Short Answer: The Quran does not ask us to reject evolution or any scientific theory as such. We must not forget the fact that a scientific theory is the work of the human mind, which is accepted in science until a better theory replaces it. Certainly scientific theories have their value in their respective spheres. But no one can claim that any theory (whether in the field of science or philosophy) is the ultimate truth.
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We are very sad to hear that you have been sliding away from the path of Islam for the last six months or so. But it is a happy thing that you have sent us an account of the reasons that made you do so. This means that you are in your heart of hearts a sincere believer, though you do not acknowledge as much. May Allah Almighty forgive you, and help you and guide you back to the Straight Path of Islam!
Please read the following attentively and think over them meditatively with prayers:
Natural phenomena – the signs of the Creator
See the following verse of the Quran:
“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.” (Quran 2:164)
The above verse among others inspires the readers of the Quran to observe and study the phenomena of nature, which indeed are the signs of the Creator. That is to say, rather than blind faith, it is an informed faith buttressed by empirical evidence and reasoning that the Quran urges us to have.
The Quran does not ask us to reject evolution or any scientific theory as such. We must not forget the fact that a scientific theory is the work of the human mind, which is accepted in science until a better theory replaces it. Certainly scientific theories have their value in their respective spheres. But no one can claim that any theory (whether in the field of science or philosophy) is the ultimate truth.
What Islam objects to is the idea that the universe or nature came into existence, or continues to exist without God. It is a possibility that God brought the universe into being, not abruptly but through a process of evolution. We continue learning through observation, logical analysis and through the formulation of hypotheses and theories.
Any scientific theory is the work of the human mind
Evolution means slow change; and the Quran speaks of phases or processes of change that overtake nature and human life as in this verse:
“While He has created you in (different) stages…” (Quran 71:14)
In the context one may note this verse too:
“Say: Travel through the earth and see how God did originate creation…” (Quran 29:20)
Here is Allah’s directive about studying how the creative process originated: travel through the earth and study. Incidentally this was how Charles Darwin conducted his scientific investigation which ultimately led him to formulate his theory of evolution. (Of course, he was not following the Quran; but Allah Almighty knew what Charles Darwin was doing.) His five-year voyage in the early 1830s on H.M.S. Beagle has become legendary.
After years of travel and research on what he had seen of the plants and animals in various lands, most particularly on the Islands of Galapagos, Darwin focused his mind on the results of his scientific inquiry, and published his “On the Origin of Species” in 1859.
We can very well disagree with the inferences he has made on the findings in his investigation: but we have no reason to disagree with his methodology. In short Islam has no quarrel with scientific research or the knowledge one acquires through that means, until and unless that knowledge openly challenges God. And therefore Islam does not underrate the theory of evolution as such. But if someone says that science has helped us to dispense with religion or God, there is an issue. Hope the position is clear.
May Allah guide us along the right path!
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
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