I am an Epidemiologist by profession finishing my PhD in Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease. I will be pursuing research in non-communicable disease Epidemiology .
I plan to understand honey and honey bees as it is my passion. I Insha’Allah plan to research this most fascinating tale of God’s revelation to the honeybee and how it has resulted in one of the wonders of science. In my research I will focus on honey rather than honey bees, but I will give insights into honey bees as without understanding it one cannot understand its product.
Most people just know of honey as a product of honey bees. It is worth noting that the Holy Qur’an does not mention honey per se but mentions the ‘from their bellies a drink of varying hues/properties.’ This includes the following products of the honey bee:
As I am a scientist I will focus on the science behind honey and other honey products. I will re-examine the scientific evidence behind popular and old wives’ tales regarding the health properties of honey.
As an Ahmadi Muslim I also believe in the truth of the Holy Qur’an. It is the only source of eternal truth and thus when it mentions honey as ‘cure for mankind’, I believe it as a Divine fact. My aim is to research in what ways and for which diseases honey can prove to be a cure.
The question remains what if the research shows otherwise. This is not a problem for an Ahmadi Muslim scientist. The research, whatever the results, must be published and its findings communicated. The conduct of research itself should not be biased by ones preconceptions. On the other hand the Holy Qur’an can be used as a basis for research questions – this is exactly what I plan to do.
Coming back to the question, if the research results from our study are in contradiction with the Holy Qur’an, how do we reconcile it? Actually it is very straight forward.
If the research finding seems to be against the Holy Qur’an there are two possibilities that need to be considered:
- The research is correct and we made a mistake in understanding the message contained in the Holy Qur’an
- The research result is based on a scientific knowledge that is ‘current’ at that moment in time based on our limited understanding of the laws of nature. This result will eventually be superseded by research finding that is in tune with the proclamation of the Holy Qur’an.
It is generally accepted that a scientific finding is not an eternal truth but is our view point about the world at a particular time based on our limited scientific knowledge – therefore, is a relative truth. Such findings are generally corrected by later research. This has happened many times in history of science. For example the Universe was considered to be static but now science has proved that it is expanding. In contrast, Holy Qur’an had declared more than 1400 years ago that the Universe is expanding. The main point to understand here is that the ‘Word of God’ i.e. the Holy Qur’an cannot be in contradiction with the ‘Act of God’ i.e. the natural world. When we see a contradiction it is because of our limited or (mis)understanding of the either of the two. For more details on this issue please see ‘Religion and Science‘ by Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra).
Those who are interested in honey or honey bees are most welcome to contribute. Please send your suggestions or contributions on: tauseef dot khan at gmail dot com