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The Creation of a Child According to the Qur’an

In several verses of the Noble Qur’an, Alla-h (swt) has mentioned the creation and stages of transformation of the child. It is by observing this miracle that one inevitably desires to thank and revere Him, the best of Creators.

In Surat al-Mu’minu-n, verses 12-14, He states:

“Certainly We created the human being from an extract of clay. Then We made him a drop of (seminal) fluid (lodged) in a secure abode. Then We created the drop of fluid as a clinging mass. Then We created the clinging mass as a fleshy tissue. Then We created the fleshy tissue as bones. Them We clothed the bones with flesh. Then We produced him as (yet) another creature. So blessed is Alla-h (swt), the best of creators!”

In the verses above, Alla-h (swt) mentions 7 stages of creation:

Stage 1: The human being initially starts off as clay; in other words, the inorganic constituents of the earth are absorbed into living matter by way of food.

Stage 2: Living matter reproduces itself by means of sperm; thus the human is then made into a seed (the seminal fluid), and placed in a firm resting place (the ovum of a mother).

Stage 3: The first change in the fertilised ovum is the conversion into a sort of clot of thickly congealed blood, or clinging mass.

Stage 4: The zygote cells grow by segmentation; then the mass gradually assumes shape in its growth as a foetus (a lump of fleshy tissue).

Stage 5: From this develops bones.

Stage 6: Flesh now grows on the bones, as do organs and a nervous system.

Stage 7: So far the development of an infant human is like that of an animal. However, a major step is now taken and the foetus becomes a complete human. This is the breathing of Alla-h (swt)’s spirit into him. (This may not be at a specific time; rather it may be parallel to that of physical growth.)

On the subject of the creation of the foetus, it is narrated from the Prophet (s): “The seed in the womb of the mother (takes) 40 days to become a clot, then after 40 days it becomes a lump of flesh (foetus); when the child is 4 months old, by the command of Alla-h (swt), 2 Angels give the foetus a spirit (ru-h) and specify the sustenance (Rizq), period of living, deeds (A‘ma-l), prosperity and adversity of the child.” 148

It is perhaps for this reason that it has been suggested that especially after the 40th day of intercourse, one should be extra careful when preparing food. The food must be ritually clean and hala-l as this will have an impact on the child. 149

Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as) also described the process of creation as follows: “After the completion of the materials of the body, Alla-h (swt) sends two Angels who have the duty of the creation of the child, and by the permission of Alla-h (swt), they create the ears and eyes and all the inner and outer organs (limbs) of the body.” 150

In Ima-m Husain’s (as) Du’a of ‘Arafa-t, he refers to the process of creation and attempts to count the blessings bestowed by Alla-h (swt) in the following manner:

“You originated me by Your blessing before I was a thing remembered.

You created me from dust,
then gave me a place in the loins (of my fathers),
secure from the uncertainty of Fate and the vagaries of the ages and the years.

I remained a traveller from loin to womb in a time

immemorial of past days
and bygone centuries.
In Your tenderness, bounty and goodness toward me You
did not send me out into the empire of the
leaders of disbelief, those who broke Your
covenant and cried lies to Your messengers.
Rather, You sent me out to that guidance which had
been foreordained for me, the way which
You made easy for me
and in which You Nurtured me.
And before that You wert kind to me through Your
gracious fashioning
and abundant blessings.
You originated my creation from a sperm-drop spilled
and madest me to dwell in a threefold gloom among flesh,
blood and skin.
You gave me not to witness my creation,
nor didst You entrust me with anything of my own affair.
Then You sent me out into the world for the guidance
that had been foredained for me, complete

and unimpaired.” 151

Ima-m Zain al-’Abidi-n (as) in his Du‘a- after Sala-t al-Lail in Sahi-fah Sajja-diya also mentions this amazing period of the foetus and of breastfeeding. He thanks Alla-h (swt) and expresses his amazement at how Alla-h (swt) created such a beautiful creation from a few seeds.

“O God, You caused me to descend as mean water
from loins of narrow bones and tight passages
into a constricted womb
which You hadst covered with veils;
You turned me about from state to state
until You took me to the completion of the form
and fixed within me the bodily parts,
as You hast described in Your Book:
a drop,
then a clot,
then a tissue,
then bones,
then You garmented the bones with flesh,
then You produced me as another creature

as You willed.

Then, when I needed Your provision,
and could not do without the aid of Your bounty,
Thou appointed for me a nourishment
from the bounty of the food and drink
which You bestowed upon Your handmaid
in whose belly You gavest me to rest
and in the lodging of whose womb
You deposited me.

Hadst You entrusted me in those states, my Lord,
to my own force
or driven me to have recourse to my own strength,
force would have been removed from me
and strength taken far away.

So You fed me through Your bounty
with the food of the Good, the Gentle;
You hast done that for me in graciousness toward me
up to this my present point.
I do not lack Your goodness,
nor does Your benefaction keep me waiting.
Yet with all that,
my trust has not become firm enough
that I might free myself
for that which is more favoured by You.” 152

In a Hadith al-Qudsi, Alla-h (swt) addresses the ungrateful man and says: “Oh, Son of Adam! You have not acted justly with me! I made your weight light on your mother! After that I made the path of your deliverance from a tight and dark place smooth (and tolerable). When you placed a foot in the world outside the womb, I saw that you don’t have teeth to eat food; I placed breasts full of milk in the warm bosom of (your) mother. I made the heart of your mother merciful towards you, and the heart of your father affectionate, such that they take pains to give you food, and do not sleep until they make you sleep.

Oh, Son of Adam! All these favours were not because you asked it from me, nor that I needed you. And when the state of your physical constitution was ready, and your teeth grew, I made you enjoy (and benefit from) (different) types of foods and fruits of the summer and winter. However! Despite all this kindness, after you did not recognise me (as your Creator and Sustainer), you disobeyed me.” 153

Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"

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