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By: Dr. / Zaghloul El-Naggar
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (A.S.) narrated that "A Jewish man passed by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) while he was talking to some of his Companions. Some people from Quraysh said to the Jewish man: “O Jewish man! This man (referring to the Prophet (PBUH)) claims that he is a Prophet. ” Thereupon the Jewish man said: “I shall ask him about something that only a Prophet would know.” He then came towards the Prophet (PBUH), sat down and said: “O Muhammad! From what is man created? ” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) answered him saying: “O Jewish man! A man is created from the union of both the sperm of man and the ovum of woman. As for the sperm of man it is thick and from it bones and nerves are created. And as for the woman's ovum, it is thin and from it flesh and blood are created.” The Jewish man then stood up and said: “This is what those (the Prophets) before you used to say.”
In another narration, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (A.S.) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was asked about 'azl or Coitus interruptus, whereupon he said, "The child is not creates from all the seminal discharge and when Allah intends to create anything, nothing can prevent it (from coming into existence)’
Explanation of the Hadith
The basics of these scientific facts, which actually represent the core of embryology, were only discovered at the end of the 18th century. Moreover, it took more than two centuries for the basics of this science to be established and accepted by embryologists. To the surprise of all, the Prophet (PBUH) talked about these facts in such an accurate, comprehensive and scientific manner at the beginning of the seventh century A.C., i.e. more than ten centuries before they were actually discovered.
Until the end of the 18th century, people believed that the human being is created in full shape, but in a very small size from the menses blood. However, after the discovery of the ovum, they said that the human being is created fully inside the ovum exactly as a chick is created inside the egg. But after the discovery of the sperm, they started to say that the embryo is fully created inside the head of the sperm, even though it is extremely minute. This argument soon faded , with all its misconceptions , at the end of the 18th century when it was discovered that the sperm and the ovum , both take part in the process of the formation of the fertilizes egg , from which the embryo is created . This fact was unanimously agreed on only at the end of the 19th century.
In the 20th century, it was discovered that from millions of sperms contained in the ejaculation of the male organ per minute, very few sperms manage to reach the uterus, and among those only one sperm manages to unite with and fertilize the ovum. From this fertilized ovum, the "Nutfah Amshaj" (mixed drop) is formed. This Nutfah (zygote) has been accurately described by Allah, Glorified be He, in the Qur'an. The ovum is part of the woman's discharge (liquid secreted at the time of intercourse), and that is why the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The child does not come from all the seminal discharge” which reflects one of the scientific signs in the Prophetic Sunnah.
The Ahadith mentioned here are supported by verses from the Qur'an. Allah, the Almighty, says:
﴾ Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay) ; Then We placed him as a drop of sperm (Nutfah) in a safe lodging . Then We made the drop (Nutfah) into a leech like structure (‘Alaqa). Then out of the leech like structure, a chewed lump (Mudghah). Then out of the chewed lump bones, and We clothed the bones in flesh. Then We developed out of it another creature. Therefore, blessed be Allah, the best of those that create ﴿
(Surat Al-Mu'minun (The Believers): 12-14)
﴾ Surely , We created man from a mixed (Amshaj) drop. ﴿
(Surat Al-Insân (Man): 2)
﴾ O mankind ! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware ﴿
(Surat Al-Hujurât (The Dwellings): 13)
﴾ O mankind ! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily! We have created you from dust , then from a Nutfah , then from a clot (‘Alaqah) , then from a little lump of flesh (Mudghah) , some formed and some unformed that We may make (it) clear to you . And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants ﴿
(Surat Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage): 5)
That is why Muslim scholars have always been certain about these scientific facts mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), whereas western scientists kept on searching for the truth and stumbling in the darkness of superstitions and legends for more than ten centuries.
Imam Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani , states in his interpretation of the aforementioned hadith and the relevant ones , "Many anatomists claim that the male's semen has no role in the creation of the child , except for the conception and that it is formed from the menses blood . But, the Ahadith mentioned in this chapter, proves the falsehood of this claim."
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim confirms the opinion of Ibn Hajar as he asserts in his book " at-Tibiyan fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an" , "The child is not created from the male's semen alone , unless it is mixed with another substance from the female."
All of these scientific facts mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, ten centuries or more ago, only assure that His Messenger is the seal of the Prophets, ever supported by Divine Revelation.