Al-Islam and Science
Does Al-Islam oppose science? This section will present how Al-Islam views science. It will address the revelations in Qur'an and their relationship to modern scientific discoveries. Historical analysis will also be done showing the tremendous contributions to science made by Muslim scientists. Attention will be given to the approach towards science in the Muslim world. Unlike the early history in the West, where anything discovered in science that differed from religious teachings were condemned and scientists persecuted or even put to death for daring to espouse their scientific findings, the attitude in the Islamic world was different. Instead of condemnation and persecution, Islamic scientists found satisfaction and encouragement from the revelations in the Qur'an for their scientific pursuits. In fact the most scientific minds in the Muslim world were also the most religious.
"O thou man!
Verily thou art ever
Toiling on towards thy Lord-
Painfully toiling, -but thou
Shalt meet Him...
So I do call
To witness the ruddy glow Of Sunset;
The Night and its Homing;
And the Moon
In her Fullness:
Ye shall surely travel
From stage to stage."
Surah 84 Inshiqaq verses 6, 16-19
Darwin's theory of Evolution describes a growth process that takes place in the biological or physical form that is necessary for us to survive. Natural selection states:
Natural selection is the means by which beneficial variations in a population tend to be preserved while unfavorable variations tend to be lost. One of the key concepts behind the theory of natural selection is that there is variation within populations. As a result of that variation, some individuals are better suited to their environment while other individuals are not so well-suited. Because members of a population must compete for finite resources, those better suited to their environment will out-compete those that are not as well-suited.
Islam and Modern Science
A Lecture by Seyyid Hossein Nasr
The following is a lecture by Seyyid Hossein Nasr entitled, ``Islam and Modern Science'', which was co-sponsored by the Pakistan Study Group, the MIT Muslim Students Association and other groups. Professor Nasr, currently University Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, is a physics and mathematics alumnus of MIT. He received a PhD in the philosophy of science, with emphasis on Islamic science, from Harvard University. From 1958 to 1979, he was a professor of history of science and philosophy at Tehran University and was also the Vice-Chancellor of the University over 1970-71. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Princeton Universities. He has delivered many famous lectures including the Gifford Lecture at Edinburgh University and the Iqbal Lecture at the Punjab University. He is the author of over twenty books including ``Science and Civilization in Islam'', ``Traditional Islam in the Modern World'', ``Knowledge and the Sacred'', and ``Man and Nature: the Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man''. The verbatim transcript of the lecture was edited to enhance clarity and remove redundancies. We have tried our best to preserve the spirit of what was said. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the Pakistan Study Group. * and ** indicates places where either a phrase or sentence was indecipherable. Words in [ ] were added to improve continuity.