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May 17th, 2011

A Letter to Dr. Stephen Hawking

by Ikram.


Dear Dr. Hawking:

As a citizen I want to thank you for your life long research and the knowledge you continue to impart to humanity.

I came across two articles about you in recent press that I refer to below. I added my comments from Quran and Islam to some of the thoughts that were attributed to you. Please take a look. Purpose of doing so is not to preach or draw you into a discussion for which I am sure you do not have time, but only to inform.
———
Guardian [http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven]

“We should seek the greatest value of our action.”

28:88. … Every thing is liable to perish but those (righteous deeds) by means of which you seek His attention…[i.e. at the end of the day, it is the actions that define a man and survive him, that includes scientific discoveries]

“In answering another, he wrote of the beauty of science, such as the exquisite double helix of DNA in biology, or the fundamental equations of physics.”

67:3. It is He Who has created seven heavens [i.e. numerous universes], one upon another in conformity (with each other). You can see no flaw, no incongruity and no imperfection in the creation of the Most Gracious (God). Then look up once more (to heaven). Do you see any flaw?

67:4. Look again and yet again (to find out any confusion in Divine law). (The result will only be that) your eye will return to you dazzled while it is weary (and you will be unable to find any discordance).

“Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing…

2:117. (God is) the Wonderful Originator without depending upon any matter or pattern of the heavens and the earth; and when He issues a decree He does but say to it, `Be’ and it comes to be [conforming to laws of physics including the dimension of time].

…(continuing from above sentence) It is a matter of chance which we are in,”

40:57. Of course, the creation of the heavens and the earth is (a) greater (performance) than the creation of mankind but most people do not know (it).

…to create something out of nothing is also His work. Just as you see it in in a scene in a dream He creates a whole world without any matter, and shows nonexistent things to be existent. Thus such are all the wonders of His power…[On the concept of God and the status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Light – U.K. Edition, May 2008 Special Century Edition, page 19.]

“One possibility predicted by M-theory is supersymmetry, an idea that says fundamental particles have heavy – and as yet undiscovered – twins, with curious names such as selectrons and squarks.”

36:36. Glory be to Him Who has created pairs of all type of the things that the earth grows and of their own species and of the things yet unknown to them [that includes the fundamental concept of twins e.g. matter and antimatter].

“There is no heaven or afterlife”

57:21. (Mankind!) advance quickly, outstripping one another, towards the protection from your Lord and (towards) a Garden the extensiveness of which is (beyond measure) as the extensiveness of the heaven and the earth. It has been prepared for those who believe in Allâh and His Messengers; that (protection) is Allâh’s grace and bounty. He grants it to such of those who wish to attain it (and strive for it). Allâh is the Lord of immense grace and bounty.

…we have a reliable tradition on record that a messenger of Heracleus [Byzantine Emperor, born c. 575 – died February 11, 641] asked the Prophet [Muhammad], “If the paradise were as extensive as the heavens and the earth, where would be hell? “He replied, “Glory be to Allah, where is the night when the day comes?“ The verse and the incident recorded clearly show that heaven and hell are not the names of two places, but actually two conditions, because if paradise were the name of a particular place, hell could not exist, as paradise would then extend over the whole of the space. This conclusively gives us a rational view of “heaven”, and is confirmed fully by the trend of modern thought which rejects the conception of the “geographical heaven” as primitive and irrational. Is not Modernism then indebted to the Quran? [Excerpted from: Dean Inge’s Homage to Muhammad, by S. Hamid Raza B.A. (Alig), pg 322, Sept & Dec, The Muslim Revival, Ahmadiyya Buildings Lahore (India)]

——
Yahoo [http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110516/us_yblog_thelookout/stephen-hawking-says-afterlife-is-a-fairy-story]

I agree with you when you say “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.”

My understanding is that you are alluding to Jesus (or other similar religious figures), a man made God. Whereas people of knowledge and understanding live within the framework pointed to in Quran, that I am sure that you will testify to:

18:109. Say, `If every ocean became ink for (recording) the words and creation of my Lord, surely, the oceans would be spent up before the words and creation of my Lord came to an end, even if we brought to add (therewith) as many more (oceans).

31:27. And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea with seven more seas added to it (were ink), the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.

As to Who made the above framework within which theories M-Theory, Relativity etc. survive. Take a look:

57:3. He is (from) the very First (there was nothing before Him), and (He will exist to) the Last (there will be nothing after Him), and when nothing remains He will remain (He being an eternal Being). He is the Supreme Being (subordinate to no one). And (whereas He comprehends everything) He is Incomprehensible. He has full knowledge of every thing.

As to how He (-the God) makes Newtons, Einsteins, Hawkings:

96:3. Read and thy Lord is most Generous,
96:4. Who taught by the pen,
96:5. Taught man what he knew not.
96:6. Nay, man is surely inordinate,
96:7. Because he looks upon himself as self-sufficient.

Dr. Hawkins, I leave you with a final thought from Khwaja Kamaluddin, who was a barrister at law and first Muslim missionary to England and worked out of the mosque at Woking (Surrey) in 1913:

Everything in the world appears to have been enchained by the Law. It follows it implicitly, Is it then other than Allah’s religion that they seek (to follow), and to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him shall they be returned? (3:82). Nature discloses regularity, precision, punctuality, knowledge, power, command, intellect, preordination, prearrangement, precaution, and several other features that are the possessions of the mind exclusively. In their presence the universe cannot be taken as the outcome of accident. It needs an intelligent Design to precede the process of its creation. The word design sometimes used to bore minds with sceptic tendencies, but it has become now widened in its connotation. It brings within it so many facts and figures recently discovered by Science that disbelief in God would amount to ignorance. [Note:“intelligent Design” referred here has no relation to contemporary evolution debate. Excerpted from: Introduction to Study of The Holy Quran, by Khwaja Kamaluudin, pg 21, Dar-ul-Ishahat-Kutub-Islamia, Fatamabi Court, 4th Floor, 17 M Azad Road, Jacob Circle, Bombay. 1939, 1950, 1991.]

Finally, as to what science is discovering, Prophet Solomon (son of Prophet David) summed it all: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

-Peace be on you, and happy discoveries.

-ikram.

P.S. I have posted the above at http://ahmadiyya.org/WordPress/

One Response to “A Letter to Dr. Stephen Hawking”

  1. May 17th, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The following passage of the Quran may also be relevant:

    27:65 Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen but Allah; and they know not when they will be raised.
    27:66 Nay, their knowledge reaches not the Hereafter. Nay, they are in doubt about it. Nay, they are blind to it.
    27:67 And those who disbelieve say: When we have become dust and our fathers (too), shall we indeed be brought forth?
    27:68 We have certainly been promised this — we and our fathers before; these are naught but stories of the ancients!
    27:69 Say: Travel in the earth, then see what was the end of the guilty!

    When the entire scope of a field of knowledge (physics in this case) is limited to one domain and does not reach another domain, how can it validly comment on that other domain?

    In fact, even different branches of physical science itself look at the same object in different ways because each branch limits itself to one perspective. Take the leaf of a plant. Physics, chemistry and biology look at it, and describe it, in their own distinctive, entirely different ways. Take a human being, and we have in addition psychology and social sciences looking at the same being from different angles, each perspective having its own boundaries and limitations.


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