Search form

Last updated: 1 min 54 sec ago

You are here

Islam in Perspective

Allah, not chance, created the universe

The universe was created in a moment by Almighty Allah telling it “Be!” Created in such a short time, the universe still possesses a glorious variety and harmony. Allah’s creation of the entire universe is a great blessing for human beings, because it shows us that we are under the control of the Omniscient Allah.
The universe, which enfolds outer space and all things, possesses an immaculate creation, matchless systems and includes our Earth with a balance and order meeting all the conditions needed to sustain life. All scientific findings in the 20th and 21st Centuries in particular show that the universe is the result of an immaculate creation. The one truth revealed by science is that All-Mighty and All-Knowing Allah created the universe.

The observable universe
Researchers calculate the age of the universe at 13.8 billion years. However, that calculation is based on the link between the speed of light and distance, and a distance of 13.8 billion light years is observable from the Earth. This is rather like only being able to see a certain distance around from a ship in the middle of the ocean. In the same way, scientists are able to see a distance of 13.8 billion light years from the Earth with their telescopes. As shown by the use of the word “observable,” we are still unaware of the existence of a region beyond that distance. It is therefore impossible for us to acquire absolutely definitive information about the age of the universe or its dimensions. However, the scientifically proven fact is that this universe we are still unable to observe is constantly expanding. Another interesting feature of the universe, whose age we are unable to calculate, is that it was created from nothing in the explosion known as the “Big Bang.” The universe we cannot observe, and whose age we do not know, survives at this wondrous size within a flawless order at the command of our Almighty Lord. In revealing this matchless creation of the universe in the Qur’an, Almighty Allah also reminds us of His greatness:
“Do those who are disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that We made from water every living thing? So will they not have faith?” (Surat Al-Anbiya, 30)

The sensitive tasks of supernovae in the universe
A giant star destroys itself in a huge explosion and all the matter it contains is scattered at high speed in all directions. The light emitted during this explosion is thousands of times more powerful than that normally given off by the star. The scattering of a star in this way is known as a supernova.
Astronomers estimate that these explosions serve to carry matter from one point in the universe to another. The stellar wastes scattered in the explosion are believed to collect in other corners of the universe and to form new stars or stellar systems. According to this hypothesis, the sun, the planets in the solar system and of course our earth all emerged as the result of a supernova explosion in very, very remote times.
The amazing thing however is that supernovae, which might look like ordinary explosions at first sight, are in fact built around highly sensitive balances. As Michael Denton writes in his book Nature’s Destiny: “The distances between supernovae and indeed between all stars is critical for other reasons. The distance between stars in our galaxy is about 30 million miles. If this distance was much less, planetary orbits would be destabilized. If it was much more, then the debris thrown out by a supernova would be so diffusely distributed that planetary systems like our own would in all probability never form. If the cosmos is to be a home for life, then the flickering of the supernovae must occur at a very precise rate and the average distance between them, and indeed between all stars, must be very close to the actual observed figure.” (Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, New York: The Free Press: 1998, p. 11)

The solar system
One of the areas where we can most clearly observe the regularity in the universe is the solar system, home to our earth. The solar system contains eight planets and 54 satellites dependent on those planets. In order of their proximity to the sun, these planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The only one of these planets and 54 satellites with a surface and atmosphere suited to life is our Earth.
When we look at the structure of the Solar System, we again encounter a remarkable balance. The effect that protects the planets from being cast off into the icy depths of space is the balance between the “gravitational attraction of the sun” and the “centrifugal force” of the planets. Due to its great gravitational force, the sun attracts the planets toward it, while they try to escape from it through the centrifugal force set up by their orbits. However, if the planets’ orbits were slightly slower, these planets would be pulled toward the sun and be swallowed by it in a tremendous explosion.
The opposite might also apply. If the planets orbited the sun slightly faster, the power of the sun would be unable to restrain them and the planets would simply spin off into the void of outer space. Yet this highly sensitive balance has been put in place, and the system survives because it is maintained by that balance.
At this point it needs to be stated that the balance in question is instituted separately for each planet because the planets lie at very different distances from the sun. Their masses are also very different. They all therefore need to have different orbital velocities in order not to fly away into space or plunge into the sun. Almighty Allah reveals this glorious order He has created in this verse: “It is not for the sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere.” (Surah Ya Sin, 40)
Each one of the planets in the universe, great or small, is a component that is of crucial importance to this order. Neither their positions in space nor their courses are at all random: On the contrary, they are all created with numerous details, some of which we know and others not, and for a specific purpose. Indeed, of all the factors that affect the balances in the universe, just a minute change in the position of the planets would be enough to tear apart all these inter-related balances. Yet these balances are never compromised, and the perfect order in the universe continues uninterrupted. This is the immaculate creation by Almighty Allah.

The writer has authored 300 books on politics, religion and science.

MORE FROM Islam in Perspective