In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allāh informs us in a number of verses that the Qur’aan is a guidance for humankind and that it guides to the truth, guides to the straight path and to that which is most just. Every affair that contains good, rectification and benefit, the Qur’aan guides the slaves to it and to the right course. Allāh [The Most High] said:
الر كتاب أنزلناه إليك لتخرج الناس من الظلمات إلى النور بإذن ربهم إلى صراط العزيز الحميد الله الذي له ما في السماوات وما في الأرض وويل للكافرين من عذاب شديد
Alif-Lam-Ra. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings]. (This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allah and Islamic Monotheism) by their Lord’s Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise. Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth! And woe unto the disbelievers from a severe torment. [Surah Ibraaheem. Aayaat 1-2]
Allāh [The Most High] informs us that He revealed the Qur’aan to His Messenger Muhammad at a time when there was increased ignorance, injustice, darkness and various types of evils, in order to remove the people from that state of increased darkness, teach them what they did not know, stimulate their resolve, arouse their enthusiasm and sentiments towards goodness, guide them to belief in Him and His Messengers, and obedience to Him and His Messenger [Muhammad]; so their knowledge and understanding illuminated, their path became clear, their behaviour became upright and by way of that they accomplished many good things, and evil and harm were repelled from them.
Whoever receives this book- which is the greatest blessing- with sound understanding and complete acceptance, complete submission to its commands and guidance which contains different matters of wellbeing for the religion and worldly affairs, then indeed he has been established on the straight path. And whoever turns away or opposes it, he is a disbeliever whose state of affairs are corrupted, and woe unto the disbelievers from a severe torment. That is because their disbelief is not due to an ambiguity and concealment of the truth, but rather their disbelief emanated from a desire for luxury (based on disobedience) and love of the worldly life, which hindered them from guidance and truth, so they gave precedence to the worldly life over the Hereafter, and these are the ones who are far astray. And which misguidance can be greater than that of one who gives precedence to desires over guidance, misery over happiness and evil over good?! Allāh [The Most High] said:
[إن في ذلك لذكرى لمن كان له قلب أو ألقى السمع وهو شهيد – Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful]. [Surah Qaaf. Aayah 37]
This is because the intellect alone cannot independently acquire knowledge and awareness of Allāh; neither how to worship Allāh nor its details, nor the details regarding the Hereafter until it is guided by the light of the revelation which Allāh revealed to His Messenger; then it would possess a heart that has sound ideas, perceptions, will and intent, and aspirations that urge the person to choose what is beneficial over what is harmful, and choose what is good over evil, guidance over misguidance, and choose beautiful manners over its opposite. If the heart that is alive examines the revelation, contemplate on the truth which the Messengers brought with regards to creed, manners and deeds, it will not prefer anything over it; for indeed it will know that there is nothing after the truth except falsehood. Perceptions and sciences alone are not enough without a heart that grasps what good and truth are; rather definitely its harms will be numerous due to being devoid of Eemaan and sound guidance. And with regards the haughtiness of those who possess these sciences (nowadays), Allāh stated about those who were similar to them:
وجعلنا لهم سمعا وأبصارا وأفئدة فما أغنى عنهم سمعهم ولا أبصارهم ولا أفئدتهم من شيء إذ كانوا يجحدون بآيات الله وحاق بهم ما كانوا به يستهزئون
And We had assigned them the (faculties of) hearing (ears), seeing (eyes), and hearts, but their hearing (ears), seeing (eyes), and their hearts availed them nothing since they used to deny the Ayat (Allah’s Prophets and their Prophethood, proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, and they were completely encircled by that which they used to mock at!” [Surah Al-Ahqaaf. Aayah 26]
So their willful denial of Allāh’s signs and revelations, arrogantly turning away from them, mocking and belittling its people necessitated that they lose the benefit of their hearing, sight and their hearts, so this did not cease to be their abiding behaviour until punishment was justified against them. Therefore, see what their sciences were, which were not built upon sound faith; but rather they were decayed and perverted sciences due to their opposition to the Messengers, persistence upon disbelief and denying the truth. We seek refuge in Allah from knowledge that does not benefit. [An Excerpt from Ad-Dalaa’il Al-Qur’aaniyyah Fee Annal Uloom Wal-A’maal An-Naafi’ah Al-Asriyyah Daakhilatun Fid Deen Al-Islaamiy. pages 11-13. Slightly paraphrased]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allaah brought the servant out of his mother’s womb whilst he knew nothing, not able to do anything and owned nothing; neither able to give nor take; neither able to harm nor benefit. This state of neediness until he reached a more perfect state is something witnessed and tangible for everyone [to see], and i is well known that this is the very essence of the human being and he remains upon that state. He does not move from this state and enters into a state of Lordship – a state in which he becomes absolutely self-sufficient and not need of anyone and anything; rather he does not cease being a slave, a needy one to his Rabb [Allaah the Creator, All-Provider and the Only One Who Controls and Sustains Everything] and His Faatir [Allaah, The Originator and Creator of Everything].
However, after the human being was granted blessings, shown mercy, granted the means to reach a more perfect state, and Allaah -out of His Perfect Kindness and Generosity- granted him apparent blessings [i.e. to recognize the Messengers who were sent with Islamic Monotheism, granted him the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.] and the hidden blessings [i.e. granted him the innate disposition to recognize his Lord when the Messenger calls him to Eemaan, and granted him knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.], granted him hearing, sight and a heart, and taught him [i.e. gave him the means to knowledge], granted him ability, subjugated things to him, granted him [the desire and enthusiasm to pursue what is beneficial, and take action], enabled him to receive the service of those of his kind [i.e. gave him authority over other humans], subjugated to him horses and camels, gave him the ability to capture the animals in the sea, drop birds from the sky, subjugate wild animals, dig wells [irrigate water etc], plant trees, dig the earth, learn how to build, acquire the things that are of benefit to him, guard against and protect himself from that which is harmful to him; then the Miskeen [i.e. this absolutely poor, dependent human being] thinks that he has a share of authority and claims – for himself – a kingship [or authority] similar to that of Allaah [Glorified be Allaah and free is Allaah from all imperfections, partners, coequals, similarities etc], and begins to see himself in a manner other than what he was at first, forgets his [prior] state of non-existence, poverty and neediness, until he becomes as if he was not that poor and needy thing. [An Excerpt from Tareequl Hijratayn. pages 9-10. slightly paraphrased]
How to Approach The Contemporary Worldly Sciences
Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may allaah preserve him] said: The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: Verily, the creation of each of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days as a drop [of water, semen], then he is a clot for a similar period, then a morsel for a similar period…. [An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth. Hadeeth 4]
It is well known that during that era, the Sahaabah did not know these stages (of development of the human being in the womb) through experimental knowledge, vision [i.e. by way X-rays or ultrasound that enables the human to see something in the womb) or other than that; rather it was simply (a statement of the Prophet) which they (believed and affirmed). They were scholars by way of the revelation sent down to the Prophet and not by way of experimentation (examination). [Sharh Al-Arba’een. Hadeeth 4]
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: We do not say, “We do not give consideration to anything stated by the people in the subject matter regarding medicine, astronomy and the celestial bodies”, however, we do not accept everything they say. If what they say opposes the Book and the (authentic) Sunnah, then indeed we do not accept their statements. We take [i.e. believe and affirm without any doubt] that which is conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah], and we say, “An era will come in which the people will bear witness to the falsity of those statements of theirs – at present – that are in opposition to the Book and Sunnah and (bear witness) to the soundness of that which has been conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah. [An excerpt from the ‘Explanation of Bulooghul Maraam’ Vol 1. page 130. Shared by Ustaadh abu Tasneem (Mushaf Al-Banghaalee- may Allaah preserve him)]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Indeed, that which is stated by the astronomers about the celestial bodies, their sizes and the distance between them, and that which is said about the earth [i.e. by the geologists etc] is categorized into three affairs: [a] That which is backed by the sound knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the Sharee’ah], therefore it is accepted. [b] That which the knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the sharee’ah] declares to be false, therefore it is rejected. [c] That which there is no proof to either accept or reject it, therefore it is unproven until a person from the people of knowledge [i.e. upright scholars of Ahlus Sunnah] examines it [i.e. examines what it indicates based on the Book and Sunnah] to show whether it should be accepted or rejected. As for accepting it without [sound] investigation and observation, but merely accepting it by blindly following them [i.e. the astronomers, geologists etc], then this is impermissible because of the numerous mistakes that occur as a result of that, and speaking -without knowledge – about Allaah and that which He has created [i.e. the entire universe and all that is within it]. [An Excerpts from ‘Al-Adillah An-Naqliyyah Wal-Hissiyyah Alaa Imkaanis Su’ood Ilal Kawaakib Wa Alaa Jarayaan Ash-Shams Wal-Qamar Wa Sukoon Al-Ard’ page 74. slightly paraphrased]
Therefore, we return to those honest investigators – those students of sound Aqeedah who are well acquainted with both the statements of the upright scholars and the contemporary worldly sciences, such as the likes of Dr. Shaikh Abu Iyaadh Amjad Rafiq [may Allaah preserve him, increase him in beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds. And likewise preserve all the students and Ahlus Sunnah Aameen]. Read: Understanding the Two Definitions of ‘Science’ in Operation – By Shaikh Dr. Abu Iyaadh: http://www.aboutatheism.net/articles/juvtbpd-understanding-the-two-definitions-of-science-and-scientific-enquiry.cfm