Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Science
Ibrahim B. Syed,
Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462, USA
enjoying the fruits of modern science and technology every second, every minute
and everyday. Examples: Electricity, microphone, A.C., Automobiles, Airplanes,
Space Travel, Missile Shield or Star Wars, computers, Cyber Space and Internet,
robotics and Artificial Intelligence, GPS-Global Position System, Cellular
Phones, Digital Media Entertainment-TV, DVD, MP3, Tele-Medicine and
Tele-Surgery, Artificial Organs: Abiocor, Organ Transplants- Hand transplant
surgery, stem cells in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, Alzeimers, Spinal
Cord Injury, Diabetes, Heart tissue repairs, or any organ repair, etc. Simply
put modern science and technology is improving the quality and longevity of life
of a man or woman. One must be very cautious as Science and Technology is a
double edged sword and without Islamic Ethics it can destroy every human being.
yielding trees were grown in Muslims lands such as Afghanistan, Bukhara,
Baghdad, Cairo, Cordoba, Damascus, Delhi, Granada, Fez, Isfahan, Qairwan,
Seville, Sicily, Zeituna and other great cities throughout the Muslim World.
These trees were grown from a single seed. What is that seed and who planted the
seed and where was it planted? Without the advent of our Nabi Karim Muhammad
Mustafa (SAW) and the final establishment of MONOTHEISM or TAWHID on earth, none
of what we take for granted in the modern world could possibly have developed.
Our Nabi Karim Muhammad Mustafa (SAW) first planted the seed of TAWHID (La
Ilaaha Il'Allah) in Hejaz in Arabia 1400 years ago. La Ilaaha, Il'Allah,
literally means "NO GOD EXCEPT Allah. It means there is no Deity worthy of
worship except Allah(SWT). Anyone can become a Muslim by reciting the Kalima or
Shahadah "La Ilaaha Il'Allah, Muhammadun Rasoolallah". The greatest achievement
of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is that he made every Muslim a SCIENTIST by firmly
instilling the concept TAWHID in body, soul and mind of every Muslim. For Sufis
recitation of "La Ilaha, Il'Allah" is the Tariqah (path) to the Haqiqah(Haqiqath)
or the Ultimate Reality.
and superstition looked upon things and creatures as deities, and encouraged
their worship. Before the advent of Islam polytheism dominated the entire world.
Because of the Polytheistic view, natural sciences had become forbidden
territory and natural phenomena were given sanctity. TAWHID destroyed
Polytheism, Superstition, Nature Worship or Worship of Natural Phenomena. TAWHID
created the intellectual frame of mind and opened the doors of research and
investigation by displacing nature from its sacred pedestal and abolishing the
practice of worshipping the natural phenomena. Holding the moon to be sacred was
a major obstacle to even thinking of conquering it.
diverse as George Sarton, Bertrand Russell and Encyclopaedia Britannica, say "We
reach the conclusion that without monotheism the concepts of
experimentation and scientific enquiry, not to mention modern industrialization,
would not exist." Historians acknowledge that Islam changed the face of the
globe. Polytheism and superstition blocked the progress and advancement of human
development.Muslim Universities in the Middle Ages particularly in Spain laid
the foundation for European Renaissance. Take for example the ancient Greeks.
Their society was steeped in polytheism and superstition. Many natural phenomena
were believed to be endowed with godly powers. It was impossible to
scientifically investigate something so revered and sacred. Consequently,
people worshipped nature rather than explore it and harness its powers.
We tend to
think of ancient Greece as a free thinking democracy. In fact this is not
entirely true; only the upper classes were allowed any latitude; free speech and
free thought were actively discouraged to protect the hold of the man-made
religions over the populace. The Greek rulers like many others throughout time
have used the polytheistic beliefs of their subjects to shore up their own
power, claiming divine ancestors and the "divine right of kings".
example is modern day India where the attribution of divinity to the non-divine
or the concept of shirk has had far reaching consequences. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan,
former director of the Indian Agricultural Institute, New Delhi, and the
Architect of India's Green Revolution, blames "protein hunger" or lack of animal
protein in the Hindu diet for the prospect of intellectual dwarfing of the
nationís youngsters. Because people worship the cow, a food source, their
children suffer from malnutrition while not necessarily going hungry. The Hindus
have 320 million gods and goddesses. If a Hindu lives for 100 years and spends
the first 20 years in acquiring education and a profession and in the next 80
years he spends 8 hours each day in non-stop recitation of the name of a God or
goddess in 2.6 seconds then his whole life is not enough. If he lives less than
100 years then he misses many, many gods. If he cannot pray and appease each and
every god then he or she feels guilty and any difficulty or calamity that one
faces in life is attributed to the anger of the other gods who were not prayed
to. The mind is occupied with guilty feelings. The mind should be free to do
Roman Empire and Civilization that lasted for 700 years never produced even one
single Scientist. Because they were pagans and polytheists.
thrives in USA or a Western countries and not in the developing countries. The
answer is the intellectual environment and the infrastructure. Just like a plant
needs, fertilizer, water, sunshine, the mind needs a stimulating, nurturing
environment to conduct research. The mind should be free to think and it should
be free from mundane worries. How can a Hindu with a Ph.D. or M. D. do research
when he considers the Sun as a God and performs prostration to the Sun God
everyday in the morning.
produced a Galaxy of Universal and Encyclopedic Scientists. Muslims contributed
to every branch of science: in every field of inquiry and investigation. In
every case, the Islamic concept of the oneness of God, coupled with the teaching
of manís role as Godís viceregent on earth have enabled the Muslims to
investigate and harness the earthís resources for the betterment of mankind as a
whole. Far from worshipping things found in the heavens and on earth, Muslims
have been able to look into the unexplained and take advantage of the things the
Creator has given us to improve our lives.
Islam is a
religion of logic and reason, dazzling in its perfection and simplicity. One
comes away with the feeling that Islam might just be the best-kept secret in the