The Big Bang Theory: From a Qur'anic
Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed
Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Louisville, KY 40292
President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462
One of the great
mysteries facing scientists today are the answers to the two following
1. WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE?
2. WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF LIFE?
The answer to the first question is difficult than the answer
to the second question. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur'an creation of the universe
was a greater problem than the creation of man.
The following verse in the Qur'an alludes to the Big Bang
DO THEY NOT THE UNBELIEVERS SEE THAT THE HEAVENS AND THE
EARTH WERE JOINED TOGETHER (AS ONE UNIT OF CREATION) BEFORE WE CLOVE
THEM ASUNDER? WE MADE FROM WATER EVERY LIVING THING. WILL THEY NOT
Surah: 21. Al-Anbiyaa, Ayath 30
The origin of universe has been explained by several
cosmological theories. One theory that seems philosophically far more attractive
is called the Steady-State model. This theory was proposed in the 1940s by
Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle. They stated that the universe has
always been just about the same as it is now. As it expands, new matter is
continually created to fill up the gaps between the galaxies.
This theory has been replaced by the "Standard Model" or the
"Big Bang" Theory. Using the Doppler effect the astronomers confirmed that the
galaxies are moving away and that the universe is expanding. The birth of the
universe has been estimated to be between 15 and 30 billion years ago.
The experimental confirmation of the Big Bang Theory came
from the detection of the Cosmic Microwave Radiation Background by a pair of
radio astronomers, Arno. A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson. In 1964 they were
working in the Bell Telephone Laboratory which had in its possession of an
unusual radio antenna on Crawford Hill at Holmdel, New Jersey. By measuring the
cosmic microwave radiation background radiation which is the noise left over
from the early universe, they calculated the temperature in the universe to be
3.5 degrees Kelvin.
In the beginning there was an explosion. This explosion is
not the same as one observes on earth. As a result of this explosion, space and
time were born and started to expand to this day, and they will continue to
expand in the future. The temperature of the universe was about a hundred
thousand million degrees Centigrade. It is so hot than none of the components of
ordinary matter molecules, or atoms or even the nuclei of atoms, could have held
together. In the early universe there was abundance of electrons,
(anti-electron) and neutrinos, ghostly particles with no mass or electric
charge. Finally, the universe was filled with light. Light consists of particles
of zero mass and zero electrical charge known as photons. The number and the
average energy of the photons was about the same as for electrons, positrons or
neutrinos. These particles were continually being created out of pure energy
(original source of all matter in the present-day universe-galaxies, nebulae,
stars, planets, earth, etc.).
As the time passed and the temperature of the universe
cooled, nucleosynthesis took place and hydrogen and helium and other heavy
elements were formed. After 3 minutes of the Big Bang, the universe consisted of
73 percent hydrogen and 27 percent helium. The resulting gases under the
influence of gravitation ultimately condensed to form the galaxies and stars of
the present universe.
The Big Bang Theory is very close to a comprehensive
understanding of Surah 21, Al-Anbiyaa and Ayath 30, which is cited above. In his
note # 2690, Allama Yusuf Ali says " The evolution of the ordered worlds as we
see them is hinted at. As man's intellectual gaze over the physical world
expands, he sees more and more how Unity is the dominating note in Allah's
wonderful Universe. Taking the solar system alone, we know that the maximum
intensity of sun-spots corresponds with he maximum intensity of magnetic storms
on this earth. The universal law of gravitation seems to bind all mass together.
Physical facts point to the throwing off of planets from vast quantities of
diffused nebular matter, of which the central condensed core is sun." Of course
when Allama Yusuf Ali wrote this commentary it was 1935, long before the Big
Bang Theory was espoused and long before the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave
Conclusion: The Big Bang Theory does not contradict the
Qur'anic revelation (21:30) and it can be used as a Tafsir in understanding
S.: The First Three Minutes. A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe. Basic
Books, Inc. Publishers, NY 1977.