I recently watched a few video clips about some evidence that humans were roaming planet earth for millions of years. In a documentary named “Origin of Man” it shows some human footprints beside dinosaur footprint dated around 100 million years ago. The other one shows a footprint more than one meter long, dated at least 200 million years ago. That’s why I decided to write this article, and show what some Muslim scholars think about Origin of Man.
Nowadays, there is a common misunderstanding about older civilizations, that they failed to think about the origin of creation in a causal way, and they came up with superstitious ideas. I explained about this subject in another post with more details.
Specifically, the best you can find in monotheistic religions like Islam and Judaism is what today is known as Torah’s account of creation, which claims Adam was created 6000 years ago. Obviously, there are superstitions and words of mouth which you can expect from ordinary people, but unfortunately, those accounts are intentionally more stressed. And that’s not the whole story.
Unfortunately, it’s not in the capacity of this article to show how Islamic account of creation is different from what is attributed to Islam. It’s a controversial subject and it needs lots of explanation and bringing lots of evidence.
I will just briefly quote one thing from Quran:
قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّـهُ يُنشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say (O Muhammad): “Travel and search in the land and see how the Almighty God (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah (who originated and guided the creation to evolve) will bring forth the creation to another level (death of change, or eternity). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.”
If the Quran’s assumption was that Allah created the Earth and Adam instantly, maybe 6000 years ago, it did not encourage people to research the origin of species.
Moreover, there are lots of verses in Quran which encourage archeological research. My impression is the Quran implies that in creation, there is a lot more going on.
I tried to explain in another post titled Causal Thinking, what it really means to attribute an act to the God. So, I suggest reading that as well.
Here is what some Muslim pundits say about creation:
According to Wikipedia, Earth has an Axial tilt (obliquity) of about 23.5 degrees. The Earth’s axial tilt varies between 22.1° and 24.5°, with a 41,000 year period. At present it is decreasing 0.468 seconds of a degree each year.
According to some Islamic scholars that tilt finally reaches to 0 degree. At that point, all the surface of the Earth is covered with water. When the axial tilt increases, at some point land comes out of water and gradually it becomes suitable for land animals. Then the Almighty God creates a new Adam and Eve by production, and their race grows by reproduction, until the axial tilt approaches zero again and water covers the Earth. This cycle is named “رتق و فتق” which means “Shrinking/Expanding Cycle”. Some scholars calculated that such cycle repeats every 360’000 years, but Hasan-Zadeh Amoli believes it takes 180’000 years for a cycle to complete.
Although a good portion of what is narrated from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or his descendants is not accurate or credible, I found some of them interesting:
- It’s narrated from Imam Bagher (678 Ad to 735 AD) that there were thousands and thousands of creation cycles, and each cycle has its own Adam.
- At the start of each cycle, several males and females are created, and the God chooses one of them to be his messenger to the rest. That one is named Adam. So their reproduction is not incestuous.
- In Wikipedia, it’s cited from Islamic sources that Adam was 60 cubits (near 30 meters) tall. It does not specify which cycle that Adam belongs to. I saw somewhere else the claim that the size of humans is shrinking over thousands of cycles, so in the future cycles humans will be much smaller.
In the verse 2:30 of Quran it says:
And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will you place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood?”.
Some Islamic scholars consider that as a sign of repeating of creation cycles, because if Angels did not have an experience of how bygone humans behaved, how they could know that the new cycle would end up in bloodshed.
I am not sure how much interest is in this subject. If you want me to elaborate on this, please let me know.
In the following video clip, it show a giant footprint from at least 200 million years ago:
The following video clip is part of a documentary named “Origin Of Man”. It shows Human footprint along with Dinosaurs’ formed together: