A STATEMENT ABOUT RECENT EVENTS

With the Name of God, All-Merciful, Most Merciful

A STATEMENT ABOUT RECENT EVENTS

My lecture on “Islam & Evolution” at Al-Tawhid Mosque in Leyton, London, Saturday 22nd January 2011, was disrupted by a small mob of fanatics who added weight to Darwin’s theory by behaving like a bunch of baboons.  They did not allow me to finish what I was saying, and one of them said openly and publicly that I should be killed.

I would like to reiterate the following for the umpteenth time, since many vicious lies and slanderous statements are circulating in some sections of society:

  1. As Allah revealed to us in the Qur’an, He created Adam, peace be upon him, the first human, from earth, or clay and water.  He created Him with His Two Hands, breathed His Spirit into him, taught him the Names of everything and asked the angels to bow down to him, thus confirming Adam’s pre-eminent status in creation.  All of humanity is honoured by being descendants of such a noble and dignified soul.  The creation of Adam, peace be upon him, was miraculous like that of ‘Isa b. Maryam (Jesus Christ), peace be upon him. There is a consensus of the Muslims on these matters.
  2. Science only deals with the “how” of creation, based on empirical evidence.  The theory of evolution, like any scientific theory, cannot be conclusively proved, but is open to falsification.  Scientists may adduce evidence in favour of one theory or the other.  Such issues remain a matter of debate amongst scientists.  It should be noted that, as asserted by Professor Jim al-Khalili in his newly-released book Pathfinders, the father of the scientific method is probably the great Muslim scientist al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (known to Mediaeval Europe as Alhazen) rather than Roger Bacon who came centuries after him.  Muslims should be aware of the arguments about the scientific method and the philosopy of science that have continued ever since, including empiricism, positivism, Popper’s falsification test and Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shifts.
  3. Therefore, since any scientific theory must be debated on its own merits, the above disagreement is about interpretation or exegesis (tafsir) of the Qur’an, and not about fundamental matters of iman or ‘aqidah.  It is not a matter of iman or kufr, and people are free to accept or reject a particular scientific theory.  In particular, theologians who have no grounding in science, have no right to pronounce upon scientific subjects.  Any such fatwas about science from people ignorant of the subject matter are null and void.
  4. I have never rejected the Qur’anic concept of Hijab (Veiling), contrary to certain lies, and have always argued that men and women must dress decently and modestly in public.  I have devoted at least one Friday sermon at Al-Tawhid Mosque to the subject in recent years.  When the Foreign Secretary of the time Mr. Jack Straw made inflammatory remarks about the niqab (face-veil) some years ago, I penned (roughly, quoting from memory) the following tongue-in-cheek poem, touching on the issue of Hijab (Veiling) at many levels, that was published by The Muslim Weekly, based in London:

    I say to the minister with a brain of straw,
    Complicit in Iraq’s blood-bath:
    Already devoid of any moral law,
    Now you stray even more from the path.

    You wish the women to remove their veils?
    By God, this is really rather dim:
    For the problem is not that they’re veiled from you,
    The problem is that we’re all veiled from Him.

May Allah guide us all to The Truth, which is one of His Beautiful Names.  Let Allah be our Witness.

Usama Hasan

London, 15th February 2011

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22 Responses to “A STATEMENT ABOUT RECENT EVENTS”

  1. Yasmin Says:

    Thank you for sharing this and your courage in tackling this topic in the first place. It’s regrettable that some Muslim brothers think it’s fine to publically display such disrespect, arrogance and abuse towards a learned person (I watched the video clip and was genuinely disgusted with the audience response). It appears that a section of the local ummah needs to be properly educated in expressing their disagreements in a civilised and rational manner (at an appropriate time once they fully understand what the other person is trying to explain first). I think that major hurdle needs to be tackled if we are ever going to be able to have constructive dialogue about sensitive issues.

  2. Zaki Says:

    I do not expect you to publish these comments but clearly you are trying to water-down what you have so blatantly been audacious about in the past. By circumventing the usool of tafseer and ikhtilaf in order propose a batil and invalid ijtihad will not change the matters at hand.

    The *primary* issue that qualifies the takfeer that has been made upon you by numerous scholars, is that you believe that Adam (AS) had parents and came from ape-like creatures (audhubillah). Until you realise the monstrosity of this idea, there is no way for you to absolve yourself from blame and regain the confidence of the Muslim communities; neither through semantics nor through appealing to aql over naql.

    Zaki.

  3. Haroon Says:

    I believe it was about people like you that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

    سيكون في آخر أمتي أناس يحدثونكم بما لم تسمعوا أنتم ولا آباؤكم ، فإياكم وإياهم

    This hadeeth is profound and vast in meaning. It provides a general guideline by which wretched speech is recognised.

    Al Manawi commented on this hadeeth in his ‘Fayd al-Qadeer’ thus:

    “In the last part of my Ummah, there will come a people” – They (will) claim they are scientists.

    “who will tell of you things that neither you, nor your fathers heard of” – (From) lying speech and innovated rulings that (lead to) false beliefs.

    “So beware of them” – Distance yourselves from them (and them from you).

    From amongst these ‘people’ who will come in the last part of the Ummah will be scientists, philosophers and theologians promoting variant agendas and propagating false speech – created for the establishment of new and corrupted beliefs (e.g. Darwinism). We are warned to distance ourselves from them and their wicked speech whenever it comes.

    At-Teebi stated that these people would be renowned in their field of studies and this would induce Muslims to listen to them… At-Teebi said in explanation of the above hadeeth [as found in ‘Fayd al-Qadeer’, 4780]:

    ويجوز حمله على المشهورين المحدثين فيكون المراد بها الموضوعات وأن يراد به ما هو بين الناس أي يحدثوهم بما لم يسمعوا عن السلف من علم الكلام ونحوه فإنهم لم يتكلموا فيه وعلى الأول ففيه إشارة إلى أن الحديث ينبغي أن لا يتلقى إلا عن ثقة عرف بالحفظ والضبط وشهر بالصدق والأمانة عن مثله حتى ينتهي الخبر إلى الصحابي، وهذا علم من أعلام نبوّته ومعجزة من معجزاته فقد يقع في كل عصر من الكذابين كثير ووقع ذلك لكثير من جهلة المتدينة المتصوفة

    In the centuries following the period of early Muslims, came various beliefs and systems and ideas, both within Muslim realms and outside of them. Theological rhetoric established its own poison, creating intellectual discord and initiating deviant trends within the Deen. From the scientific sphere came theories based on ‘methodology of scientific inquiry’. 16th-20th (10th-14th cent AH) century was a period of scientific ‘revolution and upheaval’ where many prominent (faith-contradictory) theories were established (e.g evolution of man).

    May Allaah سبحانه و تعالى safeguard us from all man-made fitan challenging established Islamic creed.

  4. Announcement A Call to Save Masjid Tawhid Says:

    [...] [...]

  5. Hani Says:

    Scholars do not need to be experts in the field of science in order to rule on a point of aqeedah! Adam was created without a mother or a father. This is a fundamental point of aqeedah as laid out in the nusoos. And I believe you are shying away from an open debate because you know your opponents will (in reality) not attack you from a scientific perspective, but from the corrupted usool you are utilising to derive your kufr from. The only way I see you getting out of this mess is to simply repent from the claim that Adam (AS) had parents; everything else is secondary to this core issue.

  6. Muslimah Says:

    Will you stop disrespecting the Prophet of Allah?After all what do you get by believing this false theory?Fear Allah ! This is kufr & its reward is hell .Seriously just ponder what exactly are you doing & is this to please Allah subhanawatala.

  7. Raza Says:

    Most of the rabbanee mufasireen have explained the purpose of Allah’s amthal of using Adam’s (AS) creation to that of Isa (AS). If Christians worship Jesus due to his miraculous birth without a father, then they should marvel (even more so) the creation of Adam where he was born without a father AND a mother.

    You’re batil ta’weel does not legitimise your kufr I’m afraid.

  8. Abu Imran Says:

    Have you repented from Apostasy or do you wish to use general statements to cover your specific words of kufr on the nature of Prophet Adam alayhis Sallaam?
    Don’t you think its well overdue for you to abandon your arrogance, stubborness and high & mighty attitude to the congregation of MT?
    The Save Masjid Tawhid Campaign continues and grows in support daily.

  9. Ibrahim Kayum Says:

    Dear Usama

    Do you believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution or do you believe that God created Adam with his hands and blew life into him? If it is the latter then that would be a madrassh understanding of human creation in your opinion! Are you therefore retracting your statements about evolution. Similarly you once said that your father use to listen to music, in particluar an Egyptian singer but your father denied that to be the case. There are many who are advocating that you are an outright lair sir. How do you respond to such allegations?

  10. Muslim Inquisition Today: the plight of Usama Hasan » Savoir ou se faire avoir Says:

    [...] 2011). The lecture was shouted out, and things have gone from bad to worse, as one person – as reported by Dr. Hasan – called for his killing. Now, Usama Hasan, has posted a new entry on his blog (interestingly [...]

  11. London Mosque Expels “Controversial” Imam-The Blue Baron | The Blue Baron Says:

    [...] days before his dismissal from the Mosque, Dr. Hasan published a statement stating that his “Islam and Evolution” lecture was “disrupted by a small mob of fanatics”. [...]

  12. Ahmed Says:

    Usama,

    I truly admire the fact that you are attempting to explain the science to those that have either had no exposure to it or decided long ago block their minds to it. This message may mean little to you (especially after the harassment you’ve received!) but I hope you feel heartened by the fact that there are plenty of Muslims in the UK who feel exactly like you on this subject (including myself and my friends). I only wish we were more vocal.

    In any case, even if you got through to one person that evening, that is something. Keep up the good work!

  13. Salman Butt Says:

    BTW, just wanted point out – it is far more farfetched to believe that Adam عليه السلام was created via a process of evolution AND be a common ancestor for all humans today, than to say that humans did not evolve at all but perhaps animals did.

  14. Saima Says:

    Akhi, I can’t tell you how much I agree with this post of yours. Muslims need to be educated about philosophy, empiricism, rationalism, science and Islam. And especially how to disagree properly. I hope, insha’Allah, you continue to post in this blog.

  15. Imam learns the high price of speaking out | Blackwatertown Says:

    [...] it’s not surprising that – in the light of the above – Dr Hasan has issued a clarification and then a retraction of his views on [...]

  16. izzam Says:

    Dr Hasan wrote: “Snazzy websites, videos and books produced by fundamentalist Muslim ‘creationists’ such as those at http://www.harunyahya.com, are obscuring clear scientific thinking.”

    According Dr Hasan: “One problem is that many Muslims retain the simple picture that God created Adam from clay, much as a potter makes a statue, and then breathed into the lifeless statue and lo! it became a living human.

    “This is a children’s madrasa-level understanding and Muslims really have to move on as adults and intellectuals.”

    Thank you for your view Dr Hassan.

    Yours faithfully
    Ignorant Atheist

  17. Jawad Says:

    Salam Usama,

    Death threats are a massive over-reaction.

    Regarding the content of your retraction though:

    1. You seem to be very angry – the ‘baboon’ comment.
    2. Your responsibility to your community (of Muslims who’ve supported you and listened to you etc) seems to have taken second place to your own views when you were speaking.
    3. It doesn’t seem to have been a full-wholehearted-convincing retraction. It reads more like an evasive retreat.

    So just a couple of questions to clarify:

    1. Do you believe you were right to give the lecture?
    2. Given that your (now former) association with the Quilliam foundation was already straining your relationship with the vast majority of Muslims – do you feel you gave enough real though as to how insensitive such a lecture may appear?
    3. Evolution as a topic, is rarely divisive if handled correctly – the division typically comes from the struggle for ownership of the story of origin of humanity. As most of your ‘flock’ would have children in their families, did you anticipate this would offend them?

    Having met you a few times, you seem able, aware, kind and decent through and through.

    I’m very saddened that people got this upset at you, and I hope you and your family come through this stronger, safer, and happier.

    Kind Regards

    Salam

    Jawad

  18. Sam Says:

    Dear Usama Hasan,

    I am terrified of Islam, I see videos of groups of Muslims from around the world screaming Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar while burning down embassies, burning down churches, burning down temples, stoning people to death, beating them to death, cutting peoples heads off.

    You are a lucky man you live in the UK, I fear such things would have been done to you if you lived in a country where Islam and sharia truly rule. Your talk on evolution has been uploaded to Youtube and all I read is comments from Muslims calling you a dirty kuffar.

    Now I see such programs as Dispatches: Undercover Mosque, Britain’s Islamic Republic, Lessons in Hate and Violence. I read we have over 200 Sharia courts in the UK, halal meat which I believe is barbaric is common place in the UK now. I read a religious studies teacher was attacked leaving him with a Fractured skull and knife wounds to his face by four Muslims for the crime of teaching Muslims girls that other religions are equal to Islam.

    I have listen to ex-Muslims such as Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and they are more terrified of Islam than I am. I truly hope we are wrong to fear Islam but I believe all of humanity needs to fear Islam.

    Usama Hasan, use your mind and realize there IS NO GOD, become an atheist and help us rid mankind of these bronze age desert texts (Islam, Judaism, Christianity)

  19. Khan Says:

    Professor Usama Hasan,

    All I want to say is THANK YOU so much. I have been trying to fight ignorance on both sides for years since graduating from college with a degree in Biology. And it is extremely exhilarating reading your scholarship. The Muslim world NEEDS more people like you.

  20. Zuleqa Husain Says:

    Hello,

    I am a producer for Al-Jazeera English’s new social media show, The Stream. We are looking to do a show on the recent boycott of Muslim students of classes that teach evolution. Wanted to have your thoughts on our show as this is a very crucial issue that must be discussed. We are a live half hour show at 1930 GMT on Tuesday, Dec 6th. Please send me a phone number so we can chat about the details of the show. We would take you on via Skype.

    More about our show:

    WHAT IS THE STREAM?
    The Stream (www.stream.aljazeera.com<http://www.stream.aljazeera.com/) is a social media community with its own daily television program, focusing on stories that are ongoing, global, and sourced from social media. The Stream is an aggregator of online sources and discussion, seeking out unheard voices, new perspectives from people on the ground and untold angles related to the most compelling stories of the day. We also want to share the platform with artists, celebrities and intellectuals who are an integral part of the social media community.

    Thanks,

    Zuleqa Husain
    Al Jazeera English, THE STREAM
    Newseum Studio: 555 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, D.C. 20001
    stream.aljazeera.com

  21. saifur Says:

    Dear Professor,

    The Islamic aqeedah on creation of humans is well-established and unlike scientific theories it requires no upgrading . So, if you find a scientific explanation more credible to your ‘ rational mind’ then leave the aqeedah as it is and follow where your minds takes you to. You have the freedom

  22. K Says:

    Salaam. I attended the debate you were at organised by the Deen Institute and am sorry to see that you’ve ceased blogging- though I can understand why. I thought what you said was interesting, but am still curious because you didn’t answer Yasir Qadhi’s assertion about it being impossible to accept the part of the theory of evolution concerning human (not animals) creation, because of the specific hadith literature referring to his creation. I wanted to know what you thought/how you explain that, because I was otherwise quite convinced that what you were describing was not incompatible with what Islam says. I hope you will elucidate somewhere.

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