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The Quran And Modern Technology

- Published in Muslim World League Magazine, Makkah On October 7, 2010

It is preceded in my previous articles published in the Muslim World League Magazine that many verses ofthe Quran referred to the science unknown in 7th century. The following verses from the chapter ‘Al-Araaf were the object ofsevere criticism by the non-Muslim writers butthe modern achievement in the field of science and technology have proved their authenticity and have fully established the truth what the Book of Allah revealed tothe Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

44. The dwellers in the Heaven call to the dwellers in the Fire we have that, our Lord promised us (as) the Truth, have you that, which your Lord promised you (as) the Truth. They say: Yes. And crier between them crieth the curse of Allah is on theevil doers.

45. Who hinder (men) from the path of Allah and would have it crookedand who are the disbelievers in the Last day.

46. Between them is a veiland on the heights are men who know them allby theirmarks, and they call to the men in the Heavenpeace be unto you, they have not yet entered the Heaventhey hope to enter it with certainty.

47. And when their eyes are turned to the people in the Fire, they say: Our Lord place us notwith the wrong doing folk.

48. The men on the heightscall unto men whom they know by their markssaying: Of what profit to you were your collected wealthand your pride.

49. Are these the men?Of whom you swore that Allah would not show them mercy? Enter you the Heaven no fear shall be on younor ye shall ever grieve.

50. And the men in the Firecry to the men in the Heaven pour out on us some wateror some of that Allah doth provide you of sustenancethey say: Verily Allah hath forbidden both to disbelievers.(Quran-7/44-50)

The aforesaid verses do carry some important facts, which refer to the modern science and technology.

The chief points of discussion are:

1) A dialogue between the people in the Heaven and the people in the Fire.

2) There are people on the height seeing and talking to both of them.

3) There is ‘Hijab’ meaning veil, curtain, or screen between the people in the Heaven and the people in the Fire.

4) The men in the Heaven recognize their acquaintances in the Fire by their face marks and so on the people in the Fire identify the men in the Heaven.

5) The men in the Fire would long for water and sustenance from the people in the Heaven.

The question arises how the men in the Heaven could see the men in the Fire when particularly:

The breadth of the Heaven is as the width of the sky and the earth. (57/21)

And certainly the Hell will be far, far away from the Heaven.

Imam Razi (543-606) has also raised a question; he says from this magnanimous distance how a call can be possible? Imam Razi himself replied it saying ‘To us the extreme closeness or remoteness of the distance is not an impediment in a dialogue’. He added, “Al-Qadhi observed, that there are scientists who say there is a peculiarity about the voice that the distance alone cannot be a hurdle from hearing.”

This statement shows that the scientists of his time were developing some positive theory about the sound waves.

The Dialogue Between the People of the Heaven and of the Fire

Now I revert back to the exegesis of the aforesaid verses. The commentators attempted to explain them to the best of their knowledge, but no satisfactory explanation could be given for a dialogue between the people of the Heaven and the people of the Fire when they both are million, million light years apart. Similarly the word ‘Hijab’ was explained as a wall, it was all-impossible due to magnanimous distance between the Heaven and the Hell. That is why the orientalists, the Jews and the Christians all denied these verses.

There are few other verses correlated with the verses under citation:

And We have fastened everyman’s deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring forhim a book which he shall find wide open.(17/13-14),

And the Book will be placed, and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is therein. They will say woe to us! What sort ofBook this is, that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing except that it has enumerated it.And they will find what they did placed before them. And your Lord treats no one with injustice. (18/49),

Whoso has done an atom’s weight of good, he will see It then. And whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see it then. ( 99/7-8).

The above verses of the Holy Quran describe that after resurrection and before the Judgment, the book of deeds of every person will be fastened to his neck. He will find therein all his acts however small are big. It will contain all his good and bad deeds, which he will be able to read and see. The disbelievers denied the contentions of the Quran saying the presentation of the book of deeds on the Day of Judgment to every person is impossible, neither he will read the book nor he will see his past actions.

The acceptance and rejection of a fact depends upon the quantum of knowledge we possess to the tune of our development in a given time period.

Even in the 19th century, the mind could not perceive the phenomena of the atmosphere and space and of the electromagnetic or radio waves etc., but the Quranic facts were far advanced to our the then timid notions. They were reflecting to our scientific progress, which was yet to be achieved by mankind in the 20th century.

In the first quarter of the 20th century Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in establishing the radio service. From 1928 radio telephone circuits were set up. It was found the radio waves are not restricted to earth’s atmosphere. K.G Jansky first discovered radio waves from the Milky Way in 1931 and the radio noise from the sun was discovered in 1942. This proved that the atmosphere and the space preserve the sounds in the shape of the waves and they do not die out.

After the radio the great invention was of television. It was launched in the Great Britain by B.B.C. on 2nd November 1936. That proved not only sound or voices are preserved in the space but also the space carries the pictures of our actions.

By 1970 the color broadcasting was common in all the countries. Only we by the help of machines receive and show them on the T.V. screen. The invention of the video perfected what was lacking in the television. Whenever one desires one can see a story on a videocassette. Thus every videocassette contains a story in it like a book. And when a man can prepare a film having fiction and real stories using the resources present in the atmosphere and show it on television, certainly it is in the power of God the presentation of the book of deeds on the day of Judgment.

Therefore, God said: ‘Whoso has done an atom’s of weight of good will see it then” and so on his evils.

When man will be shown the film of his life he will cry "Woe to us! What a book is this! It leaves out nothing but enumerated it" and they find in it all they did in the world.

One thing remains, God mentioned the reading of the book and seeing of the past actions of every man in the verses under citation, but it did not mention that a man can listen his own voice the like we listen in a video cassette. It is not so. The Quran did mention it too:

This our book speaks about you with truth, Lo! We have caused (all) that you did to be recorded. (45/29)

Thus the deeds of every man are not only being written but his voice is also being recorded. This proved the angels are preparing the record of every man like that of a color film.

We can say there are two kinds of film, the one we prepare for a videocassette etc., the other, which angels prepare for the whole life span of every man.

The Omniscient, the Creator of the Universe has appointed sentinels on every person to note down, prepare a film of all his actions in the shape of a cassette and call it a book of deeds. When the guilty will refuse to admit his sins:

On the Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet will testify against themwhat they used to do. (24/24)

There is no wonder in it. Who can give speech to a tongue can give speech to other limbs. Had the tongue speech on its own, the tongues of the animal would have spoken. If the guilty would reject the testimony of their own limbs and insist on refusal, the angels would make for them to play the cassette of their lives before them. He would see all his past life as he used to see in the films. This is: 'Who so hath done an atoms weight of good will see it then, and whoso hath done an atoms weight of evilwill see it then.'

It is a warning to those who see dances and listens songs on a videocassette, which give vent to sexual desires, they should remember that Allah (God) would not treat them with injustice.

However, with the invention of radio, television, and video the Quranic verses, which looked incredible to the unbelievers, became the most credible. In other words the Quran has prophesied with modern development in the technology when no one could conceive it in the 7th century.

We return to the dialogue, which is to occur between the men in the Heaven and men in the Fire.

It is aforementioned that the Quranic verse referring to ‘Hijab’ (screen, curtain) between two aforesaid people remained unexplained till we enter the era of modern technology. Now we can interpret the real meaning of the word ‘Hijab’ is screen and not wall as contended by the previous interpreters. That is to say the aforesaid parties of the Heaven and the Hell would be able to see each other on a screen, the like we see in our television news program. The people on height would also participate in the dialogue between the two parties like a T.V host.

It is very amazing that the Quranic description having been declared far beyond the truth is proved after 1400 years. The Quran in the seventh century had announced:

We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (Book) is the truth. (41/53)

The persons on the height would be intermediaries in this transmission. The Quran also mentions that both the parties will recognize each other with their face marks. Certainly it is so the recognition dawns upon us when we see a character on a T.V. screen.

Lastly when the people in the Fire see the people in the Heaven eating and drinking, they would long for to get some food and drink, though they know that they cannot get to those provisions.

However, the modern inventions finally upheld the Quranic assertions as to the reckoning of all and after their final destination in the Heaven or the Hell, they proved the possibility of a dialogue, which is to occur between the people in the Heaven and in the Fire.

- By Ahmad Wahaj Al-Siddiqui Al-Taimi