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The Problem of the Origin of Life (Part 2)

the holy qur’an

We said that the Noble Qur’an explicitly affirms that life lies in the hands of God and that it negates the role of anyone else in the creation of life. However, the Qur’an never refers to the matter of the origin of the human species or the beginning of life in order to affirm this point. On the contrary, it points as evidence to the present empirical order and considers the current, ongoing system of life as the system of creation, becoming and development. But when it wishes to describe God's creatorhood in relation to life, it does not make recourse to the first day. In this respect, it makes no distinction between the first day and the subsequent days. Rather, it points to the present orderly changes of life as the changes of creation. For instance, in the blessed Surah al‌ Mu'minun it states:

We created man of an extraction of clay, then We set him, a drop, in a re‌ceptacle secure, then We created of the drop a clot, then We created of the clot a tissue, then We created of the tissue bones, then We garmented the bones in flesh; thereafter We produced him as another creature. So blessed be God, the fairest of creators! (23:12-14)

This noble verse mentions the systematic transformation and changes that occur in the embryo and considers these developments as a developing series of creations. In the Surat Nuh, it states:

What ails you, that you look not for majesty in God, seeing He created you by stages? (71:13-14)

In the Surah al Zumar, it states:

He creates you in your mothers' wombs creation after creation in threefold shadows. (39:6)

In the Surah al Baqarah, it is stated:

How do you disbelieve in God, seeing you were dead and He gave you life, then He shall make you dead, then He shall give you life, then unto Him you shall be returned. (2:28)

In the Surah al Hajj, it states:

It is He Who gave you life, then He shall make you dead, then He shall give you life. (22:66)

There are many verses on this theme and all of them consider the pres‌ent current order as the system of creation. The splitting of the grain and the seed under the ground, the growth of plants and herbs, the greening of the trees in spring-time - all of these are mentioned as part of the ever”‘new and perpetual Divine creativity. In no place does the Qur’an consider the role of Divine creativity and will in the creation of life as relating exclusively to the first man or the first living creature that emerged upon the earth's surface, or consider only that organism or grain as the creature of God and the product of the Divine will.

The Noble Qur’an also mentions the creation of Adam, but not for the purpose of affirming monotheism (tawhid), or for the sake of the argument that since Adam was the first man, that proves that creation did occur and that `God's hand emerged from its sleeve' to create human life. God's hand has never been concealed within a sleeve.

There is a strange point worthy of notice in this regard. The Qur’an makes use of the story of Adam to convey many teachings of a moral and educative character, such as: man's capacity for attaining to the station of God's vicegerency; his abundant capacity for knowledge; the angels' humility in front of knowledge; man's capacity for attaining superiority over the angels; the harm of greed, the harms of pride, the effects of sin in causing man's decline from the sublimest of stations; the role of penitence in man's salvation and his return to the station of proximity to God; warnings against the danger of misleading satanic insinuations, and the like. But it never relates the special and excep‌tional situation of Adam in his creation to the subject of tawhid and theology, for the objective behind its mention of Adam's story was a moral and educative one. It was not intended as an evidence in favour of tawhid. Moreover, it confines itself to mentioning Adam, and says nothing about how the life of the other animal species originated on the earth.

We have mentioned earlier the customary approach of the theists who when confronted with the absence of an explanation for the begin‌ning of life in the first living creature say, "It was the Divine breath which brought it into existence." But the Qur’an considers the life of other human beings also to be the result of the Divine breath, in the same way as it considers the life of Adam as being due to the Divine breath.

In one place the Qur’an relates God as saying to angels regarding Adam:

(And when thy Lord said to the angels `See, 'I am creating a mortal of clay of mud moulded.) When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!" (16:28”‘29)

In another place it says:

We created you, then We shaped you, then We said to the angel&”‘ Bow yourselves to Adam.' (7:11)

It is clear that, in this verse, creation, the blowing of the Divine breath and the veneration of angels is ascribed to all human beings in general. The Qur’an states in the Sura Alif lam sajdah:

...Who has created all things well and He originated the creation of man out of clay, then He fashioned his progeny of an extraction of mean water, then He shaped it, and breathed His spirit in it. And He appointed for you hearing and sight, and heart; little thanks you show. (32:7”‘9)

As pointed out by the exegetes and as indicated by the context itself, the pronoun in sawwahu (he shaped it) relates to sulalah (progeny), not to al”‘'insan (man).

Source: islamshia-w.com


Other links:

The Miracle of Numbers in Qur’an

The Weight of Clouds

The Stages of Wind Formation

Earth as a Big Cradle

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