'Scientific miracles' do not conflict with Prophet's essential knowledge of Quran
Fatwa No: 307540

  • Fatwa Date:8-10-2015 - Thul-Hijjah 25, 1436
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Question

As-salaamu 3laikum. I recently read a book about the scientific miracles of the Qur'an. The authors were talking about how many things mentioned in the Qur'an were not discovered by scientists until hundreds of years later, such as knowing that mountains have roots under the earth. They said that before these discoveries were made we did not have a full understanding of some ayaat of the Qur'an. My question is, I thought that Rasoolullah (salla Allahu 3laihi wa salam) knew the full interpretation of every ayah. So does this mean that Allah revealed that information to him but he wasn't required to pass it on, or that the full interpretation of every ayah was not revealed to him? Jazaakum Allahu khair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

There is no contradiction between the fact that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, knew the meanings and interpretation of the Quran and the fact that more knowledge and understanding of the indication of Islamic texts addressing cosmic signs in the universe or the human body were attained later and were not present in the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, given the absence of the means through which such knowledge and understanding could have be attained. Therefore, what you have quoted from the authors of the book that you read on the scientific miracles of the Quran does not involve any negation of an essential understanding of any scientifically miraculous verses but only negation of the full understanding of them. This is due to the absence of elaborate knowledge on the nature and reality of cosmic and physical phenomena which were discovered later through experimentation.

The Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and Sunnah said in an introductory text titled "Scientific Miracles: Origin and Approach":

Scientific miracles refer to the facts mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah which were proven correct by experimental science and proven impossible to have been understood by the earlier human means which were present in the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, and which confirm the truthfulness of what the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, received from his Lord.

The Commission also says about the relation of the miraculous nature of the Quran, which the scientific facts are a part of, to the universal nature of the message of Islam:

Since the previous Messengers were sent exclusively to their own peoples and in particular points in time, Allaah supported them with perceptible miracles, such as the staff of Moosa (Moses)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention and giving life to the dead at the hands of ‘Eesa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. These great miracles of a material and sensory nature continued to preserve their impact and persuasive force during the time of the respective message of each messenger. As time passes, the pure impact of the divine message fades away and the sensory persuasive force ceases, so Allaah would send another messenger with the religion He had chosen for people and He would support him with a new and obvious miracle. Since Allaah The Exalted sent the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, as the final messenger for mankind, He guaranteed the preservation of his religion and supported him with a great miracle that continues to exist until the Day of Judgment. Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, "Allaah is witness between me and you. And this Quran was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches."} [Quran 6:19] Scientific miracles are part of this revelation. Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {But Allaah bears witness to that which He has revealed to you. He has sent it down with His knowledge.} [Quran 4:166] This verse was revealed in response to the unbelievers challenging and questioning the veracity of the prophethood of Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam. It underlined the nature of the scientific miracles that remained present before people and were renewed with each scientific breakthrough and new horizon of knowledge attained by human beings as far as the meanings and essence of the divine revelation are concerned …

Thus, the truthfulness of the revelation that Muhammad received illuminates with the divine knowledge that it contains, which people realize in all times and all places, and it is revived over the ages. This is why the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said: "Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given is Divine Inspiration which Allaah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection." [Al-Bukhari] …

The scientific proof of the Quran can be perceived by both Arabs and non-Arabs and remains obvious and revived until the Day of Judgment. The Quran contains information the intent of which we know, because it is in a clear Arabic tongue, but the reality and exact nature associated with it does not reveal itself until the right time. Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {It is but a reminder to the worlds.* And you will surely know (the truth of) its information after a time.} [Quran 38:87-88] …

Allaah The Exalted willed that each event would become realized at a particular time; whenever an event reveals itself to people, the meanings that the relevant letters and words of the Quran indicate illuminate and the scientific miracle of the Quran is renewed; Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {For every happening is a finality; and you are going to know.} [Quran 6:67] The divine revelation continues to comprehend all the events that emerge throughout the ages.

Allaah Knows best.

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