Behavioural Patterns of Species are like Humans
“And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you...” [Qur’an, Surah Al-An’am, 6:38]
Key words – ‘communities like you [i.e. humans]’ – Here the Creator informs us that the community structure and behavioural patterns of every single set of species in existence [as God does not exclude any] is similar to how we as human beings are – some of us live as married couples, single parents, groups of small family, large tribes, etc.
God has made some animals smart and resourceful and others relaxed and trusting. Some insects store a year’s worth of food for themselves, and others rely on the fact that daily provision is guaranteed for them. Some do not know their offspring at all; some look after their own offspring but not others; some never acknowledge their offspring once they become independent.
Some recognise and appreciate kind treatment, whilst for others it does not mean a thing. Some prefer others to themselves, whilst others, if they gain enough to provide for an entire community of their species, will not let any other come near it. Some animals will not harm unless severely provoked, whilst others will hurt without provocation.
Some bear grudges and never forget if someone hurts them, whilst others do not remember at all. Some never get angry, whilst others get angry quickly and are not easily calmed. Some have very precise knowledge of things which most people know nothing about, and some do not know about anything at all. Some learn quickly and some learn slowly. All this points to the similarities of the behavioural patterns of humans and the various species.
Sufyan ibn Uyaynah, an early Muslim scholar, said, “there is no human being on Earth who does not resemble animals in some way...some run like wolves, some bark like dogs and some flaunt themselves like peacocks. Some people resemble pigs in that if you offer them good food they will not touch it, but if a man gets up from defecating, they will come and roll in it. Hence, you find some people who, if they hear fifty words of wisdom they will not remember anything of that, but if a man does one thing wrong, that will stay in their memory.”
The Qur’an describes the Creator as:
“...He who gave everything its creation and then guided [it].” [Qur’an, Surah Ta-Ha, 20:50]
Note – every single entity – From the stars in the galaxies to every living species, to every different type of cell in an organism to the molecular level of an atom - every single entity has its function and role that is inherent within it - i.e. created and then guided.
Those who study how species behave, will know that in their own ecosystems, every animal from the lion, the snake to the butterfly - each of them has been born with inherent and instinctive patterns of behaviour that drives and guides them in all aspects of their lives from seeking food to seeking a mate.
The monarch butterfly, for example, who is born never meeting even its parents - yet knows exactly what to eat, where to fly to, how to attract a mate, and fly back to the ancestral home of its great great grandparent in a single season.
The Qur’an on Human Embryonic Development
Western physicians, during the 16th century, believed that a human being’s origin began entirely in the male’s semen. They envisaged that inside the male semen was a miniscule, fully formed human being who grew larger once implanted into the womb of the mother.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the previously held view was replaced by the opinion that the ‘minuscule’ human instead formed out of the woman’s menstrual blood coagulating [thickening] and that the male semen was merely an activating agent. It was not until 1775, that Italian scientist Spallanzi established that both the male semen and female ovum were required to form the human embryo.
It was also not until modern times, with the help of the electron microscope, that scientists discovered the existence of chromosomes and genes and that human embryonic development takes place in successive distinct stages.
The terminology used to describe human development in the Qur’an is characterized by descriptiveness and accuracy. Until recently these statements were not fully appreciated, since they referred to details in human development which were scientifically unknown in earlier times.
In the Qur’an, God mentions that human embryonic development passes through a number of distinct stages:
“Then We placed him as a sperm-drop [nutfah] in a firm lodging [i.e., womb].
Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot [alaqah], 
and We made the clot [alaqah] into a lump [of flesh], 
and We made [from] the lump, bones,
and We covered the bones with flesh;
then We developed him into another creation.
So blessed is God, the best of creators.” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Mu'minun, 23:13-14]
The stages in the Ayah [verse] can be summarised as follows:
Stage 1: The Nutfah
Stage 2: The ‘Alaqah
Stage 3: The Mudghah
Stage 4: Bone Formation [Idham]
Stage 5: Clothing the Bones with Flesh [Lahm]
The Nutfah literally means ‘a [single] drop’ of fluid whereas Manii means ‘semen.’ God says,
“Had he not been a sperm [nutfah] from semen [manii] emitted?” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Qiyamah, 75:36]
In the Qur’an and Hadith, Nutfah is used in three different but related contexts:
1. The Male Nutfah [Qur’an, Surah Al-Qiyamah, 75:36]
2. The Female Nutfah
3. Nutfah Amshaj – mixed or mingled Male and Female Nutfah [Qur’an, Surah Al-Insan, 76:2]
The Male Nutfah
The word Nutfah was mentioned twelve different times in the Quran and the word Manii was mentioned thrice. In the male context, the Nutfah is a single particle from the Manii when it is ejaculated – i.e. a single cell [sperm] from amongst the 200 – 300 million sperm cells. Before the 16th century, writings on embryonic development did not distinguish the constituent parts of the semen in its role of fertilisation.
“Does man think that he will be left neglected?
Had he not been a sperm [nutfah] from semen [manii] emitted?
Then he was a clinging clot [alaqah], 
and [God] created [his form] and proportioned [him]. ?
And made of him two mates, the male and the female.
Is not that [Creator] Able to give life to the dead?” [Qur’an, Surah Al-Qiyamah, 75:36-40]
“And that He creates the two mates - the male and female – From a sperm-drop [nutfah] when it is emitted.” [Qur’an, Surah An-Najm, 53:45-46]
In these Ayaat [verses], there are a lot of facts that require careful consideration. We know the sex of the newborn is determined by the sperm - it is definitively stated that the male and female are fashioned from a sperm-drop from the semen that has been ejaculated. If a sperm carrying an X chromosome fertilises an ovum [which always contains an X chromosome], the offspring will be a girl, while if the fertilising sperm contains a Y chromosome, the offspring will be a boy.
The Qur’an has stated this fact 1,400 years ago, before anybody knew anything about X and Y chromosomes.
The Female Nutfah
The Female Nutfah [ovum] per se is not mentioned explicitly in the Qur’an, but is inferred in the term Nutfah Amshaj – i.e. mingled from both male and female [refer to Qur’an Surah, Surah Al-Insan, 76:2]. However, it is clearly stated in the Hadith from the Prophet. A Jew came to the Prophet and asked, ‘O Muhammad. Tell me from what thing man is created.’ The Prophet said, ‘O Jew, from both Male and Female Nutfah, man is created.’ 
This is a very astonishing revelation, as it is only recently that we came to know that both male and female cells [sperm and ovum] join together to form the human zygote – a fact not known before the 19th century.
 Musnad Ahmad. The complete narration has been declared da’eef [contains weakness according to the rules of hadeeth verification] by Ahmad Shakir.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human