The Quran does not offer a single, unified theory regarding the creation of the universe and how life began on Earth. Various aspects of creation are mentioned throughout the holy book of Islam, including lines that some Muslims believe refer to theory of evolution and even the Big Bang. The Quran also states that human life on Earth began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a belief shared with the Christian and Jewish faiths. In Islam, every act of creation – whether that of the universe as a whole or human life – is considered a confirmation of the power of Allah.

Six Days

Quranic tradition indicates that Allah created “the heavens and the earth, and all that is in between them,” in six days. Mission Islam points out the Quran uses the Arabic word “Youm” in the original text; it can refer to either a single day or a period of time. The creation of the planets and the Earth took place in the last two periods of time, according to the Quran.

Big Bang

The Quran says that “the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit, before We clove them asunder,” one of several verses that seem to support the idea that the universe began as a result of a Big Bang. According to Mission Islam, all the matter in the universe was compacted together until Allah gave the command to blow it apart. The particles and gases that were emitted eventually combined to form the planets and stars of the universe. The Quran, in the view of some modern Muslims, also supports the theory that the universe continues to expand. (For example: "The heavens, We have built them with power. And verily, We are expanding it.”)

Life Began in Water

The Quran states that Allah “made from water every living thing,” a verse (among others) that some Muslims believe supports the scientific theory that life on Earth began in the ocean before eventually evolving to live on land. However, some traditional Muslim thinkers claim the theory is a denial of Allah’s power as creator, since its casts doubt on his ability to create life out of nothing, NPR reports. Some Muslims believe science, such as cosmology and evolutionary biology, actually supports the creation theories outlined by the Quran, according to the BBC.

Adam and Eve

While Islam does not discount the idea that life may have evolved in stages on Earth, the Quran states that the beginning of human life originated with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Human beings, according to Islam, are a unique life form that Allah granted with specific abilities unseen in other animals, such as a soul, knowledge and free will. The Quran says Adam was created from “sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.” It does not specifically describe Eve’s creation other than stating that a “mate” was created for Adam (unlike the Old Testament, which says Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs).