Tag Archives: science

Coronavirus: The Death of Religion?

Amidst a global pandemic some sectors of society have found themselves ecstatically celebrating the “death” of religion as many religious institutions find themselves closed or in the process of closing in order to stop the spread of the virus. Masajid, Churches, Synagogues, and Temples are all taking steps to stop the spread of the virus. CNN reports:

First, many religious leaders modified their rituals, hoping to contain the spread of coronavirus. Now, some are taking more drastic measures, canceling worship services, closing religious schools and shuttering holy sites.

Like sports leagues, museums and other cultural institutions, millions of churches and mosques, synagogues and sanghas, temples and gurdwaras are temporarily closing to guard against spreading the virus.

For many spiritual leaders, the decision to shut their doors is difficult. Religious rituals are meant to be enacted, soul and body, traditionally alongside other believers.
But the present dangers of the deadly virus are too great to ignore, many religious groups have decided, leading to a cascade of cancellations worldwide in the last 48 hours.

What these groups (mainly atheists) seem to be misunderstanding is that while some faith-healing Churches are indeed shutting down, this polemic can generally only be applied to a few religious groups that do preach that they perform miracles regularly. This polemic however is highly ineffective against mainstream Sunni Islam where we do not teach that as Muslims we are magically protected against any and all types of disease. In fact, Allah specifically mentions the opposite in the Qur’ān:

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? – 29:2 (translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab, The Clear Qur’ān).

Indeed, the word ‘test’ (يفتنون) encompasses the additional meanings of harm, trials, and tribulations. One form of these tests are in the form of viral diseases in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to practise quarantining:

Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you hear of a plague in a land, then do not go into it. If it happens in land where you are, then do not go out of it.”

This narration is found in both Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. One may even say that this is a form of social distancing. Within Islamic legal jurisprudence there are also two main foundational principles:

  1. المشقة تجلب التيسير – al Mashaqqa Tajlib at-Taysīr (Hardship begets ease).
  2. لا ضرر و لا ضرار في الاسلام – La Ḍarar wa La Ḍirar fī al-Islām (In Islam we do not cause harm to ourselves or others).

It is due to these two considerations (the latter of which is a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as recorded by both Imām adh-Dhahabī and by Imām al Hākim) that many Muslim-majority countries and many Muslim communities throughout the world began suspending prayer in congregations, as well as all activities at their Masajid:

  1. Saudi Arabia suspended visiting religious sites, especially with regard to Makkah and Madinah.
  2. Kuwait suspended Friday prayers at Masajid throughout the country.
  3. The UAE prohibited the sick, the elderly and those at risk of infection from attending Friday congregational prayers.
  4. In Egypt they have stated it is permissible to ban the Friday congregational prayers due to viruses like the coronavirus.
  5. In Canada, the Canadian Council of Imams and the Muslim Medical Association of Canada jointly suspended all Masjid activities.

This is therefore an evidence that we are not a people lacking the faculty of reason, or that we have abandoned hope in our faith, or that science has won against religion (this in itself is a false dichotomy), but rather it is an evidence for the truth of Islam that despite such difficult circumstances our faith has a means by which we can accommodate and manage public health issues. In Islam, we do not have this distinction between faith and science, both work in congruence with each other and are not apart from the other. Had that been the case, then we should not find any statement from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advising us on the plague or on diseases in general.

Indeed, we also find a narration from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) that cleanliness (purity) is half of faith:

Abu Malik al-Ashari reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Purity is half of faith, and the praise of Allah fills the scale. Glorification and praise fill up what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light, charity is proof, and patience is illumination. The Quran is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, either setting themselves free or ruining themselves.”

Keeping ourselves, our clothing, and our belongings clean in general is a great way at combatting the spread of the virus. Therefore this polemic is only effective against pockets of Muslims who are ignorant of their Islam and of religious groups who do not adhere to the truth of Islam, but it is not a polemic against Islam in and of itself. Therefore, this current crisis does not affect the truth of Islam, but rather demonstrates the perpetual reality and authenticity of the message from Allah and from His messenger.

and Allah knows best.

William Lane Craig Concedes That Old Testament Stories Are Problematic

In a stunning admission, William Lane Craig, in response to a question sent to him has acknowledged that he has no good answer to problematic Old Testament stories. He says:

When people ask me what unanswered questions I still have, I tell them, “I don’t know what to do with these Old Testament stories about Noah and the ark, the Tower of Babel, and so on.” So I find myself in the same boat as you, Jon. I don’t have any good answer how to resolve these problems. Yet these unanswered difficulties have not kept me from Christian faith or from abandoning Christian faith. Why not?

Well, a large part of the reason, as you note, is that the truth of what C. S. Lewis called “mere Christianity” doesn’t stand or fall with such questions.

In essence, he’s claiming that the problems with the stories in the Old Testament should not effect some beliefs of Christianity, so it’s okay not to have answers to those questions. The problem here is that they do affect core Christian beliefs, namely the reliability of scripture, the truthfulness of scripture, the preservation of scripture and even salvation as it pertains to Jesus’s ability to hold or share false beliefs:

Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.

Apparently Jesus who is God, can have false beliefs that “shouldn’t matter”. In other words, it’s okay if “God as a human”, was fallible with respect to his own theology! Quite the disaster this is.

 

and God knows best!

 

Scientific Miracle in the Qur’aan: Sun Dying.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

One of the many signs of the last hour, as described in Qur’aan, is the destruction of the universe we live in with all its stars and planets. Describing the death of the Sun on the last day, the Qur’aan mentions:

إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَ‌تْ
“When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up” – Qur’aan : Surat at Takwir (81) : 1.

Prophet Muhammad {saw} has mentioned that both, the sun and the moon are destined to die on the last day after their light would have faded, as in the authentic Hadeeth from Sahih al Bukhari:

الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ يُكَوَّرَانِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
The sun and the moon will be rolled up on the Day of Judgement.

How does Science confirm this fact? Well let’s take a look:

“The Sun, modest in life, is subdued in death. After the planetary nebula fades, there is no nuclear fusion at all, just a lump of hot carbon and some happy memories. The Sun will be well and truly dead.”

“Over the following billion years, the Sun will gradually die. As a star’s core crashes inwards, it eventually becomes hot enough to ignite another of its constituent atoms, helium.

Helium atoms fuse together to form carbon. When the helium supply runs out, the centre collapses again and the atmosphere inflates.

The Sun isn’t massive enough to fully re-ignite its core for a third time. So it goes on expanding, shedding its atmosphere in a series of bursts.

White dwarf

The dying core eventually forms a white dwarf – a spherical diamond the size of the Earth, made of carbon and oxygen. From this point on the Sun will gradually fade away, becoming dimmer and dimmer until its light is finally snuffed out.”

Source of scientific information.

As a bonus, please watch this video:

At around the 1:20 to 1:32 mark in the video (which you can go to directly by clicking here), the narrator states that the “sun’s core would collapse”, which fits ideally into the Qur’aanic narrative that the sun would be, “folded up”.

This article, written by CallingChristians.com team member, Br. Muhy from Lebanon.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Prophetic Cure: The Fly’s Cure

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said: “If a fly falls down to your vessel, drown it then remove it, for one of its wings has the ailment and the other has the cure,”

The surface of flies is the last place you would expect to find antibiotics, yet that is exactly where a team of Australian researchers is concentrating their efforts.

Working on the theory that flies must have remarkable antimicrobial defences to survive rotting dung, meat and fruit, the team at the Department of Biological Sciences , Macquarie University, set out to identify those antibacterial properties manifesting at different stages of a fly’s development.

“Our research is a small part of a global research effort for new antibiotics, but we are looking where we believe no-one has looked before,” said Ms Joanne Clarke, who presented the group’s findings at the Australian Society for Microbiology Conference  in Melbourne this week. The project is part of her PhD thesis.

The scientists tested four different species of fly: a house fly, a sheep blowfly, a vinegar fruit fly and the control, a Queensland fruit fly which lays its eggs in fresh fruit. These larvae do not need as much antibacterial compound because they do not come into contact with as much bacteria.

Flies go through the life stages of larvae and pupae before becoming adults. In the pupae stage, the fly is encased in a protective casing and does not feed. “We predicted they would not produce many antibiotics,” said Ms Clarke.

They did not. However the larvae all showed antibacterial properties (except that of the Queensland fruit fly control).

As did all the adult fly species, including the Queensland fruit fly (which at this point requires antibacterial protection because it has contact with other flies and is mobile).

Such properties were present on the fly surface in all four species, although antibacterial properties occur in the gut as well. “You find activity in both places,” said Ms Clarke.

“The reason we concentrated on the surface is because it is a simpler extraction.”

The antibiotic material is extracted by drowning the flies in ethanol, then running the mixture through a filter to obtain the crude extract.

When this was placed in a solution with various bacteria including E.coli, Golden Staph, Candida (a yeast) and a common hospital pathogen, antibiotic action was observed every time.

“We are now trying to identify the specific antibacterial compounds,” said Ms Clarke. Ultimately these will be chemically synthesised.

Because the compounds are not from bacteria, any genes conferring resistance to them may not be as easily transferred into pathogens. It is hoped this new form of antibiotics will have a longer effective therapeutic life.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2002/10/01/689400.htm

wa Allaahu Alam.