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Scientific Verses in Gita-Is it Divine Like Quran?

Questioner

Shaista

Reply Date

Sep 18, 2016

Question

Assalamualaikum, I have started writing a book on Taqwa (God consciousness) and for that I had gone through the Quran, the Bible, and the Bhagvat Gita in order to research and to prove that the Quran is the only holy book of Allah that talks about science and other secrets of the universe and that is more than enough to believe the fact how true Quran is and Allah's existence is indeed... and for a comparison I also read Gita's chapters in which they have also discussed about the earth, science, and many similar concepts of Quran, etc... Allah revealed these secrets in Quran then how did Hinduism came to know about ALLAH'S secrets??? Quran was revealed 1400 years ago, and Hindus claim that it was written 5000 years prior, even before Moses and other prophets of Islam.... and many similarities are found between Jesus and Krishna. During the research I was also shocked to read few articles where Ahmadia Muslims claim that Krishna was Allah's prophet and Jesus has copied Gita in Bible (may God forbid). In my book I want to prove that Islam is the ancient or first religion because Allah is the only God.... and Adam bowed and worshiped Allah first.... and as the Hindus claim that Krishna came before Jesus and he has copied the Gita in the Bible.... I want to prove that the statement of Hindus is wrong. So I tried to research upon the age in which Jesus, Moses, and Krishna to confirm who came first, but my efforts went in vain and I am struck... and I am sensing the tricks played by Shaytan as well, I am afraid if my Iman (belief) goes down... but am not the one who will take step back fearing for Shaytan’s trick. I want to get answers for all my questions. To enhance my Iman in Allah's existence that He is the only God and no other beside Him.... Please guide me further.... I believe in Allah, the Quran and His prophets... but when I write in my book that only the Quran has the science and other secrets of universe but I am afraid that critics should not comment by referring their Gita.... I want to Increase my iman also by answering this doubt to myself..... Kindly guide me in the light of the religion (Deen) of Islam...‏

Consultant

Answer


Scientific Verses in Gita-Is it Divine Like Quran?

Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

In man’s search for the mystery of the universe and of existence itself, both religion and science have played their respective roles.

Science helps us to observe and study the world, while Religion responds to our search for the meaning of life and existence.

From this point of view, both Science and Religion are complementary ways that employ different methodologies in understanding the world and our place in it. One may say that the sciences use empirical and experimental studies as well as reason, while religions rely on faith and revelation.

But before we say anything further, let us see briefly what the Bhagavat Gita’s teachings are:

The Bhagavat Gita is part of the Hindu epic called the Mahabharat, which narrates the ancient story of the sons of the two brothers Pandu and Dhritarashtra.

Pandu had five sons called Pandavas and Dhritarashtra had a hundred sons called Kauravas. After the death of King Pandu, the wicked Kauravas plotted against the virtuous Pandavas, and drove them into a forest, where they lived in exile.

Later, the Kauravas, persuaded by a saintly uncle handed over half the kingdom to Pandavas. Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, was crowned king. But falling prey to the wicked schemes of the Kauravas, Yudhishthira lost his kingdom and had to go back to the forest with his brothers to live in exile.

At the end of the exile Yudhishthira legitimately asked for the return of his kingdom, but was refused. War became inevitable. Both sides wanted the help of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of God. And Krishna offered the same choice to both: “Either you have my army or me alone; but I shall take no part in fighting.”

The eldest of the Kauravas wanted to have the army; but Arjuna the bravest fighter on the Pandava side chose Krishna, and asked him to be his personal charioteer. The battle was fought on the plane of Kurukshetra.

Just before the battle, Arjuna was very unhappy about fighting his cousins and he refused to move forward. And then Lord Krishna began to teach him why Arjuna had to accept his duty of fighting adharma (evil) in order to protect dharma (good).

The battle of Kurukshetra was meant to be a battle between good and evil. And Arjuna heeded to Lord Krishna’s advice. The war lasted for only eighteen days and the Pandavas won it.

The Bhagavat Gita is nothing but the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna that took place on the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra War. Responding to Arjuna’s confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince.

In the course of this discussion he elaborates on various questions of religious philosophy such as the mystery of life and death, good and evil and the moral questions faced by humans. Here are a few examples from the teachings of Krishna in Gita:

“Why do you worry without cause? Whom do you fear without reason? Who can kill you? The soul is neither born, nor does it die.”

“Whatever happened, happened for the good; whatever is happening, is happening for the good; whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only. You need not have any regrets for the past. You need not worry for the future.”

“This body is not yours, neither are you of the body. The body is made of fire, water, air, earth and ether, and will disappear into these elements. But the soul is permanent – so who are you?”

“Dedicate your being to God. He is the one to be ultimately relied upon. Those who know of his support are forever free from fear, worry and sorrow.”

(Some of the Vedantic Teachings of Bhagavat Gita: http://www.indianmirror.com/scriptures/bhagavad-gita.html)

In fact, it is for such insightful spiritual and moral teachings that the Gita is celebrated, and not for certain “scientific verses”, as is claimed by some. In the Gita, Krishna speaks deprecatingly of the material world and material entanglement.

The real world is the spiritual world, not the material world. From the Hindu point of view, “whatever one can think or perceive throug all of the five senses and the mind is entirely made up of maya (illusion).”

Hindu scholars have historically embraced reason in their philosophical meditations on the nature of the universe. But their apologists sometimes go to unreasonable lengths to relate the latest developments in the field of science to their scriptures.

For instance, after the publication of Darwin’s “Origin of Species”, many Hindus were eager to find similarities between the Theory of Evolution and Vishnu’s ten incarnations.

Certainly there is no harm in relating scriptural verses to scientific findings. But apologists have a tendency to exaggerate such parallels in their zeal for establishing the validity of their religions in this day of science and technology.

Hinduism is not much different from Buddhism in its emphasis on renunciation. Consider Krishna’s teaching of even the path of action called Karma Yoga in Gita as given in this oft-quoted verse:

“You have the right to work only, but never to its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be your motive; nor let your attachment be to inaction.” (Gita 2:47)

The idea of working without any thought of results or without any desire for benefits is basically abhorrent to human psychology. And furthermore, such a principle is likely to be propagated among the workers by modern exploitative capitalists. And in the field of science this teaching is likely to be counterproductive.

All scientific investigations are conducted to produce desired results. A scientist who works to find a cure for cancer, for instance, must have the sincerest desire for the success of his experiments.

But one must acknowledge that the above teaching is relevant to persons with an ascetic temperament, who have reached such a level of selfless detachment as not to be concerned about the fruits of their efforts.

As compared to Hinduism, Islam, which is a natural and practical way of life, emphasizes a middle course between complete detachment and complete involvement in worldly matters.

Muslims are described to be an “ummatan wasatan”, namely a moderate society who neither goes to this extreme or that extreme. Also, Muslims are asked to pray to Allah: “O Lord give us the best of this world and the best of the hereafter; and protect us from the punishment of hell fire!”

And as for science, the Quran teaches its adherents to consider the world as a book to read, in which each phenomenon of nature is called an ayah or a sign of the Moving Power behind it all.

Muslims quote the Quran to prove that their Holy Book is all for science and not against it: They quote verses that quite clearly urge them to search for the signs of Allah in nature and in the world around them. For instance:

{Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are signs indeed for people who use their reason.} (Quran 2:164)

It is verses like this that make the Quran a Book that encourages science. And also there are verses that contain modern scientifically proven ideas:

{Are then, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were [once] one single entity, which We then parted asunder? – and [that] We made out of water every living thing? Will they not, then, [begin to] believe?} (Quran 21:30)

The above verse is a direct and evident corroboration of the Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe as well as of the fact that all living things originated from water.

No interpretation or explanation is required here to prove that this verse agrees with those modern scientific ideas. And it is no wonder that modern experimental science was originally a contribution of Muslims:

“The early Islamic ages were a golden age for knowledge, and the history of the scientific method must pay a great deal of respect to some of the brilliant Muslim philosophers of Baghdad and Al-Andalus.

They preserved the knowledge of the Ancient Greeks, including Aristotle, but also added to it, and were the catalyst for the formation of a scientific method recognizable to modern scientists and philosophers.” (https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method)

Allah Almighty says in His Quran what means:

{There never was any community but a warner has [lived and] passed away in its midst…} (Quran 35:24)

And there are several other verses importing the same theme. Therefore, as Muslims we need not have any hesitation to accept the idea that the people of ancient India too received Allah Almighty’s guidance in the form of divine revelation.

The only problem with the Hindu scripture is that it has not been preserved today in its original form. This is the Muslim position regarding all previous scriptures. Obviously this means that the Hindu scriptures too contain truths originally revealed to a prophet of God; though his name is not mentioned in the Quran.

For us the Quran – “the Last Testament of God” – is the Criterion to judge the veracity or otherwise of any verse or idea that is contained in such scriptures.

All humans are the children of Adam and Allah Almighty’s creation. We read in His Book that man is appointed Allah’s khalifah (ambassador) on earth and He had been sending His Guidance to His chosen prophets of all ages.

As Muslims we need to believe in all the prophets of Allah the All Merciful, whether their names are mentioned in the Quran or not.  And we need to believe in all the Books of Allah, whether they are extant now in their original form or not. And it is Allah’s privilege to reveal whatever knowledge He wills to His prophets.

Hence it is ridiculous to say that a later prophet copied an earlier prophet. All the prophets are Allah’s prophets and their respective books contain Allah’s revelations.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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