The Qur'an and the Bible, in the light of Science - Part 1
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
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
. 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
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
. He worked for twenty years in
, 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.
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.
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
And here you have
the stages according to the Qur’an…
‘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
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
, 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
. 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.
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
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
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
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
’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.
question must be asked…‘If it was a clear sign to the men and women of
, 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
, 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 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
, 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
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
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
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.