Teachings of Islam

“Say: Travel in the earth then see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation. Surely Allah is Powerful over all things.” — Quran 29:20

“Seek knowledge even if it be in China, for the seeking of knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim.” 
— Prophet Muhammad
(Report in Bayhaqi). 

This is what Charles Darwin did. He travelled in the earth and from his scientific observations (“then see”) he deduced what the “first creation” of life must have been like by looking at the “latter creation”. His theory and conclusions may not necessarily be correct in all respects, but what he did corresponds to what this verse tells people to do.
— Dr. Zahid Aziz 

 It (this verse) says that man should go around the world studying creation to learn how creation began and how it is today. On this basis, a Muslim should go, not only to China, but every­where in the world to acquire knowledge of creation. Therefore it is plausible that the Holy Prophet could have mentioned China as an example to indicate that you may need to go as far as China, which was distant from Arabia, to acquire knowledge if you realised that it could be found there.
— Dr. Zahid Aziz 

“Go you [Moses] and your brother [Aaron] with My messages and be not remiss in remembering Me. Go both of you to Pharaoh, surely he is inordinate; Then speak to him a gentle word, perhaps he may be mindful or fear.”
— Quran 20:42-44

This indicates the way to preach. One might expect that a hard-hearted, arrogant tyrant such as this Pharaoh would pay no attention to “a gentle word” from a lowly man from an enslaved community like Moses, and he would only respond to some terrifying threat. But we are told to try gentleness in the first place, as this may change a mind that we don’t expect.
— Dr. Zahid Aziz 

“O Children of Israel, call to mind My favour which I (God) bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.”
— Quran 2:47

The favour which God has mentioned begins with Him saving them from the Pharaoh, drowning this tyrant and his army, and bringing the Israelites to safety across the sea. This was then followed by the great favour of granting a scripture and a law to them through Moses. They were also granted rule in the land under David and Solomon, with Solomon ruling over an extensive territory. Prophets appeared among them one after another. In terms of these favours, God made them excel other nations. ... The excelling of the Jews over other nations, as mentioned in the Quran, may also be interpreted in another way. In the past one thousand years or so, Jews have made a vast contribution in many fields of life, such as science, art, literature, philosophy, etc. First, they made these contributions while living and prospering under Muslim rule under the Khalifas in Baghdad and under Muslim rule in Spain. Later they made these contributions under modern Western civilisation. Their contributions were much more than would be expected from their small population as compared to other communi­ties. Thus the statement in the Quran is fulfilled in this way as well.
— Dr. Zahid Aziz 

“And when the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world”  
— Quran 3:42

Quran in Defense of Mary
The Jews (of a later period) circulated  calumnies of all sorts against Mary and  depicted her character as that of a fallen woman. 

“For their uttering against Mary a grievous slander” – Quran 4:156.

As it was one of the objects of the Quran to inculcate respect for all righteous men and women, and Mary and her son were among the most, if not the most, reviled of all the holy personages in the world, it was bound to defend them. The Jews said that Mary was among the most degraded women of her time; the Holy Quran tells us that she was the greatest woman of her time, pure and chaste. Thus it says: “And when the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world” (3:42).

Maulana Muhammad Ali