Exploring the Cosmos, One Step at a Time

Khadija OmerMay 30, 2022Time and Space

I come from a country where religion, without exaggeration, is synonymous to everything: culture, tradition, values, a way of life, and our understanding of the cosmos.

But people often internalize or misinterpret certain cultures.

The popular narrative around religion and science is simply that they don’t mix: both cannot exist in harmony and are necessarily contentious. But that is a false dichotomy. It is not religion or science, it’s both, or that’s where part of my culture and religion stand.

The first word of the first revelation to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was simple: “Read!” The first thing God wanted his people to know was that he had given them the ability to read and write and that he wanted them to do so. Exploring the cosmos, theorizing the way the world works, and carrying out experiments to test its limits are all acts of worship- a way to understand God’s miracles a little better. That’s what former Muslim cultures understood and we seem to have forgotten. Islamic scientists in the 10th century are the reason algorithms exist. Their work enabled programming and coding, which is the foundation on which many of our industries today are based.

However, in today’s world, people often negate the contributions to science and our understanding of the cosmos simply because of the source. How could a religious person, who believes in fairytales, have the capacity to think? Well, let’s just say we’re scientists and the way the scientific paradigm functions is that any hypothesis that hasn’t been disproved could very well be reality. We’re exploring the cosmos one step at a time to understand the way the world works, just as you are.