10 Rekor Manusia Terberat di Dunia


BERITAUNIK.INFO – Begitu banyak hal tak lazim di dunia yang menjadi fenomena mengesankan. Bahkan banyak dari fenomena itu yang tampak tidak masuk akal dan terkesan hanyalah rekayasa. Wajar, karena mayoritas orang menyikapi setiap kejadian aneh menggunakan logika.

Tapi bagaimana anda menilai tentang artikel di bawah ini tentang 10 Rekor Manusia Terberat di dunia? Beritaunik.info mencoba untuk menjabarkannya beserta kisah singkat kehidupan pribadi mereka masing-masing sebagaimana dikutip dari laman top10hq. Kami mulai dari wanita dengan berat 471 kilogram dan diakhiri dengan pria seberat 635 kilogram, dimana rata-rata di antara mereka berasal dari negara Paman Sam (Amerika Serikat).

10. Mayra Rosales, Amerika Serikat (Berat 471 Kg)

 Mayra Rosales pernah mengalami pengalaman buruk dalam hidupnya, dimana ia tanpa sengaja jatuh terpeleset dan menimpa anak dari adiknya. Akibatnya anak malang itu tewas tertindih Mayra. Tragedi itu begitu menjatuhkan psikologinya, apalagi di media-media, dia dijukuli “Pembunuh Setengah Ton”

Setelah kejadian itu, Mayra berkomitmen untuk berusaha keras menurunkan berat badannya. Berbagai cara ia lakukan dan Mayra pun mampu menurunkan sekira 90 Kg. Sehingga di usia 33 tahun, berat badannya yang sebelumnya 471 Kg menjadi 362 Kg. Transformasi mengesankan berkat tragedi mengerikan.

9. Robert Earl Hughes, Amerika Serikat (Berat 484 Kg – 485 Kg)

Robert Earl Hughes memiliki berat badan tak lazim sejak usia dini. Kondisi itu diyakini akibat kelainan pada kelenjar pituitarinya yang membuat berat badannya terus bertambah. Saat ditimbang, ia bahkan lebih berat dari enam orang dewasa yang memiliki berat masing-masing 92 Kg. Ukuran dadanya pun lebih dari sepuluh kaki! Wow…

Saat berwisata di Amerika, ia sempat menghibur para pengunjung karnaval dengan badan jumbonya. Saat itu ia mengakui sebagai manusia terberat di dunia. Namun sayang usianya hanya bertahan hingga 32 tahun dan meninggal karena komplikasi dari penyakit campaknya (lahir tahun 1926 dan meninggal tahun 1958). Walau meragukan, di batu nisannya tercantum prasasti manusia terberat di dunia dengan angka 472 Kg.

8. Patrick Deuel, Amerika Serikat ( Berat 485 Kg)

Patrick Deuel bukanlah orang yang tinggi, hanya 5 kaki 7 inci saat berdiri. Begitu mengagetkan jika melihat berat badannya yang hampir setengah ton. Beberapa perkiraan menyebutkan di puncaknya ia ditimbang seberat 510 Kg, walau sebagian besar laporan memiliki puncak berat 485 Kg dan dilaporkan berada di titik kematian.

Ia terus berjuang menurunkan berat badannya, termasuk melalui operasi. Walau begitu, Deuel masih merokok dan banyak mengonsumsi makanan yang salah. Maka muncul lah infeksi yang membuatnya kembali berbadan besar. Apalagi berbulan-bulan ia hanya mengurung diri di dalam rumah.

7. Michael Hebranko, Amerika Serikat (Berat 499 Kg)

Michael Hebranko mungkin menjadi orang yang paling berhasil melakukan diet. Ia telah mampu menurunkan berat badan dari 411 Kg menjadi 90 Kg atau hilang sekitar 321 Kg. Hal mengesankan itu bahkan membuatnya tercatat di Guinness Book of Records pada tahun 1990 sebagai penurun berat badan terbesar di dunia.

Tapi 12 tahun kemudian, berat badannya kembali, bahkan lebih berat dari sebelumnya. Pada tahun 1999, berat badannya mencapai puncak 499 Kg. Ia kembali berusaha menurunkannya hingga mampu turun sampai 207 Kg. Namun setahun sebelum meninggal di tahun 2013, berat badannya mencapai 249 Kg.

6. Rosalie Bradford, Amerika Serikat (Berat 544 Kg)

Rosalie Bradford tak pernah langsing. Berat badannya juga diperparah infeksi darah yang membuatnya susah tidur dalam waktu lama. Selama delapan tahun ia tak mampu bergerak hingga ia mencapai berat puncaknya 544 Kg pada Januari 1987 silam. Ia semakin tertekan dan mencoba bunuh diri dengan mengonsumsi obat tidur dengan dosis berlebihan.

Ironisnya, berat badannya lah yang menyelamatkan hidupnya karena hanya bisa tertidur beberapa hari. Temannya sempat menemukan latihan diet, meski awalnya Bradford hanya bisa terapi dengan bertepuk tangan dengan panduan video. Tapi akhirnya ia mampu mengurangi berat 416 Kg dan tercatat di Guinness Book of Records sebagai wanita penurun berat badan terbanyak. Dia meninggal November 2006 di usia 63.

5. Walter Hudson, Amerika Serikat. (Berat 544 Kg)

Walter Hudson mempunyai ukuran terbesar di dunia, yaitu 302 cm atau 9 kaki, 11 inci. Ia sempat menjadi berita utama pada September 1987 silam saat ia tergelincir dan jatuh dimana badannya terjepit di ambang pintu. Sehingga butuh delapan orang untuk membebaskannya.

Hudson meninggal karena serangan jantung tahun 1991 di usia 46. Ketika ditimbang saat itu beratnya sekitar 510 Kg, sehingga harus membuat lubang lebih besar di dinding kamar tidurnya agar tubuhnya bisa keluar kamar.

4. Carol Yager, Amerika Serikat (Berat 545 Kg)

Kisah hidup Carol Yager cukup tragis, dimana berkat persoalan makannya, ia dianiaya secara seksual oleh keluarga dekatnya. Saat kematiannya sempat diketahui berat badannya mencapai sekitar 727 Kg, meski dokter menolak berkomentar terhadap fakta itu.

Yager dirawat di rumah sakit tahun 1993 karena sistem kekebalan tubuh dan selulitis. Tapi justru penyakit itu yang membuatnya kehilangan banyak berat badan sekira 237 Kg hanya dalam tiga bulan. Ia tak sehat dan tak mampu berjalan. Apalagi setelah menderita pemborosan otot atau atrofi, ia tidak mampu meninggalkan tempat tidurnya dalam waktu lama.

3. Manuel Uribe, Meksiko (Berat 597 Kg)

Meski lahir di Meksiko, Manuel Uribe memutuskan pindah ke Amerika Serikat. Ia pernah mendapat tawaran untuk operasi penurunan berat badan. Namun ia menolaknya karena lebih memilih mencoba dan menurunkan berat badan secara alami.

Benar saja, ia berhasil melakukannya dengan menurunkan beratnya sekira 363 Kg dan kemudian turun lagi sekitar 91 Kg, tidak terlalu buruk bagi orang ekstra gemuk yang memiliki tinggi enam kaki lima inchi ini. Ia pun mendedikadikan dirinya sebagai pengajar bagi sesama warga negara Meksiko tentang nutrisi dan obesitas.

2. Khalid Bin Muhsin Shaari, Arab Saudi (Berat 608 Kg)

Khalid bin Mohsen Shaari memang belum banyak dikenal di dunia terkait kondisi tak lazimnya. Apalagi adanya intevensi yang luar biasa dari Raja Arab, Abdullah. Kondisi itu ia derita sejak kecil yang memicu berat badannya mencapai 608 Kg. Raja memerintahkan agar Khalid menjalani perawatan medis menyangkut obesitasnya.

Hingga Februari 2014, berat badannya dilaporkan telah turun sekitar setengah dari berat badan sebelumnya. Operasi penurunan berat badan itu dijalaninya dengan dengan baik, menyusul adanya perbaikan fungsi hati dan paru-parunya. Kekuatan ototnya pun membaik dan bisa layak beraktivitas.

1. Jon Brower Minnoch, Amerika Serikat (Berat 635 Kg)

 Berat badan Jon Brower Minnoch pernah ditimbang dengan 100 batu atau sebanyak sembilan hingga sepuluh orang berukuran rata-rata. Saat umurnya masih 12 tahun, berat badannya sudah hampir mencapai 136 Kg dan terus meningkat seiring bertambahnya umur hingga ia meninggal. Dilaporkan dua pertiga dari berat badannya dikarenakan kelainan retensi air kronis.

Ia memang berhasil menurunkan berat badan sekira 419 Kg setelah dirawat di rumah sakit dan merupakan penurunan berat badan terbesar yang pernah tercatat. Namun setelah itu, ia selalu menderita sakit yang sebagian besar akibat obesitasnya. Minnoch meninggal tahun 1983, dimana di batu nisannya tertulis manusia terberat di dunia, meski keabsahannya masih diragukan. ***

Police to name suspects behind Tolikara riot


TOLKAR

The National Police said on Wednesday morning that they might announce the names of suspects behind a religious clash in Tolikara, Papua, on Wednesday.

“There is a possibility that we could determine the suspects today, hopefully,” National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said as quoted by kompas.com

Badrodin did not reveal further information about the possible suspects but asserted that the police would investigate the case thoroughly.

He said the police had questioned 31 witnesses in the case and that they planned to question five more today.

Some of the witnesses are members of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI), while the rest are Muslims who performed Idul Fitri prayers at the subdistrict military command (Koramil) field in Tolikara.

“We hope to find a clue to solve this case,” Badrodin said.

He also rebuffed allegations of foreign intervention in this case.

A riot occurred in Tolikara last Thursday between Muslims and Christians that led to the destruction of several kiosks. One person died in the incident while several others were injured.

The riot started after people, thought to be members of GIDI, threw rocks at those performing Idul Fitri prayers. (ika)(++++)

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/22/police-name-suspects-behind-tolikara-riot.html#sthash.uqH1L1eM.dpuf

Presiden Jokowi: Papua Punya Kearifan Untuk Selesaikan Kasus Tolikara


 Submitted by Abu Aulia on Sun, 07/19/2015 – 22:17

Jakarta (PiyunganOnline) – Presiden Joko Widodo menyatakan bahwa ia sangat berterimakasih kepada para pimpinan lintas agama, ketua adat, dan tokoh masyarakat yang telah membantu proses pemulihan keadaan di Tolikara, Papua. Ia dengan tegas mengutuk keras pembakaran dan tindak kekerasan di Tolikara tersebut.

Presiden juga berterima kasih kepada seluruh masyarakat Indonesia, yang dengan caranya masing-masing, telah ikut menjaga kedamaian di lingkungannya.

Selain itu Presiden menjelaskan, bahwa perlu diketahui, saat insiden Tolikara terjadi, ia langsung memerintahkan Menkopolhukam, Kapolri, Kepala BIN agar segera turun ke lapangan dan berkoordinasi dengan pemerintah daerah untuk mengambil tindakan yang diperlukan, termasuk menemui para ketua adat dan tokoh agama untuk mengambil inisiatif perdamaian demi terjaganya Papua sebagai Tanah Damai.

“Seperti kita ketahui bersama, situasi di Tolikara sudah kondusif. Aparat penegak hukum sudah berhasil mendapatkan beberapa fakta penting, dan saat ini terus bekerja keras untuk merangkai seluruh kejadian yang sebenarnya.” Demikian ungkap Presiden.

Ia juga menegaskan, “Saya jamin, hukum akan ditegakkan setegak-tegaknya, bukan hanya untuk pelaku kriminal di lapangan tetapi juga semua pihak yang terbukti mencederai kedamaian di Papua. Masalah ini harus diselesaikan secepatnya agar ke depan tidak terjadi lagi kekerasan di Tanah Papua.”

Presiden juga menegaskan bahwa ia mengetahui, masyarakat Papua mempunyai kearifan Papua, kebijakan adat turun temurun yang luhur, untuk menyelesaikan setiap persoalan yang terjadi, termasuk kasus Tolikara ini.

Dalam sejarah Papua, hubungan antar agama selalu terjalin harmonis. Salah satu peran agama di Papua adalah sebagai mata air perdamaian, diperkuat dengan ikatan adat dan budaya masyarakat Papua yang cinta damai.  Demikian Presiden menjelaskan.

Memungkasi penjelasannya, Presiden menyatakan bahwa pemerintah akan mengambil tindakan apapun untuk menjaga ketenteraman hidup berbangsa dan bernegara di seluruh pelosok Tanah Air

– See more at: http://www.piyunganonline.org/read/presiden-jokowi-papua-punya-kearifan-untuk-selesaikan-kasus-tolikara.html#sthash.J9Z2Eyq6.dpuf

Upaya Kaum Radikal Membungkam Ustad Abu Janda Al-Boliwudi


 Submitted by Intel on Tue, 07/21/2015 – 21:48

Ada Akun unik menarik di laman Facebook yang bernama Ustad Abu Janda al-Boliwudi, a fictional character, dengan wajah terkenal pembuat video parodi Isis (Permadi Arya) yang beberapa waktu yang lalu menjadi trending di dunia maya. Menariknya, Ustad Abu Janda memberikan pencerahan moral yang mengedepankan Islam damai dan Islam universal yang toleran serta mengkritik secara terbuka aliran radikal Wahabi-Salafi yang tak henti-hentinya membuat kacau di berbagaai negeri.

Ustad Abu Janda al-Boliwudi dengan bahasa sederhana dan seringkali kocak khas parodi, membuka kedok gerakan Wahabi-Salafi yang hanya menggunakan ayat-ayat tertentu saja untuk melegalkan gerakan kekerasan dan brutal dan mengabaikan ayat-ayat perdamaian di Al-Quran dan Hadits sahih. Tak pelak, laman Facebook Ustad ini menjadi favorit bagi banyak orang, termasuk non Muslim karena benar-benar mencerahkan dan membuka kedok hitam gerakan Islam radikal.

Secara sederhana, Ustad Abu Janda berpihak pada Islam Nusantara, yang bukan sebuah aliran atau organisasi tetapi gerakan Islam yang berpikir dalam bingkai negara kesatuan Republik Indonsia. Karena itulah, Ustad Abu Janda mengkritik keras Arabisasi yang sangat jauh berbeda dengan Islam. Beberapa meme dan komiknya sangat mencerahkan. Salah satunya adalah yang menggambarkan bagaimana Islam Nusantara menghalau gerakan Wahabi dengan mengklon gambar dari Jurrasic World.  Ada juga meme yang menjadi gambar T-Shirt dengan tema dari “Kick Andy!” yang diplesetkan menjadi “Kick Wahabi!”. Bahkan Ustad Abu Janda menceritakan dengan kocak kalau wejangannya ibarat Ayat Kursi, menyejukkan bagi pengikut kebenaran dan membuat panas pengikut syaitan.

Saya tidak akan me-link-kan gambar-gambar dan wejangan Ustad Abu Janda di sini karena kan membuat panas kaum Islam radikal.  Karena itulah, laman Facebook Ustad Abu Janda berkali-kali diserang dan ditutup karena serangan masif yang ditenggarai berasal dari parakeyboard warriors kaum radikal. Di media-media kaum radikal, Ustad Abu Janda dilecehkan dan difitnah dengan mengedit postingan dan menyebarkannya di laman-laman radikal seperti Panjimas dan PKSPiyungan. Selain itu, kloningan laman Facebook tandingan Ustad Abu Janda juga bermunculan dan menyebarkan pesan kaum radikal–gerakan untuk mengelabui dan membungkam Ustad Abu Janda.

Anehnya, pendukung Islam radikal lebih banyak mengeluarkan argumen “ad hominem” untuk Ustad Abu Janda. Mereka menyerang Ustad ini dan menuduhnya kafir, bukan Islam, dan banyak lagi. Tidak ada satupun pendukung Islam radikal yang mau bertukar pikiran dan menggunakan argumen melawan argumen-argumen Ustad Abu Janda yang memang cemerlang dan bijak.

Beginilah asyiknya hidup di negara demokrasi dengan kebebasan yang hampir tak terbatas di dunia maya. Ide-ide cemerlang dan bijaksana bisa diakses dan dibandingkan dengan ide-ide radikal dan berbahaya. Dengan mudah, pembaca baik yang pro maupun kontra bisa menilai, mana yang membawa perdamaian dan kebenaran dan mana yang hanya mau provokasi dan membawa kekacauan.

Ustad Abu Janda al-Boliwudi telah memberikan pencerahan dengan keberanian melawan suara keras kaum radikal yang menyesatkan. Beliau patut didukung untuk Indonesia yang damai dan demokratis.

Penulis : Gedang Kepok Salam Kompasiana! Merdeka!

– See more at: http://www.piyunganonline.org/read/upaya-kaum-radikal-membungkam-ustad-abu-janda-al-boliwudi.html#sthash.33UPWFLN.dpuf

Acculturating our faith


IslamicArt

There have been frustratingly many definitions of  culture,  but  perhaps  in  distilling  all  those meanings  we  can  say  that  culture  is  the behavioural and cognitive patterns generated from  the  interactions  between  a  society’s  beliefs  and its  environment.  This  environment  could  include  such things as the physical, social, ethnic or historical conditions that influence society.

Culture    determines    our    instinctive behaviour  by  giving  functional  expressions  to  our  beliefs  and  values  and  it functions  as  the  context  within  which we think and act. In this way it makes it  comfortable  for  us  to  live  our  lives in  accordance  with  our  beliefs  in  a particular  subjective  or objective  environment.

Thus,   as   the   environment   changes, culture  must  change  too  in  order  to re-establish   that  harmony   between beliefs,  behaviour  and  that  particular environment.

For  Muslim  communities  in  the  West the issue of the cultural status of Islam is pivotal in deciding how Muslims deal with  their  environment  and  the  extent to which non Muslims accept Islam as an indigenous religion.

The  Islamic  world  consists of  many  diverse  cultural practices  subsumed  under one  Islamic  culture  spanning  a  wide  multi-ethnic domain     that     includes Africa, Asia, and even parts of  Europe.  Many  scholars have  divided  the  cultural zones  that  comprise  the Muslim   world,   into   the Arabic,   Persian,   Turkish, African,   Indo   Pakistani   and   Malay, all  of  which  while  being  Islamic,  have strikingly varied cultural expressions of Islam.

When it comes into contact with other cultures, Islam has a threefold reaction. It condones forces and ideas that agree with it, such as the belief in one transcendent God, life after death, marriage as the only legitimate context for sexual relations,  etc.  Secondly,  it  reinterprets and appropriates other aspects of that culture that do not contradict the principles of Islam but are peculiar to that society  and  finally  rejects  those  ideas and  cultural  forms  that  contradict  its principles, doctrines and morality.

This  process  of  acculturation,  appropriating what is in conformity with the Islamic ethos and rejecting what is not, began in Arabia itself with the spread of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. There, certain  pre-Islamic  cultural  practices and  attitudes,  such  as  certain  types of  pre-Islamic  dress  like  the  turban and  the  cloak  or  abaya,  and  cultural attitudes  such  as  the  Arab  custom  of generosity to the stranger were incorporated within the local Islamic practice.

This  process  was  followed  wherever Islam  had  a  foothold  or  became  the dominant   religion.   The   synthesising process  of  confirmation,  modification, incorporation   and   proscription   led to  the  emergence  of  different  Muslim cultures  unified  by  an  ever  pervasive universal  set  of Islamic  practices  and values.  In  these  cultures,  Islamic  principles  and  the  Prophetic  traditions  as sources  of  divine  grace  dominate,  but each  cultural  group  has  the  freedom to  realise  its own  cultural  possibilities within the tradition of Islam itself.

Among    the    different    factors    that play  a  central  role  in  this  synthesis  is language, which is the outward expression  of  the  intellectual  genius  of  a people. Language  also  had  a  powerful effect in building bridges between Islam and local cultures. In many parts of the Muslim  world  the  interaction  between Islam  and  these  cultures  has  resulted in  the  creation  of  hybrid  languages, such  as  Swahili,  Hausa  and  Urdu  that are mixtures of the local languages and Arabic. To be a knowledgeable Muslim in  these  societies  knowledge  of  Arabic and  fluency  in  these  hybrid  languages are   all   required.   These   languages played a crucial role in making Islam a religion familiar to the local people and contributed  significantly  to  its  spread among these people.

Chinese  Islam  for  example,  has  been articulated in terms of Chinese civilisation and thoughts. The name of Islam, for  example,  translated  into  Mandarin is  Qïng  Zhën  Jiao,  which  means,  “The Religion  of  the  Pure  and  the  Real” in  place  of  the  word  “Islam”  which  in their pictorial script and speech would have  been  alien  and  meaningless  to the people of the area. It thus made a connection  between  the  religion  and the intellectual and philosophical environment integrating it with the culture of the Chinese.

Thus  in  each  area  one  would  find variations  in  the  cultural  expressions and  manifestations  of  Islam  such  as differences in architectural styles, local costume,   in   ceremonies   commemorating  rites  of  passage  such  as  births, weddings   and   funerals.   From   place to  place  some  aspects  of  the  sunnah (inspired     Prophetic     practice)     are observed,  neglected,  or  even  opposed in cultures  where  such a   practice   is   at   variance    with    embedded psychological   attitudes. Even  Islamic  law  recognises  cultural  diversity. Through the concept of ‘urf’  or  customary  practice,   it   accommodates local  culture  by  making rulings  that  incorporate a wide range of behaviour that translate Islamic   rules   into   action.   Although less  authoritative  than  other  sources of  law  and  subject  to  criticism  and modification, nevertheless, the concept of  ‘urf’  is  very  important,  for  through it  Islamic  law  considers  and  validates local customs and requires Muslims to conform to them.

In terms of its integration into Western culture  and  its  “naturalisation”,  Islam in  the  West displays  both  a  cultural incongruence  –  hence  alienation  from its  surroundings  –  as  well  as  trends towards “indigenousness”.

There are many indications of cultural incongruity,  most  important  of which is  the  domination  of  immigrant  ethnic attitudes over western nationality. This is  the  source  of  the  vast  majority  of our community’s ills, from our inability to  influence  our  society  to  our  lack  of unity and social cohesion. Almost all of the  institutions,  centres  and  mosques that  we  build  are  constructed  more to  satisfy  this  ethnic  need  to  feel  at home  or  more  accurately,  to  recreate the  familiarity  of  the  mother  country outside  the  homeland  than  to  reflect and aid our integration in our adopted countries.  Thus  we  end  up  not  being able  to  politically  and economically manoeuvre successfully as a community in our new environment despite the fact that we have a large number of professionals  among  us  as  well  as  growing individual wealth.

This alienation has come to be reflected in  an  ideology  that  sees  Islam  as  a monolithic  culture  narrowly  defined  in a literalistic application of the practice of the Prophet. Whatever practice that is at variance with the outward form of the  Prophetic  practice  is  not  seen  as Islamic. The argument of those who hold this view is that since Islam is a superior religion and culture, all other religions and  cultures  must  be  eliminated  and only  Islamic  culture,  as  a  rigid  set  of formal   behaviours   precisely   defined, should  remain.  Not  only  is  this  school of  thought  hostile  to  their  country  of residence which they determine as the land  of  the  infidels,  but  it  is  equally hostile toward understandings of Islam that are at variance with their own.

It  is  interesting  that  right-wing  nationalist  Islamophobes  in  these  countries have the same uncompromising idea of Islam  as  the  media  stereotypes  which stem from this alienation. This type of opinion  has  given  impetus  to  the  idea of  Islam  as  a  monolithic  culture  that is  incompatible  with  the  Western  way of  life  and  which  must  be  reformed  in order  to  coexist  with  western  society. According  to  the  proponents  of  this view,  Islam  should  exist  only  as  a  set of personal beliefs without any outward manifestation.

The  other,  more  positive,  trend  is  the growth of a thriving Muslim subculture, grounded  in  the  western  environment and  proud  of  its  Islamic  heritage  and practice.  This  culture  is  expressed  in many forms, from stand-up comedy, to the  writing  of  penetrating  books  and articles   on   Islam   from   perspectives peculiar to the intellectual environment of the West.

It  would  take  too  long  for  an  indigenous   Islamic   society   and   culture to  occur  naturally,  but the  process could  be  assisted.  For  this  to  occur,  it requires  a  shift  in  our  understanding of   the   meaning   of   Islamic   culture and  our  attitudes  to  the  host  country. It  also  requires  the  development  of local  scholars  and  intellectuals  with  a profound  knowledge  of  the  history  of Islam, the humanities and culture. They should be completely familiar with the eternal  principles  of  Islam  and  how  to apply  them  to  the  immediate  environment  using  as  a  base,  the  attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that are compatible with the Islamic ethos.

Written by Shaykh Ahmed Haneef

This article was originally published in Islam Today magazine.

Evolution vs Islam


evolution

Evolution and religion have never been friends. It is common to see biologists and religious leaders argue over ‘evolution’. Most of the biologists believe that religion has nothing to offer to people who are striving for answers about the origins of life. On the other hand, philosophers or religious fundamentalists try to answer back to scientists with logical arguments. Therefore, it appears that both sides compete without investigating or trying to understand about each other. Just as scientists need to look at the logical arguments that religious philosophers provide; religious philosophers must also gain insights into scientific explanations of evolution and related concepts. Without knowing about the ‘evolution’ as the biologists define, it is illogical to blindly deny it. The article will try to provide insights into some of the scientific study about evolution that has been missed in any religious discussions/debates so far. Without taking any theistic or atheistic sides, let us first try to learn what evolution signifies and whether it is valid or not.

Let us also not argue about the semantics but before we begin, here is a fundamental difference between how the biologists define evolution and what true Islam is. Evolution could be defined as ‘directional change’. But where is the change heading? Biologists agree that evolution is not moving or progressing towards perfection. In fact, it is not at all progressing or advancing as there is no designer that controls the change. It only signifies a directional variation. On the other hand, Islam signifies a journey heading towards perfection. It is directional as well as progressive in nature. According to Islam, everything is under continuous control and guidance of the ultimate designer – Allah (swt), who is Self-Subsisting and Ever-Living. In chapter 20 of the verse 50 in Holy Quran, it is mentioned – “Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further, gave (it) guidance.” Once this core difference in the definitions is cleared, it becomes easier to understand the scientific or biologists’ ideas on evolution.

Let us now begin to analyse about the fundamental scientific concepts on evolution. Scientifically, any change through time over several generations is the essence of evolution. There are many causes of evolution. One of them is natural selection. Two common historical examples of natural selection are the emergence of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and the peppered moth during Industrial Revolution. So, scientifically, the theory of natural selection is valid. But what exactly is natural selection? Mr Darwin defines natural selection as the process where the biological characteristics or traits become more or less apparent after differential reproduction of organisms. This affects the population in the sense that those organisms who are better suited to the environment tend to survive or increase in population. The organisms are then able to transmit the observable characteristics to the following generations. In such case, the evolution or the change happens due to natural selection. Or it can be said that natural selection designs the evolutionary change. Although the question remains as to whether the species themselves and environmental factors cause such natural selection or something more powerful causes it?

Evolution is governed by two fundamental processes within the population. First is the change within a lineage (such as due to natural selection) and second is the formation of new lineages. Now, at this critical stage of laying down rules of evolution; in the next step, biology or science base its concepts on prediction. Without talking about the immaturity of biologists to rely on prediction, let us know what actually that prediction is? That prediction is – If change occurs within a lineage such as in the case of peppered moths and the lineages occasionally split then there should be fossil evidence about the species gradually changing or some species coming into new form. There is a problem with this prediction. The first part of the prediction is okay but the second part of the prediction that the lineages sometimes split to form new species or new forms is absolute non-scientific. It appears that the scientific community is forcibly trying to put the fossil records into some sort of hypothetical observation or a scientific story.

Biologists say some of the observations of the fossils indicate the evidence of evolution and common ancestry. In addition to the fossil records, the concept of common ancestry is also ‘so called’ proved by the presence of vestigial (non-functional) genes or organs in certain organisms for example, the presence of hind limbs in Whales.  Or in the language of genetics, the genes that code for extremities have now caused the whale to develop smaller hind limbs compared to their ancestors. But, even these examples from the fossil or vestigial genes could not satisfactorily prove the second prediction. The fossil evidence by itself could not prove formation of new species even if palaeontologists collect all the fossils of the universe. This is not a challenge but a fact, which cannot be proved otherwise by the scientists.

Assuming the 3.5 billion year old existence of life on Earth is a long enough time for organisms to evolve through processes such as natural selection, does it still indicate that new species are formed? Biologists answer by saying that new species are not suddenly formed, but they are formed through continuous evolution over very long periods of time. The new forms or species take advantage of the surrounding resources. To this answer, a very interesting question can be raised. How do the new species or the newly generated life forms are aware of the available environmental resources before even coming into existence? To be specific, how does the fish know before being born about their future realm of existence that whether it needs to stay as a fish under water or evolve itself to become a new species such as a bird and fly in air? The environmental factors and adaptations do affect the species but all such factors still does not provide evidence of the origin of new species or completely new kind of life-form.

Do Humans and Chimps have a common ancestor?

Scientists endorse that humans have not evolved from the modern day chimpanzee but rather both share common ancestors. They are of the opinions that all species have changed relative to the ancestors. The term ‘relative’ is a dangerous scientific term which is mathematical and shall not be used in biology except demonstrated with some numbers. The genetic (DNA and protein sequences) differences or similarities between different organisms are studied to prove about the hypothetical common ancestry. It is said that the DNA sequences of chimps and humans are 99% common and they shared a common ancestor around 5 to 7 million years ago. And it has been studied that 15 million of DNA base sequences have changed during this time. How were the two species differentiated around that time from the common ancestor? There are several hypothetical theories that try to answer about speciation. One theory is that the geographical isolation of a part of the population of the common ancestor over a long period of time may have caused the speciation. Over a period of time, genetic mutations would have occurred and this would have led to the inactivation to interbreed. This also led to different evolutionary paths and thus different species such as modern day chimps and humans. The hypothesis is definitely flawed as it contains too many assumptions such as geographical barrier of a certain population that never later interbred with the other population or even if they did, it actually caused an inactivation to reproduce. Another hypothesis or model that is recently cited to prove speciation is chromosomal rearrangement. It is said that crossing-over and recombination in the chromosome cause the genetic material to become random and therefore creates genetic diversity. Then, lack of gene flow and mutations in the rearranged chromosomes cause a group of population to be functionally different from other population. Such mutations remain fixed in the population and as a result cause sexual incompatibility with the other populations that did not experience any mutations. The major flaw with this hypothesis is the factor of ‘chance’ in the chromosomal rearrangements after the common ancestor. With due respect to environmental and geographical factors, it is unconvincing and questionable that such mutations occurred over a period of time to form functionally different species by themselves.

To this point – we have tried to focus on evolution with regards to natural selection and formation of new species. Although Islam does not disagree with the change within a lineage; but the formation or split of new lineage is not accepted by any religion including Islam. In that case, it is also not accepted by Islam that all species or organisms are resulted from one common ancestor or the split happens from one life form. Most of the concepts of evolution do not try to explain about the why’s and how’s of the origin of life but rather find out the speciation point in historic time. The modern biology studies the evolutionary history of human species, chimps, orang-utans and gorillas by comparing the genetic sequences and form probabilistic models. The mathematical sequencing of DNA and proteins could indicate the similarity between various species but making a tree of speciation out of it based on fossil studies is similar to trying to solve the puzzle where the most important piece is missing. That important piece is monotheism.  Unless the core ideology of evolution is corrected that everything in this universe is moving towards perfection and ultimately Allah (swt), the debate between Islam and evolution will exist. And some of the concepts of evolution will always remain flawed and random, much like their definition of evolution.

Article written by: Jafar Hasan

Commentary of love


RAMADHAN

The best of teachers are those that teach through their actions
Whose teachings become a part of their very existence,

The ones who walk and talk and breathe what they preach
And for their teaching they sweat, and shed tears and they bleed

And what subject harder to teach than the subject of love
A divine subject that is in need of a teacher from above

What does it look like, what does it mean and more?
Is it to like, be affectionate, or does it mean to adore?

And what better teacher of love than the lady of light
Whose existence taught us which meaning of love is right

In times plunged in darkness, hatred and spite
She showed us what love is, and made it shine bright

Her every tear to the last, through every drop of her blood
That fell on the sands and slowly turned it to mud

In her life, this teacher, through her every call and plea
Taught us through her existence that love is Ali

Her every cry was Ali, grief and every sigh was Ali
Every time she fell to the floor she called out for Ali

Her deepest pain was Ali, her every step was Ali
The bruises on her arm called out that love is Ali

Even her ribs testified, the Wali of Allah is Ali
Light is Ali, the moon and the bright sun are Ali

This tired warrior, hands tied with all his might is Ali
Father of every orphan is Ali, justice too is Ali

In this swamp of evil, purity and mercy are Ali
Everything noble is Ali, righteousness is Ali

All good returns to love, therefore love is Ali
The bruises on her arm called out that love is Ali

Even her ribs testified, the Wali of Allah is Ali
In her life, this teacher, through her every call and plea

Taught us through her existence that love is Ali

Poem composed by: Syed Mohsin Ali Jafri