The Creation of a Human Being from
The Transformation Begins: The Three
Stages of the Baby in the Womb
As is obvious from what has been said so far, in the
period of time between the formation of the sperm and
the egg and their meeting, every event that occurs is
a miracle. The changes that occur after these two cells
unite, and the all-encompassing preparations made in
the woman's body will show us other wondrous occurrences.
They do not
render to God the homage due to Him. Yet
God is Powerful and Almighty.
(Qur'an, 22: 74)
Even within hours of the time when it is fertilised
by the sperm, the egg divides and grows very quickly.
Today we know that the baby undergoes three stages of
embryonic development while it is in the mother's womb.
But this information, which it has taken long years
of research to attain with the help of modern technology,
was made known in the Qur'an 1400 years ago. These scientific
facts are revealed in this verse:
... He creates you stage by stage in
your mothers' wombs in a threefold darkness. That is
God, your Lord. Sovereignty is His. There is no god
but Him. So what has made you turn away from Him? (Qur'an,
It will be noticed that this verse shows that three
distinct stages occur in the development of a human
being while it is in the mother's womb. Indeed, modern
biology has established that the baby in the mother's
womb does go through three different stages of development,
just as is stated in this verse. This is a matter of
basic information in all the books on embryology required
to be read as textbooks today in medical faculties.
For example, Basic Human Embryology, a standard basic
work of reference on embryology, makes the following
The life in the uterus has three
stages: (i) pre-embryonic: first two and a half weeks;
(ii) embryonic: until the end of the eighth week, and
(iii) fetal: from the eighth week to labour.20
These stages comprise the various developmental phases
of the baby. The salient features of these three stages
can be summarized as follows:
- Pre-embryonic stage: In this first
stage the zygote (the newly fertilised cell) multiplies.
Within the first three weeks, after it has become a
cluster of cells, it embeds itself in the wall of the
uterus. As the cells continue to multiply, they form
- The embryonic stage: The second
stage lasts a total of five and a half weeks, during
which the baby is called the embryo. In this stage the
basic organs and systems of the body take shape from
the cell layers.
- The foetal stage: Entering the third
stage of pregnancy, the embryo is now called the foetus.
This stage begins from the eighth week of pregnancy
and continues to birth. In this stage, as distinct from
the earlier ones, the face, hands and feet of the foetus
become distinguishable and it takes the external appearance
of a human being. At the beginning of this stage, all
the organs of the 3 cm. foetus are in place. This stage
lasts for thirty weeks and development continues until
the week of birth.
The stages that we have briefly outlined here and the
wondrous developments that happen in each stage will
be explained in more detail in the pages that follow.
P., Basic Human Embryology, 3rd ed., 1984, p. 64