If one day the creation of universe is explained within physical laws and all questions are answered, do we not need to become atheists? If we need to deny the creator in such a situation, why should we not need to deny the creator?
As time passes, the Qur’an becomes younger and as science develops, the truths of the Qur’an are revealed and better understood. Thus, the ones who think that the progress of science is against Islam are wrong because, everything informs us about Allah (SWT).
Scientific rules are laws of Allah (SWT) and a proof of tawhid that proves Allah’s existence and oneness.
Science and religion are not in conflict. Conflict is between theories and hypothesis with evaluations and accepted norms that are presented as religion. After all, there are many points that are not in common about the descriptions between religion and science. Most of the time, just like in the evolution theory, ideological and political approaches or some presumptions and metaphysic interpretations that have no criteria of science are presented as real science. On the other hand, Christianity is taken into consideration as religion and some contributions, personal interpretations that are made about religion for that religion are perceived as the characteristic of religion in general. Particularly, after the trinity doctrine is added to the God concept in Christianity, it is seen that even among theologians, there is no accepted common concept.
Is Science in conflict with Religion?
One of the main causes of conflict is that the results which are acquired by scientific data is explained superficially through coincidence by straying from the borders of science with a metaphysical approach by disregarding its causes and effects.
Another reason is that science is explained with materialistic philosophy and thus materialistic ideas are evaluated as real science and the supporting of atheism in the name of science.
It is not possible that there is a conflict between the last religion of Islam and science because the religion of Islam considers the whole universe as a kind of book. A book which is the art of Allah’s Qudrah (Power) attribute and written with elements. That is, the Book of the Universe. Every spring is just like a paper of this book and ages are fascicles of this book. Man is a word in this book. the topic of all sciences is this book of the universe. That is, the duty of explaining the characteristics and related laws belongs to the science from its soil, stones to its air, water, plants, animals and humans including all creatures living and non-living things. In a way, sciences interpret and explain this book of the universe. From atoms to galaxies, in every structure and related laws, the existence of a high level knowledge, an extensive comprehension, an infinite thinking, a perfect balance and planning with a very compassionate and artistic construction are seen. This book of the universe, which is the creation and art of Allah (SWT), informs us about Him.1
In Islamic literature, there is an emphasis on the idea that the more advancement is made in science and the more knowledge is obtained about living things, the more Allah’s authority, power and wisdom are known; thus, He will be known much better. The science of having knowledge about Allah (SWT) is called Ma'rifat-ullah. Since the names of Allah are infinite, there is no limit in progressing in Ma'rifat-ullah.2
Thinking of the creation of objects that have a balance, purpose and meaning is called “Tafakkur” (contemplating), reasoning or meditating. Islam considers such contemplation of an hour superior to nafilah (supererogatory) worshipping of a year.
“Wise words are the lost property of a believer. He deserves to get it wherever he finds it more than everybody else.”7 Our Prophet encourages people to learn and to read with hadiths like, “Scholars are the candles (sources of light) of the earth, vicegerents of the prophets and inheritors of me and the other prophets.”8
The Qur’an emphasizes on reasoning by saying “Will ye not understand?” “Do you not think?”4
There is an encouragement for science in the hadiths, too: “He who sets off a journey for science (knowledge) is on the way of Allah until He returns.”5
“Demanding learning science will be kaffarah (atonement) for a person’s past sins”6,
In Islam, the ink of the scholar is regarded to be superior to the blood of the martyr. 9 Can such a religion be opposed to science? Besides, are all of the sciences not the interpretation and explanation of Allah’s Book of the Universe? The Quran is His book; so is the Universe. What contradicts Islam is not science but some theories and hypotheses or some philosophical views.
Scientific data can be parallel to religious arguments or sometimes they can have different courses. Then, the dialogue between them can be continued through a tolerant approach. Respect to both fields and a tolerant approach seem to be the key to the happiness of man.
Science and religion can proceed together in the axis of tolerance. Religion is heavenly. It does not have to be tested each time there is a scientific development or to be confirmed by scientific data. First of all, religion takes into consideration both this worldly life and the otherworldly life; and it presents a metaphysical style of thought and a holistic approach. However, the methods and procedures of science are different and science aims to understand this worldly life and the beings in the world. The more science makes progress in understanding those beings, the more Allah will be known.
Prof. Dr. Adem Tatlı
1. Nursi, B. S. Sözler. Envar Neşriyat, İstanbul, 1996, p. 158. Aralık 1987, İstanbul.
2. Nursi, B. S. Mektubat. Envar Neşriyat, İstanbul, 1996, p. 222-223.
3. al-Baqara, 76.
5.Tirmidhi Ilm 2, 2649; Ibn Majah, Muqaddima 17, 227.
6. Tirmidhi Ilm 2, 2650.
7. Tirmidhi Ilm, 19, 2688.
8. Munawi., IV, 383. nr. 5703. Aktaran:, Murat Sarıcık. Kendi Dilinden Peygamberimiz–2,. Nesil Yayınları, İstanbul, 2007, p.138-142.
9. Ali el- Muttaqi al-Hindi. Kanzu’l-Ummal. Beirut, 1985, X, 14:28714-5.