The Qur'an and the Bible, in the light of Science - Part 1
Question And Answer Session By Dr. Zakir Naik
Saturday, June 13, 2009
(Sabeel Ahmed) Auzubillahi Minash Shaitanir Rajeem,
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim..…(Arabic)…In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious,
the Most Merciful. Dr. William Campbell, Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. Mazachis, Dr.
Jamal Badawi, Dr. Samuel Nauman and Mr. Sam Shamoon, distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen, As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu… Peace
and Blessings of Almighty Allah be upon all of you. On behalf of the
organizers… the Islamic Circle of North America, I, Syed Sabeel Ahmed, welcome
all of you to this unique event … a dialogue on the topic – ‘The Qur’an and the
Bible in the light of Science.’ Again on behalf of Dr. Campbell, Dr. Zakir
Naik, Islamic Circle of North America, this dialogue is being held in a spirit
of friendship, understanding each other’s view points. A brief introduction of
ICNA’s activities - Islamic Circle of North America. The goals of Islamic
Circle of North America, are to motivate Muslims to perform their duty of being
witnesses unto mankind, offering educational training opportunities to increase
the Islamic knowledge and to enhance the character. ICNA is also active in
opposing immorality and oppression of all forms, supporting efforts for
socio-economic justice, civil liberties in the society, strengthening the bond
of humanity, by serving all those in the need, anywhere in the world, with
special focus on our neighborhood across
(Samuel Naaman) Thank you brother Sabeel Ahmed - It is a pleasure
and honour to be here with you this evening. And first of all, I myself with a
group of our brothers and sisters from the Christian background, really like to
thank the Islamic Circle of North America, and the local people who have
organized this unique event. They have done a great job - they have worked very
hard. And now we have come to the last moment, to be here. Dr. William Campbell
did his medical work, in
(Dr. Mohammed) On behalf of the Islamic Research Foundation, I Dr. Mohammed Naik am pleased to be amongst you all along with Dr. Zakir. It is a pleasure to be here for this unique event, and have the good pleasure of having scholars like Dr.William Campbell, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Mazzacus, as well as my co-colleague Brother, Dr. Samuel Naaman, here with us. I on behalf of Brother Samuel and myself, present the format for the dialogue. The format as agreed and decided fair, by both our speakers is, Dr. William Campbell would first address you for 55 minutes on the topic - ‘The Qur’an and the Bible in the light of Science.’ Then Dr. Zakir Naik at the far end, would make his presentation for 55 minutes on the same topic. This would be followed by a response session, in the which Dr. Campbell would respond to the matter presented by Dr. Zakir for 25 minutes, followed by Dr. Zakir too responding for 25 minutes, to the matter presented by Dr. Campbell. Lastly, we would have the open Question and Answers session, in which the audience may pose questions to each speaker alternately, on the question mikes provided in the auditorium. After the mikes-questions are handled, we would allow questions on index cards to be provided by volunteers in aisles, and in the order selected at random, by the coordinators and the advisors, to each of the speakers. Ladies and gentlemen... to address you, today… Dr. William Campbell.
(Dr. William Campbell) Greetings to Dr. Naik, who came… almost surely came the farthest. Greetings to Sabeel Ahmed, and Mohammed Naik, and greetings to the organising committee. Calling this... ‘The ultimate dialogue’ – It is a bit of an exaggeration - But it is good advertising. And greetings to you the audience. I would like to also bring greetings in the name of Yehowah or better known as Jehowah the great Creator God, who loves us. I wish to start by speaking about words. Tonight we are going to speak about the words of the Bible, and the words of the Qur’an. The scholars of modern linguistics tell us...‘A word, a phrase or sentence means, what it meant to the speaker, and the person or crowd of people listening. In the case of the Qur’an, what it meant to Mohammed, and those listening to him. In the case of the Bible, what it meant to Moses or Jesus, or those listening to them. To check this we have the context of all the usage in the Bible or the Qur’an. In addition, there is the poetry and letters of that century - For the Gospel, the first century A.D... for the Qur’an the 1st century of the Hijra.
If we are going to follow the truth, we may not make up new meanings. If we are seriously after truth, there are no permissible lies. Here is an example of what I am taking about - We can have the first slide here. This is talking about two dictionaries, that I have in my home - One from 1951 and 1991. In these two dictionaries, the first meaning ‘pig’... ‘a young swine of either sex’ - is the same. The second meaning... ‘any swine or hog’, ‘any wild or domestic swine’ - It is the same. Third... ‘the flesh of swine… pork’ - it is the same. Then the meaning of... ‘person or animals of piggish habits’ - It is the same... ‘A person who is gluttonous.’ And down here, pouring metal into a pit, for pig iron, is the same. But over here, is a new meaning. A police officer… we call police officers ‘pigs.’ All right the question is – ‘In the Torah, it says you cannot eat pigs. Or can I turn around and say… ‘O yes! That means police officers - You cannot eat police officers.’ Off course not. In the Qur’an, Allah says… ‘You cannot eat pigs.’ Can I translate it… ‘Cannot eat police officers ?’ No! it is wrong - It would be stupid - It would be lying actually. Mohammed did not mean… ‘police officers’ - Moses did not mean… ‘police officers.’ We may not have any new meanings. We must use the meanings known in the first century A.D. for the Bible or that is for the Gospel, and the first century of the Hijra, for the Qur’an.
Now let us look at what the Qur’an is going… says about ‘Embryology.’ Oh sorry! Got the wrong thing. It is been said that the idea of the embryo developing through stages, is a modern one - And the Qur’an is anticipating modern embryology, by depicting different stages. In his pamphlet entitled… ‘Highlights of human Embryology’ by Keith Moore - Dr. Moore claims… ‘The realization of the embryo develops in stages in the uterus was not discussed to illustrate it, until the 15th century.’ We will weigh this claim by considering the meaning of the Arabic words used by the Qur’an. And secondly, by examining the historical situation leading upto, and surrounding the Qur’an. We will start by looking at the main words using the word ‘Alaqa’ - main verses. The Arabic word ‘Alaqa’ in the singular, or ‘Alaq’ as the collective plural, is used six times. In the Surah of ‘The Resurrection’, ‘AL-Qayamat’, 75 : 35 to 39, we read… ‘Was he man, not a drop of sperm ejaculated, then he became ‘Alaqa’, and God shaped and formed, and made of him a pair – the male and the female.’ In the Surah of ‘The Believer’ – Al Momin, 40:67, it says… ‘He it is who created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then from a leech like clot - ‘Alaqa.’ Then brings you forth as a child, that perhaps you may understand. In the Surah of ‘The Pilgrimage’ – Al-Hajj, 22:5, it says… ‘O mankind! If you have doubt about the resurrection, consider that we have created you from dust. Then from a drop of seed, then from a clot ‘Alaqa’, then from a little lump of flesh, shapely and shapeless. And finally the following statement is there in the Surah of ‘The Believers’, Al-Mominun, 23:12 to 14, which reads… ‘Verily, We created man from a product of wet earth, then placed him as a drop of seed, in a safe lodging. Then We fashioned the drop of clot - ‘Alaqa’, and of the clot, We fashioned a lump, and of the lump We fashioned bones, and We clothed the bones with meat. Then We produced it as another creation. And here you have the stages according to the Qur’an… ‘Nutfa’ … ‘sperm’, ‘Alaqa’ … ‘clot’, ‘Mudgha’ … ‘piece of meat’, ‘Azaam’ … ‘bones’, and the fifth stage – ‘dressing the bones with muscles. Over the last hundred plus years, this word ‘Alaqa’, has been translated as follows. There is ten translations here - I am not going to read them all. 3 are in French, - (French), (French), (French), or a ‘clot of blood’, 3 versions… 5 versions are English, where it is either ‘clot’ or ‘a leech like clot’, 1 version is in Indonesian, at the bottom there… ‘Siganpaudara’, ‘lump clot’, or ‘a clot of blood’ and the last one is Parsi – ‘Khunbasfa’ … ‘a clot of blood’.
As every reader who has studied human reproduction would
realize, there is no stage, as a ‘clot’, during the formation of a fetus. So
this is a very major scientific problem. In the dictionary it is a word, and
the only meanings given for ‘Alaqa’ in this feminine singular, are ‘clot’ and
‘leech’ - And in
The muscles and the cartilage precusses of the bones, start forming from the solmite at the same time. At the end of the 8th week, there are only a few centers of calcification started - But the fetus is already able to make muscular movement. In a personal letter from Dr. T.W. Sadler, who is associate Professor in Embryo Anatomy, and the author of ‘Langman’s Medical Embryology’, Dr. Sadler states … ‘At the eight week post perozation, the ribs would be cartilaginous … not bones - And muscles will be present’. Also at this time, calcification will just begin. Muscles would be capable of some movement at 8 weeks. It is always better to have two witnesses, so we shall see what Dr. Keith Moore has to say about the development of bones and muscles, in his book ‘The Developing Human’. Extracted from the Chapters 15 and 17, we find the following information: The skeletal system develops from mesoderm. The limb muscles develop in the limb buds that are derived from this somatic mesoderm. We see that here on this slide. It is difficult perhaps to see, but there is the limb bud, and then here there is just the little bit of cartilage with the muscles around. Here there is more cartilage, and this is the whole bud. The bones are formed and in the form of bones, but it is all cartilage - No bones yet. The second slide shows how it forms. Here is the… here is the cartilage. Though it is just the bone it looks like cartilage, and then it starts to have some calcium deposited, and then it starts to have calcification, and bone formed. As the bone marrow is formed … sorry, I want to go back to this. As the bone marrow is formed, mild blast develop a large muscle mass in each limb bud, separating into extensive reflexive muscles. In other words, the limb muscles develops simultaneously, for the mezincaine surrounding the developing bones. So there is the cartilage, and here are the muscles developing around the cartilage. During a personal conversation with Dr. Moore, I showed him Dr. Salder’s statement, and he agreed that it was absolutely valid. Conclusion: Dr. Salder and Dr. Moore agree - There is no time when calcified bones have been formed, and then the muscles are placed around them. The muscles are there, several weeks before there are calcified bones, rather than being added around previously formed bones, as the Qur’an states. The Qur’an is in complete error here. The problems are far from being solved.
Let us return to the ‘Alaqa’ - Dr. Moore also has a
suggestion. He says… ‘Another Verse, in the Qur’an refers to the leech like
appearance, and the chewed like stages of human development’. From this
definition, Dr. Moore has gone ahead to propose…‘There are 23-30 day ------ a
23 day embryo – 3 millimeters long - that is an 8th of an inch. I can hardly
put my fingers there lose together without touching. This is stage 10, shown on
the inside cover of
The early Muslims understood intuitively, the need to know
exactly what the Qur’anic words mean - And for this reason they make comprehensive
studies of their language and poetry. Hence Abu Bakr, former Rector of ‘The
Main Mask in ‘pairs’, brought up this subject at a conference, under one God in
Munkalia, 1985. He posed the question to the audience…‘Has the comprehend of
the text of the Qur’an, known at the time of Mohammed remained stable?’ And his
answer was…‘Ancient poetry shows that it has’. We can only conclude…‘If the
verses which bring spiritual comfort and hope to Muslims have remained stable,
then the scientific statements embedded in those Verses, must also be accepted
as stable, unless new evidence can be brought forward’. This is especially
important, since some of the Verses say that this information is a sign. The
Surah of ‘The Believers’ we saw above, says … ‘He it is, who created you from
dust, then from a sperm drop, then from a clot… ‘Alaqa’ that perhaps you may
understand’. And in the Surah of ‘The Pilgrimage’, He said… ‘O mankind! If you
have doubt about the resurrection, consider. Therefore the question must be
asked…‘If it was a clear sign to the men and women of
He says natural forms this from the purest material… ‘the
flesh’, and from the residue there are, it forms bones. And lastly around the
flesh around the bones, and attached to them by thin fibrous bands, grow the
fleshly parts. Clearly, the Qur’an follows this exactly. Sperm clotting in the
menstrual blood which forms meat - then the bones are formed and lastly around
about the bones grow the fleshly parts. Next we will consider, Indian medicine.
The opinion of Sharaka in 123 A.D., and Shushruta is that…“Both, the male and
female contributed seed. The secretion of the male is called the sukra… semen.
The secretion of the woman is called the Artava… sanita… blood. And it is
derived from the blood by way of …..food, by way of blood” Here we see that in
the mandeson of
The first is that, in which the form of the semen prevails.
The next stage is, when it has been filled with blood - And heart and brain and
liver are still unarticulated and unshaped. This is the period that Hypocrites
called ‘fetus’. The Qur’anic Surah 22:5 reflects this saying…‘Then out of a
morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed. And now the third period of
gestation has come. This…. thus, nature caused flesh to grow on and around all
the bones. We saw above that the Qur’an agrees with this. In Surah 23:14, where
it says… ‘And We clothe the bones with meat’. The fourth and final
period…Sorry, the fourth and final period, is at the stage when all the parts
in the limbs have been differentiated. Galen was so important in medicine, that
just about the time of the Hijra, 4 leading medical men in Alexandria, Egypt,
decided to form a Medical School, using 16 books of Galen, as the basis of the
studies. This continued up to, and including the 13th century. We must now ask
ourselves - What was the political, economic and medical situation in
This made it available to the Guscians, who were Christians
and to the Jewish tribes in
He was born about the middle of the 6th century at Taif, in
the tribe of Bani Sakif. He travelled through Yemen, and then Persia, where he
received his education in the Medical Sciences, at the great Medical School of
Jundi Shapuer - And thus was intimately acquanted with the medical teachings af
Aristotle, Hypocrates and Galen. Having completed his studies, he practiced as
a Physician in
In summary we see that…
1) Arabs living in
2) A cousin of Mohammed, knew Persian well enough, to do his musical studies in it.
3) The Ghasine tribe which ruled the Syrian desert over to
the gates of
4) During Mohammed’s lifetime a new medical school was
5) dressing of bones with muscles.’ The answer is very clear - They were understanding and considering that which was common knowledge, the embryological stages as taught by the Greek physicians.
I don’t mean that Mohammed’s listeners all knew the names of the Greek physicians -
1) But they knew the embryological stages of the Greek physicians. But they knew the embryological stages of the Greek physicians. They believed that the male sperm mixed with the female menstrual blood to cause it to clot, and this became the baby.
2) They believed there was a time when the fetus was formed, and unformed.
3) They believed the bones formed first, and then was covered with muscles. Allah was using that common knowledge as a sign, encouraging the listeners and readers to turn to Him. The trouble is, that this common knowledge was, and is not true. Era of physicians after Mohammed. We must now look at two well-known Physicians, from the period after Mohammed. Obviously they had no effect on the Qur’an, but they demonstrated that faith, and the embryological ideas of Aristotle, Apocrates and Galen, continued among the Arabs right up to the sixteen hundreds. If the correct translation of Alaqa is ‘leach like substance’, as modern Muslims like Shabbir Ali claim, there is no place for these post Qur’anic doctors said so. In fact it is just the opposite. The ideas of these Greek Physicians were being used to explain the Qur’an, and the Qur’an was coded to enlighten the meaning of the Greek Physicians.
The human being takes its origin from two - This is speaking about Evenesena or Avisena. The human being takes its origin from two things – the male sperm which plays the part of factor – the female sperm… first part of the menstrual blood, which provides the matter. Thus we see that Ibn Seena gave the female semen, exactly the same role that Aristotle has assigned to the menstrual blood. It is difficult to overstate the importance of Ibn Seena, as a scientific and philosophical authority, for the pre modern Europeans. Then we are going to look at Ibn Khaima Zaujia. Ibn Khaim took full advantage of the agreement between Qur’anic Revelation and Greek medicine. It is not very clear probably, but the Hippocrates is in purplish, and the Qur’an is an bold type green, and the Hadith is in purple, and commentaries are in red, and his own thoughts, in sort of a blue-green. So it starts out – He is giving - He says Hypocrites said, in the third Ch. of Kitab al-Ajinna….‘The semen is contained in a membrane, and it grows because of the blood of its mother, which descends to the womb. Some membranes are formed at the beginning, others after the second month and others in the third month’. And this phrase about the blood descending to the womb, we saw it when we looked at Hypocrites slide. That is why God said - Here in the Qur’an is mentioned…‘He creates you in the womb of your mothers, by one formation after another, in three darkness - That is Qur’an 39 : 6. Then he gives his own ideas…. ‘Since each of these membranes has its own darkness when God mentioned the stages of creation and transformation from one state to another, He also mentioned the darkness of the membranes’. Most commentators explain, and here are the words of the commentators…‘It is the darkness of the belly and the darkness of the womb and the darkness of the placenta. In a second example, we read, Hippocrates said…‘The mouth opens up spontaneously and the nose and ears are formed from the flesh. The ears are opened and the eyes which are filled with a clear liquid.’ The Prophet used to say… ‘I worship Him who made my face and formed it, and opened my hearing, and eye sight and …… and so forth. Here we look at Hippocrates again, and they are in the second stage - It is the same thing, which I read. Ibn Khaim is quoting Hippocrates, and speaks about the mother’s blood descends around the membrane.
He could do this as we have seen, because the educated people of Mohammed’s time were familiar with Greek medicine. However what is important for us here today to realize is, that there is no place where the Qur’an corrected Greek medicine. There is no place for Ibn Khaim shouting…“Hey you guys you got it this all wrong - the correct meaning of ‘Alaga’ is, ‘that which clings’, or ‘leach’ like substance.” On the other contrary, even Khaima is demonstrating the agreement between the Qur’an and the Greek medicine - Their agreement in error. A final witness is the commentary of Badawi in 1200 A.D. - Here we have the commentary. We have the… we have the Qur’an here, we have his commentary, and here it is being translated. And he says then from ‘Alaqa’…‘a piece of solid blood’, is his explanation of ‘Alaqa’, ‘Alaqa’ is underlined - that is from the Qur’an. And here is his explanation… ‘A piece of solid blood.’ Then he goes on… ‘Then from a piece of meat’ - from the Qur’an. ‘A piece of meat originally as much as can be chewed, and so forth.’ As I mentioned in the beginning of the study, it is been said that the idea of the embryo developing through stages, is a modern one and that the Qur’an is anticipating modern embryology, by depicting different stages. Yet we have seen that Aristotle, Hippocrates, the Indians and Galen have all discussed the stages of embryological development, during the thousand years before the Qur’an. And after the coming of the Qur’an, the court of the different stages, as described by the Qur’an and the Greek doctors, was carried on in the teachings of Abisenia and Ibn Khaim - and is essentially the same as that taught by Galen, and those preceding him. Concerning the bone stage, it is clear as Dr. Moore demonstrated so capably is his text book that muscles start forming from the Semites, at the same time as the cartilage models of the bone. There is no bone stage where there is a skeleton sitting here, and then and then the muscles are plastered around it. It is equally clear that ‘Alaqa’ in the Qur’an, means ‘clot’ - and that the Quraish who heard Mohammed speaking, understood him to be referring to the menstrual blood, as the female contribution to the developing baby.
Therefore we can conclude that during all these years, the Qur’anic Verses on embryology, saying that man is created from a drop of sperm, which becomes the clot, were in perfect record with the science of the 1st century of the Hijra, of the time of the Qur’an. But when compared with the modern science of the 20th century, Hippocrates is in error, Aristotle is in error, Galen is in error, and the Qur’an is in error - They are all in serious error. Now we are going to look a little bit about, ‘moon light.’ Does the Qur’an state that…‘The moon gives off reflected light from the sun’, before his was common knowledge ? In the Surah Noor, 71 : 15 - 16, it says… ‘See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens, one above another and made the moon a light…‘Nur’ in their midst, and made the sun as a lamp…‘Siraj.’ The moon is called a ‘light’…Arabic ‘Nur’ - and the sun a lamp -‘Siraj’. Some Muslims claim that since the Qur’an uses different words, speaking from about the light of the sun, and the light of the moon, it reveals that the sun is a source of light, while the moon only reflects light. This claim is implied very strongly by Shabbir Ali in his booklet…‘Science in the Qur’an’ - and stated clearly by Dr. Zakir Naik in his Video - ‘Is the Qur’an God’s Word’ as you will now see clearly.
(Dr. Zakir Video Clipping) “The light that we have… the
light that we obtain from the moon - where does it come from? So he will tell
me that previously we thought that the light of the moon was its own light. But
today after science has advanced, we have come to know that the light of the
moon is not its own light, but a reflected light of the sun. I will asked him a
question, that its is mentioned in this Qur’an, in Surah
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