In these Quranic verses, Allah provides a full picture and lifecycle of how the life of a man started and where it will end up.
12. And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth).
13. Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman).
14. Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.
15. After that, surely, you will die.
16. Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.
Quran (Surah Al-Muminoon, Verses 12 – 16)
In these verses, our attention is drawn to the creation of man and the universe to impress that the whole universe including man’s own self, is a clear proof of the truth of the Holy Prophet’s Message, which invites the people to accept Tauhid and life in the Hereafter.
Reflections on these verses:
- Allah tells us how He initially created man from an extract of Tin. This was Adam, (peace be upon him), whom Allah created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water ? ‘despised’ meaning weak).
- The origin of man is from a mere inanimate sperm-drop, which undergoes several changes in the womb of the mother.
- After this, when it sees the light of the day, it is quite a different creation from the embryo in the womb. Now it can hear, it can see, and in due course of time, talk and think. Then, when he reaches adulthood and maturity, he is capable of performing wonderful deeds.
- It is obvious that Allah alone could create all these characteristics in an inanimate sperm-drop.
- The various stages of the creation of man have been cited to prove that Allah is All-Blessed and there is no human language which can describe the praise of which He is worthy.
· That Allah Who is able to develop an essence of clay into a perfect man, does not have any partner in His Godhead. Moreover, He has the power to raise him up again after his death, and is capable of working even greater wonders.
Ahadith pertaining to the verses of man’s creation
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “(Allah created Adam from a handful which He picked up from throughout the earth, so’ the sons of Adam came forth accordingly, red and white and black and in between, evil and good and in between.) Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded something similar. At-Tirmidhi said, “It is Sahih Hasan. ”
Ibn Jarir said, “Adam was called Tin because he was created from it.” Qatadah said, “Adam was created from Tin.” This is the more apparent meaning and is closer to the context, for Adam, upon him be peace, was created from a sticky Tin, which is a sounding clay of altered black smooth mud, and that is created from dust.
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “We change it from one stage to another until it emerges as an infant, then it grows up through the stages of being a child, adolescent, youth, mature man, old man and senile man.”
Narrated ‘Abdullâh: Allâh’s Messenger (s), the true and truly inspired said: “(As regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a piece of flesh for another forty days. Then Allâh sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in the Hereafter). Then the soul is breathed into his body. So a man may do deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses; and so he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. Similarly, a person may do deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and he starts doing deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire and enters the (Hell) Fire.” (Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol.4, Hadith No.549).
References: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafhim al-Quran Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, The Noble Qur’an, Translation by Dr. Muhsin Khan