Scientific thinking refers to objective and rational thinking. Human history, it is said, can be broadly divided into two parts: an age of superstition and an age of science. In recent times this division of human history has found great favour with a number of western philosophers, especially Bertrand Russell, and it is accurate enough in itself. In several books, notably; ‘Why I am not a Christian’ and ‘The Impact of Science on Society’, Russell has traced convincingly and eloquently the emergence of human society from an age of darkness and superstition to an age of scientific enlightenment and scientific thinking.

Polytheism is the rooted in superstition. And the root of scientific thinking is monotheism according to Arnold Toynbee. Monotheism is to worship the one and only God who has created and sustains the universe. It is a fact that there is only one God; our acknowledgement of that fact, and our submission and allegiance to Him alone, are acts of the utmost realism. When this belief enters one’s heart, one adopts a realistic’ approach to life, and science is just another name for a realistic approach.

The direct result of the superstition that comes from polytheism is that phenomena of creation are considered as objects of worship. Inevitably this belief inhibits any objective study regarding their nature, thus preventing any advance in the field of science. But when God is considered as the object of worship, then all these phenomena become objects of investigation. The way becomes open for scientific research. This is how monotheism, or true religion, cultivates scientific thought.

The scientific way of thinking of the modern age was initiated in the early period of Islam, continued as a process, spreading from one country to another until it reached the west where it saw its culmination in the western world. In respect of its reality, this scientific thinking is a revolution desirable by Islam itself. The Quran and the teachings of the Prophet contain suggestions towards science and encourage its adherents to undertake scientific pursuits. Prophet Muhammad mentioned these suggestions as signs of God in the universe, and the Quran has the following to say about these signs in order to know Him as He is in the unseen:

“We will show them our signs in the universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth.” (41:53)

This prediction has been entirely fulfilled in modern times with the scientific discoveries of the 20th and 21st centuries. These scientific discoveries are akin to removing the veil of ignorance which prevented humankind from seeing the face of God. This has been expressed by a scientist in these words: “Nature and science speak about God.”   




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