‘Islam: The Only Solution to Terrorism’ – Harun Yahya Speaks to Young Muslim Digest (Part-I)
Adnan Oktar is a prominent Turkish intellectual whose pen name – Harun Yahya – is formed from the names ‘Harun’ (Aaron) and ‘Yahya’ (John) in the esteemed memory of the two Prophets who struggled against disbelief in God. His dedicated intellectual effort against Darwinism and materialism has grown out to be a worldwide phenomenon that has been frequently mentioned in mainly evolutionist publications. The author has also produced various works on Zionist racism and Freemasonry and their negative effects on world history and politics. Many works of Harun Yahya are being currently translated into many regional languages besides Arabic, English and other European languages. In a recent interview with Biju Abdul Qadir of Young Muslim Digest, Harun Yahya covered a range of issues from the media caricaturing of the Fact of Creation to events in the Muslim world. Presented hereunder is the first part of the abridged text of this exclusive interview.
YMD: Recently there have been attempts, particularly in the French media, to actually relate Creationism – or the advocacy of the special creation theory – to terrorism. Do you think that such attempts are valid, justifiable and/ or correct? And why?
HY: Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. All forms of terrorist attack are strongly condemned in Islam. It is a grave sin in Islam to kill an innocent person, and anyone killing an innocent person will be rewarded with great suffering in the Hereafter. As is revealed in one verse from Surat al-Ma’ida, killing one innocent person is equivalent to murdering all mankind. For that reason, to equate Islam with terrorism is absolutely incorrect. Indeed, and on the contrary, Islam is the only solution to terrorism. The existing rules of society can prevent people from committing crime and having poor morals only to a certain extent. Governments can only partly protect places that are open to the public, the streets and central districts by means of security forces, establish social order and bring about a decrease in the crime rate through a strong justice system. However, since it is impossible to monitor everyone 24 hours a day, there comes a point when the human conscience has to enter the equation. Someone who does not heed the voice of his conscience can easily commit crime, either alone or together with other like-minded people. It is clear that physical measures and precautions will not yield results in a society with no fear of Allah and that has lost its spiritual values. Religious moral values command one to avoid committing evil, even if one is all alone and nobody around will punish one for committing that evil… Those who resort to terror in the name of Islam, Christianity or Judaism do so out of ignorance, or else are misled into doing so. One important duty incumbent upon sincere believers is to do away with that ignorance and to raise people’s awareness and teach them to the best of their ability.
YMD: The Qur’an talks of ancient human communities that were turned into apes as a Divine punishment for their disbelief in Allah. Can this fact that such communities – which while born human, probably died as apes – provide clues to the mystery surrounding the discoveries of supposedly intermediate human fossil records?
HY: In order to be able to hold such a view we first need to unearth a semihuman, semi-ape fossil. Yet no such fossil has ever been found. All the reports we see in newspapers or magazines to the effect that “the ancestor of man has been discovered” have one by one been exposed as untrue. It is not just we who refute these claims as invalid. If you examine these reports with care and over a long period, you will see that such reports are rejected by evolutionists themselves, saying “this fossil has been misinterpreted, and close investigation has shown that it cannot have been a forebear of man.” The fossils in question either belong to extinct species of ape, or else to various human races that have also become extinct. These have absolutely no intermediate form characteristics. But evolutionists exploit the press to give the impression that fossils of that kind do actually exist. What remains in people’s memories is the headline regarding the “discovery of the ancestor of man.” Yet the reports that refute these supposed findings are either never covered, or else are restricted to specialist publications that never find their way into the public hands. There are therefore no intermediate form fossils needing to be accounted for or explained…. Indeed, I called on all evolutionists in an interview I gave to the French media, telling them if they had one single intermediate form fossil to display it beneath the Eiffel Tower, to show it to people, and that I would meet them there. Not one single evolutionist voice did I hear, however.…
YMD: There are those in Muslim intellectual circles today who believe that Evolution, as a process in which Allah orders the world, cannot be totally discounted, since one attribute of Allah, they say, is al-Baari (which they translate as, The Evolver). How do you personally view this approach?
HY: Some of our Muslim brothers make the following mistake and adopt the logic of: “since so many scientists say this, it is presumably true. So we had better accept it and say that Allah created by means of evolution.” The fact is, however, that as I have just explained, there is not a single piece of evidence for evolution. If evolution were scientifically true, in other words if there were evidence in favor of evolution, then I would have said that Allah had created living things by using evolution. But in the absence of any such thing, why should we go along with it? It is wrong to believe in the theory of evolution just because materialist scientists, who are large in number, say it is true. As Allah tells us in verse 116 of Surat al-An‘am, “If you obeyed most of those on Earth, they would misguide you from Allah’s way. They follow nothing but conjecture and they only lie.” Note that Allah states that the sect to whom the majority adhered misguides people from His way. Moreover, He says that this misconception is founded on conjecture and speculation, and that this majority lies. This is a complete account of the theory of evolution. The majority believes in it, and is also lying with speculation and conjecture. They have no evidence. For that reason, the fact that the adherents of the theory of evolution are in the majority, or that they bear the name of scientists, must not be allowed to deceive our Muslim brothers…..
In addition, Allah’s name of al-Baari has no evolutionary implication. Baari means He Who creates matter and the bodies of all things in a manner compatible with one another. There is nothing bearing an evolutionary meaning in the term. What is more, it is not only fossils that refute the theory of evolution. Evolutionists are unable to explain how even a single protein molecule could have come into being by chance. For example, the chances of a protein molecule consisting of 500 amino acids forming by chance are 1 in 10950, which in practical terms means it is impossible. This number represents the number 1 followed by 950 zeros. Bearing in mind that 9 zeros stand for 1 billion, the size of the figure in question becomes rather clearer. This shows that mathematically speaking the chances of a protein molecule coming into being by chance are nil. It is of course impossible for a theory that cannot explain how even a single cell or a single molecule came into being to account for this magnificent diversity of life…. Everything clearly points to the existence and creation of Allah. The important thing is to be able to think in a rational, unprejudiced and neutral manner.
YMD: With regard to the missing link in the fossil discoveries made to date, many species of animals and plants are shown to have suddenly disappeared from the eco-system, only to reappear again after a span of several hundred years or more. Some believe this to be a manifestation of Allah’s power to recreate and repeat His creation at will, without necessitating transitionary links in between. Your comments?
HY: Allah, Who created all things from nothing in the first place, of course has the power to recreate things over and over again. That is how resurrection after death will happen. The body decays in the ground. Look at someone’s grave a few years after they have died, nothing remains but a few bits of bone. In the Hereafter, on the other hand, Allah recreates that person with a new body. The Qur’an tells us how the unbelievers ask “What! When we are bones and crumbled dust, will we then be raised up as a new creation!” Allah replies “He Who brought you into being in the first place will bring you back again.”
Creation is an easy matter for Allah. He just says “Be!” and it is. For example, He tells a human being to “Be!” and a fully formed human being results. Allah has no need of time, design, planning or evolution, in other words to gradually bring something into being. He is exalted above all these things. If Allah so wills He can entirely do away with a species in a single moment. Dinosaurs, for example. These were huge, powerful animals. Nothing like them exists today. But Allah so chose, set various causes in motion and removed all dinosaurs from the face of the Earth. Who knows how many other life forms there were like that of which we are unaware? If Allah so willed He could recreate these on Earth. That is very easy for Him. He can recreate in exactly the same form as His original creation.
YMD: From the point of view of science, the failure of Darwinism does not necessarily mean the truth of Creationism. The latter will require its own proofs and evidence. Are there any such?
HY: There are a great number of proofs of Allah’s creation. One can see the evidence for His existence on Earth, in the sky, in the seas, in the universe, everywhere. There are whole books’ or encyclopedias’ full of proofs.… Let me give you an example. Let us assume that someone on a completely deserted island comes across a computer. If that person sees a computer at the foot of a tree, the first thing that will enter his mind is that there must be a human being on that island. He will say that there is an entity with a mind that either manufactures or uses that computer, a human being. No rational person will ever ponder for years on how these trees, soil and natural events could in some way give rise to the computer. It does not even have to be a computer; if he finds a single pencil, or a piece of cloth or a needle the conclusion he will draw is this: that there is a mind here that produced or uses these things….
To claim that the cell came into being by chance flies in the face of both science and logic. This is as ridiculous, as irrational as claiming that the computer on the desert island came into being spontaneously. There is no end to the list of such examples… It is obvious that the Power that created man also created all plants and living things accordingly. In addition, so many conditions need to be met for a living thing to come into existence that it is impossible for them all to do so by chance. With all the many balances inherent in the Earth, from the angle of its axis to its distance from the Sun, from the way it is flattened at the poles to its atmosphere, from the landforms to its temperature, from its magnetic field to the elements, it has been created specially in order to support life. What kind of coincidence could have made everything so perfectly, always taking exactly the right steps?
Is that at all possible? The existence of Allah is evident. Grasping the existence of Allah is the very easiest of tasks. The difficult thing is not to see His existence. But they have been so conditioned not to believe in Allah that they are unable to see it. Some have been conditioned saying, “Nobody who believes in Allah can be a scientist,” and some are arrogant and unwilling to admit the existence of a power of which they stand in need, which is superior to them and whose servants they are. Allah has pointed to such people in the Qur’an. He says “You will not guide blind men out of their error” and “You will not make deaf men hear the call.”
YMD: In your opinion, how different is Darwinism from Neo-Darwinism? In view of the weaknesses of Darwin’s original postulates, has the modifications effected in the original theory made it any more believable?
HY: Neo-Darwinism is actually an indication of the terrible dilemma and despair in which evolutionists find themselves. According to Darwinism, living things need to acquire beneficial features in order to evolve. Yet they had no answer to the question of how this happens. Later, in the early 20th century, they answered that question in terms of “random mutations.”
Mutations are changes that take place inside an organism’s genetic information. But there is one very important point here: Mutations are always either harmful or, at very best, neutral. For example, all the people who fell ill after Chernobyl or Hiroshima, all the human beings who were born with deformities, suffered these outcomes because of mutations. None of these people developed in any way or acquired any new, beneficial characteristics. On the contrary, they suffered harm, and were either crippled or died. That is why, by means of various experiments and observations, neo-Darwinists have sought any “beneficial mutation” that improves on genetic information. Experiments lasting decades have been performed on fruit flies and various other life forms. But mutations have never been observed to improve genetic information. In conclusion, instead of saving evolutionists, the subject of mutation has actually placed them in an even worse position. No matter what they call it, Darwinism or neo-Darwinism, the claim is still basically the same, and in no way represents a solution to any of the dilemmas facing the theory of evolution.
YMD: Until Creationism can be proved scientifically as true, how do you think biological syllabi should be altered in schools, colleges and universities?
HY: As I said in response to an earlier question, there is no need to wait for proof of Creation, as it is already a proven fact. As I mentioned, just my books alone are sufficient to see its evidence. There is no need, for instance, to prove that a pencil was manufactured in a factory, and no need to debate the issue. The same thing applies to the millions of proofs of Creation all around us..… As for the question of school syllabi… in my opinion no matter how wrong the theory of evolution may be, it should still be taught together with the Fact of Creation in biology classes. Let students look at the evidence and decide for themselves. No pressure should be put on anyone, as long as the real facts are also taught. For example, in teaching the theory of evolution, children must also be told about the insoluble dilemmas facing the theory.
Education should be objective, honest, true and impartial. For example, today children are told that mutations give rise to changes in an organism, and a new species emerges as a result of these changes gradually accumulating. Children do not think about this because the education system does not encourage them to think and enquire or to question the information they are given. It is the same the whole world over. That being the case, the children grow up learning this by rote. They are not told, “This is what the theory of evolution says, but mutations are always harmful, and no beneficial mutation has ever been set up even under laboratory conditions.” Or else they should be told: “Every species has its own genetic barrier; rabbits, for instance, have a genetic pool. Rabbits can exhibit as much diversity as this pool permits, they may have long or short ears, or be black or white, but they can never turn into squirrels or cats. No matter what you do, you can never bring such a thing about.” In other words, this one-sided education has to come to an end, and an education directed towards thinking and investigation must be given. Let them talk about evolution, but they must also discuss Creation. They can use my books; to this end we can make any necessary changes and bring them into agreement with the syllabus. At the end of the day, let children be taught both.
YMD: What do you think of the biological opinions of Ikhwan as-Safa?
HY: The architects of the idea of evolution were not, as is commonly believed, such 19th century Western theoreticians as Lamarck and Darwin, but ancient Greek atheist philosophers. While stretching from such thinkers as Epicurus and Lucretius as far as modern Darwinism, the idea of evolution “stopped off” in the Islamic world. It is the group known as Ikhwan as-Safa, active around the Basra region, that heads the list of those seeking to import the idea into the Islamic world. This group, affiliated with the Ismaili order, bears several resemblances to Freemasonry. Indeed, interestingly modern-day Masons are full of praise for this society. However, the idea of evolution espoused by the Ikhwan as-Safa or other Muslims influenced by Greek philosophy is a violation of the Qur’an. Indeed, Imam al-Ghazali considered and refuted this heretical movement. In his al-Munqidh min al-Dalal, al-Ghazali directly criticized the evolutionist Ikhwan as-Safa. He declared it to defend a perverted philosophy influenced by ancient Greek thought. And in his book Fada’ih al-Batiniyya, he revealed the distorted nature of the teachings of the Ismaili order, of which the Ikhwan as-Safa was a part. In refuting ancient Greek dogmas, al-Ghazali also set out the proofs of Allah’s creation. In his book al-Hikmah fi Makhluqat Illah (Wisdom in Allah’s Creation), he examined the earth, the sky, the Sun, the Moon, the oceans, the nature of water and fire in great detail and showed that these all had unique designs. The human body, birds, honeybees, fish and minerals are other examples that al-Ghazali cites as evidence of creation. He also discussed mosquitoes, flies and pearls. In his book Jawahir al-Qur’an (Jewels of the Qur’an), he described the miraculous aspects of spiders, the expertise in their web-spinning and the marvels in the structure of those webs.
Today, as in the past, some Muslims have been influenced by atheists and put forward analyses that are incompatible with the Qur’an. This represents a threat to Muslims today in the same way it did in the past, because by winning over some Muslims, materialists weaken the struggle being waged against them. When these Muslims no longer regard Darwinism as a danger, they naturally stop struggling against it. The fact is, however, that Darwinism constitutes the foundation of materialism and all atheistic philosophies. Once Darwinism has been torn down, so will these atheistic philosophies. That is why Muslims must behave with great care and scrupulousness, be aware of the danger and be rational in their analyses. I have described this subject in some detail in my book Why Darwinism is Incompatible with the Qur’an. Let me once again, through you, call out to these Muslim brothers of ours and issue them a friendly, brotherly warning.
YMD: You have made an interesting study of how the relativity involved in space and time offers us an understanding of the nature of Divine will, power and knowledge. Can you please elaborate on this?
HY: We learn all truth directly from the Qur’an, from the words of Almighty Allah. And Allah tells us in the Qur’an that there is no time, in other words that there is timelessness, that time is a relative concept. For example, when people in the Hereafter are asked “How many years did you tarry on the Earth?” the answer is “We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!” The following verse reveals, “You only tarried there for a little while if you did but know!” There are several verses to that effect. Allah cites someone He brought back to life after he had been dead for 100 years as an example. When that person was asked how long he had been there, he replied “a day or part of a day.” The Companions of the Cave are another instance of this. Allah kept them asleep for 300 years plus nine. When they awoke they discussed among themselves how long they had been asleep, and imagined it was just for one day or a few hours. We are also told in the Qur’an that the perception of time varies in different spheres, in other words, in different realms of existence.
In Surat al-Hajj, for example, we are told that what seems like a thousand years to us is only a day in the sight of Allah. A day for the angels and Jibril is 50,000 of our years. We see from a number of verses that time is a perception, that it is not absolute, and that it can be perceived in different ways depending on the person and realm involved. Science also provides evidence that is completely in harmony with the information given in the Qur’an.
Time is entirely a perception. It is a means of comparing one moment with another. When we strike an object, for example, a specific sound is given off. When we strike that same body again another noise is given off. One imagines that a period of time passes between the first sound and the second, and calls this “time.” The fact is, however, that when the second sound is heard the first consists solely of a perception in the mind. It is information existing solely in the memory. One obtains a perception of time by comparing what is in one’s memory with the present moment. There will be no perception of time without this comparison. In the same way, when one sees someone entering a room and then sitting in a chair in the middle of it, one makes a comparison. The moment that person sits in the chair, all the images regarding his opening the door and heading towards the chair consist solely of information inside the brain. The perception of time emerges as a result of the comparison between that information and the person sitting in the chair. The fact that time is a concept born from a specific sequence we establish between moving bodies and changes that take place is today also a scientifically agreed one. The brain with no memory is unable to make such an analysis, and no perception of time thus arises. The fact that time is a perception was also confirmed by the general theory of relativity put forward by Einstein, regarded as the most eminent physicist of the 20th century. Einstein showed that space and time are forms of perception, and that like such concepts as color, shape and size, they cannot be separated from consciousness.
According to the general theory of relativity, time has no separate existence independent of the sequence of phenomena by which we measure it. Since time consists of a perception, it is entirely linked to the perceiver; in other words, it is a relative concept. Knowledge of this is very important when it comes to grasping the concept of destiny, because destiny is Allah’s creation of all events, past and future, within “a single moment.” This means every event from the creation of the universe to the Day of Judgment has already taken place in the sight of Allah.
Many people find it difficult to understand how Allah knows things that have not yet taken place, how everything, past and future, has already happened in the sight of Allah and the reality of destiny. The fact is, though, that “events that have not yet happened” are merely events that have not yet happened for us, because we live dependent on time as created by Allah, and we can know nothing without the information given to our memories. Since Allah has not installed in our memories the events we refer to as “the future” as a requirement of the trial in this world, we are unable to know what will happen in the future. Allah, on the other hand, is unbounded by space and time, and is the Creator of these out of nothing. For that reason, past, present and future are all one in His sight, and all are already over and done with. The beginning and end of an event all take place in a single moment in His sight. For example, Allah knew the end awaiting Pharaoh before He ever sent the Prophet Musa (as) to him, before the Prophet Musa (as) was born, and even before the kingdom of Egypt had been founded, and all these events, including the kind of end awaiting Pharaoh, took place in a single moment in His sight. The past and future exist at the same time. If one thinks of life as a filmstrip, we watch life as if we were watching a film, and we have no means of fast-forwarding it. Allah, on the other hand, sees and knows all of this filmstrip at the same time. It is He Who set out and created all the details on the strip. In the same way that we can see both ends and the middle of a ruler, so Allah surrounds the time on which we are dependent, from beginning to end, as a single moment. Human beings, however, only experience these events when the time comes and thus witness the destiny created for them by Allah This applies to the destinies of everyone on Earth. Every moment of the lives of all human beings in this world that have so far been created and that will be created in the future, as well their lives in the Hereafter, exist in the sight of Allah as already taken place.
In addition to billions of human beings, destinies of all other living things, the planets, plants and objects all exist with nothing missing from them or being lost in the infinite “memory” of Allah. The fact of destiny is one of the manifestations of His name Al-Hafeedh (the Guardian, the Preserver), and of His infinite might, power and greatness. We can see that Allah knows all things both past and future, that these have all happened in His sight also from verses. However, since we are bound by time these events lie in the future for us, whereas they have already occurred in the sight of Allah. For example, in Surat al-Mutaffifin Almighty Allah says: “So today those who believe are laughing at the unbelievers, on couches, gazing in wonder. Have the unbelievers been rewarded for what they did?” In these verses, for example, Allah speaks of Paradise as if it were a present event. Indeed, those who are in Paradise are there now, and those in Hell are in Hell now. Everyone has already been called to account and everyone has already embarked on the life of the Hereafter. But these things all lie in the future for us. The past and future have been created in the sight of Allah and are events that have already taken place, and this in turn shows us one very important thing: every human being is unconditionally subject to his or her destiny. In the same way that one cannot alter one’s past, neither can one change one’s future because, like the past, the future has also already happened. All future events, what one will eat, when and where, who one will speak with, how much one will earn, what illnesses one will suffer from, and when, how and where one will eventually die, are all predetermined and immutable. These have already happened in the sight of Allah and are kept in His memory. The only thing is that the information pertaining to them is not yet in one’s own memory. Those who grieve over what befalls them, who become irritated or worried about the future or caught up in worldly desires actually do so in vain because those things they worry about or fear have in fact already taken place. And no matter what they do they have no means of altering them.
One very important point needs to be clarified here; the need to avoid a misconception of destiny. Some people’s view of destiny takes the form of saying, “since whatever is in my destiny will inevitably happen, there is no need for me to do anything.” It is true that everything that happens to us is determined in our destinies. Everything has taken place in the sight of Allah before we experience it, that information and every detail concerning it is written in the book called Lawh Mahfuz (Preserved Tablet) in the sight of Allah. However, Allah gives everyone the feeling that they can actually alter events and act in the light of their own decisions and choosing. Nobody, for example, will sit and wait when they are thirsty saying, “I will drink if it is in my destiny.” They get up, take a glass and drink. They are indeed drinking predetermined water from a predetermined glass, but in doing so they feel as if they are doing so from their own will and desire. And they feel the same thing in every action they take throughout their lives. The difference between someone who has submitted to Allah and the destiny created by Him and someone who has failed to grasp this concept is this: someone who has submitted knows that he does everything through Allah’s will, even though he feels he is doing it for himself. The other person makes the mistake of thinking that he does things of his own power and mind. Someone who believes in destiny is never distressed and never falls into despair in the face of anything that happens to him. Instead, he is always submissive, trustful and at peace, because Allah has revealed that everything befalling people is predestined, for which reason He has commanded them not to be distressed in the face of the difficulties they encounter nor to grow proud in the face of the blessings bestowed on them. Both the difficulties people encounter and the success and wealth they attain happen through the will of Allah. These are all events that our Lord determines beforehand in destiny in order to test people.
(To be concluded)