Difference between revisions of "Meiosis in the Quran Miracle"

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==References==

Revision as of 22:16, 7 May 2020

The Quran doesn't talk about meiosis at all, but some Islamic apologists like to claim that it does.

The claim

Today we know that the cell division process, meiosis, happens in 8 phases.

Meiosis is a special type of cell division in sexually-reproducing organisms used to produce the gametes, such as sperm or egg cells.
Wikipedia, Meiosis, 2020

The pair of chromosomes divide in eight stages, however this is portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered.

[Quran 39.6] He created you from one person, then made from it its mate, and brought down cattle for you. Eight pairs He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, in successive formations, in a triple darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the kingdom. There is no god but He. So what made you deviate?

"Eight pairs He creates you in the wombs of your mothers" today we know that in sexually reproducing organisms the pair of chromosomes divide in eight stages. Cattle and humans are sexually reproducing organisms and their cells divide by meiosis. No mistakes in the Quran.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about meiosis?


The verse

Apologetic mistranslation

The verse, even in the apologetic mistranslation, doesn't mention "eight stages":

He created you from one person, then made from it its mate, and brought down cattle for you. Eight pairs He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, in successive formations, in a triple darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the kingdom. There is no god but He. So what made you deviate?


Quran 39:6, translated by miracles-of-quran.com

It's just the phrase "eight pairs" that doesn't even fit into the context of the verse. "Eight pairs he creates you" doesn't make sense.

It says nothing about chromosomes or cells. And Meiosis is commonly divided on Meiosis I and Meiosis II and then these two are each divided into 4 phases. It's not common to talk about "8 stages". Why doesn't the Quran mention Meiosis I and Meiosis II separately? Also meiosis I is preceded by interphase and there can be phase called interkineses between Meiosis I and Meiosis II [1]. Those were also not mentioned.

And even if the Quran said "eight stages", it wouldn't be much valuable without descriptions of the stages.

Actual translation

The number eight actually refers to the cattle:

خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الْأَنْعَامِ ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ ۚ يَخْلُقُكُمْ فِي بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ خَلْقًا مِّن بَعْدِ خَلْقٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ ثَلَاثٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ فَأَنَّىٰ تُصْرَفُونَ

Dr. Ghali: He created you of one self; thereafter He made from it its spouse, and He has sent down to you of the cattle eight pairs. He creates you in your mothers' bellies, creation even after creation, in threefold darkness (es). That is Allah, your Lord; His is the Kingdom; there is no god except He; so however are you turned about?

Muhsin Khan: He created you (all) from a single person (Adam); then made from him his wife [Hawwa' (Eve)]. And He has sent down for you of cattle eight pairs (of the sheep, two, male and female; of the goats, two, male and female; of the oxen, two, male and female; and of the camels, two, male and female). He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three veils of darkness, such is Allah your Lord. His is the kingdom, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). How then are you turned away?

Pickthall: He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no Allah save Him. How then are ye turned away?

Sahih International: He created you from one soul. Then He made from it its mate, and He produced for you from the grazing livestock eight mates. He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, within three darknesses. That is Allah, your Lord; to Him belongs dominion. There is no deity except Him, so how are you averted?

Yusuf Ali: He created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and he sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Centre)?


Quranic Arabic doesn't have punctuation, but there is a small upper letter ج after وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الْأَنْعَامِ ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ ("and he sent down of the cattle eight pairs"), which is a stop sign indicating it is permissible for a reciter to pause there. He can stop after mentioning the eight pairs of cattle, and then he can begin with the new block about the creation in wombs. The word "eight" refers to the cattle.

The interpretation is also a part of the Muhsin Khan translation. But wa can also find in the tafsir:

He created you from a single soul namely Adam then made from it its mate Eve; and He sent down for you of the cattle of camels cows small cattle sheep and goats eight kinds of each kind a male and a female — as He makes clear in sūrat al-An‘ām 6:143


Tafsir al-Jalalayn on 39:6

Tafsir al-Jalalayn also connects it to another verse which also mentions the "eight mates" (ثمانية أزواج):

[They are] eight mates (ثمانية أزواج) - of the sheep, two and of the goats, two. Say, "Is it the two males He has forbidden or the two females or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Inform me with knowledge, if you should be truthful."


References