Creation of Universe: Historical Background
6:44:24 2024-04-21 124

Speculations about the Origin of the Universe date back right from the advent of human civilization. The Vedas, the ancient scriptures of the Hindus conceived of the emergence of a cosmic nucleus Hiranyagarbha (or Golden Egg) from water. This Golden Egg " is considered the source of existence of all mundane and heavenly entities because it contained fire (heat) within itself.') (Mi, 1966) p. 187). In ancient Greece the presocratic thinkers like Thales) Anaximander and Anaximenes of the 6th century B.C. "developed the view that the formation - of the world occurred-as a natural sequence of events." The Pythagorean School "stressed the concept of an ordered cosmos governed by mathematical relations) (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974) vol. 18) p. 1007). These were mere speculations sans scientific approach.

The work of Copernicus in 1543 imparted scientific outlook to speculations about the Origin of the Universe and the planetary system. He rejected the geocentric concept of Ptolemy and assigned key role to the sun in the planetary system. This ushered in the era of scientific speculations about the Universe and solar system based on telescopic observations and mathematical principles initiated by Galileo- (heliocentric planetary system) and Newton (Laws of Motion) respectively. Since then distinguished scientists and philosophers such as Tyco Brahe) Emanuel Swedenborg, Immanuel Rant, Heinrich Lambert, William Herschel) Einstein, Friedmann, Hoyle, Edwin Hubble, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and others have propounded various scientific theories based on astronomical observations with sophisticated equipment and sound mathematical principles.

Despite these intense scientific investigations of more than three centuries with the help of powerful telescopes, space flights and highly sensitive instruments, the scientists still feel that their "present knowledge of the origin and evolution of the planets, stars, stellar systems, galactic systems and the universe is pitifully small" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974, vol. 18, p. 1007).
However, even after admitting this gross inadequacy of knowledge of the Universe some of the scientists still venture to suggest that its complex system is a product of sheer chance or accident. They refuse to subscribe to the religious and yet rational view that the Universe has been created by Allah (God) with a purpose and design.

References to the creation of the universe are found in the Divine books of the three monotheistic religions, viz., Torah (Jews), Bible (Christians), Al-Qur'an (Muslims). Of these Divine books the Qur'anic texts only will be cited ,because they have remained unaltered since they were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (P.B.H.) more than 1400 years ago. The maintenance of the purity of the original text of the Qur'an and its protection from corruption have been assured by Allah: 'We have, without doubt, sent down the Message and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption) (Al-Hijr: XV:9).

Further the Qur'an alone offers systematic and scientific account of the creation of the Universe and movement of the celestial bodies. It is indeed remarkable that the concepts in these respects revealed in the Qur'an in the early 7th century are being found increasingly valid with the progressive advance of science and sophistication in scientific tools and techniques of investigation. There are nearly seven hundred verses in the Qur'an which describe the natural phenomena and each one of them conforms to the natural laws which are being discovered by the scientists.

 

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