Creation of Man


Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri is a contemporary Islamic scholar with a difference. He possesses breadth of vision and depth of knowledge, and through a judicious blend of these ingredients he evolves a creative interpretation of Islam and relates it vibrantly to the most pressing issues of the present-day world. His attitude strikes a different note as he bursts through the strait-jacket of unenlightened conservatism and presents Islam as an enlightened programme of action that offers practical prescriptions for our modern maladies as well as the nebulous uncertainties that are plaguing mankind in its present state of evolution. He rises above sheer mechanics and projects Islam as a creative force that can, not only pull the Muslims out of their uncritical slumber, but also guide “the lost generation” towards a meaningful goal. He is a widely acclaimed scholar and intellectual and his books, which run into hundreds, are avidly read by people all over the world, a response rarely accorded to books on religion. One reason for his phenomenal popularity is his lack of prejudice against any philosophy and ideology and his uncompromising reliance on documentation and citation to provide logical and philosophical ballast to his conclusions. It is, this inductive and dispassionate mode of reasoning that sets him apart from other scholars who are swayed more by sentiment than logic. The “Creation of Man”, his recent book, illustrates those qualities. It is based on extensive research and massive reinterpretation of evidence. In this book, Dr. Qadri has cogently and painstakingly established the fact that the Qur'an has prefigured most systematically the modern biological research on the evolution of man. He has knit together the evidence dispersed throughout the Qur'an to draw the conclusion endorsed by current scientific research. Thus, using the inductive method, and beating the Western scholars at their own game, he avers the superiority of the Qur'an and divine revelation on the basis of its clarity, coherence and immunity to error, and contrasts it tellingly with the fluctuations of the human mind.

Dr. Qadri explains the creation of man in four inter-related perspectives. First of all, he compares and contrasts human knowledge with divine knowledge. While human knowledge is unpredictable, divine knowledge is definite and free from error, and the development of human knowledge ultimately attests to the divine truth. This is self-evidently reflected in the most advanced biological findings which endorse the truth of the Qur'anic statements about the creation and evolution of man, and indirectly asserts the wisdom, benevolence and authority of the creator.

The author says that the Muslims intellectually dominated the world when they primarily focused on the acquisition of knowledge. A proof of their scholastic superiority was the steady stream of students pouring into their universities from different western countries. The universities of Undulas (Spain) spearheaded the matchless Muslim quest for knowledge. But, unfortunately, today’s young people are criminally unaware of this precious heritage and are un-necessarily overawed by the dazzle and glitter of the West.

Secondly, the Qur'an rejects Darwin’s theory of evolution, mainly because it equates human beings with animals and denies the human spirit which is in fact the divine spirit embodied in flesh and bone. It is the soul of man that elevates him above the animals and other sensate beings. Darwin’s theory is riddled with countless scientific flaws and his book “The Origin of Species” is more a literary expression than a logically consistent exposition. It is inspired by atheistic and materialistic influences and is a pathetic rigmarole of misconceptions and misjudgments. According to the Qur'an, mankind is a creation par excellence. Allah created man from kneaded clay and developed him through various stages to his present being as is explicit from the Qur'anic verses.

Thirdly, the chemical composition of man is all too evident from the Qur'an. It reveals through its various verses that human life, before its final stage of consummation, passed through the following seven stages (1) inorganic matter (2) water (3) clay (4) absorbable clay (5) physically and chemically altered mud (6) dried or highly purified clay (7) extract of purified clay.

Fourthly, the human body has a biological dimension of development as well and the Qur'an has expressly explained its different biological stages. The Qur'anic verses clearly underscore the fact that man has been created from a single cell. All these facts were anticipated by the Qur'an fourteen centuries ago when the modern scientific research did not enjoy even an embryonic existence. As a matter of fact, the systematic explanation and analysis furnished by the Qur'an has not only made current scientific research possible but also added incalculably to its credibility, otherwise the modern scientists would be floundering in the dark of chaos and confusion.

Iftikhar A. Sheikh

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