How does the Quran encourage Muslims to learn science? How do the miracles of the Prophet encourage scientists?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

8.2.4-The Quran encourages Muslims to think, take lessons and reason

     Another element that encourages Muslims to deal with science are the clear expressions, or rather, orders “at the beginnings and ends of verses that refer man to his intellect”.

      "Refer to your mind"; "Apply to your thought and heart, consult, talk to it so that you will know this truth."

       "Why do you not look? Why do you not take warnings? Look so that you may know the truth." Take note of the way “Know” is used.

"Why do men not know, why do they fall into compounded ignorance? Why do they not look? Have they become blind so that they cannot see the Truth? Why do men not call to mind and ponder over their own lives and the events in the world so that they might find the straight path?

      Why do they not think, deliberate and reason with the mind, and so fall into misguidance? O men! Take a lesson! Take a warning from past ages and try to be saved from the moral and spiritual calamities of the future!” These verses refer man to his intellect; they enjoin him to consult with his reason.”1

The greatest miracle of Hz. Adam is being taught the names of things. This quality, which is a miracle of Hz. Adam, was given to his descendants as “ability” and “opportunity”.    

According to Nursi, the source of knowledge is the order and system in the structure of the universe. For this reason, he likens the universe to a book and uses this metaphor frequently. According to him, the universe is a big book and “the human intellect has extracted the library of true natural science and philosophy from it and has written the library accordingly”.2

     He states in his tafsir he wrote in the years 1914-16 that even when miracles of the prophets are mentioned in the Quran, people and especially scientists are encouraged to make and produce similar ones. Sociologists who investigated the nature of the encouragement here showed different categories of it.3 Those miracles provide great encouragement and motivation to scientists as they show the ultimate goals people can achieve.4

            “The All-Wise Quran sends the Prophets to man’s communities as leaders and vanguards of spiritual and moral progress. Similarly it gives all of them a number of wonders and makes them the masters and foremen in regard to mankind’s material progress, and commands men to follow them absolutely.

Thus, just as by speaking of the spiritual and moral perfections of the Prophets, it is encouraging people to benefit from them, so too in discussing their miracles it is inferring encouragement to achieve similar things and to imitate them. It may even be said that like spiritual and moral attainments, material attainments and wonders were first given to mankind as a gift by the hand of miracles. Thus, what first gave man the gift of the ship, which was a miracle of Noah (Peace be upon him), andthe clock, a miracle of Joseph (Peace be upon him), was the hand of miracles. It is a subtle indication to this truth that most craftsmen have a Prophet as the patron of their craft. For example, seamen have Noah (PUH), watchmakers have Joseph (PUH), tailors have Idris (PUH), and so on”.5

Is it possible to think that a religion that encourages humanity to study and work with the miracles of prophets conflicts with science? The claim that the religion of Islam clashes with science is a form of propaganda fabricated in order to spread irreligion.  

Is it possible to say that Islam, which is the Master and Guide of Sciences, Chief and Father of Real Sciences is against science though it encourages humanity to do scientific studies in the verses of the Quran and hadiths by showing them ultimate limits of science?

            “For example, the verse: ‘To Solomon We made the wind obedient: its early morning stride was a month’s journey, and its evening stride was a month’s journey’, which describes one of Solomon’s (Peace be upon him) miracles, the subjugating of the air. This says: “Solomon traversed the distance of two months in one day by flying through the air.” It is thus suggesting that the road is open for man to cover such a distance in the air. In which case, O man! since the road is open to you, reach this level.

And in meaning Almighty God is saying through the tongue of this verse: “O man! I mounted one of my servants on the air because he gave up the desires of his soul. If you too give up laziness, which comes from the soul, and benefit thoroughly from certain of my laws in the cosmos, you too may mount it.”6

1.Nursi,B.S. Hutbe-I Şamiye. Sözler Neşriyat, Istanbul, 2012, p. 23.
2.Nursi, B. S. Mektubat. Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı Yayınları-605.3rd Impression, Ankara, 2016, p. 296.
3.Evans, J. H.- Evans, M. S. (2008). “Religion and Science: Beyond the Epistemological Conflict Narrative” Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 34, pp. 87-105.
4.Nursi, Sözler. Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı Yayını-600, 3rd Impression, Ankara, 2016, p.  299; 655-662 ff.
5.Nursi,B.S. Sözler. p. 301.
6.Nursi, B.S.Sözler, p. 301-302.

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