In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that man was created in a miraculous manner. To create the first human being, Allah shaped clay, and then breathed a soul into it:
Your Lord said to the angels, "I am going to create a human being out of clay. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration to him!" (Surah Sâd, 71-72)
We created man from the purest kind of clay. (Surat al-Muminun, 12)
Ask them for a ruling: Are they stronger in structure or other things that We have created? We created them from sticky clay. (Surat as-Saffat, 11)
It can be seen here that man was not created from an ape or other living species, as some Muslims would have us believe, but from clay, a lifeless substance. Allah miraculously turned that inanimate substance into a human being and breathed a soul into him. There is no "natural evolutionary process" at work here, but rather Allah's miraculous and direct creation. In fact, His words as recorded below show that man was created directly by Allah's power:
He (Allah) said, "Diabolis, what prevented you prostrating to what I created with My own two hands? Were you overcome by arrogance, or are you one of the exalted? (Surah Sâd, 75)
In short, the Qur'an contains no "evolutionary" account of the creation of man and living things. On the contrary, it states that Almighty Allah created these miraculously from such inanimate substances as water and mud. Despite this, the history of Islam shows that some Muslims were influenced by ancient Greek philosophy, as well as by internal materialist and evolutionary elements, and then tried to adapt that philosophy, in their own eyes, to the Qur'an. The great Islamic scholar and reformer Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111) responded to these trends, which emerged in his own day, in his Tahafut al-Falasifa (Incoherence of Philosophers) and other works. However, together with the spread of the theory of evolution during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the deceptions of "creation by evolution" began to reappear in the Islamic world. The next chapter considers the errors made by those Muslims who defend such theses, and analyzes their comments on the Qur'anic verses that they use to justify their position.