By Nadeem Haque
Introduction: Toward A Major Revision of Human History
Over the last fifty years or so, intense interdisciplinary research has been conducted and brought forth into examining the origins of humankind and their cultural and civilizational development. The accumulation of astronomical, archeological and ancient textual evidence is now reaching a stage where a possible major revision of the history of humankind is warranted and in urgent need. This urgency will become apparent in the course of the discussion. Chief ingredient in this research has been the linkage of astronomy to the dating of ancient buildings which has effectively shattered aspects of the narrow research of those who are only engaged in classical archaeology to determine history. In addition, advanced dating methods and more sophisticated geological analyses techniques are also being used.
In this respect, the Quran can play a great role as a tool in helping to direct this discovery process – to make us realize what really happened. This is because the Quran has shown a remarkable accuracy in the correlations with both historical and scientific discoveries in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Take, for example, only two cases: The first is that of the city of Iram, which had been mentioned nowhere else except in the Quran, in chapter 89, verse 6, and the ancient city called Ebla, discovered by archaeologists in Syria, in the 1970s. The clay tablets excavated in Ebla, had to be translated from Sumerian by a team of modern linguistic experts of ancient languages. It was revealed from these ancient writings that Ebla had been a trading partner of “Iram”.1 The second case is that involving the Pharaoh who chased Moses and his people (the Exodus), and who drowned in the Red Sea, according to the Quranic account2. It was stated in the Quran, in chapter 10, verses 90-92, about 1,400 years ago, that the Pharaoh’s body would be well-preserved, as a sign for future generations. The fact is that both Pharaohs, that is, Ramses II and his son, Merneptah3, are most well-preserved at the Cairo Museum, for all to witness, thereby fulfilling the Quranic prediction. These are just two of the hundreds of pre-emptive scientific/historical examples from the Quran that lend credence to it being claimed to be from the source that has created this universe – a non-anthropomorphic God, the creator of the Big Bang and all that came after, where the Quran also clearly speaks of the Big Bang origin.4 It is only because of the pre-emptive 100% accuracy of the Quran, on matters both scientific and historical, which are usually deemed to exist only within the province circumscribed by empirical evidence and logic/mathematics, that this writer is convinced of proactively utilizing the Quran as a kind of linguistic microscope or telescope to probe the depths of the universe and help make new discoveries for the understanding, benefit and cooperation of humankind. If it is true that the Quran and nature mirror each other, then logically speaking, a discovery in one sphere may later on lead to a discovery in the other, as a ‘two way street’. Generally, this type of Quranic-Science convergence is not highlighted, or is creatively expunged or blocked, especially in the Western media and academic settings, for various reasons, whose etiology would make a fascinating study for a PhD thesis! Due to these rampant cover-ups and misunderstandings, most people therefore remain tragically unaware about the wondrous reality of these Quran-Science correlations, all of which are wholly verifiable by anyone who can read Arabic, or the abundant literal translations now available.
In a book recently written by this writer5, it has been shown how and why Adam was not the first human being and that intelligently directed macroevolution has occurred, without the God-of-the-gaps, where all life, including that of human beings, has emerged from the simplest beginnings through to the evolution of man. It is not intended here to repeat a presentation of these detailed and comprehensive arguments to support the claim and the book itself may be consulted. In this article, the new solid evidential based conclusion from the Quran about evolution itself is going to be a starting point from which we are going to discuss the state of affairs on earth before, during and after Adam.
Most Muslims, from cradle to grave, have been taught that Adam was the first man, but from all the Quranic evidence Adam was not the first human being but likely appeared less than 12,000 years ago in the Middle East and probably around 10,000 BP (before present). In the third volume of From Microbits to Everything, it was shown that the word Adam is used in both ways in the Quran; indeed, depending on the context, it means the person Adam, or, in other places, it stands for ‘Man’ in general. The various Hadith6 reported concerning Adam therefore must be taken as symbolically to represent the unity of mankind and to show respect to Adam as a forefather, lest we have a conflict between the Quran and Hadith. However, the Quran trumps the Hadith, as the Quran is the source and does not and cannot play second fiddle to Hadith, many of which – including those considered sahih (authentic) by their collectors – have been very problematic (that is, not the actual sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad, but the distorted and/or erroneous records of what he is supposed to have said!). This does not mean we must discard all Hadith, but we must be careful not to accept those that contradict the Quran and plain facts about nature and history; in other words, it goes against Islam to canonize the Hadith. On the other hand, the flip side of this is that an interpretation of the Quran may be incorrect and the Hadith correct, but not viewed in the proper context. Therefore, we must tread carefully and not be dogmatic, but pursue the truth wherever it may lead us.
With this lengthy but necessary preamble concluded, to contextualize this new research approach, let us now re-examine some verses pertaining to the human being and Adam which will set us on a trajectory to determine the existence or non-existence of a Pre-Adamic, Globally United Ancient Civilization, which for the sake of brevity we will refer to as: High Ancient Civilization: HAC.
Understanding the true and complete meaning of the story of Adam
In order to present the case for such a High Ancient Civilization (HAC) on earth, it is necessary to understand the actual meaning of the story of Adam in the Quran. In the Quran, it states that God told the angels that He was going to create a khalifah, which means “successor”, but that the angels remonstrated as to why God would create a successor who would engage in and commit corruption/bloodshed while the angels extol God, through hymning His glories and sanctifying Him.7 The crucial question that arises here is that: If Adam was the first human, then how did the angels state with certainty that man would commit corruption/harm and bloodshed. Keep this as a question in mind as we proceed in the discussion. Later on, after a few passages, God introduces Adam, and asks the angels to name some things. They cannot do so and state that they can only name that which God teaches them. Now Adam had been taught the name of all things and when Adam was asked to recount the names of some specific things he did so. This defeated the supposition of the angels concerning corruption/bloodshed, since the very naming of objects defeated their assertions about corruption/bloodshed. How are all these things connected? The answer has profound implications that go way beyond what most Muslims have been thinking about concerning human beings and human society. The way towards this deeper and far-reaching understanding or discovery rests in answering the following foundational questions:
1. How did the angels know about the corruption/harm/bloodshed part?
2. If both Adam and the angels were ‘taught’ by God, how come the angels could not name things that God asked them to name? Indeed, what does naming things mean in the first place?
3. How does this have implications to the existence or non-existence of the HAC, if any, that is, if the HAC is valid in the first place?
4. How is this seemingly archaic story relevant to us today and what are its future implications, if any?
Let us take these up one by one, but before we do so, we must be clear about a few factors. As most Muslims are aware, from the Quran, we gather that angels do indeed exist and that they are not limited to the earth, be they upper or lower echelon angels and reconnoiter all over the universe.8 Angels therefore do know that other species of extraterrestrials (likely humanoids) dwell on other planets as stated in the Quran.9 They also have access to aspects of the future – they are not all knowing but have various degrees of knowledge related to their function. In that sense they are highly specialized in fulfilling their tasks. In a manner of speaking, what we understand from the Quran is that angels are like conscious robots that have been programmed by God to fulfill tasks. Furthermore, there is a hierarchy among them – a functional and managerial one in their very structured organization. Now since the human being has evolved from earlier hominids – details of which are in dispute but is borne out conclusively through archaeology – several possibilities must be considered:
They knew the behaviour of earlier hominids and that if the human being ‘evolved’, they extrapolated that they would not keep their intellects in check.
They knew of evolution on other planets where similar violence has occurred with humanlike carbon-based sentient life forms there, when they evolved from extra-terrestrial hominids.
They know aspects of the future as allowed by God through the GRC mechanism (for instance) for accessing future events. (The GRC mechanism is discussed in another one of the books written by M. Muslim and this writer10; GRC stands for ‘General Rate of Consciousness’).
They were certain that human beings would cause bloodshed and used inductive knowledge (a posteriori knowledge) induced from the existence of earlier corruption/hatred/jealousy/bloodshed caused by identical beings to human beings that pre-existed Adam.
Let us analyse these possibilities one by one and, by the process of elimination, see if we can come to a conclusion on this crucial point. If we are proponents of scenario number 1, there is no evidence that the hominids or early man committed bloodshed for greed etc. Earlier hominids were merely hunters and gatherers. The idea that ‘primitive man’ was violent and brutish is a kind of jingoistic view that is a remnant of Victorian historians, who sought to spread their ‘advanced’ civilization to what they perceived as backward, tribalistic masses of countries that they were colonizing. Indeed, cave paintings, artifacts etc. of earlier hominids do not show traces of violence, but quite to the contrary. We also know that so called primitive cultures in the world care about their environment and do not bite the hands that feed them. In fact, it is quite the opposite: our supposed advanced capitalistic, monopolistic and cartel-based ‘civilization’ is the one that is backward and foolish in its unconstrained arrogance, destroying the life-sustaining systems of nature that we, as supposedly civilized beings, seem to project back on our innocent prehistoric ancestors. It is therefore unlikely that the angels would extrapolate from hominids or have witnessed brutish debauchery of the hominids because such profligate behaviour did not exist. Such extrapolation from the angels seems tenuous and cannot be the basis from which they, with adamant certainty, pose the ‘bloodshed question’ to God. .
If we posit scenario 2, which is to say that other civilizations evolved the same way on other earth-like planets (which do exist according to the Quran), the angels could, theoretically speaking, have knowledge of this and have realized that the jump from hominids to humankind evolves into bloodshed. But the conclusions of the tenuous nature of this supposition as discussed above, in the case of hominids, on earth, rules out this possibility too.
How about the angels’ access to the future? The problem with the view concerning accessing the future (through the GRC mechanism) is that if they could read into the future then they would have known that their argument would have been defeated by God in the future; therefore, again logically speaking, they would not have had future access to this information. For example, if they would have known the future about this episode then they would have known the names that God would ask them in the future and then this would have formed a future to present causal loop (FPCL) granting them knowledge from the future about the answer to specific questions.11 So the Causal Loop rules this out.
The strongest evidence therefore indicates that they witnessed exactly the same type of humans (i.e. the same species) earlier, committing bloodshed and now God is going to create successors to those who no longer exist. The very legitimate and concerned question the angels are therefore posing, if we were to read the subtext, is: “Are you going to create successors to a previous civilization (or humans like these) who committed harm/corruption and bloodshed and therefore these successors (one of the two complementary meanings of the word khalifah) will do likewise, because they are the same species and of the same nature?”
God’s response is: “Wait and see!” Teaching names of all things means giving man the ability to name anything; where knowing all names means being able to name things without limit.
Bloodshed and Naming things: What’s the connection?
This ‘naming of things’ means invention and innovation and any invention needs a ‘new name’. Humans therefore invent and name things and the invention of things is technology or applied science through an applied understanding of nature. Therefore, here, ‘naming things’ necessarily implies Adam inventing and naming things. There can be an infinity of names invented and hence God taught Adam all the names in this sense of being given the ability to name anything innovated/invented. Now the angels do not invent or create new things and if they are involved in the process of the creation of something (through the direction of God) they are specifically following God’s commands and He sets the names and gives those names to the angels, and God and the angels communicate through given names of things that are set by God, which the angels learn or are told concerning. Consequentially, when Adam created some technology, some invention or innovation, the angels could not name it, for it was entirely new and created by man (with the knowledge and abilities and natural materials provided by God, of course!). Furthermore, the garden of Adam signifies and is symbolic of peace, where technology was not used for bloodshed. Therefore, this fact countered the angels’ prognosis which essentially was that if the human being was to be given a second chance and developed technology, there would again be bloodshed. So in essence they are respectfully asking God, what is the point of creating these ‘successors’?
The angels’ assertion, if we examine the context hitherto discussed, clearly implies that the previous civilization, prior to Adam, developed and invented things but then committed bloodshed using those things and then went against the natural order, which involves praising God – for if you praise God, you appreciate life and if you appreciate life you cannot be unjust and kill for greed, lust, jealousy, control, rivalry etc. But in this stage of ‘innocence’ we have Adam living in an idyllic setting inventing technology, albeit low level technology, relative to our current technology, connected to early farming and subsistence etc., and not destroying the environment or other human beings around at that time. There is an integrity that Adam is inculcated with and so it is with most human beings at that time. Therefore, man had that potential to continue in this path and this was a reminder to the angels of an obvious point; that man’s intelligence and his development and evolution of technology could be used for good rather than evil and does not have to lead in the same direction as the previous ‘civilization’ (the global HAC). In that sense, it is a reminder to the angels of a positive inherent potential in humanity after a disastrous episode where that potential was smothered and it served as further instructional training for them, as will be related below.
The problem that occurred after this point of the ‘second chance’ for humanity given by God, as described in the Quran, is that after the previous corruption/bloodshed that had occurred among homo sapiens prior to Adam, Adam was approached by the Devil/Satan (Iblis) who stated that God does not want Adam to approach the tree because God does not want man to have a life immortal. Iblis could only tempt Adam and Eve by making them long for eternal life because that is the only thing that would make them go astray. This is because in any idyllic setting where there is no pollution, food is abundant, there are no wars, no cancer etc., the only thing one does not have is everlasting life, because entropy is the nature of the heavy particled universe we see. Therefore, Adam and his wife are tempted with the only important thing that they could long for – immortality. After this point, concerning the ‘tree episode’, which was a real event, but has also become an object lesson for all humanity, humankind achieved this stage where they could be involved in disobeying God and further prophets would be needed, sent to the various tribes scattered throughout the earth, as discussed by most Islamic scholars.
Therefore, the stage of God creating a khalifah represents a second ‘chance’ for humanity which had previously destroyed itself through hatred/animosity/jealousy/selfish rivalry and through the concomitant misuse of technology as well as other cataclysms that may have ensued at the end of the Ice Age period. It was a civilization that was one and interconnected and that started to be engaged in animosity towards one another, after which God sent prophets to rectify the situation but ironically, it was to no avail, as they went in the opposite direction, even though they were sent One Book. We don’t know what that book was called but it was their Quran and sent to that one initially united civilization that was united in terms of belief, the belief in One Creator with no partners. It would have been highly interconnected through technologies particularly the modes of transportation by sea. Yet through the remnants of that civilization were sown the seeds for the second phase of humanity’s culture-technological development and it is through this second phase that we have evolved technologically and culturally to where we are now. The Quranic in 2:213, that shall be discussed below, pertaining to this lost global advanced civilization, refers to events that occurred from the beginnings/origins of its formation from 25,000 BC to its demise by 13,000 BC, as an estimate, which only archaeological research will pinpoint with accuracy in the future.
Let us now examine if there is further proof in the Quran of these seemingly bold and perhaps, at first, outlandish-sounding assertions. The story of Adam serves as a turning point and is illustrative of a potential. At the same time, it is the commencement of a new agenda that God has in store for humanity: a whole new, fresh beginning, as it were. The agenda is the unification of humanity – the development of an ultra-high-tech but completely socio-ecologically balanced civilization under the laws of one book – the Quran, just as the first global high ancient civilization had come to the point of being united through the belief in one God, but started to deviate from this concept and ended up in antagonistic or destructive rivalry thus destroying themselves so that not a trace of them is left, except the knowledge that was passed on to the classical ancient civilizations that developed much later on. As a result, there was indeed a continuation, but it was a disjunctive one, where partial technologies and faded memories were passed down to those classical ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Sumerians, Harappans etc. and others we know nothing of. Here is the verse concerning the HAC, which is, I would say, one of the most overlooked, misunderstood and underestimated verses in the Quran. In Surah Bakarah it is stated that:
Humankind were [once] a single community. God sent prophets as bearers of glad tidings and warners and He sent down with them the Book conveying the truth, in order that it might judge between the people concerning that on which they held differences. Only those who were given it, differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come to them, because of mutual jealousy among themselves… (Quran 2:213)
The order of events appears to be that humanity was already united (through previous prophets). There were deviations so more Prophets were sent, culminating in a singular book (note that the Arabic word kitab, in this verse, is singular) or several prophets were sent at the same time who came with components of a single book, but the trend to deviate was exacerbated because of the prevailing attitudes rather than them remaining united. That singular book was their Quran (a word which simply means that which is “to be read”) and was for their whole globally united civilization at the time, just as the Quran is the single and final message for the whole of mankind now.
At this stage it is necessary to pose a very critical question: does any example in the history exist, from 10,000 BC to the present, of any globally united civilization in governance and belief; is there? There is not! Rather, we have different societies/tribes with different beliefs. By the process of elimination, this makes us realize that the Quranic verse must be referring to a time before the classical Egyptian and Sumerian periods, that is, a precursor civilization – in a sense the ‘forgotten mother of all civilizations’ However, how do classical and modern Quranic commentators interpret this verse? Muhammad Asad states, concerning Surah 2, verse 213:
By using the expression ummah wāhidah (“one single community”) to describe the original state of mankind, the Quran does not propound, as might appear at first glance, the idea of a mystical “golden age” obtaining at the dawn of man’s history. What is alluded to in this verse is no more than the relative homogeneity of instinctive perceptions and inclinations characteristic of man’s primitive mentality and the primitive social order in which he lived in those early days.12
Asad goes on to state that people in the distant past were bound together by the lack of “intellectual and emotional differentiation rather than on a conscious agreement among members of a society, it was bound to disintegrate in the measure of man’s subsequent development.” He believes that they eventually ceased to be a single community in terms of their worldview. There is, however, a major problem with Asad’s view: As we move back into the past, human population decreases and is scattered all over the Old World (excluding North and South America) and he is commenting on hunter gatherers or very early Neolithic types of societies. What Asad is stating is that these earlier peoples were naturally and loosely, from a kind of a metaphorical perspective, one community. Now the simple question which arises is that: If the Quranic verse 2:213 is referring to a common belief among loosely scattered distinct societies at the time, then how did inimical rivalry and hatred, that broke up confederacy or unity/oneness, arise? This necessarily means that they were truly one and not disparate and separate communities/nations as isolated islands with the same belief system; i.e. it was one nation. This is because a single community implies a single central governance, good transportational links and being governed under a single philosophical and legal framework, under which a single political system governs, or a confederation of city/town states with the same belief system; that’s the minimum, without which one cannot call it a single community as defined by this passage. The Quran passage is actually saying more, in the sense that one can have a nation, but in that nation one may have several belief systems. What is referred to as Ummah in 2:213 is not just a single governance but a unity of belief and a global one at that. Note that this passage, which speaks of ‘single community’ is not meant to be, as its prime intended meaning, a declarative statement of principle that humans are supposed to be a single community, which, of course, is the principle or foundational belief in Islam, by either being disparate communities the with the same belief in the Oneness of God or a united global one, with such a belief; rather, the verse is speaking of an actual event in the distant past.
Despite the selfish rivalry that destroyed them, the Quran states that there was a faction or some among them, who retained the idea of pure monotheism and this was likely instrumental in carrying forward the message of unity to the future second opportunity that mankind was going to have down the road. Asad could not have conceived of the strong likelihood of an High Ancient United Civilization as research on this at the time of his writing the Quranic exegesis was at its early stages and not that known.
Before we proceed to other proofs of this view for the HAC, it is worthwhile reviewing further points about the standard explanation for Quran 2:213. In fact, the following is the commentary from the great and illustrious Nasirud-Deen Muhammed al-Albaanee in his “Tahdheerus-Sajid min Ittkhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid” (pp. 101-106):
Indeed! God chose Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of Imran above the worlds [i.e. the sentient beings in all worlds].
From that which has been established in the Sharee’ah (prescribed law) is that mankind was – in the beginning – a single nation upon true Tawheed [Oneness of God], then Shirk (directing any part or form of worship, or anything else that is solely the right of Allah, to other than Allah) gradually overcame them. The basis for this is the saying of Allah – the Most blessed, the Most high… [then Albaanee quotes verse 2:213]…Ibn ‘Abbas – radiallahu ‘anhu – said:
Between Nooh (Noah) and Adam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee’ah (law)of the truth, then they differed. So Allah sent prophets as bringers of news and as warners” Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546) who said: “It is authentic according to the criterion of al-Bukhari.” Al-Dhahabee also agreed.
This writer has no argument or issue with the points being made concerning the generations sent after Adam being believers. However, the thesis being presented in this article is that verse 2:213 is not referring to the generation after Adam, but refers to the Pre-Adamic global civilization as has been shown above before Adam, as per the questions posited by the angels unto God. In other words, the classical Quranic commentators applied this verse to the wrong time period, because there was not enough data and/or enough textual analysis of the Quran to realize the view espoused in this article. The basis of the Quran cannot be a Hadith, but the Quran explains itself and if we find an internal proof, it is that which supersedes any Hadith, since the Hadith are subservient to the Quranic evidence and not on the same footing. Note that if Adam was the first man then we cannot even talk about a Global Ummah a few generations after Adam, as his lineage would comprise only a very small percentage of earth’s total population at the time, which is estimated to have been in the millions.
Lastly, we shall look at the view of the late Amin Ahsan Islahi, who had a more unique view about the question posed by the angels:
As the angels did not know the full scheme of Allah, a question arose in their circle: Wouldn’t it be a source of chaos therein? They understood that for sure the creature is going to assume management of earth as viceroy of Allah, which means it will be granted some authority. This gave rise to the worry that the creature would become a source of anarchy, chaos and bloodshed rather than equality and justice. The angels presented their concern in the form of this question: They said, “What? Will you set therein one who will do corruption there?” Verse 30, Al-Baqarah. Allah answered to them, that their concern was based on their ignorance about His whole scheme. Consequently, they were presented with all the descendents of Adam and were asked to identify those people in support of their apprehension. The angels were asked if all of the descendants were those perpetrators of chaos and bloodshed, or if they also included ones promoting modesty and justice? The angels confessed that they had no knowledge about it. Then Allah ordered Adam, who had already learned the names of his descendants, to tell the names of those Prophets, leaders of righteousness and reformation to be born in the generations to come.13
Perhaps the problem with Islahi’s ‘take’ on this issue can best be illustrated with an analogy. If we have two candidates, A and B, and they are to be given a tough exam paper by you, would it make sense to give one of them (say A) crucial clues and not the other. Then after the exam were over, would it make sense to ask the person to whom one gave those strong clues to, to give the answer to the other one to whom you would have given no clues? By giving clues, it does not prove any ability of A, in this analogy (in the story of Adam, where Adam is “A” and the angels “B”, the answers are given to “A”, according to Islahi). Either one should give them both the same clues or knowledge, or none should be given any clues or knowledge about the question being posed. And if it is a matter of relating some message to B, why give the answer to A and then tell A to relate the answer to B, when one can give the answer directly to B; if that is the purpose. Indeed, “A” being given the clues or the answers becomes redundant, and so does the test? This “naming” therefore has absolutely nothing to do with names of future Prophets, where according to Islahi, God tells Adam everything etc. and then asks the human being to relate the names. Rather, the reality of this important foundational episode in humankind’s history, is that it is a test, where neither the angels nor the human being are given answers; but the human being, because of his innate ability to name things shows the angels why the future may not look so dim; that is because of what has been explained above, in terms of the potential of the human being to properly use technology (the elements of nature) by creating technology and naming things himself/herself.
Furthermore, what is not answered by Islahi is why, if there was no such creature as man and if Adam was the first one, they would be so sure about the corruption/bloodshed assertion? Secondly, khalifah means successor (as well as viceregent) – so who was the human being succeeding? The misgivings of the angels only make sense if there was a prior similar situation to which the there was a successor, which is the very word used. Angels, from what we are to gather from the Quran itself, are very serious creatures that do not make lame comments but those that have purpose or substance. If they were not sure that the human being would cause chaos/bloodshed then they would not surmise as such. What is the basis of their surety? Showing the names of the ‘prophets to come’, as Islahi suggests, does not counter the assertion of corruption/bloodshed; in fact it only proves the point of the angels that there will be bloodshed! In fact in the history of humankind there has been bloodshed all along. However, this has been mitigated by the prophets’ advents. Put very simply, the prophets come to mitigate corruption and bloodshed. The very fact that no names are mentioned means that God is talking about naming things in general – that is, the ability of humans to name anything.. However, there is more, for in the next section we see that Adam was not the first person in the first place, from a different angle, and if he was not the first person then there were societies before Adam, and societies imply order and governance to various degrees.
Essentially, the angels used induction to conclude that any successor civilization with the advent of people at the time of Adam would, like the previous civilization(s) and first global civilization destroy themselves. This is implicit in their statement even though they do not say it openly. God of course knows the intent of their question. That is the reason why God says, in His discussion with the angels, upon their query: “…and I know what you reveal and what you conceal”14. These angels, who are not the upper echelon ones, do not have experiences of the cycles of history. They are thus shown that this is a cycle but that cycle can lead to a period of peace and not necessarily violence if technology, that is, man’s use of nature in interaction with fellow humans and the rest of creation, is used properly. In this sense only, is the interpretation of Islahi correct, in terms of the potential of man to use the elements of nature with God consciousness, so that we do not slip into internecine strife and decline. They are given instruction through the “naming” that the last human civilization destroyed itself, but man can rebuild and come up with a new civilization that is peaceful. Therefore, God points out to the angels that they have a limited view of historical development because they have not seen or experienced the processes involved. In fact, God states: “Did I not tell you that I know the unseen of the heavens and the earth?” The unseen of the earth here means future cycles in history of good and bad and of the rise and fall of civilizations and of moral order and destruction – all based on the laws of history (in a later article, this writer hopes to described these laws in great detail). The angels were therefore given a lesson about “future history” so to speak! The ‘technology oriented message’, which is essentially what it is, and not surprisingly, since man is that creature who moulds nature like no other on earth, in terms of creativity of design and intention of usage, is now incalculably even more relevant and prescient today, than it was at the time of Adam. The fact is that naming things is creating them, but in naming them, if we forget who has taught us (i.e. God), by structuring our abilities, then we are apt to become arrogant and misuse that technology – or power.
Indeed! God chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above the worlds [i.e. the sentient beings in all worlds]; they were descendents of one another… (Quran 3:33-34)
Aside from the proof for macroevolution of all species, including human beings, there is another intriguing and overlooked passage in the Quran that points to the fact that Adam was not the first man. This is the verse quoted above. When a choice has to be made there is a selection and a selection implies competing alternatives. There are many verses with this word in the Quran. In 17:42 it states: “Has your Lord then distinguished you by giving you sons and has chosen for Himself females among the angels?” and then, in chapter 27, verse 59 it states: “Say: Praise and thanks be to God, and peace be on His servants whom he has chosen!…” In the verse concerning Adam and Noah, the Arabic word used is as-tafa, which means choosing or selecting. Now the logical question which arises is why the choice if Adam was the only man existent (aside from Eve)? According to the Quran, even though there were Jinn extant at the time, God, on this planet, has never chosen Jinn as message bearers for both Jinn and humans because the Jinn can only be message bearers for their world and not ours. Whereas, if a message bearer was chosen among the humans they could serve both worlds since the Jinn can see us and normally we cannot see them.15 Therefore, any ‘pious Jinn’ could not have been the candidates around for the selection of prophethood. This verse alone, therefore, proves that Adam was not the only, or the first man. (It is an obvious fact, but will nonetheless be mentioned for completeness, that in the ‘choosing business’ we must exclude “Eve”, for God has never chosen a female prophet (minor or major), and females are not part of this prophethood selection process. This has absolutely nothing to do with inferiority of superiority, where in the Quran, women are deemed the equal-equivalent of men in rights, but this exclusion from prophethood is a functional-based decision, in that, severe demands were placed upon a prophet in ancient times, including physical hardship and violence to which they were subjected to when going against the corruption of entire societies and tribes).
From the above considerations, we can see that Adam and selective personages from his lineage were selected for receiving communications and messages from God as prophets for the Middle East zone and the claimed final one (Muhammad) from the geographically central zone for the entire globe. The Quranic view is therefore much different than the Biblical view (in its current form) or that of any other religious myths that have come down to us and are more or less regarded as fairy tales in our highly scientific age and that have been sadly reinforcing the false dichotomy between science and religion in the one cause and effect reality we exist in, where the truth is that proper science is true religion and proper religion is true science.
A Summary of the Critical Archaeological and Textual Evidences
Is there evidence of a such a community prior to the classical Egyptian, Sumerian etc. civilizations or is this purely sensationalistic speculation? Let us examine the some of latest archeological evidence briefly to get an idea of some of the most important discoveries, advances and questions being posed:
Pre-Ancient Egypt: Most Egyptologists had dated the Great Pyramid in Giza to have been built by Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu) in the Egyptian Fourth Dynasty, in which Cheops reigned from circa 2604 to 2581 BC.16. However, although his name is found in the… ‘relieving chambers’ above the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid” it looks like graffiti, according to Temple’s observations, and hence a forgery.17 In fact, as Robert Temple states: “Cheops might, in short, have done everything but construct the Great Pyramid itself. …In other words, he could have ‘recycled’ the Great Pyramid in the same manner in which most pharaohs throughout Egyptian history ‘recycled’ monuments and put their names on them, despite the fact that they were constructed centuries earlier, and seized and moved stone blocks from earlier monuments and reused them for their own constructions.”18
Researcher Robert Bauval investigated astronomical alignments of the pyramids and discovered that the layout of the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt corresponds to a map of the celestial objects, chiefly in the Orion belt about 11,500 B.C.. At that time, the constellation of Leo also lines up perfectly facing the Sphinx whose body’s side profile matches that constellation.19 The consensus that is being reached here is that these Pyramids were built in stages (though likely designed at one time) and the groundwork was laid around 11,500 BC. and onwards. In other words, knowledge of the heavens of centuries of prior to 11,500 B.C., in terms of observations were being generationally handed down and applied. Consequently, there has been a technological and cultural evolution in the final development of the Giza Pyramids, pointing to a time that even predates 11,500 BC, because if the layout was done then, the observations at least must have been occurring for centuries or millennia, or were handed down by an earlier high civilization that had knowledge of stellar precession.
Furthermore, Robert Temple has shown that the three pyramids, though they may not have been constructed at the same time, were designed simultaneously, since “all three pyramids and the Sphinx mutually determine one another’s precise locations and sizes by radiating sighting lines at identical angles. It is inconceivable that all four were not originated simultaneously as a unified concept.”20 The galactic centre was known to the builders of the Giza monuments which indicates tracking and observations from 13,101 BC that align with the Menkaure Pyramid and the Great Pyramid taken as observation points as the galactic centre rises. The archeo-geologist Robert Schoch concludes: “It tells us that not only did the builders of the Giza monuments mark the northern culmination of the Galactic Center and the southern culmination of Orion’s Belt; they also understood the length of the precessional age and calibrated precession’s cycle from the northern culmination of the galactic Centre.”21 Geologist Robert Schoch first investigated the Sphinx when the intrepid John Anthony West, noting comments of R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz in his Opus Magnum, “The Temple of Man”, made a perfunctory remark concerning weathering in the Giza Plateau that were due to water which was then researched by Schoch and West, shaking Egyptological research, almost to its foundations. It is to be noted that when the most recent ice age ended, around 13,000 BC, it used to rain quite abundantly in the Mediterranean area until 9,500 BC. The desert areas in Egypt were then green. It was drier between 9,500 and 7,000 BC, rainier between 7,000 and until 3,000 to 2,350 BC, after which the current climate became the norm. The weathering around the Sphinx indicates that it was built before Khufu’s (Cheop’s) time22, because the structure was repaired by the ancient Egyptians due to weathering. Considering the depth of weathering at the sides of the Sphinx and the rate of weathering ,Schoch pushes the age of the Sphinx back 2,000 to 4,500 older. In other words the great Sphinx’s original construction is pushed back to 4,700 to 7,000 BC or 6,700 to 9,000 years ago before present.23
2. Gobekli Tepe: Prior to 9000 B.P which was considered the Neolithic Age, when humans moved from hunting and gathering to farming, sophisticated communities with infrastructures and buildings were not thought to have existed. Gobekli Tepi has shattered this view. This site, in south-eastern Turkey, six miles from Urfa, there are structures with huge columns, 16 feet high that weigh seven to ten tons. They are used to form stone rings, the largest of which is 65 feet across. Animals are depicted on many of these columns, such as foxes, lions, vultures and scorpions. This site has a recorded date of 11,000 BP (at the minimum) pre-existing Stonehenge by at least 6,000 years. The exact nature of the building is not clear; it could be a religious building or a communal building. However, this site shatters the idea of advanced human technological knowledge – it goes far further into the past than we have ever imagined and we have only scratched the surface of this location up to now. Only one acre, or 5% of the site has so far been excavated.24
Yonaguni. These are the underwater ruins that exist near Japan whose age and date are under investigation, as well as whether they are man made structures, artificial or man modified natural structures.25
4. Behind the Myth of Atlantis: The Ice Age buried many coasts and currently the search is under way; several key questions emerge: was there just one amazing super-advanced city/civilization called Atlantis or many? Or is it just a myth created by the ancient sea-faring nation that built the largest megalith ring in the world in Morocco, that was an Atlantic coast civilization with connections to British Megaliths at Stonehenge, who sent fortune seekers into the Atlantic on a wild goose chase, with stories of a mythical Island (Atlantis), never to return, as hypothesized by Robert Temple? Temple and others have investigated an ancient civilization that built these Megaliths in North Africa (i.e. the trilithons at Messa in Libya and those the Mezorah in Morocco)26 These resemble Stonehenge and there is a strong resemblance and connection between these structures and those in Britain, India and even Armenia27; they are of course all aligned to specific celestial movements. Were these early North African/Atlantic coast Megalith builders the conveyors of the knowledge of astronomy and advanced building techniques to the Egyptians?28 Unfortunately, the Atlantis mystery has been given a ‘bad press’ due to New Age ideas of channeling, reincarnation etc. However, this should not detract scientific researchers to pursue the various hypotheses. One must keep an open mind on this issue, if we are truly seekers of the truth!
Pre-Harrapans and the Vedas: Underwater cities have been found on the west coast and south coast of India. The dating is not conclusive yet. Furthermore, the Vedas provide a great deal of information about Ancient India. Parts of the Vedas, such as the Rig Veda, seem to be older than it has been assumed by many because they mention geological changes that happened much earlier than the age of the Vedas normally assumed. For example, a huge river in India began to dry out towards the end of the third millennium BC. And pre-Harrapan sites have been discovered along its banks which go back to the fourth millennium BC29. This is the now extinct Saravasti River, which more than 6,000 years ago flowed from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean and has since, dried up. This accords with archeo-geographical reality – where we have discovered this, in part, through satellite imaging and remote sensing technology.30
All of these examples are pushing back dates of origins, and questions of interconnections between really ancient sites are being raised, remarkable technology is being found, etc. The Quranic statement concerning the existence of this Global HAC has not been conclusively found but we are not too far from the threshold of such a discovery. Yet, as was indicated at the beginning of this article, the Quran is always ahead of scientific, historical etc. research as proven time and time again and so too, this writer firmly believes, will this realization come to dawn upon us gradually, in stages, through archaeological and textual research and other points not spotted in the Quran, by researchers of the Quran.
The First Global Ummah
That such a first Global HAC existed is clear from analyzing the verses in the Quran, once we assess the context, language and ask pertinent questions. Without more archeological data it is difficult to piece together the details, but here is a hypothesis for the possible nature of such a civilization that has been mentioned in the Quranic 2:213, taking into consideration the Quranic and archaeological data and historical data points we have acquired so far:
It (the Global HAC) had extensive knowledge of constructing buildings, sanitary systems, roads and water resources systems.
It was a primarily seafaring nation and helped to unite humankind through sophisticated marine technology.
It was united as a federation of states believing in One God, or it was governed centrally (from the Quran).
It eventually, through unhealthy rivalry, split became disunited and fragmented (known from the Quran).
Remnants of knowledge about building and celestial movements was passed on to the classical ancient civilizations; i.e. primarily knowledge about mathematics, astronomy and engineering.
This would have been a globally united civilization that was interlinked in the Old World, not the New World, where humans migrated too, but in greater numbers only later on.
It would have been, in following its kitab (or Quran), before its fall, a middle nation without extremes or compulsion (forced ‘conversions’).31
It would have been in following its kitab (or Quran), before its fall, a nation that would not force belief systems on others but employ rationality.32
It would have upheld the mizan (the balance) and the Equigenic Principle (socio-environmental laws based on the origin of the balance and design in nature), before its decline, as stated in its kitab (or Quran) as it does in our current final Quran.33
In a nutshell: The advent of Adam marks the beginning of the development of a second Global Ummah to be based on praising and showing gratitude towards the Creator rather than corruption and bloodshed, through the advancement and proper use of technology based on: justice, peace, tolerance, non-exploitation and a non-hierarchical organically inter-related societal structure, where everyone is deemed to be equal, no matter what the skin colour, status in society, or income level. This view espouses that understanding and scientific advancement is for all sentient beings, the measure of the human being taqwa – consciousness of God. In other words, the goal is to establish just behaviour that maintains the balance, as arrived at through a logical and scientific understanding of the universe, which would coincide with the Quran.
Implications of the Soteriological Paradigm Shift
In the 21st century, we urgently need to save ourselves from ourselves! For this purpose, we need a soteriological paradigm shift. Our view of ourselves drastically changed when we moved away from the geocentric to the heliocentric worldview. A parallel in our understanding of history, of where we come from, can be drawn from the celestial paradigm shift that occurred when we moved from a geocentric to the heliocentric system. For thousands of years, people believed in a geocentric universe (earth-centered) – notwithstanding Aristarchus. But then they started witnessing problems such as retrograde motion etc. Finally, this was partially cleared up and the first step was in realizing the heliocentric system. However, an accurate description of motion was not discovered until elliptical motion was also realized – the second step. Likewise, in the realm of human origins and evolutionary and civilizational development, we have been faced with the ‘Adam’ problem, and going back even further, the origin of life problem. Now by proving from the Quran, that macroevolution has indeed occurred on earth, and that Adam is not the first modern human but that humans have evolved, albeit with a non-God-of-the gaps mechanism involving mizan (the balance) and not natural selection, it is akin to solving the first problem of the shift from the geocentric to the heliocentric system. The second step is briefly presented in this article, where it has been shown that a special civilization was a precursor to Adam. With these two-steps, we reach a platform comprising a total historical paradigmatic shift. From this vantage point, a clear vista of our origins and destiny can be witnessed, with its resplendent panoramic view, comprising altruistic pan-ethicism: rational, compassionate, timeless and universal. In fact, any system of belief that does not possess such properties, is not worth adhering to.
A Second Global Ummah: Uncompleted project; Work-in-Progress
We are now reaching a stage where we have come to a point of technological unity, and the unity of confusion, by becoming a dysfunctional global village, with similar patterns of confusion in our false belief systems that are heaping havoc within and without; or perhaps, such a state of affairs is best characterized as being a corporate village that has no regard for animals, ecology or the well being and brotherhood of mankind and the rest of sentient life – the Supracommunity. We have no shortage of masked megalomaniacs and psychopaths who are eager to unleash war at a moment’s notice by collectively skewed and paranoid vision of reality – enough to cause a spectrum of destruction, from villages to the whole of mankind and make the planet unlivable for any possible survivors.
At this juncture, the Quran can indeed bring about a true unification of clarity and perfect rationality and peace based on advanced cooperation, logic and tolerant behaviour which is part and parcel of the Quranic paradigm from which the nominal Muslims have deviated greatly, to say the least. This second Global Ummah, which is a successor to the first one that had appeared prior to 15,000 years BP, as an estimate, alluded to in the Quran, with the new starting point of Adam, is not destined to be a theocracy of people who control societies under fear and repression. It is not one where some have made themselves into false-gods, where rationality is absent and where superstitious and unscientific cultural practices are mixed up with true and rational ideas, rendering the wholesome ideas useless, just as poison in pure water makes the whole useless. We are referring to a rational system of government, an Ummah, where justice and peace are the norm rather than the exception; where the Ummah is not governed by greed or insecurity. Such an organically structured society would work in cooperation and harmony unprecedented since the Ummah that began in Arabia at the time of Prophet Muhammad, though it turned out not to be complete in its Global Ummic destiny. This was because the people themselves deviated from the Quran over several hundred years and became steeped in greed, ritualism and mysticism, rather than believing in the existence and beneficence of a Scientific God. And so to it is today, although there are signs of resurgence.
The civilizational project set about by God at the outset of the advent of Adam must come into fruition in the future, if we are to be enhanced rather than destroyed. In actuality; it is therefore an unfinished project for total global justice and peace. Domination for the greed of resources by radical capitalism would be absent in such a true civilization, through the education of humankind based on a peaceful and non-indoctrinarian approach, based on “Equinomics”. With this approach, might would not be right but rather: right would be might! If there is any domination, it would be that of the struggle of the self to eliminate lower harmful desires, where one would live in the world, but not cling to it.
We are indeed at a critical juncture; so let us not be in any delusion about this. As a total humanity, the last situation we would want is where a highly advanced alien civilization visits earth after the earth has been destroyed and reads a message in a bottle: “Humankind was once in different communities and a ‘Scientific God’ sent messengers to guide them; then God sent a book to unify them; they grew technologically more sophisticated by using the inductive approach beckoned by that book, but they were not a single community in the true sense, because they either did not pay heed to the book in its moral totality, or misrepresented it and caused others to reject it without serious inquiry. The Book beckoned them to worship One God and establish justice and true unity, but they derided the book and never followed it – this led to their ultimate destruction on the earth due to internecine strife.” Do we want of be part of such an abysmal legacy, or do we want to strive for the opposite? It is within the minds and hands of each person, rich or poor, elite or downtrodden, white, black or any other colour to choose and act upon, to the best of his or her capacity, towards this pristine vision. But all ideal vision has to be backed up by solid knowledge of the integrated realm we call the universe. We do not have much time, personally and collectively to gain such knowledge and move in this direction; so what are we waiting for?
To achieve the Global Ummah – where Ummah, is connected to the word umm (mother) which conveys fostering and nurturing, kindness and compassion, we need a proper vision. The foreseeable future vision for humanity can only be properly understood by gaining knowledge of our true history, that is, with a clear vision of the past, where the past prognosticates the future. Indeed, where we stand, in between past and future, is the focal point of the ever-moving present. From this unique reflection of our past and future projected onto the ever-moving present, we are better equipped to realize our gaps or failings and move toward the future vision as a just and rational planetary community – toward the one and only global Community we ought to strive for. This is a collective soteriological paradigm shift that demands all of us, on the choking planet earth, where pollution knows no borders, where data travels at light speed, where entire cities of millions can be wiped out by the click of a single button, to pay heed and not repeat the darkest phases of human history, but to light and forge the way ahead to a better life, both here and in the hereafter, for all.
–See more here: http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/HaqueN1.php