WHEN ‘SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS’ ARE IN DISAGREEMENT WITH QUR’ANIC VERSES, the Area of Differences and the Rational of an Accurate Solution
Many politicians in Moslem world think that the idea of secular method, a method based solely on ‘scientific findings’, to manage a nation is quite appropriate. Such an approach is certainly neglecting Qur’anic verses related to social-political aspect. They think that science, in particular social-political science, will be able to answer correctly challenges in national development process.
On the other side, as science has been progressing exponentially there is effort to create a kind of ‘islamization’ of science. Is it an apology? ‘Islamization of science’ seems in failure for the idea is actually vague and misleading. Science as process of systematic thinking and works of man is a nature by itself and need not to be intervened by any other reference but the science. Science is not Qur’an and vice versa. Those are two different things. However, Moslem is obliged to understand both references and the correct connection between science and Qur’an as they are essential for their way of life and fate. It even becomes a must when people are choosing methods how to manage a nation. How come?
I. SCIENCE AND QUR`AN
Science can be defined as a well-documented ‘sunnatullah’ (God’s rules for creatures-creation) found by man through his systematic thinking and works. Science will develop following the progress in human quality of thinking and activities. The growth of science looks similar to a snow ball process, i.e. as science grows, man knows more about his universe by which subsequently improve his quality of thinking and works and then makes science is even growing faster.
Even without guidance from God, the Creator, man will be able to improve his understanding on his universe through science. After God (Allah SWT) has equipped man with profound biological means, such as intellectual and physical structure, man enable to develop science and technology to comprehend his universe. However, science will certainly develop within the limitation of man himself. Not every component of universe is eligible to be observed accurately by science. Man may easily with high accuracy observe physical and chemical properties of universe. Biological properties of organism are relatively harder to be studied and understood. Social processes are even more difficult to comprehend. At last, the non-empirical components of universe are certainly untouchable to human observation. Therefore, the progress of science has also been following this phenomenon. Physic, chemistry, and astronomy for instance are growing relatively very fast. Biology and medicine are less progressing compared to physical and chemical studies. Social-political science full with pit-holes. And finally no scientific observation yet has been successfully done for non-empirical world.
Meanwhile, man has to live in universe with all of those components, i.e. physical, chemical, biological, social, and non-empirical component of universe. Man will live successfully and satisfactorily only if he understand the world at its overall dimension. Man needs to know the accurate principles within his non-empirical world as well as his social dimension of empirical world in addition to the understanding of physical, chemical, and biological components of the universe. This is probably the reason why God descends His guidance for man how to live in this world. As man is weak in understanding on principles of social and non-empirical components of universe then Allah SWT mostly provides guidance via a Prophet on those that man has weakness. In Islamic believe these guidance of God are documented as Qur’an and Sunnah (the record of conduct and saying of Prophet Muhammad other than Qur’anic verses).
Science will not be possible to uncover information on non-empirical matters and phenomena, and very weak on understanding of correct social-political principles. God’s guidance is supposed containing information related to those. Using such rational the content of Qur`anic verses are then dominated by information on non-empirical world and social-political principles. Qur`an contains less information on principles of biological system and lesser information on physical and chemical properties of universe. The following scheme will clarify the substance:
II. MOST PROBABLE AREA OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS AND QUR’ANIC VERSES
When science touches non-empirical world it means science becomes speculative as non-empirical world is not the area of scientific exploration. It is certainly wasting if someone push on such an effort and the ‘scientific findings’ of that area seems a fake and therefore they must be neglected. People must look at religious teachings on principles related to non-empirical matters.
In addition, when science touches social-political matters it must be aware upon as well for they could lead to misleading conclusion as the objects of the study is very dynamic and complex. Quite numbers of social-political studies are done with weak methods. Some are even done haphazardly and by order from an interest group that make the findings bias. There are factual that findings of many studies on economic, political, and cultural area often controversial and negating one to the others although the problem statement of the studies are the same. Furthermore, no social-political studies has yet been done thoroughly comparing what is more beneficial to mankind whether man and woman are equal or not, interest or non-interest oriented in bank lending, leader by majority votes or leader by quality of man, using US$ or Gold for business transaction, legal or illegal for prostitution, alcoholic or non alcoholic drink, gambling or fair business. There are probably studies on such topics but the findings need to be reviewed related to research methods including the sampling. It is even more harmful if the scientific findings becomes a kind of frame as the researchers doing the research by order of an ‘interest group’.
What should be done to solve such a complicated matters? For those who believe religion they must look thoroughly at the verses in the holy book if there are any guidance on such manner. Qur’anic verses contain certainly a lot of principles on social-political life dimension.
Qur’an and science are full of principles beneficial to human being. How to make use maximally of both sources is a matter of continuous intellectual exercise of man themselves. Based on such understandings and the meanings of science and Qur’an as previously described then we may conclude that those who live without Qur`an will only be capable in understanding material matters, and very weak in understanding social-political and spiritual matters. On the other hand, for those who live with Qur`an but neglect science will live only with understanding spiritual and some of social principles but very weak in understanding on physical-biological system. Therefore, a good Moslem must comprehend universe through both Qur`an and scientific findings and live with them to maximize the success of his life. As Qur’an covers instruction to people to study science in addition to guide man in his overall dimension of life, the concept of internalization of science within Qur’an is the proper way in describing the relationship between science and Qur’an. Moslem must follow Qur’anic messages when they involve in management of a nation as social-political science full of ‘pit-holes’ and lead to erroneous decision on national policies to make. Even non Moslem are suggested to look at Qur’anic verses when they touch the area of social-political desicion in order not to make improper national or international policies that make people suffers. This might be called as Islamic way on management of a nation as an alternative against secular method.
Wish you all good luck.
Surabaya, INDONESIA, early March, 2010