Theory of Evolution and Al-Jahiz

Asslam o Alaikum,

The Mu’tazili scientist and philosopher al-Jahiz (c. 776-869) was the first of the Muslim biologists and philosophers to develop an early theory of evolution. He speculated on the influence of the environment on animals, considered the effects of the environment on the likelihood of an animal to survive, and first described the struggle for existence, a precursor to natural selection.[12][13][19] Al-Jahiz’s ideas on the struggle for existence in the Book of Animals have been summarized as follows:

“Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.”

What do you think about it?


Muhammad Taimoor Khan

New York, USA

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

How are you? What about your studies? Please continue sending me your progress updates.

Al-Jahiz (d. 270H) was not a pure scientist, although a great writer and writing on animals was his interest and he produced excellent pieces of literature on animals. Theory of evolution presented by Al-Jahiz or even Darwin is a topic of science and research should be conducted on them on scientific principles. It is not an issue of religion because it only tells how the creation goes on and what was the process of creation? It does not answer the questions: Who created this world and why? We see evolution is many species. Take the example of wheat, rice and mango. We observe that people cross breed these species to make new forms. All this is evolution and it has nothing to do with the religion. As I am not a scientist, I cannot comment whether a theory presented by a scientist is right or wrong.

Whether each specie was created separately, or on the same prototype or through the process of evolution, it is a topic of science and it has nothing to do with religion. Darwin and his disciples wrongly associated these concepts to religion. They claimed that as we have discovered the process of creation, so there is no need of a God for creation. This was a baseless claim as even if evolution exists, still we need the concept of a God who initiates this process and takes care of it step by step. If someone discovers the process of manufacturing a computer chip, how can it mean that the computer was not invented by an inventor?

Personally, I do not believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution because it is a mere theory and enough evidence is not available to prove the theory. Some biologists and anthropologists have tried to “create” a link between fossils of different periods but they are also not 100% sure about existence of such link. There are many other scientists who refute this theory and regard it as fallacy. Here, I am emphasizing on the point that even if the Darwin’s theory would have been proven, it would not be able to decide that God does not exist as it is nothing more than explanation of the process of creation and it has nothing to do with the question of existence of Creator.


Muhammad Mubashir Nazir

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Theory of Evolution and Al-Jahiz
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