How did the Sahabah and Rasulullah (ﷺ) understand the scientific verses of the Qur’an?
The scientific points that we are finding out today and with each few years we find out more and more. These signs, which Allah spoke about, were understood in a general sense. For example, the description of the development of the embryo that I spoke about. That the people of the time accepted. Allah said it was this way and they said it must have been that way. They didn’t have a means to go and check it. They just accepted it because believing in God, accepting Allah into our lives means believing in whatever He has informed us. So they accepted it.
When He said that He sent down iron, they understood it that He gave them iron. It wasn’t necessary for them to know that iron didn’t exist in the earth till it came from extraterrestrial sources. That didn’t need to be known. They dug it up from the earth as they dug up other things and they accept that it all came from God. So it wasn’t a problem. So what happens is that those verses that we speak about , they described a variety of different natural phenomena in the world. Earlier generations, when they saw these verses, they just accepted them and they acted upon them. Similarly, for example, in the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) he instructed people in his time to do certain things which people just did. In our times we come to find out that they have this benefit, that benefit or the other benefit. For example, he told his companions not to sleep on their stomachs. He told them not to sleep lying on their stomachs. When he told the companions that, they just gave it up. It might have felt nice. It might have felt comfortable. But they switched to sleeping on their sides or their backs. In recent times, in the last 20 years, the medical profession has established that sleeping on the stomach causes the ailment known as sway back, curvature of the spine where old people walk and they can’t straighten their backs. It is the main cause and so they advise people not to sleep on their stomachs. Furthermore sleeping on the stomach has been identified in the UK as the main cause of cot death. Children are put to sleep at the age of 2 or 3 and the parents go back and find them dead, not knowing how, why. When they researched into this, they found that one of the most common factors of these children was that they were put to sleep on their stomachs. So it was announced back in 1989, front page news, 'Doctors warn people away from putting their children to sleep on their stomachs.' In 1989. By 1997 when they looked at the rate of cot death, they found that it had dropped by nearly 70% from that advice. So the benefit was there. And that’s why belief in the Prophet (ﷺ), as belief in Allah means we accept what he has told us as truth, similarly belief in the Prophet (ﷺ) means that whatever he has informed us is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.< Back to Questions