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THE QUR’AAN AND MODERN SCIENCE

COMPATIBLE OR INCOMPATIBLE?

 

                     By Dr. ZAKIR NAIK

          ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION 

                   http://www.irf.net

                                                                                             Distributed by AHYA Multi-Media http://www.ahya.org

 

                                                                                                                                           CONTENTS

1.      Introduction …………………………………….…….05

2.      The Challenge of the Qur’aan …………….. 07

3.      Astronomy ……………………………………….…...09

4.      Physics ………………………………………….….....14

5.      Geography …………………………………….……...17

6.      Geology ……………………………………….….…...19

7.      Oceanology ………………………………….………..21

8.      Biology ………………………………………….……...25

9.      Botany ………………………………………………....26

10.  Zoology ……………………………………………….. 28

11.  Medicine ……………………………………………....32

12.  Physiology ……………………………………………..33

13.  Embryology …………………………………………...35

14.  General Science ………………………………….. 44

15.  Conclusion ……………………………………... 46

 

 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 

INTRODUCTION

Ever since the dawn of human life on this planet, Man has always sought  to understand Nature, his own place in the scheme of Creation and the  purpose of Life itself. In this quest for Truth, spanning many centuries  and diverse civilizations, organized religion has shaped human life and  determined to a large extent, the course of history. While some religions have  been  based  on  books,  claimed  by  their  adherents  to  be  divinely  inspired, others have relied solely on human experience.

Al-Qur’aan,  the  main  source  of  the  Islamic  faith,  is  a  book  believed  by  Muslims,  to  be  of  completely  Divine  origin.  Muslims  also  believe  that  it  contains  guidance  for  all  mankind.  Since  the  message  of  the  Qur’aan  is  believed  to  be  for  all  times,  it  should  be  relevant  to  every  age.  Does  the  Qur’aan pass this test? In this booklet, I intend to give an objective analysis of  the Muslim belief regarding the Divine origin of the Qur’aan, in the light of  established scientific discoveries.

There  was  a  time,  in  the  history  of  world  civilization,  when  ‘miracles’,  or  what was perceived to be a miracle, took precedence over human reason and  logic. But how do we define the term ‘miracle’? A miracle is anything that  takes place out of the normal course of life and for which humankind has no  explanation. However, we must be careful before we accept something as a  miracle. An article in ‘The Times of India’ Mumbai, in 1993 reported that ‘a  saint’  by  the  name  ‘Baba  Pilot’  claimed  to  have  stayed  continuously  submerged  under  water  in  a  tank  for  three  consecutive  days  and  nights.  However,  when  reporters  wanted  to  examine  the base of the tank of water  where he claimed to have performed this ‘miraculous’ feat, he refused to let  them do so. He argued by asking as to how one could examine the womb of a  mother that gives birth to a child. The ‘Baba’ was hiding something. It was a  gimmick  simply  to  gain  publicity.  Surely,  no  modern  man  with  even  the slightest inkling towards rational thinking would accept such a ‘miracle’. If  such false miracles are the tests of divinity, then we would have to accept Mr.  P.  C.  Sorcar,  the  world  famous  magician  known  for  his  ingenious  magical  tricks and illusions, as the best God-man.

A book, claiming Divine origin, is in effect, claiming to be a miracle. Such a  claim should be easily verifiable in any age, according to the standards of that  age. Muslims believe, that the Qur’aan is the last and final revelation of God,  the  miracle  of  miracles  revealed  as  a  mercy  to  mankind.  Let  us  therefore  investigate the veracity of this belief.

I would like to thank Brother Musaddique Thange for his editorial assistance. May Allah (swt) reward him for his efforts, Ameen.


 

THE CHALLENGE OF THE QUR’AAN

Literature  and  poetry  have  been  instruments  of  human  expression  and  creativity, in all cultures. The world also witnessed an age when literature and  poetry occupied pride of position, similar to that now enjoyed by science and  technology.

Muslims as well as non-Muslims agree that Al-Qur’aan is Arabic literature  par excellence - that it is the best Arabic literature on the face of the earth.  The Qur’aan, challenges mankind in the following verses:

“And if ye are in doubt As to what We have revealed From time to time   to Our Servant, then produce a Soorah Like thereunto; And call your  witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, If your (doubts) are  true.  But  if  ye  cannot  – And  of  a  surety  you  cannot.  hen  fear  the  Fire  Whose fuel is Men and Stones – Which is prepared for those Who reject  Faith.” [Al-Qur’aan 2:23-24] 1

The   same   notation   is   followed   throughout   the   book.   References   and  translation of the Qur’aan are from the translation of the Qur’aan by Abdullah  Yusuf  Ali,  new  revised  edition,  1989,  published  by  Amana  Corporation,  Maryland, USA.

The challenge of the Qur’aan, is to produce a single Soorah (chapter) like the  Soorahs  it contains. The same challenge is repeated in the Qur’aan several  times. The challenge to produce a Soorah, which, in beauty, eloquence, depth  and   meaning  is  at  least  somewhat  similar  to  a  Qur’aanic  Soorah  remains  unmet to this day. A modern rational man, however, would never accept a  religious scripture, which says, in the best possible poetic language, that the  world is flat. This is because we live in an age, where human reason, logic  and  science  are  given  primacy.  Not  many  would  accept  the  Qur’aan’s  extraordinarily beautiful language, as proof of its Divine origin. Any scripture claiming to be a divine revelation must also be acceptable on the strength of  its own reason and logic.

According to the famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein,  “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” Let us therefore study the Qur’aan, and analyze whether The Qur’aan and Modern  Science are compatible or incompatible?

The Qur’aan is not a book of science but a book of ‘signs’, i.e. ayats. There  are  more  than  six  thousand  ‘signs’  in  the  Qur’aan  of  which  more  than  a  thousand deal with science. We all know that many a times Science takes a  ‘U-turn’. In this book I have considered only established scientific facts and  not mere hypotheses and theories that are based on assumptions and are not  backed by proof.

Al-Qur’an 2:23-24 indicates Soorah or Chapter No. 2 and Ayaat or Verses 23  and 24.

 

I. ASTRONOMY

CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE: ‘THE BIG BANG’

The  creation  of  the  universe  is  explained  by  astrophysicists  in  a  widely  accepted phenomenon, popularly known as the ‘Big Bang’. It is supported by  observational    and    experimental    data    gathered    by    astronomers    and  astrophysicists for decades. According to the ‘Big Bang’, the whole universe  was initially one big mass (Primary Nebula). Then there was a ‘Big Bang’  (Secondary  Separation)  which  resulted  in  the formation of Galaxies. These  then divided to form stars, planets, the sun, the moon, etc. The origin of the  universe was unique and the probability of it occurring by ‘chance’ is zero.  The  Qur’aan  contains  the  following  verse,  regarding  the  origin  of  the  universe:  “Do  not  the  Unbelievers  see  That  the  heavens  and  the  earth  Were joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before We clove them  asunder?” [Al-Qur’aan 21:30]

The striking congruence between the Qur’aanic verse and the ‘Big Bang’ is  inescapable! How could a book, which first appeared in the deserts of Arabia  1400 years ago, contain this profound scientific truth?

 

THERE WAS AN INITIAL GASEOUS MASS BEFORE THE CREATION OF GALAXIES

Scientists say that before the galaxies in the universe were formed, celestial  matter  was  initially  in  the  form  of  gaseous  matter.  In  short,  huge  gaseous  matter  or  clouds  were  present  before  the  formation  of  the  galaxies.  To  describe initial celestial matter, the word ‘smoke’ is more appropriate than  gas. The following Qur’aanic verse refers to this state of the universe by the  word dhukhan which means smoke.

“Moreover, He Comprehended In His design the sky, And it had been  (as) smoke: He said to it And to the earth: ‘Come ye together, Willingly or unwillingly.’   They   said:   ‘We   do   come   (Together),   in   willing  obedience.’” [Al-Qur’aan 41:11]

Again, this fact is a corollary to the ‘Big Bang’ and was not known to the  Arabs during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). What then, could have  been the source of this knowledge?

 

THE SPHERICAL SHAPE OF THE EARTH

In early times, people believed that the earth is flat. For centuries, men were  afraid  to  venture  out  too  far,  lest  they  should  fall  off the edge. Sir Francis  Drake  was  the  first  person  who  proved  that  the  earth is spherical when he  sailed  around  it in 1597. Consider the following Qur’aanic verse regarding  the alternation of day and night: “Seest thou not that Allah merges Night  into Day And He merges Day into Night?” [Al-Qur’aan 31:29]

Merging here means that the night slowly and gradually changes to day and  vice versa. This phenomenon can only take place if the earth is spherical. If  the earth was flat, there would have been a sudden change from night to day  and from day to night.

The  following  verse  also  alludes  to  the  spherical  shape  of  the  earth:  “He  created the heavens And the earth In true (proportions): He makes the  Night  Overlap  the  Day,  and  the  Day  Overlap  the  Night.”  [Al-Qur’aan  39:5]

The Arabic word used here is Kawwara meaning ‘to overlap’ or ‘to coil’– the  way a turban is wound around the head. The overlapping or coiling of the day  and night can only take place if the earth is spherical.

The earth is not exactly round like a ball, but geo-spherical i.e. it is flattened  at the poles. The following verse contains a description of the earth’s shape:

“And  the  earth,  moreover,  Hath  He  made  egg  shaped.”  2  [Al-Qur’aan  79:30]

The Arabic word for egg here is dahaha, which means an ostrich-egg. The  shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth. Thus  the Qur’aan correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent  notion when the Qur’aan was revealed was that the earth is flat.

 

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON IS REFLECTED LIGHT

It was believed by earlier civilizations that the moon emanates its own light.  Science now tells us that the light of the moon is reflected light. However this  fact was mentioned in the Qur’aan 1,400 years ago in the following verse:.

“Blessed is He Who made Constellations   in the skies, And placed therein  a Lamp And a Moon giving light.” [Al-Qur’aan 25:61]

The  Arabic  word  for  the  sun  in  the  Qur’aan,  is  shams.  It  is  referred  to  as  siraaj, which means a ‘torch’ or as wahhaaj which means ‘a blazing lamp’ or  as diya which means ‘shining glory’. All three descriptions are appropriate to  the sun, since it generates intense heat and light by its internal combustion.  The Arabic word for the moon is qamar and it is described in the Qur’aan as  muneer,  which  is  a  body  that  gives  nur  i.e.  light.  Again,  the  Qur’aanic  description matches perfectly with the true nature of the moon, which does  not give off light itself and is an inert body that reflects the light of the sun.   Not once in the Qur’aan, is the moon mentioned as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya or  the  sun  as  nur  or  muneer.  This  implies  that  the  Qur’aan  recognizes  the  difference between the nature of sunlight and moonlight.

Consider the following verses related to the nature of light from the sun and  the  moon:   “It is He who made the sun To be a shining glory And the  moon to be a light (Of beauty).” [Al-Qur’aan 10:5]

“See  ye  not  How  Allah  has  created  The  seven  heavens  One  above  another, “And made the moon A light in their midst, and made the sun  As a (Glorious) Lamp?” [Al-Qur’aan 71:15-16]

2   The  Arabic  word  dahaha  has  been  translated  by  A.  Yusuf  Ali  as  “vast  expanse”, which also is correct. The word dahaha also means an ostrich-egg.

 

THE SUN ROTATES

For a long time European philosophers and scientists believed that the earth  stood still in the centre of the universe and every other body including the sun  moved  around  it.  In  the  West,  this  geocentric  concept  of  the  universe  was  prevalent right from the time of Ptolemy in the second century B.C. In 1512,  Nicholas  Copernicus  put  forward  his  Heliocentric  Theory  of  Planetary  Motion, which asserted that the sun is motionless at the centre of the solar  system with the planets revolving around it.

 

In 1609, the German scientist Yohannus Keppler published the ‘Astronomia  Nova’.  In  this  he  concluded  that  not  only  do  the planets move in  elliptical  orbits  around  the  sun,  they  also  rotate  upon  their  axes  at  irregular  speeds.  With  this  knowledge  it  became  possible  for  European  scientists  to  explain  correctly many of the mechanisms of the solar system including the sequence  of night and day.

After these discoveries, it was thought that the Sun was stationary and did not  rotate  about  its  axis  like  the  Earth.  I  remember  having  studied  this  fallacy  from  Geography  books  during  my  school  days.  Consider  the   following  Qur’aanic verse: “It is He Who created The Night and the Day, And the  sun  and  the  moon:  All  (the  celestial  bodies)  Swim  along,  each  in  its  Rounded course.” [Al-Qur’aan 21:33]

The Arabic word used in the above verse is yasbahűn . The word yasbahűn is  derived from the word sabaha. It carries with it the idea of motion that comes from any moving body. If you use the word for a man on the ground, it would  not mean that he is rolling but would mean he is walking or running. If you  use  the  word  for  a  man  in  water  it  would not mean that he is floating but  would mean that he is swimming.

Similarly, if you use the word yasbah for a celestial body such as the sun it  would not mean that it is only flying through space but would mean that it is  also  rotating  as  it  goes  through  space.  Most  of  the  school  textbooks  have  incorporated the fact that the sun rotates about its axis. The rotation of the sun  about its own axis can be proved with the help of an equipment that projects  the image of the sun on the table top so that one can examine the  image of the  sun without being blinded. It is noticed that the sun has spots which complete  a circular motion once every 25 days i.e. the sun takes approximately 25 days  to rotate around its axis.

In fact, the sun travels through space at roughly 150 miles per second, and  takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the center of  our Milky Way Galaxy.

“It is not permitted To the Sun to catch up The Moon, nor can The Night  outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along In (its own) orbit (According to  Law).” [Al-Qur’aan 36:40]

This verse mentions an essential fact discovered by modern astronomy, i.e.   the  existence  of  the  individual  orbits  of  the  Sun  and  the  Moon,  and  their  journey  through  space  with  their  own  motion.  The  ‘fixed  place’   towards,  which  the  sun  travels,  carrying  with  it  the  solar  system,  has  been  located  exactly by modern astronomy. It has been given a name, the Solar Apex. The  solar  system  is  indeed  moving  in  space  towards  a  point  situated  in  the  constellation  of  Hercules  (alpha  Layer)  whose  exact  location  is  firmly  established.

The moon rotates around its axis in the same duration that it takes to revolve  around the earth. It takes approximately 29˝ days to complete one rotation.  One  cannot help but be amazed at the scientific accuracy of the Qur’aanic verses.  Should  we  not  ponder  over  the  question:  “What  was  the  source  of  knowledge contained in the Qur’aan?”

 

THE SUN WILL EXTINGUISH AFTER A CERTAIN PERIOD

The light of the sun is due to a chemical process on its surface that has been  taking place continuously for the past five billion years. It will come to an end  at some point of time in the future when the sun will be totally extinguished  leading to extinction of all life on earth. Regarding the impermanence of the  sun’s  existence  the  Qur’aan  says:  “And  the  Sun  Runs  its  course  For  a  period  determined  For  it;  that  is  The  decree  of  (Him)  The  exalted  in  Might, The All-Knowing.” [Al-Qur’aan 36:38] 3

The Arabic word used here is mustaqarr, which means a place or time that is  determined.  Thus  the  Qur’aan  says  that the sun runs towards a determined  place, and will do so only up to a pre-determined period of time – meaning  that it will end or extinguish.

 

THE PRESENCE OF INTERSTELLAR MATTER

Space  outside  organized  astronomical  systems  was  earlier  assumed  to be a  vacuum . Astrophysicists later discovered the presence of bridges of matter in  this interstellar space. These bridges of matter are called plasma, and consist  of  completely  ionized  gas  containing  equal  number  of  free  electrons  and  positive ions. Plasma is sometimes called the fourth state of matter (besides  the three known states viz. solid, liquid and gas). The Qur’aan mentions the  presence of this interstellar material in the following verse: “He Who created  the heavens And the earth and all That is between.” [Al-Qur’aan 25:59]

It would be ridiculous, for anybody to even suggest  that  the  presence of  interstellar galactic material was known 1400 years ago.

A similar message is conveyed in the Qur’an in 13:2, 35:13, 39:5 and 39:21.

 

THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE

In 1925, an American astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble, provided   observational evidence that all galaxies are receding from one another, which  implies that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is now  an  established  scientific  fact.  This  is  what  Al-Qur’aan  says  regarding  the  nature of the universe: “With the power and skill Did We construct The  Firmament: For it is We Who create The vastness of Space.” [Al-Qur’aan  51:47] 

The  Arabic  word  műsi‘űn  is  correctly  translated  as  ‘expanding  it’,  and  it  refers  to  the  creation  of  the  expanding  vastness  of  the  universe.  Stephen  Hawking, in his book, ‘A Brief History of Time’, says, “The discovery that  the universe is expanding was one of the great intellectual revolutions of the  20th century.”

The Qur’aan mentioned the expansion of the universe, before man even learnt  to build a telescope! Some may say that the presence of astronomical facts in  the Qur’aan is not surprising since the Arabs were advanced in the field of  astronomy. They are correct in acknowledging the advancement of the Arabs  in the field of astronomy. However they fail to realize that the Qur’aan was  revealed centuries before the Arabs excelled in astronomy. Moreover many of  the scientific facts mentioned above regarding astronomy, such as the origin  of the universe with a Big Bang, were not known to the Arabs even at the  peak  of  their  scientific  advancement.  The  scientific  facts  mentioned  in  the  Qur’aan  are  therefore  not  due  to  the  Arabs’  advancement  in  astronomy.  Indeed,  the  reverse  is  true.  The  Arabs  advanced  in  astronomy,  because  astronomy occupies a place in the Qur’aan.

 

II. PHYSICS 

THE EXISTENCE OF SUBATOMIC PARTICLES

In ancient times a well-known theory by the name of ‘Theory of Atomism’  was widely accepted. This theory was originally proposed by the Greeks, in  particular  by  a  man  called  Democritus,  who  lived  about  23  centuries  ago.  Democritus and the people that came after him, assumed that the smallest unit  of matter was the atom. The Arabs used to believe the same. The Arabic word  dharrah most commonly meant an atom. In recent times modern science has  discovered that it is possible to split even an atom. That the atom can be split  further  is  a  development  of  the  20th  century.  Fourteen  centuries  ago  this  concept would have appeared unusual even to an Arab. For him the dharrah  was the limit beyond which one could not go. The following Qur’aanic verse  however, refuses to acknowledge this limit: “The Unbelievers say, ‘Never to  us will come The Hour’: say, ‘Nay! But most surely, By my Lord, it will  come Upon you – by Him Who knows the unseen – From Whom is not hidden The least little  atom In the Heavens or on  earth:  Nor is there anything less Than that, or greater, but Is in the Record Perspicuous.” [Al-Qur’aan 34:3] 4

This verse refers  to  the  Omniscience  of  God,  His  knowledge  of  all  things,  hidden  or  apparent. It then  goes  further  and  says  that  God  is  aware of  everything, including what is smaller or bigger than the atom. Thus the verse  clearly shows that it is possible for something smaller than the atom to exist, a  fact discovered only recently by modern science.

A similar message is conveyed in the Qur’an in 10:61.

 

III. GEOGRAPHY 

THE WATER CYCLE

In 1580, Bernard Palissy was the first man to describe the present day concept  of  ‘water  cycle’.  He  described  how  water  evaporates  from  the  oceans  and  cools to form clouds. The clouds move inland where they rise, condense and  fall  as rain. This water gathers as lakes and streams and flows back to the  ocean  in  a  continuous  cycle.  In  the  7th  century  B.C.,  Thales  of  Miletus  believed  that  surface  spray  of  the  oceans  was  picked  up  by  the  wind  and  carried inland to fall as rain. In earlier times people did not know the source  of underground water. They thought the water of the oceans, under the effect  of winds, was thrust towards the interior of the continents. They also believed  that the water returned by a secret passage, or the Great Abyss. This passage  is connected to the oceans and has been  called the ‘Tartarus’, since Plato’s  time. Even Descartes, a great thinker of the eighteenth century, subscribed to  this  view.  Till  the  nineteenth  century,   Aristotle’s  theory  was  prevalent.  According to this theory, water was condensed in cool mountain caverns and  formed  underground  lakes  that  fed  springs.  Today,  we  know  that  the  rainwater that seeps into the cracks of the ground is responsible for this.

The water cycle is described by the Qur’aan in the following verses: “Seest  thou not that Allah Sends down rain from The sky, and leads it Through  springs  in  the  earth?  Then  He  causes  to  grow,  Therewith,  produce  of  various Colours.” [Al-Qur’aan 39:21]

“He sends down rain From the sky And with it gives life to The earth  after it is dead: Verily in that are Signs For those who are wise.” [Al-  Qur’aan 30:24] 

“And We send down water From the sky according to (Due) measure,  and We cause it To soak in the soil; And We certainly are able To drain  it off (with ease).” [Al-Qur’aan 23:18]

No other text dating back 1400 years ago gives such an accurate description of the water cycle.

 

WINDS IMPREGNATE THE CLOUDS

“And  We  send  the  fecundating  winds,  Then  cause  the  rain  to  descend  From the sky, therewith providing You with water (in abundance).” [Al-  Qur’aan 15:22]

The  Arabic  word  used  here  is  lawâqih,  which  is  the  plural  of  laqih  from  laqaha, which means to impregnate or fecundate. In this context, impregnate  means that the wind pushes the clouds together increasing the condensation  that  causes  lightning  and  thus  rain.  A  similar  description  is  found  in  the  Qur’aan: “It is Allah Who sends The Winds, and they raise The Clouds:  then does He Spread them in the sky As He wills, and break them Into  fragments, until thou seest Raindrops issue from the midst Thereof: then  when He has Made them reach such Of His servants as He wills, Behold,  they do rejoice!” [Al-Qur’aan 30:48]

The Qur’aanic descriptions are absolutely accurate and agree perfectly with  modern data on hydrology. The water cycle is described in several verses of  the Glorious Qur’aan, including 3:9, 7:57, 13:17, 25:48- 49, 36:34, 50:9-11,  56:68-70, 67:30 and 86:11.


 

IV. GEOLOGY 

MOUNTAINS ARE LIKE PEGS (STAKES)

In  Geology,  the  phenomenon  of  ‘folding’  is  a  recently  discovered  fact.  Folding  is  responsible  for  the  formation  of  mountain  ranges.  The  earth’s  crust, on which we live, is like a solid shell, while the deeper layers are hot  and fluid, and thus inhospitable to any form of life. It is also known  that the  stability of the mountains is linked to the phenomenon of folding, for it was  the folds that were to provide foundations for the reliefs that constitute the  mountains. Geologists tell us that the radius of the Earth is about 3,750 miles  and the crust on which we live is very thin, ranging between 1 to 30 miles.  Since the crust is thin, it has a high possibility of shaking. Mountains act like  stakes or tent pegs that hold the earth’s crust and give it stability. The Qur’aan  contains  exactly  such  a  description  in  the  following  verse:  “Have We not  made The earth as a wide Expanse, And the mountains as pegs?” [Al-  Qur’aan 78:6-7]

The word awtad means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they  are  the  deep  foundations  of  geological  folds.  A  book  named  ‘Earth’  is  considered  as  a  basic  reference  textbook  on  geology  in  many  universities  around the world. One of the authors of this book is Frank Press, who was the  President of the Academy of Sciences in the USA for 12 years and was the  Science  Advisor  to  former  US  President  Jimmy  Carter.  In  this  book  he  illustrates the mountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itself as a small  part of the whole, whose root is deeply entrenched in the ground.5  According  to Dr. Press, the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of  the earth.

The Qur’aan clearly mentions the function of the mountains in preventing the  earth from shaking: “And We have set on the earth Mountains standing  firm, Lest it should shake with them.” [Al-Qur’aan 21:31]

The Qur’aanic descriptions are in perfect agreement with modern geological  data.

Earth, Press and Siever, p. 435. Also see Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens,  p. 157.

 

MOUNTAINS FIRMLY FIXED

The surface of the earth is broken into many rigid plates that are about 100  km  in  thickness.  These  plates  float  on  a  partially  molten  region  called  aesthenosphere. Mountain formations occur at the boundary of the plates. The  earth’s  crust  is  5  km  thick  below  oceans,  about  35  km  thick  below   flat  continental  surfaces  and  almost  80  km  thick  below  great  mountain  ranges.  These are the strong foundations on which mountains stand. The Qur’aan also  speaks about the strong mountain foundations in the following verse: “And  the mountains Hath He firmly fixed.” [Al-Qur’aan 79:32] 6

A similar message is contained in the Qur’an in 88:19, 31:10 and 16:15

 

 

V. OCEANOLOGY 

BARRIER BETWEEN SWEET AND SALT WATERS 

Consider the following Qur’aanic verses: “He has let free the two bodies Of  flowing water, Meeting together: Between them is a Barrier Which they  do not transgress.” [Al-Qur’aan 55:19-20]

In the Arabic text the word barzakh means a barrier or a partition. This barrier  is not a physical partition. The Arabic word maraja literally means ‘they both  meet  and  mix  with  each  other’.  Early  commentators  of  the  Qur’aan  were  unable to explain the two opposite meanings for the two bodies of water, i.e.  they  meet and mix, and at the same time, there is a barrier between them.  Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas  meet, there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that  each  sea  has  its  own  temperature,  salinity  and  density.  7  Oceanologists are  now in a better position to explain this verse. There is a slanted unseen water  barrier between the two seas through which water from one sea passes to the  other.

But when the water from one sea enters the other sea, it loses its distinctive  characteristic and becomes homogenized with the other water. In a way this  barrier  serves  as  a  transitional  homogenizing  area  for  the  two  waters.  This  scientific phenomenon mentioned in the Qur’aan was also confirmed by Dr.  William   Hay   who   is   a   well-known   marine   scientist   and   Professor   of  Geological  Sciences  at  the  University  of  Colorado,  U.S.A.  The  Qur’aan  mentions  this  phenomenon  also  in  the  following  verse:  “And  made  a  separating bar between the two bodies Of flowing water?” [Al-Qur’aan  27:61]

 

This phenomenon occurs in several places, including the divider between the  Mediterranean  and  the  Atlantic    Ocean  at  Gibralter.  But  when  the  Qur’aan  speaks  about  the  divider  between  fresh  and  salt  water,  it  mentions  the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. “It is He Who has Let  free the two bodies Of flowing water: One palatable and sweet, And the  other salty and bitter; Yet has He Made a barrier between them, And a  partition that is forbidden To be passed.” [Al-Qur’aan 25:53]

Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt-  water  meet,  the  situation  is  somewhat  different  from  that  found  in  places  where  two  seas  meet.  It  has  been  discovered  that  what  distinguishes  fresh  water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density  discontinuity separating the two layers.” 8 This partition (zone of separation)  has salinity different from both the fresh water and the salt water. 9

This phenomenon occurs in several places, including Egypt, where the river  Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

Principles of Oceanography, Davis, pp. 92-93.

 

DARKNESS IN THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN

Prof.  Durga  Rao  is  an  expert  in  the  field  of  Marine  Geology  and  was  a  professor  at  King  Abdul  Aziz  University  in  Jeddah.  He  was  asked  to  comment on the following verse: “Or (the Unbelievers’ state) Is like the  depths  of  darkness  In  a  vast  deep  ocean,  Overwhelmed  with  billow  Topped  by  billow,  Topped  by  (dark)  clouds:  Depths  of  darkness,  one  Above another: if a man Stretches out his hand, He can hardly see it! For  any to whom Allah Giveth not light, there is no light!” [Al-Qur’aan 24:40]

Prof. Rao said that scientists have only now been able to confirm, with the  help of modern equipment that there is darkness in the depths of the ocean.  Humans are unable to dive unaided underwater for more than 20 to 30 meters,  and cannot  survive in the deep oceanic regions at a depth of more than 200  meters.  This  verse  does  not  refer  to  all  seas  because  not  every  sea  can  be described as having accumulated darkness layered one over another. It refers  especially to a deep sea or deep ocean, as the Qur’aan says, “darkness in a  vast deep ocean”. This layered darkness in a deep ocean is the result of two causes:

1.  A light ray is composed of seven colours. These seven colours are Violet,  Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red (VIBGYOR). The light ray undergoes  refraction  when  it  hits  water.  The  upper  10 to 15 metres of  water absorb the red colour. Therefore if a diver is 25 metres under water and  gets  wounded,  he  would  not  be  able  to  see  the  red  colour  of  his  blood,  because the red colour does not reach this depth. Similarly orange rays are absorbed at 30 to 50 metres, yellow at 50 to 100 metres, green at 100 to 200 metres, and finally, blue beyond 200 metres and violet and indigo above 200  metres. Due to successive disappearance of colour, one layer after another,  the ocean progressively becomes darker, i.e. darkness takes place in layers of light. Below a depth of 1000 meters there is complete darkness. 10

2. The sun’s rays are absorbed by clouds, which in turn scatter light rays thus causing a layer of darkness under the clouds. This is the first layer  of darkness. When light rays reach the surface of the ocean they are  reflected by the wave surface giving it a shiny appearance. Therefore it is the waves which reflect light and cause darkness. The unreflected light penetrates into the depths of the ocean. Therefore the ocean has two parts. The surface characterized by light and warmth and the depth characterized by darkness.  The surface is further separated from the deep part of the ocean by waves.  The internal waves cover the deep waters of seas and oceans because the deep waters have a higher density than the waters above them. The darkness begins  below the internal waves. Even the fish in the depths of the ocean cannot see; their only source of light is from their own bodies.

The Qur’aan rightly mentions: “Darkness in a vast deep ocean overwhelmed with waves topped by waves”.

In other words, above these waves there are more types of waves, i.e. those  found on the surface of the ocean. The Qur’aanic verse continues, “topped by  (dark) clouds; depths of darkness, one above another.”

These clouds as explained are barriers one over the other that further cause  darkness by absorption of colours at different levels.

Prof. Durga Rao concluded by saying, “1400 years ago a normal human being  could not explain this phenomenon in so much detail. Thus the information  must have come from a supernatural  source”.

Oceanography, Gross, p. 242. Also see Introductory Oceanography, Thurman,  pp. 300-301.

Oceanography, Gross, p. 244 and Introductory  Oceanography, Thurman, pp.  300-301.

10  Oceans, Elder and Pernetta, p. 27.

 

VI. BIOLOGY 

EVERY LIVING THING IS MADE OF WATER

Consider the following Qur’aanic verse: “Do not the Unbelievers see that  the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one Unit of Creation),  before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing.  Will they not then believe?” [Al-Qur’aan 21:30]

Only  after  advances  have  been  made  in  science,  do  we  now  know  that  cytoplasm, the basic substance of the cell is made up of 80% water. Modern  research has also revealed that most organisms consist of 50% to 90% water  and that every living entity requires water for its existence. Was it possible 14  centuries ago for any human-being to guess that every living being was made  of water? Moreover would such a guess be conceivable by a human being in  the  deserts  of  Arabia  where  there  has  always  been  scarcity  of  water?  The  following verse refers to the creation of animals from water:  “And Allah has  created Every animal from water.” [Al-Qur’aan 24:45]

The following verse refers to the creation of human beings from water: “It is  He   Who   has   Created  man  from  water:  Then  has  He  established  Relationships of lineage And marriage: for thy Lord Has power (over all  things).” [Al-Qur’aan 25:54]

 

VII. BOTANY 

PLANTS CREATED IN PAIRS, MALE AND FEMALE

Previously humans did not know that plants too have male and female gender  distinctions.  Botany  states  that  every  plant  has  a  male  and  female  gender.  Even the plants that are unisexual have distinct elements of both male and  female.  “‘And  has  sent  Down  water  from  the  sky.’  With  it  have  We  produced  Diverse  pairs  of  plants  Each  separate  from  the  others.” [Al-  Qur’aan 20:53]

 

FRUITS CREATED IN PAIRS, MALE AND FEMALE

“And fruit Of every kind He made In pairs, two and two.” [Al-Qur’aan  13:3]

Fruit  is  the  end  product  of  reproduction  of  the  superior  plants.  The  stage  preceding fruit is the flower, which has male and female organs (stamens and  ovules). Once pollen has been carried to the flower, they bear fruit, which in  turn  matures  and  frees  its  seed.  All  fruits  therefore  imply  the  existence  of  male  and female organs; a fact that is mentioned in the Qur’aan.

In certain species, fruit can come from non-fertilized flowers (parthenocarpic  fruit) e.g. bananas, certain types of pineapple, fig, orange, vine, etc. They also  have definite sexual characteristics.

 

EVERYTHING MADE IN PAIRS

“And of everything We have created pairs.” [Al-Qur’aan 51:49]

This refers to things other than humans, animals, plants and fruits. It may also  be referring to a phenomenon like electricity in which the atoms consist of  negatively – and positively – charged electrons and protons.

“Glory to Allah, Who created In pairs all things that The earth produces,  as  well  as  Their  own  (human)  kind  And  (other)  things  of  which   They  have no knowledge.” [Al-Qur’aan 36:36]

The Qur’aan here says that everything is created in pairs, including things  that  the humans do not know at present and may discover later.

 

VIII. ZOOLOGY 

ANIMALS AND BIRDS LIVE IN COMMUNITIES

 “There is not an animal (That lives) on the earth, Nor a being that flies  On  its  wings,  but  (forms  Part  of)  communities  like  you.”  [Al-Qur’aan  6:38]

Research  has  shown  that  animals  and  birds live in communities,  i.e. they organize, and live and work together.

 

THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS

Regarding  the  flight  of  birds  the  Qur’aan  says:  “Do they not look at The  birds, held poised In the midst of (the air And) the sky? Nothing Holds  them up but (the power Of) Allah. Verily in this Are Signs for those who  believe.” [Al-Qur’aan 16:79]

A  similar  message  is  repeated  in  the  Qur’aan  in  the  verse:  “Do  they  not  observe The birds above them, Spreading their wings And folding them  in? None can uphold them Except (Allah) Most Gracious: Truly it is He  That watches over all things.” [Al-Qur’aan 67:19]

The Arabic word amsaka literally means, ‘to put one’s hand on, seize, hold,  hold someone back,’ which expresses the idea that Allah holds the bird up in  His power. These verses stress the extremely close dependence of the birds’  behaviour on Divine order. Modern scientific data has shown the degree of  perfection attained by certain species of birds with regard to the programming  of their movements. It is only the existence of a migratory programme in the  genetic code of the birds that can explain the long and complicated journey  that very young birds, without any prior experience and without any guide,  are able to accomplish. They are also able to return to the departure point on a  definite date.

Prof.  Hamburger  in  his  book  ‘Power  and  Fragility’  gives  the  example   of  ‘mutton-bird’ that lives in the Pacific with its journey of over 15,000 miles in  the shape of figure ‘8’. It makes this journey over a period of 6 months and  comes back to its departure point with a maximum delay of one week. The  highly complicated instructions for such a journey have to be contained in the  birds’ nervous cells. They are definitely programmed. Should we not reflect  on the identity of this ‘Programmer’?

 

THE BEE

“And thy Lord taught the Bee To build its cells in hills, On trees, and in  (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all The produce (of the earth), And  find with skill the spacious Paths of its Lord.” [Al-Qur’aan 16:68-69]

Von-Frisch  received  the  Nobel  Prize  in  1973  for  his  research  on  the  behaviour and communication of the bees. The bee, after discovering any  new  garden or flower, goes back and tells its fellow bees the exact direction and  map  to  get  there,  which  is  known  as  ‘bee  dance’.  The  meanings  of  this  insect’s movements that are intended to transmit information between worker  bees   have   been   discovered   scientifically   using   photography    and   other  methods. The Qur’aan mentions in the above verse how the bee finds with  skill the spacious paths of its Lord.

The worker bee or the soldier bee is a female bee. In Soorah Al-Nahl chapter  no. 16, verses 68 and 69 the   gender used for the bee is the female gender  (fa’slukî  and  kulî), indicating that the bee that leaves its home for gathering  food is a female bee. In other words the soldier or worker bee is a female bee.  In  fact,  in  Shakespeare’s  play,  “Henry  the  Fourth”,  some  of  the  characters  speak about bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and that they have a  king. That is what people thought in Shakespearean times. They thought that  the worker bees are male bees and they go home and are answerable to a king  bee. This, however, is not true. The worker bees are  females and they do not  report to a king bee but to a queen bee. But it took modern investigations in  the last 300 years to discover this.

 

SPIDER’S WEB / HOME IS FRAGILE

The Qur’aan mentions in Soorah Al-‘Ankabűt, “The parable of those who  Take protectors other than Allah Is that of the Spider, Who builds (to  itself) A house; but truly The flimsiest of houses Is the Spider’s house – If  they but knew.” [Al-Qur’aan 29:41]

Besides  giving  the  physical  description  of  the  spider’s  web  as  being  very  flimsy, delicate and weak, the Qur’aan also stresses on the flimsiness of the  relationship in the spider’s house, where the female spider many a times kills  its mate, the male spider.

 

LIFESTYLE AND COMMUNICATION OF ANTS 

Consider   the   following   Qur’aanic   verse:   “And  before  Solomon  were  marshaled  His  hosts  –  of  Jinns  and  men  And  birds,  and they were all  Kept in order and ranks. “At length, when they came To a (lowly) valley  of ants, One of the ants said: ‘O ye ants, get into Your habitations, lest  Solomon And his hosts crush you (Under foot) without knowing it.’” [Al-  Qur’aan 27:17-18]

In the past, some people would have probably mocked at the Qur’aan, taking  it to be a fairy tale book in which ants talk to each other and communicate  sophisticated messages. In recent times, research has shown us several facts  about  the  lifestyle  of  ants,  which  were  not  known  earlier  to  humankind.  Research has shown that the animals or insects whose lifestyle is closest in  resemblance to the lifestyle of human beings are the ants. This can be seen  from the following findings regarding ants:

(a)    The ants bury their dead in a manner similar to the humans.

(b)   They have a sophisticated system of division of labour, whereby they  have managers, supervisors, foremen, workers, etc.

(c)    Once in a while they meet among themselves to have a ‘chat’.

(d)   They have an advanced method of communication among themselves.

(e)    They hold regular markets wherein they exchange goods.

(f)    They store grains for long periods in winter and if the grain begins to  bud, they cut the roots, as if they understand that if they leave it to  grow, it will rot. If the grains stored by them get wet due to rains, they  take these grains out into the sunlight to dry, and once these are dry,  they take them back inside as though they know that humidity will  cause development of root systems and thereafter rotting of the grain.

 

IX. MEDICINE 

HONEY HAS HEALING PROPERTIES

The  bee  assimilates  juices  of  various  kinds  of  flowers  and  fruit  and  forms  within its body the honey, which it stores in its cells of wax. Only a couple of  centuries ago man came to know that honey comes from the belly  of the bee.  This  fact  was  mentioned  in  the  Qur’aan  1,400  years  ago  in  the  following  verse: “There issues From within their bodies A drink of varying colours,  Wherein is healing for men.” [Al-Qur’aan 16:69]

We  are  now  aware  that  honey  has  a  healing  property  and  also  a  mild  antiseptic property. The Russians used honey to cover their wounds in World  War  II.  The  wound  would  retain  moisture  and  would  leave  very  little  scar  tissue. Due to the density of honey, no fungus or bacteria would grow in the  wound. A person suffering from an allergy of a particular plant may be given  honey from that plant so that the person develops resistance to that allergy.  Honey is rich in fructose and vitamin K. Thus the knowledge contained in the  Qur’aan regarding honey, its origin and properties, was far ahead of the time it was revealed.

 

X. PHYSIOLOGY 

BLOOD CIRCULATION AND THE PRODUCTION OF MILK

The Qur’aan was revealed 600 years before the Muslim scientist Ibn Nafees  described the circulation of the blood and 1,000 years before William Harwey  brought this understanding to the Western world. Roughly thirteen centuries  before it was known what happens in the intestines to ensure that organs are  nourished  by  the  process  of  digestive  absorption,  a  verse  in  the  Qur’aan  described  the  source  of  the  constituents  of  milk,  in  conformity  with  these  notions.

To  understand  the  Qur’aanic  verse  concerning  the  above  concepts,  it  is  important  to  know  that  chemical  reactions  occur  in  the  intestines and that,  from there, substances extracted from food pass into the blood stream via a  complex system; sometimes by way of the liver, depending on their chemical  nature. The blood transports them to all the organs of the body, among which  are the milk-producing mammary glands.

In simple terms, certain substances from the contents of the intestines enter  into  the  vessels  of  the  intestinal  wall  itself,  and  these  substances  are  transported by the blood stream to the various organs.

This concept must be fully appreciated if we wish to understand the following  verse in the Qur’aan: “And verily in cattle there is A lesson for you. We  give  you  to  drink  Of  what  is  inside  their  bodies,  Coming  from  a  conjunction Between the contents of the Intestine and the blood, A milk  pure and pleasant for Those who drink it.” [Al-Qur’aan 16:66] 11

“And in cattle (too) ye Have an instructive example: From within their  bodies We produce (milk) for you To drink; there are, in them, (Besides), numerous  (other)  Benefits  for  you;  And  of  their  (meat)  ye  eat.”  [Al-Qur’aan 23:21]

The  Qur’aanic  description  of  the  production  of  milk  in  cattle  is  strikingly  similar to what modern physiology has discovered.

11  Translation of this Qur’anic verse is from the book “The Bible, the Qur’an and  Science” by Dr. Maurice Bucaille.

 

XI. EMBRYOLOGY

MAN IS CREATED FROM "ALAQ"  (A LEECH-LIKE SUBSTANCE)

A  few  years  ago  a  group  of  Arabs  collected  all  information  concerning  embryology from the Qur’aan, and followed the instruction of the Qur’aan:

“If  ye  realise  this  not,  ask  Of  those  who  possess  the  Message.”  [Al-  Qur’aan 16:43 & 21:7]

All the information from the Qur’aan so gathered, was translated into English  and  presented  to  Prof.  (Dr.)  Keith  Moore,  who  was  the  Professor  of  Embryology and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the University  of Toronto, in Canada. At present he is one of the highest authorities in the  field  of  Embryology.  He  was  asked  to  give  his  opinion  regarding  the  information present in the Qur’aan concerning the field of embryology. After  carefully examining the  translation of the Qur’aanic verses presented to him,  Dr.   Moore   said   that   most   of   the   information   concerning   embryology  mentioned in the Qur’aan is in perfect conformity with modern discoveries in  the field of embryology and does not conflict with them in any way. He added  that there were however a few verses, on whose scientific accuracy he could  not  comment.  He  could  not  say  whether  the  statements  were  true  or  false,  since he himself was not aware of the information contained therein.

There was also no mention of this information in modern writings and studies  on embryology. One such verse is: “Proclaim! (or Read!) In the name Of  thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created – Created man, out of A (mere)  clot Of congealed blood.” [Al-Qur’aan 96:1-2]

The  word  alaq  besides  meaning  a  congealed  clot  of  blood  also  means  something  that  clings,  a  leech-like  substance.  Dr.  Keith  Moore  had  no  knowledge whether an embryo in the initial stages appears like a leech. To   check this out he studied the initial stage of the embryo under a very powerful  microscope in his laboratory and compared what he observed with a diagram  of a leech and he was astonished at the striking resemblance between the two!

In the same manner, he acquired more information on embryology that was  hitherto  not  known  to  him,  from  the  Qur’aan.  Dr.  Keith  Moore  answered  about  eighty  questions  dealing  with  embryological  data  mentioned  in  the  Qur’aan and Hadith. Noting that the information contained in the Qur’aan and  Hadith  was  in  full  agreement  with  the  latest  discoveries  in  the  field  of  embryology,  Prof.  Moore  said,  “If  I  was  asked  these  questions  thirty  years  ago, I would not have been able to answer half of them for lack of scientific  information”

Dr.  Keith  Moore  had  earlier  authored  the  book,  ‘The  Developing  Human’.  After acquiring new knowledge from the Qur’aan, he wrote, in 1982, the 3rd  edition  of  the  same  book,  ‘The  Developing  Human’.  The  book  was  the  recipient of an award for the best medical book written by a single author.  This book has been translated into several major languages of the world and  is used as a textbook of  embryology in the first year of medical studies.

In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia,  Dr. Moore said, “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements  in  the  Qur’aan  about  human  development.  It  is  clear  to  me  that  these   statements  must  have  come  to  Muhammad  from  God  or  Allah,  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 or   Allah.” 12

Dr.  Joe  Leigh  Simpson,  Chairman  of  the  Department  of  Obstetrics  and  Gynaecology,   at   the   Baylor   College   of   Medicine,   Houston,   U.S.A.,  proclaims:  “...these  Hadiths,  sayings  of  Muhammad  (pbuh)  could  not  have  been obtained on the basis of the scientific knowledge that was available at  the time of the writer (7th century). It follows that not only is there no conflict  between genetics and religion (Islam) but in fact religion (Islam) may guide  science   by   adding   revelation   to   some   of   the   traditional   scientific  approaches… there exist statements in the Qur’aan shown centuries later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur’aan having been derived from God.”

12  The reference for this statement is the video tape titled ‘This is the Truth’. For a  copy of this video tape contact the Islamic Research Foundation.

 

 

MAN CREATED FROM A DROP EMITTED FROM BETWEEN THE BACK BONE AND THE RIBS

“Now let man but think From what he is created! He is created from A  drop emitted – Proceeding from between The back bone and the ribs.” [Al-Qur’aan 86:5-7]

In embryonic stages, the reproductive organs of the male and female, i.e. the  testicles and the ovaries, begin their development near the kidney between the  spinal  column  and  the  eleventh  and  twelfth  ribs.  Later  they  descend;  the  female gonads (ovaries) stop in the pelvis while the male gonads (testicles)  continue their descent before birth to reach the scrotum through the inguinal  canal.  Even  in  the  adult  after  the  descent  of  the  reproductive  organ,  these  organs  receive  their  nerve  supply  and  blood  supply  from  the  Abdominal  Aorta,  which  is  in  the  area  between  the  backbone  (spinal  column)  and  the  ribs.  Even  the  lymphatic  drainage  and  the  venous  return  goes  to  the  same  area.

 

HUMAN BEINGS CREATED FROM "NUTFAH"  (Minute Quantity of Liquid)

The  Glorious  Qur’aan  mentions  no  less  than  eleven  times  that  the  human  being is created from nutfah, which means a minute quantity of liquid or a  trickle  of  liquid  which  remains  after emptying a cup. This is mentioned in  several verses of the Qur’aan including 22:5 and 23:13. 13

Science has confirmed in recent times that only one out of an average of three  million  sperms  is required for fertilising the ovum. This means that only a 1/three millionth part or 0.00003% of the quantity of sperms that are emitted  is required for fertilisation.

13  The same is also mentioned in the Qur’an in 16:4, 18:37, 35:11, 36:77, 40:67,  53:46, 75:37, 76:2 and 80:19.

 

HUMAN BEINGS CREATED FROM "SULALAH"  (Quintessence of liquid)

“And made his progeny From a quintessence Of the nature of A fluid despised.” [Al-Qur’aan 32:8]

The Arabic word sulâlah means quintessence or the best part of a whole. We  have come to know now that only one single spermatozoon that penetrates the  ovum  is  required  for  fertilization,  out  of  the  several  millions  produced  by  man.  That  one  spermatozoon  out  of  several  millions,  is  referred  to  in  the  Qur’aan as sulâlah. Sulâlah also means gentle extraction from a fluid. The  fluid refers to both male and female germinal fluids containing gametes. Both  ovum and sperm are gently extracted from their environments in the  process  of fertilization.

 

MAN CREATED FROM "NUTFATUN AMSHAAJ" (Mingled liquids)

Consider the following Qur’aanic verse: “Verily We created Man from a drop Of mingled sperm.” [Al-Qur’aan 76:2] 

The  Arabic  word  nutfatin  amshaajin  means  mingled  liquids.  According  to  some  commentators  of  the  Qur’aan,  mingled  liquids  refers  to  the  male  or  female agents or liquids. After mixture of male and female gamete, the zygote  still remains nutfah. Mingled liquids can also refer to spermatic fluid that is  formed of various secretions that come from various glands.

Therefore nutfatin amsaj, i.e. a minute quantity of mingled fluids refers to the  male   and   female   gametes   (germinal   fluids   or   cells)   and   part   of   the  surrounding fluids.

 

SEX DETERMINATION

The sex of a fetus is determined by the nature of the sperm and not the ovum.  The sex of the child, whether female or male, depends on whether the 23rd  pair of chromosomes is XX or XY respectively. Primarily sex determination  occurs at fertilization and depends upon the type of sex chromosome in the  sperm that fertilizes an ovum. If it is an ‘X’ bearing sperm that fertilizes the   ovum, the fetus is a female and if it is a ‘Y’ bearing sperm then the fetus is a  male. “That He did create In pairs – male and female, From a seed when  lodged (In its place).” [Al-Qur’aan 53:45-46]

The Arabic word nutfah means a minute quantity of liquid and tumnâ means  ejaculated or planted. Therefore nutfah specifically refers to sperm because it  is ejaculated. The Qur’aan says: “Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (In  lowly  form)?  “Then  did  he  become  A  clinging  clot;  Then  did  (Allah)  make And fashion (him) In due proportion. “And of him He made Two  sexes, male And female.” [Al-Qur’aan 75:37-39]

Here again it is mentioned that a small quantity  (drop) of sperm (indicated by  the word nutfatan  min  maniyyin) which comes from the man is responsible   for the sex of the fetus.

Mothers-in-law in the Indian subcontinent, by and large prefer having male  grandchildren and often blame their daughters-in-law if the child is not of the  desired sex. If only they knew that the determining factor is the nature of the  male sperm and not the female ovum! If they were to blame anybody, they  should blame their sons and not their daughters-in-law since both the Qur’aan  and Science hold that it is the male fluid that is responsible for the sex of the  child!

 

FOETUS PROTECTED BY THREE VEILS OF DARKNESS

“He  makes  you,  In  the  wombs  of  your  mothers,  In  stages,  one  after  another, In three veils of darkness.” [Al-Qur’aan 39:6]

According to Prof. Keith Moore these three veils of darkness in the Qur’aan  refer to:

(i)                 anterior abdominal wall of the mother

(ii)               the uterine wall

(iii)             the amnio-chorionic membrane.

 

EMBRYONIC STAGES

“Man We did create From a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him  As (a drop of) sperm In a place of rest, firmly fixed; Then We made the  sperm  Into  a  clot  of  congealed  blood;  Then  of  that  clot  We  made  A  (foetus)  lump;  then  We  Made  out  of  that  lump  Bones  and  clothed  the  bones  With  flesh;  then  We  developed  Out  of  it  another  creature.  So  blessed be Allah, The Best to create!” [Al-Qur’aan 23:12-14]

In this verse Allah states that man is created from a small quantity of liquid  which is placed in a place of rest, firmly fixed (well established or lodged) for  which the Arabic word qarârin makîn is used.

The  uterus  is  well  protected  from  the  posterior  by  the  spinal  column  supported firmly by the back muscles. The embryo is further protected by the  amniotic  sac  containing  the  amniotic  fluid.  Thus  the  foetus  has  a  well  protected  dwelling  place. This small quantity of fluid is made into alaqah,  meaning something which clings. It also means a leech-like substance. Both  descriptions are scientifically acceptable as in the very early stages the foetus  clings  to  the  wall  and  also  appears  to  resemble  the  leech  in  shape.  It   also  behaves like a leech (blood sucker) and acquires its blood supply from the mother through  the placenta. The third meaning of the word alaqah is a blood clot. During this alaqah stage, which spans the third and fourth week of pregnancy, the  blood clots within closed vessels. Hence the embryo acquires the appearance  of a blood clot in addition to acquiring the appearance of a leech. In 1677,  Hamm  and  Leeuwenhoek  were  the  first  scientists  to  observe  human sperm  cells  (spermatozoa)  using  a  microscope.  They  thought  that  a  sperm  cell  contained  a  miniature  human  being  which  grew  in  the  uterus  to  form  a  newborn.   This   was   known   as   the   perforation   theory.   When   scientists  discovered that the ovum was bigger than the sperm, it was thought by De  Graf and others that the foetus existed in a miniature form in the ovum. Later,  in   the   18th   century   Maupertuis   propagated   the   theory   of   biparental  inheritance.   The   alaqah   is   transformed   into   mudghah   which   means  ‘something that is chewed (having teeth marks)’ and also something that is  tacky  and  small  which  can  be  put  in   the  mouth  like  gum.  Both  these  explanations  are  scientifically  correct.  Prof.  Keith  Moore  took  a  piece  of  plaster seal and made it into the size and shape of the early stage of foetus and  chewed it between the teeth to make it into a ‘Mudgha’. He compared this  with the photographs of the early stage of foetus. The teeth marks resembled  the ‘somites’ which is the early formation of the spinal column.

This mudghah is transformed into bones (izâm). The bones are clothed with  intact flesh or muscles (lahm). Then Allah makes it into another creature.

Prof. Marshall Johnson is one of the leading scientists in US, and is the head  of  the  Department  of  Anatomy  and  Director  of  the  Daniel  Institute  at  the  Thomas  Jefferson  University  in  Philadelphia  in  US.  He  was  asked  to  comment on the verses of the Qur’aan dealing with embryology. He said that  the  verses  of  the  Qur’aan  describing  the  embryological  stages  cannot  be  a  coincidence. He said it was probable that Muhammad (pbuh) had a powerful  microscope.  On  being  reminded  that  the  Qur’aan  was  revealed  1400  years  ago,  and  microscopes  were  invented  centuries  after  the  time  of  Prophet  Muhammad  (pbuh),  Prof.  Johnson  laughed  and  admitted  that  the  first  microscope  invented  could  not  magnify  more  than  10  times  and  could  not  show a clear picture. Later he said: “I see nothing here in conflict with the  concept  that  Divine  intervention  was  involved  when  Muhammad  (pbuh)  recited the Qur’aan.”

According  to  Dr.  Keith  Moore,  the  modern  classification  of  embryonic   development  stages  which  is  adopted  throughout  the  world,  is  not  easily  comprehensible,  since  it  identifies  stages  on  a  numerical  basis  i.e.  stage  I,   stage II, etc. The divisions revealed in the Qur’aan are based on distinct and  easily identifiable forms or shapes, which the embryo passes through. These  are  based  on  different  phases  of  prenatal  development  and  provide  elegant  scientific descriptions that are comprehensible and practical.

Similar embryological stages of human development have been described in   the  following  verses:  “Was  he  not  a  drop  Of  sperm  emitted  (In  lowly  form)? Then did he become a clinging clot; Then did (Allah) make and  fashion (him) In due proportion. And of him He made Two sexes, male  and female.” [Al-Qur’aan 75:37-39]

“Him Who created thee, fashioned thee in due proportion, And gave thee  a just bias; In whatever Form He wills, Does He put thee together.” [Al-  Qur’aan 82:7-8]

 

EMBRYO PARTLY FORMED AND PARTLY UNFORMED

At the mugdhah stage, if an incision is made in the embryo and the internal  organ  is  dissected,  it  will  be  seen  that  most  of  them  are  formed  while  the  others are not yet completely formed.

According to Prof. Johnson, if we describe the embryo as a complete creation,  then we are only describing that part which is already created. If we describe  it as an incomplete creation, then we are only describing that part which is not  yet created. So, is it a complete creation or an incomplete creation? There is  no  better  description  of  this  stage  of  embryogenesis  than  the  Qur’aanic  description,  “partly formed and partly unformed”, as in the following verse:

“We created you Out of dust, then out of Sperm, then out of a leech-like  Clot, then out of a morsel Of flesh, partly formed And partly unformed.” [Al-Qur’aan 22:5]

Scientifically we know that at this early stage of development there are some  cells   which   are   differentiated   and   there   are   some   cells   that   are  undifferentiated – some organs are formed and yet others unformed.

 

SENSE OF HEARING AND SIGHT

The  first  sense  to  develop  in  a  developing  human  embryo  is  hearing.  The  foetus can hear sounds after the 24th week. Subsequently, the sense of sight is  developed and by the 28th week, the retina becomes sensitive to light.

Consider  the  following  Qur’aanic  verses  related  to  the  development  of  the  senses  in  the  embryo:  “And He gave You (the faculties of) hearing and  sight and feeling (And understanding).” [Al-Qur’aan 32:9]

“Verily We created Man from a drop Of mingled sperm, In order to try  him:  So  We  gave  him  (the  gifts),  Of  Hearing  and  Sight.”  [Al-Qur’aan  76:2]

“It  is  He  Who  has  created  For  you  (the  faculties  of)  Hearing,  sight,  feeling And understanding: little thanks It is ye give!” [Al-Qur’aan 23:78]

In all these verses the sense of hearing is mentioned before that of sight. Thus  the   Qur’aanic   description   matches   with   the   discoveries   in   modern  embryology.

 

XII. GENERAL SCIENCE

FINGERPRINTS

“Does man think that We Cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able  to put Together in perfect order The very tips of his fingers.” [Al-Qur’aan  75:3-4]

Unbelievers  argue  regarding  resurrection  taking  place  after  bones  of  dead  people  have  disintegrated  in  the  earth  and  how  each  individual  would  be  identified on the Day of Judgement. Almighty Allah answers that He can not  only   assemble   our   bones   but   can   also   reconstruct   perfectly   our   very  fingertips.

Why does the Qur’aan, while speaking about determination of the identity of  the  individual,  speak  specifically  about  fingertips?  In  1880,  fingerprinting  became  the  scientific  method  of  identification,  after  research  done  by  Sir  Francis Golt. No two persons in the world can ever have exactly the same  fingerprint  pattern.  That  is  the  reason  why  police  forces  worldwide  use  fingerprints to identify the criminal. 1400 years ago, who could have known  the  uniqueness of each human’s fingerprint? Surely it could have been none  other than the Creator Himself!

 

PAIN RECEPTORS PRESENT IN THE SKIN

It was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was only dependent on the  brain.  Recent  discoveries  prove  that  there  are  pain receptors present in the  skin without which a person would not be able to feel pain. When a doctor  examines  a  patient  suffering  from  burn  injuries,  he  verifies  the  degree  of  burns by a pinprick. If the patient feels pain, the doctor is  happy, because it  indicates that the burns are superficial and the pain receptors are intact. On  the other hand if the patient does not feel any pain, it indicates that it is a deep  burn  and  the  pain  receptors  have  been  destroyed.  The  Qur’aan  gives  an  indication of the existence of pain receptors in the following verse: “Those who reject Our signs, We shall soon Cast into the Fire; As often as their  skins Are roasted through, We shall change them For fresh skins, That  they may taste The Penalty: for Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise.” [Al-  Qur’aan 4:56]

Prof.  Tagatat  Tejasen,  Chairman  of  the  Department  of  Anatomy  at  Chiang  Mai University in Thailand, has spent a great amount of time on research of  pain receptors. Initially he could not believe that the Qur’aan mentioned this  scientific  fact  1,400  years  ago.  He  later  verified  the  translation  of  this  particular Qur’aanic verse. Prof. Tejasen was so impressed by the scientific  accuracy  of  the  Qur’aanic  verse,  that  at  the  8th  Saudi  Medical Conference  held in Riyadh on the Scientific Signs of Qur’aan and Sunnah he proclaimed  in  public:  “There  is  no  God  but  Allah  and  Muhammad  (pbuh)  is  His  Messenger.”

 

CONCLUSION

To  attribute  the  presence  of  scientific  facts  in  the  Qur’aan  to  coincidence  would be against common sense and a true scientific approach. The Qur’aan  invites  all  humans  to  reflect  on  the  Creation  of  this  universe  in  the  verse:

“Behold!  In  the  creation  Of  the  heavens  and  the  earth,  And  the  alternation  Of  Night  and  Day  –  There  are  indeed  Signs  For  men  of  understanding.” [Al-Qur’aan 3:190]

The scientific evidences of the Qur’aan clearly prove its Divine Origin. No  human could have produced a book, fourteen hundred years ago, that would  contain  profound  scientific  facts,  to  be  discovered  by  humankind  centuries  later. The Qur’aan, however, is not a book of Science but a book of ‘Signs’.  These signs invite Man to realize the purpose of his existence on earth, and to  live in harmony with Nature. The Qur’aan is truly a message from Allah, the  Creator  and  Sustainer  of  the  universe.  It  contains the same message of the  Oneness of God, that was preached by all prophets, right from Adam, Moses,  Jesus to Muhammad (peace be upon them).

Several  detailed  tomes  have  been  written  on  the  subject  of  Qur’aan  and  modern science and further research in this field is on. Inshallah, this research  will help mankind to come closer to the Word of the Almighty. This booklet  contains  only  a  few  of  the  scientific  facts  present  in  the  Qur’aan.  I   cannot  claim to have done full justice to the subject. Prof.

Tejasen accepted Islam on the strength of just one scientific ‘sign’ mentioned  in the Qu’ran. Some people may require ten signs while some may require  hundred signs to be convinced about the Divine Origin of the Qur’aan. Some  would be unwilling to accept the Truth even after being shown a thousand  signs.  The  Qur’aan  condemns such a closed mentality in the verse: “Deaf,  dumb and blind, They will not return (To the path).” [Al-Qur’aan 2:18]

The Qur’aan contains a complete code of life for the individual and society.  Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), the Qur’aanic way of life is far superior to  the  ‘isms’  that  modern  man  has  invented  out of sheer ignorance. Who can  give better guidance than the Creator Himself?

 

I pray that this humble effort is accepted by Allah, to whom I pray for mercy  and guidance (Aameen).

 

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