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The Creation of Man as Mentioned in the Quran

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

We are living in an era of information explosion in which data, news and knowledge of all kinds stream into our lives 24/7 via multiple media inlets, so much so that now it has become a challenge to pick and choose that input which we want to receive; which we deem relevant. Pregnancy, childbirth, infant care and parenting topics are no exception.

From detailed pregnancy books to 3D-animated videos; subscriptions that facilitate personalized, week-by-week email pregnancy updates, to extensive online obstetric resources and pediatric websites, an expectant mother nowadays is amply aware of every change that is going on inside her body, as it happens or even beforehand.

The Quran revealed the process of the creation of man long before science gave every part of his anatomy, down to the inner contents of his individual cells, a unique name and pictorial description.

In fact, in the Quran, Allah described the chronological phases of fetal growth and development 14 centuries ago, long before any ultrasound machine existed:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُطْفَةً فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ

ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

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 into a clot, then We fashioned the clot into a little lump, then We fashioned the little lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, and then produced it another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!” [23:12-14]

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُكُمْ طِفْلًا ثُمَّ لِتَبْلُغُوا أَشُدَّكُمْ ثُمَّ لِتَكُونُوا شُيُوخًا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّى مِن قَبْلُ وَلِتَبْلُغُوا أَجَلًا مُّسَمًّى وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

It is He Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop, then from a leech-like clot; then does he get you out (into the light) as a child: then lets you (grow and) reach your age of full strength; then lets you become old,- though of you there are some who die before;- and lets you reach a term appointed; in order that you may learn wisdom.” [40:67]

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, this reference to man’s creation from “تُرَابٍ”, or dust, implies the origin of mankind viz. the creation of the first human being, Prophet Adam [عليه السلام], from dust: “[“And Allah did create you from dust, then from Nutfah”], means, He initiated the creation of your father Adam from dust, then He created his offspring from semen of worthless water.”

Modern science has, by now, explained the entire process of the creation of a human being, down to those minute, microscopic intricacies that were invisible to the human eye centuries ago.

Many times in the Quran, Allah draws our attention to the way we were created. It is interesting to remember though, that at the time when these verses were revealed, human beings had limited knowledge about the process of human birth, unlike now.

Why would Allah then invite us to ponder on the origin of our creation? The contexts in which He mentions our origins lead to some interesting observations. But first, lets analyze the word most oft-repeated in the Quran when Allah mentions man’s creation:

The “nutfah”

The root of this word is: نَطَفَ يَنطِفُ – natafa yantifu: “To flow gently, trickle, ooze, drop.”

The dictionary meaning of the word nutfah” is – “Drop of fluid; semen“.

النطفة: الماء الصافي، قَلَّ اَوْ كثرَ – “It is clear liquid, a little or a lot. From this it is used for ماء الرجل maa-ur rajul: The water (semen) of a man.”

ليلةٌ نَطوف is when it rains all night long.

Man is a disputer

Allah says in the Quran:

خَلَقَ الإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ

He (Allah) has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer!” [16:4]

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الْإِنسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُّبِينٌ

Does not man see that it is We Who created him from a sperm-drop? Yet behold! He (stands forth) as an open disputer!” [36:77]

The word خَصِيمٌ is derived from خَصمَ which means “he contended with in an altercation“, and the word الخِصَام means “the statements that a listener is made to hear, which may cause him to desist or refrain from his assertion, plea or claim“.

In another place in the Quran, Allah says about man: “وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ” – “And he is the most rigid of opponents” [2:204], where this word الخِصَام is used again to describe man.

Question is, why does Allah mention the origin of man (the nutfah) along with the fact that man is an open disputer?

Man disputes about Allah; about religion; about being right. Sometimes, man goes on arguing even if he possesses little knowledge of what he is arguing about, just to prove himself to be right, or to be better, than his “opponent”.

This type of arguing and disputing is, usually, less about establishing the haqq and abolishing falsehood, and more about one-upping the adversary to come out looking better, or on the right path, as the definition of the word الخِصَام implies; also, to attempt to make the adversary clam up and desist from putting forth their claims or opinions.

Allah mentions how man was created from nothing but a microscopic sperm, which is not even visible, and yet he grows into a creature who argues about the very being that created Him from this miniscule little drop of fluid – he disputes about Allah, His attributes, or any other aspect of Islam, to avoid submitting to Him – the Creator who not just created him, but also gave him provision since day one to make him grow, acquire a physical form, then be blessed with sight, hearing, and intellect:

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا

Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him. So We gave him Hearing and Sight.” [76:2]

Man falls into disbelief and ingratitude

Another context in which Allah mentions the origin of man as being from the nutfah, is the fact that man falls into kufr, i.e. when he grows up, he starts to deny Allah’s blessings, or to belie His Prophets and their monotheistic message, or reject Allah’s commands, refusing obstinately to obey them. Kufr also constitutes the denial of the establishment of the Hour (الساعة).

In Surah Al-Kahf, a man who owned 2 luscious gardens was conversing with his pious companion and bragging about possessing more wealth and a larger family than him. He went on to say that “I do not think that this (wealth) will perish – ever. And I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.” [18:34-36]

His pious companion, who was a believer, responds by making him recall how Allah created him, saying:

قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلًا

His companion said to him, in the course of the argument with him: “Do you deny Him Who created you out of dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned you into a man?”” [18:37]

In this context, Allah warns us through these verses of the Quran, not to fall into the same trap – that if we have been blessed with abundant wealth and a large family, we should not be fooled by this superfluous worldly benefits into denying the absolute reality of the imminence of the Hour (الساعة).

Heedlessness about the Akhirah makes one slowly slip down the slope of adherence to the commands of Deen, and disbelief starts to creep into our hearts like rust, chipping away our faith in Allah and in the Akhirah.

One of the ways suggested, in the above verse of the Quran, to keep ourselves humble before Allah and firmly grounded in the correct belief (aqeedah), is to remember our origin – our creation. How, once, we were nothing more than a tiny embryo, a single ovum fertilized by a single sperm (مِن نُّطْفَةٍ), from which Allah fashioned us into a complete, symmetrical, fair-looking human being (سَوَّاكَ) in our mothers’ wombs, having a body that contains innumerable anatomical systems (respiratory, nervous, digestive, cardio-, reproductive etc.) functioning together in perfect unison:

مِن نُّطْفَةٍ خَلَقَهُ فَقَدَّرَهُ

From a sperm-drop He had created him, and then moulds him in due proportions;” [80:19]

وَأَنَّهُ خَلَقَ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَى – مِن نُّطْفَةٍ إِذَا تُمْنَى

That He did create in pairs,- male and female, from a seed when lodged (in its place);” [53:45-46]

The “miracle” of our creation enables us to recognize and remain in total awe of Allah’s limitless powers. That in turn allows us to submit to Him and to His message conveyed to us through His Prophets.

For surely, the Magnificent Creator who fashioned a complete living being out of a mere sperm drop, can resurrect that same human being hundreds of years after his death; after his total decomposition into nothingness.

Because for the One for whom the first, original creation was so easy, the resurrection will be even easier:

كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

“…Even as We produced the first creation, so shall We produce a new one; a promise We have undertaken. Truly shall We fulfil it.” [21:104]

The “despicable” water

Another context in which Allah mentions the creation of man, is how he originates from a “lowly” water viz. human semen. Whilst the first human being was created and fashioned from dust, his progeny continued on earth via this water:

أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّاء مَّهِينٍ

Have We not created you from a fluid (held) despicable?” [77:20]

The place in the human anatomy from where this “despicable” water originates is also mentioned by Allah:

فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ – خُلِقَ مِن مَّاء دَافِقٍ – يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ

Now let man but think from what he is created. He is created from a drop emitted. Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.” [86:5-7]

Allah then goes on to exhort how, if He could create a human progeny from such a water that gushes forth from man’s own body, He is utterly and completely able to recreate man in the Akhirah, after his death and decomposition in this world/dunya:

إِنَّهُ عَلَى رَجْعِهِ لَقَادِرٌ

Surely He (Allah) is able to bring him back (to life)!” [86:8]

Allah mentions 3 other words in another place in the Quran where He mentions the “despicable” water – “طِين”,”نسل” and “سلالة”:

الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الْإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ – ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن مَّاء مَّهِينٍ

Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised.” [32:7-8]

The point that comes across is how Allah brought every one of us into this world from a mere drop of fluid – a fluid that is considered dirty, lowly and worthy of being washed off and discarded; which emanates from a part of the body that is also kept hidden and considered shameful; a part that excretes the filth (urine) from our bodies.

Furthermore, when a human baby comes into this world, it again does so through the same anatomical part of his mother’s body.

Allah reminds man again and again of his lowly and inferior origins, of his first and subsequent creation, in order to cull his arrogance and reinforce his belief in Allah’s absolute power of creation and resurrection.

Because as long as we keep reminding ourselves of how we were created, how we were born, and how we came into existence from nothing, to ultimately grow bigger and take the shape of a functioning human being from the merger of two tiny cells, we will perhaps be able to stop doubting how Allah will put us back together in the Akhirah when the Hour is established.

Sadaf Farooqi is a postgraduate in Computer Science who has done the Taleem Al-Quran Course from Al-Huda International, Institute of Islamic Education for Women, in Karachi, Pakistan. 11 years on, she is now a homeschooling parent of three children, a blogger, published author and freelance writer. She has written articles regularly for Hiba Magazine, SISTERS Magazine and Saudi Gazette. Sadaf shares her life experiences and insights on her award-winning blog, Sadaf's Space, and intermittently teaches subjects such as Fiqh of Zakah, Aqeedah, Arabic Grammar, and Science of Hadith part-time at a local branch of Al-Huda. She has recently become a published author of a book titled 'Traversing the Highs and Lows of Muslim Marriage'. For most part, her Jihad bil Qalam involves juggling work around persistent power breakdowns and preventing six chubby little hands from her computer! Even though it may not seem so, most of her time is spent not in doing all this, but in what she loves most - reading.

74 Comments

74 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hannah

    February 3, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Love this masha’Allah. So informative and truly beneficial. The Qur’an is truly a miracle. Jazak Allah khayr for posting!

    • Avatar

      Chris

      April 1, 2016 at 12:40 PM

      The Romans wrote this in the 2 nd century in detail . ?

      • Avatar

        Adnan

        May 8, 2016 at 9:08 PM

        Brother Chris do you have any proof?

      • Avatar

        Maryam

        May 22, 2016 at 8:14 AM

        You trembling while you saying this lie. You will have to answer to the Almighty Allah on the day of judgement for lying.

      • Avatar

        Michael Angel

        August 30, 2016 at 4:39 AM

        If it is true then it would have been evident otherwise keep your ignorance to yourself.

      • Avatar

        Miah Muhammad Adel

        December 20, 2016 at 10:32 PM

        QA medical college dean accepted Islam from these description. If you are telling the truth, this dean would not refer to these amazing verses.

  2. Avatar

    Umm Sulaim

    February 3, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    The human anatomy is marvellous and whenever I ponder over it, I am left in awe of Allah.

    The complexity and delicate nature of the anatomy leads some persons to disbelieve in Allah’s Creation of man, as they rate Allah with human abilities; if humans cannot do it, no one can.

    Six years ago, I taught my students the creation of Adam; the class was very lively.

    Umm Sulaim

    • Avatar

      Ceci

      December 15, 2015 at 4:21 PM

      YAHWEH created everything, the lowly Mohamed borrowed his ideas of creation from his indoctrination into the Catholic faith when he was married at a young age to a wealthy catholic widow.

      • Avatar

        Adnan

        May 8, 2016 at 9:19 PM

        Ceci, First of all you need to show some respect and stop using the word lowly for Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Now let me clear one thing to you, Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is not a God. He is not the Creator. There is Only one creator and we Muslims use the name Allah for the creator. Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the Messenger of Allah as was Moses (P.B.U.H).
        Do you have any proof that all that is mentioned in Quran about the creation of humans already exists in any of Catholic scriptures?

      • Avatar

        Maryam

        May 22, 2016 at 8:20 AM

        Ceci cela, why don’t you read and learn instead?

      • Avatar

        ali

        June 5, 2016 at 9:25 AM

        it is lies what you say

      • Avatar

        Michael Angel

        August 30, 2016 at 4:49 AM

        I think you are marketing your religion, but you are failing to sell and from your abusive language, I can see that you are frustrated, so it is time for you to acknowledge the truth and with humility prostrate down to Allah, and something for your thought that Allah is mentioned in every religion, like Jesus in the cross, cried out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

    • Avatar

      Ceci

      December 15, 2015 at 4:24 PM

      Only YAHWEH is the true creator . the lowly Mohamed borrowed his ideas of creation from his indoctrination into the Catholic faith when he was married at a young age to a wealthy catholic widow.

      • Avatar

        christina marrie madden

        January 2, 2016 at 12:30 PM

        Not to seem rude ceci but in the hebrew language of Aramaic actually refers to more then one god as ik that i have looked into this about the actual translation of the creation story myself in hebrew language of Aramaic at the beginning of time itself i found out it what totally different from what i was raised to believe in the bible we have here in the us and since no one helped a roman man translate the real creation story in the hebrew language of Aramaic he never had asked a rabi to assist him in translating the creation story he made up a version to one all powerful god instead of many gods like the Hebrew bible actually says Yahweh is only one of the creator’s but see in my religion i am now refers to his actual name as cronus or but we also worship his mother gaia the first off the creator’s was she little religions refer to her like my religion now and my native culture also refers to the mother earth as in the earth goddess in my religion and the pegan religion and the hindu religion the Buddhist religion and many more refer to her too as the real ruler of the earth itself he’s just one of her children himself

      • Avatar

        Haniya

        June 16, 2016 at 11:19 PM

        When we humans criticize or use abusive language for someone our inner self regrets it.
        So no need for anyone to tell u that u said wrong because u yourself know ..

        AT LEAST, be faithful to your OWN inner soul and respect your instincts!

      • Avatar

        Haniya

        June 16, 2016 at 11:20 PM

        My reply was for Cecci

  3. Avatar

    'Uthmān

    February 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    People might be interested to read the following paper recently published by iERA. It undertakes a thorough re-examination of the Qur’anic description of the human embryo’s development in light of modern research in the field. It also seeks to dismantle the plagiarisation thesis put forward by many non-Muslims who seek to explain away the Qur’an’s description by claiming that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) copied from the works of Galen and Aristotle (wa na’udhubillah).

    http://www.iera.org.uk/downloads/Embryology_in_the_Quran_v1.1.pdf

    I say gone are the days when we can exclaim “Keith Moore!” at every given opportunity for Da’wah. Especially when he has apparently said that his views/comments have been misrepresented by Muslims.

    • Avatar

      Hop Sing

      August 26, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Hmm, I don’t think the issue is plagiarism but rather that by the time of the Prophet of God, Muhammad, peace be upon him, the stages and mechanisms of human reproduction were fairly well known, well researched and well documented in the entirety of the Mediterranean Basin and the Near East. It wasn’t just the Hellenic scientific writers but many, many Persian and Arabic scholars too, who documented and publicly discussed such matters centuries before the Holy Quran was delivered. In that historical and cultural context, the accuracy and specificity of the Quran on such matters, while admirable intellectually, is hardly mystifying or inexplicable by means other than resorting to divine inspiration.

      Moreover, clearly Allah as the creator of all knew these things in the time of Moses and before just as surely as he did in the time of Muhammad. He could have disclosed this wisdom to man long prior to its discovery by pagans, but did not do so. This, in turn, fuels speculation as to the origin of the reproductive cycle description in the Quran as being a rote recordation of general scholarly knowledge at the time rather than anything novel or divinely sent. I think characterizing this as plagiarism misstates the actual scholarship and ignores some very obvious historical facts.

      • Avatar

        Aly Balagamwala

        August 27, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        the stages and mechanisms of human reproduction were fairly well known, well researched and well documented in the entirety of the Mediterranean Basin and the Near East. It wasn’t just the Hellenic scientific writers but many, many Persian and Arabic scholars too, who documented and publicly discussed such matters centuries before the Holy Quran was delivered

        Can you provide some citations to this statement? As my limited knowledge on his subject leads me to believe this was not known even in the Renaissance period.

        Aly
        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        rajugobor

        January 2, 2016 at 4:42 AM

        but the fundemental womens ovum or egg was left out due possibly to ignorance of this process…

      • Avatar

        alma

        July 11, 2016 at 5:17 AM

        while there was some limited knowledge during the era of Helenic time the people and scientists of this time and era have made many incorrect conclusion
        for example ,Aristotle or other close to him have made some wrong claims, thus one should think how did Prophet Muhammad know what to distinguish as the wright and the wrong information. If he copied these info as some claim how come he knew what to included and what to exclude in the Quran. hmmmm
        There were some other speculations with regards to human development but mostly wrong ones. So a person should ask him self a question how on earth did Prophet know what is the correct information to be used.

    • Avatar

      Jack

      July 2, 2016 at 6:50 PM

      God and Allah are inventions of men in order to quell the unruly humans of the time for fear of losing control of them. Of all the animals on earth, man is the worst animal in existence. Where we come from and how we were created is simply unknown to us at this time. Religions of the world may mean well but their stories are becoming more and more baseless. Unfortunately these same religions provide devicive forces thus throwing us humans against one another. Let’s at least help one another, we are really all the same except for our ideologies. Let’s all become humanistic instead and let go the old medieval religions pretending to know all that there is.

      • Avatar

        alma

        July 11, 2016 at 5:18 AM

        try just once to put your head on the floor and call upon the one who created us all
        give it some time and see what you feel you have to be honest though

      • Avatar

        Michael Angel

        August 30, 2016 at 5:44 AM

        I think you are confined in a narrow view and you have a religion which is to deviate others to follow you. You have mentioned, that man is the worst animal in existence, but I think you are convinced by your own prejudice , if you look closely you will see that majority of the human race are good, it is the few handful of people cause turmoil’s in the world, like Hitler, one man caused all that calamity. The good thing about human is the architecture of the brain, which is composed with excellence and formed with enriched intelligent information. A precision engineering that generates realism in perfection of the surrounding ideas in any one time, it apprehends the reality in true definition. Our mind complements the defined perfection of ideas which is around us and to understand, it gives meaning in our existence because without our perceptions the ideas are futile and every idea reveals meaning with logical information and has principles of life and we can also excel with knowledge and transcends towards the superlative knowledge. You should ask now who produced this beautiful design, this abstract mechanism that creates perception cannot exist by itself, surely there is a contriver.

  4. Avatar

    Khan

    February 4, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    jazakAllaahu khairan sister, for this beneficial reminder.

  5. Avatar

    ummmanar

    February 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    mashallah beautiful post and amazing,jazkallhukhir

  6. Avatar

    Aziza

    February 4, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    MashaAllah beautiful, JazakAllah Khair for this crucial reminder dear sister.
    I love the way this article made me feel so….small. So humble and so totally and utterly dependent on Allah. Reflecting on our lowly origins is definitely something that we all must do to get ourselves back on track.

  7. Avatar

    Umm

    February 4, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    loved the article
    jazakillahukhairan

  8. Avatar

    Saleha

    February 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    We often overlook how much can be learned from Quranic sources. Islam encompasses several paradigms that benefit mankind in guidance and righteousness, as well as in scientific knowledge and the progression of human physiology.

    I like how this article links the stages of human development from within the fetus, to being ridden with psychological emotions such as disbelief and ingratitude. We need only to re-trace our steps to find our point of origin. This way we can better ourselves in the eyes of Allah swt.

    JazakAllahu-Khair for the article!

  9. Avatar

    osams

    February 7, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Mashallah a great reminder, but I have to admit I thought the article was going to also address the origin of Homo sapiens in the biological sense….  maybe in the future inshallah

    • Avatar

      Jjwhite2000

      February 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      • Avatar

        osams

        February 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        jazakallahu khair.  I agree with the answer as it relates to evolution in geeral, but it still did not fully address my question…  From the Quran one can surmise that Adam and Eve descended physically from heaven, so was there introduction to the biosphere something that could be classified as the proliferation of an invasive species which wiped out other hominids via competition?  Or did they come down in a form which we would now call proto-human?      

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  12. Avatar

    yahman

    December 6, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Al salam alikum,
    I am a confused Muslim, I need someone to help me understand. why does god say we created man, instead of saying I created man? who is we? why does god say man instead of saying human? what about women? aren’t women created from a drop of sperm just like men?

    • Avatar

      Ahmad Ali

      October 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Walaikum Assalam brother. there is no need to be confused. The Quran in arabic mentions the creation of ” الْإِنسَانَ ” transliterated as “Insaan” which means “human/s”.. the translator actually means “mankind” when he says “man” as that is the way it is usually is meant. and same is the case with “we”. As Quran mentions it clearly in Surah Al’Ikhlaas:

      بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
      قُلۡ هُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ
      اَللّٰہُ الصَّمَدُ
      لَمۡ یَلِدۡۙ وَ لَمۡ یُوۡلَدۡ
      وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّهّ کُفُوًا اَحَدٌ

      “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He neither begets nor is born. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

      the translation can never be accurate as the arabic itself, as arabic is a very complex language. it is impossible to fully understand arabic by merely the translation, You have to look for different translations and interpretations of the sentence or even just a word..
      May ALLAH bless you brother
      Assalam Alaikum..

  13. Avatar

    usmi

    January 11, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    brother yahman, i am sending mine e mail id pls contact me on face book or yahoo id, in sha allah we will argue on this important topic,

  14. Avatar

    Zito Miah

    January 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    New post: Embryology in the Quran-correlation studies http://islampapers.com/2012/03/16/moore/

  15. Avatar

    Ahmad Ali

    October 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Yes, how can I be of service?

  16. Avatar

    Halima

    March 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Salam alaikom,Allah bless you my sister, such an enriching article that portrays again the magnificy and beauty of the Quran and Islam.
    I am a student and I have a debate about the following topic: “Are humans descended from apes?”. I am against as any Muslim but it ‘s an exam and my opponents(who are for) are american students and will blow me with refutation and I am afraid I lose the debate .Can you please advise me or give me some strong pertinent arguments because the only argument I CAN FIND is religious.The teacher always tells us : “you should know your opponents arguments “. That ‘s true but they will have more strong arguments starting from Darwin’s theory to whatever fact.I am therefore very sad because once they provoke me using sarcasm , I tend to be affected. Would you mind
    guide me over this topic so that I can at least peacefully pass this debate.
    Thank you so much and please all my apologies if I disturbed you. Anyway, I appreciate your help. Salam

  17. Avatar

    zizu6

    April 11, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Great article. I just want to emphasise on the mentioning of the word “clay”. Allah has told us that he has made us from clay which is a mixture of water and the earths crust. Nutritionist and Bio Chemists now agree that the human body will not function in its optimum level if it is deficient in one or more of the 92 mineral elements found in the ocean (around 65% of the elements) and earths crust ( around 35% of elements). I need to do more research on this but it just shows you the Miracle that is the Quran gives you the key to open up so many doors. God bless you all.

  18. Avatar

    Kamal abi bakr

    May 9, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Jazakillahu khair,sister

  19. Avatar

    Sobiabhatti

    May 18, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    I was reading about shakhseyat ki taqmeel and there for I was researching on this question that who am I? and Wht is our origin ? So I have opened this site and I have got too much information from here .

  20. Avatar

    SALLEH

    June 26, 2015 at 9:55 PM

    فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ – خُلِقَ مِن مَّاء دَافِقٍ – يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَالتَّرَائِبِ

    “Now let man but think from what he is created. He is created from a drop emitted. Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.” [86:5-7]

    What is a misleading information that Allah wants man to think?

  21. Avatar

    Ahmedmurshe

    August 28, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Masha allah jizakumulaahul khayr

  22. Avatar

    Zaapini

    September 21, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Masha Allaah Thanks for the article. For me I think there will always be a controversy surrounding how Adam was created and the creation of his offspring. I believe in what the Quran informs me about my creation and so do other Muslims. We should always continue to educate and equip ourselves with the admonitions from the Quran. We have more verses in the glorious Quran about how human should live and contribute towards the development and harmonization of issues in his community. We have to read the Quran, Arabic and or the English translated version as many as we can to protect and preserve our faith against Satan and our fellows who are burnt on denigrating Islam. Islam stand for peace, tolerance, humbleness and humility.

    • Avatar

      Sabastian Anthony

      September 21, 2015 at 9:43 PM

      Dear Brother,

      I can’t agree with you more. One hundred percent in agreement with what you said and your interpretation of the verse/s.

      Allahumdillah

  23. Avatar

    Zaapini

    September 21, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    @Halima
    Salam alaikom,Allah bless you my sister, such an enriching article that portrays again the magnificy and beauty of the Quran and Islam.
    I am a student and I have a debate about the following topic: “Are humans descended from apes?”. I am against as any Muslim but it ‘s an exam and my opponents(who are for) are american students and will blow me with refutation and I am afraid I lose the debate .Can you please advise me or give me some strong pertinent arguments because the only argument I CAN FIND is religious.

    I am sure by now your debate will be over. Sorry there was no comment to help you take a decision. You cannot win a debate of that nature in a non religious class. It was about the theory of evolution. In my high school I enjoyed the topic much especially the theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest. I answered these in my examinations. But that is not to say I believed in the arguments of Charles Darwin. Certainly, human stature, size and longevity (age) is diminishing right from Adam to this present generation. But as to how these changes happened overtime we are not told in the Quran. Islam does not allow us to speculate or make assumptions on creation. Devine order are facts and needed to be discussed with caution and not just how I see it.

  24. Avatar

    Sam

    February 1, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    This is so silly, arrogant ignorance is so annoying. Do you even read when you write something. Its a mess. Were you made out of clay or a drop of sperm which flows from a rib cage to a backbone?? (this in itself enough reason to raise an eyebrow). Do you know that Koran writes exactly what Golen, Greek doctor wrote many years before it was written in the Koran. His works have been translated and Mohammad was aware of that work very well, since he seems to have used similar phrases to describe his creationism theory or maybe people who wrote the Koran later added like that. Also there is not a single scientific claim in the Koran, which is reliable or not utterly ridiculous. Like the Sun will never catch the Moon, hello solar eclipse?? Oooops! Or that the sun sets in a muddy puddle, yeah right, tell that to a five year old get a good laugh. Or that salty and sweet water don’t mix, hello God should have know why, there is an obvious reason, not a miracle. Or going back to creationism theory – 4 stages of embryo development, Koran claims first a blood clot, not true, humans are never a blood clot, miscarriages are but not the embryo, 2. God sends his angels to give a baby sex after 40 days of its conception, sorry God the sex of the baby is determined the second that egg is inseminated its either 2 X chromosomes for a girl or Y and X for a boy. God almighty should know these things right.

    • Avatar

      Afnan

      June 3, 2016 at 2:41 PM

      No they didn’t .
      And then just show your proofs.
      We have shown ours.

    • Avatar

      Salman

      December 12, 2016 at 3:13 PM

      Dear, the very first verses of Quran says that Jebrael came to Mohammad (P.B.U.H) and asked him to “Read”, but his reply was “I am not literate”, so probably he would not have read the literature of that Greek doctor (if there is any). Another important thing is that the sperms are created in testicles. Right? What is its position? Isn’t that testicles, in the cross-section of body, exist between the ribs and the backbone? Now, solar eclipse…does it mean that moon has traveled all the way to sun and has caught it?? Its simply in the way of light of sun, not at the sun. Now about that sun setting in muddy water, the verse has used, if you read it more clearly and carefully, the word of “It appeared to”, so, the sun appeared to be setting in muddy water to Zulqarnain. For your objection that blood clot is not in the stages of embryo development, answer is simple. Quran does not use the word “blood”, no single word means blood clot in the verses. Now an important thing about XX and XY for defining gender. It is scientifically proven that an XY not necessarily means a man and same is the case for XX. If you still have any doubts about what Quran says is wrong then do study it well and ponder upon it. And, if you really think that you are right then provide us with evidence. In fact, I want you to explain me the scientific reason for not mixing of sweet and salty water.?

  25. Pingback: Best Islamic Education To a Child Imparting from very Childhood

  26. Avatar

    Menna el Gindy

    March 25, 2016 at 8:39 AM

    it’s really informative and clear. it really helped me with my work it was very direct and easily understood as it makes The Qur’an even more beautiful than it really is

  27. Avatar

    van

    April 1, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    As a Christian in seminary, who lived with wonderful Muslims on 4 continents, and attended mosque (Salat Jumma, Raka’at), and who has studied the Qu’ran for 26-years–I apologize for the ignorant statements I saw by someone misusing God’s Hebrew name to insult the Prophet. Please know there are many Christians who love, respect and appreciate the Islamic faith and great Muslim people (our family, friends and good neighbors). It is very un-Christian to disrespect, misjudge and insult others, especially those who love the same one true God.
    – Van

  28. Avatar

    JUNAID ANSARI

    April 13, 2016 at 1:58 AM

    those who contradict of QURAN doesnt know that they are refusing and neglecting JESSUS p.b.u.h bcoz he has proclaimed in the BIBLE thaty Muhammad S>A>W will come after me and then he will be only person to be follow completely.He will show you the truth….
    Prophet MUhammaAD PBUH HAS showed you all the real truth…
    i just dont know that what u people think and do…
    your senses has been sealed actually and you all dont know what to do….
    when evrythings is cleared to all of us…
    Quran is for evryone wheather he is living saudi arabia,in england and so on….
    read your BIBLE first what it says….LOLZ

  29. Avatar

    Fatimat Bint

    April 20, 2016 at 5:00 AM

    Maa sha Allah, may Allah S.W.T increase us in knowledge.

  30. Avatar

    Clitusmark

    May 23, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    Ahmed Ali has a very good question “we” who is this we and I find the same thing in the Bible let “us make man ” Genesis 1:26 and 11:7 who are this we and us that this books are talking about?
    If an atheists believe in the same thing that you guys are arguing over then wat is the difference ?
    As Islam are after giving people what they want or what they need? is that why you hold on anything that you think people will like.Tell people what is religious the idea of following what the world offer is wrong
    After the creation of human and any other animal God said be fruitful multiply and fill the earth not a gain him creating human being read the book of Genesis 1:1- if Koran does not provide
    It that blessings that enables every living creature to reproduce.

  31. Avatar

    Louis

    June 1, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    I understand that creation in the Quran applies to each individual human being (and presumably individuals of other species too), not just the creation of the species as a whole. Except that the dust or clay stage only applies to the first humans, and is skipped when Allah creates new specimens. Now I have a very concrete question : What are the start and end points of the process of individual creation? Does it start when the sperm fertilises the egg and a zygote is formed? Or does creation start with the formation of the egg and sperm cells? Does creation end with birth, or before that, or when the child reaches adulthood? Or does the creation of a single human being end with her death?

  32. Avatar

    Solomon David

    June 7, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    It’s so nonsensical to portray the koran as a science book. I am not surprised if Mohamed or Koran relates sperm with birth. It is not ground breaking. It doesn’t need deep thought. Any ignorant person, specially someone who lives near a farm and observes the mechanics of reproduction on a daily basis can speculate on the subject and arrive at a more or less similar result. Ancient Greeks (Hippocrates for example) and Romans centuries before Islam wrote on the subject in a much more accurate detail. They even speculated the dominant characteristics of of either of the parents would show in the child. This was proved by Gregor Mendel thousands of years later. Read History, or even a simple google will show what is said here is not original. Even if it is original it doesn’t seem so imaginative to me to warrant it as a word of god. One sentence from the works of Archimedes and Aristarchus thousands of years before contains more information on the nature of the world than the entire koran.

  33. Avatar

    Mohammad Riyazudeen

    June 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XOD2KXXzsjM
    christian brothers and sisters plz watch this Link

  34. Avatar

    usman

    July 21, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    respected messers, salaam

    i read the above page (article) and there is a verse of quran you have mentioned above which says “Have We not created you from a fluid (held) despicable?” [77:20]. sir i want to let you know, (it may be someone else’s mistake not yours but,) that despicable means contemptible or worth hatered or detestable or disgusting. Allah never told us human being that he (Allah) created us from a detestable or disgusting liquid. The right word that should be used here is disdained not despicable. i’m sure that the mistake would be someone else’s not yours.

    Thankyou

  35. Avatar

    big taz

    September 7, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    isn’t it strange that allah did not know about women eggs? also it is NOT the fluid that creates but the sperms carried in the fluid so its not correct at all. the quran is not the word of an all knowing god at all its hamheads imagination and knowledge of the campfire stories he heard whilst travelling

  36. Avatar

    Zack Nikki

    September 8, 2016 at 3:57 AM

    The Truth?
    Truth oh Truth.
    Hmmmm…
    Who is even close to you on this platform.
    She says this and he says that. They also have their own versions.

    Let Judgement come and may mankind know you oh Truth.
    Until then…
    “I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME”.
    That is a serious statement for an individual to make.
    Mohammed (peace be unto his name) or Jesus.
    If there is a God i pray thee, may you please show yourself to those of us on this platform.

  37. Avatar

    megan

    September 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    THE GOD OF THE BIBLE WHO CALLS HIMSELF “IAM WHO “I AM” IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE SO CALLED ALLAH. WHY DON’T YOU JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT? CAN’T ALLAH AS A DIFFERENT GOD STAND ALONE WITH HIS PROPHET MUHAMED? AFTERALL THERE ARE MANY GODS HERE UNDER THE SUN. YAHWEH IS YAHWEH AND ALLAH IS ALLAH.

  38. Avatar

    Nur

    October 5, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    May one day, His hidayah comes to guide all of you. At this moment, let’s just respect each other beliefs and religion. I’m muslim and I love peace, harmony :)

    • Avatar

      JABI

      October 18, 2016 at 2:27 AM

      NICE BRO IT IS THE PARTICULAR MATTER OF SINGLE WORLD SO NICE BRO

  39. Avatar

    Ashik

    October 18, 2016 at 3:53 AM

    Like this article…jaxakallah hayr

  40. Avatar

    Naveed

    December 7, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    A Muslim knows what is true and doesn’t needs to give reason to prove his religion …Allah sent many prophets down on earth and many of the generations didn’t believed on them n told then lairs and then Allah vanished them with the sound of a single bast n whole generation was viper down.

  41. Avatar

    Abdul Rasaq bin Badmus

    December 11, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    wow i love this

  42. Avatar

    agharta

    April 1, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    It is interesting that Allah did not know the creation of a man requires sperm and an eggs. This is not a dispute. It is fact.

  43. Avatar

    Aghora

    May 6, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    But it doesn’t answer why he created us…

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Lessons From Surah Maryam: 1

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Published

on

Alhamdulillah, it’s a great blessing of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that He has given us both the opportunity and ability to come here tonight to study and explore the meanings of His words in Surah Maryam. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept this effort from all of us and place it on our scale of good deeds.

Alhamdulillah, in our last series we were able to complete the tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf. InshAllah, in this next series, we’ll be exploring the meanings, lessons, and reminders of Surah Maryam. Tafsīr is an extremely noble and virtuous discipline. The reason why it’s so noble and virtuous is that it’s the study of the divine speech of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). As mentioned in a hadith the superiority of the speech of Allah over all other speech is like the superiority of Allah over all of His creation. There’s nothing more beneficial and virtuous than studying the Quran. And by doing so we’ll be counted amongst the best of people. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “the best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

All of us need to build a stronger relationship with the Quran. The Quran is full of wisdom and guidance in every single verse and word. It’s our responsibility to seek that guidance, understand it, contextualize it and more importantly act upon it. Tafsīr is such a unique science that it brings together all of the other Islamic sciences. While exploring a Surah a person comes across discussions regarding Arabic grammar and morphology, rhetoric, Ahādīth, fiqh, sīrah and all those studies that are known as the Islamic Sciences. One scholar described the Quran as an ocean that has no shore, بحر لا ساحل له. The more we study the Qur’ān the stronger our relationship with it will become. We’ll become more and more attached to it and will be drawn into its beauty and wonder. The deeper a person gets into tafsir and studying the more engaged and interested they become. They also recognize how little they truly know. It develops humility. That’s the nature of true knowledge. The more we learn the more we recognize we don’t know. May Allah ﷻ allow us all to be sincere and committed students of the Qur’ān.

Surah Maryam

Surah Maryam is the 19th surah in the Quran. It is a relatively long Makki surah made up of 98 verses. Some commentators mention that it’s the 44th Surah to be revealed, after Surah Al-Fatir and before Surah Taha. It has been given the name Maryam because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the story of Maryam (as) and her family and how she gave birth to Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) miraculously at the beginning of the Surah. Just like other Makkan surahs, it deals with the most fundamental aspects of our faith. It talks about the existence and oneness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), prophethood, and resurrection and recompense.

The Surah is made up of a series of unique stories filled with guidance and lessons that are meant as reminders. One of the main themes of this Surah is mercy… It has been mentioned over 16 times in this Surah. We’ll find the words of grace, compassion and their synonyms frequently mentioned throughout the sūrah, together with Allah’s attributes of beneficence and mercy. We can say that one of the objectives of the Surah is to establish and affirm the attribute of mercy for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That’s why all of the stories mentioned also have to do with Allah’s mercy.

Another objective of the Surah is to remind us of our relationship with Allah ﷻ; the concept of Al-‘Ubūdiyyah. These are the two major themes or ideas of this Surah; the concept of Rahmah and the concept of ‘Ubūdiyyah (Mercy and Servitude).

The Surah can be divided into 8 sections:

1) Verses 1-15: The surah starts with the story of Zakariyya (as) and how he was given the gift of a child at a very old age, which was something strange and out of the ordinary.

2) Verses 16-40: mention the story of Maryam and the miraculous birth of Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) without a father and how her community responded to her.

3) Verses 41-50: The surah then briefly mentions one part of the story of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), specifically the conversation he had with his father regarding the worship of idols. The surah then briefly mentions a series of other Prophets.

4) Verses 51-58: Mention Musa and Haroon 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Idrees 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to show that the essence of the message of all Prophets was the same

5) Verses 59-65: compare and contrast the previous generations with the current ones in terms of belief and actions.

6) Verses 66-72: Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) addresses the Mushrikoon rejecting their false claims regarding life after death and judgment.

7) Verses 73-87: continue to address the Mushrikoon and warn them regarding their attitude towards belief in Allah and His messengers. They also mention the great difference between the resurrection of the believer and the resurrection of the non-believer.

8) Verses 88-98: contain a severe warning to those who claim that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taken a child. They also express that Allah is pleased with the believers and mentions that one of the objectives of the Quran is to give glad tidings to the believers and to warn the non-believers.

Story

From various narrations, we learn that this surah was revealed near the end of the fourth year of Prophethood. This was an extremely difficult time for Muslims. The Quraysh were frustrated with their inability to stop the message of Islam from spreading so they became ruthless. They resorted to any method of torture that they could think of; beating, starving and harassing. When the persecution became so severe that it was difficult for the Muslims to bear it, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave permission to migrate to Abyssinia. “For in it dwells a king in whose presence no one is harmed.” 10 men and 4 women migrated in the 5th year of Prophethood secretly. After a few months, a larger group of 83 men and 18 women migrated as well. This migration added more fuel to the fire. It enraged the people of Quraysh.

Umm Salamah [rahna]narrated, “When we stopped to reside in the land of Abyssinia we lived alongside the best of neighbors An-Najashi. We practiced our religion safely, worshipped Allah without harm and didn’t hear anything we disliked. When news of our situation reached the Quraysh they started to plot against us…” They decided to send two delegates to persuade An-Najashi to send the Companions back by offering him and his ministers’ gifts. The plan was to go to each minister with gifts and turn them against the Muslims. So they went to each minister with gifts and said, “Verily, foolish youth from amongst us have come to the country of your king; they have abandoned the religion of their people and have not embraced your religion. Rather they have come with a new religion that neither of us knows. The noblemen of their people, from their fathers and uncles, have sent us to the king asking that he send them back. So when we speak to the king regarding their situation advise him to surrender them to us and to not speak to them…” The minister agreed.

Then they went to the king, offered him gifts and said the same thing… The ministers tried to convince him as well. An-Najashi became angry with them and said, “No, by Allah, I will not surrender them to these two and I don’t fear the plotting of a people who have become my neighbors, have settled down in my country, and have chosen me (to grant them refuge) over every other person. I will not do so until I summon them and speak to them. If they are as these two say I will give them up, but if they aren’t then I will protect them from these two and continue to be a good neighbor to them as long as they are good neighbors to me.”

al-Najāshī then summoned the Prophet’s ﷺ Companions. When his messenger informed the Prophet’s Companions that they were to appear before the king, they gathered together to discuss what they should do. One of them asked, “What will you say to the name (al-Najāshī) when you go to him?” They all agreed on what they would say to him, “By Allah, we will say what our Prophet ﷺ taught us and commanded us with, regardless of the consequences.” Meanwhile, al-Najāshī called for his priests, who gathered around him with their scrolls spread out before them. When the Muslims arrived al-Najāshī began by asking them, “What is this religion for which you have parted from your people? You have not entered into the fold of my religion, nor the religion of any person from these nations.”

Umm Salamah [rahna] narrated, “The Person among us who would speak to him was Jaʿfar ibn abī Ṭālib [rahnu] who then said, “O king, we were an ignorant people: we worshipped idols, we would eat from the flesh of dead animals, we would perform lewd acts, we would cut off family ties, and we would be bad neighbors; the strong among us would eat from the weak. We remained upon that state until Allah sent us a Messenger, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and chastity we already knew. He invited us to Allah – to believe in His oneness and to worship Him; to abandon all that we and our fathers worshipped besides Allah, in terms of stones and idols. He ﷺ commanded us to speak truthfully, to fulfill the trust, to join ties of family relations, to be good to our neighbors, and to refrain from forbidden deeds and from shedding blood. And he ﷺ forbade us from lewd acts, from uttering falsehood, from wrongfully eating the wealth of an orphan, from falsely accusing chaste women of wrongdoing. And he ﷺ ordered us to worship Allah alone and to not associate any partners with him in worship; and he ﷺ commanded us to pray, to give zakāh, and to fast.” He enumerated for al-Najāshī the teachings of Islam. He said, “And we believe him and have faith in him. We follow him in what he came with. And so we worship Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him in worship. We deem forbidden that which he has made forbidden for us, and we deem lawful that which he made permissible for us. Our people then transgressed against us and tortured us. The tried to force us to abandon our religion and to return from the worship of Allah to the worship of idols; they tried to make us deem lawful those abominable acts that we used to deem lawful. Then, when they subjugated us, wronged us, and treated us in an oppressive manner, standing between us and our religion, we came to your country, and we chose you over all other people. We desired to live alongside you, and we hoped that, with you, we would not be wronged, O king.” al-Najāshī said to Jaʿfar [rahnu], “Do you have any of that which he came with from Allah?” Jaʿfar [rahnu] said, “Yes”. “Then recite to me,” said al-Najāshī. Jaʿfar [rahnu] recited for him the beginning of Surah Maryam. By Allah, al-Najāshī began to cry, until his beard became wet with tears. And when his priests heard what Jaʿfar [rahnu] was reciting to them, they cried until their scrolls became wet. al-Najāshī then said, “By Allah, this and what Mūsa (as) came with come out of the same lantern. Then by Allah, I will never surrender them to you, and henceforward they will not be plotted against and tortured.”

Describing what happened after the aforementioned discussion between al-Najāshī and Jaʿfar [rahnu], Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “When both ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ and ʿAbdullah ibn abī Rabīʿah left the presence of al-Najāshī, ʿAmr [rahnu] said, “By Allah tomorrow I will present to him information about them with which I will pull up by the roots their very lives.” Abdullah ibn Rabīʿah who was more sympathetic of the two towards us said, “Don’t do so, for they have certain rights of family relations, even if they have opposed us.” ʿAmr said, “By Allah, I will inform him that they claim that ʿĪsā ibn Maryam is a slave.”

He went to the king on the following day and said, “O king, verily, they have strong words to say about ʿĪsa (as). Call them here and ask them what they say about him.” al-Najāshī sent for them in order to ask them about ʿĪsa. Nothing similar to this befell us before. The group of Muslims gathered together and said to one another, “What will you say about ʿĪsa when he asks you about him?” They said, “By Allah, we will say about him that which Allah says and that which our Prophet ﷺ came with, regardless of the outcome.” When they entered into his presence, he said to them, “What do you say about ʿĪsa ibn Maryam?” Jaʿfar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “We say about him that which our Prophet ﷺ came with – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, a spirit created by Him, and His word, which he bestowed on Maryam, the virgin, the baṭūl.”

al-Najāshī struck his hand on the ground and took from it a stick. He then said, “ʿĪsa ibn Maryam did not go beyond what you said even the distance of the stick.” When he said this, his ministers spoke out in anger, to which he responded, “What I said is true even if you speak out in anger, by Allah. (Turning to the Muslims, he said) Go, for you are safe in my land. Whoever curses you will be held responsible. And I would not love to have a reward of gold in return for me hurting a single man among you. (Speaking to his ministers he said) Return to these two (men) their gifts, since we have no need for them. For by Allah, Allah did not take from me bribe money when He returned to me my kingdom, so why should I take bribe money. The two left, defeated and humiliated; and returned to them were the things they came with. We then resided alongside al-Najāshī in a very good abode, with a very good neighbor.”

The response was simply amazing in its eloquence. A believer puts the needs of his soul before the needs of his body. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts the Surah by saying,

Verse 1: Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Sad.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts Surah Maryam with a series of five letters. There are many different saying or explanations regarding these five letters. The most correct opinion is that these are from the broken letters. There are 29 different Surahs in the Quran that start with the broken letters. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone knows the meanings of these letters. They are a secret from amongst the secrets of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning that no one knows what they truly mean. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows their meanings so they are from amongst the Mutashaabihat, those verses whose meanings are hidden.

However, we do find that some great Companions, as well as their students, sometimes gave meanings to these words. For example, it’s said that it is in acronym and each letter represents one of the names of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Kaf is for Al-Kafi or Al-Kareem, “haa” is for Al-Hadi, “yaa” is from Hakeem or Raheem, “’ayn” is from Al-‘Aleem or Al-‘Adheem, and “saad” is from Al-Saadiq. Others said that it is one of the names of Allah and it’s actually Al-Ism Al-‘Atham or that it’s a name of the Quran. However, these narrations can’t be used as proof or to assign definitive meanings. They offer possibilities, but no one truly knows what they mean.

Now the question should come to our mind that why would Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) start of a Surah with words that no one understands?

1) To grab the attention of the listeners.

2) To remind us that no matter how much we know there’s always something that we don’t know.

3) These letters are the letters of the Arabic language and the Quran was revealed at a time that was the peak of eloquence of the language and it was their identity. The Quran was revealed challenging them spiritually and intellectually. The Arabs never heard these letters being used in such a majestic way.

4) To prove the inimitable nature of the Quran.

Allah then starts the story of Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was one of the Prophets sent to Bani Israel. He was the husband of Maryam’s paternal aunt. He was also one of the caretakers or custodians of Baitul Maqdis.

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When Faith Hurts: Do Good Deeds = Good Life?

Loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way- even if it hurts. It is a time to learn.

Zeba Khan

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hurts, hardship. Allah, test, why Allah is testing me

The Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that the faith in our hearts wears out the way our clothes wear out. Deterioration, maintenance, and renewal are part of the cycle.  That’s life with all that hurts. That’s normal.

But what happens when that’s life, but life is not your normal? What happens when it feels like life isn’t normal, hasn’t been normal, and won’t be normal for a foreseeably long time?  For some of us, refreshing faith becomes secondary to just keeping it.

It’s easier to say Alhamdulillah when you are happy. It’s harder when you’re not. That’s human nature though. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with what we teach about faith that can leave us unprepared for when Allah tests it. I believe that our discussions about faith tend to be overly simplistic. They revolve around a few basic concepts, and are more or less summed up with:

Faith = Happiness

Righteousness = Ease

Prayer = Problem Solved

Good Deeds Equals Good Life?

Basically, the TLDR is Good Deeds = The Good Life. None of these statements are technically untrue. The sweetness of faith is a joy that is beyond any other gratitude, for any other thing in this world. Righteousness in the sight of Allah will put you on the path to the good life in the afterlife. Making dua can be the solution to your problems. But when we say these things to people who have true faith but not happiness, or righteous behavior yet distressing hardship, we’re kind of implying that that either Islam is broken (because their prayers seem unanswered), or they are broken (because their prayers are undeserving of answers.) And neither of those is true either.

Allow me to elaborate. I think it’s safe to say that there is not a single parent who has not begged Allah to make their sick or disabled child well again. Yet, our Ummah still has sick and disabled children. Through history, people have begged Allah for a loved one’s life, and then buried them – so is prayer not equal to problem solved?

Many righteous people stand up, and are then ostracized for their faith. Many people speak truth in the face of a tyrant only to be punished for it. Many of us live with complete conviction, with unshakeable belief in the existence and wisdom and mercy of Allah, and still find ourselves unhappy and afraid of what He has willed for us.

Are We Broken?

No, but our spiritual education is. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle.

Has anyone ever said this to you? Have you ever said this to anyone else?

No one ever told me. It was hard for me to learn that lesson on my own, when I pleaded with Allah to make my son’s autism go away, and it didn’t. Everyone told me –Make dua! The prayer of a mother for her child is special! Allah will never turn you down!

It was hard trying to make sense of what seemed like conflicting messages- that Allah knows best, but a mother’s prayer is always answered. It was even harder facing people who tried to reassure me of that, even when it obviously wasn’t working.

“Just make dua! Allah will respond!”

I’m sure people mean well. But it’s hard not to be offended. Either they assume I have never bothered to pray for my son, or they imply that there must be good reason why Allah’s not granting to my prayers. What they don’t consider is that allowing my test to persist – even if I don’t want it to- is also a valid response from Allah.

I have been told to think back in my life, and try to determine what sin caused my child’s disability, as if the only reason why Allah wouldn’t give me what I asked for was because I was so bad I didn’t deserve it. As if good deeds equaled the good life, and if my life wasn’t good, it’s because I hadn’t been good either.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

You can assume whatever you like about my character, but bad things do happen to good people, even when they pray. You can try your hardest and still fall short. You can pray your whole life for something that will never come to you. And strength of faith in that circumstance doesn’t mean living in a state of unfulfilled hope, it means accepting the wisdom in the test that Allah has decreed for you.

That’s a bit uncomfortable, isn’t it.  When we talk about prayer and hope, we prefer to talk about Zakariyyah 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – who begged Allah for a child and was gifted with one long after anyone thought it even possible. But we also need to talk about Abu Talib.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was raised by his uncle Abu Talib, and in his mission to preach Islam he was protected by Abu Talib.  But Abu Talib died without accepting Islam, was there something wrong with the Prophet, that Allah did not give him what he asked for? Was he not good enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Astaghfirullah, no. So if Prophets of God can ask for things and still not get them, why are we assuming otherwise for ourselves?

Making a Bargain with Allah

If we can understand that faith is not a contract for which we trade prayers for services, then maybe we can cope better when fate cannot be bargained with. Maybe it won’t have to hurt so bad – on spiritual level – when Allah withholds what we ask for, even when we asked for the “right” things in the right way and at all the right times.

Life is not simple. Faith is not simple. The will of Allah is not simple, no matter how much we want it to be, and when oversimplify it, we create a Muslim version of Prosperity Gospel without meaning to.

If you’ve never heard of it, prosperity gospel is a religious belief among some Christians that health and wealth and success are the will of God, and therefore faith, good deeds and charity increase one’s wellbeing. Have faith, and God will reward you in this life and the next. That’s nice. But it’s too simple. Because the belief that Good Deeds = The Good Life doesn’t explain how Ibraheem 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s father tried to have him burnt alive.

Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s brothers left him for dead in the bottom of a well. He grew up a slave and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Aasiya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – the wife of the Pharoah – one of the four best women in the history of womankind – died from her husband’s torture.

Good people are not guaranteed good lives. Islam is what we need, not a system of practices that we use to fulfill our needs.

When we limit our understanding of faith to a simplistic, almost contractual relationship with Allah, then we can’t even explain the things that Allah Tested His own prophets with.

Nor can we understand, or even begin to cope with- what He Tests the rest of us with either. We have to be real in our talk about faith, because otherwise we set each other up for unrealistic expectations and lack of preparation for when we face hardship. Faith is not protection from hardship. Faith is part of hardship. And hardship is part of faith.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asks us in the opening of Surah ‘Ankabut,

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah, ayah 155: “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labor. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity.

tests, hurts, faith , hardship

Allah Tests Everyone Differently

Allah tests each of us differently, but in every single case – every single time – a test is an invitation to success. Hardship is the process through which we prove ourselves. Experiencing it– and then drawing closer to Allah through it –is how faith is tested as well as strengthened.

If we can change how we perceive hardship, then we can also change how we perceive each other. On our cultural subconscious, we still see worldly failure as being equivalent to spiritual failure. So when we see people who are homeless, we assume fault. When we see people facing depression or divorce, we assume fault. We even look at refugees and victims and special needs children and we look for fault. Because if it’s that bad then it’s has to be someone’s fault, right?

Fault is how we place blame. Blame is how we know whose mistake it is. But the will of Allah is never a mistake, it’s a test.  Instead of faulting each other for what Allah tests us with, we could respect each other for the struggles we all endure. We could see each other with more compassion for our challenges, and less aversion when Allah tests us with dealing each other.

So when you’ve done things the right way, but the right things aren’t happening. Or you’ve been charitable to others, and they’re being evil towards you. Or you’ve earned only halal, but haram- it’s been taken away from you, remember this- your faith is being tested. Allah tests those that He loves. When He raises the difficulty level, Allah is extending a direct invitation for you to climb higher.

So How Do We Succeed When Faced With Failure?

The first thing to do is redefine failure. There is only one true failure in this life, and that is dying on the wrong side of Siraat ul Mustaqeem, because if close your eyes and wake up in Jahannam, no success in this life can compensate for that.

I find that helpful to remember, when I fail to stay fit because I can’t exercise without hurting myself, when I fail to fast in Ramadan because it’s dangerous for me to do so- when I fail to discover a cure for my family’s personal assortment of medical issues through rigorous internet “research,” none of that is my failure either. And I can feel a lot of different ways about these situations, but I do not feel guilty- because it’s not my fault. And I do not feel bitter, because my test is my honor. Even when I do feel scared.

Being scared in not a failure either. Neither is being unemployed. Being unmarried is not a failure. Being childless is not a failure. Being divorced is not a failure. Nothing unpleasant or miserable or unexpected is a failure. It’s all just a test, and seeing it as a test means you have the state of mind to look for the correct answers.

Not even sin is failure, because as long as you are alive, your sin stands as an invitation to forgiveness. The bigger the sin, the greater the blessings of repenting from it.  Everything that goes bad is the opening of the door for good. A major sin can be the first step on a journey that starts with repentance and moves you closer to Allah every day thereafter. Sin only becomes failure when it takes you farther away from Allah, rather than closer to him.

Jahannam is the Only Failure

Addiction is not a failure. Depression is not a failure. Poverty is not a failure. Jahannam is the only failure. Everything else is a gap in expectations.

You assumed you would have something, but it’s not written for you. You assumed you’d ask Allah for something and He’d give it to you, but what is that assumption based on again? That good deeds are the guarantee to the good life, and that prayer equals problem solved?

Allah has all the knowledge, Allah has the wisdom, Allah is the best of Planners – how are you assuming that your wishes supersede His will? Even when you put your wishes in the form of a prayer?

They don’t. It is absolutely true that Allah may choose to rewrite Qadr itself based on your prayers – but that’s still His choice. Allah has always, and will always be in control of this world. And that means your world too. If you still think you’re in control, you will find it really, really hard to cope the first time you realize you’re not.

When we understand that we don’t get to control what happens and what doesn’t, we can then release ourselves from the misplaced guilt of things going wrong.  Lots of special needs parents struggle with guilt. I meet them often – and every single parent has asked the question- directly or indirectly-

What did I do for my child to deserve this?

Can you hear the presumption in there? That the parents were good, so why did something bad happen? They were expecting for good deeds to equal the good life.

There’s a second presumption in there too, that their life choices were a determining factor of what happened to their child. That is a presumption of control. And as long as you try to hold on to that presumption of control, there is the constant feeling of failure when it just doesn’t work the way you think it will.

I am not proposing that we lose hope in Allah and despair of His Mercy. I am in no way insinuating that Allah doesn’t hear every prayer, hasn’t counted every tear, and isn’t intimately aware of your pain and your challenges. Allah hears your prayers, and in His wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we want. In His Wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we need.

Even if we don’t see it.

Even if it scares us.

Even if it hurts us – because Allah has promised that He will never, ever break us.

hurts, hardship, special needs

Allah Tests Us in His Mercy

I am proposing that we put trust in the wisdom of Allah, and understand that when He tests us, that is part of his mercy, not a deviation from it. When He grants something to us, that is part of His mercy, and when he withholds something from us, that too is part of His Mercy, even if we don’t like it. Even when we ask Him to take it away.

The third thing I would like to propose, is that we correct our understanding of – Fa Inna Ma’Al usri yusraa, Inna Ma’al usri yusra.

So verily, definitely, for sure- with hardship there is ease. Again, Inna – for sure, with hardship there is ease.

I’m sure lots of you have said this to people you loved, or to yourself when you’re struggling with something and you’re just trying to get through it. But did you mean that this hardship will end, and then things will be good again? Like as soon as things have been hard for a while, Allah will make them easy again?

Would you believe that’s not really what that means? Ma’a means with, not after. With this hardship, there is ease. And maybe you’re like aww man, but I wanted the ease! I want the hardship to go away and Allah I’m ready for my ease now!

But that hardship, will bring you ease. Allah does not tell us what the ease will be, or when it will be- but He says it’s there, so trust Him. Even if you can’t see it right away, or in this life –it will become apparent.

I can tell you some of the ease I found with mine.

Learning When It Hurts

When my son was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I had to drop everything. We dropped our plans to save, to travel, and to live the charmed life of neurotypical parents whose only fears are that their children may grow up and NOT become Muslim doctors. We spent our earnings and our savings and our time and our nights and our tears and Alhamdulillah, we learned patience. We learned perspective. We learned compassion.

We really learned what we thought we already knew – about unconditional love and acceptance. We learned to be bigger than our fears, and smaller than our own egos. We learned to give and take help. We learn to accept what wisdom our cultures could offer us, and respectfully decline what did not. We learn to set boundaries and make rules that did justice by our children and our family, regardless of whether they were popular. With hardship comes ease.

When we couldn’t afford therapy for my son, my husband and I founded a not for profit organization in the UAE that provided it for my son and dozens of other people’s sons and daughters. Three and a half years ago I left that organization to seek better educational opportunities for my son here in the US, but it’s still running. The seed that our challenges planted has grown into something beyond us. With our hardship came ease for ourselves and others as well.

When I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, my health issues were upgraded from challenging to permanent. I had to rethink how I lived, how I planned, how I dressed, and even – my relationship with Allah. But if I had never been sick, I would never have started writing. When it hurt, I wrote. When I was scared, I wrote. When I was lonely, I wrote. And by and by the grindstone of fear and sickness and frustration sharpened my skills. Where I am today both spiritually and professionally – is actually a direct result of both autism and chronic illness. With hardship comes ease.

I don’t like my hardships, but I don’t have to. You don’t have to either. Being a good Muslim doesn’t always mean being a happy Muslim. It just means being Muslim, no matter the circumstances.

That means loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way – even if not loving everything He throws your way. You may hate your circumstances, and you may not be able to do anything about them, but as long as you trust Allah and use your hardships to come closer to him, you cannot fail, even if this life, you feel as if you never really succeeded.

hurts, depression, faith , hardship

Faith Wears Out In Our hearts, The Way Our Cothes Wear Out on Our Bodies

The hardship that damages and stains us is Allah’s invitation to repair, renew, and refresh ourselves. Our test are an invitation, an opportunity, an obstacle – but not a punishment or divine cruelty. And when we know that those tests will come, and some may even stay, then we can be better prepared for it.

Trust Allah when He says that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. He told us so in Surah Baqarah Ayah 286. Remember that when you are afraid, and Allah will never cause your fear to destroy you. Take your fear to Allah, and He will strengthen you, and reward you for your bravery.

Remember that when you are in pain. Allah will never cause your pain to destroy you. Take your pain to Him, and He will soothe you and reward you for your patience. Take it all to Allah – the loneliness, the anxiety, the confusion. Do not assume that the only emotions a “good Muslim” takes to Allah are gratitude and happiness and awe. Take them all to Allah, uncertainty, disappointment, anger — and He will bless you in all of those states, and guide you to what is better for you in this life, and the next, even if it’s not what you expected.

The struggles in your life are a test, and whether you pass or fail is not determined on whether you conquer them, only on whether you endure them. Expect that they will come, because having faith is not protection from struggle. Faith is protection from being broken by the struggle.

I ask Allah to protect us all from hardship, but protect us in our hardships as well. I ask Allah to grant us peace from His peace, and strength from His strength, to patiently endure and grow through our endurance.

Ameen.

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What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh

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The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

Web MD

The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

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