the expansion of universe
Is the verse 47 of chapter 51(zariat) a scientific Miracle which implies the expansion of universe?
A research about this verse and to inspect it impartially
The verse 47 of chapter 51 is one of those verses which points out a miraculous scientific fact which has been not accepted at all by those days’ scientists. A fact which looked scientific only after brightness of scientists like Einstein.
The instantaneous expansion of universe is an issue which is accepted by majority of scientist like Edwin Hubble and they have strong evidence to prove this issue. The above verse according to its more obvious meaning (it can have other meaning which we discussed later) expresses that the universe is being continually expanded by God. The inspiration of the above verse has been in a time in which scientists believed in universe contraction or its stability and it is clear that these beliefs are against the verses of Quran(51:47-21:30) and nowadays’ science. At first we will bring the scientific discussion of verse and then the commentary discussion. It should be mentioned that we are not going to impose scientific facts to Quran at all because it is not basically a scientific book, but we want to illustrate how unlike is bringing of such book by a human being like Mohammad and to clarify that the one who has inspired the book, indeed knows the world and its creation very well and he could be no one but God.
The scientific discussion of verse:
1-Grate explosion (big bang): the Grate explosion (The Big Bang) is the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the Universe that is supported by the most comprehensive and accurate explanations from current scientific evidence and observation. The history of this explosion is estimated to have been approximately 13.7 billion years ago. The framework for the model relies on Albert Einstein‘s general relativity and on simplifying assumptions (such as homogeneity and isotropy of space).
After Edwin Hubble discovered in 1929 that the distances to far away galaxies were generally proportional to their red shifts, this observation was taken to indicate that all very distant galaxies and clusters have an apparent velocity directly away from our vantage point.
The far the galaxies are the faster they are going away from us. So one point in past all things were closer to each other and the temperature was also higher than now. Hubble noticed that separation of stars has a special discipline meaning that the galaxy which is in distance of 1 million light years from us is going away with velocity of 186 km/s while the galaxy which is in distance of 2 million light years is going away with twice of this velocity (372).after discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964 most of scientists accepted that there should be a scenario named Big bang.
4 observed reasons to prove Big bang:
1-observation of wave length of light of galaxies
2-measurment of cosmic microwave background radiation
3- Abundance of primordial elements
4-abundant distribution and apparent cosmic evolution.
Accepting Big bang theory necessitates the expansion of universe. (لموسعون) now we should ask this question that the expanding material is expanding in a limited and pre-existed space or the space itself is expanding with matter. There is almost no doubt in the expansion of matter but about expansion of space we should say that this is not a clear issue and there are many differences between scientists however there are reasons which imply the expansion of space itself:
At the time of explosion, matter and energy create space and time and expanded into it steadily. One of reasons which is presented to prove space expansion is that we can see the light of galaxies in distance of 30 billion light years while these lights have been in their journey only 13 billon years (universe age).so moreover the journey of light ,a lot of space between galaxies have been expanded too. The space is expanding like a raisin cake and carries the galaxies like carrying of cake the raisin.
Even if the issues which have been mentioned above are not completely proved, at least we can claim that the universe is expanding. If one says that we have not known the universe entirely yet so we cannot conclude such issue we will say that at least in known environment the expansion is happening (and it is enough to prove the miracle of Quran).
Commentary discussion of verse:
The clause “we are continually expanding it” is the pivot of verse and its miraculous dimension that does this clause point out the universe expansion?
وَ السَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْيْدٍ وَ إِنَّا لَمُوسِعُون
And (we) constructed the heavens (universe) with power and we are continually expanders of it.
About the term”موسعون-expanders” there are differences between commentators that how should it be meant.
(موسع-expander) has entirely two meanings:
1-a person who has expansion
2-a person who expands (expander)
Many commentators of sunni and shia accept the first meaning however they may accept the second one. They define the verse as follow:
And (we) constructed the heavens (universe) with power and we have an expansion (in power).
But by referring to some lexicon books we understand that the first meaning is not appropriate to the word at all. In Arabic this term is made in “افعال-Efal”grammatical structure therefore we should say that (موسع-expander) means a person who expands and not a person with expansion (e.g. in power).
Now this question may be discussed that what is the object of (موسع-expander)? Means that what does God expand? Here we will discuss some possibilities and choose the best one which best fits the verse.
1-some commentators have said “the expander of gifts (food, talents & etc).
This meaning can be correct by considering nothing but it is not compatible with the clear meaning of the verse.
2-one may say that “the expander of creatures” means that God expands the creatures by continual creation.
About this possibility we should say that the next verses are about creatures so would it not better to bring this verse after those verses. It seems that the clause (we are continually expanders of it) relates to theme of this verse.
Of course it should be said that verses of Quran can carry more than one meaning while all them are correct therefore even if this meaning is correct it will not harm other possible meanings.
3-by looking at the beginning of the verse a group of commentators have said that “expander of heavens (skies).
This possibility best fits the firm appearance of the verse and is divided into two other possibilities:
- With respect to the next verse (51:48) – وَ الْأَرْضَ فَرَشْنَاهَا فَنِعْمَ الْمَهِدُون and the earth we have spread it out ,so how excellent spreaders we have been- it means that we expand the heavens than the earth and the heavens always have expansion than the earth. But such relative meaning needs reason.
- This possibility which is the best one between all is that the heavens themselves are expanding and it is God who is doing that.
This meaning can be carried on the above verse and is the most obvious meaning of the verse.
Now by accepting the expansion of universe and this fact that, this verse of Quran points it out, we can conclude that this verse is one of scientific miracles of Quran.
Now which healthy intellect can believe that an illiterate man (Mohammad) who has not have astronomical instruments and lived in a period of time in which cosmologists believed in universe stability or its contraction(this theory has been typical until 17 century) can explain the expansion of universe.
If he was a liar he would express something which people accept simply or he would express something which does not have even the possibility of being false in future.
Here there is another problem with this scientific miracle which does not belong only to this verse but to all verses which contain sort of prediction or scientific fact and that is this issue that are these miraculous facts a reason for their teller’s prophet hood? Can’t anyone else express these issues? Is it possible that Mohammad have had relationship with sprites? And they announce Mohammad these facts?
These problems are a group of total problems which should be discussed separately therefore we will discuss this question on the following link.