Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Embryology in the Quran

Draft version 1.0

The Quran is not a science book neither does it claim to be, however the author, with the use of 7th century Arabic, tries to bring our attentions to our humble beginnings, but interestingly uses terminology that corresponds to modern science.

One cannot help noticing, that the author of the Quran must have known about the developments within modern science.

There are many examples of this in the Quran, In Chapter 23 verse 14 the Author of the Quran speaks of the evolution of the Human Embryo. Professor Keith Moore an expert on Human embryology was presented with these descriptions in the Quran, he found them so accurate, that he added this information in the second edition of “Before we are born”.

Translation :
“Then We made the Nutfa into a Alaqa; then of that Alaqa We made a Mudga; then we made out of that Mudga bones and clothed the bones with flesh;”

“Thumma khalaqna alnnutfata AAalaqatan fakhalaqna alAAalaqata mudghatan fakhalaqna almudghata AAithaman fakasawna alAAithama lahman”

The Arabic word ‘nutfa’ has been translated by the words “drop of fluid” in some Quranic transaltions, as we do not have the term that are strictly appropriate. The word nutfa means a selection from a whole or something, which comes from a verb “to dribble, to trickle’ ( nata’a ), an example of its usage , if you have a bucket of water and you pour everything out it , what is going to be remain in that bucket are some droplets , that is referred to as the nutfa ( a little of something ).
It is clear that the author of the Quran is using this word Nutfa with respect to Sperm, we now know that out of the millions of sperm only one penetrates the egg and gives raise to the formation of the human baby.

The next word to pay attention to is the word ,‘Alaqa’ which means to hang or cling to, a leech and blood clot. We find that the human embryo after 20 days starts to appear elongated and segmented like a leech- like organism and not only that but the word Alaqa describes the function of the embryo, as the embryo is clinging onto the wall of the womb. Moreover because of the intricate formation of the blood vessels within the embryo, the blood is clotted in closed vessels; it has with no blood flow, so hence the word Alaqa perfectly describes this stage of the embryo.

Mudga means to be chewed , small chunk of meat. At 28 days old the human embryo starts to show a disfigured appearance with what are called Somites, which is the formation of the back bone. Professor Moore describes that the somites resemble teeth marks.

Clothed bones with flesh
Then finally, we made out of the Mudga bones then covered it with flesh.
It is stated in the verses that the bones develop and then the muscles form which wrap around those bones. Recently embryologist assumed that bone and muscles developed at the same time. For this reason for a long time these verse were seen as inaccurate. Yet advanced microscopic research conducted by new technological developments have revealed that the revelations of the Quran are word by word correct. These examinations at the microscopic level show the development inside the mother’s womb takes place just the way described in the verses. First the cartilage tissue of the embryo ossifies, and then muscular cells that are selected from among the tissue around the bones come together and rap around the bones.
This event is described in a scientific publication with the following words


Frank said...

This is all well and good Adam. The information contained in the Koran - though to some extent correct in its descriptions can be obtained from variable sources. None of them miraculous. Natural female abortions, deliberate dissections and or criminal acts against the female form provide the answer to your mystery.


Anonymous said...

we are agreed, then, that this is figurative?

whatever, i do not understand its theological importance. why is that aya there? it does not pass the "so what" test.


Naseer said...

The information most certainly couldn't have been obtained in 600 CE. What exactly happens after a sperm enters the womb and how a fetus develops wasn't known until recently.

The fact that the Quran explains something only recently proven by science is an amazing fact.

If anyone insists science knew these facts a few hundred years ago, it only proves theirignorance, and they need to check their facts.

frank said...


I suspect ignorance belongs those that would make something of nothing. In this instance we have nothing being made something.Not by scientific argument but using language to justify science. Sorry but this is no evedence whatsoever


Anonymous said...

naseer, every time a woman has a miscarriage, from the first few weeks to full term, a foetus is delivered by the woman. the development stages of the foetus could hardly not be known.

the romans certainly knew about sperm 600 years before your prophet because they had condoms, albeit rather uncomfortable ones made of leather.

Pliny in his Natural History (29.27.85) writes of one supposed method of contraception.

Soranus, who wrote a treatise on gynaecology in the 2nd century AD, describes both contraception and abortion (1.60.4, 1.61.1-3 and 1.64.1-2, 1.65.1-7), and Ovid in his Amores (2.14.5-10ff) speaks of his feelings about the abortion which his lover, it seems, is about to procure.

the knowledge of conception dates back millenia as can be proven by ancient artifacts - the ancient egyptians used linen condoms 3000 years ago.

however, nobody can tell me why this aya is in the quran at all?

it has no religious significance and is plain wrong in a scientific sense. tom

loveProphet said...

Please anyone reference towards any text before the Qur'an that described embryology like the Qur'an did.

Also people should learn the basics of embryology and its history and the fact that much of its early stages would require a microscope to get into the detail that the Qur'an al-Kareem gave.
Dr. Keith Moore made it clear that such knowledge wouldn't be possible without the invention of the telescope.

loveProphet said...

A typo error in the last post. It should say "microscope" instead of the "telescope".

Take for example the length of the embryo at day 32 being 5-7.00 mm.

Anonymous said...

the point, loveprophet, is that the description is plain wrong. a microscope might well be needed to examine the very early stages - and that is the part of the description that is most wrong. "We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (alaqa)". however, someone seeing menses or an early miscarriage may well make such an error.

you might do better to focus on the moral and spiritual messages to be found in the quran rather than persisting with the silly claim of scientific accuracy - but that's the price you pay for saudi money!

then we have the inevitable mention of dr keith moore, who in a later edition of his book especially for muslims claimed that the quran states that the resulting organism settles in the womb like a seed, 6 days after its beginning. This really would be amazing if it was true but of course the quran says nothing of the sort. saudi money does indeed speak.

by the way, i think that you meant microscope rather than telescope (last word in your posting) - at least, i hope you did! tom

loveProphet said...

Again you provided no references and proofs, especially for "Saudi money", what a lame excuse!
Also the word alaqa means "leech or bloodsucker and other meanings" so the description is not wrong.
Perhaps you should have read the opening artcile here.
It would also be good that you learn basic Arabic and learn to read an Arabic dictionary.

loveProphet said...

Also Dr Keith Moore's latest edition of Developing Human contains reference to the Qur'an, so its not only in the specific edition for Muslims. See the chapter on the history of embryology there.

loveProphet said...

As for the sixth day thing(as the 6 days have been completed), it's mentioned in the Hadith
"Ibn Rajab said in his masterpiece Jami` al-`Ulum wal-Hikam "

Anonymous said...

an egg is fertilised by a sperm. the cells divide. and so on. why does the quran not say that?

the embryo is not a leech or a bloodsucker or a clot. that is plain wrong. however that is what an early miscarriage looks like. this is a pretty clear indication that the description came from a human being, is it not?

if god wrote that part of the quran, why did he not get it right?

if you say that saudi money is not involved in trying to rewrite science and history either you are receiving some or you should get out more!

this is nothing whatsoever to do with arabic, its to do with an allegedly scientific description that is plain wrong.

loveProphet said...

Honestly i give up, you're disregard for the opening article and honesty and for the seeking of the truth is beyond doubt. Thus i won't bother replying to you after this.

The Qur'anic verse reads:
“Then We made the drop into a leech-like structure.”

This statement is from Sura 23:14.
It is enough that Dr Keith Moore(an authority unlike you) has accepted such descriptions.

As for the other stages, it is enough as proof that what Allah Most High has mentioned has been mentioned. He does whatever He wills and is not asked about what He does, but rather man is asked about what he does.
The Qur'an is not a scientific textbook so it does not have to explain every detail of everything.
The miracles of the Qur'an al-Kareem are facts and obvious to all who have open hearts.

Anonymous said...

“Then We made the drop into a leech-like structure.”

not a scientifically correct statement regardless of what anyone says.

it is wise of you to say that the quran is not a scientific textbook, as it is incorrect in just about every statement that can be tested.

i can see no miracles in the quran.

you speak of an open heart. i speak of an open mind.

the fundamental problem of islam is that it claims 100% accuracy and completeness.

once it learns a bit of humility, it may start to move forward.

then it might understand that its critics are actually its friends. tom

Anonymous said...

I believe that it is human nature to have a negative attitude towards things do not accept. Very rare personalities are there who look at things positive and unbiased. Rare people can come out of the inherent thought that one possess. It's a rare rich quality in human. Dear anonymous, let me tell you about one ayah in the Qur'an, "Who believe in the Unseen and fulfill their devotional obligations, and spend in charity of what We have given them;(chapter/2: ayah/3) Who believe in what has been revealed to you (Mohammad) and what was revealed (Torah, Gospel)to those before you, and are certain about the Hereafter"(chapter/2: ayah/4). So the Qur'an also says to believe in those books as divine scriptures from the almighty the Lord of all worlds. Did you like that ayah? Do you feel like believing this ayah as a truth?
May Lord bless you with success in all aspects of your life.