Are evolution and religion compatible?


6 Dec 2011


Imran Garda

Salman Hameed

For this episode of al-Jazeera’s “The Stream”, host Imran Garda brings in three scholars to discuss evolution and Islam from their perspectives.  Specifically the discussion begins because a group of Muslims studying to be doctors walked out of a biology lecture on evolution.  The discussion includes various interpretations of the Qur’an concerning the origins of humans and evolution, and the interplay between faith and science.

The speakers are Salman Hameed, Stephen Law (Heythrop College, London), and Imam Joe Bradford.  Also present is another al-Jazeera employee, Ahmed.

Topics include Harun Yahya, intelligent design, the origins of man, Young Earth Creationism, Christian ideas about evolution, how identity politics plays into such representations, Ibn Khaldun, Qurʾānic support for evolution (and against).


This show does an excellent job of presenting an array of Muslim ideas about evolution.

There is relatively little science here, but what comes up is accurate.

The representations of historical figures and their ideas is accurate.

About Salman Hameed

Salman Hameed trained as an astronomer and teaches about the intersections between religion and science. He received his undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy from State University of New York, Stony Brook (1994) and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University (2001). Hameed went on to become a fellow in the astronomy department at Smith College and University of Massachusetts Amherst before he settled at Hampshire College in 2005. As of 2015, Hameed is an Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities and an endowed chair, in addition to being the Director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies at Hampshire.

Hameed’s publications include articles in The Guardian newspaper, the Zygon Journal of Religion and Science, and Religion Dispatches. He also frequently writes on subjects concerning science and religion in his blog, Irtiqa (the Urdu word for evolution). A collection of some of Hameed’s work, including videos, may be found as part of his biography on the Eqbal Ahmed website. His academic profile can also be found through the Hampshire College website. Hameed is also active on Twitter and other social media as of 2015 and has a personal website.

Selected Bibliography:

About Salman Hameed.” Eqbal Ahmad Centre for Public Education. EACPE, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Dr. Salman Hameed.” American Islamic Congress. American Islamic Congress, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Irtiqa. N.p., n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. “Salman Hameed Profile.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.

Hameed, Salman. Twitter. Twitter, n.d.

Salman Hameed.” Hampshire College. Hampshire College, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.