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Evolution or creation in stages in the Qur'an?


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Author Topic: Evolution or creation in stages in the Qur'an?  (Read 580 times)
Ozcan
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« on: February 23, 2013, 11:39:14 pm »

Salaam to all,

I obviously don't believe in the modern theory of evolution, but after carefully reading the Qur'an I must conclude that Allah has created everything in stages and perhaps employed a form of 'evolution' in the process, which is of course also creation because nothing can 'evolve' without intelligent intervention (creation) and knowledge. Anyway, below are some verses that indicate some form of 'evolution' or 'creation in stages', whatever you prefer to call it. It's not a complete list; there are many other verses but these are more than enough in my view. Please read carefully, and let me know what you think.

71:13-14
What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur

While He has created you in stages?

32:7
Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay.

45:4
And in the creation of yourselves and what He disperses of moving creatures are signs for people who are certain [in faith].

76:1
Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned?

29:20
Say, [O Muhammad], "Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah , over all things, is competent."

24:45
Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 03:54:14 am »

Walaikum Salam brother Ozcan.

I too don't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution at all.  However, Allah may have ordained some different kind of evolution, which was subtle & slow.  It may have stopped at some point or is still continuing.  Only Allah would know best, we don't and neither do the scientists.

Concerning the verses you quoted above, I concentrated on each one carefully.  But I'm not able to see any link nor confirmation for connecting them with the biological evolution of humans.

Looking at the verses you quoted, as I would read them:

"While He has created you in stages?" 71:14.
This refers to the stages of development in the womb, and then the physical growth/changes the human body undergoes during the span of its lifetime - infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age, fraility and ultimately death.

"Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay."  32:7.
Again, the creation starting from clay to the womb to old age might be included.  It also refers to the numerous creations of Allah spread across the planet, each having its own shape, size, purpose and function.  For e.g. the human eyes, ears, legs, hands, the air which we breath, clouds, rainfall etc. etc.  Everything serves its purpose perfectly.  The absence or malfunction of any becomes a source of great anxiety.

"And in the creation of yourselves and what He disperses of moving creatures are signs for people who are certain [in faith]."  45:4.
Allah tells us to reflect on His various creations that fill the earth.  It will definitely strengthen the faith of those inclined to believing in Him.  I don't see any reference to human or animal evolution, but a reference to thinking rationally and carefully on the wonders of Allah. 

"Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned?"  (76:1).
Some commentators have interpreted this verse as: from the time the earth was created, there was a period of time when the human race didn't exist and then the human species came into existence from its humble beginnings, being created from a drop of sperm, evolving in the womb, being born and growing old.  These commentators are of the view that during conception, man wasn't worth remembering.  However, I do not quite agree with this explanation.  It might be true that the earth existed since before it began being inhabited by the human race (that is, with the coming of Adam and his wife because the Quran does not give us any other information of humans who might have been here prior to Adam).  In many translations the word "not" in bracket is replaced with "ever" as in Pickthall's which reads "Hath there come upon man (ever) any period of time in which he was a thing unremembered ?"  This sounds more correct to me .. a reference to the importance of the human species which had always played a predominant role since its creation.  It can also be taken as a hint on the superiority of the human species .... the meaning of 'superiority' being the ability making decisions, choices and the capacity of making their conscience grow.

"Say, [O Muhammad], "Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent." "  (29:20).
This is about the skill of Allah concerning the ongoing creation of life from generation to generation on earth.  Something to contemplate upon to strengthen one's faith.

"Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent."  (24:45).
I read this as referring to the variety of His creation on earth.  Creating every living creature "from water" would mean the indispensable need of water for survival of all living beings on earth as ordained by Him.
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Ozcan
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2013, 09:46:19 am »

Thank you for sharing your opinion sister Heba.

I see that I've forgotten to mention this very important verse;

71:17

And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.

Doesn't this indicate some form of biological evolution (I prefer to call it creation in stages)?

It might be argued that Adam and Eve were the first humans who carried a soul (it's the soul which makes us human), but not necessarily the first "humans" (i.e. a 'bashar' without a soul). I know some modern Islamic scholars who say something along this line if I remember correctly. In the end, none of us know for sure of course, but I think we should be open to different interpretations...
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 04:12:37 am »

Thank you for sharing your opinion sister Heba.

I see that I've forgotten to mention this very important verse;

71:17

And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth.

Doesn't this indicate some form of biological evolution (I prefer to call it creation in stages)? 

Salam brother, you're welcomed. We had already discussed Verse 71:17 quite sometime ago titled Human body and its analogy with growth of plants..  It highlights the reality of being created by dust and eventually returning to dust.  I don't see the aspect of "evolution" in this either.   I quote the contents of the link by sister Zeynab expressing her opinion on V.71:17 and I concur : "The course of human life basically has the same trend and path of growth as plants.   Allah Almighty created the human body with earth, and finally after completing its course of life, this body again mingles with earth.  The aspect has been very simply and articulately stated in Verse 71:17-18 which is ever so inspiring.  It brings to mind yet again, the very temporary nature of human life despite human ambitions and pride at making life as complicated as they have.  Yet, none can alter the ultimate destiny and reality of the physical human body as ordained by the Divine Power - and that final destiny is .. back to earth until raised again on the Day of Judgment."


It might be argued that Adam and Eve were the first humans who carried a soul (it's the soul which makes us human), but not necessarily the first "humans" (i.e. a 'bashar' without a soul). I know some modern Islamic scholars who say something along this line if I remember correctly. In the end, none of us know for sure of course, but I think we should be open to different interpretations...

I agree it's a positive step to keep certain matters open for interpretation but not all, depending upon the degree of confirmation we have from the Quran on that subject.   Thus, one needs to be very careful with this approach. 

Concerning the topic you raised on whether or not Adam was the first human, if we reflect carefully on Quranic information, Allah addresses humans as the "children of Adam."  Allah also addresses Adam and his wife as our first "parents"  (V.7:26-27).  In Verse 7:189 Allah tells humans that they were created from a "single soul," referring to Adam.  All of this indicate that Adam was our earliest ancestor, that he and his wife were the first couple in the planet, and they were both humans.  Unlike Darwin's theory, the Noble Quran gives us no reason to presume that we descended from animals or anything else that wasn't of the same species as ourselves.  The special creation of Adam as described in the Quran which also led to the banishment of Satan is another evidence of Adam being the earliest ancestral link to humans, otherwise the status of Adam would have little or no importance.  The creation of Adam was through the miracle of Allah - "Be and it is" - the same way as Allah created Essa, son of Maryam.  Then, after Adam and his wife were told to leave Paradise and sent to earth, began the earthly laws of reproduction.  It was Adam and his wife who initiated this process according to the decision of Allah.    The complete set of narrations throughout the Noble Quran in various Surahs are a clear confirmation of Adam being the first ancestor of man. For reference are the following verses:- 3:59, 7:22-25, 7:26-27, 17:70, 18:50, 15:28-43, 2:30-38, 20:121-123, 32:7.  There might be a few more which I've missed out.

As I mentioned earlier, only Allah would know for how long this planet existed prior to Adam and his wife being sent here from Paradise.  Similarly, whether or not any living creature inhabited the planet prior to their coming is only known to Allah.  But Noble Quran gives us enough information to confirm that Adam was our first ancestor.   Over the period of millions (or probably billions) of years since Adam came, whether or not the physical features of humans have altered a little e.g. shape of the skull, texture of skin, structure of teeth, average height etc. is only known to Allah.  It's possible that such changes may have been ORDAINED BY ALLAH WITHIN THE HUMAN SPECIES over the span of millions of years to better enable the human body be adaptable to the surroundings.  But it's absolutely impossible to come up with any specific ideas, let alone confirmations.  Thus, as truth-seekers, we have no other choice but to leave this aspect to Allah concerning the possibility of physical evolution of humans.
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 04:03:56 am »


Over the period of millions (or probably billions) of years since Adam came, whether or not the physical features of humans have altered a little e.g. shape of the skull, texture of skin, structure of teeth, average height etc. is only known to Allah.  It's possible that such changes may have been ORDAINED BY ALLAH WITHIN THE HUMAN SPECIES over the span of millions of years to better enable the human body be adaptable to the surroundings.  But it's absolutely impossible to come up with any specific ideas, let alone confirmations.  Thus, as truth-seekers, we have no other choice but to leave this aspect to Allah concerning the possibility of physical evolution of humans.

Yes, this is possible, but it's only a possibility without any evidence. 

Also, in the Quran all evidences point that Adam was the first man on earth.

The important aspect to remember is that the Quran is a Book of guidance.  In the process to impart guidance, Allah has revealed whatever information He deems necessary that would help humanity to acquire His guidance.  Hence, evolution in the Quran refers to the process every individual undergoes from birth to death, not the changes (if any) the human body may have acquired over millions of years.  That would be too abstract for most people to grasp nor would it be tangible enough to contemplate upon.  One of most vital realities for guidance is to understand the temporary nature of life on earth.  For this reason the Quran is focused on human evolution from the cradle to the grave rather than the age of this planet and its gradual & imperceptible affect on living beings.  That's really not relevant.  Physicists, anthropologists and other scientists may study it through whatever research is possible, but it will never be conclusive and will  remain an illusionary sphere for humans.  The truth is only known to Allah.
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 04:16:16 am »


One of most vital realities for guidance is to understand the temporary nature of life on earth.  For this reason the Quran is focused on human evolution from the cradle to the grave rather than the age of this planet and its gradual & imperceptible affect on living beings.  That's really not relevant.  Physicists, anthropologists and other scientists may study it through whatever research is possible, but it will never be conclusive and will  remain an illusionary sphere for humans.  The truth is only known to Allah.

Exactly, that's a very valid point.
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 12:47:41 pm »

Salaam,

Thanks again for the replies, I too think it's irrelevant to endlessy ponder on how life 'evolved' (if it really did). In the end, many atheists use evolution to turn people away from God. Some famous evolutionists have openly admitted this not so hidden agenda. I forgot who it was but one of them said this; evolution = atheism.

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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 12:35:06 am »

Walaikum Salaam.  Yes, I've also observed that atheists use "evolution" as one of their tools to distract people from Faith.  They often hold the unseen against Faith but overlook the massive illusions & dream-work they weave while drafting their own stories .... stories that are woven with biased intentions solely for the purpose of repudiating Faith.  For them it's not an attempt to seek the truth and abstain from guesses, but it's simply about refuting whatever information is contained in the Divine Message.  Every "yes" is turned into a "no" and every "no is turned into "yes."  That's what the atheists' game is about.   
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