Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Blog | Jan 17, 2022
The sun is 1,200,000 times the size of our earth, and 93,004,000 miles distant from it. Despite this enormous distance, light and heat from the sun reach us in considerable amounts. By cosmic standards, the sun is a relatively small star; it only appears large to us because of its proximity. Most stars are both larger and more radiant than the sun. Vast globes of heat and light, they are scattered in huge numbers throughout the universe. They have been shining for billions upon billions of years, but their reserves of thermal energy show no signs of being exhausted. How do stars produce such vast quantities of energy? The astrophysicist Hans Bethe spent years exploring this question. Finally he discovered that the secret lies in the carbon cycle. His research in this field won him the Nobel Prize for physics in 1967.
The day that Hans Bethe made his great scientific discovery was one of great joy for him. His wife, Rose, says that she was with her husband in the New Mexico desert when it happened. It was night, and the stars shone with immense lustre down on the vast, open desert below. She looked up with astonishment at the sky. “Gosh,” she exclaimed, “how brightly the stars are shining!” Her husband replied: “Do you realize, just now you are standing next to the only human being who knows why they shine at all?”
Hans Bethe’s discovery only answered a minutely partial side of the real question; it did not reach the true crux of the matter. His discovery of the carbon cycle leaves another greater question unanswered: how does this carbon cycle come to operate in stars? A true believer discovers the answer to this question in the form of God, the Maker and Sustainer of the universe. It is He who has invested the stars with this magic property. Another fact which is fascinating to think about is the enormous synchronisation and harmonious existence of countless zooming stars and planets that remain in their orbits without colliding with one another – doesn’t this awesome fact point to the existence of a rational being behind it all?
How ironical it is that that small discovery – of the carbon cycle – should have made a scientist lose himself in such a spontaneous outburst of feeling, when that should have happened only if he had discovered God. God is the greatest discovery that a person can make. Those who really believe in God feel jubilation at their discovery. So uncontrollable is their joy that they cannot help expressing it to others. If there are no traces of the joy of discovery, then the discovery itself has yet to be made. Nature does not remain silent on this subject. It also speaks out about its creator, that is, God.