my response to "the Massive Islam Campaign – 2008" Compagne
* Quran : Top Scientists Comments on Scientific Miracles in the Quran *
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The Qur’an contains many references to astronomy.
"The heavens and the earth were ordered rightly, and were made subservient to man, including the sun, the moon, the stars, and day and night. Every heavenly body moves in an orbit assigned to it by God and never digresses, making the universe an orderly cosmos whose life and existence, diminution and expansion, are totally determined by the Creator." [Qur’an 30:22]
These references, and the injunctions to learn, inspired the early Muslim scholars to study the heavens. They integrated the earlier works of the Indians, Persians and Greeks into a new synthesis.
Ptolemy’s Almagest (the title as we know it today is actually Arabic) was translated, studied and criticized. Many new stars were discovered, as we see in their Arabic names – Algol, Deneb, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran. Astronomical tables were compiled, among them the Toledan tables, which were used by Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Kepler.
Also compiled were almanacs – another Arabic term. Other terms from Arabic are zenith, nadir, Aledo, azimuth.
Muslim astronomers were the first to establish observatories, like the one built at Mugharah by Hulagu, the son of Genghis Khan, in Persia, and they invented instruments such as the quadrant and astrolabe, which led to advances not only in astronomy but in oceanic navigation, contributing to the European age of exploration.
The science of modern cosmology, observational and theoretical, clearly indicates that, at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of ‘smoke’ (i.e. an opaque highly dense and hot gaseous composition). This is one of the undisputed principles of standard modern cosmology. Scientists now can observe new stars forming out of the remnants of that ‘smoke’. The illuminating stars we see at night were, just as was the whole universe, in that ‘smoke’ material. God said in the Quran:
Then He turned to the heavens when it was smoke…
[Holy Quran 41:11]
Because the earth and the heavens above (the sun, moon, stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) have been formed from this same ‘smoke’ we conclude that the earth and the heavens were one connected entity. Then out of this homogeneous ‘smoke’, they formed and separated from each other. God said in the Quran:
Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity, then We separated them?..
[Holy Quran 21:30]
Professor Alfred Kroner is one of the world’s well-known geologists. He is a Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. He said, "Thinking where Muhammad came from .. I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advance technological methods that this is the case." (From ‘This is the Truth’ ). Also he said, "Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics fourteen hundred years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind, for instance, that the earth and the heavens had the same origin."
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