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The Qur'ân and Science

Discussion in 'Amazing Quran' started by administrator, May 24, 2008.

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  1. administrator Islamic Medicine

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    The Qur'ân and Science

    It must be pointed out that the basic purpose of the Qur’ân is to show humanity the proper way to attain guidance and to call people towards it.

    Allah says:

    Verily, this Qur’ân guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers who work deeds of righteousness that they shall have a great reward.

    Thus, all the things that the Qur’ân mentions about the signs of Allah’s power in the human body and in the universe, it is only for the fulfillment of this greater goal. Allah says:

    We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not sufficient with your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?

    The value of these indications of the physical world becomes clear in our present, scientific age, because these indications are proof that the Qur’ân is Allah’s speech and not the speech of a human being. For how could Muhammad (peace be upon him) have known these things with such detail and accuracy when the means for knowing them did not even exist, and moreover, he was an illiterate denizen of the desert?

    The agreement between scientific facts and what the Qur’ân says about the physical world shows that the Qur’ân came from the Creator. It is impossible for any established scientific fact to be at variance with the Qur’ân, in the same way that the words and deeds of a rational person should not contradict. The Qur’ân is the speech of Allah and the universe is His Creation, thus both of them have the same origin and are for the same purpose.

    Perhaps this is the secret behind all of the oaths in the Qur’ân that come with this meaning. Allah says:

    So I swear by the setting of the stars – and this is truly a great oath if you but knew – that this is indeed an honorable recitation in a Book well-guarded that none can touch but the purified; a Revelation from the Lord of all the worlds.

    The discussion that the Qur’ân gives about certain issues in physical science is coming from the One who is All-Knowing, Well-Acquainted with His Creation. Therefore, even after human knowledge has been renewed and the veil has been lifted from the secrets of the world, the Qur’ân remains in harmony with scientific knowledge. Allah says:

    Say (O Muhammad): ‘It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secrets of the heavens and the Earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.

    We are not saying that the Qur’ân is a textbook on chemistry, physics, astronomy, or some other science, but we are saying that the perspectives on the universe that these sciences present us with are in complete harmony with the one presented by the Qur’ân in every way.

    This is very different from other religious scriptures that have been authored by people. They are a mixture of truth and falsehood, vanity and earnest, knowledge and ignorance.

    This is why Islam has always been at peace with science and actively encourages scientific endeavors. Other religions, to the contrary, have often been at war with science, and this has had a very detrimental effect on human history and civilization.

    We will now look at a few examples f the Qur’â’s harmony with scientific knowledge.

    The motions of heavenly bodies

    Allah says:

    Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars for you to see. Then He mounted the Throne. He has subjected the Sun and the Moon, each moving for a term appointed. He manages and regulates all affairs. He explains the signs in detail that you may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord. It is He who spread out the Earth and placed therein firm mountains and rivers, and He made every kind of fruit in pairs. He brings the night as a cover over the day. Verily, in these things there are signs for people who reflect.

    Allah says:

    He has created the heavens without any pillars for you to see and has set on the Earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you. And He has scattered therein moving creatures of every kind. And We send down rainwater from the sky and cause plants of every goodly kind to grow therein. This is the Creation of Allah. So show Me that which those besides Me have created. Nay, the transgressors are in manifest error.

    These two verses – as well as others – contain the following facts about the physical world:

    1. The heavens are suspended without any pillar to be seen. The astronomers say that centripetal force and the force of gravity determine the motions of the heavenly bodies. These forces are the determining factors behind the positions of the heavenly bodies, not physical pillars.
    2. The Sun and Moon are both in motion, each having its own specific motion.
    3. The mountains on the Earth’s crust have a dampening effect on earthquakes.
    4. The Earth is extended. This implies that it is round, because extension is the only description that applies to the surface of a sphere, for whenever you try to determine the limits of its surface, you find that it continues on.
    5. Rivers are placed on the Earth.
    6. All forms of fruits exist in pairs.
    7. Day and night are in continuous succession.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The Earth

    The Earth

    In the Qur’ân, the Earth is described in numerous ways, all of which indicate that it is round and that it is in motion.

    Allah says the following:

    And after that, He spread the Earth out in motion.

    And says:

    By the Earth and Him who spread it out going.

    The Earth is a spinning, roughly spherical object in space, moving in two ways. Its first motion is its orbit around the Sun, and its second is its revolution around its own axis. The revolution of the Earth is the cause of day and night and its motion around the Sun is the cause of the seasons.

    The motion of the Earth allows for it to have the eco-system that it has and for life as we know it to exist. For this reason, Allah says:

    And after that, He spread the Earth out in motion, And brought forth from it its water and pasture and the mountains He fixed firmly; a provision for you and your cattle.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The Sun and Moon

    The Sun and Moon

    The description of the Sun comes in the Qur’ân as a lamp and an illuminating object, while the Moon is described as a light. This indicates that the Sun produces its own light while the Moon does not. The Moon’s light is only reflected light.

    Allah says the following:

    - And (see) how He has made the moon a light and the Sun a lamp.

    - Blessed is He Who has placed in the heavens great stars and placed therein a great lamp and a Moon giving light.

    - It is He who made the Sun a light-giving object and the Moon a light.

    - And We have made the night and day two signs. Then We have obliterated the sign of the night in darkness while We have made the sign of the day illuminating that you may seek bounty from your Lord and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything in detail.

    These verses make a clear distinction between the Sun and the Moon and their respective roles. The Sun is a brilliant lamp that provides its own light, and the moon is like a mirror that reflects the sunlight that reaches its surface and thus alleviates darkness on Earth.

    Our modern scientific knowledge tells us that the surface of the Sun is six thousand degrees centigrade and its center can reach twenty million degrees centigrade.

    Solar flares can extend into space five hundred thousand kilometers with a force of sixty-seven thousand horsepower per square meter. Only one millionth of the Sun’s power reaches the Earth.

    As for the Moon, its secrets have become known ever since human beings have set foot on it. It is a solid, dry, lifeless planetary body that reflects sunlight to the Earth.

    Allah says:

    The Sun and the Moon are in determined courses.

    The planet Earth is affected greatly by the Sun and Moon. The Sun affects the Earth with its heat and its gravity, and the Moon has the greatest influence over the Earth’s tides. The size and temperature of the Sun, its distance from the Earth, and the course that it takes through space are precise. Likewise, the size, distance, and orbit of the Moon are precisely determined with respect to life on Earth. If the Sun were any closer to the Earth, the Earth would have been scorched and burnt dry. If it were any further away, it would have been a frozen and lifeless world. The world, to support life, needs a certain amount of solar heat, neither more nor less.

    Likewise, if the Moon were much larger or closer to the earth, its pull would subject the earth to violent tides that would produce severe flooding.

    The Sun and Moon both have a gravitational influence over the Earth that is precisely determined and balanced. The whole solar system is moving in one direction at tremendous speed without meeting any other star during its long history.

    The ultraviolet radiation of the Sun reaches us in a precise quantity that allows for life to exist on Earth. If the full force of this radiation were allowed to reach the Earth, life on Earth would come to an end. There is a precise amount of ozone forming a layer at a precise level in the atmosphere that only lets a certain amount of ultraviolet radiation through.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The Mountains

    The Mountains
    Allah says:

    - And the mountains as pegs...

    - And We have placed therein firm and tall mountains, and have given you sweet water to drink.”

    - Is not He (better) Who has made the Earth a fixed abode and has placed rivers in its midst and has placed firm mountains therein and has set a barrier between the two seas? Is there any god besides Allah? Nay, but most of them know not.

    - He has created the heavens without any pillars for you to see and has set on the Earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you. And he has scattered there in moving creatures of every kind. And We send down rainwater from the sky and cause plants of every goodly kind to grow therein. This is the Creation of Allah. So show Me that which those besides me have created. Nay, the transgressors are in manifest error.

    In these verses that speak about the mountains, we find three things being mentioned, firmness, shaking, and pegs. Firmness indicates stability and pegs refer to objects that stabilize and hold other things down.

    The mountains, then, have the function of stabilizing the Earth’s crust, like the pegs that keep a tent from blowing away or falling down.

    We know from modern scientific research that the mountains have this stabilizing effect on the Earth’s crust.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The Oceans

    The Oceans

    Allah says:

    - Is not He (better) Who has made the Earth a fixed abode and has placed rivers in its midst and has placed firm mountains therein and has set a barrier between the two seas? Is there any god besides Allah? Nay, but most of them know not.

    - And it is He Who has let free the two seas: one palatable and sweet and the other salty and bitter; and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.

    - He has let loose the two seas meeting together. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny? Out of them both come pearls and coral. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny? And His are the ships going and coming on the seas like mountains. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you deny?

    Modern scientific knowledge has arrived at a number of models and circumstances where the barrier between the bodies of fresh water and salt water can be seen:

    A. The water cycle starts with water evaporating off the oceans that forms into clouds. The water returns to land as rain, refreshing the Earth and sustaining its plant life. This water that comes down is sweet. Its evaporation from the oceans does not increase the salinity of the oceans. The salinity remains the same. The rainwater that flows into rivers and streams returns to the oceans and seas carrying with them salts and sediments from the land. In all of this, the ocean water maintains its degree of salinity.

    B. The surface of the river is generally higher than that of the sea. For this reason, the sea does not penetrate the rivers that feed into it and do not alter the rivers’ water. This barrier is of Allah’s Creation.

    C. Oceanographers state that the deltas of large rivers are like small seas having their own peculiarities. Their waters are neither sweet like that of rivers nor are they salty like that of the oceans. This environment has a unique ecosystem containing living things that cannot live elsewhere. This region itself is a barrier against other water. Glory be to the One Who created between the two bodies of water a barrier and a complete partition.

    D. They say that a barrier exists between the oceans and seas themselves and that it is possible to distinguish between the chemical composition of the waters and living organisms inhabiting the waters on each side of this barrier. An expedition associated with the Egyptian University went to study the depths of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean south of Aden. Among the observations that were published are the following:

    1. They found that the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba differ in nature and composition from the waters of the Red Sea. After comparing the bodies of water, the expedition concluded that there is a boundary between them that is over a thousand meters in depth.

    2. Another submerged barrier was found between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The chemical composition of each body of water was found to be distinctly different due to this barrier.

    E. Another type of barrier exists within the oceans, for it has been found that the greatest of all rivers exist within the oceans. Ferdinand Lane says that the greatest rivers on Earth are in the sea. The Mississippi and even the Nile and Amazon appear as mere streams in comparison. It seems strange that water can flow such great distances within the medium of another body of water without becoming mixed with it.

    But these streams of water are warmer or colder than the water that surrounds them on all sides and they continue to flow on their own for a long period of time, and sometimes the “banks” of these rivers are as clearly distinct as riverbanks on dry land. This flowing water has its own distinct color from the ocean water surrounding it.

    Other motions exist in the ocean that are greater than the waves on the surface. This is the rising motion of the lighter, warmer water and the descent of the heavier, colder water. In the arctic waters, the colder water becomes submerged below and advances on the ocean floor, just as the warmer water in hotter climes slowly pushes up to the surface, heading for the poles. Movements like these help to fulfill the needs of the living organisms that live in the oceans, for they circulate the oxygen that is needed for life as well as the salts and other minerals, just like when the farmer turns the fertilizer into the soil. The aquatic plants that in turn are food for marine animals need these minerals. The currents on the ocean’s surface, the rise and fall of cold and warm water currents, and the slow advancement of this water along the ocean floor all act to purify and clean the oceans, keeping its waters from ever becoming stagnant. Scientists estimate that the waters of the Arctic Ocean are completely recycled every 165 years, just like the water in the filtration system of a swimming pool. This phenomenon is going on in every part of the ocean as well as in the majority of the gulfs and smaller inlets.

    In this way, we find that the miraculous Qur’anic texts allow for every barrier that has been discovered within the sea: the barriers between the freshwater rivers and the salt seas, the barriers between the oceans themselves, and the barriers between the ocean currents. Other barriers might be discovered in the future, but the truth remains forever:

    - And the two seas are not alike, this is fresh and pleasant to drink while that is salty and bitter. And from them both you eat fresh tender meat and derive the ornaments that you wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it that you may seek of His bounty and that you may give thanks.

    - And it is He Who has let free the two seas: one palatable and sweet and the other salty and bitter; and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: Atmospheric Phenomena

    Atmospheric Phenomena

    Allah says:

    Allah is He Who sends the winds so that they raise clouds and spreads them along the sky as He wills and then breaks them into fragments until you see drops of rain come forth from their midst. Then when He has made them fall on whom of His slaves that He wills, lo, they rejoice.

    And says:

    And We send the winds fertilizing

    According to modern science, all forms of clouds are formed from the winds. cirrus clouds form in a horizontal direction with the winds slowly moving them upwards. Cumulonimbus clouds are swiftly brought up by the winds. Allah says:

    Allah is He Who sends the winds so that they raise clouds and spread them along the sky as He wills…

    Allah says:

    And We send the winds fertilizing, then cause rain to fall from the skies and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores.

    The winds, as well as carrying pollen to fertilize the plants, also fertilize the clouds so to speak. Modern science tells us that the growth of clouds and precipitation require that the winds fertilize the clouds with a quantity of microscopic particles called condensation nuclei. The most important qualities of these seeds are that they draw water or dissolve into it. The winds also carry water vapor to the clouds so they will produce rain. The process goes on with the coming together of numerous particles of water in the atmosphere around these condensation nuclei.

    The smallest droplet of water is made up of at least 100 molecules. It is not easy for such a number to come together by mere coincidence without there being nuclei to precipitate upon.

    These particles are preserved. In this way, people have come to know that the Qur’anic verse points to how the winds fertilize the clouds with water vapor then with condensation nuclei as a precursor to the existence of rain. Allah says:

    See you not that Allah drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers and you see the rain comes forth from between them; and they are like mountains in the sky from which He sends down hail, and strikes therewith whom He wills and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of the clouds’ lightning nearly blinds the sight.

    Meteorologists say that rain requires the development of precipitating clouds. Among these rain clouds are cumulonimbus clouds that form in a vertical direction. They can extend upwards of twenty kilometers. These cumulonimbus clouds have three layers. The lowest level consists of growing drops of water. The middle layer contains water droplets having temperatures below freezing that are still in a liquid form. As for the highest layer, it is comprised of pure white ice crystals. Allah has made the water droplets that are above freezing unstable, capable of freezing by merely plunging into a solid body. This is why when ice crystals fall from the highest layer to the middle layer and meet with water that is above freezing, the crystals adhere to these droplets and freeze with them, swiftly increasing their size.

    This brings about condensation that causes the precipitation of hail. Allah says:

    See you not that Allah drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers and you see the rain comes forth from between them; and they are like mountains in the sky from which He sends down hail…

    While this hail is coming down, it comes into contact with the growing droplets of water that freeze to it, greatly increasing its size, so that the air can no longer carry it so it falls as rain. Most hail melts before reaching the surface of the Earth. The development and subsequent melting of hail is of great importance in making the clouds electrically charged, thus causing thunder and lightning. When hailstones grow larger than one millimeter, they become electrically charged, and when they melt they take on the opposite electrical charge. In both cases, the rising air carries the greatest opposing electrical charge.

    The verse mentions “heaps of layers” then mentions hail. Science has confirmed that this type of cloud – cumulonimbus clouds – is the only type that produces hail.

    Allah’s words: “ …then joins them together…” have a significant and precise meaning that is now considered to be among the most important facts of Meteorology, because these words point to the electrical phenomenon that all these atmospheric phenomena are related to. The joining together of the clouds is a precise description of the coming together of clouds of different electrical charges so that they attract each other and fill the sky like an advancing army. In this way, Allah creates as He wills thunder, lightning, rain and hail from within the clouds.

    The comparison that the verse makes between the clouds and mountains cannot be appreciated except from the vantage point of someone in an airplane flying above the clouds or between them. Such a person will be amazed by how accurate this description is, for the clouds truly look like mountains in their immensity, elevation, and contours.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The womb

    The womb

    Allah says:

    Did We not create you from a despised fluid? Then We placed you in a safe and stable abode for a known period of time? So We did determine; and We are the best at determining.

    In this verse, it is explained that the human being is created from a despised fluid – semen – placed within a safe and stable abode – the uterus. The reason that the uterus is described as a place of safety is because the fetus is settled in it and has every means of protection and care provided for it. It enjoys a divine care of unimaginable proportions.

    These means of protection and care are clearly illustrated by the following:

    1. The shape of the pelvis is protective. The pelvis is made of a group of bones connected together in a very intricate manner. It acts like a wooden box. The woman’s pelvis is different than that of a man, because she has to bear children. Allah has made it so that the woman’s uterus can grow thousands of times by the end of the term of pregnancy. Before pregnancy, the capacity of a full-grown woman’s uterus is no greater than 2.5 milliliters. By the end of the pregnancy, the uterus may have a capacity of 7000 milliliters.

    For this reason, the interior of a woman’s pelvis is wider and shorter than a man’s. The bones themselves are softer, less coarse, and simpler in contour. The pelvis, because of this, can protect and shield the uterus that contains the precious pearl of Allah’s sublime Creation.

    The pelvis, in spite of its strength, has four joints that allow it to move a little and become wider during pregnancy and childbirth. The man’s pelvis, on the other hand, almost does not budge at all.

    2. The uterus is practically surrounded by muscle. These muscles maintain its uniformity and its central position in the pelvis. These muscles and ligaments work together to keep the uterus in its proper place while allowing it to move and grow during pregnancy.

    The uterus is like a bridge suspended by a precise combination of muscle and ligaments, while at the same time having the ability to expand and grow without moving from its place.

    The intestines that fill the pelvic region provide comfortable bedding for the fetus in the uterus during the last trimester of pregnancy.

    3. The hormone progesterone affects the contraction of the muscles surrounding the uterus, making them slow and sedate, rather than having the hasty, varying movements caused by the feminine hormone estrogen. This pregnancy hormone is important to the stability of the uterus during pregnancy so that the fetus does not miscarry, especially during the first trimester.

    This is how the pelvic bones protect the uterus by preventing it from the jolts and bruises that befall the woman.

    These factors all work together to make the uterus a safe and stable abode. There can be no better description for it, because it points out exactly the function that Allah created it to serve. This is the description given to it by its Creator. Allah says:

    Should not He Who has created know, and He is the Most Kind, All-Aware.

    It is the Qur’ân’s clear miracle that came to us on the tongue of the illiterate Prophet (peace be upon him). It confirms the truth of the Qur’ân and that the Qur’ân is the speech of Allah. Otherwise, how was Muhammad (peace be upon him) – or anyone else for that matter – able to come up with such a precise description of the uterus during those primitive times?
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The three veils of darkness

    The three veils of darkness

    Allah says:

    He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in three veils of darkness.

    The three veils of darkness mentioned in the verse are confirmed by modern science. They refer to the three membranes that surround the fetus inside the uterus. They are:
    • The amniotic sack: This is a thin, sealed wrapping that completely surrounds the fetus filled with a fluid that increases as the child grows. The fetus moves about in the middle of this fluid, turning right and left and upside down, all the while held safely and securely by the umbilical cord.

      The following are some of the benefits provided by the amniotic fluid:

      - It nourishes the fetus and helps it to develop, because it contains proteins, sugars, and salts taken in by the fetus.

      - It protects and safeguards the fetus by buffering sudden impacts, movements, and falls suffered by the mother.

      - It helps to maintain a constant temperature for the fetus.

      - The amniotic fluid prevents the amniotic sack from adhering to the fetus, which is a major cause of physical deformities.
    • The placenta: This is the second membrane surrounding the fetus. It contains tissue that takes nourishment and oxygen from the mother to the fetus and takes carbon dioxide and other waste material from the fetus to the mother’s blood stream.
    • The third membrane surrounding the fetus consists of a mucous membrane lining the uterus. It comes out during post-natal bleeding.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The three veils of darkness

    Embryonic development

    Allah says:

    And indeed we created the human being out of an extract of clay. After that, We made him a nutfah (drop of mixed sexual fluids) in a safe and stable abode. Then We made the nutfah into an `alaqah (clot). Then We made the `alaqah into a mudghah (little lump of flesh). Then We made out of that mudghah bones. Then We clothed the bones with flesh. And then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.

    And says:

    O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily We have created you from dust, then from a nutfah (drop of mixed sexual fluids), then from an `alaqah (clot), then from a mudghah (little lump of flesh) – some formed and some unformed – that We may make it clear to you. And We cause who We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then you grow to your full strength. And among you is he who dies young and among you is he who is brought back to a miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having had knowledge.

    In these verses, Allah describes the stages of human development, both within the womb and without.

    Fetal development

    Fetal development goes through the following stages:

    1. The stage where it is a nutfah (drop of fluid): The Arabic word in the verse is nutfah. It applies in Arabic to both the male sperm and the female egg. This drop is a mixture of the two, or the fertilized egg. Allah says:

      Verily, We have created the human being from a mixed nutfah in order to try him, so We made him able to hear and see.

      The fertilized egg begins to divide a number of times until it starts to resemble a small berry. This stage takes a full week before it attaches itself to the wall of the uterus where the second stage begins.
    2. The stage where it is an `alaqah (clot): This stage begins on the seventh day after fertilization. It lasts for roughly two weeks. It develops from a small disc into a pear-shaped object.
    3. The stage where it is a mudghah (lump of flesh): This stage begins in the fourth week of pregnancy. The bulk of the body forms at this time. It begins to develop at the top where the head is and continues until it reaches the bottom of the fetus. It is aptly called a mudghah, because the precise meaning of the word is a chewed piece of flesh showing the imprint of teeth. This is very much what the fetus resembles at this point. This is a clear sign that the Qur’ân is from Allah.
    4. The stage where bone formation occurs: This stage occurs during the fifth, sixth, and seventh week of pregnancy. At this time, the cartilaginous skeleton begins to form. It can be clearly seen at this time. The upper portion of the body forms a few days earlier than the lower. Muscle tissue in the limbs appears during the seventh week.

    This means that the bones precede muscle formation, then the muscle covers the bones, in accordance to what Allah says:

    Then We made out of that mudghah bones. Then We clothed the bones with flesh. And then We brought it forth as another creation.

    Allah says:

    - He is the One Who forms you in the wombs however He wills.

    - O mankind! What has deceived you about your Most Generous Lord Who created you, fashioned you perfectly and gave you due proportion, Who put you together in whatever form He willed?

    Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “When forty-eight days have passed since conception, Allah sends an angel to shape it and creates its hearing, sight, skin, flesh, and bones. Then the angel says: ‘O My Lord, is it male or female?’ Then Allah decrees what He wills and the angel writes it down.”

    According to modern science, the end of the sixth week is the time where the fetal development of the appendages is at its height. This is the peak of the rapid development that occurs between the fourth and eighth week.

    Male and female sexual organs cannot be distinguished until the seventh or eighth week, when testicles become clearly distinguished from ovaries.
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    The Qur'ân and Science: The sense of touch

    The sense of touch

    Allah says:

    Those who disbelieve in Our signs, We shall burn them in the Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly Allah is ever Most Powerful, All-Wise.

    Replacing the skin with other skins is done to assure they feel the punishment. This reveals the miraculous nature of the Qur’ân, because according to modern science, the ability to sense burning pain is stronger on the surface of the skin.

    Consequently, if the skin is completely burnt off, and the underlying flesh is exposed, the degree of pain will be less. The sensitivity of the nerves that sense pain is far less intense in the internal organs than they are on the surface of the skin. Doctors say that superficial burns that do not go beyond the skin cause enormous pain, while more severe burns that penetrate to the underlying tissue, while being far more serious and devastating, are far less painful.

    The verse demonstrates that whenever the skins (containing the pain sensing nerve cells) of the denizens of Hell are consumed by fire, the skins are replaced by fresh ones so that the feeling of intense pain may continue unabated.

    The affects of atmospheric pressure on the human body
    Allah says:

    And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, he opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who do not believe.

    Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know that Allah made the pressure within our bodies adapted to the surrounding atmospheric pressure. This pressure is equal to the weight of 76 cubic centimeters of mercury.

    In the normal environment in which human beings live, neither the internal pressure nor the external pressure overpowers the other. Modern means of traveling to high altitudes in the sky have allowed us to observe the effects that a change in this balance can cause to the human body. The more a person rises into the atmosphere, the more the surrounding atmospheric pressure decreases and the internal pressure within the body increases. This causes tightness and constriction in the chest and agonizing pain in the head, ears, and other sensitive parts of the body. These effects increase the higher the person travels in the atmosphere, until it becomes lethal. Therefore, those who travel into space or at high elevations within the atmosphere need to wear special clothing designed to protect them in these conditions.

    The scientific explanation for these phenomena is as follows:

    A. The higher a person travels in the atmosphere, the lower the surrounding air pressure becomes, causing the internal pressure in the body to become more intense.

    B. The air becomes rarified and there is insufficient oxygen for breathing.

    C. The air becomes extremely cold and more variable.

    D. When a person travels beyond the atmosphere, a sense of weightlessness is experienced that has serious effects on the body.

    All of these phenomena cause changes in the functioning of the person’s internal organs. The gases in the stomach and intestines expand and cause violent contractions to occur, which can lead to bloating that puts pressure on the heart and lungs. This can lead to unconsciousness or, in severe cases, suffocation. Blood circulation becomes disrupted. Veins, arteries, and valves can burst, as well as the eardrums. Severe nosebleeds often occur.

    This is the condition that the Qur’ân compares with those who cannot bear to hear the verses of the Qur’ân and the guidance of Islam. They are like people who feel tightness of breath and suffocation.

    “…and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky.”
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