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Islamic Ideology ( 10 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Creation of Adam and Human Species: A New Study

By T.O. Shanavas, New Age Islam

10 September 2016

Author of Islamic Theory of Evolution The Missing Link between Darwin and the origin of species; Co-authored with Rabbi David Kay and Prof. Howard Van Till the book, And God Said, "Let There Be Evolution!” Reconciling The Book of Genesis, The Qur'an, And the Theory of Evolution, edited Prof. Charlie M.Wynn

God’s speech is never redundant or arbitrary. If anyone claims redundancy in letter and word in the Quran it undermines the divine authority of the book. It is impossible to take away or ignore a single word or to even remove single particle from the text without seriously damaging the integrity of its meaning. Likewise, every attempt to restructure the syntax of the text, for example by ignoring or moving a word forward or backward would significantly alter the meaning substantially. Every letter, word, and its location and the grammatical construction of sentences in the Divine Speech are precise and purposeful. All have a specific function and meaning. Within this precept, a close study of the narrative of the creation of human species and Prophet Adam reveals that human species were created and settled on the earth before Prophet Adam arrived on the earth with Divine Message.

The following verses present the creation of human species and also the elevation Adam to the status of Prophet.

1.Verses. 7: 10-11

2.Verses. 32: 7-9

3.Verses. 38: 71-72

4.Verses: 15: 28-29

Most Muslims agree that God began the creation of human physical body or the human species from clay. The grammatical construction of the verses suggests that God created and settled human species on the earth before Adam was presented as the first prophet to deliver Divine Message, i.e., Islam. According to verse 2:33, God taught Adam all the knowledge to become the prophet. And Prophet Adam brought human species out of animality to humanity by establishing rules laid out by God. Now let us analyze the above verses grammatically.

VERSE 7:10

TRANSLATION                 ARABIC               Syntax and morphology

And certainly        وَلَقَدْ.

We established youمَكَّنَّاكُمْV – 1st person plural (form II) perfect verb

subject pronoun

2nd person masculine plural object pronoun

in                                          فِي                                      

the earth                              رْضِالْأَ

and We made                      وَجَعَلْنَا

for you                                لَكُمْ2nd person masculine plural personal pronoun

in it                                        فِيهَا

livelihood                              مَعَايِشَaccusative masculine plural noun

little                                      قَلِيلًا

(is) what                                مَا

you (are) grateful                 تَشْكُرُونَ         2nd person masculine plural imperfect verb.

subject pronoun.

NOTE: In the initial segment of the verse "2nd person masculine plural object pronoun," i.e., "We established you on the earth (الْأَرْضِفِيمَكَّنَّاكُمْ)" is used. The livelihood, مَعَايِشَ, is also plural noun suggesting livelihood for many (لَكُمْ).  Finally, at the end of the verse it says you are grateful, تَشْكُرُونَ,using plural imperfect verb. So, the grammatical composition of the verse with plural nouns, pronouns, and verbs suggests that verse 7:10 is not dealing with the topic of the creation and settlement of Adam but with the establishment of human species on the earth.

VERSE 7:11

TRANSLATION                 ARABIC               Syntax and morphology

Certainly                             وَلَقَدْ

We created you                   خَلَقْنَاكُمْ2nd person masculine plural object pronoun

then                                 ثُمَّ

We fashioned youصَوَّرْنَاكُمْ2nd person masculine plural object pronoun


We said                               قُلْنَا

to the angels                        لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ

prostrate                               اسْجُدُوا

to Adam,   لِآدَمَgenitive masculine proper noun Adam

so they prostrated,   فَسَجَدُوا

except                                  إِلَّا


not                                       لَمْ

he was                                  يَكُنْ

of                                          مِنَ

those who prostrated.          السَّاجِدِينَ


Here also the grammatical composition of verse 7:12 with 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun (خَلَقْنَاكُمْ and صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ) indicates that the beginning part of the verse is describing the creation of human species, not Adam. The coordinating conjunction," then (ثُمَّ)," between the narration of establishment of human species on the earth and the presentation of Adam to angels and Jinns in the verse is significant. The coordinating conjunction, ثُمَّ, chronologically places the creation and settlement of human species on the earth before the presentation of Prophet Adam.

The verbs, خَلَقْنَاكُمْand صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ, used in this verse and other verses and its meanings are highly significant to understand the creation of human species and Prophet Adam. According to Lane’s Lexicon,خَلَقَmeans "proportionating a thing into another thing." Next Lanes says:"This is the primary meaning." Example of such transformation something into another is clay to extract clay and then ultimately into human shell.

According to Lane, the verb, روص, means “sculpture and shape" a thing or image. So, one of the epithets of God isالْمُصَوِّرُ, sculptor, the One who carve a thing to a shape. The message of the divine use of these verbs is that His process of creation is not an instant event but is made of chronologically pertinent events. So, the above segment of the verse means the creation of human species or shell by transformation one thing to another in stages. Such an understanding is supported by the verse71:14. " It states And indeed He has created you through various stages (أَطْوَارًاخَلَقَكُمْوَقَدْ ).

VERSE 32: 7-9

and he began                               وَبَدَأَ

(the) creation                       خَلْقَ

(of) man                                          الْإِنْسَانِ

from                                                مِنْ

clay                                                 طِينٍ

NOTES: The word, "began  (وَبَدَأَ ),"in the verse indicates that subsequent series of events in the Divine Process of human creation.

then                                                ثُمَّ

he made                                          جَعَلَ

his progeny                                     نَسْلَهُ

from                                                مِنْ

extract                                              سُلَالَةٍ

of                                                     مِنْ


despised مَهِينٍ

NOTES: Here a known fact is restated, i.e., the reproduction within species is by emitted sperm. Then verse 76:2 elaborates further that the process of human reproduction is by the sperm yoking with female ova. The verse 32:9 reveals that الْمُصَوِّرُsculptures(سَوَّاهُ ) the human embryo into fully grown baby with faculties of hearing, sight, and feelings.

Verse 32:9

Then                                 ثُمَّ

He fashioned himسَوَّاهُ

and breathed                                     وَنَفَخَ

into him                                            فِيهِ

from                                                  مِنْ

His spirit                                           رُوحِهِ

and made                                          وَجَعَلَ

for you                                              لَكُمُ

the hearing            السَّمْعَ

and the sight                                     وَالْأَبْصَارَ

and feelings                                      وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ

little                                                  قَلِيلًا

[what ]مَا

thanks you give.                                 تَشْكُرُونَ

NOTES: In verse 32:9, after (ثُمَّ) deposit of the male sperm, the development of the embryo progresses (سَوَّاهُ)and then the human specific soul is brown into it and then hearing, sights and feeling develops. Initially, Verse 32:7 recount the beginning of the creation of human species from clay and then describes in 32:8-9 the fertilization and finally the infusion of accountable individual soul. There is no mention of Adam in the verses and so the verses are not about the creation of Adam but about human procreation and infusion of individual soul.

VERSE  38:71-72

When                                         إِذْ

said                                            قَالَ

your lord                                   رَبُّكَ

to the angels                             لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ

indeed, I amإِنِّي

going to createخَالِقٌ

a human beingبَشَرًاaccusative masculine indefinite noun

from مِنْ


NOTES: The use of indefinite noun (بَشَرًا)in the verse38:71 suggest the creation of human species, not the creation of Adam.

So when فَإِذَا

I have proportioned himسَوَّيْتُهُ

Breathed وَنَفَخْتُ

into him        فِيهِ

of                                                     مِنْ

my spiritرُوحِي

then fall downفَقَعُوا

to himلَهُ


NOTES: After recounting the creation of human species in 38:71, The Quran unfolds the intrauterine part of the creation of Prophet Adam in 38:72. The creation of human species and the narration of creation and presentation of Adam before Angels is told in the verse 15:28-29 also.

Based on the grammatical construction of the narratives of the creation of human species and Prophet Adam, human species were created and settled on the earth initially and then God sent Prophet Adam with rules of ethics to draw human species from animality to humanity. Being the prophet who draw human species from animality to humanity by preaching Islam, Adam is known as the spiritual parent of human species. Thereby, human species is described as “children of Adam” in the Qur’an.

Acknowledgement: used for syntax and morphology

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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