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Qur'an & Science

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, ever Merciful.


Ex-Muslim Dr. Nabeel Qureshi alleged:

“… there are scientific problems with the very Qur’anic verses Bucaille quotes as miraculous, some rather obvious to physicians and others rather obvious to everyone. For example, 23:13-14 reads, “Then we made him a sperm in a fixed lodging. Then we made the sperm a hanging (thing), then we made the hanging into a chewed (thing), then we made the chewed into bones, then we clothed the bones with flesh, then we developed it into another creation, so blessed be Allah, the best of creators.” To a student of developmental biology, this verse is singularly unimpressive. …”[Part 8 Chapter 41: The Qur’an Science and Bucaillism, "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus"]

Contrary to the assertions made in the book, Professor Keith L. Moore, who was the leading medical expert in the field of embryology (and it is expert witnesses who are called upon to give their views before a judge), wrote on this matter:

“Then we made out of the chewed lump, bones, and clothed the bones in flesh." This continuation of Sura [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.” [A Scientist's Interpretation Of References To Embryology In The Qur'an, Keith L. Moore, Ph.D., F.I.A.C., Page 16-The Journal of IMA- Vol. 18-Jan.-June 1986

Emerging from between the Backbone & Ribs?

Nabeel's book also states: “Verses 86:6-7 state that sperm gushes “from between the backbone and the ribs.”

Had Nabeel read Dr Bucaille’s book properly, he would have found an answer to this question which the Doctor himself gave, viz:

“Sura 86, verses 6 and 7: (Man) was fashioned from a liquid poured out. It issued (as a result) of the conjunction of the sexual area of the man and the sexual area of the woman.”

The sexual area of the man is indicated in the text of the Qur’an by the word sulb (singular). The sexual areas of the woman are designated in the Qur’an by the word tara’ib (plural). “ (The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, Dr Maurice Bucaille, p 221)

Nabeel didn't comment on why he rejected/ignored the above explanation. In any case, let us give an alternative translation of the verses based on a close examination of the original Arabic wording:

[86:5] So let man consider from what he is created. 

[86:6] He is created from a gushing fluid. 

[86:7] He emerges from between the loins and the breast-bones. 

[86:8] Surely, He has the power to bring him back (to life)

Yakhruju in [86:7] can refer to the fluid (it) or to man (he). 

If taken to refer to man himself emerging from the uterus (which rests between the loins and the breast-bones), then there is no problem in it. As the fluid is not made to physically return where it came from [86:8], whereas man does return to life in the hereafter, thus the correct understanding is that the pronoun is referring to man, not to the fluid. 

As we can see, upon carefully examining the Arabic wording of the verse, rather than relying on what may be faulty translations, the allegation made against the accuracy of the scientific information given in the Holy Qur'an vanishes completely.

Sun in an Orbit, or Setting in a Pool? 

Another objection made by some is that the Holy Qur'an describes the sun as setting in a pool of murky water, on the basis of the following verse.

[18:86] Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a pool of murky water, and near it he found a people. We said, ‘O Dhu’l Qarnain, either punish them, or treat them with kindness.’

Dhu'l Qarnain finding a people near the pool shows that the sun setting in a pool cannot be taken literally, for those people would be burnt to ashes or even atoms, as well as the pool itself drying up, and the earth destroyed. Who would be left for Dhu'l Qarnain to punish or treat kindly, when he himself would be destroyed along with everyone else?

In addition, there are other verses of the Qur'an itself which tell us that the sun, along with other planetary bodies, glides in an orbit of it's own, viz: [21:33] And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each gliding along in its orbit.

[36:40] It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. All of them float in an orbit.

Other relevant verses are as follows: [36:38] And the sun is moving on the course (prescribed/determined) for it. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All- Knowing God. 

To be able to establish their argument, Nabeel and other polemicists would have had to show that the author of the Qur'an did not know that the sun was gliding in an orbit, and the above verses prove otherwise. 

(This article is being developed) 

[19:76] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance. [20:47] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.

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