The expansion of the
Universe is the most imposing discovery of modern science. Today it is
a firmly established concept and the only debate centres around the way
this is taking place. It was first suggested by the general theory of relativity
and is backed up by physics in the examination of the galactic spectrum;
the regular movement towards the red section of their spectrum may be explained
by the distancing of one galaxy from another.
the size of the Universe is probably constantly increasing and this increase
will become bigger the further away the galaxies are from us. The speeds
at which these celestial bodies are moving may, in the course of this perpetual
expansion, go from fractions of the speed of light to speeds faster than
following verse of the Qur'an (sura 51, verse 47) where God is speaking,
may perhaps be compared with modern ideas: "The heaven, We have built
it with power. Verily. We are expanding it."
'Heaven' is the translation
of the word 'sama' and this is exactly the extra-terrestrial world that
'We are expanding
it' is the translation of the plural present participle musi'una of the
verb ausa'a meaning 'to make wider, more spacious, to extend, to expand'.
Ramidullah in his
translation of the Qur'an talks of the widening of the heavens and space,
but he includes a question mark. There are those who arm themselves with
authorized scientific opinion in their commentaries and give the meaning
stated here. This is true in the case of the Muntakab, a book of commentaries
edited by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Cairo. It refers to
the expansion of
the Universe in
totally unambiguous terms.