4.2.4 Teaching Evolution to Muslim Students

In this presentation to Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane students in Morocco, microbiologist and researcher Dr. Rana Dajani explains the theory of evolution, its precursors in classical Islamic history, and her understanding of evolution–and science–through the lens of Islam.
Guiding Questions:

  1. Is science compatible with Islam, according to Dr. Dajani? How does she present the scientific method?
  2. Name an early Islamic scholar who published research suggestive of the theory of evolution.
  3. Why does Dr. Dajani argue that the theory of evolution was met with rejection by Muslims after the 1880s?
  4. Were these rejections related to the theory of evolution itself or external factors?
  5. Does “creationism” mean the same for Christians and Muslims?
  6. How does Dajani portray the role of the Qur’an in relation to scientific theories? Does she believe evolution is suggested by the Qur’an? Why or why not?
  7. How does the human interpretation of the word “create” affect understandings of evolution?


Video Credit: Teaching Evolution to Muslim Students by Dr. Rana Dajani, at the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, 2019.

Thumbnail: Tree in Kew Gardens, UK. Photo Credit: John6536, 2019. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.