Religion and Science

This is a partial translation of a speech delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) published in the The Muslim Sunrise (Vol. IV. No I – April – July, 1931).

We take full responsibility for any errors that appear in the script. To read the complete original speech in urdu click here (Anwarul Uloom Volume 9, pg 497-503 [translated pages]).

This speech was delivered at Habibia Hall, Lahore on 3rd March 1927 on the request of Science Union of Islamia College and presided by Sir Muhammad Iqbal. 

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The conflict between science and religion is very old. It seems to know no beginning. it has been going on from times immemorial. During the various stages of man’s intellectual development it has taken different forms. The great scientists were subjected to all manner of persecution. They were held to scorn, scoffed and jeered at. The were denounced and condemned as magicians and sorcerers. Some of them were even burnt alive. They were made to suffer every hardship and privation known to man at the hands of the votaries of religion and the so-called great champions of its cause. But they and their prototypes, the philosophers, in their turn regarded and stigmatised the founders of religions as the victims of apoplexy, hysteria and melancholia. Those who have cared to read the history of this conflict between science and religion know that religious men have persecuted the scientists and the philosophers and the latter have given them very obnoxious names. But the question is — what is this conflict and what is it due to? Do really any valid and substantial reasons exist for such a conflict? Does religious teaching counteract or contravene scientific knowledge? The easiest and the best way to know whether or not religion really conflicts with science it to find out their definitions. Disagreement between two persons having same point of view is due sometimes to the difference in the definitions and interpretations they put upon it. Sometimes a mere difference of definition and phraseology that is used to explain the same view-point leads to serious disagreement, even active antagonism and hostility. Let us, therefore, first see what is the definition of science and religion.

Definition of science and religion

Mazhab (religion) means the way by which to know God and find Him and of which He Himself has informed man by revelation; and by science is meant that organised body of knowledge which has been dependent on deductions from self-evident truths, or it means those branches of knowledge which deal with material phenomena and are based mainly on observation, experiment and induction. Could there be possibly any conflict between these two definitions of religion and science? If these are in fact the definitions, respectively, of religion and science, then there is no conflict between them. If the definition of religion is not that which is given, it is bound to come in conflict with science. If it be said that by religion is meant that stage of the mental development of man arriving at which by sheer force of that development and evolution he may come to know of some things which persons with less developed minds than his could not find out that is to say, if religion is the result and outcome of the development of the subconscious mind, in other words, if by it are meant those sciences which are the result of man’s own thinking and deliberation, then the sphere or province of both science and religion is the same. If religion be understood to mean those ideas which spring from and are born of, feelings and sentiments and are no based on any principle, then it is entirely the product of the exercise of man’s deliberate faculty and no religion at all. Such ideas can, at best be called wise and beautiful sayings which deserve no serious discussion. If religion, it should clearly be understood, is the name of those thoughts and ideas which are the result of the development of the subconscious mind, then that is science itself. That which is not based on sound and verified knowledge and is only the creation of the mind is a figment of the imagination and unfounded unreality and not what we call by the great name of religion.

Difference between science and religion

Religion really is the name of those verities which concern man’s union with his Creator whose knowledge God has Bestowed upon him by means of revelation, and science is the name of combination of those results and conclusions which man arrived at after a deep study of the creation of the universe and the laws that regulate it. Some religious truths, no doubt, are capable of being known by the exercise of man’s intellect and mental faculties, but science is wholly and entirely the outcome of an intelligent reflection over what is happening around man in the universe.

In view of these definition of science and religion there remains absolutely no ground for any dispute or conflict between the two. Religion is based on God’s own revealed word and science is His handiwork, and there can possibly be no disagreement between the word and work of an intelligent person. It could be possible with a lunatic or an impostor – but God is neither a lunatic nor an impostor. As He is neither weak of intellect nor deficient in morals, conflict between what He does and what He says is evidently impossible. Hence conflict between science and religion is also impossible.

There may arise a question here – whether God really is and speaks to His servants. But we cannot afford to deal here with the question of God’s existence. Supposing that He does exist and that He sends revelations, then there can be no dispute between religion and science. Either deny the existence of religion itself or you shall have to admit that God is. You cannot believe in one and disbelieve the other.

Reasons of the conflict

If no conflict is possible between science and religion, then why during the ages have they stood arrayed against each other? Why were the scientists condemned, persecuted, put to death and burnt alive? There must be some reasons for this age-long disagreement. The fact is that this dispute, this disagreement, this conflict is unreal, unintelligent, foolish. True religion does not, simply cannot, conflict with science, and true science cannot contradict and confute religion. Religion, as is explained aboce, is based on God’s revealed word, and science is His own work; and there can be no real and true contradiction between the two. If there appears to be one somewhere it shall have to be admitted that either a wrong interpretation was put on the definition of religion by the religious people, or that the definition of science was misunderstood and misconstrued. They both are from a Being who is incapable of erring. it is we who err by misunderstanding true science and true religion and are deceived into believing that they contradict each other.

Water, for instance, was at first believed by scientists to be a simple element, but now is is proved to be a compound substance. Which of the two groups of scientists would call foolish – those who first thought that water was simple in its composition, or those who believe it to be compound? Suppose that the Quran had then said that water was compound substance, would not it then be said by the scientists that it conflicted with science, though they were manifestly mistaken in what they considered to be an established scientific truth? Similarly, the Quran does not consider the age of the universe to be 7,000 years. Some religious people have misunderstood it to be a Quranic belief. Science very forcibly contradicts this view. Now it cannot with reason and propriety be said that science contradicts the Quran. It only contradicts a view which is apparently mistaken to be view of the Quran. The Quran is forcibly controverts this view as does science. Mohyud-Din Ibn-ul-Arabi has written in his renowned book, Futûhât al-Makkiya [The Meccan Revelations], that he was told in a revelation that pyramids in Egypt dated hundreds of thousands of years back.

The fact is that we sometimes fail to correctly understand the work or the word of God which leads us to see a conflict between Science and Religion. Otherwise if Religion is actually based on the revealed word of God and Science is his own handiwork, then no conflict between the two is possible, nor even imaginable. Science should then support Religion, not contradict it, because what an intelligent person says always supports what he does. Hence no scientific discovery can conflict with the established religious truths. There can be no contradiction between two truths. The Quran say: “There is no untruth in the Word of God; however deeply you may reflect over its teachings you will find it full of unmixed truth and nothing but truth.” Again it says: “There is no error, no flaw in God’s work either.” That is to say, you will never detect any disagreement any difference, between the word of God, which is Religion, and the work of God, which is Science.

Science and the Quran

The Quran repeatedly draws our attention to the investigation and understanding of scientific truths instead of declaiming against them and finding with fault with them. The Quran does not discourage the study of Science, but postively encourages it because it is convinced that the increase in knowledge and learning, intellectual development and mental refinement of people, instead of decreasing their respect and reverence for it, would actuall raise it in their estimation. It encourages the study of Science by saying, “Think and reflect over what is in heavens and earth.”  By “heavens” are meant those branches of knowledge which relate to the creation and movements of celestial bodies, and by “earth” are meant those sciences which deal with the changes and developments that take palce in the terrestrial bodies, such as biology, geology, archaeology, etc. If the study of these sciences were considered by the Quran to be resulting into as dislike for Religion and all that it stands for, the Quran would have placed a ban upon it. It, on the contrary, enjoins upon and commands its followers to study all these sciences and to think deeply over and make a complete investigation of what new scientific discoveries are made because it is satisfied that no scientific investigation, no new discovery can, in the least, adversely affect its impregnable position, but would only corroborate and support the truth and reality of its teaching. The Quran has not remained satisfied with only making a passing suggestion to its adherents to study scientific knowledge, but has returned to this subject again again in its pages. It abounds in verses enjoining upon the Muslims to think over the nature, reality and significance of all those numerous things which God has created. One of such verses is: “Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of the night and the day there are signs for men of understanding. Those who remember God standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of heavents and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee! Save us from the chastisment of the fire.” (3:189, 190.) What clear and definite directions are embodied in these verses for the study of science. How could we know the properties of the things around us and the great benefits that we can draw from an intellegent understanding of these properties and how could we know this great and most useful truth that nothing in the universe is created useless, if we did not make a thorough study and full investigation about them.

So the Quran, by drawing our attention to the properties of things, has opened for us avenues of unlimited scientific knowledge. It has also urged upon us the necessity and usefulness of protracted and patient research in our studies by declaring that everything in the universe has its use: nothing is created in vain and has warned us against hasty inferences and jumping at rash conclusions. The scientists of the old school regarded certain parts of the body as useless, and believed that they served no other purpose but to remind us of the stages of physical evolution through which man has passed. They even considered them to be actually prejudicial to human health and recommended their removal, regarding them as responsible for certain diseases. But the advance and development of scientific knowledge edge and man’s varied experience and increased learning have established the unreality and baselessness of this idea and have unmistakably demonstrated the truth and soundness of the Quranic hypothesis. There is an intestine in the human body which the doctors call vermiform appendix. It was generally thought that small pieces of half digested food remained stuck in it, causing appendicitis. Believing this intestine to be apparently of no use, the doctors have till very recently been removing it when performing an operation for appendicitis. But the recent researches in surgery have shown this idea to be possessing no foundation. Experiments have established its groundlessness. The most recent experiment in this connection was made on twelve monkeys. Appendices of six of them were removed and all of them were put on the same diet. An examination of their general physical health showed that those six monkeys whose appendices were removed had lost their agility and quickness of movement. The effect of this and other experiments of the same nature has been that the doctors who used to cut off the vermiform appendix without any hesitation, even when the patient was not suffering from a serious disease, have become more careful. They have realised that this intestine is not altogether useless, as they first generally believed it to be. Experiments and researchers have shown that nothing is useless.

If these experiments had not been made and vermiform appendix would have continued to be regarded as a useless relic of the physical changes through which man has passed in his evolution, how could the truth of the Islamic principle that all things have their uses have been proved? Islam, indeed, encourages the study of Science because, being based on the Revealed Word of God, scientific discoveries reveal the resplendent beauty and unchangeable truth of the teaching of the Quran.

One very common cause of the conflict between Science and Religion is that some people come to look upon their own capricious whims and fads and their ideas based upon imperfect and unsound knowledge as Religion, which necessarily collide with accepted and established scientific facts. Experiments and observations can never agree with fads and fancies, neither are these fads and fancies Religion. The men of science sometimes are as unreasonable and illogical in their attitude as some so-called religious men are. Like the latter, they, too, sometimes are tempted to regard their pet thoeries as Science. They naturally conflict with religious truths. But theories unprobed and unsupported by regular and reliable experiments are not Science, as ideas and views uncorrborated by reason and intelligence of some so-called religious leaders are not Religion. A mere invention of the brain of a man can carry no weight before the Revealed Word of God, as the foolish fancies of a mullah are trash before the established and proved historical facts. Theories continue to change. The advance of knowledge and learning has given rise to new theories which have falsified the old ones. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity has shown some generally accepted theories to be foundationless. Scientists are as capable of making mistakes as religious men are. All theories are not Science, as all that is said or believed by those who are regarded as religious men is not Religion.

We should base all true knowledge on experiment and the Word of God. Then there will be no conflict. If there appears conflict anywhere between Science and Religion, then either a wrong interpretation has been put on religious teaching and the Word of God has been misunderstood and misconstrued, or there has remained some error, some flaw in making scientific experiment.

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18 comments

  1. Amazing article. I really like the definition given of Science and Religion that easily removes all apparent conflict.
    Those who see a conflict don’t have a good definition of religion. They should speak to Ahmadi Muslims.

    1. JazakAllah for your comments. Thanks to your effort to have a complete index of Muslim Sunrise has this been made possible. JazakAllah. Yes we plan to have more gems made available soon.

      For those who are interested the Muslim Sunrise index is here:
      http://orientalstudiesresource.wordpress.com/publications-ahmadiyya/periodical-the-muslim-sunrise/

      Index for Review of Religions is also coming forth:
      http://orientalstudiesresource.wordpress.com/publications-ahmadiyya/periodical-review-of-religions/

  2. I have read it. And it is amazing! He contrasts religion and science like I never thought of it before! But the recent difference in understanding the speed of light is a VERY USEFUL example of how right Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) was about what he said. I especially liked the example of his using the time of earth’s existence being much more than 7000 years. I know he used that because closer to his time the age of the earth was a big question for all people. Jazakallah for sending these links.

  3. “We should base all true knowledge on experiment and the Word of God” , most profound of statements. This no doubt should be the emblem of a researcher!

  4. An excellent discourse that requires translating in full and should be published as a booklet so I (and others) can forward it to our friends. Whoever takes up this task should get it checked by me personally since I have spotted 2 glaring typos in the very first paragraph!

    1. Jazak Allah Khayr al-Jazaa’ for your comments. Yes I admit there are some errors in the transcript. It was typed quickly and my proofreading was not perfect.

      We shall Insha’Allah correct the mistakes.

      Regarding translation, I fully agree that the rest of the speech should be translated as well. We are grateful for your offer of help. May Allah bless you.

  5. I forgot to add that since ibn ‘Arabi studies is my field of research, the reference to ibn ‘Arabi is also incorrect in the translation. Hadhrat Musleh Maood is clearly referring to Futûhât al-Makkiya [The Meccan Revelations] (ibn ‘Arabi’s magnum opus) in the Urdu text. Futuhul Ghaib [Revelations of the Unseen] is a different book by Abd al-Qadir Jilani (rehmatullah Aley) which is not the book being referred to here.

    1. Agreed. The Muslim Sunrise translation while excellent has made this mistake. In Urdu version it is “Futûhât al-Makkiya” as you have mentioned. I have now corrected this above.

    2. Assalam Alaikum Rehan Sb,

      This is slightly off topic, but as you have mentioned that your field of research is on ibn ‘Arabi, would you happen to come across any references or mention of extraterrestrial life or other earth like planets in his writings? Being an influential scholar of Islam i would like to think that he may been aware of this topic.

      I’ll be very grateful if you could let me know. Jazaak’Allah

      Wassalam,

  6. This is worse than normal religion that is at least honest enough to recognise the disparity between reasoned science and blind religion. The very fact that science is based on evidence while religion is based upon fate in a book that anyone can write shows that the two are complete opposites. Just because a book says it’s true doesn’t make it so. There is no proof whatsoever that a god exists.

    1. Mr Sceptic. You start your argument by mentioning “reasoned science and blind religion”. How is religion blind? I suppose you mean that people who follow a religion are blind. I am a scientist and I believe in God but not because I believe in religion blindly.

      Now tell me something, if there was a God would He in His infinite wisdom not provide a way to find evidence of Him, why else would He create a creation and then let them be without even letting them know why He created them. He would right. I can categorically say that evidence is there that God exists.

      Now if you try to look for that evidence in science then you are mistaken. God did not create this world and now is waiting for a human to do an experiment or use his instruments to measure Him – or a mathematician to find out His p-value. That kind of god would be a joke. Because if He is the All Beneficient God then what about all the people who came before the renaissance. They would have not way to find God! That is why science cannot and must not find God, because He is not there to be measured by science. Science is what humans discover with their own efforts, and I can tell you categorically that He has not allowed Himself to be discovered by science.

      Islam tells me that God exists – now that would be absurd if there is no evidence – right. I am with you on this. If a religion cannot prove God I would also admit it is just a fairy tale.

      So how does Islam give its evidence. The Holy Qur’an says that you cannot reach God but He reaches you. This is a very important point to note. Another point is that He speaks to His creation. That would be the ultimate evidence wouldn’t it. However if a person just starts saying that God speaks to me – people would label him – mad, yes?

      However, just imagine that there is a person who
      1) Says God speaks to me, but this person has been known to be the most upright person in the society. He is known to have never ever lied in his life before! Fantastical right. So maybe he went crazy? But then

      2) He says people will try to kill him but he will not fail in his mission – and he does not
      3) He says so and so will happen so many years later. – All his prophecies come true
      4) Even though he is the lone voice and his message is against the prevailing thought – he succeeds to change the hearts of so many people that he starts a community
      5) He is labeled an imposter by many but he says that a day will come when he will be revered by billions and his people will never die out – This happens
      6) He goes in a battle with only 1/3rd a force and proclaims before the battle that He will succeed – He succeeds
      7) He tells his people to follow him and God will answer their prayers and speak to those who purify them as he had – many do
      8) He is unlettered – he does not know how to read and write. He has never studied in a University and never sat down in academic circles but still manages to produce the greatest work of literature in his language. And he says this is a book from God.
      9) The book challenges all academics and all learned people around the world to produce anything like it. – No one is able to.

      There are only two possiblities here. This person is either mad or he is telling the truth. If he is mad then how can his prophecies come true. One cannot even make a prophecy about the next day if a person would survive or not. This person is making a prophecy when he is all alone and he can be killed anyday – and he says that God tells him that he will prevail. And he does.

      Even if you think points 1, or 2, or 3 or 4 can be a coincidence/chance. Maybe point 1 happening has a chance of 1/1000, point 2 also 1/1000, then point 3 and so forth. When you add them together you cannot go beyond 4 points for it to become a very highly improbable. How can all those above points come true in a single person unless he actually is speaking to an All Powerful God. Just give me a scientific explanation for all these things to happen to one person. Can you give me the statistical probability of this happening to one person on this planet? You will have to agree that it is impossible for one person to have achieved so much unless he was helped by an All Powerful entity.

      By the way the person I am referring to here is the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of God be upon him)

      Point 9 answers your second allegation. The Holy Qur’an gives a challenge to all people (those who lived and passed away now, those who are living, and those who will ever live) to come up with anything like it. Ask any academic who understand the Arabic literature – he/she will tell you it is impossible to come up with a book like the Holy Qur’an. No one has been able to face the challenge and never will. I dare you to try.

      You are right on the account that the book Holy Quran tells me to believe in God. However it does not ask me to be blindly follow it. It gives me the proof. The above points are the evidence. The most personal I find is point 7. The God that I believe in answers my prayers and speaks.

      God did not speak I would have not been an Ahmadi Muslim – but He does and He can speak to you too if you fulfil the conditions.

      1. I fail to see evidence in your list. Your circular logic is amusing. I will ignore the fact that you called yourself a scientist while misspelling it and move on to say that an unbiased scientist would not reason like you just did. If you were trying to make me believe in anything other than islam or your prophet then you would not use that thing itself to make me believe in it: you can’t use what a book says to prove that that book is true. It’s like saying I’m true because I say I am. Where is the proof there? I could just as easily raise my unborn children to believe the Lord of the Rings as gospel, with Tolkien as my prophet. There is just as much proof.

      2. Dear Sceptic,

        I believe you may have misunderstood the point. I humbly like to present my own take on this. Consider in a scientific theory, i have predictions, experiments and results. I propose a theory, with predictions and then carry the experiments and obtain the results. If the predictions agree with results, there is a good chance that the theory i have proposed is correct. But this is not enough. I test the theory further and try to push it to the limits repeatedly. Again and again my results match my predictions and strengthens the case for the theory. Then surely i have enough evidence to proclaim that there is some truth in my theory.

        As i understand it, the point here is that, since Holy Prophet of Islam or any other Prophet claim to be from God, an All-Knowing, Omnipotent, All- Power Creator, then there needs to be proof of that. These proofs come in the form of prophecies/predictions which once analysed in a systematic investigation should in turn reveal the if they have any validity to the claim.

        As for the truth of the Qur’an (or any other Holy book), same principle applies. If i create a book in which i have detailed various predictions, proofs and theories, then surely you will test the book in light of experimental evidence and your own reason. How is this any difference, with the Holy Qur’an claiming to be Gods Word, it details various proofs, concepts, principles which when we investigate shows up various results matching these predictions and principles, then one must take heed. Surely? This is definitely not saying “i’m true because i say i am”. Its more like “I am from God, because of this , this and this. Here is verses 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. as proof. Then we go test it with a thorough reasoned systematic investigation.”

        Now you have made claim. I would also humbly demand proof of Lord of the Rings as gospel and Tolkein as a prophet.

        Regards,

      3. Dear Sceptic

        I think you failed to undertand the point. I would not use science to prove God. Science cannot take you to God at all because He cannot be measured or tested in that way. What scientific method would you use to prove there is or isnt a God?

        To prove God you have to find the way which He himself has shown. That is through His Prophets. I gave you the example of the Prophet of Islam(saw) because that is unrefutable.

        You said ‘you cannot use a book says to prove a book’. But you did not get my point regarding what the Holy Quran says. What I presented is that the book itself makes a claim.

        The Holy Quran is different from other books because it claims to be from God. I did not make that claim for the book. On the other hand Lord of the Rings never made that claim – if it did tell me where? And then your point there is just as much proof. Really! tell me what proof is there that Lord of the Rings is gospels and Tolkein a Prophet?

        Coming back to a book that makes a claim. You have to test it upon certain criteria. One of those criteria is prophecies and predictions. And I am not talking about chance flukes here.

        Can you predict the future with any certainty? And I am talking specifics not generalities. E.g. can you make a claim that you will not be caught and killed even if the whole country is out there trying to kill you. Can you make the claim that that year that day this will happen and it happens.

        This is what makes Holy Quran stand out. It makes the claim that God speaks to His servants and that He tells them things of the future. That is a tall claim and that is the criteria we have to judge it by. Now from a worldly perspective one chance prediction can be a fluke, two, maybe three. What about thousands of predictions which have all come true. Then Quran also claims that those who follow the teachings in this book will also be able to speak to God. There have been thousands upon thousands of people in Islam have been able to claim that God speaks with them. I can show you people in Ahmadiyya movement in Islam who claim that God has spoken to them and He showed them the future and it came true.

        If you want examples I can give you examples. But that should suffice for now.

      4. You say that the proof lies in stories about predictions coming true. What evidence independent of the quran do you have that any of these came true? Or for that matter that they are indeed predictions and not just written as such years after the event(s) they were meant to foresee. This is why I said you believe it because it claims to be true. You rely on fate. I get it. That’s what religion needs to survive. You can take all the primary and secondary sources you like, koran, hadith and so on, but at the end of the day there is no way to definitively prove the validity. Even if there was a man that claimed to be a prophet of god, why should I believe him when I’ve never seen him, never seen any miracles and live in an era where science replaces such things.

        I can understand where the idea of a god came from originally. Thousands of years ago, before we knew much about anything, a lot of things were beyond our comprehension. I think of god as a type one error, which basically means that the human creation of a god as an explanation occurred because people tend to see patterns where there are none. This trait is undoubtedly evolutionarily advantageous as you may know. If you were sitting around a fire with your tribe and you hear a rustling in the bushes, it’s of course safer to assume it’s a dangerous animal than just the wind. If you think it’s the wind and don’t react, then you may get attacked, but if you assume it’s an animal you either get to fight it or you find out its just wind and can relax. So going along that line of primitive reasoning, people became accustomed to thinking that their thoughts/prayers must have been answered when something good happened (like a good crop year). It doesn’t take much of a leap of storytelling to create the lore of a god, replete with people who claim to have a direct connection to god. The classic idea of the village elder comes into mind. Sensibly enough, the oldest person in the village would be expected to know most about how things work. Some of his predictions (about full moons, eclipses, seasons whatever) would seem fantastic in the eyes of the youth who would then readily believe his claim of possessing a supernatural gift.

        Finally, I know that science does not currently have the power to test for the presence/absence of god. I’m not saying that there is definitely no god. I don’t claim to know that much. All I’m saying is that there is no valid unbiased evidence in support of it, so the most logical stance to take is to disbelieve until/if new evidence comes to light. Just as you correctly wanted proof of my claim about the prophetic ability of Tolkien, so too should you demand the same from islam. The stories you mentioned as proof are at the most proof of an unlikely survival: they are most certainly not proof that an omnipotent being exists. Claiming that is a non sequitur.

      5. Dear Sceptic,

        It seems we will go round in circles, so i will answer this question here first because it will help me present my argument better, it is a repeat of previous questions, “Can science detect an Immeasurable Being?” I can tell you from a physicists point view that science can’t. We in science can only measure what is finite and not infinite. We can measure only what comprises of the physical world, whether that may include other universes and extra dimensions in the future. God has to be beyond these measurements for Him to be the creator, this is not so that the existence of God cannot be scrutinised by microscope/telescope metaphorically or literally, but rather to be consistent with a philosophical presentation of God that does not create contradictions. Nevertheless, I presume that you aware of this philosophical concept of God, but for brevity this is the God Abrahamic religions presents. As a consequence if we wait for science to find God of such description we will wait all our lives and we will not find any evidence of an All Powerful, All Knowing Creator.

        The big problem here, if i understand it correctly, is “can the be proof presented by religion be reliable?” The question is very just, because ultimately we must be very careful in determining the authenticity of where that information came from to back up any conclusion.

        So how do we even determine the authenticity of the Qur’an. How do we know it wasn’t changed over the years etc to accommodate these current events such that early prophecies seemed to have come true, as you suggested? As my history serves right, as revelation came to the Prophet Muhammad it would be memorised by various companions (eventually numbering in 1000s) and also written down on various sorts of parchments, tablets etc, pretty much immediately. This we have historical records of. However, this does not do away with your question of whether they could have been changed later on. If we ignore the fact that for these muslims, Qur’anic text was so precious and sacred that finding it on the ground would be unacceptable let alone changing any part of it. If for now we ignore this and say that the earliest we can authentically, from all historical records, confirm that that Qur’an does not seem to have been changed at all in its arabic form would be since the time of the third Caliph of Islam, Uthman bin Affan. You can read up on this from any western non-Muslim scholar to confirm, i personally have read it from Bernaby Rogerson “The Heirs of Muhammad”, pg 257 – 262, where he mentions that a copy from original Qur’an of Uthman, which dates back to seventh/eight century currently resides at Sana in the Yemen and Damascus in Syria. Interestingly enough nothing has changed not even a letter of the Qur’an irrespective of which sect of Islam you are from, this is not circumstantial evidence, this is actual evidence, physical evidence. So can we then agree that any prophecies, predictions and details of things pertaining to after the death of Uthman bin Affan would be up for scrutiny since we have ample physical evidence to suggest that they could not be altered? To prevent this comments section from become a book, can i refer you to the following site that details the prophecies quite well, they are short and to the point. Furthermore, they have been tallied against the criteria set by Mr. Douglas E. Krueger, an atheist, on Pages 96-98 of his book, “WHAT IS ATHEISM – A Short Introduction”.

        Evidence set 1 – 14
        http://www.alislam.org/library/articles/prophecies.html (there is an textual error with regards to ET that hasn’t been corrected by the author, I believe Aliens have not yet been found :), one day though)

        I can go on presenting other possible prophecies, they do number quite large, but i think the above should suffice for now from the Qur’an. The final set up of prophecies that i would humbly request you take a look at comes from a man born in 1835 and was the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He claimed like all prophets do and have done, that he was from God. He came at the time when the power of the press had just started. So every prophecy he made was recorded externally and not just by his own followers. They were published for the world to see. The following site, carries the prophecy as well as the references and background information plus the outcomes.

        Evidence 15 – 26
        http://trueprophecies.wordpress.com/

        Dear Sceptic, i would happily go on, if you are still not convinced. I believe the above should meet the criteria set by Douglous Krueger, which to me seems quite reasonable. But if you have specific questions about specific prophecies then please by all means you are most welcome to bring them to us.

        With regards to your god origin theory, if you don’t mind i will take it up later i have to sleep as well!

        Just with regards to your final comment, is that the logical stance to observe if you do not have enough evidence for either conclusions, is not to choose to disbelieve but rather to be agnostic in stance, otherwise you will undoubtedly be showing prejudice whenever you come across any evidence for or against.

        Anyways, hope this helps, look forward to your response.

        Regards,

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