran which measures up to the standards expected from a Book that is the unaltered word of God is as rational as a belief in Mathematics and Science. This means that if for any good reason you reject even one verse of the Quran, you must reject the entire Book because it has failed to measure up to the standards expected of it. You may as well conclude then that there is no God. With such a high standard for the Book, the believers are rational believers and the disbelievers are the morally corrupt and those who find the demands of religion inconvenient. On Spirituality Spirituality is a word that we use when we lack explicit knowledge and have only a vague sense of what is being said, about Allah, the meaning and purpose of life, Hereafter, Allah’s attributes etc. It is our limitation on explicit knowledge which makes us “spiritual” but for Allah, everything is explicit knowledge and there is nothing which is “spiritual”. Quranic Truths That Have Become Believable Based On Empirical Evidence There are scores of verses on the Resurrection and rewards and punishment in the Hereafter. This will take place after this creation/universe is destroyed and a new one is recreated and the dead are raised up on the Day of Judgment. The most often asked question by the disbelievers was "how when we die and turn to dust will we be raised again in the Hereafter?”. The Quran answers that it will be based on information alone. This was beyond the understanding of the previous people. We now know from science that each individual has a unique genetic code. This information is both necessary and sufficient for Allah to recreate us exactly as we were including our unique fingerprints. Science has made the Quranic truth that we will be resurrected based on information alone believable. Read: The Seemingly Unanswerable Question That Religion Raised Creation, Destruction and Recreation The Quran has some remarkable verses on the cycle of creation, destruction and recreation of the Universe. (51:47) AND IT IS We who have built the universe with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. The observations of the wavelength of light and radiation reaching the earth led to the discovery that the Universe is expanding which implied that it was all squeezed together once before the expansion began or to the Big Bang theory of creation. The empirical evidence of an expanding universe agrees with what verse 51:47 is saying. (21:30) Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens (l-samāwāti) and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation) before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? Nobody could see that the heavens and the earth were joined together or brought together before they were cloven asunder. Scientists believed in a steady-state universe until a century ago. This verse is addressed to the present-day disbelievers who can now see that the Quran speaks the truth and that it is not an outdated 7th-century book as they seem to think. It is they who are asked to see the proof that the Quran is eternal in its relevance and contains absolute truths and not mere theories or speculation. Another Version of Creation in the Quran The creation of the Universe which includes the earth takes only two days (41:9 and 12). Making the earth fit for sustaining life takes another four days (41:10) or a total of six days. Verse 41:11 again speaks about bringing together everything before cleaving them asunder. The big bang speaks of the starting position as a singularity before which nothing existed and an expansion from a size less than an atom. It differs from the Quran in a material way and the difference has been discussed in my article: The Big Bang Theory and the Quran Science, however, is well on the way to converging with what the Quran says. (41:9) Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. (10) He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance). (11) Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience." (12) So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge. The day here is not our 24-hour day but a cosmic day which the Quran describes in one context as our thousand years and in another context as our 50 thousand years. In different contexts, a cosmic day is defined differently. The concept of relativity of time is there bang in your face. In the context of the creation of the Universe, the cosmic day is not defined. This is because the number is very large for which there was no name in the vocabulary of the 7th century Arabs. The word million was coined only in the 14th century and billion in the 16th century. The cosmic day of creation we now know from science, is of the order of 1.72 billion years. Further four days for bestowing blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance) equal 6.87 billion years as per our present state of knowledge from science. The relative proportion of time taken to create the Universe and twice that to make the earth support life that the verse speaks of is remarkable. We know now from science that everything that is needed to support life such as Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, water, the other elements, the soil, the Sun etc. needed time to make and it is only the earth that has these things in the required measure to sustain life. This also confirms what the Quran says that the rest of the Heavens serve the earth its required needs in the right measure. Verses about the End and Recreating a New Universe (21:104) The Day that We roll up the heavens (l-samāa) like a scroll rolled up for books (completed),- even as We produced the first creation, so shall We create a new one: a promise We have undertaken: truly shall We fulfil it. (39:67) No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him: On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful and the heavens (wal-samāwātu) will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him! The four verses 21:30, 41:11, 21:104 and 39:67 taken together, support, reinforce and clarify each other which leaves no room for any doubt about what they mean. How do the Heavens and the Earth become a single Unit (21:30)? By coming together when Allah commanded them to do so (41:11). What will happen when the world is brought to an end? On the command of Allah, it will roll up and fit into Allah’s hand which is allegorical for saying it will be compressed to a very small size (21:104 and 39:67). This is before recreating the Universe (21:104). The process at the recreation is identical to the process at creation; the verses clarify and reinforce each other. Science is also converging to the view that the creation, destruction and a new creation may be a cyclical process. Although brief, the verses remarkably cover the entire gamut of creation, destruction and recreation which also tells us what may have been before this creation and also that the next creation is a certainty. Recent developments in science have made belief in Qayamat (end of the Universe), the creation of a new Universe believable based on empirical evidence and scientific theories. The possibility of resurrection based on information alone is a proven scientific truth. Answering the Disbelievers So, does the Quran contain the Big Bang theory of creation? Wrong question. The Quran is not a Book of scientific theories which are subject to revision. It is a Book of absolute truths. We should never look for science in the Quran but for the Quran in science because the Quran is Al-Furqan or the Book of absolute truths and not science. The creation event described in the Quran was true even when the scientists held the steady state view of the universe - that it is neither created nor destroyed but always was and will continue to be as it is. Having said that, the current scientific thinking is converging to the absolute truth in the Quran on this subject The disbelievers bent on disparaging the Quran point out similar beliefs in folklore and other scriptures about the creation event to insinuate that the Quran is a collection of folklore and beliefs of other people. The Quran is the word of Allah and according to the Quran, there is nothing that Allah has now revealed in the Quran that He has not revealed before to the previous prophets. Some of the revelations have survived as Books and some as oral traditions. What Allah has revealed about the Creation event was also revealed to the previous prophets. If you, therefore, find something in the Quran but not elsewhere, then that should raise eyebrows and not finding something similar elsewhere. What is beyond doubt is that the Quran having been preserved exactly as revealed is free from the errors found in the previous versions and every other version is full of glaring flaws. Acknowledgement This article is based on discussions on my previous articles and draws on constructive comments by Unknown and Chamlija Saheban. ----- A frequent contributor to, Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He has spent years studying Quran in-depth and made seminal contributions to its interpretation. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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