The Universe is Expanding

Edwin Powell Hubble was an American Astronomer who was a key figure in establishing Extragalactic Astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century.

In the 1920’s, when the newly 100″ telescope was constructed at the Mount Wilson Observatory, Edwin Powell discovered that the Universe was not static, but was expanding.

The Qur’an mentions the below verse:

And We have built the heaven with hands (the Divine Power), and it is We Who give the expanse. (Qur’an, 51:47)

The above is mentioned in the Qur’an over 1400 years ago and was only discovered using a telescope in the 1920’s. Telescopes did not exist over 1400 years ago.

Translation of above verse from others:
Sahih International: And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.
Pickthall: We have built the heaven with might, and We it is Who make the vast extent (thereof).
Yusuf Ali: With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace.
Shakir: And the heaven, We raised it high with power, and most surely We are the makers of things ample.
Muhammad Sarwar: We have made the heavens with Our own hands and We expanded it.
Mohsin Khan: With power did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are Able to extend the vastness of space thereof.
Arberry: And heaven — We built it with might, and We extend it wide.

The Arabic word  موسعون  (MOUSI’OONA) mentioned in the verse, and after exploring classical dictionaries and classical commentarys means “The Expander” or “Expanding”. It is an active participle which means that the action is continous meaning the expansion is continous. The following website details each word of the verse in great detail, click here

MOUSI’OONA (موسعون expanding), which is a verb of the noun WAASI’A (واسع vast). Some may say that MOUSI’OONA only means “WE MADE IT VAST”, and is not a continuous process.  This means the word would then have to be AWSA’NA (أوسعنا expanded or made bigger), and not the continueous action and verb MOUSI’OONA (موسعون expanding).  MOUSI’OONA is clearly a verb that refers to a continuing expansion, or a happening and ongoing expansion.


Some may argue that the above verse was translated as expanding or expander in the recent years. This is not true. See below translations from the past.

1- Tafsir muqatel ibn solaiman (year AD 767)
means: we are able to expand it as we want.
تفسير مقاتل بن سليمان/ مقاتل بن سليمان (ت 150 هـ
{ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ } [آية: 47] يعني نحن قادرون على أن نوسعها كما نريد 2- Tafsir Bahr alolum , (year 985)
means: we are able to expand it as we will.
(فسير بحر العلوم/ السمرقندي
{ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ } يعني نحن قادرون على أن نوسعها كما نريد3- Tafsir alfayruz abadi (year 1414)
means : we we are expanding it as we will.
{ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ } لها ما نشاء
تفسير القرآن/ الفيروز آبادي (ت8174- Tafsir Alnukat waloyon (year 1058)
means : we are able to make the heaven expanding more that it is already expanded.
تفسير النكت والعيون/ الماوردي (ت 450 ه)
الثاني: لموسعون السماء، قاله ابن زيد.
الثالث: لقادرون على الاتساع بأكثر من اتساع السماء.5 – Tafsir Alqasemy : (year 1913 )
means: we are able to expand it, more than it is already expanded.
تفسير محاسن التأويل / محمد جمال الدين القاسمي (ت 1332هـ
{ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ } أي: لقادرون على الإيساع، كما أوسعنا بناءها

6- Tafsir Altabarani (year 970)
means :we expand the heaven in every direction.
تفسير التفسير الكبير / للإمام الطبراني (ت 360 ـ)
{ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ }؛ في السَّماء على الأرضِ في كلِّ جهاتٍ

The following website details each word of the verse in great detail, click here

The above verse is another miracle of the Qur’an and one which could not have been known by humans over 1400 years ago, as the technology did not exist.

Stephen Hawking in his book titled, A Brief History of Time, states that  “The discovery that the Universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.”

The Qur’an mentioned the expansion of the Universe well before humans learnt how to build a telescope. Some may argue that the presence of Astronomical facts in the Qur’an is not surprising as the Arabs were advanced in the field of Astronomy. They are correct in acknowledging the advancement of the Arabs in the field of Astronomy, however they fail to realise that the Qur’an was revealed centuries before the Arabs advanced in Astronomy.

Moreover many of the scientific facts mentioned regarding Astronomy, such as the origin of the Universe with a Big Bang, were not known to the Arabs even at the peak of their scientific advancement. The scientific facts mentioned in the Qur’an are therefore not due to the Arabs’ advancement in Astronomy.

The Arabs advanced in Astronomy, because Astronomy occupies a place in the Qur’an.

God knows best