Embryology in the Qur’an: A description of the ‘Alaqah stage

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Last Updated 29 March 2014.

Photograph of a human embryo during the fourth week with visible body segmentation. (The Human Body. The Incredible Journey from Birth to Death, © BBC Worldwide Ltd, 1998) .

Photograph of a human embryo during the fourth week with visible body segmentation. (The Human Body. The Incredible Journey from Birth to Death, © BBC Worldwide Ltd, 1998).

The Qur’an mentions the term alaqah علقة as the second stage of human prenatal development. The word ‘alaqah according to many linguistic Arabic dictionaries has several meanings: “leech”, “coagulated blood”, “blood clot”, or “the early stage of the embryo”.  In this illustrated paper, the term ‘alaqah is defined and described in detail. The general shape of the embryo is described,  internal events such as the formation of blood and closed vessels are mentioned as well as the attachment of the embryo to the placenta. Until recently these details were not fully appreciated, since they referred to details in human development which were scientifically unknown in earlier times.

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Download screen viewing PDF (version 1.90 27 March 2014): Embryology in the Qur’an: A description of the Alaqah stage (Screen)

 

UpdatedDownload PDF optimized for printing (version 1.90 27 March 2014): Embryology in the Qur’an: A description of the Alaqah stage (Print)

How to read a translation of the Qur’an

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The world's largest Qur'an

The world’s largest Qur’an

Certain Orientalists have described the sacred Book as filled with “obscure sentences and strange words.” Its text was also dubbed as “of perplexed state”, “a wearisome jumble, crude and incondite” and its “very words were inherently and perniciously defective.”

A recent Orientalist also asserted that the Qur’anic style was: mechanically repetitious, of limited lexical range, filled with clumsy syntax, unjustifiable pleonasm and rhetoric embellishment in many parts …” Continue reading

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