In the Holy Quran the beginning of the Universe is mentioned as
“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)
In above verse, the Arabic words ratq and fataq are used. The word ratq can be translated into “entity” “sewn to” “joined together” or “closed up”. The meaning of these translations all circulate around something that is mixed and that has a separate and distinct existence. The verb fataq is translated into “We unstitched” “We clove them asunder” “We separated” or “We have opened them”. These meanings imply that something comes into being by an action of splitting or tearing apart. The sprouting of a seed from the soil is a good example of a similar illustration of the meaning of the verb fataq.
With the introduction of the Big Bang theory, it soon became clear to Muslim scholars that the details mentioned with regards to the theory go identically hand in hand with the description of the creation of the universe in verse 30 of chapter 21 of the Quran.
And Allah also mentioned the Expansion of Universe in the following verses
“And the heaven We created with might, and indeed We are (its) expander.” (Quran 51:47)
“He (God) is the Originator of the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 6:101)
“Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes; and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Quran 36:81-82)
Nestling in the foothills of the Alps is Europe’s largest laboratory, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, or Cern.
With its vast labyrinth of tunnels and equipment stretching for miles, the complex has the feel of a cathedral to science.
And now the scientists here have embarked on their biggest experiment ever, the hunt for a particle which gave the universe its form.
Its scientific name is the Higgs Boson, but because it is so fundamental in shaping the universe, others have called it the God particle.
It is a particle that is supposed to endow other fundamental particles with mass. Without it there would be no gravity, no universe as we know it – no “let there be light” moment.
No-one has seen it, but physicists have invoked it because it is the simplest explanation for how the universe evolved.
Spark of divinity
Most physicists are instinctively drawn towards theories with a simple elegance.
Reverend Sir John Polkinghorne used to be a theoretical physicist and worked with Professor Peter Higgs, after whom the God particle was named.
Professor Polkinghorne went on to become an Anglican priest. He believes the equations which describe the way sub-atomic particles interact contain a natural beauty in which some find a spark of divinity.
He said: “Physicists are deeply impressed with the order of the world. It is rationally beautiful and structured, and the feeling that there is a mind behind it is a very natural feeling to have.”
It is not the first time that a scientific study of the universe has inspired awe and wonder.
The crew of Apollo 8 were so moved by their experience, they felt moved to read passages from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon on Christmas Eve in 1968.
US physicists Richard Feynman and George Smoot both described their Nobel Prize-winning insights into the behaviour of subatomic particles and the detection of the Cosmic Background Radiation as looking “unto the face of God”.
Professor Polkinghorne understands why such glimpses into the underlying reality of the universe can provoke such reactions.
He said: “I think the feeling of wonder, which is very fundamental to the experience of physicists – they way they see structure in the world – is fundamentally a religious experience, whether people recognise it as such or not.
“And I think it is actually a tacit, sometimes explicit, worship of the creator.”
Many of the physicists here are not religious and would disagree with Professor Polkinghorne’s view.