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QUR’AN: Beautiful Nuances of Knowledge and Reflection

The following are a short selection of verses from the Qur’an that either contain some
scientific connotation, and/or emphasize the importance of striving for knowledge.

One of the recurring themes of the Qur’an is that it continuously confronts the reader’s
intelligence or intellect, encouraging it to take the time to ponder, think and reflect, about
people’s very existence, about the heavens and the earth, and even about the Qur’an itself.
As such, these verses should allow us to reflect on the information at least from a
scientific, knowledge-driven, and intellectual point of view. Hopefully, readers will have
the chance to explore aspects of the Qur’an which, unfortunately, are sometimes

The translation of the verses is by Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem (2010), and his
book, “Qur’an: A New Translation”, is part of the Oxford World’s Classics Series. It is
arguably one of the best translations of the Qur’an, and is written in plain, clear English.
We have tried to stay true to the themes of science, knowledge and reflection in the
selection of verses shown below:

“Do you [Prophet] not see that God drives the clouds, then gathers them together and
piles them up until you see rain pour from their midst?…” [The Light, 24:43].

“Have you [Prophet] not considered how God sends water down from the sky and the next
morning the earth becomes green? God is truly most subtle, all aware.” [The Pilgrimage,

“Do you not see how your Lord lengthens the shade? If He had willed, He could have made
it stand still-We made the sun its indicator-but We gradually draw it towards Us, little by
little.” [The Differentiator, 25:45-46].

“There truly are signs in the creation of the heavens and earth, and in the alternation of
night and day, for those with understanding…” [The Family of Imran, 3:190-191].

“The creation of the heavens and earth is greater by far than the creation of mankind,
though most people do not know it.” [Forgiver, 40:57].

“One of His signs is that He created you from dust and—lo and behold!—you became
human and scattered far and wide. Another of His signs is that He created spouses from
among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He ordained love and kindness
between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect. Another of His signs is
the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours.
There truly are signs in this for those who know. Among His signs are your sleep, by night
and by day, and your seeking His bounty. There truly are signs in this for those who can
hear. Among His signs, too, are that He shows you the lightning that terrifies and inspires
hope; that He sends water down from the sky to restore the earth to life after death. There
truly are signs in this for those who use their reason.” [The Byzantines, 30:20-24].

“He gives you this example, drawn from your own lives: do you make your slaves full
partners with an equal share in what We have given you? Do you fear them as you fear
each other? This is how We make Our messages clear to those who use their reason.” [The
Byzantines, 30:28].

“Was he (man) not just a drop of spilt-out sperm, which became a clinging form, which
God shaped in due proportion, fashioning from it the two sexes, male and female?” [The
Resurrection, 75:37-39].

“We created man-We know what his soul whispers to him: We are closer to him than his
jugular vein.” [Qaf, 50:16].

“People, [remember,]… that We created you from dust, then a drop of fluid, then a clinging
form, then a lump of flesh, both shaped and unshaped: We mean to make [Our power]
clear to you. Whatever We choose We cause to remain in the womb for an appointed time,
then We bring you forth as infants and then you grow and reach maturity. Some die young
and some are left to live on to such an age that they forget all they once knew. You
sometimes see the earth lifeless, yet when We send down water it stirs and swells and
produces every kind of joyous growth…” [The Pilgrimage, 22:5-6].

“We made the sky a well-secured canopy-yet from its wonders they turn away.” [The
Prophets, 21:33].

“We did not create the heavens and the earth and everything between them playfully.”
[The Prophets, 21:16].

“[Prophet], do you not see that God created the heavens and the earth for a purpose? He
could remove all of you and replace you with a new creation if He wished to: that is not
difficult for God.” [Abraham, 14:19-20].

We built the heavens with Our power and made them vast. [Scattering (Winds), 51:47].
Note: The Arabic equivalent of “and (We) made them vast”, is also understood as “and
(We) indeed extend their vastness” or, as in another translation, “We are Able to extend the
vastness of space”.
“It is He who made the sun a shining radiance and the moon a light, determining phases
for it so that you might know the number of years and how to calculate time. God did not
create all these without a true purpose; He explains His signs to those who understand.”
[Jonah, 10:5].

“The night, the day, the sun, the moon, are only a few of His signs. Do not bow down in
worship to the sun or the moon, but bow down to God who created them, if it is truly Him
that you worship.” [(Verses) Made Clear, 41:37].

“A Scripture whose verses are made distinct as a Qur’an in Arabic for people who
understand.” [(Verses) Made Clear, 41:3].

“…These are the verses of the Scripture that makes things clear—We have sent it down as
an Arabic Qur’an so that you [people] may understand.” [Joseph, 12:1-2].

“He makes the dawn break; He makes the night for rest; and He made the sun and the
moon to a precise measure. That is the design of the Almighty, the All Knowing. It is He
who made the stars, so that you can be guided by them in the dark, on land or sea: We
have made the signs clear for those who have knowledge.” [Livestock, 6:96-97].

“God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. His Light is like this: there is a niche, and
in it a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, a glass like a glittering star, fuelled from a blessed
olive tree from neither east nor west, whose oil almost gives light when no fire touches
it-light upon light-God guides whoever He will to His Light; God draws such comparisons
for people; God has full knowledge of everything.” [The Light, 24:35].

“On earth there are signs for those with sure faith—and in yourselves too, do you not see?-
in the sky is your sustenance and all that you are promised. By the Lord of the heavens
and earth! All this is as real as your speaking.” [Scattering (Winds), 51:20-23].

Those who take protectors other than God can be compared to spiders building
themselves houses- the spider’s is the frailest of all houses- if only they could understand.
[The Spider, 29:41].

“You people, here is an illustration, so listen carefully: those you call beside God could
not, even if they combined all their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away
from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble are the petitioners and how
feeble are those they petition!” [The Pilgrimage, 22:73].

It is God who raised up the heavens with no visible supports and then established Himself
on the throne; He has subjected the sun and the moon each to pursue its course for an
appointed time; He regulates all things, and makes the revelations clear so that you may
be certain of meeting your Lord; it is He who spread out the earth, placed firm mountains
and rivers on it, and made two of every kind of fruit; He draws the veil of night over the
day. There truly are signs in this for people who reflect. [Thunder, 13:2-3].

God has control of the heavens and the earth; He creates whatever He will-He grants
female offspring to whoever He will, male to whoever He will, or both male and female,
and He makes whoever He will barren: He is all knowing and all powerful. [Consultation,
42:49 50].

“There are, in the land, neighbouring plots, gardens of vineyards, cornfields, palm trees
in clusters or otherwise, all watered with the same water, yet We make some of them taste
better than others: there truly are signs in this for people who reason.” [Thunder, 13:4].
“Are those who have disbelieved not aware that the heavens and the earth used to be
joined together and that We ripped them apart, that We made every living thing from
water? Will they not believe?” [The Prophets, 21:30].

There is a sign for them in the lifeless earth: We give it life and We produce grain from it
for them to eat; We have put gardens of date palms and grapes in the earth, and We have
made springs of water gush out of it so that they could eat its fruit. It was not their own
hands that made all this. How can they not give thanks? [Ya Sin, 36:33-35].

The night is also a sign for them: We strip the daylight from it, and- lo and behold!- they
are in darkness. The sun, too, runs its determined course laid down for it by the Almighty,
the All Knowing. We have determined phases for the moon until finally it becomes like an
old date-stalk. The sun cannot overtake the moon, nor can the night outrun the day: each
floats in [its own] orbit. [Ya Sin, 37-40].

Say [Prophet], ‘Just think, if God were to cast perpetual night over you until the Day of
Resurrection, what god other than He would bring you light? Do you not listen?’ Say, ‘Just
think, if God were to cast perpetual day over you until the Day of Resurrection, what god
other than He could give you night in which to rest? Do you not see? In His mercy He has
given you night and day, so that you may rest and seek His bounty and be grateful.’ [The
Stories, 28:71-73].

I swear by the positions of the stars- a mighty oath, if you only knew- that this is truly a
noble Qur’an. [That Which is Coming, 56:75-77].

And your Lord inspired the bee, saying, ‘Build yourselves houses in the mountains and
trees and what people construct. Then feed on all kinds of fruit and follow the ways made
easy for you by your Lord.’ From their bellies comes a drink of different colours in which
there is healing for people. There truly is a sign in this for those who reflect. [The Bee,

We have set constellations up in the sky and made it beautiful for all to see. [Al-Hijr, 15:16].
Do they not see the sky above them—how We have built and adorned it, with no rifts in
it? [Qaf, 50:6].

“…He creates you in your mothers’ wombs, in one stage after another, in threefold depths
of darkness. Such is God, your Lord…” [The Throngs, 39:6]. Note: These three layers of
darkness are interpreted by scholars and medical professionals as the darkness of the
mother’s abdomen, the darkness of the womb or uterus, and the darkness of the placenta,
which provides nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the fetus.

“If We had sent this Qur’an down to a mountain, you [Prophet] would have seen it
humbled and split apart in its awe of God—We offer people such illustrations so that they
may reflect.” [The Gathering (of Forces), 59:21].

“…It is those of His servants who have knowledge who stand in true awe of God. God is
almighty, most forgiving.” [The Creator, 35:28].

“God has sent down the most beautiful of all teachings: a Scripture that is consistent and
draws comparisons; that causes the skins of those in awe of their Lord to quiver. Then
their skins and their hearts soften at the mention of God: such is God’s guidance…” [The
Throngs, 39:23].

“It is God who brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, and gave you
hearing and sight and minds, so that you might be thankful… [The Bee, 16:78].



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