The Signs of the Qur'an
In addition to explaining the universe, the Big Bang model has another
important implication. As the quotation from Anthony Flew cited above
points out, science has proven an assertion hitherto supported only by
This truth is the reality of creation from nothingness. This has been
declared in the scriptures that have served as guides for mankind for
thousands of years.
In the only book revealed by Allah that has survived completely intact,
the Qur'an, there are statements about the creation of the universe from
nothing as well as how this came about that are suggestive of 20th-century
ideas and yet were revealed fourteen centuries ago.
First of all, the creation of this universe from nothingness is revealed
in the Qur'an as follows:
He (Allah) is the Originator of the heavens and
(Surat al-An'am: 101)
Another important point revealed in the Qur'an fourteen centuries before
the modern discovery of the Big Bang and findings related to it is that
when it was created, the universe occupied a very tiny volume:
Do those who are disbelievers not see that the
heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and
that We made from water every living thing? So will they not have faith?
(Surat al-Anbiya': 30)
There is a very important choice of words in the original Arabic whose
translation is given above. The word ratq translated as "sewn
to" means "mixed in each, blended" in Arabic dictionaries.
It is used to refer to two different substances that make up a whole.
The phrase "We unstitched" is the verb fataqa
in Arabic and implies that something comes into being by tearing apart
or destroying the structure of ratq. The sprouting of a seed from
the soil is one of the actions to which this verb is applied.
Let us take a look at the verse again with this knowledge in mind. In
the verse, sky and earth are at first subject in the condition of ratq.
They are separated (fataqa) with one coming out of the other. Intriguingly,
cosmologists speak of a "cosmic egg" that consisted of all the
matter in the universe prior to the Big Bang. In other words, all the
heavens and earth were included in this egg in a condition of ratq.
This cosmic egg exploded violently causing its matter to fataqa
and in the process created the structure of the whole universe.
Another matter in the Qur'an that could be interpreted as the expansion
of the universe, which was discovered in the late 1920s. Hubble's discovery
of the red shift in the spectrum of starlight is revealed in the Qur'an
It is We Who have built the universe with (Our
creative) power, and, verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it.
(Surat adh-Dhariyat: 47)
In short, the findings of modern science increasingly point towards the
truth that is revealed in the Qur'an and do not support materialist dogma.
Materialists may claim this all as "coincidence" but the plain
fact is that the universe came into being as a result of an act of creation
on the part of Allah. The only true knowledge about the origin of universe
is to be found in the word of Allah as revealed to us.
Creation of Matter Moment by Moment
As the Big Bang theory showed once more, Allah created the universe
from nothing. This great explosion involves many fine gradations and details,
prodding one to reflection, and these matters unaccountable for by coincidence.
The temperature at each moment of the explosion, the number of atomic
particles, the forces involved, and their intensity must be of very precise
values. Even if only one of these values was not specified, the universe
we live in today would not be formed. This end would be inevitable if
any one of the abovementioned values deviated by any value mathematically
close to "0".
In short, the universe and its building blocks, the atoms, have come
to exist in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang after having not existed,
thanks to these balances created by Allah. Scientists conducted numerous
researches to understand the chronology of the events that took place
during this process and the order of the rules of physics in effect at
each phase. The facts all scientists who have worked on this subject today
admit are as follows:
- Moment "0": This "moment" when matter and time
were non-existent, and when the explosion took place is accepted as
t (time) = 0 in physics. This means that nothing exists at time t=0.
In order to be able to describe earlier than this "moment"
when creation was initiated, we must know the rules of physics that
existed then, because the current laws of physics do not count for the
first moments of the explosion.
The events that may be defined
by physics start at 10-43 seconds, which is the smallest
time unit. This is a time frame incomprehensible to the human mind.
What happened in this small time period of which we cannot even conceive?
Physicists have hitherto been unable to develop a theory that explains
in full detail the events that took place at that moment.5
This is because scientists do not have the data required to make
the calculations. The scope of the rules of mathematics and physics
is at a dead-end at these limits. That is, both what went before and
what happened at the first moments of this explosion, every detail
of which rests on highly delicate balances, have a reality beyond
the confines of the human mind and physics.
This creation, which started at before time, has led moment by moment
to the formation of the material universe and the laws of physics.
Now let us take a look at the incidents that occurred with great precision
within a very short time during this explosion.
As mentioned above, in physics, everything can be calculated from
10-43 seconds onwards, and energy and time can be defined
only after this moment. At this point of the creation, the temperature
is 1032 (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) K.
To draw a comparison, the temperature of the sun is expressed in millions
(108) and the temperature of some stars much larger than
the sun is expressed in billions (1011). That the highest
measurable temperature at present is limited to billions of degrees
reveals how high the temperature was at 10-43 seconds.
- When we go one step further than this period of
10-43 seconds, we come to the point at which time is at 10-37
seconds. The time lapse between these two periods is not something like
one or two seconds. We are talking about a time lapse as short as one
over quadrillion times quadrillion of a second. The temperature is still
extraordinarily high, at 1029 (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)
K. No atoms were yet created at this stage.6
- One more step, and we are at 10-2 seconds. This time period
indicates one hundredth of a second. By now, the temperature is 100
billion degrees. At this point, the "early universe" has started
to form. Particles like the proton and neutron forming the nucleus of
the atom have not yet appeared. There is only the electron and its antiparticle,
the positron (anti-electron), because the temperature and speed of the
universe at that point only allow the formation of these particles.
In less than a second after the explosion has taken place out of nothing,
electrons and positrons have formed.
From this moment on, the time of the formation of each sub-atomic
particle is very important. Every particle has to emerge at a specific
moment so that the current rules of physics may be established. It
is of great importance which particle is to form first. Even a slight
deviation in the sequence or timing would make it impossible for the
universe to take its current shape.
Let us stop now and do some thinking.
The Big Bang theory provides evidence for Allah's being by showing
that all matter comprising the universe originated from nothingness.
It did even more and showed that the building blocks - the atoms -
also came into existence from nothing less than one second after the
Big Bang. The enormous equilibrium and order in these particles are
worthy of note. The universe owes its present state to this equilibrium
that will be described in more detail in the pages ahead. It is again
this equilibrium that allows us to live a peaceful life. In short,
perfect order and un-changing laws, "the laws of physics",
have formed following an explosion that would normally be expected
to create great turmoil and disorder. This proves that each moment
following the creation of the universe, including the Big Bang, has
been designed perfectly.
Following moment "0" when no matter or time existed
and when the explosion occurred, the
universe, and its building blocks, the atoms, were created out
of nothing within a great scheme.
Now, let us continue looking at the developments from where we left
- The next step is the moment at which a time of 10-1 seconds
has elapsed. At this moment, the temperature is 30 billion degrees.
Not even one second has elapsed from t = 0 moment to this stage. By
now, neutrons and protons, the other particles of the atom, have started
to appear. The neutrons and protons, the perfect structures of which
we will analyse in the following sections, were created out of nothing
within a time period even shorter than a second.
- Let us come to the first second after the explosion.
The massive density at this time again gives a colossal figure. According
to calculations, the density value of the mass present at that stage
is 3.8 billion kilograms per litre. It may be easy to express this figure,
termed as billions of kilograms, arithmetically, and to show it on paper.
Yet, it is impossible to conceive of this figure exactly. To give a
very simple example to express the magnitude of this figure, we can
say "if Mount Everest in the Himalayas had this density, it could
swallow our world in a moment with the force of gravitation it would
- The most distinctive characteristic of the subsequent moments is
that by then, the temperature has reached a considerably lower level.
At that stage, the universe is approximately 14 seconds old, has a temperature
of 3 billion degrees and continues to expand at a dramatic speed.
This is the stage where the steady atomic nuclei, like hydrogen and
helium nuclei, have started to form. One proton and one neutron have
for the first time found conditions conducive to their co-existing.
These two particles, which have a mass straddling the line between existence
and non-existence, have, because of the force of gravitation, started
resisting the tremendous rate of expansion. It is obvious that a dramatically
conscious and controlled process is in progress here. A massive explosion
gives way to great equilibrium and precise order. Protons and neutrons
have started to come together to form the atom, the building block of
matter. It is certainly totally impossible for these particles to have
the power and consciousness to establish the delicate balances required
for the formation of matter.
- During the epoch following this formation, the temperature of the
universe has dropped to one billion degrees. This temperature is 60
times the temperature at the core of our sun. Only 3 minutes and 2 seconds
have elapsed from the first instant to this one. By now, sub-atomic
particles like photons, protons, anti protons, neutrinos and anti-neutrinos
are abundant. The quantities of all the particles existing in this phase
and their interactions with each other are extremely critical. So much
so that the slightest variation in the quantity of any particle will
destroy the energy level set by them and prevent the conversion of energy
Take electrons and positrons for example: when electrons and positrons
come together, energy is produced. Therefore, the numbers of both particles
are very important. Let us say that 10 units of electrons and 8 units
of positrons meet. In this case, 8 of the 10 units of electrons interact
with 8 units of positrons and produce energy. As a result, 2 units of
electrons are released. Since the electron is one of the particles forming
the atom that is the building block of the universe, it has to be available
in required quantities in this stage so that the universe may exist.
To take up the abovementioned example, if the number of positrons was
more than that of the electrons, then positrons would be left over instead
of electrons as a result of the energy released and the material universe
would never be formed. If the numbers of positrons and electrons were
equal, then only energy would be produced and nothing left to form the
material universe. Yet, this excess in the number of electrons has been
arranged in such a way as to match the number of protons in the universe
in the time that follows this moment. In the atom that will form later
on, the numbers of electrons and protons will be equal.
The numbers of particles that emerged in the aftermath of the Big Bang
were determined with so precise a calculation, finally leading to the
formation of the material universe. Professor Steven Weinberg remarks
on how critical is the interaction between these particles:
The Hydrogen Atom
The Helium Atom
If the universe in the first
few minutes was really composed of precisely equal numbers of particles
and antiparticles, they would all have annihilated as the temperature
dropped below 1,000 million degrees, and nothing would be left but radiation.
There is a very good evidence against this possibility - we are here!
There must have been some excess of electrons over positrons, of protons
over antiprotons, and of neutrons over antineutrons, in order that there
would be something left over after the annihilation of particles and antiparticles
to furnish the matter of the present universe.8
- A total of 34 minutes and 40 seconds have passed since the outset.
Our universe is now half an hour old. The temperature has dropped from
degrees expressed in billions to 300 million degrees. The electrons
and positrons continue producing energy by colliding with each other.
By now, the quantities of the particles that are to form the universe
have been balanced to allow the formation of the material universe.
Once the rate of the explosion slows down, these particles, almost lacking
a mass, start to interact with one another. The first hydrogen atom forms
by an electron settling into the orbit of a proton. This formation introduces
us to the fundamental forces we will commonly encounter in the universe.
It is no doubt impossible for these particles, which are products of
a design far beyond human comprehension and have distinct structures resting
on extremely delicate balances, to have come together through coincidence
and to act towards the same goal. This perfection leads many researchers
working on the subject to a very important conclusion: it is a "creation"
and there is a matchless supervision of every moment of this creation.
Each particle that is created after the explosion is supposed to form
at a specific time, at a specific temperature and at a specific velocity.
It seems that this system, which runs almost like a wound-up clock, had
been programmed with such fine-tuning before becoming active. This means
that the Big Bang and the perfect universe that originated as a result
of the Big Bang had been designed before the inception of the explosion
and afterwards put into action.
The will that arranges, designs and controls the universe is certainly
that of Allah, the Creator of everything.
This design is observable not only in the atom, but in every object in
the universe, big or small. These particles, which initially dashed away
from each other at the speed of light, not only caused the formation of
hydrogen atoms, but also gave rise to all the enormous systems contained
within the universe today, as well as the atoms, molecules, planets, suns,
solar systems, galaxies, quasars etc., according to a magnificent plan,
and in perfect order and balance. While it is impossible for the particles
required to form an atom to come together by chance and establish delicate
balances, it would be far more unreasonable and illogical to claim that
planets, galaxies, and in short, all systems that provide the workings
of the universe to form by chance and develop balances by themselves.
The will that makes this unique design is that of Allah, the Creator of
the entire universe.
Other atoms formed following the hydrogen atom, which was a miracle on
its own. At this point, various questions come to mind such as "How
did other atoms form? Why didn't all protons and neutrons form only the
hydrogen atom? How did the particles decide which atoms they would form
and in what quantities?" The answer to these questions again takes
us to the same conclusion. There is a great power, control and design
in the formation of the hydrogen atom and all the other atoms that followed.
This control and design exceeds the capacity of the human mind and points
to the fact that the universe is obviously a "creation." The
laws of physics that were established in the aftermath of the Big Bang
have not changed at all during the approximately 17 billion years that
have passed. Furthermore, these laws are based on such precise calculations
that even millimetric deviations from their present values may cause results
upsetting the general structure and order in the entire universe. The
words of famous physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking addressing this point
are quite interesting. Hawking explains that these phenomena are based
on much finer calculations then we can imagine:
If the rate of expansion one second
after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand
million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached
its present size.9
He has made night and day subservient to you, and the
sun and moon and stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly
Signs in that for people who use their intellect.
(Surat an-Nahl: 12)
The Big Bang, which is built on such fine calculations, evidently reveals
that time, space and matter did not come into being spontaneously, but
were created by Allah. It is absolutely impossible for the events described
above to have formed as a result of sheer coincidence and to lead to the
formation of the atom, the building block of the universe.
Unsurprisingly, many scientists working on the subject have accepted
the existence of an infinite force and its might in the creation of the
universe. The renowned astrophysicist Hugh Ross explains that the Creator
of the universe is beyond all dimensions:
By definition, time is that dimension
in which cause-and-effect phenomena take place. No time, no cause and
effect. If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe,
as the space-time theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be
some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and
pre-existent to the time dimension of the cosmos.
It tells us that the
Creator is transcendent, operating beyond the dimensional limits of the
universe. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God
contained within the universe.10
The most important aspect of the Big Bang is that it gives mankind the
chance to understand Allah's power better. The origination of a universe
with all the matter it contains from nothing is one of the greatest signs
of Allah's might. The delicate equilibrium in the energy at the moment
of the explosion is a very big sign directing us towards thinking about
the infinity of Allah's knowledge.
Fundamental Forces In the Universe
We mentioned that the laws of physics in the universe originated after
the Big Bang. These laws are based on the "four fundamental forces"
known to modern physics today. These forces were formed along with the
formation of the first sub-atomic particles at specifically appointed
times in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang to form the entire order
and system of the universe. Atoms, which make up the material universe,
owe their existence and extremely even distribution across the universe
to the interaction of these forces. These forces are the force of mass
attraction known as the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force,
the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. All have a distinct
intensity and field of impact. The strong and weak nuclear forces operate
only at the sub-atomic scale. The remaining two - the gravitational force
and the electromagnetic force - govern assemblages of atoms, in other
words "matter." The flawless order on the earth is the outcome
of the highly delicate proportion of these forces. A comparison of those
forces produces a very interesting result. All the matter that was created
and dispersed across the universe following the Big Bang was shaped by
the effect of these forces, which have wide gulfs between them. Below
are the stunningly different values of these forces shown in international
|Strong nuclear force :
|Weak nuclear force :
||7.03 x 10-3
|Gravitational force :
|| 5.90 x 10-39
|Electromagnetic force :
||3.05 x 10-12
These fundamental forces allow the formation of the material universe
through a perfect distribution of power. This proportion between the forces
is based on such a delicate balance that they can cause the due effect
on particles only at these particular proportions.
1. The Giant Power In the Nucleus: The Strong Nuclear
Up to this point, we reviewed how the atom was created moment by moment
and the delicate balances acting in this creation. We saw that everything
around us, including ourselves, is made up of atoms and these atoms consist
of many particles. What then is the force that holds all the particles
that form the nucleus of the atom together? This force, which keeps the
nucleus intact, and which is the most powerful force defined by the laws
of physics, is the "strong nuclear force".
This force ensures that the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the
atom stay together without flying apart. The nucleus of the atom is formed
in this way. This force is so strong that it almost causes the protons
and neutrons within the nucleus to bind to each other. This is why the
minute particles that possess this force are called "gluon"
meaning "glue" in Latin. The strength of this bond is adjusted
very sensitively. The intensity of this force has been specifically arranged
to provide that the protons and neutrons keep at a certain distance to
each other. If this force had been just slightly stronger, the protons
and the neutrons would bump into each other. If this force had been slightly
weaker, they would be dispersed. This force has just the proper degree
required for the formation of the nucleus of the atom after the first
seconds of the Big Bang.
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were indicative of how destructive
the strong nuclear force becomes once it is liberated. The only reason
atomic bombs, which will be reviewed in more detail in the chapters ahead,
are so effective is the liberation of tiny amounts of this force hidden
in the nucleus of the atom.
2. Safety Belt of the Atom: the Weak Nuclear Force
One of the most important factors maintaining order on the earth is the
balance within the atom. This balance ensures that things do not suddenly
fall apart or emit harmful radiation. The "weak nuclear force"
is responsible for this balance between protons and neutrons in the nucleus
of the atom. This force plays an important role in maintaining the equilibrium
of the nuclei that contain high numbers of neutrons and protons.
As this balance is maintained, a neutron, if required, may be changed
into a proton. Since the number of protons in the nucleus changes at the
end of this process, the atom changes too and becomes a different atom.
Here, the result is very significant. An atom transforms into a different
atom without disintegrating and continues its existence. This safety belt
protects living organisms against the dangers that would otherwise arise
from particles breaking free uncontrollably and giving harm to people.
3. The Force That Keeps Electrons In Orbit: The Electro-Magnetic
The discovery of this force ushered in a new age in the world of physics.
It was then understood that each particle bears "an electrical charge"
according to its own structural characteristics and that a force exists
between these electrical charges. This force provides that particles with
opposite electrical charges attract each other and particles with the
same charge repel each other, therefore ensuring that the protons in the
nucleus of the atom and the electrons travelling in the orbits around
it attract each other. In this way, the "nucleus" and the "electrons",
the two basic elements of the atom, stay together.
The slightest change in the strength of this force would cause electrons
to shoot away from the nucleus or to fall into the nucleus. In both cases,
it would become impossible for the atom and therefore, the material universe
to exist. Yet, from the first moment this force formed, the protons in
the nucleus attracted the electrons at the exact force required for the
formation of the atom thanks to the value of this force.
|One can stay in an environment without gravity
only for a certain period using special equipment. Living beings
can only survive in a system where gravity exists.
4. The Force Holding the Universe Together: The Gravitational
design and perfect order prevail in the entire universe governed
by these fundamental forces. The Owner of this order is, beyond
doubt, Allah, Who created everything flawlessly out of nothing.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the father of modern physics and celestial
mechanics, who is recognized as "one of the greatest scientists
who ever lived" draws attention to this fact:
"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets
could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent
and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the
soul of the world, but as Lord over all, and on account of His
dominion. He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler."
Being the only force we can ordinarily perceive, it is also the one about
which we know least. Commonly known as gravity, this force is actually
called the "mass attraction force". Although it is the least
powerful force compared to the other forces, by it very large masses attract
each other. This force is the reason why the galaxies and stars in the
universe stay in each other's orbits. The earth and other planets remain
in a certain orbit around the sun again with the help of this gravitational
force. We are able to walk on the earth because of this force. If there
were a decline in the value of this force, the stars would fall, the earth
would be ripped from its orbit and we would be dispersed from the earth
into the space. In the case of the slightest increase, the stars would
collide with each other, the earth would run into the sun and we would
be pulled into the earth's crust. These may seem very remote possibilities
to you now but they would be inevitable if this force had deviated from
its present value even for a very short time.
All scientists doing research on this subject admit that the precisely
determined values of these fundamental forces are crucial for the existence
of the universe.
Addressing this point, the famous molecular biologist Michael Denton
states in his book Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology
Reveal Purpose in the Universe:
If, for example, the gravitational force
was a trillion times stronger, then the universe would be far smaller
and its life history far shorter. An average star would have a mass a
trillion times less than the sun and a life span of about one year. On
the other hand, if gravity had been less powerful, no stars or galaxies
would have ever formed. The other relationships and values are no less
critical. If the strong force had been just slightly weaker, the only
element that would be stable would be hydrogen. No other atoms could exist.
If it had been slightly stronger in relation to electromagnetism, then
an atomic nucleus consisting of only two protons would be a stable feature
of the universe-which would mean there would be no hydrogen, and if any
stars or galaxies evolved, they would be very different from the way they
are. Clearly, if these various forces and constants did not have precisely
the values they do, there would be no stars, no supernovae, no planets,
no atoms, no life.11
Renowned physicist Paul Davies states his admiration for the predetermined
values of the laws of physics in the universe:
When one goes on to study cosmology,
incredulity mounts. Recent discoveries about the primeval cosmos oblige
us to accept that the expanding universe has been set up in its motion
with a cooperation of astonishing precision.12
Supreme design and perfect order prevail in the entire universe constructed
on a foundation provided by these fundamental forces. The owner of this
order is, beyond doubt, Allah, Who created everything flawlessly out of
nothing. Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, holds the stars in their orbits
with the weakest of forces, and holds together the nucleus of the minute
atom with the strongest of forces. All forces act according to the "measures"
He has determined. Allah refers to the order in the creation of universe
and the equilibriums "determined most exactly" in one of His
He to whom the dominion of the heavens and the
earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in His dominion.
He created everything and determined it most exactly.(Surat al-Furqan:
5.Taskin Tuna, Uzayin Sirlari
(The Secrets of Space), Bogaziçi Yayinlari, p.185
6. Colin A. Ronan, The Universe Explained, The Earth-Dwellers's
Guide to the Mysteries of Space, Henry Holt and Company, pp. 178-179
7. Taskin Tuna, Uzayin Sirlari (The Secrets of Space), Bogaziçi
8.Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes, A Modern View of the
Origin of the Universe, Basic Books, June 1993, p. 87
9.Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, April
1988, p. 121
10. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, How Greatest Scientific
Discoveries of the Century Reveal God, Colorado: NavPress, Revised Edition,
1995, p. 76
11. Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny:How The Laws of Biology Reveal
Purpose in the Universe, The New York: The Free Press, 1998, pp. 12-13
12. Paul Davies, The Accidental Universe, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1982, Foreword