Islam and the geocentric universe

              It is the fanciful idea of religion-bashers that the discovery of extraterrestrial life will undermine any remaining credibility that
religion may have. In the case of Islam, as one can see from this discussion, that can hardly be the case. On the contrary, such a
discovery would verify the truth of the statements contained in the Quran relating to the subject of alien life, and strengthen the
position of Muslims. The vision of Islam is that of a truly universal religion. It is far removed from the exclusiveness of Judaism ("We
are the Chosen Ones for God's message").It is a pity that the image of all religions has suffered a setback from the great scandal of
the Church- its treatment of Galileo, for (rightly) challenging their views of a geocentric universe, in which Man was The Central
Figure in God's Plan of Creation, living on a planet around which all the rest of creation revolved.

              The Quran gives us a picture of our place in the universe that is quite different .In Sura 40:57,God says, "Assuredly the
creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: yet most men understand not." (59) Comments
Yusuf Ali, "Man is himself a tiny part of creation. Why should he be so ego-centric?" (60) No one race of humans was chosen to be
the exclusive custodians of the truth. Sura 16:36 tells us, "For We assuredly sent amongst every People an apostle, (with the
command),"Serve God, and eschew Evil":of the people were some whom God guided, and others on whom Error became inevitably
(established).So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth)." (61) According to some
Traditions of The Prophet (pbuh), 124,000 messengers have been sent into the world by God, throughout the ages to people all over
the world.

              No nation was denied access to the Truth. Even on earth, guidance was provided not only to humans, but also the Jinn who
co-habit this planet with us- 6:130:"(Then He will say):"Jinn and men! Did there not come to you apostles of your own who proclaimed
to you my revelations and warned you of this day?" (62). God's bounty, according to Islam, is not confined to creatures of the earth
because He is,"...Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, the Lord of the Worlds" (45:36). (63) To the people were sent revealed
Books also, the last of which is the Quran. About the Quran itself, we are told in 43:4,"It is in the Mother Book with Us, sublime and
full of wisdom." (64) About other planets, S. Bashir-ud-din Mahmood has this to say, "On the basis of the interpretation of verse
65:12 by Ibn-e-Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), we can say that inhabitants of these worlds must have their religion like ours
and
so the Holy Books. They all come from the same "Supreme Source" of revelation from where the Holy Quran originated for us on the
Earth. It is evident from the verse of the Holy Quran" (ie.43;4. All Books come from the "Mother Book with Us"). (65) The very first
verse of the Quran begins, "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds." (66)

              Summing up, while the Quran does point out that man has a favored position on earth, (2:30-"Behold, thy Lord said to the
angels:"I will create a vicegerent on earth.""; (67) 2:34- "We said to the angels:"Bow down to Adam..."" (68) 95:4- We have indeed
created man in the best of moulds." (69) ) there are other creatures of God who have also been favored in the universe (17:70).
Humans are just a small part of God's creation (40:57). When they act wrongly, they are reduced to the lowest of the low (95:5).
Salvation is not only for some race of humans, but for all humans and creatures throughout the universe. There is a grand destiny
planned by God for all of them. All humans as well as aliens who follow the guidance that God sent to their respective planets, will be
rewarded (19:96)."...it is God Whose praise all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate..."(24:41). (70) All will return to Him.
How far the picture of the universe that Islam paints is from that of a geocentric universe!