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Why does the Wise Qur’an not Speak of Beings in the Same Way as Science and Materialistic or Naturalistic Philosophy? It Mentions some Matters very Briefly, and some others it Seems to Speak of in a Simple and Superficial Way that is easy for the Common People to Understand and does not Weary their Minds.


Scientism and materialistic philosophy have strayed from the path of truth. As for the Qur’an, it is not a book of science that it should speak of cosmological matters elaborately. Its purpose in mentioning certain facts of creation is rather to make known the Divine Essence, Attributes and Names, by explaining the meaning of the book of the universe, to make known its Creator. Therefore, it considers the creation not for its own sake, but for the sake of knowledge of its Creator. In addition, science, besides considering the creation only for its own sake, addresses particularly those specialized in it. The Qur’an, however, addresses the whole of mankind. Since it uses creation as evidence and proof to guide mankind, and the majority of mankind are common people, the evidence should be manifest and obvious in order to be understood by the common people easily. Guidance requires that things of little importance should be touched on only and the subtle points be made understandable by means of parables. In order not to mislead people into errors, it should not change things which in their view are obvious in a way which will be of no use or may even be harmful to them.

For example, the Qur’an speaks of the sun as a ‘moving lamp’ because it does not mention the sun for its own sake, but because the sun is the ‘mainstay’ of the order and the center of the system in the universe. Order and system are two means of obtaining the knowledge of the Creator. When the Qur’an says, And the sun runs its course, (36:38) it suggests the well-ordered disposition of Divine Power in the revolutions of winter and summer, and day and night, and therefore implies the majesty of the Maker. Thus, whatever the reality of this ‘running’ is, it does not harm the intended meaning, which is the observed order woven into the structure of the universe.

The Qur’an also says: And He made the sun as a lamp (78:13) By depicting the sun as a ‘lamp,’ the Qur’an calls to mind that the world is like a palace, the contents of which are the decorations, provisions and other necessities prepared for man and for other living creatures, with the sun like a lamp to illuminate it. Therefore it implies the mercy and bounty of the Creator.

Now consider how science and materialistic philosophy deal with the sun: The sun is an enormous mass of burning gases. It causes the planets which have been flung off from it to revolve around it. It is of such and such size, and it is of such and such qualities... It gives to the spirit no perfection of knowledge apart from a terrible dread and bewilderment. It does not approach the matter as the Qur’an does. From this comparison, you can judge the value of the merely scientific and philosophical way of thinking, the former being outwardly splendid but inwardly hollow. So do not be taken in by the outward worth of scientific descriptions and so become disrespectful towards the most miraculous style of the Qur’an!

O God! Make of the Qur’an for us and for all who copy it a cure for all our sickness; a companion to us and to them in life and after death; a friend in the world, a confidant in the grave, and an intercessor on the Day of Judgment. Make it a light on the (Bridge of) Sirat, a veil and a screen from Hellfire, a friend in Paradise, and a guide and a leader to all good deeds, by Your grace, munificence, beneficence, and mercy, O Most Munificent of the Munificent and Most Merciful of the Merciful! Amen.

O God! Bestow blessings and peace on him to whom You sent the wise Qur’an, the Criterion of Truth and Falsehood, and on all his family and Companions! Amen!


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.