1st Edition

New Frontiers in Islam and Evolution Scriptures, Scholars, and Societies

Edited By Shoaib Ahmed Malik, David Solomon Jalajel Copyright 2025
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited volume offers an incisive exploration of the intersection between Islam and evolutionary theory—a topic that remains a focal point of vigorous academic debate and inquiry. Covering a broad spectrum of approaches, this work delves into contemporary scholarship, Islamic intellectual history, and scriptural interpretations, ensuring a rich, multifaceted discussion. It notably amplifies underrepresented perspectives, including Shīʿī viewpoints and contributions from female scholars, while broadening the conversation beyond traditional Arab-centric narratives to incorporate insights from regions such as Indonesia, Iran, and France. Structured into sections that scrutinize scriptures, individual scholars, and societal views, the book meticulously examines the complex relationships between Islamic thought and evolutionary science. An indispensable resource for scholars at the nexus of science and religion and for specialists in Islamic studies, this volume ignites fresh insights and promotes a more inclusive academic dialogue.

    Introduction

    1 Adamic Lineal Exceptionalism: A Twelver-Shīʿī Perspective on Human Evolution

    Ali Safdari and Fatemah Meghji

    2 Adam and Eve’s Garden in Sunnī Islamic Thought: Heaven or Earth?

    David Solomon Jalajel, Shoaib Ahmed Malik, Marzuqa Karima and Nadda Khan

    3 ʿImād and ʿĀlāʾ al-Dīn Bā Bikr Ḥasan’s Call of the Ruminants (Ādhān al-Anʿām): A Speculative Evolutionary Theology

    Karim Gabor Kocsenda

    4 Maurice Bucaille and The Theory of Evolution: Neo-Lamarckism and the Qurʾān

    Shoaib Ahmed Malik and Glen Moran

    5 Evolution of the Evolution: Dealing with the Question of Evolution in Three Generations of Modern Indonesian Tafsīr (Exegesis)

    Ayub and Fadhli Lukman

    6 The Iranian Reception of the Theory of Evolution: A Disturbing Case in a Metanarrative

    Saida Mirsadri

    Biography

    Shoaib Ahmed Malik is Lecturer in Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh. With a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and another in Theology from the University of St Mary’s, Twickenham, Shoaib stands at the crossroads of Science and Religion. His monograph work, Islam and Evolution: Al-Ghazālī and the Modern Evolutionary Paradigm, was acclaimed as the foremost academic contribution to the field of science and religion, receiving recognition from the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) in 2022. He holds the position of Trustee at the ISSR and serves on the editorial board of Theology and Science.

    David Solomon Jalajel is a researcher at King Saud University’s Prince Sultan Research Institute. He holds a PhD in Islamic and Arabic Studies from the University of the Western Cape. He also holds the Higher Specialization in Islamic Law and the Higher Specialization in Arabic from the Dār al-Ulūm, Strand. Jalajel’s research focuses on the interface between traditional Islamic frameworks and contemporary issues, particularly in the sciences. His monograph work, Islam and Biological Evolution: Exploring Classical Sources and Methodologies, was a pioneering exploration into the implications that traditional Sunnī approaches to hermeneutics and metaphysics could have on Muslim reception of evolution.

    "This ground-breaking collection on Islam and evolution is a very welcome addition to the science and religion literature. Ranging beyond more familiar treatments of Arabic sources and Sunnī Islam, it nicely demonstrates the diversity of approaches to evolution among different thinkers and communities. These well-researched pieces fill a significant gap in the scholarship while demonstrating again just how complex, and sometimes surprising, the relations between science and religion can be." - Peter Harrison, University of Queensland, Australia

    "In the past, the study of the history of the relationship between science and religion has focussed far too much on Christianity. Scholars working in the field will, therefore, welcome this thoughtful and controversial collection of studies of the diverse interpretations of evolution held by Muslim thinkers. And they may not be too surprised to learn that John Brooke’s complexity thesis applies equally well to understanding the intricate connections between multiple evolutionary theories and the dynamic nature of Islamic thought." - Bernard Lightman, York University, Canada