5. Thinking of the Qur’an in the Light of Science


“Zul-qarnain  (according to tradition Alexander the Great) . . . when he reached the setting of the sun he found it set in a spring of murky water” (Surah Al-Kahf, 18:83-86).


Without trying to say more than the text wants to say, let us compare a verse from the Bible, which was written well over two thousand years before the Qur’an:


“He (i.e. God) spreads out the northern skies  over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing” (Job 26:7).


The most prominent argument for the alleged existence of then unknowable scientific data in the Qur’an, however, is gynaecology, or, more specific, embryology, the science of the conception and development of the human embryo in the womb, or uterus, of its mother. Many an eloquent article is trying to interpret the Qur’an to mean something it does not say. In flowery language we are informed how medical doctors are stunned at the accuracy of the description of the reproductive system and its function. So let us have a look at these:


“We (i.e. Allah) created you out of dust then out of sperm then out of a leech-like clot then out of a morsel of flesh partly formed and partly unformed in order that We may manifest (Our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term then do We bring you out as babes then”. (Surah Al-Hajj, 22:5).


“We (i.e. Allah) 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; 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!” (Surah Al-Muminun, 23:12-14).


“It is He (i.e. Allah) Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop then from a leech-like clot; then does He get you out (into the light) as a child”. (Surah Gafir,  40:67).

“He (i.e. man) is created from a drop emitted. Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs”. (Surah At-Tariq, 86:6-7).

“He Who has made everything which He has created most Good . . . began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay and made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised”. (Surah As-Sajda, 32:7-8).

“He (i.e. Allah) makes you in the wombs of your mothers in stages one after another in three veils of darkness”. (Surah Az-Zumar, 39:6).

“Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight in (due) proportion” (Surah Ar-Ra’d, 13:8).