THE QUR'AN ON EVOLUTION [FROM ORIGIN OF LIFE ON PLANET EARTH TO THE CREATION OF HOMO SAPIENS]
The Glorious Qur'an most beautifully describes Evolution of the entire universe from ‘Kun’ to ‘Fayakoon’. It does not exclude the human race at all.
Evolution described in the Qur'an does not agree with every facet of Darwin's theory. Invariably, the Miraculous Book goes on correcting any errors or aberrations of human thought and judgment.
Since the Bible only vaguely alludes to Evolution of things, inanimate and animate objects, most of the Judeo-Christian clergy deny it or remain confused about it. I recall that Wisconsin was one of the states where teaching Evolution by Darwin was forbidden some years ago. Many Muslims get beaten on the subject by enlightened western minds who believe in Evolution.
Alijah Izzetbegowich, former president of Bosnia, wrote a book against the Theory of Evolution. Fine, you may thrash Darwin's Theory of Evolution, but you cannot thrash the process of Evolution in the Universe.
4:1 [The development of human personality can be easier achieved in a benevolent society (9:111, 16:71, 43:32, 59:9). In that situation, the individual and the society complement each other (14:34). At the outset, it is imperative to know that all people have a common origin, therefore, you must consider all mankind as one community. 10:19, 57:25] O Mankind! Be mindful of your Lord Who began your creation from the creation of life at the unicellular level. There was one life cell and He created its mate, dividing the cell into two, male and female (6:99). [Evolution took place, as has been alluded to in this Book 16:8, 20:50, 21:30, 22:45, 30:20, 31:28, 51:49] Eventually, numerous men and women came into existence on the earth. Be careful of your duty to God in Whose Name you expect rights from one another, and you must strengthen your blood relations. God ever watches over you.
6:2 He is the One Who created you from inorganic matter, and decreed a term for you, a term known to Him. It is determined according to His laws, for individuals (3:144, 56:60) and nations (7:34, 10:49, 13:38). Yet you keep doubting and arguing about Him.
6:38 (There are signs in the Universe to behold.) There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are communities like you. We have omitted nothing in the Book (that was essential to be given through revelation.) Then to their Lord they will be gathered.
6:98 And He is the One Who initiated you from a single life cell. Then in the process of evolution He appointed stages, from one station to the next destination. (Thus goes on the journey of life.) Thus We explain Our messages for people who use their insight. [11:6]
6:99 (He took care of your provision even before you were created.) He is the One Who sends down water from the heights. With it We produce vegetation of all kind; green multitudes, complex grains, palm trees, from their pollens spring pendant clusters, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranate; fruits that are similar and diverse. Look upon the fruit thereof and look upon its ripening. These are signs for those who reach conviction through reason.
7:11 We created you, then shaped you, then told the angels, "Be of service to Adam! And they agreed to be of service, all but Iblees (Satan). He was not of the subservient. [Let us take a panoramic view of our common origin. Life began as a single life cell from hydrated inorganic matter (23:13). God made us ‘Adam’ (Homo sapiens, male and female). And He made the angels (the universal forces) subservient to mankind. Satan or Iblees, our own rebellious desires, refused to submit to the higher controls of judgment]
7:189 (The message encompasses life in its totality.) Recall that God created life from a single life cell, then made male and female cells, and then shaped you into human beings, males and females. He designed it such that man might incline with love towards the woman. When he gets intimate with her, she carries a light load that she can hardly notice. As she grows heavy with the child, they both implore God, their Lord, “If you grant us a healthy baby, we shall certainly be among the grateful.”
11:6 There is no living creature on earth but its sustenance depends on God. He knows its habitation and its destiny. (He carries them from one station to another until the final destination.) All this is laid down in the Divine Database [6:99, 55:29]
15:26 And We created man from sounding clay, out of dark inorganic matter. [37:11]
15:27 Before humanity became civilized, We had placed in them a fiery disposition. See Jinn – Surah 72, note]
21:30 Are the disbelievers not aware that the heavens and earth used to be one solid mass and We exploded them asunder? And that out of water We made every living thing? Will they not, then, acknowledge the truth? [Here is a clear allusion to the Big Bang theory. Numerous celestial bodies came into being and started swimming along in their orbits. Almost all modern astrophysicists believe that this Universe has originated as one entity from one single element, hydrogen that, in stages, became consolidated with gravity and then broke apart into celestial bodies. (Muhammad Asad). 21:33, 24:45, 36:40, 79:30]
22:5 O Mankind! If you are in doubt that one day you will be resurrected back to life, (consider the process of your own evolution.) We have created you in stages: From inorganic matter, then from male and female gametes, then from a zygote, then from an embryo, shapely and first shapeless. We thus clearly explain things for you. The embryo and then the fetus stay in the womb until an appointed term according to Our laws. Then We bring you forth as infants and carry you to maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the feeblest old age so that they know nothing after knowing much. You see a dry barren land, but when We send down water on it, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants. [Recapturing the earlier stages of evolution, We initiated life from inorganic matter, the clay, and hydrated clay. Through it We brought forth the single life cell that divided into the male and the female cells. Thus procreation came into play. Further on the road to evolution - male and female gametes join, a clot, a little lump of flesh, turning into the embryo that ‘hangs’ in the womb. The embryo is partly formed and partly unformed, until it becomes the fetus and then assumes the final evident proportions. For the origin of life on the planet and creation of the human being, herein are some important references on Evolution for the research minded reader: 4:1, 6:2, 6:38, 6:98-99, 7:11, 7:189, 11:6, 15:26-27, 21:30, 22:5, 23:12-14, 24:45, 25:54, 30:20, 31:28, 32:7-9, 35:11, 36:77, 37:11, 39:6, 40:64-67, 51:49, 53:45, 55:14, 71:14-17, 76:2-3, 86:5-7, 96:1-22]
23:12 Indeed, We created the human being from the essence of clay. [Evolution 22:5]
23:13 Then We placed him as the male and female gametes in a safe lodging. [Nutfah = Gamete = Male sperm or Female ovum]
23:14 Then We made the gametes into a zygote, then We made a leech-like mass of flesh out of the zygote, then the hanging little lump, the embryo. Then We created bones within the embryonic lump, and then clothed the bones with flesh, then We developed it into a new creation (the fetus and the human infant). So Blessed is God, the Best of creators. [71:14, 96:2. Dr. Keith Moore of Toronto, the foremost embryologist in the world, has made a change in his textbooks (‘Before We Are Born’, ‘Clinical Embryology’) to mention the Qur’anic ‘Alaqah’ (leech-like mass of flesh), seeing a picture of leech and comparing it with the early appearance of the embryo]
23:15 And then, after all this, you are destined to die.
24:45 And God has created every living creature from water. (Life began in water (21:30). Some of them crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. God creates all things with a purpose and according to His laws. And God has Supreme control over all things and events.
25:54 And He is the One Who has created the human being from water, and then He has established relationships by lineage and by marriage, for, your Lord is the Designer of all things. [The best relationships are established on the basis of Ideology 3:102, 21:30, 24:45, 49:10-13]
30:19 He is the One Who brings forth the living from the dead and brings forth the dead from the living. And He gives life to earth after it has been lifeless. And thus shall you be brought forth. [Likewise, His guidance revives communities]
30:20 Among His signs it is that He even created you out of dust (beginning of life from water and inorganic matter – life-cell). And then, (after evolution) you became human beings scattered far and wide. [6:2, 6:99, 7:11, 15:26, 21:30, 23:12, 31:28]
30:21 And among His signs is this: He created for you mates from yourselves, so that you might find comfort in them. And He ordained between you love and kindness. In that are signs for those who reflect. [Azwaaj = Husband + Wife, that are mates to, and complement, each other’s personality]
31:28 Your creation or your resurrection is only as that of a single life cell. God is Hearer, Seer.
32:6 Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful,
32:7 Who created everything in perfect balance. Thus He initiated the creation of the humans from hydrated inorganic matter.
32:8 Then He made him to be reproduced out of the essence of a mere fluid. [The inorganic matter was hydrated and life was initiated from its extract. Eventually, the evolution reached a point when procreation with male and female gametes was established. 37:11]
32:9 (Then emergent evolution took place that distinguished humans from the animal kingdom.) He shapes him in accordance with what he is meant to be, and breathes into him of His Energy. And thus (O Mankind) He gives you the faculties of hearing, sight, reasoning and feelings. Yet, how seldom are you grateful by making the best use of your perceptual and conceptual faculties! [Af’idah = Minds = Intellect = Faculty of reasoning including feelings. 17:36, 45:23, 46:26]
35:11 (Recall your common humble origin.) God created you from dust, then from male and female gametes, and then He makes you pairs. And no female becomes pregnant, nor gives birth without His knowledge (according to His appointed laws in nature, without exceptions). No one lives long, and no one lives short, but by His laws. All this is easy for God. [3:144. Nutfah = Gamete, male or female. Commonly misunderstood as sperm or semen, it is a common gender]
36:77 Does not man realize that We created him from male and female gametes? Yet, he stands forth as an open contender of truth! [Nutfah = Gamete, male or female, sperm or ovum]
37:11 Ask them, “Are they more difficult to create, or the other beings We have created? We created the humans from hydrated clay.
39:6 He has created you all out of one living entity (from a single life cell) - and fashioned similarly its mate, male and female (6:99). And He has bestowed upon you livestock of eight kinds in pairs. (Sheep, goat, camel, cow - male and female, the common permissible livestock 6:144-146). He creates you in the bellies of your mothers, creation after creation, in threefold depths of darkness (the abdominal wall, the uterine wall and the embryonic sac). Such is God, your Lord! Unto Him belongs the Kingdom. There is no god but He. How, then, can you sway like errant winds! [With modern science in mind, we can understand the livestock sentence as eight organisms in pairs (Two strands of DNA held together in the early stages of conception, four for DNA and four for RNA). Nafs = Self, Mind, Psyche, Soul, Human being, Living entity, Person, Humankind, Essence of life, Personality, Mental faculty, Ego, I, Me, I-am-ness, Personal identity, Animate object. Nafsinwwaahidah = A single life-cell. Minha zawjaha = Mate out of its own kind = Mate, male and female = Companions very much alike = Similar in essence. 49:13]
40:64 God is the One Who rendered the earth a dwelling place for you and the atmosphere a canopy, and formed you, and formed you so well, and provided you with decent things of life. Such is God, your Lord. Most Exalted, then, is God, the Lord of the Worlds. [Samaa = Sky = Canopy = Atmosphere that protects against extremes of heat and cold and meteorites. 21:32]
40:65 He is the Ever-Living; there is no god but He. Call then, upon Him alone, sincere in Deen (the Divine System of Life). All praise is due to God, Lord of all the worlds! [‘No god but He’ = God alone is the Sovereign in the heavens and earth = God alone is Worthy of obedience and service = Only His laws are operational in the Universe = He is the ultimate Law-Giver to humanity]
40:66 Say, "I am forbidden to obey those to whom you call upon instead of God, since all evidence of the truth has come to me from my Lord and I am commanded to submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”
40:67 He is the One Who created you from dust, then from the gametes, then from an embryo, and then He brings you forth as an infant. And then you attain full strength and afterward you grow old; though some of you die earlier. All this He ordains so that you reach a term appointed, and along the way, develop your insight. [22:5]
51:49 And all things We created in pairs and in opposites (such that one complements the other), so that you may reflect.
53:45 viii He is the One Who creates the two companions, the male and the female (pairs and opposites among His creation),
53:46 From gametes that unite.
55:14 He created the human (initially) out of sounding inorganic matter, like pottery. [Human evolution: 2:30, 6:2, 7:189, 15:26-27, 22:5, 23:12-13, 25:54, 32:7-9, 35:11, 37:11, 71:17]
76:1 Has there not passed over man an era when he was not even worth mentioning?
76:2 We have created the human being from marked out cells, male and female gametes, that joined. Then We passed him through subtle changes. And then We made him a being endowed with hearing and sight.
86:5 Let the human being, then, consider out of what he has been created. [And realize the common origin of all mankind. Has there not passed over man an era when he was not even worth mentioning? 76:1]
86:6 He has been created from turbulent water. [21:30, 24:25]
86:7 That issued from between tough rocks and mingled dust. [Sulb = Hard = Tough = Strong, Rocky, as given in Taajil ‘Uroos and Muheet. Turaab = Dust, with Turaaib as its plural in Taajil Urus. Mountains, rocky as pegs, along with the glacier systems and snow tops and sources of rivers, have been described as water reservoirs in many verses: 13:3, 15:19, 31:10, 39:5, 77:27, 79:28-30, 88:20. For the origin of life on the planet and creation of the human being, including the beginning of life through water, dust, hydrated inorganic matter etc, here are given some important references for the research minded reader: 4:1, 6:2, 6:38, 6:99, 7:11, 11:6, 11:61, 15:26, 21:30, 23:12-14, 24:45, 25:54, 30:20, 31:28, 32:7-9, 35:11, 36:77, 39:6, 40:64-67, 51:49, 53:45, 55:14, 71:14, 76:2-3, 86:5-7, 96:1-2. My rendition of three terms used in 86:6-7 respectfully differs from other translations. We know how valuable the principle of Tasreef-il-Ayaat (the way the Qur’an repeats its verses in different viewpoints for better understanding).
Now, here are those three terms along with their erroneous translations:
- ‘Ma-in-Dafiq’: A drop emitted, seminal fluid or gushing fluid.
- ‘Sulb’: Man’s ribs, man's loins.
- ‘Turaib’: Pelvic arch of woman, back-bone and the ribs, spine and the viscera of man and/or woman, sacrum of man or woman.
But keeping in view the lexicon and the Tasreef given above, my humble rendition of these verses is probably more sound and reflects the original Magnificence to an extent]
96:1 Read! With the Name of your Lord Who created.
96:2 Created man from a zygote. [And passed him through the embryonic stages 23:13-14. Endowed him with perceptual and conceptual faculties 32:7-9. Gave him the free will 76:2-3, 90:8-10. Distinguished him from the rest of the animal kingdom 47:12. For a comprehensive overview of man’s creation from the very beginning, water and the inorganic matter, and onward please see 22:5]