Sociocultural Evolution and Islam

There are two ways in which God works. Sometimes he works continually and in an organised manner and sometimes he does all the works by only saying

For as long as humans have existed, they have been through a continual evolutionary process. Their nutrition, their attire, their diction and their way of life have never been alike. Big changes occurred with time.

It is said that in earlier times, humans were taller and mightier in strength compared to today. There are many reasons behind such changes, the biggest being climatic change. It means that failure to adapt to changing conditions of the environment, where a particular organism dwells, results in it selection in favor of others that have adapted better, through a process of national selection.

The same applies to humans. That is why humans have kept adapting for their survival. Today we eat wheat. In the beginning it was a seed of feral grass and by the drudgery of humans it changed. Similarly with time humans also changed and their society and thoughts altered.

In the past, humans perceived homosexuality as an unnatural act, but today this perception has been shown to be incorrect with the aid of science. In addition to humans, homosexuality is also present in more than 1500 species. This is how humans bring positive material change to their society. Likewise morality also changes to adapt to the changes to the collective consciousness.

All these processes come under the category of Sociocultural Evolution. It is a theory that describes that society and cultures change with time.

In reality, this is not a subject of the Quran, and it does not provide much information about it. Although the Quran elucidate principles related to life but its main theme is obituary: life after death and the betterment of afterlife. It is said about the creation of the universe that God created it only in six days. In Quran the term "Youm" is used for this, which people mistakenly mistook as "day". But the Quran Allah also stresses that "There is a difference between your days and ours." For example it is said that the angels reached God in such a day that is equal to 50,000 days.

There are two ways in which God works. Sometimes he works continually and in an organised manner and sometimes he does all the works by only saying "kun"(be). For example it is possible for a child to descend from the heavens but that has never been the case. A child arises instead through a complex biological process inside the maternal womb. 

According to the ancient Greek philosophers evolutionary condition is just like "stairs". The lower portion of the stairs is made up of minerals and above that there are marine creatures. Then there are land animals and above all humans, who are called to be highest of all creatures. They said that these stairways are always being separated and one stair cannot transform into another.

Quran accepts the Greek ideology of evolution but rejects Darwins's Theory of Evolution which says that all the humans were once animals and then through an evolutionary process they evolved into humans. According to Quran, the human race began on Earth from Adam and Eve after  the twain were banished from the paradise to live on earth after the devil had seduced Adam into eating a fruit from the forbidden tree.

Ammar Anwer

Ammar Anwer is a student with an interest in philosophy, rationalism and politics

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