MUHAMMED A. ASADI
I)Embryological Data in the Koran:
1). "He [i.e God] created you in the wombs of your mothers in three fold darkness" (Koran 39:6).
The three fold darkness may refer to: i)Anterior abdominal wall; ii)The uterine wall & iii) Amnio Chronic membrane [Prof Keith L. Moore- University of Toronto].
2). "Then We [plural of majesty for God] placed him [i.e man/woman] as a drop [Nutfa in Arabic] in a safe lodging. Then We made the drop [Nutfa] into a leech like structure [Alaca in Arabic]. Then out of the leech like structure, a chewed lump [Mudghah in Arabic]. Then out of the chewed lump bones, and We clothed the bones in flesh. Then we developed out of it another creature. therefore, blessed be Allah [God], the best of those that create" (Koran 23: 13-14)
ANALYSIS OF KORAN 23:14
i) "We placed him as a drop in a safe lodging"
The drop [Zygote] divides to form a blastocyst which is implanted in a safe lodging [Uterus].
ii) "Then We made the drop into a leech like structure (Alaca)"
The human embryo [days 7-24] looks and behaves like a leech. Just as a leech derives blood from the host, the embryo derives blood from the pregnant endometrium [or decidua]. The embryo of 23-24 days in its appearance, remarkably resembles a leech. As there were no microscopes available 1400 years back such a statement in the Koran is fascinating indeed. [Adapted from Keith L. Moore]
Embryo below (Day 24); Leech on top.
iii) "Then out of the leech like structure, we made a chewed lump [Mudghah in Arabic]"
In Arabic Mudghah signifies chewed lump or chewed flesh. This is stated in contrast to intact flesh which is signified by the word Laham [in Arabic].
Towards the end of the 4th week, the human embryo looks like a chewed lump of flesh. The chewed appearance results from somites which resemble teeth marks. [Keith L. Moore]
iv) "Then out of the chewed lump, bones, and then We clothed the bones in flesh"
This is in accord with embryological development. First bones form as cartilage models and then muscles [flesh] develops around them from the somatic mesoderm. [Keith L. Moore]
v) "Then We develop out of it another creature"
After the formation of bones and muscles, by the end of the 8th week, the embryo has distinctive human characteristics and is called a fetus [refer "another creature"].
3) "O mankind! if you are in doubt concerning the resurrection then Lo!, We have
created you from dust, then from a drop [Nutfa], then from a leech like structure [Alaca], then from a chewed lump of flesh [Mudghah], partly formed and partly unformed..."
The statement "partly formed and partly unformed," may indicate that the
embryo is composed of both differentiated and undifferentiated tissue. [Keith L.
When cartilage bones are differentiated, the embryonic connective tissue [mesenchyme] around them is undifferentiated.
4) "And He [Allah or God] it is who created Mankind of water" (Koran 25:54).
The Ovum cell from which the human being is created has as its main functioning portion the cytoplasm which is between 70%-85%water.
5) "And He [Allah or God] created the two pairs male and female from an ejaculated
drop" (Koran 53:45,46)
The male sperm is the "ejaculated drop". Females do not possess ejaculated semen.
The male sperm carrying [maybe] the Y- chromosome determines sex. Therefore the ejaculated drop determines sex. There were no microscopes etc to have knowledge of this 1400 years back, the time of the Koranic revelation.
6) "Surely, We created man from a mixed (Amshaj in Arabic) drop.." (Koran 76:2)
The Zygote (drop) forms by the union of a mixtures of the sperm and the ovum.
7) "...And He (God) gave you hearing and sight and feeling and understanding.." (Koran 32:9).
The above verse has as its context the creation of mankind. The special senses of hearing, seeing and feeling develop in the exact same order as mentioned in the above verse. The primordia of the internal ears appears before the beginning of the eyes, and the brain [the site of feeling and understanding] differentiates last.
II) Other data:
8) "Surely those who disbelieve our signs, We shall burn them at a fire. As often as their skins are wholly burned, we shall give them in exchange other skins so that they may keep tasting the punishment [i.e keep feeling the pain of burning]." (Koran 4:56)
Full thickness burns destroy nerve endings so that further burning does not cause pain. The pin prick test is used to verify full thickness loss. The Koran informed us about this over 1400 years back when people knew nothing about full thickness and partial thickness burns and their anaesthetic effect.
9) "..And you will see mankind on that day [i.e the day of judgement] as drunken [intoxicated], yet they will not be drunken [intoxicated].." (Koran 22:2)
Effects similar to intoxication can be produced in our bodies even though no intoxicant has been consumed [just as indicated by the above verse of the Koran]. Modern physiology has found this in the case of at least one pathological state, Mania [which involves feelings of intense euphoria and frenzied behavior].
10) "We have charged man(kind) that he/she be kind to his/her parents...; his bearing and his weaning are thirty months. Then when he is fully developed and reaches FORTY YEARS.." (Koran 46:15)
Psychological tests show that the overall quantity of stored knowledge in a person's mind increases during the first 39 years of his life, reaching a peak at this time (Guyton 207). The Koran said 40 years much before such psychological tests were conducted.
While commenting on the above verses of the Koran, please consider the fact that the Koran was revealed at a time period and place where people had little, if any scientific knowledge and lacked the equipment to provide such accurate descriptions contained in the above verses. As no alternative explanation is found, the "revealed" nature of the above verses is made clear. The Koran claims to be a revelation from God.
References to the Koran eg 22:5 refer to Koran chapter (sura) 22, verse or sentence 5.
1. Asadi, Muhammed A. Koran: A Scientific Analysis. IPU, Lahore 1992.
2. Guyton, Arthur C. Physiology of the Human Body. 6th edition. Holt Saunders International Editions.
3. Moore, Keith L. Before We are Born: Basic Embryology & Birth Defects. 2nd edition. W. B. Saunders Co, Philadelphia 1983.
4. Moore, K. L. A Scientists Interpretation of references to Embryology in Al- Qur'an. 1986.
"READ! IN THE NAME OF YOUR LORD WHO CREATED. CREATED MAN FROM A LEECH LIKE [STRUCTURE]." (KORAN 96:1-20)
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