Why I Embraced Islam?
Dr. Maurice Bucaille is a surgeon by profession. He is also a renowned scholar. In order to be able to read Quran in its original text and to study its meaning and purport through direct access to its early and modern commentaries, he devoted himself to the learning of Arabic language at the ripe age of fifty.
Thereafter, he made a beginning by trying to reconcile proven scientific truths with religious axioms. As a result of these studies, he wrote his famous book “QURAN, BIBLE AND SCIENCE” in 1976, which caused a furor in high academic circles – particularly in the Christian world.
After a deeper study of Islam and the Quran, he has authored another book titled, “THE ORIGIN OF MAN”. It comprised Quranic explanations of some of the queries raised much earlier than the period when those queries were logically and satisfactorily resolved by scientific experimentation, to be fully in conformity with the explanations provided by Quran about 1500 years before. The Church acknowledged and accepted these researches of Dr. Bucaille to be a valuable contribution to human knowledge and the author became famous all over the world, like Cambridge, and Oxford Universities in U.K. & Yale and Harvard in USA. He was invited to give Extension Lectures in their academic institutions. By dint of his Quranic thought, and by virtue of his unprejudiced and realistic approach to Quranic thought, and by virtue of his unprejudiced and realistic discussion and research work, Dr. Bucaille has converted a number of high ranking scholars to agree with him and to subscribe to his view that the Quran is a Divine Book, not authored by any human being and actually a Book of Revelations from Almighty God to His Last Prophet, Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him.
M. Bucaille is of the view that his findings in this behalf are a cause of consternation and chagrin to Western scholars because of their earlier exposure to false and fictitious propaganda against Islam and its Prophet (S.A.W.), by the Christian clergy and by biased Western writers and authors. This misguided class of people could not believe that Quran was the only Scripture which had remained sacrosanct and free from all additions, alterations and interpolations and consequently it still retained the purity to guide mankind in all ages, places and in every conceivable crisis.
For over 1400 years it has been the only treasure house of ecclesiastical and cosmic knowledge about the universe and life itself. Mankind has not yet to progress and proceed to a stage where it can fully be au fait with all the pearls and gems of wisdom and truth, garnered in its bosom by this miracle of literacy, excellence and academic purity which could not be matched even in one small sentence by the literary giants of yore, in spite of an open challenge to this effect.
Q: What urged you so forcefully to undertake a study of the Quran and other scriptures, and why?
A: Like all other Frenchmen, I was also initially of the view that Islam was a religion conceived and introduced by a genius and a remarkable man of great intellect, known by the name of Mohammed (S.A.W.). Fifty years ago, by the Grace of God, I became professionally qualified to practice as a surgeon, and used to discuss and compare (views on) Islam and Christianity with my patients who came to consult me (and with my co-professionals). I was told by some of them that my knowledge of Islam and about its discipline was to a great extent misconceived and mistaken. In the beginning I was inclined to doubt them, but now and then some people produced actual and original Quranic Verses in contradiction of my references, and I was compelled to revise my conclusions. And, as a result of this revision and review, I felt that they were right and I was wrong.
I found that those who had been my teachers had a wrong approach to the problem and had imparted incorrect information to me. My knowledge of Islam, until then, had been restricted to Radio and T.V. reviews, articles published in various magazines and reproduced in biased treatise books. But I was perplexed; what should I do? How should I amend my position and rectify my understanding?
Q: When did this happen?
A: After the 8th Vatican Conference but before the birth of a tolerant attitude on the part of European scholars gravitating to unbiased thought, i.e. before 1926, when the cleavage between Muslims and Christian scholars was at its zenith and there was no prospect of a direct dialogue between them.
Q: How did you react to this situation?
A: There was only one road open to me then, that of learning Arabic language so that I could study the Holy Book, Quran, in its original form and try to get at its meaning directly. I devoted the next two years to this task when I had acquired enough knowledge of Arabic (in language and literature) to be able to make a dependable study of the Quran faithfully as well as academically.
Q: And how did this benefit you?
A: I knew then that the Quran was the “Work of Allah” and had not been authored by any human being. I was also convinced that Mohammed (S.A.W.) was a true Prophet of God.
Q: The world is now celebrating the first centenary of Darwin, do you subscribe to Darwinian theory or disagree with it?
A: No Sir, I oppose it vehemently. Darwin’s theory is totally based on a misconception and is not at all the outcome of such a scientific research as could prove that there exists the slightest relation between man and the theory of evolution of species as propounded by him. In fact his views are nothing but the misguided and misconceived calculations of a purely materialistic mind. My latest book (Origin of Man) contains a comprehensive “Rebuttal Article” on Darwin and his views.
Q: Are you of the opinion that Darwin was aware of his error?
A: Yes, I think he knew the error he committed. The scholars, who are fond of materialism, have propounded innumerable theories, mostly incorrect, and the fun of it is that they are aware of their fallacies. However, being materialist, they stick to their wrong attitude. In my book I have criticized some of these scholars, several of whom are Nobel Prize winners.
Q: Do you think your writings have had direct repercussion on people outside France?
A: Yes, Recently, only a few days ago, I visited Northern and Western African countries, where I was repeatedly called upon to address innumerable gatherings of educated persons including scholars, on the Origin of Man and about my first book: the Quran, Bible and Science. I was closely cross- examined about my views by some of the most qualified, even hostile, elements. Following this, countless students and scholars contacted and congratulated me. They declared that after listening to me, they had, for the first time, been able to feel convinced of the truth of the Quranic statements about the creation of universe and origin of man. Some of them frankly admitted that my writings and lectures had restored in them a firm certainty of belief and faith and converted them into True Muslims, who actually felt solace and pleasure now in saying their “prayers”. They declared that the element of doubt and dilly-dalliance in faith was entirely due to the misconceived theories of some of these so-called Western scholars whose theories had been adopted as gospel truth.
Q: What is the verdict of Science on Man; and why this conflict between Science and Religion on this score?
A: In my book, “Origin of Man”, I have endeavored to explain what is dubious and what is proved according to scientific findings. I have also dealt with the theories formerly supported by scholars, but now their very basis is being demolished and proved to be without sound scientific footing. In 1851, Darwin published his first book, “Origin of Species”. In it he has pointed out that “All animals can procreate amongst themselves”, but he did not take the trouble to demonstrate and prove scientifically his view that the “Genealogy of Man” extends up to monkey.
Q: Then who is responsible for propounding this frivolous theory?
A: The fact is that some other people metamorphosing and without statements digesting his theories, assigned wrong statements to Darwin, which comprised the assumption that “Man has evolved from apes”. Nevertheless, it is also true that Darwin did not care to contradict such false notions assigned to him as it was in this connection and on this topic that confrontation occurred between the supporters of Darwin and the Clergy, where both the parties roundly abused and maligned each other. That is why it is now essential that a line of demarcation should always be drawn between the results of scientific investigations and arbitrary views of scholars like Darwin.
Q: By such scientific discourses, debates and discussions even Scriptures, are exposed to scientific test resulting in exposing their errors and pin-pointing their weaknesses. As such, may we inquire if you have some across any such anomalies in the Quran, i.e. where its expositions and explanations are in contrast to scientific findings?
A: The Scriptures of non-Muslims have been copied and passed on from generation to generation and through different personalities. The oldest document of this nature is “Jehovah”, which was written some time during 9th Century A.D. This book, although not voluminous, is still the most comprehensive document of its kind. The second book (Sacrodotal), although generally treated as Preface to the Bible, came to light in 600 B.C. It deals with the creation of universe and the appearance of Man on earth and the stories narrating the events following it. The Bible comes thereafter, but the books of the “New Testament” do not throw much light on the problem of Man. They repeat the statements of the Old Testament as adopted by St. Luke. Quran made its appearance six hundred years after Jesus and furnished valuable material on Man and his creation which was (and still is) totally lacking in the Old as well as the New Testaments and other Scriptures. What is more important is this context is that unlike the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, Quran is completely free from errors and interpolations.
Q: In your opinion, what are the main causes of such plentiful errors in other Scriptures?
A: The compilers of the Holy Scriptures, in their vanity, presumed to have compiled them on the basis of heavenly revelations. But all their efforts were the echoes of their period resounding the thoughts prevalent in that particular environment. They presented the conception of Man and the phenomenon of his creation as if enunciated by God Himself, though it merely reflected the traditions the rite and the perceptions well known and prevalent at that time. This fact is admitted unanimously by all the exegetes of the Bible, be they Roman Catholics or Protestants.
Q: Does the church also admit this fact and subscribe to this view?
A: Yes Sir. The church did accept this truth which was incorporated in the proceedings on the occasion of the second Vatican conference, which was held to declare the “Revolutionary Nature of Old and New Testaments”. They admitted that some parts of these Bibles are defective and contradictory in purport.
Q: What are your views about the Quran in this behalf?
A: Now this is a matter of entirely a different nature. All scholars of the Quran are unanimous that the Quran is the “Word of God” as revealed to His Last Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) through Gabriel (The Angel of Revelation). I have studied the Book (Quran) very carefully and have not come across one single instance of scientific fallacy any where in it. On the contrary, I have felt that the (higher) truths and realities inherent in Quranic Text have been, throughout the history of 1400 years, beyond the comprehension of ordinary human beings which in itself, is positive proof that the Quran is the Word of God and it is (at places) beyond intellectual potential of mortal man; be he an excellent scholar or philosopher of the highest caliber, who is not always able to explain the inherent realities of nature as revealed in the Quran. What obviously conflicts with scientific truth is the assumption of the Bible that although life erupted in the form of various species, which have endured, there has been no evolution or improvement in their functions. On the other hand according to the Quran, Man has transgressed through gigantic changes in the course of the entire history of humanity. I felt it very necessary to inform the Christians of the world of this very serious discrepancy in the Bible. As it happen to be impartial, truthful and very outspoken in my studies, I have been repeatedly called upon from time to time to express my views regarding these matters before distinguished gatherings. On all such occasions, I have always dealt with the subject from the scientific point of view, ignoring the ecclesiastic or theological context. Whatever has appeared to be dubious or fit for further investigation, I have tried to put it on the touchstone of criticism and have not allowed to pass it unchallenged.
Q: Have you embraced Islam?
A: I wanted to make it quite clear in the very beginning that even before I learnt the first letter of Bismillah, I was convinced that God was unique and all- powerful and when God guided me to undertake a study of the Quran, my inner soul cried out that Al- Quran was the Word of God revealed to his Last Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.).
In my book “Quran, Bible and Science,” I have mentioned these facts and the book has met with instant success in the entire Christian world. In this book I have devoted myself to discuss all problems from purely academic angle, rather than that of faith or belief which would have revealed only my personal convictions. This was because I desired to be treated by the world as an academician rather than a theologian. About my faith and belief, God knows what is in one’s heart. I am convinced that if I identify myself with any creed, people will invariably dub me as one belonging to such and such group and feel that whatever I say or do, I do so from only the angle of such and such creed group. I know my fellow beings very well and understand their mentality only too well. I wanted to assure them that all my pronouncements are based on scientific knowledge and not on any religious dogmas.
Q: This is O.K., but since you have referred to God’s complete awareness with what is in one’s heart, may we ask what is your opinion about human heart?
A: Heart is not an apparent and perceptible organ of the body. It is the abode of faith and source of eternal light.
Q: What are your views on Islamic mission and its future in the west?
A: The best method is to approach the people through in their own language. I am using the world language in its broadest sense, i.e. comprehensive of all the factors which go to make any language complete and expressive of peoples’ views and beliefs. The principles and the regulations towards which you are inviting their attention, should be presented in the style with which you are familiar and which is popular among them. In my book “Quran Bible and Science”, I have adopted a new style to acquaint the readers with Quranic truths and to understand the intrinsic value of al-Quran. This unprejudiced and impartial viewpoint of mine gave an impetus to the wide circulation in my books. Firstly, I tried to find out the central point of attention of the Christians and the style that appeals to their common sense. Thereafter I achieved this success. After the publication of these books I received a number of letters from great academicians and research scholars as well as commoners in which they expressed their interest in my study of Al-Quran and appreciated it. They felt satisfied with my views about the Bible and confirmed the fallacies pointed out by me. I once entertained some Christians at home, in which they expressed their astonishment over the literature I produced regarding Islam and inquired the names of exegesis to acquire correct information about it.
Q: What are your activities now?
A: We are now trying to produce a film on “Science, the Quran and the Origin of Man” as a matter of fact I have deep friendly relations with Malaysia. The provincial branch of “Dawa-Islamia” has passed a resolution to produce a film on the Quran and the director of the producing company visited Paris to prepare a plan for it. This film is to be in Technicolor. The duration of its presentation is fifty-five minutes being devoted to the Quran and the history of the facts related to it, the verses of the Quran are depicted in this film. Thus it is of great importance. Six hundred thousand dollars have been collected to produce this film. The preparation of this film has already been started. To begin with it will be produced in five languages, and then it will be extended up to ten. The first print will be in English, then Arabic and French, and thereafter in other languages. It will be circulated throughout the world.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186