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Creation of a human from male and female liquids
« on: January 25, 2017, 08:32:24 am »
The Quran Does NOT Say that Sperm is Created from between the Backbone and Ribs

Understanding Verse 86:7 According to the Prophet’s Disciples, the Salaf, and the Classical Scholars


A Christian man named David Wood is claiming that the Quran says that semen is created from between the male’s backbone and his ribs. Modern science, however, tells us that semen comes from the testicles. David Wood is claiming that this proves that Prophet Muhammad was a false prophet. He, along with others, are making fun of the Prophet for not knowing where semen comes from.

The verse that David Wood cites is as follows:

Now let man but think From what he is created! He is created from A drop emitted—Proceedings from between the backbone (sulb) and the ribs (tara’ib). (Quran, 86:5-7)

Can you please clarify this issue?

Answer by Dr. Ibn al-Hashimi:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Glorious, the Most Beneficent.

I was asked by brother Bassam Zawadi to answer your question. He hoped that due to my medical background, I would be able to properly address your concern. However, the truth of the matter is that I did not even need a medical education to answer your question; rather, all that I needed was a bit of common sense. Insha-Allah, I will address your question in full detail, leaving no doubt in the matter.

Before I begin, I’d like to thank brother Bassam, and give a quick plug for his website, It’s an excellent website and a great resource for the English-speaking Muslims of the world. May God reward the tireless efforts of brother Bassam, who day in and day out combats the rising tide of Islamaphobia, which threatens peace and stability on this earth.

I’d also like to thank Shaykh Salman al-Oudah of, one of the greatest scholars of our time. This reply would not have been possible without him. May God reward him.


The translation used by Mr. David Wood is horribly inaccurate. The correct translation of ‘sulb’ is not backbone, nor does the word ‘tara’ib’ indicate the man’s ribs. Let us review the verse in question:

So let man consider from what he is created. He is created from an emitted fluid that issued from between the sulb and the tara’ib. (86:5-7)

Mr. Wood has understood the verse to mean that both ‘sulb’ and ‘tara’ib’ refer to the male. In other words, the fluid emitted refers to the semen, and it comes out from in between the sulb and the tara’ib. However, the truth of the matter is that the word ‘tarai’b’—according to the Arabic—is actually referring to a female body part. Much like the English word ‘penis’ can only be ascribed to a male, the word ‘tara’ib’ can only be applied to a female.

This is not apologetic modernism or revisionism; the classical works of Quranic commentary throughout the last 1400 years confirm this view categorically. In other words, the sulb belongs to the male, and the tara’ib belongs to the female. This is the view of the Muslims since the last fourteen hundred years, and there is consensus (ijma) on this matter, since the time of the Sahabah (the Prophet’s disciples) until today.

Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî of writes:

The phrase “mâ’ dâfiq” (emitted fluid) is not restricted in meaning to sperm but is used in Arabic for both the sperm and the egg. Ibn Kathîr, in his commentary on this verse, writes: “It emanates from the man and the woman, and with Allah’s permission, the child comes forth as a product of both.”

…The words translated as “backbone” (sulb) and “ribs” (tarâ’ib) are not understood in Arabic to belong to the same person. Arabs understand the “sulb” to refer to a part of the male body and the “tarâ’ib” to a part of the female. Ibn Kathîr states: “It refers to the ‘sulb’ of the man and the ‘tarâ’ib’ of the woman…” He then quotes this interpretation on the authority of the Prophet’s companion Ibn `Abbâs. This same understanding is given in all the major classical works of Qur’anic commentary.

Many non-Arabs misinterpret this verse because they think that sulb and tara’ib refer to different body parts of the male. In reality, tara’ib is feminine, and refers to the female’s body part. For fourteen hundred years, all of the scholars have held this belief, and not a single classical scholar has ever differed on this point. The reason is that the Arabic makes it clear that tara’ib refers to a feminine body part, and not a male one.

Lane’s Lexicon says:

Tara’ib: … most of the authors on strange words affirm decidedly that it (tara’ib) is peculiar to women. (Lane’s Lexicon, p.301)

All of the major commentaries of the Quran confirm that the tara’ib is peculiar to women. Ibn Katheer writes in his tafseer (commentary) of the Quran:

It (fluid) emanates from the man and the woman, and with Allah’s permission, the child comes forth as a product of both. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer)

Tafseer al-Jalalayn says:

Issuing from between the sulb, of the man, and the tara’ib, of the woman. (Tafseer Al-Jalalayn)

Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafseer Ibn Abbas says:

That issued from between the sulb of the man and the tara’ib of a woman.

(Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafseer Ibn Abbas)

Do Women Have Semen?

Mr. David Wood says:

Muhammad adds in the Hadith that women have a discharge analogous to the semen in men (though women have no discharge similar to male semen):

….Muhammad’s view of reproduction, as we have seen, is terribly flawed. Muhammad believed that semen is produced between the ribs and the backbone, that women produce a similar substanceThis is completely false; it seems like Prophet Muhammad who lived 1400 years ago knows more about human reproduction than Mr. Woods does. A man contributes sperm; this sperm cannot reach the female by itself. Rather, it has to be mixed in with semen, a viscous fluid that aids in transportation. Similarly, a woman contributes an egg, but this egg cannot travel through the fallopian tube and uterus without it being mixed in fluid. Of course, this fluid is not sperm, but it is like sperm in that it helps the follicle to travel. In fact, during ovulation, a great deal of fluid is released by the female from a variety of sources inside her body. says:

Ovulation is assumed to take place on the day a woman has the most amount of wet fluid.

( medical website,, says:

When a woman is fertile, each month a Graafian follicle travels to the surface of the ovary, bursts, and releases an egg and its fluid contents into a fallopian tube.

( cilia in the fallopian tube push the fluid and the egg forward towards the uterus. It is the fluid which is the main force that causes the cilia to beat and thereby push the egg to its destination. Without the fluid, the egg will most likely not make it. One can read this medical article on the topic:

The Effect of Ovarian Follicular Fluid and Peritoneal Fluid on Fallopian Tube Ciliary Beat Frequency

BACKGROUND: …At ovulation, follicular fluid is released into the peritoneal cavity and enters the Fallopian tube. We hypothesized that this fluid may provide the stimulus for the increase in CBF (Ciliary Beat Frequency) detected after ovulation.

…CONCLUSIONS: The increase in CBF detected after ovulation may aid ovum pick-up and transport along the Fallopian tube. Factor(s) within human follicular fluid and secretory phase peritoneal fluid may be responsible for this increase in CBF.

( confirms this:

Formation of Fallopian tubal fluid:

Fluid produced and secreted by the Fallopian tube provides the environment in which gamete transport and maturation, fertilization and early embryo development occur.

( could cite many more authoritative sources to prove that the egg must travel in fluid, which is secreted from a variety of sources inside the female body. And it should be clear that neither the Quran nor the hadeeths claim that the woman has sperm; rather, they simply say that she has sexual fluid, which is a fact, despite Mr. Woods overwhelming ignorance.

Sulb Means “Loins”

As for the proper definition of sulb in the context of this verse, it is ‘loins’ and NOT backbone. Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî of writes:

The word “sulb” should not necessarily be translated as “backbone”. This word has many possible meanings and backbone is only one of them. It is also quite commonly used to mean the loins of a man. This is how it is used elsewhere in the Qur’ân. Allah says: “Prohibited to you (for marriage) are…wives of your sons proceeding from your loins (aslâb, the plural of sulb).” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 23] There can be no problem with sperm coming out from the area of a man's loins.

Pickathal, a translator of the Quran, similarly translates the word ‘sulb’ as ‘loins’.

At this point in time, I think it would be appropriate to define the word ‘loins’, since many people nowadays have weak vocabularies. The word ‘loins’ refers to the genital and pubic area, or the genitalia. So if the Quran says that sperm comes from the genitalia (and it does!), then how is this a scientific error?

I have seen some silly arguments made by some Islamaphobic net warriors, who most likely cannot speak a lick of Arabic. An ignoramus who goes by the user name ‘benalissa284632’ argues:

...Loins in english has two meaning backbone and ribs, alsulbi only has the first meaning loins (back bone) not the second meaning which is gentials areas, so it would be better to translate it to backbone becuz loins is deceiving it's a stretch of the imagination to for alsulbi to take on the second definition of loins it only means the first which is backbone. nice try though yes islam has been disproven hell yeah


Basically, what this person is saying is that the word ‘sulb’ has only one meaning in Arabic, which is ‘backbone’, whereas the English language has two meanings for the word ‘loins’, one of which is ‘genital area’ and another of which is ‘backbone’. So, ‘benalissa’ is claiming that Muslims are playing a trick by translating it as ‘loins’ when in fact they are taking the second definition of the word ‘loins’—namely ‘backbone’.

I’ve seen this argument being made by various Islamaphobes all over the internet. Too bad (for them) that this argument is patently false, and easily proven so! The Arabic word ‘sulb’ has two meanings, one of which is backbone and one of which is genital area (i.e. loins). To categorically prove this is a very easy matter, since all we have to do is refer to some English-Arabic dictionaries.

Arabic-English Dictionaries and Journal Articles

We refer the reader to p.226 of The Concise Oxford English Arabic Dictionary. The English word ‘loins’ is translated as ‘sulb’. (source: )

We refer the reader to p.231 of Hippocrene Standard Dictionary Arabic-English English-Arabic by John Wortabet, in which once again, the only definition of the word loins is ‘sulb’. (source:

It is a simple matter of driving down to Barnes and Noble or another bookstore to verify these definitions. But if the reader is too lazy to do that, here is an online reference. On p.146 of An English and Arabic Dictionary by Joseph Catafago, notice that the only definition given for the word ‘salbi’ is ‘proceeding from the loins’. (click here to view:

Here is another online reference: on p.791 of A Comprehensive Persian English Dictionary: Including the Arabic Words, we see that the first definition of the word ‘sulbi’ is ‘proceeding from the loins’. (click here:

Still not convinced? Here is another online reference, this time from the, which translates the word ‘sulb’ as ‘loins’. It should be noted that this article has nothing to do with the verse in question, so the issue of bias cannot be brought up! (It’s a Bohra website, and Bohras are not considered Muslims by us.) We read:

He was succeeded by his brother Imam Husayn (SA), Sayyid al-Shuhada, (Lord of the Martyrs) through whose sulb (loins) the tasalsul to the Imamat has continued and will continue, until the Day of Judgment.


Cambridge University Press published a journal article in which the word ‘sulb’ was similarly translated as ‘loins’:

It is suggested that the Chelebi is derived from the Arabic salb or sulb, “loins,” and that it originally denoted “true born” or “lawful heir”…


The University of California Press published a book, written by Carol Lowery Delaney, in which the word ‘sulb’ was translated as ‘loins’:

The father’s side can be called sulb tarafi (sulb means loins, descendants, seed; spinal column, hard, rigid, firm)….

(The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society, p.158,

In the Persian Translator’s Introduction to Adab al-Suluk, the word ‘sulb’ is defined as ‘loins’. (‘Sulb’ is one of the many Arabic words used in the Persian and Hindu languages.) We read:

…The starting point is the father’s loins (sulb); the second stage is the mother’s womb; the third stage is the physical world; and the fourth stage is that of the grave…


In A Dictionary, Hindustani & English, by Duncan Forbes, we read on p.514:

Sulb: the loins, offspring

(A Dictionary, Hindustani & English, p.514,

Proof from the Quran and Hadeeths

Perhaps the greatest proof is from the Quran itself. The word ‘sulb’ is used in another verse:

Prohibited to you (for marriage) are…wives of your sons proceeding from your loins (aslaab, the plural of sulb). (Surah an-Nisa, 23)

It is also used in the Prophetic sayings (hadeeths). For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alleged to have said:

…From the loins (sulb) of this (man) will come a man who will fill the earth with fairness and justice…


Proof from the Bible

The Bible uses the word ‘loins’ in the exact same way, in numerous verses. For example:

And kings shall come out of your loins. (Genesis 35:11.)

You shall not build the house (the Temple); but your son that shall come forth out of your loins, he shall build the house unto my Name. (I Kings 8:19.)

And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt already. (Exodus, 1:5)

Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence against the Christian Islamaphobes is that the Christians translated the Bible into Arabic, and they translated the word ‘loins’ as ‘sulb’! Exodus 1:5 reads:

Exodus 1 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt already. (American Standard Version)

The word ‘loins’ in this verse is rendered as ‘sulb’ by the Christian translators at

5وَكَانَتْ جَمِيعُ نُفُوسِ الْخَارِجِينَ مِنْ صُلْبِ يَعْقُوبَ سَبْعِينَ نَفْسًا. وَلكِنْ يُوسُفُ كَانَ فِي مِصْرَ


For those who can’t read Arabic, the underlined word is “sulb”!

This indeed exposes the hypocrisy and two-faced nature of the Christian Islamaphobes. For some reason it is OK for the Christians to say that Jacob’s offspring came from his sulb, but when the Quran says that a human is created from a father’s sulb, suddenly they accuse the Quran of being inaccurate. Fairness dictates that if the Christians are going to mock the Quran for saying that semen comes from the male’s sulb, then they must also mock their Bible which similarly uses the word.

Tara’ib Refers to the Female’s Body Part

The Authorized King James Version (AKJV) of the Bible uses old English. As such, the average reader may have a hard time understanding some of the words used therein, many of which have become antiquated or obscure words in contemporary English. One Christian website declares:

…Antiquated words, used in the AKJV, may be rather difficult for you to understand. This is because some of the words which were used in Elizabethan English in years gone by, at the time that the KJV Bible was translated, do not have the same meaning as they do today, if they are even still in use at all.


This is true for any book that was written hundreds and hundreds of years ago. For example, many of the words used in Shakespeare’s books are now antiquated and obscure.

The word ‘tara’ib’, used by the Quran, is one such word; it is now considered an obscure word. It is not normally used in modern Arabic. Whereas I had no problems finding the word ‘sulb’ in The Concise Oxford English Arabic Dictionary, Hippocrene Standard Dictionary Arabic-English English-Arabic, An English and Arabic Dictionary, A Comprehensive Persian English Dictionary: Including the Arabic Words, etc., I could not find the word ‘tara’ib’ in any one of them! This shows how truly obscure the word is!

I finally found the word ‘tara’ib’ in Lane’s Lexicon, which actually refers to tara’ib as one of the ‘strange words’ [i.e. rare, obscure, etc.]. In fact, it is such an obscure word that the Prophet’s Companions and early Muslims disagreed as to what it referred to. However, the one thing they agreed on was that it referred to a body part of the female.

Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî of writes:

…When we look at the word being translated as “ribs” (tarâ’ib, the plural of tarîbah) we find that it is used linguistically for the general are of the chest and the abdomen. In al-Qâmûs, the famous classical dictionary of al-Fayrûzabâdî it is defined as a number of things: “the bones of the chest or what comes after the two collarbones or what comes between the collarbones and the chest or the four ribs to the right of the chest or the four ribs to the left of the chest or the hands, eyes and feet or the collarbones.” Some Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and some Successors had also provided many possible meanings, like the lower ribs and al-Dahhâk’s statement that it is the area between the breasts and feet…

This word clearly has a very broad and diverse definition. It is so ambiguous a word that the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) could not give it a precise definition. Scholars of Qur’ânic commentary have consistently admitted to there being at least three different possible meanings for this word as it is used in the verse. This is an admission that they do not know for certain what the tarâ’ib are, except that they generally agree it refers to an area of the woman’s body. It can apply to any region nearing the ribcage. Therefore, the area of the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, or the uterus can easily fit into the general area that is being indicated by these verses.

From a linguistic standpoint, the term ‘tara’ib’ means ‘an arch of bones.’ Because of this, some of the early Muslims thought that it could refer to the woman’s rib cage, which encases the uterus. During normal pregnancies, the uterus actually grows underneath and into the rib cage. Dr. William D. McIntosh (M.D.) says to one woman:

…Your uterus is still under your ribs, but the movement is frequently more intense on the right side due to the prescence [sic] of the liver.

(Dr. William D. McIntosh,

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) writes:

As your baby continues to grow, he/she takes up a larger portion of your uterus. You may not feel that your body can handle your growing baby, but it will compensate by allowing your uterus to extend underneath your rib cage.

( says:


The ribcage expands enormously during pregnancy to help make room for the expanding uterus and to maintain adequate lung capacity. Many pregnant women experience rib discomfort from this expansion, as well as the occasional little foot or knee that might habitually press against the ribs.


In other words, the word tara’ib could simply be referring to the woman’s uterus, since the rib cage surrounds it.

Another possible meaning for tara’ib could simply be ‘pelvic arch’, where the ovaries are located. Again, tara’ib literally means ‘an arch of bones’. The ribs form an arch of bones and this is why some of the early Muslims considered the tara’ib to be, but the pelvis certainly looks like an arch of bones as well. This is how Muhammad Asad translated the verse:

(7) issuing from between the loins [of man] and the pelvic arch [of woman].*

* The plural noun tarai’b, rendered by me as “pelvic arch”, has also the meaning of “ribs”, or “arch of bones”; according to most of the authorities who have specialized in the etymology of rare Quranic expressions, this term relates specifically to female anatomy. (Taj al-`Arus). (Quran, Ref: 86:7)

Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî confirmed this, saying:

It can apply to any region nearing the ribcage. Therefore, the area of the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, or the uterus can easily fit into the general area that is being indicated by these verses.

The truth is that tara’ib is a very obscure word. Just open up Lane’s Lexicon to see this! We read:

The part of the breast which is the place of the collar, or necklace : (T, M, K so by the common consent of the lexicologists : (T or the bones of the breast: (M, A, K or the bones of the breast that are between the collar-bone and the pap: (8 or the part of the breast, or chest, that is next to the two collar-bones : or the part that is between the two breasts and the collar bones r four ribs of the right side of the chest and four of the left therefore : (M, K or the two arms and two legs and two eyes: (T, M, K ....

(Lane’s Lexicon, p.301)

And the definition goes on! It seems that the word ‘tara’ib’ can refer to quite a few parts on the female body.

Why Would God Use an Obscure Word?

The Quran is a literary masterpiece. The English reader may not be able to appreciate that, but Arabic speakers agree that it is the most awe-inspiring recitation ever. In fact, the enemies of Islam during the time of the Prophet instructed their followers to put their fingers in their ears so as not to get “seduced” by the beauty of the Quran. One of the pagans said to the Prophet after hearing a few Quranic verses: “I swear by God, I have never heard such beautiful words before.” The Quran was so deeply eloquent that one man even fell off his horse because he was so entranced by it.

In English, perhaps the most revered literary piece is that of Shakespeare. Yet, if we read Shakespeare, we find that he used many obscure words. In fact, here is one book which is entitled New Light on Some Obscure Words and Phrases in the Works of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (by Charles Mackay):,M1

Indeed, Shakespeare even invented his own words! This was part of his literary genius for which he is credited for. says:

Q: Did Shakespeare invent words we use today?

A: The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words, including birthplace, bump, torture, olympian, and mountaineer.

( did not use mundane words; rather he beautified his works by using words that only he could conceive of.

The Quran is very much superior to any manmade book. The analogy barely suffices, since the work of man cannot be compared to the Word of God. Nonetheless, fairness dictates that the same principle apply here. If the Westerners will give credit to Shakespeare for using new words, then surely the same should apply to the Quran. In fact, the Quran revolutionized the Arabic language, using words in a way that was never ever seen before. The Quran’s beauty stunned both friend and foe alike.

The Quran could have merely used mundane language and said ‘testes’ instead of sulb, or ‘ovaries’ instead of tara’ib…yet this would have altered the literary flow and epic beauty of the Quranic recitation. We urge the reader to listen to the Quranic verses in Arabic, and see why we say this! Click here to listen to the verse of the Quran that uses the word ‘sulb’ and ‘tara’ib’:

Of course, the non-Arabic speaker cannot fully appreciate the eloquence and power of the Quranic recitation. Nonetheless, one can see that it transcends any manmade literature. The Quran had a profound and lasting impact on the Arabic language. There has never been a more beautifully written book, in Arabic or any other language.

Going back to the Shakespeare analogy, we see what effect he had on the English language. says:

The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original.

… Shakespeare also invented many of the most-used expressions in our language.

(, the Quran invented many words, and used common words in ways that they had never been used before, changing their usage from the mundane to the magnificent.

Why is there a need to invent words? The reason is that the language is not grandiose enough for the writer. Shakespeare invented words because he excelled above the capacity of the English language. He coined many phrases, such as the famous “star-crossed lovers”. The word “star-crossed” had never been used before Shakespeare. Yet, now it is—thanks to Shakespeare—engraved into the English repertoire as one of the most poetic of words. Surely the same effect would not have been conveyed had he simply used the word ‘unlucky lovers’ as opposed to ‘star-crossed lovers.’

Similarly, the Quran invented many words, and used words in a way that Arabs had never used before, thereby transcending the Arabic language and revolutionizing it. Nobody could use language the way God did when he gave us the Quran. If we look at the verse in question (i.e. verse 86:7), it is extremely eloquent and moving in its Arabic language; the words sulb and tara’ib convey a grandiosity that no other words could. The Quran is quite literally the epitome of beauty.

Does an Obscure Word Muddle the Meaning?

The Quran was not sent down as a book of science. If God had wanted, He could have bestowed upon us a whole set of scientific encyclopedias. But He didn’t. Instead, God gave us a book of spiritual guidance. Therefore, the purpose of the Quran is not to figure out scientific facts, but rather to be rightly guided. If one reads verse 86:7 with the intention of garnering scientific facts, then we agree with you that the results would not be rewarding! However, if one reads the verse with the intention of benefiting spiritually, then there is a great benefit to be obtained by the truth-seeker. The spiritual meaning and purpose of the verse is not at all muddled; rather, it is clear as daylight. It does not matter if tara’ib refers to the ovaries or the pelvis or the rib cage. All that the reader needs to know is that it belongs to the female, something which all the early Muslims were sure of.

Some lay Muslims have tried to imply that the purpose of this verse is to show the scientific secrets of embryology in order that the people believe in the Quran. This is not true, or at least there is no evidence for us to say this. This Quranic verse was not intended to tell us where semen or eggs come from! Rather, the purpose of the verse was to convey to man that he is created from a meager beginning so he should humble himself to the Greatness of God. Furthermore, God created man in this way, so man should not think that He (God) cannot raise him up from the dead. (The pagans used to believe that there was no life after death, so God is establishing a proof that He can create life out of anything He wishes, even a drop of fluid; ipso facto, creating life from dead bones should not be an issue for God.)

Let us read Ibn Katheer’s Tafseer (Commentary) of these verses:

How Man is created is a Proof of God's Ability to Return Him to Him

(So, let man see from what he is created!) This is alerting man to the weakness of his origin from which he was created. The intent of it is to guide man to accept (the reality of) the Hereafter, because whoever is able to begin the creation then He is also able to repeat it in the same way… This means that He is able to return this man that is created from fluid gushed forth. In other words, He is able to repeat his creation and resurrect him to the final abode. This is clearly possible, because whoever is able to begin the creation then he surely is able to repeat it. Indeed God has mentioned this proof in more than one place in the Qur'an.

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, the truth-seeker could derive this spiritual benefit from the verses without needing to know where exactly the tara’ib is! It doesn’t matter if it’s the uterus, legs, pelvis, ectoderm, endoderm, mesoderm, or whatever! It doesn’t matter if what comes out of it is made of carbon, or sugar, or alcohol, or whatever. What matters it that God created man from such a meager nothingness, and so He can resurrect us after we die. That is the point, and it is clear to those who wish to attain guidance!

In fact, asking useless questions is the path to misguidance. When Prophet Moses instructed his followers to slaughter a calf, they kept asking him useless questions. We read in the Quran:

And when Moses said unto his people: “Lo! God commands you that you sacrifice a heifer,” they said: “Do you mock us?”

He (Moses) answered: “God forbid that I should be among the foolish!” They (the Children of Israel) said: “Ask your Lord to describe the kind of cow He wants us to slaughter.”

Moses explained, “It must be neither too old nor too young, thus do whatever you are commanded to do.” Moses then told them to do as they were ordered. They said: “Call on your Lord for our sake to make it plain to us what color the cow must be.”

Moses said: “The Lord says that the cow must be yellow, a beautiful yellow.” They said, “We are confused about the cow, for to us all cows look alike. Ask your Lord to tell us exactly what the cow looks like, so that God willing, we shall have the right description.”

Moses said, “The Lord says that it must not have even tilled the soil nor irrigated the fields and it must be free of blemishes and flaws.” They said, “Now you have given us the right description.”

So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.

(Quran, 2:67-73)Prophet Muhammad said in reference to the Children of Israel:

Do not ask me about matters which I leave unspoken, for behold, there were people before you (the Children of Israel) who went to their doom because they had put too many [useless] questions to their prophets and thereupon disagreed.The Prophet’s disciple, Ibn Abbas, said the following about the matter:

If [in the first instance] they had sacrificed any cow chosen by themselves, they would have fulfilled their duty; but they made it complicated for themselves, and so God made it complicated to them.Leopold Weiss, a Jewish convert to Islam and translator of the Quran, wrote:

…Their obstinate desire to obtain closer and closer definitions of the simple commandment revealed to them through Moses had made it almost impossible for them to fulfill it.Going back to the verse about sulb and tara’ib, the purpose of the verse was not to delve into what the embryological origin is from a scientific level. Rather, the purpose of the verse was to convey the message that God creates man from a lowly fluid and that He (God) can similarly raise people from the dead. If you got that much from the verse, then you gained a lot of spiritual guidance, but if you focused on where anatomically is the tara’ib exactly, etc, then you have failed to approach the verses in the proper way. A simple analogy is if someone says to you “life is a box of chocolates”, and then instead of reflecting on this, you ask “what is the box made out of?” This is a useless question that distracts from the purpose of the advice. In no way will it change anyone’s life if they know exactly where tara’ib is on the body, just as it won’t affect a person if he knows what the box is made out of!

I close with God’s own warning about how to approach the Quran:God disdains not to use the parable of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that is truth form their Lord; but those who reject faith say “What is it that God means by this parable?” (Quran, 2:26) The Prophet Knew Where Semen Comes From

Mr. David Wood exclaims:

Muhammad believed that semen is produced between the ribs and the backbone [as opposed to the testes]A bold-faced lie if there ever was one. Never did the Prophet say such a thing. Mr. Wood wrongfully thinks that ‘tara’ib’ refers to a part on the male, yet ‘tara’ib’ is distinctly feminine. If we were reading an English sentence with the word ‘penis’ in it, would you assume that it is a part of the male or the female? Of course, we would say that it is distinctly peculiar to the male. Likewise, ‘tara’ib’ can only refer to the female. As such, any claim that the Prophet thought that semen comes from between the ribs and the backbone is patently false.

To give definitive proof of this, we can point to numerous hadeeths in which the Prophet and the Companions clearly know that the semen comes from the testes. They ask the Prophet if they should get castrated so as not to ejaculate whilst they are unmarried. We read from the authentic hadeeth:

Abdullah reported: “We were on an expedition with God’s Messenger and we had no women with us. We said: ‘Should we not have ourselves castrated?’ He (the Holy Prophet) forbade us to do so.’” (Sahih Muslim, 3243)And there are many more hadeeths like this, which prove that Arabs (and the Prophet) very well knew that semen comes from the testes, and that removal of the testes would lead to azoospermia. So this entire drama created by e-Islamaphobes is unjustified.

Differing Muslim Explanations

I wanted to comment on the various arguments offered by fellow Muslim laypersons on the internet. In the hastiness to build a counter defense, we have created mass confusion. So many Muslim laypersons are claiming that the sulb and tara’ib both refer to the male. This is horrendously incorrect; the word ‘tara’ib’ definitely belongs to a woman, just like the word ‘penis’ in English definitely belongs to a male.

What has happened is that a bunch of non-scholars have (with good intentions) spread ‘creative’ arguments, only with the purpose of winning debates. This is not the proper methodology. Rather, we should simply have asked qualified scholars about this issue. And when I say a scholar, I do not mean a dawah-carrier (i.e. speaker), but a qualified shaykh (i.e. scholar) who graduated from a respectable Islamic university, madressa, etc. If you notice on the internet, there are dozens of Islamic websites that offer plausible explanations of the verse, but only one has a clear, crisp, and convincing argument; that is Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî’s response on Shaykh Salman al-Oudah’s website,

I kindly ask my fellow Muslims to remove any article which claims that tara’ib refers to the male. This is not correct, and it defies hundreds of years of Muslim scholarship. There is absolute ijma (consensus) on this issue. Guessing and doubtful conjecturing about God’s Words can only lead to severe misguidance and even down the path of kufr (disbelief), as it is placing a meaning that God did not intend.

Some of the Muslim responses that need to be removed from the internet include those given by Dr. Zakir Naik and Moiz Amjad. As for Dr. Zakir Naik, we love and respect him; he has done a great deal for the Muslim dawah. However, as he says himself, he is not a scholar. He is a medical doctor by profession. As such, we kindly disregard his interpretation, which goes against the consensus of the Muslim scholarship for the last 1400 years. (Once again, we love Dr. Zakir Naik, and ask God to raise him to the highest ranks in Paradise.)

As for Mr. Moiz Amjad, we reject him altogether; he is not a scholar, nor is he on the proper aqeedah or methodology. He follows a dangerously heretical scholar, Javed Ghamidi. Muslims should reject his explanation, which differs from the Muslim scholarship, much like most of his views do.

An Islamaphobic site says of Moiz Amjad’s explanation:

Amjad’s hilarious attempt to show this by drawing lines on pictures of a human skeleton is unworthy of formal refutation due to its patent absurdity. Any line can enclose any human organ if that line is drawn on the surface of the body.I’ve seen the diagram myself, and I must actually concur that it is ridiculous. This is what happens when you rely on excessive defeatism! We do not need such ‘creative’ explanations. Rather, we should simply ask the qualified scholars as to what is meant by these verses, and remain quiet until then. I direct this advice first and foremost to myself, because I was also one of those who jumped the gun and spoke about these verses in the wrong way. I was corrected when I saw what the scholars said, from the Prophet’s time to today.

We cannot change our religion just to win debates. This is a scorched earth policy, basically destroying our religion to protect it from destruction. The explanation given by the scholars is more honest, simple to understand, and correct. The proliferation of various possible ‘explanations’ by Muslim laypersons only muddles the field and gives a very bad impression to Non-Muslims. It makes us look silly how we are offering so many multiple and contradictory explanations. Again, I myself have been guilty of this, and I seek forgiveness for that.

One more advice that I would like to give to my fellow Muslims is that we should not exaggerate about the Quran nor stretch the meaning thereof. Sometimes some laypersons feel the need to prove the ‘scientific miracles’ in the Quran. I question this methodology; the Quran was not sent as a book of science. Rather, it was sent as a book of spiritual guidance. It is more likely that the people will convert to Islam due to the beauty of its spiritual message, as opposed to any scientific trivia found within its pages. The true miracle of the Quran lies in its eloquence, power, and depth of spiritual meaning. I am not saying that there are not scientific miracles in the Quran; rather, I am saying that we should not find the need to stretch to find them, nor should this be our main methodology of calling the people to Islam. The Prophet’s Sunnah was to call the people with religious and spiritual arguments, not scientific ones. Furthermore, when we approach the Quran in this ‘science trivia’ manner, we run the risk of giving the wrong meanings to certain verses, especially since we are relying on English translations.


I have learned a lot from this issue, and here I wish to summarize what we can take away from this issue:

1. When we see Islam being attacked with some creative polemic, we should not panic. More often than not, the argument is heavily flawed. In this case, the very basis of the argument was that the Prophet thought that sperm comes from between the backbone and the ribs, even though this was not at all what the Quran means!

2. Many times the problem arises from using English translations. Muslims should strive to learn Arabic and become fluent in it.

3. We should refer to the classic and contemporary scholars when we need to seek the meaning of something, instead of guessing as to what possible explanations could be. Doing the latter can be counterproductive (by flooding the internet with contradictory arguments) and even blasphemous (by changing the meaning of the Quran). Again, this applies first and foremost to myself, as I have been guilty of this as well.


The very basis of the Islamaphobic argument falls apart. Nowhere was the Quran trying to explain where semen comes from. So all these creative titles on the internet such as “Mohammad’s Faulty Science”, “Where Muhammad thinks Sperm comes from”, etc., are all ludicrous. The Quran was not trying to show some random scientific trivia; the fact that semen comes from the loins—and that it mixes with the female’s egg in her body—is just common knowledge. It was used to build a spiritual—and not scientific—argument.

The word ‘sulb’ most definitely means ‘loins’, and we have provided definite proof of that, from multiple dictionaries, as well as from the Bible itself! As for the word ‘tara’ib’, then this is an obscure word. At most, the Islamaphobes can hope to criticize the Quran for ambiguity, but they cannot at all pinpoint any specific scientific error. The matter is not black-and-white as the Islamaphobes tried to make it out to be. However, I already explained how the ambiguity in one term does not at all distract from the meaning and purpose of the beautiful verses of the Quran. Rather, going into the nitty gritty scientific detail would in fact distract from the real purpose of the verses. As a creedal point, Muslims believe that there are words in the Quran that we can never know the meaning of. For example, the famous words Alif Lam Meem have an unknown meaning, and we say that nobody can grasp the power of their meaning!

A Comical Aside

I have seen some Islamaphobic websites further the argument that verse 86:7 is actually in reference to Jesus Christ and His Resurrection from the dead; the Christian Islamaphobes use this as a proof that the Quran prophesizes about Jesus. WikiIslam, a fervently Islamapahobic website, claims that the proper translation of the verse is:

The inner man originated from water pouring forth. He emerges from amidst the Cross and the grave.

(source: in mind that this is the same website which claimed that Prophet Muhammad did not know where sperm comes from, using this same verse as a proof for it! So which is it, O Islamaphobes? Is the verse about sperm or about Jesus!? If the verse should really translate in the manner you rendered it, then why are you using it as a proof that Prophet Muhammad didn’t know where sperm comes from!? Truly paradoxical!

Furthermore, the entire premise of the argument was that the Quran is a false book written by Prophet Muhammad himself. Why would Prophet Muhammad place a Christian belief—one that he vehemently rejected—into the book he supposedly wrote himself? If the Quran is being used by the Christians as a proof for their prophetic beliefs, then surely this means that they consider it a true book of God! Yet, the Islamaphobes claim that Prophet Muhammad wrote the Quran; if that is the case, then why is Prophet Muhammad—a supposedly false prophet—prophesizing about Jesus, who he (Prophet Muhammad) himself said did not raise up from the dead? Surely this is nonsensical, and shows the desperation of the Christian Islamaphobes.

If they can come up with such ludicrous translations, then this really destroys all their credibility. That is why we tell them again and again that they shouldn’t criticize the Quran if they can’t read Arabic. This is exactly way! (Of course, this ‘creative’ translation is so ludicrous that I don’t need to deal with it seriously; however, if one were to believe it, it would invalidate any claims that Prophet Muhammad thought that sperm came from between the backbone and ribs!)

Parting Words

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger, Muhammad, and peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of the Prophets that came before him, including Prophet Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, among many others. We love and respect them all, and whosoever rejects one of them, rejects them all.

The Quran is the literal Word of God, and it is free from error or corruption. It is a guidance for mankind, and whoever holds onto it, holds onto a firm handhold that will never break. Peace be unto the one who seeks righteous guidance.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 01:05:35 pm by QuranSearchCom »

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Re: Creation of a human from male and female liquids
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 01:07:43 pm »
As'salamu Alaikum dear brother Dawud,

Welcome back, akhi.  Jazaka Allah Khayr for the very good post.  Keep up the great work, akhi.

I have fixed your post and removed the [ s ] (without the spaces), because this is a tag that causes for words to be crossed with strikethrough lines.  This is why half of your post was all struckthrough.

Take care,
Osama Abdallah

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Re: Creation of a human from male and female liquids
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 05:41:28 am »
Alaikom salam brother Osama

here is the photo with detailed explanation and visualisation what the verses mean