بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
سُبْحَانَ ذِي الْجَبَرُوتِ وَالْمَلَكُوتِ، وَالْكِبْرِيَاءِ وَالْعَظَمَةِ
The modern-day Salafi sect’s rejection of scientific discoveries and facts deserves attention as it is presenting our Islamic religion in such a way as to open it up to the most devastating intellectual assaults that will rob many ordinary Muslims of their faith.
Among such dangerous ideas is their insistence upon the geocentric model of the universe, which is that the sun, all the stars and other planets, circulate around the Earth. They believe the Earth is stationary, and does not rotate around its own axis. They reject the idea that the stars are distant suns, and also reject the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, instead believing that Allah created this cosmos from “pre-existing” matter.
The reader should know that throughout the holy Quran there aren’t any explicit statements to the effect that the Earth is stationary, or that the sun orbits the Earth, or that Allah Most High created the universe from “pre-existing” matter. While such interpretations may have been valid and understandable in pre-modern times, to continue to blindly follow and propagate them, and worse, to declare Muslims who reject such pre-modern notions as disbelievers, is a great tribulation.
When the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said:
أَنْتُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِأَمْرِ دُنْيَاكُمْ
You know better about the affairs of your world
(Sahih Muslim: Kitab al-Fada’il)
Then we derive from this the principle that we may take knowledge of the physical sciences from those who are qualified and have expertise in the field, so long as what they teach doesn’t explicitly contravene the divine Revelation.
Regarding the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, the orthodox Muslims have attributed the meaning of these words to Allah:
كُنْتُ كَنْزًا مَخْفِيًّا
"I was a hidden treasure"
While it is true this isn’t a genuine Hadith Qudsi, the meaning is certainly correct, and reflects the belief of the orthodox Muslims that before Allah created anything He was alone in existence. As for the Ayah that is presented by Ibn Taymiyah and his followers:
کُلَّ یَوۡمٍ ہُوَ فِیۡ شَاۡنٍ
Every day He is in [His] element
as proof that the process of creation doesn’t have an absolute beginning, because Allah is constantly in a state of manifesting His attributes and His glory, which includes creating, they are presenting something general to prove something specific. Allah Most High was in His glory and in His element before He began the creation, and remains so after beginning the creation.