At the time of lunar landing in 1969, I had just completed bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics and was on my way to starting master’s studies in physics in Lahore, Pakistan. General Ayub Khan had resigned a few months before under political pressure and General Yahya Khan had taken over as president.
Having studied science and being familiar with the Islamic teaching, I knew that man with proper planning and necessary means could leave earth’s atmosphere and aim for the moon, earth’s closest neighbor. Many people around me thought that human beings could not leave earth. After the moon landing, some people thought that the story was a Hollywood production and the news were a fabrication and propaganda. Five decades after, some people still doubt the lunar landing.
- Local residents recall epic moon landing 50 years ago
- McFeely: 1969 moon landing through the lens of Forum front pages
Humanity has since advanced greatly in science and technology to explore and learn about the heavens spread beyond human imagination. Every great discovery of a time continues to be proven later as only a small glimpse into the vast expanse of universe. Curiosity continues to push man to tirelessly speculate and search for life beyond earth.
The Quran declared 1,400 years ago that God has created other earths and heavens similar to ours. “God is He Who created seven heavens, and of the earth the like thereof. The divine command comes down in their midst, that you may know that God has power over all things, and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge” (65:12/13).
The Quran also indicated 1,400 years ago that God has created extraterrestrial life in the other worlds. “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of whatever living creatures He has spread forth in both.”
The latter part of the same verse gives humans the news of the eventual success of their efforts in search of life beyond earth, and that one day they will be brought together. “And He has the power to gather them together when He pleases” (42:29/30).
This contact is not possible without advancement in science and technology for man to be able to travel through space while being in earth-like atmosphere. Man is destined to continue to advance in space travel until he meets others he is destined to meet using the rides that were to be developed in future as mentioned in the Quran.
“And the cattle too He has created; you find in them warmth and other uses; and some of them you eat. And in them there is beauty for you when you bring them home in the evening, and when you drive them forth to pasture in the morning. And they carry your loads to a land which you could not reach except with great hardship to yourselves. Surely, your Lord is Compassionate, Merciful. And He has created horses and mules and asses that you may ride them, and as a source of beauty. And He will create what you do not yet know (16:5/6-8/9)."
(Ref: “Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth”)