Archive for the ‘Evolution’ Category

Evolution of Islamic laws

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Thank you, Aapa, for the blog you referenced in your recent question. I particularly like the author’s post on Islamic law. I like to second the the idea he stressed: that Islamic law evolved and was flexible and took in diversity of opinions, people and circumstances. I humbly think that this is also the case with executive government, economics, etc. Any student of Islamic history who read the writings of the Salaf (Muslim antecedents), can easily notice that evolution of thought, discipline and rulings.

What the Quran and the Sunna did was not ordain a rigid set of rules, but rather a framework within which a judge, ruler or businessman may work safely. Like a parent teaches their children how the world works so they make it and not get into trouble.

I watched a YouTube video with that brother interviewing Hamza Yusef. They were discussing the fact due to internet access to translations of hadith i.e Bukari and Quran many youths make judgments. They forget that many hadiths are contextual and it takes wisdom to understand. They joked that in the old days the elders/scholars would literally give them 20 lashes for the rash judgments.

Unfortunately, nationalism has erased the words of the tribal elder. And it is easiest to control the greatest number of people with the most rigid standards. George Orwell comes to mind in 1984. As nationalism spreads we have a loss of deep understanding of our faith. We have lost the sense of compassion that was a trait characteristic of the prophets.

We forget that we need forgiveness from Allah swt. We also need to be in the mode of forgiving. Our laws today are not the Laws of Love.

We forget our history. How can we forget what happened to us in Spain?

We need a basic class in why understanding sharia helps us to be the best of moral character. We are distanced from each other not by nationalism but our ignorance of the laws that unite us.

Islam is wide, but some want it narrow. It is easy, but some want it cumbersome. It is open, but some want it strict. It welcomes diversity and history has proved it, but some want it exclusive. It is adaptable, but some want it rigid. The problems Muslims have are not the result of Islam, as some Islamophobes want you to believe, but are the result of misunderstanding Islam. Hopefully, this blog may put a dent into that misunderstanding.

What to tell a pantheist?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

My older brother who’s 18 years old just left Islam. Now he’s a pantheist. Would you please help me to give a beautiful explanation, so he’ll think of Islam again? What should I say to him? What would YOU say to him if you were my parent? I don’t understand his philosophy very well, except that he believes in impersonal god and everything occurs in the universe has always been a mere mechanical process (not God’s will). He’s trying to convert me, my sisters, and my mother, a few days ago older sister’s starting to believe his conversion was making sense.

Sorry to hear that. I know you must be feeling terrible.

God is not a person, but He is not impersonal either! These terms apply to creatures only. He is above and beyond everything that we can imagine or conceive of. Everything in the universe did develop in a mechanical way, but it was God who created the mechanical and physical laws, right? God says in the holy Quran,

“[Pharaoh asking Moses and Aaron] saying, “Who then is your Lord, O Moses?” He said, “My Lord is He who gave everything its form and then guided [it]” (20:49-50)

The main question that no atheist has been able to answer is: who created the laws that operate everything? They say they don’t know how any law evolved and may never know. God tells us in the Quran that it is He and no one else who created all, including the laws by which all operate.

Why do these laws operate so orderly and so consistently? Has your brother ever been wounded? Did he ever reflect on how the wound heals? What tells scar tissue to form, just above new skin cells that are too ripe still to be exposed to air?! How does scar tissue know that new skin cells are ready and thus it drops off having served its purpose?! Isn’t this a sign of God, the Healer?

Atheists may think that they are intellectuals, but they really are irrational. Their motivation, IMHO, is one or more of three things: (a) Resentment of God for His Power over them, (b) resentment of God for allowing imperfections in this world, or (c) evasion of religious obligations. All three reasons are ill conceived. God’s power over us is a good thing, because we tend to abuse our powers while God never does, so He is the Balance in the universe. Imperfections in this world is the result of the exercise of the free will. Without the free will, no atheist would have been able to reject God! Finally, religious obligations are for our own benefit. They are our connection to God and the food for our souls.

Remain a good brother to your brother, and pray for him, but educate yourself and him. I suspect that the main reason he veered from Islam is that he knew little or knew wrong about Islam. Yes, many Muslims are ignorant about their religion, I’m sad to say.

What’s Islam’s position on evolution and creationism?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I have met Muslims who believe in evolution i want to say its haram (forbidden) but I’m not sure so that’s why I’m asking if believing that we came from monkeys is haram?

It violates what God says in the Quran,

“[God] said, “O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Did you deem [yourself] big, or were you among the haughty?” {38:75}

For all other creatures, other than man, there is nothing in Islam that says they did not come into being by evolution. Evolution is a physical law that God created, thus everything created directly by God (such as man) or indirectly by evolution is in fact created by God because God is the Creator and Maintainer of the law of evolution.

One verse says, “And He is who has brought you into being from a single being,” (6:98)
The thing I don’t understand is: This single being could mean a single human or a fertilized egg – which evolves into a human?

“Brought you into being” is an inaccurate translation. The word أنشأكم means “He initiated you.” Thus, this verse is referring to the creation of mankind from the single human Adam.

To see more examples of the word إنشاء (initiation), examine 56:35-38.

According to creationism, all species present on earth today have remained unchanged since they were created by God.

Darwin’s theory of evolution contradicts this.

And so does the Quran and science. We know, first from the Quran and then later confirmed by science, that the fertilized egg (Nutfa) changes into a clinging blood clot (Alaqa) which develops into a morsel (Mudhgha) which develops into bones which then develop flesh which then develops into what God has described as “another creation” (23:14). So, clearly what God creates He causes to go through changes. All the changes that creatures go through are according to God’s laws. Therefore, evolution is not contrary to Islamic teachings.

The problem with both creationism and evolution theories is that they insist that they cannot be combined: it’s either one or the other. Islam has no problem combining them. Man was created directly by God’s hands, while all other creatures may have evolved from others, thus indirectly created by God.

But how about this, it mentions evolver:
“He is ALLAH, the creator, the evolver. (Yousuf Ali’s translation) (59:24)

Not an accurate translation either. Sorry. The word البارئ (Al-Baari’) means the one who originates from nothing. That is why “innocence” is translated براءة (Baraa’a) in Arabic and the jurisprudential term Al-Baraa’a Al-Asliyya means the original allowance of everything. The word براءة also means absolving. What is common between all these semantics is “original state.”

In Arabic schools, the theory of evolution is called نظرية النشوء والارتقاء (the theory of initiation and refinement). I think that the word الارتقاء (refinement) is an excellent translation of the word evolution. The wrong part of the theory, IMHO, is the نشوء (initiation) part. The theory does not prove it, but there is a ton of evidence to support the refinement part.

So, the origin of life that says the hot dilute soups of the world in its primitive conditions gave rise to simple polymers and that gave rise to prokaryotes, first form of life. So, can this word, Al-Baari, be used to explain that theory? That Allah made conditions of life origination possible, originated life from nothing?

Al-Baari’ means God initiated the first creation. Al-Khaaliq means that He creates from it subsequent creations, either directly, such as creating Adam from mud, or indirectly by evolution or other means not yet discovered.

I read that experiments were carried out, primitive earth conditions were provided and primitive prokayotic type of organism was obtained. So, this couldn’t be possible that man does something Allah has not.

If they couldn’t obtain that primitive organism, could the experiment have continued? That is why initiation is necessary and only God can do it.

But the Quran provides no reference to evolution? How come? I know the Quran is not for explaining science, but I just find it strange. I’m used to hearing that the  Quran’s says everything. I need more study.

The Quran does not mention evolution directly, but it does draw attention to the process. For example,
“He said, ‘Our Lord is He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it].’ ” (20:50)

Some of that guidance can be found in the “genetic instructions” found in every chromosome. Just like our bodies know how to heal wounds and how to adapt to extreme living conditions.

Does Islam support evolution, or creation?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Both!

Most people misunderstand, or misrepresent evolution. The evolutionist who totally reject creation are wrong in their unfounded assumption that everything came info being through evolution. The creationist who totally reject evolution are wrong in their blanket assertion that everything came into being through creation, by which they mean bringing something out of nothing.

The fact of the matter, IMHO, is that evolution is simply another one of the natural laws that God created. Some beings have evolved and others were directly created. Whether directly or indirectly a being came into this world, they all were created by God because God is the creator of the laws of evolution and the one who set them in motion!

Evolution does not mean something sprung out of nothing as some opponents of evolution base their opposition. It means that changes occur to an existing being that transform it to another being. We see evidence of that with caterpillars evolving into butterflies in a matter of weeks! But just because we cannot see the guide, we cannot say that these changes occur without guidance. That’s simply absurd because the changes that turn a fertilized egg into a baby are always the same, take place in the same order and take pretty much the same amount of time for millions of babies that are born everyday. Order doesn’t happen without guidance. If the guidance is genetic instructions in each chromosome, who wrote them there?

Creation does not necessarily mean bringing something out of nothing, though it can also mean that. The verb, in both English and Arabic, may be used for bringing something out of something else. One of the creatures that came into being by direct creation is man! In the holy Quran, God asks Satan, “What prevented you to prostrate to what I created with my hands?” (38:75) That sounds a lot like direct creation, doesn’t it? Thus, to say that man evolved from apes is simply not backed by science, which to date has failed to find that “missing link.” Likewise, the many examples in nature that back up evolution cannot be rejected because God is the force behind their evolution. He chose to bring them into being by means of evolution rather than direct creation. He can do both and He can do whatever He wills!

Thus, creation and evolution can co-exist in harmony, LOL.

Have we evolved from apes?

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Evolution is one of God’s natural laws. Evidence of evolution was before our eyes long before Darwin made his studies of the species. We see a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly. We see a planted seed evolve into a palm tree. We see a fertilized egg evolve into a baby.

That said, it is not necessary for everything to evolve. God has applied another one of His laws, creation, to bring about some creatures. Man was one of those. The story of the creation of Adam is spelled out clearly in the Quran.