The Skin

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Islamic Medicine
Staff member
In the past, it was thought that human body was wholly sensitive. Any part of the human body was likely to feel any outer influence. In other words, if exposed to any beating or physical torture of any kind, the whole human body would feel the pain and ailing. This concept possessed the mind and intellect of man throughout history.

However, the progress in anatomy proved the contrary: it is not the whole body but the skin which is sensitive; it is the real organ of senses. To prove this, it was suggested that if a syringe is inserted into the body, the pain would go away as soon as the syringe penetrates the skin and pokes the flesh. That is, one would feel the pain only at the poking of the skin but as the syringe pierces the flesh there is no more pain. Microscopically, examining a sample of the skin, specialists or dermatologists found that the skin has sense receptors of various kinds. While some for touching and pressure, others are for coldness, warmth and so on. More importantly is that those sense receptors to temperature, coldness and heat, exist only in the skin.

If so, then how are disbelievers going to be punished? In other words, this point makes this argument hard for the believers to support their claim that Allah shall punish disbelievers by burning them in hell fire. Disbelievers argue "if hell fire consumes our skins, then we would not have any sense receptors, would not feel the pain and torture and accordingly would be in an eternal relief.” Yet, the answer in the form of a warning tone to this allegation comes from Allah the Almighty; the Holy Quran says, “Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon Cast into the Fire. As often as their skins Are roasted through We shall change them For fresh skins, That they may taste The Chastisement: for Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise” (4:56). In very simple and highly rhetorical words, the verse shows that Allah has promised the disbelievers constant punishment through replacing their burnt skins with new ones so that they would undergo and feel the pain.

In another Quranic verse, punishment is being depicted differently. While punishment is through replacing a old skin with a new one, the other form of punishment in the unbeliever’s stomachs is not done through the same process. The stomach is not replace with another one. But, Allah shows another way of punishing the infidels through the ripping of their stomachs by making them drink the liquid or drink of hell fire. The Holy Quran shows this in: “Shall dwell forever, In the Fire, and be given, To drink, boiling water So that it cuts up Their bowels (to pieces)?” (47:15).

Logically, if sense receptors are in the skin, then how can pain and torture be felt in the stomach, which has no nerve sensitivity to pain, pressure or temperature? Why are the stomachs of the unbelievers going to be ripped to tiny pieces? Again anatomically, it was discovered that there is no sense receptors in the stomach, acting as a receptor to warmth or coldness; accordingly, the pain is only felt by the ripping of the stomachs; the tearing of human stomach which then goes to the guts causes an extremely sever pain. To conclude, it is crystal clear that the Holy Quran gives two pictures of punishing unbelievers; the Holy Quran does not only give two pictures of punishing unbelievers but exposes the different manners of carrying out such punishments. Such a comprehensive and inclusive description can only be done by The Creator Who encompasses and knows the composition of the skin and stomach.

Reference: Al-Zindani, Sheikh Abdel Majeed, Knowledge Is the Path to Faith
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