Leaving Islam




The Qur'an and the Bible, in the light of Science - Part 1

(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 North America . For today's unique dialogue, the two main moderators are Dr. Mohammed Naik representing Dr. Zakir Naik, and Dr. Samuel Naaman representing Dr. William Campbell.It is my duty to ensure a fair and proper conduct of this meeting - therefore we request our speakers as well as the audience, to maintain due decorum for a healthy dialogue.With that, I would request Dr. Samuel Naaman to give the introduction of Dr. William Campbell - Assalamu Alaikum.

(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 Cleveland Ohio at Casewestren Reserve University . He worked for twenty years in Morocco , where he learnt Arabic.  After 7 years in Tunesia, he wrote his book, answering Dr. Maurice Bucaille. He is a convinced Christian, who likes to explain the Injeel or the Gospel, to everyone. At age 74, Dr. Campbell is retired with 10 grandchildren. And we are really thankful, and we are really happy to be with you tonight - Thank you.

(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 up to, 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 are 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 – ‘Khunbaste’ … ‘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 North Africa , both of these meanings are still used. Many patients have come to me to ask for a clot to be removed from their throat, … and many women have come to me and told me their period did not come. When I say… ‘I am sorry, I cannot give you medicine to bring your period, because I believe that is a baby.’ The will say ‘Mazaaltem’- It is still blood.’ So they were understanding these ideas of the Qur’an.

Lastly we must consider the first verses which came to Mohammed, in Mecca . These are found in the 96th Surah called ‘Alaqa’ … ‘Clots’ - from the very word that we are studying. In 96: 1, 2, we … read…  ‘Proclaim in the name of your Lord, who created.’ Created man from Alaq’. Here the word is in the collective plural. This form of the word can have other meanings, because ‘Alaq’ is also the derived verbal noun of the word ‘Alaqa’. The verbal noun usually corresponds to the gerent in English as in a sense … ‘Swimming is fun’. Therefore we could expect it to mean hanging or clinging or adhering. But the ten translators listed above have all used ‘clot’ or ‘congealed blood’ in this verse too.

In spite of the number and qualifications of these translators who used the word ‘clot’, the French Doctor, Maurice Bucaille has sharp words for them. He writes … ‘What is more likely to mislead the enquiring reader, is once again the problem of vocabulary?’ The majority of translations describe - for example, man’s formation … from a blood clot. A statement of this kind is totally unacceptable to scientists specialising in the field. This shows how great the importance of an association, between linguistic and scientific knowledge is, when it comes to grasping the meaning of Qur’anic statements, on reproduction. Put in other words, Bucaille is saying …‘No body has translated the Qur’an correctly, until I Dr. Bucaille came along.’

How does Dr. Bucaille think that it should be translated? He proposes that instead of ‘clot’, the word ‘Alaqa’ should be translated as, ‘something which clings’, which would refer to the fetus being attached to the uterus through the placenta. But as all you ladies who have been pregnant now, the thing which clings does not stop its clinging to become chewed meat. It keeps on being a thing which clings, which is attached by the placenta for 8 and a half months.

Thirdly, these verses say that…‘The chewed meat becomes bones, and then the bones are covered with muscles. They give the impression that first the skeleton is formed and then it is clothed with flesh - And Dr. Bucaille knows perfectly well, that this is not true. The muscles and the cartilage precursors of the bones, start forming from the somite 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 fertilization, the ribs would be cartilaginous … not bones - And muscles will be present’. Also at this time, ossification 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 develop simultaneously, for the mesenchyme 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 that close together without touching. This is stage 10, shown on the inside cover of Moore ’s book. This is the beginning, and here is the sperm entering the egg - So that is stage 1. Comes down here to stage 6th in the second week. And here is the 3rd week. And there is the first stage 10, and here is day 23, and this is what Dr. Moore wants to say… ‘looks like a leech’. If we could look further though, and look at the X-Ray… Here is day 22 and the back bone is still open. And when we look at day 23 the back bone is open there, and it is open there, and the head is wide open - It does not look like a leech at all. And if you keep on  this is the diagram of it -The head is open, the nogstral neurropore, and finally this diagram shows there is the 20 day embryo. It is got a yolk sac, it is got an umbilicus - It does not look like a leech at all.

The problem… the great problem with these two definitions for the word ‘Alaqa’, is that no confirming examples have been provided, from the Arabic used. In the centuries surrounding the Hijr, the only way to establish the meaning of the word, is by usage. The only way to establish whether the singular form ‘Alaqa’ can mean a 3 millimeters ‘embryo’, or ‘the thing that clings’, is to bring census, demonstrating this usage from the letter, throughout the Arabs of Mecca and Medina, close to the time of Mohammed, especially from the language of the Quraish. This will not be an easy task because much work has already been done on the clear Arabic, of the Quraish. 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 Mecca and Medina , what did they understand from the word ‘Alaqa’ which would lead them to faith, in the resurrection?’ The answer: We are going to examine the historical situation leading up to the time of Mohammed, to see what Mohammed and his people believed about embryology. We will start with Hippocrates. According to the best evidence, he was born on the Greek island of Cuss , in 460 B.C. And he has stages. His stages are as follows:

The sperm is a product which comes from the whole body of each parent - Weak sperm coming from the weak parts and strong sperm from the strong parts. Then he goes ahead and talks about the coagulation of the mother’s blood. The seed embryo, then is contained in the membrane. Moreover it grows because of it’s mother’s blood, which descends to the womb - For once a woman conceives, she ceases to menstruate.

Then about flesh - He says… ‘At this stage, with the descent in coagulation of the mother’s blood, flesh begins to be formed with the umbilicus. And lastly bones - He says…‘As the flesh grows it is formed in this distinct members by breath. The bones grow hard, and send out ….branches like a tree.

Next we will look at Aristotle. In his book on the generation of animals, sometime about 350 B.C., he gives his stages of embryology and he talks about ‘first semen’ and ‘menstrual blood’ or ‘catemania’. In this section, Aristotle speaks of the male semen, as being in a pure state. It follows, that what the female would contribute to the semen of the male, would be material for the semen to work on. In other words, the semen clots the menstrual blood. Then he goes to flesh. 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 Artavasanita… blood. And it is derived from the blood by way of …..food, by way of blood” Here we see that in the mandeson of India , they too had the idea that the child was formed from semen and blood.

Now we shall look at Galen. Galen was born in 131 A.D, in Pergamon. Modern Bergamum in Turkey. Galen says… Semen, the substance from which the fetus is formed, is not merely menstrual blood, as Aristotle maintained - But menstrual blood plus the two semen. The Qur’an agrees with Galen here, when it says in Surah 76:2, ‘We created man from a drop of mingled sperm’.

Now we look at the Galen stages. Galen also taught that the embryo developed in stages. 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 Hippocrates 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.


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