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November 13th, 2009

Evolution

“LA” has asked:

“I would like to know your movement’s view on Evolution.”

We believe that each person should be free to reach his own conclusion. How life originated and how human beings came into their present form does not affect the conduct of our lives in any way. There have been Muslim scholars from centuries ago who held that Adam was not the first man. The view that a human being in the present form was suddenly created cannot be conclusively established from the Quran. There are passages in the Quran on the basis of which you can argue that life evolved.

The Quran says (29:20): “Say: Travel in the earth then see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation.”

It would seem that Charles Darwin did just this. He travelled in the earth, trying to learn how the “first creation” and the “latter creation” were created.

– Zahid Aziz

2 Responses to “Evolution”

  1. If earlier it was Heliocentric views of Galileo and his contemporaries, now it is Evolution that is source of conflict between Theological and Scientific thoughts.

    However, Quran actually nurtures the latter in the debate where it alludes to evolution of man. It took about five million years for human ancestor Ardipithicus ramidus to evolve into current Homo sapiens sapiens commonly known as the “Modern Man” who is in existence for only last hundred thousand years. Quran clearly is cognizant of this evolutionary time line:

    76:1. There did pass over a human being a while of a long space of time when he was not a thing worth mentioning.

    Obviously, it is the Homo sapiens stage of man that deserves any “mentioning.” It at this stage of evolution that Quran discusses the Homo sapiens and his propagation by reproduction, development of intelligence and finally achieving a stage of moral maturation to distinguish right from wrong and capacity to receive divine guidance:

    76:2. We have surely created a human being from a sperm drop uniting (it) with (an ovum); We wanted to bestow Our favour on him. That is why We made him hearing and seeing (- enjoying discretion and volition, and so responsible for his actions).
    76:3. Verily, We have shown him the path clearly (giving him the full choice) whether he be grateful or ungrateful.

    The ongoing and future physical and moral evolution of man is further referred to in the following verses:

    56:58. Have you given thought to (the sperm drop, your life-germ) that you emit?
    56:59. Is it you that create it yourselves, or are We the Creator (of it)?
    56:60. It is We that have ordained death for all of you. And We cannot be stopped from (it),
    56:61. From replacing you with beings similar to you, (or from) evolving you into a form which is unknown to you (at present).
    56:62. And you certainly know of the first evolution. Then, why do you not reflect?

    95:4. (That) We have surely created the human being in the finest make and the best proportions (with enormous capabilities for an all round advancement through the process of evolution).

    The Book actually encourages man to explore and discover metaphorically the “Origin of Species” and its subsequent evolution:

    29:19. Do they not see how Allah originates creation, then repeats it? (Think of the emergence of organic matter, its decay and then re-emergence of life). This, verily, is easy for Allah.
    29:20. Say, “Travel in the earth and find out how He originated creation. And how afterward, Allah brings forth entirely new forms. Verily, Allah is the Designer of all things.”

    For clarification, it may be noted that concept of “intelligent design” is incompatible with logic of “intelligence of design and evolution”, as the former is the result of non-reconciliation of belief and scientific logic whereas the latter is a complementary result of belief and science. In the latter we see inherent evolution in both within the life span of the member of the species as well as the life span of species itself. Evolution is the Holy Grail for development towards perfection of body, mind and soul.

    By its very definition evolution is embedded in the very first attribute of Him in Quran i.e. “Rabb” which means Lord, Creator, Nourisher, Maintainer, Evolver:

    “Rabb means not only Creator, but also One Who imbues every object with the capacity of ultimate development, and Creator of all those means and aids whereby such development is achieved through all the many stages of development. I find the following in a Quranic roots dictionary [by Imam Raghib Isfahani] written centuries before the theory of evolution was ever imagined in the West: “The fostering of a thing in such a way as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of perfection.” Consider the words I italicize. Do they clearly not sum up the theory of evolution…”[ The Existence of God by Khawaja Kamal-ud-din, The Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England, pg 6-7.]

    [Quran translations by: Allamah Nooruddin; Shabbir Ahmed]
    Above earlier posted at: http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/islams-darwin-problem/#more-6241


  2. May 9th, 2013 at 6:08 pm
    From Omar R.:

    Prevailing View: Humans did not evolve from any of the species we know as apes today. At some point 5 to 8 million years ago, the common ancestor of humans and modern apes diverged to form the two separate lineages we know today.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat03.html

    ‘Ardi’ – 4.4 million year old hominid, said to be the common ancestor between apes and humans.
    http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/ardi-human-ancestor.htm

    But is it possible that humans evolved from an origin of their own species, and that apes too evolved from an origin of their own species, and hence no common ancestor between the two separate lineages as is commonly thought? Is there a theory that suggests this?


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