As we all came from Prophet Adam and Hz. Hawwa, how did it happen that the black people were created differently? Why do they have seven ribs, but we have six?

Details of the Question
As we all came from Prophet Adam and Hz. Hawwa, how did it happen that the black people were created differently? Why do they have seven ribs, but we have six?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Generally, all people have 12 pairs, that is, 24 ribs. However, in some people, the twelfth pair may not fully develop. Then, the number of the ribs on one side is 11, and 22 in total. This is called anomaly. This kind of anomaly, a structural abnormality, is not at a different human race.

For instance, some people may have hearts on the right side of their bodies and other inner organs on the left side. Some may have two hearts or two bladders. A similar occasion may be seen on the vertebrae.  The number of vertebrae, normally four, may be five for some people.

Race is not in question here. That is to say, there is no difference in the number of black people’s ribs. It is an occasion possible for some people. With those samples, Allah shows that He can create whatever He likes and however He likes. Actually, we must be amazed by all the organs and limbs’ being in order, not by those anomalies.

With those anomaly occasions, Allah shows us that He is able to create whatever He wants and however He wants according to the mystery of the verse “Allah is well-versed in every kind of creation.” (Yasin, 36/79)

Although our ancestor is single, how did the different races and their colours come about?

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other... (Al-Hujraat, 49/13).

This question can be answered with another question. What prevents the emergence of different races and their colours from a single ancestor? We may come from the same single ancestor and different races and their colours may emerge. In fact, such questions are asked by those who are not knowledgeable about biology. Because, a biologist knows that the characteristics of every parent and grandparent pass to their children at a certain proportion. Those proportions are well-known as “Mendel Laws”. According to these laws imposed by Allah, for example, a person will resemble his mother at a possibility of 50%, and his father 50% in respect of height.

It is possible to see this rate or rates close to this at almost all features of a person. However, there are some characteristics whose emergence, that is, effect on a person, is subject to certain conditions. The appearance of stars depends on the occurrence of the night; the Sun bars their vision, similarly, some recessive characteristics are influenced by dominant characteristics. Recessive characteristics will take effect when they clear away their influence. Perhaps, this becomes possible after several generations.

All present races come from the same race. There is no pure race. To illustrate, a person having a dark skin like black people may be born from a person of white race. Or, a baby having a skin as much white as a Caucasian’s may be born from a Chinese.

Some argue that the black race emerged by adapting to the intensive ultraviolet rays in tropics.  However, this argument cannot expound why those who are exposed to the same rays in northern and southern America do not get blacker. Recent studies suggest that the difference in skin colour is hereditary.

So, the black people who appeared in the period of the formation of races emigrated to the land where there were rays not hazardous for them On the other hand, the Scandinavians, who are light-colured and blue-eyed, went to the north in order to get rid of intensive ultraviolet rays around the equator.

Imagine an isolated tribe who has no relation with other tribes. Their genetic features are equal to the number of hereditary characteristics owned by those tribal individuals. Such a region in certain borders can be called a “gene pool”. In this gene pool, recessive characteristics give rise to new different characteristics by intermingling with one another as a result of hybridism in the course of time.

One should see different colour and race characteristics from this point of view. It is strongly probable that in the genetic structure of Prophet Adam, the first human, were many different colour and race characteristics. Just like a gene pool, his genetic structure included a variety of characteristics. Of course, it is not possible for all these characteristics to emerge at once. Different characteristics have derived from some genetic reactions in the course of time. As a result, present different individuals have come to existence.

In the verses “O man! What has beguiled you from your Lord, the Gracious one, who created you, then made you complete, then made you symmetrical? Into whatever form He pleased He constituted you” (al-Infitar, 82/6-8), it is indicated that humans are created and shaped in different ways depending on Allah’s will and determining

Also, In the verse “And one of his signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours; most surely there signs in this for the learned” (ar-Room, 30/22), it is indicated that humans have different characters and faces.

According to a narration from Abu Musa al-Ashari, our prophet (PBUH) said:

“Allah created Adam (first human) out of a handful of soil which He gathered together from the whole of the Earth. That is why, Adam’s children (humans) vary like soil types. Some were created as white, some as red-blonde, some as black, and some in a tone between these colours.” (Ibn Kathir, the explanation of the verse ar-Room, 30/22)

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