Dr. Keith L. Moore is a Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He is a world renowned scientist and a distinguished researcher in the fields of anatomy and embryology, he has published more than 150 research articles, chapters and books in this field. He is the author of several medical textbooks, such as the widely used and acclaimed "The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology" (now in it's fifth edition, and translated into eight different languages), "Before We Are Born" and "Clinically Oriented Anatomy." He has also recently co-authored "Qur'an and Modern Science, Correlation Studies." Dr. Moore is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including, in 1984, the J.C.B. Grant Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has served in many academic and administrative positions, including the President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, 1968-1970. Let us see what Dr. Moore's opinion is on the scientific statements regarding embryology to be found in the Qur'an:
Dr. Moore was contacted by a Muslim scholar by the name of Abdul-Majeed Azzindani. He was asked to participate in a three-year study of around twenty-five verses of the Qur'an and the Sunnah (sayings of Muhammad, pbuh) which speak about embryology, and to determine the their correspondence to modern scientific discoveries. Dr. Moore's conclusion regarding this matter was:
"For the past three years, I have worked with the Embryology Committee of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, helping them to interpret the many statements in the Qur'an and the Sunnah referring to human reproduction and prenatal development. At first I was astonished by the accuracy of the statements that were recorded in the seventh century AD, before the science of embryology was established. Although I was aware of the glorious history of Muslim scientists in the 10th century AD, and of some of their contributions to Medicine, I new nothing about the religious facts and beliefs contained in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It is important for Islamic and other students to understand the meaning of these Qur'anic statements about human development, based on current scientific knowledge. The interpretations of the "verses" in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, translated by Shaikh Azzindani, are to the best of my knowledge accurate."
From the forward of "The Developing Human: Clinically oriented Embryology," third edition, by Dr. Keith L. Moore.
The Qur'an and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) provide a very detailed description of the microscopic development of the human embryo from a mere sperm drop up to the stage of a completely formed human being. It is well known that microscopes were not developed until the sixteenth century AD, and even at that were very crude in design. Zacharias Janssen is credited with having invented the compound microscope in about 1590. With it, remarkable scientific discoveries were made in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch naturalist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek produced lenses powerful enough to prove that many tiny creatures are not spontaneously generated but come from eggs.
Before this period, theories on human reproduction ran rampant. Some scientist believed that the menstrual blood itself developed into the fetus. Later on, a new theory was developed wherein the sperm drop was popularly believed to contain a completely developed miniature human (homunculus) which later grew to the size of a baby. The science of embryology as we know it today did not discover many of the detailed aspects of human development which are taken for granted today until only about twenty years ago, or 1973 to be precise.
Now we must ask the question: where did Muhammad (pbuh) get such detailed knowledge of the microscopic development of the human embryo in the 6th century AD without a microscope, technical training, a laboratory of any kind, or even the ability to write his own name? The only logical conclusion is that it came from exactly where he claimed it did. From the one who created mankind, God Almighty!
Prof. Moore has since given numerous lectures on the topic of embryology in the Qur'an. He is quoted in one of these lectures as saying:
"It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah."
Prof. Moore was so impressed with the Qur'anic classification of the stages of development of the human embryo, that he suggested the adoption of the Qur'anic system in place of the system currently in use by scientists today. Prof. Moore said:
"Because the staging of the human embryo is complex owing to the continuous process of change during development. It is therefore suggested that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge."
When Dr. Moore first presented his findings in Toronto it caused quite a stir throughout Canada. It was on the front pages of some of the newspapers across Canada. One newspaper reporter asked Professor Moore,
"Don't you think That maybe the Arabs might have known about these things - the description of the embryo, its appearance and how it changes and grows? Maybe there were not scientists, but maybe they did some crude dissections on their own - carved up people and examined these things."
Professor Morre immediately pointed out to him, however, that he had missed a very important point. All of the slides of the embryo that Dr. Moore had based his study upon had come from pictures taken through a microscope. He said,
"It does not matter if someone had tried to discover embryology fourteen centuries ago, they could not have seen it!." Dr. Moore taunted, "Maybe fourteen centuries ago someone secretly had a microscope and did this research, making no mistakes anywhere. Then he somehow taught Muhammad and convinced him to put this information in his book. Then he destroyed his equipment and kept it a secret forever?. Do you believe that? You really should not unless you bring some proof because it is such a ridiculous theory."
When he was asked "How do you explain this information in the Qur'an?" Dr. Moore's reply was, "It could only have been divinely revealed."