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I) Early Developmental Stage: In embryonic stages, the reproductive organs of the male and female, i.e. the testicles and the ovaries, begin their development near the kidney between the spinal column and the eleventh and the twelfth ribs. Later they descend; the female gonads (ovaries) stop in the pelvis while the male gonads (testicles) continue their descent before birth to reach the scrotum through the inguinal canal. The Holy Qur’an says:

Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted - Proceeding from between the back bone and the ribs." [Al- Qur‘an 86:5-7]

Science has confirmed in recent times that only one out of an average of three million sperms is r

equired from fertilising the ovum. This means that only a 1/three millionth part or 0.00003%b of the quantity of sperms that are emitted is required for fertilisation. The Holy Qur’an says:

"Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?

The Glorious Qur’an mentions no less than eleven times that the human being is created from ‘nutfah’, which means a minute quantity of liquid (seminal fluid) or a trickle of liquid which remains after emptying a cup. This is mentioned in several verses of the Qur’an including 22:5 and 23:13

II) Creation From Quintessence of Sperm: We now know that only one single spermatozoon that penetrates the ovum is required for fertilization out of several millions of them emitted. Look what the Holy Qur’an has to say:

"And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised." [Al-Qur’an 32:8]

The Arabic word ‘sulalah’ means quintessence or the best part of a whole as is referred to in the Qur’an. ‘Sulalah’ also means gentle extraction from a fluid. The fluid refers to both male and female germinal fluids containing gametes.

III) Nature of Seminal Secretion: The spermatic fluid is formed of various secretions that come from various glands in which sperms are suspended. And the zygote formation is results of inter mixing of male & female gametes and fertilization of ovum. Consider the following Qur’anic verse:

"Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm." [Al-Qur’an 76:2]

The Arabic word ‘nutfatin amshaajin’ means mingled liquids. According to some commentators of the Qur’an, mingled liquids refers to the male or female gametes and part of the surrounding fluids.

I) Sex of the Foetus: The sex of a foetus is determined by the nature of the sperm and not the ovum. The sex of the child, whether female or male, depends on whether the 23rd pair of chromosomes is XX or XY respectively. Primarily sex determination occurs at fertilization and depends upon the type of sex chromosomes in the sperm that fertilizes an ovum. Consider the following Qur’anic verse:

"That He did create in pairs-male and female, from a seed when lodged (In its place)." [Al-Qur’an 53:45-46]

The Qur’an further says:

"Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? Then did he became a clinging clot; then did (Allah) make and fashion (him) in due proportion. And of him He made two sexes, male and female." [Al-Qur’an75: 37-39]

Here again it is mentioned that a small quantity (drop) of sperm, which comes from the man, is responsible for the sex of the foetus.

II) Development of Foetus : According to Prof. Keith Moore the Professor of Embryology the developing foetus is surrounded or protected by

  1. Anterior abdominal wall of the mother
  2. The uterine wall
  3. The amnio - chronic membrane.

The Holy Qur’an describes the development of foetus in the uterus as follows:

"He makes you in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness." [Al-Qur’an 39:6]

The three veils of darkness in the Qur’an refer to the above-mentioned protective layers (sheaths) that nature provides to the developing foetus.


The photographs above are of a 2 month and a 3 month foetus respectively.
The embryo develops in the mother’s womb or uterus protected by three veils, or layers, as shown in them (A) the anterior abdominal wall, (B) the uterine wall, and the (C) the amniochorionic membrane.

III) Embryonic Stages: Human being is created from a small quantity of liquid that is placed in a place of rest, firmly fixed (well established or lodged) that is uterus. The uterus is well protected from the posterior by the spinal column supported firmly by the back muscles. The amniotic sac containing the amniotic fluid further protects the embryo. Thus the foetus has a well-protected dwelling place.

In the very early stages the foetus clings to the wall and also appears to resemble the leech in shape. It also behaves like a leech (blood sucker) and acquires its blood supply from the mother through the placenta. In the next stage, the somite appears like a chewed lump of flesh. The bone structure develops inside this mass in what is called mesenchyma. The bones that are formed are covered with muscle. And now compare the graphic presentation of this development by the Holy Qur’an:

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood (something which clings) then of that clot we made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best to create." [Al-Qur’an 23:12-14]

In this verse Allah states that the small quantity of fluid is made into ‘alaqh’. The word ‘alaqh’ besides meaning a congealed clot of blood also means something that clings, a leech-like substance. The ‘alaqh’ is transformed into ‘mudghah’, which means ‘something that is chewed (having teeth marks)’ This ‘mudghah’ is transformed into bones (izam). The bones are clothed with intact flesh or muscles (lahm). Then Allah makes it a totally new creature.

This picture of the mudghah shows the external appearance of the embryo with its curved structure, and with visible protuberances and grooves resembling teeth-marks (somites), we notice the swallows and the grooves, we also notice the curved surface, all which give the embryo its distinctive features while the embryo at this stage is only one centimeter in length.

Dr. Moore said that most of the information concerning embryology mentioned in the Qur’an is in perfect conformity with modern discoveries in the field of embryology and does not conflict with them in any way. Dr. Keith Moore had no knowledge whether an embryo in the initial stages appears like a leech. To check this out he studied the initial stage of the embryo under a very powerful microscope in his laboratory and compared what he observed with a diagram of a leech and he was astonished at the striking resemblance between the two!

Prof. Moore said, “If I was asked these questions thirty years ago, I would not have been able to answer half of them for lack of scientific information.” Dr. Keith Moore had earlier authored the book, “The Developing Human”. After acquiring new knowledge from the Qur’an, in 1982, he came up with the 3rd revised edition of the same book.

IV) Incomplete Formation of Embryo: At the ‘mudghah’ stage, if an incision is made in the embryo and the internal organ is dissected, it will be seen that most of them are formed while the others are not yet completely formed. The Holy Qur’an describes it as follows:

"We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed." [Al-Qur’an 22:5]

According to Prof. Johnson, if we describe the embryo as a complete creation, then we are only describing that part which is already created. If we describe it as an incomplete creation, then we are only describing that part which is not yet created. So, is it a complete creation or an incomplete creation? There is no better description of this stage of embryogenesis than the Qur’anic description, ‘partly formed and partly unformed’, as in the above verse.

V) Development of Senses: The first sense to develop in a developing human embryo is hearing. The foetus can hear sound after the 24th week. Subsequently, the sense of sight is developed and by the 28th week, the retina becomes sensitive to light. Consider the following Qur’anic verses related to the development of the senses in the embryo:

"Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So we gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight." [Al-Qur’an 76:2]

"It is He Who created for you (the faculties of) Hearing, Sight, Feeling and understanding: little thanks it is you give!" [Al-Qur’an 23:78]

In all these verses the sense of hearing is mentioned before that of sight. Thus the Qur’anic description matches with discoveries in modern embryology.

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