Stages Of The Creation Of Man (A)
Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad, (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), as a Messenger to the whole universe. Allah says in the Qur'aan:
We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures. (Qur'aan 21:107).
And so Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allah to the bedouins in the desert just as he is the Messenger of Allah to the present-day scientist in his modern laboratory. He is the Messenger of Allah to all peoples of all times. Before Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), each Messenger was sent exclusively to his own people: …to every people a guide has been sent. (Qur'aan 13:7).
Prophet Muhammad’s (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) message, however, is to all of mankind, and it is for this reason that Allah has given a supporting proof of the message of Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), a proof which is different from the proofs given to the messengers before him. The proofs of the preceding messengers were only seen by their contemporaries and possibly by some generations immediately following them. Then Allah would send a new Messenger, supported with a new miracle, in order to revive the faith of his people. But because Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was destined to be last of the Prophets until the Day of Resurrection, Allah has given him an everlasting miracle as a supporting proof.
If we ask a Jew or Christian to show us the miracles of Prophet Musa (Moses) or 'Eesa (Jesus), may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them, they both would submit that it is not within human power to re-demonstrate any of those miracles now. Moses’ cane cannot be created nor can Prophet Jesus be invoked to raise people from the dead. For us today, these miracles are nothing more than historical reports. But if a Muslim is asked about the greatest miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), he can readily show his book, the Qur'aan. For the Qur'aan is a miracle that remains in our hands. It is an open book for all people to examine its contents.
Allah said in the Qur'aan:
What thing is most weighty in evidence? Say: Allah is witness between me and you; this Qur'aan has been revealed to me by inspiration that I may warn you and all whom it reaches. (Qur'aan 6:19).
The miraculous nature of the Qur'aan lies in the knowledge which it contains. Allah, the Exalted, said: But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down (the Qur'aan) you (O Muhammad); He has sent it down with His Knowledge… (Qur'aan 4:166).
Hence, our contemporary scientists and scholars, the professors in various universities who are leaders of human thought, have the opportunity to examine the knowledge which is found in the book of Allah. In this age, scientists have excelled in discovering the universe, though the Qur'aan has already discussed the universe and human nature even long before. So, what was the result?
We present Professor Emeritus Keith Moore, one of the world’s prominent scientists of anatomy and embryology. We asked Professor Moore to give us his scientific analysis of some specific Qur'aanic verses and prophetic traditions [Ahadeeth] pertaining to his field of specialization.
Professor Moore is the author of the book entitled “The Developing Human”. He is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Canada, where he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. Dr. Moore had also previously served at the University of Winnipeg, Canada for eleven years. He has headed many international associations of anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences. Professor Moore was also elected to the membership of the Royal Medical Association of Canada, the International Academy of Cytology, the Union of American Anatomists and the Union of North and South American Anatomists. and 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 published many books on clinical anatomy and embryology, eight of them are used as reference works in medical schools and have been translated into six languages.
When we asked Professor Moore to give us his analysis of the Qur'aanic verses and prophetic statements, he was amazed. He wondered how the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), fourteen centuries ago, could describe the embryo and its development phase in such detail and accuracy, which scientists have come to know only in the last thirty years. Very quickly, however, Professor Moore’s amazement grew into admiration for this revelation and guidance. He introduced these views to intellectual and scientific circles. He even gave a lecture on the compatibility of modern embryology with the Qur'aan and Sunnah where he stated:
It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur'aan about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from Allah, or 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 Allah."
Consider what this well-known and respected scientist of embryology declared upon studying the Qur'aanic verse related to his discipline, and his conclusion that Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), must have been a Messenger from Allah.
Allah says in the Qur'aan about the stages of the creation of man: Man we did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then we placed as (a drop of) sperm (nutfah) in a place firmly fixed; Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (‘alaqah); Then of that clot we made a (fetus) lump (mudghah); then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. (Qur'aan 23:12-14).
The Arabic word ‘alaqah has three meanings. The first meaning is “leech”. The second is “a suspended thing”. The third meaning is “a blood clot”.
In comparing the fresh-water leech to the embryo at the ‘alaqah stage, Professor Moore found a great similarity between the two. He concluded that the embryo during the ‘alaqah stage acquires an appearance very similar to that of leech. Professor Moore placed a picture of the embryo side by side with the picture of a leech (See Fig. 3.1). He presented these pictures to scientists at several conferences.
The second meaning of the word ‘alaqah is “a suspended thing”, and this is what we can see in the attachment of the embryo during the ‘alaqah stage to the uterus (womb) of the mother. The third meaning of the word ‘alaqah is “a blood clot”. It is significant to note, as Professor Moore stated, that the embryo during the ‘alaqah stage goes through well known internal events, such as the formation of blood in closed vessels, until the metabolic cycle is completed through placenta. During the ‘alaqah stage, the blood is caught within closed vessels and that is why the embryo acquires the appearance of a blood clot, in addition to the leech-like appearance. Both descriptions are miraculously given by a single Qur'aanic word ‘alaqah.
How could Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) have possibly known that by himself? Professor Moore also studied the embryo at the mudghah (chewed-like substance) stage. He took a piece of raw clay and chewed it in his mouth, then compared it with a picture of the embryo at the mudghah stage. Professor Moore concluded that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the exact appearance of a chewed-like substance (Fig. 3.2) . Several Canadian periodicals published many of Professor Moore’s statements. In addition, he presented three television programs in which he highlighted the compatibility of modern science with what has been contained in the Qur'aan for one thousand and four hundred years. Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: ‘Does this mean that you believe that the Qur'aan is the Word of Allah?’ to which he replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.” Professor Moore was also asked: ‘How can you believe in Muhammad while you believe in Jesus Christ?’ His reply was: "I believe they both come from the same school."
Thus modern scientists all over the world today can come to know that the Qur'aan has been revealed from Allah’s knowledge. As Allah the Almighty has told us: Allah bears witness that what He has sent unto thee He has sent with His (own) knowledge. (Qur'aan 4:166).
It also follows that modern-day scientists should have no difficulty in acknowledging that the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), is a Messenger of Allah.