Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
The very first or the second verse of Surah Nisa, which would be translated as the chapter about Women, is always recited in every Muslim marriage:
O ye people! Be mindful of your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and fear Him particularly respecting ties of relationship. Indeed, Allah watches over you. (Al Quran 4:1/2)
I have reviewed commentary of this verse of all the famous Muslim scholars of the 19th and the early 20th century, of all the major sects of Islam, and all of them interpret this verse to mean that our grandma Eve came from the rib of the prophet Adam, may peace be on him.
The Darwinian understanding, however, is that Adam was not the first man and at any rate a female cannot come from the rib of any human being. Humans have come about from Chimpanzee like animals and the two branches began to diverge some 5-6 million years ago.
I have discussed this issue in detail in one of my previous article published in the Muslim Sunrise: Biology of Our Human Family: Who are We Related To?
Those who have good knowledge of biology, begin to fully believe the truths of evolution that all life forms on planet earth have a common lineage and that humans are related to other primates. With such background, those of us who are well grounded in science, and believe the Quran to be revealed by the All Knowing God, have no choice but to believe that this verse talks about early unicellular life forms, when there was asexual reproduction, rather than about Adam and Eve.
There are at least three other verses of the holy Quran talking about asexual multiplication, discussed in the above quoted Muslim Sunrise article, and these verses serve as a wonderful example, where modern science has lead to better understanding of the holy Quran.
In another article in the Muslim Sunrise, Science in the Service of the Scriptures, I have shared another example, pertaining to the life span of the prophet Noah, may peace be on him.
Examining the other side of the equation, there is no denying that co-relating science and Quran establishes the truth of the Quran and its Divine source. Read a book by Dr. Maurice Bucaille that is very well known in most Muslim circles: The Bible, The Quran and Science, or read a short article: Does science really prove the Quran?
The atheists, at least the neo-atheists like Richard Dawkins, obsess over science, the zealot Muslims obsess over the Quran and sometimes call science a corollary of the Quran or use other metaphors to minimize human knowledge that cannot be attributed to a revealed source or a religious leader. Such black and white thinking neither helps science nor the Quran. I link an article covering debate on these and related lines here: Between Two Masters: Qur’an or Science? – Ziauddin Sardar.
I believe that better understanding of science gives us more insightful reading of the scriptures. The study of the Quran can yield new ideas for research and study of nature. Science serves the Quran and the scripture in turn serves science.
However, this privilege is not enjoyed by every Tom, Dick and Harry. The holy Quran says that this honor belongs to men of understanding:
Allah it is Who has sent down to thee (Muhammad) the Book; in it there are verses that are decisive in meaning — they are the basis of the Book — and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations. But those in whose hearts is perversity pursue such thereof as are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and seeking wrong interpretation of it. And none knows its right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding. (Al Quran 3:7/8)
— The Muslim Times (@The_MuslimTimes) January 22, 2017