Dr. M H Khan

Modified from an article by
Samir Khalid Munir
                                                                                           EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE IN THE VAST UNIVERSE

          Vastness of the universe is truly beyond human comprehension. The sun and planets of our solar system, along with two
hundred billion other stars, comprises our galaxy and our local heaven "The Milky Way."  At the edge of Milky way galaxy our sun is
just like a tiny speck when compared to the size of the galaxy.  "The Milky Way," is one hundred and fifty thousand light years across.
This means that traveling at the speed of light, it would take one hundred and fifty thousand years to go from one side of Milky Way to
the  other. The galaxies on the average are separated from each other by about ten million light years. There are about 500 hundred
billion or more such galaxies in the truly gigantic universe. The above raises the possibility of trillions of earth like planets with
intelligent life in the incredibly vast universe.
        Yusuf Ali says, "Dabbatun are beasts ,living, crawling creatures of all kinds." (14) This is the same word used in 2:164," the
beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth...are signs for a people that are wise," (15) and in 24:45,"And God has created
every animal from water: of them are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. God
creates what he wills..." (16)
            How aware were the early Muslims, about the existence of extraterrestrials? "The idea that there is life elsewhere in the
universe  was derived from the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) when he told the Muslims, "When you sit down in the prayer for the
Attahiyat and say: "Peace be upon us, and the righteous servants of Allah"
you actually send peace on all the righteous people
living on the Earth and in the heavens.
"This clearly implies that all type of people, good and bad live in the other worlds as they live
on our Earth." (71) Also with reference to the book Rasial Imam Ghazali, in which according to Imam Muhammad Ghazali (11th
Century): "P
eople in some of these planetary worlds have learnt to travel and communicate with each other." (72)

was one of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh).The Prophet (pbuh) had prayed to God specially to endow
Ibn-e-Abbas(73) with knowledge of the Quran. Maulana Maududi writing in his Tafhim-ul-Quran, tells us that, "Ibn-e-Abbas  believed
with confidence that there are many more earth-like bodies in the heavens. He not only thought that such earths are inhabited by
intelligent beings but also that their people are similar to the inhabitants on Earth.
He even went so far as to say that they may have
a Prophet like Muhammad (pbuh), a Adam like our Adam, a Noah, like our Noah, an Ibrahim like our Ibrahim, and a Jesus like
our Jesus (pbuh)
." (74) It is clear that the knowledge of the existence of living beings in other planets and that they are mentioned in
the Quran, has been present among Muslims from the earliest days of Islam!   

            This also brings about the realization of futility of sects and sectarian thinking, as the religion is not for giving importance to
one human leader over another, religion is about love and obedience of the creator Allah (SWT) and of his chosen prophets.

                                                             Walking living earthly creatures: Dabbatun

             Most Muslims are unaware of the fact that the Quran explicitly mentions the existence of extraterrestrial life in the word
"dabbatun". This word refers to living creatures like us that walk the earth however it also refers to creatures living in the heavens. The
following discussion will make it clear that "dabbatun" does not refer to birds angels etc.  
      The word "sama", translated as "heavens", is also the Arabic for "sky". The above verse does not refer to birds in the sky which
are mentioned separately from creatures of the heavens (
dabbatun) in 24:41, "Do you not see that it is Allah Whose praise all
beings in the heavens and on earth celebrate, and the birds with wings outspread?..."     In a note to 42;29,   Muhammad Asad
states, "In the Quran, the expression "the heavens and earth" invariably denotes the universe in its entirety."
          The Quran mentions that inanimate objects also worship God: "Do they not look at God's creation, (even) among (inanimate)
things- how their (very) shadows turn round, from right to left, prostrating themselves to God..."(16:48).  Therefore, may not the
(dabbatun) spoken of in 42:29 in the heavens, be inanimate creatures of God?
         No...... The next verse,16:49 says: "And to God does obedience all that is in the heavens and earth, whether moving (living)
(dabbatun) or the angels...".   The word (dabbatun) translated "living creatures" here is the same as that in 42:29-
"Dabbatun."  Comments Asad: "The word dabbah denotes any sentient, corporeal being capable of spontaneous movement and is
contrasted here with the non-corporeal, spiritual beings designated as "angels."  In other words, 42:29 is referring to precisely the type
of life forms that science is searching for, not some metaphysical entities.
       Commenting on 42:29,  Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani says, "From the verse it appears that like on the earth, there are some
kinds of animals- living creatures- in the heavens also." (17) On the same verse, Yusuf Ali comments, "Life is not confined to our one
little Planet.  It is a very old speculation to imagine some life like human life on the planet is reasonable to suppose that Life
in some form or other is scattered through some of the millions of heavenly bodies scattered through space." (18) From such remarks,
the reader will realize that Muslim scholars are well aware of the fact that 42:29 clearly mentions the existence of extraterrestrial life
similar to that on earth.
Qur'an Chapter 40 Verse 57
The creation of the heavens and the earth is definitely a greater thing
than creation of mankind, however, most of mankind knows not.
PLANETS AROUND A STAR LIKE OUR SUN                          200 BILLION STARS IN A GALAXY                               500 BILLION OR MORE GALAXIES
Quran Chapter 65 verse 12
God it is who has created seven heavens,
and similar number of earths, The commandments comes down among them slowly,
that you may know that God is Able to do all things,  And that God surrounds all things in knowledge
   Quran tells us about multitudes of other earths where God's commandments are coming one after another as these other earths
mature at different times. The word seven is used in following verses in the Quran to denote a very large number more like infinite.