well-known scientist wrote in the National Centre For Science Education Report
(NCSE): ‘The progress in learning achieved by Arab astronomers and
mathematicians ground to a halt when necessary ability to seek where the data led
conflicted with the strictures of Islam that anything important was already
available in the Qur’an.’
that it is the lack of familiarity with Islamic culture that preserves this
mistaken impression in the Western world. It is not Islam, but some Muslims’
interpretations of Islam, that is responsible for the supposed conflict. In
many ways, this confrontation of science and religion in Muslim countries is
not very different from Christian countries of the west. Although in both
religions there are those who seem to think that no reconciliation or
constructive dialogue is possible, neither religion prevents or inhibits
science per se. The evidence for Islamic culture shows that it does not inhibit
or prevent the science and its growth. It is a historical fact that Islamic
culture has produced many first-rate scientists who were also devout in their
instructs Muslims to engage in science with expectation that ‘signs in the
earth and heavens and in your own self’ will be comprehensible to them.
“There are signs in the earth for those who are
firm in their faith, and within yourselves. Can you perceive? (Qur’an 51:20-21).”
“Say Muhammad: ‘Travel in the earth and see how
God originates creation; so will God produce a later creation: For God has
power over all things (Qur’an 29:20).”
verses from the Qur’an guided early Muslims to investigate Nature and the
creation of human and other life. Moreover, according to the tradition of the
Prophet (pbuh) (Hadith):
judge gives a decision, having tried his best to decide correctly and is right,
there are two rewards for him; and if he gave a judgment after having tried his
best (to arrive at the correct decision) but erred, there is one reward for
Muslim scientists are allowed to ‘take chances, make mistakes, and get messy’
in the investigation of nature as long as the intention and efforts are to
arrive at the correct meaning and the fair judgment in any matter.
issues, the Qur’an is consistent with the current scientific hypotheses and
models. For example, the Qur’an anticipates the contemporary Big Bang Theory:
these unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass,
then We split them and made every living thing from water (Qur’an 21:30).”
refers to the expanding universe:
“And it is We who built the universe With [Our
creative power]; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it (Qur’an 51:47).”
The Qur’an states
that man as a species was created through a gradual process. It states:
“Seeing that He (Allah) created you in
before Darwin, when the West was in the Dark Ages, the Muslims believed that
the appearance of humans was not an instantaneous event but a gradual process
in which humans were derived from earlier forms. Ibn Khaldoun, a Muslim
scholar, wrote 500 years before Darwin that man belongs to the animal kingdom:
belongs to the genus of animals and that God distinguished from them by ability
to think, which He (Allah) gave man and through which man is able to arrange
his actions in an orderly manner.
look at the world of creation. It started out from the minerals and progressed,
in an ingenious, gradual manner to plants and animals…The animal world then
widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it
finally leads to man, who is able to think and reflect. The higher stage of man
is reached from the world of monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are
found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking.
At this point we come to the first stage of man after the world of monkeys.
This is as far as our physical observation extends.
sentence of the above quote shows that Muslims reached these conclusions by
of Adam and Eve
who lived about 800 years before Darwin is one of the most respected exegetes
of the Qur’an. His views on the origin of life and man can be summarized in his
own words from the “Uqlatu’l-Mustawfiz:
rolled to perfection: Thus the meaner world was born. Mineral passed to
vegetable life, out of which animal life was born.”
continued on earth, minerals, then vegetation, then animals, and then man. God
made the last of every one of these kinds. The last of the minerals and the
first of the vegetations is the truffle. The last of the vegetation and the
first of the animals is the date palm. The last of the animals and the first of
mankind is the monkey.”
perfect man is in the perfect form, he deserves the vicegerentship and
deputyship of God in the Universe. Here we shall explain the evolution of this
vicegerent, his position and form as they are. We do not mean Man only as
animal, but on the other hand, as Man and vicegerent . . . This is the intended
Perfect Man. The others are animal men. The relation of the animal man to the
Perfect Man is that of the ape to the animal man.”
“As for the
animal man, he is not a man essentially. His case is like that of animals. But
he is distinguished from another through differentiae peculiar to every one of
of all this was man coming in perfect form. When the field was thus prepared,
Man came in the nicest form.”
desired the perfection of human evolution, He collected and bestowed on Man all
realities of the Universe and illuminated him with all His names.”
comprehensive name became capable of two aspects by itself, it became fit for
vicegerentship and organization and gradation of the Universe. If Man does not
reach the stage of perfection, he is an animal whose appearance resembles the
external appearance of man. Here we are concerned with Perfect Man. The first
of human species whom God made was the Perfect Man. He was Adam (may peace be
on him). Thus God demonstrated the stages of perfection for the species. He who
attains to it is the man who attains perfection, and he who goes down from that
stage is one who possesses the human quality in proportion to where he is.”
wrote in Futuhat al-Makkiyyah Vol.3:607: ‘I recollected the saying of Holy
Prophet to the effect that God has created hundred and thousands of Adams and between
each Adam there is a period of seventeen hundred years.'
as well as religious West have the notion that nature’s actions within itself
violate the Jewish, Christian and Muslim tenets. I will not comment on the
Judeo-Christian perspective on nature’s actions. The Muslims in their classical
period (500-1200 AD) had no problem with nature changing anything on the earth.
Those Muslims who lived before the dawn of science in the West believed that
active nature was an office of the God with delegated duties and tasks. For
example, Al-Biruni (800 years before Darwin) wrote:
Nature, whose task it is to preserve the species as they are, finds some
superfluous substance, which she forms into some shape instead of throwing it
away; like wise, animals with imperfect limbs, when Nature does not find the
substance by which to complete the form of the animal in conformity with the
structure of the species to which it belongs”
matter of active nature, Ibn Khaldoun wrote:
becomes plants and plants become animals. This can come about only with the
help of living spirit and active nature which has the ability to generate
substances and change essences.”
also assumes that Muslims believe in the Judeo-Christian 6,000-year-old earth.
For example, Stephen W. Hawking states in his History of Time: “…according to a
number of early cosmologies and the Jewish/Christian/Muslim tradition, the
Universe started at a finite time and not very distant time in the past.”
In contrast, Al-Biruni (800 years before Darwin) rejected the young earth
doctrine. He wrote:
those with a book of divine revelation, like the Jews, the Christians, and
others like the Sabians and Magians, have all agreed about dating events by the
Era of the Creation of Mankind, but they differ greatly in their estimation of
the duration of era. They have not referred to the Era of the Creation of the
World, except in the opening two verses of the Torah, which have the following
content but not the exact wording: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and the spirit of God was
moving upon the surface of the waters’ (Genesis I: 1, 2). They considered that
to be the first day of the week in which the world was created, but that was a
period of time which cannot be measured by a day and night, for the cause of
these periods is the sun with its rising and setting, and both the sun and the
moon were created on the fourth day of the week. How is it possible to imagine
that these days are like the days of our reckoning! The Qur’an says: ‘A day in
the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning’ (Koran 22:
47). In another verse God says: ‘In a day the measure of whereof is as fifty
thousand years’ (Koran 70: 4). Thus it is obvious that we cannot estimate that
period with our method of reckoning, and that it is unverifiable since the
beginning of creation.”
Al-Biruni states that God initially scattered the celestial bodies and the time
between creation and present could be billions of years. He states: ‘For it is
quite possible that these (celestial) bodies were scattered’when the Creator
designed and created them. If you then ask the mathematician as to the length
of time, after which they would meet each other in a certain point, or before
which they had met each other in that identical point, no blame attaches to
him, it he speaks of billions of year.'
and the ‘Deluge’
Universal Flood of Judeo-Christian faith is not a Muslim doctrine. Muslims, on
the other hand, believe it was a localized flood. For example, al Biruni (800
years before Darwin) wrote:
and great mass of the Magians, deny the Deluge altogether;…In denying the
Deluge, the Indians, Chinese, and various nations of the east, concur with
them. Some, however, of the Persians admit the fact of the Deluge, but they
describe it in a different way from what is described in the books of Prophets.
They say partial Deluge occurred in Syria…but did not extend over the whole of
then civilized world, and only few nations were drowned in it.”
also said that the water level marks on the pyramids suggest that the flood did
not reach enough to cover the whole pyramids.
Islam compels no major conflict between the results of science and the Qur’an.
From the time of the Prophet (pbuh), early Muslim scholars believed: (a) nature
is an office of God with delegated duties and tasks, and it can make changes
within nature itself; (b) the earth is not very young; and, (c) in the
evolution of life from minerals to plants, plants to animals and finally the
Homo Sapiens emerged from the world of monkeys.
and Advancement of Science
assumption that the Qur’an inhibited science is correct, science should have
been dead soon after the advent of Islam and the Qur’an. On the contrary, we
see science flourished during the first centuries of Islam. Instead of drowning
themselves in ignorance with advent of the Qur’an and Islam, Muslims became
masters of Science for centuries. The defining event that provided the
foundation for this mastery was Islam and the revelation of the Qur’an.
Therefore, I would argue that the Qur’an promoted science. Moreover, Islam was
not at the uplifting service for Muslims alone. Islam helped to create the
Golden Age of Jews who lived under Muslim rule. Jewish thinker Max I. Dimont
improbable but true tale of a camel driver’s establishment of a world empire in
the name of Allah, wherein the Jews rose to their Golden Age of creativity,
only to be plunged into a Dark Age with the eclipse of the Crescent and the
ascent of the Cross.'
to the sentiment echoed by Scott in her review, George Sarton, Will Durant, and
Bronowski among others found that the Qur’an promoted science and learning in
Sarton, Professor of History at Harvard, wrote:
Creation of a new civilization, of international and encyclopedic magnitude
within less than two centuries something that we can describe but not
I do not
see any difficulty to explain ‘the creation of a new civilization.’ We use the
following method in biology to explain evolution. If we cannot see many explanations
for a phenomenon, then we take the event before the occurrence of the
phenomenon to explain it. The only event that happened before the rise of the
“new civilization” of Muslims was Islam and the revelation of the Qur’an and
creation of Muslim community under guidance of Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the
Qur’an and early Islam promoted science.
Will Durant wrote:
unlike most religious reformers, admired and urged the pursuit of knowledge:
‘He who leaves his home in search of knowledge walks in the path of God…and ink
of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr’;”
J. Bronowski wrote:
had been firm that Islam was not to be a religion of miracles; it became in
intellectual content a pattern of contemplation and analysis.”
So it is
clear that Historians, scholars, and the text of the Qur’an itself concur that
there is nothing intrinsically inimical to science in its pages. On the
contrary, much of the Qur’anic scholarship and scripture seems to support the endeavour
that we recognize today under the rubric of science.
Ahmed. Al-Qur’an. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. (1977)
Yusuf. The Holy Qur’an, Translation and Commentary. Indianapolis: American
Trust Publication, 1977.
Al-Bukhari, Adherence to Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. Hadith No.6805.
Muhammad. The Message of the Qur’an. Gibraltar: Dar Al-Andalus, 1980.
Khaldun, Ibn. The Muqaddimah. Trans. by Franz Rosenthal. Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1967.
Hussani, S.A.Q. The Pantheistic Monism of Ibn Arabi. Lahore, Pakistan: SH.
Muhammad Ashraf, 1979.
Holy Qur’an (Transilation by Allama Nooruddin). Hockessin, DE: Noor Foundation
International Inc, Glossary page 3-B.
Biruni, al.(1000 A.D) The Athar-Ul-Bakiya (The Chronology of Ancient Nations).
Translated by Dr. C. Edward Sachu. London: W.H.Allen, 1879.
Hawking, Stephen W. A Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam Books, p.7.
Biruni, Al.(1000 A.D.) Kitab Tahdid al-Amakin Listashiah Masafat al- Masakin
(The Determination of the Coordinates of Positions for Correction of Distances
between Cities). Translated by Jamil Ali. Beirut: The American University of
Beirut, 1967. p. 14-16
Al-Biruni, Abu Raihan.1000AD. Athar-ul-Bakiya (The Chronology of Ancient
Nations), trans. Edward C. Sachu . p. 30
Al-Biruni. Fi Tahqiq Ma Li’l-Hind (Alberuni’s India), Vol.I, pp. 378-379.
Dimont, Max I. Jews, God, And History. Penguin Books USA, 1962.
Sarton, George. The History of Science and the New Humanism. George Braziller,
Inc. New York. (1956)
Durant, Will. The Story of Civilization. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc.,
Brownoski.J. The Ascent of Man. London, U.K: The British Broadcasting
T.O. Shanavas is a native of Kerala, India and is
now based in the USA. He is the author of “Islamic Theory of evolution of
Evolution the Missing Link between Darwin and The Origin of Species.” Co-author
of the book, And God Said, "Let There Be Evolution!” Reconciling the Book
of Genesis, The Qur'an, And the Theory of Evolution. Edited by Prof. Charles M.
Wynn and Prof. Arthur W. Wiggins.
of book: “The Islamic Theory of Evolution: The Missing Link between Darwin and
the Origin of Species.”)
Co-author of the book: And God Said, “Let
There Be Evolution”: Reconciling the Book of Genesis, the Qur’an and the Theory
of Evolution, by Prof. Charles M. Wynn and Prof. Arthur W. Wiggins (Editors)
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
معاف کیجئے گا جناب ، میں نے آپ کے لیے ادھرملازمت
کرکے ادھر بھی لڈو اور ادھر ملازمت کرکے
ادھر بھی لڈو کا استعمال کیا لیکن کبھی جو مخلوق جیسی زبان سمجھتی ہے اسے ویسے ہی
سمجھانا چاہیے تاکہ سمجھنے میں کوئی تکلیف نہ ہو۔حدیث پاک میں ہے اماطۃ الاذی عن
الطریق یعنی مخلوق کے راستے سے تکلیف دہ چیز ہٹانا بھی ایمان کا ایک شعبہ ہے ۔میں
نے اس تکلیف کو آپ سے دور کیا ۔اب آپ سمجھ گئے ہوں گے کہ الزام تراشیاں اور
افترا بازیاں اور بد ظنی کا کیا نتیجہ ہوتا ہے ۔
کسی مخلوق کے اندر خواہ وہ مدرسے سے تعلق رکھتا ہو یا
خارج مدارس سے کبھی بد ظنی نہیں رکھنی چاہیے ۔اصلاح طلب امور پر گفتگو کرنی چاہیے
مگر اصلاح کرنے کی توفیق اور زبان وبیان
میں تاثیر اسے ہی حاصل ہوتی ہے باعمل ہو
اور مخلص ہو۔بے عمل خواہ عالم ہی کیوں نہ ہو لاکھ اصلاح کی کوشش کرے اس کی
زبان میں کوئی تاثیر نہیں ۔
question is: are you indirectly blaming newage for paying for dishonesty? My
answer is: not at all. You should think are you showing your own dishonesty by
blaming it for that? Newage freely allows everyone to write, including you, on
the subjects that can help establish good society. Rozi roti har koi kamata hai
is duniya me. Aap bhi kamate hain magar aapke dono haathon me laddu hai, idhar
se bhi aur udhar se bhi. Above all, the Lord of rozi roti is none other than
Allah Almighty. The human beings are just the source of one another. Lekin apne imaan ko bechkar rozi roti kamana, Allah ki panah, ye mere zahan
ke kisi dareeche me bhi nahi aur insha Allah naa kabhi hoga. Aap is buhtan se
duur hi rahen warna apne ruhaniyat ka hi nuqsaan karenge. Khamakha you are
developing doubt in your spirit. But you think You have freedom to do so. And of
course this is so, but you are damaging your own ruhaniyat.
20 or 25 years are not condition for knowledge. Thinking it, I think, is a
kind of arrogance before God Almighty. The fact is that Blessings of Allah
Almighty are the source of knowledge and Marifat.
Alhamdulillah, since 6 years I have been writing on
newage but I have never been forced to write against my faith and ideologies. There
were the times when I had been in extremely disagreement with many commentators
and writers and the Founding Editor of New Age Islam but I never left the path that
I were on.
If I have pledged to spend all my life being a
Hanafi, Sunni, Sufi-oriented, I will remain on the same path, but with all
their spirits and not in the ways that apparently appear to you.
I do not worry about my personal things. You can
blame me for dishonesty or whatsoever. I know my heart better than anyone else
on this earth. And I am pleased that my Lord, Allah Almighty knows my heart
well. Then why to worry about your blame? My masters and teachers have already taught
me that I need to remain honest for the whole life. I try to remain honest but I
fear and worry that if my honesty is not acceptable to My Lord, it will
destruct my ‘everything’. I should not be arrogant to feel that it is the worthy
of my honesty and dedicated study that I have gained something in knowledge but
that if I have gained anything as such, it is all by the blessings of Allah
Almighty. I am full faith in My Only God Almighty that He will grant me More
I do not need to be accountable to you or Mr Sultan
Shahin on religious issues. I may be accountable to him for office hours
but not for what I should write.
I write and I know that I will have to be
accountable to My Lord Almighty.
And I did not need to say this to you but I have
And Yes we should fear God Almighty for what we are
You did not mention the names of Ulama whom you
want me to criticize. If you mean by the Ulama Imam Abu Hanifa or any other
equivalents then you should know that I will never criticize them.
You can call me whatever you want. Blind or
whatsoever. Those who have done systematic study of Hanafi Methodology
understand it well, and will have sympathy with your scholarship.
Political or social issues are extremely easy for
me, Alhamdulillah, where I do not need to worry as much as I have to do when
writing on religious topics. While writing on religious topics, I must worry
the consequences that If I am intentionally wrong I will have to get the divine
Sohail Arshad sb, people have made religion their
business. They should fear it. Yes we
all human beings need to earn for livelihood but we must keep into mind that we
should first be the slaves of the One Who is truly managing our livelihood. But
it does not mean that we should sell our faith for livelihood.