Revelation and Science First Published 2011 Copyright © Usman Balarabe Aliyu 2011 ISBN 978-978All rights

reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, except for use in any review, without the prior written permission of the Copyright owner.

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REVELATION AND SCIENCE:
ON THE MISCONCEPTIONS

By Usman Balarabe Aliyu

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The writer: Usman Aliyu was born of Aliyu Mu'azu, Sarkin Yakin Minna, and a fairly quiet lady, Amina Usa, on Wednesday June 17, 1953 in Minna, Niger State. His Academic quest ran thus: Elementary Education, Minna and Sokoto: 1960-66 Secondary Education, Birnin Kebbi: 1967-71 Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1973, Sokoto Bachelor’s Degree (BA), (ABU) Kano: 1974-77 Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in 1982, London. His other engagements were: Co-operatives, Abuja until June 1972. National Youth Service (NYSC) 1977-78, Lagos. Employment with (NTA) from 1978-84, Minna Film Production, Usana Complex Minna 1984-96. Bricks Manufacture, 1997-2006, Minna and Funtua. His authorial endeavour: Gone missing, ISBN 978-978-8200-14-7: Adventure 1 Eye for Order, ISBN 978-978-084-699-2: Adventure 2 A Widow’s Dew, ISBN 978-978-085-658-8: Adventure 3 Beyond Guilt, ISBN 978-978-085-824-7: Adventure 4 Retailing Power, ISBN 978-978-087-272-4: Drama The Children of the Republic, ISBN 978-978-088-779-7 Loners’ Flash, ISBN 978-978-088-990-6: Poetry Revelation & Science, ISBN 978-978Usman Aliyu was a family man with childrenght daughters and seven sons, including a double set of twins!

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When death finally came, his epitaph was: Allow me cry God for those who can’t cry Make me be heard for those who can’t be Let me die free, Let me not live in chains, I thank you God for allowing me be All that I had wanted to be

Dedicated to: Muhammad Nata’ala Malam Murtala Yusuf Ali Aliyu Mu’azu 1 For much of what I am today

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CONTENT 1. The Concepts 2. Revelation 3. The Book called the Qur'an 4. Content of the Qur'an 5. Profiling the Creator 6. The Creator's Way 7. Man's Place in the Scheme of Things 8. Signs and Indicators 9. Science 10. Revelation and Science 11, Science and the Truth 12. The Physical and the Truth 13. Believers of God and Science 14. Investigation 15. Arising Questions 16. Science and Time 17. The Historical Oddities 18. The Consequences 19. Propositions

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1. THE CONCEPTS The aim in this discourse is to show that, contrary to common opinion, revelation and science should not be seen to be in conflict; while one is construed to be a divine statement of a fact, the other is understood to be the human search for the explanation of that same fact. The treatment seeks to demonstrate how humanity generally had missed much from those books considered to be Holy, especially the Qur'an which is the final instruction from God, the supreme creator, by failing earlier to react fully to the references made in the books to the everyday physical phenomenon. The ultimate goal of this discourse is to remove some of the superstitious mist shrouding the Holy Books, and the particular antagonism against the Qur'an, by most non-Muslims, especially. These precious divine documents were sent to humanity for a grand purpose, certainly, not meant to be treated commonly as "read-and-keep Books", but "read-and-react-to" sources of inspiration and as a constant spur for further action. Man is meant to fulfil the worthy destiny intended for him by his Creator, by taking the cue from the books, for the judicious use of the abundant resources created and made useable for him. The last Prophet isent to mankind, peace be upon him, was reported as saying, ‘on every believer there is enjoined (a compulsory) charity (Sadaqat).’ They (his companions) said, ‘if one has nothing?’ He said, ‘he should work with his hands so that he may benefit himself and give in charity.’ They said, ‘if he cannot work or does not work?’ He said, ‘then he should help the oppressed unhappy person (by word or action or both).’ They said, ‘if he does not do it?’ He said, ‘then he should enjoin what is 6

good (or what is reasonable or beneficial).’ They said, ‘if he does not do that?’ He said, ‘then he should refrain from doing evil, for that will be considered for him as a Sadaqat (charity).’ Hadith 8.51 (Al-Bukhari Hadith) Certainly, the best to realize this, to bring the greatest benefit to mankind, would be the one with the greatest capacity to produce and to distribute. Unquestionably, only science and technology present man with such prospects; they are meant to give humanity, most especially those who believe in God, and accept his authority, this unique opportunity. 2. REVELATION REVELATION, as opposed to insight or thought articulation, is understood to be the actual communication, in words, mental images or dreams, of God sent through a medium quite unusual, not generally perceived, other than by those going through such experience, therefore, much subject to disputes and speculation. However, such occurrences are accepted as factual, though within the circle of those who believed and accepted the possibility of such happenings. The most common medium, generally accepted as spurning through the history of mankind, one also agreed upon, by most popular religions, to be the regular deliverer of such message was the archangel Gabrielii. This message, in here referred to as the revelation, was essentially the same, in theme, though varying in content, to all the past Prophets, men of exceptional moral latitude, at the time of their prophetic mission, a period in which they appeared actively engaged in such communion. It was transmitted to them in their native languages, understandably, which they, as teachers, instructors or admonishers, repeated to their compatriots. 7

The revealed messages, whether committed to texts as books or just mere verbal instructions,iii were the central sacred reality of God’s way, that’s, the pattern on which the creator designed for his creatures.iv This way, no matter in what language it is explained, is one and the same. It is the one on which the whole of the universe was erected. It is also the one that regulates the very existence of all there is. Each community, in the annuals of human history, has its own terms for defining or describing that way. For example, the Jews refer to it as the covenant, the Confucians call it li, the Japanese see it as Shinto, the Buddhists encapsulate it as the Noble truth, to the Chinese, Tao, while the Christians call it testament, and in Arabic, it is called Islamv. Nonetheless, it is the only submissive way of behaviour, generally known as religion, approved by God, the one and only creator of all there is, since the beginning of Time. Normally, these books contain knowledge relating to specific and general truths on personal and public conduct. They give both detailed and broad outlines of the source of all operations of the fundamental laws of both observable and unexplainable phenomena. As the direct Word of God and the embodiment of His Will, the revealed Books contain Laws and regulations on conduct and rituals meant to be observed by humans. They show the connectivity and interactivity of Matter and Non-matter with Time, recognizable as Events, and the relationship and dependency of all matter and non-matter on the Originator, who is God. These sacred Books also deal with the physical world and its phenomena, and a constant appeal is made, in them, to man for his unbiased observations of his surroundings and of his pastvi. They invite man to investigate, to discover and to reflect on the purpose of such faultless arrangement behind which lies the truth that there is a Deity, that He is One and that He is Alive and Able.vii 8

Revelation, as defined above, is not the only way with which the creator keeps in touch with his subjects; there are other forms of contact through which the Creator connects to his creation. These are the inspiration which Allahviii sends to both human and non-human elements. They may be permanent imprints as the instinctive behaviour of all animals: large and small, as typified by the bee,ix and of all other creatures and the natural elements: the winds, the rains, the lightening etcetera, or the occasional. These occasional contacts can be instantaneous, or covering a period for the execution of a particular order. They could be for punishment as of the visitation of Angels at the destruction of Lot's people,x or preservation, as to that sent to Prophet Moses' mother, xi instructing her on what to do with her baby. At times, it is instantaneous as to the Fire,xii when Prophet Ibrahim was thrown into it, or to a bird, Ravenxiii to show the son of Prophet Adam what to do with the dead body of his murdered brother, or while Prophet Joseph was in the well.xiv In whatever form or manner such revelation or inspired message turned up, it vividly indicates the omnipresence of the creator, and his ability to do whatsoever he decrees to be. 3. THE QUR'AN If there is one book causing much anxiety and controversy in the world, it is the Qur’an; it stirs consternation in those who do not know it; it raises storm among those who believe in it! Yet, this is a plain book meant to be a solace for all!xv The holy Qur'an is one of the revealed Books from Allah the creator of heavens and earth irrespective of what name humans locally refer to him. The Qur'an, as the last of such Books, is a testimony and a confirmation to all the scriptures sent before it to all the Prophets of Islam -irrespective of where or when they were raised. It was revealed, in the Arabic Language, 9

through a favoured noble man of Arabia, Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's peace and blessing be upon him) to the whole of mankind -irrespective of their geographical location. As a fulfilment of Allah’s covenant, the Qur'an is safeguarded against corruption, in text or content, and is destined to have a universal appeal. 4. CONTENT OF THE QUR'AN The Qur'an primarily contains the broad sign-posts and distinguishable path-marks essential to guide man to reach a destined status of nearness to God. The believers in the book believe the book is the detailed behaviour checkmate promised to man, at his assignment as a Khalifa, vicegerent, on earth. It explains to him who his creator is, and specifies what he is to do and what to avoid in order to have a prosperous stay on earth and a pleasurable homecoming, as he meets his Lord, at the end of his earthly sojourn. It’s worth noting that the content of the book is not arranged as recipe book with items listed as index. Through narratives, parables, instructions and commands, the book touches on all areas of human, physical, metaphysical concerns. The Qur'an, in fact, contains man's terms of contract which is between him and his creator. That’s, to receive Allah’s Mercy (Rahma), to use it, and to show gratitude by exercising mercy (Rahma) on all as Allah has done on him.xvi 5. THE PROFILE OF THE CREATOR Man's sphere of activity is the earth. Because earth is a place under limiting Laws of time and space, man is only equipped with such limiting senses designed to react to that kind of environment. For man to be taught anything about God, cognizant of these limitations, the Qur'an dwells lengthily on the physical to explain to man who his creator is, and which attributes do or do not apply 10

to him. It describes what Allah does and how he does it, and what he, by his own will, does not do. The Qur'an is therefore the most detailed and most accurate pointer to Allah’s Sunnah, depicting Allah’s way of doing things, the straight way. 6. ALLAH'S SUNNAH Sunnah is the way of conduct; a catalogue of ways of doing or avoiding things. It is a character, an observable pattern of behaviour, constant and attributable to its possessor. Allah's Sunnah is the generality and totality of his attributes, the conduct of his power and authority over his limitless domain and all its contents, the minutest and the gigantic, the physical and the metaphysics. Allah has endowed man with sufficient sensory abilities to comprehend some of Allah's way of doing things, especially as it relates to the repetitive pattern on physical entities, and the occurrences of duals and opposites; the alternation of night and day, the change of seasons and vegetation, death after life, the flow of ocean currents and winds, the universe and the motion of the stars, geometry and the geographic variety of the landscape.xvii But, without direct revelation, man is most liable to make assumptions on the purpose or the rationale behind what he sees, hears or feels. It is Allah's favour to man, from Adam down through the ages, that he raised other men as prophets with messages to teach their contemporaries on knowledge and manners of which their senses are ill-equipped to comprehend or evolve. The crux of these messages is to show that there is a God, and that he is One, the only one, who is the creator and the cherisher of all things, and that he is everlastingly able to impose his will and to dispose his affairs.xviii The most effective way to educate man, on these issues, is to 11

invite him to look around him to see the unity of creation; its diversity and functionality, its energy and evolution, its continuity and cessation. The governing laws of Events are illustrated to him in relation to actions and consequences; good for good, reward for effort, approval for obedience, punishment for rebellion, success from perseverance, contentment from honesty, and so is justice for order. Thus far man can accept the Oneness of the creator, his omnipresence, his beautiful attributes, and the care for his creation. The man of the Qur’anic generation is therefore prepared to be a liberated universal being, open minded, inquiring and mobile, free from any shackles of superstition, race or political coercion.xix 7. MAN'S PLACE IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS Man's creation was at the last stage of the evolutionary year; as such, he is bequeathed the pre-deposited treasures of the universe for his use as long as he lasts, which is for a short period indeed! The Qur'an delineates man’s place in the scheme of Allah’s creation, and his role within that framework. Like all created things, man is to worship God. For anything other than human and jinn, that worship is encoded in their constituency, and embedded in their structure, their creator knows best how they do it.xx Their essence is dependent on their functionality and its responsiveness to their surroundings as they react to other stimuli, proportionately. Man's constituent parts equally respond, as the non-human, instinctively based on the encoded genetic instructions. But his rational response is to be governed by a set of rules and regulations that are extensively and efficiently detailed in the revealed books and graphically demonstrated by the prophets.

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All things, as created, submit unquestioningly to the Creator through such codes. Equally, throughout human history, any sane mature person, man or woman, irrespective of race, colour or tongue, who consciously and voluntarily accepts the existence of Allah as one God and the singular Originator or existence, is considered submissive to God, a Muslim, a believer. Such person is expected to react submissively in accordance with the teachings of the prophets. Beside the few and limited ritual duties to be observed, the Muslim has the huge and varied social responsibility to practice and enjoin constant good conduct and to avoid and prevent shameful acts and wickedness. Man is therefore not made a vicegerent on earth to be passive. Above the Angles, he has been granted armful knowledge of Allah's Sunnah for him to react to any stimuli encountered. Consequently he bears certain responsibility. The scale of his responsibility is based on his reaction, by action or inaction, physical or emotional, brief or sustained, strong or weak. At the end, it is such reaction that makes the difference to our surrounding as it responds to our input or non-input, for that matter. We are here to affect the reactive instinct of the other beings, just as the Angles bowed to Adam; man is to subdue the Universe for his use and to give thanks to God for that grant.xxi 8. SIGNS AS INDICATORS The Holy Qur'an contains large number of Ayahs which explain the natural phenomena as proof of Allah’s existence, his oneness and of his ability in creation and of its sustenance. While some ayahs are similes for better understanding of the Sunnah of Allah, others are stories, detailed and educative, given to illustrate the consequences of various reactions throughout history of the 13

generations gone by. Many of these ayahs however are indicators for further investigation, pointing to a wider area of knowledge to be pursued. Though we rehearse them in prayers and qira’a, they were meant to lead us to greater spheres of activity. The most tested and proved efficient method of investigation on the physical phenomena, is called Science.xxii 9. SCIENCE Science is broadly taken to mean any system of knowledge that deals with the physical world and its phenomena: that essentially means unbiased observations, systematic experimentation and meticulous documentation. Science is also the pursuit of knowledge relating to general truths of matter or the operations of the fundamental laws of observable phenomena. Science therefore is a universal trait of people gifted with high perception and a deep desire to find satisfactory answers to questions on issues with general appeal. It is the crown jewel of the mental capability granted to man by God. 10. REVELATION AND SCIENCE Allah creates a fact. The Qur'an states the fact. Science attempts to explain the conceivable fact. Both Revelation and Science are instruments, which Allah, the creator uses to explain to man the way the Lord conducts his affairs, his Sunnah. The latter, through man's own reaction to his surrounding and his inner desire for enlightenment, footnoting the former, a direct communication which explains to man not only the apparent, but also the intricate, that which is impossible to imagine or comprehend, because of man's mental or sensory limitations. Revelation and science are therefore not antithesis; but essentially complementary. Because they originate from the same 14

source, none is designed to operate independently or antagonistically to the other. Science, by the favour of God, is available to everyone, at every time or place, while revelation, in order to maintain its purity of transmission and implementation, needs specially chosen people as its recipients and custodians. It is important not to confuse the role of the two to derive the destined benefit of each. One is a pointer to the Ultimate, the other, a perceptive description of steps towards the Ultimate. A finding of a fact in science is empirical, subject to change through more investigation with better means and additional knowledge. It is never meant to be the last word on the meaning of a revealed statement. What science at any given time cannot certify is not necessarily false, or nonexistent. Revelation, on the other hand, provides a fixed statement of fact which only time verifies, though not subject to its being certified as truth by man's limited skills or knowledge. It is therefore wrong to measure the truthfulness of a revelation through the current findings of science, but to use such finding as a spur to gain more insight into the revealed statements, in order to discover the fact alluded to. The only undisputable explanation of the physical fact and the spiritual reality behind it comes from the prophets as shown to them by Allah, the Knower of the Hidden. Their understanding does not come with a string of statistical data upon which the scientist pry. It is rather a streak of light, a vision, an awareness of a fact without the combative data. We, the non-prophets, need technical data for proof to our colleagues and for reconstruction into workable proposals. When Prophet Noah constructed the floating ark he had neither a drawing board nor thesis on hydrodynamics but the revealed instructions and the supervision of his Lord on the matter. When Prophet Ibrahim was shown the secret of the skies above, he needed no telescope or cosmological argument. Likewise, when the people of Prophet Lot were being 15

destroyed, the prophet didn’t document data on nuclear physics. In the same vein, Prophet Joseph did not use climatology for his interpretation of the Egyptian draught, or a manual on agriculture for the preservation of the produce. Prophet Moses’ hand glows without him referring to any data on electromagnetism or electricity. When Prophet Dawood used chain mail he didn’t need to describe the properties of metal. Prophet Solomon didn’t study aerodynamics to scale the winds. Nor was Prophet Jesus in need of any surgical procedure or instruments to cure the dumb and the blind or to resurrect the dead. Equally, when Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) was taken to be shown the heavens, neither the relativity theory nor shuttle or astrophysics was discussed. All these seemingly impossible events came up, naturally, from the Source, Allah, the creator of the physical and the fact behind the physical. The same or similar signs are shown in virtually all the creatures; birds flying, ants building complex structures, whales roaming the vast oceans, bees running their colonies, microscopic bacteria and viruses living in quite amazing fashions. All these things have their instructions coded for them. It follows therefore that it is not everything that science can be able to explain, either for lack of recourses or because of its intricacy, or simply because such is not in God's Plan to reveal to man, at that time or ever. It is a truism that whatever science discovered should not be seen as the final certification of a revealed truth; with better equipment and time, more knowledge might be acquired which might contradict the current scientific position. Such findings may be viewed however as another step in human attempt to comprehend Allah’s way of doing things, his Sunnah. 11. SCIENCE AND THE TRUTH

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Understandably therefore, science in itself is not an aberration to faith. Though man's reaction to it or application of its findings may be at variance with the divine approval, it is still man's most effective available tool with which he attempts to exercise his caliphate on earth; to effect the interactive ripples of creation in Time. Science therefore has always been a necessity to man; we always want to understand, we always want to control. Science is meant to show us, as much as Allah wills, the extent of the operatives of the fundamental laws governing the Universe, through which we realize the interrelationship between our observation and the scriptures. The prophets of God were all shown those facts, in varying degree, to make them fit for their mission. Their followers however had longer period to cover the same scope using instruments that were being gradually perfected. It must be made plain that Science, though it probes to find facts, it does not create anything. The discovery of a thing or a fact about it is an evidence of the pre-existence of that thing or its fact before that discovery. Columbus did not create America, but went to see it. Newton did not create gravity but described it. Neither Faraday nor Maxwell originated magnetic flux or induction but explained it. Nor did Einstein create Time or Space, but theorized Space/Time Relativity. Equally, the application of the knowledge of such fact to affect the building blocks of another thing does not dispose God the ownership of the thing or the derivative. The mixer of A and B to have C, or its extraction out of B or C does not imply the originating of A, B or C. In reality, both the timing of the discovery and its application is well arranged and planned "to be", for a purpose, by the Originator of all; the fact, the scientist and Time. 17

Finally, it is through science that we see ourselves as part of a larger scheme; the true position of our lives and conduct within Time, a scale of Allah's Sunnah. We are subjected to the same Laws as with all the other created things. Such realization reveals the truth, that there is no escape from Allah's decree at any time he assigns to it to take effect. 12. THE PHYSICAL AND THE TRUTH There is no branch of knowledge which has not been indicated in the Qur'an. The study of Geography, biology, sociology, ecology, Cosmology, armoury & weaponry, architecture, history & archaeology, chemistry, agriculture, technology, physics and all the present fields of studies and many areas of which now we cannot conceive, are pointed to in the Qur'an. The Qur'an describes an event, item or concept and calls such a sign. Each of these signs is not only to be rehearsed, but also to be considered. Such observation is to lead to more signs and more understanding of the fundamental laws of the Universe which reveal the Truth about all things. Everything is a Sign. In anything and all things there is an encasement of Allah's stamp of creation, possession and authority. There is nothing that is selforiginating or accidental. Each iota is designed, perfected and apportioned a terminal role, specified and restricted by appropriated restraining conditions and Laws. The underlying spiritual fact on any physical data so acquired is that; 1. In the beginning there was nothing 2. God commanded everything to "be", so it was 3. Each created thing is fashioned most suitably for its proportionate role. 4. Each thing reacts accordingly to its surroundings, whether 18

that is within it or outside it. 5. This reaction continues, on a fixed Time Scale. 6. Occasionally the reaction is locally suspended by Allah's command as indicative of his power over his own Laws. 7. One day a "Be not" command will issue out from Allah then all will cease to be. 8. This is proof that all things are proportionately interconnected, reactive and dependent, and that only God, the Originator, who is one and only, is and will always be Independent and Supreme. By inviting us to contemplate on the physical, the Qur'an aims to lead us to the truth, to make our hearts contented to the fact that there is only one God and that all things point to him, the creator to whom they are subservient. All the prophets of God were taken through the physical into the realm beyond. They were shown the underlying truth behind the physical. Our progression was supposed to be gradual through the Qur'an. If we had pursued the leads in the Qur'an, we would have been much more aware of Allah’s power and grandeur. We would have been more God-fearing, and would have much cause to obey the other commandments. Then we would have been shown the straight path, and would have been more assured of our place as companions of the prophets. 13. MUSLIMS AND SCIENCE Allah has asked us to look, to see, and to exploit the resources of the world and the universe for our benefit and to give praise to him, the creator, who has created all these, subdued them and gave us the knowledge to use them. It is therefore the Muslim who should be fore most in science; 19

after all he has a clear and doubtless lead. He has submitted, together with all the other beings to Allah, the one true God, and he is therefore free from restriction of superstition or arrogance. He has a desire to do much good and he is certain of a double reward, for the attempt and the attainment, in life and after death. He is a one taught to investigate and to document. He is being trained; through prayers to be patient and constant, through fasting to be sympathetic and enduring, through Zakkat to be enterprising and unselfish and through Hajj to be widely travelled and adventurous. A Muslim would like to go for the fact, not to be presumptuous and not to give lie to God. He would like to learn to teach others to appreciate the favours of the Lord. Finally he is encouraged to discover the working principles of the natural elements, and to find a way to maximize their utilization, as "Sadaqatil Jaria", for humanity's advantage. 14. INVESTIGATION Consider this precious holy Book in much more detail to see how its contents and arrangement envisaged a highly curious, inquisitive and reactive audience. If an ayah in the Qur'an asks us to look at something, we are expected to look at that particular thing, not just to read the reference to it. We are told that there is an ayah in the thing itself and unless we pause and take a look, we will never see the ayah referred to. The ayah in the Qur'an is a key to other doors. Opening those doors could take many forms such as follows; 1. An Ayah is read 2. Its meaning is explained 3. Any arising questions are addressed 4. An outdoor investigation is launched 5. The findings are documented and discussed 6. Practical implications are evolved for further exploitation of 20

the resources created for man. A little effort, in pausing, contemplating and, in most cases a visit outdoor, will make a huge difference. In such effort Allah rewards the inquirer with more signs leading to his better understanding of the Sunnah of the lord. Consider for instant the two verses on the bee in "Sarah An-Nahl;" 68: And thy Lord taught the Bee To build its cells in hills on trees And in (men's) habitations; 69: Then to eat of all the produce (Of the earth) And find with skill the spacious paths Of its Lord: There issues from within their bodies a drink Of varying colours wherein is healing for men: Verily in this is a Sign For those who give thought. 15. ARISING QUESTIONS We have great potential for the pursuit of many branches of knowledge within the two ayahs referred to above; 1. What is a Bee? 2. What is the structure of the bee? 3. What is the behaviour of the bee? 4. What is the instructional instinct of the bee? 5. How do they establish and run their colony? 6. What is their habitat and how is it constructed, maintained and defended? 7. What is their nourishment, and how is it acquired, eaten and used? 8. How does the bee communicate, and how does it find its 21

bearings? 9. What is honey? 10. How is the honey produced? 11. What are varying colours of honey and why? 12. How is honey acquired by man? 13. What is medicine? 14. What makes honey medicinal? 15. What is illness? 16. What illness is cured by honey? 17. What is cure? 18. How does honey effect cure? 19. How are the bees related to other insects? The questions arising could go on and on, there seems no limit to how far we could search and how much we could get. If Muslims, through out history, had only reacted to the ritual codes in the revealed Books, and most especially the Qur'an, while neglecting the call for action in research on the fundamentals of Allah's Sunnah, they had certainly lost out. Others who followed no such divine direction, yet have made use of the embedded divine grant of human sensory facilities, have finally been rewarded for that effort, while the Muslims have been left out in constant deprivation and enveloping humiliation. The prevalent practice in learning has been as follows; 1. An ayah is read. 2. Its meaning may or may not be explained. 3. Unless on the rituals, no arising questions are entertained. 4. Subsequently no investigation outside old literature is done. 5. No findings are there to document or discuss. 6. The holy Book is clothed heavily with mystery. 7. Superstition finally grips the generally ignorant society. 8. The result has been poverty and weakness among the people 22

since they have not made use of the bounty provided by Allah. God had created these things but God is in no need of sustenance. He has placed all the resources of the earth and the heavens at our disposal, just for us, to use to be thankful. We must use them, or lose them, with Time. 16. SCIENCE AND TIME The Qur'an tells us that Allah is the Originator. He is the Causation. He creates everything, fashions it, provides its capacity, and assigns to it its theatre and extent of activity, its role and the scope of its ripple in Time. At the Command "Be", all things, as created start responding according to their in born nature. Each thing responds to the reaction of its neighbour’s action. Man as one of Allah's creation is not excluded from this pattern, this endless chain of reaction. Unlike the others, we bear the burden of a gifted freedom of choice, of selecting from multiple alternatives. This freedom stems out of the reservoir of knowledge given to us. All the other beings have no such choices like ours. The fire, for example, has no choice but to burn the cotton, as long as the other factors are fulfilled: the cotton is with air without water, and is near the fire. These are some of the conditions laid down for the fire, the cotton, water and air by their creator. Each is reacting accordingly, without hesitation, irrespective of what the outcome would be. Man's acquired knowledge affords him multiplicity of choices within the constraint of Time to set up unlimited multidimensional reactions at a more extensive, deeper, and lasting scale. The more man understands this fact, the multifarious his reactions, the deeper would be his appreciation of the underline principles; the Originator of this orderliness and constancy of 23

creation must be overwhelmingly able, considerate and everlastingly vigilant. The acceptance of this fact is to lead man to gratitude. That is what Allah is asking of us. Our reaction should be as close to the purity of creation, irrespective of our freedom to choose to act to the contrary. If we so act in that fashion, time becomes for us a vehicle of success; maximizing effort, minimizing time, widening scope, sustaining exploits, benefiting greater number of people. If on the other hand, we assumed our limited knowledge is enough to change the course or pace of time, or to stop it, we certainty would lose and be guilty of unjustified arrogance. By Time; Certainly man is at loss Except those who believe and do good work Exhort one another to truth And exhort one another to constancy and perseverance. Science shows us the constancy and perseverance of the created things, and affords us the best possible alternatives for doing the best work of calling to the truth, that the creator is one. 17. THE HISTORICAL ODDITIES Historically science and Revelation had been at odds. This had risen unfortunately for quite the wrong reasons; division between those gifted with high degree of sensory perception and those who made believing in God a non-questionable issue. This dichotomy has been a disaster for mankind. Those who are acquainted with the Signs, the revealed words and the creatures of God, are best fitted to be the ardent believers of the Creator. Our sensory gifts are therefore meant to reinforce our belief in God, while sincere belief can only be cultured through certainty. Allah has given instances in the Qur'an to show the benefit of 24

such certitude. Prophet Ibrahim asked God to be shown how the dead are raised. Prophet Moses had asked to see God. Prophet Jesus’ companions requested for Table Spread from heavens. Or by the one passing by a desolate city, pondering how God would raise it after its death. These men of God asked for these manifestations, not because they doubted God, but to have deeper and fuller insight which is an in built yearning for knowledge. Allah, the Compassionate, demonstrated to each enquirer how what he asked for would come to pass. It is insufficient therefore to suggest that man should suppress questions when they arise, or that he should accept the contrary of what God himself has made apparent to all, as sign of belief. The theologians accepted the scriptures and refused to look outside, yet they gave some circumstantial explanation of the Physical facts. The Scientists abandoned the scriptures, looked outside and gave quantifiable explanation of the Physical facts. What was supposed to be a profitable merger of the physical and the spiritual for man became a seemly unbridgeable gap with far reaching consequence. Subsequently the scientists erred by acknowledging the facts without the presence of the Originator of the facts, which is a very unscientific thing to do. The theologians on the other hand accepted the Originator of the facts without giving attention to the facts of his creation, which is rather odd. At the end, it is those with deeper perception on the governing laws of creation that came up with much material benefit for the whole of mankind, including the theologians. This gave the scientists the flimsy excuse of cheekily disowning God, making "nature", the regulatory system of his Sunnah, the Deity himself. The Qur’anic generation Muslims had not been spared this 25

unwanted conflict, at least in the later part of its development. Though the Muslim Ummah has for centuries involved itself in the reading and studying of the Qur'an and many renowned and honourable scholars had written a lot on the holy book, much appeared hinged on theology. No sustained interaction on issues of everyday life with the populace was evolved; there was no practical help for a farmer, trader or artisan in pursuit of their profession. Other than legalistic rulings, the Ulamah left the people in limbo when it comes to actual tolls of life; yet the Qur'an contains so many leads to possible avenues of technical advancement. Certainly, others had undertaken certain research on some of the signs mentioned in the Qur'an. Such names as Al-jab, for Algebra, Jabir ibn Hayyan and Al-Razi for Chemistry, Ibn Juljul and al-Ghafiqi for Pharmacology, al-Khwarazmi and Abu Abdullah al-Idrisi for Geography, al-Jawaliqi, al-Damiri and Abu Yahya al-Qazwini for Botany and Zoology, Ali bin Rabban alTabari for Medicine, Sa'd al-Katib of Cordoba on gynaecology, Ibn Battuta, Ibn khaldun and Ibn Rustem for History and AlBukhari on Hadith, to mention but few, had surfaced in the annul of Muslim history. Such examples became fewer and far apart. Subsequently the zeal fizzled out. The relapse on such educational and scientific pursuit was attributable mainly to the following factors; 1. The Muslims became more preoccupied with conquest rather than with nation building; unmanageable chunks of territory were always hurriedly being added to the intermingled caliphate. 2. The establishment of Hereditary leadership robbed the Muslims the opportunity of electing the most fitting among their rank; court sycophancy and mortal rivalry gained ascendancy. 26

3. Consultation, which is a stamp of the believers, was extinguished; thereby, utilization of talents was extinct. Subsequently small Holier-than-thou islands of learning reared out all over the place with diverse behaviour pattern. 4. The leaders had no urge for central planning on such issues as agriculture, education, transportation or social welfare. They were more preoccupied with Court attendance and military adventures. 5. The Muslim Ummah constricted itself and therefore missed the opportunity of being the benefactor of research and development in science and technology. The deeply fractured Ummah missed this favour, though it was the first to hear it, it appeared the last to see it. Allah's plan has to run its course. The discovery of the laws of the physical turned out from Europe instead. 18. THE CONSEQUENCES 18.1 Because of this development, some of the learned of the Ummah became over-engaged and overcharged with the minute, individualistic interpretation of the Qur'an over and over again which gave rise to divisions and diversions. 18.2 Lack of systematic and coordinated pursuit of knowledge narrowed the Ummah, limiting its intellectual ability in many areas. The educational setup finally stagnated at the Zaure level, without a well defined curriculum or an agreed schedule. Schools were set and ran at whim, without institutional monitoring or control. 18.3 The centre of knowledge shifted. We had to wait for ages to learn much about the ayahs of the Qur'an referring to the 27

natural phenomenon from people who do not believe in anything other than their curiosity and fervent quest for knowledge. Those who rebelled against God ultimately developed what Allah meant for the benefit of mankind. Yet because they do not believe, they give no thanks for all his favours to humanity. If the Muslims had pursued the leads in the Qur'an rightly, the world of Islam would have been target of emulation by all. The world would have been a better place. 18.4 Instead, the whole community has remained ritualistic, poor and generally weak and fatalistic. It is thus liable to be attacked, easily conquered and dominated by non-believers who now patronize the world using science and technology to spread corruption instead of God's light. 19. PROPOSITIONS Allah has sent the Prophet with a Clear book. The choice is left to man to accept or reject the guidance sent to him. But man must know that his freedom of choice by itself gives rise to multiplicity of choices and of evolving countless pattern of behaviour. Of necessity, there must be a single pattern approved by the provider of such freedom, and this pattern must be shown and explained for any that would decide to choose it. The choice of the preferred pattern must have an outcome distinctly unique from the other patterns. Though we as Muslims claim to have chosen God, our situation has speedily deteriorated. We must undertake a review of our Ummah to discover what went amiss. The Qur'an is certainly from God, and it is always current and relevant. To redress our condition, I would propose that we invest a lot of our collective energy and resources in such areas as; 1. Leadership: The entire Muslim world is at present infested by lack of honest, broadminded leadership based on the respected 28

wish of the populace. This unhealthy dictatorial culture is far removed from the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (Peace of blessing of Allah be upon him). We must evolve a leadership according to the tradition of the prophet based on election, not hereditary or military coups, as an apparatus for progress. It is ironic that America, because of its material strength, is now the champion of this God-given right to mankind. 2. Education: Our educational setup had stagnated for ages, we must now be thankful to God for an educational system, though from the sceptic Europeans, which we can easily structure to accommodate our needs. Our Ulamah should recognize the need for them to acquire the current scientific knowledge available to the world as an integral part of faith to be able to guide the congregation rightly. They should not remain passive and exclusive leaving the generality of the Ummah in utter ignorance. 3. Consultation is a Muslim legacy. Yet this trait has evaporated from all levels of the Ummah. Fraction has led to the establishment of countless holier-than-thou self-ruling sects. There must be consultation among the people in order to evolve a unified responsible citizenry and to attain a merger of our material and spiritual knowledge for the uplift of the community. 4. Equity & Justice: the Muslim world is at the moment the most inequitable society, full of dictators. The people are squarely oppressed by the hungry Ulamah, the westernized elite, the kings and their royalists, the corrupt lobbyists and for the woman, add the ignorant, over-bearing and enslaving husband. Equity and justice are seemingly unattainable foreign luxury for the Ummah. We had to wait for these virtuous divine gifts to humanity to be brought to the Muslims through the cannon of the Europeans or recently by the jet-bombers of the Americans.

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5. Research & Development: Though some early scholars had undertaken certain research on some of the signs mentioned in the Qur'an, much of such work was theological. Subsequently, the Qur'an came to be regarded only in the light of rituals and talisman, instead of being a stimulus for scientific research to uphold the Divine Unity. Through the untiring efforts of many non-Muslim people of the world in scientific and technological research and development, Allah has opened the gate of his endowment to humanity, for which we must be grateful. It is a pity that, not only did the Muslims stopped contributing to the scientific endeavour, but they initially shunned away from the multifold gifts which Allah has sent to mankind. The general impression is wrongly given that Islam is retrogressive, standing for ignorance, deprivation and unwarranted violence. The Muslim Ummah has only itself to blame for this misfortune. It neglects the ayahs outside the Qur'an itself as referred to by the Qur'an. This neglect has costs it dearly, and it is now suffering some of its consequences. Did we assume we could delay Allah's Timetable? Certainly not! We must be participants, not just recipients of development. The believers in God are expected to be the vanguard of this discipline, called science, to contribute to the material and spiritual well-being of humanity as a means of celebrating the Glory of God. 6. Invitation to Mankind: Now that the world had moved technologically forward without the restraining knowledge of the revealed Truth of God, the believers in God must wake up. They must find the most suitable manner of inviting humanity in general, and the scientists in particular, to the Truth behind the physical phenomenon. Such calling should not be through envy or hatred but through real knowledge and compassion for the salvation of the whole of mankind. Humanity is one with One God. It is destined now to have One Prophet with One Book. God 30

has finally made the world a small place for us. 7. The Qur'an is always there for us, a mould of character, as exemplified in the personality of our Prophet, and as a guide leading to the straight path. With the best of intention, we certainly will find in it ease. We do not need to abandon the Qur'an to use the resources of the world, but we need the former to enjoy the latter. Both are favours from the Merciful and Compassionate God, Allah, the Creator of all the Worlds. It is of interest to note, yet not surprising, that there are many who, implicitly or outwardly, deny the existence of a being called God. They see no centrality of purpose in creation or events; all are mere accidents, they claim. Yet this same group, singularly nor collectively, have not offered any explanation for their having not chosen their gender, colour, race, fortune or even lifespan!

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Special Note I have raised so many issues in this write-up. Mine is never intended to be the last word. I am aware of the fact that, though the Qur'an is one, it has the most varied interpretations of any book in man's possession. For this write-up however, I restricted myself generally to the wildly read translations and interpretations broadly consulted by the English readership. My statements have corresponding Qur’anic ayahs and the explanatory sayings of the Prophet behind them. A detached index and footnote section is made available for further consultation. So be confident that, Allah willing, there is no intention in making up a claim, knowing such to be false, to support any point of view. I intend only to get people to be more interested in looking deeper and at another angle while reading the Qur'an. Allah permitting, anyone can see the links between the issues, so far, raised. I seek forgiveness of my Lord, whether I erred or not; my hope is for his blessing for my intention, and not the imperfection of my effort. "Inil hukmu illa billah, yaqqussul Haq, wa huwa khairul fasilin." May the blessing of Allah be on Prophet Muhammad and the family of the Prophet, and on all those who trend in their path; amen. Usman Aliyu, Sunday, June 15, 2003

Since the beginning of time, God has sent men amongst various communities for the purpose of instructing them on good conduct; 32

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the man sent to the last generation of mankind is Mohammad, an Arab, some 1500 years ago; his message is destined to be current and relevant till the end. The name and description of this being may differ from generations or locations, but the central thread is his (the gender is construed to be phonetic) being the one communicating with those chosen to pass over the destined messages to their communities. The form of preserving the messages, as records, depends on the technological advancement of the communities concerned; it could be on tablets as the case of Moses, or parchments as the case of Abraham, or scrolls as it was with Jesus, or complete book form as the case of Muhammad. Peace of God be upon them all.
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It appears much easier for the scientists or those who can not accept the idea of an invisible being as creator of all things to refer to God’s way as Nature. Well, Nature is actually the pattern designed by the creator, God, for his creation. It is a parody that this Arabic word has stirred much consternation in human history; most current believers of God through the Arabian prophet tend to think Islam is their monopoly, or that certain groups of people could be excluded from it. Equally, those outside the fold of Islam tend to think that the religion is an Arabian issue, something that has nothing to do with them. Far from it, Islam, as a word, stands to a way of life that is universal, irrespective of time or location. The tenants of the faith are meant to be applicable to all.

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Surah Al-A’raf 185 Do they see nothing in the government of the heavens and the earth and all that Allah hath created? (Do they not see) that it may well be that their term is nigh drawing to 33

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an end? In what message after this will they then believe?
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Surah Al-Mulk 3 He Who created the seven heavens one above another; no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious so turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw? Surah Al-Mulk 4 Again turn thy vision a second time; (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited in a state worn out.

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There is a general tendency for the western word to think of Allah as a deity totally different from their God! Equally, many Muslims tend to think that the word God refers to something else than God, Allah, the one and only creator of the heavens and earth. God has ninety attributes, which stand as his names. Each of these names describes the uniqueness of God. They are also understood universally by all men to be the preserve of the creator; certainly, they would be linguistically and phonetically localized by each people!

Surah An-Nahl 68 And thy Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills on trees and in (men's) habitations.
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Surah Hud 70 (Lot).”

“…we have been sent against the people of Lut

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Surah Al-Qasas 7 So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: "Suckle (thy child) but when thou hast fears about him cast him into the river but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee and We shall make him one of Our apostles."

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Surah Al-Anbiyaa 69 We said "O fire! be thou cool and (a means of)) safety for Abraham!"

Surah Al-Maida 31 Then Allah sent a raven who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. Surah Yusuf 15 and We put into his heart (this Message): "Of a surety thou shalt (one day) tell them the truth of this their affair while they know (thee) not."
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Surah Ta-ha 2 Ma_ anzalna_ alaikal qur a_na litashqa_

See the author’s discourse of Mercy titled, Rahma- the Core of Worship. 2005

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Surah Al-Baqara 164 Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (here) indeed are signs for a people that are wise.

Surah Al-Anbiyaa 25 Not an apostle did We send before thee without this inspiration sent by Us to him: that there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me.
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Surah Al-Anbiyaa 22 If there were in the heavens and the earth other gods besides Allah there would have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah the Lord of the Throne: (high is He) above what they attribute to Him! 35

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Surah Al-Mulk 14 Should He not know He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).

Man is prepared to maintain the balance which is the essence of creation. That is, willingly distributing resources based on equity and proportionality from those with to those without. Surah Ar-Rahman 7 And the Firmament has He raised high and He has set up the balance (of Justice) 8 In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance. 9 So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance.
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The history of science is as old as man.

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