Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | July 25, 2021
Most of the stars in the heavens are both larger and more radiant than the sun and have been shining for billions of years without their reserves of thermal energy showing any signs of exhaustion. How do stars produce such vast amount of energy? This is a question which was finally answered by the Noble prize-winning astrophysicist, Hans Bethe, after many years of scientific study.
The day that he made his great scientific discovery – he was in New Mexico with his wife. They were out in the desert at night, and the stars shone brilliantly on the vast open expanse. His wife, Rose, exclaimed over their exceptional brightness, and Bethe replied, “Do you; realize, just now, you are standing next to the only human being who knows why they shine at all?”
What Hans Bethe knew was only part of the answer. Neither he nor any other astrophysicist, can say, or will ever be able to say, why or how the carbon cycle comes to operate in stars at all. The crux of the matter is something which cannot even be approached by men of science, for it belongs to a realm which lies far beyond the scope of scientific findings. The truth lies in the domain of the Almighty – the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is God Himself who has invested the stars with a lustre which seems almost magical.
It is one of the ironies of our God-created existence, that a scientist is so emotionally demonstrative when he has discovered how some part of nature works, but not why, while the far greater discovery of God and His works arouses in him no such feelings. True believers in God feel the joy of His discovery, and so boundless is their happiness, that they cannot but share it with others. If, in thinking of God and carrying out religious duties, they experience no such sense of uplift, it simply means that the true discovery of their Maker yet awaits them.