A century ago, the creation of the universe was a concept that astronomers as a rule ignored. The reason was the general acceptance of the idea that the universe existed in infinite time. Examining the universe, scientists supposed that it was just a conglomeration of matter and imagined that it had no beginning. There was no moment of “creation”–a moment when the universe and everything in it came into being.
This notion of an infinite universe fit in very well with atheism. It is not hard to see why. To hold that the universe had a beginning could imply that it was created and that, of course requires a Creator–that is, Allah. It was much more convenient and safer to circumvent the issue by putting forward the idea that “the universe exists for eternity”, even though there was not the slightest scientific basis for making such a claim.
Unsurprisingly, the discoveries in the 20th century proved with compelling evidence that at some time, all the matter in the universe was compacted in a single point-mass that had “zero volume” because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point-mass that had zero volume. This explosion has come to be called the “the Big Bang” and its existence has repeatedly been confirmed by observational evidence.
There was another truth that the Big Bang pointed to. To say that something has zero volume is tantamount to saying that it is “nothing”. The whole universe was created from this “nothing”. And furthermore this universe had a beginning, contrary to the view of materialism, which holds that “the universe has existed for eternity”.
With the Big Bang’s victory, the myth of ‘eternal matter’ that constituted the basis of the materialist philosophy is thrown into the trash-heap of history. What, then, was before the Big Bang and what was the power that brought the universe into ‘being’ with this big explosion when it was previously ‘non-existent’? This question certainly implies, though terribly disturbing for the materialists, the existence of a Creator. The renowned atheist philosopher Antony Flew comments on the issue. He says:
Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof, that the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe can be comfortably thought of as being not only without end but also without beginning, it remains easy to urge that its brute existence, and whatever are found to be its most fundamental features, should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates. Although I believe that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither easy nor comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big Bang story.1
Many scientists who do not blindly condition themselves to be atheists have admitted the role of an almighty Creator in the creation of the universe. This Creator must be a Being Who has created both matter and time, yet Who is independent of both. Well-known astrophysicist Hugh Ross has this to say:
If time’s beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe, as the space-theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and preexistent to the time dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God contained within the universe.2
Yes, matter and time are created by the almighty Creator Who is independent of all these notions. This Creator is Allah, Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth.
In truth, the Big Bang caused much greater trouble for the materialists than the above confessions of the atheist philosopher, Antony Flew. For the Big Bang not only proves that the universe was created out of nothing, but also that it was brought into being in a very planned, systematic and controlled manner.
The Big Bang took place with the explosion of the point which contained all the matter and energy of the universe and its dispersion into space in all directions with a terrifying speed. Out of this matter and energy, there came about a great balance containing galaxies, stars, the sun, the earth and all other heavenly bodies. Moreover, laws were formed called the ‘laws of physics’, which are uniform throughout the whole universe and do not change. All these indicate that a perfect order arose after the Big Bang.
Explosions that we are normally familiar with, however, do not bring about order. All of the observable explosions tend to harm, disintegrate, and destroy what is present. For example, the atom and hydrogen bomb explosions, fire-damp explosions, volcanic explosions, natural gas explosions, solar explosions: they all have destructive effects.
Sir Fred Hoyle, the world-renowned astronomer, who finally had to accept the Big Bang theory after many years of opposition, expresses this situation very well. He says:
The big bang theory holds that the universe began with a single explosion. Yet as can be seen, an explosion merely throws matter apart, while the big bang has mysteriously produced the opposite effect – with matter clumping together in the form of galaxies.3
Another aspect of this extraordinary order formed in the universe following the Big Bang is the creation of a ‘habitable universe’. The conditions for the formation of a habitable planet are so many and so complex that it is impossible to think that this formation is coincidental.
Paul Davies, a renowned professor of theoretical physics, calculated how ‘fine tuned’ the pace of expansion after the Big Bang was, and he reached an incredible conclusion. According to Davies, if the rate of expansion after the Big Bang had been different even by the ratio of one over a billion times a billion, no habitable star type, and therefore any form of life, would have been formed. Paul Davies says:
Careful measurement puts the rate of expansion very close to a critical value at which the universe will just escape its own gravity and expand forever. A little slower and the cosmos would collapse, a little faster and the cosmic material would have long ago completely dispersed. It is interesting to ask precisely how delicately the rate of expansion has been ‘fine-tuned’ to fall on this narrow dividing line between two catastrophes. If at the time the pattern of expansion was already firmly established, the expansion rate had differed from its actual value by more than one in a billion billion, it would have been sufficient to throw the delicate balance out. The big bang was not, evidently, any old bang, but an explosion of exquisitely arranged magnitude.4
The laws of physics that emerged together with the Big Bang have not changed at all over a period of 15 billion years. Furthermore, these laws stand on calculations so scrupulous that even a millimetre’s variation from their current values can result in the destruction of the whole structure and configuration of the universe.
The famous physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking states in his book A Brief History of Time, that the universe is set on calculations and balances more finely tuned than we can conceive. Hawking states with reference to the rate of expansion of the universe:
If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.5
Paul Davies also explains the unavoidable consequence to be derived from these incredibly precise balances and calculations:
It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out… The seemingly miraculous concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic design.6
In relation to the same fact, an American professor of Astronomy, George Greenstein, writes in his book The Symbiotic Universe:
How could this possibly have come to pass [that the laws of physics conform themselves to life]?.. As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency must be involved.7
In fact in order to recognize that the universe is not a “product of coincidences” one does not really need any of these calculations at all. Simply by looking around himself, a person can easily perceive the fact of creation in even the tiniest details of what he sees. How could a universe like this, perfect in its systems, the sun, the earth, people, houses, cars, trees, flowers, insects, and all the other things in it ever have come into existence as the result of atoms falling together by chance after an explosion? Every detail we peer at shows the evidence of Allah’s existence and supreme power. Only people who reflect can grasp these signs.
In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people’s benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky- by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind—and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur’an, 2: 164)
Doubtlessly, the design of the universe is evidence of Allah’s power to establish. The precise balances and all the human beings and other creatures are the evidence of Allah’s supreme power and act of creation. This result discovered by modern science is just a reworking of a truth revealed fourteen centuries ago in the Qur’an:
Your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne. He covers the day with the night and, each pursuing the other urgently; and the sun and moon and stars are subservient to His command. Both creation and command belong to Him. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all worlds. (Qur’an, 7:54)
1 Henry Margenau, Roy Abraham Vargesse, Cosmos, Bios, Theos, La Salle IL: Open Court Publishing, 1992, p. 241
2 Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos: How Greatest Scientific Discoveries of The Century Reveal God, Colorado: NavPress, revised edition, 1995, p. 76
3 Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe, London, 1984, pp. 184-185
4 Paul Davies, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature, 1984, p. 184
5 Stephen Hawking, A Brief History Of Time, Bantam Press,
London: 1988, pp. 121-125
6 Paul Davies, God and the New Physics, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983, p. 189
7 George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe, p. 27