Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi & Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
Question : In the present age Russian and American scientists have succeeded in conquering to a certain extent some of the planets. In the Holy Quran is there any reference to this or not? And will they get more successes regarding them or not?
Answer : There is no doubt that since man came into existence he is progressing towards perfection and still we see that not a single day passes when he is not moving forward, and he does not discover some hidden secret of nature. Therefore there is no doubt that a day may come when he with his god-given power, may spread his life into the heavenly spheres.
Maybe the verse, which was revealed in Quran, which is about subjugating the earth and the heaven by man, may not be without indication to this possibility. Because either sun and moon and whatever is in the heavens that have become subdued for man right from the very first day. But control and to take benefit from this control also has degrees and among them the absolute degree is that when these heavenly bodies become cradles of life. In this regard some verses are given below.
(1) And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, all, from Himself; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.1
(2) Do you not see that Allah has made what is in the heavens and what is in the earth subservient to you, and made complete to you His favors outwardly and inwardly?2
(3) "And He has made subservient to you the sun and the moon pursuing their courses",3
And this sentence is revealed in different surahs of the Holy Quran.
According to the above-mentioned verses the Holy Quran says that:
Whatever is in the earth, right from very first day it was given under your command, whereas man has acquired power over the resources which are under the earth not at one place and not only once, but gradually and in all the periods of time to a certain extent he has acquired knowledge about those resources and he has dug them out. From this it is understood that when the Holy Quran says: "Whatever is in the earth have given in the command control of humans." Than it does not mean that, all and every stocks of the earth are given under the command of man. Because most of the minerals from them have been discovered as the time passed and in each period of time a particular section of people succeeded in discovering the stocks under the earth; rather it is meant to be all the humans that come into existence as time passes. Although only very few of them are there, who search for minerals.
And it is not far that man would succeed in discovering new resources from the earth about which he has no knowledge whatsoever in the present age. On this basis it means that though planets were made subservient to man from the very first day but with passing of time he may take most of the benefits from them and bring the heavenly spheres into his reach, and the words of the Holy Quran made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens4 would then fit him perfectly. Besides from the 34th verse of Surah Rahman it is known that man will be able to travel in space with the help of present knowledge, industrial know-how and potentialities. As it is stated:
"O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority."5
1 Surah Jathiyah 45:13
2 Surah Luqman 31:20
3 Surah Ibrahim 15:33
4 Please note that the above answer was printed before man put his foot on the moon and the scientist had not sent the first space traveler in the space. At that time the only step, which was taken in that direction was to send artificial satellites. The actions of man and his achievements verify what Quran has said more than 1400 years ago.
5 Surah Rahman 55:33