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Creation of Human Life

Human Beings Not "Descended" From Apes

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The Quranic account of creation is in line with modern scientific thought about the development of the universe and life on earth. Muslims acknowledge that life developed over a long period of time, but see Allah's power behind it all. Descriptions of creation in the Quran are set in context to remind the readers of Allah's majesty and wisdom.

"What is the matter with you, that you are not conscious of Allah's majesty, seeing that it is He Who has created you in diverse stages? See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (glorious) lamp? And Allah has produced you from the earth, growing (gradually)" (71:13-17).

Life Came From Water

The Quran describes that Allah "made from water every living thing" (21:30). Another verse describes how "Allah has created every animal from water. Of them are some that creep on their bellies, some that walk on two legs, and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills, for truly Allah has power over all things" (24:45). These verses support the scientific theory that life began in the Earth's oceans.

Creation of Adam & Eve

While Islam recognizes the general idea of the development of life in stages, over a period of time, human beings are considered as a special act of creation. Islam teaches that human beings are a unique life form that was created by Allah in a special way, with unique gifts and abilities unlike any other: a soul and conscience, knowledge, and free will. In short, Muslims do not believe that human beings randomly evolved from apes. The life of human beings began with the creation of two people, a male and a female named Adam and Hawwa (Eve).

The Quran describes how Allah created Adam: "We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape..." (15:26). And, "He began the creation of man from clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of fluid" (32:7-8). Thus, human beings have a fundamental attachment to the earth.

While the creation of Eve is not described in detail, the Quran does make it clear that a "mate" was created with Adam, from the same nature and soul. "It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her in love" (7:189). She is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, but in Islamic tradition she is known as "Hawwa" (Eve).

From these two individuals, generations of human beings have inhabited the earth. "Oh humankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured among you in the sight of Allah is the who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)" (49:13).

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