Big Bang is a theory proposed in 1920 which imagines that the universe occured about 13,7 billion years ago at an extremely dense and hot point. The idea that the universe is expanding was put forward by E. Hubble in 1929. According to him, the distance between galaxy clusters in the universe is steadily increasing. If we go backwards in time, this expansion idea in mind, it is thought that the universe was expanded in the past from a start point at a certain time in case of a hot and dense state. This thought is named before as “first atomic hypothesis”, but today it is settled by the name “Big Bang Theory”. This physical theory is based on the general relativity theory and cosmological principle of Einstein.
Big Bang Theory assumes that the homogeneous universe had more homogeneous structure in the past. According to it, the astrophysical structures (galaxies, galaxy clusters) were not existed in the first period of the Big Bang. Later they occurred gradually. According to this theory, the physical conditions prevailing in the first period were the same everywhere in the observable universe. But it is seen that the material elements in the universe go rapidly away from each other because of the expansion of universe. The term Big Bang has been suggested as a term to express the intensity of this expansion movement.
Big Bang has no a center nor a special direction. The structure of universe in the past could be understood only by observing the remote regions. What is observable today is not directly the early phase of Big Bang itself. But we can observe today only the cosmic microwave background radiation which is the lighted up reflection of warm phase in the history of universe. This radiation is essentially uniform and can be observed in all directions. This indicates that the Big Bang occurred with extremely homogeneous manner in the area where the Big Bang has the opportunity to be observed.
Contrary to the popular belief the Big Bang was not an explosion at any place. When some heard first the name Big Bang, they think that the Big Bang was an explosion throwing out the substances which were necessary for the forming of today’s galaxies. But this is not the case. This theory only shows that the universe is passed through a warm and dense period. There are several cosmological models describing this dense and hot phase.
After 300.000 years from the first period of the Big Bang, the universe consisted of electrons and atomic nuclei plasma. The elementary particles we know today were formed during this dense and hot period. In the next processes all the structures we observe in the universe were formed.
The universe we live in is constantly expanding. This means that for a very long time ago (~ 13,7 billion years ago) the universe was a tiny dot (smaller than an atom). The calculations show that in ten thousand of the second after the zero time, the contents of today’s universe is placed close together in an atomic nuclei density in a very hot matter stuck. But our current laws of physics do not work at this point. Therefore, today’s physics can not explain this start point. It is not possible for today’s physics to say that the universe began with the Big Bang. It could say only if we went back 13,7 billion years we would face with an very hot universe which was smaller than an atom.
The Big Bang theory has brought new problems related to cosmology. Some of these problems are:
• The theory has suggested that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. But it did not explain why it should be so.
• How can be explained that two extremely distant regions of the universe have the same essential characteristics? In the past these regions have been very close to each other. But how can we understand that there would be any of exchanging information between them?
• Why does the universe behave according to same laws of physics throughout 13,7 billion years? How can we expect that the current laws of physics might remain so far a very long time?
These problems are tried to overcome by adding many new parameters to the theory.
This theory is accepted as appropriate to the creationist idea of the universe by some philosophers. Because they think that the Big Bang theory is in agreement with the idea “Onset of the Universe”. But some scientists think that the data of astrology and cosmology could not be overlapped with any philosophy or theology. In contrast, some astrophysicists argued that the subject could be associated with the presence of God. For example, the astrophysicist Hugg Ross made the following statement about the subject:
“Time is the dimension of the occurring of events. If the substance has emerged with the Big Bang, the reason of the appearing universe must be completely independent of time and location. This shows us that the Creator of the universe, is beyond of all dimensions in the universe.”
In this article we will discuss the Big Bang theory according to the mystical aspect. For this reason, we will examine the existential (ontological) structure of universe. Then, we will describe the similarities and contradictions between Sufism and theory. We hope that our article would be useful to our friends who are interested in the subject.
Existential (ontological) Structure of Nature
Many people today understand the concept of nature as the conception of universe which can be perceived by the senses and the mind. However, this is not true, because there exist realms outside of the nature perceived by the senses and the mind. These realms can not be perceived by senses and mind. To perceive these realms is necessary at first faith and then science and Sufism. (Look at the article “Three Beauty: Faith, Science, Sufism). That is, it is possible to understand these realms with Sufism in the finale stage. But it is necessary the light of faith and science to be able to come to the last stage. After placing them at his heart he can enter into Sufism. This means that he has the knowledge of secrets. The people who have the knowledge of secrets, can understand some of the secrets of the nature by the revelation method. But some of these secrets are closed to exploration. To access to all the secrets of the realms is not possible, because the structure of realms has the divine elements which can not be explored by human. Below we will try to explain the revelation information of the Sufis about the ontological structure of universe.
What we perceive in the universe with the senses are in fact the copies and reflection of their main truths in the unseen and unknown realm. For example, an animal or a plant in the world has an absolute truth in the unseen realm. This truth is also called the evident constant (ayan-ý sabite). Therefore, at first the evident constant of things have been created in the unseen realms and then brought to the seen world. Accordingly, the start of creation should be addressed at the unseen realm. To understand the creation in the unseen realm, it is necessary to consider the creation in the unseen realm from the beginning. As we explained in our article “Existence in Sufism”, we can start with the following hadith about the unseen realm:
“God was there, and there was nothing else with Him. He is, as in now.” (Hadith)
The meaning of this hadith is that at the beginning God was presence and there was not anything else whose own presence was obligatory.
The first created existence in the realm is the first mind. It is the first created thing which is incomparable. Then, without any time interval, the nefs (self) is created from first mind. The nefs is the protected tablet (Lawh-ý Mahfuz) on which is written everything which will occur until the Day of Judgment in this world. This tablet is the knowledge of God about His creatures. From Nefs (Self) is created the essence of Hebâ. Hebâ is a dark essence which has no light. God has created the order of nature between Nefs and Hebâ. The order of nature does not exist, but it can be only perceived. It means that the order of nature has no any being but it can be perceived by the human mind and thinking. Then God put the reasons and wisdom (unknown reason) in the nature.
God has connected the nature with the causes and consequences. The removal of the causes is no longer possible. God has put the authorities for the causes they can not be rejected. All the physical causality principles in nature today are these causes and authorities.
God has created the whole body as an essence in Hebâ by a manifestation. All objects we see in nature are different copies of the this essence. The essence of body is a single truth but its copies are different from each other.
Almighty Allah has created everything on the occasion of a specific cause. Everything has gained its presence through a special manifestation of God. Cause does not know the nature of this manifestation.
We can understand the being of the causes as a means in the following way. At the time of orientation to the cause, God has occurred a divine manifestation and a divine orientation and thus the thing gained the existence. If the divine manifestation and orientation would not occur, then the existence would not come into being. Actually the things have passed from one existence to an another one. That means, the things have passed from the existence in knowledge to the existence in outside.
Revelations information says that to every material is connected a spiritual soul. This soul accompanies the material on the outside. We perceive the sensorial and physical properties of material with our senses. But we could not perceive the spiritual and divine properties of the materials with our senses. It is an evaluation in the esoteric side.
We know from the verses of Quran that everything are live in the universe. We observe this liveliness in some experiments (such as entanglement feature). The mutual influence of the things and being in contact with each other are due to this vitality. However, to fully understand the vitality of the substances is not possible through both exploration and mind. This is because of that the face of the substances directed to their Creator, i.e. God, could not be known fully.
In the universe there is no a voluntary force outside of God. The real reason of facts and things in the universe is the truth of the divine orders. These divine truths are the beautiful names and the sublime attributes of Allah. When you look at all substances in the universe in unity and in detail, you observe the oneness of Allah accompanying the beings and never leaving them.
The evident constants are considered in eternity as absence. However the presence of God spread in the truths of substances according to their capabilities. So the existence of substances in the world occurred in the order following each other. This is the real beginning of cosmos. This process continuous for ever and ends never. Cosmos is the place where God appears with His beautiful names and sublime attributes. Therefore the appearing of God in the cosmos will be named as Possibility. All things in the cosmos are considered as possible.
All possible things is connected to their Creator. This connection is because of the need of the possible in being existence. Although the possible things existed, it is always in the case of possibility. If they vanish, they do not come out of the case of possibility.
What is seen through the exploration of these issues is not possible to put them into literally statements. The reason of failure here is that the First Cause is not known. This first cause is the essence of God. Therefore, through both the discovery and mind, it is impossible to understand all the secrets of creation.
Studying the Big Bang in terms of Sufism
1) When the Big Bang theory is suggested, the people have lost their belief that the secret of universe’s creation could be resolved by physicists. So the people have believed that in this issue they should turn toward God again. Because the people have seen all reached experimental results since the beginning of the emergence of the theory available in the Islamic faith.
Hubble proved the expanding of universe empirically in 1929. This fact is mentioned in the verse.
“We built the universe with our might, giving it its vast expanse.” (Al-Dhariyat, verse 47)
According to this verse, God expands the sky. This verse support the Hubble’s experiment. So the Muslims tried to understand the Big Bang theory.
2) The theory claimed with removing the time backwards that the universe had been in a very small structure in ancient times. According to the theory, the universe had been extremely dense and hot 13,7 billion years ago. But it could not explain the zero point which is accepted the beginning point of cosmos. Therefore, the people are led to think that the issue in the zero point occurred by a divine power. These considerations have led the people to understand the existence of God again and the initial creation event. This has recalled Muslims to verse 117 of Surah al-Bagarah. Meaning of this verse is as follows:
“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth, and when He decrees something, He says only, “Be!” and it is.” (Al-Bagarah, verse 117)
According to this verse, the creation is only the work of God. His creation takes place in a moment.
3) According to physicists, the beginning point of Cosmos is the zero point in removing the time backwards. But this opinion is not correct. Because in Islamic faith, the reality of universe is created by God first in absence form in the unseen realm, then are exported to the seen world by God. Therefore, the beginning of the universe’s creation is not the zero point, but is the first creation of universe in absence form. We described this creation in detail above. This is confirmed is many verses of the Quran. We give some of them as follows:
“Say, “Shall I take as my protector someone other than God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, who feeds all and is fed by none?” Say, “I have been commanded to be the first of those who submit. Do not be one of the polytheists.”(Al-An’am, verse14)
“Then Joseph prayed, “My Lord, You have given me power and taught me the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and the earth. You are my patron in this world and the Hereafter! Make me die in submission to You and admit me among the righteous.” (Joseph, verse 101)
4) Physicists imagine that the first elementary particles occurred in a very short time after Big Bang under the high temperatures and extremely dense. Then all objects in the universe occurred at various stages.
In Sufism, it is believed that every object in the universe is created first in the absence as reality and then these objects gained the existence in the world by the manifestation of existence. It means that God creates the objects in the universe with the manifestation when the time comes for creation. Immediately after creation in the world we perceive the objects through our senses. According to the Islamic faith, God repeats always the creation in the universe. This is indicated in following verses:
“God originates the creation, and shall repeat it, then to Him you shall be returned.” (Al-Rum, verse 11)
“He is the One who originates creation, then repeats it, and it is very easy for Him…” (Al-Rum, verse27)
According to these verses the creation in the universe is repeated. So when two protons collide in CERN, the new emerging particles are created by God again. The interaction of particles and the appearance of new particles in the nuclei of atom have the same character.
5) The physicists express that the Big Bang event had the property of homogeneity, that is it occurred throughout the universe. According to them, it has been a major explosive event at every point in the universe. There is no a special point in the universe at which the Big Bang occurred. This conception has brought the concept of parallel universes. Parallel universes have not been experimentally observed up today. But in Sufism is accepted that there are many other realms outside our world that we can not perceive with our senses. The number of these realms are 18.000 basing on a hadith. Some Sufis expressed that there are other realms in which people live as we live on the world. They claimed that they have gone to these realms personally and talked with the people there and seen what happened there.
One of these Sufis is Ýbn Arabi (ks). He tells the secrets and strangeness of these realms in the Chapter 8 of 1. Volume of his famous book “Fütûhât-ý Mekkiyye”. He named this realm as “Truth World”. Some of his explanations are below:
“Truth world does not accept anything from our world outside of their realm and the spirit world belongs to us. Therefore wise men go there with their souls not with their bodies on our world and go there spiritually. When wise man enters this truth world, one of the people there runs to wise man and clothes him a dress according to his order. The wise man is taken for a walk in this realm… It is possible for him to talk with a stone or with a tree or with anything as he spoke with his friends… Seas of Truth World do not interfere with each other…The creatures of Truth World grow there like other plants without genital… their saddle horses grow or become smaller according to the driver’s wishes… In this world there are cities called lighted town…The people of this world know God best.
6) The researchers guided by the Big Bang theory has caused the spread of the idea that the strong and weak electromagnetic force are the different appearance of an interaction force. This is considered in “Grand Unified Theory”. It is thought that this unique interaction force occurs at temperatures above1029 degrees. Thus universe must have had a stage in which this theory had found an application field. This may indeed be a right approach in terms of Sufism. Because according to Sufism the reality of all physical forces is unique in the unseen realm. When this unique force emerged on the seen world, it acted as a single interaction force at the beginning. But all the existence suffered metamorphosis in the time. Thus this single interaction force will undergo metamorphosis and turn into a variety of interaction forces.
As a result of the fact that the universe expands, the Big Bang Theory claimed that the universe emerged in a zero time point but the science of physics is not enough to understand this point. This view point has led the people to the idea that there should be a Creator. This view is available in the Islamic faith. However, the envision of the theory that the creation of the universe starts at zero point is incorrect. According to Islam, the creation has begun in the unseen realm then emerged with a presence manifestation in the external world. The universe, as the physicists envisioned, is not created in zero point. The process of creation of the universe and all realm are described in Sufism. Besides the existential structure of the nature is disclosed in detail in Sufism. We have endeavored to explain these details in this article and the previous articles in our website. We recommend also examining the other articles we published to the people who are interested in the subject.
Having correct beliefs and thinks is the duty of every Muslim. Therefore, all kinds of scientific theories and ideas put forward in the world, should be understand in the dimensions of the Islamic faith. Our main aim is to help our Muslim friends in this regard. We hope that the articles we published in our website would be useful to our friends. We petition God that all peace and blessings of God would be upon them.
“101 Questions in Quantum”, K.W.Ford, Alfa, Istanbul, 2011 (Turkish Edition)
“Big Bang”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
“Fütûhat-I Mekkiyye”, Ibn Arabî, Litera Yayýncýlýk, Istanbul, 2012 (Turkish Edition)
“The Creator and the Cosmos”, H. Ross, New Press, Colorado, 1995
“The Large-Scale Structure of Space-Time”, Hawking, S. W.;Ellis, G.F.R., Cambridge University Press, 1973
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Big Bang and Sufisim
Publishing Date : 21.12.2016