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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0010-THE UNIVERSE, (AL AALAMIIN)

 Lecture for 1st Year students on 28th October 2000 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

OUTLINE

1.0 NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE, tabi’at al kaun

A. The Creator, al khaaliq

B. The Universe, al 'aalamiin

C. The Earth, al ardh

D. The Sky, al samaau

E. Space, al ufq

 

2.0 THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS

A. Introduction

B. Start of the Universe

C. End of the Universe

D. Purpose Of Creation Of The Universe

E. The Expanding/Contracting Universe And Human Destiny

 

3.0 SIGNS OF ALLAH IN THE UNIVERSE

A. Signs In The Universe

B. Believers And Signs

C. Unbelievers And Signs

D. Challenge To Show Signs

E. Science And The Signs

 

4.0 ALLAH’S WILL, iraadat al Allah

A. Allah Is Sovereign

B. Allah's Unlimited Will

C. Allah's Will And Order In The Universe

D. Limited Human Will

E. Will Of Other Creations

 

5.0 ORDER, CHANGE AND PERMANENCE

A. Physical Laws

B. Order

C. Change:

D. The Seen, Shahadat & The Unseen, Al Ghaib

E. Balance And Equilibrium

 

1.0 NATURE, tabi’at al kaun

A. THE CREATOR, al khaaliq

ONE CREATOR FOR THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

The universe was created by Allah (p 93-94 2:164, 3:190-191, 5:17, 6:1, 6:73, 9:36, 10:3, 10:6, 11:7, 14:19, 15:85, 16:3, 17:99, 18:51, 20:4, 21:16, 25:59, 27:60, 29:44, 29:61, 30:22, 31:25, 32:4, 36:81, 38:27, 39:5, 40:57, 41:9, 42:29, 43:9, 44:38, 45:22, 46:3, 46:33, 50:38, 52:36, 57:4, 64:3, 65:12). Allah is the sole creator of the universe and all what is in it (2:21, 2:28, 4:1, 5:17, 6:2, 6:73, 6:95, 7:54, 7:189, 7:191, 10:3, 11:7, 13:16, 14:19, 14:32 etc). He created the earths (2:164, 3:190-191, 5:17, 6:1, 6:73, 10:3, 11:7, 14:19, 15:85, 16:3, 17:99, 18:51, 2:4, 21:16, 25:59, 27:60, 29:44, 30:8, 30:22, 31:25, 32:4, 36:81, 38:27, 39:5, 40:57, 41:9, 42:29, 43:9, 44:38, 4:22, 46:3, 46:33, 50:38, 52:36, 57:4, 64:3, 65:12). Allah created the heavens (p 590-591 2:29, 2:117, 2:164, 3:190-191, 6:1, 6:14, 6:73, 6:79, 6:101, 7:54, 9:36, 10:3, 10:6, 11:7, 12:101, 14:10, 14:19, 14:32, 15:85, 16:3, 17:99, 18:51, 20:4, 21:16, 21:56, 25:59, 27:60, 29:44, 29:61, 30:8, 30:22, 31:10, 31:25, 32:4, 35:1, 36:81, 38:27, 39:5, 39:38, 39:46, 40:57, 41:11-12, 42:11, 42:29, 43:9, 44:38, 45:22, 46:3, 46:33, 50:38, 52:36, 57:4, 64:3, 65:12, 67:3, 71:15). Allah created all what exists, what existed before and what will exist in the future.

 

NO ASSOCIATE IN CREATION

There is no associate with Allah in creation (p 402 7:191, 10:36, 13:16, 16:17-21, 22:73, 25:3, 31:11, 35:40, 46:4, 52:35-36). No one else has the power of creation that Allah has (7:191, 10:34, 10:34).

 

CREATION IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS

Creation is a continuous process being witnessed every moment in the mitotic and meiotic division of cells in biological systems and the fission as well as fusion of sub-atomic particles, atoms, and molecules in the physical systems.

 

HUMAN CREATION IS SUPERIOR

The creation of the earth and heaven is inferior to that of humans. The former refused and failed to carry responsibility (amanat) and humans agreed to carry it (33:72)

 

B. THE UNIVERSE, al 'aalamiin

CONCEPT OF THE UNIVERSE

The universe consists of the earth, ardh, the heavens, samawaat, and the space that encloses them both, ma hawlahuma and the space between them, ma baynahuma. The universe includes the stars, the planets, comets, galaxies, meteors, and the space itself. The Qur’anic term ‘alamiin is used to refer to the wide all-embracing universe or cosmos (p 771 2:4, 2:122, 3:33, 3:42, 3:96-97, 5:20, 6:86, 6:90, 7:80, 7:140, 12:104, 15:70, 21:71, 21:91, 21:107, 25:1, 26:165, 29:6, 29:10, 29:15, 29:28, 37:79, 38:87, 44:32, 45:16, 68:52, 81:27). All the universe is subservient to Allah, khushu’u al ‘aalam li al llaah (772 1:2, 2:131, 2:251, 3:108, 5:28, 5:125, 6:71, 6:162, 7:54, 7:61, 7:67, 7:104, 7:121, 10:10, 10:37, 26:16, 26:23, 26:47, 26:77, 26:98, 29:109, 26:127, 26:145, 26:164, 26:180, 26:192, 27:8, 27:44, 28:30, 37:2, 37:87, 38:182, 39”75, 40:64-66, 41:9, 43:46, 45:36, 56:80, 59:16, 69:43, 81:29, 83:6).

 

7 HEAVENS and 7 EARTHS

The earth and the heavens are separate (p96 21:30). The Qur’an mentions 7 heavens (p 592 2:29, 17:44, 23:17, 23:86, 41:12, 65:12, 67:3, 71:15, 78:12). It also mentions 7 earths (    ). We have not yet been able to understand what are those 7 entities or bodies in current astronomical knowledge. We know a little about the nature of the heavens and earths from the descriptions of the prophet, sifat al a rdhiin al sabau wa al smawaat al sabau (KS 72: Tirmidhi K44 S57 and S69; Ahmad 1:206; Ahmad 2:370).

 

THE THRONE OF ALLAH

The throne of Allah. is above the universe, ‘arsh al rahman fawqa al ‘aalam (KS99 Abudaud K39 B18; Tirmidhi K44 S91 H1; Tirmidhi K44 S57 H1; Ibn Majah Intr B13; Ahmad 4:11, 12, 431).

 

THE SEEN and THE UNSEEN

Part of the universe can be perceived by human senses and is called the world of the seen, ‘aalam al shahadat. Part of it in not perceivable by human senses and is called the world of the unseen, ‘aalam al ghaib.

 

PARADISE and HELL

Paradise, jannat, and hell, jahannam, were created and are part of the universe

 

C. THE EARTH

CREATION OF THE EARTH, khalq al ardh

The Qur’an mentions the creation of the earth in many verses (p 930\94 2:164, 3:190-191, 5:17, 6:1, 6:73, 9:36, 10:3, 10:6, 11:7, 14:19, 15:85, 16:3, 17:90, 18:51, 20:4, 21:16, 25:59, 27:60, 29:44, 29:61, 30:22, 31:25, 37:4, 36:81, 38:27, 39:5, 40:57, 41:9, 42:29, 43:9, 44:38, 45:22, 46:3, 46:33, 50:38, 52:36, 57:4, 64:3, 65:12). It will be destroyed on the last day, kharaab al ardh (p 93 14:48, 16:45, 27:87, 28:81, 29:40, 34:9, 39:68, 50:44, 54:12, 56:4-6, 67:16, 69:14, 73:14, 84:3-4, 89:21, 99:1-2) and Allah will inherit it, wirathat al laah li al ardh (p. 96 3:180, 19:40, 57:10).

 

OBSERVATION AND STUDY OF THE EARTH

The Qur’an encourages humans to study the earth, dirasat al ardh (p. 94-95 3:137, 6:11, 10:101, 12:109, 16:36, 22:46, 27:69, 29:20, 30:9, 30:42, 35:44, 40:21, 40:82, 47:10), Such study reveals many signs of Allah, which are a moral lesson and reminder.

 

THE BIOSPHERE

The earth we live on is a planet. It is nearly a sphere a little flattened at the North and South poles. It bulges a bit at the equator. The earth contains both living and non-living things (p. 93 77:25-26). Only a very small part, called the biosphere, supports life. The biosphere consists of the soil and the atmosphere. The soil is on the average no more than 500 meters? in depth. Under the soil is hard rock that cannot support life. Under the biosphere is crust 32 km deep, a mantle 2900 km deep and the core made up of iron. The atmosphere has 4 layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, and the ionosphere. Oxygen needed for the life-maintaining function of respiration is about one-fifth of atmospheric gases. The thin atmospheric layer plays a very important role of stabilizing the earth’s temperature.

 

EARTH IS TINY PART OF THE UNIVERSE

The Qur’an describes the earth as wide (p 95-96 4:97, 9:25, 9:118, 29:56, 39:10). In human terms our planet is quite big and humans occupy only a very small portion of it. But Allah’s creation is even bigger than that. Ours is just one planet around one star, the sun. The sun is one of 100 billion stars in the milkway galaxy. There are many galaxies some known and many not yet known. These facts bring home to the human the essential message that he can not be arrogant and proud because in the physical sense he is indeed very insignificant in the total scheme of Allah’s creation.

 

LIFE and DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE

The Qur’an speaks about death of the earth when its soils become dry and cannot support life. The soil can be brought back to life by water in the form of rain, ihya al ardh al maitat (p. 91 2:164, 16:65, 22:5, 22:63, 29:63, 30:19, 30:24, 30:50, 35:9, 36:33-36, 41:39, 45:5, 57:19).

 

STABILITY and MOVEMENT

The Qur’an tells us that the earth is standing on its own without pillars to give it firmament (p 92-93 13:2, 22:65, 30:25, 31:10, 35:41). The earth was created to be stable, istiqrar al ardh (p 102 27:61, 40:64). The concept of stability also extends to the mountains, istiqrar al jibaal (p 102 7:143). The stability of the earth is not static. It does not exclude movements and changes that are seen daily. The Qur’an tells us that the earth moves (p 328-9 2:164, 3:27, 6:76, 7:54, 10:6, 11:44, 13:3, 14:33, 17:12, 18:17, 18:47, 18:86, 18:90, 20:130, 21:33, 22:61, 23:80, 24:44, 25:62, 27:86, 27:88, 28:71-73, 31:29, 35:13, 36:37, 36:40, 39:5, 41:37, 45:5, 50:39-40, 56:40, 57:6, 73:1, 74:33-34, 78:10-11, 81:17-18, 84:3, 91:3-4, 92:1-2, 93:1-2, 99:1-2). There are 2 types of movement: revolution and rotation. One of the movements of the earth according to the Qur’an is rotation, dawran al ardh (p 94 27:88). The earth completes one revolution in the year that lasts 365 days. It also rotates on its axis once every 24 hours. The various seasons are due to the changing positions of the earth. Plate tectonics refer to great movable plates in the earth’s crust responsible for giant movements that cause earthquakes. They are also responsible for movement of continents called continental drift. Scientists believe that at some time in the past, all continents were one land mass called Pangea. The mass slowly broke up into the continents we know today.

 

PHYSICAL FEATURES

The earth is round, kurawiyat al ardh (p. 96 79:30). It is flat in some places (p 192 71:19-20, 78:6, 88:20) and mountainous in others (  ). It is orderly, nidhaam al ardh (p. 96 2:251, 22:65, 23:71, 35:41). The earth has gravitational force, jaadhibiyat al ardh (p. 92 13:2, 22:65, 30:25, 31;10, 35:41).  The earth’s features are a source of esthetical pleasure, ziinat al ardh (p. 95 10:24, 18:7).

 

Many parts of the earth’s surface are covered with deserts where few animal and plant species can live. Some deserts are hot like the Sahara while others are cold deserts like the tundra. One-fifth of the earth’s surface is covered by sand. The earth’s surface is mountains, plains, plateaus, and caves or caverns. Each of these has a specialised eco-system supporting particular plant and animal species. Our earth’s surface is 70% covered with water. The average depth of oceans is 3.8 km.

 

BOUNTIES OF THE EARTH

The earth has many bounties, khayraat al ardh, that Allah put there for humans and other living things (p 94 2:168, 2:267, 7:96, 10:31, 13:17, 23:18, 27:25, 39:2163:7, 3:137, 6:11, 10:101, 12:109, 16:36, 22:46, 27:69, 29:20, 30:9, 30:42, 35:44, 40:21, 40:82, 47:10). One of he earth’s bounties are the crops that result from its cultivation, zira’at al ardh (p. 95 2:61, 13:4, 16:65, 22:5, 22:63, 26:7, 27:60, 32:27, 36:33-36, 41:39, 50:7, 80:24-31).

 

D. THE SKY, al smaau

WIDE EXPANSE OF THE SKY, si’at al samaau

The sky is very wide and expansive (p 591-2 51:47). The Qur’an also teaches that the heavens have order, nidhaam (p 596-7 2:22, 13:2, 21:22, 21:30, 23:71, 25:6, 31:10, 35:41, 40:36-37, 40:64, 45:3, 50:6, 51:47, 55:7, 78:12, 79:27-29, 88:18, 91:5). The inhabitants of the heavens are humans and angels (p 598 17:95, 53:26). The solar system is part of the sky. The solar system is made up of the sun and all objects orbiting around it. These include planets, satellites, asteroids, comets, meteorites, dust, and gases. The solar system has 9 major planets, the earth being one of them.

 

PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE SKY

The sky is the roof of the earth, al samaa saqaf (p. 589 52:5). It has layers, al samaa tibaaqan (p. 589 67:3, 71:15). The sky has doors, abwaab al samaa (p. 587 7:40, 15:14, 78:19). It has guards at the doors, hiraasat al samaa (p. 589 72:8). The sky is held in place, imsaak al samaa (p. 587 22:65, 35:41). The sky is orderly, nidhaam al samaa (p 596-597 2:22, 13:2, 21:22, 21:30, 23:71, 25:6, 31:10, 35:41, 40:36-37, 40:64, 45:3, 50:6, 51:47, 55:7, 78:12, 79:27-20, 88:18, 91:5). The order will be destroyed on the last day; kharaab al samaa (p. 59714:48, 19:90, 21:104, 25:25, 27:87, 39:68, 42:5, 44:10, 52:9, 55:37, 69:16, 70:8, 73:18, 77:9, 78:19, 81:11, 82:1, 84:1) and the inheritance of the sky will revert to Allah, mirath a samaa li al laah (p 596 3:180, 57:10). The sky contains life, al hayat fi al samaa (p. 588 16:49, 17:44, 17:55, 19:93, 21:19, 22:18, 24:4, 30:26, 39:68, 42:29, 55:29). The sky is subservient to the human, taskhiir al samaa (p. 588-589 31:20, 4:13). Objects can fall from the sky to the earth, stones for punishment, inzaal al hijarat min al samaa (p 587 2:59, 7:162, 8:32, 17:92, 26:187, 29:34, 34:9, 52:44, 67:17); water for irrigation, inzaal al maa min al samaa (p. 1052 2:22, 2:164, 6:99, 8:11, 10:24, 13:17, 14:32, 15:22, 16:10, 16:65, 18:45, 20:53, 22:63, 23:18, 25:48, 27:60, 29:63, 30:24, 31:10, 35:27, 39:21, 43:11, 50:9, 54:11); and food, inzaal al ta’aam min al samaa (p. 588 5:112, 5:114). Sustenance, rizq, is from the sky (p 597-8 7:96, 10:31, 16:73, 27:64, 34:24, 35:3, 40:13, 45:5, 51:22-23). The sky has big stars, buruuj al samaa (p. 588 15:16, 25:61, 85:1). The sky can cry, bakaau al samaa (p. 588 44:29).

 

THE SUN

The sun is a source of light (p 644 78:13, 91:1, 6:78, 10:5, 17:78, 18:17, 18:90, 20:130, 25:45, 50:39, 71:16, 78:13). The Qur'an describes the stability of the sun,  istiqrar al shams (p 102 36:38) as well as its movements, harakat al shams (p 329 6:78, 13:2, 21:33, 31:29, 35:13, 36:38, 36:40, 39:5).  The movements are precise (6:96, 36:38, 55:5). The sun rises and sets, ufuul al shams (p. 644 2:258, 6:78, 18:17, 18:86, 20:130, 50:39). Its movements are orderly under Allah's control (p. 644-645 2:258, 6:96, 7:54, 10:5, 13:2, 14:33, 16:12, 21:23, 22:18, 29:61, 31:29, 35:13, 36:38, 36:40, 39:5, 41:37, 55:5). This order will be destroyed on the last day (p 645 75:9, 81:1). The sun prostrates at Allah’s throne, sujuud al shams tahta al ‘arsh (KS297 Bukhari K59 B4; Bukhari K97 B22-23; Muslim K1 H250; Ahmad 2:201; Ahmad 5:145, 152, 165, 175; Tayalisi H469). Those who worship the sun are misguided (p 644 27:24).

 

THE MOON

The moon is a satellite of the earth. It has movements, harakat al qamar (p 329-30 6:77, 13:2, 21:33, 31:29, 35:13, 36:39-40, 39:5). It takes several positions, manazil al qamar (p 966 10:5, 31:39-40). The movements and positions are the basis for its use for reckoning of time, hisaab (p. 966 2:189, 6:96, 10:5, 55:5). It is a source of light, nur al qamar (p 966 6:77, 10:5, 71:16). Its crescent, hilaal al qamar (p 966 2:189, 6:77, 36:39) is used in many Muslim countries as a symbol of Islam. The moon is subservient, taskhiir al qamar (p. 966 7:54, 13:2, 14:33, 16:12, 29:61, 31:29, 35:18). It prostrates in worship to Allah (p 966 22:18). The ignorant worship the moon instead of worshipping Allah (p 966 6:77, 41:37). On the last day the moon will be split, inshiqaaq al qamar (p 965 54:1) and will disappear, khusuuf al qamar (p. 966 7:8-9). The moon, which has no atmosphere, witnesses a wide swing in temperature from 121 degrees centigrade in the day to -173 degrees centigrade at night.

 

THE STARS

The stars are sources of electromagnetic energy. They are used for navigation (p 1199 6:97, 16:16). They are subservient, taskhiir al nujuum (p 1199 7:54, 16:12) and prostrate to Allah in worship, sujuud al nujuum (p 1199 22:18). They move in definite positions, mawaqiu al nujuum (p 1200 56:75). On the last day they will fall, suquut al nujuum (p 1200 53:1) and will be obliterated, twamsu al nujuum (p 1200 77:8).

 

E. SPACE, afaaq

The term afaaq refers to the far away space (p 138 41:53, 53:7, 81:23). There are signs of Allah in it, ayat al llaah fi al aafaaq (p. 45-49 2:164 … 51:20). The outer space is very wide. There are millions of galaxies. Each galaxy consists of stars and objects around them. In the expanding universe, these galaxies are moving away from one another at a speed of thousands of miles a second. Our galaxie is called milk-way. Our sun is an average-sized star being one of 100 billion stars in the milk-way galaxy. Stars are arranged in 88 different patterns called constellations. Outer space is dark. The blue colour seen from the earth is due to scattering, diffraction, of blue rays from the sun.

 

2.0 THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS

A. INTRODUCTION

Metaphysics was popularised by the Greeks an attempt to understand the ultimate reality through reason since humans could not directly observe and thus understand everything; they can see only part of the reality. Muslims believe that reason is not enough to understand reality. Neither is empirical observation sufficient. Muslims look at metaphysics as an attempt to escape the assertion that there is a creator for the universe. Metaphysics is therefore not accepted as a valid terminology in Islam. There are ultimate questions, al masail al niha’iyyat, about the universe that are beyond human intellect. These can only be answered by revelation. They include: start & end of creation, bidayat & nihayat al khalq, purpose of creation, sabab al khalq, and the ultimate destiny of the human, maswiiru al insan.

 

B. START OF THE UNIVERSE

Humans have limited understanding of the start of the universe or its end. A simple mind experiment that anyone of us can undertake can prove the basic limitations of human intellect. Try to imagine what existed before the whole universe or cosmos, as we know it today including its space. Your mind will draw a blank. This is because the human intellectual frame is limited to this cosmos and cannot operate outside it. Dr Abdulhamid Abusulayman has told a similar experiment relating to the cat. A cat has no idea at all who is its grandfather and when adult cannot even tell who is the father or mother. If it was capable of talking and you asked it about its ancestors you would draw a blank; it may even deny that they ever existed. But we know that its ancestors are real. The issue here is that the cat has limitations in its intellectual frame with regard to ancestors. The same phenomenon applies to humans with regard to the start of creation.

 

Humans in their arrogance have looked at everything in the universe from an anthropocentric point of view. They thus deny everything that is beyond human reach or understanding. Throughout history, humans have tried to humanize everything in the universe to make it a reflection of themselves. They have seen themselves in everything around them as if it is only they who matter. Analysis of any human language will easily reveal the truth of these assertions. Human anthropocentric arrogance reached its ultimate folly when humans tried to humanize the creator by depicting Him appearing in a human form and having human attributes. Many idolatrous practices arose from this.

 

Muslims believe that it is Allah who knows how the universe started since He created and preceded it. Basic knowledge about this is provided in the revelations, Qur’an and sunnat. The most reliable information is provided in the Qur’an. Humans can however discover through scientific research some of the physical changes that have occurred in the universe.

 

Humans since the start of history have been very curious about the start of the universe: how, when, why, and where. As a result many folkloric stories and conjectures have been recorded from every community and civilisation. The scientific theories that are proposed today are part of this continuous human curiosity. The driving force behind this curiosity is to understand the present and predict the future. It is difficult to understand the present without knowing how it all started. Many of the theories on the start of the universe are formulated in such a way that they render the existence of Allah unnecessary. They are biased since they are formulated within an atheistic context. Most of them start from the premise that everything started by chance and that all what has happened has also been by chance.

 

The available scientific evidence about the history of the universe indicates that the earth and the sun started as gases and dust. There is no evidence about the origin of those gases. The gases and dust shrunk and clamped to become the solid we call earth. The earth melted, heavy metal settled at the bottom and lighter ones floated to the top. With time the earth cooled enough so that rainwater could settle down without evaporation.

 

Modern scientific investigations suggest on-going major changes in the physical features of the earth mostly due to climatic changes. These could have happened before humans. Other changes have occurred in recorded human history. Present trends in climate also point to major changes in physical features in the future. Allah gave humans the intelligence and resilience to adapt to such changes.

 

The Qur’anic account of creation deals almost exclusively with human creation. We have no evidence yet from the Qur’an and scientific observation of the existence of life on other planets and other galaxies. The prophet described the start of creation in his hadith, hadiith al nabi ‘an bad I al khalq (KS217 Bukhari K59 B1). Allah existed before any creations (KS 217; KS99: Ibn Majah Intr B13; Tirmidhi K44 S11 H1; Ahmad 4:11, 12, 431; Tayalisi H1093, 1130). The first creation was the pen, awal makhluq al qalam (p. KS217: Tirnmidhi K44 S68; Abudaud K39 B16; Zayd H977; Ahmad 5:317; Tayalisi H577). Creation was in the dark, al khalq fi dhalmat (KS217 Tirmidhi K38 B18). Different objects were created on each of the days of the week (KS217 Ahmad 2:2\327). Human creation was de novo from basic elements of water and soil; there was no pre-existing life. We know that we are descended from Adam, banu Adam. Adam was created much later than many animals and many plants. This is understandable under the doctrine of taskhiir because these had to pre-date humans. Plants and animals are subservient to humans.

 

C. END OF THE UNIVERSE

The end of the universe is easier to grasp than the beginning. It is common human experience that everything has a beginning and an end. The end usually signifies destruction and disappearance, fanaa, with either replacement or not. The physical laws of entropy are a summary of the concept that every system must eventually self-destruct and come to and end, the universe being no exception. It is only Allah who is eternal and everlasting. Humans should not bother to think or research too deeply into the phenomenon of Allah the everlasting because being an infinite concept; it is beyond human intellectual grasp. This should not be difficult to accept since there are many simple mathematical concepts like infinity that the human mind finds difficulty in grasping but yet it exists and cannot be denied by any logical or rational person.

 

Humans as individuals and communities have always been curious about the destiny of life especially that of humans. Empirical observation establishes the end of the human physical existence at death. However humans continue extra-corporeal existence.

 

D. PURPOSE OF CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE

The purposes of creation of the earths and heavens are several-fold as told by the Qur’an. There may be other purposes known only to Allah. First of all it was Allah’s will, iradat, to create them. He does what He wants and cannot be questioned. He is under no obligation to reveal reasons for His actions. Secondly the earths and heavens were created to submit to Allah and worship Him (p 772 1:2, 2:131, 2:251, 3:108, 5:28, 5:115, 6:71, 6:162, 7:54, 7:61, 7:67, 7:104, 7:121, 10:10, 10:37, 26:16, 26:23, 26:47, 26:77, 26:98, 26:109, 26:127, 26:145, 26:164, 26:180, 26:192, 27:8, 27:44, 28:30, 32:2, 37:87, 38:182, 39:75, 40:64-66, 41:9, 43:46, 45:36, 56:80, 59:16, 69:43, 81:29, 83:6). Everything in the universe worships Allah in its own way even what are perceived by humans as being non-living such as stones, mountains, and rivers. The inter-dependence in the ecosystem required creation of various components for example plants were created to provide food for animals, and the plants need animal waste products. The earth was created as a test for the human. It has many signs and bounties from Allah. The successful will see them and submit to the creator.

 

E. THE EXPANDING/CONTRACTING UNIVERSE and HUMAN DESTINY

Cosmologists are scientists who study the origin and nature of the universe. They have tried to explain the observed phenomena of the cosmos appearing to expand with its various components rapidly moving away from one another. They do not know if the universe is an open or closed system. If open it will go on expanding until all matter is converted into heat energy, a phenomenon called black holes. This is the heat death of the universe. If closed it will stop expanding and fall back in a big bang creating a new universe. In either case there will be destruction. The Qur'an has taught that on the last day, yawm al qiyamat, the universe as we know it today will be physically destroyed, kharaab al ardh (p 93 14:48, 50:44, 56:4-6, 69:14, 73:14, 84:3-4, 89:21, 99:1-2). All humans and all living things will die. Humans only among the living things will be resurrected into a new physical life that may be in jannat or jahannam.

 

3.0 SIGNS OF ALLAH IN THE UNIVERSE

A. SIGNS IN THE UNIVERSE

The Qur’an like no other book of religion calls upon humans to observe the empirical world and deliberate on its bounties, ni’imat, and signs, ayat. The Qur’an for example encourages humans to explore even space (55:33). Humans can learn a lot from the open book of Allah’s signs in the universe (p 41 2:259, 3:13, 10:92, 25:37, 29:15, 51:37). These signs are in the space, afaq, (p 45-46 2:164, 3:189-191, 6:59, 6:95-101, 7:57-58, 10:3-6, 10:24, 10:67, 10:101, 11:6-7, 12:105, 13:1-4, 13:12-13, 15:16-25, 16:3, 16:10-18, 16:65-69, 16:79-81, 17:12, 17:12, 20:50-54, 23:18-22, 24:41-46, 25:61-62, 26:7-8, 27:86-88, 28:71-73, 29:44, 30:22-27, 30:46, 31:10-11, 31:29-31, 32:4-5, 32:26-27, 35:41, 35:44, 39:5, 40:13, 41:9-12, 41:37-39, 41:53, 42:29, 42:32-34, 45:3-6,51:20) or in humans, anfus (p 49-50 3:6, 6:46, 6:98, 13:8, 15:26-30, 16:4-8, 16:70-72, 22:5-6, 30:20-21, 30:54, 32:7-9, 39:6, 41:53, 45:4, 51:21).

 

B. BELIEVERS AND SIGNS

The believers see and understand the signs (p 44 2:73, 17:1, 20:23, 20:56, 21:37, 27:93, 31:31, 40:13, 40:81, 41:53, 43:48, 53:18). They obey the creator. The signs increase their iman (p 52-53 2:248, 3:49, 6:25, 6:35, 6:99, 6:109, 6:118, 6:124, 6:158, 7:126, 7:132, 7:146, 7:156, 10:96-97, 10:101, 15:77, 16:79, 16:104-105, 20:127, 23:58, 26:7-8, 26:67, 26:103, 26:121, 26:139, 26:158, 26:174, 26:190, 27:81, 27:86, 29:24, 29:44, 30:37, 30:53, 32:15, 39:52, 43:69, 45:3-6, 48:20) and taqwat (p 53 2:187, 3:50, 10:6, 24:34). The righteous undertakes thinking, tafakkur, about the signs (p 53 2:219, 2:266, 3:191, 10:24, 13:3, 16:11, 16:69, 30:8, 38:29, 39:42, 45:13). They understand the signs (p 54 6:65, 6:98). Their certainty, yaqeen, is increased as a result (p 54 2:118, 13:2, 27:82, 32:24, 45:5, 51:20). They gain more knowledge (p 54 6:37, 6:97, 7:32, 9:11, 10:5, 27:52, 29:49, 30:22). They express gratitude to the Lord for all the signs and bounties in the creation (p 54 5:89, 7:58, 14:5, 31:31, 34:15, 34:19, 42:33).

 

C. UNBELIEVERS AND SIGNS

The unbelievers reject the signs and behave arrogantly towards them (p 41 6:93, 7:133, 39:59, 45:31). It is their arrogance that prevents them from seeing and appreciating the signs.

 

D. CHALLENGE TO SHOW SIGNS

The Qur’an has recorded many instances when the unbelievers have demanded signs from prophets (p 45 2:118, 6:37, 6:109, 7:106, 7:203, 10:20, 13:7, 13:27, 17:90-93, 20:133, 21:5, 26:4, 26:154, 29:50). This is a very strange and preposterous demand. There are so many signs in the universe for them to see that there is no need to ask for any more.

 

 

E. SCIENCE AND THE SIGNS

Study of science especially medicine is part of observation and reflecting on Allah’s creation, tadabbur khalq Allah. It enables us discover many secrets of creation and many signs that Allah put in the universe for your education and intellectual growth and development. The creation of everything in pairs, the creation of opposites, symmetry, and harmony are some of the constant features of the universe that convince the human that there must be a grand design behind all this creation.

 

4.0 ALLAH’S WILL, iraadat al Allah

A. ALLAH IS SOVEREIGN

Allah is the sovereign of the heavens and earths (p 594-6 2:107, 2:116, 2:255, 2:284, 3:83, 3:109, 3:129, 3:180, 3:189, 4:126, 4:131-132, 4:170-171, 5:17-18, 5:40, 5:120, 6:12, 7:158, 9:116, 10:55, 10:66, 10:68, 13:16, 14:2, 16:49, 16:52, 16:73, 16:77, 17:102, 18:14, 19:65, 20:6, 21:19, 21:22, 21:56, 22:64, 23:86, 24:42, 25:2, 24:64, 26:24, 30:26, 31:16, 31:26, 34:1, 34:22, 34:24, 35:40-41, 35:44, 37:5, 38:10, 38:66, 39:44, 39:63, 39:67, 42:4, 42:12, 42:49, 42:53, 43:82, 43:85, 44:7, 45:27, 46:4, 45:36-37, 48:4, 48:7, 48:14, 53:31, 57:2, 57:5, 57:10, 63:7, 78:37, 85:9).

 

B. ALLAH'S UNLIMITED WILL

One of the attributes of Allah is having an independent and unfettered will, iraadat (p 676 2:26, 2:117, 2:185, 2:253, 3:108, 3:176, 4:26-28, 5:1, 5:6, 5:17, 5:41, 5:49, 6:73, 6:125, 8:7, 8:67, 9:55, 9:85, 10:107, 11:34, 11:107, 13:11, 16:40, 17:16, 22:14, 22:16, 28:5, 33:17, 33:33, 36:82, 39:4, 39:38, 40:31, 48:11, 54:50, 74:31). He does what He wants and wills and in whatever manner He desires. Any physical laws or any of His previous actions does not restrict him.

 

C. ALLAH'S WILL AND ORDER IN THE UNIVERSE

The absolute will of Allah is logical and understandable. If Allah created the universe and all what is in it and He sustains them, He must have complete control otherwise disorder and confusion will reign.

 

D. LIMITED HUMAN WILL

The absolute will of Allah contrasts with the limited will of humans. Human will is limited and is constrained in many ways. Human knowledge, ‘ilm, and power, qudrat, are limited. There is wisdom in human will being limited. It enables humans to understand and appreciate Allah’s unlimited will. This would not happen if they had no experiential knowledge of limited will.

 

E. WILL OF OTHER CREATIONS

Allah indeed honored humans by giving them a will that He did not give other creations. Angels have no will. Jinns have a limited will that they may use well and choose to believe or misuse and choose disbelief. Animals have no independent will. Their behavior is instinctual. Inanimate things have no will but they do whatever Allah wants them to do.

 

5.0 ORDER, CHANGE AND PERMANENCE

A. PHYSICAL LAWS

LAWS AS SIMPLIFYING DESCRIPTION OF REALITY

One of the wonders of modern scientific discoveries is that complex phenomena in the universe can be explained by a few simple mathematical equations. These equations are the laws for example laws of relativity, laws of gravity, laws of motion, laws of thermo-dynamics, and laws of hemodynamics. As an example of a physical law we may cite the law of parity, zawjiyyat, that is a constant phenomenon in the universe. It is found in humans (p. 548 3:36, 3:195, 4:1, 4:11, 4:124, 4:186, 7:189, 12:84, 15:88, 16:72, 16:97, 18:28, 18:57, 20:131, 22:10, 30:21, 31:7, 35:11, 39:6, 40:40, 42:11, 42:50, 49:13, 53:21, 53:45, 75:39, 78:8, 78:40, 90:8-10, 111:1), in animals (p 549 6:143-144, 39:6, 42:11), plants (p. 549 13:3, 20:53, 22:5, 26:7, 31:10, 50:7, 55:52), and the parity of day and night (p. 549-550 2:164…..3:27….99:1-2). These laws are simple but they accurately describe phenomena that appear to the un-initiated to be very complicated and very detailed. The laws also serve as a reminder that the empirical world is in essence simple and straightforward running on a few basic principles and paradigms. Failure to understand this is the cause of seeing the trees and not the forest when we get lost in the details and secondary issues, furu'u

 

LAWS AS SUNAN

The physical laws according to which the universe is ordered are what the Qur’an calls sunan Allah. The sunan are among the signs of Allah, ayat al allaah. They are found in humans, sunan al llaah fi al insan, in the universe, sunan al llaah fi al kaun, and even beyond, sunan al laah fi al afaaq. They are fixed and are characterized by stability, thabat (p 599-600 17:77, 33:62, 35:43, 48:23). They therefore serve as a basis for predictability of empirical phenomena. They explain the consistency, repetition, parity, symmetry, harmony, co-ordination, and purposive ness of physical phenomena in the universe. Even apparent differences and exceptions follow some fixed laws (p 600 6:165, 17:21, 42:8, 43:32-33). There are situations in which the laws may not seem to work or even contradict one another. This arises in only two situations: (a) when they is a higher law unknown to the scientist that explains all events (b) a miraculous intervention by the creator that temporarily suspends the normal laws such as when fire that normally burns was cold to Ibrahim on Allah’s order (21:68-70). However for practical purposes such miraculous intervention is for prophets and special circumstances that the Qur'an and sunnah told us about.

 

PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL LAWS

There is no distinction between social and physical laws. They all relate to the same reality of the universe and its contents. The Qur'an gives more space to social laws because humans transgress them more often than physical laws. Many people will easily tell a lie and violate a social law ordering human social intercourse but few would dare violate the law of gravity by jumping off a high cliff. One of the tragedies of modern civilization is the dichotomy between social and physical laws. A top cardiac surgeon whose professional work is highly ordered and organized may not appreciate the need for order in his family life or personal life. He may violate marital laws or may be addicted to alcohol and drugs. It becomes difficult to accept that the well-organized surgeon in the operation theater on Friday is the same person during the weekend.

 

B. ORDER

ORDER IN THE QUR'AN

The Qur’an describes order in Allah's creation on earth and beyond by pointing out relations among various physical phenomena all this being manifestations of Allah's signs ( p 697-8 2:22, 2:164, 3:27, 3:190-191, 6:96-99, 7:54, 10:5-6, 13:2-4, 14:32-33, 15:16-22, 16:10-11, 21:22, 22:65, 24:43-44, 28:71-73, 30:48, 67:3-5). The universe is orderly, systematic, harmonious, and predictable ( p 96 2:251, 22:65, 23:71, 35:41). The order seen in the universe could not be a product of human whims and fancies (22:65). The order reflects Allah's will; the earth and heavens are held together and in their positions by His will (35:41). This is expected because the creator of the universe and all what is on it is one. The orderly universe is the best logical manifestation for one sole creator (2:22, 2:164, 3:27, 3:190-191, 6:96-99, 7:54, 10:5-6, 13:2-4, 14:32-33, 15:16-22, 16:10-11, 21:22, 22:65, 24:43-44, 28:71-73, 30:48, 67:3-5 vol 1 pp 697-698), and is an open book and proof of tauhid al rububbiyyat (2:21, 3:83, 6:1, 6:13-14, 6;73, 6:75-79, 67:185, 10:3, 10:55, 10:101, 13:12-13, 16:2-3, 16:48-49, 16:66-72, 21:31-32, 22:18, 22:61, 23:80, 24:41-42, 25:61-62, 26:7, 27:60-64, 27:86, 27:88, 30:18-19, 30:22-24, 30:46, 30:10-11, 30:29-31, 32:4-5, 35:12, 35:27-28, 40:64, 41:9-12, 41:37, 41:53, 42:28-29, 42:32-33, 43:10, 45:3-6, 51:47-48, 55:5-7, 55:19-22, 57:4-6, 67:15-17, 67:20-21, 71:15-20 vol 1 pp 692-695).

 

ORDER IN STRUCTURE

The human body in its gross and microscopic anatomy is a reflection of a high level of order. Every structure is adapted to its function and is functionally related to all other structures so that everything works in an orderly manner. There is parsimony of structure such that there is no useless tissue in the body. Each tissue has just the size needed to discharge its function. The parsimony is seen even at different periods of the life cycle. Some tissues are relatively small in children, grow larger by middle age and during old age actually reduce in size because of reduced functional demand.

 

ORDER IN FUNCTION

There is organizational order in all-physiological functions. This order is seen in each function as well as the perfect inter-relations among various functions. Study of the human neuro-endocrine system provides a very good insight into this. We will deal with this later in the course. Existence of orderly relationships is the basis of medical treatment. If the chemical reactions were not predictable and orderly, each instance of disease would require new research to discover the right medicine for it.

 

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Scientific research would not be possible if there was no order in the universe. There are physical laws that describe and summarize this order. The purpose of all scientific investigation is to find these laws, understand them, and use them for the benefit of humans. The periodic table of elements is a very good example of predictability of physical phenomena. The relationships among elements are so predictable that the properties of elements not yet discovered can be described accurately.

 

ORDER IN SYSTEMS

Stability: The universe has a stable state to which it returns after temporary disturbances. This state is referred to as homeostasis in physiology. It is the steady-state situation in biological systems that must be maintained for proper function.

 

Negative feedback: Negative feedback is the process that underlies the maintenance of the steady-state homeostatic situation. It is essentially a self-correcting system that ensures that a product of a certain process stops or regulates that process if it reaches a certain threshold. Negative feedback is normal in biological systems.

 

Positive feedback: Positive feedback is not normal in most biological systems because it will destroy the balance and homeostasis. In positive feedback the product of a process enhances that process thus creating a never-ending loop that will result in permanent impairment of the homeostatic steady state.

 

Compensation in physiology: There is constant change and flux in the body. Compensatory mechanisms in normal physiology assure return to the normal resting state. The purpose of these mechanisms is to maintain order.

 

Decompensation in patho-physiology: In patho-physiological situations, corrective mechanisms fail to restore order after disturbances and this results eventually into definitive pathological changes and disease.

 

C. CHANGE:

THE CONCEPT OF CHANGE

Only Allah is permanent: Only Allah is permanent. Everything else changes continuously. The physical laws are also permanent but their application in different circumstances produces different results. Some events like the change of day and night (diurnal rhythm) and the change of seasons are also fairly permanent and predictable but some unexpected events could occur either explained by physical laws known to humans or due to divine intervention.

 

Change of day and night: The Qur’an has in many verses described the changing of day and night (p 541-543 2:164, 2:184-185, 2:196, 2:259, 2:274, 3:27, 3:72, 3:190, 5:89, 6:13, 6:60, 7:54, 10:6, 10:24, 10:45. 10:50, 10:67, 11:114, 13:3, 13:10, 14:33, 16:12, 17:12, 18:19, 20:104, 20:130, 21:20. 21:33, 21:42, 22:61, 23:80, 23:113, 24:44, 25:47, 25:62, 27:86, 28:72-73, 30:23, 31:29, 34:18, 34:33, 35:13, 36:37, 36:40, 39:5, 40:61, 41:37-38, 45:5, 46:35, 57:6, 62:9, 69:7, 71:5, 73:3, 73:20, 78:11, 91:3, 92:2). Physicians and other students of biology have paid a lot of attention to this because biology is intimately related to the biological clock. This biological clock operates on a daily basis i.e. hours of sleep and wakefulness. It also operates on a monthly basis for female menstruation.

 

Changes in matter: Changes in the properties and states of matter are described by the Qur’an for example the interchange between hot and cold (p 189 21:69, 24:43, 38:42, 56:44, 67:13, 78:24). Physical features of the earth have changed. Today’s deserts were more hospitable in the past. Antarctica was inhabited. During the ice age, a lot of water was held up in the mass of ice. When the climate became warmer, the ice melted and the water cover over the earth increased in area. What is today ocean floor was at one time dry land. The phenomenon of global warming being witnessed today may herald major climatic changes. The heat could lead to the melting of the polar ice cap releasing a lot of water into the oceans and raising their level. Many countries will be flooded, islands will be submerged, and habitats will be changed. The prophet foretold that the arid and hot Arabian Peninsula will become wet and fertile before the last day.

 

Changes of energy: One of the major discoveries in science is that matter and energy are inter-changeable. Energy can change from form to another. Matter can also change from one form to another.

 

Regulation and coordination of change: The miracle of Allah’s creation is that changes are regulated and are co-ordinated. They follow a system. Such phenomena can occur only occur in a situation in which there is one powerful creator for the universe.

 

PHENOMENA OF CHANGE

Constancy of change: Change is a constant phenomenon in the in nature. It has been said that the only constant in physical phenomena is change. The Qur'an tells us that social changes are ordered and are regulated by the laws of Allah, sunan al llaah fi al taghyiir. (p 600 6:89, 8:53, 13:11, 47:38). The same applies, by analogy, to physical changes.

 

Change in astronomy: Astronomical phenomena were the first observed constant and predictable changes in human history. Day and night follow each other in a predictable way, wuluuj al layl wa al nahar. The sun and the moon move in is fixed orbit and move according to accurate and predictable reckoning, hisaab.

 

Change in the weather: Climate or weather is one of the manifestations of constant change. It consists of winds, temperature, rainfall, sunshine, and humidity. It depends on altitude, latitude, terrain, nearness to the sea, and ocean currents. The major climatic zones on earth are: polar, temperate, cold desert, hot desert, and tropical. There are seasonal and secular variations in climatic conditions. The type of climate affects social and cultural norms of a people. The Qur’an has in many verses discussed the changes in weather and climate. It mentioned clouds, rain, and winds. Further details about rain such as windstorms, tempests, thunder, and lighting have been described.

 

Change in growth and development: Periods of rapid growth in infancy and adolescence are periods of major and rapid biological change. This change is not chaotic. It follows a fixed predictable order.

 

Change in physiological functions: Physiological reactions and processes are in a state of constant change. The change is according to a definite order and is not chaotic.

 

D. THE SEEN, shahadat & THE UNSEEN, al ghaib

COMPLEMENTARY RELATIONS

There is no strict dichotomy between the world of the seen, ‘alam al shahadat, and the world of the unseen, aalam al ghaib. The two are just two extremes of one spectrum. The two complement one another. A human needs to know how to interact with both worlds giving each its due.  Accurate and reliable knowledge of how to interact with the two systems is from the Qur'an. Use of human ingenuity in this delicate interface could cause a lot of mistakes. Superstitious beliefs and behavior are an example of attempting to navigate the seen/unseen interface without proper guidance.

 

THE SEEN

The human using limited sensory apparatus can perceive the world of the seen. This perception is not always certain or reliable knowledge because human senses can be deceived. Even in cases in which they are not deceived, human intellect may not interpret the sensory stimuli correctly of fully. In the end perfect knowledge is from Allah only.

 

THE UNSEEN

The world of the unseen has two components: the absolute, ghaib mutlaq, and the relative, ghaib nisbi. The Qur’an told us that the following are ghaib mutlaq: the nature of the ruh (p. 878 17:85), the time of the last day, 'ilm al saa'at (p 878 6:31, 7:187-188, 12:107, 16:77, 20:15, 21:109, 22:55, 27:65-66, 31:34, 33:63, 34:3, 41:47, 42:17, 43:66, 43:85, 47:18, 72:25-26, 79:42-22),  the time of human death, ajal (p. 879 31:34). Examples of ghaib nisbi are: knowledge of the past, al madhi (p 879 3:44, 11:49, 12:102, 18:26, 30:2), knowledge of contemporary events, al hadhir p 879 4:34, 8:30, 12:25), and knowledge of the future, al mustaqbal (p 879 10:20, 30:2-4, 72:26-27). Most phenomena in the physical universe are ghaib nisbi. Humans through research or just waiting for long enough can get to know things that were unknown before. Humans can roll back the frontiers of ghaib nisbi by intellectual processing. For example the development of artificial intelligence can enable humans discover relations hitherto unknown when the unaided human senses and intellect are used. Knowledge of ghaib is with Allah (p 877 2:33, 5:109, 5:116, 6:59, 6:73, 7:7, 9:78, 9:94, 9:105, 10:20, 11:123, 13:9, 16:77, 18:26, 23:92, 27:65, 27:75, 32:6, 34:48, 35:38, 39:46, 49:18, 57:25, 59:22, 62:8, 74:18, 72:26). Only He knows ghaib mutlaq (p 877-8 6:50, 6:59, 7:187-188, 31:34, 33:63, 34:3, 41:47, 43:85, 79:42-44). He has the keys to the unseen, mafatih al ghaib ‘inda al llaah (KS97 Bukhari K65 S6 B1; Bukhari K65 S13; Bukhari K97 B4; Ahmad 1:386, 438; Ahmad 2:24, 25, 58, 75, 122; Ahmad 4:13, 129, 164, 353, 368). Humans, even prophets, do not know ghaib (p 879 5:109, 5:116, 6:50, 7:188, 11:31, 12:81, 19:78, 27:65, 52:41, 53:35, 68:47) unless so permitted by Allah. Neither do the  jinn d know ghaib (34:14) without Allah's permission. The Qur'an and sunnah provide humans with sufficient knowledge of the ghaib mutlaq for them to conduct their affairs. They can not seek to know more by any other means. Allah has given humans the potential to research and know some aspects of ghaib nisbi.

 

BELIEF IN THE UNSEEN

It is one of the distinguishing characteristics of  believers that they believe in ghaib (p. 877 2:3). This is not blind faith. It is based on the knowledge that revelation is a source of knowledge about the unseen and that the human can accept it without the need to try to empirically prove the facts for himself. This should not be difficult for the scientist to understand. We know that atoms and sub-atomical particles exist and we can describe their properties as well as manipulate them but we need not have seen them with our own eyes.

 

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Humans through scientific research or use of instruments that extend the reach of human senses can see elements of ghaib nisbi that would otherwise be unreachable. A normal human can for example not be able to see another human 10 kilometers away using naked eyes and as far as he is concerned this is ghaib known only by Allah. However using a powerful telescope he can see 10 kilometers away and the issue is taken out of the realm of ghaib.

 

E. BALANCE and EQUILIBRIUM

EQUILIBRIUM, i'itidaal

Equilibrium is a delicate balance between potentially opposing or contradictory tendencies. It need not be the halfway mark between two extremes. The ideal equilibrium is what assures the optimum in function and benefit while minimizing harm and damage.

 

CENTRAL TENDENCY, wasatiyyah

The concept of wasatiyyat is very important in all phenomena in the universe. Extremes of anything are usually destructive and are not desired; the best is the equilibrium of the middle path. The Qur’anic concept of wasatiyyat, mafhuum al wasayiyyat  (p 1306 2:143, 5:89, 68:28) is used to refer to the average, the middle ranks, or the normal expectation.

 

ACTION/REACTION, tadafu'u

One of the constant laws of the universe is that for every action there is a reaction. This is necessary to restore and maintain order. For example rise of body temperature leads to peripheral vaso-dilation and loss of heat to the outside environment. The Qur'an described tadafu'u as a tool of maintaining order (p 429 2:251…22:40…23:90…70:2)

 

OBJECTIVITY, istiqamat

Being objective allows humans to maintain order. If personal whims and fancies were followed there would be a lot of anarchy and chaos.

 

CONSTANCY, thabaat

Minimizing changes and maintaining constancy is desirable in some physical phenomena in order to maintain order. Allah in His mercy also allows changes because rigid constancy would not allow response and adjustment to changing circumstances.

 

DISCUSSION

  1. What do you understand by the term earth (arch)
  2. What do you understand by the term heavens (samawaat)
  3. What do you know about the big bang theory?
  4. Give the examples of Allah’s signs on the earth?
  5. List what you think is permanent and what is changeable in the universe
  6. How do humans learn the physical laws?
  7. How do physical laws differ from social laws?
  8. Define steady state and give examples
  9. What does the concept of homeostasis in biological systems mean?
  10. Define negative feed-back and give examples
  11. Define positive feed-back and give examples
  12. What do you understand by the interface between the seen and unseen
  13. Explain in your own words what you understand by the concept of constancy, thabat
  14. Explain why the occurrence of changes does not nullify the concept of constancy
  15. Give reasons from empirical observations for the assertion: 'an orderly universe is evidence of a sole creator'
  16. Explain why the universe is said  to be evidence of tauhid al rububiyat
  17. Do the jinns know the unseen, ghaib? Give reasons to support your argument
  18. Do some humans know the unseen? Give evidence for your answer
  19. What is the difference between ghaib mutlaq and ghaib nisbi
Explain the concept of wasatiyah in relation to order in the universe

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. October 2000