Responses to "It is Truth"

Chapter 6

Qur'aanic Description of the Internal and External Appearance of the Fetus

We present to you Dr. Marshall Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. We said: `For example, modern science tells us that the human prenatal development goes through several stages whereas the Qur'an mentioned these stages to us 1400 years ago.'

It was not until the middle of the 19th century when the scientists began to discover that the human embryonic development took place in several successive stages. It was for this reason when Professor Johnson was told that this information has been in the Qur'an for 1400 years that he stood up and shouted: `No, No!' So we in turn handed him a copy of the Qur'an and showed him the following verse which he read in the English translation:

What is the matter with you, that you are not conscious of Allah's Majesty. Seeing that it is He who has created you in diverse stages? (Qur'an 71:13-14).

Then we showed him this verse: He creates you in the wombs of your mother, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. (Qur'an 39:6).

The Qur'an plagiarized the teaching of Galen - which were wrong! Galen formulated his theory of four states in 150 AD, long before Muhammad. His stages, which are very similar to what Muhammad tells us in the Qur'an, were:

1. Geniture - an unformed white conceptus like semen (similar to nutfah)

2. A bloody vascularised foetus with brain, liver and heart (similar to alaqa)

3. Other features were mapped out but unformed (similar to mudghah)

4. Puer - all the organs were well formed and joints were freely moveable.

Source: Corpus Medicorum Graecorum: Galeni de Semine (Galen: On Semen) (English trans. Phillip de Lacy, Akademic Verlag, 1992) section I:9:1-10 pp. 92-95

Some Muslim scholars agree. In his book Sex and Society in Islam Basim Musallam concludes : "The stages of development which the Qur'an and Hadith established for believers agreed perfectly with Galen's scientific account. ... There is no doubt that medieval thought appreciated this agreement between the Qur'an and Galen, for Arabic science employed the same Qur'anic terms to describe the Galenic stages". (B. Musallam (Cambridge, 1983), Sex and Society in Islam. p. 54)

We understood the effect of such statements upon him. We knew he was one of the foremost scientists in the United States. He knew, of course, that after the discovery of the microscope in the 16th century, physicians throughout the 17th century believed that a human being's origin began entirely in the male's semen, specifically in the male's sperm.

The Qur'an makes the same mistake.

Woe to man! What has made him reject Allah? From what stuff has He created him? From a sperm-drop: He has created him, and then molded him in due proportion. (Qur'an 80:17-19)

Once again, this is scientifically incorrect. We are formed when a sperm and egg unite! Why does male semen get all of the credit in the Qur'an? Where is the egg?

So we collected more than 25 texts and presented them to him. Then we asked him: `Is it possible that these texts are coincidence?' Moreover, the Glorious Qur'an has given each of these stages a name: the first being the nutfah, or the drop of water, the second being the `alaqah, a leech-like substance, the third being the mudghah, or a chewed-like lump, the fourth being bones, and then the clothing of the bones with flesh. Can all this be a coincidence? He flatly said: `No.'

Galen did the same nearly five centuries earlier!

Then we asked him: `Then what remains?' He said: The other possibility is that Muhammad had hold [of a] powerful microscope.

We said: `You know that this sort of minute and specialized knowledge, which has been contained in the Qur'an, can only be obtained by very powerful microscopes. And anyone possessing such powerful microscopes must also possess very high technology, which must be reflected in his daily living, his house, his food, his control and management of war and quest for peace... etc. And you know that technological advancement is a process of cumulative inheritance, passed in and proved upon from one generation to the other.'

Aristotle correctly described an embryo of this age as well as the function of the umbilical cord, by which the embryo "clings" to the uterus wall in the fourth century B.C.! Did he have a microscope?

Professor Johnson laughed and said: In fact I saw the first microscope invented in the world. It does not magnify more than 10 times and does not even show a clear picture. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam), never had possession of scientific equipment or microscopes. The only thing that remains for us to say that he was a Messenger from Allah.

Using your argument, Aristotle and Galen must have also been messengers of Allah.

After this, Professor Johnson began to take interest in the study of scientific signs in the Qur'an, concentrating in some of his research on the stages of embryonic development. While Dr. Moore and others discussed the external fetal appearance, Professor Johnson concentrated his presentation on the Qur'an's detailed descriptions of the internal as well as external of the fetus.

To make a long story short, these external features of a mudghah (80-120 day old embryo) can be seen with the naked eye.

In respect to internal development, in Sura 23:14 we read

Then We made the seed a clot, then We made the clot a lump of flesh, then We made (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, then We caused it to grow into another creation,..........

However, in every textbook, including Professor Moore's, we read that bone and muscle develop simultaneously out of the same mesodermal tissue from 20 days to 23! (Keith L. Moore (Saunders, 1982), The Developing Human, 3rd edition with Islamic Additions, pp. 56, 63, chapters 15 and 16) Why doesn't Dr Moore and his friends attempt to explain this discrepancy between their book and the Qur'an?

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