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Review instances of human origin and earthly reproduction

  1. Introduction

    God has given us all the words in the Quran that we need to lead a righteous life to be thankful to Him while whatever He has left out of it is left out deliberately (18:109, 31:27) that we may use our common sense for our everyday life having the hearing, the eyesight and the hearts (17:36). Like the creation of the universe, God has given a brief description on origin of human and its reproduction on earth in the Quran. There are 6 different Arabic words that He has used to describe both creation and reproduction on earth are mentioned in the table below with their occurrences and literal meanings while we know that an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on the context, which is a key concept to understand the message coded in the Arabic text of the Quran:

    Note: The above table is populated with data obtained from the corpus.quran.com

    Occurrences of turaab

    There are 17 occurrences of turaab meaning dust in the Quran found in 17 verses in 17 suras, are detailed below while 7 occurrences found in 7 verses across 7 suras indicate the creation of human from dust:

    [2:264] O you who believed, you should not nullify your charities with insult and harm; like the one who spends his wealth as show off to the people and does not believe in God and the Last Day. Then his example is like a rock on which there is dust (turaabun), when there has been a heavy rain then it has left bare. They do not have anything of what they have earned; and God is not to guide the disbelieving people.

    [3:59] Indeed, the example of Jesus with God is like the example of Adam; He created him from dust (turaabin), then He said to him “Be” so he was.

    [13:5] And if you are surprised, then surprising is their saying: “When are we dust (turaaban), will we indeed be certainly in a new creation?” Those are the ones who disbelieved in their Lord, and those are in shackles around their necks, and those are the dwellers of the Fire, they are abiding in it forever.

    [16:59] He hides from the people of evil (bad news) what he has been given good news with it. Should he keep it upon humiliation or bury it in the dust (al-turaabi)? Unquestionably, it has been evil what they think!

    [18:37] His friend said to him while he was talking to him, “Have you disbelieved in the One who created you from dust (turaabin), then from a drop (nutfatin), then shaped you into a man?”

    [22:5] O mankind, if you are in doubt of the resurrection, then we have created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then from fetus/a lump of flesh (mudghatin) developed and undeveloped that we may make clear to you. And we cause to remain in the wombs that we wish for an appointed time, then we bring you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away, and of you someone is returned to an old age that he may not know anything after having knowledge. And you see the land is barren, then when we send down the water to it, it has stirred and has swollen and has grown from every beautiful kind.

    [23:35] “Does he (human) promise you that if you are dead and have become dust (turaaban) and bones that you will be those who are brought back?”

    [23:82] They said: “When are we dead and have become dust (turaaban) and bones, would we surely be resurrected?”

    [27:67] And those who disbelieved said: “When have we become dust (turaaban) and our fathers, would we be those who are brought back?”

    [30:20] And of His signs is that He created you from dust (turaabin), then you are human beings spreading out.

    [35:11] And God created you from dust (turaabin), then from a drop (nut’fatin), as He made you pairs. And no female conceives nor does give birth without His knowledge. No person’s life is extended, nor is shortened from his life except as in a record. Indeed, that is easy for God.

    [37:16] “Is it when we are dead and have become dust (turaabin) and bones, would we be certainly those who are resurrected?”

    [37:53] “Is it when we have been died and have become dust (turaabin) and bones, would we be those who are brought to judgment?”

    [40:67] He is the One who created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then He brings you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away before, and that you reach a specified term and that you may understand.

    [50:3] When are we dead and have become dust (turaaban) that is a far return?
    [56:47] They had used to say: “When are we dead and have become dust (turaaban) and bones, would we certainly be the resurrected ones?”

    [78:40] Indeed, we have warned you of a retribution which is near, the day when the human will see what his hands have sent forth, and the disbeliever will say: “O’ I wish I were dust (turaaban)!”
    Note: Out of 7 instances, 3 instances directly tell us that God has created human from dust while in other 4 instances He informs us 4 patterns of initiating creation of human from dust that can be connected to its reproduction on earth (18:37: dust -> semen -> man; 22:5: dust -> semen -> embryo -> child; 35:11: dust -> semen; 40:67: dust -> semen -> embryo -> child).

    Occurrences of teen

    There are 12 instances of teen meaning “clay” in the Quran are detailed below while 8 instances found in 8 verses across 7 suras indicate that God has created human from clay:

    [3:49] And a messenger to Children of Israel: “Indeed me (Jesus), I have surely come to you with a sign from your Lord that I can create for you like the form of the bird from the clay (al-teen), so I can blow into it, then it becomes a bird by God’s permission, and I can cure the blind and the leper, and I can give life to the dead by God’s permission, and I can inform you of what you will eat and what you will store in your homes. Indeed, in that there is a sign for you if you are believers.”

    [5:110] When God said: “O Jesus, son of Mary, you shall remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Holy Spirit; you speak to the people in the cradle and maturity; and when I taught you the scripture and the wisdom, and the Torah, and the Injeel; and when you make the shape of the bird from the clay (al-teen), then you blow into it and it becomes a bird by My permission, and you heal the born blind and the leaper by My permission; and when you bring forth the dead by My permission; and when I restrained Children of Israel from you when you came to them with the clear proofs, then those who disbelieved among them said: “This is not but a clear magic!””

    [6:2] He is the One who created you from clay (teenin), then He decreed a term and a specified term with Him, yet you deny.

    [7:12] He (God) said: “What has prevented you that you (Satan) do not prostrate when I commanded you?” He said: “I am far better than him; You created me from fire and You created him from clay (teenin)!”

    [17:61] And we said to the angels: “Prostrate to Adam.” So they prostrated except for Satan. He said: “Should I prostrate to whom You created of clay (teenan)!”

    [23:12] Indeed, we have created mankind from a shape of clay (teenin).

    [28:38] And Pharaoh said: “O you leaders, I have not known of any god for you other than me. So set light for me O Haman! Upon the clay (al-teen) so build for me a lofty tower that I may look at Moses’ god! And indeed, I think that he is surely a liar.”

    [32:7] The One who made everything perfect He created and He began creation of mankind from clay (teenin).
    [37:11] So ask them: “Are they a stronger creation, or whom we created?” Indeed, we have created them from clay (teenin) of the adherent.

    [38:71] When your Lord said to the angels: “Indeed, I am creating a human being from clay (teenin).”

    [38:76] He (Satan) said: “I am better than he; You created me from fire, and You created him from clay (teenin).”

    [51:33] “That we would send down rock of clay (teenin) upon them.”
    Note: Out of 8 instances, 7 instances directly tell that God has created human from clay while in the other instance the Satan tells that God has created human from clay being proud of himself to be created from fire.

    Occurrences of salsaal/hama-in

    There are 4 instances of salsaal meaning hardened clay and 4 instances of hama-in meaning black/dark mud found in 5 verses in 3 suras with the creation of human are detailed below. 4 instances of salsaal along with 3 instances of hama-in indicate the creation of human while another instance of hama-in in another verse and sura does not deal with the creation of human:

    [15:26] And certainly, we created the human being from a hardened clay (salsaalin) of altered black mud (hama-in).

    [15:28] And when your Lord said to the angels: “Indeed, I am creating a human being from a hardened clay (salsaalin) of altered black mud (hama-in).”

    [15:33] He (Satan) said, “I am not to prostrate to a human being, whom You (God) created from a hardened clay (salsaalin) of altered black mud (hama-in).”

    [18:86] Until when he reached the place of sun setting, he found it setting in water of dark mud (hami-atin) and found people near it. We said, “O Zul-Qarnain, either you may punish, or you may do good to them.”

    [55:14] He created the human from a hardened clay (salsaalin) like a baked earth (ka’al-fakhaari).
    Note: The instances of salsaal and hama-in are closely related while salsaal indicates the harden clay and hama-in indicates just the color of the clay. Thus, we may derive the pattern that God has used in the creation of human: dust (turaab) -> clay (teen) -> colored hardened clay (salsaal) to give the shape and then He blew into it to human.

    Occurrences of nut’fat

    There are 12 instances of nutfat meaning drop/semen in the Quran found in 12 verses across 11 suras that initiate the human reproduction on earth are detailed below:

    [16:4] He created the human from a drop (nutfatin), then he is clear opponent.

    [18:37] His friend said to him while he was talking to him, “Have you disbelieved in the One who created you from dust (turaabin), then from a drop (nutfatin), then shaped you into a man?”

    [22:5] O mankind, if you are in doubt of the resurrection, then we have created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then from fetus/a lump of flesh (mudghatin) developed and undeveloped that we may make clear to you. And we cause to remain in the wombs that we wish for an appointed time, then we bring you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away, and of you someone is returned to an old age that he may not know anything after having knowledge. And you see the land is barren, then when we send down the water to it, it has stirred and has swollen and has grown from every beautiful kind.

    [23:13] Then we made him as a drop (nutfatan) in a safe repository.

    [23:14] Then we created the drop (nutfata) to an embryo (`alaqatan), then we created the embryo (al-`alaqata) to a fetus (mudghatan), then we created the fetus (al-mudghata) to bones (`izaaman), then we covered the bones (al-`izaama) with flesh (lahman), thus, we have produced it another (aahkara) creation . So blessed is God, the best Creator.

    [35:11] And God created you from dust (turaabin), then from a drop (nut’fatin), as He made you pairs. And no female conceives nor does give birth without His knowledge. No person’s life is extended, nor is shortened from his life except as in a record. Indeed, that is easy for God.

    [36:77] Does the human not see that we have created him from a drop (nut’fatin), then he is a clear opponent?

    [40:67] He is the One who created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then He brings you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away before, and that you reach a specified term and that you may understand.

    [53:46] From a drop (nutfatin), as it is ejected.

    [75:37] Was he not a drop (nutfatin), of ejected semen (maniyyin)?

    [76:2] Indeed, we have created the human from a drop (nutfatin) of mixture we can test him, so we made him hearing and seeing.

    [80:19] From a drop (nutfatin) He created him, then He proportioned him.
    Note: Since there is mention of dust (turaab) along with semen (nutfat) including the ejected semen (maniyyin) and placing in repository (egg) to describe human reproduction on earth, the pattern can be derived from the related instances as: (1) dust -> semen -> embryo; (2) dust -> semen -> embryo and (3) semen -> embryo -> fetus (mudghatin) -> a new creation (aakhara) .

    Occurrences of alaq

    There are 7 instances of alaq meaning embryo/hanging in the Quran which are detailed below while 6 instances found in 5 verses across 5 suras have addressed the human reproduction on earth:

    [4:129] And you will never be able to deal justly between the women, even if you have sincere intention; so you should do not incline to the one and leave her (the other one) like the hanging one (ka-al-mu`alaqati). And if you reconcile and fear (God), then indeed, God is Forgiving, Merciful.

    [22:5] O mankind, if you are in doubt of the resurrection, then we have created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then from fetus/a lump of flesh (mudghatin) developed and undeveloped that we may make clear to you. And we cause to remain in the wombs that we wish for an appointed time, then we bring you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away, and of you someone is returned to an old age that he may not know anything after having knowledge. And you see the land is barren, then when we send down the water to it, it has stirred and has swollen and has grown from every beautiful kind.

    [23:14] Then we created the drop (nutfata) to an embryo (`alaqatan), then we created the embryo (al-`alaqata) to a fetus (mudghatan), then we created the fetus (al-mudghata) to bones (`izaaman), then we covered the bones (al-`izaama) with flesh (lahman), thus, we have produced it another (aakhara) creation . So blessed is God, the best Creator.

    [40:67] He is the One who created you from dust (turaabin), then from semen/drop (nutfatin), then from embryo/clot/hanging (`alaqatin), then He brings you out as child, then that you may reach your maturity; and of you someone is passed away before, and that you reach a specified term and that you may understand.

    [75:38] Then he was an embryo (`alaqatan) as he created so he proportioned.

    [96:2] He created the human from an embryo (`alaqatin).
    Note: The final pattern/process of human reproduction on earth indicating relation with 1st creation of human from dust -> semen -> embryo -> fetus -> new creation (baby).

    Conclusion

    Review indicates that God has described two processes: the 1st creation of human and its reproduction on earth in the Quran. The instances that are related to the 1st creation are dust (turaab), clay (teen), hardened clay (sasaal) and black/dark mud (hama-in) indicating different patterns in different context to make it clear that we can understand it even when we live in an advanced human civilization. On the other hand, the instances that are related to its reproduction on earth are semen (nutfat), embryo (alaq), fetus (mudghatan) and new creation (aakhara) indicating different patterns connecting to the 1st creation but what we may reflect that there is no inconsistency with the embryonic and fetal development as described in modern embryology being brief as well.

    However, the 1st creation may not be as clear to us as its reproduction on earth unless we reflect to the essence cited to describe the process of the 1st creation. Thus, we must understand that God has given a brief description of the 1st creation as a reference providing us with the hearing, the eyesight and the hearts to be thankful to Him (32:9) reflecting to why we are sent down to the earth so that we can prepare ourselves for our right return that we may be greeted by Him at His meeting.
    Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
    Tafazzal (11/22/2019).