15.01.2014

3 stages of pregnancy in quran

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, American International Printing Co., Washington, 1946.
This article analyzes the apologetic claim that Qur'anic embryology is scientifically accurate.
As the outer appearance of the embryo alters with the changes taking place inside it, then the verb "sawwa" in "AI-Qiyamah" is taken to indicate that the "Mudghah" stage is over.
Thus the stage of straightening and making the surface of the embryo more even mentioned in "AI-Qiyamah" must therefore, come after "Mudghah" stage. Proponents of Qur'anic embryology often defend their position by claiming that words like alaqa can have several meanings, and each of these meanings apply at the same time. The best method of refuting Qur'anic embryology is by questioning every claim as to their validity, and to make its proponents justify every claim.
We will ignore the obvious similarities between the embryology prevailing at the time the Qur'an was written and the embryology contained within its pages. One might contend that the Qur'an does not claim a role for the ovum at all, or is even ignorant of its existence. Apologists claim that the Qur'an correctly states that the sex of the progeny is determined by the sperm from the male parent, based on verses 53:45-46. It is possible the Qur'anic verses 53:45-46 state that the male and female progenies, and not merely the genders, are created from the sperm. In fact, the Qur'an itself provides the evidence of its doctrinal omission or rejection of the role of the ovum in procreation, for verse 2:223 states that wives are tilth.
In light of these facts, backed by the Qur'anic verses, it is apparent that the Qur'an’s view of human conception and reproduction is that the male parent contributes the diploid seed (nutfatin itha tumna) and the female parent, as tilth, contributes the environment and nutrients for the growth and development of this diploid seed. Some will argue that the dust refers to the catalytic stage of clay in the first stage of abiogenesis. Most proponents of Qur'anic embryology either conveniently omit the embarrassing verse 40:67 or dishonestly quote only the fragment supporting their case. Those who claim that 'alaqah is used in the sense of a clinging thing in the Qur'an should consider that the embryo does not cease to be attached to the uterine wall when the musculo-skeletal system begins to develop around the 5th week.
Various studies of placentas and ultrasound scans have found that between 26% and 53% of implantations occur on the anterior (frontal) wall of the uterus (like the lower twin in the diagram).[4] Clearly apologists should expect better of the Qur'an's author than to say that as early embryos, humans are "hanging things" when such a description is untrue for a significant percentage of the population, not even a general rule. Unless and until a proponent of Qur'anic embryology can adequately explain why the syntax of stage transformation is somehow different in the izhaam stage compared to all the other stages, one must logically conclude that the Qur'an is in error in believing that the mudgha turned totally into izhaam. It can be argued that since cartilage does not begin forming until week five or six and muscles begin forming in the fourth week, the Qur'anic verse 23:14 got the embryology completely reversed, and therefore, incorrect. Even if we were to accept that the Qur'an was only referring to precursors of bone and not bone itself, even though it used the Arabic word for bone, izhaam, the embryology is still wrong. Furthermore, Lane's Lexicon gives no indication that lahm means muscles specifically rather than flesh in general.[18][19] Thus Qur'an embryology is even more inaccurate as it suggests that there is a stage when the bones are unclothed without any kind of flesh.


Proponent of Qur'anic embryology state that mudgha stage in which the phrase “partly formed and partly unformed” or “shaped and shapeless” refers to the incomplete cell differentiation observed in this stage. Remembering that this mudgha stage occurs before the izham stage, it must occur before week six, when the progeny is still in the “embryo” stage.
An experienced embryologist would know that the delineation of the embryo and fetal stages is arbitrary.
Another claim is that the Qur'an correctly states that the least period of conception is 6 months.
Even assuming the arbitrary claim by Drs Al-Ghazal and Abdul Rehman of 22 weeks, being the ‘most cases’ scenario (which is false according to medical statistics – see below), one is left with the conclusion that the Qur'an is still in error as six lunar months is 24 weeks, not 22 weeks. So here we will attempt to add to this debate, concentrating solely on the Qur'anic verses, because inclusion of the hadiths would clearly show up the unscientific nature of Qur'anic embryology. Thus the process of creation is a particular feature of the "Mudghah" while terms like Nutfah and 'Alaqah have been used in the previous stages.
This also indicates that "AI-Infitar" text has also started with the Mudghah stage by using the verb "Khalaqa" which is an important characteristic of this stage as explained in the above paragraph. Modification occurs by approaching the human appearance which cannot occur at the stage of bones without the presence of the muscle. Therefore, the beginning of male and female differentiation corresponds to the stage of clothing with flesh in Al-Mu'minun. In other words, the fact the Qur'an does not explicitly state that ‘nutfatun amshaajin’ contains the ovum, together with the existence of other possible explanations, means that it is illogical to assume the former and not the latter. However, this is in error because there are numerous, literally eons length, steps between this clay-catalysis stage and the creation of humans. Some might view 40:67 to ‘contradict’ the other embryology verses as it states clearly and plainly that the child is formed straight after the alaqa stage. Indeed, other similarities between Galenic embryology and that of the Qur'an are well known.
As was noted above, after the alaqa is turned into a mudgha, the Qur'an states fa-khalaqnaa al-mudghata izhaaman, or "then we formed the morsel into bones." Moore and his cohort try to change the translation to "out of the mudgha we formed bones," so as to give the impression that the bones are forming inside the embryo, rather than the entire object becoming bones.
Therefore, there is no scientific basis for the Qur'anic claim of a stage in which bone is later covered with flesh after its own formation.
However, modern embryologists know that cell differentiation occurs well before the ‘mudgha’ stage and well into the “fetal” stage. The Qur'an itself omits mention of the ovum in human reproduction, with doctrinal evidence that it regards the progeny to be the resulting union between the seed from the male parent and the female parent as tilth. The Qur'an includes an initial dust stage that cannot be reconciled with modern embryology. The stages of bone formation then clothing with flesh is in error, even assuming that izhaam means both bone and cartilage.


The Qur'anic view of cell differentiation at the Mudgha stage is incorrect, as modern embryology has discovered cell differentiation occurring before and after the putative ‘Mudgha’ stage. The claim that the Qur'an correctly predicted the beginning of the fetal stage is shown to be in error because the transition between the embryo and the fetus is arbitrary.
The claim that the Qur'an correctly states the least period of conception at 24 weeks is in error, as according to modern medical knowledge this period is closer to 21-22 weeks or even less with advanced medical science, and at least 30 weeks without modern medical assistance. It can therefore be concluded that the modification stage starts with the beginning of the clothing with flesh (muscle) stage i.e. Therefore, we will concentrate solely in showing that Qur'anic embryology is made up of incorrect or illogical or unproven assertions. If it is the latter, there is no case to argue that the Qur'an correctly states that gender is determined by the sperm of the male parent. To arbitrary assume that this word now no longer means an immediate follow-on to the next stage is disingenuous and devoid of explanatory evidence. Zakir Naik references it in a footnote, glossing over the ‘missing stages’, while Sulayman Gani quotes the verse in full, but glosses over the missing stages. Moreover it would be self-evident from aborted fetuses that at some stage the embryo becomes attached to something. Now viability continues to be pushed further and further back in the pregnancy and is now as early as 19 weeks.
As tilth do not provide genetic material to the seed, it is clear that the Qur'an regards the nutfah (semen) as the diploid seed. This indicates that the process of formation and initiation of various organs is a prominent characteristic of this stage.
There is differentiation of the genital ridge into either an ovary or a testis at this stage.
If the dust is metaphorical, then the other stages should also be metaphorical, in the absence of evidence to differentiate between metaphorical and literal phrases.
The Qur'an has therefore used the noun 'bones' to indicate shape in the first instance and a verb "sawwa" in both the latter surahs to describe an event.
Therefore, in the failure of evidence otherwise, the conclusion must be that the syntax of verse 23:12-14 must reveal the Qur'an to be in error. The embryo at this stage becomes more straight after having been bent (C-shape) and its surface more smooth after having been uneven during the "Mudghah" stage. Omar Abdul Rehman in which he goes into even greater detail in his attempt to validate the Qur'anic ‘human reproduction’ verses with modern scientific knowledge.



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