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Is What Quran Say on Embryonic Phases True?

First appeared at

A few years ago, a group of men in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia collected all of the verses in the Quran which discuss embryology – the growth of the human being in the womb. They said:

“Here is what the Quran says. Is it the truth?”

In essence, they took the advice of the Quran: {So ask the people of the message (i.e. former scriptures) if you do not know.} (Quran 16:43)

They chose, as it happened, a non-Muslim who is a professor of embryology at the University of Toronto. His name is Keith Moore, and he is the author of textbooks on embryology – a world expert on the subject. They invited him to Riyadh and said: “This is what the Quran says about your subject. Is it true? What can you tell us?”

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While he was in Riyadh, they gave him all of the help that he needed in translation and all of the cooperation for which he asked. And he was so surprised at what he found that he changed his textbooks.

In fact, in the second edition of one of his books called Before We Are Born…, about the history of embryology, he included some material that was not in the first edition because of what he found in the Quran. Truly this illustrates that the Quran was ahead of its time and that those who believe in the Quran know what other people do not know.

Dr. Keith Moore mentioned that some of the things that the Quran states about the growth of the human being were not known until thirty years ago. In fact, he said that one item in particular – the Quran’s description of the human being as a “leech-like clot” (alaqah) at one stage – was new to him; but when he checked on it, he found that it was true, and so he added it to his book.

He said: “I never thought of that before,” and he went to the zoology department and asked for a picture of a leech. When he found that it looked just like the human embryo, he decided to include both pictures in one of his textbooks.

Dr. Moore also wrote a book on clinical embryology, and when he presented this information in Toronto, it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada, and some of the headlines were quite funny.

For instance, one headline read:  “SURPRISING THING FOUND IN ANCIENT BOOK”! It seems obvious from this example that people do not clearly understand what it is all about. As a matter of fact, one newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore, “Don’t you think that maybe the Arabs might have known about these things – the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did something crude dissections on their own – carved up people and examined these things.”

The professor immediately pointed out to him that he (i.e., the reporter) had missed a very important point – all of the slides of the embryo that had been shown and had been projected in the film had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said:

“It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!” All of the descriptions in the Quran of the appearance of the embryo are of the item when it is still too small to see with the naked eye; therefore, one needs a microscope to see it.

Since such a device had only been around for little more than two hundred years, Dr. Moore taunted, “Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad (peace be upon him) and convinced him to put this information in his book.

Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proofs because it is such a ridiculous theory.” In fact, when he was asked: “How do you explain this information in the Quran?” Dr Moore’s reply was: “It could only have been divinely revealed.”

One of Professor Moore’s colleagues, Marshall Johnson, deals extensively with geology at the University of Toronto. He became very interested in the fact that the Quran’s statements about embryology are accurate, and so he asked Muslims to collect everything contained in the Quran which deals with his specialty.

Again people were very surprised at the findings. Since there are a vast number of subjects discussed in the Quran, it would certainly require a large amount of time to exhaust each subject.

It suffices for the purpose of this discussion to state that the Quran makes very clear and concise statements about various subjects while simultaneously advising the reader to verify the authenticity of these statements with research by scholars in those subjects.