عنوان مقاله [English]
Since the development of the Modern Sciences in the seventeenth century, religious leaders used them instrumentally to propagate their religion. Italian Christian scholars sent Pietro Della Valle (1586-1652) to achieve the original text of the Book of Jacob. They were curious to know if it is possible to interpret the verses about solid heavens in order to be conciliated with Tycho Brahe’s elimination of the orbs. He and other Christian missionaries brought modern astronomy to the East as an instrument for propaganda. As a reaction, Confucianists, Buddhists, Taoists, and Hinduist found several signs of modern astronomy in their religious texts. In their turn, the Muslim ulama presented the idea of the “scientific miracle” of the Quran. This idea became the source of inspiration for the new genre of the scientific exegesis of the Quran in the Islamic world. As a Shiite scholar, Hibat al-Dīn Shahristānī (1883–1967) put forward this idea about Quran and Shiite hadiths. Several Shiite great ulama, but not all of them, received this idea with the agreement. Muḥammad-Husayn Kāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ as a modernist Shiite scholar accepted heliocentrism and rejected old Ptolemaic astronomy. Nevertheless, he held that the literal understanding of the Quranic verses is more compatible with old astronomy than modern one. So he didn’t agree with the idea of a scientific miracle. In his opinion, only through a true interpretation, one may conciliate holy texts with modern science. He also accepted a non-materialistic account of the theory of evolution except for humans. He knew that even a literal interpretation of some hadiths may not be compatible with any of new and old astronomy. He suggested rejecting these hadiths or interpreting them metaphorically. These two suggestions should be applied to the hadiths about an anthropomorphic account of eclipses or the stability of the Earth on cow horns or a fish. Here I will examine Khāshif al-Ghiṭāʾ’s several works as well as some phrases of his al-Firdaws al-Aʿlā. It shows that he found a way to a new interpretation of the verses about God’s “chair and throne” (Kursī wa ʿArsh) by denying Ptolemaic solid orbs.