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We must now ask ourselves, what was the political, economic and medical situation in Arabia , at the time of Mohammed? From the Hajramount in Yemen , the caravans of the spice trade past North, through Mecca and Medina , and then reached into all of Europe . In North Arabia, in about 500 A.D., the Gazaneeds took over, and by 528, they controlled the Cyrian deserts over to the outskirts of Medina . ‘Syraic’… a form of Aramaic, related to Arabic, was their official language. As early as 463, the Jews translated the Torah and Old Testament from Hebrew, into ‘Syriac’ - The British Museum has a copy.

This made it available to the Guscians, who were Christians and to the Jewish tribes in Arabia . During this time Syrgius Cyrra Cynie who died in Constantinople in 536, one of the earliest and greatest translators from Greek into Syraic, translated various works on medicine, including 26 works of Galen. This made them available in the kingdom of Khasrov   I, in Persia and to the Ghasan tribe, whose influence extended to the outskirts of Medina . Khasrov I, Arabic Khisra, King of Persia, was known as Khasrov the great. His troops conquered areas as far away as Yemen, and he also loved learning, and started several - schools. The school of Jundi Shapueer became during Kasrov first’s long reign of 48 years. The greatest intellectual center of the time. Within it’s walls Greek, Jewish, Nostorian, Persian and Hindu thoughts and experience were freely exchanged. Teaching was done largely in Syriac, from Syraic translations of Greek texts. This method Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen were readily available when the Medical School of Jundi Shapaer was operating during his reign.

The next step was that the conquering Arabs compelled the Nostorians to translate their Cyriac text of Greek medicine, into Arabic. The translation from Syriac to Arabic was easy, as the two languages had the same grammar.

Considering the local medical situation during Mohammed’s life, we know there were physicians living in Arabia during this period. Harith bin Caladia was the best educated physician trained in the healing art. 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 of Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen. Having completed his studies, he practiced as a Physician in Persia, and during this time he was called to the court of King Kkosrov, with whom he had a long conversation. He came back to Arabia about the beginning of Islam, and settled down at Taif. While there, Abu Khair, a King of Yemen came to see him in connection with a certain disease, and on being cured, rewarded him with much money, and a slave girl. Though Harith bin Caladia did not write any book on Medicine, his views on many medical problems are still preserved in his conversation with Kkasrov. About the eye, he says that it constituted of ‘fat’, which is the white spot. The second is constituted with ‘water’, which is the black part. And of ‘wind’ which constitutes the eyesight. All these things we know to be wrong now - But this was Greek thought. All is goes to show the acquaintance of Harith with the Greek doctors.

Summarising  the situation in a few words in his book, ‘Eastward delamitry Arabs’, Dr. Lucaine La’ Clerk writes…Harith bin Caladia studied medicine in Jundi Shapur, and Mohammed owed to Harith the part of his medical knowledge. Thus with the one as well as the other, we easily recognize the traces of Greek medicine. Sometimes Mohammed treated the sick, but in the difficult cases he would send the patients to Harith.

Another educated person around Mohammed, was Nadir bin Harith. Not related to the doctor. He was a Quraishite and cousin of Mohammed, and had also visited the court of Khosrov. He had learned. Persian and music, which he introduced among the Quraish at Mecca. However he was not sympathetic to Mohammed, marking some of the stories in the Qur’an. Mohammed never forgave him for this, and when he was taken prisoner in the battle of Badr, he caused him to be put to death.

In summary we see that…
1) Arabs living in Mecca and Medina in 600, had political and economical relations with people from Ethiopia , Yemen , Persia and Byzantine.
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 Medina, used Syriac. One of the main languages used to teach medicine at Jundishapur is their official language.
4) An ill king of Yemen came to Taif, to consult the physician Harith Bin Caladia, who had been trained well at Jundishapur - the best medical school in that world, and to whom Mohammed sometimes send patients.
5) During Mohammed’s lifetime a new medical school was established in Alexandria , using the 16 books of Galen as their text.

This all shows that there was ample opportunity for Mohammed and the people around him, to have heard the embryological theories of Aristotle, Heppocrates s and Galen, when they went to seek treatment from Harith bin Colada and other local doctors. Thus when the Qur’an says in the late Meccan Surah of ‘The Believer’, 40: 67…‘He it is who created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then from a leach like clot, that perhaps you may understand’. And then in the Surah of ‘The Pilgrimage’… ‘O! Mankind!  If you have doubt about the resurrection, consider that we have created you from dust’.

It is correct for us to ask again, what were they to understand?  What were they to consider? And here are the Qur’anic stages again –

1- Nutfa   ‘sperm’,
2- Alaqa   ‘clot’,
3- Mudga…  ‘piece of meat’,
4- Azaam  bones. And…
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 -  But they knew the embryological stages of the Greek physicians.

1- 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.

Arab 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, Heppocrates 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 Avicenna. 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 Sina 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 Sina, as a scientific and philosophical authority, for the pre modern Europeans.

Then we are going to look at Ibn Qaima Jaujia. Ibn Qaim 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 in 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 Hippocrates 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 Hippocrates 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 Qaim 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 Qaim shouting…“Hey you guys you got it this all wrong - the correct meaning of ‘Alaga’ is, ‘that which clings’, or ‘leech’ like substance.” On the contrary, even Qaim 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 Avicenna and Ibn Qaim - 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 somites, 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. Naik 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 Al- Furqaan , Ch. No..25, Verse No.61…‘Blessed is He, who has created the constellation and placed therein a lamp and a moon which has reflected light. The Arabic word for moon is ‘Qamar’, and the light described there is ‘Munir’- which is borrowed light, or ‘Nur’, which is a ‘reflection of light.’ The Qur’an mentions that the light of the moon is reflected light. You say you discovered it today? …How come it is mentioned in the Qur’an 1400 years ago? He will pause for a time - He won’t reply immediately and then he may say…‘May be, may be it is a fluke.’ I don’t argue with him for sake…..”

(Dr. Campbell) Near the end of the video we heard Dr. Naik explain the Arabic word for ‘moon’ is ‘Qamar’, and the light described there is ‘Munir’, which is ‘borrowed light’ or ‘Nur’, which is a reflection of light.’ Please do not forget what he said…  ‘Munir is borrowed light, and Nur is reflected light.’ Not only is this claim to be a statement in keeping with scientific truth, but it also claimed to be scientifically miraculous, since this was supposedly only discovered relatively, recently.

It is correct that the moon does not emit its own light, but only reflects the light of the sun - But this was known already almost a thousand years before Mohammed. Aristotle in about 360 BC discussed, knowing that the earth was round, by its shadow on the moon. He could only speak of the Earth’s shadow crossing the Moon, if he knew that Moon’s light is reflected light.

If you still insist that this is a miracle of scientific knowledge, then we must ask ourselves…‘Do the Qur’anic words themselves support this claim?’ ‘Siraj’ -  first we shall look at ‘Siraj.’ In  Surah  Nur  which  was  read  above,  in Surah Al Furqaan,  25 : 61,  it is simply ‘lamp’… referring to the Sun. In Surah Naba, 78:13, ‘Siraj Wahjan’ means ‘a dazling lamp’, again indicating the Sun.

The words ‘Nur’ and ‘Munir’ comes from the same Arabic word.

Root: The word Munir is used 6 times in the Qur’an 4 times Suratul Imran, 3 : 184, Al Haj 22 : 8, Lukman 31: 20 and Fatir 35 : 35. It is the phrase ‘Kitabul Munir’, which Yusuf Ali translates as… ‘A book of enlightenment’ and Picktall uses… ‘The Scripture giving light.’ Clearly this indicates a book which is radiating the light of knowledge. Nothing about ‘reflection’… ‘Nur’.

It says in Surah Nur, 71:16 and Yunus, 10:5 that… ‘Allah made the light… the Moon a light.’ Thus we find that the Qur’an says that the Moon is a light, and it never says that the Moon reflects light.

Moreover in other Verses, the Qur’an says that… ‘Allah is a Nur… a light.’ Surah Nur, 24:35, one of the most beautiful passages in the Qur’an reads… ‘Allah is the light… Nur of the Heavens and the Earth. The parable of His light, is as if there was a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp enclosed in glass. The glass as it was a brilliant star and so forth.’ Thus we see that the word ‘Nur’ is used for both, ‘the moon’ and ‘Allah.’ Are we going to say that Allah gives off reflected light?  I think not. But if you continue to insist that ‘Nur’ used for the Moon, means ‘borrowed’ or ‘reflected light’, and we saw above, that Allah is ‘the light’… Nur of the Heavens and the Earth. What is the source of this light? ‘Siraj’, of which Allah is only a reflection?

Think about it! If Allah is named ‘Nur’ or a ‘reflected light’… who or what, is the ‘Siraj’? Well the Qur’an tells us who the ‘Siraj’ is? But the answer will shock you. In Surah Al Ahzab, 33:45, 46 we find… ‘O Prophet!  Surely We have send thee as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner, and as a lamp spreading light. Here it says that Mohammed is the lamp spreading light. In Arabic it is ‘Sirajaan Munira’ Linguistically and spiritually, this is the end of the discussion. Linguistically ‘Siraj’ and the adjective ‘Moon’ here are used together for the same shining thing - the person Mohammed.

It is clear ‘Munir’ does not mean reflected light in this verse or in any other verse. It means shining. The people of Mohammed’s time understood that the Moon was shining, and they were right. Just as the people of Moses’ time understood that the Sun was the greater light, and the Moon the lesser light, and they were right. But if you insist, the Arabic words ‘Nur’ and ‘Moon’ here mean reflected light, then based on the use of these words in the Qur’an, Mohammed is like the ‘Sun’ and ‘Allah’ is like the ‘Moon.’ Does Dr. Naik really want to say that Mohammed is the source of Light, and Allah is only his reflection? Why are these so called scientific claims made, which no Muslim can support, if he make a serious study of his own Qur’an. In a dialogue like tonight it makes an honest discussion very difficult - almost impossible.

Let us go on and look at the water cycle. Some Muslim authors claim that the Qur’an shows pre scientific knowledge of water cycle. What is the water cycle? Here in this slide, you see four steps. The first step is evaporation. The water evaporates from the seas and the earth. Second step it becomes clouds. Third step, it gives rain. And fourth, this rain causes the plants to grow. Seems all very straight forward, and everybody knows 2, 3 and 4. Even if they live in a town, they know that clouds come and rain comes, and the flowers grow. But what about step one – ‘the evaporation.’ We cannot see it. It is difficult. And the Qur’an does not have step one.

Now we are going to look at a Prophet from the Bible - Prophet from 700 B.C… Prophet Amos. And he writes: ‘He who made the Pleiades and Orion, Who turns blackness into dawn, and darkens day into night, and then Who calls out for the waters, of the sea.’…  Stage one. And pours them out over the face of the land… stage three - The Lord (Yahweh) is His name.

And one other Prophet is Job, in 36:26-28, at least a thousand years before the Hijra. He says… ‘How great is God! Beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out. Stage one He draws up the drops of water which distill from the mist as rain. That is stage three. And then the clouds are mentioned – Stage two - Which pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. So here in the Bible, this difficult stage one, is there for more than a thousand years, before the Qur’an.

Now let us go on and look at Mountains. The Qur’an has more than a dozen Verses stating that God placed firm and unmovable mountains on the Earth. And in some of these Verses, the mountains are listed as either a blessing for believers, or a warning for the unbelievers. One example of this is found in the Surah Luqman, 31:10,11, where the mountains are one of five warnings. It says: ‘He has created the heavens without support, that you can see, and has cast aalqa onto the earth…‘firm mountain’–‘Rawaasiya’, lest it should shake with you. In ‘The Prophets’… Al-Ambiya, 21:31, as one of seven warnings we read… ‘And We have set on the earth, firm mountains lest it should shake with you….. with them. ’Finally in ‘The Bee’… Nahl, 16:15, says that… ‘He has cast ‘aalga’ onto the earth… ‘firm mountains’  ‘Rawaasiya’, lest it should shake with you.

We see then that the believers and the Non-believers are told, that Allah has done this great thing. He strolled down and placed the mountains, so that the earth will not shake violently with them. Therefore we must ask ourselves… ‘What did they understand?’

In the next two Verses, another picture is given, ‘The News’, Al-Naba 78 : 6-7… “Have We not made the Earth an expanse, and the mountains as stakes ‘Al – jebaala awtaad’, as those used to anchor a tent in the ground. And then ‘The Overwhelming’ Al-Ghashiya, 88:17-19… ‘Do they…the unbelievers not look at the mountains…  ‘Al-jibaal’… how they have been pitched like a tent?’ Here men are told that the mountains are placed as tent pegs -Tent pegs keep the tents, stable. So again the idea is put forward that the pegs… the mountains will keep the earth from shaking.

A third picture is presented in the word ‘Rawaasiya’, used for mountains. This word comes from the Arabic root ‘Arsa.’ And the same root is used for the Arabic word for ‘anchor.’ To ‘throw out’ or ‘cast the anchor’ is aalgaa almirsaa. So instead of ‘Cast the anchor to keep the ship from moving’. ‘We have cast the mountains, to keep the earth from shaking’. From these pictures, it is clear that Mohammed’s followers understood that the mountains were thrown down like tent pegs, to keep a tent in place like an anchor to hold the ship in place. To stop the earth from moving or limit earthquakes.

But in fact this is false. The forming of mountains causes earthquake. Therefore these Verses present a definite problem. Dr. Maurice Bucaile recognized this, and discussed them in his book… ‘The Bible, the Qur’an and Science.’ After quoting the above Verses about ‘Mountains’, he says… ‘Modern Geologists described the faults in the Earth, as giving foundations to the mountains, and the stability of the Earth’s crust results from this phenomenon of these faults. When asked about this, Professor of Geology, Dr. David A. Young says… ‘While it is true that many mountain ranges are composed of folded rocks and the folds maybe of large scale, it is not true that the folds render the crust stable. The very existence of the fold, is evidence of instability in the crust.’ In other words, mountains don’t keep the earth from shaking - their formation caused and still causes the surface of the earth to shake.

Geological theories of the present time propose, that the hardened crust of the earth is made of sections and plates, which slowly move with relation to each other. Sometimes the plates separate, like North and South America, separating from Europe and South Africa . And some times they go together and they slide next to each other, and they bump into each other, and then they cause earthquakes. An example of this type of mountain formation is found in the Middle East, where the migration of Arabia towards Iran , has resulted in the Zagross range in Iran. In many parts of the world, as one travels along the roads, one sees a hillside, where the sand storm layers which were horizontal when they were deposited, are now sticking up at angles. And so here you can see, these sand storm layers, which were horizontal in the beginning, now they are striking up at 75 degrees. They were pushed up there by an earthquake, by the mountains being formed.  

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