Asalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allahi wa Barakatu,
A sister who will remain anonymous emailed me asking my viewpoints on evolution, thus this will be my focus for this month’s article.
What is Evolution?
According to scientists, it concerns not the origin of life instead it concerns about the origin of species and how its changed over many generations where variation differs from one species to another. For instance, bacteria have a greater evolution rate thus the changes from one generation to another is quick. Alternatively, animals would take a longer period of time to mature and reproduce; therefore their evolution rate will be slower. This emphasises how according to scientists it affects all living organisms.
Now why do these scientists call it a ‘theory of evolution’?
A bloke called Charles Darwin is the one who proposed this theory and is just a way in how they guide their research and explain what they found from their experiments and observations of life on Earth. Some scientists called palaeontologists have studied this via fossils of skeletons of humans and apes and believe there is some interrelationship between apes and human.
What does Hafsa think of theory of evolution?
Now when it comes to anything related to Islam and everyday life even Science, I always go to the foundations of Islam – Quran and Sunnah and I advise you to do so too. Why?
I shall begin with what Dr Marshall Johnson said about the Quran from a non-muslim perspective. He is a Professor of Anatomy and Director of Daniel Baugh Institute and authored more than 200 publications.
“The Quran describes not only the development of external form, but emphasizes also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary science... As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology. I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Quran. As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I knew today and describing things, I could not describe the things which were described. I see no evidence for the fact to refute the concept that this individual, Muhammad, had to be developing this information from some place. So I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that divine intervention was involved in what he was able to write.”
Could the Quran be authored by our Beloved Prophet salla allahu alayhi wa salam or by any human being? The answer is No. The Quran is the word of Allah subhanahu wa taala.
Now going back to the focal point, what does Quran say about the origin of species and the universe as a whole?
"Verily in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe. And in the creation of yourselves, and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are signs for those of assured faith. And in the alternation of night and day, and that fact that Allah sends down sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds, are signs for those who are wise" (45:3-5).
Allah subhanahu wa taala also said at verse 24:45
‘And Allah has created from water every living creature: so of them is that which walks upon its belly, and of them is that which walks upon two feet, and of them is that which walks upon four; Allah creates what He pleases; surely Allah has power over all things’.
This emphasises how evolution was manifested by our Creator just like other processes on Earth. Life has developed in stages over a period of time and that God created man for worship and blessed one with a soul, knowledge, conscience and free will. I do not believe that humans have evolved from apes, instead I believe what the Quran and Sunnah states that the life of humans started with the creation of Prophet Adam (A.S) and Hawa (Eve). From these, generations of humans inhabited the earth.
"Oh humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured among you in the sight of Allah is the who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)" (49:13).
For the creation of Adam's offspring, the evidence from the Quran is as following:
"Verily, the likeness of (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust" [3:57]
Then that dust was wetted until it became sticky clay, clinging to the hands; Allah the Exalted says (what means):
"And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth)." [23:12]
Allah also says (what means): "Verily, We created them of a sticky clay." [37:11]
Then it turned into altered black mud;
Allah the Exalted states (what means): "And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud." [15:26]
And when it dried, it turned into clay like that of pottery; Allah the Exalted states (what means): "He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery." [55:14]
Allah then fashioned Adam into the form that He willed and then breathed into him the soul which He created for him, Allah the Exalted says (what means):
"And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him." [15:28-29]
These are the stages of Adam‘s creation according to the Qur‘an.
As for the stages of creating Adam, Allah subhanahu wa taala says:
"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 is Allah, the Best of creators." [23:14]
In relation to the creation of Eve, the evidence from the Quran says that a mate was created by Allah from the same nature.
"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" (7:189)
"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawa‘ (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women" [4:1]
From this evidence, this also suggests that we as humans have not formed nor relate to apes nor with other species apart from that we have all been created by Allah subhanahu wa taala distinctively. Allah is the All-Wise and All-Knowing of the formation of each species and we as the servants of Allah must believe this.
Allah is never "done" with His work, because the process of creation is ongoing. Each new child who is born, every seed that sprouts into a sapling, every new species that appears on earth, is part of the ongoing process of Allah's creation.
"He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself on the Throne. He knows what enters within the heart of the earth, and what comes forth out of it, what comes down from heaven, and what mounts up to it. And He is with you wherever you may be. And Allah sees well all that you do" (57:4).
Ultimately, the theory of humans being originated from apes is false and contradicts to the Book of Allah, Quran al-Kareem, and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad salla allahu alayhi wa salam. We must hold tight to the foundations of Islam, and should not be influenced what man has discovered for Allah is the Creator of the Creation and if we originated from apes, then there would have been evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. Allah knows best.
I asked Uncle Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem on his viewpoint on evolution. He kindly asked me to share this video, may you all benefit in sha Allah Ameen.