Quran: both science and theology
I started to read Russell’s “History of Western Philosophy”, and at the very beginning, Russell defines philosophy as something in between theology and science.
All definitive knowledge belongs to science, all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. [p. 10]
I am sure Russell was using religion and dogma in Judo-Christian context and in the context of the everlasting battle between the church and science in Europe. Had he read and pondered upon the Quran, he would be amazed at the amazing harmony in the Quran between definitive knowledge (science) and theology. In many verses of the Quran, Allah encourages mankind to exercise their intellect and discover new things in nature.
Here is another except from Russell.
Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. [p. 11]
Out of mercy to mankind, Allah in the Quran gifted man with knowledges that can never be attained by science in laboratory settings.
Quran is never “fairy tales” as Russell might have perceives about the Christian church dogmas. If we all agree that we can only know a little through scientific experimentations, then the only option we have is to place our faith to an All-Knowing entity in matters that we can not attain through scientific exploration. The comforting news is that Allah as the All-knowing supreme entity has kept his His verbatim words (i.e., the Quran) preserved among us in intact form without been subjected to alteration of men as was the case with the Bible.
If Russell asserts that Philosophy started in the sixth century B.C. in Greece, we can say without hesitation that prophets possessing guidance and revelation from Allah have been showing light to mankind since the first man Adam came to earth. These prophets throughout the history has been guiding people to worshipped Allah alone.
My appeal to the readers of philosophy who (logically and legitimately) attack the Christian theological dogma is not to place the Quran at par with Bible and not push Islam to the side of Church in its battle with science in the seventeenth century Europe.
As I progress with rest of Russell, I am sure to come back to you with many many more write-ups, so stay tuned.
For now, I leave you with this verse from Quran, Chapter 2: 213
Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it — after the clear proofs came to them — out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.