The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"When an embryo passes 42 days, God sends an angel to blow spirit in it, so He creates ears, eyes, skin, flesh, and bones."
Well, I have already talked about embryology in different posts. Look at the steps in this picture:
The steps that the foetus undergoes in the womb to take human shape takes 42 days exactely as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) alluded to in his Hadith and as scientists of embryology explained:
During the sixth week after fertilization, the unborn child can respond to local tactile stimulation by reflex movements. At the end of the sixth week, the unborn child is clearly recognisable as a human being by gross morphological observation.
The eye is obvious about 42 days after fertilization.
The eyes are deveveloping rapidly,the ears are developing rapidly, 7th week after conception.
Now the question is: why does Islam considers abortion as illegal?
Muslim scolars concluded from the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that abortion should be made illegal, especially, after the passage of 42 days, and said that a woman could abort before this time, only when pregnancy could endanger her life or general health. The secret is that the day 42 is the time of the 'blowing' of the soul into the child's body. The soul stirs life within the baby's body and, then, the heart and brain begin its function as it has been noted by modern embryology. Reseachers say that the age of 42 days should make it illegal for a woman to abort her baby, because at this time the baby undergoes a crucial change from the status of a feotus to a full human being, and any abortion in this stage is a murder of human life.
My apologies for the terms 'blond' and 'black', but sometimes we are just compelled to use racial jargon to talk about a racial issue. Well, this is a picture of a blond baby who has been born out of black parents.
Dr. Brian skies has described this phenomena as 'exceptional'. He said: so that the baby becomes completely white, there should be white origins in his family tree. The reason behind is the racial mixture that women can hold black and white genes that are transfered afterwards to the baby. (According to Times Magazine)
A similar story happened when a man from the suburbs came to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and told him: "O Prophet of God, my wife has begotten a black baby, while our family is white." The Prophet (pbuh) replied: do you have camels? The man said: Yes. The Prophet said and what's their colors? The man said: they are redish. The Prophet replied: are there any black camels? The man said: no. The Prophet asked if there were camels of mulatto kind. The man said: yes. So, the Prophet replied: so maybe your son has a genetic resemblance to one of his forebears.
The way the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) handled the situation was very logical and wise, because Arab people before the advent of Islam were extermely sensitive to any event of this kind. For the way they handled problems, they could have waved stories or waged wars and raised the issue to the level of honor crimes. In fact, the teachings of the Prophet were a revolution against traditional, extremist beliefs that prevailed among people before the advent of Islam. Second, the way he explained the event was not in any way contraditory to what Dr. Brian skies and his comtemporaries explained as a genetic event.
Lately, I had the opportunity to watch an Iranien movie about the Virgin Mary (may God bless her). Well, I am already acquainted with the story of this great woman, but wacthing the film made me pay attention to the great role that the Virgin Mary played in changing the values and beliefs of the ancient Jewish tradition which considered that women should not contribute to the religious rituals of the church, as the priests used to preach that women should not be allowed to, even, enter the church or participate in the religious ceremonies along with men.
The Virgin Mary has been born in a society which considers women as a big burden on their families, and as second class citizens. The following Qur'anic verse about the birth of Mary inveils the plight of women within the ancient Jewish tradition. God says in the chapter Al Iram (the family of Mary and Prophet Jesus (blessings be upon them all):
"...when the wife of Imran said: 'O my Lord, I have vowed to You what is in my womb, to be dedicated to You. So, accept this from me. Indeed, You hear and know all things. Then when she delivered her, she said: 'O my Lord, I have delivered a female, and God knew best what she delivered, and the male is not like the female, and I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge with you for her and for her children from the expelled Satan."
This verse, clearly, inveils the concerns of the wife of Imran over the birth of Mary. She expected her to be a male, because only a man at that time was allowed to grow up as a scholar or a religious leader. Her fears were well founded, as she wanted to insure for her baby a good position within the Jewish society which used to exclude women from scolarship and religious leadership. God fufilled the prayers of the wife of Imran, when He says in the Holy Qur'an:
So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?" She said, "It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account."
At the age of 16 years old, Mary was a very distinguished girl. Every body loved her for her piety, her constant prayers and fasting, and her goodness to the poor people, as she used to give her usual breakfast to the poors and used to support them both on spiritual and material terms.The convent where Mary was raised (under the care of Prophet Zaccharia) managed by Jewish priests. They hated her so much for her purity and the divine compassion and miracles with which she was endowed: she used to heal the sick people through constant prayers to God. The Jewish priests knew that and their hatred was stemmed from their latent jalousy. I recall an interesting scene in which Mary wasconfronted with one of the Jewish priests. He told her, plainly, that he hated her for the pure, and the divinely-cared-for woman she was. He could not grasp how God has chosen a 16 years old child to have a great status among her people, while he who has spent most of his life in the church did not get the same favour. He did not understand that God chooses whom He willls among his faithful people, because his apparent 'faith' on God was false, while all the church at that time cared for was power and dominion over people. In regard to them, Mary was a true religious woman along with Prophet Zaccharia, who defended her and gave her moral support.
Another wonderful scene and a turning point in the life of the Virgin Mary (may God bless her) was the moment she received a revelation from God, ordering her to enter the church! God says in the Holy Qur'an:
And when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]."
This revelation was a clear sign from God to Mary to enter the church and 'bow with those who bow', which did at the amasement and the anger of the Jewish priest. Mary was the first woman to defy traditions and enter the church, where she bowed and prayed to God along with men, as God has inspired her to do. There she got the vilest treatement at the hands of the Jewish priests, who have fiercely beaten her. When Prophet Zaccharia asked her why she trangressed the laws of the church, she told him about the revelation, which he understood and was the first man to believe in her. He stood firm against the Jewish priests to tell that their beating to Mary was a trangression to the laws ofGod. The power scence in the movie along with the Qur'anic verses about Mary and Iram family raised my understanding of her life story from the mere concept of purified woman to the revolutionary figure who had the courage to face the Jewish false traditions and enter the church which was prohibited for women at that time.
It was a feminist movement led by the Virgin Mary and the Prophet Zacchria (by the revelation and support of God) to trangress the false laws of Jewish priesthood, which consider woman as slaves born to serve men. These priests preached false patriarcal beliefs to maintain themselves in power and dominion over the Jewish society which met the despotic laws of the Roman empire. The story of Mary as it was revealed in Qur'an was a unique one, where a 16 years old girl was given the spiritual power to threaten the despotic laws that considered that religious leadership and scolarship is a divine favor which should not encompass women.
When the spider hurries to weave its web around the door
And the doves build its nests and lay its eggs on the floor
And the tree spreads its branches around your cave
And against the intricacies Allah spreads his slaves
Coming to give you shelter and protect you from harm
While the enemies are in every side spreading the alarm
There they kept waiting in despair around the sheltering rocks
While you were there teasing your companion from shock
And with love you kept saying “Allah is with us, don’t worry!”
While the night surges all around the cave in a hurry
What a witness of love greater than this amazing and lovely sight!
There you begin your quest for freedom late at night
A miraculous quest from the night of pains and starvation
To the dawn of freedom; towards the building of a nation
And when the rays of daylight break over the lonely night
Men and women kept waiting with eager eyes your dear sight
Singing and crying from joy Allah is great, Allah is great…
The messenger of God shone like the moon upon the land
Coming to us far away from the valleys and the sands…
O messenger of Allah you brought honour and joy over the land!
God says in the Holy Qur'an in Surah Baqara (190-191):
"And fight in the way of God, those who fight you and do not transgress, for God does not love transgressors. And kill them whenever you find them, and expulse them wherever they expulsed you; and oppression is worse than carnage; and do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there, and if they fight you, then kill them. Indeed such is the recompense of disbelievers, and if they regress back then God is forgiving and compassionate."
This verse -from Chapter Al Baqara- has always been widely misused by the anti-Islam propagandists so as to prove their silly propaganda that the Qur'an teaches the killing of infidels. Today, I was reading a book about the reasons of the revelation of the Holy Qur'an, and I came accross this verse that triggered so much thoughts among some people lacking the proper understanding of Qur'an, while for some it just paved them the way to justify a subconscious xenophobia. This verse refers to one of the most delicate times in the history of Islam, when the Meccan persecutions against Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went too far as to prevent them from performing their rituals of pilgrimmage, and which leaded to the Treaty of Al Hudaibia, in which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), with the help and advice of lady Oum Selma, showed a great sense of wisdom.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) marched from the Medina Monwara towards Mecca accompanied by 1400 Muslims to perform the rituals of pilgrimmage. During their peacefull caravan, Muslims received the information that the 'Meccan disbelievers' were plotting against them as to prevent them from performing their sacred rituals by force. So, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Muslims stopped in a place called Al Hudaibia and sent them this message:
"We have come on a peaceful and religious mission. We have come only to perform the sacred pilgrimage. We desire neither bloodshed nor war, and we shall be glad if the Meccans agree to a truce for a limited period."
Whenever the Prophet Muhammad used to send a messenger among his community, this latter failed to return, till the third time when the Meccan disblievers of Quraish detained the messenger and spread a rumor that this man was killed as to provoke a war with Muslims. At this time, the Prophet collected all the Muslim people travelling with him and took pledge from them that they will fight with him if any war would be stirred against them, which the Muslims agreed upon willingly. As soon as the disbelievers knew of this pledge, they sent a messenger to negociate with the Prophet and ask peace under the following conditions:
1-Muslim should go back to Mecca without performing pilgrimmage.
2-They would be allowed till the following year under the condition that Muslim are allowed a delay of only three days to leave.
3-Muslim are forbidden to take any Muslim Meccan resident with them.
The Meccan disbelievers used these terms to provoke the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which he accepted by the advice of lady Oum Selma. So the Prophet acceted their terms as he wanted to avoid war and bloodshed, despite the refusal of Omar Ibn Khattab to comply. Once the term of one year was over, and the Muslims pilgrims who prepared themselves to the travel and this with 10.000 people, Muslims feared that the disbelievers breach their the Treaty of Hudaibia, as they were reluctant to fight in this month, which they considered as the sacred month. So, God revealed this verse to the Prophet and gave them permission to fight back if Meccan disblievers hindered them from their religious rituals.
This is the famous treaty of Al Hudaibia, which has been a turning point in Islamic history, and which helped the spread of Islam in the country. So, the reasons of the revelation of this verse is a clear indication that the famous 'killing of the infidels' refered to the disbelievers among the people of Mecca, named Quraish. However, the divine permission to fight was allowed unless the disbelievers breach their treaty, which is quite clear from the Qur'anic verse.