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Encyclopedia > The relation between Islam and science

The religion Islam has its own worldview system including beliefs about "ultimate reality, epistemology, ontology, ethics, purpose, etc."[1] Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the literal word and the final revelation of God for the guidance of humankind. In the history of science, Islamic science refers to the science developed under the Islamic civilisation between the 8th and 15th centuries (the Islamic Golden Age). ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Science in the broadest sense refers to any system of knowledge attained by verifiable means,[2] and in a narrower sense to a system of acquiring knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research. Scientists maintain that scientific investigation must adhere to the scientific method, a process for evaluating empirical knowledge that explains observable events in nature as results of natural causes, rejecting supernatural notions. In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, of (or from) trying) is a set of observations performed in the context of solving a particular problem or question, to retain or falsify a hypothesis or research concerning phenomena. ... This article is about methodological naturalism. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article is about the concept. ... This article is about the profession. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... For other uses, see Observation (disambiguation). ... This article is about the physical universe. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ...


The development of scientific thought has caused differing reactions among Muslims. Some Muslims have interpreted the Quran as making prescient statements about the universe that were only later confirmed by science. Some scientists and philosophers have tried to show logical fallacies in these arguments.[3] Some Muslim thinkers have altogether decried efforts to interpret the Quran using modern science, which is constantly changing and reevaluating its assumptions and conclusions.


On the other hand, there are specific references to human development and embryology in the Quran and hadith. Some have found strong parallels between these statements and the positions of the ancient Greek thinkers Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen, whose writings were widely available in pre-Islamic Arabia. Hadith ( transliteration: ) are oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of Prophet Muhammad. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Galen (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Qur'anic attitude toward science in Muslim thought

The Muslim point of view is that the Qur'an is not meant to be a book of Science, but rather, a book of Signs. But however, they claim that there are several (approximately 1000 ayats) that supposedly provides scientifically proven facts or verses related to science. The relation between the Qur'an and science is not easily identifiable and there is substantial discord between classical and modern Islamic views on this subject. All sources, both "classical and modern, agree that the Qur'an condones, even encourages the acquisition of science and scientific knowledge, and urges humans to reflect on the natural phenomena as signs of God's creation." Some scientific instruments produced in classical times in the Islamic world were inscribed with Qur'anic citations. Most Muslims agree that doing science is an act of religious merit, even a collective duty of the Muslim community.[4]


There are, however, many disagreements traceable to interpretations Qur'an. On one hand, we have classical Qur'an commentators who assigned to the Qur'an a separate and autonomous realm of its own. Al-Biruni (973-1048 CE), one of the most celebrated Shia Muslim scientists of the classical period, held that the Qur'an does not interfere in the business of science nor does it infringe on the realm of science. The main arguments presented by this group of Muslims is the possibility of multiple scientific explanations of the natural phenomena, the ever-changing nature of the science and the considerable differences in the interpretation of the verses that may have a connection to science or the natural phenomena. On the other hand, some contemporary Muslims, both amateurs and intellectuals, argue that “Islam is a religion of science” urging others to explore the Qur’an for scientific truths which are now discoverable by Modern science.[4] A statue of Biruni adorns the southwest entrance of Laleh Park in Tehran. ...


Ahmad Dallal writes that many modern Muslims believe that the Qur'an does make scientific statements. However many classical Muslim commentators and scientists, notably al-Biruni, assigned to the Qur'an a separate and autonomous realm of its own and held that the Qur'an "does not interfere in the business of science nor does it infringe on the realm of science."[4] These medieval scholars argued for the possibility of multiple scientific explanation of the natural phenomena, and refused to subordinate the Qur'an to an ever-changing science.[4] A statue of Biruni adorns the southwest entrance of Laleh Park in Tehran. ...


The List of Commonly used Proven Scientific facts supported by the Qur'an(the Muslim argument)

CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE:‘THE BIG BANG’ The Qur’an contains the following verse regarding the origin of the universe: “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder?” [Al-Qu’ran 21:30]


EARTH IS NOT FLAT Consider the following Qur’anic verse regarding the alternation of day and night:


“Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and He merges Day into Night?” [Al-Qur’an 31:29]


Though many people have claimed this is not a justified claim, Muslim Scholar Zakir Naik says that merging here means that the night slowly and gradually changes to day and vice versa. This phenomenon can only take place if the earth is spherical. If the earth was flat, there would have been a sudden change from night to day and from day to night. He also points out to another verse that makes it more clear, supposedly:


“And the earth, moreover, hath He made egg shaped.” [Al-Qur’an 79:30]


Zakir Naik says that the Arabic word for egg here is "dahaahaa" which means an ostrich-egg. The shape of an ostrich-egg resembles the geo-spherical shape of the earth. Thus he claims that the Qur’an correctly describes the shape of the earth, though the prevalent notion when the Qur’an was revealed was that the earth was flat.


ORBITAL MOTION OF THE SUN, MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES:


“It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: All (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.” [Al-Qur’an 21:33] “It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the Day: Each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).” [Al-Qur’an 36:40]


MOUNTAINS ARE LIKE TENT PEGS AND FIRMLY FIXED


“Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, and the mountains as pegs?” [Al-Qur’an 78:6-7]


The word awtaad means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they are the deep foundations of geological folds. Muslim Scholars further claim that a book entitled ‘Earth’ is regarded as a basic reference textbook on geology in many universities around the world. One of the authors of this book is Dr. Frank Press, who was the President of the Academy of Sciences in the USA for 12 years and was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter. In this book, he illustrates the mountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itself as a small part of the whole, whose root is deeply entrenched in the ground.1 According to Dr. Press, the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth. The Qur’an clearly mentions the function of the mountains in preventing the earth from shaking:


“And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them.” [Al-Qur’an 21:31]


BARRIER BETWEEN SWEET AND SALT WATERS


“He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together: Between them is a Barrier which they do not transgress.” [Al-Qur’an 55:19-20] “It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palatable and sweet, and the other salty and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, and a partition that is forbidden to be passed. [Al-Qur’an 25:53]


These scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur’an was also confirmed by Dr. William Hay, a well known marine scientist and Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, U.S.A.


DARKNESS IN DEPTHS OF OCEAN


“Or (the Unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean,overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hand,he can hardly see it! For any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!” [Al-Qur’an 24:40]


EVERYTHING MADE IN PAIRS


“And of everything We have created pairs.” [Al-Qur’an 51:49] “Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.” [Al-Qur’an 36:36]


FOETUS PROTECTED BY THREE VEILS OF DARKNESS


“He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers,in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness.” [Al-Qur’an 39:6]


According to Prof. Keith Moore, these three veils of darkness in the Qur’an refer to: (i) anterior abdominal wall of the mother (ii) the uterine wall (iii) the amnio-chorionic membrane.


FINGERPRINTS


“Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.”


Criticism

Some skeptics, such as Richard Carrier, counter that certain scientific facts which are said to be detailed in the Qur'an were known in the Middle East centuries before it was written, or were "predicted" also by other people with no claims of divine inspiration, or are found in passages that are clearly rephrasals of the Hebrew Bible. He also presents criticisms based on the translations and context of the verses presented as scientific facts[5][6] Others, such as Turkish physicist and philosopher Taner Edis, also counter that the Qur'an offers "vague descriptions of natural phenomena" which are shown to be in agreement with modern science by using "stretched or arbitrary" interpretations.[7] Further, Edis describes claims that the Quran refers to the expanding universe, parallel universes, and cosmic structural hierarchies as "blatantly wrong."[8] However he goes on to write that "God does not stand or fall depending on whether our scriptures know their physics ... the God of most liberal religious people does not dictate inerrant scriptures; what we have are human records of encounters with divinity."[8] Richard Carrier Richard Carrier M.A., M.Phil. ... For the musical collective, see Tanakh (band). ... Accelerating universe is a term for the idea that our universe is undergoing divergent rapid expansion. ... A multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including our universe) that together comprise all of physical reality. ... Astronomy and cosmology examine the universe to understand the large-scale structure of the cosmos. ...


Arrival of modern science in Muslim world

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, modern science arrived in the Muslim world but it wasn't the science itself that affected Muslim scholars. Rather, it "was the transfer of various philosophical currents entangled with science that had a profound effect on the minds of Muslim scientists and intellectuals. Schools like Positivism and Darwinism penetrated the Muslim world and dominated its academic circles and had a noticeable impact on some Islamic theological doctrines." There were different responses to this among the Muslim scholars:[9] These reactions, in words of Professor Mehdi Golshani, was the following: Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Professor Mehdi Golshani (Persian: , born 1939 in Isfahan, Iran) is a contemporary Iranian theoretical physicist and philosopher. ...

  1. Some rejected modern science as corrupt foreign thought, considering it incompatible with Islamic teachings, and in their view, the only remedy for the stagnancy of Islamic societies would be the strict following of Islamic teachings.
  2. Other thinkers in the Muslim world saw science as the only source of real enlightenment and advocated the complete adoption of modern science. In their view, the only remedy for the stagnation of Muslim societies would be the mastery of modern science and the replacement of the religious worldview by the scientific worldview.
  3. The majority of faithful Muslim scientists tried to adapt Islam to the findings of modern science; they can be categorized in the following subgroups: (a) Some Muslim thinkers attempted to justify modern science on religious grounds. Their motivation was to encourage Muslim societies to acquire modern knowledge and to safeguard their societies from the criticism of Orientalists and Muslim intellectuals. (b) Others tried to show that all important scientific discoveries had been predicted in the Qur'an and Islamic tradition and appealed to modern science to explain various aspects of faith. (c) Yet other scholars advocated a re-interpretation of Islam. In their view, one must try to construct a new theology that can establish a viable relation between Islam and modern science. The Indian scholar, Sayyid Ahmad Khan, sought a theology of nature through which one could re-interpret the basic principles of Islam in the light of modern science. (d) Then there were some Muslim scholars who believed that empirical science had reached the same conclusions that prophets had been advocating several thousand years ago. The revelation had only the privilege of prophecy.
  4. Finally, some Muslim philosophers separated the findings of modern science from its philosophical attachments. Thus, while they praised the attempts of Western scientists for the discovery of the secrets of nature, they warned against various empiricist and materialistic interpretations of scientific findings. Scientific knowledge can reveal certain aspects of the physical world, but it should not be identified with the alpha and omega of knowledge. Rather, it has to be integrated into a metaphysical framework—consistent with the Muslim worldview—in which higher levels of knowledge are recognized and the role of science in bringing us closer to God is fulfilled.[1]

Maurice Bucaille claims in The Bible, the Qur'an and Science that the relationship between the contents of the Quran and the findings of science "turns out to be one of harmony and not of discord", to the surprise of most scientists "bound up in materialist theories", and notes that Islam often encouraged scientific acquisition of knowledge.[10] Sir Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur, GCSI (Urdu: ; October 17, 1817 – March 27, 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed, was an Indian educator and politician who pioneered modern education for the Muslim community in India by founding the Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental College, which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University. ... Maurice Bucaille (born 1920) is a French medical doctor and author. ...


Specific science-related issues in the Quran and the Hadith

Fossils of ancient humans

Main article: Islamic creationism

Here are three basic verses in Qur'an which are related to human creation:[11] ([Qur'an 3:59], [Qur'an 4:1], [Qur'an 32:7]) According to the first two verses, Adam and Eve were directly created by God from clay. They did not descend from any other species as proposed by Charles Darwin. The rest of mankind is the progeny of Adam and Eve. The third verse implies that there were three stages in their creation, and can be interpreted in two ways:[11] Islamic creationism is the belief that the universe (including humanity) was directly created by God as explained in the Quran or Genesis. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ...

  • First possibility:
    • Adam and Eve were created from clay
    • They subsequently developed the ability to reproduce at a later age
    • Finally, after some more time elapsed, they entered the third phase in which they were perfected both physically and spiritually, and received the divine spirit from God.
  • Second possibility: All these three phases did not pass on the first humans created, rather each of the phases lasted for many years during which many life forms were created from clay having the characteristic of their respective periods together with that of the previous one.
    • Human forms were initially directly created from clay because they did not have the ability to reproduce. This first stage may have lasted for millions of years, and in it, the humans forms' physical forms after passing through various stages culminated in the homo sapiens of today. Millions of species may have been created from clay like this. Among them, many went extinct and the others lived to enter the second phase, the first of which were Adam and Eve.
    • The human forms now had the ability to reproduce and direct creation was no longer required. Adam and Eve were the first directly created pair from clay which had this ability to reproduce. In the second phase, except Adam and Eve all other pairs who had the ability to reproduce pairs were not perfected and later died away.
    • It was this very pair which entered the third phase and was perfected physically so that it could receive the divine spirit from the God and be blessed with the faculties of sense and reason as is specified by the last part of the verse.

Under the second interpretation, the fossils which we find today belong to the millions of people created from clay in the first and second phases. Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ...


Conception and inherited characteristics

The most prominent of the ancient Greek thinkers who wrote on medicine were Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen. Hippocrates and Galen, in contrast with Aristotle, wrote that the contribution of females to children is equal to that of males, and the vehicle for it is a substance similar to the semen of males.[12] Basim Musallam writes that the ideas of these men were widespread through the pre-modern Middle East: "Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen were as much a part of Middle Eastern Arabic culture as anything else in it."[12] The sayings in the Quran and those attributed to Muhammad in the Hadith influenced generations of Muslim scientists by siding with Galen and Hippocrates. Basim Musallam writes: "... the statements about parental contribution to generation in the hadith paralleled the Hippocratic writings, and the view of fetal development in the Quran agreed in detail with Galen's scientific writings."[12] He reports that the highly influential medieval Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim, in his book Kitab al-tibyan fi aqsam al-qur'an, cites the following statement of the prophet from the Sahih Muslim: For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Galen (disambiguation). ... Horse semen being collected for breeding purposes. ... Hadith ( transliteration: ) are oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of Prophet Muhammad. ... Hanbali (Arabic: حنبلى ) is one of the four schools (Madhhabs) of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. ... Ibn al-Qayyum was the closest student to ibn Taymiyyah. ... Sahih Muslim (Arabic: صحيح مسلم, ṣaḥīḥ muslim) is one of the Sunni Six Major Hadith collections, collected by Imam Muslim. ...

The male semen is white and the female semen is yellowish. When the two meet and the male semen overpowers the female semen, it will be male; when the female semen overpowers the male semen, it will be female.[12]

Ibn Qayyim also quotes a different hadith from the same collection, which is quoted by other Muslim authors as well. Having been asked the question "from what is man created," the Prophet replies:

He is created of both, the semen of the man and the semen of the woman. The man's semen is thick and forms the bones and the tendons. The woman's semen is fine and forms the flesh and blood.[12]

Embryology

Some claim that the Qur'an and hadith contain a number of verses pertaining to human reproduction and development. In his book A History of Embryology, Professor Joseph Needham describes some of the embryological passages in the Quran, verses [Qur'an 23:14] (discussed below), [Qur'an 24:45], [Qur'an 35:11], [Qur'an 75:36], [Qur'an 75:37], [Qur'an 75:38], [Qur'an 75:39], and [Qur'an 76:2] as "a seventh century echo of Aristotle and Ayurveda."[13] According to Keith Moore, professor emeritus of Anatomy at the University of Toronto, the scientific meaning of certain surahs in the Quran has become clear only recently.[14] An example cited by him is verse [Qur'an 39:6].One such verse is: “Proclaim! (or Read!) In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created – Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood.” [Al-Qur’an 96:1-2] The Arabic word alaq, besides meaning a congealed clot of blood, also means something that clings, a leech-like substance. Dr. Keith Moore had no knowledge whether an embryo in the initial stages appears like a leech. To check this out he studied the initial stage of the embryo under a very powerful microscope and compared what he observed with the diagram of a leech. He was astonished at the striking resemblance between the two!In the same manner, he acquired more information on embryology, that was hitherto not known to him,from the Qur’an. Dr. Keith Moore answered about eighty questions dealing with embryological data mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith. Noting that the information contained in the Qur’an and Hadith was in full agreement with the latest discoveries in the field of embryology, Prof. Moore said, “If I was asked these questions thirty years ago, I would not have been able to answer half of them for lack of scientific information”.1 In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Moore said, “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God or Allah, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God or Allah”. Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham (December 9, 1900 – March 24, 1995) was a British biochemist and pre-eminent authority on the history of Chinese science. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Shirodhara, one of the techniques of Ayurveda Ayurveda (Devanagari: ) or Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... Emeritus (IPA pronunciation: or ) is an adjective that is used in the title of a retired professor, bishop or other professional. ... Human heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ... The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research university in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ...


Moore suggests that the verse phrase may describe the following three physiological barriers:[14]

  1. The anterior abdominal wall;
  2. The uterine wall; and
  3. The amniochorionic membrane.

Moore notes that there are other interpretations of this verse, but does not elaborate. Regarding this verse, Basim Musallam quotes the Damascene Hanbali scholar Ibn Qayyim (1291-1351), who reports a different interpretation: "Most commentators explain, it is the darkness of the belly, and the darkness of the womb, and the darkness of the placenta."[12] The extent of human knowledge of embryology stretches back to the second century, when Greek doctor Galen described the placenta and fetal membranes. Basim Musallam writes that the scientific tradition of Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen "was native to the Middle East for centuries before Islam."[12] He finds that "the Quran described the development of the foetus in the language of the biological sciences of the time. There was little difference between the language of the Quran and that of Galen on the stages of foetal development."[12] Discussing the "stages" mentioned in this verse, Moore argues that it was probably known to the seventh century doctors that the human embryo developed within the uterus, though their knowing of human embryos developing in stages would have been unlikely. Moore claims that though Aristotle noted the developmental stages of a chick embryo during the fourth century, it was not until the fifteenth century that developmental stages of human embryo had been the subject of discourse.[14] However, Musallam writes that this had been described long before Muhammad: In zootomy, several terms are used to describe the location of organs and other structures in the body of bilateral animals. ... The abdomen (from the Latin word meaning belly) is the part of the body between the pelvis and the thorax. ... Matrilineality is a system in which one belongs to ones mothers lineage; it may also involve the inheritance of property or titles through the female line. ... A drawing of the amniotic sac from Grays Anatomy. ... For other uses, see Damascus (disambiguation). ... Hanbali (Arabic: حنبلى ) is one of the four schools (Madhhabs) of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. ... Ibn al-Qayyum was the closest student to ibn Taymiyyah. ... For other uses, see Galen (disambiguation). ... The placenta is a sack of fat present in placental vertebrates, such as some mammals and sharks during gestation (pregnancy). ... For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

The stages of development which the Quran and hadith established for believers agreed perfectly with Galen's scientific account. In De Semine, for example, Galen spoke of four periods in the formation of the embryo: (1) as seminal matter; (2) as a bloody form (still without flesh, in which the primitive heart, liver, and brain are ill-defined); (3) the foetus acquires flesh and solidity (the heart, liver, and brain are well-defined, and the limbs begin formation); and finally (4) all the organs attain their full perfection and the foetus is quickened.[12]

Further occurrences of verses pertaining to supposed embryological development are [Qur'an 23:13] and [Qur'an 23:14]. The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ...


The word "nutufah" (Arabic: نطفة) here has been interpreted as the "sperm" or "spermatozoon", and the most respected Muslim translators (Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, and Shakir) all give some variant of this. Arabic redirects here. ... For other uses, see Sperm (disambiguation). ... A spermatozoon or spermatozoan ( spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπέρμα (seed) and (living being) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. ...


Musallam quotes the hadith, where the Prophet gives a more detailed description:

The Prophet said: each of you is constituted in your mother's womb for forty days as a nutfa, then it becomes a 'alaqa for an equal period, then a mudgha for another equal period, then the angel is sent, and he breathes the soul into it.[12]

Moore writes that a more meaningful rendering of the word "nutufah" would be "zygote", which divides to form a blastocyst before embedding itself in the uterus — possibly what is referred to in the verse as "a place of rest". This interpretation, he claims, is supported by a different verse in the Qur'an describing the human being as created from a "mixed drop", to which the zygote would correspond, being "the union of a mixture of the sperm and the ovum."[14] It has been suggested that Biparental zygote be merged into this article or section. ... The blastocyst is an early stage of the human (or any other mammal) development early in pregnancy. ... A human ovum Sperm cells attempting to fertilize an ovum An ovum (plural ova) is a haploid female reproductive cell or gamete. ...

Human embryo between eighteen and twenty-one days, on which the somites are visible

The word "alaqah" (Arabic: علقة), rendered by Yusuf Ali as a "clot of congealed blood", is translated as "a leech-like structure" by Abdul Majid Zendani, professor of Islamic studies at the King Abdulaziz University.[14] Moore claims that the meaning of alaqah is "leech" or "bloodsucker", which he states is an appropriate description of the relationship between the embryo and the endometrium in which it is implanted, between days 7 and 24 of human embryological development. This is because the human embryo derives blood from the endometrium, in the same way a leech draws blood from its host (Moore is however, himself wrong on this point, as an embryo and its mother do not share blood with each another, but have separate systems). Morphologically, too, the embryo at this stage resembles that of a leech, he notes, unobservable by anyone in the seventh century without a microscope.[14] Image File history File links Gray40. ... Image File history File links Gray40. ... Arabic redirects here. ... Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872-1952) was born in Bombay, India, to a wealthy merchant family. ... For other uses, see Leech (disambiguation). ... Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani is Yemeni scholar who founded the Iman University in Sanaa, Yemen. ... Islamic Studies is the academic discipline which focuses on Islamic issues. ... University Stadium University Yard Medicine Faculty Classroom with TV cameras , for Remote teaching King Abdulaziz University (KAU) (Arabic: جامعة الملك عبد العزيز) was founded in 1967, and had 2,000 teachers and more than 37,000 students in 2000/2001. ... The endometrium is the inner membrane of the mammalian uterus. ... Robert Hookes microscope (1665) - an engineered device used to study living systems. ...


The next stage referred to is "mudhgah" (Arabic: مضغة), which Moore suggests means "chewed substance or chewed lump." This, he believes, corresponds to around the fourth week of development where the embryo resembles the appearance of a chewed lump, a key characteristic of which being indentations or "teeth-marks" signalling the beginnings of the somites, the precursor to the vertebral column. Continuing in his analysis of this verse, he states that the next stage (which mentions formation of bones and flesh) is also in accordance with the stages of embryological development, as first the bones form as cartilage models, after which muscles develop from the surrounding somatic mesoderm. (Moore is also wrong on this point, as muscles and cartilage form before bone). The phrase "then We developed out of it another creature" may allude to the resemblance of a human figure by the end of the eighth week, by which time the embryo (now known as the fetus) has gained distinctive human characteristics and possesses the primordia of all external and internal organs.[14] Arabic redirects here. ... In the developing vertebrate embryo, somites are masses of mesoderm distributed along the two sides of the neural tube and that will eventually become dermis, skeletal muscle and vertebrae. ... The vertebral column seen from the side Different regions (curvatures) of the vertebral column The vertebral column (backbone or spine) is a column of vertebrae situated in the dorsal aspect of the abdomen. ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ... Cartilage is a type of dense connective tissue. ... For other uses of Muscles, see Muscles (disambiguation). ... The term somatic refers to the body, as distinct from some other entity, such as the mind. ... The mesoderm is one of the three germ layers in the early developing embryo, the other two layers being the ectoderm and the endoderm. ... For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ...


Other perceived verses referring to human development cited by Moore include [Qur'an 32:9] and [Qur'an 22:5]. The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ...


Verse [Qur'an 32:9], he suggests, refers to the development of the special senses in the order of hearing, vision, and sensation. According to Moore, this is the correct order of development in the embryo: the primordia of the internal ears develop first, followed by the beginning of the eyes, with the differentiation of the brain (which he refers to as the "site of understanding") occurring last of these.[14] The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... The traditional five senses in human kind are the senses of vision, hearing, taste, and smell, and touch. ... Hearing (or audition) is one of the traditional five senses, and refers to the ability to detect sound. ... In psychology, visual perception is the ability to interpret visible light information reaching the eyes which is then made available for planning and action. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Sensation and perception psychology. ... The inner ear comprises both: the organ of hearing (the cochlea) and the labyrinth or vestibular apparatus, the organ of balance located in the inner ear that consists of three semicircular canals and the vestibule. ... For other uses, see Eye (disambiguation). ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ...


Moore states that [Qur'an 22:5] seems to indicate that the embryo is comprised of both differentiated and undifferentiated tissues. He cites the example of undifferentiated mesenchyme present around the differentiated cartilage bone models. This mesenchyme then differentiates to form the muscles and ligaments attached to the bone.[14] The Qur’ān [1] (Arabic: , literally the recitation; also sometimes transliterated as Quran, Koran, or Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ... Embryonic stem cells differentiate into cells in various body organs. ... Mesenchyme (also known as embryonic connective tissue) is the mass of tissue that develops mainly from the mesoderm (the middle layer of the trilaminar germ disc) of an embryo. ... In anatomy, the term ligament is used to denote three different types of structures:[1] Fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones. ...


See also

In the history of science, Islamic science refers to the science developed under the Islamic civilisation between the 8th and 15th centuries (the Islamic Golden Age). ... Islamization of knowledge is a term which describes a variety of attempts and approaches to synthesize the ethics of Islam with various fields of modern thought. ... Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890). ... A fundamental principle of the Baháí Faith is the harmony of religion and science. ... Muslims believe that the Quran is the literal word of God (Allah) as recited to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Mehdi Golshani, Can Science Dispense With Religion?
  2. ^ See, e.g., the entry Science in the Oxford English Dictionary ISBN 0-19-522217-2
  3. ^ http://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action=viewAsset&id=168
  4. ^ a b c d Qur'an and Science, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an
  5. ^ Richard Carrier (2001). Cosmology and the Koran: A Response to Muslim Fundamentalists.
  6. ^ Richard Carrier (2004). Predicting Modern Science: Epicurus vs. Mohammed.
  7. ^ Taner Edis. "Quran-science": Scientific miracles from the 7th century?
  8. ^ a b Taner Edis. Ghost in the Universe. Quotes from page 14. Prometheus Books.
  9. ^ Mehdi Golshani, Does science offer evidence of a transcendent reality and purpose?, June 2003
  10. ^ Maurice Bucaille. The Qur'an and Modern Science.
  11. ^ a b Saleem, Shehzad (May 2000). "The Qur’anic View on Creation". Renaissance 10 (5). ISSN 1606-9382. Retrieved on 2006-10-11. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Basim Musallam, Sex and Society in Islam. Cambridge University Press.
  13. ^ Joseph Needham, A History of Embryology. Abelard-Schuman.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Moore, Keith L. (January 1986). "A scientist's interpretation of references to embryology in the Qur'an". Journal of the Islamic Medical Association, 18: 15—16. 

Professor Mehdi Golshani (Persian: , born 1939 in Isfahan, Iran) is a contemporary Iranian theoretical physicist and philosopher. ... Encyclopedia of Quran (EQ) is an scholarly work published by Brill Academic Publishers. ... Al-Mawrid is an Islamic research institute in Lahore, Pakistan founded in 1983 and then re-established in 1991. ... ISSN, or International Standard Serial Number, is the unique eight-digit number applied to a periodical publication including electronic serials. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

By Professor Mehdi Golshani
  • Can Science Dispense With Religion?
  • Does science offer evidence of a transcendent reality and purpose?
  • Some important questions concerning the relationship between science and religion
By Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr
  • Islam, science and Muslims
  • Islam, Muslims, and modern technology

Others


 
 

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