Ruling on Believing in Scientific Theories and Findings Regarding Human Fossils
Fatwa No: 465577

  • Fatwa Date:25-10-2022 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 30, 1444
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Question

Assalamu Alaikum. Scientists have found 2 million year old human fossil.Can we believe on them? From hadith we have come to know that there is 10 generations between Adam and noah and 10 generations between Noah and Ibrahim.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, the oldest human fossil discovered by archeologists was that found in Ethiopia in 1967. In the very beginning, scientists believed that it is 130,000 years old, yet a later study published in 2005 estimated its age as of 195,000 years. However, the most recent study opined that it is about 300,000 years of age. As such, there is a possibility that a fourth study would give another different estimation, and so on. This uncertainty about the exact age of this fossil and the other fossils clearly indicates that this matter is not but some kind of guessing and suspicion. We are thus not obliged to believe in it.

Besides, it cannot be relied upon to deny the fact that Adam is the father of all human beings or to contradict the period defined by the Sharee'ah between Adam and Noah, taking into account that these periods are not exactly defined, since the lifespans of Adam and Noah are exactly unknown to us. The Quran and the Sunnah do not define the lifespan of any of them. It rather recorded the exact period of Prophet Noah’s call to his people – as Allah Almighty Says (what means): {And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he remained among them a thousand years minus fifty years, and the flood seized them while they were wrongdoers.} [Quran, 29:14] Besides, there is an authentic Hadith that defines the period between Adam and Noah at ten centuries and the period between Noah and Abraham  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention at ten centuries. But, when it comes to the ages of Adam, Noah, and Abraham  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention the Sharee'ah defines none of them.

Allah knows best.

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