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Islam and Science ( 10 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Quran and the Creation/Evolution of Human Beings

By T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam

11 June 2022

The Qur’an does not have a chapter on the genesis of human and the universe, as do the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Christians and Jews believe that God created human beings in God’s image and created Eve from Adam’s rib. Most contemporary Muslims also believe that God created Eve from Adam’s rib, although not a single verse in the Quran supports such belief. The Quran is not only a book of spiritual guidance but also a guiding light that asks its believers to investigate and understand nature. It does not spoon-feed them with knowledge but advises them to observe and reflect on nature. An example of this method of teaching can be observed in the following verses:

“Truly in the creation of heavens and the earth, and in the alternations of the night and day are signs (لَآیَا تٍ) for those who have acumen, who utter (the name of) God, standing, sitting, and on their sides, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying), ‘Our Lord, you have not created these in futility. Glory be to You: guard us then from the torment of the fire.’”

(Qur’an 3:190–191)

 “On the earth are signs (آیَ اتٌ) for those who have sure faith (in the meaningfulness of all things), as also (there are signs) in your own self: will ye not, then, observe?” 

(Qur’an 51:20–21)

 The Qur’anic verses are called apathy (verses) in Arabic, as are the phenomena of nature as per Qur’anic text. Accordingly, everything in the universe including human body are messages that need to be read and appreciated. The verses instruct the importance of the contemplation on God’s creation, observing God’s creative hand moving this universe, and learning from human anatomy and physiology. All evoke true worship and remembrance of God. The above verses and others encourage Muslims to study the world with a scientific magnifying lens to understand the products and process of creation.


Also Read:   Darwinism is Consistent with Qur’anic Insights on Man’s Origin


Thus, our perception of the process of creation is enriched more and more as we continue to explore the universe as newer and newer technological means become available to us. The Qur’an is not a book of science. The Qur’an unveils very few hints on the creation of modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) and, it is for human to connect the dots to find the details on their origin. Guiding verses about the origin of life and man are scattered throughout the Quran; we have collected the key verses to develop a clear picture of the meanings they convey. We need to connect all verses together to form an inherently consistent narrative of human creation.

A casual reading of the verses may give us the impression that they contradict each other, but apparent contradictions evaporate when we interpret the meanings of all the verses collectively rather than the meaning of each single verse. More importantly, our conclusions should be consistent with our overall reading of the Quran. For Muslims, the internal consistency of the Quran is the proof of its divine origin:

 “Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than God, they would have found therein much discrepancy.” (Qur’an 4:82)

 The Quran enlightens that all things are created by God in accordance with His grand design, that God is manifested through His creations, and that His attributes are the link between human beings and their apperception of the Divine.1 Out of the titles and ninety-nine attributes ascribed to God in the Quran, four grant us insight into His process of creation. Those key attributes are al-Khaliq (the Creator), al-Bakari (the Evolver), and al-Munawar (the Bestower of Forms), and Rabb (the Sustainer).

 “He is God, the Creator [al-Khaliq], the Evolver [al-baari] and the Bestower of forms [al-Mousawi]” (Qur’an 59:24)

  The above verse mentions three attributes of God, al-Khaliq, al-Baari and al-Musawwir.  Al-Khaliq which is generally translated to creator. The word is derived from the Arabic root verb Khalaqa, which is used in nearly all the verses pertaining to the creation of human beings and the universe. To explain how the Quranic description of the process of creation, we first need to understand the meaning of Khalaqa. Almost all commentators and translators of the Quran, both Muslim and non-Muslim, translate this verb as corresponding to the English verb “to create.” However, this translation does not convey the original and complete meaning of the verb, Khalaqa. 


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


The Arabic-English lexicon compiled in 1883 by a British lexicographer, Edward William Lane, guides non-Arabic speaking students of the Quran to understand its meanings. At the request of the Duke of Northumberland, Lane edited his lexicon after twenty-five years of exhaustive study of the Arabic language. He explains that the original Arabic language of Ma’ad, during the time of Muhammad, was a highly complex and difficult linguistic system. As a result of Muslim conquests and the intermingling of Arab culture with that of other nations, the classical Arabic language lost its original character and assumed a simpler version of the original language that became predominant even in Arabia.1 Lane’s lexicon is the most authoritative for the non-Arabic speaking students of Islam because he traced the original meanings of the words back to the time of Ma’ad and the Prophet Muhammad. His interpretation of Arabic words is based on earlier lexicographers and grammarians, such as Al-Khaleel (author of Eyn, died in 667 A.D), Esh-Sheybanee (author of Jeem, Nawadir, and El-Ghareeb el–Musannaf, died in 802 a.d.), Al-Baydawee (author of Exposition of the Quran, 1290 a.d.),

Al-Feiyoomee (1333 a.d.), alFiruzabeedi (author of Kamoos, 1330–1421 a.d.), and Seyyid Murtadaal-Zabeedi (author of Taj-al-Aroos, 1732–1791 a.d.).2

According to Lane, the verb Khalaqa means “proportioning a thing into another thing” and “to bring a thing into existence according to a certain measure, or proportion, and so as to make it equal to (another thing).”3 In “proportioning a thing into” an original and previously non-existing thing, it also signifies “the originating, or to bring a thing into existence after it had not been, or the bringing a thing into existence from a state of nonexistence.”4 Hence, there are three components to the meaning of the word Khalaqa: (a) shaping an original substance or entity into another object (“proportioning a thing to another thing”); (b) the newly formed object or creature must have its own specific characteristics so that it can be identified separately from its original source—not like father-to-son, but like an ape to a human and; (c) the newly formed object or creature with its characteristic features were nonexistent before its original creation (“to bring a thing into existence from a state of nonexistence). In this process the new creature becomes a prototype of a species. The classical meaning of the Arabic word Khalaqa can be summarized as follows:

To bring a thing into existence according to a certain measure, or proportion, so as to make it equal to another thing that was not preexisting.”5 


Also Read:    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2)


The above meaning of Khalaqa is more befitting with the overall reading of the Quran because it is based on the Arabic language at the time of Prophet Muhammad. Moreover, it does not contradict what we observe in nature, because the meaning of the verb Khalaqa implies that various life forms were not created simultaneously on the earth, but in stages with time lapse in each stage. Now that we established the true meaning of Khalaqa, to gain a better understanding of the way the Quran describes the process of creation, those of us who read English translations of the Quran should substitute the above meanings wherever the verbs “create” used in the translation. 

There are three attributes of God in the following verse: “the Evolver” (al-Baari) and “the Bestower of forms” (al-Musawwir. 

He is God, the Creator (al-Khaliq), the Evolver (a lBaaari) and the Bestower of forms (al-Musawwir).” (Qur’an 59:24)

The noun, al-Khaliq, in the above verse is usually rendered as creator in every scholarly English translation. Al-Khaliq is derived from Khalaqa and so the precise translation of al-Khaliq is Evolver. The divine attribute, Al-Baari, in the above verse, is derived from the verb Baara, which means “a thing’s becoming clear, or free, of, or from another thing; either by being released [therefrom]” or by “evolution from a previously created matter or state.”6 So God, the executor of evolution to life and universe, is al-Baari (the Evolver).7 The word al Musawwir in the verse is derived from the verb Sawwara, which means sculpt a thing and give definite form or color to make things exactly suitable for a certain end or object.8 Hence God is called al Musawwir, or the “sculptor, of all existing things, who has established them, given to every one of them a special form and a particular manner of being whereby it is distinguished, with their variety and multitude.”9 So, God is the evolver and, He is also the creator of new life forms from previously created beings. God is also the “Bestower of forms and colors” By the divine act, His creations function suitably in their habitats. Based on our current knowledge of genetics, we could logically infer that by changing the genetic configuration, God creates new species capable of adaptation to changing environment over the various ages of the earth. Another important attribute of God is Rabb.

The first command that came to the Prophet was:

 “Read in the name of thy Sustainer (Rabb), who has created man out of a germ-cell.” (Qur’an 96:1–2)

The word Rabb is generally translated into Sustainer in most of the Qur’an translations. The word, Sustainer, does not convey its actual meaning of Rabb in classical Arabic of the Qur’an. The noun Rabb is derived from the Arabic word Rububiyat, the meaning of which cannot be fully rendered in English with one word. Based on his analysis of the works of early Arab lexicographers, Abul Kalam Azad, Muslim scholar of the Qur’an from the Indian subcontinent, deciphers the meaning of the word as follows: “To develop a thing, stage by stage, in accordance with its inherent aptitude and needs, its different aspects of existence and also in the manner affording the requisite freedom for it to attain its full stature.”10 Likewise, Imam Aul’l-Qasim ar-Raghib (11th century), in his book Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran (The Vocabulary of The Quran), defines the meaning of the word Rabb as follows: “Rabb signifies the fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of perfection.”11 The major components of the meaning of the word Rububiyat are thus: (a) development of a thing by an external agent, (b) a step-by-step process, not an instant event, and (c) the freedom for the objects “to attain full stature” within the overall creative process.

Therefore, Rabb, the author of Rububiyat, means an evolver. The use of the noun Rabb as an attribute of God suggests that God lets organisms evolve, affording them the freedom to attain complete perfection within the limits of His laws of nature. In summary, the meanings of Rabb, al-Khaliq, al-Baari, and al-Musawwir confirm the belief that evolution and creation are not contradictory but mutually complimentary.

So, based on the attributes of God, creation is a divine process, and the theory of evolution is the human understanding of the process. In biology, “genotype” denotes the total genetic code of a living creature and “phenotype” denotes the outward physical appearance of a living creature as a manifestation of genotype. By applying these modern biological terms in the context of our discussion, if creation is genotype, the theory of evolution is phenotype. The Quran reads: 

He said, ‘So it shall be.’ Your Lord said, ‘Easy it is for Me, as I created you before you were nothing.’” (Qur’an 19:9). 

This verse explains that human and the universe were created from nothingness. It does not denote that human was created ex nihilo without any connection to other life forms or species. The “nothingness” in the verse refers to a state when there was no space-time and God alone existed. We learn from the Quran that the creation of life and human were not an instant event, but a process: 

He fashioned (Khalaqa) you from sounding clay, like unto pottery ( فَخَّارِ ).” (Qur’an 55:14). 

  The word Fakha’ar, in Arabic text of the Quran, means “baked pottery or a baked vessel of clay.”12 We can read this verse as follows: “Just as clay is molded into shape in stages and baked into pottery, modern human species was also created (Khalaqa) through successive stages over a period of earthly time.” This inference is supported in the following verses: 

He fashioned you (  صَوَّرَكُمْ )and perfected your shapes” (Qur’an 64:3).  

He created (Khalaqa) you in successive stages” (Qur’an 71:14). 

The latter verse unequivocally states that the creation of humankind was not a magical ex nihilo instant event, as most Muslim believe, but by a step-by-step transformation. Today, we explain these stages as a process that expands from nothingness to the Big Bang, from the Big Bang to the earth, from clay to nucleotide, to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to microorganism, from microorganism to marine animals, from marine animal to Dryopithecus, from Dryopithecus to Australopithecus to Homo erectus to Homo ergaster. Homo ergaster branched into Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man. Cro-Magnon evolved into modern man. Modern agnostic biologists describe the “creation by stages” as follows: “Evolution usually proceeds by “speciation”—the splitting of one lineage from a parental stock—not by slow and steady transformation of these large parental stocks.

Repeated episodes of speciation produce a bush.”13 

Yusuf Ali, a well-known Muslim translator, explains, “God’s creation is not a simple act, once done and finished with. It is continuous, and there are many stages, not the least important of which is the Hereafter world when the fruits of our life will be achieved.”13 According to the Qur’an, human was created from components:

 “Who created (Khalaqa) you, then proportioned you into whatever form He willed. He made you out of components (  رَ َّ كبَكَ.)” (Qur’an 82:7-8)

The verb Rakkaba in the text of the Qur’an text of this verse means “to create a thing from components; put or set one part of it upon another.”14 Therefore, the verse indicates that the necessary components were created as prerequisites for the creation of modern man (Homo sapiens and sapiens) and the verse is against ex nihilo creation of human.

 “He began (italics added) the creation (Khalaq) of man with (nothing more than) clay, and Then He made his progeny of an extract, of water held in light estimation. (Qur’an 32:7-8).

The creation of the human species began from clay. Once modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) initially was created (Khalaqa), their progenies were created by an “emitted drop of semen” “yoked with ovum.” Based on embryology, we know that the creation (Khalaqa) or birth of a human baby involves the evolution of cells through a process of meiosis, during which the nucleus of a cell divides and forms a mature germ cell comprised of sperm in a man and ovum in woman that unite by a continuous process of reproduction. The Quran does not narrate every stage of fertilization and growth of the fetus.  Science provides the details of the evolution of fetus after fertilization.


Also Read:   The Creation of Adam and Human Species: A New Study


The above quoted verse (Qur’an 32:7) leads us to the inference that the evolution of yoked sperm and ova through all later stages of intrauterine fetal growth to form human progeny does not occur instantaneously, but as a step-by-step process rooted in finite time and space in relation to an earthbound person’s time frame. Most Muslims and their scholars have no problem accepting the human fertilization and the evolutionary emergence of fetus and final birth of a baby with its associated time laps. They believe that God created the baby.

Similarly, the creation of modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) began from minerals, water, and few inert chemicals. Then after the birth of life and a very wide time laps, modern human (Homo sapiens sapience) was born out of a huge try of life. Muslims and their scholars accept the time laps in the creation of a human baby (embryology) but reject the theory of evolution, and insist on instant ex nihilo creation of man. The Qur’an stands against their belief. The phrase in the verse 32:7, “began (italics added) the creation of man” denotes that additional future steps necessarily followed to complete the intended task, for example extract of clay (Qur’an 23:12).

 “We create (Khalaqa) man from an extract of (  سُلَالَةٍ ) of clay.” (Qur’an 23:12).

 The word Sulalah, in the text of Qur’an means “an extract of a thing; the clear, or pure, part or choice, or best, or most excellent part of a thing.”15 Does Sulalah mean silicone? We have learned previously that at least some scientists induct clay minerals as a catalyst, as well as a stabilizer, in the polymerization reaction of amino acids to RNA or DNA. The Quran states in various verses that man was created from water, clay, quintessence of clay, components and so on. These substances played a part in the prebiotic stage of creation of humans.  If Muslims want to stick with the idea of instant creation of human species, they need develop a credible explanation for the above conflicting verses. Even though the Quran states that God created humans in successive stages, it does not describe all the stages of their evolution from clay to Homo sapiens (modern man). Sperm and ova are not human. The forty-six chromosomes present in the fertilized human egg (zygote) are still a bundle of nucleotides, phosphate, and sugar, the encapsulated secret codes of a future man or woman. But we do not use the terms “man” or “woman” to describe them. A thing is named only when it comes into its own form and acquires specific characteristics. The stages through which human beings came into existence have their own names—water, clay, soil, microorganism, marine animals, mammal-like reptiles, Dryopithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, and Cro-Magnon man. However, all those are only landmarks in the journey of the creation of mankind. These landmarks occurred a long time ago, and memories of those stages do not remain in the human brain but are stored in the vestigial structures, fossils, genetics, physiology, and so on. Those unremembered stages of evolution in the creation of mankind might be what the following verse alludes to:

 “Was there not a time in the life of man when he was not even a mentionable thing?” (Qur’an 76:1).

 Perhaps this verse was one among many verses that inspired Jalaluddin Rumi (1207–1273), a great Muslim sage, to compose the strophe quoted in the previous chapter, in which he describes the emergence of human species from the crucible of evolution without remembering his earlier forms of existence.16

Life’s origin in water is a widely accepted scientific theory. The Quran revealed the aquatic origin of life in the following verse:

 “Do not the unbelievers see that heaven and earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing ( مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ   ). Then will they not believe?” (Qur’an 21:30) 

 The verse points out that the universe was in a condensed state (singularity). The term refers to the moment when time, space, and four forces merged into one entity. Astronomers use the term Big Bang to describe that initial defining moment of creation of the universe. Following that, God created life from water. “Every living thing (( مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ   )” in the above verse certainly includes human. So, human evolution began in water.

 “And God has created (Khalaqa) every living animal from water ( كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ  ): Of them some that creep on their bellies: Some walk on two legs: Some walk on four: God created (Khalaqa) what He wills: For verily God has power over all things . . .” (Qur’an 24:45).

 The verse 21:30 quoted above uses the phrase “every living thing ( مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ   )” The verse 24:45 offers additional clarification: “every animal (  كُلَّ دَابَّةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ  ).” This verse specifies that animals were created out of water and their means of movements. Human and sometimes apes are the only living creatures that always walk on two legs, while birds can fly and walk on two legs. Therefore, the two-legged animals mentioned in verse 24:45 can refer to birds or apes or human beings. The grammatical structure of the above verse with the phrase Fa Min Humفَمِنْھُمْ ) is highly significant. If the noun, Dabbah (animals), were applied only to rational or irrational creatures separately, the two phrases, Fa Min-Hunna or Fa-Min-Ha, would have been used in Arabic grammar (Example Qur’an 33:51 and 22:28). Instead, the Quranic use of the phrase fa-min- hum (  فَمِنْھُمْ ) in the verse conveys the Arabic noun Dabbahد َّ اَبةٍ ) in the verse refer to both rational and irrational creatures.17 Therefore, the verse states that a rational animal that walks on two legs was also created from water. Human is most rational and walks on two legs all the time. Therefore, the rational animal that walks on two legs in the verse is a human, so human belong to the animal kingdom. Moreover, five hundred years before Darwin, the Muslim scholar, Ibn Khaldun wrote: “[M]an belongs to the genus of animals” and that “God distinguished from them by ability to think, which He gave man and through which man is able to arrange his actions in an orderly manner.”18

The following verses further clarify that modern man (H. sapiens sapiens) was created through transformation/evolution. 

O man! What hath made thee careless concerning thy Lord, the Bountiful, Who created thee (Khalaqa), then fashioned ( صَوَّرَكُمْ ), and then proportioned thee  (عدل Adala)?” (Qur’an 82:6-7)

If God created modern human with no connection to pre-hominid species, the Quran would not have said, “We created you (Khalaqa), then fashioned you (Sawwa).” Similarly, if human did not evolve in stages but created ex nihilo then the verb fashion (  صَوَّرَكُمْ ) ) in the verses becomes superfluous because there is nothing to perfect in a perfect being. Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthal translates the verb Adala (عدل) as “proportioned thee.” Lane’s lexicon gives another meaning to this word: “rate a thing as equal to a thing of another kind so as to make it like the latter.” Therefore, it means to transform a thing into another, so that latter is distinctly identifiable from the former. In support of this meaning, Lane quotes the following Quranic verse: “All praise be to God who created the heavens and the earth, and ordained darkness and light. Yet the unbelievers make others equal {Adala (عدل)} of their Lord (6:1).” Lane quoted the phrase, Fulaanun Bifulaanin ‘Adala, which means, “He made such a one to be equal, or like, such a one”18 to back up the above meaning of Adala (عدل). Therefore, the verses Qur’an 82:6– 7 must be rephrased as: 

O man! What hath made thee careless concerning thy Lord, the Bountiful, who shaped you from a pre-existing thing (Khalaqa), sculpted you (Sawwa), and transformed you to [distinctly identifiable] perfect human shape [i.e., Homo sapiens sapiens].”  

The Quran in verse 2:21 addresses modern human, proclaiming that God created both modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) and “those who came before” them, i.e other hominids: 

Oh! Mankind! Worship your Lord, who hath created you and those before you, so that ye may ward off (evil).” (Qur’an 2:21). 

 The verse signals the existence of other hominids before the emergence of modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). We call them Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Neanderthal man, Cro-Magnon man, etc. but six hundred years before Darwin, the great Muslim Sufi Ibn Arabi called them “the animal men.” Most Muslims interpret the above verse in a more limited fashion, believing that the term “mankind” means people living at the time of the Prophet, and that “the people before you” refers to the ancestors of the contemporaries of the Prophet. The best explanation of a verse in the Quran is by another verse. We have learned earlier the divine epithet al-Musawwir (sculptor) could also mean, in current scientific vernacular, someone who creates a distinct species. Therefore, al-Musawwir created perfect human who were sculpted from a previously created hominid species. Verse 6:133 gives explicit evidence that modern human was evolved from earlier hominids and explains the Quranic verse 2:21 the way as it is explained above. 

Thy Lord is All-sufficient, Merciful. If He will, He can put you away, and leave after you, to succeed you, what He will, as He produced you (أنََْشَأ َ) from the seed of another people.” (Qur’an 6:133). 

 Almost all translators of the Quran render the Arabic word `Ansha (أنَْ َشَأَ) in the verse as “raised,” “produced” or “created.” All these words are imprecise translation of the word. Lane lexicon translates it as follows: “originated it; brought it into being or existence; made it, or produced it for the first time, it not having been before.”20 Initially, verse 6:133 states that God may replace modern humans with another species (“whomever He pleases to succeed you”). Then, the verse describes the method of creation of the replacement species. The process or procedure is the same as the way as God “produced humanity into existence for the first time (أنََْشَأ َ). That is, the modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) was originally created (Khalaqa) from the seeds of another species. Therefore, verse 6:133 can be rephrased as: 

 “Thy Lord is all Self-sufficient, Merciful. If He will, He can put you away, and leave after you, to succeed you, what He will, as He originally created (أنََْشَأ َ) you [as a species] from the seed of another people.” 

 A respected twelfth-century exegete of the Quran, Fakhr al-Din al Razi (1149–1209), explains the verse similarly: “[God] said: ‘As We created you from the seeds of a different people.’ For a wise person, were he to contemplate on this statement . . . he would know that the Almighty created mankind from a sperm; a sperm that did not contain his picture in any form or way.”18 If we replace the word “picture” with our modern scientific terminology “genotype” in the above quote from Razi, his explanation of human origin from earlier species become clearly evident: “[God] said: ‘As We created you from the seeds of a different people.’ For a wise person, were he to contemplate on this statement . . . he would know that the Almighty created mankind from a sperm; a sperm that did not contain his [genotype] in any form or way.”

 God said to the angels:

 “And when thy Lord said to the angels, 'I am setting in the earth a viceroy ( َخَلِیفَة ً ).”

 Muslim commentators of the Quran translate the noun Khilafah in the above verse, into “vicegerent”. Human as vicegerent means that the modern human is the deputy appointed to act on the authority of a God, especially in administrative duties. This word, Khilafah, is derived from the verb Khalafah, which means “one entity that succeeds another or remains after another that has perished or died.”21 Therefore, the literal translation of the noun Khalifah is “someone remains after another that has perished or died.” According to the biology, Homo sapiens as a species “succeeded or remained after” the earlier hominid inhabitants of the earth “that had perished or died.” Therefore, logically a new species is a Khilafah. We have paleontological data that pre-modern human species existed and perished with the emergence of modern humankind. This early hominid was identified by Ibn-Arabi (1165– 1240) and other early Muslims as an animal-like man, but modern biologists called him Homo erectus, Cro-Magnon, or other such names. According to the following verses, God may create new species transfiguring Homo sapiens: 

 “You shall surely travel from stage to stage.” (Qur’an 84:19).

 “We may transfigure you and make you what you know not.” (Qur’an 56:61). 

 Additionally, the following verse predicts a newly created species able to verbally communicate with human beings: 

 “And when the word is fulfilled concerning them (mankind), We shall bring forth a creature of earth to speak unto them because mankind has no faith in Our Revelation.” (Qur’an


 Finally, he following verse indicates that the survival or extinction of any life forms is subject to God’s will: 

  “Thy Lord does create and choose as He pleases.” (Qur’an 28:68)

 One can find many points of harmony between modern science, the Quran, and Muslims of their Golden Age. The Quran and at least some scientists agree that clay played a role as a catalyst in the origin of life and man, and that life began in water. Secondly, they agree that life is a bush with many branches and man is only a small twig on that bush. Thirdly, Modern science and Medieval Muslims believed that human species belong to the animal kingdom and, that the original life form was gradually transformed into new forms, and that this transformation happened with the participation of “the office of active nature (kiyan).” Fourthly, all confirm that the origin of life and its development was not an instantaneous event in our time frame. The Qur’an states that a new species that would converse with human will emerge from human species. The following verses connect all the above verses together to show how God bound all life forms together into a whole:

 “Extol the limitless glory of thy Rabb (Evolver): [the glory of] the All-Highest, who (Khalaqa) creates (everything), and thereupon forms (  فَسَوَّىٰ) it in accordance with what it is meant to be, and who determines the nature (of all that exists), and thereupon guides it (towards its fulfillment).” (Qur’an 87:1-2). 


1.       Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. Part 1. P 7.

2.       Ibid. Part 2. P 799

3.       Ibid. Part 2. P 799

4.       Ibid. Part 2. P 800

5.       Ibid. Part 2. P 799-800

6.       Ali, Yusef. The Qur’an. P 1529

7.       Ibid

8.       Ibis

9.       Ibid. Part 4. P 1745.

10.     Azad, Maulana Abul Kalam. Tarjuman al-Qur’an, Tras. Sayed Abdul Latif, Vol I. p 19.

11.     Ali, Maulana Muhammad. The Religion of Islam. P 135 12. Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. Part 6. P 2350. 13. Gould, Stephen Jay. Ever Since Darwin. P 61

14.     Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. Part 3. P 1142.

15.     Ibid. Part 4. P 1397.

16.     Hakim, Khalifa Abdul. The Metaphysics of Rumi. P 36.

17.     Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. Part 3. P 842.

18.     Khaldun, Ibn. The Muqaddimah. Vol 2. 424. 

19.     Lane, Edward William. Arabic-English Lexicon. Part 5. P 1973. 

20.     Ibid. Part 8. P 2791. 

21.     Ibid. Part 2. P 792.



T.O. Shanavas is a native of Kerala, but is now based in the USA. He is the author of “Islamic Theory of evolution of Evolution The Missing Link Between Darwin and The Origin of Species.” Co-author of the book, And God Said, "Let There Be Evolution!": Reconciling The Book Of Genesis, The Qur'an, And The Theory Of Evolution. Edited by Prof. Charles M. Wynn and Prof. Arthur W. Wiggins.


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