Science, Religion, Islam & the Mainstream

Science, Religion, Islam & the Mainstream

Mainstream media today will have you believe you need to choose between science and religion. And they spin it in a way to make science look modern and progressive, while religion is presented as barbaric and traditional.

We know that is a false narrative.

Throughout history science benefited tremendously from religion. In a simple example the Gregorian calendar that marks the solar year and changes to the seasons was introduced by Pope Gregory 13.

We have another series of examples in Islam.

As Muslims explorers expanded into Asia, Europe and Africa, they still had to obey the command to face the qibla to pray, 5 times a day.  The Quran says explicitly in 2:144 “turn your face toward al-Masjid al-haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer].”).

The problem was, how do you keep your bearings and maintain the direction of the qibla when you are 1000 miles away? Or travelling hundreds of miles per day in different direction. The answer was found in the Quran (6:97: “And it is He (Allah) who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea.”)

Through that the Arabs consolidated knowledge of astronomy and developed it further than ever before. Ibn al Haytham was celebrated for his work in that area, in the period 1020-1040. To do that, he had to develop better optics, and that is an area as well, along with the introduction of the laws of refraction in which Ibn Haytham was also renowned. This also required the use of trigonometry,  advanced by such persons as Al Khawarizmi and Al-Battani. Even the predictability of factors that informed the scientific method ibn Haytham introduced were guided by the Quran 30:30 which says “There is no altering (the laws of) Allah’s creation.”

For Muslims, religious contributions to science, or scientific discoveries evidenced in religion is the norm, and there is no contradiction or competition. Persons who study Islam recognize the relationship, and are able to use Islam to guide even further development, for the benefit of all humankind, and for the best in this world, and the next.

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