Qur'aanic Description Of The Internal & External Appearance Of Fetus
We present to you Dr. Marshall Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. There for 22 years he was Professor of Anatomy, the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, and the Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute. He was also the President of the Teratology Society. He has authored more than 200 publications. We first met with Professor Johnson at the 7th Saudi Medical Conference, where a special committee was formed to investigate scientific signs in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.
When we met together with the committee, Professor Johnson asked us what our committee was doing. We told him that the subject of our study was the relationship between what the Qur'aan and Sunnah contained 1400 years ago and what modern scientists tell us. He asked: "Like what?" We said: ‘For example, modern science tells us that the human prenatal development goes through several stages whereas the Qur'aan mentioned these stages to us 1400 years ago.’
Professor Johnson was appalled when he heard this. He expressed his feeling by simply saying: ‘No’ no, no! What kind of talk is that?’
We understood the effect of such statements upon him. We knew he was one of the foremost scientists in the United States. He knew, of course, that after the discovery of the microscope in the 16th century, physicians throughout the 17th century believed that a human being’s origin began entirely in the male’s semen, specifically in the male’s sperm. This picture (not shown) was the evidence used by scientists in the 17th century, and partly in the 18th century, to support their belief that the human being was created wholly from the male sperm, but after the discovery of the ovum was larger than the sperm of the male. In this way they ignored the role of the man in the 18th century, just as they had ignored that of the woman in the 17th century.
It was not until the middle of the 19th century when the scientists began to discover that the human embryonic development took place in several successive stages. It was for this reason when Professor Johnson was told that this information has been in the Qur'aan for 1400 years that he stood up and shouted: ‘No, No!’ So we in turn handed him a copy of the Qur'aan and showed him the following verse which he read in the English translation:
What is the matter with you, that you are not conscious of Allah’s Majesty. Seeing that it is He who has created you in diverse stages? (Qur'aan 71:13-14).
Then we showed him this verse: He creates you in the wombs of your mother, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. (Qur'aan 39:6).
At this, Professor Johnson sat down and said: "But this could be explained in three possibilities. The first is that it can be mere coincidence."
So we collected more than 25 texts and presented them to him. Then we asked him: ‘Is it possible that these texts are coincidence?’ Moreover, the Glorious Qur'aan has given each of these stages a name: the first being the nutfah, or the drop of water, the second being the ‘alaqah, a leech-like substance, the third being the mudghah, or a chewed-like lump, the fourth being bones, and then the clothing of the bones with flesh. Can all this be a coincidence? He flatly said: "No."
Then we asked him: ‘Then what remains?’ He said: "The other possibility is that Muhammad had hold [of a] powerful microscope."
We said: "You know that this sort of minute and specialized knowledge, which has been contained in the Qur'aan, can only be obtained by very powerful microscopes. And anyone possessing such powerful microscopes must also possess very high technology, which must be reflected in his daily living, his house, his food, his control and management of war and quest for peace…etc. And you know that technological advancement is a process of cumulative inheritance, passed in and proved upon from one generation to the other."
Professor Johnson laughed and said: "In fact I saw the first microscope invented in the world. It does not magnify more than 10 times and does not even show a clear picture."
The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), never had possession of scientific equipment or microscopes. The only thing that remains for us to say that he was a Messenger from Allah. After this, Professor Johnson began to take interest in the study of scientific signs in the Qur'aan, concentrating in some of his research on the stages of embryonic development. While Dr. Moore and others discussed the external fetal appearance, Professor Johnson concentrated his presentation on the Qur'aan’s detailed descriptions of the internal as well as external of the fetus.
Professor Johnson: In summary, the Qur'aan describes not only the development of external form, but emphasizes also the internal stages, the stages inside the embryo, of its creation and development, emphasizing major events recognized by contemporary sciences.
For example, this drawing of the mudghah [Fig. 6.3], or the chewed-like structure, is one of the things that Professor Johnson used as evidence.
This picture of the mudghah shows the external appearance of the embryo with its curved structure, and with visible protuberances and grooves resembling teeth-marks, we notice the swallows and the grooves, we also notice the curved surface, all which give the embryo its distinctive features while the embryo at this stage is only one centimeter in length.
If we were to make an incision in the embryo and dissect the internal organs, we would find that most of them are already formed, as it is apparent here. You can also see from this picture that some of the cells have already formed, while others are not yet completely formed.
How then would we describe this embryo? What do we say? Could we say it is the complete creation? Then we are describing the part which is already created, and if we say it is an incomplete creation, then we are describing the part which is not yet created, the question would be: Is it a complete creation or is it an incomplete creation? There is no better description of that stage of embryologenesis than the Qur'aanic description which says: …mudghah (chewed-like structure) partly formed and partly unformed… (Qur'aan 22:5).
Here is Professor Marshall Johnson giving the conclusion of his research: "As a scientist, I can only deal with things which I can specifically see. I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Qur'aan. As I gave the example before, if I were to transpose myself into that era, knowing what I knew today in describing things, I could not describe the things which were described. I see no evidence for the refutation of the concept that this individual, Muhammad , had to be developing this information from some place. So I see nothing here in conflict with the concept that Divine Intervention was involved in what he was able to write. 3
Yes, it is the Revelation. The only way left to mankind is to follow the example of those great scientists, acknowledging that Allah has revealed to Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), a Book from Allah’s knowledge. Allah has further promised that mankind will, over time, come to discover the signs which prove that the Qur'aan is truly a Book revealed by Allah.
Allah, may He be Exalted and Glorified, said in the Qur’aan:
And you shall certainly know the truth of it (all) after a while. (Qur’aan, 38:88)
Allah also said:
For every prophecy is a limit of time, and soon shall you know it. (Qur’aan 6:67)
Soon will we show them our signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that your Lord does witness all things. (Qur’aan 41:53)