47- With power did We construct heaven. Verily, We are expanding it. (51-Adh-Dhariyat (The Dispersing), 47 )
Is the universe infinite? Or is it finite in a steady state? From the very
beginning this has been a subject of debate between great minds. Hot
debates and ratiocination of all kinds failed to clarify this dilemma.
This had once been the subject of philosophical speculations before it
yielded its place to the science of physics. Some of the great minds
argued that the universe was not a confined space, while others contended that its boundaries were drawn. The Quran describes it as a
continuously expanding and dynamic universe. According to this
description, the universe has a new aspect every instant that deviates
from the concept of an infinite space; its perpetual expansion defies
the concept of a confined and steady state universe. Thus, the Quran
propounds a third alternative, leaving the heated controversy of
thinkers in abeyance.
Until the 20th century when Edwin Hubble, by means of a telescope,
demonstrated that the universe was expanding. The theory of expansion of the universe was first advanced in the 1920s. Until the descent
of the Quran no other source had made such an assertion!
Both Einstein and Lemaître took an interest in Hubble’s work;
Einstein, who did not agree with Lemaître at first, eventually acknowledged during a conference that Lemaître was right after all. He confessed that his failure to endorse these findings had been the gravest
error in his life. Thus it was that the fact that the universe was of a
dynamic nature and expanding, confirmed by observations, was also
validated by the great physicist Einstein.
In the examples presented by Hubble and Lemaître, we see illustrated how a physicist arrives at a conclusion both in theory and
through observation. While Lemaître demonstrated how he had made
inferences from Einstein’s formulas to substantiate his theoretical discoveries, Hubble presented the data of his observations and his conclusions. As we see, the result obtained by physicists is the consequence of cumulative and collective bits of knowledge and research.
The Creator of physical laws provides the answer in the Quran to the
issues of towering importance throughout human history. The
Quran’s presentation of scientific facts is clear, direct, and concise; it
is different than the presentation of scientists, which tends to be complicated by scientific methods and procedures. The provider of this
answer does not have to go through all the labyrinths a scientist has
to. The Quran’s method is perfectly straightforward, unswerving and
If we had the possibility of looking at the universe from above and
somebody asked us to describe what we saw, our answer would be
that it was expanding. To achieve the Quran’s revelation of this fact1400 years ago, man would have needed access to the assistance of
accumulated scientific data acquired throughout long years and to
sophisticated telescopes. When people claim that science and religion
oppose each other, the Quran furnishes answers to the most complicated scientific problems. Observations made by sophisticated telescopes today confirm the statements of the Quran.