The Quran on Human Embryonic Development

The Quran on Human Embryonic Development

In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development in such minute detail, much of which was unknown to scientists until only recently. It mentions the first stages of life after conception, the second stage of life after conception, and witnesses of scientists about these scientific facts of the Quran.

“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)…” (Quran 23:12-14)

Alaqah Stage

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

Leech

We find similarity between the leech[1] and the embryo as we can see in figure 1. At this stage the embryo obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.[2]

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Suspended Thing

In figures 2 and 3, we can see the suspension of the embryo in the womb of the mother.

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Blood Clot

The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs 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[3] (see figure 4) that does not circulate until the end of the third week.[4] Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

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Mudghah Stage

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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 acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.”[5] (see figures 5 and 6).

The Staging of Human Embryos

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., but little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century.

Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.[6]

Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore[7] is 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. 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 Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.”[8] (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click here).

Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”[9]

How could Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time?

During one conference, Professor Moore also 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 Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God 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 Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad’s 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.

These descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”[10] (View the RealPlayer video of this comment).

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References:

Figure 1: The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.

Figure 2: The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.

Figure 3: The Developing Human, Moore 3rd ed., p. 66.

Figure 4: The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.

Figure 5: The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82

Figure 6: The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.

[1] The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.

[2] Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 36.

[3] Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, pp. 37-38.

The Quran on Human Embryonic Development 5 of 6 www.IslamReligion.com

[4] The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 65.

[5] The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.

[6] The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 9.

[7] Note: The occupations of all the scientists mentioned in this web site were last updated in 1997.

[8] The reference for this saying is This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy of this videotape, please visit www.islam-guide.com/truth.htm

[9] This is the Truth (videotape).

[10] This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy, see footnote no. 9. 

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