In 1925, an American astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble, provided
observational evidence that all galaxies are receding from one another, which
implies that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is now
an established scientific fact. This is what Al-Qur’aan says regarding the
nature of the universe: “With the power and skill Did We construct The
Firmament: For it is We Who create The vastness of Space.” [Al-Qur’aan 51:47]
The Arabic word mûsi‘ûn is correctly translated as ‘expanding it’, and it
refers to the creation of the expanding vastness of the universe. Stephen
Hawking, in his book, ‘A Brief History of Time’, says, “The discovery that
the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the
20th century.”
The Qur’aan mentioned the expansion of the universe, before man even learnt
to build a telescope! Some may say that the presence of astronomical facts in
the Qur’aan is not surprising since the Arabs were advanced in the field of
astronomy. They are correct in acknowledging the advancement of the Arabs
in the field of astronomy. However they fail to realize that the Qur’aan was
revealed centuries before the Arabs excelled in astronomy. Moreover many of
the scientific facts mentioned above regarding astronomy, such as the origin
of the universe with a Big Bang, were not known to the Arabs even at the
peak of their scientific advancement. The scientific facts mentioned in the
Qur’aan are therefore not due to the Arabs’ advancement in astronomy.
Indeed, the reverse is true. The Arabs advanced in astronomy, because
astronomy occupies a place in the Qur’aan.