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Human Origins

    Debate is raging again between Darwinists and creationists. The name is different, evolution or intelligent design, and the people debating are different. It is not Julian Huxley and the priests, it is the secularists and neoconservative Christians. In these debates there are those who claim to know the worldly essence of the debate and there are those who admittedly know very little, but none the less have easy access to public forums and consider it a legitimate opportunity to glorify their journalistic career. Both groups and the general public who are at their mercy deserve our sympathy as did those in earlier days who argued and tried to humiliate each other on the two opposite sides of this debate. Both groups value the life of this world far beyond what lies after death. Actually it seems that both inwardly do not wish to acknowledge that there is for us something on the other side of death.

    Death is certain but what lies on the other side is guess work for some and nothing lies on the other side for others. What a great intellectual vacuum!

    For Muslims this debate is meaningless. If one believes that: there is Allâh (and there is no God beside Allâh); and there are angels; and there are revealed books (al-Qurân being the final and unchangeable Testament); and there were more than 124,000 messengers chosen by Allâh (Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being the last one); and there is a last day; and that everything good and bad is according to the decree of Allâh; and that there is resurrection after death (for the accounting of our deeds), then to believe that all things are created by Allâh as He has told us is rather an easy undertaking and undebatable.

    Then how do we reconcile the unbridgeable gap between this belief and the present day “scientific” human knowledge? In Musa’s (peace be upon him) times the knowledge that the magicians possessed was “science” but when confronted with divine knowledge they were not only confounded but actually realized their folly and submitted willingly.

They said: O Musa! Either throw first, or let us be the first to throw? He said: Nay, do ye throw! Then Lo! their cords and their staves, by their magic, appeared to him as though they ran. And Musa conceived a fear in his mind We said: Fear not! Lo! thou art the higher. Throw that which is in thy right hand! It will eat up that which they have made. Lo! that which they have made is but a wizard’s artifice, and a wizard shall not be successful to whatever point (of skill) he may attain. Then the wizards were (all) flung down prostrate, crying: We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Musa. (Ta-ha, 20: 65-70)

    We believe that humans surely are not physical body alone. There is rooh (soul). The body is from the earth but the rooh is by the order of Allâh and we know very little about it.

“They ask thee concerning the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you’.” (17:85)

    To claim that our physical self has nothing to do with the elements of the earth is to deny part of the scripture. “From the (earth) did We create you and into it shall We return you and from it shall We bring you out once again.” 20:55

    There is also no need to deny those aspects of our scientific knowledge that humans have laboriously discovered. There are similarities, real functional similarities, between all living forms, indeed all creations of Allâh. It is no big surprise. We can eat plants and plant products and animals and animal products and turn them into our body parts. Living things have similarities with nonliving things as well. That’s how salt and oxygen can become part of our body just as easily as plant and animal tissue can become part of our body. It is not a big surprise for a Muslim that a gene from a bacterium can be inserted into the nuclei of cattle embryos to make the cattle immune to certain bacterial infections. It is not a surprise for a Muslim that cloning is possible. It is not a surprise for a Muslim that a dead body can be brought back to life, with the permission of Allâh.

    Other living and nonliving forms can turn into humans and humans can turn into apes instantly if Allâh so wills. We know for sure that such transformation has taken place in the past.

   And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath; We said to them: “Be ye apes despised and rejected.” (2:65 )

  Say: “O People of the Book! do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allâh  and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us) and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?” Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allâh?  Those who incurred the curse of Allâh and His wrath; those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped false gods; these are (many times) worse in rank and far more astray from the even Path!  (5:59-60)

 When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibition We said to them: “Be ye apes despised and rejected.” (7:166)

    For those who insist on “scientific” proof of all phenomena, it is very hard to comprehend what Allâh has taught humanity through scriptures. The only knowledge humans can gather on their own, and partially at that, is what is terrestrial in origin. The knowledge beyond that, even about our own physical self, is unattainable except through revelations. People who cannot believe in revealed truth have many surprises in store, some in this world and far more in the hereafter.

    Allâh demands from human beings an unconditional belief in ghaib (unseen). Allâh classifies humanity into three groups: those who believe in ghaib, they are the ones who will succeed; those whose hearts Allâh has sealed, they are the sure losers; and those who think they can fool Allâh (the hypocrites), they are the worst of creation.

   “This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, guidance unto those who ward off (evil). Who believe in the unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. As for the disbelievers, whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allâh hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allâh and the Last Day, when they believe not. They think to beguile Allâh and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allâh increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.” 2:2-10

    Unseeable (bil-ghaib) are the seven entities mentioned above. These are the articles of faith that were proclaimed by all messengers of Allâh. Pick up any book that claims to be a scripture and see what it says about these articles of faith. In some you may have to look hard for they have been shrouded and disguised, but find them you will. If a person does not believe in these articles then he is like cattle, even worse. Cattle are devoid of human intelligence, so they have to depend on experimental evidence to decide their course of action. They do not have recourse to revelations nor do they have the intelligence to comprehend it. Humans having the intelligence that is needed to comprehend the significance of revelations. If they refuse to make use of it then they are worse than the cattle. Such a person needs scientific proofs for every phenomenon, knowing well that such proofs in the past were totally misleading. Such a person is like a beast. Such a person can kill babies before they are born, drop bombs on innocent people, get drunk, engage in usury and gambling, can condone and legitimize illicit sex, homosexuality, incest, and pedophily. For such a person even suicide is a legitimate activity. For such a person revealed truth is incomprehensible. His ‘gospel’ is the ‘scientific’ knowledge.

    For Muslims all the miracles of ‘science’ are no big surprise and so also it will not be a big surprise when “magicians” will gather genes and body parts from various sources to assemble and compose a super being. It will not be a surprise when this super being then begins to reproduce into a race of its own. No one is going to claim, let alone believe, that this super being or its progeny is a result of Darwinian evolution, for humans through their “intelligence” would be responsible for the assembly of this monster race. Magicians will disprove their own magic. No Moses (Musa (peace be upon him)) would be required this time around.

Published: November 2005