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Challenging the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe

Alina and Sahr Asif


Challenging the Accelerating Expansion of the Universe

By: Alina and Sahr Asif

(72:26) عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا
“[He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone”
The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae was given the Nobel prize in physics 2011.
1.) One of the concepts the three scientists proved was that the expansion of the universe is accelerating at an astonishing speed. It’s hard to believe the universe doubles in size every 10-35 seconds. Due to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, scientists can now conclude that the expansion of the universe all began with inflation. Inflation is why the universe is here today. The Big Bang Theory is the result of inflation at work. The term inflation refers to a brief burst of hyper accelerated expansion that may have occurred during the first instants after the big bang (Steinhardt, 2011).  In addition, the scientists claim that the universe has been expanding for 14 billion years.
Scientists do not associate discoveries based on anything but evidence. As we have already stated, scientists look at the expansion as a result of the Theory of General Relativity; however, that is not how Islam looks at it. When we do not have an answer, we look at the Quran for explanations. Fourteen hundred  years ago, the fact that the universe is expanding, had already been revealed in the following ayah.
وَالسَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُون ﴿51:47﴾
“And the heaven we constructed with strength, and indeed, We are {its} expander.”
2.) The scientists also speculate the world will end in ice also known as the Big Freeze. The theory predicts that the universe will keep on expanding , making it a cold place until the temperature reaches absolute zero. Beyond that point, molecular motion stops and therefore there will be no new life.
The big freeze theory is right in saying that living organisms need water to survive. This is also supported by the following ayah.

(21:30)   Ø£ÙŽÙˆÙŽÙ„ÙŽÙ…Û¡ يَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ ڪَانَتَا رَتۡقً۬ا فَفَتَقۡنَـٰهُمَا‌ۖ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنَ ٱلۡمَآءِ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ حَىٍّ‌ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ
“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and we separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” 21:30
However these scientists were incorrect on concluding that the earth will end in ice. The Quran refuted such claim in the following ayahs.
(56:4-6)  Ø¥ÙØ°ÙŽØ§ رُجَّتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ رَجًّ۬ا (Ù¤) وَبُسَّتِ ٱلۡجِبَالُ بَسًّ۬ا (Ù¥) فَكَانَتۡ هَبَآءً۬ مُّنۢبَثًّ۬ا (Ù¦)
“When the earth is shaken up convulsively, the mountains bruised and crushed, turned to  dust floating in the air”

(84:1-4) إِذَا ٱلسَّمَآءُ ٱنشَقَّتۡ (١) وَأَذِنَتۡ لِرَبِّہَا وَحُقَّتۡ (٢) وَإِذَا ٱلۡأَرۡضُ مُدَّتۡ (٣) وَأَلۡقَتۡ مَا فِيہَا وَتَخَلَّتۡ (٤)
“When the sky will split apart, and will listen to the command of its lord and is dutiful, when the earth will be stretched, and it will throw up whatever it contains and will become empty.” (84:1-4)

3.) The acceleration of the expansion of the universe is thought to be driven by dark energy. Roughly, about 70 percent of the universe is dark energy, 25 percent is dark matter, and everything ever observed is less than 5 percent of the universe. One possible explanation of dark energy is that it is a property of space that can possess energy in the universe. Another explanation for dark energy is that it is a new kind of dynamical energy field. Scientists can’t come up with enough evidence of what dark energy really is so it still remains a mystery to scientists.

The diagram above illustrates the rate of expansion since the Big Bang.

Source: NASA/STSci/Ann Feild

The Quran supports the theory that dark energy is a property of space that possesses energy in the following ayah.
(67:3-4)  Ù±Ù„َّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ طِبَاقً۬ا‌ۖ مَّا تَرَىٰ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَـٰوُتٍ۬‌ۖ فَٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ Ù‡ÙŽÙ„Û¡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬ (Ù£) ثُمَّ ٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيۡنِ يَنقَلِبۡ إِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡبَصَرُ خَاسِئً۬ا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ۬ (Ù¤)
“{And} who created seven earths in layers. You do not see of the Most Merciful any inconsistency.  So  return {your} vision {to the sky}; do you see any breaks. Then return you {your} vision twice again. {your} vision will return to you humble while it is fatigued.”
We as human beings are limited in knowledge. We are only capable of knowing what Allah SWT allows us to know. But with the knowledge He has given us, we must continue to learn the greatness of our creator and the things He has created.
(72:26) عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا
[He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone

Work Cited

Bucaille, M. (2012). The Quran and modern science. Retrieved from     http://www.sultan.org/articles/QScience.html
NASA Science Astrophysics. (2011). Dark energy, dark matter. Retrieved from     http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/
Santosh, M. (2011). The world will end in ice, probably. Retrieved from     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/santhosh-mathew-phd/the-universe-will-end-in-    _b_993722.html
Steinhardt, P. J. (2011). The inflation debate. Retrieved from     http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-inflation-summer
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2011). The Nobel Prize in Physics 2011. Retrieved from      http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2011/press.html