The history of the universe in three verses
“We have brought to the people in this Qur’an examples from every necessary field, so that they may receive experience (teaching).” (Quran, 39/27)
It has been nearly 1400 years since man has been given the opportunity to, in addition to simply reading the Koran, the Last Divine Book, but also to study it, understand it and learn life lessons. The examples brought by God from every necessary field of life are there, in every verse and page of the Qur’an. But, maybe humanity also needs to reach a level of maturity to understand and learn from the Quranic examples.
The discoveries of recent centuries in the field of natural sciences, Allah has caused the Light of His Word to illuminate minds and hearts. In the light of the Qur’an and through the lens of astrophysics, let us penetrate into time to describe the history of the Universe.
1. “Do not those who disbelieve know that the heavens and the earth were joined together and We separated them both… Do they not believe?” (Quran, 21/30)
In the Qur’anic verse, it is about two phases of the state of material space that man can perceive with his senses. This space, consisting of the earth (where everyone necessarily spends his life) and the sky (which is the object of daily curious observation and delightful contemplation), is commonly considered the Universe. Starting from this simplified conception of the Universe, God has informed mankind that originally the heavens and the earth were attached, a single body. This represents the stage of the Universe in its initial state. Evolution continued further with the creation of the heavens and the earth by the All-Powerful and All-Knowing Creator. Of course, the transition from one state to another did not happen in an instant, but went through a long process over time.
“… the heavens and the earth were joined together…” This is where the most accepted scientific theory (so far) in the history of the Universe begins. The Big Bang model starts the evolution of the Universe about 15 billion years ago, with the explosion from an extremely small area (zero point), where its state is characterized by a matter density and colossal temperature , similar to a very, very dense fiery tangle. Then the explosion continued with the “separation”, a process that first led to the formation of high-energy particles and, further, to the formation of today’s structures of the Universe, constellations, nebulae, galaxies, etc.
Our solar system also underwent the separation process. The “solar cloud” began to collapse about 5 billion years ago, forming the Sun and the surrounding gas. Over millions of years, due to the weight of the condensation centers and the cooling of the peripheral gas, planets, satellites, etc. were created. The planet Earth was clearly separated from the sky and the heavens. So, in other words, the heavens and the earth were in the beginning a single mass, or “attached” and then “we separated them both” as the Creator announced in understandable Quranic language for the man of the 7th century. From what was described, it is evident that modern science has walked and is walking in the miraculous footsteps of the Quran. Still don’t believe?
2. “We, by Our strength, raised the sky and We expand it.” (Quran, 51/47)
Although this verse is located in another chapter (surah) of the Qur’an, its connection and continuity with the above verse (Qur’an, 21/30) is clear. “We, with Our strength, raised the sky…” God, Creator and Shaper, in this first part of the verse, brings to our attention the separation of the planet Earth from the sky, through the word “we raised the sky”. As a good Methodist teacher does, before explaining the new lesson, he reminds the students of the knowledge they have acquired before. Not only that. By using the term “we raised the sky”, God addresses the human being in the qualities of observer, researcher, researcher and reasoner, as a point of reference. Now man studies, analyzes and evaluates the phenomena from the reference system connected to the Earth, where he lives.
Observed from this reference system, the process of “separation” of the earth from the sky is perceived as the lifting of the firmament from the ground, similar to the perception of the “removal” (lifting) of the ceiling of a building for an observer located in a transparent elevator that goes down.
After this reminder, Allah informs us in the second part of the verse about the further developments of the Universe “… and We expand it (the sky)”. So, according to the Qur’an, the life of the Universe, after the explosion, with the formation of structures, continues further with the expansion of the sky, just like man who begins life from a drop of congealed liquid and then grows. This model presented in the Quran is an expanding Universe, it is not static.
It is worth noting that, in spite of this Quranic model, the two great giants of modern physics and science, I. Newton and A. Einstein, remained faithful to the static (unchanging) model of the Universe. But the discovery of the English astronomer Hubble, in 1929, proved and confirmed the accuracy of the Quranic model of a non-statically expanding Universe. Moreover, the way in which Hubble’s law is formulated, according to the concept of the observer located on Earth, who looks at an expanding sky, goes point by point as it is presented in verse 47. The accuracy this time also weighs from the Qur’an. , although logically, Newton and Einstein should not have been scientifically wrong before the uneducated Muhammad. This is another fact that proves the superiority of the Qur’an as the Word of God and of Muhammad as His Messenger.
“While those who have been given knowledge know that this, which was revealed to you (Muhammad) from God, is true and that it guides you to the path of the Almighty, the Glorious.” (Quran, 34/6) Man makes mistakes, even if he is the greatest scientist of all time. Even after that they don’t believe!
3. “Of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the distribution of living things in both, and He, by His power, can bring them together whenever He wills.” (Quran, 42/29)
Again, the All-Informed Teacher, through this Qur’anic verse, after reminding us of the creation of the heavens, the earth, everything between them and the living things scattered in them (not only on earth) by Allah, informs us that all these components of the Universe will be united by the power of the Creator, when He wills. The same thing is presented by another verse during the description of Doomsday, but in the smallest space that is more graspable by man, that of our solar system: “And the Sun and the Moon are united.” (Quran, 75/9) So we will have a return of the Universe to the initial state “zero point”, a very accelerated return of its history to “zero time”.
After we have followed the history of the Universe, past and present, the question before cosmology is about the future. What will be the possible further evolution of the Universe? In scientific terms, the evolution of the Universe depends on the further balance of two opposing factors: on the one hand, there is the expansion of the Universe, which is characterized by high kinetic energies of galaxies, and on the other hand, this expansion is hindered by the gravitational attraction between galaxies , which tends to bring them closer. Starting from these two factors, from the relationship between them, two possible scenarios of the evolution of the Universe have been built.
I) The Open Universe, which states that the Universe will always continue to expand infinitely. In other words, this model does not predict the destruction of the world – doomsday.
II) The Closed Universe, which states that the expanding motion after a certain time will stop and return to the contracting motion. That is, after it has reached a maximum expansion, the Closed Universe will begin to contract, shrinking in size until it reaches the origin of zero radius. Now the events, the phenomena, are repeated in the opposite direction, just like a film strip reversed. So the end of the history of the Universe will be the colossal compression into small areas, the opposite process to the Big Bang, which is called the Big Crunch. So this model affirms and accepts the destruction of the world – the apocalypse.
From what we have briefly described, it is clear that the model of the Closed Universe, ending with the Big Crunch, confirms and scientifically supports the Qur’anic revelation about the Doomsday: “And the Sun and the Moon will come together.” (Qur’an, 75/9) and further “Of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the distribution of living things in both, and He, by His power, can bring them together whenever He wills.” (Quran, 42/29) Even the scientific terminology used for the destruction of the Universe “Big Crunch” is almost similar (not to say copy) of the Quranic terminology for the same event. “The sky will split” (Quran, 73/18) or “The sky will split” (Quran, 84/1) etc. Again they do not believe! “How many proofs are there in the heavens and the earth, which they see, but they do not look at them at all.” (Quran, 12/105)
There is a difference between the Qur’an’s announcement and the Closed Universe model of the end time of the Universe. According to the Closed Universe model, the Universe is estimated to have lived a quarter of its life. That is, its end is predicted after billions of years (nearly 40 billion years). While the Creator makes it clear to us in the Koran that this Universe, this magnificent construction, will have the end of its history whenever He, the Noble Architect, wishes. “… He, by His power, can bring them together whenever He wills.” (Qur’an, 42/29) “So thanks be to Allah alone, the Lord of the heavens, the Lord of the earth, the Lord of the universe! To Him alone belongs the majesty in the heavens and the earth, and He is the Compassionate, the Wise.” (Quran, 45/36-37)
The story continues…