In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
–GOD OR CHANCE–
CREATION OR EVOLUTION?
The Toronto Star, Sunday April 4, 1999, Section C (p. 2), article “Behold the new god: science” notes that in 1953 “Stanley Miller passed an electrical charge, a simulation of lightning, through a mixture of chemicals that attempted to match those present on Earth at the time life is thought to have begun. Amino acids, the basic elements of life, were formed. This, it seemed, demonstrated that life could emerge from basic chemistry.”
If life came through chance rather than creation, what is the source of this “mixture of chemicals”? How did it combine in the wild (as opposed to in a lab) in such sufficient proportion to produce this “basic elements of life?” And what are the odds of lightning striking this mixture to begin life?
If Chance can produce a universe of immensity, beauty and order and beings of symmetry and precision then surely a Creator can produce more.
We will have to compromise our reasoning to accept that man could have evolved by Chance/Accident from a microscopic cell into such a magnificent form of symmetry, beauty and precision
–two hands, legs, eyes, ears, nose and head with hair; bones and organs clothed in flesh and professionally beautified in skin;
-given intricate networks of vessels and blood; fingers and toes and with a unique set of prints, never duplicated, and nails to strengthen them;
-limbs having joints that not only swivel but are locked in place and with precision and smoothness; furnished with a set of wondrous teeth, even, and varied for cutting, tearing and grinding food and endowed with a digestive system;
-organs for breathing, consuming and evacuating– separating nourishment from waste; given a brain and heart (a self-propelling device, pumping incessantly for up to a hundred years and more);
-instilled with emotions; endowed with the faculties of reasoning; given sight (through fat), hearing (through bone), and speech (through a lump of flesh); equipped with various taste-buds;
-instilled with carnal passion to ensure the need for companionship and equipped with complimentary genitals and reproductive systems and regenerative cells for their propagating and provided with mammary glands and milk for the sustenance of the off-spring.
Such an engineering marvel could not have come into existence by chance. This remarkable creature could only be the handiwork of the Master Designer called God.
While in creationism man is equipped with the capacity of wisdom (which manifests as he matures), in chance man must not only evolve physically, but also mentally. If the physical came by chance, the mental must also come by chance. This would mean that chance has the ability to fashion the physical as well as the abstract.
Then there is the soul, and the unseen beings –angels and spirits– which must also have to come into existence by chance. (Devils are unseen, yet it is accepted that they possess, and are exorcised from, humans. It is not incredible then to accept the existence of angels and spirits).
Since the physical is composed of cells what is the unseen composed of? It is not reasonable that mere chance could evolve beings visible and some invisible.
Neither is it reasonable that chance could instill in plants the intricate system of photosynthesis to purify the air.
Nor could it dictate that some creatures produce their young through eggs and others in the womb; for kangaroos to carry its young in a pouch; bees to seek nectar and make honey in their bellies; birds and butterflies to migrate (and with a sense of direction) for the winter; instill organization in ants; birds to emit sweet, powerful sounds; and provide different kinds and varieties of fruits and flowers; equip the porcupine with quills, the skunk with a spray as defense, vipers with venom; and instill in spiders the capability of spinning webs (which are “geometrically perfect” and whose “fragility cannot be imitated by man”).1 Such capabilities cannot be a chance happening: it could only be acquired through the design of a Super Power–God.
Chance would also have to
-equip the bat with sonar in order to navigate and furnish it with the power of flight through wings of skin instead of feathers;
–instill the genetic code into the peacock to restore its color pattern which is a “blend of delicate art, careful selection and superb merging” after molting;
–provide the locust with a mouth “so appropriate to its ways of nourishment, its sharp jaws are so useful to eat grass and leaves and its artistically delicate but fairly strong legs are powerful enough to support its body on the blades of grass and leaves of trees”;
–design the ant –“its alimentary canal, the places where food enters and refuse leaves its body, the cartilage of its ribs which protects its respiratory and circulatory systems and its stomach, its head with its pinpoint eyes and its organs and their connection with brain and body, you will be struck at the marvels of creation in this small body and you will not find it easy to describe and explain them.”
“The details of living organisms are wonderfully small and delicate and amazingly intricate: and the differences in the organs of various forms of life are minute but precise.”2
It is clear that chance cannot bring about such marvels.
In Islam creationism does not oppose evolution. However, the writers of the Biblical account of “man and creation” erroneously thought they could trace man’s pedigree to the first pair, leaving the modern day Christian fathers with the wrong belief that the earth was only about six thousand years old. Muhammad Ali explains:
“Adam is generally taken to be the proper name for the first man, but neither here [Qur’an 2:31] nor anywhere else in the Holy Qur’an is it affirmed that Adam was the first man or that there was no creation before him. On the other hand, great Muslim theologians have held that there were many Adams –thousands of Adams– before the great ancestor of mankind known by this name (RM). As the previous verse shows [verse 30 of chapter 2], the whole of humanity is spoken of here because the shedding of blood could not be the work of one man; the reference is to the shedding of the blood of man by man. Adam, therefore, though it may also be the name of a particular man stands for man generally.”3
That this Adam was not the first man seems to be borne out by the fact that after Cain killed Abel, Cain is said to have gone to the land of Nod where he knew his wife who conceived–(Genesis 4:16-17). Since Cain and Abel were the only two children, and there was no mention of any other children then so that Cain could be said to have taken a sister as wife, where then did Cain find this woman in Nod for wife if there were no other human beings on the earth? (See Christianity-man made to live forever).
The Arabic word yaum means a period of time–from a moment to 1,000-50,000 years–(Qur’an 55:29; 22:47; 70:4). Thus, Allāh created the heavens and the earth in six periods not six of our days. (For an explanation of yaum see Muhammad Ali’s Qur’-anic commentary # 8–chapter 1:3. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
As stated. Creationism is not opposed to evolution. A thousand years before Darwin, Allāh, God, revealed to us in His Qur’an that He created every living thing from water–(Qur’an 21:30; 24:45. It has taken sophisticated man more than a thousand years to discover this, one of the many truths, conveyed to us by a desert inhabitant. Yet some deny the Divinity of the Qur’an and call Mohammad an “impostor”).
The principle of evolution was taught to the world for the first time in Islam. Four of the ninety-nine Names of Allāh, God, are:
(1) Rabb–“the Originator of things and their Combiner to create new forms. It means the Law-giver, Who frames Laws under which He propounds the shapes which things must assume and the ratio and proportion in which various ingredients must combine with each other. He is the Regularizer, i.e., the Lord Who puts things on the way to perfection. He is the Arranger of the different stages through which they have to pass on their way to completion.”(Ref. Qur’an 87:1-3; 25:2; 54:49).
(2) Al-Badi’–He Who creates out of nothing;
(3) Al-Bari–He Who originates things with various faculties in them;
(4) Al-Khaliq–He Who combines things in a given proportion to create new things.4
And Muhammad Ali explains: The Arabic word Rabb which is generally taken as Lord,
“conveys not only the idea of fostering, bringing-up, or nourishing, but also that of regulating, completing and accomplishing (T-LL), i.e. of the evolution of things from the crudest state to that of the highest perfection. According to R, 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 completion. Hence Rabb is the Author of all existence, Who has not only given to the whole creation its means of nourishment but has also beforehand ordained for each a sphere of capacity and within that sphere provided the means by which it continues to attain gradually to its goal of perfection. By the use of the word Rabb the Holy Qur’an thus hints at the law of evolution which is working in the universe.”5
Allāh reveals in His Qur’an that “He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth”–(2:117); and that He “originates creation then reproduces it”–(30:11). Allāh originating and reproducing creation does not negate the possibility of Him effecting creation through evolution also.
When he reaches the age of puberty, a male-child automatically, with the combination of certain ingredients in definite measures miraculously, begins to produce sperm–life, living organisms; and this same sperm-drop (when mixed with the female’s ovum) is then evolved into a clot, then into a lump of flesh, then given bones, then into a form unlike human then into human form–(Qur’an 22:5; 23:13-14); and the female-child begins producing eggs. It would be a subjugation of reason to view this to be a mere accident.
The combining of 2 parts hydrogen with one part oxygen produces water: it cannot produce any thing else. Likewise 3 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen cannot produce water but may give another substance. Therefore, if some creations are pro-duced through the combination of two or more elements in certain quantities, there is no argument to deny that these are manifested in accordance with the laws of Allāh, God.
(Allāh, God, reveals in His Qur’an that when He decrees a matter He only says to it “Be, and it is”–(Qur’an 2:117). This “Be, and it is” “does not necessarily mean, as is sometimes erroneously understood, that when God decrees that a certain thing should come into being, it comes into being all at once. What it means is that when God decrees a thing, nothing can thwart His decree.”6
This alone is proof of “creationism.” But this creationism does not negate evolution. Allāh, God, says that He created man with His own hands–(Qur’an 38:75; this does not necessarily mean that God actually fashioned man with His hands, but that He brought man into existence through a more immediate act as against the other creations which came through a process of evolution), there is no statement to show that He created other forms of life directly as He created man.
Allāh says that He created all things from water–(Qur’an 21:30; 24:45), which may suggest that other forms of life were created through the process of evolution according to His laws. (That God created all things from water is not to be confused with His statement that He created man as well from water; because this creation of man from water refers to his creation through procreation, for He already revealed that He created man with “His hands”).
Allāh, God, reveals that He created all things in pairs–(Qur’an 42:11). If creatures had evolved by mere chance, the chance of them being evolved as either male or female or with any genitals for that matter, and with reproductive cells would seem highly improbable.
Allāh, God, creating all things in pairs does not necessarily mean that He created all things through His laws of evolution (supposedly). He may have created a few species only; which inter-bred with one another (much like modern day inter-breeding of animals to produce other breeds); which would account for the several species of one creature, as in the case of birds and beetles. This inter-breeding could very well apply to every king-dom of animal species.
Allāh, God, says that when He decrees a matter, He only says to it “Be, and it is”–(Arabic “kun fayakun: Qur’an 2:117). This coming into existence of the various creations according to the command(s) of Allah God–(Qur’an 41:11-12), are their submitting to His will –which is Islam: Submission or Obedient to the law of God.
After decreeing the various creations to manifest, Allāh God, created man and “breathed into him of His spirit”–(Qur’an 7:11; 15:26-29; 32:7-9).
As can be seen, whereas Allāh manifested all other creations through a process or His command, His creating of man was through direct intervention. Thus, there are two methods of creation–through the process or “evolution” under the laws of God, and through direct intervention or “creation.”
However, one must keep this creation through a “process” in perspective, i.e. it must not be imagined as when one is viewing a movie –where everything occurs one after the other in a few moments. This creation process may take centuries. As already noted the Qur’an likens one Divine day (or period) to be the equivalent of a thousand to fifty thousand years of ours.
So if creation of the heavens and the earth took six days or periods, then we must be looking at a time frame of from six thousand years to three hundred thousand years –it is not necessarily so that God created man immediately after His creating of the heavens and the earth. Neither is it necessarily so that God created all things one immediately after the other. There may have been intervals in between each phase of creation).
In effect, Allāh, God, is Creator of all, though not necessarily by direct intervention; but also through ‘laws of association’ –meaning when certain elements are combined new forms or objects come into being.
The prophecies, scientific pronouncements, and the Qur’an’s inimitability–(Qur’an 2:23; 10:38; 17:89) are not only proofs of Mohammad’s Messengership but also a refutation of atheism. Maurice Bucaille wrote:
“[In the Qur’an] “statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad’s time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Qur’an which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret.” (The Bible The Qur’an And Science: p. 251).
If Mohammad was an “impostor” and wrote the Qur’an, it is the miracle of all ages that statements on science (and history: Pharaoh’s body saved, Roman victory over Persia, Alexander the Great, Jesus not killed/crucified) coming from the mouth of a Seventh Century unschooled desert dweller have proved true.
1. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Qur’an And Science, p. 193.
2. Nahjul Balagha, sermons # 158, 168, 190). Sermons, Letters and Sayings of Hazrat Ali, Translated by Syed Mohammed Askari Jafery.
3. Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. #52.
4. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, pp. 25-26).
5. Ibid; Qur’anic comm. #5
6. Malik Ghulam Farid, Qur’anic comm. # 140.