SUNDAY REVELATIONS: On abortion, the Quran Comes Close to Telling the Story of Life

Fundamentalist Christians say abortion is murder because life begins at fertilization.  Did they learn this from the Quran?

Image result for sperm and eggIn western religions, divine revelations can not be updated. Jews, Christians, and Muslims .. each claim that the Torah, the Christian Bible or the Quran as the definitive word of their Deities. The three religions go further and insist that their revelations were given just once and can never be updated.

What happens then when science provides new information?

A thousand years ago, the great rabbi, Maimonides solved that problem by saying science is a revelation and that a complete knowledge of their Deities requires that all truths be accepted and, somehow reconciled.  A millennium later, the papacy adopted a similar position.

Sadly, to the horror of pregnant women, fundamentalist Christians reject this idea.  According to them, Jesus .. or perhaps Paul … revealed that life begins at fertilization and, therefore a woman choosing abortion is a murderer. They demand that women be forced to complete pregnancy.

As a human, I see that point of view as abhorrent, but as a scientist, I can see their point,  After all, until male and female DNA recombine, the pattern for each life does not exist.   Zygosis is the magical moment when a sperm penetrates an egg and two sets of DNA combine.  The problem for the Christians should be that neither the Torah nor the Christian bible tells such a story.  In fact, humans did not even know that sperm or eggs existed until microscopes showed these cells in the 1800s.

If Jesus thought zygosis was so important, how come he never mentioned it to Paul?

An interesting exception could be the Quran.  Muslims claim that Gabriel, dictating the Quran to Muhamad in the 8th century,  does reveal zygosis.  

The Muslim website, Al-Islam, offers as a translation that attempts to make this point.  Other than a bizarre translation of the Arabic to use the modern world sperm, the verses are fascinating.  The comments, with some deletions are from the al Islam site.

“ God created you in stages “ (71:4)

“(God) creates you inside the bodies of your mothers, in stages, one after another” (39:6)

The starting point in human reproduction is sexual intercourse. During this act, the male sex organ releases a small quantity of semen into the cervix of the vagina. It has been shown that this semen contains 350,000,000 spermatozoa in one single ejaculation. The spermatozoa is the plural for the word spermatozoon and this is the actual fertilising cell.

This is the male fertilising agent which is also called sperm but the spermatozoon is scientifically more accurate as it is the fertilising cell. Modern Biology has shown that only one spermatozoon out of the 350,000,000 spermatozoa is all that is needed for fertilisation to occur with the female egg, the ovule. Let us see what the Qur’an says:-

“ God created man from a sperm “ (16:4)

and in another verse:-

“ Was (man) not a sperm which has been poured out?. “ (75:37)

The semen, or spermatic liquid, which is ejaculated contains more than just spermatozoa. This liquid is formed by secretions from many glands. They are a) the testicles, b) the seminal vesicles, c) the prostate glands and d) the glands annexed to the urinary tract. All these secretions mix and mingle to form the spermatic liquid. Qur’an mentioned this 1400 years ago:-

“ Verily, We created man from a small quantity of mingled liquids “ (76:2)

After the ejaculation of the semen into the cervix of the vagina, the sperm travels to the Fallopian tube and fertilisation will occur there with the ovule.

Once the ovule has been fertilised, it descends into the womb, or the uterus, via the Fallopian tube and it implants itself there by clinging to the wall of the uterus. This is referred to in the Qur’an in the following verses:-

“ We have created you from…something which cling “ (22:5)

“ We have created the sperm into something which clings “ (23:14)

“ Was (man) not a sperm which has been poured out. After that he was something which clings, then (God) fashioned him in due proportion “ (75:37-38)

The Qur’an calls the fertilised egg “something which clings” because it clings to the wall of the uterus as mentioned earlier.

It is important to note that the implantation of the fertilised egg has to take place inside the womb for pregnancy to occur. If the implantation takes place somewhere else instead of the womb, e.g. in the Fallopian tube, then pregnancy will not take place. The Qur’an tells us the place where the fertilised egg implants itself and the fact that it has to take place there as science tells us now:

“ We cause whom We will to rest in the womb for an appointed term” (22:5)

After the fertilised egg has been implanted in the womb, it begins to evolve into the embryo. The Qur’an describes this evolution by breaking it down into different stages. The description of the Qur’an is brief but very accurate:

“ We have fashioned the thing which clings into a chewed lump of flesh and We fashioned the chewed lump of flesh into bones then We clothed the bones with intact flesh “ (23:14)

As already mentioned, the “something which clings” is the fertilised egg which clings to the wall of the womb.

If you take a piece of meat and chew it once and then take it out of your mouth and look at it, it will look exactly to what the embryo will look like after three weeks of development. This has been shown by a renowned professor of embryology by the name of Keith L.Moore and is shown in his book entitled “The Developing Human” (3rd edition).

On the sixth week of development, the bone structure begins to develop inside the embryo or the “chewed lump of flesh” as the Qur’an calls it. This is called the mesenchyma. Remember what the Qur’an says:

“…We fashioned the chewed lump of flesh into bones…”(23:14)

A week later, the seventh week, the muscles begin to cover the bones which were formed in the previous week:-

“…We clothed the bones with intact flesh…” (23:14)

It is known that the embryo passes through a stage where some parts are in proportion and others out of proportion. Maybe this is what is meant by the Qur’an in the following verse:

“ We created you out of dust, then out of a sperm, then We fashioned you into something which clings into a chewed lump of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed” (22:5)

After four months have passed, the newly formed organs of the embryo, including the heart, begin to operate and the glands begin to secrete. The embryo becomes “alive”. Imam Jaffar Al-Sadiq (A.S) said:

“ When the embryo reaches the fourth month, life has begun in it”

As the embryo develops inside the womb, three layers of protection surround it. These are the maternal anterior abdominal wall, the uterinal wall, and the amnio-chronic membrane. The Qur’an has a verse which may imply to this although the verse may also imply to the distinct embryonic stages. Future discoveries in embryology may be able to shed more light on this particular verse:

“ (God) creates you inside the bodies of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness “ (39:6)

Modern embryology has also shown that the reproductive glands also form during the embryonic stage. They are formed on the upper part of the posterior abdominal below the diaphragm on either side of the vertebral column. Let us go to the Qur’an and see what it says:-

“ (Man) was fashioned from a liquid poured out, proceeding from between the vertebral column and the lower ribs “ (86:6-7)

The embryo, through all these stages, receives it’s food from it’s mother via the umbilical chord. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in a Hadith, said:

“ Connected by a chord from his bellybutton, and from this he feeds on the mother’s food and drink, until the time for his birth has arrived “

I want to sidetrack to the topic of genetics now and what has been said about it through Prophetic traditions. A man went to visit the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) one day. The Prophet said “I have received news that you have a new baby”, the man said “that is correct, messenger of Allah, he was born yesterday”. The Prophet replied “this baby who was born yesterday, eho does he look like, who does he resemble, does he resemble you or does he resemble his mother?”. The man said “messenger of Allah, he will resemble one of the two. He will either resemble me or he will resemble his mother. Isn’t that the way?. The Prophet said:-

“ No, do not say that. If the sperm falls into the womb, Allah (S.W.T) brings forth every characteristic between it and between Adam”.(meaning the embryo will inherit characteristics from as far back as Adam (PBUH)).

What does modern genetics say about this?. It tells us that the gene which transmits these characteristics is able to deliver to you these characteristics from your oldest forefathers even if it was 10 million years ago. (Isn’t that what this illiterate man said 1400 years ago).

Today’s firmly established human reproduction concepts are in total agreement with the Qur’an. But if the Qur’anic verses on this subject are compared with the general theories that were held at the time of the Qur’anic revelation, 1400 years ago, they would be like chalk and cheese.

One of the ridiculous myths that were held at the time of the Qur’anic revelation was regarding vaccination. Whenever we travel anywhere these days, we usually take vaccinations against various types of dangerous diseases before we leave. At the time of the Prophet (PBUH), they also used to have a system of vaccinations but it slightly differed from ours!!!.

The system they used was that whenever you were about to enter a new city, you would stand at the beginning of this city, and make a noise like a donkey. Whenever you were to eat something in that city, you would make a noise like a donkey and this noise-making is what they thought would prevent them of acquiring disease.

See the difference, like chalk and cheese. it was only in the 19th century that science began to have some answers to the mysterious world of human reproduction.

Dear reader. How can you account for the fact that an illiterate man, 1400 years ago, without any scientific background and living in a backward civilisation, predict scientific phenomena which have only now been discovered with the advent of extremely sophisticated and powerful microscopes and with the acquisition of scientific knowledge?. How can you account for all this unless you submit to the fact that Muhammad (PBUH) was a Prophet sent by God, Allah, as a mercy to mankind. There is no compulsion on you to accept the truth, as Allah, says in his book, the Qur’an:-

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