I’m going to be posting something interesting about the Qur’ān every day during Ramaḍān, the month the Qur’ān was revealed.
This time we will explore the Qur’ān in relation to cosmology, astrophysics, and astrobiology.
“And we have built the universe with Our own hands and indeed We go on expanding it.” (51:48)
This verse alludes to the metric expansion of the universe, which is from the Qur’ān from more than 1,400 years ago (the Arabic script of which has not even been changed by a punctuation mark since), and was discovered by Father Georges Lemaître and later Edwin Hubble in the early 1900’s.
“Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass (ratq), then We clove them asunder (fataqnā)? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” (21:31)
This refers to the big bang theory, and the basis of all living organisms consisting of water. Astrobiologists today look at other planets for the presence of water to indicate a possible presence of life, along with using spectroscopy to analyze the chemical composition of the planet to look for carbon.
“Remember the day when We shall roll up the heavens like the rolling up of written scrolls. As We began the first creation, so shall We repeat it; a promise binding on Us; that We shall certainly fulfil.” (21:105)
This refers to the theorized eventual white hole at the end of the universe, in which it will be ‘rolled up the rolling of written scrolls’, and possibly develop into a new universe via another big bang.
“Everything upon this (universe) dies.” (Qur’an 55:27)
This is in essence an eludication of the Boltzmann Equation:
S = klnW
Entropy = Boltzmann Constant (Gas Constant/Avagadro’s Number) to the natural logarithm of W (the number of microstates in a macrostate, i.e. the number of energetically equivalent ways to arrange atoms in a compound)
In other words, everything is going from a state of order to disorder, including the universe itself leading towards a heat death of the universe.
“Then He turned to the universe when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or not. They said: We come, obedient.” (41:12)
This refers to the formation of stars in the beginning of the universe, as well as the formation of the earth. Star formation occurs by molecular interstellar clouds which are 70% hydrogen gas and some helium, and therefore dukhān (دخان) or ‘smoke’ as the verse says.
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures (da’bbah) He has spread forth in both…And He has the power to gather them together (jam’ihim) when He will so please.” (42:30)
This verse testifies to the absolute existence of extraterrestrial life, and says that humans will one day contact them. However whether this is physical face-to-face contact or indirect contact e.g. by radio waves is not written.