The Qur'an Project in New Statesman

The Qur'an Project placed the following article advertisement in the 100 year Special Collectors Edition of the New Statesman. 

This was available to purchase in July 2013 

God and The Big Bang

Qur'anic Integrity and Scientific Advancement

"Do not the Disbelievers see that [all] the Heavens and the Earth were united [in a single state] and We tore them both apart and We made from water every living thing. Will they not Believe?" [21:30]

The enormously vast universe has been the object of curiosity since time immemorial. Greek philosophers, including Aristotle, believed that the Universe had always existed and would continue to do so eternally. This was also the mainstream view in scientific circles at the beginning of the 20th century, aptly known as the "steady state theory"

An eternal state of the universe meant that there was no inherit need for a Creator - for what does not have a beginning does not necessitate a need for a cause. However, advancements in science would shatter this view and fundamentally prove that the Universe had a beginning.

In 1922, physicist Alexander Friedmann, produced computations showing that the structure of the universe was not static and that even a tiny impulse might be sufficient to cause the whole structure to expand or contract according to Einsteins "Theory of General Relativity". George Lemaitre was the first to recognise the implications of what Friedmanm concluded. Based on these computations, Lemaitre declared that the universe must have had a beginning and that it was expanding as a result of something that triggered it. He also stated that the rate of radiation could be used as a measure of the aftermath of that "something".

The theoretical musings of these two scientists did not attract much attention and probably would have gone ignored except for new observational evidence that rocked the scientific world in 1929. That year, American astronomer Edwin Hubble, made one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy. He discovered that galaxies were moving away from us at speeds directly relative to their distance from us and from each other.

A universe where everything constantly moves away from everything else implied a constantly expanding universe. Stephen Hawking writes, "The expansion of the universe was one of the most important intellectual discoveries of the 20th century, or of any century"

Since the universe is constantly expanding, were we to rewind a film [of its history], then necessarily we would find the entire universe was in a joint state, referred to by some as the "Primordial Atom". Many scientists and philosophers resisted the idea of a beginning to the universe because of the many questions that it raised - primarily what or who caused it. However, with Penzias and Wilsons discovery of microwave radiation emanating from all directions, possessing the same physical characteristics - namely petrified light which came from a huge explosion during the first seconds after the birth of the universe - left little doubt about the fact that the universe had a beginning.

For fourteen hundred years, since the revelation of the Qur'an, skeptics had trouble understanding the verses: 

"the Heavens and the Earth were united [in a single state] and We tore them apart" [21:30]

coupled with

"...the Heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander" [51:47]

However, with the assistance of scientific advancements, we can now understand these verses in a new light. The miraculous nature of the Qur'an lies in the knowledge it contains. Its verification of scientific facts shows that its message is as applicable to the scientist in his laboratory today as it was to the Bedouin in the desert