In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.
Love for All, Hatred for None.
According to a news of Daily Telegraph London (reproduced in Sydney Morning Herald 12th February 1997) a 12,500 footprint, along with thousands of artifacts, believed that have been 13,000 years older than the oldest human tools, have been found in Chile. This recent discovery has mentioned the theories of how and when the earliest humans arrived in Americas.
Another research had appeared a few months ago according to which the people of aboriginal stock of Australia inhabited America 14,000 years ago. The Australian Newspapers captioned the news to the effect that Australians were the first occupants of America.
With regard to the Australian aborigines, the scientists believe that they have been living here for at least the last 40,000 years. A recent archaeological find rather suggests that as soon as the humans reached the Homo Erectus Stage in the evolutionary process, believed to be 176,000 years ago, they somehow reached Australia. Alternatively, the life evolved independently at different centres e.g. Africa, Central Asia, Java and Australia. (Contrary to the popular belief that life originated in Africa from where it spread to different parts of the world.)
The Archaeological discoveries, therefore lead us to believe that in any case humans had inhabited various parts of the world before much before the advent of Adam. This is however, contradictory to the statement of the Bible that Adam was the first man created on earth (Genesis 1:26 to 2:8). This is one of the pronouncements of the Bible, which being in conflict with Science, have cast doubts in the minds of it's followers about it's authenticity or the very existence of God's revelation, and have consequently turned them atheists and agnostics.
But the Quran tells us a different story. The Promised Messiah peace be upon him had said much earlier than the above mentioned discoveries became public that, "We believe in the existence of human race before Adam". An English scholar of Astronomy, Professor Rege met the Promised Messiah on 12th May and 18th May 1908 in Lahore and asked him a few questions as reported in Malfooza'at Vol. 10, Pages 353 and 426. Among other questions he asked: "It is written in the Bible that Adam or say the first man was born in Jeehoon, Seehon and belonged to that country. Are, then, all the mankind, that is found in different parts of the world like America and Australia, the descendants of the same Adam?" To this question the Promised Messiah replied, "We do not follow the Bible in holding that the world began with the birth of Adam six or seven thousand years ago, and that before this there was nothing, and God was, as it were idle and without work. Neither do we claim that all mankind who are now found in different parts of the earth, are the progeny of the self-same Adam. On the Contrary we hold that this Adam was not the first man. Mankind existed even before him, as is hinted by the Quran itself, when it says to Adam, "I am about to place a Khalifa in the earth." As Khalifa means successor, it is clear that man existed even before Adam. Hence we cannot say whether the original inhabitants of America, Australia etc. are the progeny of this last Adam or some other Adam gone before him. (Malfooza'at Vol. 10, Page 426).
In this regard another interesting thing is that the knowledge of the year of birth of Adam was also revealed by God to the Promised Messiah through a vision, according to which Adam was born 4,598 solar years before the Holy Prophet (SAWS) was commissioned by God i.e. the year of his manifestation, or start of Quranic Revelation. The most august event took place on August 20, 610 coinciding with 24th Ramadhan of first year of call. ("Lunar/Solar calendar of the Prophets Era" by Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid). The current year being 1987, it happened 1387 years ago and therefore Adam was born 5,985 years ago.
Quran also clarifies that Adam is not unique in being created from dust as all mankind including Jesus were created in a similar way - contrary to the Bible which mentions Adam as having been exclusively created from dust. Quran says, "Surely, the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam. He created him out of dust, and then He said to him, 'Be' and he was" (Imran 3:60). Similarly about the creation of whole of mankind Quran says, "And of His signs is that He created you from dust; then behold, you are men spreading over the earth." (Al-Rum 30:21)
It follows from the above mentioned scientific discoveries that man spread to various parts of the earth in its early stages of development. The evolutionary tree of human race sprang from the same root and spread in the form of branches, sub-branches and further sub-branches over different parts of the world. After man creation God gave him proper form and provided him with the appropriate guidance (Taha 20:51). He, therefore, sent His Successors (Khalifas) as Adam in each branch and sub-branch as soon as man as a result of evolutionary process became capable enough, physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually to receive, understand and follow His guidance. The only Prophet who was sent to and addressed the whole of mankind was Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him. The word "Adam" used in the Quran may also stand allegorically for the sons of Adam or mankind.
The branches and sub-branches of human tree having spread forth in different parts of the world, passed through different cycles of rise and fall, destruction and progress, ignorance and guidance, even much before all last Adam, who appeared 5,985 years ago.