ISLAM AND EVOLUTION
By Shariq Ali Khan
Islamic Forum for Science and Arts
As Muslims we need to find the answer to the above in the Quran and the Hadith like in every aspect in life. Instead of following fundamental Christians on one side or secular scientists on the other we should follow Allah and his Rasul (saws). Particularly because Allah and his Prophet Mohammed (saws) make clear statements in regards to creation and evolution which are actually two different words for the same process.
And they say nothing in vain, n’audu billah. No question that organisms change through time because Allah has given them the capability to adopt to different conditions as he says, he is the Changer or the Evlover. The question is only: What is the firing power of evolution? Is it random selection? No! It is Allah. He changes climates and selects the fittest or weakest to survive and produces creation after creation for a just end.
Allah clearly says that he made us humans go through similar embryological stages and that “he made out of it another creature”. Pig’s and ape’s DNA is 95%-98% similar to ours. Apart from indicating that DNA cannot be every aspect that influences development this shows us that there is another possibility, such as indicated in the Quran, that man were turned into apes and swine for their sins rather than having evolved from either!
Furthermore Allah says that he “made our race from the floating Ark” in the Surah Ya-Sin. He also says that the Ark rested on Mount Judi, unlike the Bible which says Ararat. Both are in South Turkey. But on the top of Judi a fossilized plateau was found of the shape of a ship and this has been carbon dated to 100000 years old. Now the DNA of our mitochondriae which we inherit from the ovum of our mothers has been traced to one women 100000 years ago.
This fact is established among human biologists and geneticists since the 70s. So it is said that all humans come from one woman 100000 years ago and she must have been from East Africa since this is where similarly old Homo Sapiens skulls have been found and dated 100000 years. This theory was first called “Out of Africa Eve hypothesis” Now it is called “Noah’s Ark Hypothesis”! It is highly unlikely that these three methods of dating are wrong, especially because Allah mentions them as signs in the Quran!!!
So we come from Noah (as) and his wife and before that from Adam (as) who’s race had lived before that and had died out during the flood. It is explicitly mentioned in the “Noah’s Ark Hypothesis” which is the predominating view among biologists today that all other humans violently died out in a sudden event and in a biological bottleneck some technological advancement allowed only a narrow band of people to survive 100000 years ago. Some scientists suggest violent genocide. But how is that possible on a global scale in those times? There was no atom bomb around. The answer is: That technological advantage was the Ark! Alhamdulillah.
We should also consider that Allah mentions that we should travel through the earth and see how he originated creation, that he is the Created and Changed, that Musa (as) said to Pharaoh, Allah is he who creates and then directs (changes) and that there was a long time during which man was not mentioned.
Last but not least Allah states that there has been a timescale of creation, 6 days for Heavens and Earth and 2 days for the Earth…This is the exact relation between the age of the universe and the age of the Earth (14 Billion verses 4 Billion, if we add a 7th day, not of rest like the Christians, but of test as our being Khalifah on Earth and Allah still in charge and observing and sustaining rather than testing). The Arabic Joum for day is flexible, it can be 1000 years (qiyamah, last day) or 50000 years (angels ascending to Allah) or more.
And there is long Hadith in Muslim which narrates Mohammed (saws) to have mentioned the week as a parable for creation. First Allah created Mountains on Saturday, then clay on Sunday, then life on Monday (before light thermonuclear vents where life exists without the light of the sun) and that the things entailing labor (mitochondria, chloroplasts, archaeobacteria) were there before animals spread and that Adam was created on the last day Friday shortly after Asr, shortly before the end…The exact chronology of creation/evolution. The last day is after the Precambrian when multi-cellular organisms developed one out of the other…But man is a separate creation out of the same material, water, clay, etc.
Allah could create “Kum faia Kum” immediately, if he wanted, but he chose to do it in stages. This is the solution, the ideal compromise between creationists and evolutionists who should, if they have any brains, unite under Islam. This is Shariah, the fountain of truth that we have to establish again. And we have to become leaders in science again and be the inventors and explorers rather than followers. We have to act instead of protest.
We just have to learn how to build up the house called Ummah again and establish knowledge as the soil, jaqeen (certainty) as the fundament, the five pillars as the walls, Jihad (against evil inside ourselves and others) as the furniture , Dawah as the decoration and justice as the roof to be held up. Inshallah, Ameen.