April 17, 2021

Islamic Web Library

An Islamic Resource Center

The Galaxies

4 min read

Quran 21:104: On that day when We shall roll up heaven as a scroll for writings; As We originated the first creation, so We shall bring it back again-A promise binding on Us; So We shall do it.

The above verse describes the universe as a written scroll of God. The metaphor of the scroll seems to be a figurative explanation of the collapsing universe of science. If we release an open scroll, it will recoil slowly in the beginning and as it rolls back towards the end, the process accelerates. After the Big Bang, the galaxies began to recede. “The galaxies that are now receding from one another will start to approach each other , gathering speed all the time. Over fifteen centuries ago the Quran stated that the receding galaxies would reverse their courses on the Last Day. Fourteen centuries ago, the Quran stated in the chapter, Coiling Up [of the universe], that the receding galaxies would reverse their courses before the end of the universe:

Quran 81:15-16: So verily, I call to witness the stars that recede.

(Islamic Theory of Evolution, pg. 55)


“The planets in our solar system orbit around the sun. One orbit of the Earth takes one year. Meanwhile, our entire solar system – our sun with its family of planets, moon, asteroid and comets – orbits the center of the Milky Way galaxy.”

“A supercluster is a large group of smaller galaxy clusters or galaxy groups; it is among the largest known structures of the universe. The Milky Way is part of the Local Group galaxy group (which contains more than 54 galaxies), which in turn is part of the Virgo Supercluster, which is part of the Laniakea Supercluster. The large size and low density of superclusters means that they, unlike clusters, expand with the Hubble expansion. The number of superclusters in the observable universe is estimated to be 10 million.”

Furthermore, scholars and scientists of all ages have reasoned that beyond the limits of this physical reality, there exist other universes with natures unique to them.

Al-Razi comments:

“It is established by evidence that there exists beyond the world a void without a terminal limit (khala’ la nihayata laha), and it is established as well by evidence that God Most High has power over all contingent beings (al-mumkinat ). Therefore He the Most High has the power (qadir ) to create a thousand thousand worlds (alfa alfi ‘awalim) beyond this world such that each one of those worlds be bigger and more massive than this world as well as having the like of what this world has of the throne (al-arsh), the chair (al-kursiyy), the heavens (al-samawat ) and the earth (al-ard ), and the sun (al-shams) and the moon (al-qamar ). The arguments of the philosophers (dala’il al-falasifah) for establishing that the world is one are weak, flimsy arguments founded upon feeble premises.” (Fakhr al-Din al-Razi on physics and the nature of the physical world: a preliminary survey.)

For a detailed view of this concept, please see the post:

Seven Heavens – The Quranic Multiverse 41:12 – Islamic Web Library

Perhaps (and this is my personal opinion), the super clusters of a universe orbit around some physical thing in that universe; and the different multiverses orbit around (in a complex, perfect, and appropriate way) some unknown and Great power. I believe this unknown thing to be Allah Almighty who states in the Quran:

“Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!” (Quran 7:54, Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

References:

Cain, Fraser (4 May 2009). “Local Group”. Universe Today. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

“Earth’s new address: ‘Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea'”Nature

Razi. THE GREAT EXEGESIS al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr. (p. 5-6). http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/THE_GREAT_EXEGESIS_Volume_I_The_Fatih_a.pdf

Shanavas, T.O. (2005). Islamic Theory of Evolution: The Missing Link between Darwin and the Origin of Species. (p. 55).