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Human Life Cycle:

Science and the Holy Qur'an

Karim Hassanein I. ABDEL-MAEBOUD #### , MD Professor of OB/GYN, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

# Address: 2 Mobarak St., off Asmaa Fahmy, Ard El-Golf, Heliopolis, Cairo,

Egypt.

E-mail: kabdelmaeboud@yahoo.com

Telephone: (00202) 414 0680 / 414 0675.

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Introduction

The Holy Qur'an is the everlasting miracle of Islam, comprising numerous unparalleled and unique challenges. One of these is the scientific revelation, which is a challenge to man in the modern science era. Muslims are ordered to study Qur'an, However, proper and solid knowledge of interpretations, bases for interpretation, Arabic language and views of Islamic scholars are vital for exploration of scientific revelations in the Holy Qur’an, as Allah The Almighty says "Do they not consider The Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely Have found therein Much discrepancy" (4:82)[10]. These discrepancies would be observed in the book itself, and on comparing the verses of the Holy Qur'an, i.e. the word of Allah, to the facts of the universe i.e. His deeds. So, since Allah is the Creator of all knowledge, the revelation is scientific and can withstand the challenge of science at all times. Human knowledge is cumulative, compared to the absolute knowledge of our Creator, Allah. So with better understanding of the universe, close matching between written facts, the verses, and living facts, the universe becomes more and more clear. "And say: `Praise be to Allah, Who will soon show you His signs, so that ye shall know them`; and thy Lord Is not unmindful of all that ye do"(27:93)[10], "Soon shall We show them Our signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and In their own souls, until It becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that Thy Lord doth witness all

things?"(41:53)[10].

The Text and the translation:

The Holy Qur'an has been revealed in Arabic language; "Ha Mim; by the Book that makes things clear; We have made it a Qur'an in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom)"(43:1-3)[10]. So, a good command of Arabic language is a prerequisite to be able to understand these clear things. An inherent problem of translation is that a close matching word, with same implications, is hardly found. That is why the original text of the Holy Qur'an can never be translated. Actually, these are translations of the meanings, which were put forward by interpreters or commentators in Tafseers. The meaning of any text is a reflection of understanding being governed by many factors, one of these and above all is factual knowledge. Longtime age, Abdul-Qahir Al-Gergani said:

(Words serve to confer a meaning. Naturally, the process of formulation of a meaning -to be expressed- precedes the use of words. The word, by itself, is not equivalent to the meaning, since the formulation of words into a text is a complex process, which does not show the underlying meaning fully, as a result of omissions, symbolism, advancement and postponement. So, the process of integrating the functional meaning is different from integrating the apparent meaning, conferred by words and sentences. In other words, the apparent formulation of words and sentences, and their arrangement in a text do not necessarily reveal the whole meaning. Meaning of a text is actually an interpretation, being influenced by human knowledge in a certain period of time. What man understands from any text reflects his ability to do so on using limited means and does not signify exhausting the whole means for full understanding. Regarding interpretation of the Holy Qur'an, nobody can claim that he has

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exhausted these means; as by doing so, he would claim having the original source of full meaning, that is the power of Allah)[11]. Knowing that, one would understand why translations of interpretations of Qur'an are dynamic and not static. The current status of knowledge dictates revision of the most famous and widely spread translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali[10].

Early Embryonic Stages:

“Nutfah”, “Alaqah” and “Mudghah” are three stages of early human embryonic development, which are clearly stated In the Holy Qur’an, including Surah Al-Hajj(22) and Surah Al-Mu'minun (23). In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most merciful "O mankind! if ye have doubt about the resurrection, (consider) that We have created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much) and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs" (22:5). In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most merciful “Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the Best to create!”(23:12-14)[10]. The three early developmental phases in human are:

The three early developmental phases in human are: Figure-1: (A) Female “Nutfah” or Mature Oocyte &

Figure-1: (A) Female “Nutfah” or Mature Oocyte & B) Male “Nutfah” or Sperm Sperm.

1) "Nutfah": This expression has been repeated 12 times in the Holy Qur’an. The meaning of this Qur’anic expression has been translated as "out of sperm"(22:5) and “as (a drop of) sperm”(23:13)[10]. The Arabic word in the text is "Nutfah" and its direct linguistic meaning is a droplet of liquid or a small pearl (being clear as a droplet) [22]. So, the correct translation is "out of a drop of

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liquid (Nutfah)"[12]. It is universally agreed that “Nutfah” refers to male and female gametes [12-16]. Some hold the view that it includes also the zygote [12,15] or even more subsequent stages as morula, and blastocyst till implantation [14]. A recent objective study confirms that it refers to gametes only [16].

study confirms that it refers to gametes only [16] . Figure-2: “Alaqah”: Zygote or fertilized oocyte

Figure-2: “Alaqah”: Zygote or fertilized oocyte (1) and its subsequent stages (2-6) necessary for implantation: Two-cell stage (2), four-cell stage (3), morula (4), early blastocyst (5), and blastocyst (6).

(3), morula (4), early blastocyst (5), and blastocyst (6). Figure-3: “Alaqah”: Formation in the Fallopian tube

Figure-3: “Alaqah”: Formation in the Fallopian tube and journey to implant in the uterine lining or endometrium: (1), (2), and (3) Zygote. (4), (5), and (6): Two- , Four- , and Eight-cell stages; respectively. (7) Morula entering the uterus about 3 days after fertilization. (8) Early blastocyst. (9) Late blastocyst, starting to implant after hatching. (1)) Blastocyst, already implanted.

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2) "Alaqah": The meaning of this Qur’anic expression has been translated as "out of a leech-like Clot"(22:5) and “a clot of congealed blood “(23:14)[10]. The Arabic word in the text is "Alaqah" and its direct linguistic meaning is anything that suspends or attaches to a surface. That is why a leech was also called "Alaqah". A clot is an explanation that was mentioned in Tafseers or Interpretations of the Holy Qur’an. So, a more correct translation is "from something that clings and adheres"[12]. Some Islamic scholars consider it referring to stages subsequent to zygote [12,15], while others restrict it to the presomite embryo [14]. A recent objective study holds a more valid view. Once formed, the zygote's prime function is to implant in the endometrium through division and formation of the blastocyst (leech-like substance). In assisted reproduction, the zygote or its subsequent phases can be returned into the tube or uterus; respectively, aiming at its subsequent success in implantation. Accordingly, the expression “Alaqah” simply refers to zygote and its subsequent developmental stages required for implantation. [16].

developmental stages required for implantation. [16] . Figure-4: Assisted Reproduction: (A) Zygot Intra-Fallopian

Figure-4:

Assisted

Reproduction:

(A)

Zygot

Intra-Fallopian

Tansfer

(GIFT). (B) In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer (IVF/ET).

3) "Mudghah": The meaning of this expression has been translated as "out of a morsel Of flesh"(22:5) and “a (foetus) lump”(23:14)[10]. The Arabic word is "Mudghah" and its direct linguistic meaning is something that is being chewed. A more correct translation is "then out of a chewed morsel of flesh"[13]. However, this word actually means anything being chewed, whether piece of flesh or anything else. So, a more relevant translation would be "out of a chewed-like substance"[14] or "from a chewed like lump"[12]. It is universally agreed that “Mudghah” refers to the somite stage. The presence of somites in C-shaped embryo resembles the teeth prints on a substance that has been chewed [12-16].

embryo resembles the teeth prints on a substance that has been chewed [12-16] . Figure-4: “Mudghah”:

Figure-4: “Mudghah”: Somite stage

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Figure-5: “Mudghah”: Somite stage 6

Figure-5: “Mudghah”: Somite stage

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Human Life Cycle:

Science & Holy Qur’an: I. Phases:

A new Objective Trial to Understand Verse(5), Surah Al-Hajj(22).

ABSTRACT:

The study is an attempt to comprehend and clarify the inimitability in Verse (5), Surah Al-Hajj (22). Scrutinizing the Tafseers, seven objective principles were deducted for the interpretation of the Qur’anic expression "a morsel of flesh (Mudghah), partly formed and partly unformed". Using these, all the previous views were criticized. The present study suggests that man is "a Mudghah”, comprising two parts. One part is "formed”, i.e. created into somatic cells forming tissues, organs and systems of the body. The other part is "unformed", that is germ cells, subsequently undergoing meiosis to produce a gamete (Nutfah), a mature oocyte or a sperm. Uniting with its counterpart in fertilization, a zygote (Alaqah) will ensue and develop into a human being "a Mudghah”. The arrangement of both adjectives, in this context, completes a cycle, known biologically as the life cycle. This interpretation fulfills all the principles put forwards by commentators and conforms to the context of the verse. Some people have doubt about resurrection, originating from the belief that life is a continuum. Combining the initiation of creation “out of dust” along with its further continuation through life cycle is the everlasting ultimate proof manifesting the power of Allah to resurrect mankind.

INTRODUCTION:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most merciful "O mankind! if ye have doubt about the resurrection, (consider) that We have created you out of dust, then out of a “Nutfah”, then out of an “Alaqah”, then out of a “Mudghah”, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you; And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out As babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much) and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs" (22:5) Man is facing a puzzle. He has not witnessed the start of his creation out of dust: “I called them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor (even) their own creation: nor is it for Me to take as helpers such as lead (men) astray!“(18:51). In many verses, man’s doubts about resurrection are expressed. Man sees that a new life must originate from another life, so how would

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anyone claim creation from non-living dust after death? “The Unbelievers say:

"What! When we become dust, - we and our fathers - shall we really be raised (from the dead)?”(27:67). The answer to this question has been clearly stated in the Holy Qur’an. The present study is an attempt to clarify the inimitability in Verse (5), Surah Al-Hajj(22), putting in consideration what has been reported in Tafssers [2-9], and in view of the recent solid facts about human creation. The verse is divided in three parts, each one being discussed separately.

(I) Part One:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: "O mankind! if ye have doubt about the resurrection, (consider) that We have created you out of dust, then out of a “Nutfah”, then out of an “Alaqah”, then out of a “Mudghah”, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you".(22:5) The initial call "O mankind!” is addressing all people; those already created by Allah, and those who are going to be created till the end of this world. "if ye have doubt about the Resurrection", this states the issue discussed, i.e. man's doubts concerning the ability of Allah, the Almighty, to resurrect us after death. Allah drives to mankind only one proof, our creation; "We have created you". The three parts of the verse come within the same context, creation; being closely related and bond together to form one unit and representing an everlasting, clear and undefeatable proof of His Power.

The objective bases to interpret “partly formed and partly unformed”:

1. "We have created you": addressing mankind, so both adjectives should refer to

man-to-be [4]. So "partly unformed" can not be interpreted as abortus or embryonic tissue, since these would not be addressed by Him, the Almighty.

2. Repetition of "Out of" four times: This is to clarify the starting points. It implies

that from so is the start, and from so is the start; moving from one stage to another[9]. So, every one of the mentioned stages is by itself a starting point for

man's creation and not for the creation of following stage, an example of the latter is Verse (14), Surah al Mu'minun [7].

3. "Nutfah": It refers to male fluid (semen) and to female fluid, both sharing in

man's creation [7].

4. "A Mudghah, partly formed and partly unformed": Both "partly formed"

and "partly unformed" are adjectives of "a Mudghah” [2,7], the one and the same "Mudghah”.

5. "Partly formed and partly unformed": The adjective "partly formed” comes

first, being followed by "partly unformed", and this arrangement must be considered on interpretation [7].

6. "Partly formed and partly unformed": The Arabic words are (Mokhalaqa

and non-Mokhalaqa)[12], derived from the verb (Khalaqa) meaning to create. Other translations are "partly differentiated and partly undifferentiated"[14] and "which becomes differentiated into formed and non formed parts"[12]. The meaning, as narrated by Sahabba (Prophet’s- PBUH- Companions) and reported in Tafseers, are: "Formed", completely [2], its creation has started [3], (a Mudghah) evidently created and formed [7] (pictured) forming a human being [2,4]

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"unformed", not formed (created) yet [3], not formed (pictured) [2,4], not

completely formed [2], (a Mudghah) not evidently created or formed yet [7].

7. "In order That We may manifest (Our Power) to you": This part brings the

verse to a pause [7,8]. "In order that" signifies that the aforementioned part is held as a reason to manifest [7]. This Qur’anic expression and the verse pause imply a sign of inimitability, which manifests clearly the Power of Allah. Moreover, the expression "in order That We may manifest" is a clear-cut statement that this sign is an evident non-ambiguous one.

Pros and contras of previous views suggested as interpretations of “Partly formed and partly unformed”:

All previously suggested views failed to explain the second basis as they did not show the wisdom of repetition of the proposition “out of” four times in this small part of the verse. Regarding the seventh basis, they also failed to explain the wisdom concerned with the presence of these two adjectives in particular, only in this verse and in this context. Subsequently, they failed to show a clear sign of inimitability that manifests the Power of Allah. Moreover, most of these views tended unjustifiably to limit the scope of the adjectives. A universally approved basis for interpretation is to avoid setting of limitations unless being justified by objective evidences.

I) Views of Tafseers:

1. "Formed" into man and "unformed" abortus [2,3,4,5,7,8].

This interpretation contradicts with:

(1) First basis, since abortus is not a man-to-be. (2) Fourth basis, since it assumes that adjectives are not for one and the same “Mudghah”.

adjectives are not for one and the same “Mudghah” . Figure-6: “Mudghah”: (A) Formed: man. (B)

Figure-6: “Mudghah”: (A) Formed: man. (B) Unformed: abortus.

2. "Formed" completely created, free of any defects and

"unformed" with defects, i.e. congenital malformations, leading to variation of different characteristics in different people [3,4,6,7]. Though this interpretation does not contradict with first basis, yet it contradicts with:

(1) Fourth basis, since it assumes that adjectives are not for one and the same “Mudghah”. (2) Sixth basis, since any man with a congenital malformation is actually “a Mudghah” that has been already "formed" (pictured or created), i.e. it has exhibited its complete creation, as destined by Allah. Man is actually (malformed) and not (unformed).

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Figure-7: “Mudghah”: (A) Formed: Normal human being. (B) Unformed: Human being with congenital malformation. II)

Figure-7: “Mudghah”: (A) Formed: Normal human being. (B) Unformed:

Human being with congenital malformation.

II) Recent views suggested by Islamic scholars:

1. "Formed" refers to inner cell mass of the blastocyst, being the cells

formed (created) by Allah into the embryo proper. "Unformed" refers to trophoblast, being not directly related to the formation (creation) of the embryo proper, since its main functions are implantation and placental formation, both being essential for intrauterine life [13]. This view contradicts with:

(1) First basis, since "unformed" is not a man-to-be. (2) Fourth basis, since both "formed" and "unformed" were considered adjectives of the blastocyst (“Alaqah”) and not of somite stage (“Mudghah”). (3) Fifth basis, since scientific chronological order would dictate reversed arrangement of the adjectives, as the trophoblast starts implantation and placental formation, being associated with the development of the inner cell mass throughout pregnancy into a mature fetus.

inner cell mass throughout pregnancy into a mature fetus. Figure-8: Blastocyst (1) Trophoblast. (2) Inner cell

Figure-8: Blastocyst (1) Trophoblast. (2) Inner cell mass.

2. "Formed" means that an embryo-fetus is formed out of the somite

stage. "Unformed" means failure of embryonic development, with atrophy and even vanishing of the embryonic disc, so that it would not be possible to demonstrate any embryonic echoes within the gestational sac on ultrasonography; and moreover it would be hardly identifiable on microscopic examination after abortion. This case is known as blighted ovum or anembryonic pregnancy [17]. This view contradicts with:

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(1) First basis, since this pregnancy would either end in spontaneous abortion or necessitate surgical intervention to terminate this abnormal pregnancy, being considered as one type of missed abortion [18]. (2) Fourth basis, since it assumes that adjectives are not for one and the same “Mudghah”.

adjectives are not for one and the same “Mudghah” . Figure-9: (1) Normal pregnancy. (2) Anembryonic

Figure-9: (1) Normal pregnancy. (2) Anembryonic pregnancy.

3. "Unformed" refers to an initial development phase of somite stage, starting from the third week of pregnancy till the end of the fourth week, where there neither organs or systems have developed yet. "Formed" refers to a later development phase, starting from the fifth week of pregnancy onwards, where differentiation results in the appearance of different organs and systems [19]. This view contradicts with the fifth basis, since scientific chronological order would dictate reversed arrangement of the adjectives. In an attempt to avoid this, Sheikh Abdul-Majeed Azzindani held the view that the pronoun “and” in-between the adjectives does not necessarily imply order. So, the verse gives a description of the internal state of an embryo by explaining that although the anlage of all organ systems have formed, their function has yet to appear. The organs and systems are partly differentiated and partly undifferentiated. As more and more differentiation occurs, the functions appear accordingly [14].

occurs, the functions appear accordingly [14] . Figure-10: “Mudghah” Somite stage: (1) Late. (2) Early

Figure-10: “Mudghah” Somite stage: (1) Late. (2) Early

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4. "Unformed" refers to undifferentiated cells, being capable of differentiation. These cells are present allover in the embryo in the somite stage and afterwards, and are known as mesenchymal cell, originating from the mesoderm. Examples of their differentiation are bone formation, blood cells formation and wound healing; being of important role in the embryo-fetus, child, adult and the aged. "Formed" refers to differentiated cells incapable of differentiation if damaged, e.g. brain. So, both adjectives apply to the somite stage onwards, till death [20]. Although this view does not contradict with five of the bases, it failed, like all other views, to follow the second and seventh bases.

all other views, to follow the second and seventh bases. Figure-10: (1) Brain. (2) Skin. The

Figure-10: (1) Brain. (2) Skin.

The newly suggested meaning of "Partly formed and partly unformed”:

The present view suggests that the adjective "formed" refers to a part of “a Mudghah” (somite stage), which is completely created and formed into a human being [2,4]. Actually, the full creation of “a Mudghah” is into another creature [10] in a definitive human form [14] as clearly stated in Surah Al- Mu'minun(23:14). In other words, complete formation (fashioning) is the end-stage of creation [3] or the stage of evident creation, resulting in a well-defined creature or human being. This comprises all organs, tissues and cells (apart from germ cells; oocytes in a female and spermatogenic cells in a male). All these somatic cells, whether differentiated or undifferentiated (and even on differentiation of the latter), undergo mitosis on replication. The mother and daughter cells have identical diploid set of chromosomes (i.e. 46 chromosomes), containing the unique genetic package characteristic of this individual. Since these cells are completely formed, they can not produce daughter cells that will share in the creation of another human being. If this would be the state of all cells, i.e. fully created or "formed", reproduction would be impossible. Allah, the Almighty, shows us His Wisdom and Power in making a part of the “Mudghah” "unformed", i.e. not formed (or evidently created) yet [3,7]. This part is the germ cells, being the only cells in the body that replicate through meiosis to produce a “Nutfah” (gamete), mature oocytes in a woman or sperms in a man. This contains a haploid set of chromosomes (i.e. 23 chromosomes), being unique in its genetic package as a result of random assortment & crossing-over during meiosis. So, fertilization, union of both gametes or two “Nutfahs” (a sperm and an oocyte), results in the formation of a zygote “Alaqah”, a single cell programmed with a unique and

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characteristic genetic package. Once formed, the zygote's prime function is to implant in the endometrium through division and formation of the blastocyst. This is followed by the formation of somite stage or “Mudghah” comprising two parts, one is "formed" into a well-defined human identity and the other is "unformed",

i.e. germ cells, being reserved as a raw material for creation of our offspring. Later on, they produce gametes “Nutfah”, which will share in the production of new

zygotes “Alaqah”,

etc.

This view conforms to all the objective bases, put forwards by Tafseers:

1. Both adjectives refer to man-to-be, in accordance with the first basis.

2. “Nutfah” or “Droplet” refers to male fluid (seminal fluid containing

sperms) and to female fluid (follicular fluid containing oocyte), both sharing in

man's creation, in accordance with the third basis.

3. “Partly formed and partly unformed” are adjectives of one and the

same “Mudghah”, in accordance with the fourth basis.

4. Linguistically and scientifically, the meaning of both adjectives is in

accordance with the sixth basis. Man is nothing but a "partly formed and partly unformed chewed-like substance" (somite stage), comprising two parts with different destinies. One part is "formed", i.e. fully and evidently created forming man’s own unique personal identity. The other part is destined to persist fully "unformed", i.e. not formed or evidently created yet. That is germ cells, the raw material for reproduction. Later on, it is to be formed into “Mudghah” (the offspring) by passing through “Nutfah” and “Alaqah” stages.

5. The arrangement of both adjectives is considered, in accordance with the

fifth basis. Scientifically and as already explained, man is nothing but a "partly formed and partly unformed Mudghah". In fact, this arrangement completes a cycle, as already explained, that is biologically known as the life cycle for human species. A life cycle is a cycle demonstrating stages or phases through which the

organism must pass in order to procreate, with a generation following the other, i.e. it demonstrates how life of a certain organism, as a species, continues. The presence of both adjectives excludes the absolute point of start of creation "out of dust" from this cycle, as the "unformed" part of "Mudghah" is going to form "a Nutfah”, and so the circle is closed.

6. The wisdom of repetition of the pronoun "out of" to clarify points of

start is clearly evident in accordance with the second basis. The starting points of man’s creation is “Nutfah” (gamete), “Alaqah” (zygote-blastocyst) or “Mudghah” (somite stage), the latter also referring to parents (mother and father). This repetition of "out of" implies that (following the absolute start of creation “out of dust”) it is not feasible to specify a starting point for creation of human species. Life is a continuum, and any point (phase or stage) in the life cycle can be

taken as a relative starting point. Actually, one can not state the start and the end of a circle.

7. The sign of inimitability that manifests clearly the Power of Allah is

clearly evident, in accordance with the seventh basis. Allah has created man in a form capable of autonomous reproduction through the life cycle. Based on the verse only and without any knowledge of biology, Al-Alūsi, who died more than 140 years ago, inspired this meaning. He said: (Allah has created man in a form suitable to allow repetitive generation of a similar creature, one after another; as He managed phases of creation and transformed man from one phase into the other)

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[7]. This small part of one verse entitled human life cycle, in a way inimitable in comprehensiveness, precision, clarity and beauty. Binding this well-known scientific fact with its absolute start “out of dust” is the undefeatable everlasting proof for mankind that Allah, our Creator, is the Reality and He will raise up all who are in the graves.

the Reality and He will raise up all who are in the graves. Figure 11: Human

Figure 11: Human Life Cycle after creation from dust.

The view of science on life cycle in the 20th century was elegantly reviewed by an imminent scientist, John Biggers, who stated: (The problem with the proposal that life begins at conception is that it does not take into account the cycle of life. A phenomenon known from the early part of the 19th century was the alteration of generations. First described by Chamisso in 1819, it arose from the fact that some organisms occur in different alternate morphologic forms. Before this phenomenon could be explained, the existence of somatic cells and germ cells had to be discovered. Immediately after the discovery of fertilization, several investigators had the idea that two types of cells were in the early embryo. Weissman finally formulated advances in the newly emerging science of cytology. His theory came to be known as the theory of the continuity of germ plasm. A key observation that led to the theory was made by Van Beneden in studies on fertilization in Ascaris, showing that at fertilization each parent contributes an equal number of chromosomes, called the haploid number. Thus the total number of chromosomes in the zygote is twice the haploid number and is called the diploid number. Weissman, among others, recognized that when gametes are formed again, the cells must undergo a unique type of division that reduces the number of chromosomes to the haploid number. The process that mediates this reduction was

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eventually shown to be a mechanism present in both sexually reproducing plants and animals, and was given the name meiosis. The recognition of meiosis enabled Farmer and Moore to partition the life cycle into the premeiotic phase, which begins at fertilization, and the postmeiotic phase, which ends at fertilization. Thus life never ends. In current language we speak of the premeiotic phases as the diploid phase and the postmeiotic phase as the haploid phase (Fig.12B). In animals, the haploid phase is very short and does not give rise to a haploid multicellular phase as in plants. Nevertheless, the unicellular haploid phase that exists in animal life cycles - the ovum and spermatozoon - is essential for the perpetuation of the species. The ovum and sperm are produced by the process of meiosis, which marks the transition from the diploid to the haploid phase, and the zygote is produced by the process of fertilization, marking the return to the diploid phase from the haploid phase. All individuals of both phases are alive, and meiosis and fertilization are equally important transitions in the cycle of life. Also of importance is the fact that although human spermatozoa and ova are single cells, they are each genetically unique members of the haploid phase of human life. Similarly, human zygotes are single cells that are genetically unique members of the diploid phase of human life. Thus genetic uniqueness is not a property restricted to diploid life. I reiterate that life, in biologic sense, does not begin at conception or fertilization, for it never stops. It is a continuous process, a fact also emphasized by Mill. To ask when life begins is the wrong question; the reply is that life begins at conception is incorrect. Biologically correct statements would be, "diploid life begins as a result of fertilization", and, "haploid life begins as a result of meiosis) [21].

Mudghah formed & non-formed

Multicellular

diploid

Gamete Zygote
Gamete
Zygote
Nutfah Alaqah
Nutfah
Alaqah

A) The Holy

Quran

B) Scientific Facts

Figure-12: HUMAN LIFE CYCLE

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Considering the final and solid scientific facts about animal (including man) life cycle in the 20th century (Fig.12B), one would notice that this cycle is exactly what is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an more than 14 centuries ago (Fig. 12A). Although the verse has addressed mankind in the plural form (a clearly distinct one from the singular form in Arabic language) "We have created You", the phases were mentioned in the singular form. It is interesting to notice that man has also formulated these phases in the singular form, exactly as in the Holy Quran, since the verse is addressing one of the laws for creation. One may wonder: Why the somite (“Mudghah”) stage was chosen and not a later or an earlier stage? Somites start to appear on the 20th day following fertilization and are completed by 28th day; i.e. the somite stage takes place in the 4th post-fertilization week (6th week of pregnancy). Large spherical primitive sex cells, called primordial germ cells, are visible early in the fourth week among the endodermal cells of the wall of yolk sac near the origin of the allantois. These cells migrate later to the gonadal ridges. During sixth week, the primordial germ cells migrate into the underlying mesenchyme and become incorporated in the primary sex cord. The somite stage is the stage at which all systems are differentiated [14].

(II) Part Two:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most merciful "And We cause whom We will To rest in the Wombs For an appointed term, Then do We bring you out As babes, then (foster you) That ye may reach your age Of full strength; and some Of you are called to die, And some are sent back To the feeblest old age, So that they know nothing After having known (much)" (22:5) [10]

(1) Individual’s Life Cycle on Earth:

In this part of the verse, the life cycle of man as an individual was mentioned. It includes the following phases: "And We cause whom We will To rest in the Wombs For an appointed term", intrauterine life; "Then do We bring you out As babes", infancy and childhood; "then (foster you) That ye may reach your age Of full strength", adulthood; "and some Of you are called to die", death; "And some are sent back To the feeblest old age", or aging before death. This life cycle was pointed out by Abdulla Yusuf Ali, yet he considered the first part of the verse included in conferring this meaning. He said:

(The stage of a man's physical growth from nothing till he completes the cycle of this life are described in words whose accuracy, beauty, and comprehensiveness can be only fully understood by biologists) [10].

(2) Human creation is not a matter of chance:

Apart from the absolute start of creation out of dust, human creation through a life cycle, as already explained, implicates autonomous reproduction. Some people may misunderstand this fact. They might think that creation of any individual is a matter of chance, since any zygote may implant itself and develop further into a human being. But this is not the case, "And We cause whom We will To rest in the Wombs For an appointed term". This statement comes immediately following the first part to deny this concept and to clarify that the whole process of creation is under His control, the Almighty. Both of the verbs

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"will" and "cause to rest" were related directly to the subject, Allah, to make it evidently clear that though human reproduction is autonomous through a life cycle, as decided by Allah, yet creation of any individual human being is not a matter of chance. Apart from “will” and “cause to rest”, only one other verb, "bring out" is related directly to Allah. This is not the case with the other three verbs. Though Although Allah is the true subject of these verbs, one verb is related directly to man “reach”, and the other two “ are called to die” and “are sent back” come in the indirect form. This was a puzzle to Al-Alūsi [7], who tried to investigate its implication, since all of the these verbs could be directly related to Allah, as He is the actual Subject, making us reach our age of full strength, calling us to die or sending us back to the feeblest old age. Putting into consideration that the cornerstone of the verse is the argument about creation, one may see the wisdom in this formulation. The verbs (“will”, ”cause to rest”, “bring out”) are directly related to creation of a man till he is delivered and attains a full identity. Therefore, they are directly related to Allah. The other three verbs are not related to the process of creation and hence, not directly related to Him. Actually, they come in the context of describing individual's own life cycle on earth. Their relevance in proving of the Power of Allah is secondary, compared to basic creation, the cornerstone sign “We have created you”. This exhibits another aspect of inimitability in formulation. When a proof is being held, it must be held directly and clearly, avoiding confusion and distractions. If man believes that Allah is the creator, he would automatically believe in what are seemingly less evident proofs of power.

(3) Knowledge Cycle:

In addition to individual’s life cycle on earth, this part of the verse include another cycle, that is our “Knowledge Cycle” "So that they know nothing After having known (much)". The latter includes also three phases: knowing nothing, knowing much, and knowing nothing. The first phase is clearly mentioned in another verse, “It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when ye knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affection: that ye may give thanks (to Allah).“(16:78)[10].

(III) Part Three:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most merciful "And (further), thou seest The earth barren and lifeless, But when We pour down Rain on it, it is stirred (to Life), it swells, And it puts forth every kind Of beautiful growth in pairs" (22:5)[10]. If they look at external nature, they see the earth dead and barren, and Allah's fertilizing showers bring it to life, growth and beauty in various forms [10]. How is this part related to the other two parts? The creation of plants is an another proof for resurrection [3-7]. This is an external proof, compared to the first two parts that include personal proofs [7,10]. It implicates the close relationship of life in different forms, and signifies the unity of its controlling rules proving the presence of a single Will [8]. Plant creation is a sign of Allah, "And among His Signs Is this: thou seest The earth barren and desolate; But when We send down Rain to it, it is stirred To life and yields increase. Truly, He Who gives

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life To the (dead) earth Can surely give life To (men) who are dead. For He has the power Over all things" (41:39)[10].

Few comments are to be mentioned on translation of the meaning:

1) “Barren and Lifeless”: The Arabic expression is “Hāmidāh”. It is an adjective and its direct linguistic meaning is not dead. It stems from a verb that means to stop talking or to stop voice or sound production, i.e. remaining silent. Linguistically, this implies absence of apparent signs of life, i.e. being lifeless [22]. That is why it has been literally used as an adjective for a dead cadaver or land. Actually, it is a stage between life and death [8], quiescence or dormancy, since being lifeless (with no apparent signs of life) is not synonymous to being dead. 2) "Is stirred (to life)": Actually, the Arabic verb is in the direct form, and earth is the subject. A better translation is "it shakes". 3) "It puts forth": Actually, it means, "it puts forth a plant". When the subject of this verb is the earth, the meaning implies the evident presence of plant in the earth; i.e. it refers to the first appearance of plant [22]. It becomes evident, for the first time, that plant is developing in the earth. Considering the context of the first two parts, another implication may be suggested. Only one verb “pour down” is directly related to Allah, while the other three verbs (“stirs” or “shakes”, “swells”, and “puts forth (a plant)”) are related to earth. In many verses in the Holy Qur'an (6:99, 20:53, 27:60, 31:10, 35:28-29, 36:33, 39:21, 50:9, 56:63-64, 78:14-15, 80:25-27), putting forth plants is directly related to the true subject, Allah. The earth contains seeds of plants. The seeds of most agricultural and horticulture plants usually germinate promptly if given access to moisture and air, if provided with a suitable range of temperatures and, in some instances, if exposed to a proper sequence of light and dark. In numerous groups of plants, germination may be delayed for days, weeks, or even months. The seeds of such plants are said to be in a dormant condition. The phenomenon of dormancy is not unique to seeds, but is also found in other plant organs, such as the buds of woody and herbaceous plants as well as the buds of tubers, rhizomes, and bulbs. The common feature in all these examples is reduced growth, e.g. in seeds growth of the embryo is blocked [23]. Qur’anic and scientific terminology matches clearly. “Hāmidāh” or “Lifeless” [10] is the stage dormancy (quiescence) phase. As already explained the Arabic expression “Hāmidāh” implies an intermediate phase between life & death [8] i.e. a stage of incipient life. It is interesting to note that this is the only phase referred to in the adjective form, contrary to the other three phases that were referred to with verbs. The scientific implication is that the first phase (dormancy) is of variable duration, as it may extends to many months or years [23], whereas, as soon as water is available, the other phases (of germination) take place in succession in a relatively shorter period of time. The earth's life is nothing but plant development. This part of the verse refers to life cycle in plants and fits clearly well with recent human knowledge in this respect. Plant passes through the following developmental phases:

1) Phase I: Scientifically, it is the stage of water imbibition and cell expansion. The seed coat takes up water by imbibition and the enclosed embryonic axis is gradually hydrated. In many seeds the embryonic root region (radicle) of the axis takes up water more quickly than the rest of the axis and emerges first through the seed coat. In seeds of most crop plants, radicle emergence occurs by the end of

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this phase, within 24-36 hours after the onset of water imbibition [23]. Not only the granules of the earth shake as a result of rain or the sprouting plant [2-7], but also the seed itself shakes as a result of the emerging radicle. So, (Shaking) refers to this phase, the first noticeable sign of germination, i.e. radicle emergence.

noticeable sign of germination, i.e. radicle emergence. Figure-13: Plant Life Cycle (as depicted in Holy Quran,

Figure-13: Plant Life Cycle (as depicted in Holy Quran, 22:5)

2) Phase II: As the seed imbibes water, all the cells in the embryo, cotyledons, and endosperm become hydrated, resulting in cell expansion and size increase. The complete hydration process may take 40 to 60 hours, depending on the temperature and availability of water. Respiratory activities are initiated and some dry weight loss occurs. The food reserves in the embryo are not adequate to sustain cell division and new tissue and organ formation. Food reserves in the endosperm or cotyledons are mobilized to provide substrates for continued growth of the embryonic axis. Towards the end of this phase, the dry weight of the endosperm (in monocots) decreases as the dry weight of the root and shoot systems increases. Eventually green leaves develop, as well as root system, and the plant is capable of independent mode of metabolism; that is autotrophic. Phase II ends as the plant becomes autotrophic [23]. This phase is referred to by two phases in the verse, (Swelling) and (Putting forth a plant). The first one (Swelling) does not only imply swelling of earth by water and plant [3-7] but also the increased size of the seed as a result of water imbibition and cell division. The second one (Putting forth

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a plant) refers to shoot emergence, since as this takes place, it becomes evident, for the first time that a plant is developing in the earth. 3) Phase III: The growth of the plant is supported by leaf photosynthesis and the uptake of water and inorganic solutes by the roots. During the early stages of this phase, there are indications that some substances from the cotyledons, or endosperm, are necessary to maintain growth of the emerging seedling. Eventually, the developing seedling attains complete independence of the seed reserves [23]. This phase is referred to in the verse by “every kind of beautiful growth in pairs”. In the Arabic text, “in pairs” precedes “beautiful”, so a better translation “pairs of every kind of beautiful growth”. Each plant is a pair (male and female), so that seeds are formed once again. The beauty of the plants is actually the result of their leaves (photosynthesis), flowers, and it culminates with the development of fruits (containing the seeds). Both human and plant creation follow everlasting similar life rules, proving the presence of a single Will [8]. Similar to human creation, plant reproduction takes place through a life cycle, yet not left to be a matter of chance, but under the control His Will, the Almighty, "We pour down Rain on it".

COCLUSION:

In a single verse, undefeatable proofs that Allah is the Reality are clearly stated as everlasting evidence to mankind. Subsequent to this documentation, Allah says: "This is so, because Allah Is the Reality: it is He Who gives life to the dead, And it is He Who has Power over all things; And verily the Hour will come: There can be no doubt About it, or about (the fact) That Allah will raise up All who are in the graves". (22:6-7)[10]. May Allah accept this effort as a good deed, "Wealth and sons are allurements Of the life of this world: But things that endure, Good Deeds, are best In the sight of thy Lord, As rewards, and best As (the foundation for) hopes" (18:46)[10].

REFERENCES:

[1] The Holy Qur’an. [2] Jami’ Al-Bayan fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an: by Abu Ja’afar Mohammad Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari. [3] Al-Jami’ Li’Ahkam Al-Quran: by Abu Abdullah Mohammed Ibm Ahmad Al-Qurtubi. [4] Tafseer Al-Fakhr Al-Razi, widely known as Al-Tafsser Al-Kabeer: by Abu Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Omar Ibn Hussein Al-Qurashi. [5] Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-‘Azeem: by Abu Al-Fida’ Isma’il Ibn Katheer Al- Qurashi Al-Dimashqy. [6] Madarik Al-Tanzeel wa Haqa’iq Al-Ta’weel: by Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Al- Nasfi. [7] Rouh Al-Ma’ani fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-‘Azeem wa Al-Sab Al-Mathani:

by Shehab Al-Din Al-Sayad Mahmoud Al-Alūsi Al-Baghdadi. [8] Fi Zilal Al-Qur’an: by Saied Qutb. [9] Dort Al-Tanzeel wa Ghor’t Al-Ta’weel: by Al-Khateeb Al-Iskafi.

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[10] THE HOLY QUR`AN Text, Translation and Commentary: by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Amana Corporation, Maryland, USA, 1409 AH/1989 AC. [11] Abd-El-Qahir Al-Gergani: cited from: Khataa Al-Kawl bi Targma Ma’ani Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem. By Youssef Nour Awed. Al-Nadwa Newspaper, Makka Al-Mokrama, KSA, 24/4/1414 AH (10/10/1993). [12] Human Development as Revealed in the Holy Quran and Hadith: By Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Bar, Saudi Publishing & Distributing House,

Jeddah, S.A., Second Edition, 1989. [13] Islamic Perspectives in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: by Hassan Hathout, Rotaprint, Kuwait, 1988. [14] keith L. Moore and Abdul-Majeed A. Azzindani: The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, with Islamic Additions:

Correlation Studies with Qur'an and Hadith, Dar Al-Qiblah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1983, p.3,32, 79,80a, 84, 86, 152 & 272. [15] Khalq Al-Insan Baen Al-Teb wa Al-Qur’an: by Mohammad Ali Al-Bar, Saudi Publishing & Distributing House, Jeddah, S.A., Third Edition, 1402 AH (1981), p. 143,207,250,260,262,299. [16] Al-Dalalah Al-Ilmia li Al-Mostalahat Al-Qur’ania fi Magal Khalk Al- Insan: by Karim H.I. Abd-El-Maeboud (under publication). [17] Sobhi Khalil Abou Louz, Professor of Obst. & Gynae, Ain Shams Univ., Cairo, Egypt (Personal Communication). [18] Pritchard,J.A., McDonald,P.C. & Gant,N.F.: WILLIAMS OBSTETRICS; Appleton-Century-Crofts, Norwalk, Connecticut, US, 17th edition, 1985, p. 471. [19] Ma’a Al-Teb fi Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem: by Abd-El-Hamid Diab & Ahmad Karkouz. Oloum Al-Qur’am Corp., Damascus, 1402 AH (1982), p.81-

83.

[20] Aziz Abdul-Aleem, Professor of Paediatric Surgery, Tanta University, Egypt: cited from [15], p.207. [21] Biggers, J.D. : Ethical Considerations in Infertility : Human Generation- Fact, Foible, and Fable. In M.M. Seibel (ed.) Infertility: A Comprehensive Text. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, 1990, Chap. 39, pp. 551-562. [22] Lisan Al-Arab: by Abu Al-Fadl Hamaluddin Mohammad Ibn Makram Ibn Manzoor Al-Afriki Al-Masri. [23] Noggle, G.R. & Fritz, G.J.: Introductory Plant Physiology, Prentice-Hall, NJ, USA, Second Edition, 1983, pp. 497-500.

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Human Life Cycle:

Science & Holy Qur’an: II. Processes:

A New Objective and Scientific Trial to Understand Verses(1,2), Surah Al-Insan(76).

ABSTRACT:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: "Has there not been over Man a long [an undefined variable] period of Time, when he was nothing - (not even)[was a thing not to be] a mentioned? * Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm [Nutfah Amshaj] b , in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight" Surah Al-Insan (76:1,2) a More correct translation ; b The exact Arabic expression used in the verse. The present study is a trial to manifest the inimitability in Verses (1,2), Surah Al-Insan(76), in view of the recent solid facts about human creation. Considering objective evidences, the author suggests the following scientific interpretation: Allah, The Mighty, says: "Has there not been" Verily it comes, "over" denoting a stage of humanity, "man" a species' name i.e. child(ren) of Adam, the first creation, "a long" a variable undefined "period of time, when he was nothing" he was a thing, stage of germ cells, being preserved in the gonads of parents for a variable period extending from 5 to more than 100 years, "-(not even) mentioned" in humanity, being undefined, and only after meiosis, just prior to gamete production, they become (defined) with their unique genetic package, "Verily We created man" child(ren) of Adam, and repetition of (man) to clarify that, " from a Nutfah Amshaj" is a subsequent developmental stage, the gamete, the first phase exhibiting genetic uniqueness. "Amshaj" is a pleural adjective used with the singular noun "a Nutfah". The singular of "Amshaj" is (Mashij), a thing resulting from mixture of two things only. The gamete & the zygote are actually "a Nutfah" i.e. a droplet, which contains a group of unique recombinant chromosome or "Amshaj", each being a (Mashij) formed as a result of crossing-over of genetic material between paternal and maternal chromosomes during meiosis. The mechanisms leading to genetic uniqueness, mixing of chromosome (crossing over) during meiosis and of gametes at fertilization, have described in a single expression, “a Nutfah Amshaaj”, whose accuracy, beauty, and comprehensiveness can be only fully understood by biologists.

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INTRODUCTION:

Though interpreters of the Holy Qur’an mentioned many meanings for the Qur’anic expression “a Nutfah Amshaj” [2-9], there is universal agreement that the most correct and solid one is mixture of man’s and woman’s fluids as narrated by Sahaba (Prophet’s –PBUH- Companions) [2-6,8]. A recent one even suggested that it implies the formation of “a Nutfah” from male and female cells after fertilization [9], i.e. fertilized oocyte or zygote, a meaning that is also hold by most of Islamic scholars [18-24]. The zygote resembles a droplet, one of the linguistic meanings of “Nutfah” [21], being formed out of male “Nutfah” (sperm) and female “Nutfah” (oocyte), i.e. a mixed or mingled “Nutfah” [18-20]. This is also stated in Hadith (Mosnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbel). The Prophet –PBUH- was asked by a Jew, “O Mohammad, tell me from what is man created? He –PBUH- replied, “O Jew. Man is created from both man’s “Nutfah” and woman’s “Nutfah”. The Jew said, “So said the previous ones” (i.e. prophets)[18,19]. Other investigators [25,26] suggested that “a Nutfah Amshaj” implies that semen is a mixture of secretions from different glands, i.e. testes, seminal vesicles, prostate, Cooper’s and Littre’s glands. This odd meaning was originally suggested by Maurice Bucaille [26] and is apparently based on what he understood from the imprecise translation of “a Nutfah Amshaj” as “a drop of mingled sperm” [10]. Unfortunately, none has revised full context of the two verses (76:1,2) [18-26]. The present study is a trial in objective interpretation [13], in view of recent solid facts about human creation

[27-32].

THE SUGGESTED VIEW:

"Amshaj" is the pleural form of the noun (Mashij), a thing resulting by mixture of two things, derived from a verb (Mash’j) meaning to mix two things only. It is used as an adjective for the singular noun "a Nutfah". Linguistically, this formulation implies that “a Nutfah” is a droplet that contains “Amshaj”. Scientifically, (Mashij) implies the unique recombinant chromosome formed after crossing-over of genetic material between homologous paternal chromosomes during meiosis. Both the gametes & the zygote are virtually "a Nutfah Amshaj" i.e. a droplet that contains a group of unique recombinants “Amshaj”, being 23 in the former and 46 in the latter. The main two mechanisms leading to genetic uniqueness entails mixing (or better mash’j), the first is mixing of two chromosomes (crossing-over) during meiosis and the second is mixing of two gametes at fertilization. Both mechanisms have been precisely and comprehensively described in a single expression, “a Nutfah Amshaaj”. Consequently, the zygote is virtually nothing but the end result product of two mixing (Mash’j) processes.

Objective Evidences Supporting This View:

(I) (Mashij) is the most accurate Arabic expression denoting a recombinant chromosome:

Linguistically, the Arabic verb (Mash’j) means to mix any two things together, and the resultant is a (Mashij) [2,3,14]. That is why it was said to be the mixture of two colors [14], red and white [3,14], man’s water and woman’s water [2-6,8], colours of “a Nutfah” as that of man is white and that of woman is yellow [4,8], and “a Nutfah” or water with blood [2-4], i.e. menstrual blood [4]. A very

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important fact, unfortunately sometimes missed, is that words in Holy Qur’an are not synonymous [11,12]. That is why one must always seek the wisdom of using a specific word in a certain context. Other Arabic verbs (Khalata and Shaba) or their derivatives, both implying to mix, are stated in other verses (Khalata in 2:220, 6:146, 9:102, 10:24, 18:45, 38:24 & Shaba in 37:67). Contrary to these verbs, the verb (Mash’j) implies specifically mixing of two things only. The derivative “Amshaj” is stated only once in the Holy Qur’an (76:2).

is stated only once in the Holy Qur’an (76:2) . Figure 14: Human Karyotype of a

Figure 14: Human Karyotype of a Male (44,XY)

The significance of meiosis during gametogenesis is that it provides constancy of the chromosome number from generation to generation by producing haploid sex cells or gametes. In the first meiotic division, homologous chromosomes (a “matched pair”, one from each parent) pair during prophase to form synapsed chromosomes or bivalents. Exchange of genetic material between each pair takes place through crossing-over by relocating segments of the maternal and paternal chromosomes. During diplotene, they start to move apart except where crossing-over has occurred, and the exchange of strands results in “X-like” formations, known as chiasmata, which hold the homologues together. Each of the two resultant recombinant chromosomes has a unique genetic package. So, crossing-over serves to shuffle the genes and thereby produce a recombination of genetic material [20,24,30,31]. Considering all of the above, a recombinant chromosome is virtually a (Mashij) resulting from mixing two chromosomes. Such an implication is not derived from the English verb (recombine) nor the other Arabic verbs (Khalata and Shaba), with a derivative of the latter (Al-Sebghi Al- Ma’shoub) being used in translating recombinant chromosome [16].

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(II) Linguistic Implication of Describing a Single Noun “Nutfah” with a Pleural Adjective “Amshaj”:

"Amshaj" is the pleural form of the noun (Mashij), a thing resulting by mixture of two things, derived from a verb (Mash’j) meaning to mix two things only. It is used as an adjective for the singular noun "a Nutfah". Few interpreters suggested that the expression “a Nutfah Amshaj” entails omission, being originally “a Nutfah” having “Amshaj” [4,8]. Yet, a well known basis for interpretation is that assuming omissions should be avoided whenever possible. On the other hand, there are many similar formulated expressions in Arabic language, e.g. (Borma Aashar) or pot tenths [4,8,14], (Thawb Af’waf) or dress layers, (Habl Armam) or rope pieces, and (Romh Aksad) or spear pieces) [14]. The so-described singular noun is said to be dispersed into the pleural adjective then recollected [8,14], i.e. it is nothing but a recollection of the pleural adjective. So, (Borma Aashar) is nothing but ten pieces recollected forming a pot. Similarly, (Thawb Af’waf) is nothing but multiple layers recollected to form a multi-layered dress. So, the formulation “a Nutfah Amshaj” implies linguistically that “Nutfah” or droplet is nothing but recollected “Amshaj” or recombinants, which is virtually the function of “a Nutfah”. The “Nutfah”, whether a gamete or a zygote, acts as a container of the genetic package or code represented by the recombinant chromosomes “Amshaj”.

represented by the recombinant chromosomes “Amshaj” . Figure 15: Crossing-over and the formation of a recombinant

Figure 15: Crossing-over and the formation of a recombinant chromosome.

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(III)

The Use of (Mashij) as a Scientific Arabic Expression in Biology:

Recently, (Mashij) and its derivatives were used as a scientific expression in Arabic language in correspondence to gamete, gametocyte, and gametogenesis [15,16,23]. On the other hand, other expressions, denoting coupling or union of two things, were used in correspondence to zygote [15,16]. So, despite knowledge of Arabic language and solid facts about creation, man failed to suggest the most proper Arabic expression to be used. A zygote is actually a (Mashij) resulting from mixing (Mash’j) of the two gametes. Both the gametes and the zygote are precisely and comprehensively described in a single expression, “a Nutfah Amshaj”, i.e. a droplet containing recombinants. The zygote is virtually nothing but the end result product of two mixing (Mash’j) processes.

(IV) “Amshaj” denotes Genes:

Some interpreters report such meaning. It is said that Allah has made the “Nutfah” containing a mixture of human characteristics such as hotness, coldness, moisture and softness [4]. Ibn Al-Sokiet said that “Amshaj” means mixtures, since “a Nutfah” is a mixture of different kinds, and hence man has different inborn characteristics [2,14]. Recently, it is said that these mixtures denote genes [9].

(V) Narration by Sahaba (Prophet’s –PBUH- Companions) and Tabien

(Their Followers or Students):

(A) “a Nutfah Amshaj” denotes a Gamete:

Ali Ibn Abbi-Talib –may Allah be pleased with him- says that the location of the “Amshaj” is in the backbone [14]. Backbone refers to the back [3-5] as in the verse “Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs”(86:7).

The predecessors used the term (back) to refer to the location of gametes in human body, as the exact location in the gonad was not known. The latter actually develops from the back, between vertebral column (backbone) and ribs, as referred to in the verse “Proceeding from between the backbone and the

ribs”(86:7).

(B) “a Nutfah Amshaj” denotes a Zygote:

In Tafseers, there is universal agreement that the most correct and solid meaning of “a Nutfah Amshaj” is mixture of man’s and woman’s fluids [2-6,8], being narrated by Ibn Abbas [2-5], Mojahed, Ikrema, Al-Hassan, and Al-Rabieh Ibn Anas [2-5]. The importance of narration stems from the fact that these sayings are most likely recitations of what was originally said by the Prophet –PBUH- himself. However, a question may be raised, which man and which woman? Interpreters and Islamic scholars hold the view that they are the husband and the wife [2-6,8,18-23]. The union of the male “Nutfah” and female “Nutfah” results in the zygote, which is also a “Nutfah” or droplet. In this context, “a Nutfah Amshaj” implies that within this droplet there are many things mixed together. These are the chromosomes, derived from the father and the mother and containing the genetic material [19,20]. This view has not demonstrate the wisdom of using the verb (Mash’j) in particular in this context. Some might claim that it denotes the presence of 23(Mashij) or (Amshaj), i.e. pairs of homologous chromosomes within the zygote. However, (Amshaj) or mixtures do not exist, since each individual of any homologous chromosome pair remains separate in the zygote and all the

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daughter cells thereafter. Other enthusiastic view is that it denotes the specific characteristics (phenotype) resulting from interaction of the pair of alleles (genotype) found at the same loci on homologous chromosomes. However, this is rather a remote implication, entailing over-interpretation. As shown previously, “a Nutfah”,whether a gamete or a zygote, acts as a container of the genetic package or code represented by the recombinant chromosomes “Amshaj”. The formulation “a Nutfah Amshaj” implies linguistically that a “Nutfah” or droplet is nothing but recollected “Amshaj” or recombinants, which is virtually the function of “a Nutfah”. So, a more likely correct understanding is that this mixing of man’s fluid and woman’s fluid denotes virtually mixing of the male and female chromosomes. In other words, the man and the woman may also refer to the parents of any human individual producing a gamete, i.e. the grandfather and mother of the new creature. Creation comprises two (Mash’j) processes:

(1) The first (Mash’j) or mixing process occurs during meiosis by crossing over, i.e. exchange of genetic material between the homologous maternal and paternal chromosomes, resulting in two recombinants. In other words, it is a (mash’j) of the man’s fluid (paternal chromosomes) and woman’s fluid (maternal chromosomes) resulting in 23 new “Amshaj” within a unique “Nutfah Amshaj”. (2) The second (Mash’j) or mixing process occurs during fertilization by union of the two (paternal and maternal) gametes. In other words, it is a (mash’j) of the man’s fluid (sperm) and woman’s fluid (oocte) resulting in a unique “Nutfah Amshaj”, comprising 46 “Amshaj”. A well known scientific fact is that genetic uniqueness takes places through two steps. The first is during maturation of sex cells. Each gamete, sperm or oocyte, receives a haploid set of chromosomes of mixed ancestry origin. None of these gametes has a genetic package identical to that of the individual producing it. The second is at fertilization. Any pairs of these unique gametes, a sperm and an oocyte, unite together with fusion of their nuclei containing the chromosomes. In addition to the first one, this step further compounds the variability [27]. So, “a Nutfah Amshaj”, a gamete or a zygote, has a unique genetic package. This genetic package of the new creature is unique and never resembles that of any man since the start of life. Yet, it has a common origin that is our predecessors up to Adam &Eve. In Hadith collected by Ibn Gareer and Ibn Abi Hatem, the Prophet –PBUH- said: (When the “Nutfah” is established in the womb, Allah has brought into it all genealogy between it and Adam) [18,24]. So, each human being is actually the unique result of repetitive (Mash’j) up to Adam & Eve.

Among the manifestations of uniqueness of an individual is the pattern of his fingerprints. Man rejects the idea of resurrection and denies that Allah can reclaim him long after death. Allah, The Almighty, says “I do call to witness the Resurrection Day * And I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit; (eschew Evil) * Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? * Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers”(75:1- 4)[10]. So, He reaffirms that He is indeed capable of reclaiming man and reconstructing him to the finest detail that resides in the morphology of fingertips, i.e. his finger print [24]. It is interesting to consider that the starting verses in the following Surah (Surah Al-Insan) deals also with individual’s uniqueness. Genetic uniqueness of man, as already discussed, is coupled with being tried “"Has there

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not been over Man a long [an undefined variable] period of Time, when he was nothing - (not even)[was a thing not to be] mentioned? * Verily We created Man from a Nutfah Amshaj, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight.”(76:1,2). This might imply that each individual, with his unique genetic code, will be tried and after death he will be reclaimed and reconstructed in the exact unique form dictated by his genetic blueprint. In fact, there are still many unknown secrets and mysteries in dealing with fingerprint in relation to resurrection and genetic blueprint in relation to creation, each being at the start of two successive Surahs in The Holy Qur’an

(VI) The (Mash’j) and Genetic Uniqueness:

The verses manifest the Power of Allah as (Mash’j) aims at reshuffling of the genetic matter so that each man should have a unique genetic code differentiating him from the rest of mankind. During meiosis, each member of a unique recombinant pair is randomly or independently assigned to one of the daughter cells [30,31]. This randomization results in the 2 23 or 8,388,608 different possible combinations of chromosomes in the gametes from each parent [24,30]. Hence, there are 2 46 (i.e. more than 70 trillion) possible combinations in the zygote [30]. Spontaneous non-lethal mutations also increase the scope of genetic variability [24]. However, reshuffling of genetic material during crossing-over is the most important process towards genetic uniqueness. It adds almost infinite variety to the ultimate genetic makeup of a given individual [31]. On the average there are about 52 chiasmata (locations for crossing-over) per human male cell undergoing meiosis. Yet, if one assumes the presence of only one crossover per chromosome with a 10% paternal/maternal allele difference, then the number of possible zygotes with different genetic packages would exceeds 6 x 10 43 . This number is far greater than the number of human beings so far existed [30], estimated to be 70-110 billion or little more [33]. This emphasizes our genetic uniqueness [24,30]. It is practically impossible that two persons would exactly coincide in the details of their genetic structure. Such possibility is one in infinity, i.e. zero [24].

structure. Such possibility is one in infinity, i.e. zero [24] . Figure 16: (A) Random assortment.

Figure 16: (A) Random assortment. (B) Crossing-over.

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It is estimated that the human genome contains 3 billion nucleotide base pairs and 50 to 100 thousand structural genes [31]. Writing the nucleotide sequence of a genome would make a book about 70 meters thick and with more than 2 million pages [34]. Allah says: “Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord. Sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid."” (18:109), and “And if all the trees on earth were pens and the Ocean (were ink), with seven Oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the Words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom.” (31:27), and “Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth Thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah” (3:45)[10]. Each of us is a Word from Allah, demonstrating His Power, and being written in this inimitable biological language (genetic code) with a vocabulary list potential that would exhaust any amount of ink and any number of pens ever imaginable.

(VII) The Context of the Two Verses:

1) "Has there not been" it is universally agreed that this expression is a type of question stating a fact. In other words, it means (Verily it comes) [2-8]. 2) “A thing” implies the materialistic origin of man, i.e. germ cells in the parents. Through meiosis, it is transformed into a unique “Nutfah Amshaj”. The supporting evidences are:

1. “A thing”, or germ cells, exist in the parents’ bodies for “a long [an undefined variable] period of Time”. The expression “over”, in “over Man”, denotes that time has elapsed over man, as he was already a man, i.e. though he was a thing but not to be mentioned [2-4]. In other words, what he was not present by himself, but his origin that can not addressed man or categorized as human [8]. 2. The expression “a thing” is present in the context of human creation in other verses. It also implies the materialistic origin from which man is created. Man believes that a life must stem always out of a pre-existing life, i.e. life is a continuum. Hence, a materialist origin is a pre-requisite for any creation. However, this fact or law does not apply to Allah, The Almighty and The Creator, Who says: (a) “He said: So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, `That is easy for Me: I did indeed create thee before, when thou hadst been nothing [hadst not been a thing]” (19:9)[10]. Zakaria (PBUH) wondered, he was an old man with no fertilizer left [4]. Allah reminds him that he was created in the genealogy of the first creation, Adam. By that time, he was not “a thing” [8]. (b) “Man says:

What! When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive? * But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing (and he was not a thing)” (19:66-67)[10]. (c) “Were they created of nothing (not a thing) or were they themselves the creators” (52:35). It means: were they created out of a `nonliving` thing? [2]. (d) “It is befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, `Be` and it is” (19:35)[10]. 3) “To be mentioned” Linguistically, this means to be remembered, and not to be forgotten [14]. This expression implies that other phases of human life are

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to be mentioned. A germ cell is “a thing” from which the gamete is to be formed. It remains undefined and non-unique “not to be mentioned” for a variable period of time “a long [an undefined variable] period of time” in the gonads of the parents. Following meiosis & fertilization, a well-defined “Nutfah” with a unique genetic package “Amshaj” is formed. Due to its unique genetic code, it is to be mentioned or remembered and not forgotten. Genetic uniqueness is not a property restricted to diploid phase of human life. Spermatozoa and ova are single cells, each genetically unique member of the haploid phase. Zygotes are single cells and genetically unique members of the diploid phase [29]. Some embryologists consider gametogenesis the first phase of development, because oogenesis & spermatogenesis create the conditions from which subsequent embryogenesis arises [19]. In fact, the uniqueness of the zygote is a reflection of the uniqueness of gametes. 4) The word “man” is repeated in the second verse and not replaced by a pronoun. It is universally agreed that “man” in verse (2) refers to human race in general, i.e. descendents of Adam since Adam is not created out of “Nutfah” [5]. In verse (1), “man” refers to the first creation, Adam [2,3,5-7]. Yet, others consider it a species’ name referring to human race i.e. descendents of Adam [4,7]. The context supports this view, as Allah says “in order to try him:” referring to descendents of Adam as he himself was already tried “Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful” (2:37)[10]. So, Adam’s trial has already ended [7]. Another supporting evidence is the interpretation of “So, verily, with every (the) difficulty, there is (a) relief * Verily, with every (the) difficulty there is (a) relief.”(94:5,6)[10]. A linguistic rule is that mentioning and repetition of a defined thing (the difficulty) implies that it is one and the same. This does not apply when it is undefined (a relief). The Prophet, PBUH, explained this verse by saying that a (one) difficulty will not conquer two relieves [3]. The same would apply to here, as “man” is actually defined “the man” in the two verses in Holy Qur’an (76:1,2). So, if “the man” is the same in the two verses, what is the implication of repetition? In Arabic language, the same pronoun (Ha) is used for it “a thing” and him “the man”. A linguistic rule is that a pronoun refers to the nearest-by noun, unless this is denied by the context. Hence, if the pronoun is used, it would be mandatory to assume that “a thing not to be mentioned” is created out of “Nutfah Amshaj”. Some interpreters mentioned that “a thing” refers to earlier developmental stages: “Alaqah” and “Mudghah” [2]. So, the wisdom of repeating “the man” is to deny this view; the opposite being more correct in accordance with the suggested meaning. 5) “A long [an undefined variable] period of time”: The germ cells exist in the gonads of the parents for a variable period of time. This may extend from about 5 years (Lina Madina of Peru) to very old age, as the reproductive power of males usually extends to the end of their lives [28]. After meiosis, a well-defined gamete with a unique genetic package “Nutfah Amshaj” is formed. Meiosis is a repetitive process involving the spermatocytes in the testis. Although, the first phases of meiosis-I of the oocytes starts during the intra-uterine life; yet it is halted at the diplotene phase for 12 to 45 years since meiosis resumes only shortly before ovulation [31]. In this phase, the homologous chromosomes are still attached to each other and the unique recombinants are not yet formed or identified. So, “to be

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mentioned” is a state that occurs a short while before the production of a gamete; while it is “not to be mentioned” over a previously long, variable, and undefined period of time.

CONCLUSION:

Combining the results of the present study with a previous one [35], it becomes clear (after the absolute start of creation out of dust) that life is a continuum that never stops, passing in different stages, originating through certain vital processes (Figure-2 and Table 1). These phases are:

(1) “Nutfah” stage: or “Nutfah Amshaj”, the gamete, sperm or mature oocyte, having a unique genetic package. (2) “Alaqah” stage: The starting phase of which is “Nutfah Amshaj” resulting from mixing (Mash’ j) of the two gamete. It has a unique genetic package, as it results from the union of two unique gametes. The term ‘Alaqah” refers to, as the name implies, the zygote and the subsequent developmental stages required to achieve implantation. (3) “Mudghah” stage: It is the somite stage, a part of which is to be “formed” into a well-defined human identity; and another part remains “unformed”, the germ cells in the gonads destined to be formed later. Being non- unique, it is “a thing not to be mentioned”. Only after “a long [an undefined variable] period of time” it undergoes or completes meiosis (Mash’j), the vital process through which the genetically unique gamete, “Nutfah” or “Nutfah Amshaj”, is produced.

gamete, “Nutfah” or “Nutfah Amshaj” , is produced. (A) Holy Quran (B) Scientific Facts Figure-17: HUMAN

(A) Holy Quran

(B) Scientific Facts

Figure-17: HUMAN LIFE CYCLE (Phases & Biologic Processes)

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Table –1: Stages of Human Life

 

Modified from Hamilton et al [32]

Modified from

The Holy Qur’an

Biggers [29]

1.

“Unformed” or “nothing to be

   

mentioned”: Germ Cell.

2.

“Nutfah” or “Nutfah Amshaj”

 

1.

Germ Cell after

after First Massh’j (Crossing-over in Meiosis)

Meiosis.

3.

“Alaqah”: “Nutfah Amshaj”

1. Fertilized Oocyte

2.

Fertilized Oocyte

after Second Mash’j (Fertilization)

after Fertilization.

with Subsequent Development Necessary for Attachment to Lining of the Womb.

2. Implantation.

 

4.

“Mudghah”:

3. Somite Stage.

3.

Multicellular

 

Diploid.

“partly formed and partly unformed”

4. Organogenesis.

 

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In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful:“Ha Mim; By the Book that makes things clear; We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom)” (43:1-3). In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: “And say:` Praise be to Allah, Who will soon show you His Signs, so that ye shall know them`; and thy Lord is not unmindful of all that ye do” (27:93)[10].

REFERENCES:

[1] The Holy Qur’an. [2] Jami’ Al-Bayan fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an: by Abu Ja’afar Mohammad Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari. [3] Al-Jami’ Li’Ahkam Al-Quran: by Abu Abdullah Mohammed Ibm Ahmad Al-Qurtubi. [4] Tafseer Al-Fakhr Al-Razi, widely known as Al-Tafsser Al-Kabeer: by Abu Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Omar Ibn Hussein Al-Qurashi. [5] Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-‘Azeem: by Abu Al-Fida’ Isma’il Ibn Katheer Al- Qurashi Al-Dimashqy. [6] Madarik Al-Tanzeel wa Haqa’iq Al-Ta’weel: by Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Al- Nasfi. [7] Ta’tema Adwaa Al-Bayan fi Idah Al-Qur’an bi Al-Qur’an: by Mohammad Al-Amin ben Al-Mokhtar Al-Jenki Al-Shankieti. [8] Rouh Al-Ma’ani fi Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-‘Azeem wa Al-Sab Al-Mathani:

by Shehab Al-Din Al-Sayad Mahmoud Al-Alousy Al-Baghdadi. [9] Fi Zilal Al-Qur’an: by Saied Qutb. [10] THE HOLY QUR`AN Text, Translation and Commentary: by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Amana Corporation, Maryland, USA, 1409 AH/1989 AC. [11] Mokadema fi Osoul Al-Tafseer: by Takie Al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymia, Al- Haya Library, Beirut, Lebanon, p.17. [12] Mohammad Abdo: Cited from Al-Mostalahat Al-Arba’a bien Al- Imamien Al-Mawdoudy wa Mhammad Abdo. Dar Al-Ietissam, Cairo, First Edition, 1975, p.108-109. [13] Mabahith fi Al-Tafseer Al-Mawdoui: by Mostafa Mosalem. Dar Al- Qalem, Damascus, Fist Edition, 1989. [14] Lisan Al-‘Arab: by Abu Al-Fadl Hamaluddin Mohammad Ibn Makram Ibn Manzoor Al-Afriki Al-Masri. [15] Al-Mawrid Dictionary: by Munir Al-Balakaie. Dar Al-Ilem li Al- Mala’ien, Beriut, Lebanon, 11 th Edition, 1977, p. 194, 379,765,1089. [16] Hiiti’s Pocket Medical dictionary: by Yusuf Hiiti & Ahmad Al-Khatib. Lebanon library Publishers, Beriut, Lebanon, First Edition, 1994,

p.167,466.

[17] Al-Nahoue Al-Wafi: by Abbas Hassan. Dar Al-Ma’aref, Cairo, Egypt, 5 th Edition, 1975, First volume, p.255,256, Third volume, p.573-578. [18] Khalk Al-Insan Baen Al-Teb wa Al-Qur’an: by Mohammad Ali Al-Bar, Saudi Publishing & Distributing House, Jeddah, S.A., Third Edition, 1402 AH (1981), p. 125-157,183-200.

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[19] Mohammed Ali Albar: Human Development as Revealed in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith. Saudi Publishing &Distributing House, Jeddah, KSA, 4 th Edition, 1996, p. 51-60. [20] keith L. Moore and Abdul-Majeed A. Azzindani: The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, with Islamic Additions:

Correlation Studies with Qur'an and Hadith, Dar Al-Qiblah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1983, p.14,15,30a. [21] Wasif Al-Takhleq Al-Bashary: Marhala Al-Nutfah: by Marshall Johnson, A.A. Azzindani, and Mostafa Ahmad. Paper presented at the First Conference for Scientific Inamitability in The Qur’an and Sunaa. Isalm Abad, Pakistan, 1408.

[22] Al-Teb Mihrab li Al-Iman: by Khalis Jalabi. Dar Al-Kotob Al-Arabia, Damascus, Syria, 7 th Edition, 1993, Vol. one, p. 49,50; Vol. Two, p.94-

101.

[23] Al-Madkhal Ila Ilem Al-Ajena Al-Wasfi wa Al-Tagriebi: by Saleh ben Abd-El-Aziz Kareem. Dar Al-Mojtamah, Jeddah, KSA, first Edition, 1990, p.19-44, 312-313. [24] Hassan Hathout: Islamic Perspectives in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Rotaprint, Kuwait,1988, pp. 25,26,32. [25] Al-Ilem Al-Hadith: Hojaa li Al-Insan am Alieh: by Abdullah Abd-El- Rahim Al-Abbadi. Dar Al-Thakafa, Qatar, First Edition, 1986,

p.23,31,34-39.

[26] Maurice Bucaille: Cited from [25], p.38. [27] Britannica CD: Published by Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., Chicago, USA, 1994.

[28] Pernoll,M.L. & Benson,R.C.: Current Obstetric & Gynecologic Diagnosis

& Treatment 1987. Appleton & Lange, Norwalk, Connecticut/Los

Altos, California, USA, 1987, pp.92,583. [29] Biggers,J.D.(1990): Ethical Considerations in Infertility: Human Generation -Fact, Foible, and Fable. In Seibel M.M. (ed.)Infertility:A Comprehensive Text. Appelton & Lannge, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, 1990, Chap. 39, pp. 551-562. [30] Connor,J.M. & Ferguson-Smith,M.A.: Essential Medical Genetics. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK, First Edition, 1984, pp. 35-48. [31] Nora,J.J. & Fraser F.C.: Medical Genetics: Principles and Practice. Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, USA, Third Edition, 1989, pp.8-27. [32] Hamilton, Boyd, & Mossman: Human Embryology. Cited from [18]. [33] Keyfitz,N.: Applied Mathematical Demography. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1977, p. 12-14. [34] Mawswah Jissem Al-Insan: by Ahmad Kanaan. Dar Al-Nafa’is, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition, 1996, p.45. [35] Human Life Cycle in the Holy Qur'an: I. A new Objective and Scientific Trial to Understand Verse(5), Surah Al-Hajj(22).by Karim Hassanein I. Abd-El-Maeboud.

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