DNA Genesis: The Children Of Adam - National Geographic Documentary Films — Full HD Documentaries

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New studies on the genetic markers contained within the Y-chromosome (passed on from father to son over the generations) have helped bring to light the story of human origins and the spread of humanity across the planet. As part of the Human Genome Project this National Geographic documentary follows Dr Spencer Wells as he retraces that incredible journey.

Quran
4:1 O MANKIND! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women.

Out of the many meanings attributed to the term "nafs" — living entity, human being, humankind, etc., — most of the classical commentators choose "human being" unwarrantably tying it to the literal biblical account of the creation of Adam and Eve. The rendering of nafs as "living entity" in the above translation is based upon the interpretation of the great Islamic scholar Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) — who preferred the term "humankind". The expression "one living entity" not only stresses the common origin and fellowship of the human race, which, undoubtedly, is the purport of the above verse, but also remains consistent with the Quranic descriptions of creation.

21:30 ARE, THEN, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were [once] one single entity, which We then parted asunder? — and [that] We made out of water every living thing?

As regards the expression zawjaha ("its mate") it is to be noted that, with reference to animate beings, the term zawj ("a pair", "one of a pair" or "a mate") applies to both the male and female components of a pair or couple. The literal translation of minha as "out of it" clearly alludes, in conformity with the text, to the fact that the male and female counterparts of multicellular life have both originated from a single primal organism, i.e., "one living entity".

15:28 And lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to create mortal man out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted; (29) and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration!"

There are many references in the Quran to humanities having been created out of turab ("dust") or out of tin ("clay"): both these terms signifying the lowly biological origin of human life as well as the fact that the human body is composed of various organic and inorganic substances found within the earth. The term salsal ("dried clay that emits a sound", i.e., when struck) is used in the Quran with sole reference to the creation of humanity: seemingly alluding to the distinctly human ability to articulate conceptual thought. This salsal is stated to have evolved out of hama ("dark fetid mud" or "dark slime") while the participial adjective masnun, which qualifies this noun, signifies both "altered" (i.e., in its composition) and "brought into shape": the term being rendered in the verse as "transmuted". What we have here is a description of the primeval biological environment out of which the "sounding clay" — the matrix of the human body — has evolved in accordance with God's plan of creation. The breathing of God's spirit into the "fully formed" human body is clearly a metaphor for the divine endowment of human consciousness and, hence, of a human soul.

7:22 But as soon as the two had tasted [the fruit] of the tree, they became conscious of their nakedness; and they began to cover themselves with pieced-together leaves from the garden.

The change from the dual to the plural form of address in verses 7:24 and 20:123 ("saying: 'Down with you all ...'") makes it clear that the story of Adam and Eve is, in reality, an allegory of human destiny. In their earlier state of existence human beings were unaware of good and evil and, therefore, of the ever-present possibility of making a choice between the two. In other words, they lived, like all other animal species on earth, in the light of their instincts alone. The awakening of human consciousness — symbolized by the wilful act of disobedience to God's command — endowed human beings with the ability to discern between right and wrong: an ability which forms the basis of free will. The awareness of their "nakedness" symbolizes the unique human capacity for complex emotions such as shame, compassion, guilt and remorse. In this deeper sense the allegory of The Fall does not describe a retrogressive happening but, rather, a new stage of human development: an opening of doors to faculties and emotions which allow human beings to know and worship God. The forbidden tree (designated in the Bible as "the tree of life" and "the tree of knowledge of good and evil", Genesis 2,9) represents the moral limitations which God has set to human actions. Boundaries which may not be crossed without consequences.

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