The Quran on Human Embryonic Development:
It is written in the Holy Quran that:
"We created man from an extract of clay.Then We made him as a drop in a place ofsettlement, firmly fixed. Then We made thedrop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing,and blood clot), then We made the alaqah intoa mudghah (chewed substance)"
Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings:
- suspended thing
- blood clot
In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between an embryo and a leech, as we can see in figure. Also we figured out that the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of mother, similar to leech, which feeds on the blood of others.
Let's now look at the other meaning of the word alaqah which is “suspended thing”. In figuress ,we can see suspension of embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.
|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.) (Click on the image to enlarge it.)|
Let's now look at the last meaning of the word alaqah which is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo during the alaqah stage is similar to blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amount of blood present in the embryo during this stage. Also the blood in the embryo does not circulate until end of the third week. Thus, we can say that embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.
So the all three meanings of a single word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at alaqah stage.
The next stage in the verse is mudghah stage. In Arabic mudghah means “chewed substance.” If we take a piece of gum and chew it in our mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we can see the resemblance between mudghah and chewed gum. Because somites at the back of the embryo resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance”.
So one can conclude that these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad(S.A.W.W) from ALLAH. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.