Salamun Alaikum (Peace be upon you)
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It is often asserted in modern Muslim thought that the Quran revealed scientific facts long before they were discovered.
Indeed, the Quran imparts fantastic creative signs of God from human creativity to cosmic space (etc). However, these signs were primarily advanced to the Arab audience of the 6th-7th century so that could readily understand and appreciate it.
This information was not imparted to turn the desert Arabs into future scientists, or to present information which could only be verified 1400 years later by modern scientific developments. Rather, the purpose was to present clear arguments to the Arabs with a view to remove all doubts, so that they could relate to them and understand the authority and power of their Creator behind the claims.
It would be pointless to present 'facts' which the desert Arabs could never verify. Neither would there be much point to present them with arguments which they could not comprehend nor with details that they could ever grasp. This would actually run contrary to the advice given in verse 17:36.
Of course, today's advancements in modern science can better understand some of the information presented by the Quran in further details. This is no doubt fascinating and this presents a cogent reason of its Divine source. However, this should not obscure the primary function of the 'facts' presented by the Quran which was to convince the desert Arabs of its arguments.
Clearly, any information which would contradict the understanding of the desert Arabs would only cause to heighten the tension they may have already had with the revelation. This would only lend to their claims of a false document.
As an example, let us note the following verse:
"And that He is the Lord of Sirius (Arabic: Shi'ira)"
This pointed reference of the star seems to denote some connection that the desert Arabs had with the celestial object, possibly as an entity of Pagan worship. The fact that Sirius was a point of fascination to the ancients is even attested by other ancient communities such as the Greeks, that referred to it as 'Seirios' (glowing or scorching), which clearly denotes its brightness in the night sky.
However, the Quran made reference to confirm what the Arabs 'knew' in truth. For example, God did not reveal that He was the Lord of the two stars Sirius (a new scientific piece of information) which indicates the binary system that Sirius is part of (Sirius A and B). Such a revelation would only serve to appear to the Arabs as clearly false (even though it is true) and something they could never verify.
Similarly, the Quran recalls:
The Quran does indeed present fascinating facts and reveals a heightened understanding and appreciation of creation and its environment. However, the primary focus for the presentation of these facts was to convince the desert Arabs. No doubt as science would have advanced, further insights into the Quranic statements would have become apparent.
Only a message from a Divine Creator can remain so timeless and in perfect harmony with advancement in thought and science.
The Quran remains just that; a completely 'timeless' and 'truthful' message.
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