Islamic creationism

Islamic creationism

Islamic creationism is the belief that the universe (including humanity) was directly created by God as explained in the Qur'an or Genesis. While contemporary Islam tends to take religious texts literally, it usually views Genesis as a corrupted version of God's message. The creation accounts in the Qur'an are more vague and allow for a wider range of interpretations similar to those in other Abrahamic religions. Several liberal movements within Islam generally accept the scientific positions on the age of the earth, the age of the universe and evolution.


The center of the Islamic creationist movement is Turkey where polemics against the theory of evolution have been waged by the Nurculuk movement of Said Nursi since the late 1970s. At present, its main exponent is the writer Harun Yahya (pseudonym of Adnan Oktar) who uses the Internet as one of the main methods for the propagation of his ideas. [ [ Darwinism's Contradiction with Religion] , [ Why Darwinism is Incompatible With the Qur'an] , Harun Yahya] His BAV (Bilim Araştırma Vakfı/ Science Research Foundation) organizes conferences with leading American creationists. Another leading Turkish advocate of Islamic creationism is Fethullah Gülen. The Director of Gülen's "Journalists and Writers Foundation," Mustafa Akyol has been active in this context. [Akyol, Mustafa (2004-09-14) [ "Why Muslims Should Support Intelligent Design"] ,] Moreover, creationist ideas appear to have a considerable appeal in Indonesia, Malaysia and among Muslim minorities in the West.Fact|date=October 2007 As in the Christian context, the theory of evolution is typically held to be responsible for a materialistic and atheistic world-view.Fact|date=October 2007 Due to the lack of a detailed account of creation in the Qur'an, other aspects than the literal truth of the scripture are emphasized in the Islamic debate. The most important concept is the idea that there is no such thing as a random event, and that everything happens according to God's will. Hence the ideas of Islamic creationists are closer to Intelligent design than to Young Earth Creationism.

According to a "Guardian" newspaper report, a growing number of science students on British campuses and in sixth form colleges are challenging the theory of evolution and arguing that Darwin was wrong. Some are being failed in university exams because they quote sayings from the Bible or Qur'an as scientific fact and at one sixth form college in London most biology students are now thought to be creationists. There have also been visible signs that UK Muslims are disputing evolution since they feel it disagrees with the Qur'an creation account and increasingly arriving at universities ill-prepared for advanced studies in medicine and other fields.cite news|url=,,1714171,00.html |title=Academics fight rise of creationism at universities|date=2006-02-21|first=Duncan|last=Campbell|work=Guardian|accessdate=2008-07-19] At a conference in the UK in January, 2004, entitled "Creationism: Science and Faith in Schools," Dr Khalid Anees, president of the Islamic Society of Britain stated that "Muslims interpret the world through both the Koran and what is tangible and seen. There is no contradiction between what is revealed in the Quran and natural selection and survival of the fittest. However, Muslims do not agree that one species can develop from another."cite news|url=,,1117752,00.html|title=Creationism: Science and Faith in Schools|date=2004-01-07|work=Guardian|first=David |last=Papineau |accessdate=2008-07-18] However, over 1,505 people opposed the creationist movement and the Brown government has recently published new standards removing creationism from the schools. [cite web
title=UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins


The Qur'an lacks a complete set of time markers in its references to creation,cite web|url=|title=The Origin of Life: An Islamic perspective|publisher=Islam for Today|accessdate=2007-03-14] other than declaring that it took six days, and that "days" have been interpreted not just as literal twenty-four hour periods but as stages or other periods of time to complete, ["Your Guardian Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days", Qur'an, Surah 7:54] and therefore is not subject to the same level of debate as some interpretators of the Bible regarding scientific evidence and chronology. Skeptics point out there is no explicit mention of the extinction of whole species long before the creation of man in the Qur'an, whilst its inspiration is defended on the grounds that it is not a book of science. The Qu'ran also says that God can easily replace humanity, which implies that he has done something similarly in the past. [ [ USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts ] ] The Bible is held by Muslims to contain errors and therefore has not presented the same level of difficulty in the Islamic world as in some sections of Christianity outlined above. However, in recent years, a movement has begun to emerge in some Muslim countries promoting themes that have been characteristic of Christian creationists and Bible literalists in the past. [cite web|url=|title=Islamic Scientific Creationism: A New Challenge in Turkey|first=Ümit|last=Sayin|first2=Aykut|last2=Kence|date=1999|publisher=National Center for Science Education|accessdate=2007-03-14] [cite journal|url=|title=Anti-evolutionism amongst Muslim students|first=Danielle|last=Koning|date=2006|journal=ISIM Review|volume=18|pages=48|accessdate=2007-03-14] Khalid Anees, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, at a conference, Creationism: Science and Faith in Schools, made points including the following: There is no contradiction between what is revealed in the Koran and natural selection and survival of the fittest. However, some Muslims do not agree that one species can develop from another.

Islam also has its own school of Evolutionary creationism/Theistic evolutionism, which holds that mainstream scientific analysis of the origin of the universe is supported by the Qur'an. Many Muslims believe in evolutionary creationism, especially among Sunni and Shia Muslims and the Liberal movements within Islam. However, even amongst Muslims who accept evolution, many believe that humanity was a special creation by God. For example, Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American Muslim and specialist in Islamic law has argued in [ Islam and Evolution] that a belief in macroevolution is not incompatible with Islam, as long as it is accepted that "God is the Creator of everything" (Qur'an 13:16) and that God specifically created humanity (in the person of Adam; Qur'an 38:71-76).

Universal creation

There are several verses in the Qur'an which some modern writers have interpreted as being compatible with the expansion of the universe, Big Bang and Big Crunch theories: [Harun Yahya, [ The Big Bang Echoes through the Map of the Galaxy] ] [Maurice Bucaille (1990), "The Bible the Qur'an and Science", "The Quran and Modern Science", ISBN 8171011322.] [A. Abd-Allah, [ The Qur'an, Knowledge, and Science] , University of Southern California.]

"Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder and We created every living thing out of the water. Will they not then believe?"Quran-usc|21|30

"Then turned He to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or loth. They said: We come, obedient."Quran-usc|41|11

"And it is We Who have constructed the heaven with might, and it is We Who are steadily expanding it."Quran-usc|51|47

"On the day when We will roll up heaven like the rolling up of the scroll for writings, as We originated the first creation, (so) We shall reproduce it; a promise (binding on Us); surely We will bring it about."Quran-usc|21|104

Human creation

Here are three basic verses in Qur'an which are related to human creation:cite journal | quotes = | author = Saleem, Shehzad | date = | year = 2000 | month = May | title = The Qur’anic View on Creation | journal = Renaissance | volume = 10 | issue = 5 | pages = | doi = |id = ISSN [ 1606-9382] | url = | format = | accessdate = 2006-10-11 ] (Quran-usc|3|59, Quran-usc|4|1, Quran-usc-range|32|7|9)According to the first two verses, Adam and Eve were directly created by God from clay. They did not descend from any other species as proposed in the evolutionary principle of common descent. The rest of mankind is the progeny of Adam and Eve. The third verse implies that there were three stages in their creation, and can be interpreted in two ways:
*First possibility:
**Adam and Eve were created from clay
**They subsequently developed the ability to reproduce at a later age
**Finally, after some more time elapsed, they entered the third phase in which they were perfected both physically and spiritually, and received the divine spirit from God.
*Second possibility: All these three phases did not pass on the first humans created, rather each of the phases lasted for many years during which many life forms were created from clay having the characteristic of their respective periods together with that of the previous one.
**Human forms were initially directly created from clay because they did not have the ability to reproduce. This first stage may have lasted for millions of years, and in it, the humans forms' physical forms after passing through various stages culminated in the homo sapiens of today. Millions of species may have been created from clay like this. Among them, many went extinct and the others lived to enter the second phase, the first of which were Adam and Eve.
**The human forms now had the ability to reproduce and direct creation was no longer required. Adam and Eve were the first directly created pair from clay which had this ability to reproduce. In the second phase, except Adam and Eve all other pairs who had the ability to reproduce pairs were not perfected and later died away.
** It was this very pair which entered the third phase and was perfected physically so that it could receive the divine spirit from the God and be blessed with the faculties of sense and reason as is specified by the last part of the verse.

Under the second interpretation, the fossils which we find today belong to the millions of people created from clay in the first and second phases.


External links

* [ Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth] , by Mirza Tahir Ahmad
* [ Science in the Quran] , by Ashraf Salmawi
* [ The Muslim Responses to Evolution] by Abdul Majid
* [ Quran Evolution and Intelligent Design] , by Iyad Hijazi & Sylvia Nemmers

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