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Islam and Science
Mohamed Helal 297

Islam and Science

Islam and Science[1]
 

     In the history of divine messages, and legal systems in general, the encouragement to learn was never to the extent to which it came in the religion of Islam. The recorded proofs of this fact are too many to be completely counted, and too unexceptional to be mentioned here. It is sufficient to mention here the Qur’ānic verse:

“How can those who know be equal to those who do not know?” (Qur’ān, 39:9)

His words, Sanctified be He, are:

“Allah raises up, by many ranks, those of you who believe and those who have been given knowledge.” (Qur’ān, 58:11)

     Allah Almighty values Knowledge high, and honored those who possess it. This is not merely limited to spiritual religious knowledge, but rather includes all the branches of knowledge useful to the individual and the community in religion and life.

     Islam, therefore, calls for knowledge and wisdom regardless of its source. Indeed, Islam encourages knowledge and makes it the best act of obeying, both gaining it and spreading it, emphasizing its implementation and utilization in all fields. The only instance, in which Islam stands against knowledge, is in implementing it in the areas of evil and harm. Islam’s long history is well known for keenness of seeking knowledge and for honoring scholars, even when they are non-Muslims.

     Islam’s encouragement of learning emanates from the belief that it serves religion itself, and helps it to mold a community that has taken the responsibility of leading people from darkness (ignorance) into light (knowledge and truth). So, true knowledge, in its vast fields, deepens faith in Allah through investigation and contemplation of the soul and the universe. At the same time, it benefits humankind by the powers of the universe, which Allah has dispensed for man, both for his own betterment and for that of the community. The scope of its fields and its manifestations are only too clear, as can be seen in the words of Allah The Most High:

“Have you [Prophet] not seen how Allah sends water down from the sky with which We produce fruits of varied colors? There are in the mountains layers of white and red colors of various hues, as well as jet black. There are various colors among human beings, wild animals, and livestock too! It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true awe of Allah.” (Qur’ān, 35:27-28)

     Astronomers, physicists, chemists, botanists, geologists, physicians, psychiatrists, sociologists, zoologists, historians, philosophers, scholars of all sciences related to the study of man, natural historians, and all other scholars are those who have the ability to see into the secrets of the universe, on the one hand, and to believe in Allah who created him in this exquisite system, on the other hand. This is the case only if their research is fair and deep. Social enlightenment is a result that such scholars have reached out of axioms and truths.


[1] Shaikh ‛Aṭiya Ṣaqr, Former Chairman of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, “Understanding Islam”, Al-Azhar Center for Translation (ACT), 2017, p. 81.

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