Creationism, Evolution, Intelligent Design or Islam?

Since 2008-07-01

Creationism, natural selection, intelligent design, the theory of evolution. Thinking about the creation of the world, the universe, and humankind can be confusing. There are theories, opinions, and beliefs. The creation of the universe was a random act, humankind evolved from apes, living creatures climbed out of the primordial swamp, science proves some sort of intelligence designed the universe.

Confused? You should be, because that is not all. There is also neo creationism , old earth creationism, flood geology, the big bang theory, evolutionary biology, the common descent theory, and macroevolution. What does it all mean?

For many people it must be a kind of lottery, or a theory of the year choice. Each group has its evidence, some believe in God, others do not. Some use science to prove their opinions, others use the book of Genesis or other creation myths. In Islam, the story of creation is clear. There are no partly formed theories or strange opinions to add to the confusion. The creation of the world and all that exists is attributed to God. The most merciful, most wise, most forgiving.

{God created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in six days.} [Quran 7:54]

{إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ} [الأعراف:٥٤]
Transliteration: 'Inna Rabbakumu Allāhu Al-Ladhī Khalaqa As-Samāwāti Wa Al-'Arđa Fī Sittati 'Ayyāmin

{Then He completed and finished from their creation seven heavens in two Days and He made in each heaven its affair. And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard (from the devils by using them as missiles against the devils). Such is the Decree of Him the All-Mighty, the All-Knower.} [Quran 41:12]

{فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَأَوْحَىٰ فِي كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ أَمْرَهَا ۚ وَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَحِفْظًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ} [فصلت:١٢]
Transliteration: Faqađāhunna Sab`a Samāwātin Fī Yawmayni Wa 'Awĥá Fī Kulli Samā'in 'Amrahā Wa Zayyannā As-Samā'a Ad-Dunyā Bimaşābīĥa Wa Ĥifžāan Dhālika Taqdīru Al-`Azīzi Al-`Alīmi

{And indeed, We created man from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.} [Quran 15:26]

{وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ} [الحجر:٢٦]
Transliteration: Wa Laqad Khalaqnā Al-'Insāna Min Şalşālin Min Ĥama'iin Masnūnin

{And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.} [Quran 15:28]

{وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ} [الحجر:٢٨]
Transliteration: Wa 'Idh Qāla Rabbuka Lilmalā'ikati 'Innī Khāliqun Basharāan Min Şalşālin Min Ĥama'iin Masnūnin

God created Adam the father of humankind from mud (clay, soil, earth, or dust mixed with water), he created his wife Eve from a rib bone. The traditions of Prophet Muhammad relate that God created Eve while Adam was sleeping, from his shortest left rib and that, after sometime, she was clothed with flesh. God then endowed Adam and Eve with the ability to procreate.

{God has created every moving (living) creature from water. Of them, some creep on their bellies, some that walk on two legs, and some that walk on four. God creates what He wills. Verily! God is Able to do all things.} [Quran 24:45]

{وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ بَطْنِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِي عَلَىٰ أَرْبَعٍ ۚ يَخْلُقُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ} [النور:٤٥]
Transliteration: Wa Allāhu Khalaqa Kulla Dābbatin Min Mā'in Faminhum Man Yamshī `Alá Baţnihi Wa Minhum Man Yamshī `Alá Rijlayni Wa Minhum Man Yamshī `Alá 'Arba`in Yakhluqu Allāhu Mā Yashā'u 'Inna Allāha `Alá Kulli Shay'in Qadīrun

{And God said: '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]

{يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً} [النساء:١]
Transliteration: Yā 'Ayyuhā An-Nāsu Attaqū Rabbakumu Al-Ladhī Khalaqakum Min Nafsin Wāĥidatin Wa Khalaqa Minhā Zawjahā Wa Baththa Minhumā Rijālāan Kathīrāan Wa Nisā'an

{And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be God the Best of creators.} [Quran 23: 12 -14]

{وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ ﴿١٢﴾ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُطْفَةً فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ ﴿١٣﴾ ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ ۚ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ} [المؤمنون:12-١٤].
Transliteration: Wa Laqad Khalaqnā Al-'Insāna Min Sulālatin Min Ţīnin (12) Thumma Ja`alnāhu Nuţfatan Fī Qarārin Makīnin (13) Thumma Khalaqnā An-Nuţfata `Alaqatan Fakhalaqnā Al-`Alaqata Muđghatan Fakhalaqnā Al-Muđghata `Ižāmāan Fakasawnā Al-`Ižāma Laĥmāan Thumma 'Ansha'nāhu Khalqāan 'Ākhara Fatabāraka Allāhu 'Aĥsanu Al-Khāliqīna


In Islam, unlike other religions there are no great debates involving the separation of science and religion. Islam teaches us that great scientific discoveries and break throughs are simply evidence of the existence of God. If scientific theories conflict with the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad Muslims simply reject them. However apart from the premise in Darwin's theory of evolution, that man is descended from apes, Quran, and modern science are remarkably in accord.

{Indeed, the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind do not realize it.} [Quran 40:57]

{لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ} [غافر:٥٧]
Transliteration: Lakhalqu As-Samāwāti Wa Al-'Arđi 'Akbaru Min Khalqi An-Nāsi Wa Lakinna 'Akthara An-Nāsi Lā Ya`lamūna

More than 14 centuries ago the Quran mentioned scientific facts that have only recently been discovered using modern scientific methods and advanced equipment. The development of scientific disciplines, such as cosmology and astrophysics have explained some of the mysteries of God's creation. Cosmic events that were previously part of the unseen now make sense according to modern scientific theory.

{Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: 'Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.' They both said: 'We come, willingly.'} [Quran 41:11]

{ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ} [فصلت:١١]
Transliteration: Thumma Astawá 'Ilá As-Samā'i Wa Hiya Dukhānun Faqāla Lahā Wa Lil'arđi Ai'tiyā Ţaw`āan 'Aw Karhāan Qālatā 'Ataynā Ţā'i`īna


Modern cosmology indicates that, at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of 'smoke', an opaque highly dense and hot gaseous composition. It is now possible for scientists to observe new stars being formed out of the remnants of the 'smoke'. Dr. Loretta Dunne from Cardiff University, says that "Cosmic dust consists of tiny particles of solid material floating around in the space between the stars. It is not the same as house dust but more akin to cigarette smoke."[1] Astronomers studied supernovae SN 2003gd using the Spitzer space telescope, and found that it had produced tremendous amounts of dust.

In the creation of humankind we are also now able to see modern scientific evidence that seems to be in accord with the words of God in Quran. Many elements present in the earth are also contained in the human body. The most critical component to land-based life is the top soil; that thin layer of dark, organically rich soil in which plants spread out their roots. It is in this thin, vital layer of soil that microorganisms convert raw resources, and make them available to the myriad forms of life around and above them.

The Quran instructs Muslims to "contemplate the wonders of creation" (3:191) Imagine the precision and timing that allows the world and all that is in it to function. Complex systems run perfectly. The earth is specifically designed for human life and life on earth is a delicate balance, from the lofty skies to the depths of the ocean.

{The sun and the moon run on their fixed courses (exactly) calculated with measured out stages for each (for reckoning, etc.)... And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance... And the earth He has put for the creatures.} [Quran 55:5-10]

{الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ ﴿٥﴾ وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ ﴿٦﴾ وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ ﴿٧﴾ أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ ﴿٨﴾ وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ ﴿٩﴾ وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ} [الرحمن:5-١٠].
Transliteration: Ash-Shamsu Wa Al-Qamaru Biĥusbānin(5) Wa An-Najmu Wa Ash-Shajaru Yasjudāni (6) Wa As-Samā'a Rafa`ahā Wa Wađa`a Al-Mīzāna (7) 'Allā Taţghaw Fī Al-Mīzāni (8) Wa 'Aqīmū Al-Wazna Bil-Qisţi Wa Lā Tukhsirū Al-Mīzāna (9) Wa Al-'Arđa Wađa`ahā Lil'anāmi

God created the universe, God created humankind. Certain sections of all the theories and opinions that abound agree with the words found in Quran and the authentic traditions of prophet Muhammad, but really that is of no consequence. Nor is it important when theories try to disprove the existence of God.

The sun and the moon are fixed in their orbits, life evolves, life continues. Muslims know with certainty that the world and all that exists was created by God. When new discoveries prove this beyond doubt, believers smile enigmatically and wait for the other miracles of God to reveal themselves. The complexity of life is almost to simple to grasp. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.



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Footnotes:
[1] Smoking supernova; Science daily (July 24, 2003)





By Aisha Stacey

IslamReligion.com

 

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