Now Scientists Discover What Allah's Prophets Proclaimed

Explained By:
Rabbi Emeritus Allen S. Maller
Temple Akiba, Culver City, CA

Said Nursi, an influential early 20th century Turkish Muslim theologian, thought God created the universe as a "book" to be "read" by those who want to learn of and draw close to Him. The universe's order, regularity, interconnectedness, functioning, and so on display some of his Names and Attributes. Others are displayed through the animate and inanimate parts of His creation.

Several studies that have already been published in the journal Nature, found organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout interstellar space; the region between stars. Thus. complex organic compounds are not only a product of simple molecules formed on a planet. They can be made naturally by stars. So life is not a random fluke; the universe itself is formed to create life. What is really needed is a hospitable home for life to form and develop.

Now astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy, the Milky Way, using the Kepler satellite and many of them have multiple planets orbiting the host star. By analyzing these planetary systems, researchers from the Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have calculated the probability for the number of stars in the Milky Way that might have planets in the habitable zone.

Planets that orbit very close around a star are too scorching hot to have liquid water and life; and planets that are far from the star would be too deep-frozen, but the intermediate habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and life, is not a fixed distance. The habitable zone for a planetary system will be different from star to star, depending on how big and bright the star is.

Their calculations, published in the scientific journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (ScienceDaily, 18 March 2015) show that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist.

This is nothing new for those who faithfully study Biblical and Qur'anic teachings that the Living God created the whole universe to be conducive to the universal evolution of life. The Zabur of David says, “Your kingdom is a kingdom of all worlds; and Your dominion is for all generations.” (Zabur-Psalms 145:13) And the Qur'an says, “We have not sent you but as a blessing for all the worlds.” (Al-Anbiya 107). Muslim commentators say this refers to the 18.000 worlds created by Allah. Our world is one of them. (Mir'at-e-Kainat, vol.1, p.77)

Perhaps this why Jews and Muslims are so open to learning about new scientific discoveries. During Medieval times Christian theologians accepted the Ptolemaic earth centered Greek view of the universe as an absolute universal truth. The Catholic Inquisition even punished those who dared to voice other ideas. Some Christians still think that human beings must be at the literal center of God's creation.

Thus, even in America today, many Christians avoid learning about new scientific discoveries. According to a recently (February 2015) completed study "Religious Understandings of Science”, among members of non-Christian religions; 42 percent of Jews, and 52 percent of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus (taken as a group) are twice as interested in new scientific discoveries compared to only 22 percent of Protestant evangelicals.

Thus each new discovery in astronomy yields new evidence of God's wisdom and power. As the Qur'an says, “Verily in the heavens and on the earth are signs for those who believe.” (45:3) And prophet David says, “The heavens declare the glory of God. The universe proclaims God's handiwork.” (Zabur-Psalms 19:2)

Then maybe those who skeptically doubt God's creation will understand the Qur'an's statement: "Do the unbelievers not realize that the heavens and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they (then) believe? " (Qur'an-Anbiyaa 21:30)

There is a wonderful Hadith about a Rabbi who made Prophet Muhammad smile. But first you have to know that Jews, to this very day, still recite special blessings before they perform Jewish rituals. The blessings always begin: “Blessed are you Adonai our God, King/Ruler of the World/Universe....”, and end with a specific reference to what Jewish religious activity they are engaged in.

The rabbis ordained these blessings because even when we do something small like eating the fruit of a tree, or some human baked bread, whose grain comes from the earth, we acknowledge that it all ultimately comes from the One who created; humans, the trees, the earth, and the whole universe.

The Hadith I think of, is found in Sahih Bukhari: “Narrated 'Abdullah: A Rabbi came to Allah's Apostle and said, O Muhammad we (Jews) learn that Allah will put all the heavens on one finger, the earths on one finger, the trees on one finger, the water and the sand on one finger, and all the other created things on one finger. Then God will say, 'I am the King.' (Book #60 Hadith #335, and Book #93, Hadith #510 and #543).

Thereupon the Prophet smiled so (much) that his pre-molar teeth became visible, and that was the Rabbi's confirmation. Then Allah's Apostle recited: 'No just estimate have they (the pagans) made of Allah such as is due to Him.' (Qur'an 39.67)

For those who believe in the One God of all the inhabitable worlds, these new scientific studies are not shocking. For unlike the Roman inquisition’s condemnation of Galileo, no Muslim or Jewish astronomer was ever condemned by a Muslim or Jewish inquisition, because Jews and Muslims never had an institution like the inquisition.

Also, because both Muslims and Jews had many philosophers who were critics of Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s science, most medieval Jewish and Muslim religious leaders did not feel they had to prevent new science from disagreeing with Greek science. Thus, even as new discoveries always change the scientific understanding of God’s universe; the religious belief that the whole universe exalts God and reveals God’s glory remains the same.

Allen Maller

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