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An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam

January 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 19.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Fifteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: January 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,599

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Sufi Imam Syed Soharwardy is the Founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and the Founder of the Muslims Against Terrorism. He discusses: opening on creationism, evolution, and Islam; science and Islam; Christian young earth creationism; cosmology and textual analysis; Jinn; and Sufi Islam.

Keywords: Islam, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Jinn, Muslim, Muslims Against Terrorism, Sufi, Syed Soharwardy, young earth creationism.

An Interview with Sufi Imam Syed Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam: Founder, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada; Founder, Muslims Against Terrorism[1],[2],[3]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s talk creationism, evolution, and Islam. 

Imam Soharwardy: It is the difference between the modern theory of evolution and Islamic Sufi theology. This is what we believe Islam is all about. It is an interpretation of some scholars of Islam over the past 14 centuries and in this last century or two.

There are new sects. They refer to new interpretations. Creation: Islam says there is the first point of creation. Science calls it Big Bang. We believe it, too. So, there was a big bang. It all started from a small, tiny particle.

It does not conflict with the teachings of Islam. But after that, once that big bang or starting point of creation, there is evolution. Evolution is the new transformation and creation of new species via Almighty Allah, into new shapes and forms.

But we also believe humans are not people from apes. We do not believe that. Science also rejected that theory. That human came from them. But we definitely believe everything that has started; they began as creations from Almighty God.

That’s what we call God. But the creation of things or species, or various types of the creation of God evolved from a point. That is what Sufiism gives. It is a beautiful description.

That the starting point is Almighty God Himself. He started God from this one big bang, and then it evolved into many, many millions and countless forms of God or species. If you reverse your creation process back to the original point, then that’s what it is all about.

It is what Sufis call going back to Almighty God. You will return to Him. This is what the Holy Quran says. The “return to Him” means that we will not exist and He will still exist. God will still exist. He is the starting point and the end of all creation.

But He Himself does not have any beginning or end.

2. Jacobsen: That’s interesting. The only stated that would not necessarily be within the mainstream biologists of all religious and non-religious stripes is, basically, human beings are another branch of an animal within the Great Primates.

We share a common ancestry with chimpanzees, gorillas,  and bonobos, and other primates. That would be the only thing. In terms of the statement, ‘Human beings did not come from apes.’

It would be insofar as a Sufi understanding, or as an Islamic, as you noted more general understanding, would take it. In terms of creation from a point and so on, none of that would contradict the modern scientific understanding in any way. 

Soharwardy: We believe humans are a separate species. The animals, the fish, and all kinds of living things; they are separate creations of God. But if you go back in a reverse cycle from now until the beginning of creation, you will see they started from one single point.

God is the Creator. God is the one point. That is the Big Bang.

3. Jacobsen: In North America, this tends to come more from the Christian community. They have various institutes. They have arks. They build creationism museums. Often, they will more likely take a young earth creationist view of the world.

It comes from Bishop James Ussher, who argued the world was about 6,000 years old. Of course, the estimates can range from 6,000-to-10,000-years-old in Young Earth Creationism.

Also, this can come from some other areas of the world, where Islam is more dominant than Christianity. For instance, one individual is Harun Yahya or Adnan Oktar who wrote The Atlas of Creation (2006).

So, what would be a proper understanding, insofar as you have it, of Islam to talk to those who may have more of a young earth creationist view of the world: Christian or Islam?

Soharwardy: I think this 5,000, 6,000, or 10,000, in terms of the teachings of the Bible, can look at Noah living to 950 years old. [Laughing] So, those who say a few thousand years old Earth. It is from the point of view of scripture an incorrect theory.

In the Holy Quran, there is no contradiction with the Quran or the Islamic theology, or what the Prophet said (PBUH).

Before Adam came to the planet Earth, there was life on the planet. There were trees. There were animals. Good existed for millions, millions, and millions of years. But we definitely believe the Earth is very, very old – millions of years.

Those who say 6,000, 10,000; it is in direct contradiction from my reading. It is not correct. It has to read millions of years.

4. Jacobsen: In terms of the Islamic cosmology with theological implications, what are some of the details other than creation from a point that comes from textual analysis of the Quran and the Hadith?

Soharwardy: According to some of the Sufis, though no exact numbers, and other smaller sects, there are 18,000 galaxies. But this is some scholars’ opinion or their observation. But the Quran counts of countless millions of galaxies.

That Allah says this is My own creation. Not my own galaxy but countless galaxies. Some, in Islamic theology, believe 18,000 galaxies, though.

5. Jacobsen: Also, for those who do not know, what are Jinnwithin Islamic theology? What other entities are mentioned as well?

Soharwardy: There are two kinds of creations. Through the Quran and the Bible, there are angels. There are Jinns. The Al-Malaa’ikah are made of light. They are not visible to us. Jinns are made of fire. They are also not visible to humans.

Jinns live in the world. There are good jinn and bad jinn just like human beings [Laughing]. One is called Lucifer or Iblis in Islam. It is the same thing. He was a Jinni made of a fire, not an angel. He lived among angels and was in the image of God before humans.

6. Jacobsen: If someone is Sufi Muslim, or if someone is Muslim generally, how would they perceive JinnAl-Malaa’ikah, orIblis influencing their daily lives?

Soharwardy: Jinn, we Muslim, based on the Holy Quran, believe in Jinn based on a whole chapter in the Holy Quran called Surah Jinn. It mentions in the Holy Quran that Satan, Lucifer, or Iblis was a Jinn. So, we believe these exist.

However, as with most stories in the Western world, or the Eastern world, we do not believe that those stories are wholly real; they are fiction. Islamic belief is a human, a righteous human being – not every human being, of course – is stronger than any Jinn.

That is why humans are higher in respect and honour in the sight of God than even of the angels.

7. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Imam Soharwardy.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada; Founder, Muslims Against Terrorism.

[2] Individual Publication Date: January 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Image Credit: Imam Syed Soharwardy.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam [Online].November 2019; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, January 1). An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and IslamRetrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A, November. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2018. “An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 19.A (January 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and IslamIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and IslamIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 19.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 19.A (2018):January. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Imam Soharwardy on Creationism, Evolution, and Islam[Internet]. (2019, January; 19(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/soharwardy.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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