For more on this topic, see Evolution in the Scales of Scripture
The Unseen is divided into what is indicated by evidence and what is not indicated by evidence. As for what is not indicated by evidence, Allah alone knows about it to the exclusion of others. With regard to what is indicated by evidence, it can be said that we know of the Unseen what the evidence indicates.
Whenever the textual evidence is certain in both its meaning and authenticity, without any chance of it being otherwise, then it must be believed with certainty. Where it is uncertain, then it must be believed to that extent.
He created the human being from a dried mud like fired clay and created the jinn from a pure flame of fire.
[Sūrat al-Raḥmān, 14-15]
We had created the human being from a dried, black mud.
[Sūrat al-Ḥajar, 26]
And among his signs is that He created you from earth, then suddenly you were human beings dispersing.
[Sūrat Rūm: 20]
O people! Fear your Lord who created you from one soul and created from it its mate, and from the two of them brought forth many men and women. [Sūrat al-Nisā’: 1]
O people! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with God are those of you who are the most pious. [Sūrat al-Ḥujurāt:13]
People are the children of Adam and Adam was created from Earth. God says: “We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so you may come to know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with God are those of you who are the most pious.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī (3270)]
Verily, the likeness of Jesus with God is the likeness of Adam. He created him from earth and then said to him: “Be!” and he was. [Sūrat Āl ʿImrān, 59]
O Children of Adam! Do not let Satan tempt you as he removed your two parents from Paradise. [Sūrat al-Aʿrāf: 27]
The believers will gather together on the Day of Resurrection and say: “If we could seek intercession with our Lord.” They will approach Adam and say: “You are the father of the people. God created you with His hand and made the angels prostrate to you and taught you the names of all things, so intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us of this place of ours.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (4476, 6565) and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (193-195)]
Adam won an argument with Moses. Moses had said to him: “O Adam, you are our father. You disappointed us and got us expelled from Paradise…” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (6614) and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (2652)]
Here God is saying about Himself that He alone created all humanity from a single individual. He informs His servants how He originated their creation from a single soul, thereby making them aware that they are all the children of one father and mother and that they are all from one another, and that their rights upon one another are the obligatory rights of siblings, since they all descended from a single set of parents… however remote the point of hereditary conjunction to their common forefather might be.
He brought forth from Adam and Eve numerous men and women and spread them through the regions of the world with their various races, features, colors, and languages.
The third opinion is that the human being is an expression of physical bodies possessing the qualities of life, knowledge, and capability that are only distinct from other animals in their physical forms and the structure of their limbs. However, this is problematic, because the angels can come in forms that resemble those of human beings, so here we have the human form without humanness. Conversely, in the forms of transformed beings, we have the meaning of humanness being realized while the human form is not being realized. Therefore, the consideration of the physical form in determining the meaning of what is human is false from both directions.
O Satan, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My two hands? Are you too proud or are you among the exalted? He (Satan) said: “I am better than he is. You created me from fire and You created him from mud.” [Sūrat Ṣād: 75-76]
It cannot be interpreted to mean… (God’s) power, dominion, or providence, or be taken as an emphatic reference to the subject, because this would be something equally applicable to God’s devotee Adam and to His enemy Satan. This would negate what is mentioned of the favor that Adam has over Satan, since any meaning of distinction would be lost. There is no alternative but to interpret them as two attributes that relate to the creation of Adam—as an honor to him—that do not apply to the creation of Satan.
“I created with my two hands” meaning: “I created Him by Myself without the intermediary step of a mother or father.” The mention of two hands is on account of what his creation entailed of additional capability and dissimilarity of action.
Adam won an argument with Moses. Moses had said to him: “You are Adam whom God created with His hand and breathed into you of His spirit and made the angels prostrate to you and gave you to dwell in Paradise. Then you brought humanity down with your mistake to the Earth…” [Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (2652)]
The believers will gather together on the Day of Resurrection and say: “If we could seek intercession with our Lord.” They will approach Adam and say: “You are the father of humanity. God created you with His hand and made the angels prostrate to you and taught you the names of all things, so intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us of this place of ours.” [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (4476, 6565) and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (193-195)]
This is enumerated as one of the blessings that God had bestowed upon Adam when Moses said to him: “God created you with His two hands…” Likewise, it will be said to him on the Day of Resurrection. This is mentioned among the blessings that God had bestowed upon him exclusively and that other created things do not share with him. This is a clear indication of his preferential status over the rest of Creation.
Verily, the likeness of Jesus with God is the likeness of Adam. He created him from earth and then said to him: “Be!” and he was. [Sūrah Āl ʿImrān: 59]
He created Adam from earth without the agency of a father or mother. Likewise is the case with Jesus, even though coming into existence without a father or mother is stranger and more miraculous (akhraq lil-ʿādah) than coming into existence without a father. Therefore, He compares that which is strange to that which is stranger…
This Adam of ours was preceded by other creations like the angels, the Jinn, numerous animals, and other things about which only God has knowledge, but not by a creation of the likes of him.
Know that we have, in this matter, no business investigating how Adam descended from the Garden, the precise location of his descent to Earth, and how Adam and Eve’s progeny multiplied after that, since none of this has a place in matters of creed (`aqīdah) which are built upon rulings established with unequivocal evidence. To address such matters is to engage in superfluous investigations and opinions, since there is no decisive evidence for any of it in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Therefore, God does not require us to have any belief about it… Respect for God’s book and the Prophet’s Sunnah entails consigning to God’s knowledge the knowledge of matters about which God does not inform us, except where the matter lends itself to empirical and experimental investigation, since God’s words invite us to seek the truth and prospect for certainty in that way.
The Messiah, the son of Mary, was none other than a Messenger; other Messengers had passed away before him. And his mother was a truthful one. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs. [Sūrat al-Mā’ida: 75]