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October 27th, 2008

India goes to the moon while Pakistanis try to see the new crescent

I am a space exploration enthusiast since following the space race of the 1960s. Some of the science comes in my educational studies.

India has launched an (obviously) unmanned space mission which will place a space craft in orbit around the moon. You may like to visit this link. What is striking is the enormous contrast of this with the perennial, unending ruyat-i hilal controversies in Pakistan, and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

Non-Muslim countries of the world, even including poor countries, are reaching the moon while Muslims are discussing the issue of when the moon is new. Yet the same Muslims publish books not only on the marvellous scientific achievements of the Islamic world over 500 years ago, but also to tell the world that such and such modern scientific discovery is already confirmed by the Holy Quran. Why do they then object to the use of science for a practical purpose like determining the new moon?

As regards claiming that such and such modern scientific discovery is already mentioned in the Quran, it seems that others do the hard work, spend the money etc., to do the research, while Muslims simply sit and claim that this was already known to the Quran. The question to be asked is: Why don’t Muslims make the effort to discover those things themselves first and then tell the world that they were already in the Quran? There seems no shortage of funds since they are constructing buildings and hotels of record-breaking heights in Dubai.

11 Responses to “India goes to the moon while Pakistanis try to see the new crescent”

  1. Unfortunately the Muslims of this era have no philosophical understanding of religion and science.  In fact Mullahs generally do not trust science as discovered by the West (partly because they fee threatened by some thing beyond their understanding) and have a knee jerk reaction against adopting practices utilising the same.  For examples Azan on loudspeakers was opposed initially…of course now in Pakistan the loud speaker is the Mullah’s best friend! 

    The reformer of the age, HMGA, has laid down a philosophical basis for science and religion; but of course the Muslims have been deprived of it by the established order. Regarding the moon an incident comes to mind.  Many years ago a servant was employed by a friend of mine who was uneducated and had arrived fresh from the village.  In some context (I do not remember) he was informed by the children of the household than man has reached the moon.  When he refused to believe the kids showed him a picture from an encyclopedia, which he promptly photocopied to take back to his village to break this “news” to his friends.  He did that, and when the news reached the village Mullah he declared a death fatwa against him for saying blasphemous things!!

  2. October 28th, 2008 at 7:40 am
    From Jamil Kirmani:

    These non-Muslims can reach the moon but they will never attain the favour of our Lord like we Muslims have. We are blessed people. We don’t need to worry about wordly things. We have to worry about the hereafter.

  3. Jamil,

    I am glad you have provided a perspective that is all too common amongst Muslims today. Would you care to explain why we are taught the following Quranic prayer:

    “Our Lord, grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire.” 2:201

  4. I must admit muslims are quite the barabaric bunch……
    Ahmadiyyat removed some of that…. but much much more remains.  I think pakistanis specifically and muslims in general have alot of work to do.  I remember when I was 11 years and I was working for my dad, it was Jan, or some other winter month, I was complaining to my dad that I had frostbite, my dad didnt understand what I was talking about, years later i figured out that he thought that I made up a word, he had never heard of such a condition.  Very strange Logic, hopefully GOD will evolve the muslim masses!!!

  5. It is correct that reaching the moon will not invite the favor of Allah (unless some scientific understanding gained from doing so benefits mankind), but that is no reason for Muslims to feel confident regarding thier status with God.  I don’t think by having the Muslim label, the Muslims have the favor of Allah or are a blessed people.  Unfortunately the Muslims of today do not seem to be too worried about the hereafter.  And there is a link between knowledge – with science being perhaps the most influential kind of knowledge – and following Islam.  The Quran does talk about reflecting on the creation of the universe (heavens and earth) and finding spiritual signficance in them…”Our Lord, thou hast not created this in vain…”(Quran Al ‘Imran 3:190-191).  Our lives today would be dramatically differant if not for the advances made by the Non-Muslims (this forum being a case in point!!)

  6. October 29th, 2008 at 1:53 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    It is possible that Jamil is being sarcastic.

  7. October 31st, 2008 at 12:47 am
    From Jamil Kirmani:

    @Abdul Momin
    Sarcasm on my part would be highly inappropriate. Muslims should keep praying and fasting and doing the Hajj once a while. Striving for worldly possessions is the way of the devil.

  8. Could be…but if so, he sure did it with a dead-pan expression, in his writing of course, we didn’t see his face when he wrote the comment:-)

  9. October 31st, 2008 at 12:36 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    Mr Kirmani, I just wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, so that other bloggers didn’t criticize something you did not intend. I am glad you have clarified yourself. 

    So “continue” your discussion with them.

  10. The same scientific and technological developments which have led to spacecraft reaching the moon have also provided Muslims with hitherto unimaginable conveniences with which to perform even their religious obligations. Can we now conceive of, for example, performing the hajj without air travel and without the modern facilities available in Makka? Sitting in our homes we can view the hajj as it takes place, by satellite.

    Secondly, the early Muslims considered worldly advancement as part of Islam. As example is that Hazrat Umar set up governmental and judicial structures to run the worldly affairs of his citizens in the best possible way.

    Thirdly, if Muslims are only seeking the hereafter rather than worldly gain, then one should expect to find the highest moral qualities prevailing among them even in this world, such as honesty, selflessness, and justice. Do we find them excelling the rest of the world in these qualities?

  11. The Quran quite explicitly allows Muslims to strive for worldly possessions; of course within the bounds set by Allah.  This is the very essence of being a Muslim.  In the context of the current discussion, scientific advancement is surely the more noble worldly gain to be had.  Especially if it benefits mankind; of which no examples need to be cited for there are thousands and they are obvious.  And there is a connection between this world and the hereafter.  In fact success in the hereafter depends upon the conduct in this world (rather elementary point).  Pursuit of worldly things with the ultimate aim to gain Allah’s pleasure by remaining within the bounds of Allah, benefiting your fellow humans, and using your God gifted power of “aql” and “fikr” to see the signs of the divine is surely the way to be successful in the hereafter – as the Quran exhorts the faithful.   Legal worldly gain, especially scientific advances, is not antithetic to success in the hereafter, in fact is a way to it.  This is one of the key defining features of Islam that it embraces scientific advances within a theological context without straying one bit from the ultimate declared goal for mankind.  And this is the feature that makes it probably the only major religion to make rational sense to the atheist/agnostic/positivist type of philosophies of many scientists. It is a pity indeed that Muslims act and think otherwise.

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