The Creation of the Universe
Only in recent years has modern science been able to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the workings of the universe.
If one goes back fourteen hundred years, only ignorance prevailed. Illiteracy was the norm, and education was reserved for a privileged few. Yet in this environment, the Holy Qur'an stated details concerning the universe that only the creator of the universe could know. The Qur'an describes these natural phenomena to focus man's attention to the wisdom, benevolence and authority of his Creator. The more modern science unfolds the reality of this phenomenon, the more the truth of the Qur'an is evident to us at a time when the names of different scientific fields still do not exist, let alone have scientific research conducted on them.
For instance, in the 1920's Edwin Hubble brought forward the idea that the universe was not a static and unchanging but continually expanding. Later in 1964 two American scientists, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson said that the physical universe began from a single entity, naming it the "Minute Cosmic Egg", which in turn burst and resulted in the creation of different strata of the universe. The Qur'an however clearly stated this fourteen hundred years ago:
"Why do not the unbelievers realise that the heavens and the earth were one piece, then we parted them and we made everything of water. Will they not believe?" (Al-Anbiya 21:30)
The two Arabic words used in the verse are RATQ and FATQ. RATQ means to bind and fuse together forming a homogenous mass. FATQ, the opposite of RATQ means a action to break, diffuse or separate.
As to the words "We made everything from water," these are consistent with our recent knowledge of biological science that all life began in water. Also in regards to the theory that the universe is continually expanding the Qur'an stated:
"And He keep creating what you do not know" (An-Nahl 16:8)
"And He keeps expanding His creation what He wills." (Al-Fatir 35:1)
Moreover in reference to the creation of the universe the Qur'an states:
" Allah is the one who made the skies and the earth and what is in between in 6 days." (As-Sajidah 32:4)
The Arabic word for day is "Yawm" but that does not refer to the day as we know it to be since it refers to a time before the sun and earth were created. There are verses in the Qur'an (As-Sajidah 32:5, Al-Ma'arij 70:4) indicating that it means a long period, even up to millions and billions of years.
However this does not mean one should justify changing the meaning of the Qur'an verses to bring them in line with scientific discoveries; nor regard scientific interpretation as final, because scientific knowledge is itself constantly changing and evolving. There is little which can be called final and absolute. However, the biological and physical facts of the universe described by the Qur'an could not have been known before modern technology breakthroughs. As this is the cause then an unbiased person can have no doubt that the Qur'an is the word of the Creator and Islam, the universal truth.