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Islamic Teachings on the Existence of Civilization: the Past, the pre-History, and the Ancient

By Unknown - February 07, 2018

 بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

٧٠  أَلَمْ يَأْتِهِمْ نَبَأُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَعَادٍ وَثَمُودَ وَقَوْمِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَأَصْحَابِ مَدْيَنَ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتِ ۚ أَتَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ۖ فَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ كَانُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

70  Have they not heard the stories of those before them? The people of Noah, and Aad, and Thamood; and the people of Abraham, and the inhabitants of Median, and the Overturned Cities? Their messengers came to them with the clear proofs. Allah never wronged them, but they used to wrong their own selves.
QS. At-Tawbah (9) : 70

٣٧  وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّكَ لَنْ تَخْرِقَ الْأَرْضَ وَلَنْ تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولًا
37  And do not walk proudly on earth. You can neither pierce the earth, nor can you match the mountains in height.
QS. Al Isra'(17) : 37

١٨٣  وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

183  And do not defraud people of their belongings, and do not work corruption in the land.
١٨٤  وَاتَّقُوا الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالْجِبِلَّةَ الْأَوَّلِينَ
184  And fear Him who created you and the masses of old."
QS. Ash-Shu 'ara (26) : 183-184

٨٨  وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ ۚ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ

88  And you see the mountains, and imagine them fixed, yet they pass, as the passing of the clouds—the making of Allah, who has perfected everything. He is fully Informed of what you do.
QS. An-Naml (27) : 88

٤٣  وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الْأُولَىٰ بَصَائِرَ لِلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

43  We gave Moses the Scripture after We had annihilated the previous generations; as an illumination for mankind, and guidance, and mercy, so that they may remember.
QS. Al Qasas (28) : 43

٢٦  أَوَلَمْ يَهْدِ لَهُمْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ يَمْشُونَ فِي مَسَاكِنِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ ۖ أَفَلَا يَسْمَعُونَ

26  Is it not a lesson for them, how many generations We have destroyed before them, in whose habitations they walk? Surely in that are signs. Do they not hear?
٢٧  أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَسُوقُ الْمَاءَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الْجُرُزِ فَنُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعًا تَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ أَنْعَامُهُمْ وَأَنْفُسُهُمْ ۖ أَفَلَا يُبْصِرُونَ
27  Do they not see how We conduct the water to a dry land, and with it We produce vegetation, from which their livestock eat, and themselves? Do they not see?
QS. As-Sajdah(37) : 26-27

٦٧  وَلَوْ نَشَاءُ لَمَسَخْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَكَانَتِهِمْ فَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا مُضِيًّا وَلَا يَرْجِعُونَ
67  And if We will, We can cripple them in their place; so they can neither move forward, nor go back.
  ٦٨  وَمَنْ نُعَمِّرْهُ نُنَكِّسْهُ فِي الْخَلْقِ ۖ أَفَلَا يَعْقِلُونَ
68  Whomever We grant old age, We reverse his development. Do they not understand?
QS. Yaseen (36) : 67-68

٢٥  وَقَيَّضْنَا لَهُمْ قُرَنَاءَ فَزَيَّنُوا لَهُمْ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَحَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا خَاسِرِينَ

25  We had assigned companions for them, who glamorized to them what was in front of them, and what was behind them. And the Word proved true against them in communities of jinn and humans that have passed away before them. They were losers.
QS. Fussilat (41) : 25

٦  وَكَمْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ نَبِيٍّ فِي الْأَوَّلِينَ

6  How many a prophet did We send to the ancients?
٧  وَمَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا كَانُوا بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
7  No messenger came to them, but they ridiculed him.
٨  فَأَهْلَكْنَا أَشَدَّ مِنْهُمْ بَطْشًا وَمَضَىٰ مَثَلُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
8   We destroyed people more powerful than they, and so the example of the ancients has passed away.
QS. Az-Zukhruf (43) : 6-8

The above verses tell the present humanity (the last living man) of the earlier realms and civilizations of the congregation, where there is likely to be a stronger, larger, more physical, and more sophisticated society than today's people.

Those peoples have become history, and even some of them have become mysteries. Likewise maybe we later become part of the mystery and history for the people who live after us.

Several verses of the Qur'an above also tell humans that the earth as the plain we live in is not stopped, but moves, so does the mountain also moves.So, it's possible that the neighborhood we live in today, was an ocean. It could be a desert that we can see now, formerly a dense forest. Could be, the pole that we can see today was a continent where there lived some ancient living things there.

٥٤  إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
54  Your Lord is Allah; He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself on the Throne. The night overtakes the day, as it pursues it persistently; and the sun, and the moon, and the stars are subservient by His command. His is the creation, and His is the command. Blessed is Allah, Lord of all beings
QS. Al A'raf (7):54

٤٧  وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَلَنْ يُخْلِفَ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ ۚ وَإِنَّ يَوْمًا عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِمَّا تَعُدُّونَ
47  And they ask you to hasten the punishment. But Allah never breaks His promise. A day with your Lord is like a thousand years of your count.
QS. Al Hajj (22) : 47

٤  اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۖ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
4  Allah is He who created the heavens and the earth and everything between them in six days, and then established Himself on the Throne. Apart from Him, you have no master and no intercessor. Will you not reflect?

٥  يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِمَّا تَعُدُّونَ
5  He regulates all affairs, from the heavens, to the earth. Then it ascends to Him on a Day the length of which is a thousand years by your count.
QS. As-Sajdah (32) : 4-5

There are 7 verses of the Qur'an that tell people about the creation of the earth and the heavens. The verses are: QS. Al A'raf (7):54; QS. Yunus/Jonah (10):3; QS.Hud (11):7; QS. Al Furqon (25):59; QS. As-Sajdah (32):4; QS. Qaf (50):38; QS. Al Hadid (57):4. The seven verses of the Qur'an mention that the earth was created in six periods.

In Surrah As-Sajdah and Al-HAjj, Allah explains the difference in time calculations, where 1 day according to His calculations is a thousand years according to human calculations.

Adam and the Humans Who Lived Thereafter

٣٠  وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَنْ يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
30  When your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a successor on earth." They said, "Will You place in it someone who will cause corruption in it and shed blood, while we declare Your praises and sanctify You?" He said, "I know what you do not know."

٣١  وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
31  And He taught Adam the names, all of them; then he presented them to the angels, and said, "Tell Me the names of these, if you are sincere."

٣٢  قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
32  They said, "Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. It is you who are the Knowledgeable, the Wise."

٣٣  قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنْبِئْهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَنْبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ
33  He said, "O Adam, tell them their names." And when he told them their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and that I know what you reveal and what you conceal?"

According to Tafsir Mufradat

The Caliph is a substitute, a substitute of another kind of being, or a substitute, in the sense of a being authorized by God to carry out His commands on earth. Tasbih means sanctifying God by abolishing unworthy qualities for God. Taqdis, means to sanctify God by establishing the qualities of perfection for God. Al-Asma 'is the plural of ism. Literally al-asma 'means ma bihi yu'lam al-syay', ie something (the word / symbol) with which it is known something (objects / people and so on). Al-inba 'means al-ikhbar, ie preaching or preaching something. The word al-inba 'is specifically used in the sense of preaching something of value. Al-'Alim means the all-knowing thing. Al-Hakim means the most wise in all His actions, which do nothing except in which is contained a great wisdom of value. (Tafsir Al-Maraghi).

According to Tafsir Ijmali

The above verse explains God's determination to make man as God's khalifah on earth. The meaning of the caliph is the creature of God who has the confidence to carry out the will of God and apply His decrees on earth. To carry out the Caliphate's functions Allah taught the human knowledge. With human knowledge has the ability to organize, subdue, and utilize the objects of God's creation on earth in accordance with the intent created.

Shaykh Al-Maraghi said that Surah Al-Baqarah / 3: 30 mentioned above is the verse of the Qur'an which describes the creation of human as the khalifah of Allah on earth including verses mutasyabihat, ie verses that are vague meaning. In the verse is depicted there is a dialogue that is described in the form of question and answer between God and angels. The dialogue is difficult to understand how it really is. The scholars differ on the verse.

(1). Opinion mutaqaddimin (the scholars of ancient times), they are tafwidh to God, ie submit all matters relating to what is meant by His word to God. In other words they say that how the occurrence of a dialogue between God and the angels, is only God knows. We can only understand the meaning of the verse in an ijmali, that is explaining about the privilege of man and his position as khalifah of Allah on earth.

(2). Muta'akhhirin's opinion, they say that the dialogue between God and the angels, depicted in the above verse in the form of question and answer, is actually a story of parables. The parable is intended to provide an understanding of the creation of man and the privileges given by God to him. Humans are beings who are given by Allah the power of thought and freedom of will which therefore, as indicated by the angels, humans tend to do mischief in the earth. So Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala gives to human knowledge, with the knowledge given by Allah that man can bear the mandate of Allah as His khalifah on earth. Thus Shaykh Al-Maraghi explains in his Tafsir. (Tafsir Al-Maraghi, Juz, I, pp. 78-79).

By making use of the Qur'an and narrations, it can be said that before the Prophet Adam, a generation or several generations similar to humans were referred to as "human beings or Nisnas" although in terms of details, personal typologies and models of their lives, we do not have accurate information.

Allamah Tabatababai said, "In Jewish history it is mentioned that the age of human kind has since been invented until now not more than seven thousand years ... but geologists believe that the age of the human genus is more than millions of years old. They presented a number of arguments to the fossils that there were human remains in the fossils. In addition, they also expose the petrified skeletons (skulls) that belong to ancient humans whose age each of the fossils and skeletons were estimated, based on scientific criteria, roughly over five hundred thousand years. That is their belief. But the arguments they presented were unsatisfactory. There is no proposition that these fossils are the petrified bodies of the ancestors of today's humans. Likewise there is no proposition that can reject this possibility that these petrified skulls are related to any one of the periods of human beings living on earth, as they may be, and may not be. This means that our periods of humans may not be connected to the periods of the fossils mentioned, may even be related to human beings who live on earth before the creation of Adam the Father of Man (Abu al-Basyar) and then extinct. Likewise, the emergence of humans whose extinction repeatedly, until after some period came the turn of the present generation of people. [more...]

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