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Alleged contradictions between the Qur'an and science

Published: 27/08/2011 11:11:00 AM GMT
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Dear Sheikhs - may Allah reward you all. Is it allowed, if a Qur'anic verse conflicts with a known scientific fact, to make that verse a metaphorical "majazi" verse? If so, who would then be responsible to make that interpretation?

Answered by

the Scientific Research Committee -

It is impossible for Allah’s word to be in conflict with a scientific fact. The Qur’ân is Allah’s word and the world is Allah’s creation, so there cannot be any contradiction between the two.

When there appears to be a contradiction between the Qur’ân and a scientific fact, there can only be one of two possibilities:

1. That which is being construed as a scientific “fact” is not in actuality a fact.

2. The verse that is being construed as being in conflict with science is being misinterpreted, misapplied, or misunderstood.

As for whether a certain word in a verse is to be taken literally or metaphorically, that can only be determined on a case by case basis looking at the dictates of the Arabic language and the context in which the word is being used. We can never apply our own arbitrary understanding to a verse. Metaphorical (majâz) meanings of Arabic words are as precisely defined and enumerated as their literal (haqîqî) meanings. We cannot make these meanings up ourselves. Please note that “majâz” is typically an attribute of an individual word and not of an entire verse.

Any claim being made that there is a contradiction between science and the Qur’ân has to be evaluated individually. The factuality of the scientific claim needs to be assessed as well as the true meaning of the verse that is supposedly at variance with it. The first task would need to be undertaken by Muslim scientists and the second by scholars of the Qur’ân.

Source: Islam Today

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