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Islam and Science (02 Jun 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Zakir Naik’s Lies about Muslim Scientists: Can the Muslim Scientists of the Golden Age of Islam Be Called 'Heretics'?


By Ikram Ahmed, New Age Islam

01 June 2017

Zakir Naik is a controversial Islamic televangelist who is known for trying to show that the Holy Quran and modern science are compatible. In one of his talks on YouTube about ‘Qur'an and modern science compatible or incompatible ‘he recites plenty of verses from the Holy Quran, which could be scientific. The verses are then compared to myriad scientific theories from several disciplines for example: Medicine, Astronomy, Geology etc.

But in the first place, why does Zakir Naik require scientific evidence to prove that Quran is a book of God or that it was never fabricated or altered for centuries?  Does faith require scientific validity?

Zakir Naik and his acolytes should read Karl Popper’s Science as Falsification. It is a bizarre idea to use scientific principle to justify religion.

When a scientist embarks on a scientific work- his primary concern is to look for ways that the theory can be proved false through experiments. This cardinal principle is what separates science from religion, because religion is not always open to the idea of falsification. The rules are rigid and calcified. Believers' sentiments are also involved because of the impending possibility of blasphemy or heresy; most important that the beliefs are divinely ordained.

This is not an attempt to cast aspersion on religion or to prove the superiority of science over religion; nevertheless, it was an attempt to establish a clear distinction. Let there be privacy to believers and their believe in any God. Why bring the laboratories into your justification for faith?

Zakir Naik unfortunately has broken this fragile barrier on plenty of occasions.

But the most egregious example was a recent talk where he gave a ridiculous answer to an innocent Muslim girl, who asked a simple question: "Why is the Muslim world backward in Science?”

Here is the YouTube link of the unusually long answer. youtube.com/watch?v=R-rfBAtEh2o

Naik randomly brings out names of medieval Arab scientists from eight to twelfth century and he takes the liberty of calling them Muslim scientists. But this is as meaningless as calling  Einstein a Jewish scientist or Newton a Christian scientist. After all, gravity is not Christian, and relativity is not Jewish. Faith has nothing to do with the science!

All the scientific contributions during the medieval age was the result of individual brilliance under the patronage of the benevolent Khalifas. The Muslim world, in general, thrived because of the benevolence of the Sultans and Khalifas. It was under the patronage of Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and Mamun that Bayt al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom) was founded, where Muslim, Jews, Christian studied humanities, sciences, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, alchemy and chemistry, zoology, and geography and cartography. Individual brilliance should not remain in the shadows of culture and religious identity. Please, spare the Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd who were rational human beings.

It is interesting that many Muslims take pride in the contribution of the medieval Muslims to science, and yet, if they really spend some quality time to find out the true beliefs of those intellectuals, they might unearth plenty of heresy. If those intellectuals were alive today, no Muslim country would have accepted them. They would be running around the world like refugees, their only hope would be some western country (Minus trump), and no respite in the Muslim land; also the impending danger of blasphemy charges, and getting killed.

Many Muslim scientist and philosophers were heretics. But before I begin with their beliefs, it is important to note the influence of rationalism in Islam through Muttazilism. It started as an independent movement but later it couldn’t resist the depth of Greek Philosophy. The Muslim world was enriched by the legacy left by its predecessors. The influence of Greek, Persia, and India enriched the Muslim world. Thankfully, there was Khalifa Mamun and no Baghdadi who to an extent tolerated deviant believes.

Here are few Freethinkers and deviants in the Islamic world:

Ibn Al Muqaffa: He was a freethinker and a critic of Islam during the 7th century. He was a Zandiq. He translated Persian and Sanskrit literature in Arabic.

Ibn Al Rawandi: He was a former Muttazilite and someone who believed in dualism and later questioned the existence of God.

Al- Farabi believed in some Spinoza kind of a God.

Ibn Sina doctrine was a Mixture of Aristotle and Neo-Platonism. The Orthodox theologians never accepted his works. He was a heretic then and nothing would have changed if he was born in this era. The Orthodox theologians possess a brilliant survival mechanism. Their memes survive and thrive. He also believed in the transmigration of soul.

Al-Razi a great physician of all time. His prestige and authority remained unchallenged until the 17th century. He was against all kind of organized religion. He considered prophets are harmful to the people and many times said several derogatory statements against them. Zakir Naik mentioned his name in the video without knowing his ideology.

Many great thinkers in the Muslim world were Heretics and it’s rather astonishing to see Muslims boasting the contributions of these heretic intellectuals from the medieval Arab world. The Muslim Ummah must be wearing double blinders for being ignorant about these heretics. The simple fact is if they were alive today, none of them would have preferred to live in the Middle East or Muslims world. They would have taken the first flight to any western country.

Zakir Naik’s public talks, which he conducts through an organization IRF (Islamic Research foundation) is a charade. The purpose is to gloss up the Wahabi interpretation of Islam.

Any reasonable person who attempts to ask any question is ridiculed and sidelined with rhetoric, which lacks reason. This madness needs to be curbed before it destroys the Muslim youths and radicalize them. The ideas that he espouses would destroy the scientific temperament among the Muslim youth. The girl inadvertently asked a brilliant question that exposed Zakir Naik’s false claims. The reality is that if the Muslim world wants to make progress in science, then it needs to unshackle science from faith and respect them as separate lines of thought.



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  • Good explanation. Zakir Naik is making people fool by his tactics I read an article about Zakir Naik and knew from that article that he is causing problems for Muslims. That article is here http://www.newageislam.com/d/108003
    By Kaniz Fatma - 12/26/2018 10:41:28 PM

  • Why people get inspired by Zakir Naik?


    By Urooj Fatma - 11/16/2018 1:00:00 AM

  • Very well rounded off, Mr. Nasser Ahmed.
    By Manzurul Haque - 6/23/2017 5:22:01 AM

  • Having started it, let us complete the discussion on creation.

     (50:38) We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us.

    The above verse negates the belief that God rested on the 7th Day. God only commands “Be, and it is”. We have seen that in one context, a day is like our thousand years and in another, it is like fifty thousand years. What is a day like in this context? It is not specified. The largest unit of number used in the Quran is thousand. Using thousand as the highest unit, it would be very awkward to indicate a very large number. A million would be a thousand thousands and a billion would be a thousand, thousand thousands! Quite awkward and difficult to understand by simple folks. Moreover, what if 6 days means 6 phases (which it certainly does) and the phases are of unequal duration? I repeat, the Quran not being a book of Science, says as much as it can, as accurately as possible, in as few words as it is appropriate to communicate the Majesty of Allah and His creation. Now let us look at the interesting part it has communicated by saying 6 days by examining the following verses:

     (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).

     What we understand from the above, is that mere creation of the earth and the heavens took only 2 days, but to make the earth habitable, took another 4 days. Gives an idea of how rich and unique the earth is vis-à-vis the rest of the universe.

     (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 Quran also takes care to avoid unnecessary controversy when man’s knowledge is defective. Take for example the story of the people of The Cave in Suarh Al-Kahaf:

    (18:22) (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.

    When there is a controversy about the correct number, even if the Quran gave the correct number, how can it be confirmed? Those who believe a different number as correct, will continue to believe so, raising unnecessary controversy. The correct number in the story is in any case of no consequence.

     Similarly, what if the Quran had mentioned an exact number of years (which is quite unnecessary to communicate God’s majesty), and Science came up with a wrong number which does not get corrected with the correct number for a thousand years? During these thousand years, people would have unnecessarily argued over the issue of what the Quran says vs what Science says without being sure of either number.

     God in His infinite wisdom, chooses the exact words to communicate. Man, in his arrogance, tries to teach God what to say, how to say it, what not to say and define His limits (nauzobillah)!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/23/2017 2:39:06 AM

  • Poor Hats Off is now reduced to nitpicking! He is now badmouthing psychotherapy because the question of his oedipal conflicts was once raised half-jestingly. I base my denunciation of him not on psychoanalytical theories but simply on his carrying on an unbridled and relentless hate war against moderate Muslims, and that too on a moderate Muslim website. It require a lot of cheek to do that.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 6/22/2017 11:28:58 PM

  • You are very poor in your observations Hats Off. I do psychoanalyze people but only when I have sufficient data. I am never hasty about it.

    People reveal a lot about themselves through what they say and when they talk about parents, parenting and kind of parents, it is partly a projection of their own family history. I have cited a research paper to show the connection between defective fathering and hostility to a person's father's religion.

    In your case, you have provided some fresh data which is interesting when you said in one your recent comments that the present day Muslims are the progeny of raped non-Muslim women. Explains the intensity of your hatred and how immediate in your family history that event may have occurred. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/22/2017 11:02:56 PM

  • Thank you Haque sb for your kind words.

    I am surprised at Zuma's calculations. The very fact that two verses give two different numbers in different contexts means that this number can vary with the context. Creation of the universe is a different context where a day is certainly not a 24 hour day and could be any number since the number is not specified in the Quran. From the two verses quoted, what we know for sure, is that a day means a very long period or eon which varies from context to context. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/22/2017 9:56:07 PM

  • Nasser Ahmed sb, 
    I think we are on the same page as regards fundamental precepts of Islam as well as  the approach to the understanding of Islam. I read with great interest everything that you write. Since I don't find any disagreement I let it pass. I have already praised your works, which I find full of facts with references,   and with very satisfying and logical reasoning. I can say I wouldn't have been able to the same job better. So please keep it up. No doubt Zuma sb (somehow I feel uncomfortable with such names which sound secretive), I feel has overstretched his point. There was no need for him to do all the calculations, once he has been told both by you and by me that the actual import of references to this time frame is to highlight the majesty of Allah about which we have no doubt. I agree with expression that Allah is what He chooses to be. He is so absolute in power that no lesser statement would do. 

    It is important for us to train younger commentators by commending them  and nudging  them (by sound arguments and appeals) into our way of thinking to make our activism complete.

    By Manzurul Haque - 6/22/2017 8:36:00 PM

  • To my view, it is best to drop the topic since we do not know how Allah did in the past whether it was 6 days or billion years according to science instead of thousand years.
    Let's proceed with other meaningful discussion rather than merely on this topic.

    By zuma - 6/22/2017 7:54:00 PM

  • Quran 2:129 mentions that Allah is almighty.  The following is the extract:
    (سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #129)-Mohsin Khan translation
    Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily! You are the All-mighty, the All-Wise."
    As Allah is almighty, it could be that it could perform mighty work.  As he is almighty, how do you know his mighty work has assisted him to perform impossible work as creating this universe within 6 days?
    By zuma - 6/22/2017 7:43:58 PM

  • by the usual rules of debate with mr. naseer ahmed, it is surprising that he has not yet pseudo-psychoanalyzed mr. ikram ahmed and his relationship with his parents.

    making blind allegations against the fathers of apostates and atheists is the SOP adopted the "oh-so-moderate" quack psychiatrist and his trained psychiatrist friend.

    mr.ghulam mohiyuddin should have chimed in with his outdated and discredited psychotherapy.

    but that it has not happened speaks volumes about mr. naseer ahmed's quack psychiatry and mr. ghulam mohiyuddin's accredited psychiatry.

    to imagine mr. naseer ahmed recommending chanting some Quranic verses for mr rational to solve some medical problem of his is still fresh in allah's memory.

    may allah be pleased with him.

    By hats off! - 6/22/2017 7:09:39 PM

  • if a day is 50,000 years, 6 days is 6 x 50,000 years = 300,000 years and yet scientists mention that this universe needs billion years to be formed. Dinosaurs, scientists mention, exist million years ago.
    By zuma - 6/22/2017 5:57:16 PM

  • Naseer Ahmad, Yes, you quote the verse that a day is a thousand years. How could it link with science that mentions it takes billion years to form? If a year is a thousand years, 6 days should be 6000 days and yet science mentions it takes billion years to form.
    By zuma - 6/22/2017 5:55:15 PM

  • To believe in Allah is to have faith in faith.  There is no need of evidence to prove the existence of Allah in order to believe.  Just like, do you see Allah in existence?  You do not see Allah in existence and yet you believe.  That is so called, believe. 

    By zuma - 6/22/2017 5:51:14 PM

  • Haque sb, 

    I have not responded to the silly argument about omnipotence of Allah because it was irrelevant for what was being discussed and the topic cuts across all faiths.

    Otherwise it can be discussed. Islam provides a very straight answer. God is what God chooses to be and if He has decreed what is logical and what isn't, and made what is logical possible and the illogical not possible, that is it whether you like it or not. God has decided that He will not change his decrees/laws and said so in the Quran. That is the reason we have unerring order in the universe and perfect causality. 

    God is independent of all and high above the silly arguments of man.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 6/22/2017 12:43:37 PM

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