The circumference of Earth is 40,075 km, which means that if you wanted to take a round trip from one position on Earth and return back to the same position you would need to cover a distance of 40 thousand kilometers. That is quite big, for comparison look at this image where the moon looks so small as compared to earth.
But there are much bigger planets in our solar system, the biggest of them all is Jupiter which is 11.2 times bigger than earth. Look at this picture for comparison.
There is only one star in our solar system called “The Sun”. Can you imagine how big is it? If no, then take a look at this picture for comparison.
But the Sun is not the only star in our galaxy, there are more than 200 billion stars in our own Milky Way galaxy and some are even bigger than our very own sun.
There are over 500 billion or more galaxies with trillions of stars that our mind cannot comprehend, trillions of planets that are beyond our reach that might possibly hold intelligent life like ours.
Quran admits the large scale of universe
لَخَلْقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of the people do not know.” (Quran 40:57)
Quran admits the presence of other planets
Quran tells us about multitudes of other earths where God’s commandments are coming one after another as these other earths mature at different times. The word seven is used in following verses in the Quran to denote a very large number more like infinite.
ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـٰوَٰتٍۢ وَمِنَ ٱلْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ ٱلْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِتَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عِلْمًۢا
“It is Allah who has created seven heavens, and similar number of earths, The commandments comes down among them slowly, that you may know that God is Able to do all things, And that God surrounds all things in knowledge” (Quran 65:12)
Walking living earthly creatures
وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ خَلْقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَآءُ قَدِيرٌۭ
“And of his signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.” (Quran 42:29)
وَلِلَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ وَٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
“And to Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth of creatures, and the angels [as well], and they are not arrogant.” (Quran 16:49)
Is there any alien intelligent life?
قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ٱلْغَيْبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ ۚ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
“Say: None in the heavens or on earth, except God, knows what is hidden: nor can they perceive when they shall be raised up (for Judgment).” (Quran 27:65)
This shows that, like humans, there are other creatures in the universe that will also be raised from the dead.
إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ إِلَّآ ءَاتِى ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ عَبْدًۭا
لَّقَدْ أَحْصَىٰهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدًّۭا
وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ فَرْدًا
“There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant. He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting. And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone.” (Quran 19:93-95)
From these verses, we learn that there are alien life forms that, like us, will also be judged according to the works that they do during their lives. Among them are the believers. Therefore, naturally, there will also be those aliens who are unbelievers. The believers will be rewarded. The life forms being described in the above verses can hardly be expected to be microorganisms. The Quran is referring to creatures of a level of development that makes them morally accountable beings. They must be organisms possessing qualities which we would ascribe to intelligent life forms.
Will we ever discover aliens?
سَنُرِيهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فِى ٱلْءَافَاقِ وَفِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ ۗ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ شَهِيدٌ
“Soon we will show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions, and in their own souls until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth” (Quran 41:53)
وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَآءُ قَدِيرٌۭ
“He has dispersed throughout them of creatures. And He, for gathering them when He wills, is competent.” (Quran 42:29)
The statement that God has the power to gather the creatures of the heavens and earth together if He wills. This also points to the possibility of our meeting aliens in the future. However, this gathering may well refer to that which will occur on Judgment Day.
Quran encourages space travel?
يَـٰمَعْشَرَ ٱلْجِنِّ وَٱلْإِنسِ إِنِ ٱسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا۟ مِنْ أَقْطَارِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ فَٱنفُذُوا۟ ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَـٰنٍۢ
“O ye assembly of Jinn and men !If you can pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! Not without authority will ye be able to pass!” (Quran 55:33)
Why does God ask us to go into space? There must be some purpose. Maybe it is for us to fulfill some grand destiny in store for our species- maybe to become a galactic race, a respectable part of the galactic community of civilizations. Maybe, it is our travels in space that may lead to our encounter with aliens and fulfill the prophecy given in Quran 42:29. Only time will tell.
In anticipation of the time when we become space-travelers, we are told,
وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ ۖ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِىٍّۢ وَلَا نَصِيرٍۢ
“Neither on earth nor in heaven shall you be beyond reach: nor have you any guardian or helper besides Allah.” (Quran 29:22)
Means of transport
To reach other civilizations, we must be capable of feasible interstellar transport. Might we one day be capable of undertaking such a voyage?
“And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.” (Quran 16:8)
The latter part of this verse is often translated in the present tense but as Asad points out, “The use in this context, of the aorist “yakhluqu” implies the future tense (“He will create”) …Since this reference to God’s continuing creation comes immediately after a mention of primitive means of transport, it obviously relates to other- as yet unknown-
things of the same category: that is to say, to new means of transport which God unceasingly creates through the instrumentality of the inventiveness with which He has endowed man’s mind.”
Therefore, it is possible that we may one day make the spacecraft required for interstellar travel. After all, God Himself has encouraged us to, “pass beyond the regions of the heavens”.