How science polishes our understanding of the Quran

By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The second last verse of Surah Ha Mim Sajdah reads, “We will show them Our Signs in the universe and also in their own psyche and consciousness until it becomes manifest to them that the Quran is the Truth.” (Al Quran 41:53)

It goes without saying that our knowledge of our solar system, our universe, cosmology, physics and mathematics that supports it, has multiplied a billion fold from the seventh century Arabia to the 21st century global village.

For the understanding of our universe you could be watching any number of good documentaries produced by the reputable Western companies. I will share only one here:

Likewise our understanding of the human psychology has increased in so many different ways.

So there is no denying that almost a thousand Quranic verses talking about nature or the study of nature do not mean the same thing today as they did in the seventh century Arabia. I have written specifically about this topic before also: Science in the Service of the Scriptures and how Darwinian evolution has changed our Quranic story of Adam: Surah Al Baqara (The Cow): Section 4: Adam and Eve.

I believe that any good commentary of the Quran can never be written in stone. Please see our collection below about scope and style of the Quran.

Therefore, verses about sociology, legislation and host of other subjects that change with the changing societies have to be understood and read in contemporary terms.

The fundamentalist then ask is there any thing fixed in the Quran? Yes, the main themes of theology. Monotheism and our accountability, in the hereafter, are written in stone.

I believe that the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah. This is why each and every prophet of God was sent and this indeed is the very purpose of the holy Quran, as it often uses the first creation as a proof for the second creation, namely our accountability in the hereafter.

Suggested reading for knowing the Creator of our universe

Deism: Common between Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Patriarch Abraham’s Deism and Monotheism: The Best Paradigm For Interfaith Tolerance

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

The Muslim Times, Perhaps the Only Medium Presenting the Creator God of the Holy Quran

How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Photosynthesis: deserving of our awe or ridicule?

Allah the Creator, the Maker and the Fashioner: The Best Documentary on Birds

The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator of Our Universe

The Beauty and the GPS of the Birds and the Quran

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Plain Water will Tell you the Story

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe by Martin Rees

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Moon: Does it have a purpose?

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

12 Famous Scientists On The Possibility Of God

Every Ray of Light Gives Us Eternal Hope in God’s Providence

Religion and Science: The Indispensable God-hypothesis

Scope, Style and Preservation of the Quran

If you limit yourself to one or a few religious teachers, you may have a severe case of myopia

To Know more how you can benefit from the Muslim Times, go to our Homepage or About Us page
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

In the very beginning of Surah Saff, chapter 61 of the Quran, we read: “Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah, He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

There are several other verses of the Quran on this theme that it can be considered almost a Quranic refrain.

Allah is making a very profound claim here that literally every thing that we see around, under the microscope or through the telescope, glorifies Him.

Now, if you resort to reading the commentary or lecture of a given Muslim scholar about such verses, you are going to be short changed, for the theologian has spend his life studying theology and different details of the Shariah and has had very little time to master the scientific beauties of our universe.

You can appreciate the amazing beauties of different life forms or biology through the eyes and camera of David Attenborough’s crew and mind boggling complexities and intricacies of physics and cosmology through the writings and videoes of Paul Davies, Martin Rees and James Al Khalili and many others.

Now, you might say wait a minute many of these are not even theists. That is well and good. That is where I come in and in a few short writings bring the scholarship of ages to the service of One True God and introduce you to sublime Monotheism: A Slight Twist Makes David Attenborough a Great Teacher for God of the Abrahamic Faiths and A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Dr. Zia H Shah

If you are going to learn your biology and especially evolution from likes of Zakir Naik and Yusuf Estes, may I say respectfully that you will be seriously misinformed: Exposing Creationism of Zakir Naik, Tahir ul Qadari, Yusuf Estes and Harun Yahya.

The last verse of Sura Hashar, chapter 59 of the Quran, states: He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

So, to fully appreciate the attributes, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner, may I respectfully suggest that you may need to recognize the Muslim Times as a good source and benefit from the following:

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

The Muslim Times, Perhaps the Only Medium Presenting the Creator God of the Holy Quran

How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Photosynthesis: deserving of our awe or ridicule?

Allah the Creator, the Maker and the Fashioner: The Best Documentary on Birds

The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator of Our Universe

The Beauty and the GPS of the Birds and the Quran

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Plain Water will Tell you the Story

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe by Martin Rees

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Moon: Does it have a purpose?

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Twelve Famous Scientists On The Possibility Of God

Surah Al Naba: The Announcement

A Meccan surah. The disbelievers often asked incredulously about the Resurrection, this is mentioned in the first five verses of the surah. This surah gives evidence of God’s power in verses 6-16, then explains what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, and the respective fates of believers and disbelievers in the rest of the surah.

It follows the theme of several other surahs, where God’s first creation is presented as evidence for second creation or Resurrection.

So, this surah is another exhibit for our repeated assertion that the two most fundamental theses of the Quran are belief in the Creator and Loving God and our accountability to Him in the hereafter.

We believe the two fundamental beliefs in Islam, which it shares with Judaism and Christianity are belief in the Transcendent God and accountability in the life after death. (87:16-19) The former is discussed at some length in the commentary of Surah Al Fatihah and the latter in the commentary of Surah Al Waqi’ah. This is why each and every prophet of God was sent and this indeed is the very purpose of the holy Quran.  In the worldly and human sphere the goal of the Quran is to create just and compassionate individuals and society.

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

78:1. What are they asking about? عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ
78:2. Is it about the momentous announcement, the Day of Judgment?عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ
78:3. About which they differ. الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ ‎
78:4. They will find out. كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ
78:5. In the end they will find out. ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ
78:6. Did We not make the earth a flat bed, أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ مِهَادًا
78:7. and make the mountains to keep it stable? وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا
78:8. Did We not create you in pairs, وَخَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا
78:9. give you sleep as a source of rest, وَجَعَلْنَا نَوْمَكُمْ سُبَاتًا
78:10. the night as a cover, وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا
78:11. and the day for your livelihood? وَجَعَلْنَا النَّهَارَ مَعَاشًا
78:12. Did We not build seven strong heavens above you, وَبَنَيْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ سَبْعًا شِدَادًا
78:13. and make sun a blazing lamp? وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَاجًا وَهَّاجًا
78:14. Did We not send water pouring down from the clouds وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا
78:15. to bring forth with it grain, vegetations,لِّنُخْرِجَ بِهِ حَبًّا وَنَبَاتًا
78:16. and luxuriant gardens? وَجَنَّاتٍ أَلْفَافًا
78:17. A time has been appointed for the Day of Judgment:إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا
78:18. a Day when the Trumpet will sound and you will come forward in crowds, يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا
78:19. when the heaven will open up like wide portals, وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا
78:20. when the mountains will vanish like a mirage.وَسُيِّرَتِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَابًا
78:21. Surely, hell lies in wait, إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا
78:22. a resort for oppressors لِّلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا
78:23. to stay in for ages, لَّابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا
78:24. where they will taste neither coolness nor any pleasant drink لَّا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا
78:25. except one that is scalding and nauseating إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا
78:26. a fitting requital, جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا
78:27. for they did not fear the reckoning,إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ حِسَابًا
78:28. and they rejected Our messages as lies. وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا كِذَّابًا
78:29. We have recorded everything in a Book. وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ كِتَابًا
78:30. ‘Taste this: all you will get from Us is more torment.’ فَذُوقُوا فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا
78:31. For those who were God conscious there is supreme fulfilment: إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا
78:32. private gardens, vineyards, حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا
78:33. young, well-matched companions, وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا
78:34. and overflowing cups. وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقًا
78:35. There they will hear no vain or lying talk. لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا
78:36. a reward from your Lord, a fitting giftرَّبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الرَّحْمَٰنِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُ خِطَابًا
78:37. from the Lord of the heavens and earth and everything between, the Lord of Mercy. They will have no authority from Him to speak. يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا
78:38. On the Day when the souls and the angels stand in rows, they will not speak except for those to whom the Lord of Mercy gives permission, who will say only what is true. يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا
78:39. That day is sure to come. So let him, who will, seek recourse unto his Lord.ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ مَآبًا
78:40. Indeed, We have warned you of an imminent torment, on the Day when every person will see what their own hands have sent ahead for them, when the disbeliever will say, ‘If only I were mere dust!’ إِنَّا أَنذَرْنَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِيبًا يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنتُ تُرَابًا

Demystifying Quantum Physics: You Need it for Your Faith

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

If my articles are boring to you, it may be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

He (Allah) is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He knows every little detail fully well. (Al Quran 57:3/4)

Quantum physics has come to symbolize complexity among other things and most of us try to shy away from it.  But, the fundamental reality is that if we put the mathematics aside and find the right teachers, following arguments in Quantum physics is not any harder than any other scientific, religious, philosophical, logical and political argument.  Often what it means is picking up, which expert is giving a fair and balanced understanding and which one is blinded by his or her ideological concerns.

Napoleon, in one of the most notable conversations in the history of science, asked the French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace about the role of God in his scientific world view. It is said that Laplace had presented Napoleon with a copy of his work, who had heard that the book contained no mention of God. Napoleon, who was fond of imposing embarrassment, received it with the remark, “Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.” Laplace is said to have replied, “Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis.” And so it goes. The apparent so called self-sufficiency of our physical universe has caused many a scientist to move away from the idea of a Creator of the universe or the God Hypothesis. But is it really so?

Laplace is one of the seventy two people to have their names on the Eiffel Tower. So strong was his belief in determinism and the scientific process that he said that given the knowledge of every atomic motion, the entire future of the universe could be mapped out. This was precisely the reason why Einstein did not believe in free will or accountability except for the horrific crimes of the Nazis.  Laplace wrote:

We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at any given moment knew all of the forces that animate nature and the mutual positions of the beings that compose it, if this intellect were vast enough to submit the data to analysis, could condense into a single formula the movement of the greatest bodies of the universe and that of the lightest atom; for such an intellect nothing could be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.

Atheist physicist and philosophers want to continue to read determinism in physics despite the discoveries of Quantum physics, in the twentieth century, to rule out human soul, human free will and Providence of God. Read Carl Sagan as he rightfully sings praises of science, but, implies to rule out prayer and Providence, by bracketing them with quackery and witchcraft:

You can go to the witch doctor to lift the spell that causes your pernicious anemia, or you can take vitamin B12. If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate. If you’re interested in the sex of your unborn child, you can consult plumb-bob danglers all you want (leftright, a boy; forward-back, a girl-or maybe it’s the other way around), but they’ll be right, on average, only one time in two. If you want real accuracy (here, ninety-nine percent accuracy), try amniocentesis and sonograms. Try science.

If our world is deterministic then the claims of atheist scientists are true.  There is no room for Islam or Christianity or any other religion.  If hard determinism is true then God does not exist and our claims about human soul are no more than those in previous decades about Santa Clause and in previous centuries about witches.  Encyclopedia Britannica tells us about determinism and its implications:

Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. The theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of its future is also possible. Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace, in the 18th century framed the classical formulation of this thesis. For him, the present state of the universe is the effect of its previous state and the cause of the state that follows it. If a mind, at any given moment, could know all of the forces operating in nature and the respective positions of all its components, it would thereby know with certainty the future and the past of every entity, large or small. The Persian poet Omar Khayyam expressed a similar deterministic view of the world in the concluding half of one of his quatrains: “And the first Morning of Creation wrote / What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.”[1]

So, if determinism is true there is no need to invoke human soul, human free will and Providence of God.  These three become agents that simply cannot influence our world.  In Wikipedia we can read:

Determinism is a philosophy stating that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. Different versions of this theory depend upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and events, asserting that these hold without exception. Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse motives and considerations, some of which overlap. They can be understood in relation to their historical significance and alternative theories. Some forms of determinism can be tested empirically with ideas stemming from physics and the philosophy of physics. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Determinism is often contrasted with free will.  Determinism is often taken to mean simply causal determinism: an idea known in physics as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states. This can be distinguished from other varieties of determinism mentioned below. Other debates often concern the scope of determined systems, with some maintaining that the entire universe (or multiverse) is a single determinate system and others identifying other more limited determinate systems. Within numerous historical debates, many varieties and philosophical positions on the subject of determinism exist. This includes debates concerning human action and free will, where opinions might be sorted as compatibilistic and incompatibilistic.[2]

I as a Muslim believe in free will and deny Hard Determinism.  The Philosophers have created four different combinations of belief or disbelief in free will and determinism.  They have argued that either Determinism is true or Indeterminism is true, but also that Free Will either exists or it does not. This creates four possible positions. Compatibilism refers to the view that free will is, in some sense, compatible with Determinism. The three Incompatibilist positions, on the other hand, deny this possibility. They instead suggest there is a dichotomy between determinism and free will (only one can be true).

To the Incompatibilists, one must choose either free will or Determinism, and maybe even reject both. The result is one of three positions:

According to this classification, I am arguing for Metaphysical Libertarianism; I believe in free will and deny determinism.  I believe that for that to be true, we need proper understanding of Quantum physics, otherwise we cannot argue for it.

The principle of free will has religious, ethical, and scientific implications. For example, in the religious realm, free will implies that individual will and choices can coexist with an omnipotent divinity. In ethics, it may hold implications for whether individuals can be held morally accountable for their actions.

Like dominoes fall in a deterministic fashion, if Laplace or causal determinism is true then our choices are predetermined and we are not free to make them and hence do not have free will.  But, I believe that the twentieth century physics, as opposed to earlier physics has shown us that our world is indeterministic.  Quantum physics developed in the first 3-4 decades of twentieth century provides explanation and avenue not only for our free will but also for God’s Providence.

The Miracle of Light – An Every Day Metaphor to Appreciate Quantum Physics

God said let there be light and there was the Holy Quran!  The Quran describes Allah as Manifest as well as Transcendent and Hidden at the same time, in the verse quoted in the beginning.  It is in this duality that the relationship of religion and science is to be understood.  If Laplace had been right in predicting the future accurately, not only there would have been no Personal God but also no ‘free will’ for mankind.  But something beautiful yet common place, namely, each and every ray of light, defies the tall claims of Laplace.

The scientific conflict between particle and wave models of light has permeated the history of science for several centuries.  The issue dates back to at least Newton.  His careful investigations into the properties of light in the 1660s led to his discovery that white light consists of a mixture of colors. He struggled with a formulation of the nature of light, ultimately asserting in Opticks (1704) that light consists of a stream of ‘corpuscles,’ or particles.  The wave model explains certain observed phenomena but the photoelectric phenomena are best explained by ‘corpuscle’ nature of light.

If you have ever held a metal wire over a gas flame, you have borne wit­ness to one of the great secrets of the universe. As the wire gets hotter, it begins to glow, to give off light. And the color of that light changes with temperature. A cooler wire gives off a reddish glow, while the hottest wires shine with a blue-white brilliance. What you are watching, as any high school physics student can tell you, is the transformation of one kind of energy (heat) into another (light). As the wire gets hotter and hotter, it gets brighter. That’s because if there is more heat energy avail­able, more light energy can be given off, which makes sense.

Why does the color of that light change with temperature? Throughout the nineteenth century, that deceptively simple question baffled the best minds of classical physics. As the wire gets hotter and hotter, the atoms within it move more rapidly. Maybe that causes the color (the wavelength) of the light to change? Well, that’s true, but there’s more to it. Every time classical physicists used their understanding of matter and energy to try to predict exactly which wavelengths of light should be given off by a hot wire, they got it wrong. At high temperatures, those classical predictions were dramatically wrong. Something didn’t make sense.

Max Planck, a German physicist, found a way to solve the problem. Physicists had always assumed that light, being a wave, could be emitted from an object at any wavelength and in any amount. Planck realized that for this phenomenon the particulate nature as suggested by Newton was the key. He proposed that light could only be released in little packets containing a precise amount of energy. He called these packets or ‘corpuscles’ of Newton as ‘quanta.’  All of a sudden, everything fell into place.

It was known that when some solids were struck by light, they emitted electrons.  This phenomenon is called the photoelectric effect.   Albert Einstein offered the best explanation of the photoelectric effect in a brilliant paper that eventually won him his Nobel Prize.   He seized on the dual nature of light.  Light was not only a waveform but is composed of individual quanta later called photons.  This understanding of the dual nature of light was needed to explain some of the phenomena that had been observed in study of light.  The wave theory of light did not explain the photoelectric effect but conceptualizing the light to be also particle, beautifully solved this riddle.  Einstein proposed that the energy to eject a single electron from the plate came from a single quantum of light. That’s why a more intense light (more quanta) just ejects more electrons. But the energy in each of those packets, the quantum wallop if you will, is determined by the wavelength, the color, of the light. With one stroke, of genius, Einstein had shown that Planck’s quanta were not just theoretical constructs. Light really could behave as if it were made of a stream of particles, today known as photons.  He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for this work.

Prof. Kenneth R Miller wrote in his popular book, Finding Darwin’s God:

All of this might have been sensible and comforting were it not for the fact that light was already known to behave as if it were a wave! So many experiments already had shown that light could be diffracted, that light had a frequency and a wavelength, that light spread out like a wave on the surface of a pond. Could all those experiments be wrong? No, they were not. All of those experiments were right. Light was both a particle and a wave. It was both a continuous stream and a shower of discrete quantum packets. And that nonsensical result was just the beginning.

Classical physics had prepared everyone to think of physical events as governed by fixed laws, but the quantum revolution quickly destroyed this Newtonian certainty. An object as simple as a mirror can show us why. A household mirror reflects about ninety-five percent of light hitting it. The other five percent passes right through. As long as we think of light as a Wave, a continuous stream of energy, it’s easy to visualize ninety-five per­cent reflection. But photons are indivisible-each individual photon must either be reflected or pass through the surface of the mirror. That means that for one hundred photons fired at the surface, ninety-five will bounce off but five will pass right through.

If we fire a series of one hundred photons at the mirror, can we tell in advance which will be the five that are going to pass through? Absolutely not. All photons of a particular wavelength are identical; there is nothing to distinguish one from the other. If we rig up an experiment in which we fire a single photon at our mirror, we cannot predict in advance what will happen, no matter how precise our knowledge of the system might be. Most of the time, that photon is going to come bouncing off; but one time out of twenty, on average, it’s going to go right through the mirror. There is nothing we can do, not even in principle, to figure out when that one chance in twenty is going to come up. It means that the outcome of each individual experiment is unpredictable in principle.”[2]

Any hopes that the strange uncertainty of quantum behavior would be confined to light were quickly destroyed when it became clear that the quantum theory had to be applied to explain the behavior of electrons also. Their behavior in any individual encounter, just like the photon fired at the mirror, cannot be predicted, not even in principle.  The photo electric effect was leading the physics community to quantum mechanics.

Just as the invention of the telescope dramatically broadened exploration of the Cosmos, so too the invention of the microscope opened the intricate world of the cell. The analysis of the frequencies of light emitted and absorbed by atoms was a principal impetus for the development of quantum mechanics.  What had begun as a tiny loose end, a strange little problem in the rela­tionship between heat and light, now is understood to mean that nothing is quite the way it had once seemed. The unfolding of quantum mechanics was and still is a drama of high suspense, as Heisenberg himself wrote:

I remember discussions with Bohr (in 1927) which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair, and when at the end of the dis­cussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park, I repeated to myself again and again the question: ‘Can nature possibly be absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?’[3]

One hundred years after the discovery of the quantum, we can say that the answer is yes, that is exactly what nature is like. Just because science can explain so many unknowns doesn’t mean that it can explain everything, or that it can vanquish the unknowable.  At its very core, in the midst of the ultimate constituents of matter and energy, the predictable causality that once formed the heart of classical physics breaks down. Deep down the nature is unknowable as the Transcendent God is Unknowable.  It may be, this is where the finite meets the Infinite, and by the very nature of the meeting point, it is hidden in mystery and awe, an enigma or a riddle never to be solved!

Double slit experiment: An easy way to appreciate the mysteries of the Quantum world

The double-slit experiment, sometimes called Young’s experiment (after Young’s interference experiment), is a demonstration that matter and energy can display characteristics of both waves and particles, and demonstrates the fundamentally probabilistic nature of quantum mechanical phenomena.

In the basic version of the experiment, a coherent light source such as a laser beam illuminates a thin plate pierced by two parallel slits, and the light passing through the slits is observed on a screen behind the plate. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through the two slits to interfere, producing bright and dark bands on the screen — a result that would not be expected if light consisted strictly of particles. However, on the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were composed of discrete particles or photons.[1][2]

This result establishes the principle known as wave–particle duality. Additionally, the detection of individual photons is observed to be inherently probabilistic, which is inexplicable using classical mechanics.[3]

The following short video, in a very easy manner, not only explains the double split experiment, but, its implications on the indeterminacy of our quantum world.  After all there are limits to what humans can know and those limits will not go away with technological advances, Double Slit Experiment explained! by Jim Al-Khalili:

You can read the same details in the first chapter of a book, by Prof. James Al-Khalili, who is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey, Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Quantum Physics and Uncertainty Principle

Lot of time the complexity that Quantum physicist have to deal with is calculations for each electron based on Schrödinger equation, which gives the first time derivative of the quantum state. That is, it explicitly and uniquely predicts the development of the wave function with time.

ihbarfrac{partialpsi(x,t)}{partial t} = - frac{hbar^2}{2m} frac{partial^2psi(x,t)}{partial x^2}+V(x)psi

The complexity of the equation is obvious at the first glance, but if we can bypass this then life is not too tough to bear.

At one time, it was assumed in the physical sciences that if the behavior observed in a system cannot be predicted, the problem is due to lack of fine-grained information, so that a sufficiently detailed investigation would eventually result in a deterministic theory (“If you knew exactly all the forces acting on the dice, you would be able to predict which number comes up”).

However, the advent of quantum mechanics removed the underpinning from that approach, with the claim that (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) the most basic constituents of matter at times behave indeterministically.
In fact there are two sources of quantum indeterminism:

  1. the Heisenberg uncertainty principle prevents the simultaneous accurate measurement of all a particle’s properties; and
  2. the collapse of the wave function, in which the state of a system upon measurement cannot be predicted.

The latter kind of indeterminism is not only a feature of the Copenhagen interpretation, with its observer-dependence, but also of objective collapse theories.

Opponents of quantum indeterminism suggested that determinism could be restored by formulating a new theory in which additional information, so-called hidden variables ,[28] would allow definite outcomes to be determined. For instance, in 1935, Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen wrote a paper titled Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete? arguing that such a theory was in fact necessary.

The double-slit experiment (and its variations), conducted with individual particles, has become a classic thought experiment for its clarity in expressing the central puzzles of quantum mechanics. Because it demonstrates the fundamental limitation of the observer to predict experimental results, Richard Feynman called it “a phenomenon which is impossible … to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery [of quantum mechanics].”[3], and was fond of saying that all of quantum mechanics can be gleaned from carefully thinking through the implications of this single experiment[4]. Časlav Brukner and Anton Zeilinger have succinctly expressed this limitation as follows:

[T]he observer can decide whether or not to put detectors into the interfering path. That way, by deciding whether or not to determine the path through the two-slit experiment, he/she can decide which property can become reality. If he/she chooses not to put the detectors there, then the interference pattern will become reality; if he/she does put the detectors there, then the beam path will become reality. Yet, most importantly, the observer has no influence on the specific element of the world that becomes reality. Specifically, if he/she chooses to determine the path, then he/she has no influence whatsoever over which of the two paths, the left one or the right one, nature will tell him/her is the one in which the particle is found. Likewise, if he/she chooses to observe the interference pattern, then he/she has no influence whatsoever over where in the observation plane he/she will observe a specific particle. Both outcomes are completely random.[5]


In the three great monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, God is viewed as a supreme, transcendent being, beyond matter space and time, and yet the foundation of all that meets our senses that is described in terms of matter, space, and time. That is the Al Batin or the Hidden God of monotheism.  Furthermore, this God is not the god of deism, who created the world and then left it alone, or the god of pantheism, who is equated with all of existence. The Islamic and the Judeo-Christian God is a nanosecond-by-nanosecond participant in each event that takes place in every cubic nanometer of the universe.  He has full knowledge of all things.  God listens to every thought and participates in each action of his very special creation, a minute bit of organized matter called humanity that moves around on the surface of a tiny pebble in a vast universe.  The Holy Quran declares:

Allah’s is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and to Allah are all affairs returned for final judgment. (Al Quran 57:5/6)

Whereas the nineteenth century physics was about to frame God out of physical understanding of the universe, the twentieth century physics has turned the tables in favor of Monotheism.

To the atheists design in the universe is apparent but not real. For the theists, enlightened in science, the converse is true, the self sufficiency of the universe based on the laws of nature is apparent and perceived only and is not real. God is the Law Giver and sustainer of the universe. Both positions may be argued to some degree from modern science. However, only theism can offer a holistic approach, not only explaining our universe, but also human morality and ethics, our history and personal experience.

When we approach science from this theistic perspective we find that our religion and science become one and our psyche finds unification.

If there is a ‘Personal God’ that hears human prayers then there has to be a way for the Deity to influence the physical world without breaking the laws of nature and making the study of science futile.  Quantum physics may be the magical wand, whereby ‘Personal God’ can influence our world, without breaking the laws of nature.  In His infinite wisdom, the Omniscient God provided for infinite means, at the quantum level, to maintain His divinity!  He says in the Holy Quran, in Sura Hadid:

He (Allah) is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He knows every little detail fully well. (Al Quran 57:3/4)

Quantum physics is the magical wand, by which Allah has established His divinity on each and every quark, photon and boson.  In so doing He has not only provided for His Providence but also for our free will, while ensuring predictability and reign of laws of nature at macroscopic level.  If Laplace had been right, he would have not only ruled out God, but, also our free will and personal responsibility.



[2] Kenneth R Miller.  Finding Darwin’s God.  Cliff Street Books (Harper Collins), paper back edition 2000, p. 199-200.

[3] David Pepper, Frank Webster and George Revill.  Environmentalism: Critical Concepts. Routledge, 2003.  Page 148.

Additional Reading and Viewing

Video: Biologist Kenneth Miller on Free Will and Quantum Physics

Quantum Theory – Sign of a Personal God

Human Soul: The Final Frontier?

Ghamidi: The Most Tolerant and Pluralistic Muslim Scholar of Our Times

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. If you believe and care for the Muslim unity it behooves you to check out his videos in Youtube

Jāvēd Ahmed Ghāmidī (Urdu: جاوید احمد غامدی‎) (born April 7, 1952[3]) is a Pakistan Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist. He is also the founding President of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences and its sister organisation Danish Sara.[4] He became a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistani Government and the country’s Parliament) on 28 January 2006, where he remained for a couple of years.[5] He also taught Islamic studies at the Civil Services Academy for more than a decade from 1979 to 1991.[6] He was also a student of Islamic scholar and exegete, Amin Ahsan Islahi. He is running an intellectual movement similar to Wasatiyyah, on the popular electronic media of Pakistan.[7] Currently he is Principal Research Fellow and Chief Patron of Ghamidi Center of Islamic Learning in United States. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi was named in The Muslim 500 (The World’s Most Influential Muslims) in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions.

Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, we have the best collection for pluralism, interfaith tolerance and non-Sectarian Islam


Early life

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi was born on 7 April 1952[8] to a Kakazai family in a village called Jivan Shah (near Pakpattan) in District SahiwalPunjabPakistan.[9] His family village settlement was Dawud in Sialkot. His father, Muhammad Tufayl Junaydi, was a landowner, involved in medicine and a committed follower of tasawwuf until his death in 1986.[10]

Ghamidi and his two elder sisters grew up in a Sufi household. His early education included a modern path (matriculating from Islamia High School, Pakpattan), as well as a traditional path (Arabic and Persian languages, and the Qur’an with Nur Ahmad of Nang Pal).[7] His father wanted him to have both traditional and modern education, splitting his time between school and learning Arabic and Persian.[citation needed]

His first exposure to traditional Islamic studies was in the Sufi tradition. After matriculating, he came to Lahore in 1967 where he is settled ever since. Initially, he was more interested in Literature and Philosophy. He later graduated from Government CollegeLahore, with a BA Honours in English Literature & Philosophy in 1972.[11]

During his excursions to the library he stumbled on the works of Hamiduddin Farahi, a scholar of Quran. In this work he found a mention of Amin Ahsan Islahi, the torchbearer of Farahi’s thought. Knowing that Amin Ahsan Islahi was resident in Lahore during those days, he set out to meet him the very day he had first read his mention. The meeting changed Ghamidi from a man of philosophy and literature to a man of religion.[12] In 1973, he came under the tutelage of Amin Ahsan Islahi (d. 1997), who was destined to who have a deep impact on him. He was also associated with scholar and revivalist Abu al-A‘la Mawdudi (d. 1979) for several years. He started working with them on various Islamic disciplines particularly exegesis and Islamic law.[4]

In his book, Maqamat (مقامات), Ghamidi starts with an essay “My Name” (میرا نام) to describe the story behind his surname, which sounds somewhat alien in the context of the Indian Subcontinent. He describes a desire during his childhood years to establish a name linkage to his late grandfather Noor Elahi, after learning of his status as the one people of the area turned to, to resolve disputes. This reputation also led to his (grandfather’s) reputation as a peacemaker (مصلح). Subsequently, one of the visiting Sufi friends of his father narrated a story of the patriarch of the Arab tribe Banu Ghamid who earned the reputation of being a great peacemaker. He writes, that the temporal closeness of these two events clicked in his mind and he decided to add the name Ghamidi to his given name, Javed Ahmed.[13] Taxila.[14]


Some of the works of Ghamidi

Ghamidi’s conclusions and understanding of Islam, including the Sharia, has been presented concisely in his book Mizan with the intention of presenting the religion in its pure shape, cleansed from tasawwufqalamfiqh, all philosophies and any other contaminants.[15]

Ghamidi’s non-traditionalist approach to the religion has parted him from the conservative understanding on a large number of issues. However, Ghamidi argues that his dissenting conclusions are at times based on traditional foundations set by classical scholars.[citation needed] In his arguments, there is no reference to the Western sources, human rights or current philosophies of crime and punishment.[7] Nonetheless, employing the traditional Islamic framework, he reaches conclusions which are similar to those of Islamic modernists and progressives on the subject.[7]


Ghamidi believes that there are certain directives of the Qur’an pertaining to war which were specific only to Prophet Muhammad and certain specified peoples of his times (particularly the progeny of Abraham: the Ishmaelites, the Israelites, and the Nazarites).[citation needed] Thus, Muhammad and his designated followers waged a war against divinely specified peoples of their time (the polytheists and the Israelites and Nazarites of Arabia and some other Jews, Christians, et al.) as a form of divine punishment and asked the polytheists of Arabia for submission to Islam as a condition for exoneration and the others for jizya and submission to the political authority of the Muslims for exemption from death punishment and for military protection as the dhimmis of the Muslims.[citation needed] Therefore, after Muhammad and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam.

The only valid basis for jihad through arms is to end oppression when all other measures have failed.[16] According to him Jihad can only be waged by an organised Islamic state, that too only where a leader has been nominated by the previous leader or by the consensus of the ulema if the state is newly established.[17] No person, party or group can take arms into their hands (for the purpose of waging Jihad) under any circumstances. Another corollary, in his opinion, is that death punishment for apostasy was also specifically for the recipients of the same Divine punishment during Muhammad’s times—for they had persistently denied the truth of Muhammad’s mission even after it had been made conclusively evident to them by God through Muhammad.[18]

According to Ghamidi, the formation of an Islamic state is not a religious obligation upon the Muslims per se. However, if and when Muslims do happen to form a state of their own, Islam does impose certain religious obligations on its rulers as establishment of the institutions of salat (obligatory prayer), zakah (mandatory charity), and amr bi’l-ma’ruf wa nahi ‘ani’l-munkar (preservation and promotion of society’s good conventions and customs and eradication of social vices); this, in Ghamidi’s opinion, should be done in modern times through courts, police, etc. in accordance with the law of the land which, as the government itself, must be based on the opinion of the majority.[19]

Gender interaction

Ghamidi argues that the Qur’an states norms for male-female interaction in Surah An-Nur, while in Surah Al-Ahzab, there are special directives for Muhammad’s wives and directives given to Muslim women to distinguish themselves when they were being harassed in Medina.[20][21][22][23] He further claims that the Qur’an has created a distinction between men and women only to maintain family relationships.[24]

Penal laws

According to Ghamidi:

  • The Islamic punishments of hudud (Islamic law) are maximum pronouncements that can be mitigated by a court of law on the basis of extenuating circumstances.[25]
  • The shariah (Divine law) does not stipulate any fixed amount for the diyya (monetary compensation for unintentional murder); the determination of the amount—for the unintentional murder of a man or a woman—has been left to the conventions of society.[25]
  • Ceteris paribus (all other things being equal), a woman’s testimony is equal to that of a man’s.[26]
  • Rape is hirabah and deserves severe punishments as mentioned in Quran 5:33.[27] It doesn’t require four witnesses to register the case as in the case of Zina (Arabic) (consensual sex). Those who were punished by stoning (rajm) in Muhammad’s time were also punished under hirabah for raping, sexually assaulting women, and spreading vulgarity in society through prostitution.[25]

Sources of Islam

According to Ghamidi, all that is Islam is constituted by the Qur’an and Sunnah. Nothing besides these two is Islam or can be regarded as part of it.[28] Just like QuranSunnah (the way of the prophet) is only what the Muslim nation received through ijma (consensus of companions of the prophet) and tawatur (perpetual adherence of the Muslim nation).[28] Unlike Quran and Sunnahahadith only explain and elucidate what is contained in these two sources and also describe the exemplary way in which Muhammad followed Islam.[28] The Sharia is distinguished from fiqh, the latter being collections of interpretations and applications of the Sharia by Muslim jurists. Fiqh is characterised as a human exercise, and therefore subject to human weakness and differences of opinion. A Muslim is not obliged to adhere to a school of fiqh.[7]


While discussing the Afghan Taliban, Ghamidi wrote:[29]

The Taliban say that democracy is a concept alien to Islam. The ideal way to set up an Islamic government in our times is the one that they adopted for Mullah Omar’s government in Afghanistan. The constitution, the parliament, and elections are nothing but modern day shams. … I can say with full confidence on the basis of my study of Islam that this viewpoint and this strategy are not acceptable to the Qur’ān. It prescribes democracy as the way to run the affairs of the state. The Qur’ān (42:38) says: amruhum shūrā baynahum (the affairs of the Muslims are run on the basis of their consultation). ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whosoever pledges allegiance to anyone without the collective consent of the Muslims presents himself for the death sentence.” It is true that, in Muslim history, monarchy and dictatorship have often been accepted forms of government. Some people also believe that the head of government should be a nominee of God Himself. However, the principle the Qur’ān spells out is very clear.— Javed A. Ghamidi, Islam and the Taliban

Morals and ethics

Ghamidi writes on moral and ethical issues in Islam.[30] He states:

After faith, the second important requirement of religion is purification of morals. This means that a person should cleanse his attitude both towards his Creator and towards his fellow human beings. This is what is termed as a righteous deed. All the sharī‘ah is its corollary. With the change and evolution in societies and civilizations, the sharī‘ah has indeed changed; however faith and righteous deeds, which are the foundations of religion, have not undergone any change. The Qur’an is absolutely clear that any person who brings forth these two things before the Almighty on the Day of Judgement will be blessed with Paradise which shall be his eternal abode.[31]

Interaction with other Islamic scholars

Like Wahiduddin KhanMaulana Naeem SiddiquiIsrar Ahmed and Dr. Khazir Yasin, Ghamidi also worked closely with Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi (alternative spelling Syed Maudoodi; often referred to as Maulana Maududi) (1903–1979) and Amin Ahsan Islahi. His work with Maududi continued for about nine years before he voiced his first differences of opinion, which led to his subsequent expulsion from Mawdudi’s political party, Jamaat-e-Islami in 1977. Later, he developed his own view of religion based on hermeneutics and ijtihad under the influence of his mentor, Amin Ahsan Islahi (1904–1997), a well-known exegete of the Indian sub-continent who is author of Tadabbur-i-Qur’an, a Tafsir (exegeses of Qur’an). Ghamidi’s critique of Mawdudi’s thought is an extension of Wahid al-Din Khan‘s criticism of Mawdudi. Khan (1925– ) was amongst the first scholars from within the ranks of Jamaat-e-Islami to present a full-fledged critique of Mawdudi’s understanding of religion. Khan’s contention is that Mawdudi has completely inverted the Qur’anic worldview. Ghamidi, for his part, agreed with Khan that the basic obligation in Islam is not the establishment of an Islamic world order but servitude to God, and that it is to help and guide humans in their effort to fulfill that obligation for which religion is revealed. Therefore, Islam never imposed the obligation on its individual adherents or on the Islamic state to be constantly in a state of war against the non-Islamic world. In fact, according to Ghamidi, even the formation of an Islamic state is not a basic religious obligation for Muslims.[19] Despite such extraordinary differences and considering Maududi’s interpretation of “political Islam” as incorrect, Ghamidi in one of his 2015 interviews said that he still respects his former teacher like a father.[32]

Ghamidi’s thought and discourse community has received some academic attention in the recent past by Pakistani scholar Dr. Husnul Amin whose critical analysis of Ghamidi’s thought movement has received academic attention.[33] Amin traces the history of secessionist tendencies within the mainstream Islamism, and its ruptures, and then critically examines Ghamidi’s emergence and proliferation in society as an unprecedented phenomenon.[34] Ghamidi’s views and discourse on Islam and democracy have also been examined in another cited research paper.[35]

Awards and recognition

In 2009, Ghamidi was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest civilian honor of Pakistan.[36]

Resignation from Council of Islamic Ideology

See also: Hudood Ordinance

Ghamidi resigned in September 2006[37] from the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII),[38] a constitutional body responsible for providing legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistani government. His resignation was ‘accepted’ by the President of Pakistan.[39] Ghamidi’s resignation was prompted by the Pakistani government’s formation of a separate committee of ulema to review a Bill involving women’s rights; the committee was formed after extensive political pressure was applied by the MMA. Ghamidi argued that this was a breach of the CII’s jurisdiction, since the very purpose of the council is to ensure that Pakistan’s laws do not conflict with the teachings of Islam. He also said that the amendments in the bill proposed by the Ulema committee were against the injunctions of Islam. This event occurred when the MMA threatened to resign from the provincial and national assemblies if the government amended the Hudood Ordinance,[40] which came into being under Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization. The Hudood Ordinances have been criticised for, among other things, a reportedly difficult procedure to prove allegations of rape.[41]

Public appearances

Ghamidi has appeared regularly on dedicated television programs. His television audience consists of educated, urban-based middle-class men and women between the ages of 20–35, as well as lay Islamic intellectuals and professionals. Ghamidi’s religiously oriented audience tends to be dissatisfied with the positions of traditional ulema and Western-educated secular-liberal elite, and find his interventions and ideas more sensible, moderate, and relevant.[42]

  • Alif[43] on Geo TV (in multiple airings)
  • Ghamidi[44] on Geo TV
  • Live with Ghamidi on AAJ TV (usually Q/A format but with occasional special programs). The channel also airs other Islamic programs by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and his associates, such as Aaj Islam.[45]
  • And other channels like PTV.
  • Al-Mawrid has video recording setup of its own.
  • Ilm-o-Hikmat, Ghamidi Key Saath (Urdu: علم و حکمت غامدی کے ساتھ‎) (Knowledge and Wisdom with Ghamidi) on Duniya TV.[46]
  • The official website of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi is linked to his official Twitter (@javedghamidi) and Facebook[47] pages.
  • Live Weekly Lectures* from Ghamidi Center, Dallas, TX, USA ( and


Ghamidi has earned criticism from all traditional Islamic scholars in Pakistan and abroad for his interpretation of certain Islamic values.[citation needed] Some books highly critical of Ghamidi are, Fitna-e-Ghamdiyat (فِتنئہ غامدیت) by Hafiz Salahuddin Yusuf[48] and Fitna-e-Ghamdiyat ka Ilmi Muhasbah (فِتنئہ غامدیّت کا عِلمی محاسبہ) by Maulana Muhammad Rafiq.[49]

In one interview, when asked his opinion about being branded as a liberal, Ghamidi replied that he does not care about such things and his objectives are not affected by such terms.[50]

Exile from Pakistan[edit]

Ghamidi left Pakistan in 2010 as a result of opposition to his work and threat to his life and his closed ones.[51] In a 2015 interview with Voice of America, Ghamidi explained his reason for departure was to safeguard the lives of people near him[52] including his neighbours who had begun to fear for their safety.[53] Some of his close associates had already been killed like Muhammad Farooq Khan and Dr. Habib-ur-Rehman.[53] Ghamidi maintained that his work of education was not affected by his departure because of modern communication.[52] Ghamidi, also regularly appears on Ilm-o-Hikmat, a Pakistani Dunya News show.[54] He has stated his desire to return in the future when circumstances change.[53]

Ghamidi moved to Dallas, Texas, USA as of July 2019, to support establishment of Ghamidi Center of Islamic Learning, an initiative of Al-Mawrid US and an educational institute named after himself.[55]


Ghamidi’s books include:[56]

  • Al-Bayan (Volume 1 to 5)
  • Mizan
  • Burhan
  • Maqamat
  • Al-Islam
  • Khayal-o-Khamah

English Translation of his works by Dr. Shehzad Saleem:

  • Al-Bayan (Volume 1 and 5)
  • Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction
  • Selected Essays of Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
  • Islam: A Concise Introduction


Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ahmed Ghamidi, Javed. “Birth Date on his official website”.
  4. Jump up to:a b Esposito(2003) p.93
  5. ^ Council’s two new members appointed Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Press Release 30-01-06
  6. ^ “The Team”.
  7. Jump up to:a b c d e Masud(2007)
  8. ^ Ahmed Ghamidi, Javed. “Birthdate on official site”.
  9. ^ Sheikh, Majid (22 October 2017). “The history of Lahore’s Kakayzais”DAWN.COM. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  10. ^ “Early life of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi”Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  11. ^ Ghamidi’s resume Archived 1 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Baksh, Ammar (8 June 2017). “Javed Ahmed Ghamidi: A brief Introduction to his life and works”.
  13. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  14. ^ says, Faiz: The Idol Breaker! « Saad Ahmed Javed BAKHSH. “Faiz: The Idol Breaker! – by Saad Ahmed Javed – LUBP”. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  15. ^ Al Mawrid Hind (2 July 2017). “Introduction to ‘Meezan’ at International Book Fair | New Delhi | Javed Ahmad Ghamidi”YouTube (in Urdu). Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  16. ^ MizanThe Islamic Law of Jihad Archived 21 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Ghamidi, Javed Ahmed. Qanun-i-Jihad (The Islamic Shari’ah of Jihad). Lahore, Pakistan: al-Mawrid. p. 45. ISBN 978-9698799083It is obvious…that jihad becomes obligatory only in the presence of a ruler…whose political authority has been established either through nomination by the previous ruler similar to how Abu Bakr transferred the reins [of his Khilafah to Umar] or through the pledging of allegiance by the ulema
  18. ^ Islamic Punishments: Some Misconceptions Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback MachineRenaissance – Monthly Islamic Journal, 12(9), 2002.
  19. Jump up to:a b Iftikhar(2005)
  20. ^ Quran 24:27
  21. ^ Quran 33:58
  22. ^ Quran 33:32
  23. ^ MizanNorms of Gender Interaction Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Mizan, The Social Law of Islam
  25. Jump up to:a b c MizanThe Penal Law of Islam Archived 27 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ The Law of Evidence Archived 11 February 2007 at the Wayback MachineRenaissance – Monthly Islamic Journal, 12(9), 2002.
  27. ^ Q5:33, 50+ translations,
  28. Jump up to:a b c MizanSources of Islam Archived 14 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Ghamidi, Javed Ahmad (May 2009). Translated by Asif Iftikhar. “Islam and the Taliban”Renaissance. Lahore.
  30. ^ Agha, Saira (11 August 2018). “Pride of Pakistan: Javed Ahmad Ghamidi”Daily Times. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  31. ^ Ghamidi, Javed Ahmad (2010). Islam: A Comprehensive Introduction. Translated by Saleem, Shehzad. Lahore: Al-Mawrid. p. 191. ISBN 978-9698799731.
  32. ^ Adil Khan (14 June 2015), JAVED AHMED GHAMIDI a talk with Voice of America 2015, retrieved 20 May 2016
  33. ^ Rana, Muhammad Amir (23 July 2017). “THE FAILED RATIONALIST”DAWN.
  34. ^ Amin, Husnul (2019). Observing Variants of POST-ISLAMISM: Intellectual Discourses and Social Movements (3rd ed.). Islamabad: IRD. p. 310. ISBN 978-969-7576-57-9.
  35. ^ Amin, Husnul (2012). “Post-Islamist Intellectual Trends in Pakistan: Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and His Discourse on Islam and Democracy”. Islamic Studies51 (2): 169–192. JSTOR 23643959.
  36. ^ “List of civil award winners”DAWN.COM. 16 August 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  37. ^ Editorial: Hudood laws, Ghamidi’s resignation and CII — government wrong on all counts Archived 14 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Daily Times, 22 September 2006
  38. ^ “Council of Islamic Ideology”Pakistan Government. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  39. ^ Musharraf rejects Ghamdi’s resignation, Daily Times, 6 November 2006
  40. ^ MMA threatens to quit Parliament over Hudood laws, Zee News, 5 September 2006.
  41. ^ WAF rejects Hudood law amendments, Dawn, 13 September 2006.
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  44. ^ “GeoTV Geo News Latest News Breaking News Pakistan Live Videos”. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008.
  45. ^ “Videos | Aaj Islam”Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. 1 February 2019. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  46. ^ “Ilm-O-Hikmat, Allama Javed Ahmad”Dunya News. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  47. ^ “Javed Ahmad Ghamidi”Facebook. Retrieved 27 January2020.
  48. ^ Yusuf, Hafiz Salahuddin (July 2015). Fitna-e-Ghamdiyat(PDF). Gujranwala.
  49. ^ Rafiq, Maulana Muhammad. Fitna-e-Ghamdiyat ka Ilmi Muhasbah. Lahore: Maktabah-e-Qur’aniat.
  50. ^ Adil Khan (14 June 2015), JAVED AHMED GHAMIDI a talk with Voice of America 2015, retrieved 6 May 2016
  51. ^ Paracha, Nadeem F. (26 March 2017). “SMOKERS’ CORNER: The Invisible Scholar”DAWN.COM. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  52. Jump up to:a b Adil Khan (14 June 2015), JAVED AHMED GHAMIDI a talk with Voice of America 2015, retrieved 6 May 2016
  53. Jump up to:a b c Mohsin Zaheer (30 May 2015), Why Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Left Pakistan and When To Return?, retrieved 6 May 2016
  54. ^ Dunya News (3 July 2016), Ilm o Hikmat 3 July 2016 – Special Talk on Shab e Qadar with Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, retrieved 7 August 2016
  55. ^ AP News (9 October 2019), Javed Ahmed Ghamidi to Inaugurate His Institute in Dallas, Texas
  56. ^ “Books”Al-Mawrid. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  57. ^ The portions translated as yet are: the last group Al-Mulk to An-NasAl-BaqaraAl-i-Imran, and a major portion of An-Nisa

External links[edit]

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Commentary: ‘Allah did not create Jinn or Men but to worship Him’

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

Allah did not create Jinn or Men but to worship Him. (Al Quran 51:56)

That one should not set up equals unto God (2:22) or ascribe partners unto God (4:36; 7:33) is among the most predominant themes of the Quran; see. 4:48c; 6:151—52c. Regarding the present verse, al-Ghazzali writes, “One who does not see God in everything sees something other than Him. And if there is something other than God to which one gives attention, this attention involves an element of hidden idolatry (al-shirk al-khafi). Rather, pure monotheism (al-rawhide al-Khalis) consists in seeing only God in everything” (Ihya’, K. Qira’at al-Qur’an).

Suggested reading and viewing by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times for the Creator God of the Abrahamic Faiths

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Photosynthesis: deserving of our awe or ridicule?

Allah the Creator, the Maker and the Fashioner: The Best Documentary on Birds

The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator of Our Universe

The Beauty and the GPS of the Birds and the Quran

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

A challenge for Dawkins: Where did carbon come from?

Plain Water will Tell you the Story

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe by Martin Rees

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Moon: Does it have a purpose?

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

Twelve Famous Scientists On The Possibility Of God

Surah Al Rahman the Most Comprehensive Approach to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

Surah Fatihah the opening surah of the Quran, describes four fundamental attributes of Allah; Al-Rahman, the Gracious or the Lord of Mercy and Compassion, is one of them. The commentary of the third verse of Surah Al Fatihah: The Opening, discusses the attribute of the Gracious in some detail.

In Surah Rahman, which is the 55th chapter of the holy Quran, Allah cites many examples from the created world, for example, the sun, the moon, water, different fruits and tress and corals and pearls to remind mankind of different favors He has bestowed on us, even without our asking or any effort on our part.

Every one of us who has enjoyed a drink in a moment of extreme thirst knows that we can never over state the case for water. However, few pause to note what creativity has gone into making water a great boon for our lives. We have some wonderful suggested reading in this regard: Provident God of the Abrahamic Faiths: Plain Water will Tell you the Story.

Corals. The reason we put this picture with Surah Rahman is because it has the verse: Pearls and corals are taken out of both. (Al Quran 55:22)

According to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and colleagues, in their recent commentary of the Quran in the introduction to this surah:

The first section of the surah (vv. 1-25) discusses the nature of the Compassionate as Creator, Teacher, and Revealer and the blessings He provides in the created world. It then transitions into an extended discussion of the blessings of Heaven and its many Gardens. The duality between Heaven and earth and the dualities within them are present throughout the surah. This thematic structure is reflected in the grammatical structure, which employs the dual form in many of the verbs and pronouns and in the refrain, addressed to both human beings and jinn, So which of your Lord’s booms do you two deny? This duality is offset by the discussion of the Compassionate in vv. 1-10 and by vv. 26-27, which emphasize that God remains while all else fades away. Appearing in the middle of the surah, these verses imply that God’s Essence is the center that lies at the heart of and yet transcends all dualities, even those in the Gardens of Heaven. V. 27 is then echoed in the last verse (v. 78), showing that just as God transcends the blessings of this earth, so too does He transcend the blessings of Heaven.

Allah wants the believers to direct their gratitude for His beneficence into mutual compassion for each other, leading to the all important verse in this surah: “Is the reward of goodness anything but goodness?” (55:60/61)

This surah not only advises about Divine and human compassion, but delivers a very profound message of justice in human affairs. It says that if there was no balance or justice in the laws of nature, our universe or solar system could not exist: “The sun and the moon follow their calculated courses, the plants and the trees submit to His design. And the sky, Allah raised up high, and He set up the balance for every thing. That you may not disturb the balance, so weigh with justice, balance and equity and don’t fall short in the measure!” (55:5-9/6-10)

Incidentally, these verses also deliver a very powerful message for preserving our environment and fighting the global warming together as one human family.

The chorus or refrain, فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ “Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?” is repeated 31 times in this surah. We respond in gratitude by saying, there are countless bounties of the Lord of Mercy that have gone into making our universe a suitable aboard or biophylic for us. To paraphrase Stephen Hawking’s recent book that he has co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, judging by the number of possible universes in our multiverse, there may be ten raised to the power 500 variables that make our universe biophylic, which are as many reasons to believe in and pay homage to and worship our Gracious God. Here is a suggested reading to explore these variables further: Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God.

Suggested Reading

Everything is a Miracle According to the Holy Quran and Albert Einstein

Almost Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong

After Monotheism, the Two Most Seminal Verses of the Quran

Allah it is Who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the Book; in it there are verses that are fundamental or decisive in meaning — these are the corner stone of the Book — and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations. But those in whose hearts is perversity pursue those that are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and wrong interpretation of such ambiguous verses. And none knows their right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding. (3:7/8) هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
Why don’t they ponder over the Quran, had it been from anyone other than All Knowing God, they would have found ample contradiction in it. (4:82/83)أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

I believe that the most important verse of surah Qamar is: “Indeed We have made the Qur’an easy to understand and to remember. But is there anyone who would receive admonition?” (54:17/18)

It is repeated a total of four times in this surah. But, many of us  don’t find it easy and struggle with the understanding of the holy Quran. So what is the catch?

Most of us continue to struggle with the understanding of the holy Quran as we have not clearly thought through how to understand or read the Divine Scripture.

Different commentators highlight different criteria for commentary of the Quran. But, ultimately as the particular scholar or commentator is the judge of how to apply those criteria for his or her commentary, it is reasonable to say that all commentaries ultimately are based on the judgment or opinion of the commentator.

It is self evident that all commentators or commentaries are not created equal. Ultimately it boils down to the vision or judgment of the person commenting on the holy scripture.

It has been said that the most important teaching of the holy Quran is Monotheism and it is also claimed that a third of the Quran is about the One God of the Abrahamic faiths. These claims are self evident to most of the Muslims and will not be discussed any further here.

The Quranic verse 3:7/8 is seminal and fundamental in my opinion as it lays out a very important principle that any writing should be examined and understood in light of its fundamental claims and subjects and not peripheral ones. The verse claims that those who have an axe to grind stress verses that allow them to put forward their agenda even though in so doing they distort the Quranic message.

The corollary that follows is that which ever verses or message we choose as pivotal or central, begin to define the whole of our understanding of the Quran. So, the quality of any commentary of the Quran can be judged from what verses of the Quran he or she picks as the core or the most fundamental crux and then explains rest of the text in the light of the core.

For me, I have taken Monotheism, human accountability and the message of compassion and justice as the core of the Quran and tried to see every thing else through that prism.

Before the next seminal verse, let me suggest to the open minded readers, to read on and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

The reason I have found the verse 4:82/83 as core and fundamental is because it invites us to resolve all possible contradictions in our understanding of the Quran. It has freed me from the bondage of the previous commentators, regardless of their repute or imagined station in the Muslim history, as human presentations do present periodic contradictions.

If the Quran is to be understood by every student and we are accountable to All Knowing God, in the Hereafter, how we understood His message and implemented in our lives, then each one of us also has the freedom to freely understand the Divine message. Based on the message of this verse, we can infer that every prior commentary or commentator would have human limitations and his message in some respects may be contradictory, while the Quran is not so, as it is from an All Knowing source. So, whenever we find the past commentaries to be lacking or contradictory, within themselves or when compared to others, I find those as fertile opportunities to come with better and more satisfying and internally consistent understanding of the Divine message.

So, in that sense this verse has become a litmus test for my understanding of the different verses and their commentaries. In other words as students it is our job to understand the Quran in holistic terms that are free of contradictions. As we pursue that goal to resolve contradictions, our understanding will embellish and continue to become more comprehensive and consistent.

As the human societies continue to evolve and human information and knowledge keeps growing at an unprecedented pace, the Quranic understanding should also continue to evolve and it certainly has in the past fourteen centuries.

I believe that if we keep these two verses in the forefront of our mind then the claim in Surah Qamar, “Indeed We have made the Qur’an easy to understand and to remember. But is there anyone who would receive admonition,” will become true. Inshallah!

Additional reading: Scope, Style and Preservation of the Quran

My understanding of the Quran is not borrowed from one teacher or commentator, no matter how much popularity he may have enjoyed in his time in any group. The Quran is a book of All Knowing God and of infinite wisdom and to be fair and just with the book, I learn from teachers of all walks of life and all different sects of Islam and even non-Muslim scholars.

Having said that the first question in the following video that is in Urdu talks about commentary of a verse of the holy Quran that talks about the age of the prophet Noah and then goes into discussion of the verse 3:7 talked above. This adds useful metaphors to discussion at hand how to read and understand the Quran: