Thu. Apr 9th, 2020

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Fate of the Universe (The Big Crunch)

10 min read

The following excerpt is taken from “Islam and Modern Science” by Ibrahim Rather pg. 362:

Fate of the Universe

One of the two theories relating to the expansion predicts that the universe will carry on expanding forever. The other claims that the expansion of the universe will reverse, at some point, because the inward gravitational pull will ultimately prevail. Eventually, all matter will be pulled back again to form perhaps another gigantic black hole. This latter view appears to be supported by the Quran. Whilst speaking of the first creation of the universe, the Quran clearly describes its ending into yet another black hole, connecting the end to the beginning, thus completing the full circle of the story of cosmos.

The Quran declares: “Remember the day when We shall roll up the heavens like the rolling up of written scrolls” (Quran 21:104)

The clear message of this verse is that this universe is not eternal. It speaks of a future when the heavens will be rolled up, in a manner similar to the rolling up of a scroll. Scientific descriptions illustrating the making of a black hole, very closely resemble what the Quran describes in the above verse. A mass of accretion from space falling into a black hole, as described above, would be pressed into a sheet under the enormous pressure created by the gravitational and electromagnetic forces. As the centre of the black hole is constantly revolving around itself, this sheet will begin to be wrapped around it, before disappearing into the realm of the unknown at last.

“When the stars are extinguished.” (Quran 77:8)

The finite nature of stars and the totality of the universe is also strongly highlighted. These pre-destined existences and orbits imply God’s supreme power and control over his creation.

“He ordained the sun and the moon, each to run for a specified term.” (Quran 13:2)

“When the sun is folded, and when the stars collapse, dispersing.” (Quran 81:1-2)

The description of the sun here may be appropriately seen as a metaphor alluding to the sun to losing its light. “Takwir” (the name of the chapter) means to fold up, as “takwir al-amamah” is used for folding up the turban on the head. Here, one can interpret that the light radiating from the sun has been likened to the turban and it has been said that on the Resurrection Day, the turban will be folded up about the sun and its radiation will fade. Furthermore, the force that is keeping the stars and planets in their orbits will be loosened, causing them to scatter in the universe. The word “inkidar” also indicates that they will not only scatter away but will also grow dark.

“When the seas are set aflame.” (Quran 81:6)

As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it. (Quran 21:104)

Following the eventual collapse of the universe into another singularity, here we have the promise of a new beginning. God will recreate the universe, as He had done before. The collapsed universe will re-emerge from its darkness and the whole process of creation will start yet again. This wrapping up and unfolding of the universe appears to be an ongoing phenomenon, according to the Quran. This Quranic concept of the beginning and the end of the creation is undoubtedly extraordinary. The Quran is clear and specific that the universe erupted from a singularity, and that it will compress into another singularity again. To summarize, the Quran stresses the unity of God and His creative outburst, as well as the return of creation to the unity of God. This entire idea of cosmology in Islam is expressed simply and beautifully in one verse:

“Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” (Quran 2:156)

Rather, Ibrahim. Islam and Modern Science: Does the science in the Holy Quran regarding cosmology prove the existence of God? . Kindle Edition.