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Offline Reader Questions

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Evolution - Did Adam Evolve from a Different Species?
« on: May 05, 2012, 07:57:16 PM »
Peace brother,

I was reading the support of theory of evolution from Quran from the following article.

One Question arises then. Was there a first human called Adam?  Did Adam evolve from another species? Did he have parents from earlier species?

And how do we understand the similarity between Jesus and Adam in the case below?

3:59 The example of Jesus with God is similar to that of Adam; He created him from dust, then He said to him, "Be," and he became.


Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Evolution - Did Adam Evolve from a Different Species?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 08:24:45 PM »
As-salamu alaykum,

Before I respond to 3:59 in particular, I'd like to highlight a few points from the article which I feel are pertinent to your question.

The difference between 'insaan' and ‘bashar' was highlighted in the article. There is a physiological state (bashar) and there is an enlightened state of consciousness endowed by God, provided by something of His 'Ruh' (15:29, 32:9. This makes us 'insaan'.

"Then He fashioned him in due proportion (Arabic: thumma sawwahu), and breathed into him something of His spirit (Arabic: min ruhihi). And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!"

Therefore, a human being is made of both his physiological state (bashar) and his perceptive state (ins).

Also, when God commanded 'kun' (2:117) to the Heavens and the Earth, did they come together instantly or did they take 6 yaums (32:4, 50:38?) to form?

Did God proportion humans instantly or was that too part of a long evolutionary cycle as hinted by the verse above 32:9 and the Arabic ‘thumma sawwahu’ (He fashioned him)?

The imperative ' kun' merely means that a command has been executed. For nothing can disobey God's command. For God who exists outside time and space, time is meaningless. Time applies only to creation. That is why parables are given in the Quran - A ‘yaum’ (period) is a 1000 years of ‘what we count’ (32:5) or even 50,000 years of our time (70:4) etc.

So when God says 'kun', all it refers to is the execution of His command. Whether this is an instant or part of a billion year process, they all have God’s ‘kun’ behind it.

There is no warrant from the Quran to understand that either the Universe was created in an instant or that Adam was created in an instant by the phrase 'kun fayakun'.

Now in verse 3:59, neither Adam nor Prophet Jesus were created in an instant. Prophet Jesus had to undergo a gestation period in his mother's (Mary) womb.  Clearly this is not an instant. Humans had to evolve in their physiological state (bashar) before God's Divine energy (ruh) could be breathed into them and before they became 'insaan'. (as in the case of Adam).

The comparison in 3:59 is one of command (kun) and in the context of the theme of the verses it is a challenge to the Christian doctrine of Jesus's perceived Divinity. The only Divinity is God (3:62). Therefore, the Quran responds by intimating that both Jesus and Adam (as a progenitor of the human race) were created out of earthly materials (turabin - earth / soil / dust). Prophet Jesus was a creation of God just like Adam was (who also represents the archetype of the human race). Prophet Jesus has no association in the Divinity of God. They both were created by God’s command ‘kun’.  This is the similitude. (mathala).

When God 'commanded' Jesus to be, the process was actioned (fayakun). God does what He wills. The verse does not talk about parentage. This verse has nothing to do with 'parentage'. This is an 'interpretation' usually read into the verse based on traditional theology.

Furthermore, there is no time frame given in the verse whether this is 9 months for Prophet Jesus or a whole evolutionary cycle for the physiological state of 'bashar' to reach a certain point of maturity (where God's Divine energy (ruh) could be breathed into it to make it an 'insaan'). 

To read a 'timeframe' into the verse also finds absolutely no warrant from the Quranic narratives.

I firmly believe that there existed various stages in the development of the 'bashar', the physiological state of man. These stages were guided by God through the evolutionary process. Early primitive communities surely existed. Once the physiological state reached necessary maturity and when God deemed it appropriate, two 'bashars' were subsequently chosen and God's 'ruh' was breathed into them (Adam and his spouse). This is the point at which they both became 'insaan', fully functional human beings with volition, responsibility, attained vicegerancy (Khalifa) and now separate from their predecessors. They could exercise choice, control and governance. This whole evolutionary process was executed on earth. Please see article [1] below.

So although Adam's physiology (bashar) would have been part of his predecessor who would have looked much like him physiologically (bashar), he had no 'parents' in the way you and I have parents. This is because Adam’s predecessors were not 'insaan' like our parents as they did not have relevant Divine energy (ruh) inside them to make them ‘insaan’.

It also does not mean that Adam’s predecessors were 'monkeys' either. Adam's predecessors did not originate from 'monkeys'. This is a fallacious argument neither supported by the Quran nor any scientific understanding.

Evolution does not argue that man has evolved from monkeys. Rather, it argues that both humans and monkeys (primates) share a 'common ancestor'. This is a rather different proposition than asserting that man has evolved from monkeys.

I hope that helps, God willing

'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell