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Qur’anic Worldview: A Call for Thought and Action

{So glory be to Allah when you reach evening and when you arise in the morning.

Praise belongs to Him throughout Heaven and Earth, and during the night and when you are at your noon hour.

He brings the living from the dead and brings forth the dead from the living, and He revives the earth after its death. Thus shall you all be brought forth…} (See Ar-Rum 30:17-27)

Every system whether religious or secular has its worldview. The term “worldview” is taken from the German expression Weltanschauung (image of the world) as was introduced by the famous philosopher Emmanuel Kant (d. 1804). Worldview denotes “a set of implicit or explicit beliefs or assumptions about the origin of the universe and the nature of human life.” These beliefs or assumptions affect people’s life and behavior.

Recently there is a debate going on concerning the Intelligent Design versus the current theory of evolution. Some people think that evolution is the scientific way to understand this universe and any other belief about the origin of this world and especially human species is mythological and unscientific.

Serious students of this subject, however, know that the current theory of evolution itself is based on a certain worldview. This worldview is known as “materialism.” Materialism is a philosophy that argues that matter is all that there is. It denies God’s existence or does not give much attention to God. According to materialists, the universe is self-existent. They assume that everything in the universe, including the life within it, is the product of blind, purposeless forces of physics and chemistry.

Materialism denies the existence of the human soul too. According to this view, we are nothing but highly organized molecules, and our ideas, feelings, and emotions are simply chemical reactions inside our brain cells. The real issue is not whether some organisms have a common ancestor or not. The real issue is whether life is created by Allah Almighty or evolved by itself.

Whatever worldview people have, it affects their thought and action. Islam also has its worldview. The Qur’an continuously draws our attention to the fact that this universe is created by a Powerful and Knowledgeable Creator (Al-Zukhruf 43:9).

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There are many places in the Qur’an where Allah Almighty points towards the creation as “Aayat.” As there are Aayat (signs) in the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, so there are also signs in the Book of Nature. The Aayat of the Qur’an are called wahy matluw (recited revelation) while theAayat in the universe are called wahy mashhud, that is, witnessed revelation.

If we carefully study the “signs of Allah” in His Book and carefully investigate and analyze the nature we should reach the same conclusion. In this way, Islamic position is that there is no inherent contradiction between religion and science. Authentic religion and proper scientific inquiries work with each other without any problem or difficulty. The difficulties come only when religion is mixed up with mythology or when science transgresses its limits and boundaries.

The Aayat from Surat Ar-Rum (30:17-27) give us a beautiful panorama of divine signs in this world. They are given to create a worldview. Allah Almighty is calling us:

  1. To glorify and praise Him (tasbih, hamd),
  2. To reflect on His creation (tafakkur),
  3. To learn from observation and research (`ilm),
  4. To listen to His words (sam`),
  5. And to use our reason(`aql).
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About Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America