The Holy Quran Uses the Word Taqdeer تَقْدِيرً for Laws of Nature

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

Surah Furqan, the 25th chapter of the holy Quran opens with these verses:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا

Exalted is He who has sent the Differentiator down to His servant so that it may be a warning to all people. It is He who has control over the heavens and earth and has no offspring––no one shares control with Him––and who created all things and made them to an exact measure, according to the laws of nature. (Al Quran 25:1-2)

The last word in these verses is تَقْدِيرً. In these verses the word is best translated as laws of nature. In this Surah, in the next few verses, the All Knowing uses His knowledge of secrets of the heavens and the earth as a slam dunk argument for the truth of the holy Quran.

Therefore, I believe that the laws of nature or science are very important criterion to understand and present the holy Quran and to that study I have devoted the last few decades of my life.

The same word تَقْدِيرً is used for fate or destiny. In the past decades and centuries there used to be a lot of discussion about human destiny in the Muslim circles and writings but the pendulum is swinging in favor of science and laws of nature as scientific revolution has gained momentum with every passing decade.

The word تَقْدِيرً is used with a similar emphasis in at least three other verses and traditionally has been translated as ‘decree’ and I am keeping that translation below.

فَالِقُ الْإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ سَكَنًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَانًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

He causes the break of day; and He made the night for rest and the sun and the moon for reckoning time. That is the decree of the Mighty, the Wise. (Al Quran 6:96)

وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

And the sun is moving on the course prescribed for it. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing God. (Al Quran 36:38)

فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَأَوْحَىٰ فِي كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ أَمْرَهَا ۚ وَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَحِفْظًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

So He completed them into seven heavens in two days, and He revealed to each heaven its function. And We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps for light and provided it with the means of protection. That is the decree of the Mighty, the All-Knowing. (Al Quran 41:12)

So, gathering confidence from the above verses and with a grateful heart, praising and glorifying the Most Merciful and the Most Gracious, I conclude this article, by linking a few related articles at the end here:

Cataloging 750 verses of the Holy Quran inspiring believers to study nature

Truth Cannot Contradict Truth: Understanding the Holy Quran

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

Science in the Service of the Scriptures

How science polishes our understanding of the Quran

The Muslim Sunrise and the theme of Religion and Science

Did Noah Take Kangaroos with Him in the Ark?

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