A timely book on the relationship between religion and science.
Al-Ali, a surgeon, argues that there is no gap between religion and science when they’re seen and studied in the correct light. As a devout Muslim—though that wasn’t always the case—well versed in both fields, he’s ideally positioned to write a treatise on religion and science. There’s a long tradition of both religious authors and laypeople writing tafsirs, or commentaries on the Quran. Al-Ali writes that “classical Tafsirs (commentaries) were written centuries ago and, of course, without the benefit of the scientific discoveries and knowledge that we now have.” His goal in part is to remedy this deficiency, thereby illuminating the close relationship he perceives between scientific discoveries and timeless sacred texts that, he writes, contain scientific truths, some of which have only recently been realized. Consciously approaching his project as a layperson, Al-Ali has different intentions than what some readers might expect from a commentary on the Quran. He aims not to prove Islam but to demonstrate “to all believers that faith is tangible, not visionary or priggish.” While it is common for Christians writing on the same topic to assert that, Al-Ali means to show that faith and science are nonexclusive, overlapping domains that support and reinforce one another. After all, he maintains, science discovers the laws and workings of the creator, and divine books anticipate scientific advances that would have been unthinkable at the time they were written. While quoting extensively from religious texts to make his points, Al-Ali’s engaging, readable commentary is accessible even to readers with little or no knowledge of the Quran.
An insightful treatise on the intersection of faith and science for believers and nonbelievers alike.