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Recently, scientists have discovered more evidence of the Higgs Boson particle. It would be the last piece of the Standard Model of particle Physics.

Basically, what they are trying to do here is find out why the Universe works the way it does, and how it came to be.

My question is, does Physics contradict the teachings of Islam? For example, Muslims believe God created the Universe, but Physicists are trying to find scientific proof. Is it OK do to so? Would it be haram for a Muslim to become a Physicist or Astronomer?

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    I will just leave a link to Abdus Salam's Nobel acceptance speech here for the time being. His views always serves as a constant reminder for me how Islam embraces science, and how it is not viewed as a contradiction against religion. – Ibrahim Arief Jul 3 '12 at 12:48
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    It would be the last piece of the Standard Model of particle Physics. --> I doubt that, I can't imagine how physics has defined the limit and call it as Last piece. – mtk Nov 13 '12 at 7:13
  • of course it's allowed, as long as you would not agree with the theories that are not consistent with the Islamic teachings. For example it is not acceptable to consider Humans as evolved monkeys. You can always discuss things logically and Islam will always help you. See here and here for a philosophical reasoning for why the big bang theory and all such theories do not contradict with Islam in the first place. – owari Nov 14 '12 at 20:08
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No it is not haraam to become a physicist or an astrophysicist or an astronomer. Science is only exploring what God has created. And indeed, we are told in many Hadith and even in the Qur'an to seek knowledge whenever possible. It is this that made the first generation of Muslims get into the Golden age of Islam.

Surah Al-Rad verse 3

And it is He Who spread out the earth, and placed therein firm mountains and rivers and of every kind of fruits He made Zawjain Ithnain (two in pairs - may mean two kinds or it may mean: of two varieties, e.g. black and white, sweet and sour, small and big). He brings the night as a cover over the day. Verily, in these things, there are Ayat (proofs, evidence, lessons, signs, etc.) for people who reflect.

Also, the God Particle, the Higgs Boson, is just a name given to it. It does not mean that it is literally God. It is named 'The God Particle' because it is so hard to find. Following is from wikipedia

Lederman said he gave the Higgs boson the nickname "The God Particle" because the particle is "so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive,"[5] "And the Lord said, Behold".[6][7][8] The text in the book explain "the publisher wouldn't let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing.

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For the purposes of this answer, let us define "Science" from this angle:

Science is a method with its special terminology and notation for explaining how Allah creates things.`

  • Does Physics contradict the teachings of Islam?

Science must never contradict with Islam. If it appears to be so, the cause can be one of these two reasons:

  1. We understand Islam (ayaat and ahadith) incorrectly.

    • We misunderstand ayats.
    • A hadith is fake, or corrupted while passing from subnarrator to subnarrator.
    • The nabi was a mere human like us. He and his fellows studied Quran days and nights for 23 years. That's why they know more than any of us, and they became so successful. However, the only perfect and flawless being is Allah, they could have been made mistakes in their studies. Prophets are not flawless, having flaws is not a sin. So, a real hadith may contain errors.
  2. Scientists made a mistake.

For example, Muslims believe God created the Universe, but Physicists are trying to find scientific proof.

I believe the atheists point of view is that they think if they are able to explain the mechanism of how something works, then it somehow automatically means that it is not created by Allah. Additionally, some Muslims claim that Allah created this Universe in an instant.

  • Is it OK do to so? Would it be haram for a Muslim to become a Physicist or Astronomer?

Unless your reason of being a physicist or astronomer is defying Allah or Islam, why would it be haram?

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    This answer demonstrates exactly what problem the abrahamic religions have with science: those two points when applied to any text whatsoever will always leave the text in some state of "yeah this is true". If you take the Greek myths and "reason" about them with the approach "either what I think I know about reality is wrong, or I misunderstood the Greek myths", then you will also conclude that they are completely true - yet you don't, because that is ridiculous. It's a false argument. – G. Bach Dec 27 '16 at 20:21
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As far the question

Do the teachings of Physics and Astronomy contradict the teachings of Islam?

Yes, the teachings of Science and Astronomy contradicts the teaching of Islam in many ways.

Universe was not created in 6 days

Indeed, your Lord is Allah , who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne.(continued..) (7:54)

Qurans says the Heavens and the Earth (not the Universe) were created in 6 days. There was no concept of days at the time (at least). Science does not agree with this. According to Science, It all happened in a flash, The Big Bang Theory explains it. The actually galaxies, stars and planets formed much later.

Earth is not older than Heavens (the Sky's)

It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things.(2:29)

Quran implies that Earth was created first and then the Heavens. Science does not believe in this. According to Science the Universe already existed when earth formed. In fact the universe is 14.5 Billion years old but earth is only 4.57 Billion years old.

Sky is not a canopy

And We made the sky a protected ceiling, but they, from its signs, are turning away. (21:31)

According to Science, Sky is not a canopy, it does not exist. Sky appears blue because blue color is scatter more by the air molecules, not because Sky is an object.

Science does not agree, the Moon was ever split into two

The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two] (54:1)

Science does not support that moon was ever split. Splitting of such a huge moon is unimaginable.

The moon will eventually become dark and joined with the Sun

And the moon becomes dark, And the sun and the moon are joined(75:8-9)

The above are verse about Qayamat. There is no scientific explanation that this can possibly happen. As long as the sun is there, moon will reflect the Sun light.

Stars are not their for beautification, protection and Direction purposes

And We have placed within the heaven great stars and have beautified it for the observers.(Quran 15:16)

Indeed, We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars (37:6)

And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as >to guard (from the devils by using them as missiles against the devils) - Yousaf Ali (41:12)

And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know. (6:97)

Qurans says that God beautified the lower heaven with stars for the observer. The stars are also there to guard against the devils. They are also there for us to find directions at night. Science does not agree with this.

Sun and Moon are not for reckoning purposes

(He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.

Science does not believe this is the purpose of the Sun and Moon.

In short Islamic model of Universe does not comply with Scientific version. Or The scientific version does not comply with the Quranic version. Muslims usually ignore such contradictions, however if one digs into, they will find that such contradictions does exists.

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    Science typically tries to explain how things occur, not why they occur. The "why" is the realm of philosophy. – goldPseudo Nov 12 '12 at 19:22
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    Right science explains how universe was formed first and then the earth, how sky is not a ceiling, how the moon cannot just stop shinning. I have explained only how. Why is different question and philosophical. – muslim1 Nov 12 '12 at 20:04
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    Science merely explains the methods Allah has chosen to fulfill his will. Claiming science somehow takes preference over the creator is stupid. There are no contradictions in the Quran, no errors and no mistakes... only misunderstandings (clearly many on your part). – Hanif Nov 12 '12 at 23:10
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    I fail to see how he misunderstood verse (2:29) where it says that earth (and all that is on it) was created before heavens...I agree that the rest of what he says is debatable, but 2:29 is kind of clear cut... – ZakC Feb 17 '16 at 19:41
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    @goldPseudo Islam makes a lot of claims about what occurred, how it occurred, and how the world is that trespass openly on the territory that can be dealt with with the scientific method. Willfully ignoring the areas of conflict is not an honest solution. – G. Bach Dec 29 '16 at 15:06
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I am adding something in response to the latest answer. First of all, In Quran Sky is called a Canopy, you know why? Because like a roof or canopy, the upper sky/atmosphere protects us from harmful cosmic rays just as the roof protects from the heat. see this website:

http://www.universetoday.com/25370/how-does-the-earth-protect-us-from-space/

Second point: the days mentioned in Quran are periods rather than days, see this site for details:

http://www.speed-light.info/miracles_of_quran/age_of_universe.htm

Third point: That it was not proven by science that the moon was split in two. Science cannot prove or disprove a historical event with limited amount of information. For example, if there was a magnitude 5 earthquake 8000 years back in Mexico city, can science prove that? no, Science has limitations because it's based on observations. Science cannot disprove a theory until it observes a contradiction to that theory. In here, we are talking about historical event in which the moon was split in two by a supernatural force. Then the moon may have been merged. Science cannot go back to past to observe this event. So how it can disprove the possible event that moon was split and merged back to normal again.

Fourth point: That, the moon will become dark, sun and moon will join together. How profound scientific indication this verse has! Do you know about the big crunch theory. See this website for details:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/big-crunch.htm

according to this theory the universe will stop expanding and gravity will cause the universe to collapse. Often physicists use a balloon to explain the expansion of universe. Have you seen a Balloon loose air? The big crunch will be like that. If you consider the spots on the balloon as galaxies, stars and planets, we can imagine that because of the collapse they will come close together again and it's completely normal for sun and moon to fall on one another and be joined together, in such a scenario the sun may loose light (black holes are stars that loose light is'nt it? so why can't sun loose it) and this will cause the moon to loose it's light too.

Fifth point: "to guard".i do not see anything wrong with this verse. Can you devise a mathematical theory that says, it is wrong. That's the limitation of Science. It's domain is only limited to observable things (or things the effect of which can be observed). One cannot devise a mathematical theory which can disprove this because, Angels and devils are not observable in the material world.

Stars do not have direction purposes???? see here how stars are used for direction/navigation:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Astro_p008.shtml#procedure

Sixth point: Science does not believe in moon and sun's reckoning purpose. Reckoning means to estimate something. Don't we use sun and moon for estimating????? see this University of Washington pdf document about how to estimate size of earth by using distance from Sun and Moon.

http://www.astro.washington.edu/courses/astro211/CoursePack/cp03a_distance_sun.pdf

Original answer:

May ALLAH forgive me for my mistakes.So far it does not contradict Islam. In fact, Quran encourages research and investigation, it has verses with profound scientific implications.

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before we* set them apart? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (The Noble Quran, 21:30)"

*(Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, by 'we' ALLAH refers to himself but this is a kingly way of referring to oneself in Arabic language)

how can earth and heavens (planets, stars, galaxies) be joined together, it's only possible in an extremely dense state of universe, now it's been widely accepted for last couple of decades that the universe (and space-time) started with big bang. During this event, all the matter were packed in an extremely dense state. Since the big bang the universe has been expanding.

the second part of the verse gives another proven fact that, wherever there is water, there is life. I guess you know how desperately NASA scientists are looking for water in Mars.

Even the expansion of universe was mentioned in Quran:

"And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are expander (51:47)".

Refer to these website for more on holy Quran, Astronomy and Science in general. There are many more websites, you just need to explore a bit.

It's not haram for a muslim to become a physicist or astronomer. Quran holds scholarly people in high regard. see the second website to read the verses about scholarly people.

http://www.elnaggarzr.com/en/index.php?ID=3&CatName=Universe http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/edu/edu_attain.htm

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    Salam and Welcome to Islam.SE, we strongly suggest that you read the FAQ, in it is what you need to know about how things work here. We are happy to have you as an active participant here, we pray that you like it. Why don't you come and drop by the chat ( chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/3819/islam ), if you need furthur help than you can come, and if you want to discuss or talk with other members than the it is open. – مجاهد Nov 12 '12 at 0:02
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The only useful/relevant information in the religious text is related to our styles of living rather than facts of heaven.

Let us imagine that we visit an isolated and ignorant tribe. Clearly, we would use a parable/story/poem(instead of actual facts) to motivate them to learn about the universe at their own pace and style. Should not we expect our Creator to use the same approach to communicate with us?

It would be rather unwise to expect Laws of Motion, Tensor Analysis, Quantum Mechanics and even biological evolution to appear in religious texts.

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