Astronomy and Islam

Bismillah-ir-rahman ar Raheem,

"I am the city of knowledge, and Ali (RA) is its gate"
----Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Let's go to the beginning, to the very beginning. Before the big bang, there was a state of timelessness.

Quran 6:101 - "Creator of the heavens and the earth from nothingness..."

Throughout the Qur'an, Allah created everything from something, except the universe, which was created from nothing. This "nothingness" was a state of timelessness, which is bound by no laws or logic. The fact that the universe violated the 1st law of thermodynamics (energy cannot be created) just means that, outside of our universe, there is a zero state where our universe's laws do not apply. Many ancient religions have the idea of "chaos" in the beginning. In short, there is matter outside of our universe, but we cannot reach it. In fact, time, like color, is just a perception. So is the sense of sight, taste, touch, and smell. The question "Where is God" was not understood before we went so far in astronomy. There is no doubt that outside of the universe, there is a cause where universal laws of logic don't apply.

Photons could not travel "in the beginning", there was no light. The universe was condensed in an "alpha state". It composed mainly of Hydrogen, Helium and a little of Lithium. When a gas becomes too hot it ionizes and becomes opaque like today's smoke.

[Quran 41.11] Then He directed himself to the Heaven when it was SMOKE, and then said to it and to Earth: "Come willingly or by force" they said "We do come willingly"

After the big bang, the condensed matter started to expand, the universe was created in a state of timelessness.
[Quran 21.30] Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the Earth were meshed together then We ripped them apart? And then We made of water everything living? Would they still not believe?

The Qur'an continues, talking about the expansion of the universe.
[Quran 51.47] And the heaven, We built it with craftsmanship and We are still expanding.

There are two opposing orders in the universe, symmetry order and grouping order. They can be seen all over in nature.
In summary (source:
"In summary, within the great expanse of cosmological space, extreme grouping order by nature typically produces a pronounced round object, like a single star, the most common feature of the universe, and also round like the planets, which are also general examples of grouping order.  The very definition of an object is that it is isolated and distinct from other things.  However, in the opposite direction, things can also organize into symmetries and lattice structures. In this direction the parts of an environment increasingly entangle and merge into the uniformity of space.  As all things mix into one, the form of objects is given to the larger form of the whole.  All physical properties exist at the surface of an infinitely complex underlying order of balance and wholeness, which Bohm called implicate order."

 These are described in the Qur'an:

[051:049] And of everything have we created pairs that you may reflect.

Notable examples of the two orders in the universe:

The honey bee makes honeycombs in a hexagonal shape. A hexagon is the most appropriate geometric form for the maximum use of a given area.

Examples of symmetrical orders in the universe:

Perhaps the best example of symmetry order for my fellow Muslims, is (surprise!) the Ka'aba!

Additionally, the Qur'an tells us:

"He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any discrepancy in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! "(Qur'an, 67:3-4)

We see rings and layers:

Atomic structure model

As you can see every simple thing is made from a pair of these orders:

The Rosette nebula is described as such:
When the sky disintegrates, and turns rose colored like paint. [55:38]

What will be the ultimate fate of the universe?

The universe will end with the big crunch in the Qur'an.
21:104 "The Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a [written] sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat [universe going back to a singularity] it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it."

Basically the big bang will reverse and the universe will go to a zero state (flatten out). This is based on Einstein's works on astronomy. It implies that the universe's action is going to reverse. This is the hypothesis on

The Qur'an: "Say: “Can any of your idols initiate creation, then revert it?” say “It is God who initiates the creation, and then reverts it. Then, how could you deviate?” (10:34)"

Additionally, the age of the Earth and the universe is given in relativity to each other, as Einstein's theory states that time is relative.

We see the Earth was created in two periods (youms):
Quran 41:9 "Say, "Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals?..."

...and the universe in six:
Your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne... (Qur'an, 7:54)

Now when we divide the age of the Earth / the age of the universe, we get
2 days / 6 days = 1/3. Let's check this with what modern science has to say. The age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old. One third of 13.7 billion = 4.5 billion years, the age of the Earth.

How do we know that it's not talking about literally 6 days? Well because, we see throughout the entire Qur'an that time is relative.

On that Day He will call you, and you will answer (His Call) with (words of) His Praise and Obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while! (Surat al-Isra, 52)

And on the Day when He shall gather them together, (it will seem to them) as if they had not tarried (on earth) longer than an hour of a day: they will recognise each other. (Surah Yunus, 45)

He will say: "What number of years did you stay on earth?" They will say: "We stayed a day or part of a day: but ask those who keep account." He will say: "You, stayed for only a little while – if you had only known!" (Surat al-Mumenoon, 112-114)

Yet they ask you to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His Promise. Truly, a day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. (Surat al-Hajj, 47)

The angels and the spirit ascend to him in a day the measure of which is like fifty thousand years. (Surat al-Maarij, 4)

Then We drew (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they could not hear). Then We wakened them up so that We might know which of the two parties would best calculate the time that they had tarried. (Surat al-Kahf, 11-12)

Such (being their state), we roused them (from sleep), so that they might question each other. Said one of them, "How long have you stayed (here)?" They said, "We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day." (At length) they (all) said, "Allah (alone) knows best how long you have stayed here.... (Surat al-Kahf, 19)

Or (take) the instance of one who passing by a hamlet, all in ruins and quite desolate, said: "Oh! how shall Allah (ever) bring it to life, now that it is dead?" Therefore, Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then brought him back to life. Allah asked: "How long did you tarry (thus)?" He said: (Perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "No, you have tarried thus a hundred years; but look at your food and your drink; they show no signs of age; and look at your donkey: And so that We may make you a sign to the people, look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said: "I know that Allah has power over all things." (Surat al-Baqara, 259)

In the past, Arabs used to believe that pillars kept the skies from falling. This was even mentioned in the bible. The Qur'an threw these ignorant beliefs:

--sura 50, verse 6.
"Do they not look at the sky above them, how We have built it and adorned it, and there are no rifts in it."

--sura 31, verse 10:
"(God) created the heavens without any pillars that you can see..."

--sura 13, verse 2:
"God is the One Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see, then He firmly established Himself on the throne and He subjected the sun and moon . . ."

The ozone layer: [021:032]  And WE have made the heaven a roof, well-protected, yet they turn away from its Signs.

The speed of light:

[Quran 32.5] (Allah) Rules the cosmic affair from the heavens to the Earth. Then this affair travels to Him a distance in one day, at a measure of one thousand years of what you count.

We know that the cosmic affair is run by the angels, who are made of light. Thousand years of "what you count" refers to the lunar calendar. Therefore, the speed of light is 12,000 lunar orbits / day.

"Consider the sky full of great constellations." (85:1)

Shape of the Earth:

The Qur'an became the first religious text of it's time to suggest a non-squared Earth

39.5. He has created the heavens and the earth with truth (meaningfully, and for definite purpose, and on solid foundations of truth). He wraps the night around the day, and He wraps the day around the night (until one covers the other completely).

It also became the first religious text to suggest that the moon was actually reflected light of the Sun.

He it is Who made the sun radiate a brilliant light and the moon reflect a lustre, and ordained for it proper stages, that you might know the count of years and the reckoning of time. Allah has not created this system but in accordance with the requirements of truth. He details the signs for a people who possess knowledge. [10:6]

 “You will see the mountains you reckoned to be solid going past like cloudsthe handwork of Allah Who gives to everything its solidity. He is aware of what you do.” (27:88)

The solidity of an atom, and its electron cloud. This verse proves that even objects that look like they are rest are in fact, moving. Their electrons are moving in a cloud. Those who have taken chemistry past grade 9 should know that electrons move in clouds, and not like the motion they show in shows like Jimmy Neutron.

Continental drift:

Qur'an 79:30 "And after that He spread [stretched] the earth."

The word used for stretch here is 'dahaha', which has two meanings. It's an Arabic word that means "egg-shaped" in the context it was used. It also means to stretch out. Both meanings will be taken into consideration.

The stretching of the Earth's crust. "Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other by appearing to drift across the ocean bed."
The continents of the Earth all used to be one piece known as Pangea, until they were stretched out and separated.

The word "dahaha" also means egg-shaped. We can clearly see that when an egg is hard boiled and cut in half, it models the Earth's crust, mantle and core.

The layers of the Earth's atmosphere are mentioned here:

It is He Who created everything on the earth for you and then directed His attention up to heaven and arranged it into seven regular heavens [skies]. He has knowledge of all things. (Qur'an, 2:29)

Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers? (Qur'an, 71:15)

The Earth's atmosphere has seven layers.

1. Troposphere

2. Stratosphere

3. Mesosphere

4. Thermosphere

5. Exosphere

6. Ionosphere

7. Magnetosphere

It even includes another important fact: The Earth disgorges charges during an Earthquake.

When the earth is convulsed with its quaking and the earth then disgorges its charges and man asks, "What is wrong with it?", on that Day it will impart all its news. (Qur'an, 99:1-4)

Iron was sent down from space:

And We also sent down iron in which there lies great force and which has many uses for mankind… (Qur'an, 57:25)

There's an interesting fact about the iron verse. It is the 57th chapter, there are 114 chapters in the Qur'an. It is in the center of the Qur'an, just as iron is in the center of the Earth. Additionally, adding out the sequential values of "Hadid", the name of the chapter, yields 26, the atomic number of iron.

The numerological value of the word "hadid" حديد alone is 26. And 26 is the atomic number of iron.

ح is equal to 8.

د is equal to 4.
ي  is equal to 10.

د is equal to 4.

8 + 4 + 10 + 4 = 26

Clouds can bear up to 300,000 tons of water.

It is He Who sends out the winds, bringing advance news of His mercy, so that when they have lifted up the heavy clouds, We dispatch them to a dead land and send down water to it, by means of which We bring forth all kinds of fruit... (Qur'an, 7:57)

It is He Who shows you the lightning, striking fear and bringing hope; it is He Who heaps up the heavy clouds. (Qur'an, 13:12)

The water cycle is also mentioned.

It is Allah Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His servants He wills, they rejoice. (Qur'an, 30:48)

The lunar calendar

And We have decreed set phases for the moon, until it ends up looking like an old date branch. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon nor for the night to outstrip the day; each one is swimming in a sphere. (Qur'an, 36:39-40)

The date-fruit branch, when it dries up, it does resemble the English-letter S, which is what the moon's orbit looks like. This "S" orbital is seen in other places of nature as well. Date is a desert fruit.  The fruit and its branches are known to store water for survival. The moon is also very dry. This is a good analogy.

Only two should be enough... for now.

The date-fruit branch, when it starts growing up, it looks like an arch (crescent), and then as it ages, it starts curving from the bottom making it resemble the English-letter S as shown. The crescent marks the end of the lunar calendar.

The comparison to date trees was made purely because the book was sent to Arabs who would understand.


Orbits of other planets in the universe are in Qur'an 51:7

"By heaven furnished with paths;"


This could also be a reference to string theory, as it is talking about "pathways".

Space travel to the moon:


And [I swear by] the moon when it is full, you will mount up stage by stage! What is the matter with them, that they have no faith? (Qur'an, 84:18-20)


Neil Armstrong: "I am impressed that how remarkably some of the ancient writings seem to correspond to modern and recent Astronomy. There may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen."


The function of mountains:

Quran 21: 31 - "We placed firmly embedded mountains on the earth, so it would not move under them "

Quran 31: 10 - "He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you"

Qur'an 78:6-7 - "Have We not made the earth as a bed and the mountains its pegs?"

Mountains are responsible for preventing shocks on the Earth.

"Scientists have now come to realize that mountains are not just surface elevations or protrusions, however, but that they extend 10-15 times their height into the ground, and these extensions are called mountain roots. With these properties, mountains play a similar role to a nail or a stake hammered into the ground. For instance, a peak such as Mount Everest, which rises almost 9 km above the Earth's surface, has a root that extends downward for more than 125 km."


Qur'an 79: 30 - "And the mountains He set firmly [rooted]"

Mountains prevent the shocks that could severely shake the Earth and make the planet unlivable. mountain root

Mountains have roots deep under the surface of the ground. (Earth, Press and Siever, p. 413)

The separation of the seas

"He has let loose the two seas, converging together,with a barrier between them they do not break through"

(55: 19-20)

The difference in densities of the seas creates surface tension which prevents the seas from mingling together, as if there was a thin wall between them (Richard A. Davis, Principles of Oceanography, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Don Mills, Ontario, pp. 92-93)



Allah is the light of the heavens and the Earth. The metaphor of His light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things. (24:35)

Quasars are star like, dense, bodies that emit light. They are the brightest bodies in the universe, about 2 trillion times brighter than the Sun and 100 times brighter than the milky way. The part about "giving off heat even if no fire touches it" is a reference to nuclear fusion, as Quasars burn without fire. Hydrogen atoms compress and release helium. This illuminates space. "A niche in a lamp" is a reference to the gravitational lens effect of the black hole.

"The gravitational effect of the galaxy on the distant quasar was similar to the lens effect of a drinking glass on a distant street light – it created multiple images lenses here too." (

This could also be a reference to the Sun. As a hadith by Hadrat Ali (RA) says "Have you fully realized what Islam is? ...It is indeed a candle, through which several candles will be lighted".

To end the article, I would like to mention warnings of global warming, the need for water, conservation of resources, and how water will eventually run out.


Chapter 7, verse 32 “O children of Adam! and drink but exceed not the bounds; surely He does not love those who exceed the bounds”

Chapter 25, verse 68 “those who, when they spend are neither extravagant nor niggardly but moderate between the two.


[018:008]  And We are definitely going to convert the earth into a bone-dry barren plateau.


Appreciate what you have and save it!

And we send down water from the sky (rain) in (due) measure,
and We gave it lodging in the earth, and verily, We are able to take it away.
 (Surah al-Mu’minun 23:18)


Water is important!

And We have made from water every living thing. (Surah al-Anbiya 21:30)

"It is He Who sends down water from the sky; and with it We produce vegetation of all kinds… " (Qur'an, 6:99).

Can be used to revive a dead land by letting the crops grow! "And Allah sends down water from the skies, and gives therewith life to the earth after its death…" (Qur'an, 16:65)

 "See you the water which you drink? Do you bring it down (in rain) from the cloud or do We? Were it Our Will, We could make it saltish. Then why do you not give thanks?" (Qur'an, 56:68,69,70).

And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings,
Going before His Mercy (rain);
And We send down pure water from the sky.
(Surah al-Furqaan 25: 48)

Corruption doth appear on land and sea because of (the evil) which men’s hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return. (Quran 30:41)




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