| Azaraimy HH |
IS SCIENCE and technology compatible with the way of life in the world of Islam? Speakers at the Knowledge Convention 2014 attempted to answer that very question yesterday.
Dr Danial bin Zainal Abidin revealed that the Islamic principle itself is related to developing science and technology. Besides following principles such as praying five times a day, Dr Danial said Muslims are also taught to be strong.
He described the era of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the immediate era following him, during Khalifah Uthman, where science was used to build technology to make the Islamic world strong.
The definition of “technology” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “The practical application of knowledge in a particular area”.
While according to the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, technology is, “The application of science to achieve industrial or commercial objectives”.
Dr Danial said that taking into account both definitions, technology can be defined as “applying or utilising knowledge of science into a practical application and using it in the field of trade and industry for the benefit of the human race”.
Therefore, the knowledge of science is an important tool for developing technology but science is not necessarily technology itself. For instance, science has revealed the characteristics of steel and iron and in turn, this basic knowledge was followed by research to identify what can be produced from a combination of both.
When a specific product can be produced and is relevant to the need of the society, it will develop into an industry that will benefit development.
Islam is therefore a proponent of science and encourages the development of technology.
Dr Danial shared with the audience a story about one of his non-Muslim friends who challenged him to show him Allah the Almighty. The friend informed him that he had been to places of worship such as mosques but couldn’t find Allah and asked Dr Danial to show him. Dr Danial asked him to spare five minutes of his time to look around him. Dr Danial said Allah created everything including the human race. One way to see him is to look around at everything that exists, which must have been created by something. By seeing all these creations is how you see Him.
Meanwhile, Professor Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee bin Abdullah of Malaysia, said, although science is important in Islam for the development of Ummah, science is not the answer to all because science cannot answer all.
During his talk, he discussed aspects of his personal life, in which his wife just delivered a healthy baby. He said his wife is over 40 years old and according to medical science it is not advisable for women above 40 to deliver a baby because of the associated risks. Regardless, they delivered a healthy baby, thanks to their prayers.
He added that whatever a Muslim does, it is accompanied by a prayer and a prayer is something that cannot be calculated by science. Therefore not all matters in Islam can be explained by science.
He divided modern science into two branches – pure science and social science. Pure science leads to the development of technology and while social science is also related to Islam.
During the Haj pilgrimage, the circling of the Kaaba is performed seven times because Allah commanded them to do so. There is no need for a scientific explanation. In Al-Quran, Allah has revealed a lot about the science of astronomy.
He concluded that Muslims must take scientific development seriously as it is in line with the teachings of Islam.