The Quran on Human Embryonic Development – By Md. Mekail Ahmed
In the Holy Quran, 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).” (Quran, 23:12-14)
How did Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) know this over 1400 years ago if scientific experts had found this recently utilizing advanced technology and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? In 1677 (more than 1,000 years after Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) Hamm and Leeuwenhoek was the first scientists to use an improved microscope to see human sperm cells (sperm cells). The sperm cell was incorrectly assumed to contain a small person that grew when implanted in the female vaginal canal. (Persaud and Moore)
Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore 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. 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, 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.
Professor Moore said during Saudi Arabia’s Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam in 1981: “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 (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) must have been a messenger of God.” 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.”
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 Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Quran and hadith (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. 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 Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: 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.”
However, there are some verses in the Qur’an about which modern embryology has no idea. As a result, he could not comment on its authenticity. One such verse is,
“Read (Proclaim!) In the Name of your Lord Who created” (Surah Alaq:1)
“Created man, out of a clot (of congealed blood). (Surah Alaq:2)
Dr. Keith Moore had no idea if a fetus in the womb looked like a hanging leech. He began careful research on embryos to test the subject. Using a powerful microscope, he observed the fetus in the womb and compared it to the structure of a leech. He was amazed at the surprising harmony between the two.
In the same way, he studied various aspects of embryology that are unknown in the Qur’an. He uses information from the Qur’an and Hadith to solve eight new issues about embryology. After researching the Qur’anic verses on embryology, he said, “Even if I had been asked about these things thirty years ago, I might not have been able to answer even half of it.”
Dr. T.V. N. Persaud is Professor of Anatomy at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Professor in Child Health and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science. For sixteen years, he was president of the Anatomy Department. In his field he is well renowned. He has authored more than 181 science papers and is the author or editor of 22 textbooks. In 1991, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists won the most prominent anatomy award in Canada. When asked about the scientific wonders he has investigated in the Quran, he answered that:
“Mohammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was a pretty ordinary guy as it has been explained to me. He didn’t know [how] to write, he couldn’t read. He was actually an analphabet. And twelve [really approximately 14] a hundred years ago, we are talking about it. You have someone uneducated to make meaningful remarks, comments and scientific assertions which are quite true. And I can’t see myself how a mere opportunity it may be. It’s too accurate, and like Dr. Moore, I don’t have a hard time thinking that this is a divine inspiration or revelation that led him to those declarations.”
In some of his writings Professor Persaud’s Quranic passages and Prophet Muhammad’s words were incorporated. He also delivered the Prophet Muhammad’s verses and statements at several gatherings.
Dr Joe Leigh Simpson has been the President of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Baylor College of Medication, Houston, Texas and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was previously professor of Ob-Gyn at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, USA and president of the Department of ob-Gyn. He also was chairman of the American Fertility Society. He got several accolades, including a 1992 Prize for Obstetrics and Gynecology Professors. The following two Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) words were investigated by Professor Simpson:
He researched extensively both of these words of Prophet Muhammad and noted that the initial 40 days were an obvious phase of embryo-genesis. The perfect precision and precise words of Prophet Muhammad impacted him in particular (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Then he expressed the following views at one conference:
“As a result, the two hadiths (Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam’s statements) that are documented give us a clear time table before forty days for the principal embryological development.”
“I am really impressed to see real astronomical truths in the Qur’an, and current astronomers have studied relatively little parts of the universe for us. Our attempts to understand the [a] very small portion have been focussed. Since we only observe relatively few sections [of] the sky with the aid of telescopes without thinking [about] the entire cosmos. So I believe I can find my future approach to investigate the cosmos by reading [the] Quran and by answering questions.”
The Anatomy Department at Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, in Thailand is chaired by Prof. Tejatat Tejasen. He previously had been the Dean at the same university of the Faculty of Medicine. Professor Tejasen stood up and said during the Eight Saudi Medical Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
“I’ve been interested in the Quran during the last three years. I feel that everything contained in the Quran 1400 years ago must be the truly pro-active truth from my studies and from what I learned at this lecture.”
Md. Mekail Ahmed,
Researcher and article writer
Student, ICMAB, Dhaka, Bangladesh