The Theory of Evolution: An Introduction
11 Dec 2017
This short introduction is framed as a discussion between Aisha Khaja, the host, and Dr. Shabir Ally, president of the organization that sponsors the show.
The two discuss why they would address the topic of biological evolution, which remains undefined in this clip. Ally says that it comes up in interfaith dialogues. His approach will be to examine “the whole history of the idea of evolution, how it came to be discussed and the various responses that have been given to it.” He frames the discussion as placing atheists/evolutionists on one side, and people of faith on the other. He also suggests that Muslim students of biology need to be able to reconcile their faith with the theory of evolution, as well as ordinary people who are “exposed” to the idea that “evolution is true”.
Ally says he has been “reading up” on the topic, and notes two books that he says are important. The first is Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (2017), by Scot McKnight and Dennis R. Venema. The other is by Dr. Maurice Bucaille (d. 1998), the famous French surgeon cum Qurʾānic science exegete, What is the Origin of Man?, which was originally published in 1980.
Ally closes by saying that the series will suggest that one needs to “speak of creative evolution rather than speaking of creation as being something separate and distinct from the theory of evolution or the theory of evolution being something separate and distinct from a creation.”
This clip is a segment from the Canadian TV show, Let the Quran Speak. The original air date is not known. The organization which sponsors the show is Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International, in Toronto.
Islam: The limited material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.
Science: Scientists would disagree with Ally’s apparent requirement that everything, science and religion alike, must be reconciled. Most scientists would find it problematic, for instance, that Ally seems to find something wrong with a science museum only portraying evolution (a term he never defines).
History: There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.
About Shabir Ally
Shabir Ally is a Muslim scholar who specializes in religious debates, specifically on Islam v. Christianity. He received an undergraduate degree from Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada in religious studies and also holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Qurʾānic exegesis from the University of Toronto; the Muslim Debate Initiative notes his dissertation’s completion in 2012. As of 2018, Ally is the president and Imam of the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International in Toronto, Canada in addition to appearing on the TV show Let the Quran Speak. The organization also runs a Facebook page.
For more information, and a collection of Ally’s work, see his site on Islamio. He also updates a Facebook page regularly. Some videos of his lectures may also be found on Let the Quran Speak’s YouTube page.
“Dr. Shabir Ally.” Islamio. Islamio, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.
“Shabir Ally.” Facebook. Facebook, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.
“Meet Dr. Shabir Ally!” The Muslim Debate Initiative Blog. N.p., 15 Nov. 2012. Accessed 13 June 2015.
“Shabir Ally.” Veritas. W3 Creatives, n.d. Accessed 13 June 2015.