The Origins of the Universe

Lord of the Universe

Lord of the Universe (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) “All praise belongs to Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Quran 1:2). The vastness and wonders of the universe lie beyond the comprehension of man despite rapid advancement in astronomy. What is the universe? It is the whole of creation embracing all existing things. The night sky reveals innumerable stars twinkling in space. It has been estimated that thirty thousand million stars can be photographed; but they are only a fraction of those which lie beyond the range of the camera and telescope. When we begin to dwell on the wonder of all the heavenly bodies burning and rotating in space we are unable to deduce any logical explanation for the celestial panorama which confronts us other than a clear sign of the existence of God— the Designer of the universe. The distances of the stars from the earth are so great that the mile is too small a unit of measurement. Distances are calculated in light years. Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second which is so fast that it can travel around the world seven and a half times in one second. Moonlight takes only one and a half seconds to cover its 238,000 miles to earth while sunlight takes just over eight and a quarter minutes to complete its 93,000,000 miles journey. These distances are comparatively short when compared with the distances of some of the planets within our solar system. Uranus and Neptune rotate 1600 and 2675 million miles respectively away from the earth while those of the stars in outer space beyond the confines of the solar system completely stagger our minds. The nearest star is 25 billion miles away which means that its light takes well over four years to reach the earth; but this distance is absolutely insignificant with that of thousands of millions of light years which our largest telescopes can probe into space! It has been judged that the normal diameter of a star is 25,000 miles which is about three times the diameter of the earth. However there are also giant stars such as the Episilon Aurigae which has a diameter of at least 18,000 million miles — a diameter two hundred times the distance between the earth and the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE 9 sun. What a massive body! In our own galaxy, which includes the Milky Way, there are about a hundred billion stars; yet within the range of our telescopes there are hundreds of millions of galaxies! The magnitude of the universe turns our thoughts towards its omnipotent Creator: “The Maker of the heavens and the earth.” (Quran 6:15). How great is He and how insignificant are we: “There is none like unto Him.” (Quran 112:5). He is dependent on none but we are completely dependent on Him. He is the Source from Whom the universe originated. Patrick Moore — the renowned astronomer has been compelled to declare: “When we come to consider how the universe itself was created we run up against a blank wall.” The Holy Quran confirms that the universe was created by Allah and provides cogent arguments and signs in support of its claim. “He is God, the Creator, Originator of the heavens and the earth.” “Can there be a doubt about the existence of God who has originated the heavens and the earth?” (14:11). Through what process did God create the universe and everything within it? Did it appear all of a sudden in one stroke as the Bible suggests? The Holy Quran is not silent on the matter and its teaching on this subject has been summarised by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad: 1. The stage when nothing existed and the process of creation began for the first time, nothing having existed before. 2. The stage when matter had come into existence but had not yet taken a definite material form. 3. The stage, when, as a result of the combination, matters began to acquire diverse properties, the consummation of this process being known by the Law of Nature. 4. The last stage, in accordance with the Law of Nature, the process of procreation or repetition in creation began, viz., man was born out of man and grain out of grain. We know very little about the universe but from earliest times evidence has been forthcoming how its various forces operate for the service of mankind. As far as our present knowledge is concerned the earth is more dependent on 10 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS the members of the solar system than it is on the orbs which lie beyond its magnetic field although the stars do render great assistance in navigation. The sun is the centre of the solar system around which its nine planets including the earth constantly rotate. Without the sun there would be no vestige of life upon this planet as without its magnetic .pull the earth would be a frozen ball hurtling on and on through space until, perhaps, it might become drawn into the orbit of some distant star. There is a glaring contradiction in the Biblical story of the creation. It is stated that God created the light of the day and the darkness of night on the first day: “And God said, ‘let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:3-5). The light of day and the darkness of night are dependent on the sun; yet we are told that it was not until the fourth day that God created the sun, moon and other heavenly bodies: “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and morning were the fourth day.” (Genesis 1:14-18). With respect to the sun and moon it is also recorded in the Bible: “Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun stand thou still upon Gideon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon LORD OF THE UNIVERSE 11 their enemies. Is this not written in the book – of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down for a whole . , ; day.” (Joshua 10:12, 13). It is a well established fact that the sun is not revolving around the earth but on the contrary it is the earth which is revolving around the sun. If any such kind of incredible miracle had occurred then it would have been the earth which stopped still •— not the sun. In the sixteenth century the great mathematician Galileo was persecuted by the Church for insisting that the earth moves around the sun. The New Testament and books of Islamic scripture describe astronomical phenomena which would occur at the time of the advent of the Promised Messiah. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam claims that the expected Promised Messiah has appeared in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, who proclaimed his mission in 1889. Contrary to the general Christian belief that Jesus is to return from the sky in as miraculous manner as they believe he ascended into the sky, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed that he had appeared in the power and spirit of Jesus. He proved from the Quran, Bible and historical sources that Jesu’s never did die on the cross in the first place but died a natural death in Kashmir where he had travelled in search of the LostSheepof Israel after the event of the crucifixion from which he survived. The New Testament foretells certain celestial signs which would occur to herald the second advent of Jesus: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:29, 30). The prophecy states that stars would fall in abundance otherwise if they were to fall now and again, as they always do, then it could not be considered a special sign. The Promised Messiah lived from 1833—1908 during which time the heavens displayed some unusual sights. In 1833,1866 and 1889 there were three major displays of falling stars. At this would be well to explain that what are commonly termed shooting stars are not, in fact, stars at all. They are tiny meteors known as the rubble and dust of the universe which are converted in a vapour which emits light as they enter the atmosphere of the 12 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS earth. Sometimes larger meteors reach the earth in which case they are known as meteorites. In 1908 a large meteorite fell in Siberia causing great havoc though fortunately no one was killed as it fell in an uninhabited area: “A meteorite probably weighing hundreds of tons struck the earth in the wilderness of Siberia (1908). This area was examined by a scientific expedition in 1928. The scientists reported that the tremendous heat of the meteorite had scorched and killed trees and other plant life for thirty miles around it.” (The World Book Encyclopaedia). Regarding the “falling of stars” as a sign of the advent of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has written in his book Aina-i- Kamalat-i-Islam: “At the very outset of my mission, I received a revelation which has been mentioned on the 28th page of my book Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya. The revelation is as follows: ‘O Ahmad, God has showered His blessings on thee, and the thing thrown by thee was not really thrown by thee but it was God Who threw it (i.e. the Movement started by you was not really started by you but by God). God has blessed thee with the knowledge of the Quran so that thou mayest warn or admonish those people whose forefathers had not been warned or admonished, and that the path taken by the guilty had become open and exposed. In other words the good-natured people became separated and distinguished from the evil- natured and arrogant people. Proclaim to the people that thou hast been sent by God, and that thou art the first of the believers.’ After the above mentioned revelation many other signs were manifested by God. One of those signs is that on the 28th November, 1895, i.e. on the preceding night, there was a tremendous display of meteors such as I had never seen the like of in my life; and so numerous were the flames which were shooting forth in all directions in space that I find no simile in this world to describe the phenomenon presented by them. . . . The display of the movement of the meteors on the night preceding 28th November, 1895 was so vast and extensive that it was witnessed by the whole world and was published as a marvellous phenomenon in all the renowned newspapers of Europe, America and Asia. People might take it as a meaningless phenomenon but, as for myself, I can swear by God, the Exalted, that I witnessed the show with the deepest attention, and LORD OF THE UNIVERSE 13 enjoyedit, deriving the greatest joy and pleasure from it. For avery long time my eyes continued gazing at this scene. This display of meteors started from evening time and I went on seeing it with great delight because of the glad tidings revealed to me. It was instilled into my heart by revelation that it was a sign for me.” (Pages 198-211). In addition to stating that “stars will fall from heaven” the Biblical prophecy describing the signs of the times for the appearance of the Promised Messiah also states “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light”. A more detailed prophecy was made by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace be on him) to the effect that there would be an eclipse of the sun and moon during the Islamic month of Ramazan at the time of the appearance of the Promised. The eclipse of the moon would occur on the 13th and the eclipse of the sun on the 28th of the same month which took place in the year 1894 exactly as foretold. All praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Worry. Irritability. Excitement. Depression. Despair. Despondency.. Irreverence. Obstinacy. Kindness. Sympathy. Tact. Honesty. Simplicity. Cleanliness. Sincerity. Refinement. Forgiveness. Gentleness. Avoid these Negative Revenge. Pride. Jealousy. Resentment. Mockery. Envy. Deceit. Falsehood. Adopt these Positive Love. Nobility. Patience. Steadfastness. Charity. Justice. Dignity. Politeness. Hospitality. Mercy. Moods Rebellion. Vulgarity. Dishonesty. Ridicule. Lust. Maliciousness. Intolerance. Slander. Moods Optimism. Self-Control. Earnestness. Contentment. Cheerfulness. Helpfulness. Courage. Perseverance. Gratitude. Unselfishness.