The Qur’an on Human Embryonic Development

 

In the Holy Qur’an, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance…”

(Qur’an 23:12-14)

Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.

In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two, as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others. The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.

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The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

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So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage. The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage.

The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage is similar in appearance to a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.” (see figures 5 and 6).

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How could Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have possibly known all this about fourteen hundred years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.

Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore was one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.

In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) must have been a messenger of God.”

Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Qur’an is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”

During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “….Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah (what Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Qur’an and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Qur’an cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”

 

Scientific Miracles in the Holy Quran

The Qur’an is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel. It was memorized by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , who then dictated it to his Companions. They, in turn, memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) . Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reviewed the Qur’an with the Angel Gabriel once each year and twice in the last year of his life. From the time the Qur’an was revealed, until this day, there has always been a huge number of Muslims who have memorized all of the Qur’an, letter by letter. Some of them have even been able to memorize all of the Qur’an by the age of ten.

Not one letter of the Qur’an has been changed over the centuries. The Qur’an, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago, mentioned facts only recently discovered or proven by scientists. This proves without doubt that the Qur’an must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , and that the Qur’an was not authored by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or by any other human being. This also proves that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is truly a prophet sent by God. It is beyond reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or proven only recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated scientific methods.

Some examples follow (click to discover more details):

The Qur’an on Human Embryonic Development

The Qur’an on Mountains

The Qur’an on the Origin of the Universe

The Qur’an on the Cerebrum

The Qur’an on Seas and Rivers

The Qur’an on Deep Seas and Internal Waves

The Qur’an on Clouds

Scientists’ Comments on the Scientific Miracles in the Holy Qur’an

 

Source:

A Brief Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition. I.A Ibrahim

What is the Quran?

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The Word of God

The Qur’an is the literal word of God, The Almighty (Allah in Arabic), revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel.

“The revelation of The Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.”

Qur’an 39:1

Guidance for Mankind

The Qur’an is “a guidance for mankind… and the distinction (between right and wrong).” Qur’an 2:185.  It provides direction to help mankind judge between right and wrong, without which, man would surely be in loss.

The Final Revelation

The Qur’an is the last scripture revealed by Almighty Allah (God), confirming what little truth remains in parts of previous scriptures and refuting and correcting fabrications and additions which have crept into current day versions of such scriptures.

“O you who have been given the Scripture! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is (already) with you…”Qur’an 4:47

How was the Qur’an Revealed?

The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and exists only in the language in which it was revealed – Arabic. However, the translation of the meaning of the Qur’an is available in many languages. The Qur’an was not sent down as a complete book in one revelation; rather, the revelation spanned over a period of 23 years. For this reason, it is essential to know in what circumstances the verses were revealed, in order to have a proper understanding of the Qur’an; otherwise, its teachings could be misunderstood.

How do I know that it is from God?

Preservation

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Verses from the Quran

The Qur’an is the only religious sacred text that has been in circulation for a lengthy period, and yet remains as pure as the day it was revealed. Nothing has been added, removed or modified from it, since its revelation over 1400 years ago.

“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will certainly guard it (from corruption).” Qur’an 15:09

Not only has the Qur’an been preserved in written form, but also in the hearts of men, children and women. Today, millions of people have memorized the Qur’an from cover to cover.

Scientific Miracles

The Qur’an does not contradict modern science but rather, supports it. One of the most remarkable aspects about the Qur’an is that it contains many verses which accurately describe natural phenomenon in various fields such as embryology, meteorology, astronomy, geology and oceanography. Scientists have found its descriptions incredibly accurate for a book dating back to the 7th century

“We shall show them Our Signs in the Universe and within their own selves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth.” Qur’an 41:53

In fact, many of the scientific miracles mentioned in the Qur’an have been discovered only recently, through the modern advancement of technological equipment. Consider the following:

  • The Qur’an gives a detailed description of the development of the human embryo. These details were unknown to the scientific community until recent times.
  • The Qur’an states that the astronomical objects (stars, planets, moons etc…) were all formed from clouds of dust. Previously unknown, this fact has now become an undisputed principle of modern cosmology.
  • Modern science has discovered the existence of barriers that allow two seas to meet yet maintain their own temperature, density and salinity.

These signs of God were clearly stated in the Qur’an more than 1400 years ago.

Uniqueness

Ever since its revelation, no person has been able to produce a single chapter like that of the Qur’an in its beauty, eloquence, splendour, wisdom, prophecies, and other perfect attributes.

“And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.”

Qur’an 2:23

The people that rejected Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed this challenge, even though they were extremely eloquent in the language of the Qur’an. This challenge remains unanswered to this very day.

No Contradictions

When people write, they are bound to make mistakes such as spelling and grammar, contradictory statements, incorrect facts, omission of information, and other various errors.

“Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely, have found in it (the Qur’an) many contradictions.”

Qur’an 4:82

The Qur’an has no contradictions whatsoever – be it in scientific explanations of the water cycle, embryology, geology and cosmology; historical facts and events; or prophecies.

Not Authored by a Man 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known in history to be illiterate; he could not read nor write. He was not educated in any field that could account for neither the scientific and historical accuracy, nor the literary beauty of this magnificent Book. The precision of historical recounts of previous peoples and civilisations mentioned in the Qur’an is also too great to be authored by any man.

“And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah.”

Qur’an 10:37

Purpose of Revelation

To Believe in One True God 

“And your god is One God. There is no god but He, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

Qur’an 2:163

The most important topic mentioned throughout the Qur’an is the belief in the One, True God. God informs us that He has no partner, no son, no equal, and that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone. Nothing is comparable to God and none of His creation resembles Him. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing human qualities and limitations to God.

To Reject All False Gods

“And worship Allah and associate none with Him.”

Qur’an 4:36

Since Allah alone is the only One worthy of worship, false deities and false gods must be rejected. The Qur’an also rejects the notion of attributing divine qualities to anyone or anything other than Allah.

To Narrate the Stories from the Past

The Qur’an contains many narratives with beneficial lessons, including the true stories of previous Prophets such as, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus and Moses. Of these stories, Allah says,

“Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.”

Qur’an 12:111

To Remind us of the Day of Judgement

This Noble Book reminds us that everyone will taste death and will be held accountable for all their actions and sayings:

“We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least…”
Qur’an 21:47
To Fulfil the Intended Way of Life 

Importantly, the Qur’an teaches that the purpose of life is to worship God alone, and live one’s life according to the way of life prescribed by Him. In Islam, worship is a comprehensive term that includes all actions and sayings (whether private or public) that Allah loves and is pleased with. Therefore, by doing what Allah commands, a Muslim is worshipping God and fulfilling his purpose in life. The following are examples of worship from the Qur’an:

  • To pray:
“O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, that you may succeed.”
Qur’an 22:77
  • To give charity:
“…And spend, it is better for your souls; and whoever is saved from the greediness of his soul, these it is that are the successful.”
Qur’an 64:16
  • To be honest:
“Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when you know (what it is).” Qur’an 2:42
  • To be modest:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.”
Qur’an 24:30-31
  • To be thankful:
“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers– you did not know anything– and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.”
Qur’an 16:78

To be just:

“O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor…”
Qur’an 4:135

To be patient:

“And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.”
Qur’an 11:115
  • To do good:

 

“Allah has promised to those who believe and do good deeds (that) they shall have forgiveness and a mighty reward.”
Qur’an 5:9

Conclusion

In summary, the Qur’an teaches mankind how to worship the One True God, hence fulfilling their true purpose in life, and attaining success in both this world and the next.

“Verily, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book for mankind in truth. So whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for his own self; and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only for his own loss.” Qur’an 39:41