Of M-Theories, God Particles and Multiverses

May 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Pakistan, Religion, World

“There is a probably apocryphal story, that when Laplace was asked by Napoleon, how God fitted into this system, he replied, ‘Sire, I have not needed that hypothesis.”-Stephen Hawking: Does God Play Dice?

There is a new Church and a new Clergy: Modern Science and Scientists. They may not chant incantations in Latin no one can understand nor do they put on holy garbs unlike common men. However, these scientists do speak a language no one has an idea about and their word is as divine. The logic and proof they put forward is undecipherable and thus, undeniable. The philosophical and theological implications of their findings are huge and are being widely propagated by atheists, humanists and (of course) scientists alike. Since the dawn of the “Muslim Dark Ages”, there is no challenging these minions of science, except mullahs, whose only line of defense is Suqoot-e Nikah (abrogation of Muslim marriages).

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” -Stephen Hawking

So, when Stephen Hawking or Michio Kaku – prophets of a scientific new era in their own might – deem God “unnecessary”, Muslim scientists are not to be found and the reply of the ummah in face of a host of modern scientific questions is silence. Ironically, even our religious scholars have no time for these trivial questions as they have much important matters to attend. Looking on the bright side, if there is any, at least that saves our nikahs!

We are still trying to bask in the glory of the long gone era when Islam led the way for science and the other so-called gentiles were in the Dark Ages. However, we never had time to notice the eclipse that has cast our glory into darkness and the turn of the tide in which, we have been left only with words and stories that now are as forlorn as the glorious age itself. Frankly speaking, when was the last Muslim call for Eureka, Muslim inventor, Muslim Nobel Prize, Muslim scientific breakthrough….hard to recall, isn’t it? But we still consider ourselves to be the Chosen leaders of all the nations anyways (sound a bit like Bani Israel?). Okay forget about that; let’s take a slightly different quiz: where is the Large Hadron Collider located and who collaborated to build it? Who launched the Hubble Telescope or the COBE Satellite? Who is running the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence program? Who spends the most on scientific research and exploration? Here’s a hint: the answer has nothing to do with those who face the Kaaba. Do I see a nikah abrogating Mullah wielding his fiery tongue at me?

And you thought seeking knowledge was incumbent on Muslims, even if it demanded the extent of travelling long distances, like say, China? Or maybe you had heard that Wisdom is a true Muslim’s lost heritage or that the Quran invites you to explore the universe. It seems while we were on a holiday, someone else took the lead. Now that they have the knowledge, they can present the facts with their perspective, as the only legal challenger is, let’s say, unavailable.

There was once really a time when Muslims propelled by the Quran, sought answers to fundamental scientific questions and delved on philosophical and theological implications of the answers they found. The Ibne Sinas, Al-Bairunis, Razis, Haythams were a whole clan who led the world of science without stumbling into the darkness created by absence of theological guidelines. It was because they were not divorced from the light emanating from the Noble Quran. However, such an era was not to last and not an inkling of their spirit was retained by present Muslims.

“Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like Neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason by proclaiming that the immanent design evident in nature is real”. -Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Arch Bishop of Vienna

Not that there aren’t any questions left or every picture is crystal clear. But those trying to find the answers have their own ideas and basis of conclusions. Steps in the shape of Specola Vaticana (the Vatican Observatory) and The Pontifical Academy of Sciences aim to promote the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and the study of related epistemological problems. Thus allowing for an official Vatican response to many scientific observations such as the one quoted above. In 1992 the Roman Catholic Church finally acknowledged that it had been wrong to condemn Galileo. So did any of our eminent scholars renounce their nikah abrogations for those who believed in man’s landing on the moon? Are there any apologies for condemning Sir Syed learning and advocating the learning of English? The wide gap between the (Muslim) men of science and the religious scholars makes it seemingly impossible to reach at an Islamic insight into the world of science. Neither the former have an elaborate understanding of religion, nor the latter of science. Even, vice versa is somewhat true. However enthusiastically may we claim of the mention of the Big Bang in the Quran more than fourteen hundred years ago, that mention never led us to discovery of the phenomenon, nor its ready acceptance once it was announced.

“We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient as regards your Lord that He is a witness over all things?” -Al-Quran, 41:53

The question is when these Signs show up, will we be able to give the world a clearer explanation based on our understanding of both, science and the Quran, or would we be banking on Hawkings and Kakus to interpret them for us?

Owys Zemir

About the author

Owys Zemir is an engineer by profession and a poet & writer by passion.

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  1. A very nice thought. I also do feel that there is a huge gap between the religious and the ones educated in science or otherwise. and it needs to be filled up.

    Although one thing. Al-Beruni, Haitham, Razi contributed to the Muslim scientific era, what, 300-400 years after the rule of Islamic ideology had been established. It wasn’t Muslims who became great scientific minds, it was great scientific minds who became Muslims. The initial thing in the Islamic Golden Age was infact the manifestation of the Islamic ideology on the social, economic and political level, or in Quranic words, ‘qiyaam-e-deen’, which was the first and foremost thing done by the Prophet (SAW). The age of great religious and scientific scholars followed after that.

    Even in the case of the ideology that manifests now, secularism, it was first the ideological war they beat us in and then they took charge of the scientific world as well. So, the first and foremost thing for Muslims to be doing right now is to be struggling for the manifestation of the Islamic ideology on social, economic and political levels and all of these will follow.

  2. Brilliant!

  3. Your lack of historical knowledge is stunning. Most of the scientists belonged to Mutazalite school of theology which was unanimously declared heretic by mullahs. These scientists were declared heretics and their books were banned. I think you have no idea about the great conflict between Mutazalite and Asharis.

    Al Razi was an open atheist.
    Imam Ghazali declared that Ibn e Sina and Al Farabi are heretics in his book ‘Incoherence of Phislosophers’.
    Averroes was declared a heretic and his books were burnt in the streets of Cordova. His was banished and the last great Muslim philosopher died in exile.
    Al-Ma’arri was an atheist.
    Omar Khayyam didn’t belive in the hereafter.
    Bin Hayan the chemist was placed under house arrest where he expired later.
    All books of al-Kindi the great philosopher were confiscated.
    Ibn-e-Haitham the great physicist had to pretend that he was a madman so that he could save his skin
    Dr. Salam was persecuted for his beliefs.

  4. A conflict between contemporary science and religion is natural and at times even healthy, so long as a logical line of argument is followed. Besides, Imam Ghazali himself improved upon his philosophies as he progressed and publishing a difference of opinion is to be taken as positive. Moreover, Imam Ghazali did not differ with the scientific works of Ibne Sina. Avveroes was himself a Maliki scholar. The scientific exploits of Razi cannot be denied.
    As far as beliefs are concerned, the Quran invites you to study scientific concepts. Till the time you are studying a certain thing to reach or discover the truth, you are free to deny a theory, concept or philosophy.
    Maybe, you missed the scarlet thread of my argument. Anyways, I consider disagreement as healthy, so you’re free to disagree.

  5. The author in fact wants to use petrol in order to put fire out. Most of the “muslim” scientists from “glorious muslim era” were either agnostics or open atheists.

  6. perhaps the study of science is not easily reconcilable with any religion? Doesn’t science always teach you to question and search whilst in religion you have to take some things on faith? I understand that a good scientist will try to find evidence to disprove his/her theory whilst the science pushed by for instance the catholic church seems only interested in proving their faith. Is it possible to even have a logical argument when one side is arguing from faith whilst another argues from evidence?

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