By Awais Durrani
The creation of life on the earth through a Divine-guided organic/chemical evolution:-The creation of life on the earth forms a significant part of the Quranic descriptions but our commentators have missed certain important steps in this connection ,on account of their lack of knowledge of natural phenomena in general & of the chemical evolution on the earth in particular which occurred for millions of years prior to the first cell formation & appearance of life .Just study these ayat with full concentration .40/67 ,25/54,6/2,37/11,23/12,55/14 & ,15/26 & so on ;which lie scattered in different parts of the Quranic text when read together ,present a beautiful picture of a continuous chemical evolution on the earth ,step by step ,as a precursor of life .Being ignorant of the basic fact that evolution is a continuous process which began millions of years before the creation of life ,they make mistakes in describing even those step in creation which are related to events after the appearance of life .Moreover the words of the Quran are wrongly interpreted related to chemical evolution .For example the words in 15/26 "HAMAMIM MASNOON "is translated as "putrefied mud " .It is an established fact that decay was unknown on the earth before the origin of bacteria which are living objects .Thus the words "HAMAMIM MASNOON " means old mud which with the passage of time had undergone physical & chemical changes but not putrefaction which is a biological phenomenon.Quran says life was created from "SULALATIN MIN TEEN" ie extracts of clay & not from clay itself .This extract from clay forms the basis of,not only an important but also an impressive & comprehensive chapter of chemical evolution on the earth.But our learned men ,still believe in the creation of man from clay as a whole .Perhaps they are under the impression that the words SULALATIM MIN TEEN are a mere poetical expression.Now let us ponder over a verse 32/9 " It is HE who has made everything which He has created in an appropriate form & initiated the creation of man from the inorganic matter of the earth & made his progeny from an extract of (which may seem to you ) a despised fluid" Quran here refers to prehuman chemical evolution which later passed on gradually to the stage of sexual reproduction in plants & animals & ultimately into man.But our brother is still insisting on special theory of creation which has been in vogue since the time of the Old Testament & Maududi in his Tafheem ul Quran (volume 4,page 40 ) after laying great stress on special creation ;it is said " If at all it is accepted that the first life cell was directly created ,then where is the hitch in accepting that the first individual of every living species of animals came into being by direct creation by the Creator & from then onwards its progeny proceeded by mean of procreation "This type of explanation is is the result of ignorance about the chemical evolution which occurred prior to the appearance of life ,as well as of ignorance about the stage at which the sex appeared in living organisms.That is why ,in the above said statement ,Maududi starts with an improvised acceptance of first cell having been directly created & bases his further argument in favour of special creation of other animals on a wrong assumption.As a matter of fact ,the creation of first cells was only a continuation of chemical evolution.Our orthodoxy had a poor knowledge of organic evolution & still believes in special creation,in spite of the fact that actual forces which brought about evolution were gradually discovered & are now thoroughly understood.That is why they still go on sticking to the idea that the first man created on the earth was adam who was brought into existance directly from a model of clay.In fact the word Adam means "human species "& not any particular individual.Ayah 31/28" Your creation & recreation is in o other way but as a single life cell "It means every time a new life starts ,it starts from a single cell ,both in unicellular as well as multicellular organisms.Ayah 39/6 " He created you from a single cell & made from it opposite sex "But all the interpreters translate "NAFSIN WAHIDA "as Adam & & having been influenced by Jewish literature ,produce a fantastic story of the creation of Adam & Eve ,the Adam directly from the model of clay & the Eve having been taken out of his body by means of bisection.The Quran says Ayah -71/17" "The Divine plan has raised you up from the earth in the form of a (genealogical) tree " while Maududi translates as " Allah raised you up from the earth in a strange way .
As in ayah 7/17 " according to Maududi "Here creation of man from the earthly materials is expressed being similar to the growth of vegetation from the earth .As there was no vegetation on earth before then Allah created them" This shows an utter ignorance from the evolutionary processes .In fact not only the theory of special creation but also the idea that evolution took place from a single cell to a man in a ladder -like fashion,is now obsolete.Actually as soon as a new type evolves ,it becomes a potential ancestor for many simultaneous descendent lines & each line becomes especially adapted in a particular way .The evolution thus forms the pattern of a branching tree.The Quran lays emphasis on the point that human evolution started long before man actually assumed the form of a human being ie,long before he became capable of wielding a position of such magnificent importance that mala'ika ie the forces of nature bowed down before him .In ayah -76/1-" "Had there not been upon man a period of time when he was not a thing worth -mentioning "I don't want to waste further time in traditional translations which have nothing to do with Quran just conjecture based on Biblical stories.Now ayah-71/14-" He it is who created you in different stages ,forms.measures & environments "The word ATWARA fits exactly into a variety of steps in evolution of man ,prehuman & even into the evolution of the physical universe , prior to it.Now ayah 23/14-" Then from NUTFAH (the reproductive unit) we created ALAQA which is mistranslated as "congealed blood" although no blood is present in this early embryonic stage ;it is just a tiny mass of undifferentiated cells.The word ALAQA means a hanging object situated higher up.In this early stage it is the only blastocyst which can be called Alaqa.The very first impression one gets on observing the blastocyst under the microscope is that it is indeed an Alaqa.Another interesting chapter of biology is sex .Quran says in 31/10 -" We sent down rain from the sky & produce in it (earth) every kind of growth in pairs " Here the word ZAUJ is significant & needs detailed explanation which is mistranslated as "a variety of good things " .Just observe their mental horizon this is what they did with Quran.Quran lays great emphasis on natural exploration & in order to prove its fundamental principle ,brings in to evidence a variety of natural phenomena .For example the subject of colours is important in physics ,i geology,in chemical biological evolution etc just observe the rain .With it we bring out produces of various colours.And in the mountains are newly created strata of rocks ,white & red of various shades of colour & intensely black.And so among men & crawling creatures & cattle are they of various colours.Those who posses knowledge of (Sciences) really appreciate the mighty powers of the laws of Allah & are afraid of going against them.They know that His laws are omnipotent & provides protection for those who abide by it (35/27-28) .Scientists are termed by Quran as "ULOMA" while our clergy is ignorant from all new discoveries & therefore they can never understand Quran .Scientists have observed that the universe is expanding & galaxies are running out with a tremendous speed .It is marvelous that the Quran pointed out towards this phenomenon 1400 years ago & said (51/47) " with power & skill we did construct the heaven,Verily we are expanding it " Also in 35/1-" He adds to His creation according to his laws" Only recently the astronomers have discovered the interplanetary gas & dust ,yet the Quran repeatedly pointed towards it .(83/85-20/6 & several ayat ) WA MA BAINAHUMA (Interplanetary)
Part- 3 (final)
In the previous part we spoke about the interplanetary space termed as WA MA BAINAHUMA is of paramount interest in understanding the basic process of the creation of the universe & the star formation ,as well as the exchange of energy & matter in between the stars & & in between the sun & the earth. In the light of modern research the interstellar matter appears to be different in nature & origin from the interplanetary material ; & that the Quran has also differentiated between the two .Whereas in all other verses of the Quran , where the words "MA BAINAHUMA" occur along-with "Assamawat-e-walarz " the word that is used SAMAWAT which is plural & which points towards interstellar space but in verse (21/16) the word SAMA is used which is singular & points towards the space between the sun & the planets.This orthodoxy has never tried to find out why the Quran repeatedly mentions WA MA BAINAHUMA ? The Quran says (41/9-12) Tell ;Is it that you deny Him who created the earth in two eras.He completed them in several number in two eras "Thus according to Quran the creation of the heavens & the earth took place in two eras.The word YAUM here means "a very very long period of time " which might be 100 years or 50000 years according to your estimation (32/5-70/4) not specific ,may be millions of years..In scientific term the period of creation of the material world is called as "AZOIC" ie. without life.The Quran divides into two & calls it YAUMAIN (Two eras) .To begin with the entire space was full of smoke."He comprehended in His design the heaven when it was smoke "(41/11) Smoke is a mixture of gases & solid particles .Areas of condensation appeared later in this gas & dust cloud resulting into the formation of prostars ,which further developed into the stars.The stars further became divided into the planets& other smaller heavenly bodies .The division of one complete DUKHAN into prostars is a great event.This period may be termed as Era one of the creation of the universe & the period of time after this division till the appearance of life as Era Two.Unfortunately our learned men followed Biblical man-made stories & translated Yaum as "one day of 24 hours" Quran divides the time of creation after the appearance of life on the earth into four eras (Arba'atin ayyam ) .Now Yaumain & Arba,a make Sitta ayyam (six eras ) ie YAUM the longest periods of millions of years.. Ayah -57/4-" He knows what enters the earth & what comes out of it ,what comes down from the heaven & what mounts up to it " .It is a vast subject which deals with the exchange of the physical & chemical forces between the outer space & the earth which change every bit of the earth's substance,inorganic as well as organic .The exchange of radiation between the heaven & the earth is a subject of great importance.All the seasonal climatic changes & the environmental cycles which occur on the earth depend on this exchange .Living matter is interposed between these cycles & as the earth's components circulate ,some of them become raw materials for the use of living matter. dependent on these cycles,inorganic matter & living matter give rise to each other in a cyclic order .Ayah-6/96-" It is the Divine law that causes the living matter to spring from the non-living & the non-living to spring from the living one "Now let us see what Maududi says "A grain in the interior of the earth sprouts & rises upwards.Rain falls from the heaven;water vapour ascends from the sea,to the heaven " A limited explanation of a limitless subject !These are a few examples in order to bring into focus ,how lack of knowledge of natural phenomena ,affects the exegesis of the Quran .It is beyond the scope of this work to deal with this vast subject in detail because the verses related to nature cover about one eighth of Quran..However it is worthwhile in other non-scientific events also ,instead of explaining verses from Quran itself ,they take pleasure in the display of distorted views based on the most hateful man-made stories present in the Jewish scriptures .
Source of the article "Gateway to the Quran " by Dr Abdul Wadud .