The Concept of Evolution in Ahmadiyyah Thought

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Both Rlassignon and Gibb have drawn attention to the evolutionary concept in modernist Islam. A more detailed study of the working out of that concept, and its purposes, in one example may be valuable. That the example chosen is the Ahmadiyyah hlovementl may seem at first glance inappropriate, owing to its eccentricity if not syncretism. However the greater part of Ahmadi concern with evolution bears direct comparison, or contrast, with the same concern elsewhere in modernist Islam.

The purely scientific element in the Ahmadi concept of evolution is slight. It consists principally in the attempt to find already posited in the Qur'an the theory of evolution, just as every other significant scientific development is foreshadowed there. The Quranic exegesis of the Ahmadis is in this respect a sort of scientific esotericism. Claims are bold and the evidence sketchy; thought not more so than Iqbal's derivation of space-time philosophy from verses of the alternating day and night.