The description of the origins of the universe: “Do the disbelievers not realize that the heavens and earth were once˺ one mass then We split them apart? (21:30). For the 21st century man, this verse allows for our current understanding of how the universe came into being — what we refer to as the big bang (i.e. the universe started out as a singularity that expanded.)
– The Quran calls our attention to how we humans were created from humble origins, “Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot (alaqah).” (23:14). The Quran uses the word alaqah, which can mean a clinging substance, a leech or a worm, and a blood clot, or blood in a general sense. Yes, the ancient Greek physicians and ancient Hebrews predating the Quran also described the embryo as a clinging substance and a blood clot, but interestingly the word alaqah also refers to a worm or a leech. And this is what the embryo actually looks like at around days 22-25 of its development.
How did the universe come to exist? Did it come from nothing?
From nothing, nothing comes. For example, if you heard a loud bang, you would never assume it just came from nothing. Or would a pink elephant just pop out from nothing into your living room? Obviously not! So the universe could not have just come out of nothing.
Did it create itself?
This is irrational because that would require it to be in existence and non-existence at the same time. It is like saying a mother gave birth to herself!
Or does it have a creator?
This is the most logical and rational conclusion.
The creator is powerful as He created the universe.
When we observe the planets, solar systems, galaxies, stars and everything else in the universe, this indicates that the creator must have an amazing amount of power and ability to be able to put the universe into existence.
Simplification: Anything that is ordered indicates intelligence. For example, if you were walking on a beach and saw the word ‘hello’ written in the sand, you would conclude that there is an intelligence that wrote this because the letters are ordered. You would never assume it happened by chance. Or if you woke up in a factory and saw all the systems and machines manufacturing jeans, you would naturally conclude that there is an intelligence that manages this factory because it has order.
Order in our Solar System
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” (Quran 3:190)
Simplification: Our solar system is highly ordered with intricate systems, laws and patterns which indicate that there is an intelligent designer. Let’s look at some examples of our ordered and perfectly balanced solar system: The sun’s distance from the earth The sun is at a perfect distance from the earth. If the sun was slightly further away, we would freeze and if it was any closer we would burn.
If we did not have an ozone layer protecting us, we would be dramatically affected by the sun’s harmful rays.
If the gravitational force was altered, this would have a massive effect on our existence. Size of the sun, earth and moon If the size of the Sun or Earth was different, we would either be too hot or too cold. If the moon was a different size or did not exist, it would affect the gravitational force which stabilizes the earth’s axis. This would have a huge effect on our seasons and would increase the speed of the earth’s rotation so that one day would only be a few hours long.
If the axis of the earth was altered, this would create chaos and our earth would be uninhabitable.