What kind of a relationship exists between laws of nature and miracle?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

3.1.1-The contradiction between the apparent laws of nature and miracles

One of the basic laws of physics is the principle of the conservation of matter, which can be expressed as “matter does not come into existence out of nothing; it does not go into non-existence from existence”.1

Everything confirms the trueness of this principle from the simple observation that when you remove 3 slices out of an 8-slice pizza, 5 slices remain to the most accurate scientific measurements made by taking into account matter-energy transformations. However, some religious circles remain aloof from this scientific fact, which they cannot deny because they perceive it to be contrary to Allah’s creation out of nothing. In fact, exact sciences express what is seen based on objective observation only; they do not say anything about Allah’s creating out of nothing because this issue is outside the scope of exact sciences. Scientists’ statements about a supernatural being are not based on science; they are their own views and thoughts.

Isaac Newton, who discovered the law of gravity and who is known as the father of classical physics, objects to the idea of seeing the universe as a big clock/machine and draws attention to the difference between science and difference of opinion as follows:

 “The law of gravity explains the movement of planets but it does not explain who makes them move.”

The power and will of Allah have encompassed everything and is away from any weaknesses. A lawmaker that is dominant over laws and is not dominated by them. The laws of physics do not bind Allah, who has imposed them because the one who has the power to impose a law with His will has the power to change the law, and if necessary, to cancel it temporarily.

Similarly, Galileo, who was excommunicated by the church due to his ideas, describes a scientist as a person who tries to read the book of the universe and to understand it and states the following in his book called Il Saggiatore:

“Philosophy (science) is written in this big book, that is, in the universe. It is such a book that it is always open for our observations but it is not understood unless somebody understands its language and explains its letters.”

Albert Einstein, who is known as the father of modern physics, regards beings as written books:

“We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but does not know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.2

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regards the beings as letters or words and the whole universe as a book and mentions it as ‘the grand book of the universe’.

That man cannot comprehend coming into existence out of nothing makes the issue more complicated and causes confusion. For human beings, the conservation of matter or rather matter + energy is a sound law that cannot be violated. Besides, due to a necessity of this law, all perpetual motion machines claiming to produce energy out of nothing are rejected categorically. However, this situation does not bind Allah, who has imposed the law, in terms of the philosophy of religion because the one who has the power to impose a law with His will has the power to change the law, and if necessary, to cancel it temporarily. All miracles and karamahs are based on the temporary and limited cancellation of one or more laws of nature. For this reason, the first request of the people from those who claim to be Allah’s messengers are to show miracles that are impossible to take place under normal circumstances to prove their claims. For, people know very well that feeding five hundred people with food that is enough for five people can be possible only through temporary cancellation of the law of conservation of matter; nobody, including scientists, can do it with their own power.

1.Matter is actually a form of energy; therefore, the principle of conservation of energy or matter plus energy is more general. However, in cases where matter-energy transformation is not in question like nuclear reactions, the idea that matter and energy are conserved separately is a valid approach that provides convenience.

2.Walter Isaacson, Einstein – His Life and Universe, p. 387, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007.

Questions on Islam

Was this answer helpful?
In order to make a comment, please login or register