We live in an age of materialism. People believe that matter, energy and the laws of nature are all that exist. They see no place for God when they examine the discoveries of science. They tell us that God is an outdated belief, only there to serve ancient superstitions.
The Quran presents a different outlook. It tells us that the Author of the Quran is the Author of the universe. The same God who reveals Himself through His Work also reveals Himself through His Word.
This is not a mere claim. The Quran itself demonstrates its divine origin. One of the ways it does this is through its description of scientific phenomena.
God, knowing that atheist scientists in this age would lead people astray, revealed verses that detail major scientific phenomena. From the tongue of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, an illiterate man in the Arabian wilderness, came descriptions of natural phenomena that have only now been confirmed.
Ancient Muslims either accepted these verses literally, or being unable to understand their physical reality, interpreted them metaphorically. However, in today’s age, we have seen their truth confirmed.
In this way, God has made the scientific discoveries of the modern age a way of finding Him, rather than a way of losing Him.
In this article, we will explore the miraculous nature of seven such prophecies of scientific discovery. As a bonus, we will discuss two others that have yet to be fulfilled.
Please note that all Quranic references are given with a system that enumerates the first verse of every chapter. You may need to subtract 1 from the verse reference to find the verse in your Quran. See here for more information on this.
1. The Big Bang
100 years ago, the world’s best scientific minds thought that the universe had always existed. Since it always existed, it didn’t need a Creator.
Einstein changed all that.
His ‘field equations’ suggested that the universe was expanding like a balloon. The mathematician and Belgian Priest, George Lemaître, realised that this expansion had to have started from somewhere. It must have come from an initial, dense point. This idea became known as the Big Bang. Today, it is the basis for understanding the origin of the universe.
What few people know however is that the Holy Quran described the Big Bang perfectly, 1400 years earlier.
اَوَ لَمۡ یَرَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اَنَّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ کَانَتَا رَتۡقًا فَفَتَقۡنٰہُمَا ؕ وَ جَعَلۡنَا مِنَ الۡمَآءِ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ حَیٍّ ؕ اَفَلَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَDo not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass (ratqan), then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?
Holy Quran, 21:31
The arabic word ratqan means a closed-up mass. It also means darkness. A dark, closed-up mass is a perfect description of what we know the universe looked like in its earliest moments. The heavens and the Earth were indeed opened out from this mass to produce the universe we see today.
The verse further says that water is the basis of life. This is now an accepted scientific fact. When NASA look for planets that can bear life, they look for water.
The shocking power of this verse is a grand sign for our disbelieving age.
2. The Expansion of the Universe
Einstein’s equations tell us that the universe is expanding. This discovery surprised everyone.
For decades thereafter, scientists thought the universe exploded out of the Big Bang, and has been slowing down ever since. But they were wrong. The universe’s expansion has recently been speeding up. This mysterious re-expansion is driven by what we call dark energy. About 5 billion years ago, this mysterious anti-gravity began pushing the universe outwards once more.
The Holy Quran describes this perfectly:
وَالسَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ
And We have built the heaven with might and We continue to expand it indeed.
Holy Quran 51:48
This astonishing verse does not just tell us that the universe has expanded. The arabic ‘la-mūsiʿūna’ tells us that the universe is continuing to expand.
Such a statement is a sure sign of the Prophet Muhammad’s truth, peace be upon him.
To read more about Big Bang cosmology in the Quran, see this in-depth article.
3. The End of the Universe
The Quran does not only tell us about things that have already been discovered. Rather, it tells us about scientific phenomena still debated today. These next two are not yet confirmed but their mere discussion is worthy of note.
One such topic is the end of the universe. Will it continue to expand forever, or collapse back in on itself? The Holy Quran sheds light on this enigmatic matter:
یَوۡمَ نَطۡوِی السَّمَآءَ کَطَیِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلۡکُتُبِ ؕ کَمَا بَدَاۡنَاۤ اَوَّلَ خَلۡقٍ نُّعِیۡدُہٗ ؕ وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡنَا ؕ اِنَّا کُنَّا فٰعِلِیۡنَ
“Remember the day when We shall roll up the heavens like the rolling up of written scrolls by a scribe. As We began the first creation, so shall We repeat it — a promise binding upon Us; We shall certainly perform it.”
Holy Quran 21:105
This vivid description of the Quran completely fits the picture of the universe collapsing into a black hole. Angular momentum would cause the fabric of space to enter into it like the rolls of parchment. Then, a new universe would emerge.
It is only a matter of time until this shocking fate of the universe is confirmed to be the most likely by physicists.
4. Extraterrestrial Life
Next we come to Extraterrestrial life. In 1960, Frank Drake performed the first modern SETI experiment, in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Yet God’s pronouncements outpaced man’s imagination by more than a millennium.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures (dābbah) He has spread forth in both. And He has the power to gather them together (jam-‘i-him) when He will so please.”
Holy Qur’an 42:30
In this verse, the Quran speaks of living creatures which inhabit space — the ‘heavens’ — and which move on land, this being the meaning of the word ‘dābbah.’
The verse goes on to declare that mankind will one day come into contact with these creatures in some way (jam-’i-him). In other verses the Quran proclaims that they receive revelation as we do.
These declarations of the Quran constitute evidence for its divine origin, for which man of that age could not only envisage the existence of aliens on far away planets, but proclaim future contact with them?
One hopes the day will come soon when this extraordinary prophecy finds its fulfilment.
Read more about extra-terrestrial life in the Quran here.
5. Evolution in the Quran
While most people today believe that evolution was first described by Darwin, nothing could be further from the truth.
The first descriptions of biological evolution are found in the writings of Muslim scholars, over a millennium ago. John William Draper, author of The History of the Conflict Between Science and Religion (1874) wrote that:
“Theological authorities were therefore constrained to look with disfavor… on the Mohammedan theory of the evolution of man from lower forms, or his gradual development to his present condition in the long lapse of time.”
مَا لَکُمۡ لَا تَرۡجُوۡنَ لِلّٰہِ وَقَارًا
وَ قَدۡ خَلَقَکُمۡ اَطۡوَارًا
وَ اللّٰہُ اَنۡۢبَتَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَرۡضِ نَبَاتًا
“What is the matter with you that you do not ascribe dignity to Allah? And certainly he has created you in stages… And Allah has raised you from the Earth like the raising of vegetation.” Holy Quran 71; 15-16, 18
The Quran proposes that man underwent development through different stages, adopting different forms and conditions (atwāran) before culminating in his current condition. It implicates plant life as part of human development — an area for further research.
Evolution discussed by the Quran does not take the Darwinian form, which is guided by chance. Rather, the Quran tells us that God Himself guides biological evolution:
وَ رَبُّکَ یَخۡلُقُ مَا یَشَآءُ وَ یَخۡتَارُ ؕ مَا کَانَ لَہُمُ الۡخِیَرَۃُ ؕ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ وَ تَعٰلٰی عَمَّا یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ
“And thy Lord creates whatever He pleases and selects. It is not for them to select. Glorified be Allah, and far is He above all that they associate with Him.” Holy Qur’an 28:69
You can find all our material on this topic under the ‘evolution’ sub-tab on our Topic Index.
In the 7th Century, like most branches of medicine, embryology was in its infancy.
The most advanced embryological knowledge of the day belonged to the Greek Doctor Galen, who held incorrect notions about the origin of semen and the development of the embryo. In contrast, the Quranic account is more accurate and verified by our modern observations.
وَ لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ سُلٰلَةٍ مِّنۡ طِیۡنٍ ﴿ۚ۱۳﴾ ثُمَّ جَعَلۡنٰهُ نُطۡفَةً فِیۡ قَرَارٍ مَّکِیۡنٍ ﴿۪۱۴﴾ ثُمَّ خَلَقۡنَا النُّطۡفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقۡنَا الۡعَلَقَةَ مُضۡغَةً فَخَلَقۡنَا الۡمُضۡغَةَ عِظٰمًا فَکَسَوۡنَا الۡعِظٰمَ لَحۡمًا ٭ ثُمَّ اَنۡشَاۡنٰهُ خَلۡقًا اٰخَرَ ؕ فَتَبٰرَکَ اللهُ اَحۡسَنُ الۡخٰلِقِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۵
“Verily, We created man from an extract of clay; Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository. Then we fashioned the sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.”
Holy Qur’an, 23:13-15
The Arabic used in this verse accurately depicts the detail and sequence of how we develop in the womb. The Quran describes how the conceptus is produced from a mixture of elements, how the early embryo clings onto the uterine wall, how it then develops into a differentially formed lump, before developing bony structures clothed with flesh. Finally, it describes the birth of the soul within the physical framework of the body.
The sequence and depth of this description cannot be rivalled by any understanding available at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Given the verse’s startling accuracy, Maurice Bucaille, a French doctor who studied this verse, remarked:
“More than a thousand years before our time, at a period when whimsical doctrines still prevailed, men had… the Qur’an. The statements it contains express in simple terms truths of primordial importance which man has taken centuries to discover.”
The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, pg. 220
7. What Lies Beneath Mountains
Mountains are among the grandest features of Earth’s landscapes. What lies beneath their surface has been an impenetrable mystery until the invention of modern technology. The Quran however gave us guidance on this over a millennium ago:
اَلَمۡ نَجۡعَلِ الۡاَرۡضَ مِهدًا ۙ﴿۷﴾ وَّ الۡجِبَالَ اَوۡتَادًا ﴿۪ۙ۸﴾
“Have We not made the earth a bed, And the mountains as pegs?”
Holy Qur’an 78:7-8
Here mountains, Al-Jibāl, are described as pegs. The word awtādan means roots, or pegs. Astoundingly, modern geology has discovered that mountains project deep roots into the Earth’s crust. One geology textbook tells us:
“Beneath a mountain range, where the crust is thickest, a deep root projects into the mantle and provides buoyancy.” Understanding Earth, Grotzinger & Jordan, pg. 630 (2014).
Not only this, but an even more astounding declaration is made in the Quran:
وَ تَرَی الۡجِبَالَ تَحۡسَبُهَا جَامِدَۃً وَّ هِیَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ ؕ صُنۡعَ اللهِ الَّذِیۡۤ أَتۡقَنَ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنَّهُ خَبِیۡرٌۢ بِمَا تَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۸۹﴾
“The mountains that you see, you think they are stationary while they are constantly floating like the floating of clouds. Such is the work of Allah Who made everything firm and strong. ” Holy Quran 27:89
Here, the Quran tells us that visible mountains appear stationary while in reality they float like clouds. There are only two ways in which this can be true: either the entire Earth is rotating, causing the mountains to float in space, or mountain ranges are somehow floating on top of the Earth.
Incredibly, both are true! The Earth is indeed rotating. Not only this, but mountain ranges float on top of the Earth’s crust:
“… as a mountain range forms, it slowly sinks under the force of gravity, and the continental crust bends downward. When enough of a root bulges into the mantle to provide buoyancy, the mountain range floats.” Understanding Earth, Grotzinger & Jordan, pg. 630 (2014).
This is clear evidence for the truth of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
You can read a more in-depth analysis on this topic here.
8. Mountains & Earthquakes
For many decades, atheists have claimed that the Quran makes a clear scientific mistake when it discusses mountains and earthquakes:
…وَ أَلۡقٰی فِی الۡاَرۡضِ رَوَاسِیَ اَنۡ تَمِیۡدَ بِکُمۡ …
“…He has placed in the earth firm mountains (rawāsiya) that it may not quake with you…”
Holy Quran 31:11
Critics alleged that the production of mountains occur at areas where earthquake activity is increased. Therefore, they argued, the verse is wrong.
But new scientific evidence about subduction has transformed our understanding of mountains and earthquakes. Subduction occurs when oceanic crust goes under continental crust, before being recycled in the Earth’s mantle. If the oceanic crust was entirely smooth, the two plates would get stuck against each other, build tension, then suddenly slip. This slip would produce massive ‘megathrust’ earthquakes.
Remarkably, the oceanic crust is not smooth. It is made uneven by huge undersea mountains, seamounts. Over the last decade, powerful evidence has shown that seamounts break up the plates at the subduction zone, leading to a slow but steady creep. This greatly reduces the chance of massive ‘megathrust’ earthquakes.
The Quran gives us further proof that these verses refer to seamounts. When discussing mountains reducing earthquake activity, the Quran only refers to mountains that are rāwasiya rather than jibāl. The arabic root r-s-w has the connotation of effecting harmony, and an anchor at the bottom of the sea. These meanings clearly apply to seamounts.
Thus, these stunning verses give an answer to all those who doubt the truth of the Holy Quran.
You can read more about this topic and find references to scientific papers in our article here.
9. Tectonic Plates
One of the greatest scientific revolutions of the modern day was the discovery that the Earth’s continents are not fixed. The Quran itself sheds light on this topic.
وَ الۡاَرۡضَ مَدَدۡنٰہَا وَ اَلۡقَیۡنَا فِیۡہَا رَوَاسِیَ وَ اَنۡۢبَتۡنَا فِیۡہَا مِنۡ کُلِّ زَوۡجٍۭ بَہِیۡجٍ
“And the earth — We have spread it out, and placed therein firm mountains (rāwasiya); and We have made to grow therein every kind of beautiful species.” Holy Quran, 50:8
In verses such as this, the Holy Quran tells us that the Earth has been spread out. This verse is difficult to understand except in the context of modern science.
We now know that tectonic plates are produced in a process literally called seafloor spreading. This occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where magma bursts out of the Earth to produce oceanic crust. This process also produces volcanoes on the ocean floor, which become seamounts, or rāwasiya, as explained earlier.
But there is more. Not only is the crust of the Earth literally produced in seafloor spreading, but tectonic plates have themselves been spread across the surface of the globe. While they were once the super-continent Pangaea, they are now distributed across the globe to produce the Earth we inhabit today.
By discussing the shifting ground on which we walk, and linking it to seamounts, the Quran has once again demonstrated its truth for our scientific age.
You can read more about this topic here.
It is indeed extraordinary that so many of the remarkable scientific discoveries of the last 100 years, from discovering the intricate biological processes in embryological development, to unravelling the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe, were foretold fourteen-hundred years ago in the Holy Quran. Without the help of God, is it possible that an illiterate man living in the Arabian wilderness could even have dreamt such things, let alone predicted them with such startling accuracy? We say no, and hold this as evidence that the Quran was not the word of man, but the Word of God.