Sunday, July 20, 2008

-._Embryology in the Quran_.-

One of the sciences that is given attention in the Quran is embryology and specifically the development of the embryo/fetus inside the mother's womb. Much of the detailed information given in the Quran has not been discovered until long after the revelation of the Quran. Numerous scientists have written about this amazing scientific content of the Quran, one of which is Keith L. Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C, at the Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada.

"He creates you in your mothers bellies in stages,

creation after creation, in three veils of darkness

( ...dia menjadi
kan dalam perut ibumu kejadian
demi kejadian dalam tiga kegelapan...)

surah Az-Zumar (39:6)

"The three veils of darkness"may refer to:

(l) the anterior abdominal wall;

(2) the uterine wall; and

(3) the amniochorionic membrane.

Although there are other interpretations of this statement, the one presented here seems the most logical from an embryological point of view.

"Then We placed him as a 'notfah' (tiny drop) in a

'qarar makeen' (well protected place of rest)."

[ kemudian kami jadikan saripati itu air mani (yang disimpan) dalam tempat yang kukuh (rahim)..] surah al-mu'minuun (23:13)

The drop or nutfah has been interpreted as the sperm or spermatozoon, but a more meaningful interpretation would be the zygote which divides to form a blastocyst which is implanted in the uterus ("a place of rest"). This interpretation is supported by another verse in the Qur'an which states that "a human being is created from a mixed drop." The zygote forms by the union of a mixture of the sperm and the ovum ("The mixed drop").

"Then We made the drop into a 'alaqah' (leech-like structure)."

[ lalu setitis mani itu kami jadikan segumpal darah..]

surah al-mu'minuun (23: 14)

leech-like structure embryo

The word "alaqah" refers to something that clings (like a leech or bloodsucker). This is an appropriate description of the human embryo from days 7-24 when it clings to the endometrium of the uterus, in the same way that a leech clings to the skin. Just as the leech derives blood from the host, the human embryo derives blood from the decidua or pregnant endometrium. It is remarkable how much the embryo of 23-24 days resembles a leech.As there were no microscopes or lenses available in the 7th century, doctors would not have known that the human embryo had this leech-like appearance. In the early part of the fourth week, the embryo is just visible to the unaided eye because it is smaller than a kernel of wheat.

"Then of that leech-like structure, We made a

'mudghah' (chewed-shaped lump)."

[ dari segumpal darah itu kami jadikan segumpal daging ]

This statement is also from
surah al-mu'minuun (
23:14). The Arabic word "mudghah" means "chewed substance or chewed lump." Toward the end of the fourth week, the human embryo looks somewhat like a chewed lump of flesh. The chewed appearance results from the somites which resemble teeth marks. The somites represent the beginnings or primordia of the vertebrae.


"Then We made out of the chewed lump, bones,

and clothed the bones in flesh."

[ dan segumpal daging itu kami jadikan tulang belulang,

lalu tulang belulang itu kami baluti dengan daging]


This continuation of surah al-mu'minuun ( 23:14) indicates that out of the chewed lump stage, bones and muscles form. This is in accordance with embryological development. First the bones form as cartilage models and then the muscles (flesh) develop around them from the somatic mesoderm.


"Then We developed out of it another creature."

[ kemudian kami jadikan dia makhluk yang (berbentuk lain) ]


These next words in surah al-mu'minuun 23:14 implies that the bones and muscles result in the formation of another creature. This may refer to the human-like embryo that forms by the end of the eighth week. At this stage it has distinctive human characteristics and possesses the primordia of all the internal and external organs and parts. After the eighth week, the human embryo is called a fetus. This may be the new creature to which the verse refers.


"And He gave you hearing and sight and

feeling and understanding."

[ kemudian Dia menjadikan bagi kamu pendengaran, penglihatan,

dan hati..]

surah al-Sajadah (32:9)

a newborn baby

These words in surah al-Sajadah 32:9 indicates that the special senses of hearing, seeing, and feeling develop in this order, which is true. The primordia of the internal ears appear before the beginning of the eyes, and the brain (the site of understanding) differentiates last.


"And We cause whom We will to rest in the

wombs for an appointed term."

[ ...dan kami tetapkan dalam rahim apa (siapa) yang kami kehendaki sampai waktu yang telah ditentukan ...]

surah al- Hajj (22:5)

(ni la aku nanti..menyambut kelahiran..huhu..cek2..hehe)

These words in surah al- Hajj 22:5 seem to imply that Allah determines which embryos will remain in the uterus until full term. It is well known that many embryos abort during the first month of development, and that only about 30% of zygotes that form, develop into fetuses that survive until birth. This verse has also been interpreted to mean that Allah determines whether the embryo will develop into a boy or girl.

The interpretation of the verses in the Qur'an referring to human development would not have been possible in the 7th century A.D., or even a hundred years ago. We can interpret them now because the science of modern Embryology affords us new understanding. Undoubtedly there are other verses in the Qur'an related to human development that will be understood in the future as our knowledge increases.

adapted and modified from

and images from

and thats why i love biology(haha..skema gile..nerdy btol) subhanallah...

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