Letter 5: The Bible, the Qur’an and Science

Dear Abdallah,


Thank you for your prompt reply and the spirit in which you wrote. We seem to get very involved!


In your letter you bring to the fore arguments from the book “The Bible, the Qur’an and Science” by Maurice Bucaille. In it, you write, the divine origin of the Qur’an is amply evidenced.


To draw science into the picture is a new trend over the last few decades. Some Muslim scholars feel this to be an evidence for the divine origin of the Qur’an. The claim is that certain scientific knowledge that must have been unknown at the time of Muhammad, is reflected in the Qur’an. In particular, current knowledge of embryology is said to clearly confirm what the Qur’an says about this topic. The geological formation of the universe, including the earth, is another topic. In that case, I have to admit it would be strong evidence for the inspiration of the Qur’an, but it is not.


Dr. Bucaille finds in the Qur’an a description of the origin of the universe, which, according to him, at first consisted of gas that caused the ‘Big Bang’, which in turn facilitated the formation of galaxies, solar systems including our sun with its planets (p.139). This rests on his rather fanciful interpretation of two texts in the Qur’an, where we read:


“Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens were joined together, then We clove them asunder” (Sura 21:30) and