25 April, 2018 | 9 Sha’ban, 1439 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Abstract

Is Islam and science compatible? This lesson makes a positive case for the compatibility of Islam, science and the scientific method.

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! 

 

In this lesson, we will overview science as a rational enterprise and its relation to Islam, and particularly the Islamic way of viewing the world. Here we will argue that there is, in fact, no tension between what we call science today and the Islamic faith.  

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

The Prophet Muhammad (s) once said: “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female.” 

 

Science vs. Faith, Reason vs. Faith? 

 

Before we get into the nitty gritty of Islam and science, there is an important philosophical discussion that we first need to get out of the way.  

 

There is a prevalent idea going around nowadays, especially in the modern atheist crowd, claiming that science is incompatible with religion. The argument goes something like this: faith is belief without evidence, whereas science is belief with evidence. Since religion is all about faith, it is incompatible with science. 

 

The argument is obviously fallacious. Whether in Islam or other Abrahamic religions like Christianity, faith does not mean “belief without evidence.” 

 

The atheist definition of faith assumes that Muslims or Christians believe that faith is an epistemological category. Epistemology has to do with “knowledge” and “how you know things”  

 

But that’s not how Islam defines faith. Faith, or īmān in Islam means having deep trust in God in all things. This includes having faith that He will give you what is best for you, and it also means having faith that everything He has revealed to us is true. Faith is therefore a moral category in Islam, it has something to do with having a right attitude, character and disposition towards Allah.  

 

Belief in the truth of Islam, or the existence of God, is somewhat different. The Prophet Muhammad (s), nor the Ahl al-Bayt (as) or any decent Muslim scholar ever asked people to believe in God or Islam without evidence.  

 

In fact, the Qur’an is full of rational arguments for the truth of the Qur’an, Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (s). If faith was “belief without evidence” why would the Qur’an bring arguments to convince its audience? Why would the Messenger of Allah throughout his lifetime cite rational arguments and use miracles to prove his claim to divine prophethood? 

 

So faith is a moral virtue in Islam and not “belief without evidence” as some erroneously believe. 

 

Islam and the Scientific Method 

 

The oxford dictionary defines the scientific method as thus: "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses" 

 

In short, the scientific method is a method whereby we obtain a certain theory or view about material reality based on a specific set of experiments, measurements and texts. This view or theory may affirm, modify or reject our hypothesis.  

 

There is nothing in Islam that prohibits or frowns upon the scientific method. In fact, plenty of Muslim scholars in the premodern era conducted experiments to test their hypotheses about the created world.  

 

There are plenty of religious Muslim scientists today who work with the scientific method in all fields whether it is chemistry, biology or physics. None of these are incompatible with Islam or the Qur’an. In fact, the Qur’an always encourages us to observe and contemplate on the world of creation and to use our abilities to reason. 

 

What Islam is incompatible with, however, is something called materialism. Materialism, also sometimes called naturalism or physicalism, is a worldview that assumes that all that exists is ultimately material. Only matter is real, anything beyond that is untrue and not real.  

 

Muslim philosophers reject this view of the world as fallacious and incoherent. This is because conflating all of existence with physical reality is itself a metaphysical worldview and an unprovable assumption. It is a metaphysical worldview as it is making a claim about things beyond physical reality, namely that there isn’t such a thing as something beyond physical reality!  

 

Closely related to materialism is something called scientism. Scientism holds that the scientific method is the only way to understand existence, or at the very least, that the empirical sciences are the most “authoritative” worldviews and have the most legitimate claim on truth and knowledge.  

 

Muslim philosophers also reject this. They argue that there are plenty of truths that we, including advocates of scientism, believe in without using science. These include logical truths (for example: law of causality), mathematical truths, aesthetical truths (that is, statements about beauty), moral truths (for example: killing babies is morally bad) or even metaphysical truths (for example: the material world that I experience is real and not an illusion).  

 

In fact, science itself presupposes logical and mathematical truths without which it cannot function. As such, scientism itself is also fallacious and something that Islam rejects.  

 

Science and the Religious Life 

 

Islam believes that observing and studying nature is a way to grow closer to God. In this way, science is a good way to strengthening one’s belief in God for it reveals to us the complex but beautiful way Allah’s created world works.  

 

From this vantage point, Islam therefore encourages scientific research. It also encourages us to even make a living out of it for it is an honorable profession as long as we don’t use science as a means for sin and immoral actions. For example, Islam doesn’t allow you to create weapons of mass destruction. 

 

How can science be used for immoral purposes? Well, as science has given us a lot of good, like curing diseases or bringing sanitary water to people’s homes, it has also given us the atomic bomb or the creation of deadly diseases which was used in biological weapons. 

 

Science is a tool, it can either be used for good or bad. Islam supports science when it is a means for good, but opposes it when it becomes a means for evil. 

 

In our pursuit of science and knowledge, we must always keep in mind that our pursuit must always be for the sake of God. Imam Ali (as) once said: 

 

 “Do not seek knowledge for four aims: (1) Self-glorification in front of people of knowledge(2) Quarrelling with the ignorant(3) Showing off in gatherings of people (4) Attracting attention of people in order to secure an office of authority.”

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Scientific Method

"a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses" 

Epistemology

 Epistemology has to do with “knowledge” and “how you know things” 

 

Materialism

 Materialism, also sometimes called naturalism or physicalism, is a worldview that assumes that all that exists is ultimately material. Only matter is real, anything beyond that is untrue and not real.  

 

Scientism

Scientism holds that the scientific method is the only way to understand existence, or at the very least, that the empirical sciences are he most “authoritative” worldview and have the most legitimate claim on truth and knowledge. 

Is faith incompatible with science?

It is incompatible if one assumes that faith means to “believe in something without evidence,” but that is not the Islamic definition of faith.

Q1

Is faith incompatible with science?

 It is incompatible if one assumes that faith means to “believe in something without evidence,” but that is not the Islamic definition of faith.  

Q2

What is faith in Islam?

Faith, or īmān in Islam means having deep trust in God in all things, including His justice, mercy or in times when things around you seem completely hopeless. Faith is therefore a moral category in Islam, it has something to do with having a right attitude, character and disposition towards Allah. It is to believe that everything He says is true. 

Q3

Can science get us closer to God?

Yes as it is a study of God’s creation. The wonder created by God’s creation is a means to appreciating Him and growing closer to Him. 

 

Q4

According to Islam, can science be bad?

Yes, if it is used as a tool for evil, like the creation of atomic bombs.  

 

Islam and science
faith vs science
islam and the scientific method
materialism
naturalism
epistemology
morality
scientism