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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Scientific Approach Of The Quran

The study of the Quran shows that the Quranic approach is based neither on mythology nor on superstition, but on scientific principles. When the term ‘scientific approach’ is used to describe a way of thinking, it always means that such thinking is in accordance with reality. A person having scientific approach will be scientific in all his dealings in the world. His thinking will be totally in accordance with realities.

The Prophet of Islam used to pray thus: ‘O God, show us the truth in the form of truth and grant us the wisdom to follow it, and show us falsehood as falsehood and grant us the strength to keep ourselves away from it. Show us things as they are.’

This prayer of the Prophet of Islam is a fine example of the scientific approach. The Quran wants to inculcate this spirit in every believer. When a believer becomes eager to be granted this spirit to guide his thoughts, he begins praying for it.

This teaching is expressed in different ways in the Quran. The Quran enjoins believers to ‘fear God, and say the right word. He will bless your works for you and forgive you your sins. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger has indeed achieved a great success.’ (33: 70-71)

This Quranic verse commands humankind to say what is fair. The right word (qaul-e-sadid in Arabic) means saying the truth in exact accordance with the facts. Just as the arrow reaches its target by being shot in precisely the right direction, similarly qaul-e-sadid hits the mark by making one’s words correspond in every detail with reality

There are two kinds of human utterances: realistic and unrealistic. Realistic utterances are those that tally exactly with reality. Conversely, unrealistic utterances are those that do not take the actual state of affairs into account and are based on suppositions, conjectures, or mere opinion, rather than on fact. God approves of only the former type of utterances.

A number of verses in the Quran aim at inculcating this scientific temperament in the believers. In all matters believers are to be guided by reason and logical thinking.

According to the Quran, there are two kinds of thinking—sincere thinking and insincere thinking. Insincere thinking may be called double standard thinking. The scientific temperament is the characteristic of a sincere thinker. A sincere thinker cannot envision an approach which is not based on realism. He bases his life on sound and true foundations. On the contrary, it is the insincere thinker or hypocrite that has no principles or scruples. His approach is based on opportunism and he changes his point of view and way of thinking to serve his own interests. That is why there is not even a grain of the scientific approach in him. His thoughts and deeds are totally unpredictable.

A sincere person, with a scientific approach and a scientific way of looking at the world, is one who comes up to the standard set by the Quran. The insincere person is wholly unaffected by and in fact devoid of the scientific approach.

Therefore, he fails in life’s test, as he is so obsessed with his egocentric thinking that he refuses to adopt scientific or realistic approach. The Quran is not a book of science in the technical sense, but there is no denying the truth that the Quranic approach is nothing other than the scientific approach

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