Big Bang: Origin of the universe - the right approach

Q62 :Articles and books have been published postulating about the "big bang" as the probable origin of the universe some 10 billion years ago. It will be appreciated if you could share with us some thoughts about how religion in general, and Islam in particular, view such a scientific research being pursued in an attempt to approve this theory.

A62 : I am not particularly familiar with this theory, or its details. I have watched a television program about it and read an article, but I am not in a position to speak about it in any depth. What I would like to say about it, however, is that whether it is proved to be true or false, it should not affect our view of religion in any way. Allah could have brought about such a "Big Bang" to create the universe, if He wanted to do so. He could certainly have created the universe in some other manner. Whichever way He adopted to create the universe testifies to His limitless ability and overall control of the universe and everything in it. Where scientists reach the limits of their research, they are seen making attempt to make such a theory a basis to negate or cast suspicion on what Islam says about creation. If the universe came into being as a result of a Big Bang, does that mean that the bang happened by itself, without any cause? Or does it mean that Allah caused it? If the latter, well and good. If they opt for the first answer, saying that the bang just happened by itself without a cause, we will ask for a proof. We will say: Was there anything before the bang took place? Did it happen by a collision of physical entities, electric charges or other sources of energy? If so, where did these come from? Who gave them their existence? Such a line of questioning will inevitably lead us to decide our starting point. Are we seeking an explanation for the existence of the universe in total isolation of the concept of Allah's existence? In other words, does scientific research want to prove that life could have come about without any need for a creator? If so, then we are simply not interested in such an endeavor. Let scientists do what they like, they will never be able to come up with any logical explanation that can be proven to be true and at the same time negate Allah's role altogether. If Muslim scientists find enough evidence to suggest that the Big Bang Theory explains how the universe came into existence, they would relate that to Allah and His power. They would say that Allah has created the universe by causing a big bang to take place and they would then carry on with their investigations. Their research may lead them to great discoveries, but that does not negate Allah's role. The problem with scientists' research in the West is that it seeks to provide a theory which can be used as an alternative to the fact that the universe is Allah's creation. As a result, scientists go far astray. Moreover, they can produce no theory which can stand the test of time. Take for example the theory of Charles Darwin on the origin of species. There is nothing that an Islamic scholar or a man of religion can find wrong with the observations about the gradation of species and that one species leads to the next which is slightly higher. They noted that the gradation is observable in the plant kingdom as well as in the animal kingdom. They have also mentioned that there seems to be two un-bridgeable gaps, one between the highest plant species and the lowest animal type of life and the other between the highest animals which are closest to man and man himself. Their view is that it is Allah who has willed the system of creation to be such. Such a gradation proves His great ability to anyone who reflects on what Allah has placed in the universe. Muslim scientists have also spoken about the fine balance which we find in nature and how no species is allowed to multiply in great numbers so as to swarm the planet or dominate the universe. They attributed all that to the great hand of the Supreme Lord. This is the logical explanation which uses natural phenomena as a proof of the greatest fact of all, namely, Allah's existence, His Godhood and Lordship. What the West did with Darwin's theory was something different. Scientists tried to show that the great observations of Darwin indicate that there is a process of natural selection which is set in motion and continues to operate forever. Hence, that process provided for them a platform to announce their atheism and agnosticism and reject Allah's role altogether. They could not explain how the process of natural selection operates. Is it subject to the physical phenomena that exists in the universe? What made all species acquire the ability to adapt themselves to such phenomena? As for the two gaps, Western scientists who took over from Darwin tried to explain them away by saying that these were two missing links. They have not come up with any explanation why these links have been and continue to be missing? If the process of natural selection is self-supporting and ensures its own continuity, why has it not tried to bridge these two gaps? Whey does the missing link continue to be missing at those particular two points? In all this, we find an arbitrary attempt to replace religion with science, making of it a new god to which submission is required, even though it involves believing in some inexplicable phenomena. Such scientists say that their alternative is more logical and reasonable, but they cannot use it to explain everything that needs explanation. If scientists want to carry their research a step further than studying what is available in the universe so as to explain its existence, they must come up with a complete explanation that can be proved throughout with facts that cannot be challenged. If science is to replace religion, it should offer something which is complete, true, verifiable, unchangeable and absolute. But we will not be interested if scientists say to us: This is what we can prove now. Take it for the present as correct, and if we come up tomorrow with something that is more reasonable or for which we can provide better evidence, you take that instead of what we have offered you now. We do not want a Big Bang Theory to replace Darwin's theory, leaving as many un-answered questions as its predecessor. On the other hand, we welcome the Big Bang Theory and all other scientific research when offered in the right approach. It then can tell us more about our planet and the universe in which we live and how Allah brought it all into existence and continues to control it all.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )