Science and Islam on the Origin of Life

By Prof. Majid Ali Khan




With the success of Miller’s experiment1 to show that organic compounds can be extracted from inorganic compounds under conditions similar to those of ‘Primitive Earth Conditions’, for the first time in his history, Man was able to furnish evidence of how ‘living organisms’ possibly originated from ‘dead material’. 2 After extensive research and determined efforts modern scientists have been able to offer a more plausible interpretation of the ‘Origin of Life’. They maintain that the first living organism came into existence as a result of chemical evolution. Evolution of chemical process, by some primitive natural selection, even before distinct organisms appeared, is a concept which owes much to such Bio-Chemists as F. Haurowitz and P. Mitchell. Now it is generally accepted that as the planet earth was formed, a chemical evolution took place in the compounds of which the living systems are formed, and that these compounds were formed from the atmosphere and subsequently united into the first living self-replicating metabolizing unit. 3 This process of chemical evolution leading to the first cell, and subsequent biological evolution, giving rise to the tremendous diversity of life on earth today, undoubtedly required millions and even billions of years. Modern laboratory techniques show, to some extent, the events which might have taken place on the primitive earth during its formation.


Scientists today feel that before the planets and stars of the solar system were formed, the universe was probably composed of a cloud of hydrogen, and that as the cloud passed through condensations and various chemical reactions and explosions the elements of the modern periodic table were generated. 4 This even probably took place some twenty billion years ago. It is believed that approximately five billion years ago, our solar system was being formed and some four and a half billion years ago the planet earth was being formed.


In its initial stages our planet was an incandescent ball of fire, formed of the same cosmic gases as the sun. Being a million times smaller than the latter – 1,300,000 earths would find room in the sun – it must have cooled rapidly in the cold of space. A firm crust formed, consolidating in the course of time, losing its original heat and at the same time affording an opportunity for the seething masses of steam surrounding the young star to condense in the form of water. The first proto-ocean appeared, continents emerged, and in the stormy travail of upheaval and sustenance ‘a still far from stable surface’ formed in the immeasurably distant past, finally revealing the face of the earth. The development continued for millions of years, rivers and seas working as they do today, eroding the firm rock of the earth’s crust. They created mighty deposits of stratified sediment and fertile mineral mud on the seabed and the continents. 5 Slowly, incredibly slowly to the conception of short-lived man, order was introduced into the cataclysmic chaos of that stormy spring-time of the earth. The swirling mists of water vapour dissolved, and finally the day came when for the first time bright sunshine lay over a planet which, in addition to continents and seas, possessed an envelop of atmosphere. At this stage the first prerequisites for the development of life were at hand. 6 It is immaterial whether the first forms of life originated in the sea slime itself or at its shores.


The atmosphere of the earth contained a large excess of hydrogen, most of which has since gradually escaped into space. 7 Because of the low molecular weight of the hydrogen molecule, the gravitational field of the earth is insufficient to hold it. It is also felt that with such an excess of hydrogen the molecules of spherical interest to biology – namely carbon, nitrogen and oxygen – must have existed in the hydrogenated form, as methane, water and ammonia. While the atmosphere of the primitive earth thus contained little or no free oxygen, it presumably did contain considerable amounts of methane, ammonia and water.


Today archaeologists and geologists are able to tell us that the earliest fossils, however, are of very simple organisms. It is felt, therefore, that the earliest forms of life, the simple cell-forms which would have no fossil record, are at least two billion eyars old and perhaps considerably older. 8


Thus the atmosphere of the primitive earth was very much different from the atmosphere of earth today. It must have been a reducing atmosphere without free oxygen. 9 It contained free hydrogen, and all of the elements present in the atmosphere were in their ‘reduced’ form. It is thought that oxygen in the present atmosphere is largely of biological origin. According to Operin, the original atmosphere was mephitic, consisting of methane and ammonia. 10 The first stage in building of life probably consisted of the reactions of these carbonaceous and nitrogenous molecules, with the formation of more complex compounds.


This proto-atmosphere was subject to continuous severe thunderstorms. Although this has been common knowledge for a long time, the attempt to reconstruct these conditions artificially in the laboratory was a new departure towards discovering the origin of life. In the vanguard were the American scientists, notably Professor S. L. Miller and Mac Nevin. For this purpose they built a special apparatus to bombard with electric discharge a mixture of gas corresponding to the proto-atmosphere of the earth. The result of the experiment came amazingly close to expectations – structurally complex amino-acids were formed in the apparatus after a week. Since then similar experiments have been carried out by scientists all over the world and their findings correspond closely to the experiment of S. L. Miller.


Professor Oparin, a Russian Biologist, was able to reproduce in his laboratory this theoretically extremely rare phenomena. He also observed that in certain cases the protein droplets, termed by him coacervates, divided like bacteria. He feels that coacervates are the most likely basis for further evolution into the organisms of today.11 Another interesting possibility as cell precursors are the microphers which were formed from the proteinoid synthesized by Doctor Fox. 12 Then Dr. J. Oro and Dr. C. Ponnamperuma for the first time were able to synthesize DNA (Deoxy-Nucleic Acid) under conditions which existed on the primitive earth. 13 In addition to this, Dr. Ponnamperuma has been able to synthesize ATP (Adenos in Tri-Phosphate), the major energy source in cells under the same conditions. Because of these experiments many scientists today feel that the molecule DNA, the hereditary material of cells was the beginning of life. Moreover, under certain very special conditions DNA can be made to replicate outside the cell. It has also been stressed that the origin of life could not have been a completely chance combination of randomly synthesized molecules on the primitive planet. The environment must have been such that the “chance” of combination was much greater than “random”.


Millions of years passed before the formation of the first and most primitive forms of life. As stated earlier, the age of the earth is estimated to be four to four and a half thousand million years; but the first identifiable traces of life date only from the late pre-Cambrian age – i.e. 6 to 7 hundred million years back. During this long period, inconceivable number of “experimental stations” for future life in water and mud were formed. Here and there conditions were exceptionally favourable with the result that the proteins amalgamated in tiny droplets. 14





Such protein droplets were naturally the only models of those chemically produced in the primeval slime – the originals which, to some degree, provided the material for the initial stages of life. Initially the Organic Compounds were formed from Inorganic Material. On the basis of experiments, it has also been felt that Catalysts existed during the initial stages of life and they constituted one of its important aids. The Catalysts participated in the chemical reactions in a decisive manner and they fastened the reactions.


Thus the first step, in the chemical events that ultimately led to the formation of the first living creatures, consisted in the formation of organic combination from inorganic material, the second produced the necessary catalysts (enzymes) with the aid of which reproduction of the protein structures was made possible; the third stage finally led to the formation of living cells.


The Sources of Energy


It has been postulated that a number of energy sources were, undoubtedly, available on the primitive earth to drive these chemical transformations. These are:


(a)   Energy-rich compounds accumulated in the earth.


(b)  Ultraviolet rays


(c)   Radioactive elements


(d)  Electric discharge and Heat in the form of volcanic activity.


Islamic View


The modern knowledge about the origin of life is only half a century old. Primitive conditions of earth’s atmosphere have been studied during the last two decades. That is why we find no mention of these scientific facts in the works of our philosophers like Al-Ghazali, Ibn-I Rushid, Ibn I Qayyim etc. So, we have to depend only on the Holy Qur’aan or the “Traditions” (Ahadith) for determining the Islamic view of the origin of life. Moreover, the scholars of Islam have commented on the verses which support the Islamic concept of the origin of life differently because they had no scientific background at that time. So there is scope for a new explanation of some of the Qur’aanic verses.  However, the author has tried his best to search such views of the earlier commentators of the Qur’aan as may be helpful in this context.


Formation of the Solar System


According to the Holy Qur’aan, the whole universe was one mass before the creation of the solar systems:


Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation) before we clove them asunder.” (XXI: 30)


Razi has quoted many views of various Muslim scholars regarding the meaning of the words Rataq and Fataq15 used in the above verse. According to Hasan al-Basari, Qatadah, Sa’id Ibn Jubair and the narration of Ikramah from Ibn Abbas, Rataq means one unit of a substance. 16


By Fataq Abu Muslim al-Isfahani means creation and deposition. 17 He has presented the following verses of the Holy Qur’aan in his support:


“Creator of the heavens and the earth.” (XII: 101) and (XXXIX: 46)


He said, ‘Nay, Your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth; (it is He) Who has created them…”’ (XXI: 56)


He further says that ‘Fataq’ gives us information about the creation of the heavens and the earth while the Rataq denotes the condition of these before their creation.


So the above verse (XXI: 30) tells us that before the creation of heavens and the earth (i.e. the solar system) there was one mass or one unit. Allaah, the Creator, sundered it apart.


Imam Razi also says that before the creation of the heavens and the earth (i.e. the solar system) there was no light. 18 This also clarifies that not a single sun was present at that time, and the universe was dark. The light to this dark universe (‘Space’ at that time) originated from the light of Allaah (Nur) as He says in the Holy Qur’aan:


Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (XXIV: 35)


There was only a ‘Cloud of Air’ before the creation of the solar system. Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal has quoted a Tradition (Hadith) which tells us that a person asked the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) as to what existed before the creation of the world. The Holy Prophet said,


“There was only air.” 19


There is also a clue in the Holy Qur’aan to the presence of a ‘Cloud of Air’ before the setting up of heaven:


“Moreover, He designed the heaven and it had been a smoke.” (XLI: 11)

In continuation with this verse, the Holy Qur’aan mentions in the next verse:


Then He completed seven heavens in two days and assigned to each sky its duty and command.” (XLI: 12)


This clearly shows that the ‘Cloud of Air’ was present before the creation of the heavens. After the creation of the seven heavens the solar system was created as the next part of the same verse (XLI: 12) points out:


And We adorned the lower heaven with lights and with guards.” (XLI: 12)


For a clear understanding of this phenomenon the verses 9 to 12 of Chapter XLI of the Holy Qur’aan are quoted below:


“ Say, do you deny Him Who created the earth in two days, and do you join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) worlds. He set on the earth firm mountains, standing high above it. And bestowed blessings on the earth measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion in four days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (sustenance). Moreover, He designed the heaven and it was a smoke. He (then) said to it and the earth: “You come together, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We do come (together) willingly and in obedience.” Then He created the seven heavens in two days and assigned to each sky its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights and with guard. Such is the Decree of Him, the Exalted in Might, full of Knowledge.” (XLI: 9-12).


The following conclusion may be drawn from the above verses and the Traditions.


(a)    There was a ‘Cloud of Air’ (smoke in the words of the Holy Qur’aan) before the creation of heavens (skies) on the earth.


(b)    There was no materialistic source of light before the creation of the solar system. The whole universe was dark. The light came due to the Nur (Light) of Allaah. The materialistic forms of this ‘Nur’ are the suns of the solar system.


©     Allaah separated the heavens and the earth by His Command (Amr). There was no order, shape or symmetry of any of these things before that. In Greek cosmogony this state is called as ‘Chaos’ as opposed to ‘Cosmos.’ The separation of the heavens and the earth was followed by the condensation of the primeval matter, which was in the form of ‘Smoke’ or ‘Cloud’, into various gases, liquids and solids. Finally the mountains and rivers etc. were formed as a result of the condensation process.


(d)    Allaah did all this in six days.


Regarding the conception of ‘Days’ in this connection it may very well be pointed out that, as a matter of fact, the ‘Days’ refer to various stages in the evolution of physical, chemical and biological nature of the universe. In such a case a ‘Day’ might be equal to thousands of years as also denoted by the following verse:


“Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment. And Allaah will not fail in His promise. Verily a ‘Day’ in the sight of the Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.” (XXII: 47).

Moreover, here ‘thousand years’ are not used in a literal sense but denote a very long day (time).


In another verse, the ‘Days of Allaah’ refer not so much to time as to the growth of a spiritual, a sense of sin and a sense of Allaah’s Mercy:


“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the ‘Days of Allaah’, it is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each people according to what they have earned.” (XLV: 14).


Still in another verse, the comparison of a ‘Day’ is made with 50,000 of our years:


“The angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a ‘Day’ the measure of whereof is (as) fifty thousand years.” (LXX: 4).


On the spiritual plane it may be just a day or a moment. Similarly, the ‘Days’ in which the heavens and the earth were created may be as long as thousands of our years or more. As a matter of fact, the words ‘one thousand years’ or ‘fifty thousand years’ do not denote the actual limit of time. Actually it means a long time. This sense is similar to the one in the following verse of the Holy Qur’aan in which the word seventy does not denote the actual limit of number:


“If thou asks seventy times for their forgiveness, Allaah will not forgive them.” (IX: 80).


Actually it does not mean that if the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) asks seventy-one times or more for the forgiveness of hypocrites (or non-believers), Allaah will forgiven them. In the same way the above quoted verses do not denote a definite number of ‘Days’, but rather a very long time. Therefore, the ‘Days’ in which the heavens and the earth have been created might be longer than hundreds of thousands of years.


Creation of Water before the Creation of Life


It has been clearly pointed out in the Holy Qur’aan that water was created before the creation of the heavens and the earth:


“He, it is, Who created the heavens and the earth in

six Days – and His throne was over the water.”

(XI: 7)


The fact that the water was created before the creation of the heavens and the earth, is also supported by several Traditions quoted by Ibn Kathir in his commentary20 and transmitted by Bukhari, Muslim and other authentic Traditionalists. In a Hadith the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said,


Allaah was present before (the presence of) anything, and His Throne was on the water…”21


 In another Tradition, the Holy Prophet said,


 “Allaah was present, and there was nothing besides Him… And His Throne was on the water...” 22 


In another Tradition transmitted by Muslim, the Prophet of Allaah said,


“He created the heavens and the earth in fifty thousand years and His Throne was on the water…”23


In a Tradition transmitted by Imam Ahmad, it is stated that there was a mass of air (gases) before the creation of anything: Ibn Razzin narrates,


“I asked, ‘O Prophet of Allaah: Where was our Lord before He created anything? The Holy Prophet said, “He was in ‘ima; there was air, above Him and air below Him. Then he created the Throne after this.” 24


This reveals that water came into existence as a result of the condensation process in the gases which had existed before the creation of the Throne, the heavens and earth. Possibly water was present in the form of vapours, which were condensed gradually. This also points out the fact that during the process of the formation of the heavens and the earth water remained either in the form of vapours in the atmosphere or in liquid form in oceans and rivers etc.


The presence of water in the form of vapours is also denoted by the word al-‘ima as told by the Holy Prophet in the Tradition quoted above. According to Imam Baihaqi, al-‘ima means vapourised form of a liquid. 25 

Furthermore, Allaah has described in the following verses that the heaven (sky) will break up in the shape of a cloud on the eve of the Day of Judgement:


“The day (when) the heaven shall be rent asunder with

clouds, and angels shall be sent down, descending

(in ranks).” (XXV: 25)


At another place, Allaah says that the heaven (sky) will take the same form and shape, near the Day of Judgment, in which it was created:


“The day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll

rolled up for books (completed), - as We produced the

first creation, so We shall produce a new one.” (XXI: 104).


This clearly points out the fact that a cloud (Ghamam) was present before the creation of heavens, because Allaah says that the heavens will return to the same shape (and nature) as they were at the time of the first creation.


It may be concluded now that water was present in vapourised form before the creation of living organisms. These vapours were then condensed and took the shape of a liquid i.e. water.


Life was Created in Water


The Holy Qur’aan clearly declares that life was created in water:


“We made every living thing from water. Will they

not then believe?” (XXI: 30).


While commenting on this verse ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali says,


“All life began in water is also a conclusion to which our knowledge in biological science points. Apart from the fact that protoplasm, the original basis of living matter, is liquid or semi-liquid and in a state of constant flux and instability, there is the fact that land animals like vertebrates, including man, show in their embryological history, organs like those of fish, indicating the watery origin of their original habitat. The constitution of protoplasm is about 80 percent of water” 26


On the basis of this verse, ‘Allamah Tantawi argued about the origin of life is water. 27 


At another place the Holy Qur’aan says:


“And Allaah has created every animal from water.” (XXIV: 49)


So, through these verses, it could be said that the life was first originated in water.


Life from Lifeless or Non-living


The Holy Qur’aan points out at many a place that Allaah has created life (and living matter) from lifeless (i.e. non-living):


“How can you reject the faith of Allaah, and you were

without life. He gave you life: He will cause you to die,

and will again bring you to life, and again to Him you will return.” (II: 28).


“Surely Allaah causes the seed-grain and date-stone to

split and sprout. He causes the living to issue from the

dead and causes the dead to issue from the living. That

is Allaah, then how are you deluded away from the

truth?” (VI: 95).


“Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a

light whereby he can walk amongst men… (VI: 122).


“Say, who sustains you from the sky and the earth, or

who has control over bearing from dead and the dead

from living? And who rules and regulates all affairs?

They will say, “Allaah”. Say will you not then show

piety?” (X: 31).


It is He, who gives life and who takes it and to Him

shall you all be brought back.”  (X: 56)


He brings out the living from the dead and brings out

the dead from the living.” (XXX: 19)


“Do not they see that Allaah has created the heavens and

the earth and never wearied with their creation? He

is able to give life to the dead.” (XLVI: 33)



“Behold when Abraham said: “My Lord show me how

you give life to the dead?” (II: 260)


These verses and a number of others state that Allaah has power to produce life out of the dead i.e. non-living or lifeless substances. The Holy Qur’aan guides us to how Allaah has created Adam. At 46 places the Qur’aan has mentioned the creation of Adam.




At this juncture it should be pointed out that the Holy Qur’aan considers Adam to be the highest form of all the living creatures:


We have created man in the best of moulds (i.e. tagwim). (XCV: 4).


Tagwim means mould, symmetry, form, nature and constitution. By using the word tagwin, the Holy Qur’aan points out that man (Adam) is the highest of all the creatures in all respects. At another place the Holy Qur’aan says:


“We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them

with transport on land and sea.” (XVII: 70).


This verse clearly shows that man is raised to a position higher than that of the brute (whether on land or in sea). Commenting on this verse, Imam Razi says that man is composed of two things: the ladn i.e. the body, and the nafs i.e. the soul. His soul (nafs) is the most exalted of all the things present in this world. 28  Imam Razi offers as many as eleven arguments to uphold the superiority of man over all other creatures.


The Holy Qur’aan not only describes the creation of Adam but also declares that Adam and all other creatures will return to their original condition:


              “It is He Who begins (the process) of creation, then

repeats it.” (XXX: 27)


Do not they see that how Allaah originates creation,

then repeats it.” (XXIX: 19)


“Does He promise that when you die and become dust

and bones, you shall be brought forth (again).” (XXIII: 35)


“Or, Who originates creation, then repeats it?” (XXVII: 64)


What! When we die and become dust and bones, shall we (then) be raised up (again)? And also our father of old? Ye tell (them), ‘Yes’, and you shall then be humiliated (on account of your evil deeds).” (XXXVII: 16-18)


Through these verses we can conclude that life originated from dust or mud because the end of the life is dust or mud. Since Adam (man), the highest form of life is said to be created out of mud or dust, the forms of life lower than Adam (man) would automatically have been originated from the mud or dust. Therefore, such verses of the Holy Qur’aan as describe the creation of Adam would be cited in support of the Islamic view of the origin of life.


Life Originated from Inorganic Matter


At six places the Qur’aan has described that Allaah has created man (the highest form of life) from dust (or mud) viz. III: 59; XVIII: 37; XVII1: 5; XXX: 20; XXXV: 11; and XL: 67. One of these verses goes as follows:


The similitude of Jesus before Allaah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him ‘Be’ and he was.” (III:59)


At one place the Holy Qur’aan says that Allaah has created man (the highest form of life) from earth:


“From the (earth) did we created you, and into it shall

We return you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.” (XX: 55)


Actually here earth means dust or sand.


At one place the Holy Book has described that Allaah has created man out of water:


It is He Who has created man from water: then He established relationships of lineage and marriages.” (XXV: 54)


After summing up the two types of verses quoted above, it may be concluded that life originated from mud (or dust) which was present in water. Keeping in view the pre-organic period of the earth it may safely be said that mud (or dust) represents Inorganic matter.


At other places the Holy Qur’aan has described that Allaah created Adam (the highest form of life) from clay:


“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create man from clay.” (XXXVIII: 71)


Also refer to verses: VI-2; VII-12; XXXII-7.


At one place, it is mentioned that man has been created from the essence of clay:


“We did create the man from a quintessence of clay.” (XXII: 2)

On the basis of the above-mentioned verses it may be said that ‘clay’ represents the next step in the process of the origin of life. As a result of the reaction of water the mud changed into clay. Similarly the quintessence of clay was the “primeval slime” for the origin of life.


The next stage in the process of the origin of life is represented by the tern ‘sticky clay’ (tin-i-Iazib):


“We have created them (i.e. human beings) out of ‘sticky clay’ (tin-i-Iazib) (XXXVII: 11)


‘Sticky clay’ might be the protein droplets produced in the ‘primeval slime.’


The following verse shows that life has been created from loam i.e. primeval slime which was transformed into another stage as a result of weaving like process. This might be the stage of proteins:


“We created men from sounding and mould clay

(“Salsalim-min-hama-im-masnun”).  (XV: 26)



Sasal” means the clay in which water has been dried29 or the clay which has been weaved and suppurated. “Hama-im-masnum” means the mud which has been kneaded. 30 Thus the above verse shows a gradual change in the nature of mud during the process of creation. Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan in his commentary, Fathul-Bayan has also pointed out this gradual change. 31 According to Ibn-I ‘Abbas, man has been created from three types of mud. 32 This also gives a clue to the various stages in the origin of life. Ibn Kathir has also quoted the views of Ibn-i-Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah in this connection. According to them salsal means the mud which has been mixed with water and then dried. 33


The following verse shows that the mud had been inflammated after weaving:


“He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery.” (LX: 14)


This, probably, points out the polymerization of protein droplets, because polymerization (i.e. formation of proetenoids during the process  of origin of life) needs some heating. Polymerization (during the process of origin of life) is the final stage in the formation of protoplasm, the basis of life.


In this way we can consider how Qur’aan has mentioned the formation of organic (living) substance from inorganic substance, during the process of creation of life, in very simple words.


Process of Catalysts


As discussed in the Scientific View of the Origin of Life, some catalysts were developed to hasten the process.


Regarding the hastiness in the creation of man, the Holy Qur’aan points out as under:


Man is created of haste.” (XXI: 37)


According to Mubarrad, as quoted by Imam Razi in his Tafsir, the above verse means that man is created in haste. 35 According to Akhfash Ajal (Arabic word used for haste in the above verse) means acceleration in the command which is denoted by the term “kun” (i.e. “Be”). 36


So here ‘ajal (haste) represents the acceleration in the process of the formation of life.





The main source of energy is the command (Amr) of Allaah as the Holy Qur’aan says:


Verily, when He intends a thing His command is ‘Be’ and it is.” (XXXVI: 82)


When prophet Zakariyya got surprised at the good news of a son in old age, Allaah said to him that was the “will of Allaah” and that He had created man when he was nothing (to be mentioned):


He (angel) said, ‘So (it will be).’The Lord saith: ‘That is easy for Me:

I did indeed create thee before when Thou hadst been nothing.” (XIX: 9)


At another place Allaah says that He has created man out of nothing (only through His Command):


“But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?” (XIX: 67)


The following verse repeats the same thing in another way:


“Has there not been over man a long period of time, when he was nothing (not even) to be mentioned?” (LXXVI: 1)


So basically it is the command of Allaah Almighty, which created Man. The same command also represents Sunnat-Allaah (the Way of Allaah). Things came to existence according to the ‘Way’ sunnat prescribed by Allaah by His Command (Amr.) The same ‘Way’ (sunnat) has been disclosed by sciences. In case of the origin of life, we have discussed it in the above lines.


We should not hesitate, therefore, to accept that there may be other sources of energy as well, which were present (of course due to the Command of Allaah in accordance with His ‘Way’) in the universe at the time of the origin of life.


Scientific knowledge regards these sources of energy as ultra violet rays, electric discharge, energy rich compounds or radioactive elements.


Ultraviolet rays may be denoted by “Nur” (Light) of Allaah about which the Holy Qur’aan says:


“Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (XXIV: 35)


Electric discharge may be denoted by the “lightning” (al-barq) and “thunder” (al-ra-d) as the Holy Qur’aan says:


“It is He Who doth show you the lightning, by both fear and hope.” (XIII: 12)


Nay, thunder repeateth His Praises and so do the angels with awe.” (XIII: 13)


Energy-rich compounds and radioactive elements accumulated in the earth may be denoted by the treasury of earth (Khazat’in-al ard), that earth contains huge accumulations and stores of various kinds are revealed by the Holy Qur’aan:


“And the earth throws up her burdens (from within).” (XCIX: 2)


             Regarding the “Vital Activities” (which constitute some of the characteristics of life) such as respiration, photosynthesis, and reproduction etc., it may well be pointed out that they took place only when the “Ruh” (Soul) was put by Allaah’s Command (Amr), in the originated organisms. As a matter of fact, as a result of His Command various materialistic sources acted in that fashion and the process of building the organic constitution of the unit of life – the protoplasm, and the process of energies by which life is carried on – metabolism, took place.


Thus we see that though the Qur’aan is not a book on Biology or any other such natural science and refers to the natural phenomena merely incidentally to illustrate the power of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe yet its basic concepts of the World of Nature are not mythical and irrational as we might find in many religions but generally rational and may be even sounder than many of the ever-changing theories and interpretations offered by science.




  1. S. L. Miller, ‘A Production of Amino Acids under possible Primitive Earth Conditions’, Science 117: 528-529, (May 15, 1963); also ‘Organic Compounds Formation on the Primitive Earth’, Frontiers in Science, ed. By Hol. Rinhert and Winston Inc.


  1. Heinz Waltereck, Miracle of Life, New York, 1966.


  1. References may be made to the following literature: - (i) Chemical Evolution by Melvin Calvin, (ii) Times, Arrow and Evolution by H.F. Blum, (iii) The Geological Aspects of Origin of Life on Earth by M.G. Rutten.


  1. Richard S. Young, Extra Terrestrial Biology, Holt Rinechart, N. York, 1966.


  1. Heinz Waltereck, Miracle of Life, N. York 1966.


  1. Ibid.


  1. R. S. Young, Extra Terrestrial Biology, New York, 1966.


  1. M. G. Rutten, The Geological Aspects of Origin of Life on Earth.


  1. Ibid.


  1. The Origin of Life on the Earth, 3rd ed., trans. From the Russian by Ann. Synge, 1961.


  1. Ibid.


  1. S.W. Fox, ‘How did Life Begin?’, Scientific American. 191:44-54 (August 1954).


  1. “Reports on the Symposium on Extra Terrestrial Biochemistry and Biology”, American Association for the Advancement of Science – Meeting at Denver, Colo., Dec. 1961, and at the New York Academy of Sciences, April-May 1962.


  1. Heinz Waltereck, Miracle of Life.


  1. Mafatihul Ghaib, Vol. 6.p. 143.


  1. Ibid.


  1. Ibid.


  1. Ibid.


  1. See Tafsir by Ibn-I Kathir; Sunnah Ibn-I Majah; Jami ‘Tirmidhi.






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