"And the firmament (sky) We
constructed with power and skill and verily We are expanding it"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Thariyaat(51):47.
"Do not the
disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused then
We ripped them asunder, and We created from water every living
thing, do they not believe?" The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):30.
"Then He settled/equilibrated unto the firmament (sky) when
it was smoke and said unto it and to the earth: come willingly
or unwillingly. They said: we come willingly" The noble Qur'an,
Allah Almighty has in these three concise verses answered
questions that it has taken some of the greatest physicists and
astronomers of history centuries to answer. It was only in this
century that they finally found the truth.
Mankind has studied the heavens and the earth for countless
centuries. The Greeks were some of the first people to attempt
to describe various cosmological phenomena. They gave us many of
the very first theories regarding the universe
and it's composition. The major contribution came with the
writings of Plato.
Plato claimed that the universe was created by what he called
"The Demiurge." According to Plato, the universe was the result
of reasoning and planning, it was constructed by the Demiurge
upon precise mathematical and geometrical principles. Later on,
Aristotle, Plato's student, adopted his teacher's basic concept.
Aristotelian cosmology was based on the concept of an enclosed
cosmos comprising a series of concentric, spheres revolving
around a stationary Earth. Motion was provided by the "prime
mover" and, once initiated, would remain circular, uniform
Both Plato and Aristotle taught that the universe
was eternal, with neither beginning nor end. The universe as a
whole was considered steady and unmoving, and this was the basis
for the later formation of the "steady state theory." In
1915, Albert Einstein had published the famous general theory of
Soon afterward he proposed a static model of the universe,
but he would later declare that it was "one of the greatest
mistakes of my career." Why?, Because in 1925, Edwin Hubble
(after whom the Hubble Space telescope is named) provided the
observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, or as
Stephen Hawking put it "The universe is not static, as had
previously been thought, it was expanding."
Although mankind did not discover these facts till this 20th
Century, still, we find that Allah Almighty had provided the
answers for mankind 1400 years ago in the Qur'an through the
agency of His illiterate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). During
Muhammad's (pbuh) time, the Greeks were claiming that the cosmos
was static and not expanding. So how did he know that the
universe was expanding 1300 years before the
foremost scientist of the West proved this to be a scientific
However, this is not the only claim that the Qur'an makes
with regard to the universe. Let us study the
next two verses:
At the present time, the Big Bang theory of the origin of the
universe is the cosmological model most widely
accepted by astronomers. It holds that about 20,000,000,000
years ago the universe began with the explosive expansion of a
single, extremely condensed state of matter ("the heavens and
the earth were fused then we ripped them asunder"). As
mentioned above, a further development of this model, known as
"inflationary theory," describes the original condensed
matter as arising from virtually empty space.
It was only after the development of radio telescopes in 1937
AD that the necessary observational precision was achieved in
order for astronomers to arrive at the above conclusion. Out of
the observations of such scientists has arisen the so called
"Hubble Constant" (Ho) which is quantity currently used to gauge
the rate at which the universe is expanding. In other
words, the issue is no longer whether the universe is expanding
or not, rather, it is only a question of how fast it is
The second and third verses presented appear to claim that
the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were
"ripped asunder," The exact root words used in the Qur'an are
the words "ra-ta-qa" and "fa-ta-qa," or "the heavens and the
earth were 'ra-ta-qa' then we 'fa-ta-qa' them"
"Ra-ta-qa" is an Arabic word which has the general
meaning of "to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair."
("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114,
and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr,
Librairie du Liban, p. 325)
Similarly, "fa-ta-qa" has the general meaning of "To
rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip
open." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr,
p. 296, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans
Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)
The verse then goes on to say that Allah Almighty created the
heavens and the earth from a celestial "smoke." Astronomers
today have pictures of galaxies being formed by exactly this
process, i.e. the condensation of spiraling celestial "mists."
Isn't it an incredible coincidence that an illiterate man from
the desert, without the aid of observatories or satellite
imaging was making these claims over 1400 years ago?. Was he
Further, the cosmic phenomenon depicted in the
following two figures is commonly referred to by astronomists as
a cosmic "mist." However, if we were to read the second verse of
the Qur'an presented above we will find that the Qur'an more
accurately refers to it as a "smoke." This is because "mist"
implies a cool and tranquil spray of water. However, "smoke"
implies a hot gas containing airborne particles. This is indeed
another example of the literary miracle of the Qur'an in that it
manages to convey to us in a very concise language a very
accurate and detailed description of the topic at hand.