In the United States in the second half of the 1980s, a theory known as "intelligent design" was launched against the theory of evolution, maintaining that all living things came into being not by chance--as Darwinism maintains--but as the result of an "intelligent design."
However, the proponents of this movement do not openly state that it is Allah, the Lord of the worlds, Who created all living things.
In describing the concept, Michael Behe, one of its most prominent advocates, says, "The theory of intelligent design is not a religiously based idea, even though devout people opposed to the teaching of evolution cite it in their arguments…" (See "Design for Living," New York Times, February 7, 2005.)
No Muslim Would Ever Say, "There Is Intelligent Design" Instead of "Allah Created"!
There are also proponents of the theory of "intelligent design" in Turkey. Notably, however, in defending this theory, they seek to imitate the style employed by their Western counterparts, and are careful to avoid any reference to the name of Allah.
Instead of saying, "Allah created the entire universe and everything in it, living and non-living" in their accounts, they resort to vague expressions along the lines of "There is an intelligent design in the universe"--creating the impression that they deliberately avoid mentioning the name of Allah.
Of course, there is nothing strange in non-Muslims, atheists, or some philosophers employing such a style.
However, it is unacceptable for anyone who claims to be a Muslim to constantly avoid saying, "Allah created" and instead using terms such as "A power created…" or "the work of intelligent design." That is an approach no Muslim can adopt, because it means, "I do not wish to say
'Allah', I mean 'There is a power, and there is an intelligent design'." And nothing in that is compatible with Islam and the Qur'an.
Avoiding saying "Allah created all things," and "Everything came into being with Allah, the Lord of the worlds, saying 'Be!'," and merely referring to "an intelligent design in the universe" can only be the product of a mindset that lacks true faith in the existence of Allah.
Even children at primary school know that it is Allah, and not "intelligent design," Who created the sky, gazelles, fish, lambs, apples, bananas, grapes and oranges.
Who Else, Apart from Allah, Could Expressions Like "Intelligent Design" and "An Intelligent Power" Refer To?
To put forward any claim of "intelligent design," while ignoring the existence of Allah (He is surely beyond that) is exceedingly irrational and
After a moment's reflection, anyone of normal intelligence and possessed of a conscience will understand that if the perfection in the universe appears to have been designed, then the Creator of that perfection can be none other than Allah.
He will see that all entities in the universe, living or otherwise, are manifestations of Allah's infinite wisdom, knowledge, might, and creative artistry.
In consequence, he will say, "Allah exists; Allah created" rather than "There is intelligent design," or "There exists an intelligent power."
As we know, the pagans in pre-Islamic Mecca attached the names of Allah to statues they carved out of stone and wood and took these as their idols.
They maintained that these idols--to which they attached such names as al-Lat, Manat and al-'Uzza--had created them, had provided for them and had power to protect them. In short, they ascribed partners to Allah by ascribing His attributes to them.
Today, similarly, some people are trying to turn others away from a belief in Allah by imposing His superior attributes onto such abstract concepts as "intelligent design" and "intelligent power." This is virtually the same as adopting an idol by the name of Intelligent Design.
The Qur'an tells us the following about this attitude of the pagans:
They are nothing but names which you yourselves have given, you and your forefathers. Allah has sent down no authority for them. They are following nothing but conjecture and what their own selves desire. And that when guidance has reached them from their Lord! (Qur'an, 53:23)
Freemasons, using the same logic, maintain in their writings that a "total power" or "a consciousness" directs the universe, but what they are referring to is definitely not Allah (Allah forbid).
Obviously, the "intelligent design" adherents are employing exactly the same logic as that to be found in Masonic accounts.
Allah Does Not Need to Make a Design in Order to Create
It must be appreciated that Allah, the Lord of the heavens and Earth, has no need of making a design in order to create. Allah is free of all such imperfections.
The perfection in Allah's creations may be expressed in such terms as "a perfection as if designed," but that is all.
It is sufficient for Allah to say "Be!" in order for any object or event to come into being as He wishes.
In verses it is revealed that:
His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, "Be!" and it is. (Qur'an, 36:82)
[He is] the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Qur'an, 2:117)
"Intelligent Design" Accounts Could Harm Individuals Sincerely Inclined toward Religion
Now, in the 21st century, the whole world is swiftly abandoning materialist and atheist views.
With every passing day, it becomes better understood that the theory of evolution is unscientific, irrational, and invalid; and there is a trend toward a sincere belief in Allah.
One of the most dramatic examples of this is Anthony Flew, the famous scientist who devoted his whole life to espousing atheism. In an interview he gave a few months ago, Flew announced that he had abandoned atheism and now believed in Allah.
In a similar way, many scientists, artists, and politicians have also declared their interest in and curiosity about the Qur'an.
That being so, clearly terms like "intelligent design," which lack sincerity and Islamic awareness, could have a negative effect on people with a sincere tendency to belief. Veiled and vague accounts of this kind may lead those with religious tendency to fall into doubt and inconsistency, confusion and mental turmoil.
"Intelligent Design" Is Another of Satan's Distractions
In rejecting one false claim such as evolution, one must be very careful not to fall prey to another of Satan's snares. One of Satan's main objectives is to prevent the recognition of Allah by any means possible, and to cause people to ignore His remembrance.
There are those whom Satan has not been able to deceive with the concept of evolution. But if he can divert them in another direction, such as that of "intelligent design" he will again have achieved his end, in turning people away from remembering Allah.
How Satan manages to appear in the name of truth and causes people to deviate by obstructing truth is revealed in the Qur'an:
He [Satan] said: "By Your misguidance of me, I will lie in ambush for them on your straight path. Then I will come at them, from in front of them and behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful." (Qur'an, 7:16-17)
It should be known that overturning the theory of evolution and revealing the "chance" mindset as invalid both demonstrate the existence of Allah, by Whom everything was created, and not of "intelligent design."
To say, "If there is no evolution, then there is intelligent design" is nothing less than adopting yet another false idol to replace the one of evolution.
What Befits A Muslim Is to Adopt the Path of the Prophets and Messengers as Given in the Qur'an
Muslims are not obliged to follow this scientist or that scientific movement, but of the prophets and messengers whom the Qur'an cites as role models, and to follow the pattern of these blessed individuals.
When communicating their messages, the prophets in all ages have employed a very clear, distinct, decisive and comprehensible style. All made perfectly clear their message concerning the existence and oneness of Allah, that there is no god but Allah, and that He created all things; and they called on people to serve only Him. While preaching that message, none of them refrained from repeating the name of Allah courageously and openly.
Some of the verses describing these characteristics of the prophets are as follows:
We sent Nuh to his people and he said: "My people, worship Allah. You have no god other than Him. So will you not guard against evil?" (Qur'an, 23:23)
And Ibrahim, when he said to his people: "Worship Allah and have fear [and respect] of Him. That is better for you if you only knew." (Qur'an, 29:16)
[Yusuf said:] "My fellow-prisoners, are many lords better, or Allah, the only One, the Conqueror? What you serve apart from Him are only names which you and your forefathers have made up. There is no mandate for them from Allah. Allah alone is qualified to judge. His order is to worship none but Him. That is in truth the straight and upright religion, but most of mankind simply do not know." (Qur'an, 12:39-40)
When their brother Lut said to them: "Will you not guard against evil? I am a faithful messenger to you. So have fear [and respect] of Allah and obey me." (Qur'an, 26:161-163)
And to Madyan We sent their brother Shu'ayb who said: "My people, worship Allah! You have no other god than Him…" (Qur'an, 7:85)
['Isa said:] "Allah is my Lord and your Lord so worship Him. This is a straight path." (Qur'an, 43:64)
As we have seen, none of the prophets cited in the Qur'an even hinted at such concepts as "intelligent designer." Each of them clearly declared the commandment of Allah by calling on His Exalted name.
It is incumbent upon all Muslims who adopt the way of the Qur'an and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saas) to adopt the prophets as their guide and their superior moral values, exemplary attitudes and style as their model.