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

It ought to be mentioned here that the above passages, with the exception of some duplications (Surahs 16:5, 80:19-20, 75:38-40, 18:38), constitute all that the Qur’an says about this subject. We find no hint about the fertilisation of the ovum by a sperm, but rather the assumption that the sperm is the seed that is planted into the womb to mature. To correct this omission Dr. Bucaille quotes from a Hadith:

“He (the Holy Prophet) said: ‘The reproductive substance of a man is white and that of a woman is yellow. When they have sexual intercourse and the male’s substance prevails upon the female’s substance, it is the male child that is created by Allah’s Decree. When the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed by the Decree of Allah.’ The Jew said: ‘What you have said is true; verily you are an Apostle.’ He then turned round and went away. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘He asked me about such and such things of which I had no knowledge until Allah gave it to me’”                                (Sahih Muslim Hadith 614).


You, as I, may not find all this enlightening either. Also the following Hadith would need a lot of interpretation to make sense to our 21st century minds:


“Allah’s Apostle the true and truly inspired, narrated to us: ‘The creation of everyone of you starts with the process of collecting the material for his body within forty days and forty nights in the womb of his mother. Then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period (40 days) and then he becomes like a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then an angel is sent to him (by Allah) and the angel is allowed (ordered) to write four things: his livelihood, his (date of) death, his deeds, and whether he will be a wretched one or a blessed one (in the Hereafter) and then the soul is breathed into him’”               (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.546, see also 4.430).


It would need a book to go into more detail on this topic. What conclusion can we draw from what we looked at? It is normal for all people at all times to view the world on the basis of the knowledge and understanding prevailing at their time. People who first saw the newly invented car driving past hem, looked under the bonnet for the hidden horses or oxen that moved the car, for there can be no such thing as a vehicle moving without them.  We all live by the assumption that the way we know and see the world around us is what it is.


On the basis of this we do not expect the recorders of Scripture to speak of Dollars and Pounds, Meters, Miles, Inches, Kilograms, and the like. They described distances, finances, and whatever, in terms of their own experience. Even the perception of the earth being flat, and not round, can be accommodated. Who does Dr Maurice Bucaille, address? Fools?


I am deeply sorry to be so negative about this book’s content. Please pardon what may come over as cynical. Perhaps it is a kind of anger over such a cheap attempt to prove the divine, which should be self-evident.


Yours sincerely,