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|The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by firdaus4us: 12:18pm On May 10, 2007|
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)
Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.
In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.
Figure 1: Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others. Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.)
The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.
Figure 2: We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.)
Figure 3: In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother. The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.)
The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.
Figure 4: Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage. The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.)
So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage.
The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.” (see figures 5 and 6).
Figure 5: Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old). The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance. The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.)
Figure 6: When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two.
A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage. We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.)
B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed.
How could Muhammad have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad ). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.
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, 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.
In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “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 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 hadeeth (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.”
|Re: The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by Gwaine(m): 7:06pm On May 14, 2007|
Next time, don't forget to leave us the link.
|Re: The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by KAG: 11:25pm On May 14, 2007|
T. H Huxley (pen name) has written a worthy rebuttal to the claims made. However, before I copy/paste it, I'd just like to add that the kind of reubbish that involves liberally translating a verse, then wringing it out of shape, deceptively, to pretend that it predicts something it clearly doesn't (and is strangely revealed [b]ONLY[/B] after it has been discovered by science) actually belittles your faith - not that it needs any help in that department.
Discussion one: The Islamic Phases - Timing
Taken together, the three phases of Islamic embryology take 120 days to go from conception to the point where the embryo becomes a fetus (i.e. an identifiable human baby), or right around 17 weeks. Does this reflect what we now know about embryonic development.
The answer is patently, no. The human embryo becomes a fetus around week 9, or roughly half the time Islamic embryology requires. By day 56 the fetus is essentially a complete, though tiny, human being with all organ systems in place, and all tissues developed. This is right in the middle of what Islam calls the “alaquah” phase. In other words, the developing person is already a complete human being at a point where the hadith insists it (not he or she) still has almost three weeks remaining as a “clot of congealed blood.”
In fact, there are no developmental milestones which can be mapped to the three 40 day periods required by Islamic embryology, even though they are stressed in several authoritative ahadith.
Conclusion: The hadith is demonstrably wrong concerning the timing of embryologic development.
Discussion two: The Islamic Phases – Description
The three Islamic phases of development are described in a very visual way, allowing for an informed evaluation of the accuracy of those descriptions. This might be expected if for no other reason than that during the Prophet’s day, there was not even the idea of a microscope, and any descriptions offered would reasonably be of objects that were visible to an unaided eye. And this is exactly what we find.
And certainly, each of the three Islamic stages is described at a visible level of scale. A drop of seed, a clot of blood, a lump of flesh; all of them are objects of a size with which the ancient Arabs would have been familiar.
The “Drop of Seed” Phase (Nutfah)
There is little to no debate among Muslims as to the meaning of the word, “nutfah.” It is a “drop of seed” or “drop of semen” of the sort that would have been familiar to any adult Arab male. The Arabs rightly understood (as did all of their non-Arab neighbors) that semen was necessary to begin the process of procreation. But, exactly as with all their non-Arab neighbors, the writers of the Qu’ran and the hadith did not seem to understand that there was an egg produced by the mother that is fertilized by the male’s semen.
The Arabs believed that the woman served simply as an incubator for a child that was fully contained in the father’s seed. There was no understanding of the actual biology of sexual reproduction, and no such understanding is apparent in the Qu’ran.
Instead, the Qu’ran tells us that the “drop of seed” remains exactly that (a drop of seed) for the entire nutfah phase (40 days according to Bukhari and Muslim). What actually IS happening during those 40 days, and how might it be said to resemble a “drop of seed?”
The actual “drop of seed” provided by the male dissipates within minutes of ejaculation, so even before conception, the literal “drop of seed” no longer exists. The case could certainly be made that the fertilized egg resembles a seed until about day 13 or fourteen, but the “drop” is long gone, replaced with a microscopic egg that moves through a period called the “blastocyst.” But by the beginning of the third week, the embryo has already begun to differentiate into a trilaminar embryo with the three layers of ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. A mere two and a half weeks after conception, the embryo no longer looks anything like a “drop of seed,” while the Islamic tradition indicates that the nutfah stage should last for an additional three weeks.
By day 40 of actual embryonic development (when the “drop” stage should be just ending and the “clot” stage beginning) the embryo is actually very well advanced. Measuring some 11 millimeters long, and the nervous system is well along its development. The embryo has eyes and ears, all four limbs have begun to form, the heart bulge is prominent. It bears no resemblance at this point to either a “drop of seed” or a “leech-like clot.”
Interim Conclusion: The Qu’ran is in error describing the embryo as a “drop of seed” for any significant period of time, and certainly wrong in assigning a 40 day period to such a phase.
The “Leech-Like Clot” Phase (Alaqah)
The word “alaqah” is a bit more ambiguous than “nutfah,” and so has been translated a bit more flexibly by Islamic apologists. Although consistently translated as a “clot of blood” by multiple translators, there are a handful of instances where it is rendered as “a leech-like clot.” This is the phase that (according to Bukhari and Muslim) should last from about day 41 to day 80 after conception.
Among the many images of Allah’s creative power reflected in the Qu’ran and the hadith, the image of man having been created from a clot of blood is one of the most common, showing up over a dozen times in the Qu’ran, Bukhari and Islam alone.
What actually IS happening during those 40 days, and how might it be said to resemble a “leech-like clot?”
The period of development covered by the “alaqah” stage includes from week six until week eleven after conception. The first two weeks of this “phase” actually encompass the final two weeks of embryonic development, for at that point the baby is essentially completely formed, and from here on out is known as a fetus.
Interestingly, at no time during this period (or any period for that matter) does the embryo or fetus resemble a “clot.” And while dependence of the placenta might be described as being vaguely “leech-like” in that it is attached to the uterine wall, no one would ever confuse the embryo or fetus with a leech.
This is as good a point as any to point out that embryonic development is essentially over by day 56, or in less than one half of the time described by Islamic embryology.
For over three weeks of the supposed “alaqah” phase, rather than a “leech-like clot” the fetus is actually a fully formed human being, ranging in size from 35 mm to about 80 mm in length.
Interim Conclusion: The Qu’ran and hadith are in error describing the embryo as a “leech-like clot” for any period of time, and certainly wrong in assigning the period from 41 to 80 days for such a phase.
The “Lump of Flesh” Phase – (Mudghah)
The Arabic word “Mudghah” is uniformly described as a “lump” or “morsel of flesh.” Sometimes, it is more descriptively referred to as a “chewed lump of meat.” According to the hadith, this phase would cover day 81 to 120 of fetal development, or weeks 12 through 17.
However, rather than a “lump” of anything, this period is one primarily of increasing size for the already fully formed fetus. During this period of time the fetus grows finger and toenails, begins to grow hair, and by the end of it the mother is beginning to feel the child’s movements. At no time during these weeks does the fetus look like anything other than an obvious human being.
If there were anytime during which the embryo might be described as a “lump of flesh,” that would have been much earlier, perhaps during the fourth week. But even then, the embryo was quite organized and complex, hardly “chewed” in any sense of the word.
Interim Conclusion: The Qu’ran and hadith are in error describing the embryo as a “morsel of flesh” for any significant period of time, and certainly wrong in assigning the period from 81 to 120 days for such a phase.
Conclusion: The three Qu’ranic phases are impossible to conform with actual embryonic development, and that problem is only magnified by the timing of those phases as prescribed by the hadith. There are no actual phases that can be correlated to nutfah, alaqah or mudghah, and the level of development that Islam asserts takes 120 days actually takes less than half of it.
Discussion 3 – Gender
According to multiple ahadith, it is only after the mudghha phase (days 81-120) that an angel of the Lord determines the gender of the baby. But in fact, modern genetics shows that the gender of the baby is determined at the moment of conception, and is therefore already set some four months before Islam asserts the question is even asked of Allah.
Conclusion: The authors of the Qu’ran and the hadith had no idea as to the genetic nature of gender, and assumed wrongly that it was assigned by Allah months after it was actually determined by genetics. The Islamic model is wrong again.
Some Notes on the Interpretations of Dr. Keith Moore
Dr. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C. of the Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada, has become a favorite of Islamic apologists ever since he accepted an invitation to produce a special edition of his Embryology Text Book specifically for use by Muslim students in Islamic Universities.
In articles published widely across Islamic web sites, Dr. Moore goes on the record to provide a generous assessment of the Qu’ran and hadith in the light of modern knowledge about embryology. But a review of his “analysis” shows the extent to which he had to twist both the Islamic scriptures and modern science in order to get the “facts” to correlate.
Specifically, Moore’s intellectual lapses are these:
1) He liberally translates Arabic into terms that no Arabic speaker would consider justified, but that allows him to pretend the Arabic is closer to truth than it really is. For example, in spite of the fact that almost three dozen translations of “alaqah” found on line never once exclude the word “clot,” Moore writes instead that “The word "alaqah" refers to a leech or bloodsucker.”
2) He completely ignores the timing of phases dictated by the hadith, for to consider them renders even his mistranslation unintelligeble. For example, after mistranslating “alaqah” to mean “a leech or bloodsucker,” he then compares it to the human embryo at 24 days gestation. But 24 days is still firmly within the “nutfah” phase, when the embryo should actually look like a “drop of seed.” He does the same with “mudghah,” comparing it with the embryo at 28 days, still in the “nutfah” phase and only four days later than he had assigned to “alaqah.”
One might speculate on the reasons Dr. Moore might have for this travesty of embryology, but actually the answer is a simple one. He was apparently quite well paid for essentially no real additional work. The textbook he delivered to the Saudi Universities that commissioned the work is titled, "The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology with Islamic Additions." (ISBN 0-7216-6472-5).
The base textbook is work that Moore had apparently completed years before, while the “Islamic Additions” appear to be the work of an Abdul-Majeed A. Azzindani, and not Dr. Moore’s at all.
And an interesting side bar (of no real importance, but entertaining none the less) is that the Acknowledgments for the book recognize a number of “distinguished scholars” who supported the book with time or money. And number 6 on the list?
Sheik Osamah bin Ladin.
|Re: The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by nossycheek(f): 2:07pm On May 15, 2007|
Like I posted earlier
Embryological development in the Qur'an
Sura 22:5 says "We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then from a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed , and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes." Sura 23:13-14 repeats this idea by saying God "placed him as (a drop of) sperm (nutfah) in a place of rest, firmly fixed; then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (alaqa); then out of that clot We made a (foetus) lump (mudghah), then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature." 75:38 also says man becomes an alaqa and 96:2 says we came from alaq.
Moore however goes further and incredibly he claims in a later edition of his textbook that the Qur'an "states that the resulting organism settles in the womb like a seed, 6 days after its beginning". This really would be amazing if it was true. Actually the Qur'an says nothing of the sort.
We have to ask what the precise meaning of these words is in order to know whether the verses contain important scientific statements that have only recently been discovered, as Moore and others claim. In comparison with the meaning of nutfah, it is rather more difficult to understand what alaqa means. Many different suggestions have been made: clot (Pickthall, Maulana Muhammed Ali, Muhammed Zafrulla Khan, Hamidullah), small lump of blood (Kasimirski), leech-like clot (Yusuf Ali), and "leech, suspended thing or blood clot" (Moore, op. cit.). Moore suggests that the appearance of an embryo of 24 days' gestation resembles a leech, though this is rather debatable. In side view the developing umbilicus (genetically part of the embryo) is almost as big as the "leech-shaped" part into which a human is formed and the developing placenta (which also consists of tissue that is genetically from the embryo) is much larger than the embryo. It is claimed that the ancient sages would not have been able to see an embryo about 3mm long and describe it as leech-like, but Aristotle correctly described the function of the umbilical cord, by which the embryo "clings" to the uterus wall in the fourth century B.C. It is impossible to believe the suggestion of Bachir Torki  that alaq in 96:2 means links, referring to the gene code of DNA, as this makes a nonsense out of other verses where the word is used, such as 22:5 ("we made you from a drop of sperm, then from that a gene code, then from that a little lump of flesh, ".
To establish a definition for alaqa we might take a look at the Qamus al-Muheet, one of the most important Arabic dictionaries ever compiled, by Muhammed Ibn-Yaqub al-Firuzabadi (AD 1329-1415) . He says that alaqa has the same meaning as a clot of blood. In 96:2 the word alaq is used, which is both a collective plural and a verbal noun. The latter form conveys the sense of man being created from clinging material or possibly clay, which is consistent with the creation of Adam in the Bible from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and some of the other Qur'anic verses listed above. However, the translators of the Qur'an have all translated alaq as "clot" as opposed to "clinging" in 96:2 because the use of the singular alaqa elsewhere forces them to use "clot" here too, despite the attraction for the meaning "clinging" or leech-like which is perhaps more scientifically accurate.
Another source of information are the early Muslim commentators. Ibn Kathir wrote that when the drop of water (nutfah) settled in the womb it stayed there for forty days and then became a red clot (alaqa), staying there for another forty days before turning to mudghah, a piece of flesh without shape or form. Finally it began to take on a shape and form. Both ar-Razi and as-Suyuti claimed that the dust referred both to Adam's creation and to the man's discharge; nutfah referred to the water from the male and alaqa was a solidified piece of blood clot. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (died about AD 1350) wrote that "the foetus is a living or dead babe animal which is sometimes found in the womb of a slaughtered animal, and its blood is congested" . Another great physician, Ibn al-Quff wrote some 13 out of 60 chapters from "On Health Preservation" about embryology and pregnancy. He included a further stage of development one week after conception, the foam stage or raghwah. Up to 16 days the embryo was alaqa (clot) and after 27 to 30 days the clot turns into a lump of meat, mudghah. These dates must be regarded as very approximate but are nevertheless a major improvement on what one of the most reliable Hadiths says about foetal development, as we shall see later.
Moving onto the next stage of development, Razi described the mudghah as being a little piece of meat the size of what a man can chew. The idea that mudghah means chewed flesh is a later, and less accurate translation of the word, but the idea has persisted because it is claimed that the somites from which the backbone and other trunk structures develop bear a passing resemblance to teeth marks implanted in plastercine. It must be said that not only is this an imaginative interpretation however, but besides, Moore cannot claim that the mudghah should occur at 26-27 days since at that point the embryo is a mere 4mm long. One would have to wait around 8 weeks before the embryo was the size of chewed flesh (if a mouthful is defined as being 20-30mm wide), which is what mudghah really means. And in the following Hadith, transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim, Muhammed claims that the mudghah stage occurs between days 80 and 120. Yet by this time the foetus is considerably larger than a lump of flesh the size of which a man can chew, and looks very human-like and totally unlike meat.
`Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported that Allah's Messenger , said: "Verily your creation is on this wise. The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of blood [sperm?], after which it becomes a clot of blood in another period of forty days. Then it becomes a lump of flesh and forty days later Allah sends his angel to it , "
Thus according to Muhammed, the drop of sperm remains in the womb for 40 days, then becomes a clot for a further 40 days, then a lump of flesh for 40 days. It has been shown that human sperm can only survive inside a woman's reproductive tract for a maximum of 7 days; at 80 days the embryo has very definitely acquired the shape of a human being and looks nothing like either a clot or a mouthful of flesh.
The final stage of human development which the Qur'an describes is the creation of bones, and the clothing of bones with flesh. However, according to modern embryologists including Prof. Moore, the tissue from which bone originates, known as mesoderm, is the same tissue as that from which muscle ("flesh" develops. Thus bone and muscles begin to develop simultaneously, rather than sequentially. Whereas however most of the muscle tissue that we have is laid down before birth, bones continue to develop and calcify (strengthen with calcium) right into one's teenage years. So far from bones being clothed with flesh, it would be more accurate if the Qur'an had said that muscles started to develop at the same time as bones, but completed their development earlier. The idea that bones are clothed with flesh is not only scientifically completely false, but is directly copied from the ancient Greek doctor Galen.
The author is a practising medical doctor in the United Kingdom.
Deception in Islam is an inborn thing, It cannot be changed but tranferred from generation to generation, readers beware!
|Re: The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by Gwaine(m): 6:56pm On May 15, 2007|
Oya, wey babs and his research from Dr. Naik Zakir?
|Re: The Quran On Human Embryonic Development by tsalam: 10:32am On Sep 12, 2009|
who is that doctor the person that produce the book he read to become a dotor keith moore confirms the quranic account so tell him to shout up even dr william campbell can refute the fact shame on you
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