Mr Katz, in one of his articles has stated that the Qur’an has given contradictory statements regarding the material from which man was created. He states:
What was man created from? A blood clot [96:1-2], water [21:30, 24:45, 25:54], “sounding” (i.e. burned) clay [15:26], dust [3:59, 30:20, 35:11], nothing [19:67] and this is then denied in 52:35, earth [11:61], a drop of thickened fluid [16:4, 75:37]
Mr. Katz has also stated that the statement of the Qur’an regarding one of the stages in the development of the fetus is “scientifically wrong”. He writes:
The very first revelation starts out with providing an ingredient for contradiction:
In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created –
created man, out of a mere clot of congealed blood.
— Sura 96:1-2
Apart from the fact that “a mere blood clot” is scientifically wrong…
In the article that follows, I shall present my point of view regarding the meaning of the verses which seem contradictory to Mr. Katz. I shall be very glad to reconsider my point of view if someone would be kind enough to point out any linguistic or logical fallacy in my interpretation of these verses.
A Scientific Error?
Before we proceed with the main point of Mr. Katz’s objection (that is, “What was man created from?”), let us first examine the “scientific error” that Mr. Katz has pointed out.
The Arabic word used by the Qur’an which has generally been translated as “a clot of blood”, is “`alaq” علق. The meaning of this word is given by “Qaamoos al-Muheet” as:
الدم عامة أو الشديد الحمرة أو الغليظ أو الجامد، القطعة منه: بهاء وكل ما علق، والطين الذي يعلق باليد، والخصومة والمحبة اللازمتان. وذو علق: جبل لبني أسد لهم فيه يوم على ربيعة بن مالك ودويبة في الماء تمص الدم و ما تتبلغ به الماشية من اشجر (القموس المحيط، باب القاف، فصل العين)
Blood in its normal state or blood which is extremely red or which has hardened or congealed, a piece thereof; every thing that sticks; clay that sticks to hands; unchanging enmity or love; Zu `alaq is the name of a hill of Banu Asad, where they defeated Rabi`ah ibn Maalik; An insect of water that sucks blood; that portion of a tree that is within the reach of animals.
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