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Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir - Verse 11

11. “And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop, then He made you pairs. And no female conceives nor does she bring forth, save with His knowledge and none is given long life who is given long life neither is any diminished in his life, but it is in a Book. Verily this, for Allah, is easy.”


The Arabic word /mu‘ammar/ is called to the owners of a long-life. The word /‘umr/ is derived from /‘imra-n/ (flourishing state), and since a person has the ability of flourishing during the time he is alive, the length of his life is called ‘life-time’.

Some Islamic narrations indicate that charity and visiting one’s kin cause the life-time to be long, but ‘breaking off connections with one’s kindred’ and to disgrace parents cause the lifetime to be shortened. 27

In this holy verse, the Qur’a-n states another part of the extroversive and introversive verses which are, on one side, the evidence over the Power of Allah and, on the other side, over His Knowledge.

At first, it points to the creation of man in different stages, when it says:

“And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm- drop, then He made you pairs. …”

These are three stages among the whole stages of the creation of man: soil, sperm-drop, and the stage of matrimony.

It is certain that man is from dust, not only from this point that all materials that form the man’s body are derived from dust, and that which man takes food from, or wherefrom his sperm-drop originates all are finally found in the materials which are in soil.

Some commentators believe that the concept of ‘the creation of man from dust’ probably refers only to the first creation, while the creation from sperm-drop refers to later stages. The first one is the stage of men’s compendious creation, (because the entity of all human beings has been extracted in the entity of Adam); and the second is the expansive stages which are separate from each other.

However, the stage of person’s matrimony is the stage of continuation of generation and man’s reproduction.

Then it refers to the fourth and the fifth stage of man’s life, viz., the subject of ‘pregnancy’ of mothers and their delivery. It says:

“… And no female conceives nor does she bring forth, save with His knowledge …”

Yes, the subject of pregnancy, and the complicated and very amazing changes of foetus, then reaching the stage of delivery and the wonderful variations that, at that sensitive moment, come forth to mothers, from one side, and to the foetus, on the other side, are so tender and accurate that is not possible save by relying on the infinite knowledge of Allah. It is done in a manner that if the governing regulation over it changes, even very slightly, the program of delivery or delivery itself will face with disturbance and confusion, and it will come to destruction.

Each of these five stages of man’s life is more wonderful than the other.

The inanimate dust is in one side and the wise, alert, and originative man, the alive, is on the other side. How different they are!

The sperm-drop which has been formed of a few drops of fetid water is on one end, and the handsome, beautiful, and talented man equipped with different senses and organs is on the other end.

Next to this stage, there is the subject of variety of man into two genders: male and female.

Regarding to the abundant differences in the body and soul, there will come some physiological problems into being each of which takes its own separate way from the very beginning of the combination of semen and everyone of them goes toward the duty which has been given to them and thus they develop.

The next subject is the responsibility of mother which is the acceptance and bearing of this burden, its protection, its nutrition and its growth, which has attracted the thoughts of great scientists to them, and they confess that it is one of the most surprising subjects of the world of existence.

The last stage of this part of foetus is the stage of birth. It is a revolutionary stage and completely dangerous, that is accompanied with a great deal of wonders.

What factors command foetus to come out from the mother’s womb?

How is the complete harmony arranged between this command and readiness of the limbs of the mother for its execution.

How can foetus totally change the situation to which it has been accustomed for nine months just in a moment: ceases its relation with the mother, uses the fresh air, the way of his food from umbilical cord is suddenly closed, the new way, i.e., the mouth begins to work, the dark environment of mother is left and the bright environment full of light is used, and it resists against all these changes and it immediately adapts itself to them?

Are these things not the best signs to the endless power and knowledge of Allah? It is a complete injustice that man judges so vainly about his own creation.

Then the Qur’a-n refers to the sixth and seventh stages of this wonderful program. It says:

“… and none is given long life who is given long life neither is any diminished in his life, but it is in a Book. …”

What factors are effective in the length of man’s life? What factors fight against the continuation of his life? And in short, what factors must gather and help each other in order that man can continue his living for one hundred years or less and more! And, finally, what factors cause the difference in man’s life-time?

All of these things have also some complicated and exact computations of which none is aware but Allah; and whatever we know in these fields today comparing with what we do not know is very little and worthless.

The Arabic word /mu‘ammar/ is derived from the word /‘umr/ which is originally derived from /‘ima-rat/ in the sense of ‘habitation’, and the fact that the length of man’s living is called lifetime is for the sake that the habitation of his body is in this time.

This word, /mu‘ammar/, means a person who has a long life. So, the Qur’a-n concludes the verse with this sentence , saying:

“… Verily this, for Allah, is easy.”

The creation of this wonderful being from ‘dust’ and the initiation of the creation of a complete man from ‘sperm-drop’, and also the whole facts concerning ‘genetic state’, conjugality, pregnancy, delivery, increase and decrease in life-time, whether from the point of power and from the point of knowledge, and computation of all of them is entirely easy and simple for Him. These are as a small part of the extroversive verses that, from one side, they relate and acquaint us with the world of existence, and, on the other side, they are counted as some valid proofs upon the possibility of Resurrection.

He Who was able to create a being from ‘dust’ and from sperm-drop for the first time, is He not able to revive men?

And does He, Who is aware of the minutes of these laws, have any difficulty in protecting and reckoning of the deeds of people in the scene of Resurrection?


27. Mi-za-n-ul-Hikmah, the word 'life-time'

Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah al-Fatir" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"

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