18 Jun 2016
M. Hisham Hawasli
This short video presents an unnamed speaker discussing a connection he sees between television shows by Carl Sagan and Brian Green about the universe with a ḥadīth, a narrative about something the Prophet Muḥammad said. Greene’s presentation of our world being part of a multiverse, the speaker says, ties to divinely inspired words about the vastness and layers of the universe described in the seventh century.
This material is not presented as iʿjāz, that is, as proving the divine source of scripture. Rather, the speaker suggests that his understanding of the contemporary science for the universe reminds him of a ḥadīth. He provides the ḥadīth in both Arabic and English, although he does not reference its source in published ḥadīth collections, nor mention its status (sound, questionable, etc) among ḥadīth scholars.
The speaker leaves two Arabic terms untranslated: al-kursi, the throne [of God], and al-arsh, the roofed structure, another term for the throne of God.
The speaker, although unnamed in the video, is Dr. M. Hisham Hawasli, a cardiologist in Atlanta, Georgia who is also a frequent preacher and speaker at the al-Farooqi Masjid in Atlanta, the city’s largest mosque. Born and raised in Damascus, Syria, where he graduated from medical school in 1972, Hawasli has lived in the US since the 1980s. This video seems to have been a part of a series for Ramadan 1347 (2016). More videos in this series (which do not contain science) are available on the curator’s channel.
Hawasli presents a conventional Muslim religiosity. The material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.
The presentation of science here is brief, and expresses confidence in the science discussed in public broadcasting presentations by physicists and astrophysicists. He does this without implying any particular overlap between science and religion, only that the currently understood science reminded him of a ḥadīth.
There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.