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By Usman Aliyu

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. Alhamdu lillahil lathee khalaqa.

Khalaqal Insana min alaq. Allathe allama bil qalam. Allamal
Insana malam ya alam.

Allahumma Salli wa barik ala Muhammadin wa ala ali Muhammadin

kama sallaita wa barakta ala Ibrahima wa ala ali Ibrahima, fil
alamin. Innaka hamidul majeed.

Back to Books



The intention is to present to you some of my reflections on the

subject of our way of reading the glorious Qur'an, hoping you will
continue to pursue this matter further for the benefit of mankind in
general and the believers in particular. The aim also is to show that
contrary to popular opinion, there is no reason why revelation and
science should be seen in conflict; one is a divine statement of a
fact, while the other is a human search for the explanation of the same
fact. I will finally strive to demonstrate how much we missed from the
Holy books, especially the Qur'an which is the final and safeguarded
direct instruction from Allah, by not reacting fully to the references
to the physical phenomenon. I hope by so doing, we would remove the
superstitious mist shrouding the Holy Qur'an. This precious divine
document should not be treated commonly as "a read-and-keep Book", but
"a read-and-react-to" source of inspiration. Man, I hope, would finally
fulfill a much worthy destiny intended for him by his Creator, through
the judicious use of the resources created and made useable for him.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, was reported as saying the best among
us is he that brings the greatest benefit to mankind. Certainly,
science and technology are meant to give us this opportunity.


REVELATION is the actual Word of God revealed through the archangel

Gabriel to all the past Prophets at the time of their prophetic
mission. It was transmitted in their native languages which the
Prophets repeated to their compatriots. The revealed books or messages
were the central sacred reality of Islam, the one and only submissive
way of life approved by Allah since the beginning of Time. They 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. They show the connectivity and
interactivity of Matter and Non-matter with Time, recognizable as
Events, and their relationship and dependency on the Originator, who is
God. These sacred Books deal also with the physical world and its
phenomena, and a constant appeal to man for unbiased observations of
his surroundings and of his past. 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.

There is another form of contact from the Creator to his creation, in

the inspiration which Allah sends to both human and non-human elements.
These might be permanent imprint as the instinctive behavior of the
bee, of all other creatures and the elements, or occasionally as to the
visitation of Angels at the destruction of Lot's people, or to Prophet
Musa's mother, instructing her what to do with the baby. At times, it
is instantaneous as to the Fire, when Prophet Ibrahim was thrown into
it, or to a bird, Raven to show the son of Prophet Adam what to do with
the dead body of his murdered brother, or while Prophet Yusuf was in
the well. In what ever 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 wishes.


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, through a favored 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 fulfillment of Allah’s covenant, the Qur'an is safeguarded against
corruption, in text or content, and is destined to have a universal


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. It is the detailed behavior checkmate promised to him,
at his assignment as a Khalifa 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. The Qur'an in fact contains man's terms of contract.


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 any thing 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 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.


Sunnah is the way of conduct; a catalogue of ways of doing or avoiding

things. It is a character, an observable pattern of behavior, 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. 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 favor 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. The most effective
way to educate man, on these issues, is to 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.


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. 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

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 or color, who consciously and
voluntarily accepts the existence of Allah as one God and the
Originator, is considered submissive to God, a Muslim. Such person is
expected to react submissively in accordance with the teachings of the
prophets. Beside the few and limited ritualistic 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 vice-rant 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.


The Holy Qur'an contains large number of Ayahs which explain the
natural phenomena as proof of Allah’s existence and 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 generations gone by. Some of the
ayahs however are indicators for further investigation, pointing to a
wider area of knowledge to be pursued. The most efficient way of
investigation on the physical, developed by man, is referred to as


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 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.


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 source, none is
designed to operate independently or antagonistically to the other.
Science, by the favor of God, is available to every one, 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 hydro-dynamics 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 Lut were
being destroyed, the prophet didn’t document data on nuclear physics.
In the same vein, Prophet Yusuf did not use climatology for his
interpretation of the Egyptian draught, or a manual on agriculture for
the preservation of the produce. Prophet Musa's hand glows without him
referring to any data on electro-magnetism or electricity. When Prophet
Dawud used chain mail he didn’t need to describe the properties of
metal. Prophet Solomon didn’t study aerodynamics to scale the winds. No
was Prophet Isa 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 every thing 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.


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 discovery. Columbus did not create America, but went to see it.
Newton did not create gravity but describes it. Neither Faraday nor
Maxwell originated magnetic flux or induction but explain it. Nor did
Einstein create Time or Space, but theorizes 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.

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.


There is no branch of knowledge which has not been indicated in the

Qur'an. The study of Geography, biology, sociology, ecology, Cosmology,
armory & weaponry, architecture, history & archeology, 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 self-originating 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

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
4. Each thing reacts accordingly to its surroundings, whether 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.


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; 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 traveled 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 favors 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


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 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
"Surah 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 colors
wherein is healing for men:
verily in this is a Sign
For those who give thought.


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 behavior 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
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 bearings?
9. What is honey?
10. How is the honey produced?
11. What are varying colors 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

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 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.


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 theater 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 neighbor'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 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.


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 such certitude. Prophet Ibrahim asked God to be
shown how the dead are raised. Prophet Musa had asked to see God.
Prophet Isah's 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
The Qur’anic generation Muslims had not been spared this 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 honorable 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 al-Tabari for Medicine, Sa'd al-Katib of
Cordoba on gynecology, Ibn Battuta, Ibn khaldun and Ibn Rustem for
History and Al-Bukhari 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.

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 behavior 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 favor,
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.


18.1 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 well
defined curriculum or agreed schedule. Schools were set and ran at
whim, without institutional monitoring or control.
18.3 The center of knowledge shifted. We had to wait for ages to learn
much about the ayahs of the Qur'an referring to the 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 favors 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


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 behavior. 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 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 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 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
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.

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 endeavor, 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
has finally made the world a small place for us.

7. The Qur'an is always there for us, a mold 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 favors from the Merciful and Compassionate God, Allah, the
Creator of all the Worlds.

May Allah bless Muhammad and the family of the Prophet, and all those
who trend in their path. Amen.

Usman Aliyu,
Usana Complex 39/41 Broadcasting Road, Minna -Nigeria. @1-06-03

Special Note

I have raised so many issues in this short write up. It was not my
intention to stir up controversy, though. 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, I have not inserted the
referred ayahs or Hadith in this brief, not for want of them, but for
clarity of expression, eloquence of diction, and most importantly, the
impossibility of determining the state of the handler of such
quotations, or the final depository of this piece. A detached index and
footnote section is available. So be confident that, Allah willing, I
had 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, any one can see, as I have, the links between
the issues I have raised. You are at liberty to circulate, but not to
edit unless after we have had a discussion on any of the items treated
above, please.

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."

Usman Aliyu
Usana Complex, 39/41 Broadcasting Road, Minna - Nigeria.
@Sunday, June 15, 2003