Thursday, September 21, 2023
Giving a speech at the "Symposium on Skies in the Light of Verses of the Holy Quran and Scientific Data-II," President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş said, “There has been no conflict or separation between religion and science, reason and revelation at any time in the history of Islamic thought.”
President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş participated in the "Symposium on Skies in the Light of Verses of the Holy Quran and Scientific Data-II," which was held by the High Board of Religious Affairs.
Giving a speech at the symposium held in the Conference Hall of the High Board of Religious Affairs, President of Religious Affairs Erbaş said, “The Almighty Allah (swt) is the one who created all existence from nothing with His unlimited knowledge, absolute will, and infinite might, and who maintains their existence with a continuous act of creation at every moment. The Almighty Allah (swt), the creator of all causes, has fashioned everything in the universe in a unique manner, with wisdom, in a certain measure, order, and harmony. There are no flaws, chaos, or meaninglessness in His creation.”
Stating that there is complete harmony, coherence, and consistency between revelation and the universe, President of Religious Affairs Ali Erbaş spoke as follows: “As a matter of fact, there has been no conflict or separation between religion and science, reason and revelation at any time in the history of Islamic thought. On the contrary, revelation, which is the manifestation of the attribute of Allah's (swt) word, and the universe, which is the manifestation of the attribute of Creation, have been considered as a whole throughout the history of Islam, and the complementary relationship between religion and science has always been taken into account. Knowledge has not been classified as religious and non-religious, and this understanding has allowed the Islamic world to produce great scholars who combine theology and natural sciences.
“The Holy Quran has been guiding humanity's search for meaning for 14 centuries.”
Saying, “The Holy Quran encourages the use of the mind, contemplation, and viewing the universe as an example for the development of both the deep meaning and wisdom embodied in the revelation and the secrets of the universe,” President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“In this aspect, the Holy Quran has been guiding humanity's search for meaning for 14 centuries as a solid, consistent, and unique foundation in the discovery of humanity and the universe and in the understanding of life and the hereafter. However, it is also a fact that in the modern period, where minds are largely shaped by ideologies, an artificial wall is being erected between revelation and science and between religion and nature. Today, we are witnessing that the dimension of revelation that builds reason and morality has been sidelined, and unfortunately, the effort to position science against religion has been brought to the forefront. This approach, which essentially establishes a foundation for the formation of new paradoxes regarding existence, purpose, and values, far from addressing humanity's search for meaning, drags it into an enormous crisis of morality and civilization. It causes confusion that corrupts minds. Unfortunately, this confusion can undermine the minds and hearts of young people, especially given the communication and interaction opportunities available today.”
Pointing out that there is a need to develop a strong explanation and discourse about existence, humanity, life, and the universe in the integration of religion and science against the approaches that distort the truth by separating religion and science, President Erbaş used the following expressions: “The correct understanding of existence and the presentation of the values that this understanding adds to life are a religious and moral responsibility for Muslim scholars. We, as the Presidency of Religious Affairs, are always aware and conscious of this responsibility.”
“Approaches that exclude religion from life by relegating it to the metaphysical realm are unacceptable to those who believe in the Book that emphasizes contemplation.”
Stating that they have to combat these structures that open the door to abuse with baseless comments made about both the creation and functioning of the universe and the truths highlighted by revelation, President Erbaş made the following statement: “You are aware that there are approaches that relegate science within this framework by portraying religion and science as alternatives to each other. Such approaches, which essentially exclude religion from life by relegating it to the metaphysical realm, are unacceptable to those who believe in the Book that emphasizes knowledge, science, and contemplation in almost every verse.”
Pointing out that the universe, like the Holy Quran, is a manifestation of the Almighty Allah's (swt) knowledge, will, and power, President Erbaş said, “As a result, the Quran, which is a manifestation of Allah's (swt) 'Word,' and the universe, which contains the signs of His infinite might, knowledge, and greatness, speak to the human mind and understanding. Both reveal the truth, ease life, and show us the ways and possibilities of building a better world. In this regard, every discovery about the universe will also serve as the foundation for a better understanding of the verses of the Quran. Recognizing the harmony and understanding between revelation and the universe will give us the opportunity to resist unhealthy ideas that distance religion in the name of science.”
Saying, “Our main goal should not be to consider the knowledge of the age as the ultimate authority in understanding the Quran, but rather to attempt to grasp the meaning and wisdom of the universe and existence from the perspective indicated by the Quran,” President Erbaş expressed his hope that the papers presented and the discussions held at the symposium would be productive and thanked the participants.
At the opening program, whose opening speech was given by the Chairman of the High Board of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Haçkalı, Rector of Hacettepe University Prof. Dr. Mehmet Cahit Güran, Rector of Düzce University Prof. Dr. Nedim Sözbir, General Director of Education Services of the Presidency of Religious Affairs Sedide Akbulut, General Director of Hajj and Umrah Services Remzi Bircan, General Director of Management Services Mehmet Bilgin, Provincial Mufti of Ankara Dr. Hasan Çınar, board members, and senior executives of the Presidency were present at the hall, and academics, field specialists, students, and citizens attended online.
The symposium, which is internationally attended and consists of 10 sessions, will last for two days.