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In the Name of God بسم الله

History of the World Explained by Islam?

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Salam, I’m a Shia Muslim but I’ve always had trouble understanding the history of the Earth through the lens of Islam. I have a relatively basic understanding but I’ve never understood the timeline of this universe other than the traditional scientific, secular approach. I have some questions that if any brother or sister could answer in depth it would be very much appreciated . I’ve tried my best to group the questions into three categories but some of them might be a little off topic so I apologize in advance.

1. How old is the Earth and how long after Earth’s creation were Adam and Eve placed on Earth? How does this relate to modern science and evolution believing that we as humans evolved from other species? Does Islam accept the idea of evolution, accept it to an extent (evolution of other species but we didn’t evolve from apes, etc.), or reject it entirely?

2. How many prophets did we have at a time? Were there multiple prophets at once and if there were multiple, were they in multiple nations or only one? If not, why didn’t Allah choose prophets from all around the world? From the little knowledge I have, there are ~124,000 prophets with Adam being the first and Prophet Muhammad was the last. I also have heard there are roughly 600 years between Isa and with that being said, what number prophet was Isa? Assuming that the Earth has existed for millions of years and we’ve had prophets since then, how does 124,000 prophets over millions of years add up? Also, if prophets have existed from the beginning of this Earth, how could people possibly reject Islam if miracles were being performed right in front of them? On top of this, were people who never received the message of Islam (i.e. cavemen or civilizations on different continents) and ended up dying believing in nothing or whatever tribal religion they were brought up with be saved from the hellfire?
3. How does the story of Noah’s Ark make sense with the millions upon millions of species we have today? Does every animal that we have today descend from the two or every animals saved from the flood? What about animals specific to different regions of the world?

Sorry that there are a lot of questions and some of them are really confusing and grouped in a weird fashion. A lot of these thoughts have crossed my mind and began giving me some doubts so if these questions can be answered it would be really appreciated. 

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2. Many prophets were contemporaries of each other. Eg prophet Ibrahim(عليه السلام) and prophet Lut(عليه السلام). 

Modern humans are around 200,000 years old so 124000 prophets could be easily distributed. Some prophets like Nuh(عليه السلام) lived very long.

Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says in the Quran that every nation received a prophet. So there must have been a prophet for the Greeks the American civilizations, African civilizations etc. If you see even isolated mesoamerican nations had the flood story. This couldn't be just a coincidence. 

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1 hour ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Also, if prophets have existed from the beginning of this Earth, how could people possibly reject Islam if miracles were being performed right in front of them

You know, people still smoke even though ist harmful for health. And still drink. Arrogance and desire makes people reject things even though they know I is the truth. Knowing and believing is different. 

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Salam

3 hours ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Does Islam accept the idea of evolution, accept it to an extent (evolution of other species but we didn’t evolve from apes, etc.), or reject it entirely?

We accept microevolution and reject macroevolution.
Macroevolution is that we evolved from apes.
Microevolution is that we adapt over time.

Sorry I couldn't answer your other questions, I'm pretty confused in this field as well.

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40 minutes ago, -Rejector- said:

Salam

We accept microevolution and reject macroevolution.
Macroevolution is that we evolved from apes.
Microevolution is that we adapt over time.

Sorry I couldn't answer your other questions, I'm pretty confused in this field as well.

You don’t get to invoke “we” here for things that are obviously open to interpretation. There is no “we” position on this issue. If you thought there was, consider yourself corrected. If you said this despite knowing it was not true, I would appreciate if you can not lie to people. Thanks. 

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3 hours ago, 123SlaveOfAllah said:

2. Many prophets were contemporaries of each other. Eg prophet Ibrahim(عليه السلام) and prophet Lut(عليه السلام). 

Modern humans are around 200,000 years old so 124000 prophets could be easily distributed. Some prophets like Nuh(عليه السلام) lived very long.

Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) says in the Quran that every nation received a prophet. So there must have been a prophet for the Greeks the American civilizations, African civilizations etc. If you see even isolated mesoamerican nations had the flood story. This couldn't be just a coincidence. 

Salam. Thanks, I now understand that many prophets lived at the same time as each other, but if science claims that humans have been on Earth for 5-7 million years does this align with Islamic ideology? For example, modern humans, as you stated, have been around for 200,000-300,000  years, but what about humans before then? Surely there were prophets before then? Science claims that we were a more primate-like species of humans before modern humans but Islamically what do we believe? Also, weren’t Adam and Eve on Earth since the beginning of its creation? If so, that means the Earth is only 200,000 - 300,000 years old and modern humans have existed since the beginning of time which goes against science’s claims of the Earth being billions of years old which is proven by radioactive dating. There’s also the possibility that Adam and Eve were a different species of humans that existed millions of years ago but then this also has it’s issues as ~124,000 prophets couldn’t have possibly been distributed over millions of years and the fact that (to my current knowledge) we don’t view Adam and Eve as a different species than that of modern humans. The Earth is claimed to be billions of years old by scientists so this would then have to mean that Adam was the first ever prophet billions of years ago and there were only 124,000 prophets following him over the next billions of years which doesn’t add up. When exactly was Adam put on Earth and was he the same species of modern humans we have today and did other animals exist around this time too? Apologies for the barrage of questions again, but these questions have been on my mind for a really long time now and I just need some ease of mind.

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2 hours ago, kadhim said:

You

No salam, just straight into the criticism. Great behaviour for a 'shia' of Al-Sadiq. 

وَإِذا جاءَكَ الَّذينَ يُؤمِنونَ بِآياتِنا فَقُل سَلامٌ عَلَيكُم
And when those who believe in Our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you...
(6:54)

2 hours ago, kadhim said:

don’t get to invoke “we” here for things that are obviously open to interpretation. There is no “we” position on this issue.

Sorry, were you assuming that I'm saying this from my own opinion? Rather, I heard Sayed Ammar Nakshawani say it in a lecture, the link to which is below.

Link to lecture: (the sayed mentions macrocosm and microcosm evolution at 38 minutes 50 seconds (38:50)): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiF7VUDv3Dg

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اجتَنِبوا كَثيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ 
O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion...
(49:12)

2 hours ago, kadhim said:

consider yourself corrected. If you said this despite knowing it was not true, I would appreciate if you can not lie to people.

Brother, I'm a fellow Shia like you. It's not right for two people who follow the same Imam to speak to each other like this and accuse each other of lying, especially in Shahr Ramadan. Imam Al-Sadiq said:

"He who is not able to do any good unto us [Ahlulbayt] then be may do good to our pious adherents..."

(Source: Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 354)

2 hours ago, kadhim said:

Thanks. 

...I'd like to take your thanks seriously, but it's hard to believe you're not being sarcastic. You're welcome anyway though.

Ma3salam.

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6 minutes ago, -Rejector- said:

No salam, just straight into the criticism. Great behaviour for a 'shia' of Al-Sadiq. 

وَإِذا جاءَكَ الَّذينَ يُؤمِنونَ بِآياتِنا فَقُل سَلامٌ عَلَيكُم
And when those who believe in Our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you...
(6:54)

Sorry, were you assuming that I'm saying this from my own opinion? Rather, I heard Sayed Ammar Nakshawani say it in a lecture, the link to which is below.

Link to lecture: (the sayed mentions macrocosm and microcosm evolution at 38 minutes 50 seconds (38:50)): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiF7VUDv3Dg

يا أَيُّهَا الَّذينَ آمَنُوا اجتَنِبوا كَثيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ 
O you who believe! Avoid most of suspicion...
(49:12)

Brother, I'm a fellow Shia like you. It's not right for two people who follow the same Imam to speak to each other like this and accuse each other of lying, especially in Shahr Ramadan. Imam Al-Sadiq said:

"He who is not able to do any good unto us [Ahlulbayt] then be may do good to our pious adherents..."

(Source: Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 354)

...I'd like to take your thanks seriously, but it's hard to believe you're not being sarcastic. You're welcome anyway though.

Ma3salam.

Salaama.

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Ws.

As @kadhim has stated, there isn't just one single opinion about this in Islam. Simply put, Allah asks us to pretty much go figure some of these things out for ourselves, as per Qur'an 29:20.

1. The Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Life on Earth began around 3.5 billion years ago with small, unicellular prokaryotes being some of the first organisms. Homosapiens evolved from their predecessors about 300,000 years ago; however it was only about 70,000 years ago (around the time humans began to move out of Africa) that they started to behave very, very differently. They develop art, language, and unique skills. This is when, I believe, Adam and Eve appear. Adam wasn't necessarily the first homosapien, but rather the "first man" in the sense that he was the founder of the cognitive revolution. Adam and Eve were the first two to attain a consciousness that made them the first "humans", which is what set them completely apart from all others. Now the question of where they came from and whether they were miraculously created or not is not very clear to me either, the Qur'an speaks about it but there is still some vagueness in my understanding. However, we do know that evolution (both micro and macro) does occur in nature and the Qur'an asserts that life originated from one single source. This much the Qur'an does make clear. 

2. (a) Prophets have not existed since the beginning of the creation of Earth. That would negate the whole concept of evolution. Christian creationists argue for something like that by saying the Earth and everything in it was created over the course of a couple of days or so, but such an argument doesn't add up. (b) Miracles weren't some supernatural magic show that the disbelievers would immediately surrender to. That would be far too easy. Miracles were still bound to the laws of nature - which were at work through the will and might of Allah. Something like that takes a lot of reasoning and contemplation to fully grasp. (c) No, Allah is just, and nothing in the Qur'an says that people will be in hell for not believing in a God they were never even introduced to.

3. I'm not entirely sure about this, but I think the flood was a regional flood, not global. But I'll need to do more reading into this.

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:53 AM, Guest Guest Anonymous said:

Salam. Thanks, I now understand that many prophets lived at the same time as each other, but if science claims that humans have been on Earth for 5-7 million years does this align with Islamic ideology? For example, modern humans, as you stated, have been around for 200,000-300,000  years, but what about humans before then? Surely there were prophets before then? Science claims that we were a more primate-like species of humans before modern humans but Islamically what do we believe? Also, weren’t Adam and Eve on Earth since the beginning of its creation? If so, that means the Earth is only 200,000 - 300,000 years old and modern humans have existed since the beginning of time which goes against science’s claims of the Earth being billions of years old which is proven by radioactive dating. There’s also the possibility that Adam and Eve were a different species of humans that existed millions of years ago but then this also has it’s issues as ~124,000 prophets couldn’t have possibly been distributed over millions of years and the fact that (to my current knowledge) we don’t view Adam and Eve as a different species than that of modern humans. The Earth is claimed to be billions of years old by scientists so this would then have to mean that Adam was the first ever prophet billions of years ago and there were only 124,000 prophets following him over the next billions of years which doesn’t add up. When exactly was Adam put on Earth and was he the same species of modern humans we have today and did other animals exist around this time too? Apologies for the barrage of questions again, but these questions have been on my mind for a really long time now and I just need some ease of mind.

Sometimes, prophets came after long time that people longed for them and besides prophets there were Awliyas who came to explain religion. On the other hand, I think you should read Hayatul Quloob to understand the duration of human race. I think modern human beings are not older than 20,000 years. The date which the science tells about human beings might not be correct as scientific methods cannot be relied upon as totally accurate.

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17 hours ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

Sometimes, prophets came after long time that people longed for them and besides prophets there were Awliyas who came to explain religion. On the other hand, I think you should read Hayatul Quloob to understand the duration of human race. I think modern human beings are not older than 20,000 years. The date which the science tells about human beings might not be correct as scientific methods cannot be relied upon as totally accurate.

How are you saying modern humans are not older than 20,000 years? We have fossils of homosapiens that have been dated back to over 300,000 years - such as the Jebel Irhoud. Jebel Irhoud also unearthed stone tools that dated back to 300,000-315,000 years. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/21/2022 at 11:53 PM, Guest Guest Anonymous said:

but what about humans before then?

Ḥadīth mention the existence of 7 ʾĀdams and that our father ʾĀdam (peace be upon him) was the last of them—according to numerous narrations other species of human beings existed before our own—some of these species had fiery temperaments and began to kill one another and sow corruption on the earth—each preceding ʾĀdam produced successive generations and these peoples thrived but were ultimately destroyed completely and replaced by the following viceregent/deputy/supreme representative (خليفة)—if you dig deep enough you'll find sources in all three Abrahamic religions mentioning that Allah created "pre-Adamite" races and they lasted for a certain duration (e.g. 50,000 years) then Allah saw fit to replace them with another creation—"And [mention, O Muḥammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority (i.e. Khalifa)." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we exalt You with praise and declare Your perfection? "He [Allāh] said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."" al-Qurʾān 2:30 Where did the angels get this type of foreknowledge? Seems like the questioning is a result of something they witnessed aforetime.

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Salam thanks to @guest050817 

Quote

"Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them."

"Like this world there are 70,000 other planets with each of their peoples believing they are alone in the universe."

"I cannot say that there are human beings in other worlds, but I can say that there are living beings, whom we cannot see because of the great distance between us."

-Bihar al Anwar, vol 14, p 79 

"Before this Adam, there were a thousand thousand Adams." By Imam Jafar Sadiq

-Bihar Al Anwar, Volume 2, Part (Baa, as in the second letter of the Arabic Alphabet)

The sixth Holy Imam, Imam Jafar as-Sadeq as.gif has said: Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them."

-Behar al-Anwar, volume 14, page 79

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

How are you saying modern humans are not older than 20,000 years? We have fossils of homosapiens that have been dated back to over 300,000 years - such as the Jebel Irhoud. Jebel Irhoud also unearthed stone tools that dated back to 300,000-315,000 years. 

I doubt the current scientific methods for dating. On the other hand, there are narrations that before modern humans there were other kinds of humans too. 

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7 hours ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

I doubt the current scientific methods for dating. On the other hand, there are narrations that before modern humans there were other kinds of humans too. 

I am not denying that other kinds of humans have existed. We, homosapiens, have evolved from our hominin predecessors (i.e. homo erectus recently) - so surely many types of humans have come and went.
 

Are you suggesting that radiocarbon dating is inaccurate? If so, you're isolating yourself since you're doubting much of the current geology we have as well as significant parts of biology.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

I am not denying that other kinds of humans have existed. We, homosapiens, have evolved from our hominin predecessors (i.e. homo erectus recently) - so surely many types of humans have come and went.

I do not believe in theory of evolution as it has many faults which is why it has not yet verified as a natural law.

2 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Are you suggesting that radiocarbon dating is inaccurate? If so, you're isolating yourself since you're doubting much of the current geology we have as well as significant parts of biology.

Radiocarbon dating might not be totally accurate or may be hypothesis formed on such data is accurate. Besides that, I disagree with the theory that modern humans emerged 200,000 to 300,000. Rather I believe that ancestors of our race came to this earth between 50,000 to 20,000 years.

Edited by Borntowitnesstruth
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31 minutes ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

I do not believe in theory of evolution as it has many faults which is why it has not yet verified as a natural law.

Radiocarbon dating might not be totally accurate or may be hypothesis formed on such data is accurate. Besides that, I disagree with the theory that modern humans emerged 200,000 to 300,000. Rather I believe that ancestors of our race came to this earth between 50,000 to 20,000 years.

The argument was never about how believable you find the theory of evolution to be. The only reason I mentioned it is to agree with your point about the existence of other kinds of humans in the recent past.

Radiocarbon dating isn't meant to be precise or even totally accurate. It's mostly accurate. It gives a ballpark figure. Again, I'm not sure as to (1) what your reasoning is for denying radiocarbon dating and (2) what method have you followed to come up with a claim of 20,000 years? Are you saying that Adam appeared 50,000 to 20,000 years ago or that the homosapien species itself emerged during that time? Because I can see where the former is coming from, but the latter is an extreme stretch. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Radiocarbon dating isn't meant to be precise or even totally accurate. It's mostly accurate. It gives a ballpark figure. Again, I'm not sure as to (1) what your reasoning is for denying radiocarbon dating and (2) what method have you followed to come up with a claim of 20,000 years? Are you saying that Adam appeared 50,000 to 20,000 years ago or that the homosapien species itself emerged during that time? Because I can see where the former is coming from, but the latter is an extreme stretch. 

I am not denying radiocarbon dating. I am denying the illegal use of the term and hypothesis made upon such data. Sometimes, someone comes and says that such and such data belongs to such and such time while we haven't seen the proof, it is like throwing a statement at the face of audience without proof. 

About Prophet Adam (عليه السلام), I just made an honest guess by comparing time of prophets. Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) came to earth 5000 years ago, prophet Nuh was his great great grand father if we suppose that he was 4000 before prophet Ibrahim then it makes 9000 years then again prophet Nuh was great great grandson of prophet Adam and if we suppose him to be 5000 years before Prophet Nuh then the whole time does not exceed 20,000 years. 

 

Edited by Borntowitnesstruth
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

I am not denying radiocarbon dating. I am denying the illegal use of the term and hypothesis made upon such data. Sometimes, someone comes and says that such and such data belongs to such and such time while we haven't seen the proof, it is like throwing a statement at the face of audience without proof. 

About Prophet Adam (عليه السلام), I just made an honest guess by comparing time of prophets. Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) came to earth 5000 years ago, prophet Nuh was his great great grand father if we suppose that he was 4000 before prophet Ibrahim then it makes 9000 years then again prophet Nuh was great great grandson of prophet Adam and if we suppose him to be 5000 years before Prophet Nuh then the whole time does not exceed 20,000 years. 

 

Proof of what exactly? Scientists are not dating rocks and fossils behind our backs; this is all public knowledge, and we have various researches available on homosapien fossils which push our species further back to 300,000 years, subhān'allāh. We already know the rate of decay for carbon-14, it is an internationally used reference standard. You're simply looking for the amount of radioactive material (carbon-14) in the fossil and comparing it to the original decay value and using that ratio to find the age of the fossil. Once that's done, you're not making any further hypothesis about it - you've already tested its age and now it's only a matter of classifying it morphologically.

Your guess of 20,000 years is not aligning with the science, though. Jebel Irhoud is a site containing fossils of modern humans dating back to over 300,000 years. What would be your argument against something like? Other than baselessly doubting science, of course.

Edited by Ibn-e-Muhammad
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Proof of what exactly? Scientists are not dating rocks and fossils behind our backs; this is all public knowledge, and we have various researches available on homosapien fossils which push our species further back to 300,000 years, subhān'allāh. We already know the rate of decay for carbon-14, it is an internationally used reference standard. You're simply looking for the amount of radioactive material (carbon-14) in the fossil and comparing it to the original decay value and using that ratio to find the age of the fossil. Once that's done, you're not making any further hypothesis about it - you've already tested its age and now it's only a matter of classifying it morphologically.

I think you have not read my reply. The World in which live is full of propaganda. Western Media just fooled public for more than 20 years by lying about aliens that they exist. How could you just believe them when they tell you about dating of fossils that they are saying truth. You are just bypassing this fact.

 

3 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Your guess of 20,000 years is not aligning with the science, though. Jebel Irhoud is a site containing fossils of modern humans dating back to over 300,000 years. What would be your argument against something like? Other than baselessly doubting science, of course.

I don't fall for unverified scientific terminologies. What you say about jebel irhoud are mere sentences for me not verified evidence. My argument for that is simple that you cannot talk to dead and ask that whether we are derived from them or they were different human group that went extinct before Prophet Adam's arrival on this very earth.

Edited by Borntowitnesstruth
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2 hours ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

I think you have not read my reply. The World in which live is full of propaganda. Western Media just fooled public for more than 20 years by lying about aliens that they exist. How could you just believe them when they tell you about dating of fossils that they are saying truth. You are just bypassing this fact.

 

I don't fall for unverified scientific terminologies. What you say about jebel irhoud are mere sentences for me not verified evidence. My argument for that is simple that you cannot talk to dead and ask that whether we are derived from them or they were different human group that went extinct before Prophet Adam's arrival on this very earth.

Believe me, the last place you should be getting scientific information from is western media. If that's what you've been relying on instead of actual academic research, I can't blame you so much for being at this stage.

No one asked you to fall for them. You should try and verify these things for yourself, it's part of the knowledge you should be seeking as a mu'min before you come to a forum and throw an unverified claim of humans being 20,000 years old. The argument you presented is basically like an undocumented orphan standing over the graves of his parents asking them if they were actually his parents. Are they ever going to speak to him? No. But can he still find ways to conclude that they were his parents? Yes, definitely. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Believe me, the last place you should be getting scientific information from is western media. If that's what you've been relying on instead of actual academic research, I can't blame you so much for being at this stage.

You think that academic research cannot be flawed or it cannot be funded.

4 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

No one asked you to fall for them. You should try and verify these things for yourself, it's part of the knowledge you should be seeking as a mu'min before you come to a forum and throw an unverified claim of humans being 20,000 years old. The argument you presented is basically like an undocumented orphan standing over the graves of his parents asking them if they were actually his parents. Are they ever going to speak to him? No. But can he still find ways to conclude that they were his parents? Yes, definitely. 

I already told you it was a guess and showed you upon what information it was based so you need not to create examples for that as this information which I gave is not orphan

Edited by Borntowitnesstruth
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10 hours ago, Borntowitnesstruth said:

You think that academic research cannot be flawed or it cannot be funded.

I already told you it was a guess and showed you upon what information it was based so you need not to create examples for that as this information which I gave is not orphan

Key word can. Obviously, anything in this world can be flawed and/or have a hidden agenda, but that doesn't undermine the entire foundation of research or cause us to make unreal, bogus assumptions and estimates about the age of an entire species. You're not a scientist, but there are scientists out there doing the work for you. Your job to figure out what is a credible, unbiased source of information and use that as your reference.

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3 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Key word can. Obviously, anything in this world can be flawed and/or have a hidden agenda, but that doesn't undermine the entire foundation of research or cause us to make unreal, bogus assumptions and estimates about the age of an entire species. You're not a scientist, but there are scientists out there doing the work for you. Your job to figure out what is a credible, unbiased source of information and use that as your reference.

Bro, I have seen when same scientists spoke about aliens and they are still speaking about aliens that does not make them truthful. Those scientists who predict about earth and its species are not different from historians who when they see a culture is famous, follow it without knowing whether it is truth or not. You are just following similar culture and I disagree with that because I cannot believe what scientists say unless I see those things myself because Imam Ali (عليه السلام) says that there is difference between listening and watching, what you listen may be wrong but what you see cannot be wronged. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/21/2022 at 11:53 PM, Guest Guest Anonymous said:

Salam. Thanks, I now understand that many prophets lived at the same time as each other, but if science claims that humans have been on Earth for 5-7 million years does this align with Islamic ideology? For example, modern humans, as you stated, have been around for 200,000-300,000  years, but what about humans before then? Surely there were prophets before then? Science claims that we were a more primate-like species of humans before modern humans but Islamically what do we believe? Also, weren’t Adam and Eve on Earth since the beginning of its creation? If so, that means the Earth is only 200,000 - 300,000 years old and modern humans have existed since the beginning of time which goes against science’s claims of the Earth being billions of years old which is proven by radioactive dating. There’s also the possibility that Adam and Eve were a different species of humans that existed millions of years ago but then this also has it’s issues as ~124,000 prophets couldn’t have possibly been distributed over millions of years and the fact that (to my current knowledge) we don’t view Adam and Eve as a different species than that of modern humans. The Earth is claimed to be billions of years old by scientists so this would then have to mean that Adam was the first ever prophet billions of years ago and there were only 124,000 prophets following him over the next billions of years which doesn’t add up. When exactly was Adam put on Earth and was he the same species of modern humans we have today and did other animals exist around this time too? Apologies for the barrage of questions again, but these questions have been on my mind for a really long time now and I just need some ease of mind.

First, when you say '5-7 million years', I don't think that is true for modern humans. If you are talking about modern humans, i.e. home sapiens sapiens, the species we belong to, they have only been around approx 160,000 to 80,000 years. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Homo-sapiens-sapiens

The ones who came before that, i.e. Australopithecus,  Homo sapiens neanderthals, we don't know if these were human beings like us or some other type of creation. There are many hadiths, as well as verses in the Quran that indirectly refer to other creatures that lived on earth before us who were similar to us in form. There are also many hadiths from Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)) that talk about many 'Adams' before our Adam. The first fossil evidence of 'human like' creatures was found to be millions of years old(i.e. 'Lucy' and other fossils) , but these were not 'us'. We don't have any information about them, besides a few bones, so it's difficult to know exactly if or how they are related to us. Most of the science around these fossils is purely speculation presented as fact. 

Also, there were points in human history (I am talking about home sapiens sapien) where people lived much longer than they do now, according to Quran and hadith. There were prophets that lived for more than 1,000 years before they were succeeded by another prophet. So even if we take the furthest extent, 160,000 years, and we consider that there were 124,000 prophets and that some lived a very long time, compared to how long we live, it is easy to reconcile modern scientific theory (not scientific speculation) regarding human beings with Islam. 

About the history of the universe, we don't believe what the Christians believe, and what the book they call 'The Bible' says, i.e. that God created the universe in 6 - 24 hour days and that the history of the universe began approx 5,000 years ago. In the Quran, it says that 'Allah created the universe in 6 ayam'. Ayam is the plural of day, i.e. days, so six days but it doesn't say 24 hour days. Youm (day), singular form of Ayam, could refer to 24 hour day, it also could refer to an indefinite period of time, bracketed by certain events, not necessarily the rising and setting of the sun. The Quran mentions many times that 'Youm' or Ayam could be 24 hours, it could be years, centuries, or millennium or longer. So as Muslims, we believe that the universe was created in six periods of time. How long those periods were, we don't know. So this fact also does not contradict modern scientific theory regarding the creation and age of the universe. 

Christianity is based on the 'Bible' and Islam is based on Quran and authentic hadith from Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) and Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)) and the Quran and authentic hadith do not contradict each other. The 'Bible' was a book that is mostly written by people, based on their limited knowledge and experience. There maybe some 'authentic' sayings of the Prophets like Prophet Musa (Moses), Dawud(David), Sulaiyman(Soloman), Ibrahim (Abraham) that are divine in origin and are mixed in with the human sayings, which is why even Muslims have a certain amount of respect for it, compared to books which are wholly human writing, but this doesn't change the fact that most of it is of human, and not divine origin. 

For example, in Genesis 1, there is the famous passage about the creation of the Universe. After each verse, the line is added 'And there was morning and there was evening, a ___ day'. This means that these were 24 hour days, because morning refers to the rising of the sun, and evening refers to the setting of the sun, which happens in a 24 hour period. So the Christian teaching that the Universe was created in 6 24 hour days came from this. To the authors of the Bible, who were only familiar with Greek Civilization, which began around 3,000 years ago, and possibly Egyptian civilization (as we know it) which began approx 5,000 years ago, and other civilizations of the Near East (The Assyrian, Babylonian, etc), it was perfectly logical and plausible to them that the universe began 5,000 years ago because they had no evidence that anything existed before that time. So they wrote 'And there was morning  and there was evening, a ___ day' because it sounded nice and it was logical, based on the information they had at the time they wrote it. 

Today, we have very much and very solid information that the universe in fact began billions of years before the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek civilizations. So there is no way to reconcile that with the verses in Genesis, besides the Christians to admit the fact that those verse, or at least the 'Morning and Evening' part was written by people and not 'divinely inspired', as they say, because obviously God knows in fact when the Universe was actually created and He(s.w.a) wouldn't lie to the people about that. If they do this, they then open up 'Pandora's box' and then the Christians will wonder 'which other parts of the Bible were written by humans and not 'divinely inspired'. That will of course be the end of Christianity as we know it today. So Christian leaders (i.e. the ones who benefit both financially and in other ways from the modern Church leadership structure) must find ways to 'dance around' these 'problematic verses' at any cost. 

The Quran is different. It is a book that is written by God, cover to cover and verse to verse, and was dictated to Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) by the Angel Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) is not the 'author' of the Quran as some claim. So amoung the modern Holy Books, only the Quran qualifies as a Divine source of guidance for mankind. The proof of that, which is evidence for all to see, is that the knowledge contained in the Quran is not limited by the knowledge that existed in Arabia in the 6th century C.E. The Quran contains knowledge which backs up solid scientific theory, even till today, and doesn't contradict knowledge that was unknown to the people of that place and time and in fact reinforces modern scientific theory, unknown to the people at that place and time by many, many verses. So that is the difference. Only God(s.w.a) has complete knowledge, that is not dependent on space and time, and since the Quran contains this knowledge, therefore the Quran is from God(s.w.a) and not from man. The Quran itself states 'If this(Quran) were from anyone other than God, you would have found much discrepancy within it'. 

 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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  • Advanced Member

@Abu Hadi I find it interesting that you feel you need to discredit The Bible and Christian teaching like this.  You are prepared to "get round" the Qur'anic use of the word "day"/"days" to show a metaphorical solution to the problem.  Are you unwilling to recognise that there are many Christian and Jewish theologians and scholars who have equaly come to the text in Genesis and interpreted it metaphorically?

The passage in Genesis chapter one is very clearly poetical and as such needs to be interpreted that way.  Poetry has many levels of meaning and truth and it is very simplistic to ignore those nuances.  Many Christian teachers have done that and end up with some unsolveable challenges.  I'm sure many Muslim scholars down the ages have interpreted "6 days" literally and faced similar peoblems.

What do the verses in Genesis teach us?  They affirm that everything was created by God.  At the time this poetry was writen there were many so called 'gods' worshiped.  Gods of light and darkness, sun and moon, animals and fish, sea and harvest.  This creation account shows that The Almighty God is over and above each one of these so called gods.  He made the things that people were worshiping.  This sets him above them in power and authority.  Only the creator is worthy of worship.

There are also teachings that suggest that god is in everything and everything is part of god.  This poem teaches clearly that God is separate from his creation.  He was there before creation came into being, therefore God is a separate being, different from his creation.

The story also shows that Human beings (both male and female) are a different order of created being that animals and birds and fish.  We read that God made human beings "in his image" that he breathed into them of his Spirit to make them "living".  This shows that Humans can expect a special realtionship with God because they reflect his charataristics.  They have a moral spiritual responsibility that animals don't have.

This account doesn't address the issue of time - it wasn't ment to.  It addresses a more important issue.  The issue of who we are and how we relate to God.  When we think of God's power in using A Word to create lets remember that His Word made us to have a relationship with him.  Then we need to ask am I living in the reality of Knowing God and am I living a life that reflects the honour of being made in "his image" or am I dishonouring God by making "his image" dirty and ugly by my actions, words and thoughts?

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Salam,

Interesting topic.  I have my own view (maybe i am wrong).

1.  Homosapiens existed through evolution maybe millions of years before Adam.  Just like animals.  For survival, animals and Homosapiens evolved. Animals killed, work in groups, developed specific skills to survive. The same with Homosapiens (early humans).  

2.  The types of Nafs (souls) in early humans and Animals are the same.  The skills and intelligent gained by their nafs changed the characteristics of the physical body of animals and early humans.  Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) did guide directly the souls of Animals and early humans so the physical body will survive the harsh environmental conditions. Animals and early humans do socialized for survival. Therefore, animals and humans evolved for millions of years to better survival skills and knowledge (we still call it primitive).  But, peace was not the objective.

3.  Adam's existence started in Soul Realm, not on this earth. In that Soul Realm... iblis, Angels and Adam could see each others. The Souls of Adam was selected to be the first upgraded (chosen) and given direct knowledge from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to guide other souls on the earth. Adam was selected to be Khalifahtul fil ard.  Adam would be given the body and sent to earth. But when?  Time would tell when it will happen with the permission of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

4.  In the Soul Realm, all were tested including Angels  Iblis, and Souls of Adam.  We knew the story. Adam was tested and that determined his exact timing to be sent down.  That was the time when Adam was given a physical body and started to live on the physical earth.  There was significant difference between Adam (chosen souls) and Iblis.  Adam was having the ability to repent, but not Iblis. After repented, Adam (عليه السلام) became a Prophet.  That made Adam (عليه السلام) as a starting Prophet to start guiding other souls on the earth.  Iblis did not want to repent and turn in syaitan. Iblis will misguide souls of humans.

5.  When Adam (عليه السلام) came to earth as a Prophet, early humans already existed with developed skills and basic knowledge for survival as groups.  But, they lacked guidance to live in peace so that the advancement of their skills and knowledge can evolve faster with Help from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) through the existence of His Representatives.  Adam (عليه السلام) was the first physical human with roles to guide human souls so humans can evolve better and faster in peaceful manner ( or salaam).

Wallahualam. 

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