Scientific method is mostly an inductive method of reasoning. Induction means to study particular facts and examples to form general rule. This method of reasoning is in fact the foundation of amazing scientific advancement made by mankind during the last two hundred years or more. Pure scientific method has at least two very important characteristics. Firstly, there is no blind faith and secondly it is absolutely unbiased. This attitude was named Enlightenment in the history of Europe. It is lack of reason that promotes superstitions, blind faith and biased ideas which are contrary to what is called scientific method.
The Holy Quran lays great emphasis on the importance of reason by repeatedly advising us to make best use of it. Man is a slave of his instincts and natural urges. The Holy Quran wants him to get rid of this slavery and for this purpose very frequently advises them to make use of reason. It declares people worse than animals that do not make use of reason. Similarly the Holy Quran repeatedly enjoins to ponder over infinite number of phenomena in the universe and emphasizes the importance of acquiring knowledge. Therefore Muslims continued to make progress in science as long as they strictly adhered to the Holy Quran. When they practically discarded the teachings of the Holy Quran they went into a sharp decline even in the world of science.
:The Holy Quran lays emphasis on the importance of reason and rationality i.e. scientific method. Let us see how the Holy Quran shapes the human mind to adopt the scientific method of reasoning.
The ideas must be based on definite knowledge Allah says in the Holy Quran:
And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge. Verily, the ear and the eye and the heart__ and all these shall be called to account.
We say a lot of things which are not based on definite knowledge but are mere conjectures. Many a time our ideas are an outcome of blind faith or prejudice. Fear or greed very often prevent us from recognizing the truth. At times we are superstitious or egoistic. All these attitudes are illogical, irrational and unscientific. Think carefully about the above mentioned verse and you’ll see a total rejection of all these negative mental attitudes. Scientific knowledge is free from all these deviations.
If one abides by the Quranic injunctions he is bound to make moral and spiritual progress as an ultimate objective but in the first place a mind will be developed which is scientific in the broader sense of the word.
The modern scientific advancements are a direct outcome of scientific method of doing things. Since the time of Aristotle it was considered a scientific view that if two different weights are made to fall from the same height the heavier will hit the ground first. This principle was firmly held for about two thousands years. Nobody bothered to carry out this simple experiment and this rule passed from generation to generation. Obviously this mental attitude was contrary to the scientific method. Galileo was the first person who refused to accept and follow it blindly. He performed the experiment and came to the conclusion that both the weights will reach the ground simultaneously. According to some European philosophers this was the beginning of modern scientific age. It is worth noting that Galileo’s attitude was in accordance with the above mentioned Quranic verse which enjoins us not to form an opinion without having definite knowledge. Galileo practically submitted to this Quranic injunction and that is why he is definitely a milestone in the history of science
The Holy Quran Condemns Irrationality The Holy Quran has also highlighted the importance of scientific thought by condemning the irrationality. One of such irrational attitude is to follow the dogmas of ones forefathers blindly. The Holy Quran says:
And when it is said to them, ‘Follow that which Allah has sent down,’ they say, ‘Nay, we will follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even if their fathers had no sense at all and followed not the right path.
It is worth noting that in this verse the Holy Quran has condemned the following of religious beliefs blindly. Therefore it is much more important to be open-minded and unprejudiced in secular areas of knowledge. Following something blindly will render the faculty of reasoning useless. That is why believers are expected to follow the teaching of their prophet with a profound understanding of the underlying philosophy.
Science and Unity of God Scientific knowledge is based on the unity found in the whole universe. The most important article of faith is belief in the unity of God. This unity of God reflects in the universe which is an act of God. We see harmony, uniformity, order and organization in all the natural phenomena of the universe which is an inevitable result of the unity of God. If there were more than one creator we would see disorder and chaos instead.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
If there had been in the heavens and the earth other gods beside Allah, then surely both would have gone to ruin. Glorified then be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, far above what they attribute to Him.
Scientific research is to explore the beauty of the universe which is hidden in its organization and uniformity. Suppose there is no unity in infinite number of natural phenomena in this immensely vast universe and limited human thought and reflection will be rendered useless and meaningless. But when we see the same set of laws governing and the same number of forces operating from tiny atoms to the absolutely huge galaxies our curiosity to find unity and harmony in apparent chaos is aroused. The Holy Quran lays the foundation of scientific method by strengthening faith in the unity and harmony which is found in the universe.
Allah says in the Holy Quran
Who has created seven heavens in harmony. No incongruity canst thou see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again. Seest thou any flaw?
Professor Dr. Abdusslam,after quating this verse in one of his articles writes.
“This in effect, is the faith of all physicists, the faith which fires and sustains us. The deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze” (Review of Religions Dec. 1983 page 12)
Is There Any Co- Relation between Science and Faith in the Unseen?
The Holy Quran lays the foundation of scientific thought and promotes it. What about the faith in the unseen which is the base of religion? A Muslim believes in Allah that is a Being which cannot be comprehended through pure reason. The Holy Quran has itself made this pronouncement. It says that eyes cannot reach Him but He makes Himself appear to the human eye. Here I would like to put a question. His existence cannot be proved through any logical argument but is it logical to deny His existence? Can we prove that this universe does not have any creator? Of course not. Again it is beyond the limitation of human mind to deny the existence of God. In short pure reason is inadequate either to prove or deny the existence of God. Now we can safely conclude on the basis of these two proven facts that the faculty of our reasoning is very limited. Therefore it is essential to utilize some other means to prove such metaphysical facts. All the prophets of Allah have unanimously conveyed this message that the means to recognize God are available. The Holy Quran does instruct us to make the best use of reason but how can it be employed beyond its scope. That is why we do not see a single eminent philosopher or scientist who has ever presented logical arguments in order to prove that God does not exist. Atheism is not a school of thought in philosophy as such. Scientific method has enabled man to make amazing progress but at the same time it has thought us a sort of humility. We know the limitations of our reason. Now we know that we know nothing about so many things let alone God. We positively know that we are unable to deny the existence of what we do not know. To accept ones ignorance is an attitude that should be called humility.
Secondly faith in the unseen doesn’t mean that search for God has come to an end. In fact faith in the unseen is not the final destination. It is just the beginning of the journey towards God.
It should be remembered that by enjoining believers to believe in the unseen God does not mean to deprive them from sure knowledge and insight. Faith in the unseen is a step towards attaining that profound understanding. To ask for this sure knowledge without first believing in the unseen is a big mistake. Those who follow the above mentioned path are definitely given this insight.
Basically all the religions except Buddhism are based on the concept of creator, which is unreal and unproven. In our daily activities we find that things don't happen automatically but always have a reason or a cause. The most people who in their childhood are conditioned by their preset or prejudiced religious knowledge provided by their forefathers believe what they are taught and rarely pursue the real knowledge of universal truth. If your mind is programmed that all things happen in the universe by the wish of the almighty Allah, then no one is able to deter you from that mindset, until you yourself tell yourself that let me find other side of the concept of the creator. Actually one should not follow anything in the name of religion, or our forefathers say, or our father,clergy, teacher teaches us, but rather one should believe in only that which is proved on the basis of cause and effect relationship, logic and experience. People do test what they eat,drink, wear but don't test what should they feed their minds which determines the whole course of life. After five hundred years only Buddhism which purely based on science, on the concept of cause and effect relationship and not on the unreal concept of the creator.
B. T. Williams (Webmaster)
@ satish.11778 Your comment about the concept of God in Buddhism and other religions made me reply you back with my understanding of the matter. You are right that leaving the matter aside is not wise as what we feed our minds determines the course of our lives. Therefore we should give our utmost attention in thinking if we are treading the right course or not instead of blindly following the course that others have set forth in front of us. I request you to kindly read the following topics of our site and then ponder if the God of Islam has proved Himself on the basis of cause and effect relationship, logic and experience?
Shame on you, for making your double-standards public: it is just pathetic to hear from a science-minded person a proposal for making religion and science co-exist. It's like proposing to reach athletic physical condition without quicking smoking.
@vacmitun: Your viewpoint should be accepted, but just as a viewpoint because it is not supported by any arguments while the hypothesis discussed in the site is supported by arguments. Another thing is that on logical forums polite language should be used. You have given your opinion in harsh words while the other way round was a better option.