Meeting the Quranic Adam with Charles Darwin

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Acting on a tip from explorer of caves four years ago, scientists in South Africa discovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star Cave: lots and lots of old bones.

The remains covered the earthen floor beyond the narrow opening. This was, the scientists concluded, a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi.

New York Times reported in September 2015, the new hominin species was announced in  by an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The species name, H. naledi, refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; “naledi” means “star” in the local Sesotho language.

evolution-islam

In two papers published this week in the open-access journal eLife, the researchers said that the more than 1,550 fossil elements documenting the discovery constituted the largest sample for any hominin species in a single African site, and one of the largest anywhere in the world. Further, the scientists said, that sample is probably a small fraction of the fossils yet to be recovered from the chamber. So far the team has recovered parts of at least 15 individuals.

Francis Thackeray, of the University of the Witwatersrand, suggests that H. naledi lived about 2 million years ago (±0.5 million years), based on the skulls’ similarities to H. rudolfensis, H. erectus, and H. habilis, species that existed around 1.5, 2.5, and 1.8 million years ago, respectively.[38][39]

Modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago. We have slender skeletons, hands well-suited to tool-making, and large brains. We’ve lost the curved fingers, deep brow ridges and sloping foreheads of our ancestors. We are taller but less powerful.

And Homo naledi shares characteristics with all of those groups.

In the very first part of the holy Quran, in the second chapter, there is a detailed description of the creation of Adam:

Allah it is Who created for you all that is in the earth; then He turned towards the heavens, and He perfected them as seven heavens; and He knows all things.

And when thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to place a vicegerent in the earth,’ they said: ‘Wilt Thou place therein such as will cause disorder in it, and shed blood? — and we glorify Thee with Thy praise and extol Thy holiness.’ He answered: ‘I know what you know not.’

And He taught Adam all the names, then He put the objects of these names before the angels and said: ‘Tell Me the names of these, if you are right.’

They said: ‘Holy art Thou! No knowledge have we except what Thou hast taught us; surely, Thou art the All-Knowing, the Wise.’

He said: ‘O Adam, tell them their names;’ and when he had told them their names, He said: ‘Did I not say to you, I know the secrets of the heavens and of the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal?’

And remember the time when We said to the angels: ‘Submit to Adam,’ and they all submitted. But Iblis did not. He refused and was too proud; and he was of the disbelievers.

And We said: ‘O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the garden, and eat therefrom plentifully wherever you will, but approach not this tree, lest you be of the wrongdoers.’

But Satan caused them both to slip by means of it and drove them out of the state in which they were. And We said: ‘Go forth; some of you are enemies of others, and for you there is an abode in the earth and a provision for a time.

Then Adam learnt from his Lord certain words of prayer. So He turned towards him with mercy. Surely, He is Oft-Returning with compassion, and is Merciful.

We said: ‘Go forth, all of you, from here. And if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoso shall follow My guidance, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.’ (Al Quran 2:230-239/229-238)

Most if not all the present day commentaries of all denominations among the Muslims that I have seen, present these verses literally and even if they subtly recognize evolution, the commentaries do not address the natural ramifications of the Darwinian evolution and how they affect the understanding of the Quranic text.

Now, if we take these verses literally as majority of the Muslims do, and if we believe in the Darwinian evolution and recent account of the human like and human species, we cannot reconcile the Quranic and the scientific accounts.

According to conventional understanding of the Bible and the Quran the prophet Adam existed some 6000 years ago. If prophet Adam is taken as the first human being, by the fundamentalist believers, it clearly puts the religion at odds with the scientific account of how life evolved on our planet earth.

The story of Adam is mentioned again in Sura Aaraf and here there seems to be a subtle  hint towards evolution, if you have a keen eye:

And We have established you in the earth and provided for you therein the means of subsistence. How little thanks you give! And We did create you and then We gave you shape; then said We to the angels, ‘Submit to Adam;’ and they all submitted but Iblis did not; he would not be of those who submit. (Al Quran 7:10-11/11-12)

The verses say that God first created humans as if in some earlier form, like the first life forms and then gave them shape, for example initially a mammalian shape and then an ape like shape.

There is another account of all the children of Adam in the same Sura, how Allah took a Covenant from all of them:

And when thy Lord brought forth offspring from the loins of the sons of Adam, He made them witnesses against their own selves by asking them: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said, ‘Yea, we do bear witness to that.’ This He does lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘We were surely unaware of this.’ (Al Quran 7:172/173)

This verse, most enlightened believers believe, refers to an imprint of God consciousness in human psyche rather than any literal assembly of humans addressed by God.

It is easy for most of the believers to take this verse metaphorically as that is how they have learnt and read it over the years.

Likewise, I am suggesting that all the verses about creation of Adam, his mistake or ‘original sin’ as the the Christians call it, with mother Eve, his expulsion from paradise, his repentance and his learning of language, are to be taken metaphorically, otherwise countless contradictions open up and the holy Quran by its own declaration is a book, a revelation from the All Knowing God, which is clearly immune from any contradiction. (Al Quran 4:82/83)

Evolution green alphabets

We have no choice but to understand the evolution of human body, human languages, human consciousness and human conscience in biological light and interpret the Quran and the Bible in that light, otherwise a Pandora box of confusion opens up.

Adam, may peace be on him, who lived some six thousand years ago was the first prophet but was clearly not the first man. As we noted above the modern humans have existed for more than 200,000 years and human language began to evolve much before 6000 years ago. The term ‘first human being,’ is an oxymoron. The first human being does not exist, if we begin to understand how species split from the parent species and new species develop ever so gradually over millions of years, we can conceptualize this reality.

If we go back to the verse from the second sura of the Quran, quoted earlier: “And He taught Adam all the names, then He put the objects of these names before the angels and said: ‘Tell Me the names of these, if you are right.’” This may refer to an earlier Adam as the language was being given or evolving in earlier hominid species.

Searching for ‘Adam’ in any Quranic translation will give us all the instances that Adam is mentioned in the holy Quran. If it refers to the first prophet, it can be taken literally in the sense of him receiving revelation from Allah, for example:

Allah did choose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of ‘Imran above all peoples. (Al Quran 3:33/34)

There is no reason to doubt that the first prophet Adam existed around 6000 years ago, but he was not the first man or the first person to speak a language.

There are several verses of the holy Quran with subtle reference to language and biological evolution and evolution in general, but those are for another day.

Suggested Reading

Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

Exposing Creationism of Zakir Naik, Tahir ul Qadari, Yusuf Estes and Harun Yahya

Biology of Our Human Family: Who are We Related To?

 

 

38 replies

  1. I thought that the first stone will be thrown by a Muslim zealot, but I was wrong. I was more focused on tackling their criticism.

    I wanted to leisurely work on presenting the case for evolution from the holy Quran, but, it seems you will be forcing my hand.

    In this comment let me just bring out two references from the Quran. The author of Quran is not ignorant of evolution, but His audience was for the past 1300-1400 years, so the language had to be subtle, to avoid the critics who would have been demanding the proofs for evolution for the last 1400 years, when none existed before Darwin.

    My first reference for this comment is from Sura Aala, which is very often recited in the Friday prayers:

    “Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who creates and perfects, and Who designs and guides.” (Al Quran 87:1-3/2-4)

    These verses are clearly highlighting that the Quran does not state that the Creator created the finished products, rather created them through stages with gradual improvement and perfection.

    There are several verses which describe different types of mud from which man was created; yet the Quran goes out of its way in a verse describing big bang to tell us that all life forms have been created from water, an understanding that was not known in the seventh century Arabia:

    Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Al Quran 21:30/31)

  2. Sorry to throw stones, perhaps they’re fossils? But the quote you offer mentions design, and evolution is not in any sense to be seen as being “by design.” Darwin anguished over the whole idea of what we now call “intelligent design” as a sign of divine intervention. His contemporaries were all more or less believers in something like that, but Darwin’s observations, the very basis of his great idea, were detailed enough and thorough enough to overthrow that long held notion.

    “…But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice… I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.”
    ― Charles Darwin, The Life & Letters of Charles Darwin

    As to the idea of water as the basis of cosmology and of life, Aristotle tells us Thales, the pre-Socratic philosopher, also held to that view. The quotes suggest an observant eye, and a poetic sensibility, but that’s all, at least in terms of indicating an understanding of evolutionary processes.

    I don’t mean to be disagreeable in any way, but cherry picking quotes from a religious text and suggesting they mean evolution, but are deliberately subtle and ambiguous because of the difficulty that might occur in explaining the concept to others, is contradicted by the fact that, in one book, Darwin, despite knowing others will struggle and contest with his theory, lays it out magnificently and clearly and persuasively. He even manages to humanise the religious impulse:

    “The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probable—namely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man. For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them.”
    ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

    Surely, if the author of the Quran wanted humans to understand evolutionary processes he could easily out-write and out explain Darwin on the subject. No one is in any doubt about the subject of The Origin Of The Species. I’m afraid I don’t find evidence of evolution in the Quran quotes you provide. You may believe them to be that, but that is an entirely different thing. We don’t have to believe in evolution, the evidence demonstrates itself, despite any beliefs we may hold.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales_of_Miletus#Cosmology:_water_as_a_first_principle

  3. If you count the number of words in the Quran, it may be about the size of Darwin’s book: On the Origin of Species.

    After 150 years of Darwin those who do not agree are still debating.

    So, you would have been convinced only if the Quran had not only included Darwin’s book but God had also sent Darwin himself with all his specimens and findings and of his contemporaries along with Muhammad.

    Then instead of Shia / Sunni divide the Muslims would have Muhammad / Darwin divide and agnostics and atheists may still find their way against religion.

    Endless debating is not my style. President Trump has demonstrated and established that any thing can be proven, to the susceptible mind, however false.

    So, without accusing each other we will keep making our case as we see it and let the readers decide.

    In due course of time I will link articles and materials showing evolution in the holy Quran.

  4. Its clear that the Quran does not mention human evolution from ape like creatures.

    Quran and many hadith are very clear that human beings are seperate creation created without evolving from ape like creatutes.

    Quran is clear that humanking came from a couple;

    “O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from Him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women.”
    Al-Qur’an 4:1

    The Prophet’s companions like ibn Abbas, ibn Umar, Abu Huraira and many others believed that Adam was the first human. Hadith and tafsir literature show that they stated Adam was the first human directly created from earth material. Adam had no parents as believed by the sahaba and all classical scholars of Islam. All the mujaddid believed that Adam was created from earth and was not born to parents.

  5. Quran is explicit that Adam was created from earth and from him, his wife was created. From them two; humankind came. Hence Quran in no way shows human bioevolution from ape like ceatures.

    Another ayah which supports the traditional muslim belief;

    “The likeness of Jesus, to Allah, is the same as Adam. He created him from earth and then He said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was.”[Quran 3:59]

    a brief look into the sabab al-nuzul (causes for revelation) quickly makes clear that the verse was revealed to repudiate the Christian argument that proof of Jesus’ divinity is his having no earthly father. The verse states that Adam had no parents whatsoever, being created instead from earth, yet this did not make him divine; the comparison then was between the single parent of Jesus and the absence of parents in regards to Adam.

    This verse is often quoted in isolation from the reasons for which it was revealed, thus, some evolutionists claim that the verse asserts that Jesus and Adam were born in the same way – through the womb of a female. Such an interpretation is deceptive as a brief look into the sabab al-nuzul (causes for revelation) quickly makes clear that the verse was revealed to repudiate the Christian argument that proof of Jesus’ divinity is his having no earthly father. The verse states that Adam had no parents whatsoever, being created instead from earth, yet this did not make him divine; the comparison then was between the single parent of Jesus and the absence of parents in regards to Adam.

    the Messenger of Allah said that on the Last Day, mankind would go from Prophet to Prophet requesting intercession; they would go to Adam and say, “You are the father of mankind…” [Bukhari]

    Above hadith clearly proves that Adam was first human and thus father of humanity. Father of humankind clearly means first man. If Adam was created from a ‘despised drop’ and like all other human beings, then what is the point of singling him out as being father of humankind?

  6. Thanks for your comments. I was wondering, where are all the zealot Muslims and here you are as a spokesperson.

    Before we get too intense, let me ask you a simple question, did you happen to read the three short articles linked at the end of the article above and I will reproduce for your benefit here.

    Those provide some materials to cover some aspects of your comments.

    Suggested Reading

    Charles Darwin: An Epiphany for the Muslims, A Catastrophe for the Christians

    Exposing Creationism of Zakir Naik, Tahir ul Qadari, Yusuf Estes and Harun Yahya

    Biology of Our Human Family: Who are We Related To?

  7. Rather than trying to avoid my questions like a typical ahmadi, why don’t you give me a verse of the Quran that states human evoltion from animals?

    Or give me one sahih hadith or a muslim scholar of the quran (before darwin) who used the verses of the Quran qouted in the article to show human evoltion from animals.

    All the verses you mentioned have nothing to do with evolution whatsoever! All the companions of the Prophet, the classical ulama and all reformers clearly believed in the literal account of Quranic Adam and all believed that he was created without parents.

    Quran 2:30 – 33 clearly proves Quranic narration of creationism of humankind NOT human evolution.

    The Quran confirms humankind came from a couple: “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her in love…” (Chapter 7, Verse 189)

    The above verse again shows quranic adam and his wife as the first couple and from them came humankind. This again refutes ahmadis claim of “evolution in the Quran.”

    Quran 7:11 must be understood in light with other verses such as the following:

    “… He began the creation of man from clay.

    Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water (male and female sexual discharge).

    Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul and He gave you hearing, sight and hearts. Little thanks you give!”

    [al-Sajdah 32:7-9]

    So man was first created directly from clay and then his offsprings came from sexual discharge. this again shows the Quran’s account of adam. Adam was created directly from clay without discharge unlike his progeny.

    • all your suggestions and the haddis you mentioned are all right but it does not prove that theirs no evolution .my point here is the basic understanding need from us her either ways ,if we look deep down it might be the reverse way it could be behind the evolution theirs is God even if we agree about the theory of evolution for the sake of argument still happens from the will of God . from my perspective their might be evolution yet we don’t know the measurement unit of a day .God created the heaven in 7 days right ? yet wa don’t have clue how we can measure 1 day of God =how many days of earth alone in light years ? yet we don’t know how we tiny are we in the universe we don’t know yet the space and time we are allocated . imagine how abt the 7 heaven are so big , vast , phenomenal , huge , it’s beyond our imagination yet . my opinion is evolution exits everything evolves except him he is the only constant . but we don’t know how and when . perhaps he mentioned in the Quran also he said “i make clear in the book (quran )to you to understand it clearly “” it’s a book of signs so everything is in the Quran put it clear it gives you clear perspective .there are yet undiscovered parts in the Quran . may be he needs it to be stays undiscovered therefore The prophets didn’t try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.
      When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t know, people can find their own way .then you will start to seek the truth and he will make to understand gradually but yet it’s like 1star out of the z milky way . Therefore the Master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm
 . at the end as at the beginning.He has nothing what we learns is to unlearn.,
      Imagination is more important than knowledge.
      “Allah has created seven heavens in harmony. No incongruity can you see in the creation of the Gracious God. Then look again. Do you see any flaw? Aye, look again, and yet again, your sight will only return to you dazzled and fatigued, having seen no incongruity.”  (Al Mulk 67:4-5)
      The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible
      and the fact also realized the limitations of human knowledge and human intellect.    Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now.  But the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never!“nothing of His knowledge except what He pleases.”

      • “all your suggestions and the haddis you mentioned are all right but it does not prove that theirs no evolution.”

        I’m not saying that there is no evolution at all. Its likely that there are aspects of evolution that exist in bacteria, insects and animals. There does exist genetic mutations and natural selections of many organisms.

        However I don’t agree with every thing about theory of evolution such as all living beings share a common ancestor. I dont agree that all life on earth is from a single evolution tree.

        But rather I regard the creationist orchard model as closer to the truth. This implies that there are various organisms that share a common ancestor but not all. Instead of one evolution tree, there are multiple trees in which different species evolved. For example Its possible that all bacteria evoloved from a single bacteria, while vertebrates dont share same ancestor with single celled orgainisms.

        even if all animals, plants, bacteria came share a common ancestor, such hypothesis does not go against any teachings of Islam since the Quran is silent about such matter. However the only exception is humanity since the Quran is explicit about our origins and how we were created.

        What I earlier suggested from the Quran is that Adam was the first human created from clay and he had no parents based upon the ayat & sahih hadith. Therefore i think the human group has a distinct and independant “life tree”, which does not share the same stem as other living organisms.

        There are hypothesis or theories which suggest that human s are unique and don’t share ancestor with other living creatures such as; the theory of mitochondrial eve and y chromosome adam. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only through the mother’ line. The similarities indicate that all people on earth are descended from a single human female. Also evidence from the Y-chromosome is consistent with all people being descended from a single man.

        Human beings walk upright on two feet. This is a very special form of locomotion not seen in any other mammalian species. Some other animals do have a limited ability to move when they stand on their two hind feet.

        bipedalism is not an evolutionary advantage. The way in which apes move is much easier, faster, and more efficient than man’s bipedal stride. Man can neither move by jumping from tree to tree without descending to the ground, like a chimpanzee, nor run very fast as compared to many four legged animals. On the contrary, since man walks on two feet, he moves much more slowly on the ground. For the same reason, he is one of the most unprotected of all land mammals in nature in terms of movement and defence. According to the logic of evolution, apes should not have evolved to adopt a bipedal stride; humans should instead have evolved to become quadrupedal.

        The immense gap between man and ape is not limited solely to bipedalism. Many other issues still remain unexplained, such as brain capacity, the ability to talk, use reason, study various disciplines, have imagination, have sense of shame (so we wear clothes), invent ideas, etc. Some people stay single which defeats the purpose of evolution since the genes cannot be spread.

        Humans are very different from animals, especially in the ability to use language and logic. Humans also have a sense of shame, have civilisation and meta cognition. This all indicates that we came from a different source than all other organisms. Hence supporting the traditional understanding of Quranic Adam.

  8. There are several verses for evolution. I have already quoted a few. You have chosen to not read the three articles that I have linked above. I hope other readers will.

    The verse of Sura Nisa that you quoted above which will be the first one if you do not count Bismillah as the first verse has a profound clue for evolution. First the verse:

    O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created from her its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and fear Him particularly respecting ties of relationship. Verily, Allah watches over you.

    The Quran talks about the first soul as female and not male and from her Allah says, “He created its mate.” So, unless you imply that Adam came from Eve’s rib; the verse talks about the stage of evolution when sexual reproduction first started.

    The Arabic word here is “Minha” which is feminine and not “Minho” for male.

    Do you believe that Adam, may peace be on him, was first a statue of mud before he became a man and from which of his ribs do you propose that mother Eve was created?

    The evolutionary stage of asexual to sexual multiplication, I have discussed in some detail in an article linked here: Evolution of Empathy.

    Incidentally, I do believe that God created humans, but, through the process of evolution. The zealots or literalists by denying evolution make a fool of themselves and put Islam and the holy Quran in bad light; as is apparent in the BBC video that I linked in my above comment.

    Additionally, There are at least two other verses of the holy Quran with the same message, as outlined above from Sura Nisa.

  9. I repeat, which muslim scholar of the Quran before 19th century used surah nisa verse 1 as suggesting evolution?

    All the famous classical scholars and reformers interpreted surah nisa verse 1 metaphorically refering to Adam as the first human created. from Him came all other humans.

    “Certainly We have created man in the best stature.” (Sura At-Teen)

    Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him stated that God created Adam in His image. [Sahih Muslim]

    This means Adam was created into the image predetermined. He did not go through stages of evolution. Basically Adam had only one image/structure/form, he did not go through changes that latter humans go through. That is why Quran says:

    “He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.” (Chapter 55:Quran).

    Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah created Adam from dust after He mixed the clay and left him for some time until it became sticky mud, after which Allah shaped him. After that Allah left him till it became like potter’s clay. After that Allah breathed spirit into him. The first thing into which the spirit passed was his eye and then his nose. He sneezed. Allah said: “May your Lord have mercy upon you, O Adam! Go to those angels and see what they would say.’ So Adam went and greeted them. they replied saying: “Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah.” Allah said: “O Adam! This is your greeting and that of your offspring.” (Sahih al Bukhari).

    Above hadith clearly establishes the Quranic adam as first human being created directly from clay without parents.

    Lets see how the first generation of Muslims interpreted the Quranic Adam:

    One of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companion; Ibn Abbas explained the ayah of surah nisa:

    “Obey your Lord (Who created you) by means of copulation (from a single soul) from the soul of Adam alone, for the soul of Eve was included in his (and from it) from the soul of Adam (created its mate) Eve (and from them twain has spread abroad) He created through the copulation of Adam and Eve (a multitude of men and women) scores of human beings: male and female.”
    [Tanwir al Miqbas]

    Muhammad Ibn Ishaaq and Ibn ‘Abbas related that Eve was created from Adam while he was sleeping, and after a while she was clothed with flesh. That is why Allah the Exalted said: 0 Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women. Surah 4: 1

    The above verse has been explained by another ayah:

    “It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” Surah 7: 189

    Hence the first soul created was male as agreed by all classical Muslim ulama and mujaddid. This is again supported by another verse:

    “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa.” [Quran 49:13]

    Above verse mentions male first which proves the first soul mentioned in surah nisa verse 1 is indeed a male.

    Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The best of days on which the sun has risen is Friday. One this day Adam was created, and on this day he was descended to earth.” (al Bukhari)

    The above hadith clarly proves Adam was created before being sent to earth hence he cannot of evolved from earthly creatures.

  10. Arabic word used in Surah nisa verse 1 “Minha” which is feminine does not mean the soul itself is feminine. This is because some words can appear as feminine in form but its meaning and function can be masculine or no gender.

    For example the same word “minha” is used in verse:

    “But when he brought them Our signs, at once they laughed at them.” Quran 43:47

    The arabic word minha from the above ayah is used in reference to the signs or miracles of God which clearly has no gender in its function.

    “minha” is generally used in the Quran for places.

  11. You ask, “I repeat, which Muslim scholar of the Quran before 19th century used surah nisa verse 1 as suggesting evolution?”

    Probably, none did, I do not have access to all of them. But that helps my understanding not yours.

    You want to live in 7th through 20th century. I want to live in the 21st. Every century needs better and improved commentaries as human understanding and scholarship improves.

    Please stop worshiping 19th century graves and enlighten yourself with all the evidence there is in favor of Darwinian evolution.

  12. Clearly you don’t even understand what quranic Adam is. Ironically you relie on non-Muslims to interpret the Quran instaed of the Prophet’s explanation or his companions!

    Quranic Adam is to be understood from the Quran and how the early Muslims explained it. Quran is not dependant upon industrial or scientific revolution in order to be understood. Quran is clear book of guidance. Not a book of science or secret info which can only be decodified after 1000 years since its revelation.

    Even the Prophet peace be upon him explained Quranic Adam as the first human being and he was created directly from clay hence not born as the rest of us.

    All the classical ulama understood the verses about Adam as indicating him to be the first human created. None of them came up with suggestion from the Quran that humans are children of animals.

    Quran was revealed in 7th century and the prophet explained it. Its a clear book which doesnot need scientists after 1000 of years to correctly interpret it! The Prophet understood the Quran and his explanation is the best regardless of whoever from 21st century says.

    Quran does not mutate or change it meanings based upon which century its read! Quran says many things which is beyond the scope of science or human senses such as the unseen, angels, miracles, hereafter and soul.

    Quran explains many things clearly such as salah, zakah, siyam, stories of the prophets, hereafer etc
    if quranic Adam is from ape like creatures then the Quran would of explicilty mentioned it. But it never did since the Quran gives clear account of adam being created from clay directly without parents.

    I noticed the ahmadis as usual contradict the Quran and sahih hadith when it comes to Quranic Adam and many other topics.

    “Please stop worshiping 19th century graves.” Not sure where did that come from or what that supposed to entail? It is you who uses non-muslim works of 19th century to interpret the Quran NOT me.

    I base my understanding of the Quran from the teachings of the Prophet and his companions.

  13. The so called guided evolution is a cop out for the ahmadis and their likes. They want to sugar coat with the evolutionists and apparently want to be loyal to the Quranic adam.

    The scientific community (esp the evolutionsist) have refuted the “theistic evolution” since sufficient explanation of evolution is given by natural selection and thus no Divine intervention is required by use of occam’s razor.

    Ahmadis cannot have it both ways by twisting the meanings of the Quran or making up their own inerpretations of the Quran which goes against the context and traditions.

    Either accept the Quranic adam as explained by the prophet and be true to what the Quran actually states. thus no human evolution from ape like creatures since quranic adam is first human created.

    or reject the Quranic adam and follow darwin’s evolution theory.

    like it or not, the ahmadis can’t have their cake and eat it to

  14. My God. I thought p4rv3zkh4n is a fundamentalist, but he knows some science as well! He is talking about occam’s razor.

    I do not want it to be a sectarian debate, so let me just offer my personal understanding of theistic evolution.

    My dear, your comment above is outdated by some ninety years. Quantum physics perfectly provides for our free will and God’s Providence. This understanding not only allows for God’s constant omnipotence and granting of our prayers, but also perfectly explains theistic evolution.

    I will not be debating Quantum physics with anyone here but will link some suitable materials to substantiate my claim in the above paragraph.

  15. Regarding p4rv3zkh4n’s comment, “Quran was revealed in 7th century and the prophet explained it. Its a clear book which doesnot need scientists after 1000 of years to correctly interpret it! The Prophet understood the Quran and his explanation is the best regardless of whoever from 21st century says.”

    This is all in your imagination. The Quranic understanding of many verses of almost every sensible Muslim commentator has been evolving in light of new learning of the age, especially science.

    Read the book the Bible, the Quran and Science.

    Let me link an article of mine here as well:

    Science in the Service of the Scriptures

    If any Ahmadi Muslim has difficulty with this comment of mine, let me share a quote from the Founder of our community, Promised Messiah, may peace be on him:

    The Holy Qur’an is not matchless merely on account of the beauty of its composition, but is matchless on account of all its excellences which it claims to comprise and that is the truth, for whatever proceeds from God Almighty is not unique only on account of one quality but on account of every one of its qualities. Those who do not accept the Holy Qur’an as comprehensive of unlimited eternal truths and insights, do not value the Qur’an as it should be valued. A necessary sign for the recognition of the holy and true Word of God is that it should be unique in all its qualities, for we observe that whatever proceeds from God Almighty is unique and matchless even if it is only a grain of barley, and human powers cannot match it. … For instance, if the wonders of a leaf of a tree are investigated for a thousand years, that period would come to an end, but the wonders of the leaf will not come to an end. … The verse, “Say, ‘If every ocean becomes ink for the words of my Lord, surely, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof as further help;’” (18:110) supports this, for the whole of creation is Words of God….. Thus this verse means that the qualities of creation are without limit and endless.

    Now when every created thing possesses unlimited and endless qualities and comprises numberless wonders then how could the Holy Qur’an, which is the Holy Word of God Almighty, be confined to the few meanings which may be set out in a commentary of forty or fifty or a thousand volumes, or could have been expounded by our lord and master the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] in a limited period? To say so would almost amount to disbelief, if it is deliberately persisted in. It is true that whatever the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] has set forth as the meaning of the Holy Qur’an is true and correct, but it is not true that the Holy Qur’an contains no more than the insights that have been set forth by the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him]. Such sayings of our opponents indicate that they do not believe in the unlimited greatness and qualities of the Holy Qur’an.

    [Karamat-us-Sadiqin, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 7, pp. 60-62]

  16. He It is Who created all things in the best way and began the creation of man from clay, and made his progeny from an extract of despised fluid. (Quran 32:7-8)

    Allah distinguished between the creation of Adam and the creation of His offspring. This is a clear reference to the creation of Adam (from clay, fashioned and formed) being unique in that no parents were required, and then Allah made his offspring to arise through an extract of an emitted fluid. And as for Jesus (alayhis salaam), then Allah resembles his creation to Adam’s in the sense that Adam was born of no parents, and Jesus was born of no father. “Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” – and he was.” (Quran 3:59)

    Regarding the so called theistic evolution; No evidence for it as claimed by many biologists. Also no evolutionist accepted the Quran based upon ahmadis’ interpretations of Quranic Adam. Evolution is pioneered by darwin, ahmadis cannot change historical fact. No books before darwin taught human evolution from animals.

    Quranic Adam is incompatible with darwin’s theory of human evolution. All classical scholars of quran and arab linguistics have unanimously accepted Quranic Adam as the first man and the verses clearly state he was created directly from clay, hence not born.

    All the verses of the Quran which can be humanly understood can be understood in all centuries since its revelation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and some of his companions explained all the verses quoted about Quranic Adam as first human created without biological parents.

    Quran is clear book of guidance, Not a book of science therefore it does not depend on scientific discoveries to understand the verses about Quranic Adam.

    The Quran encourages us to study. Quran asks us to use reason and to observe the world. However the Quran in of itself can be understood without new discoveries or theories. But the Quran is using what people already know as a basis for an argument.

    Science has its due place; in our studies, it can be used as a tool for fiqh and the religion does not direct use to go aganist our aql. We use science to improve the world and appreciate God’s blessings. However science is not used to contradict the apparent meaning of the Quran and prophetic teachings or to reject miracles.

    Quran mentions the creation of Isa like that of Adam. Both were created miraculously which is beyond science. Hazrat Isa was created without father while Hazrat Adam was created without any parents!

    Quran as the clear book of guidance will not keep the people in darkness about the meaning of its verses regarding Adam, only to be given a “correct meaning” from the works of those who reject the Quran. It is irrational to claim that the Quran did not correct the dominant view of human creation while being silent about the humans’ ancestry.

    If the Quran did teach human evolution from animals, then it would of clearly stated it, Quran narrates plainly many things such as monotheism, laws, prayers, story of prophets and hereafer. Also worthy to consider is that the mainstream view of Adam during the Quran’s revelation is that Adam was the first human being created without parents, so if Quran was teaching evolution then it would of plainly rejected the whole account of Adam. However what we read in the Quran is that it corrects the mistakes made by the judeo-christian books but also agrees with what is found to be correct.

    A key principle that must be established when to correctly interpret the Qur’an and ahadith we must approach them as one coherent and homogeneous unit that affords a holistic interpretation, and not an interpretation based on preconceived ideas that singles out isolated verses so as to misconstrue them.

    The story of the Sabbath-breakers is well known whereby Allah cursed the disobedient and turned them into monkeys and pigs.

    How then, can the honoured sons of Adam actually come from that which is considered a curse? Of course, in being honoured, it is only logical to conclude that humans haven’t come from apes. Even if we were to state that the transformation was metaphorical, the essential point still remains that they were cursed by taking on qualities of monkeys and apes. Correspondingly, there are various contradictions that arise in relation to Adam and Hawwa’ when attempting to scripturally justify human evolution. There are various mutawatir texts that confirm that Adam and Hawwa’ lived as spouses and that mankind came from the two, indeed the textual evidences regarding this point are particularly decisive.

    Furthermore It is extremely clear that the ahmadi evolutionists refuse to acknowledge the entire textual discourse surrounding the creation of Adam, instead using solitary words as a justification to re-interpret Adam’s creation. Thus, in order to attempt some form of reconciliation between the two accounts, the ahmadis adapt the Qur’an to fit the theory, or the theory to fit the Qur’an, or transform both equally, and in every case, each possibility is as preposterous as the others, because it is academically dishonest and not geniune tafsir of the Quran but rather trying to put preconcieved notions to the verses.

    Ironically ahmadis completely ignore the existence of ahadith about Adam’s creation. Indeed they have to because the sahih hadith cannot be reconciled with human evolution from ape like creatures.

    So mirza ghulam of qadian admits that the “whatever the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] has set forth as the meaning of the Holy Qur’an is true and correct…” Then why does he goe aganist the Prophetic sayings about Quranic Adam?

  17. 12 Minute Video: Everything You Wanted to Know about Guided Evolution

    To p4rv3zkh4n:

    Could it be that your concrete way of thinking is depriving you of holistic understanding of the Quran and Hadith and you have ended up with a few myths from centuries ago that you insist on and are trying to mold the Quran in your medieval thoughts and beliefs?

  18. I noticed you could not address any of the Quranic verses or sahih hadith about Adam.

    All the Sahaba , mujtahid and mujaddid have understood Quranic Adam as the first human being. No reformer in any century before darwin ever considered that the verses about Adam suggest he was from ape like creatures.

    Could it be that your concrete way of thinking is depriving you of the Prophetic understanding of the Quran and you are trying to mold the Quran to fit darwin’s theory?

  19. I am afraid not. On some issues I think and argue like you and I can put myself in your shoes and understand where you are coming from.

    I hope you are able to extend similar courtesy to me.

    I am purposely avoiding debating each Ayat or Hadith like a lawyer and trying to create the bigger picture.

    Quran is the literal word of God with infinite power and knowledge. Humans, however pious and gifted are ultimately finite with only finite knowledge and insight. It is not a blasphemy but a truth that this finite reality applies to all the prophets of God also, if we are to avoid raising them to Divine status, like the Christians did to Jesus, may peace be on him.

    Please consider if the Quran is not to be frozen in the past, we have to allow for new and current ways of looking at the same verses.

    Without such flexibility or dynamism, I am afraid Muslims become rigid in their thought process and unable to adjust to new needs and demands with the changing world.

    Scholars of the previous centuries before Darwin did their best to understand based on the knowledge they had. We have to do our best. There is clear proof that humans have existed on this planet for far more than 6000 years and were not brought here from another planet. God does not have manual hands and does not make statues and then breathes any thing into them. Previous scholars are answerable to God for what they did in their circumstances and we will be answerable for our intentions and deeds and our stubbornness, if we are guilty of that.

    I do not have the slightest doubt in my mind that I am doing any disservice to the holy Quran. I want to appear before my Allah on the final day as a servant of Islam and not as one who tried to distort it.

    Here is my latest article today in service of Islam and humanity at large:

    CNN’s Misrepresentations About Benefits of Alcohol

  20. Quran is rich in its wisdom and its language facilitates deeper understanding and new lessons.
    This is evident by the interpertations of scholars of tafsir giving different but coherent explanations of the same verses throughout the centuries.

    However any interpretation given by ulama, must be in accordance with the language of the Quran, sahih prophetic ta’weel/tafsir and ijma of the sahaba.

    Any interpretation which contradicts the prophetic sunnah or the understanding of the sahaba, then it is to be rejected since the Prophet is the most knowledgable of humanity regarding the Quran. Also it is inconcievable that the majority of the learned sahaba have misunderstood the Quran.

    So flexibility or dynamism is allowed within the proper methodology of tafsir al Quran. As long as it is in accordance with the sahih hadith and tafsir of sahaba.

    Flexibility is rejected if such flexibilty twists the meanings and goes against the established sunnah or ijma of the sahaba.

    When i apply such methodology; I agree with the prophet’s teachings about the Quranic Adam’ who was the father of humanity created directly by Allah without Adam having parents.

  21. “Quran is the literal word of God…”

    Therefore i say the Quranic Adam literally indicates that Adam was the first human being created directly from clay and God gave him a soul.

    The sahaba understood the verses about quranic Adam literally and so did all the scholars before darwinism.

    So the Quran literally is incompatible with human evolution from ape like creatures.

  22. Quranic creationism indicates that Allah created everything including humankind. Belief in God is beyond science since it cannot be proven false.

    Science is study of natural phenomena and the scientific enquiry includes observation, hypothesis and falsification test.

    As I said before science has its due place which has many benefits. Quran encourages us to study and observe the creation. Science helps in medicine, innovations, engineering, tech advancment, calculations of moon cycle etc. Early Muslims used to study science to help in their practise of the deen such as finding the qibla, calculating times of salah and hijri calender.

    However science is not used to interpret supernatural creation or miracles stated in the Quran. Since science is only for natural phenomena which can be observed, hypothesis derived and can make predictions.

    But historical miracles or belief of the ghaib cannot be observed or give predictions hence it does not fit into the scientific method.

    Quranic Adam is a miracle of God’s creation which is beyond the realm of scietific enquiry. quranic adam cannot be interpreted based on any scientific theory since it cannot be observed and God’s involvment in creation of humans cannot be falsified.

    No wonder the Quran states that the creation of Isa is like of Adam. Both of them were created miraculously which is beyond the scientfic method.

    Surah 3:59 “Truly, the likeness of Isa, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, ‘Be,’ and he was.”

    The similarity between the creation of Adam and Isa is that they both were created differently from the rest. Both of them came into existance miraculously without father. (No parents at all for Adam).

    So will you also mold Quranic Isa like you did to Quranic Adam to fit into scientific theories?

    According to biology; no male human being can be born without a human father since half of its genetic material is derived from the father’s sperm. Y chromosome only comes from male.

    Creation of Adam and Isa cannot be reconciled with the idea that humankind came from ape like creatures and that humans share common ancestor to all living things on earth.

  23. The following video shows Quranic Adam based upon the clear context of the verses, arabic language, prophetic explanations and how muslims historically understood Quranic Adam based upon quranic language and sahih hadith.

    An honest reading of quranic adam based upon the relevant verses and the most authentic hadith works shows Adam did come from biolocal mating but rather created directly from clay.

    Entire coherent reading of the Quran and sunnah clearly shows that Adam was first man created from clay and that he was created in jannah and then moved to earth.

    Simply to conclude, to claim adam was from ape like creatures, then you are contradicting the Quran and sunnah

  24. so do you reject all the sahih hadith which clearly states that Adam was created directly from clay and he was moulded into his given form and structure?

    ironically even mirza ghulam clamed that sahih bukhari is the most authentic book on hadith.

    in sahih bukhari ; Adam is clearly shown as the first man created in heaven

  25. “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with God is the one who is the most God-fearing.” (Quran 49:13)

    The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, identified the “male” mentioned in this verse as being Adam. He said:

    “Human beings are the children of Adam and Adam was created from Earth. God says: ‘O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with God is the one who is the most God-fearing’.” (Al-Tirmidhî)

    “O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from Him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women.” (Quran 4:1)

    science has its limits since its based upon human observation and hypothesis of nature. Based upon philosophy of science, a theory cannot be absolute truth.

    The direct creation of Adam (peace be upon him) can neither be confirmed nor denied by science in any way. This is because the creation of Adam (peace be upon him) was a unique and singular historical event. It is a matter of the Unseen and something that science does not have the power to confirm or deny. As a matter of the Unseen, we believe it because God informs us about it. We say the same for the miracles mentioned in the Quran. Miraculous events, by their very nature, do not conform to scientific laws and their occurrence can neither be confirmed nor denied by science.

    Anyways in various scientific disciplines; there are different hypothesis given including humankind creation.

    The realisation that all mtDNA lineage scan be traced back to a single origin is popularly called the “mitochondrial Eve” theory.

    Everyone on the planet today can trace a specific part of his or her genetic heritage back to one woman through a unique part of our genetic makeup, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The mtDNA of “mitochondrial Eve” has been passed down through the centuries from mother to daughter (men are carriers, but don’t pass it on) and exists within all people living today.

    I’m not the above hypothesis is a fact or that the Quran is based upon it. but i am just showing that scientific hypothesis can change, re-evaluated or be ammended.

    So science develops and what appears to be theory today, could change or be updated tomowrrow, therefore i don’t regard science as absolutly necessary tool to interpret the Quran since theories can be proven wrong or be updated.

    Some muslims in the past used greek philosophy or science of their time to re-interpet verses of the Quran. However such explanations have either been refuted or proven wrong. So it is not exactly wise to use every hypotheis to explain the Quran since theories develop and can change based upon new observations that don’t fit the pattern.

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