Islamic Perspectives

Science journal publishes Quran-based theory on phenomena of life and death


Prof. P.A. Wahid

For the first time in the history of science, a theory based on Qur’anic revelations has been published in a mainstream peer-reviewed science journal. Prof. Pallacken Abdul Wahid’s paper “Memetics of the computer universe based on the Qur’an” has been published in the July 2010 issue of US-based Journal of Software Engineering and Applications which is both an open-access ( and a print journal. The theory describes the universe as a programmed system designed and created by God. The computer model of the universe was first proposed by Dr. Wahid in 1998 in his book The Divine Expert System published by the Muslim Association for Advancement of Science (MAAS), Aligarh. Subsequently he published three books on this subject (The Computer Universe: A Scientific Rendering of the Holy Qur’an, An Introduction to Islamic Science and The Great Gene Fiasco: The Qur’an Defines Life), and one against evolutionary theory Darwinism: Science Made to Order. All these books were published by Delhi-based Adam Publishers. The books are available at his website

Following the publication of his first book in 1998, at least three other books authored by scientists in the US and elsewhere have come out suggesting that the universe is a computer from a purely scientific angle. Besides describing the universe as a programmed system, the computer concept proposed by Dr. Wahid also helps to explain several Qur’anic revelations scientifically. He used the Qur’anic revelations in conjunction with science to develop an integrated holistic knowledge, which he refers to as Islamic Science.

From the scientific angle, an important outcome of the Qur’an-science fusion is the clear understanding of the phenomena of life and death, which have hitherto remained a mystery in biology – the science of life. These phenomena have been defined and explained in the light of the Qur’anic revelations. Prof. Wahid attributes the failure to explain these phenomena in biology to the erroneous molecular gene and genome concepts. He argues that material genome is not the biological program, the cause of life. According to the Qur’an it is the invisible (ghayb in Arabic) non-molecular rooh (also called nafs in the case of man), which is the divine biological program or the biosoftware. This is the so-called “soul”. In fact the non-physical gene originally proposed by Wilhelm Johannsen in 1909 agrees well with the Qur’anic revelation but not the molecular gene. In the computer model of the organism, all the visible parts (chemical structures including genome) constitute the hardware while the invisible biological program (most likely stored on the chromosomes, the hard disk of the cell) constitutes the divine biosoftware. The soul of a computer is its invisible software stored on the hard disk. Likewise the soul of a human being is the invisible biosoftware (nafs). The phenomenon of life has been defined as the manifestation of execution of the divine biosoftware. The Qur’an further reveals (Q. 6:93) that removal (or to use the computer jargon, “deletion”) of the biosoftware (nafs) results in death. This means a dead body is like a computer without software. It is because of the absence of biosoftware in the cells, the dead body is unable to show “life” although it carries the genome intact in every cell.

According to Prof. Wahid, it is impossible to create life from non-life because “life” is caused by a non-physical (i.e., non-molecular) biosoftware. It is also not possible to restore life to a dead cell. Recent reports of creation of synthetic cell, synthetic life, etc., are highly misleading as they were produced employing living organisms and not through pure chemical synthesis. The product of such experiments cannot be referred to as “synthetic”. In fact biologists do not have to produce a cell from scratch. Chemical synthesis of a cell is impossible with the present level of molecular technology. But scientists can approach the problem from a different angle by restoring life to a dead cell. A dead cell (e.g., a dead bacterial cell) is as good as a chemically synthesized artificial cell. It carries all the material hardware (all chemical structures) including genome but not the invisible non-molecular biosoftware. They only have to restore life to a dead cell by chemical means without using a living organism. The failure to create life from non-life (pure chemicals) is in fact the confirmatory scientific evidence of the validity of the Qur’anic revelations and the existence of God.

Prof. P. A. Wahid is a former dean of Kerala Agricultural University. He has published about hundred research papers in leading science journals including Nature and five books during his 35 years of scientific career.