Published On:01 March 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Qur'an and Science: All Things in Pair

By Ibrahim B. Syed

Islam is a religion of truth and it is a rational religion. The Glorious Qur'an denounces irrational religion as religion evidently false. Again and again the Qur'an urges men to use their reason, to ponder and to reflect. While the West thinks there is conflict between religion and science, but for Muslims there is no conflict between Islam and Science. According to Dr. George Sarton, former Professor of History of Science at Harvard University Islam is responsible for the meteoric rise of sciences during the middle ages while Europeans lived in the dark ages. This is because both the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad (S.A.S) extolled the Muslims to learn, to seek education and knowledge. In Islam there is no distinction between secular education and religious education.

The Noble Qur'an is not a scientific treatise. It is a book of guidance, a book of wisdom. However there are more than 1200 verses (Ayath) which can be interpreted in the light of modern science. The Qur'an gave a great impetus to learning, particularly in the field of natural sciences. The Qur'an Majid may be called the cause of modern scientific and material progress.

Pairs In Living Things

One of the most recent of all scientific discoveries is that everything in the universe exists in pairs such as male and female among living things. Now we find that rock crystals also have pairs.

The Qur'an says: And of everything We have created pairs: That ye may receive Instruction.
Surah Zariyat, 51: 49 A. Yusuf All in note 5025 item (3) says " All things are in twos: sex in plants and animals, by which one individual is complementary to another; in the subtle forces of nature. Day and Night, positive and negative electricity, forces of attraction and repulsion: and numerous other opposites, each fulfilling its purpose, and contributing to the working of God's Universe; and in the moral and spiritual world. Love and Aversion, Mercy and Justice, Striving and Rest, and so on;-all fulfilling their functions according to the Artistry and wonderful Purpose of God. Everything has its counterpart, or pair, or complement. God alone is One, with none like Him, or needed to complement Him. These are noble things to contemplate. And they lead us to a true understanding of God's Purpose and Message."

Surah TA HA 20: 53

Sex in plants was discovered in the 1890s. The knowledge that plants have life, their male and female characteristics, pollination and fertilization is found in the Qur'an which was revealed 1400 years ago.

Pairs Of Which They Have No Knowledge

The most astounding fact of all is that pairs exist at the atomic (nuclear particles, electrons) and 
subatomic particles levels. The Qur'an very clearly states:

Surah YASEEN 36: 36

In note 3981 Yusuf Ali says "The mystery of sex runs through all creation, -in man, in animal life, in vegetable life, and possibly in other things of which we have no knowledge. Then there are pairs of opposite forces in nature, e.g., positive and negative electricity, etc. The atom itself consists of positively charged nucleus or proton, surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The constitution of matter itself is thus referred to pairs of opposite energies."

The purpose of this article is to reflect and interpret in detail the Qur'anic statement " And (other) things of which they have no knowledge." Man had no knowledge of the structure of the atom until the early part of the twentieth century. Scores of subatomic particles have been discovered recently and many are yet to be discovered. Nick Herbert says in his book "FASTER THAN LIGHT" (published by New American Library, New York, 1988, p.144)

"Today the physicists have generalized Dirac's result and predict that all elementary particles come in pairs, the existence of a certain particle implied that a corresponding antiparticle also exists."

In 1930, British Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics P.A.M. Dirac based on mathematical equations predicted the existence of antielectron, reverse electron or positron. This is the first "electron-positron" pair at the elementary particle level postulated then. In 1932 Carl Anderson using a particle detector called cloud chamber detected the positron in Cosmic rays which flood the entire universe including the earth.

As we know the nucleus of an atom contains positively charged particles called protons and neutrons with no charge but have the same mass as protons. The electron revolves around the nucleus. This is the structure of an atom. The nucleon (proton or neutron) is quite heavy compared to the mass of an electron. The mass of a nucleon is 1836 times the mass of an electron. The particles whose mass is between the mass of an electron and the mass of a nucleon are called mesons (intermediate). Muons are 207 times as massive as electrons. Pions are 270 times as massive as electrons. There are three kinds of Pions: positively charged, neutral, and negatively charged. A photon or a neutrino has zero charge and zero mass. A nucleon (proton or neutron) consists of three quarks. The following definitions will be helpful to the readers in understanding the Tables listing the subatomic particles in pairs.

Baryon: A heavy particle

Nucleon: A proton or neutron

Hyperon: A baryon that is heavier than a nucleon

Meson: A particle of medium mass (between an electron and a nucleon)

Hadron: Any particle that can take part in a strong interaction (such as baryons and mesons)

Lepton: A particle of low or zero mass that can experience electromagnetic forces or the weak force.

The masses of the particles are expressed in energy units called MeV (million electron Volts). The mass of an electron is expressed as 0.511 MeV and the mass of a nucleon is equal to 938 

MeV: A particle whose mass is between 0.511 MeV and 1000 MeV is a meson. A particle whose mass is greater than 1000 MeV is a Hyperon.

Particle and antiparticle constitutes a pair. Electron and positron is a pair. Proton and antiproton is a pair. Neutron and antineutron is a pair.

[Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed is Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville. He is also President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Science Editor. He can be contacted at irfi@iname.com. His works can also be seen on his website http://www.irfi.org]

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