Wednesday 23 January 2013

The (Real) Origin of Species by Nuh (AS) - Not Darwin!

<<I (Noah) said, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord: He is ever forgiving. He will send down abundant rain from the sky for you; He will give you wealth and children; He will provide you with gardens and rivers. What is the matter with you? Why will you not fear God’s majesty, when He has created you stage by stage? Have you ever wondered how God created seven heavens, one above the other, placed the moon as a light in them and the sun as a lamp, how God made you spring forth from the earth like a plant, how He will return you into it and then bring you out again, and how He has spread the Earth out for you to walk along its spacious paths?”>> [Surah Nuh 71:10-20]

Reflecting on some parts of this passage, Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi comments as follows:

"Theme #6 - Man is created in stages. It is of no importance for the religious life what these stages refer to precisely, whether it is slow change over long eons of time, or abrupt shifts in some evolutionary process, as those who believe in evolution claim. For the religious life what is of importance is that the coming-to-be of a human being is a process through time, through experience , history, engagement with the natural and human world into which the individual is born and where he matures and, eventually, dies. The coming-to-be of a person is through time, through the effort of living and learning, of being nurtured and nurturing; it is a process of coming to know and experience, of awakening to the importance of being human, and the realisation that death is a stage, as birth was, as maturing was, as adulthood was and senility. The being created in stages means being created in a movement that is directed from one moment on to the next, from here to hereafter. Because this being created in stages is by God, it is a sign also of the minute, subtle and particular care that He has invested in His creation. Creation is not a careless thing, a matter of no importance,  a meaningless repetition like mass-produced goods. Life is not to be wasted. For every life, its time is irreplaceable. No stage is permanent; that is the meaning of “stage”. We are always moved on within this world. (Death is a break, marked by “thumma”. What comes after death follows directly, as marked by “wa”.)" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Surah Nuh (Seminar Outline Notes)

From time to time, philosophers and scientists have put forward propositions and theories with regards to the origins of species - the most significant being On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin published in 1859. Although Darwin claimed that it was purely scientific in nature, his theory has had enormous idealogical impact on religious, cultural, social, political and economic spheres. [You can read the article titled "Reflections on The Theory of Evolution as A Cultural Dogma" by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi attached to this email]. Sadly Muslims have also been affected by this. Another important point that many of us don't realise is that no matter how good a theory seems the inferences made by that theory are based on Inductive Reasoning which by definition is probabilistic and can never be certain even if all the premises are true. So these theories can never be a source of belief. At best they are useful for understanding the natural world.

"Now a scientific theory is not, or should not be promoted as, a matter susceptible to believing or not believing it. Ideally, a scientific theory is a tool of human thought which helps us to perceive, understand and explain elements and features of the natural world (including our bodily selves) that, otherwise, we could not even perceive clearly, let alone understand or explain. Like any tool a theory does its job for a while, and then is re-designed or an altogether different theory does the job more efficiently, more elegantly, more comprehensively. A theory can be of use, for scientific purposes, if it accurately explains something in part, or in some aspect of it, even if, in respect of other aspects of the same thing, it is useless, inaccurate, and leads to a dead end. The worth of a scientific theory, ideally, is dependent on its capacity to understand and explain the natural world in a way that opens up reality to continued effort to understand and explain it."- Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi on Evolution (full article attached)

Therefore the real origin of species is what is explained by the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (SWT). Their explanations are deep and meaningful - not superficial like the scientific theories and explanations - they connect the origin to the purpose, the end and to what comes after - "... how God made you spring forth from the earth like a plant, how He will return you into it and then bring you out again". They speak based on revelation, certainty and truth - not assumptions, inferences, conjecture, speculation and induction, like the scientists and philosophers.

<<Most of them follow nothing but assumptions, but assumptions can be of no value at all against the Truth: God is well aware of what they do.>> [Qur’an 10:36]

<<If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of God. They follow nothing but speculation; they are merely guessing. Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who is rightly guided.>> [Qur'an 6:116-117]

The seminar coming up this Saturday on Surah Nuh is an essential opportunity to not only understand our origins but moreover, our real purpose and our end as well. This life-changing seminar is taught by one of the foremost scholars and thinkers of the Western world today - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi of Oxford University.

Surah Nuh - The Struggle of The Prophets

The Magnificent Journey

An Amazing Journey Through The Last Two Parts (Juzz Tabaarak and Juzz 'Amma) of the Qur'an, From Surah Al-Mulk to Surah An-Naas, by one of the foremost Islamic Scholars and Thinkers of the Western World today

By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Date: Saturday 26th January 2013     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University and Live Online Web Access   << Click Here To Register

Written Testimonials:

"Jazakumullah khair for the efforts of the MEOC for arranging these blessed gatherings of knowledge. The seminars I've attended so far have several elements that make them very special, starting from the choice of topics themselves which cater to the more profound needs of the people rather than addressing some superficial issues that seem to be more fashionable today. Even the content of the seminars and the manner of teaching by Shaikh Akram Nadwi are directly focussed towards developing a deeper understanding of these issues. In these seminars, one gets a glimpse of the years of learning that have gone into the brilliant scholarship of Shaikh Nadwi. Furthermore his knowledge seems to be blessed by an acute understanding of the needs of the Ummah. The seminar on the 'Legacy of Ibrahim (a.s.)' was exceptionally beautiful, wherein, the Shaikh in his own words confessed that he was attempting to transmit, not knowledge, but the state of his heart, to the others present. While the knowledge and the insight that one gains into the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the history of Muslims through these seminars is invaluable, I personally feel that these sessions are more than just one-day courses. I am inclined to call them gatherings of Remembrance of Allah, and we all know the blessings of such gatherings!" - Mohini Verma, PhD Student, Cambridge University

"Of all the scholars I have had the opportunity to study with, I have found Shaikh Akram Nadwi to be the closest, in knowledge, manners and teaching, to how I would imagine some of the great Hadith scholars of the past would have been. He has a vast knowledge of Qur'an, Hadith and Fiqh, a down-to-earth, humble, approachable style, and great teaching ability. His classes are not just beneficial from a learning perspective, but also to marvel at the awe-inspiring wealth of knowledge of our scholars masha Allah. His 57 volume work going through the biographies of some 8,500 women scholars of Hadith is a monumental endeavour. The mere fact of its existence can be a major talking point in discussion with Muslims and non-Muslims, and is almost a stand-alone proof of Islam's unparalleled wealth of female scholarship." - Dr Omar Mahroo, London

"I want to thank your organisation for arranging these series of lectures by Dr Nadwi. I have attended two of these lectures and have found them immensely enlightening. Dr Nadwi is a rare scholar of our times and although he is knowledgeable enough to talk at length on issues of philosophy, literacy or poetry, he is always keen to emphasise the practical implications of his teachings - that Islam in essence is a religion to be practiced with real actions and not confined to theory written in textbooks. MEOC has done an excellent job in the way they have taken care of all the details required of organising such events. I pray that Allah rewards all those involved in all aspects of these courses." - Dr Atiqul Baree, Portsmouth

"The course by Shaykh Nadwi lived up to its billing and the course splendidly drove home just how crucial and relevant lessons from Ibrahim’s (as) life are to us today. Ibrahim's (as) life is not covered enough in Muslim circles or public discourse, which made the course very interesting. The stories of Ibrahim (as) particularly that of him and his two sons Ismail and Ishaq (as) are endlessly rich and fruitful and understanding them will go a long way in helping us make some sense of our reality. Shaykh Nadwi mashAllah demonstrated in-depth knowledge of Ibrahim's (as) story as narrated in the Quran and also the Biblical account as he taught us the Abrahamic foundations. His passion and the layout of the course were engaging and I left with a strong attachment to the 'intellectual & moral courage' of Ibrahim (as); a principle myself and every Muslim should be implementing in our lives.JazakAllahu Khair" - Mohamed Abdalla, Cambridge

Video Testimonials:   

Seminar Highlights of Surah Al-Haqqah   << Click Here To Register

Previous Posts

Preview of Nuh (AS) Seminar - Gems from Shaykh Akram Nadwi

The People of Nuh (AS) and the People Today - Same Idols But Modern Names

The Big Debate: Nuh (AS) Vs Richard Dawkins - Coming Up Soon!


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