Quran and Science

Topics: Scientific method, Islam, Science Pages: 8 (2671 words) Published: October 17, 2013
Islam and science describes the relationship between Muslim communities and science in general. From an Islamic standpoint, science, the study of nature, is considered to be linked to the concept of Tawhid (the Oneness of God), as are all other branches of knowledge.[1] In Islam, nature is not seen as a separate entity, but rather as an integral part of Islam’s holistic outlook on God, humanity, and the world. This link implies a sacred aspect to the pursuit of scientific knowledge by Muslims, as nature itself is viewed in the Qur’an as a compilation of signs pointing to the Divine.[2] It was with this understanding that the pursuit of science was tolerated in Islamic civilizations, specifically during the eighth to sixteenth centuries, prior to the colonization of the Muslim world.[3]

According to theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili, the modern scientific method was pioneered by Islamic scientist Ibn Al-Haytham (known to the west as “Alhazen”) whose contributions are likened to those of Isaac Newton.[4] Alhazen helped shift the emphasis on abstract theorizing onto systematic and repeatable experimentation, followed by careful criticism of premises and inferences.[5] Robert Briffault, in The Making of Humanity, asserts that the very existence of science, as it is understood in the modern sense, is rooted in the scientific thought and knowledge that emerged in Islamic civilizations during this time.[6]

Muslim scientists and scholars have subsequently developed a spectrum of viewpoints on the place of scientific learning within the context of Islam, none of which are universally accepted.[7] However, most maintain the view that the acquisition of knowledge and scientific pursuit in general is not in disaccord with Islamic thought and religious belief.[1][7] Physicist Taner Edis argues this is because some Muslims are reading into the metaphorical language of the Holy books what is not there, including recent scientific discoveries.[8] Overview

The religion Islam has its own worldview system including beliefs about "ultimate reality, epistemology, ontology, ethics, purpose, etc."[9] Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the final revelation of God for the guidance of humankind.

Science is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.[10] It is a system of acquiring knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research. Scientists maintain that scientific investigation must adhere to the scientific method, a process for evaluating empirical knowledge that explains observable events in nature as results of natural causes, rejecting supernatural notions. Islam, like all religions, believes in the supernatural that is accessible or interacts with Man in this life.

One of the most important features of Science is the precise quantitative prediction. In this aspect it differs from many religious texts where physical phenomena are depicted in a very qualitative way, often by the use of words carrying several meanings. History

Classical Islamic science
Science in medieval Islam, Islamic cosmology, Astronomy in medieval Islam, Mathematics in medieval Islam, Physics in medieval Islam, and Medicine in medieval Islam
In the history of science, Islamic science refers to the science developed under Islamic civilization between the 8th and 16th centuries,[11] during what is known as the Islamic Golden Age.[12] It is also known as Arabic science since the majority of texts during this period were written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization. Despite these terms, not all scientists during this period were Muslim or Arab, as there were a number of notable non-Arab scientists (most notably Persians), as well as some non-Muslim scientists, who contributed to scientific studies in the Islamic world.

A number...
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