What is the matter with you, [that you fear not Allah (His punishment), and] you hope not for reward (from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness). While He has created you in (different) stages.]
Allah, the Almighty, says: [What is the matter with you, [that you fear not Allah (His punishment), and] you hope not for reward (from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness). While He has created you in (different) stages.] (Nuh: 13-14)
The Scientific Fact:
In 1651, Harvey was the first person to study the embryo of a hen using a simple lens. In addition, he studied deer embryos. Due to the difficulty of following up the early stages of pregnancy, he concluded that an embryo is no more than some secretions of the womb. In 1672, Graaf discovered what was later known as Graafian follicles. He also observed the wombs of some pregnant rabbits and came to the conclusion that an embryo is not formed by secretions from the womb; rather, from the ovary. The very tiny tissues observed earlier by Graaf were no more than cavities in the blastocysts. In 1675, Malpighi found embryos in the eggs of some hens. At first he thought that the eggs were in no need of being fertilized and that they contained a little organism that grows without going through stages. Using a more advanced microscope, Hamm and Leeuwenhoek discovered human sperm, for the first time in history in 1677. Yet, they failed to perceive its significant role in conception. They even thought that a sperm contains a tiny human being that grows in the womb without going through any stages of development. In 1759, Wolff suggested that an embryo develops from primitive formations that do not have the form of a complete human being. In 1775, all such arguments and disputations came to an end, i.e. an embryo grows up through stages. The experiments performed by Spallanzani on dogs confirmed the importance of sperm in the process of impregnation. Before that, there was only one idea that sperms are strange beings. It is because of such a belief that sperms were given the name of semen animals. One hundred and fifty years after the discovery of sperms and exactly in 1827, von Baer observed the ovum in the ovary of a dog. In 1839, Schlieden and Schwann became sure that a human being is formed from basic living units that were given the name ‘cells’. Later on, the idea of the creation of a human being from a cell that comes into being as a result of the union of a sperm and an ovum became easily understood.
Facets of Scientific Inimitability:
This Qur’anic text shows that a human embryo does not come all of a sudden without due development, as was commonly believed since Aristotle until the 19th century. The text also stresses the fact that a human embryo goes through various stages of development, something that applies to all people of all races and generations.
The history of embryology shows that embryologists, in the past, were unable to discern the creation of embryos. The Ever-Glorious Qur’an declared this fact as early as the seventh century. It tells us that a human being goes through various stages of development and that stands as a living evidence of the wisdom of Allah and His Power. These stages apply to all people of all races and generation and this proves His Oneness.