An agnostic said: How can Islam make any scientific assertions, surely science is only needed on matters that are falsifiable. But if you say Islam makes statements about scientific phenomena, then you are saying that Islam is falsifiable? Am I right or wrong?
Answer: It is interesting that you assert that scientific questions are falsifiable, in the tradition of Karl Popper I presume. This pleases me, because the theory of man’s evolution (not all aspects of evolution) thus becomes non-scientific. After all, claimed historical events cannot be tested in a controlled experiment to see if they happened.
As for your question; the Quran contains statements that could be called “falsifiable,” and this is of utmost importance. Miracles, which are extraordinary events that happen in association with a claim of Prophethood, are sometimes based on falsifiable assertions that are extraordinarily proven to be true. The importance of miracles is that once the existence of the Creator is proven, and that nothing can happen but by His Will, miracles prove that a prophet has the Creator’s support in his claim of Prophethood. One example, is that the Quran has been preserved to the last letter, without any perversions or alterations for some 1400 years. This in itself is an extraordinary event, because no other book has been preserved in this way in human history. It is a miracle also, because the Prophet Muhammad affirmed by what was revealed to him that it would be preserved. Allah said in the Quran:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Meaning: “Allah has revealed this remembrance that is the Quran, and He protects it.” (Al-Hijr, 9).
This is a miracle then, because this confirmation of preservation associated with the Prophet, stated in the Quran, matches this already extraordinary preservation of 1400 years.
Added to this preservation is the fact that the Quran challenges anybody who opposes Prophet Muhammad’s claim to Prophethood, to compose a Surah like any of its 114 Surahs. Allah said (Al-Baqarah, 23):
وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ
Meaning: “If you are in doubt about what Allah has revealed to the Prophet, then bring a Surah like any of its Surahs in eloquence, if you can, but you will not be able.”
This challenge came despite the fact that the shortest Surah in the Quran can be written on a single line on a piece of paper (Al-Kawtħar, 1-3):
إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ الْأَبْتَرُ
Yet, nobody succeeded in meeting this challenge among the Arabs, despite the Arabs pride in eloquence at the time, and the widespread occurrence of poetry competitions between tribes and individuals. In fact, nobody during these 1400 years has met this challenge. Moreover, if the challenge had been met during his time, then Prophet Muhammad would have lost his support. Add to that the fact that Prophet Muhammad was unlettered and never took part in composing any poetry.
If you think about it, this miracle also proves that nothing happens except by Allah’s Will.
In addition, the Quran contains many statements about things the Prophet could not have known through ordinary means, such as the description of what would happen to the breathing of a person if lifted up into the atmosphere (Al-An`aam, 125):
فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلامِ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ
Meaning: “Whoever Allah has willed to guide, He will open his heart to accept Islam, and whoever He has willed misguidance for, He will make his chest tight and narrow, as if he is ascending up in the sky.”
Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji