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Books and Documents

Islam and Science

There is unanimity among philosophers and researchers that Muslim world is currently lagging behind in key scientific and economic areas. The question can be raised why the second most populous human community of world is not able to contribute in science irrespective of the fact that many countries have immense natural resources. The sad part of the story is that the Muslim World, which once was at its peak in scientific endeavours...

How Islamic Scholarship Birthed Modern Astronomy
Shannon Stirone

While Europe was in an intellectual coma, the Islamic empire which stretched from Moorish Spain, to Egypt and even China, was entering their “Golden Age”. Astronomy was of particular interest to Islamic scholars in Iran and Iraq and until this time around 800 AD, the only astronomical textbook was Ptolemy’s Almagest, written around 100 AD in Greece. This venerable text is still used as the main reference for ancient astronomy in academia to this day...

There is certainly no reason to admire a science which counts insects and atoms but is ignorant of God; which makes an avowal of not knowing Him and yet claims omniscience by principle. It should be noted that the scientist, like every other rationalist, does not base himself on reason in itself; he calls “reason” his lack of imagination and knowledge, and his ignorance are for him the “data” of reason.  He sarcastically remarks that “too many “believers” consider that it is time that religion should shake off “the dust of the centuries”, which amounts its “liberation” from its very essence and from everything which manifests that essence.”...

I recall the first verse that was revealed to our beloved Prophet from the holy Quran. This opening verse came with a direct message urging us to seek knowledge and keep on challenging ourselves and surroundings. I no longer have doubts regarding my scientific career as the Almighty; Allah (swt) has said in His Holy Book that the works of the righteous people will never go to waste.....

 

How Muslim Inventors Changed the World
Paul Vallely

Other borrowings from Muslim genius included ribbed vaulting, rose windows and dome-building techniques.  Europe’s castles were also adapted to copy the Islamic world’s — with arrow slits, battlements, a barbican and parapets.  Square towers and keeps gave way to more easily defended round ones.  The architect of Henry V’s castle was a Muslim.....

Most people believe that Islamic cultures’ contributions to science ended after the Islamic Golden Age. Since most Islamic countries are notoriously fundamentalist, it’s an easy presumption to have. However, Islam is not a monolith. With the globalization of over 1.6 billion Muslims, Islamic culture has spread beyond the Middle East to join the various tapestries of countries across the Earth...

The Islamic Empire for more than 1,000 years remained the most advanced and civilized nation in the world. This is because Al-Islam stressed the importance and respect of learning, forbade destruction, and developed in Muslims the respect for authority, discipline, and tolerance for other religions. The Muslims recognized excellence and hungered intellectually. The teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah drove many Muslims to their accomplishments in sciences and medicine....

Muslim Countries and Science Outreach: A Steep Decline and Way Forward
Sheikh Umar Ahmad

There should be grass root efforts across the Muslim world to stimulate curiosity about science among students of all ages operat­ing without much government support. Ahmed Djebbar an emeritus science historian at the University of Lille in France has constructed an online pre-university-level course called ‘The Discoveries in Islamic Countries’ available in three languages, which relates science concepts to great discoveries and stories from the Islamic Golden Age....

 

Fasting: Regiment For Healthy Body and Brain
Tommy Dharmawan

Now, how about our brain function during intermittent fasting in Ramadhan? Although it is hard for humans to concentrate during fasting, according to Farooq et al in Journal of Academy Nutrition and Dietetic, in the fourth week of Ramadhan fasting, performance on the spatial planning, working memory task and working memory capacity test increased significantly....

 

Is It Science Or Theology?
Pervez Hoodbhoy

Compounding scientific ignorance is prejudice. Most students have been persuaded into believing that Muslims alone invented science. And that the heroes of Muslim science such as Ibn-e-Haytham, Al-Khwarizmi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn-e-Sina, etc owed their scientific discoveries to their strong religious beliefs. This is wrong.....

Restoring Arab Passion for Science: Mission Impossible?
Faisal J. Abbas

But that’s not to say religious clerics are off the hook. While the media shouldn’t deliberately mock religion for the sake of mocking and getting hits, scholars should also refrain from expressing views in areas they don’t fully understand and are not their fields of expertise.....

 

Are we now at a stage where Islam no longer contributes to science because its adherents fear that understanding the ways of God’s unseen creations are somehow attacks on His existence?....

 

Both modern science and Ibn Khaldun agree: The nature transforms one species to another. Pre-Darwin Muslim scholars believed human family was created from the ape family. But now we know human species was not evolved from monkey but ape family and human family have a common ancestor. Ape and human species are distant cousins. Secondly, the sentence, “At this point we come to the first stage of man (after the world of monkeys),” suggests that the pre-Darwin Muslims knew about the existence of other hominid species. Thirdly, physical observation of the nature led Muslim to the idea of evolution of life. That is why Ibn Khaldun states: “This is as far as our (physical) observation extends.”….

Humanist Vs Islamic Perspectives on Science and the Modern World
Yasmin Khan

Historians currently conclude the Islamic golden age of science began to decline during the 12th Century but this stance ignores the major contributions made during the Ottoman Empire up until the 14th Century. In Sardar’s opinion, Ibn Khaldun was the last great scholar of the age; he died in 1406 CE.

The Abandonment of Science
Rafia Zakaria

The report produced by the Muslim World Science Initiative is an attempt at targeting just this tension, one that is plaguing the university campus in much of the Muslim world. It may not be possible to magically or suddenly eliminate it, but the report gives some suggestions of small steps forward.

 
Islam and Education
Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi

On educational front, efforts of Nursi’s contemporary and successor visionaries of Islam like Shibli, Maududi, Sir Syed and Ismail Raji Faruqui have met but with very less success in convincing the traditional Muslim clergy about the tenacity of modern sciences like religious sciences. But Madrasah Zahra model presented by Nursi stands for “in¬tegration of knowledge”,...

 

Close your eyes and begin to observe yourself. Move your mind down your body, from head to toe. Do you really feel you are simply a motley collection of bits of inert matter that make up the various parts of your body, as atheist evolutionists insist you are? Your consciousness instinctively recoils at the idea! You intuitively know, without having to consult any ponderous biology textbook, that you simply cannot be reduced to your body, as atheist evolutionists insist you must. .....

Irfan Habib has argued how a literalist interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith has led to obscurantism and hampered original and eclectic scientific research in Muslim countries. Generally, his analysis, however, raises several significant issues, which need to be addressed in order to give a more comprehensive and yet balanced overview of this very important theme....

 

There are neo-con Christian Science and the Muslim (Islamic) Science groups who claim that the Divine Messengers could communicate with the Creator in Heavens. No Holy Book or the Divine Messenger ever questioned God’s imperfect human creation. The Prophets of all faiths promised carefree living for their followers, but after death, in un- specify heavenly abode, called Moksha or Paradise.  But the history of World Religions makes it   clear that no God Incarnate or Avatar ever felt it necessary to Fly or pray for growing the Wings on the human body..... 

Scholars Failing Islam
Syed Kamran Hashmi

Scholars Failing Islam
Syed Kamran Hashmi

The Arabic word zarrah from the Quran, which means particle or weight of a red ant, becomes atom, to prove the Bohr atomic model. If Nebula was our concern in astronomy or the understanding of a supernova caught our interest, then again we found the word al-dukhan in the Quran and Hadith as an explanation, which means ‘the smoke’ and is a close equivalent of the above-mentioned scientific terms....

The Miracle of Religion and Science
Azis Anwar Fachrudin

Ascension to heaven alive, for example, is not unique to Christianity and Islam. Judaism has Enoch and Elia (shared also by Christianity and Islam); Hellenism has Hercules; Hinduism has Yudhisthira; Zoroastrianism has Arda Viraf. Stories of humans entering speaking to God, and/or God-incarnate are common among indigenous religions throughout the world. Now, in the 21st century, when science has advanced and modern cosmologists have been able to measure the earth and the universe, the question becomes: how do we reconcile religious miracles with science?....

Why I Teach Evolution to Muslim Students
Rana Dajani

Science allows us to question and discover how the world works and the Quran provides the moral guidelines for doing so. If an apparent contradiction arises between a scientific finding and an interpretation of the Quran, then we can turn to both science itself (which is evolving) and the interpretation of the Quran (which is not impartial, because it is a human exercise) to account for the discrepancy. This is an ongoing and fluid process, and is part and parcel of the purpose of life for Muslims....

Islamic Solar Calendar: Eclipsed by Politics and Ideology
Zaman Stanizai

The solar calendar was adopted on 15 March 1079 as the Jallali Calendar in recognition of the royal patronage of Sultan Jalaluddin Malikshah I and was given its Islamic character as it was retroactively reckoned from the year of Prophet Muhammad's migration to Medina, making 622 CE as the year zero and its first year as the year 457 AH....

 
God-Realization and Modern Science
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

God-Realization and Modern Science
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

Modern science has provided us with a new framework to understand the reality of things. This framework has made it possible for us to understand things on a rationally-accepted basis, things that people earlier thought of as mysteries. This change of age has opened up new, unending expanses of knowledge for the realization of God and increasing one’s faith....

The Meaning and Reality of Science
Waheed Rizvi, Tr. New Age Islam

The laws under which the objects and energies of the external universe are active are called the Laws of cause and effect but in the world of man they are called the Laws of consequences of deeds. That is, every action or deed of man, even the thoughts occurring in his mind has a definite consequence. In the Quran, God calls himself Ahsan ul Khaliqueen (the best of creators). This means that there are also creators other than God. And it is man who has this attribute. According to God, He has put a small part of his godly powers in man through which he creates. But man cannot create like God. Man can create only by using the objects created by God under the laws, formulas and chemistry created by God.…..

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