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Human 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, blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed, lump).”(Qur’an, 23:12-14)

In comparing a leech to the embryo at the transitory stage (alaqah) we find similarity between the two. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech that feeds on the blood of others. The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” Suspension of an Embryo during the early stages in the womb of the mother. (About 15 days old). The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mugdah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two. We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the transitory stage (alaqah) 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. The blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus the embryo is like a clot of blood at this stage!

The embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed-like substance because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance.”

As we know, chromosomes contain all the characteristics which the new human being will have such as the color of the eyes, skin, hair, etc. Hence, many of the details in the human being’s make-up are determined in his chromosomes. Chromosomes begin to form during the early nutfah stage of embryonic development. In other words, the distinguishing features of the new human being are determined from the very beginning at the nutfah stage. During the first 40 days of gestation, all the body parts and organs are completely, though consecutively formed.

The Prophet Muhammad, (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), has informed us in a hadith that: “In every one of you, all components of your creation are gathered together in your mothers’ womb by 40 days”. (Narrated in Saheeh Muslim and Al-Bukhaari).

In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “When forty-two nights have passed over the drop (nutfah), Allah sends an angel to it, who shapes it and makes its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones. Then he says, “O Lord, is it male or female?” and your Lord decides what he wishes.” (Narrated in Saheeh Muslim).

The first 40 days constitute a clearly distinguishable stage of embryogenesis. The absolute precision and accuracy of those hadiths particularly impress us. So the two hadiths that have been noted can provide us with a specific timetable for the main embryological development before 40 days. These hadiths could not have been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at the time of their recording. It follows, that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion, but in fact religion can guide science by adding revelation to some traditional scientific approaches. That there exists statements in the Qur’an shown by science to be valid, which supports knowledge in the Qur’an having been derived from Allah.

How did Mohammad (pbuh) know about the 20th century’s Medical fact 1400 years back?

Say: He has revealed it Who knows the secret in the heavens and the earth;surely He is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Qur’an, 25:6)


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