By: Zia Mahmood Minhas


-Miracle of Human Reproduction:The Qur’anic Version
Development of Human Embryo
Amazing Scientific Revelations of Embryology


Miracle of Human Reproduction:The Qur’anic Version

The research on human reproduction and understanding of reproductive system is relatively of recent origin. In the medieval period reproduction was surrounded by all sorts of myths and superstitions. Ham and Leeuwenhoek were the first European scientists to study the spermatozoa under microscope in year 1667 AD. They wrongly assumed from the shape of sperm that it contains a miniature human being that develops in the female uterus.

There are several references to reproductive system in Qur’an , some of them are being quoted below:

(هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ‌ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئًا مَّذْكُورً‌ا ﴿١

(إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرً‌ا ﴿٢

Surely there came upon man a span of time when he was not worth remembering. We created the man from sperm drops of fluids commingled. That we may test him formed him to hear and see.

( Soorah Ad-Dahr76:1-2 )

(أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿٢٠﴾ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ فِي قَرَ‌ارٍ‌ مَّكِينٍ ﴿٢١﴾ إِلَىٰ قَدَرٍ‌ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴿٢٢

Did he not create you from a trivial fluid which we deposited in haven, secure , until a designated term .

( Soorah Al-Mursalat 77: 20-22 ).

These verses reveal that fertilization involves a very small volume of liquid. This concept is repeated several times using different expressions including some which are quoted above. The study of these verses reveals the following:

-Sperms are generated and deposited in safe haven i.e seminal vesicles. They are ejaculated by the stimulation of the brain.

-The fluid is stated to be mixture of commingled liquids (amsaj). The semen liquid is formed by various secretions. The secretion of male genital gland contains spermatozoa which are elongated cells with long flagella. They are bathed in a serofluid liquid. In Suooah As-Sajda it is made clear that the liquid itself does not fertilize the egg but it is the extract (obviously sperm) which performs the function. In the Qur’an it is described by the word (sulala).The liquid also involves the secretions of seminal vesicle glands and prostate glands which facilitate the fertilization process. The normal discharge contains millions of sperms but only one reaches to fertilize the ovum which occurs in Fallopian Tubes.

Development of Human Embryo

-The implantation of the egg in the female to genital organs and development of embryo inside the uterus is referred in the following verses.

(وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ ﴿١٢﴾ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُطْفَةً فِي قَرَ‌ارٍ‌ مَّكِينٍ ﴿١٣

ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ

(لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ‌ ۚ فَتَبَارَ‌كَ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ ﴿١٤

We created man from the essence of clay. Then made him a sperm in a well guarded cavity. The sperm we turned into a blood clot, the blood clot into a morsel, the morsel into bones, the bones we clothed with flesh and then we reared him into another creation. Blesses is Allah the most excellent creator.

 (Soorah Al-Mu’minun 23:12-14).

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن تُرَ‌ابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ

It is He Who created you from dust, then from a sperm, then from a blood clot (something which clings).

 (Soorah Al- Mu’min 40:67)

 ۚيَخْلُقُكُمْ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ خَلْقًا مِّن بَعْدِ خَلْقٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ ثَلَاثٍ

He created you in your mother’s womb from following forms in three darknesses.                                                              

(Soorah Al-zumer 39-6.)

(وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ‌ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ ﴿٧٨

It is He who devised your hearing, eye- sight and hearts, but little thanks do you offer.                                                              

(Soorah Al-Mu’Minun 23: 78 )

(أَلَمْ يَكُ نُطْفَةً مِّن مَّنِيٍّ يُمْنَىٰ ﴿٣٧﴾ ثُمَّ كَانَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقَ فَسَوَّىٰ ﴿٣٨﴾ فَجَعَلَ مِنْهُ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ‌ وَالْأُنثَىٰ ﴿٣٩

Was man not a sperm drop to be discharged? Then he became a blood clot which He created and fashioned.

And made from it male and female.

( Soorah Al-Qiamah 75 : 37-39 )

(ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿٨

(ثُمَّ سَوَّاهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّ‌وحِهِ ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ‌ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُ‌ونَ ﴿٩

He made his progeny to issue from extract of a sordid fluid. Then gave him shape and breathed into him of His spirit. Then granted you hearing, eyesight and hearts—but little thanks do you in return .                                                            

(Soorah-As-Sajdah 32: 8-9 )

The first stage in the uterus is described by the word ‘alaqah’, something which clings. This word has been used to describe this stage many times in the Qur’an. This word is used to convey three meanings.

  • A thing which is hanging /clinging
  • Blood clot
  • Leech
 human embryo viz-a-viz leech
-The egg when fertilized in the Fallopian Tubes descends to lodge inside uterus and clings to uterus through elongation of the egg and draws nutrition from the mother’s body system. In that stage all three meanings of the word ‘alaqah’ are applicable since it is like blood clot, like a leech which is a parasite and it hangs clinging to the uterus wall. Mind it that the blood clot is microscopic in size (diagram)

-The next stage as described in the Qur’an has been depicted by the word’ mudga’ meaning chewed flesh (Diagram). The embryo is initially a small mass. It grows in size by multiplication of cells by a process called mitosis and it looks like a chewed flesh to a naked eye. The bone structure develops inside this mass what is called mesenchyma.

 Human embryo alaqah stage
The bones that are formed are then covered with flesh and word “ lahm” applies to them. The formation of bones first and formation of muscles to cover the bones is a scientific fact which was discovered by scientists quite recently.

-After fertilization growth of the zygote continues stage after stage at three places which Qu’ran has described as three darknesses “zulmat”


 Suspended embryo
  •      Fallopian tube where the sperm and egg fuse.
  •      Inner wall of the uterus where the zygote sticks and gets nourishment from the mothers system.
  •      The fetus is surrounded by placenta, embryonic membranes, and amniotic fluids.

-The gender of the fetus is determined by the sperm and not by ovum. The sperms are of two types i.e X and Y.The ovum are , however , of the same type i.e XX .XY union produces male and XX female child. Human beings have no control over this process and Qur’an has pointed to this fact in Soorah An- Najam53: 45-46 and Soorah Al-Qiyamah 75 :37-39.

 Cardiovascular system in alaqah stage

-The first sense to emerge in a developing fetus is hearing. The fetus starts hearing sounds after the sixth month. When the fetus is seven months old its sight develops .This scientific fact has been pointed out soorah As- Sajda 32:8 and Al-Mu’minun 23:78 where Allah has mentioned hearing first followed by sight.


Appearance of Embryo in mudga stage
Amazing Scientific Revelations of Embryology:-All the statements are comparable to the modern day scientific concepts. But keeping in view that concepts prevailing at the time when the Qur’an was revealed is amazing. It is true that the early days Muslims could not have interpreted in the way we can due to availability of findings in the medical science. Knowing that Prophet Mohammad(Peace be upon him) was not even literate, we have no alternative but to accept that it is revelation from Allah the, creator of whole universe.                                                                      Note:The diagrams have been copied from’The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud,5th ed. Courtsey  
 References  Appearance of embryo in mudga stage