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Islamic Ideology (28 Aug 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Why the Message of the 7th Century Quran Is Eternally and Universally Valid



By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

28 August 2019

Animals of the species homo first appeared about 2.5 million years ago. Except for the estimated last seventy thousand years, they did not stand out from other animals such as monkeys, cats or cows. This period before history or before there could be a meaningful history, is mentioned in verse (76:1) of the Quran as:” Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing - (not even) mentioned? “. This long period of undistinguished existence is a story unlike that of every other living organism. 

The behaviour of animals is determined to a large extent by their genes and to a very small extent by conditioning and idiosyncrasies. Different social behaviours found among different species and sub-species is genetically determined. For example, chimpanzees live in hierarchical groups headed by an alpha male. Bonobos live in more egalitarian groups dominated by female alliances. The two closely related sub-species are incapable of learning from the behaviour of the other or by social conditioning. Changes in behaviour that would make a chimpanzee behave like a bonobo or vice versa can occur only if their DNA changed. For similar reasons, pre-historic humans did not change during the very long pre-historic period. Two million years ago, genetic mutations resulted in the appearance of a new human species called Homo erectus. This species distinguished itself by developing and using tools made out of stone. Homo erectus did not undergo further genetic alterations for 2 million years because of which its stone tools remained the same. Significant changes in social behaviour among all other species except modern humans are possible only with genetic mutations.

What Noah Harari calls “the Cognitive Revolution “occurred 70,000 years ago with the creation of Adam. This creation is so different from any other species that it can be considered a new species. The progeny of Adam have been able to change their behaviour quickly, transmitting new behaviours to future generations without any need of genetic or environmental change. While the behaviour patterns of pre-historic humans remained fixed for millions of years, the progeny of Adam could transform their social, political and economic structures several times within one’s lifetime. Yuval Noah Harari, in his book “Sapiens” gives the following example: “Consider a resident of Berlin, born in 1900 and living to the ripe age of one hundred. She spent her childhood in the Hohenzollern Empire of Wilhelm II; her adult years in the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Third Reich and Communist East Germany; and she died a citizen of a democratic and reunified Germany. She had managed to be a part of very different socio-political systems, though her DNA remained exactly the same.” This is how different the progeny of Adam is from every other creation.

While the social behaviour of animals is instinctive or built into their DNA, in the case of the progeny of Adam, it is learned. Humans have enormous capacity to transform through learning and unlike every other creation; they are not complete slave even to their instincts. Allah’s revelations through the ages have played an exclusive role in the learning to control instincts to behave as “moral agents”. Humans are the only species with the cognitive ability to choose what they believe to be right over what gives them pleasure or what avoids pain. The transformation from the creation of Adam to reaching a level of maturity when compulsion was no longer necessary to make man behave as a moral agent, took roughly 70,000 years and culminated with the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad (pbuh) the last and the seal of the prophets. The Quran contains the “perfected and complete religion”(5:3). There are parts that are confirmation of what came before and indeed the Quran can be looked upon as a collection of the best practices of all its prophets and People of Virtue.

“….and guide you to the [good] practices (Sunana) of those before you” 4:26.

Nothing is said to you that was not said to the apostles before you 41:43.

“This Qur´an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.” (10:37)

If the Quran contains the perfected and the complete religion as per verse 5:3, then what is found in the previous scriptures but not in the Quran is abrogated.

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things? (2:106)

God created Adam, distinct from every other creation, with astounding cognitive abilities, and guided this creation through revelations, from an existence not very different from that of animals, to a stage when the final,perfect, and complete religion could be revealed in accordance with the full human potential determined by the genetic make-up of this species, which has not changed since the creation of Adam and will not change till doomsday. This is why the Quran is eternal and unchanging and will remain so till the end of time.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/why-the-message-of-the-7th-century-quran-is-eternally-and-universally-valid/d/119587

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   52


  • In his last comment Naseer sb. had said, "What I am saying on the other hand is that the story from the proven part of Science and history converge with what the Quran says." Now he remembers that that is not what this article is about!


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/19/2019 1:26:10 PM



  • This article is about the fact that our potential as human beings is both enabled and limited by biology or our DNA. Allah our creator knows what that potential is. He brought us up to our full potential as  moral agents having sent 124,000 prophets over an estimated 70,000 year period, He then finally revealed the Quran to Muhammad (pbuh) the seal of the prophets which is in accordance with our full potential as moral agents. The Message is therefore both eternal and universal.
     

    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/19/2019 12:26:09 AM



  • Naseer sb.,
    The controversy is about whether  Science  converges with what the Quran says. The convergence is an invention of yours. In your passionate though blind pursuit of this topic you are, as I have shown, drawing meanings from the Quran as well as from Harari's  book "Sapiens" which stretch the facts. You would not fall in such a hole if you were submitting your articles to a peer-reviewed publication.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/18/2019 6:08:31 PM



  • GM sb, after he has lost the argument, will continue arguing needlessly but endlessly. What is he trying to say that is different from what I said, I wonder? Can he quote me verbatim and say where he differs?

    He says : “They weren't the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today."

    What did I say that is different? There is only one unbroken lineage that survives which is why there is only one “Mitochondrial Eve” and not many but that is beside the point. I have given a reason as to why only one out tens of thousands of lineages of the contemporaneous females of the “Mitochondrial Eve” survive while the rest are wiped out.

    He says: “What I was saying was that Mitochondrial Eve is not relevant to the controversy between creationism and Darwinism and you are dwelling on it out of sheer ignorance.

    Did I even say that there is a controversy? What I am saying on the other hand is that the story from the proven part of Science and history converge with what the Quran says while they differ on the part that is unproven.

    In any case, this was a diversion because of which I have covered the subject of the diversion in another article:

    The Story of Creation in the Qur’an Converges with the Theory of Evolution

    He can say what he wants to say under the above article.


    By naseer ahmed - 9/18/2019 7:22:41 AM



  • Naseer sb. continues to try to confuse us. Maybe he is confused himself. I am not accusing you of saying that according to the Quran, human beings pre-existed Allah's creation of Adam and Eve. You actually said it and I was just quoting you. 
    Regarding Mitochondrial Eve, what I said was, ""Science has established that all of us living today, have  descended from one woman and one man.  What Science is referring to is "men's most recent common ancestors." They weren't the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today." What I was saying was that Mitochondrial Eve is  not relevant to the controversy between creationism and Darwinism and you are dwelling on it out of sheer ignorance.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/17/2019 1:25:00 PM



  • GM sb continues to blubber nonsense contradicting himself.

     While he accuses me of saying that according to the Quran, human beings pre-existed Allah's creation of Adam and Eve, he also accuses me of the very opposite!  In the same breath, he also accuses me of saying that there were no contemporaneous human beings to the “Mitochondrial Eve” and the “Y-Chromosome Adam” which is the opposite of what I said! Why wouldn’t there be tens of thousands of other humans contemporaneous with them if humans pre-existed them?

    He should go back and re-read my very detailed comment By Naseer Ahmed - 9/11/2019 1:51:05 AM


    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/17/2019 12:07:15 AM



  • Naseer sb. makes all sorts of half-baked points but does not answer the specific question that I had raised. Here it is again: 
    I had said the Quran does not say that  human beings existed before the creation of Adam and Eve, as he had claimed. He does not answer that objection at all! Why?
    Instead of defending his previous lie he now comes up with a new lie when he claims, "Science has established that all of us living today, have  descended from one woman and one man."  What Science is referring to is "men's most recent common ancestors." They weren't the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today. Why is this hard for you to understand?
    Naseer sb. will lie, asperse, call me names, in fact do everything that he can do in order to perpetuate his dubious claim that all scientific discoveries were predicted in the Quran. 
    Naseer sb,. the Quran does not need such deceitful support.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/16/2019 1:31:29 PM



  • It is GM sb who has lost the argument. In his comment By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/11/2019 2:41:48 PM, he rejects what Science has established that all of us living today, have  descended from one woman and one man going back an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 years, whom they have called the "Mitochondrial Eve"  and the "Y-chromosomal Adam". He realized that this is an admission of having lost the argument and therefore, in his next comment, he is back to his straw man arguments against what I never said or even implied and contradicting himself in the process! How he ties himself into knots!
    Now he has forgotten Science since he lost the argument based on science and trying to say that the Quran does not say what it says very clearly! I can imagine why GM sb who openly rejects much of the Quran is discomfited when the Quran is shown to be infallible. He wants to portray it as a 7th Century anachronism irrelevant for our times while I show it to be the word of Allah containing the perfected and complete religion that is eternally and universally valid.
    (21:18) Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us).
    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/16/2019 12:20:00 AM



  • As is his long-standing habit, Naseer sb. begins a vicious personal attack whenever he loses an argument, thus demolishing his own credentials as a serious scholar.

    He says, "the Quran speaks of the existence of human beings for an unspecified but very long period of time before the creation of Adam and Eve." The Quran does not say that.  As I said before, Naseer sb. extracts meanings from Quranic verses which are his own inventions. So let me ask him once again: When are you going to stop lying, Naseer sb.?


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/14/2019 1:31:39 PM



  • GM sb is reduced to blubbering nonsense. He contradicts himself in his comment. On the one hand he berates me for saying that the Quran speaks of the existence of human beings for an unspecified but very long period of time before the creation of Adam and Eve. He also indulges in the straw man argument as if I have also said the very opposite - that Adam and Eve were the very first human beings!

    He has lost the argument and is now trying confuse everyone as he always does. A man without honour and without integrity. Shameless as he is, he will continue to argue and waste everyone's time.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/14/2019 3:27:33 AM



  • Naseer sb. does not seem to understand that Mitochondrial Eve  and the Y-chromosomal Adam are hypotheses that have nothing to do with the evolution vs. creationism controversy. As with "Mitochondrial Eve", the title of "Y-chromosomal Adam" is not permanently fixed to a single individual, but can advance over the course of human history as paternal lineages become extinct. We must emphasize  the fact that the position of mt-MRCA is neither fixed in time (as the position of mt-MRCA moves forward in time as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages become extinct), nor does it refer to a "first woman", nor the only living female of her time, nor the first member of a "new species".

    How much more clear do you want me to make it? Do you understand anything at all?

    But your worst transgression is your taking meanings from Quranic verses which clearly those verses do not convey. This has been your pattern through the long string of articles that you have posted in NAI. As I said before, "Trying to derive your own meaning from them in order to reconcile them with scientific theories is a deception and an abuse of the Holy Book."

    This discussion started with my pointing out that Naseer sb. was misquoting Harari, a Darwinist. Now I must state that his taking unintended and unimplied meaning from Quranic verses make him an unreliable guide for us.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/12/2019 1:41:23 PM



  • GM sb now rejects Science, which has established that all of us living today, have  descended from one woman and one man going back an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 years, whom they have called the "Mitochondrial Eve"  and the "Y-chromosomal Adam" !
    The man is full of nonsense and the one indulging in self-deception and trying to deceive everyone
    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/12/2019 3:29:00 AM



  • Naseer sb.,

    Refering to your earlier article that you cited, neither 76:1, nor 2:30, nor 2:31 say what you think they say. Your claim that they are referring to earlier humans is a bogus claim. Trying to derive your own meaning from them in order to reconcile them with scientific theories is a deception and an abuse of the Holy Book.

    You are right in saying the Quran does not tell us how long ago Adam existed. According to a Sahih Hadith,  there are 10 qarn or generation or centuries between Adam and Noah... This would mean that humanity started on earth around a couple of thousand of years ago! According to a revelation received by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiya community, the Adam mentioned in the Quran was born 4,598 years before Muhammad. But, as you said, this datum is not important as far as the Quran is concerned.

    You said, "If one insists on only sticking with the Theory of Evolution, then it supports evolution of a new species in quantum leaps that begins with one pair and propagates downwards."

    That is wrong.  DNA evidence indicates that humans descended from a large population because we, as a species, are so genetically diverse in the present day that a large ancestral population is needed to transmit that diversity to us. To date, every genetic analysis estimating ancestral population sizes has agreed that we descend from a population of thousands, not a single ancestral couple.

    If we descended from a population of thousands, then your whole argument about Mitochondrial Eve become moot.

    If by "new species" you mean  man did not descend from earlier species, you are just talking nonsense. You are talking the language of the Old Testament.

    The idea of reconciling scriptures with science may sound good but such a reconciliation would require a lot of self-deception and stretching of the truth.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 9/11/2019 2:41:48 PM



  • This is my last comment.

     So far, it is GM sb who has made a fool of himself with his stray man arguments. He neither understands "The Theory of Evolution", its strengths and weaknesses nor the Scriptures. He does not know the difference between the Biblical version of the story and the Quranic. He uses weak arguments of others that have been answered (for example the weak version of creation from the Bible), while ignoring what I have said. Examine closely and you will find that he has not answered even one of my questions although pretending to do so, because he cannot, while I have addressed all his questions and comments comprehensively.

     Let us discuss below why the mere existence of “Mitochondrial Eve” and the “Y-Chromosome Adam” supports the story of creation in the Quran. If one insists on only sticking with the Theory of Evolution, then it supports evolution of a new species in quantum leaps that begins with one pair and propagates downwards.

     How can/cannot the “Mitochondrial Eve” move forward in time?

    Let us call the woman who occupies the position of the present day “Mitochondrial Eve" Martha, and the "Y-chromosomal Adam”, Jonas. Let us also assume that Martha had only one daughter who in turn had only one daughter and who in turn had two daughters. Then all of the 7 billion people today, trace their ancestry to one of these two great, great, granddaughters of Martha. Now if one of these two great great granddaughters is to become the “Mitochondrial Eve", then the lineage of the second great great granddaughter must become extinct. What chance that a lineage that is nearly as old as the age of the "Mitochondrial Eve" estimated to be between 50 thousand to 500,00 years old becomes extinct? Although theoretically, this is possible, it is extremely improbable. Lineages that run deep also spread wide and have the least probability of going extinct. There is therefore little chance based on probability that the position of the "Mitochondrial Eve" and "Y-chromosomal Adam" will move forward.

    Why is it more likely that the Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam were a new species?

    Studies of the nuclear DNA indicate that the size of the ancient human population never dropped below tens of thousands.  Martha and Jonas therefore had at least 10,000 brothers and 10,000 sisters. Then what explains that the lineage represented by the approximately 10,000 or more sisters/female cousins of Martha,  have gone extinct but the lineage of Martha has grown to 7 billion? The only explanation is that Martha enjoyed some great genetic superiority not shared by her remaining sisters/cousins, or to speak plainly, the fact that Martha, the "Mitochondrial Eve" was a different species. The more probable explanation is that every other lineage (species) has become extinct because this lineage (superior species) of Martha and Jonas, wiped out every other lineage (species) just like they wiped out many of their own species also. This is true even if inter breeding produced fertile children. In such a case, it means that only children from the lineage of both Martha and Jonas had superior survival skills and not other lineages including the mixed ones.

    Why the Mitochondrial Eve and the Y-Chromosome Adam can move forward in time only with the creation of a new species starting with a single pair and propagating downward and not through gradual and widespread evolution.

    Let us imagine that today, one couple produce a male and a female that is genetically superior to all other humans and a new species. This new species cannot produce offspring with other humans except between themselves although they are alike physically and in many other ways. The siblings who we call Beth and John mate and multiply and their progeny co-exist with other humans for say 30,000 years, after which their population grows large enough to control the entire population of humans. At this point, they carry out a systematic genocide over the next 10,000 years to completely wipe out every lineage except their own. Beth and John now become the "Mitochondrial Eve" and  "Y-chromosomal Adam" of the entire population displacing the earlier one over a short period of 10,000 years of genocide.

    However, if we assume a slow, uniform and spread out process of evolution, then every lineage of Martha and Jonas evolve simultaneously and therefore Martha and Jonas remain the "Mitochondrial Eve"  and "Y-chromosomal Adam" of every human being even after this new phase of evolution that makes every human being much superior to any man that exists today.

    Weakness in the Theory of Evolution

    The very fact that the "Mitochondrial Eve" and the "Y-chromosomal Adam" do not go as far back as the first appearance of the species of the genus Homo or even to the first appearance of Homo Sapiens, is therefore proof of their being a new species and the story of slow, gradual, spread out evolution over thousands of years, simply hogwash. This is also the reason why apes still exist even if the first man and woman evolved from them. However, what is not explained is why did the apes escape the fate of other less evolved human beings and not get wiped out by the more evolved human beings? Our genetic memory also does not make us either more hostile or more compassionate towards the apes in comparison with other animals which also belie the theory of evolution from the ape. The very clear and categorical verses of the Quran which say that some rebellious people were transformed into apes and swine make more sense. The fact that apes and swine genetically resemble us the most may therefore not be either mere coincidence or because we evolved from either of these animals.

      Mutations within a species go on continuously without producing a new species. A new species is a quantum leap in genetic mutation which starts with just one couple. It does not matter whether you say this is as a result of the evolutionary process or creation by God. Even if the story of creation in the Quran is allegorical, it points to creation of a new species in quantum leaps and not as a result of continuous mutation, while continuous mutation to adapt with our changing environment and for survival is a fact. The very idea of just one pair starting a new species is anathema to the theory of evolution as it fails to explain why the remaining stock from which this pair evolved failed to evolve likewise or why there are apes even today while some evolved into human beings.

    Much to learn from both Science and the Scriptures

    There are many things to learn from the Theory of Evolution and from Noah Harari without subscribing to their blind spots as well. These blind spots exist only because they are ideologically and dogmatically opposed to the idea of creation and the Creator. For a person who is open to all knowledge from Science as well as the Scriptures, it is easy to reconcile the two. The Quran does command that we use Science to discover the truth of what the Quran says and I am doing exactly that. All the Prophets without exception were also ridiculed for what they said based on the revelations. GM sb is just another shallow disbeliever in the Scriptures.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/11/2019 1:51:05 AM



  • There is more than one verse that implies existence of other humans. The Quranic verses regarding creation are discussed in my article:

    Was Allah Unjust in Creating Adam and Favouring His Progeny Over All His Creation?

    GM sb says Quranic Adam existed 6000 years back. From where did he get this number 6000? The Quran scrupulously avoids mentioning any number - not even the number of people in the "People of the Cave" apart from pointing out the numbers that people speculate on.

     (18:22) (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.

     Why does the Quran not give the precise number? Because the precise number is irrelevant to the moral of the story and in any case, people will not cease to argue and differ even if the Quran were to give the correct number.

     The estimate of the age of the “Mitochondrial Eve” and the “Y-chromosome” Adam also differs widely from researcher to researcher and keeps getting revised based on further research. This will go on and on and therefore there will be many more revisions and never perhaps agreement on the final number.

     The Quran leaves to man what he can discover by himself and the subjects on which he is likely to speculate. This also includes the period it took for the Universe to come about. Although the Quran says 2 days to create the Universe and 4 days to make the earth habitable and support life, it also makes clear that this day is not our 24 hour day. There are three verses that hint at different numbers to what a cosmic day is like. In one context a day is like a thousand years and in another context it is 50,000 years. In the context of creation it could be a different number. So, 6 days means 6 phases of indeterminate number of years.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/11/2019 12:20:08 AM



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