Essay on The Positive Relationship Between Science and Religion

6961 Words Sep 27th, 2011 28 Pages
The Positive Relationship Between Science and Religion

Introduction:

Throughout history we can find many instances where religion was strongly opposed to scientific research. For example, the Catholic Church’s objection to Galileo’s defense of Copernicus’ heliocentric model where he offered his observations that he felt furthered the theory that the planets revolved around the Sun. At that time, the belief that the Holy Scriptures were perhaps inaccurate was one thing, but attempting to confirm it as Galileo tried to do was a completely different issue and resulted in Galileo being forbidden by the Church to write or teach his findings. Another example is the opposition to Darwin’s theory of evolution by the majority of the
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When reading specific verses of the Qur’an it appears that in fact these scientific studies in astronomy would serve to confirm God’s greatness and the validity of the Qur’an. For example; Qur'an (10:101)2 states: "Behold all that is In the heavens and on earth"; But neither Signs nor Warners Profit those who believe not.”

Ibn al-Haytham’s research into astronomy was celebrated as a way to follow the Qur’an’s directive concerning prayer and religious observance of Ramadan (Gingerich 1986) which was dependent on the correct interpretation of the phases of the moon to correctly determine when the holy month was to occur. The study of the skies allowed Muslims to create a calendar that would reflect in more detail how observant Muslims should practice the Qur’an commands including the direction prayer should be toward, what time of year should Muslims participate in the Haji, and where to position the entrance for a mosque. The Christian and Hebrew calendars did not correlate the new moon with the beginning of the month as the Muslims did and therefore did not allow adherence to the Qur’an when it stated “They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: And