Quran and modern science compatible or incompatible1
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful1. INTRODUCTIONEver since the dawn of human life on this planet,Man has always tried to understand Nature, hisown place in the scheme of Creation and the purposeof Life itself. In this quest for Truth, spanning manycenturies and diverse civilizations, organizedreligion has shaped human life and, to a largeextent, has determined the course of history. Whilesome 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, isa book believed by its followers, the Muslims, to becompletely of Divine origin. Muslims also believethat it contains guidance for all humankind. Sincethe message of the Qur’an is believed to be for alltimes, it should be relevant to every age. But doesthe Qur’an pass this test?In this booklet, I intend to give an objective analysisof the Muslim belief regarding the Divine origin ofthe Qur’an, particularly in the light of establishedscientific discoveries.There was a time, in the history of world civilization,when ‘miracles’, or what were perceived to bemiracles, took precedence over human reason andlogic. Of course, the normal defination of ‘miracle’ issimply, anything that takes place out of the normal
course of life and for which humankind has noexplanation.However, we must be careful before acceptingsomething as a miracle. In 1993, ‘The Times ofIndia’, Mumbai, reported that ‘a saint’ by the name‘Baba Pilot’ claimed to have stayed continuouslysubmerged under water in a tank for threeconsecutive days and nights. However, whenreporters wanted to examine the bottom of the tankof water in which he claimed to have performed his‘miraculous feat’, he refused to let them do so. Heargued by asking as to how one could examine thewomb of a mother that gives birth to a child.Obviously the ‘saint’ had something to conceal! Hisclaim was a gimmick simply to gain publicity.Surely, no modern person with even the slightestinkling towards rational thinking would accept sucha ‘miracle’. If such false miracles are the tests ofdivinity, then we would have to accept all worldfamous magicians known for their ingeniousmagical tricks and illusions, as genuine God-men!A book, claiming to be of Divine origin, is in effect,claiming to be a miracle. Such a claim should beeasily verifiable in any age, according to thestandards of that age. Muslims believe, that theQur’an is the last and final revelation of God, themiracle of miracles, revealed as a mercy to mankind.Let us therefore investigate the veracity of thisbelief.
THE CHALLENGE OF THE QUR’ANLiterature and poetry have been instruments ofhuman expression and creativity, in all cultures.The world also witnessed an age when literatureand poetry occupied pride of position, similar to thatnow enjoyed by science and technology.Even non-Muslim scholars agree that the Qur’an isArabic literature par excellence – that it is the bestArabic literature on the face of the earth. The Qur’anchallenges mankind to produce the likes of it:“And if ye are in doubtas to what We have revealedfrom time to time to Our servant,then produce a Surah likethereunto;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 Firewhose fuel is Men and Stones –which is prepared for thosewho reject Faith.” [Al-Qur’an 2:23-24]1____________________________________________________________1 Al-Qur’an 2:23-24 indicates Surah or Chapter No. 2 and Aayaator Verses 23 and 24. The same notation is followed throughoutthis book. References and translation of the Qur’an are fromthe translation of the Qur’an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, new revisededition, 1989, published by Amana Corporation, Maryland, USA.
The challenge of the Qur’an, is to produce a singleSurah (chapter) like the Surahs it contains. The samechallenge is repeated in the Qur’an several times.The challenge to produce a Surah, which, in beauty,eloquence, depth and meaning is at least somewhatsimilar to a Qur’anic Surah remains unmet to this day.A modern rational man, however, would never accepta religious scripture which says, in the best possiblepoetic language, that the world is flat. This is becausewe live in an age, where human reason, logic and scienceare given primacy. Not many would accept the Qur’an’sextraordinarily beautiful language, as proof of itsDivine origin. Any scripture claiming to be a divinerevelation must also be acceptable on the strength of itsown reason and logic.According to the famous physicist and Nobel Prizewinner, Albert Einstein, “Science without religion islame. Religion without science is blind.” Let us thereforestudy the Qur’an, and analyze whether the Qur’an andModern 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 thousanddeal with hard core Science.We all know that many a times Science takes a ‘U-turn’.In this book I have considered only established scientificfacts and not hypotheses and theories based on mereassumptions and not backed by proof.
2. ASTRONOMYCREATION OF THE UNIVERSE:‘THE BIG BANG’The creation of the universe is explained byastrophysicists as a widely accepted phenomenon,popularly known as ‘The Big Bang’. It is supportedby observational and experimental data gathered byastronomers and astrophysicists for decades.According to ‘The Big Bang’, the whole universe wasinitially one big mass (Primary Nebula). Then therewas a ‘Big Bang’ (Secondary Separation) whichresulted in the formation of Galaxies. These thendivided to form stars, planets, the sun, the moon,etc. The origin of the universe was unique and theprobability of it happening by ‘chance’ is nil.The Qur’an contains the following verse regardingthe origin of the universe:“Do not the Unbelievers seethat the heavens and the earthwere joined together (as oneunit of Creation), beforeWe clove them asunder?” [Al-Qu’ran 21:30]The striking similarity between the Qur’anic verseand ‘The Big Bang’ is inescapable! How could a book,which first appeared in the deserts of Arabia 1400years ago, contain this profound scientific truth?
INITIAL GASEOUS MASS BEFORECREATION OF GALAXIESScientists agree that before the galaxies in theuniverse were formed, celestial matter wasinitially in the form of gaseous matter. In short,huge gaseous matter or clouds were presentbefore the formation of the galaxies. To describeinitial celestial matter, the word ‘smoke’ is moreappropriate than gas. The following Qur’anic verserefers to this state of the universe by the worddukhaan which means smoke.“Moreover, He Comprehendedin His design the sky,and it had been (as) smoke:He said to it and to the earth:‘Come ye together,willingly or unwillingly.’They said: ‘We do come (together),in willing obedience.’” [Al-Qur’an 41:11]Again, this fact is a corollary to the ‘Big Bang’ andwas not known to anyone before the prophetehood ofMuhammad (Peace be upon him)1. What then, couldhave been the source of this knowledge?________________________________________________________1 Muslims also send salutations upon all the previous divinelyinspired Prophets on taking their names.
SHAPE OF THE EARTH IS SPHERICALIn early times, people believed that the earth wasflat. For centuries, men were afraid to venture outtoo far, for fear of falling off the edge! Sir FrancisDrake was the first person who proved that theearth is spherical when he sailed around it in 1597.Consider the following Qur’anic verse regarding thealternation of day and night:“Seest thou not that Allahmerges Night into Dayand He merges Day into Night?” [Al-Qur’an 31:29]Merging here means that the night slowly andgradually changes to day and vice versa. Thisphenomenon can only take place if the earth isspherical. If the earth was flat, there would havebeen a sudden change from night to day and fromday to night.The following verse also alludes to the sphericalshape of the earth:“He created the heavens andthe earth in true (proportions):He makes the Nightoverlap the Day,
and the Dayoverlap 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 woundaround the head. The overlapping or coiling of theday and night can only take place if the earth isspherical.The earth is not exactly round like a ball, butgeo-spherical, i.e. it is flattened at the poles. Thefollowing verse contains a description of the earth’sshape:“And the earth, moreover,hath He made egg shaped.” [Al-Qur’an 79:30]The Arabic word for egg here is dahaahaa1 whichmeans an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-eggresembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth.Thus the Qur’an correctly describes the shape of theearth, though the prevalent notion when the Qur’anwas revealed was that the earth was flat.MOONLIGHT IS REFLECTED LIGHTIt was believed by earlier civilizations that the moonemanates its own light. Science now tells us____________________________________________________________1 The Arabic word dahaahaa has been translated by A. YusufAli as “vast expanse”, which also is correct. This word also meansan ostrich-egg.
that the light of the moon is reflected light. Howeverthis fact was mentioned in the Qur’an 1,400 yearsago in the following verse:“Blessed is He Who madeConstellations in the skies,and placed therein a Lampand a Moon giving light.” [Al-Qur’an 25:61]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 diyawhich means ‘shining glory’. All three descriptionsare appropriate to the sun, since it generatesintense heat and light by its internal combustion.The Arabic word for the moon is qamar and itis described in the Qur’an as muneer which is abody that gives noor i.e. reflected light. Again, theQur’anic description matches perfectly with the truenature of the moon which does not give off light byitself and is an inactive body that reflects the lightof the sun. Not once in the Qur’an, is the moonmentioned as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya nor the sun asnoor or muneer. This implies that the Qur’anrecognizes the difference between the nature ofsunlight and moonlight.The following verses relate to the nature of lightfrom the sun and the moon:
“It is He who made the sunto be a shining gloryand the moon to be a light(of beauty).” [Al-Qur’an 10:5]“See ye nothow Allah has createdthe seven heavensone above another,“And made the moona light in their midst,and made the sunas a (Glorious) Lamp?” [Al-Qur’an 71:15-16]The Glorious Quran and modern science, are thusin perfect agreement about the differences in thenature of sunlight and moonlight.THE SUN ROTATESFor a long time European philosophers and scientistsbelieved that the earth stood still in the centre of theuniverse and every other body including the sunmoved around it. In the West, this geocentric conceptof the universe was prevalent right from the time ofPtolemy in the second century B.C. In 1512, NicholasCopernicus put forward his Heliocentric Theory ofPlanetary Motion, which asserted that the sun is
motionless at the centre of the solar system with theplanets revolving around it.In 1609, the German scientist Yohannus Kepplerpublished the ‘Astronomia Nova’. In this heconcluded that not only do the planets move inelliptical orbits around the sun, they also rotateupon their axes at irregular speeds. With thisknowledge it became possible for European scientiststo explain correctly many of the mechanisms of thesolar system, including the sequence of night andday.After these discoveries, it was thought that the Sunwas stationary and did not rotate about its axis likethe Earth. I remember having studied this fallacyfrom Geography books during my school days.Consider the following Qur’anic verse:“It is He Who createdthe Night and the Day,and the sun and the moon:All (the celestial bodies)swim along, each in itsrounded course.” [Al-Qur’an 21:33]The Arabic word used in the above verse isyasbahoon . This word is derived from the wordsabaha. It carries with it the idea of motion thatcomes from any moving body. If you use this wordfor a person on the ground, it would not mean thathe 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 wouldimply that he is swimming.Similarly, if you use the word yasbah for a celestialbody such as the sun, it would not only mean that itis flying through space but would also mean that itis rotating as it goes through space. Most schooltextbooks have now incorporated the fact that thesun rotates about its axis. The rotation of the sunabout its own axis can be proved with the help of anequipment that projects the image of the sun on thetop of a table, so that one can examine the image ofthe sun without being blinded. It is noticed that thesun has spots which complete a circular motion onceevery 25 days i.e. the sun takes approximately 25days to rotate round its axis.The sun travels through space at roughly 240 kmper second, and takes about 200 million years tocomplete one revolution around the centre of ourMilky Way Galaxy.“It is not permittedto the Sun to catch up the Moon,nor can the Night outstrip the Day:Each (just) swims alongin (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. theexistence of the individual orbits of the Sun and theMoon, and their journey through space with theirown motion.The ‘fixed place’ towards which the sun travels,carrying with it the solar system, has been locatedpreirsely by modern astronomy. It has been given aname, the Solar Apex. The solar system is indeedmoving in space towards a point situated in theconstellation of Hercules (alpha Lyrae) whose exactlocation is now firmly established.The moon rotates around its axis in the sameduration that it takes to revolve around the earth.It takes approximately 29½ days to complete onerotation.One cannot help but be amazed at the scientificaccuracy of the Qur’anic verses. Should we notponder over the question: “What is the source ofknowledge contained in the Qur’an?”THE SUN WILL EXTINGUISHThe light of the sun is due to a chemical process onits surface that has been taking place continuouslyfor the past five billion years. It will come to an endat some point of time in the future, when the sunwill be totally extinguished, leading to extinction ofall life on earth. Regarding the impermanence of thesun’s existence, the Qur’an says:“And the Sun runs its course
for a period determinedfor it; that isthe decree of (Him)the exalted in Might,the All-Knowing.” [Al-Qur’an 36:38]1The Arabic word used here is mustaqarr, whichmeans a place or time that is determined. Thus theQur’an says that the sun runs towards a determinedplace, and will do so only up to a pre-determinedperiod of time – meaning that it will end orextinguish.INTERSTELLAR MATTERSpace outside organized astronomical systems wasearlier assumed to be a vacuum. Astrophysicistslater discovered the presence of bridges of matterin this interstellar space. These bridges of matterare called plasma, and consist of completely ionizedgas containing equal number of free electrons andpositive ions. Plasma is sometimes called the fourthstate of matter (besides the three known statesviz. solid, liquid and gas). The Qur’an refers tothe presence of this interstellar material in thefollowing verse:“He Who created the heavens____________________________________________________________1 A similar message is conveyed in the Qur’an in 13:2, 35:13,39:5 and 39:21.
and the earth and allthat is between.” [Al-Qur’an 25:59]It would be ridiculous for anyone to even suggestthat the presence of interstellar galactic materialwas known 1400 years ago!THE EXPANDING UNIVERSEIn 1925, American astronomer Edwin Hubble,provided observational evidence that all galaxiesare moving away from one another, which impliesthat the universe is expanding. The expansion of theuniverse is now an established scientific fact. This iswhat the Qur’an says regarding the nature of theuniverse:“With power and skilldid We constructthe Firmament:For it is We Who createthe vastness of Space.” [Al-Qur’an 51:47]The Arabic word musioon is correctly translated as‘expanding it’, and it refers to the creation of theexpanding vastness of the universe.One of the greatest astrophysicist StephenHawking, in his book, ‘A Brief History of Time’,
says, “The discovery that the universe is expandingwas one of the great intellectual revolutions of the20th century.” The Qur’an mentioned the expansionof the universe, before man even learnt to build atelescope!Some may say that the presence of astronomicalfacts in the Qur’an is not surprising since the Arabswere advanced in the field of astronomy. They arecorrect in acknowledging the advancement of theArabs in the field of astronomy. However they failto realize that the Qur’an was revealed centuriesbefore the Arabs excelled in astronomy. Moreovermany of the scientific facts mentioned above, suchas the origin of the universe with a Big Bang, werenot known to the Arabs even at the peak of theirscientific advancement. The scientific factsmentioned in the Qur’an are therefore not due to theArabs’ advancement in astronomy. Indeed, thereverse is true: they advanced in astronomy,because astronomy occupies a place in the Qur’an.
3. PHYSICSATOMS CAN BE DIVIDEDIn ancient times a well-known theory by the nameof ‘Theory of Atomism’ was widely accepted. Thistheory was originally proposed by the Greeks, inparticular by a scholar called Democritus, who livedabout 23 centuries ago. Democritus and the peoplethat came after him, assumed that the smallest unitof matter was the atom. The ancient Arabs used tobelieve the same. The Arabic word zarrah mostcommonly meant an atom. In recent times modernscience has discovered that it is possible to spliteven an atom. That the atom can be split further isa development of the 20th century. Fourteencenturies ago this concept would have appearedunusual even to an Arab. For him the zarrah wasthe limit beyond which one could not go. Thefollowing Qur’anic verse however, refuses toacknowledge this limit:“The Unbelievers say,‘Never to us will comeThe Hour’:say, ‘Nay! but most surely,by my Lord,it will come upon you –
by Him Who knows the unseen –from Whom is not hiddenthe least little atomin the Heavens or on earth:nor is there anything lessthan that, or greater, butis in the Record Perspicuous.’” [Al-Qur’an 34:3]1This verse also refers to the Omniscience of God,His knowledge of all things, hidden or apparent. Itthen goes further and says that God is aware ofeverything, including what is smaller or bigger thanthe atom. Thus the verse clearly shows that it ispossible for something smaller than the atom toexist, a fact discovered only recently by modernscience.____________________________________________________________1 A similar message is conveyed in the Qur’an in 10:61.
4. HYDROLOGYTHE WATER CYCLEIn 1580, Bernard Palissy was the first person todescribe the present day concept of ‘water cycle’. Hedescribed how water evaporates from the oceansand cools to form clouds. The clouds move inlandwhere they rise, condense and fall as rain. Thiswater gathers as lakes and streams and flows backto the ocean in a continuous cycle. In the 7th centuryB.C., Thales of Miletus believed that surface sprayof the oceans was picked up by the wind and carriedinland to fall as rain.In earlier times people did not know the source ofunderground water. They thought the water of theoceans, under the effect of winds, was thrust towardsthe interior of the continents. They also believed thatthe water returned by a secret passage or the GreatAbyss. This passage is connected to the oceans andhas been called the ‘Tartarus’, since Plato’s time.Even Descartes, a great thinker of the eighteenthcentury, subscribed to this view. Till the nineteenthcentury, Aristotle’s theory was still prevalent.According to this theory, water was condensed in coolmountain caverns and formed underground lakesthat fed springs. Today, we have come to know thatthe rainwater that seeps into the cracks of theground is responsible for this.This is described by the Qur’an in the followingverses:
“Seest thou not that Allahsends down rainfrom the sky,and leads it throughsprings in the earth?then He causes to grow,therewith, produce ofvarious colours.” [Al-Qur’an 39:21]“He sends down rainfrom the skyand with it gives life tothe earth after it is dead:Verily in that are Signsfor those who are wise.” [Al-Qur’an 30:24]“And We send down waterfrom the skyaccording to (due) measure,and We cause itto soak in the soil;and We certainly are ableto drain it off (with ease).” [Al-Qur’an 23:18]No other text dating back 1400 years ago gives suchan accurate description of the water cycle.
EVAPORATION“By the Firmamentwhich returns (in its round),” [Al-Qur’an 86:11]WINDS IMPREGNATE CLOUDS“And We send thefecundating winds,then cause the rain todescend from the sky,therewith providing youwith water (in abundance).” [Al-Qur’an 15:22]The Arabic word used here is lawaaqih which isthe plural of laqih from laqaha, which meansto impregnate or fecundate. In this context,impregnate means that the wind pushes the cloudstogether increasing the condensation that causeslightning and thus rain. A similar description isfound in the following verses of the Qur’an:“Seest thou not that Allahmakes the clouds movegently, then joins themtogether, then makes theminto a heap?–then wilt thousee rain issue forthfrom their midst. And Hesends down from the sky
mountain masses (of clouds)wherein is hail: He strikestherewith whom He pleasesand He turns it awayfrom whom He pleases.the vivid flash of His lightningwell-nigh blinds the sight.” [Al-Qur’an 24:43]“It is Allah Who sends the Winds,and they raise the Clouds:then does He spread themin the sky as He wills,and break them into fragments,until thou seest raindropsissue from the midst thereof:then when He has made themreach such of His servants asHe wills,behold, they do rejoice!” [Al-Qur’an 30:48]Modern data on Hydrology agrees perfectly with theQuranic description on the same subject.The water cycle is described in several other versesof the Glorious Qur’an, including 7:57, 13:17, 25:48-49, 35:9, 36:34, 45:5, 50:9-11, 56:68-70 and 67:30.
5. GEOLOGYMOUNTAINS ARE LIKE TENT PEGSIn geology, the phenomenon of ‘folding’, is a recentlydiscovered fact. Folding is responsible for theformation of mountain ranges. The earth’s crust, onwhich we live, is like a solid shell, while the deeperlayers are hot and fluid, and thus inhospitable toany form of life. It is also known that the stabilityof the mountains is linked to the phenomenon offolding, for it was the folds that were to providefoundations for the reliefs that constitute themountains.Geologists tell us that the radius of the Earth isabout 6,035 km and the crust on which we live isvery thin, ranging between 2 to 35 km. Since thecrust is thin, it has a high possibility of shaking.Mountains act like stakes or tent pegs that holdthe earth’s crust and give it stability. The Qur’ancontains exactly such a description:“Have We not madethe earth as a wide expanse,and the mountains as pegs?” [Al-Qur’an 78:6-7]The word awtaad means stakes or pegs (likethose used to anchor a tent); they are the deepfoundations of geological folds.
A book entitled ‘Earth’ is regarded as a basicreference textbook on geology in many universitiesaround the world. One of the authors of this book isDr. Frank Press, who was the President of theAcademy of Sciences in the USA for 12 years andwas the Science Advisor to former US PresidentJimmy Carter. In this book, he illustrates themountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itselfas a small part of the whole, whose root is deeplyentrenched in the ground.1 According to Dr. Press,the mountains play an important role in stabilizingthe crust of the earth.The Qur’an clearly mentions the function of themountains in preventing the earth from shaking:“And We have set on the earthmountains standing firm,lest it should shake with them.” [Al-Qur’an 21:31]2The Qur’anic descriptions are in perfect agreementwith modern geological data.MOUNTAINS FIRMLY FIXEDThe surface of the earth is broken into many rigidplates that are about 100 km in thickness. These____________________________________________________________1 Earth, Press and Siever, p. 435. Also see Earth Science,Tarbuck and Lutgens, p. 1572 A similar message is contained in the Qruan in 31:10 and 16:15
plates float on a partially molten region calledaesthenosphere.Mountain formations occur at the boundary of theplates. The earth’s crust is 5 km thick below oceans,about 35 km thick below flat continental surfacesand almost 80 km thick below great mountainranges. These are the strong foundations on whichmountains stand. The Qur’an refers to the strongmountain foundations in the following verse:“And the mountainshath He firmly fixed.” [Al-Qur’an 79:32]1Thus, the information contained in the GloriousQuran about the nature of mountains, is in perfectagreement with recent discoveries in geology.____________________________________________________________1 A similar message is contained in the Qur’an in 88:19.
6. OCEANOLOGYBARRIER BETWEEN SWEET AND SALTWATERS“He has let free the two bodiesof flowing water, meeting together:Between them is a Barrierwhich they do not transgress.” [Al-Qur’an 55:19-20]In the Arabic text the word barzakh means abarrier or a partition. This barrier, however, is not aphysical partition. The Arabic word maraja literallymeans ‘they both meet and mix with each other’.Early commentators of the Qur’an were unable toexplain the two opposite meanings for the twobodies of water, i.e. they meet and mix, and at thesame time there is a barrier between them. ModernScience has discovered that in the places where twodifferent seas meet, there is a barrier betweenthem. This barrier divides the two seas so that eachsea has its own temperature, salinity and density.1Oceanologists are now in a better position to explainthis verse. There is a slanted unseen water barrierbetween the two seas through which water from onesea passes to the other.But when the water from one sea enters the othersea, it loses its distinctive characteristic and____________________________________________________________1 Principles of Oceanography, Davis, pp. 92-93.
becomes homogenized with the other water. In a waythis barrier serves as a transitional homogenizingarea for the two waters.This phenomenon is also mentioned in the followingverse of the Quran:“And made a separating barbetween the two bodiesof flowing water?” [Al-Qur’an 27:61]This phenomenon occurs in several places, includingthe divider between the Mediterranean and theAtlantic Ocean at Gibralter. A white bar can also beclearly seen at Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, SouthAfrica where the Atlantic Ocean meets the IndianOcean.But when the Qur’an speaks about the dividerbetween fresh and salt water, it mentions theexistence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier.“It is He Who haslet free the two bodiesof flowing water:one palatable and sweet,and the other salty and bitter;yet has Hemade a barrier between them,and a partition that is forbiddento be passed. [Al-Qur’an 25:53]
Modern science has discovered that in estuaries,where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, thesituation is somewhat different from that found inplaces where two salt water seas meet. It has beendiscovered that what distinguishes fresh water fromsalt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with amarked density discontinuity separating the twolayers.”1 This partition (zone of separation) has asalinity different from both the fresh water and thesalt water.2This phenomenon occurs in several places, includingEgypt, where the river Nile flows into theMediterranean Sea.These scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur’anwas also confirmed by Dr. William Hay, a well-known marine scientist and Professor of GeologicalSciences at the University of Colorado, U.S.A.DARKNESS IN DEPTHS OF OCEANProf. Durga Rao is a world renowned expert in thefield of Marine Geology and was a professor at KingAbdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He was asked tocomment on the following verse:“Or (the Unbelievers’ state)is like the depths of darknessin a vast deep ocean,____________________________________________________________1 Oceanography, Gross, p. 242. Also see Introductory Oceanography,Thurman, pp. 300-301.2 Oceanography, Gross, p. 244 and Introductory Oceanography,Thurman, pp. 300-301.
overwhelmed with billowtopped 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 Allahgiveth not light,there is no light!” [Al-Qur’an 24:40]Prof. Rao said that scientists have only now beenable 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 formore than 20 to 30 metres, and cannot survive inthe deep oceanic regions at a depth of more than200 metres. This verse does not refer to all seasbecause not every sea can be described as havingaccumulated darkness layered one over another. Itrefers especially to a deep sea or deep ocean, as theQur’an says, “darkness in a vast deep ocean”. Thislayered darkness in a deep ocean is the result of twocauses: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 metres of water absorb the red colour. Therefore, if a diver is 25 metres under water and gets wounded, he would not be able to see the red colour of his blood, because the red colour does not reach this depth. Similarly, orange rays are absorbed at 30 to 50 metres, yellow at 50 to 100 metres, green at 100 to 200 metres, and finally, blue beyond 200 metres and violet and indigo above 200 metres. Due to successive disappearance of colour, one layer after another, the ocean progressively becomes darker, i.e. darkness takes place in layers of light. Below a depth of 1000 meters there is complete darkness.12. 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____________________________________________________________1 Oceans, Elder and Pernetta, p. 27.
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 withwaves topped by waves”.In other words, above these waves there are moretypes of waves, i.e. those found on the surface ofthe ocean. The Qur’anic verse continues, “toppedby (dark) clouds; depths of darkness, one aboveanother.”These clouds as explained are barriers one over theother that further cause darkness by absorption ofcolours at different levels.Prof. Durga Rao concluded by saying, “1400 yearsago a normal human being could not explain thisphenomenon in so much detail. Thus theinformation must have come from a supernaturalsource”._____________________________________________________________1 The reference for this statment is the video tape titled ‘This is theTruth’. For a copy of this video tape contact the Islamic ResearchFoundation.
“It is He Who hasCreated man from water:then has He establishedrelationships of lineageand marriage:for thy Lord has power(over all things).” [Al-Qur’an 25:54]Was it possible 14 centuries ago for any humanbeing to guess that every living being was madefrom water? Moreover would such a guess beconceivable by a human being in the deserts ofArabia where there has always been scarcity ofwater?
8. BOTANYPLANTS HAVE MALE AND FEMALEPreviously, humans did not know that plants toohave male and female gender distinctions. Botanystates that every plant has a male and femalegender. Even the plants that are unisexual havedistinct elements of both male and female.“‘And has sent downwater from the sky.’With it have We produceddiverse pairs of plantseach separate from the others.” [Al-Qur’an 20:53]FRUITS HAVE MALE AND FEMALE“And fruit of every kindHe madein pairs, two and two.” [Al-Qur’an 13:3]Fruit is the end product of reproduction of thesuperior plants. The stage preceding fruit is theflower, which has male and female organs (stamensand ovules). Once pollen has been carried to theflower, they bear fruit, which in turn matures andfrees its seed. All fruits therefore imply theexistence of male and female organs; a fact that ismentioned in the Qur’an.
In certain species, fruit can come from non-fertilizedflowers (parthenocarpic fruit) e.g. bananas, certaintypes of pineapple, fig, orange, vine, etc. They alsohave definite sexual characteristics.EVERYTHING MADE IN PAIRS“And of everythingWe have created pairs.” [Al-Qur’an 51:49]This verse lays emphasis on everything. Besideshumans, animals, plants and fruits, it may also bereferring to electricity in which the atoms consist ofnegatively – and positively – charged electrons andprotons. And many more things!“Glory to Allah, Whocreated in pairsall things that theearth produces,as well as their own(human) kindand (other) things of whichthey have no knowledge.” [Al-Qur’an 36:36]The Qur’an here says that everything is created inpairs, including things that the humans do notknow at present and may discover later.
9. ZOOLOGYANIMALS AND BIRDS LIVE INCOMMUNITIES“There is not an animal(that lives) on the earth,nor a being that flieson its wings,but (forms part of)communities like you.” [Al-Qur’an 6:38]Research has shown that animals and birds live incommunities, i.e. they organize, and live and worktogether.THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS“Do they not look atthe birds, held poisedin the midst of (the airand) the sky?Nothing holds them upbut (the power of) Allah.Verily in this are Signsfor those who believe.” [Al-Qur’an 16:79]
Another verse also touches on birds:“Do they not observethe birds above them,spreading their wingsand folding them in?None can uphold themexcept (Allah) Most Gracious:truly it is Hethat watches over all things.” [Al-Qur’an 67:19]The Arabic word amsaka literally means, ‘to putone’s hand on, seize, hold, hold someone back,’which expresses the idea that Allah holds the birdup in His power. These verses stress the extremelyclose dependence of the birds’ behaviour on Divinelaw. Modern scientific data has shown the degree ofperfection attained by certain species of birds withregard to the programming of their movements. It isonly the existence of a migratory programme in thegenetic code of the birds that can explain the longand complicated journey that very young birds,without any prior experience and without any guide,are able to accomplish. They are also able to returnto the departure point on a definite date.Prof. Hamburger in his book ‘Power and Fragility’gives the example of ‘mutton-bird’ that lives in thePacific with its journey of over 24,000 km in theshape of figure ‘8’. It makes this journey over a
period of 6 months and comes back to its departurepoint with a maximum delay of one week. The highlycomplicated instructions for such a journey have tobe contained in the birds’ nervous cells. They aredefinitely programmed. Therefore, should we not atleast reflect on the identity of this ‘Programmer’?THE BEE AND ITS SKILL“And thy Lord taught the Beeto build its cells in hills,on trees, and in(men’s) habitations;then to eat of allthe produce (of the earth),and find with skillthe spacious paths of its Lord.” [Al-Qur’an 16:68-69]Von-Frisch received the Nobel Prize in 1973 for hisresearch on the behaviour and communication of thebees. The bee, after discovering any new garden orflower, goes back and tells its fellow bees the exactdirection and map to get there, which is known as‘bee dance’. The meanings of this insect’s movementsthat are intended to transmit information betweenworker bees have been discovered scientificallyusing photography and other methods. The Qur’anmentions in the above verses how the bee with itsskill, finds the spacious paths of its Lord.
The gender used for the bee in the above verses isthe female gender (fa’slukî and kulî), indicating thatthe bee that leaves its home for gathering food is afemale bee. In other words the soldier or worker beeis a female bee.In fact, in Shakespeare’s play, ‘Henry the Fourth’,some of the characters speak about bees andmention that the bees are soldiers and that theyhave a king. That is what people thought inShakespearean times. They thought that theworker bees are male bees and they go home andare answerable to a king bee. This, however, is nottrue. The worker bees are females and they do notreport to a king bee but to a queen bee. But it tookmodern investigations in the last 300 years todiscover this.SPIDER’S WEB, THE FRAGILE HOME“The parable of those whotake protectors other than Allahis that of the Spider,who builds (to itself) a house;but truly the flimsiest of housesis the Spider’s house –if they but knew.” [Al-Qur’an 29:41]
Besides giving the physical description of the spider’sweb as being very flimsy, delicate and weak, theQur’an also stresses on the flimsiness of therelationship in the spider’s house, where the femalespider many a times kills its mate, the male spider.The parable also has reference to the weakness ofsuch relationship of the people who seek protectionfor this world and for the hereafter from those otherthan Allah.LIFESTYLE AND COMMUNICATION OFANTS“And before Solomon weremarshalled his hosts –of Jinns and men and birds,and they were all keptin order and ranks.“At length, when they cameto a (lowly) valley of ants,one of the ants said :‘O ye ants, get intoyour habitations,lest Solomon and his hostscrush you (under foot)without knowing it.’” [Al-Qur’an 27:17-18]
In the past, some people would have probablymocked at the Qur’an, taking it to be a book of fairytales in which ants talk to each other andcommunicate sophisticated messages. In recenttimes however, research has shown us several factsabout the lifestyle of ants, which were not knownearlier to humankind. Research has shown that theanimals or insects whose lifestyle is closest inresemblance to the lifestyle of human beings are theants. This can be seen from the following findingsregarding ants:(a) The ants bury their dead in a manner similar to the humans.(b) They have a sophisticated system of division of labour, whereby they have managers, supervisors, foremen, workers, etc.(c) Once in a while they meet among themselves to have a ‘chat’.(d) They have an advanced method of communication among themselves.(e) They hold regular ‘markets’ where they exchange goods.(f) They store grain for long periods in winter and if the grain begins to bud, they cut the roots, as if they understand that if they leave it to grow, it will rot. If the grain stored by them gets wet due to rains, they take it out into the sunlight to dry, and once dry, they take it back inside as though they know that humidity will cause development of root systems which will cause the grain to rot.
10. MEDICINEHONEY: HEALING FOR HUMANKINDThe bee assimilates juices of various kinds offlowers and fruit and forms honey within its body,which it stores in its cells of wax. Only a couple ofcenturies ago humans came to know that honeycomes from the belly of the bee. But this fact wasmentioned in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago in thefollowing verse:“There issues fromwithin their bodiesa drink of varying colours,wherein is healing for men.” [Al-Qur’an 16:69]We are only now aware that honey has healingproperties and is also a mild antiseptic. TheRussians would use honey to cover their wounds inWorld War II. The wound would retain moistureand would leave very little scar tissue. Due to thedensity of honey, no fungus or bacteria could growin the wound.Dramatic improvements were visible in 22incurable chest and Alzheimers disease patients atnursing Homes in England who were treated bySister Carole, a nun, with propolis, a substancewhich bees produce to seal hives against bacteria.1______________________________________________________________1 The reference for this statment is the video tape titled ‘This is theTruth’. For a copy of this video tape contact the Islamic ResearchFoundation.
A person suffering from an allergy of a particularplant may be given honey from that plant so thatthe person develops resistance to that allergy.Honey is also rich in fructose and vitamin K.The knowledge contained in the Qur’an regardinghoney, its origin and properties, was discoveredcenturies after its revelation.
11. PHYSIOLOGYBLOOD CIRCULATION AND MILKThe Qur’an was revealed 600 years before theMuslim scientist Ibn Nafees described thecirculation of the blood and 1,000 years beforeWilliam Harwey brought this understanding to theWestern world. Roughly thirteen centuries before itwas known what happens in the intestines toensure that organs are nourished by the process ofdigestive absorption, a verse in the Qur’an describedthe source of the constituents of milk, in conformitywith these notions.To understand the Qur’anic verse concerning theabove concepts, it is important to know thatchemical reactions occur in the intestines and that,from there, substances extracted from food pass intothe blood stream via a complex system; sometimesby way of the liver, depending on their chemicalnature. The blood transports them to all the organsof the body, among which are the milk-producingmammary glands.In simple terms, certain substances from thecontents of the intestines enter into the vessels ofthe intestinal wall itself, and these substances aretransported by the blood stream to the variousorgans.
This physiological concept must be fully appreciated if wewish to understand the following verses of the Qur’an:“And verily in cattle there isa lesson for you.We give you to drinkof what is inside their bodies,coming from a conjunctionbetween the contents of theintestine and the blood,a milk pure and pleasant forthose who drink it.” [Al-Qur’an 16:66]1“And in cattle (too) yehave an instructive example:from within their bodiesWe produce (milk)for you to drink;there are, in them,(besides), numerous (other)benefits for you;and of their (meat) ye eat.” [Al-Qur’an 23:21]____________________________________________________________1 Translation of this Qur’anic verse is from the book “The Bible, theQur’an and Science” by Dr. Maurice Bucaille._____________________________________________________________The 1400 year old Qur’anic description of theproduction of milk in cattle is strikingly similar to whatmodern physiology has discovered in recent times
12. EMBRYOLOGYMUSLIMS SEEK ANSWERSA group of Muslim Scholars, under the direction ofan eminent Yemani Scholar, Sheikh Abdul MajidAzzindani, collected information concerningembryology1 and other sciences in the Quran andundisputed Hadith2 and translated it into English.They then followed the Quranic advice:“If ye realise this not,ask of those who possessthe Message.” [Al-Qur’an 16:43 & 21:7]All the information from the Qur’an and theundisputed Hadith concerning embryology sogathered, after being translated into English andpresented to Prof. (Dr.) Keith Moore, Professor ofEmbryology and Chairman of the Department ofAnatomy at the University of Toronto, in Canada.At present he is one of the highest authorities in thefield of Embryology.He was asked to give his opinion regarding thematerial presented to him. After carefullyexamining it, Dr. Moore said that most of the_____________________________________________________________1 Embryology is the study of human development before birth.2 Hadith or Sunnah means the sayings or actions of ProphetMuhammed (pbuh).
information concerning embryology mentioned inthe Qur’an and the undisputed Hadith is in perfectconformity with modern discoveries in the field ofembryology and does not conflict with them in anyway. He added that there were a few verseshowever, on whose scientific accuracy he could notcomment. He could not say whether the statementswere true or false, since he was himself unaware ofthe information contained therein. There was alsono mention of this information in modern writingsand studies on embryology.One such verse is:“Proclaim! (or Read!)In the name of thy Lordand 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 congealedclot of blood, also means something that clings, aleech-like substance.Dr. Keith Moore had no knowledge whether anembryo in the initial stages appears like a leech. Tocheck this out he studied the initial stage of theembryo under a very powerful microscope andcompared what he observed with the diagram of aleech. He was astonished at the strikingresemblance between the two!
In the same manner, he acquired more informationon embryology, that was hitherto not known to him,from the Qur’an.Dr. Keith Moore answered about eighty questionsdealing with embryological data mentioned in theQur’an and Hadith. Noting that the informationcontained in the Qur’an and Hadith was in fullagreement with the latest discoveries in the field ofembryology, Prof. Moore said, “If I was asked thesequestions thirty years ago, I would not have beenable to answer half of them for lack of scientificinformation”.1In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference inDammam, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Moore said, “It hasbeen a great pleasure for me to help clarifystatements in the Qur’an about human development.It is clear to me that these statements must havecome to Muhammad from God or Allah, becausealmost all of this knowledge was not discovereduntil many centuries later. This proves to methat Muhammad must have been a messenger ofGod or Allah”.2Dr. Keith Moore had earlier authored the book,‘The Developing Human’. After acquiring newknowledge from the Qur’an, he wrote, in 1982, the3rd edition of the same book, ‘The Developing_____________________________________________________________1 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx2 The reference for this statment is the video tape titled ‘Thisis the Truth’. For a copy of this video tape contact the IslamicResearch Foundation.
Human’. The book was the recipient of an award forthe best medical book written by a single author.This book has been translated into several majorlanguages of the world and is used as a textbook ofembryology in the first year of medical studies.Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, Chairman of the Departmentof Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the Baylor Collegeof Medicine, Houston, U.S.A., proclaims: “...theseHadiths, sayings of Muhammad (pbuh), could nothave been obtained on the basis of the scientificknowledge that was available at the time of thewriter (implying in the 7th century). It follows thatnot only is there no conflict between genetics andreligion (implying Islam) but in fact religion (Islam)may guide science by adding revelation to some of thetraditional scientific approaches . . . there existstatements in the Qur’an shown centuries later to bevalid which support knowledge in the Qur’an havingbeen derived from God.”DROP EMITTED FROM BETWEEN THEBACK BONE AND THE RIBS“Now let man but thinkfrom what he is created!He is created froma drop emitted –Proceeding from betweenthe back bone and the ribs.” [Al-Qur’an 86:5-7]
In embryonic stages, the reproductive organs of themale and female, i.e. the testicles and the ovaries,begin their development near the kidney betweenthe spinal column and the eleventh and twelfth ribs.Later they descend; the female gonads (ovaries) stopin the pelvis while the male gonads (testicles)continue their descent before birth to reach thescrotum through the inguinal canal. Even inadulthood after the descent of the reproductiveorgans, these organs receive their nerve supply andblood supply from the Abdominal Aorta, which is inthe area between the backbone (spinal column) andthe ribs. The lymphatic drainage and the venousreturn also go to the same area.NUTFAH – MINUTE QUANTITY OFLIQUIDThe Glorious Qur’an mentions no less than eleventimes that the human being is created from nutfah,which means a minute quantity of liquid or a trickleof liquid that remains after emptying a cup. This ismentioned in several verses of the Qur’an including22:5 and 23:13.1Science has confirmed in recent times that only oneout of an average of three million sperms is requiredfor fertilising the ovum. This means that only 1/3millionth part or 0.00003% of the quantity of spermsthat are emitted is required for fertilisation._____________________________________________________________1 The same is also mentioned in the Qur’an in 16:4, 18:37, 35:11,36:77, 40:67, 53:46, 75:37, 76:2 and 80:19.
SULALAH – QUINTESSENCE OF LIQUID“And made his progenyfrom a quintessenceof the nature ofa fluid despised.” [Al-Qur’an 32:8]The Arabic word sulaalah means quintessence or thebest part of a whole. We have come to know now thatonly one single spermatozoon that penetrates theovum is required for fertilization, out of the severalmillion produced by man. That one spermatozoon outof several million, is referred to in the Qur’an assulaalah. We have also come to know now that onlyone ovum is fertilized out of the tens of thousandproduced by the female. That one ovum out of tensof thousand is also refered to in the Quran asSulaalah. This word also means gentle extractionfrom a fluid. The fluid refers to both male andfemale germinal fluids containing gametes. Bothovum and sperm are gently extracted from theirenvironments in the process of fertilization.NUTFATUN AMSHAAJ – MINGLEDLIQUIDS“Verily We created manfrom a drop of mingled sperm.” [Al-Qur’an 76:2]
The Arabic word nutfatin amshaajin means mingledliquids. According to some commentators of theQur’an, mingled liquids refers to the male or femaleagents or liquids. After mixture of male and femalegamete, the zygote still remains nutfah. Mingledliquids can also refer to spermatic fluid that isformed of various secretions that come from variousglands.Therefore, nutfatin amshaaj, i.e. a minute quantityof mingled fluids refers to the male and femalegametes (germinal fluids or cells) and part of thesurrounding fluids.SEX DETERMINATIONThe sex of a foetus is determined by the nature ofthe sperm and not of the ovum. The sex of the child,whether female or male, depends on whether the23rd pair of chromosomes is XX or XY respectively.Primarily, sex determination occurs at fertilizationand depends upon the type of sex chromosome inthe sperm that fertilizes an ovum. If it is an ‘X’bearing sperm that fertilizes the ovum, the foetusis a female and if it is a ‘Y’ bearing sperm thenthe foetus is a male.“That He did createin pairs – male and female,from a seed when lodged(in its place).” [Al-Qur’an 53:45-46]The Arabic word nutfah means a minute quantity ofliquid and tumnaa means ejaculated or planted.
Therefore nutfah specifically refers to spermbecause it is ejaculated.The Qur’an says:“Was he not a dropof sperm emitted(in lowly form)?“Then did he becomea clinging clot;then did (Allah) makeand fashion (him)in due proportion.“And of him He madetwo sexes, maleand female.” [Al-Qur’an 75:37-39]Here again it is mentioned that a small quantity(drop) of sperm (indicated by the word nutfatan minmaniyyin) which comes from the man is responsiblefor the sex of the foetus.Mothers-in-law in the Indian subcontinent, usuallyprefer having male grandchildren and often blametheir daughters-in-law if the child is not a boy. Ifonly they knew that the determining factor is thenature of the male sperm and not the female ovum!If they were to blame anybody, they should ratherblame their sons, not their daughters-in-law, sinceboth the Qur’an and Science hold that it is the malefluid that is responsible for the sex of the child!
FOETUS PROTECTED BY THREE VEILSOF DARKNESS“He makes you,in the wombs of your mothers,in stages, one after another,in three veils of darkness.” [Al-Qur’an 39:6]According to Prof. Keith Moore, these three veils ofdarkness in the Qur’an refer to:(i) anterior abdominal wall of the mother(ii) the uterine wall(iii) the amnio-chorionic membrane.EMBRYOLOGICAL STAGES“Man We did createfrom a quintessence (of clay);then We placed himas (a drop of) spermin a place of rest, firmly fixed;then We made the sperminto a clot of congealed blood;then of that clot We madea (foetus) lump;
then We made out of thatlump bones and clothedthe bones with flesh;then We developedout 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 froma small quantity of liquid which is placed in a placeof rest, firmly fixed (well established or lodged) forwhich the Arabic word qaraarin makeen is used.The uterus is well protected from the posterior bythe spinal column supported firmly by the backmuscles. The embryo is further protected by theamniotic sac containing the amniotic fluid. Thusthe foetus has a well protected dwelling place.This small quantity of fluid is made into alaqah,meaning something which clings. It also meansa leech-like substance. Both descriptions arescientifically acceptable as in the very early stagesthe foetus clings to the wall and also appears toresemble the leech in shape. It also behaves like aleech (blood sucker) and acquires its blood supplyfrom the mother through the placenta.The third meaning of the word alaqah is a bloodclot. During this alaqah stage, which spans thethird and fourth week of pregnancy, the blood clotswithin closed vessels. Hence the embryo acquiresthe appearance of a blood clot in addition to
acquiring the appearance of a leech. Compare thereadily available Quranic knowledge with Mansstruggle with scientific findings:In 1677, Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were thefirst scientists to observe human sperm cells(spermatozoa) through a microscope. They thoughtthat a sperm cell contained a miniature humanbeing which grew in the uterus to form a newborn.This was known as the perforation theory. Whenscientists discovered that the ovum was bigger thanthe sperm, it was thought by scientists like De Grafand others that the foetus existed in a miniatureform in the ovum. Later, in the 18th century,Maupertuis propagated the theory of biparentalinheritance.The alaqah is transformed into mudghah whichmeans ‘something that is chewed (having teethmarks)’ and also something that is tacky and smallwhich can be put in the mouth like gum. Both theseexplanations are scientifically correct. Prof. KeithMoore took a piece of plaster seal and made it intothe size and shape of the early stage of foetus andchewed it between the teeth to make it into amudghah. He compared this with the photographsof the early stage of foetus. The teeth marksresembled the ‘somites’ which is the early formationof the spinal column.This mudghah is transformed into bones (izâm).The bones are clothed with intact flesh or muscles(lahm). Then Allah makes it into another creature.
Prof. Marshall Johnson who is one of the leadingscientists in the USA, and is the head of theDepartment of Anatomy and Director of the DanielInstitute at the Thomas Jefferson University inPhiladelphia in the USA, was asked to comment onthe verses of the Qur’an dealing with embryology. Atfirst he said that the verses of the Qur’an describingthe embryological stages cannot be a coincidence. Itwas probable that Muhammad (pbuh) had a powerfulmicroscope. On being reminded that the Qur’an wasrevealed 1400 years ago, and microscopes wereinvented many centuries after the time of ProphetMuhammad (pbuh), Prof. Johnson laughed andadmitted that the first microscope invented could notmagnify more than 10 times and could not show aclear picture.Later he said: “I see nothing here in conflict withthe concept that Divine intervention was involvedwhen Muhammad (pbuh) recited the Qur’an.”1According to Dr. Keith Moore, the modernclassification of embryonic development stageswhich is adopted throughout the world, is noteasily comprehensible, since it identifies stageson a numerical basis i.e. stage 1, stage 2, etc. On theother hand, the divisions revealed in the Qur’an arebased on distinct and easily identifiable forms orshapes, which the embryo passes through. Theseare based on different phases of pre-natal_____________________________________________________________development1 The reference for this statment is the video tape titled ‘This is the Truth’.For a copy of this video tape contact the Islamic Research Foundation.
and provide elegant scientific descriptions that arecomprehensible and practical.Embryological stages of human development havealso been described in the following verses:“Was he not a dropof sperm emitted(in lowly form)?Then did he becomea clinging clot;then did (Allah) makeand fashion (him)in due proportion.and of him He madetwo sexes, maleand female.” [Al-Qur’an 75:37-39]“Him Who created thee,fashioned thee in due proportion,and gave thee a just bias;in whatever Form He wills,does He put thee together.” [Al-Qur’an 82:7-8]
EMBRYO PARTLY FORMED ANDPARTLY UNFORMEDAt the mudghah stage, if an incision is made in theembryo and the internal organ is dissected, it will beseen that most of them are formed while theremaining are not yet completely formed.According to Prof. Johnson, if we describe theembryo as a complete creation, then we are onlydescribing that part which is already created.If we describe it as an incomplete creation, thenwe are only describing that part which is not yetcreated. So, is it a complete creation or an incompletecreation? There is no better description of this stageof embryogenesis than the Qur’anic description,“partly formed and partly unformed”, as in thefollowing verse:“We created youout of dust,then out of sperm,then out of a leech-like clot,then out of a morsel of flesh,partly formedand partly unformedthat We may manifest(Our Power) to you.” [Al-Qur’an 22:5]
Scientifically we know that at this early stageof development there are some cells which aredifferentiated and there are some cells that areundifferentiated – some organs are formed and yetothers unformed.SENSE OF HEARING AND SIGHTThe first sense to develop in a developing humanembryo is hearing. The foetus can hear sounds afterthe 24th week. Subsequently, the sense of sight isdeveloped and by the 28th week, the retina becomessensitive to light.The Quran explains it thus:“And He gaveyou (the faculties of) hearingand sight and feeling(and understanding).” [Al-Qur’an 32:9]“Verily We created manfrom 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 createdfor you (the faculties of)
hearing, sight, feeling andunderstanding:little thanks it is ye give!” [Al-Qur’an 23:78]In all these verses the sense of hearing is mentionedbefore that of sight. Thus the Qur’anic descriptionmatches perfectly with the discoveries in modernembryology.
13. GENERAL SCIENCEFINGERPRINTS“Does man think that Wecannot assemble his bones?Nay, We are able to puttogether in perfect orderthe very tips of his fingers.” [Al-Qur’an 75:3-4]Unbelievers argue regarding resurrection takingplace after bones of dead people have disintegratedin the earth and how each individual would beidentified on the Day of Judgement. Almighty Allahanswers that He can not only assemble our bonesbut can also reconstruct perfectly our veryfingertips.Why does the Qur’an, while speaking aboutdetermination of the identity of the individual,speak specifically about fingertips? In 1880,fingerprinting became the scientific method ofidentification, after research done by Sir FrancisGolt. No two persons in the world can ever haveexactly the same fingerprint pattern, not evenidentical twins. That is the reason why police forcesworldwide use fingerprints to identify criminals.Fourteen hundred years ago, who could have knownthe uniqueness of each human’s fingerprint? Surely itcould have been none other than the Creator Himself!
PAIN RECEPTORS IN THE SKINIt was thought that the sense of feeling and painwas dependent only on the brain. Recent discoverieshowever prove that there are pain receptors presentin the skin, without which a person would not beable to feel pain.When a doctor examines a patient suffering fromburn injuries, he verifies the degree of burns by apinprick. If the patient feels pain, the doctor ishappy, because it indicates that the burns aresuperficial and the pain receptors are intact. On theother hand, if the patient does not feel any pain, itindicates that it is a deep burn and the painreceptors have been destroyed.The Qur’an gives a clear indication of the existenceof pain receptors in the following verse:“Those who rejectour signs,We shall sooncast into the Fire;as often as their skinsare roasted through,We shall change themfor fresh skins,that they may tastethe Penalty:
for Allah is Exaltedin Power, Wise.” [Al-Qur’an 4:56]Prof. Tagatat Tejasen, Chairman of the Departmentof Anatomy at Chiang Mai University in Thailand,has spent a great amount of time on research ofpain receptors. Initially he could not believe thatthe Qur’an mentioned this scientific fact 1,400years ago. He later verified the translation of thisparticular Qur’anic verse. Prof. Tejasen was soimpressed by the scientific accuracy of the Qur’anicverse, that at the 8th Saudi Medical Conferenceheld in Riyadh on the Scientific Signs of Qur’an andSunnah, he proudly proclaimed in public: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (pbuh) is His Messenger.”
14. CONCLUSIONTo attribute the presence of scientific facts in theQur’an to coincidence would be against commonsense and a true scientific approach.Indeed the scientific accuracy of the Quranic versesconfirm the Qurans open declaration.“Soon will We show themOur Signs in the (furthest)regions (of the earth), andin their own souls, untilit becomes manifest to themthat this is the Truthit is not enough thatThy Lord doth witnessall things?” [Al-Qur’an 41:53]The Qur’an invites all humans to reflect on theCreation of this universe in the verse:“Behold! In the creationof the heavens and the earth,and the alternationof Night and Day –there are indeed Signsfor men of understanding .” [Al-Qur’an 3:190]
The scientific evidences of the Qur’an clearly proveits Divine origin. No human could have produced abook, fourteen hundred years ago, that wouldcontain such profound scientific facts.The Qur’an, however, is not a book of Science but abook of ‘Signs’. These signs invite Man to realize thepurpose of his existence on earth, and to live inharmony with Nature. The Qur’an is truly amessage from Allah, the Creator and Sustainer ofthe universe. It contains the same Message of theOneness 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 thesubject of Qur’an and modern science and furtherresearch in this field is on. Inshallah, this researchwill help mankind to come closer to the Word of theAlmighty. This booklet contains only a few of thescientific facts present in the Qur’an. I cannot claimto have done full justice to the subject.Prof. Tejasen accepted Islam on the strength of justone scientific ‘sign’ mentioned in the Qu’ran. Somepeople may require ten signs while some mayrequire hundred signs to be convinced about theDivine origin of the Qur’an. Some would beunwilling to accept the Truth even after beingshown a thousand signs. The Qur’an condemns sucha 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 theindividual and society. Alhamdulillah (Praise be toAllah), the Qur’anic way of life is far superior to the‘isms’ that modern man has invented out of sheerignorance. Who can give better guidance than theCreator Himself?I pray that this humble effort is accepted by Allah,to whom I pray for mercy and guidance (Aameen).