Sunday, January 15, 2012

6. Significance of Adam’s Nafs – Biosoftware of Homo sapiens

Holy Quran describes the creation of Adam, the first human being, as a special process and not through evolution from an existing animal species. Allah created man first from clay and subsequently from water implying the fluid containing gametes. “He who made all His creations the best and He originated the creation of man from clay; then made his progeny from a quintessence of an insignificant water.” (Q. 32:7-8). “And Allah created you from dust; then from a sperm-drop; then He made you mates…” (Q. 35:11). The first creation of man from clay has been described in some detail in the Quran thus: “Behold! Your Lord said to the Angels: “I am about to create man from sounding clay from mud moulded into shape; when I have fashioned it and breathed into it from My rooh, you all fall down in obeisance to him.” (Q. 15:28-29). After moulding clay into human shape, God breathed into it from His rooh (Q. 15:28-29). The phrase, “breathed into it (clay mould) from My rooh” is interpreted as the process of installing the biosoftware of human species in the clay model to transform it into a human individual. The term rooh (the word nafs is also used in the Quran) used here refers to biological software (see also post 4 on phenomena of life and death). The Quran states that the first female member (Eve, Adam’s mate) was created from Adam’s nafs and from them, the entire humanity (Q. 4:1, 39:6). “O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single nafs (biosoftware) and from that its mate, and from them countless men and women…” (Q. 4:1). It may be deduced from these verses that it is from Adam’s nafs, Eve and subsequently the entire humanity are created. Adam’s nafs thus constitutes the source of biological information for creation of mankind, i.e., it forms the microbioprogram of human species.

Since it was from Adam’s nafs, the female member (Eve) was created, it can be inferred that the male biosoftware carries information needed for the creation of female also. In reality this is reflected in the chromosome composition of male and female sexes. The Quranic messages (Q. 4:1; 39:6) therefore permit us to determine the karyotype of Eve in relation to that of Adam. The human biosoftware is stored on 23 pairs of chromosomes of which 22 pairs are autosomes and one pair, sex chromosomes (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Twenty three pairs of chromosomes in the somatic cell that store the human biosoftware

Female member has two X chromosomes whereas the male has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome as sex chromosomes. That is, XX combination determines the femaleness and XY combination determines the maleness. This shows that only male member has the full complement of chromosomes of the species. Thus the nafs of Adam which forms the biosoftware of human species (i.e., the source of biological information of mankind) is stored on 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of X and Y chromosomes. Adam’s karyotype may be designated as (22 autosome pairs)A plus (one XY pair)A, where subscript A stands for Adam. Since it was from Adam’s nafs, Eve was created, the karyotype of Eve can be written as (22 autosome pairs)A plus XAXA. It is from this pair, generations of mankind arose to become different communities worldwide.

Significance of Adam’s nafs

Adam’s nafs has wide-ranging implications and significance in human biology and anthropology. Besides being the source of biological information for human biodiversification, it also serves as the source of a priori knowledge to human beings, the Satan virus, program for speech and languages, and program for writing. It gives human biosystem the mind (qalb) – the unique information processor endowed with intelligence and freedom to take decision (freewill). It is mind that creates consciousness and feelings (including pain) in man. Adam’s nafs also carries programs to create conscious perception of the world by human beings through hearing and seeing (Q. 32:9). It is this biosoftware that controls every aspect of human being at the individual, societal and species levels.

Human biodiversification

Human beings are created by Allah with varying physical and mental attributes and abilities. This is expected because if human beings are identical in their characteristics and behaviour (i.e., clones with identical biosoftware) it is enough to test just one individual. But Allah’s intention is to create a large population of human phenotypes of varying potentials. To put it differently, the human population is the product of execution of diverse biosoftware. It follows therefore from verses 4:1 and 39:6 that Allah is creating a large number of human nafs (biosoftware) from a single nafs – Adam’s nafs – the microbioprogram of human species.

It is pertinent to note that although biology deals with human reproduction and multiplication of the members as the process behind perpetuation of the species, it does not address the question of source of biological information required for bringing about the huge diversity observed in human phenotypes in a highly regulated manner. It is Quran that reveals to us the source of biological information for human biodiversification and describes it as programmed phenomenon.

In human beings, not only are the phenotypic attributes numerous, their variation is also much larger than in other species. For instance height in human beings varies from about three feet to over seven feet. Every human individual can be identified by face. This is also the case with every other character. This specificity is taken advantage of for identification of human individuals. Fingerprint, palm vein pattern, capillary blood vessel pattern in the eye (retina scan), etc., have already become accepted biometric signatures for identification of individuals. On the other hand, in other species intraspecific variability is limited. Take the case of an animal. If you look at a herd of sheep of the same age, they will all appear alike in their looks as well as in behaviour.

Human species is programmed to become distinct diversity groups such as ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic, etc. “O mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Q. 49:13). “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors; verily in that are Signs for those who know.” (Q. 30:22). With wide-ranging characters, skills and talents, human biodiversity profile is unwieldy and overwhelming to say the least. No two individuals including the so-called monozygotic twins are identical. Ours is the only species whose members can be identified by face. Each human being is unique in each phenotypic attribute and is not repeated in creation in time and space. This holds true for the past, present and future human populations. Such is the magnitude of variability existing in human race. And the source of biological information responsible for this scale of biodiversity is Adam’s nafs – the microbioprogram of human species. Since biodiversification is an ongoing process it is not possible to say whether Homo sapiens has attained the maximum potentials physically and mentally; perhaps still more wonderful show of human potential in both physical and mental abilities is yet to come. What we observe now is the scale of human biodiversity created so far.

All the biological differences among individuals and variations among populations which we refer to as cultural, linguistic, ethnic, etc., occur in accordance with Allah’s human biodiversification software provided in Adam’s nafs. Human beings inherit their physical and mental characteristics and abilities, develop language and culture, and exist as distinct races as stipulated in the divine program. The biodiversification may be viewed as biomemetic process of execution of Adam’s nafs (Figure 2). The phenomenon is natural demonstration of how new phenotypes (human individuals) are produced from numerous diverse biosoftware (nafs) created from a single original source of biological information (Adam’s nafs) through natural biosoftware engineering mechanisms. In this context it may be mentioned that human biodiversification  phenomenon offers strong scientific support to the theory of programmed organic evolution (see post 5) as it is the demonstration of the creation of diverse biosoftware originating from a common pool of biological information represented by Adam’s nafs.

Figure 2. Illustration of human biodiversification process as memetically programmed phenomenon.
Note: The branches indicate biomemetic lineages representing races, nations, tribes, etc.   

Appropriate natural biosoftware engineering mechanisms  (see also post 5) play a major role in shuffling and re-distributing the biomemetic package during gametogenesis (meiosis) (Figure 3a). Through fertilization, male and female gametes unite producing the bioinformation of the next generation. Transmission of the bioinformation  generated in this way to the offspring creates the Adam-Eve lineage. It is these lineages that, in turn, create ethnic groups, races, cultures, etc. along the timeline prescribed in Adam’s nafs (Figure 2).

During meiosis biomemetic changes generally occur through a process called “crossing over” in which segments of non-sister chromatids of a homologous pair of homologous dyads are exchanged (Figure 3b). This swapping of chromosome portions leads to alteration of bioinformation content in the resulting chromosome. The ‘crossing over’, as any other bioprocess, is a programmed phenomenon as otherwise fertile or normal gametes will not be produced. The process is responsible for the production of next generation biosoftware in human species. It is this process that leads to biodiversification in human populations in time and space in a programmed manner.  Since scientists do not view this natural process as mechanism designed and programmed to accomplish the divine objective of creating biodiversity. No wonder they consider all such phenomena as ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’.



Figure 3. Natural biosoftware engineering processes taking place during gametogenesis. (a) Meiosis (b) Crossing over between biomemetic sectors of chromosomes

Mere production of gametes slated for next generation is not enough. The male gametes (sperms) and female gametes (eggs) so produced must also meet their right partners and fuse to form the zygotes for the subsequent development of the intended phenotypes (human individuals). To that end Allah informs us: “Allah knows what every female (womb) bears, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion.” (Q. 13:8). The message relates to programmed fertilization taking place in human biosystem (Figure 4).  



Figure 4. The process of fertilization leading to the creation of new biosoftware. (a) Swarm of male sperms surrounding a female egg  (b): The egg is about to be fertilized by a sperm

Spermatozoa normally encounter the egg at the fertilization site (in the Fallopian tube) within 24 hours after ovulation. A considerable fraction of the spermatozoa ejaculated into the female reproductive tract remains motionless in storage sites until ovulation, when the spermatozoa resume maximal motility and reach the fertilization site within minutes. “Sperms have the opportunity to interact with many other kinds of cells in the female,” says Jerry Hedrick, a biochemist in the Division of Biological Sciences, UC Davis. “How egg and sperm recognize one another is a fundamental question in reproductive biology.” [1]. Although the nature of the signal for sperm movement is not known, there are indications to suggest that attraction of spermatozoa to a factor(s) released from the egg may be a key event in the fertilization process and may give insight into the mechanism underlying early egg-sperm communication [2]. This is indicative of some kind of chemical signaling for drawing the sperms towards the egg for fertilization. Even this explanation is not enough to comprehend the intricacies involved in fertilization process particularly the question of how only a single sperm is enabled to fertilize the ovum. Allah says “It is He Who shapes you in the womb as He likes” (Q. 3:6), implying that which sperm must fuse with which ovum has been programmed in Adam’s nafs. However, we do not have much information on human fertilization to understand the mechanism involved in bringing together ‘biomemetically labelled’ pair (male and female) of gametes for their eventual union. Studies conducted with human beings in this area are scanty. The fertilization of female egg with male sperm is a highly controlled phenomenon particularly because only one sperm out of millions in the ejaculated semen is capable of fertilizing the egg. Further once fertilized by a sperm, the zygote (fertilized egg) is inaccessible to another sperm. Evidently there is mechanism to guide sperm to the egg it is to fertilize. In other words, a sperm is programmed to fuse with certain egg and not at random.

The Quranic revelation is a clear indication of the programmed biodiversification process in human beings. Each human being represents a new biosoftware and a link in the biodiversification chain. The biosoftware of the individual also carries specific set of instructions for transmission to the next generation. In this way biodiversification process preserves the continuity and timeline of a common descent.

The essence of human biodiversification from a single (Adam’s) nafs (Q. 4:1) is that the entire human attributes are biomemetically controlled by Allah. If you have the biomeme to create the talent to sing, you become a singer; if you don’t have, you are not a singer. You cannot make yourself a singer. No individual is responsible for his abilities and disabilities. The pluses and minuses are bestowed on him by Allah through the biosoftware he inherits. It is therefore foolish to boast of one’s superiority over the other or to feel inferior to other. By creating individuals with mediocre physical and mental abilities and those with exceptional abilities, Allah is revealing the potentials of human species as well as the magnitude of diversity. All these are signs (ayat) of Allah’s power and wisdom. And Allah is testing all kinds of people.

The Satan virus

Following the creation of Adam two events namely, creation of Satan and imparting knowledge to Adam took place. These two events may be visualized as incorporation of two additional software packages into Adam’s nafs.     

We believe Satan is Iblis. This impression is not entirely correct. Physically Satan is not Iblis. The following discussion will provide sufficient clue to Satan’s identity.

“And behold, We said to the angels: Bow down to Adam. And they all bowed down except Iblis. He refused and was haughty. He became one of the rejecters of Faith.” (Q. 2:34). “(God) said: What prevented you from bowing down when I commanded you?  He said: I am better than he (Adam). You created me from fire and him from clay. (God) said: Get you down from this. It is not for you to be arrogant here; get out for you are the meanest (of creatures). He said: Give me respite till the day they (human beings) are raised up (resurrected for judgement). (God) said: Be you among those who have respite. He said: Because You have misguided me, I will lie in wait for them (human beings) on Your straight way. Then I will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left; nor will You find in most of them gratitude (for Your Mercy). (God) said: Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow you, I will fill Hell with you all.” (Q. 7:12-18).

What we can understand from these verses is that when Allah ordered the angels to bow down to Adam following his creation, all the angels bowed down except Iblis. Allah asked him to explain his non-compliance. Iblis responded boastingly that he was much above man in status and that prevented him from prostrating before Adam. Allah asked him to get out from the divine abode. Iblis pleaded for respite till the Day of Judgement when all human beings are raised up again. Allah granted Iblis respite. Iblis then swore that he would mislead all human beings from the divine path except the most sincere and pious ones. How does Iblis go about misleading man and what is his strategy are some of the important questions that leave us in the lurch. Certainly Iblis is not physically in contact with billions of human beings in the world misleading them round the clock. The verses immediately following the verses 7:12-18 throw light on this important issue offering a possible explanation through computer analogy (my suggestions given in boldface).

Allah turned to Adam and Eve:  “O Adam! You and your wife dwell in the Garden and enjoy (its good things) as you wish but do not approach this Tree or you run into harm and transgression. Then began Satan (not Iblis) to whisper suggestions to them bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before). He (it) said: Your Lord only forbade you this Tree lest you should become Angels or such beings as live for ever. And he (it) swore to them both that he (it) was their sincere advisor. So by deceit he (it) brought their fall. When they tasted of the Tree, their shame became manifest to them and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called to them: Did I not tell you that Satan (not Iblis) was an avowed enemy to you? They said: Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls (nafs). If You do not forgive us and bestow upon us Your Mercy, we shall be certainly be lost. (God) said: Get you down with enmity between yourselves. The earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a term. He said: Therein shall you live, and therein shall you die, and from there shall you be taken out (resurrection).” (Q. 7:19-25).

These verses reveal that Allah asked Adam and Eve to live in the Garden. They were ordered by God not to touch the Tree there. However, they were lured and misguided by the loathsome Satan (not Iblis) to disobedience. That led to their ouster from the Garden. It is important to note that it was Iblis who vowed before Allah to mislead man. But it was not Iblis who put the misleading suggestions to Adam and Eve but Satan. That is what the verses convey. The Quran did not use the word Iblis after his conversation with Allah (i.e., after verse 7:18), but used the word “Satan” instead. The use of the word Satan in place of Iblis in the above verses (Q. 7:19-25) is glaring. Islamic scholars particularly the translators of the Quran have noticed this changeover but have not offered any convincing explanation nor did they distinguish the terms from each other. The situation has led to confusing interpretations.  For instance, Yusuf Ali commented: “Iblis in ii. 34 is apparently the Power of Evil, with the root idea of desperateness or rebellion. “Satan” in this verse is the Power of Evil, with the root idea of perversity or enmity.” [3]. But such an interpretation is not consistent with the Quranic revelations. The verses can be explained in convincing way based on the computer model [4]. Treating Iblis and Satan at par is not correct. They are physically different. Allah warned Adam and Eve of Satan and not Iblis as avowed enemy. Further Allah conversed with Iblis and not Satan. 

It may be recalled here that the angels are at the command of God executing the orders of God through appropriate programs. Since Iblis was an angel before the creation of Adam, it may be presumed that Iblis is using Allah’s program. This is evident from the statement of Iblis that it is with Allah’s permission and power he misleads human beings. “(Allah) said: “Respite then is granted to you (Iblis) till the Day of the Time Appointed.” (Iblis) said: Then by Your (Allah’s) Power, I (Iblis) will put them all in the wrong except Your sincere and purified servants among them. (Allah) said: Then it is just and fitting and I say what is just and fitting – That I will certainly fill Hell with you and those that follow you – everyone.” (Q. 38:80-85). “Allah’s Power” mentioned in the above verses refers to Allah’s programs or commands. It is therefore assumed here that with Allah’s permission Iblis took possession of certain program and implanted it in Adam’s biosystem. This program is capable of deviating man from Allah’s path by influencing the mind. In computer parlance it may be termed “Satan virus”. A computer virus is a small program designed to interfere the functioning of the processor the way its author wanted. The intention of Iblis was to mislead man from the righteous path. Thus the Satan virus was designed to interfere with the decision-making function of the human qalb (mind) by offering tempting (evil) suggestions to it (Q. 7:19-25). Thus we find Satan putting suggestions to the qalbs of Adam and Eve instead of Iblis. The virus analogy enables us to visualize how Iblis carries out his threat. The Satan is the tool of Iblis operating inside the human body and not from outside as is believed now. It is through the Satan virus and not by direct physical involvement Iblis carries out his threat of misleading man from the divine path. This argument is further strengthened by the use of the word “command” (amr) in the following verse to characterize the nature of action of the Satan on human mind (my translation in boldface added). “Oh, you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Satan. If any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he (it) will (but) command what is shameful and wrong….” (Q. 24:21). It is also pertinent to note that Iblis says it is because Allah misled him, he is misleading Allah’s servants – human beings. The entire episode involving Iblis that took place in divine abode must be seen as part of Allah’s scheme for installing the Satan virus to make human robot testing most effective.

The Satan virus cannot influence Allah’s obedient sincere servants (Q. 38:80-83). Only those who do not resist the temptations fall an easy prey to its temptation and allurement and get themselves trapped and strayed. Allah’s sincere servants bring God’s remembrance to their minds and seek refuge in Him as soon as they detect the influence of the Satan virus thereby foiling it. “If a suggestion from Satan assails your (mind), seek refuge with God; for He hears and knows (all things). Those who fear God, when an evil thought from Satan assaults them, bring God to remembrance when lo! They see alright.” (Q. 7:200-201).

Although Satan virus was installed in Adam by Iblis, it entered Eve’s biosoftware as Eve was created from Adam’s nafs. This was why Satan could influence both Adam and Eve in the Garden. The Satan virus being a small program exists as stored information on the chromosome. This virus program is present in each and every cell of human body as it is copied during cell division. In this way it enters gametes also. This in turn helps to perpetuate itself through generations of mankind till the end of the world.

That Iblis is not Satan is further evident from the use of the plural term of “Satan”, the “Shayateen”, at many places in the Quran whereas the term “Iblis” is not used in plural. Consider for instance verse 7:30. “Some He has guided. Others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way, In that they took the evil ones (shayateen) in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors and think that they receive guidance.” (Q. 7:30). Based on the traditional view, the verse would appear to covey the existence of so many Satans or Iblis although it is not possible to explain how a large number of Iblis can arise. As already mentioned, every human being carries the Satan virus program. Those who obey its directions are its friends. An individual who obeys the directions of Satan virus and acts accordingly is a Satan himself. Therefore the use of the plural shayateen to describe a group of such people is justifiable. It is to be realized that mere presence of the virus in the body does not make a person Satan but the individual must be an embodiment of evil as a result of his surrender to the influence of the virus. If that were not the case, all of us would have been Satans (shayateen) as we are all infected with it. Consider an example. If A meets a group of evil-doers, A will be influenced not only by the Satan virus in his system but also by the viruses residing in the people of that group. That group can function as a collection of Satans or Shayateen. The person A does not see the virus in others. He takes them as friends. In the traditional view, we have to suppose many Iblis to match the term “Shayateen” which is clearly wrong.

The Satan virus influence human mind in a variety of ways. “I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires….to deface the nature created by Allah…” (Q. 4:119). And Allah warns us: “Whoever takes Satan for a friend forsaking God, has indeed suffered a loss that is manifest. Satan gives them promises, and creates in them false desires; but Satan’s promises are nothing but deception.” (Q. 4:120).

A priori knowledge and evolution of science and technology

Another event that took place after the creation of Adam is the installation of knowledge base in his biosystem. The Holy Quran narrates the story thus (emphasis added; Q. 2:30-34; 7:11-25; 17:61-65; 20:115-124; 38:71-85). “Behold! Your Lord said to the angels: I will create a vicegerent on the earth. They said: Will You place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood while we celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy (name)? He said: I know what you do not know. And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: Tell Me the names of these if you are right. They said: Glory to You, of knowledge we have none except what You have taught us. In truth it is You Who are perfect in knowledge and wisdom. He said: O Adam! Tell them their names. When he told them their names, God said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the sky and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal.” (Q. 2:30-33).

The verses reveal that the source of knowledge to both angel and human species is Allah. What Allah taught Adam constitutes the knowledge human species is entitled to get. The term “taught” may be interpreted as uploading knowledge in Adam’s biosystem. This forms the repertoire of knowledge including scientific and technological knowledge for the entire humanity. At another place in the Quran, it is more explicitly stated that the quantum of knowledge communicated to human species is finite. “…Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O men!).” (Q. 17:85). Viewed from the divine angle, the knowledge gifted to us by Allah is qualitatively and quantitatively very little. The use of the phrase “names of things” in verses 2:30-33 also appears to suggest very little knowledge in God’s eyes. It is clear from the above verses that the source of knowledge is Allah. The knowledge Allah uploaded to Adam’s system formed part of the information stored on Adam’s chromosomes. This constitutes the source of a priori knowledge.

The knowledge gifted by Allah to Adam is transmitted down through germ line so that it reaches generations of mankind in a phased manner as programmed. The process can be thought of as biomemetic transmission through germ line like the human biodiversification phenomenon. This would mean that human beings are getting knowledge at birth through germ line.  Many philosophers have indicated the existence of a priori knowledge although its source is unknown. German philosopher Immanuel Kant proposed the a priori and a posteriori notions about knowledge. According to him, a proposition is knowable a priori if it is knowable independently of experience. A proposition is knowable a posteriori if it is knowable on the basis of experience [5]. Unlike the empiricists, Kant thinks that a priori knowledge is independent of the content of experience which is seated in one’s cognitive faculties, not any particular experience. There has been a surge of interest in the proper explication of the notion of a priori [6]. It is knowledge gained deductively and not through empirical evidence. The knowledge of mathematics (as opposed to the knowledge created by mathematics) is a priori. Rationalists believe that there is a priori knowledge, whereas empiricists believe that all knowledge is ultimately derived from some kind of external experience. The Quranic message comes as confirmation of a priori proposition. It also reveals the source of a priori knowledge. Although the notions of a priori and a posteriori are very much alive in contemporary philosophy and science, there has been no systematic search to find out the source of a priori knowledge. Our experience tells that we can access information only if it is available in our memory. It is impossible for anyone to get new information through thought process if it is not available in his memory. The Quranic revelation indicates that one also acquires certain knowledge via germ line. This knowledge one brings with him at birth well before he experiences the outside world constitutes the a priori knowledge. The Quranic disclosure of the divine source of knowledge to human beings explains how we obtain knowledge of hitherto unknown things and phenomena. Advancement in science and technology as well as in other fields like arts, literature, etc., must be seen in this light as programmed release of knowledge by Allah. Scientists, technologists, novelists, poets, etc., are quite aware that scientific ideas or the matter to write as the case may be flows into their minds at certain times of their life. They have no control over it.  

A computer or a robot can retrieve particular information only if that information is available in its memory. Likewise a human being can get particular information only if it is available in his memory. Otherwise he cannot. For example only people who know your name, i.e., who have stored your name in their brain memories, can tell what your name is. This means only their minds can retrieve that information. Even if the entire 7 billion or so people in the world start thinking to find out your name, none will get it except those who know your name. That being the case how can anyone discover new information about the universe or technology, if that information is not available in his memory? If a scientist wants to conduct an experiment, he should first get that idea. The idea may be what he derived from already available information in which case it is a posteriori. However on several occasions it can also be new – not known yet. Idea or information of that kind cannot pop up on one’s mind from thin air. It should have come from his memory. One strikes that idea when it is downloaded to his mind. We call such events as intuition. Remember that our mind is constantly being bombarded with information we acquired from our experience (a posteriori) and also with new ideas and information, which we are not aware of until then. That information also originates from our memory only. It does not fall under the category of known information which we store in our memory. It is new information that arrived through germ line. The source of any information other than a posteriori is Adam’s nafs. As the knowledge included in Adam’s nafs is transmitted through germ line, its release to mankind in time and space depends on how it is programmed. Both biodiversification and transmission of a priori knowledge must be operating in tandem so that individuals with appropriate phenotypic attributes are created to receive certain knowledge.  When certain knowledge reaches a zygote biomemetically, the individual developed from that zygote carries that knowledge. It will be downloaded onto his mind from the memory at the time stipulated in his biosoftware. Till then he will not be even aware of that knowledge. Thus the discovery of that information or invention happens at a pre-determined time. As the Quran puts it: “For every message there is a pre-determined time and soon you will know it.” (Q. 6:67).

If the individual is not the person to release that knowledge, he will not get access to it. It will not get downloaded to his mind. He will remain unaware of that knowledge acting as mere vector to pass on that biomeme to the next generation. Albert Einstein’s miracle year came in 1905 when he was 26 years old and working as a patent examiner in Bern, Switzerland, and not as a scientist working in a research institute or university. He proposed that light, which in classical physics is a wave, could also be thought of as consisting of discrete bits of energy which he called quanta. The implied wave-particle duality of light became the cornerstone of the new quantum theory. Einstein had that information stored on his chromosomes right from the zygote stage. It reached his memory during development and got downloaded onto his mind at the time specified in his biosoftware – when he was 26 years old! 

The timing of discoveries and inventions, and step by step upgradation of our knowledge is very much evident from the history of science. The discoveries did not happen in random fashion. We find a sequence from less developed to more developed ones over time. The timelines of discoveries and inventions indicate that. This is illustrated with the example of superconductivity. Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by Kamerlingh Onnes. He found that mercury becomes superconducting at about 4 K (Figure 5). The transition temperature (Tc) has been increasing since then through subsequent discoveries of new superconducting materials. The world record of Tc of 138 K is now held by a thallium-doped, mercuric-cuprate [7].

Figure 5. Programmed release of information on superconducting materials with higher transition temperatures 
Based on sources:

An important aspect of major discoveries and inventions is they appear to us as mostly ‘accidental’. That is, the discovery happens unexpectedly when the scientist is not looking for it. This is suggestive of the programmed nature of release of knowledge at the times determined by Allah. Any number of examples of the so-called ‘accidental’ discoveries can be cited. A few are presented here for sample.

Kamerlingh Onnes’s discovery of superconductivity itself is one. Onnes studied the electrical behaviour of metals at low temperatures. Onnes cooled mercury to about 4 K when surprisingly, the metal became superconducting. This discovery earned him Nobel prize in 1913. Superconductivity has been a Nobel-fertile field. The discoveries of superconducting substances in several cases have been serendipitous. In Physics World magazine of April 2001 issue, Colin Gough writes about the discovery of superconducting magnesium diboride (MgB2) thus: “One of the most bizarre aspects of this latest discovery is that magnesium diboride has been sitting on chemists’ shelves for almost 50 years. No one recognized that it was even an interesting metal - let alone a record-breaking superconductor.” [8].

One day Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), an English scientist, was passing a high voltage current through a discharge tube (later known as Crookes tube). He found that photographic plates kept nearby had become fogged. To prevent further fogging, he removed the box from there and kept it in another room. For some reason or the other, this strange phenomenon did not arouse the curiosity of that renowned scientist to probe further. Certainly, the time had not come for the discovery of X-rays or Crookes was not the person assigned that job by Allah. Shortly after that in 1885, Wilhem Konard Roentgen, a German physicist, was using a Crookes tube for his experiments at the University of Wurzburg. He also happened to notice the same effect on photographic plates as Crookes observed. But this time the phenomenon aroused the curiosity of the observer. Roentgen preferred to cover the tube with black paper to prevent any light coming from it rather than removing the photographic plate from its place. To his great astonishment, the photographic plate still got fogged as mere covering of the tube was insufficient to prevent the rays coming from it. He thus discovered one of the most fascinating natural phenomena useful to mankind – the X-rays.

William Perkin, an English scientist, was trying to produce synthetic quinine from coaltar derivatives. He used alcohol to clean one of the test tubes which he used in his experiment. He found that the liquid turned into a deep violet colour. Perkins had accidentally discovered the world’s first important artificial dye.

Roy Plunket, a US scientist was using tetrafluoroethylene gas in one of his experiments. The experiment failed and all the gas escaped from the container. He saw a white waxy residue left by the gas in the container. The substance when tested, proved inert to all known substances including acids and alkalies. Teflon was thus discovered.

The structure of aromatic substances had baffled the chemists for a long time. One autumn evening in 1865, Friedrich August Kekule, a German chemist, was taking a nap when he saw in a dream great numbers of atoms dancing before him. According to his own account, he was particularly struck by certain groups of atoms, “all turning and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized its own tail and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if roused by a flash of lightning, I awoke”. Amazingly, this vision gave Kekule the clue he needed to propose the structure of benzene molecule.

In 1880, Louis Pasteur, the famous microbiologist, was experimenting with the deadly organism that caused cholera. By mistake, he had let some infected chicken broth lie for several weeks. When he remembered it, he thought of checking it on chicken. He mixed a few drops of the broth with chickenfeed and fed the birds with it. To his astonishment, the birds did not die but showed only mild symptoms and recovered soon. The vaccine against cholera was thus born in a neglected bowl in Louis Pasteur’s laboratory.

In 1928, Alexander Fleming was conducting research with Staphylococcus bacterium that caused throat infections. One day, he inadvertently placed a Petri dish containing the culture near an open window of the laboratory. The Petri dish got contaminated with air-borne organisms. Fleming observed the presence of a blue-green mould in the Petri dish. But what surprised him most was the absence of the bacterial growth around the mould. He pursued the study further and found that a toxic substance (which he named as penicillin) produced by the mould could inhibit the growth of the bacteria. The discovery of first antibiotic was thus the consequence of Fleming’s forgetfulness.

See what Anthony Hewish, the discoverer of the first pulsar in 1967, and Nobel laureate from Cambridge University, says about his discovery, “I only wish I could say that we were looking for pulsars at the time, but the truth is that my colleagues and I were studying quasars, the mysterious radio galaxies situated far beyond the confines of the Milky Way, when the first pulsar unexpectedly placed its signature upon our records. By an extremely fortunate twist of fate, the new radio telescope that we were using was ideally suited to pick up the rapid succession of faint radio pulses that characterise these fascinating objects” [9].

What about the Nobel prize itself? This prize was instituted by Alfred Nobel with the enormous fortune he could make from an accidental discovery. The Nobels were manufactures of liquid nitroglycerine, a powerful explosive that is dangerous to handle. One day, Alfred Nobel, one of the sons, was lifting a bottle of nitroglycerine. As he did, he spilled some of it on a fine powder of kieselghur. Instead of exploding, it formed a paste with the powder. The mixture was still explosive but considerably safer to handle. Alfred Nobel thus discovered the dynamite that brought him a fortune.

What does the Quran reveal about the purpose of scientific knowledge? Allah informs us that the natural resources provided on Earth are meant for human use. “It is He who created for you all things that are on earth…” (Q. 2:29). It follows therefore that Allah should also give us the knowledge to make use of them. It is this knowledge what we call scientific and technological knowhow. It enables us to utilize the natural resources for our varied purposes. If we are not provided with this knowledge, the natural resources provided on the earth (the laboratory where human beings are undergoing the divine testing) will remain unutilized. This knowledge is released to us biomemetically in a phased manner as can be understood from the gradual advancement of science and technology. Another purpose of science is to enable us to explore and comprehend the power of Almighty Allah better. “In the creation of the skies and the earth, the alternation of the night and the day, the ship that sails through the ocean for the benefit of the mankind, the water which Allah sends down from the sky, then He gives life with it to the earth after its death and disperses in it all kinds of organisms, the controlling of the winds, and the clouds suspended between the sky and the earth, are indeed Signs for people who think.” (Q. 2:164). Only with the help of scientific knowledge of natural phenomena and diverse creations, which are Allah’s Signs (ayat), we will be able to realize the power of Allah. It may be reminded here that although scientific knowledge is released by Allah for the benefit of mankind, the Satan can also influence the development of science particularly in non-tech areas by misleading and diverting human mind from the divine path. (This is also true of other intellectual works like literature, arts, etc.). It is the influence of Satan virus that is reflected in the mushrooming of several theories questioning the existence of God. Classical instances of satanic influence in science are the development of steady state cosmology to counter the theistic implications of the big bang model and Darwin’s theory of evolution of species obviating the need of Creator Allah. Such pseudoscientific theories will remain controversial until they are rejected eventually. They will never be accepted by mankind like other theories.

The Quran (and earlier Scriptures) is another Sign of Allah. “These are the Signs of Allah, which We recite to you (Prophet Muhammad) in truth. Verily you are one of the apostles.” (Q. 2:252). “But those who reject and treat Our Signs as false, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall reside therein.” (Q. 2:39). Scientific knowledge is needed to study and comprehend better the Quranic revelations especially those relating to the universe and human life. It will be with advancement of science, mankind will understand the Quranic messages better. What is to be noted in this context is the fact that Allah is upgrading the human biosystem physically and intellectually over time through biodiversification and release of knowledge. More the intellectual ability and quantum of knowledge released better will be the comprehension of the Quran. People of today are more advanced in these respects than their predecessors. What earlier people would not have thought and analyzed, modern humans do. Needless to say, future generations will comprehend the Quran still better as science advances further. However so long as science and Quran are kept apart and studied in isolation, people will either lead their lives unaware of the purpose of creation and mission of the Creator or without understanding the Quran perfectly and convincingly. In either case, they are not doing justice to themselves. The only option before the people of modern era is to integrate science with Quran and develop holistic knowledge. Only that knowledge, Islamic Science, will be able to satiate the intellectual thirst of modern human biosystem.


1. Guin, K. The facts of life. UC Davis Magazine, magTOC.html.
2. Ralt et al. 1991.  Sperm attraction to a follicular factor(s) correlates with human egg fertilizability. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 88(7): 2840–2844.
3. Ali. A. Y. 1983. The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary. Amana Corp, Maryland, p. 25, n. 52.
4. Wahid, P.A. 2006. The Computer Universe: A Scientific Rendering of the Holy Quran. Adam Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, India.
5. Kant, I. 1781. Critique of Pure Reason, trans. N.K. Smith (London: Macmillan, 1929).
6. Boghossian, P. and Peacocke, C. 2000. New Essays on the A Priori. doi:10.1093/0199241279.001.0001. content/philosophy/0199241279/toc.html  Retrieved December 20, 2006.
7.  Retrieved December 11, 2006.
8.  Retrieved December 11, 2006.
9. The Book of Popular Science, 1972, Vol. 5, Grolier Inc., USA.