Miracles Of The Qur'an, Truth Unleashed Through
Modern Science And Current Discoveries.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Ever since the dawn of human life on this planet, Man has always tried 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, to a large extent, has determined the course of history. While some religions
have been based on written text, claimed by their followers to be divinely inspired, others have relied solely on human experience.
Al-Qur’an, the main source of the Islamic faith, is a book believed by its followers, the Muslims, to be completely
of Divine origin. Muslims also believe that it contains guidance for all humankind. Since the message of the Qur’an
is believed to be for all times, it should be relevant to every age.
But does the Qur’an pass this test?
In this presentation, I intend to give an objective analysis of the Muslim belief regarding the Divine origin
of the Qur’an, particularly in the light of established scientific discoveries. There was a time, in the history of
world civilization, when ‘miracles’, or what were perceived to be miracles, took precedence over human reason
and logic. Of course, the normal definition of ‘miracle’ is simply, anything that takes place out of the normal.
THE CHALLENGE OF THE QUR’AN
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.
Even non-Muslim scholars agree that the Qur’an is Arabic literature par excellence – that it is the best Arabic
literature on the face of the earth. The Qur’an challenges mankind to produce the likes of it:
"And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah
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 – then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones – which is prepared
for those who reject Faith."
The challenge of the Qur’an is to produce a single Surah (chapter) like the Surahs it contains. The
same challenge is repeated in the Qur’an several times. The challenge to produce a Surah, which, in beauty, eloquence,
depth and meaning is at least somewhat similar to a Qur’anic Surah, 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’an’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’an,
and analyze whether the Qur’an and Modern Science are compatible or incompatible?
The Qur’an is not a book of Science but a book of ‘Signs’, i.e. Aayaats. There are more
than six thousand ‘Signs’ in the Qur’an of which more than a thousand deal with hard core Science. We all
know that many a times Science takes a ‘U-turn’. In this presentation I have considered only established scientific
facts and not hypotheses and theories which are based on mere assumptions and not backed by proof.
ASTRONOMY CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE:
‘THE BIG BANG’
The creation of the universe is explained by Astrophysicists as 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 happening
by ‘chance’ is nil. The Qur’an 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-Qu’ran 21:30]
The striking similarity between the Qur’anic 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?
INITIAL GASEOUS MASS BEFORE CREATION OF GALAXIES
Scientists agree 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’anic verse refers
to this state of the universe by the word dukhaan 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.’"
Again, this fact is a corollary to the ‘Big Bang’ and was not known to anyone before the prophet
hood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him)1. What then, could have been the source of this knowledge?
SHAPE OF THE EARTH IS SPHERICAL
In early times, people believed that the earth was flat. For centuries, men were afraid to venture out too
far, for fear of falling 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’anic verse regarding the alternation of day and night:
"Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and He merges Day into Night?"
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’an 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." [Al-Qur’an 79:30]
[ The Arabic word dahaahaa
has been translated by A. Yusuf Ali as "vast expanse", which also is correct. This word also means an ostrich-egg].
The Arabic word for egg here is dahaahaa1 which means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles
the geo-spherical shape of the earth. Thus the Qur’an correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent
notion when the Qur’an was revealed was that the earth was flat.
MOONLIGHT 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’an 1,400 years ago in the following
"Blessed is He Who made Constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light." [Al-Qur’an
The Arabic word for the sun in the Qur’an, is shams. It is also referred to as siraaj which means a
‘torch’ or as wahhaaj meaning ‘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’an as muneer which is a body that gives noor i.e. reflected
light. Again, the Qur’anic description matches perfectly with the true nature of the moon which does not give off light
by itself and is an inactive body that reflects the light of the sun. Not once in the Qur’an, is the moon mentioned
as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya nor the sun as noor or muneer. This implies that the Qur’an recognizes the difference between
the nature of sunlight and moonlight. The following verses relate to the nature of light from the sun and the moon:
"It is He who made the sun to be a shining gloryand the moon to be a light (of beauty)." [Al-Qur’an
"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?"
The Glorious Qur'an and modern science, are thus in perfect agreement about the differences in the nature
of sunlight and moonlight.
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’anic 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’an 21:33]
The Arabic word used in the above verse is yasbahoon . This word is derived from the word sabaha. It carries
with it the idea of motion that comes from any moving body. If you use this word for a person on the ground, it would not
mean that he is rolling but would imply that he is walking or running. If you use this word for a person in water, it would
not mean that he is floating but would imply that he is swimming. Similarly, if you use the word yasbah for a celestial body
such as the sun, it would not only mean that it is flying through space but would also mean that it is rotating as it goes
through space. Most school textbooks have now 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 equipment that projects the image of the sun on the top of a table,
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 round its axis. The sun travels through
space at roughly 240 km per second, and takes about 200 million years to complete one revolution around the centre 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’an 36:40]
This verse mentions an essential fact discovered only recently 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 precisely 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 Lyrae) whose exact location is now firmly established. The moon rotates around its axis in the same duration
that it takes to revolve around the earth. It takes approximately 29½ days to complete one rotation. One cannot help but be
amazed at the scientific accuracy of the Qur’anic verses. Should we not ponder over the question: "What is the source
of knowledge contained in the Qur’an?"
THE SUN WILL EXTINGUISH
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’an 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’an 36:38]1
The Arabic word used here is mustaqarr, which means a place or time that is determined. Thus the Qur’an
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.
Space outside organized astronomical systems was earlier assumed to be a vacuum.
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’an refers to 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’an 25:59]
It would be ridiculous for anyone to even suggest that the presence of interstellar galactic material was
known 1400 years ago!
THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE
In 1925, American astronomer Edwin Hubble, provided observational evidence that all galaxies are moving away
from one another, which implies that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is now an established scientific
fact. This is what the Qur’an says regarding the nature of the universe:
"With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: For it is We Who create the vastness of Space." [Al-Qur’an
The Arabic word musioon is correctly translated as ‘expanding it’, and it refers to the creation
of the expanding vastness of the universe. One of the greatest astrophysicist 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’an 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’an 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’an was revealed centuries before the Arabs excelled in astronomy. Moreover many of
the scientific facts mentioned above, 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’an are therefore not due to the
Arabs’ advancement in astronomy. Indeed, the reverse is true: they advanced in astronomy, because astronomy occupies
a place in the Qur’an.
ATOMS CAN BE DIVIDED
In ancient times a well-known theory by the name of ‘Theory of Atomism’ was widely
This theory was originally proposed by the Greeks, in particular by a scholar 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 ancient Arabs
used to believe the same. The Arabic word zarrah 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 zarrah was the limit beyond which one
could not go. The following Qur’anic 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’an
This verse also 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.
MOUNTAINS ARE LIKE TENT PEGS
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 relief that constitute the mountains.
Geologists tell us that the radius of the Earth is about 6,035 km and the crust on which we live is very thin, ranging between
2 to 35 km. 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’an contains exactly such a description:
"Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs?"
The word awtaad means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they are the deep foundations of
geological folds. A book entitled ‘Earth’ is regarded as a basic reference textbook on geology in many universities
around the world. One of the authors of this book is Dr. 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.1 According
to Dr. Press, the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth. The Qur’an 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’an 21:31]2
The Qur’anic descriptions are in perfect agreement with modern geological data.
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’an refers to the strong mountain foundations in the following verse:
"And the mountains
hath He firmly fixed." [Al-Qur’an 79:32]1
Thus, the information contained in the Glorious Qur'an about the nature of mountains, is in perfect agreement
with recent discoveries in geology.
BARRIER BETWEEN SWEET AND SALT WATERS
"He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together: Between them is a Barrier which they do
not transgress." [Al-Qur’an 55:19-20]
In the Arabic text the word barzakh means a barrier or a partition. This barrier, however, is not a physical
partition. The Arabic word maraja literally means ‘they both meet and mix with each other’. Early commentators
of the Qur’an 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.1 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 phenomenon is also mentioned in the following verse of the Qur'an:
"And made a separating bar between the two bodies of flowing water?"
This phenomenon occurs in several places, including the divider between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
Ocean at Gibralter. A white bar can also be clearly seen at Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, South Africa where the Atlantic Ocean
meets the Indian Ocean. But when the Qur’an 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’an 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 salt water 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."
This partition (zone of separation) has salinity different from both the fresh water and the salt water. This phenomenon occurs
in several places, including Egypt, where the river Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea. These scientific phenomena mentioned
in the Qur’an were also confirmed by Dr. William Hay, a well known marine scientist and Professor of Geological Sciences
at the University of Colorado, U.S.A.
DARKNESS IN DEPTHS OF OCEAN
Prof. Durga Rao is a world renowned 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’an 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’an 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 seen in the rainbow. 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 meters
of water absorb the red colour. Therefore, if a diver is 25 meters 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 meters, yellow at 50 to 100 meters, green at 100 to 200 meters, and finally, blue beyond 200 meters and violet and indigo
above 200 meters. 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.
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. Thus, 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’an describes this aptly: "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’anic 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".
"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’an 25:54]
Was it possible 14 centuries ago for any human being to guess that every living being was made from water?
Moreover would such a guess be conceivable by a human being in the deserts of Arabia where there has always been scarcity
PLANTS HAVE 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’an 20:53]
FRUITS HAVE MALE AND FEMALE
"And fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two." [Al-Qur’an
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’an. 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’an 51:49]
This verse lays emphasis on everything. Besides humans, animals, plants and fruits, it may also be referring
to electricity in which the atoms consist of negatively – and positively – charged electrons and protons. And
many more things!
"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’an 36:36]
The Qur’an here says that everything is created in pairs, including things that the humans do not know
at present and may discover later.
HONEY: HEALING FOR HUMANKIND
The bee assimilates juices of various kinds of flowers and fruit and forms honey within its body, which it
stores in its cells of wax. Only a couple of centuries ago humans came to know that honey comes from the belly of the bee.
But this fact was mentioned in the Qur’an 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’an
We are only now aware that honey has healing properties and is also a mild antiseptic. The Russians would
use 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 could grow in the wound. Dramatic improvements were visible in 22 incurable
chest and Alzheimer's disease patients at nursing Homes in England who were treated by Sister Carole, a nun, with propolis,
a substance which bees produce to seal hives against bacteria.
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 also rich in fructose and vitamin K. The knowledge contained in the Qur’an
regarding honey, its origin and properties, was discovered centuries after its revelation.
MUSLIMS SEEK ANSWERS
A group of Muslim Scholars, under the direction of an eminent Yemani Scholar, Sheikh Abdul Majid Azzindani,
collected information concerning embryology1 and other sciences in the Qur'an and undisputed Hadith2 and translated it into
English. They then followed the Qur'anic advice:
"If ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message."
[Al-Qur’an 16:43 & 21:7]
All the information from the Qur’an and the undisputed Hadith concerning embryology so gathered, after
being translated into English and presented to Prof. (Dr.) Keith Moore, 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 material presented to him. After carefully examining it, Dr. Moore said that
most of the information concerning embryology mentioned in the Qur’an and the undisputed Hadith 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 a
few verses however, on whose scientific accuracy he could not comment. He could not say whether the statements were true or
false, since he was himself unaware 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’an 96:1-2]
The Arabic 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 and compared what he observed with the diagram
of a leech. He was astonished at the striking resemblance between the two! In the same manner, he acquired more information
on embryology, which was hitherto not known to him, Dr. Keith Moore answered about eighty questions dealing with embryological
data mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith. Noting that the information contained in the Qur’an 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." 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’an 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". Dr. Keith Moore had earlier authored the book, ‘The Developing Human’.
After acquiring new knowledge from the Qur’an, 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. Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 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 (implying in the 7th century). It follows that not only
is there no conflict between genetics and religion (implying 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’an shown centuries
later to be valid which support knowledge in the Qur’an having been derived from God."
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’an 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 adulthood after the descent of the reproductive organs, 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.
The lymphatic drainage and the venous return also go to the same area.
NUTFAH – MINUTE QUANTITY OF LIQUID
The Glorious Qur’an 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 that remains after emptying a cup. This is mentioned in several
verses of the Qur’an including 22:5 and 23:13. Science has confirmed in recent times that only one out of an average
of three million sperms is required for fertilizing the ovum. This means that only 1/3 millionth part or 0.00003% of the quantity
of sperms that are emitted is required for fertilization.
SULALAH – QUINTESSENCE OF LIQUID
"And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised."
The Arabic word sulaalah 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 million produced by man.
That one spermatozoon out of several million is referred to in the Qur’an as sulaalah. We have also come to know now
that only one ovum is fertilized out of the tens of thousand produced by the female. That one ovum out of tens of thousand
is also referred to in the Qur'an as Sulaalah. This word 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.
NUTFATUN AMSHAAJ – MINGLED LIQUIDS
"Verily We created man from a drop of mingled sperm." [Al-Qur’an 76:2]
The Arabic word nutfatin amshaajin means mingled liquids. According to some commentators of the Qur’an,
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 amshaaj, 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.
The sex of a fetus is determined by the nature of the sperm and not of 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 foetus is a female and if it is a ‘Y’ bearing sperm then the foetus
is a male.
"That He did create in pairs – male and female, from a seed when lodged (in its place)." [Al-Qur’an
The Arabic word nutfah means a minute quantity of liquid and tumnaa means ejaculated or planted. Therefore
nutfah specifically refers to sperm because it is ejaculated. The Qur’an 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’an 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, usually prefer
having male grandchildren and often blame their daughters-in-law if the child is not a boy. 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 rather blame their
sons, not their daughters-in-law, since both the Qur’an and Science hold that it is the male fluid that is responsible
for the sex of the child!
FETUS 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’an
According to Prof. Keith Moore, these three veils of darkness in the Qur’an refer to:
abdominal wall of the mother
(ii) the uterine wall
(iii) the Amnio-Chorionic membrane.
"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 (fetus) 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’ an 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 qaraarin makeen 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 fetus 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 fetus 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.
Compare the readily available Qur'anic knowledge with Man's struggle with scientific findings: In 1677, Hamm and Leeuwenhoek
were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) through 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 scientists like De Graf and others that the
fetus 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 mudghah. He compared this with the photographs of the early stage of fetus.
The teeth marks resembled the ‘somites’ which is the early formation of the spinal column. This mudghah is transformed
into bones (izām). The bones are clothed with intact flesh or muscles (lahm). Then Allah makes it into another creature. Prof.
Marshall Johnson who is one of the leading scientists in the USA, and is the head of the Department of Anatomy and Director
of the Daniel Institute at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in the USA, was asked to comment on the verses
of the Qur’an dealing with embryology. At first he said that the verses of the Qur’an describing the embryological
stages cannot be a coincidence. It was probable that Muhammad (pbuh) had a powerful microscope. On being reminded that the
Qur’an was revealed 1400 years ago, and microscopes were invented many 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’an."1 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 1, stage 2, etc. On the other hand, the divisions revealed in the Qur’an are based on distinct and easily
identifiable forms or shapes, which the embryo passes through. These are based on different phases of pre-natal development
and provide elegant scientific descriptions that are comprehensible and practical. Embryological stages of human development
have also 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’an 75:37-39]
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’an 82:7-8]
EMBRYO PARTLY FORMED AND PARTLY UNFORMED
At the mudghah 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 remaining 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’anic 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 that We may manifest (Our Power) to you." [Al-Qur’an 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.
explains it thus:
"And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)." [Al-Qur’an 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’an 76:2]
"It is He Who has created for you (the faculties of) hearing, sight, feeling and
thanks it is ye give!" [Al-Qur’an 23:78]
In all these verses the sense of hearing is mentioned before that of
sight. Thus the
Qur’anic description matches perfectly with the discoveries in modern embryology.
"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’an 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’an, 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, not even identical twins. That is the reason why police forces worldwide use fingerprints to identify criminals.
Fourteen hundred 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 IN THE SKIN
It was thought that the sense of feeling and pain was dependent only on the brain. Recent discoveries however
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’an gives a clear 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’an
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’an mentioned this
scientific fact 1,400 years ago. He later verified the translation of this particular Qur’anic verse. Prof. Tejasen
was so impressed by the scientific accuracy of the Qur’anic verse, that at the 8th Saudi Medical Conference held in
Riyadh on the Scientific Signs of Qur’an and Sunnah, he proudly proclaimed in public: "There is no God but Allah and
Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger."
To attribute the presence of scientific facts in the Qur’an to coincidence would be against common sense
and a true scientific approach. Indeed the scientific accuracy of the Qur'anic verses confirm the Qur'an's open declaration.
"Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until
it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth it is not enough that Thy Lord doth witness all things?" [Al-Qur’an
The Qur’an 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’an 3:190]
The scientific evidences of the Qur’an clearly prove its Divine origin. No human could have produced
a book, fourteen hundred years ago, that would contain such profound scientific facts. The Qur’an, 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’an 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’an and modern science and further
research in this field is on. InshaAllah, 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’an. 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 Qur’an.
Some people may require ten signs while some may require hundred signs to be convinced about the Divine origin of the Qur’an.
Some would be unwilling to accept the Truth even after being shown a thousand signs. The Qur’an condemns such a closed
mentality in the verse:
"Deaf, dumb and blind, they will not return (To the path)." [Al-Qur’an 2:18]
The Qur’an contains a complete code of life for the individual and society. Alhamdulillah (Praise be
to Allah), the Qur’anic 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).