Theory of Evolution Series Wrap-up
23 Aug 2018
In this closing segment on a series about biological evolution for Let the Quran Speak, host Aisha Khaja and Dr. Shabir Ally summarize what they have sought to accomplish in the series. Ally presents a few more resources for further study. The ones he specifically mentions are Nidhal Guessoum’s Islam’s Quantum Question (2011) and Islam and Biological Evolution (2009) by David S. Jalajel. He also mentions Yaqeen Institute’s web site, which includes a discussion of evolution.
Ally presents ideas of Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight, likely from the book Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (2017). Ally notes that Christians who take the Bible literally are more likely than Muslims to have problems addressing questions of Adam and Eve, as the Bible’s representations of the couple are more specific than those of the Qurʾān. He notes that Venema & McKnight suggest that one might read New Testament discussions of Adam as addressing a literary figure rather than a person in historical time.
To close the segment, they discuss some of the problems of discussing biological evolution in an Islamic context. Ally discusses Osama Hasan, a physicist and British imam who was verbally attacked for his agreement with biological evolution. Ally notes that he feels a responsibility to speak out, because he would rather that God is happy with him in the afterlife than being comfortable in the current life.
Islam: The material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.
Science: There is relatively little science presented here. However, Ally suggests that science that conflicts with the Qurʾān may need to be rejected. Although he is not suggesting this for biological evolution, this stance is not one acceptable to most scientists.
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.