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Tue 22 July 2014
24 Ramadaan 1435 AH  

Why is the Universe expanding?
The importance and role of astronomy in Islam
The Universe in the light of the Qur'an
Discoveries of Muslim scholars
Space news
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   THE UNIVERSE IN THE LIGHT OF THE QUR'AN

  • The spinning of the earth

"He (God) coils the night onto the day and coils the day onto the night."
<Qur'an-Zumar 39:5>

 The use of the word "coils" was once thought to be a purely poetic one, but today's astronomical arabic word knowledge confirms that the word "coils" is scientifically very accurate in describing the spinning movement of the earth.

"And made the moon a light in their midst and made the sun as
a (Glorious) lamp."<Qur'an-Mursalat 77:16>

At the time of revelation of the Qur'an, it was a commonly held belief that the earth stood still and that the sun orbited around us. After all it seemed logical. Man's ego was bigger than the universe or so he thought. It was easier to believe that he lived in the centre of the Universe.
It was not until 1543, that the Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus, in which he states that the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. Just pause and look at the time interval when that piece of information was in the Holy Qur'an.
Hostility to science generally and astronomy particularly was the misfortune of the Catholic Church in the early 16th and 17th century. In 1633 Galileo was forced to kneel in front of the Inquisition and recant his belief in the Copernican planetary system. He was condemned to life imprisonment, ostensibly for having disobeyed "...not to defend or teach the Copernican doctrine...".

"Consider those (stars) that rise only to set. And move (in their orbits) with steady motion. And float (through space) with floating serene. And yet overtake (one another) with swift overtaking. And thus fulfill the (Creator's) behest!" <Qur'an-Nazi'at 79:1-5>

It is only on the scale of the galaxy that this verse comes to light! A galaxy is composed of millions and millions of stars. A galaxy like ours, the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy and rotates.

THE MILKY WAY GALAXY

The Milky Way is a gravitationally bound collection of roughly a hundred billion stars. Our Sun is one of these stars and is located roughly 24,000 light years  from the center of our the Milky Way.

The Milky Way Galaxy has three major components:
  • A thin disk consisting of young and intermediate age stars - this disk also contains gas and is actively forming new stars. Dust in the disk makes it appear orange in the picture. Dust absorbs blue light more than red light and thus makes stars appear reddish. Our Galaxy has spiral arms in its disk - these spiral arms are regions of active star formation.
  • A bar of older stars (white in the picture).
  • An extended dark halo whose composition is unknown. Since the matter in the halo does not consist of luminous stars, it does not show up in the image. The existence of the dark halo is inferred from its gravitational pull on the visible matter.
  • The stars do move in an orbit and with steady motion too as they float through space. They do overtake one another because in any spiral structure that is rotating, the outer arms will move at a faster rate than the inner sections and will thereby overtake the stars on the interior in their motion. The spiral nature of our galaxy was only discovered in this century since its spiral nature is not easily evident to us as we reside inside.
    There is order, cosmos…not chaos in this tremendous universe. The moon and earth float in orbits and they are predictable in their behaviour. It has been shown that if one planet was removed from our system, our solar system is no longer stable. Comets are predictable and they return as expected bound by the laws of Physics, God's laws. Man can never truly invent, he can only discover. The Universe is predictable in its behavior because Allah has subjugated its constituents and they obey him scrupulously, unlike man who has been granted will.

    • The eleven planets

    Consisting of the Sun, a family of nine known planets, sixty seven (67) satellites (moons) of the planets, millions of asteroids, and billions of comets, our Solar System is an oasis of light, heat, and life.
    The inner solar system contains the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.
    The planets of the outer solar system are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
    When Joseph said unto his father:

    "O my father! Lo! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me."
    <Qur'an-Yusuf 12:4>

    What about the Tenth Planet and Eleventh Planet?
    Astronomers may have found hints of a massive, distant, still unseen object at the edge of the solar system - perhaps a 10th planet, perhaps a failed companion star - that appears to be shoving comets toward the inner solar system.
    Two teams of scientists - one in England, one at University of Louisiana at Lafayette - independently report this conclusion based on the highly elliptical orbits of so-called "long-period comets" that originate from an icy cloud of debris far, far beyond Pluto.
    As the planet - estimated to have a mass between one and 10 Jupiter's - orbits, its gravitational wake disturbs the icy debris of the outer solar system, causing some of it to plunge toward the sun as comets.
    No one has yet directly observed a 10th planet, and there could still be another cause for the cluster of comets.
    What's surprising is just how far out there this supposed planet is. Both Murray and the University of Louisiana physicists put the planet in an orbit about 3 trillion miles - or half a light-year - from the sun. The nearest star is four light -years away.
    To put this distance in perspective, consider a miniaturized version of the solar system in which Earth is one inch from the sun. On this scale, Pluto, the ninth planet would be a bit more than a yard from the sun. The new planet, by contrast, would be a half - mile distant.
    At that great distance, the 10th planet would be too dim to see by current telescopes, although there is some hope that if it exists, the next generation of space-based infrared telescopes might be able to pick it up soon. As for the 11th planet, next generations will probably have the chance to discover it as well, as the Qur'an predicts it. And Allah knows best.

     

    The importance
    and role of astronomy in Islam
    Discoveries of Muslim scholars

     












     


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