12 Scientific Facts in The Quran Discovered Centuries Later: Part 1

One of the issues emphasized in Islam, and the Quran is contemplation and reflection. Human beings are created to worship Allah almighty, yet praising Him is not restricted to religious rituals and practices. According to Imam Hasan Al-Askari (AS), worship is contemplating on Allah Almighty's affairs [1]. It means being mindful of the signs of Allah Almighty, pondering about them, and realizing how powerful He is. Some of these signs are mentioned in the Quran (2:164), of which some have been discovered as scientific facts many centuries after the revelation of the Quran. Here, we review some of these facts. 

 

1. Adornment of the Lowest Sky: Stars


In Surah Saffat, it is stated that: "Indeed We have adorned the lowest heaven with the finery of the stars." (37:6). The lowest heaven means the nearest sky that we observe from the earth. The Quran introduced this fact, while in that era, the accepted hypothesis was that the fixed stars existed only in the highest sky (the 8th sky, according to Claudius Ptolemy's hypothesis). Nowadays, it is also known that as light passes through pockets of the earth's atmosphere, it is affected by winds in the atmosphere and by areas with different temperatures and densities. It is, therefore, diffracted (bounced around), causing a quick apparent dimming and brightening when looking from the ground. This phenomenon perfectly fits the term "lower heaven," while out of earth's atmosphere, it doesn't happen. 

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2. Every Star Moves in its Proper Path


In Surah Waqi'ah, it is said that: "So I swear by the places where the stars set! And indeed, it is a great oath, should you know." (56:75-76). 


Today, we know that each star holds a proper position in the sky, and its path and orbit depends on gravity. The velocity of each is also specific. Although exact calculation about the stars too far away is not possible, the measurements done for the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy confirms these facts. 


3. Sun's Orbit according to the Quran


In 1512 AD, the astronomer Nicholas Copernicus put forth the theory that the sun is at rest near the center of the universe and that the earth, spinning on its axis once daily, revolves annually around the Sun [2]. This belief that the sun is motionless was not acknowledged by astronomers until the 20th century. That's while in the Quran, it is mentioned that: "And the sun runs on to its place of rest. That is the ordaining of the All-mighty, the All-knowing." (36:38). 

 

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This Quranic account of the sun's motion is consistent with modern Astronomy because the mentioned Copernicus's theory is not valid anymore. Instead, it has been well-established that the sun is not stationary, but is moving in its orbit around the center of Milky Way Galaxy.  

 

4. Universal Gravitation


Today, it is known that the gravitational forces hold the celestial bodies apart from each other, hence, preventing their collision [3]. This fact was explicitly stated in the Quran: "It is Allah who raised the heavens without any pillars that you see" (13:2), and: "He created the heavens without any pillars that you may see" (31:10). According to these verses, there exist invisible supports that raise the heavens. These supports are now referred to as the gravitational and other unseen forces in the universe [3].


Some of the astronomical facts discussed in the Quran and were discovered later on by scientists were described above. There remain still other points presented in the second part of this topic. Follow us to find out more.

 

References:

[1].    Muhaddith Nuri, "Mustadrak al-Wasa'il," vol. 11, p. 183.

[2].    http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.php?id=123

[3].    https://www.imamreza.net/old/eng/imamreza.php?id=6329