Muslim Sunrise Centennial Issue Beautifully Summarizes a Century of Work on Religion and Science for Islam

For all the articles on the theme of religion and science in the Muslim Times, please click here

The Muslim Sunrise and the theme of Religion and Science

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times:

Albert Einstein, the man of the 20th century according to ‘Time’ magazine, once said, “All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking” (1).

So, if Islam be a true religion from the All-Knowing God, it should stand the test of science. In fact, the same argument was advanced by St. Augustine of Hippo, in favor of Christianity, a few centuries before the dawn of Islam. Saint Augustine said, “Let the Bible be a book for you so that you may hear it; let the sphere of the world be also a book for you so that you may see it” (2). In this saying he suggests a paradigm that the word of God or scripture should be in accord with the act of God, our world, or what we broadly label as nature.

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author of this article

Saint Augustine became convinced of Christianity by finding evidence for it in another tradition, that of Paganism as described by the Platonists of Athens. Describing this, in his book, Confessions, he provided a bridge from Paganism to Christianity. Why does Augustine become convinced that Christianity is true? What does Augustine propose that Athens have to do with Jerusalem?

What does Plato have to do with the Bible and more specifically, with the Gospel of John? How can you examine the truth of one tradition of thought and reasoning in light of another parallel tradition? William R. Cook and Ronald B. Herzman answer these questions for us:

Augustine tells us that he read books ‘written by the Platonists’ … he paraphrases these books, rather than quoting them directly. His paraphrase is also a paraphrase of one of the most important texts of the Christian Scripture, the beginning of the Gospel according to John. The surprising and, to some extent, shocking claim that he makes is that these Platonists teach the same thing as the Gospel of John. Augustine’s claim is that even though these words may not have been exactly what was said in the text of these philosophers, they accurately represent the substance of what he saw in them. Thus, in these pagan philosophical texts, he finds a way of articulating Christian beliefs (2).

Andrew Dickson White, the Founding President of Cornell University, found in the 19th century that Augustine’s bridge was broken beyond repair. He authored a landmark treatise, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (3). Perhaps we needed a new bridge to lead us to the eternal truths.

Dr. Maurice Bucaille came to our rescue almost a century later, but now he was serving Islam and his scripture of choice was the Qur’an. Bucaille (1920 – 1998) was a French medical doctor and author, he was the senior surgeon in a French study on the mummy of Pharaoh, he converted to Islam from Christianity, while serving in Egypt. In 1973, Bucaille was appointed family physician to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. His patients included the members of the family of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Read further on page 26 of the volume:

Categories: Religion & Science

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