When you go to a butcher, the meat you buy contains muscles. Allah has created muscles of millions of fibers each of which ends in a nerve.
Whenever orders come to these fibers from the nervous system, they contract and become 60% shorter than they usually are. In other words, a muscle fiber whose ordinary length is 10 cm becomes only 4 cm long when it contracts.
Contraction of bone-connected muscles causes the bones to move. In fact, without this property of contraction of muscles, man would be like a motionless log lying on the ground.
The volitional movement of muscles, movement of limbs, and movement of your head and hands …etc, depend on the bone system aka skeleton. Each bone of which connects with a couple of muscles that move it easily and smoothly in different directions.
What is this Secret?
So far, no one knows how food energy that exists in the cells of muscles converts into work or movement, i.e. mechanical energy! This miraculous phenomenon is still very much of a mystery!
We can sum up the complex matter as follows; a muscle, which ends in a nerve, receives an order from the nervous system to contract. When it contracts, it makes a certain bone move.
This is simply how we move. You might be sitting in the living room, for example, and suddenly you notice that your little son is going directly towards the stove, so you jump forward to hold him back.
This means that in a single instant, you conceive danger and, therefore, an order goes, quite suddenly and quickly, from your brain to the muscles, which, in turn move and help you jump to him and take him away from danger.
This is an amazingly complicated process that depends on neural, chemical, and physical functions that all occur within a portion of a second.
Number of Muscles in Human Body
There are three types of muscles in the human body: cardiac, smooth and skeletal. Scientists say a medium size muscle has 10,000,000 fibers.
Most sources state that there are over 650 skeletal muscles in the human body, although some figures go up to as many as 840.
The dissension comes from those that count the muscles within a complex muscle.
For example the biceps brachii is a complex muscle that has two heads and two different origins however, they insert on the radial tuberosity.
Do you count this as one muscle or two? Out of those 650 – 840 muscles, about 500 of which are volitional while 100 are non-volitional, i.e. reflex.
If you are sitting in a dark room, for example, and then suddenly the light goes on, the iris of your eye automatically begins to contract.
Now, the question is: can you prevent the iris from contracting or expanding? The answer is: definitely not, because it is a non-volitional muscle. Also, the intestines, the different organs of your body, and the lungs move while you are unaware.
This miraculous creation is the Make of Allah, Who has perfected all things. Although most individuals have the same general set of muscles, there is some variability from one person to another.
Generally, there are several million hair-raising muscles in addition to smooth muscles which aren’t included with the total sum since most of these muscles are at cellular level and number in billions.
What is Our Strongest Muscle?
There is no one answer for this question since there are different ways to measure strength.
There is absolute strength (maximum force), dynamic strength (repeated motions), elastic strength (exert force quickly), and strength endurance (withstand fatigue).
When someone climbs the stairs from one floor to another, this means that he carries his body, which weighs 70 kg on average, and moves it 3 meters up. This effort equals nearly 1.5 horsepower, which is really miraculous.
When man moves, eats, lies down, walks, runs, lifts or carries things, he should always think of Allah’s Divine Words about him: “He is created from a water gushing forth from between the backbone and the ribs.” (Surat At-Tareq 86: 6-7).
And He also said: “Verily, We have created man in the best stature. Then, We will reduce him to the lowest of the low.” (Surat At-Tin 95: 4-5).
Without muscles, no human being could do anything, and no human civilization could ever have been established on earth.
Yes, indeed! Allah, Most Gracious, has made human movement and work conditional on an amazing muscular system, which, in turn, is based on a miraculous nervous system!
This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.