Portal: Islam and Science
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Among the many and diverse matters discussed in or touched upon by Islamic scriptures are topics of direct or indirect scientific interest. These topics include reproductive science, embryology, cosmology, medicine, and a slew of other topics.
Among the many and diverse matters discussed in or touched upon by Islamic scriptures are topics of direct or indirect scientific interest. These topics include reproductive science, embryology, cosmology, medicine, and a slew of other topics. While mainstream academic scholars and scientists have found the discussion of these topics contained in Islamic scripture to be unremarkable in its seventh-century context, in recent times, many traditional Muslim scholars and figures have argued that Islamic scriptures contains statements which not only adhere to but also predict modern science. Criticism of these ideas has been widespread and has even come from Muslim scholars themselves.
In recent times, many Muslim scholars have interpreted certain Quranic verses as being miraculously predictive of modern scientific discoveries and have presented these interpretations as evidence of the Quran's divine origin. Interestingly, no verse contained in the Quran has ever prompted a scientific discovery, and modern Muslim scholars have also generally not tried to argue that this has ever been the case.
A common criticism of the Quran, as with the Hadith, is that it contains numerous scientific and historical errors, with no obvious attempts to differentiate its understanding of the natural world and historical events from the common folklore and misconceptions of the people living in 7th century Arabia. Modern responses typically appeal to metaphor, alternative meanings, or phenomenological interpretations of such verses.
A common criticism of the Hadith, as with the Quran, is that they contain numerous scientific and historical errors, with no obvious attempts to differentiate their understanding of the natural world and historical events from the common folklore and misconceptions of the people living in 7th century Arabia. Modern responses typically appeal to metaphor, alternative meanings, or phenomenological interpretations of such hadiths.
Prominent figures and movements
A medical doctor by training, Naik is famous for theorizing and employing correlations between Islamic scripture and modern science for the purpose of dawah, or proselytism.
In the 1980s he accepted an invitation by the Embryology Committee of King Abdulaziz University to produce a special 3rd edition of his most successful book The Developing Human specifically for use by Muslim students in Islamic Universities. The additions to the text for this new edition were those of co-author Abdul Majeed al-Zindani. Moore's name is frequently cited by modern Islamic scholars.
Bucailleism is a term used for the movement to relate modern science with religion, principally Islam. Named after the French surgeon Maurice Bucaille, author of The Bible, the Quran and Science, Bucaillists have promoted the idea that the Quran is of divine origin, arguing that it contains scientifically correct facts, and that "one of the main convincing evidences" that lead many to convert to Islam "is the large number of scientific facts in the Quran."
Islamic medicinal practices and rituals
Islamic scriptures instruct a variety of medicinal practices that have consequently been practiced through centuries, including consuming cumin, drinking camel urine, consuming honey, using indian incense, dipping houseflies in drinks, cupping, and more.
Islamic fasting (sawm) entails fasting from sunrise till sunset without any water or food. In the month of Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to fast the entire month. Empirical research has found the consequences of Islamic fasting (as it is practiced) on practitioners' health, society, and economy to be largely (but not entirely) adverse.
It is generally agreed Muslim women are obligated by Islam to cover all parts of their body excluding their faces, hands, and sometimes feet. Empirical research has found that this practice has largely adverse effects on its practitioners' health and society. Adverse health effects primarily include Vitamin D deficiency as well as the enabling of obesity.
First cousin marriages, permissible in and even encouraged by Islamic law, are extremely common in Muslim-majority countries. Muhammad married his first cousin (also the ex-wife of his adopted son) Zaynab. Today, consanguine (blood related) marriages comprise the majority in Upper Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the UAE, and other Muslim populations.
Several authentic (sahih) hadith and early Islamic sources contain reports of Muhammad advancing camel urine as a cure for illnesses. Many modern Islamic scholars stand by this practice until today.
A hadith in Bukhari reports that Muhammad said, "If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease." The practice described in this report is interpreted literally and is still encouraged by Islamic scholars.