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“…then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh,” (Surat Al-Mu'minûn (The Believers):14)
This miraculous Qur’anic ayah under discussion in this article is located in the beginnings of Surat Al-Mu'minûn (The Believers). It is a Makkan surah and has a total number of 118 ayahs following the basmallah. The surah’s name is Al-Mu'minûn because it refers to and describes Allah's believers, assigned with designated missions on earth. It tackles a number of their noble qualities in order to embody the human example with whom Allah (SWT) would be satisfied.
Tenets of Faith in Surat Al-Mu'minûn:
- Faith in Allah (SWT), the Only One, the Master, the Everlasting Sovereign (Who has no partner, no one resembles Him, and has no adversary, wife nor son). Faith in His angels, books, messengers, and the Last Day. The surah shows that no one shall inherit heaven (immortality without death), except for the believers whom the surah has included a number of their merits.
- The certitude that Allah (SWT) has created man out of an extract of clay. He designated the phases of fetal development one after another until it becomes a fully-grown creation. After this life, there is death then resurrection, judgment, and the punishment or reward whether to dwell forever in jannah (paradise) or in hellfire. Man was not created in vain. He will inevitably return to his Creator to be recompensed for what he has done in life.
- The verification that Allah (SWT) is the Creator of the seven heavens, the seven earths and all what is in them. Allah (SWT) sends down water from heaven in a determined quantity to dwell in the earth. He is capable of plunging the water deep in the soil and of removing it completely. Allah (SWT) created plants and different kinds of vegetation in addition to cattle. He is the Incomparable in creating everything. He is All-Knowing of everything.
- The admission of the oneness of the message from the heavens, and of the brotherhood among all Prophets whose mission was the same. Their mission is based on faith in Allah (SWT), in His angels, books, messengers, the Last Day and in predestination, whether good or evil. Their message was based as well on the fact that Allah (SWT) is far above any depiction; no one resembles Him; He has no partner, adversary, wife nor son. He is far above all attributes that characterize His creations and any other attribute that does not suit His Majesty because polytheism is disbelief in Allah (SWT). It is also the admission that the disbelievers shall never prosper.
- The certitude that Allah (SWT) is the Knower of the Unseen and the Witnessed. He is The Most Charitable of providers. He is The One Who gives life and makes to die, and to Him belongs the alternation of night and daytime. He is The Lord of the Honorable Throne.
- The sincere verification that there is no return to life after death except on the Day of Judgment because beyond the dead there is an isthmus (Barzakh) until the Day they are made to rise again. All creations are made to rise again after the two blows of the trumpet. After the first blow, all the living will be stunned (i.e., thunderstruck) and die. After the second one, all the dead shall be resurrected.
- The belief that those who prosper are the ones whose scales of good deeds weigh heavy and shall reside eternally in the Gardens of Bliss, whereas the ones whose scales of good deeds weigh light are those who lose their own selves in Hell eternally (abiding).
Signs of Creation in Surat Al-Mu'minûn:
1. The surah refers to the creation of man from an extract of clay.
2. It describes the phases of fetal development from the Nutfah (sperm-drop, a mingling) in an established residence to a clot then to a chewed up morsel. Then it turns into bones that are dressed in flesh until it develops into another creation.
This accurate description and precise arrangement was revealed in the Qur'an at a time when there was a prevailing belief that the fetus was created as a whole miniature version of itself from the female's menstrual blood only or from the male's sperm. The size of the fetus in such stages is extremely small; then it grows until it reaches its size on delivery.
The Qur'an described such consecutive phases where the size of the fetus varies from fractions of a millimeter to only a few millimeters in such an accurate way in the absence of all means of magnification, imaging or medical examination at that time. Thus, it stands as one of the clearest proofs of the scientific wonders of the Ever-Glorious Qur'an.
3. The surah refers to the creation of the seven heavens, an unseen truth, which modern acquired knowledge and science cannot establish due to the vastness of the universe, and its seemingly infinite dimensions to which only Allah (SWT) knows its end.
4. It also mentions how water falls from the heaven in a determined quantity, and how it dwells in the earth with utter wisdom. This is a fact that the acquired sciences have discovered only in the late nineteenth century.
5. The surah establishes a link between how rain falls from the heaven and how plants come out from the soil.
6. It describes the olive tree and how it produces oil and seasoning for those who eat from it. The surah focuses on the olive tree, which grows on Mt. Sinai in particular.
7. The surah also refers to the lesson people can learn from the creation of cattle. Cattle have many benefits such as the milk coming out from their bellies, in addition to fats and meat of their bodies. Cattle can be used as a means of transportation and for carrying things on land just as ships are used as means of transport in the sea. These are beside other various benefits.
8. The surah mentions the sense of hearing before that of seeing or perception. Embryology hereby asserts that the hearing sense develops before the aforementioned senses. Therefore, the fetus can hear before it starts to see or perceive.
9. It acknowledges the fact that earth is almost spherical in shape and that it rotates around its own axis before the sun. It indicates this in an implicit way by referring to the alternation of night and daytime.
10. It recites the stories of a number of Prophets and Messengers, how their peoples dealt with them and what happened to them precisely. These stories are confirmed by the archeological studies made in this respect.
Since each of the above issues require an individual study, I shall focus here on resuming the description of the phases of fetal creation, as it develops from a chewed up morsel then turns to bones to become dressed in flesh as referred to in the second point of the previous list.