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Chapter XIII

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Miscellaneous Scientific Facts in The Quran

PRODUCTION OF MILK IN BETWEEN THE REFUSE AND THE BLOOD

God said:

And lo! In the cattle there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from betwixt the refuse and the blood, pure milk palatable to the drinkers. (16/66)

The above revelation of the Quran carried a scientific fact on the formation of milk in the cattle's, which could be unveiled only after thousand years of its descent.

The development achieved during the 12th C.E. by the Muslims give us glimpse of the scientific fact in the aforesaid verse. Imam Rhazes after mentioning the digestive, absorptive and cleaning process of the blood said, "...there are many veins between the livers and the udders, through those veins the blood passes to the udder, the udder is a fleshy white gland, when the blood comes there, God changes the blood into the milk."

The modern findings also confirm the Quran. From the stomach, the food after digestion passes into the belly i.e. in the intestines. The chemical reaction occurs in the intestine. Certain substances from the contents of the intestine (refuse) pass into the vessel of intestinal wall, and from there they pass into the blood stream. Some times by way of the liver or via complex system, they are absorbed in the blood and transported to all the organs of the body. Among them are the mammary glands, which produce milk.

Thus, there is no doubt that our milk comes from betwixt the refuse and the blood. The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) was reciting a scientific fact on physiology when man was far away to reach to that part of the knowledge.

It is a damn mistake to think that the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) had not reached to the depth of that knowledge. Allah did reveal him, opened his chest to the Quranic knowledge, and made him the exponent of His book.

MENSTRUATION AND THE QURAN

The Holy Quran has laid down many prohibitions for the betterment of man, his environment and the society. I explain here only those prohibitions, which relate to the safety of the health etc. for example, the Quran said:

They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is a harm (sickness), so keep away from women in their menstruation, and do not approach them, till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has enjoyed upon you. Truly, Allah loveth those who turn unto him, and loveth those who have care for cleanness. (2/222)

Menstruation is the periodic discharge from the vagina of blood, secretions, and disintegrating mucous membrane that had lined the uterus. The normal human menstrual cycle is 28 days, but no women is precisely regular and cycles are as short as twenty one days or as long as 35 days are not abnormal.

When the menstrual flow starts, the uterus contracts to expel the blood and disintegrating endometrium. These contractions may be painful. During menses, some women undergo pelvic discomfort, soreness of the breasts and emotional tension. The normal secretion of the blood is very important and any impediment or stoppage in the flow may endanger the women's health. The Quran, therefore, prohibited the men from sexual intercourse during menses with their wives as this will harm them and may cause endrometritis, uteritis, vaginitis, vulvitis, excessive bleeding, or even its stoppage. The man may also contract some disease from her, if he goes to her during menses.

The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) explaining the verse said, "You can do every thing with your woman except intercourse. (i.e. penetration into vagina).(Muslim)

However, the injunction of the Quran given into ignorance age still holds good by our modern medicine and to avoid intercourse during menses is healthful to both husband and wife.

It may be noted that any and every breach of prohibition of the laws of shariat is punishable in the Hereafter. The Muslims who have transgressed the limits should offer their penitence with a resolution not to repeat it.

THE QURANIC WAY OF SLAYING THE ANIMALS

The Quran said:

Forbidden unto you for (food) are meat of the dead and blood and the hog meat, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and that which hath been killed by strangling or stunned, and the dead through falling from the height and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) the horns, and devoured of wild beasts, unless ye are able to slay it, and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden) is it that ye swear by the driving arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever) harming your religion; so fear them not fear Me! This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for Islam as your religion. Whoso is forced by hunger with no inclination to sin: (for) Lo! Allah is forgiving and Merciful. (5/3)

The aforesaid verse carries few injunctions for the best of human health and welfare and glad tiding about perfection of the religion Islam. God willing I shall write down its brief exegesis so that the reader may comprehend the implication of the revelation.

Allah has forbidden the believers to eat the following:

  1. The meat of the cattle that has died on his own. Imam Rhazes said, "When an animal dies of a natural cause the blood is blocked up in its veins and arteries. It gets badly wretched and rotten. Eating its flesh is very much harmful."
  2. The Blood. The Arab in the ignorance age used to roast the intestines filled with blood and ate it. Allah forbade the believers to use the blood poured forth from the animal in the process of slaying.

Now it has been established through modern research that the blood in the veins and arteries etc carries nutrient material to the tissue cells and brings back waste of tissue metabolism which includes blood urea. These waste products are very harmful to the body and are removed from the blood when it passes through kidney. There is no denial to the kidney's function, if they fail, the body fails. These waste products are thrown out of the body as a water solution we call urine. The urea being part of the blood, Hanafi jurisprudence considers blood as impure (najis).

Further blood carries organism responsible for various diseases. These organisms circulate in the blood without the body manifesting any symptoms of the disease, a condition called sub-clinical infection. The meat of unslayed animals contains much blood. If it is consumed, there is a potential danger of contracting diseases produced through the organisms in the blood. It is also agreed that consuming of blood is destructive of the pure human nature. Allah (God), therefore, not only prohibited the consumption of blood but also order us to slaughter the animal in a way to achieve the maximum extraction of the blood from the body.

Now the progress of our medical science made us to learn the wisdom in the prohibition of eating all those cattle's who have died either by strangling or stunning, or falling from a height, or killed by the goring of the horns, or partly eaten by the wild beast, in all these cases the blood blocks up in the veins and arteries etc. There is only one exception to the above rule that if you make it pure by slaying it in the name of Allah before its soul departs its body. That can be done only, if we find some movement in the dying animal.

DOES ISLAMIC WAY OF SLAYING INVOLVE ANY CRUELTY?

Under the label of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, few non-Muslims dub the Islamic way of slaying the animals as pains' giving cruelty. I shall see if their concocted accusation confirms to the modern science or their opposition is simply a grudge to the Muslims.

To judge what pain is felt by the animal undergoing a slaying operation under Muslim Law, we have to consider the following:

  • Probable pain in cutting the skin of the neck.
  • Probable pain in the wound of the neck.
  • Probable pain during bleeding.
  • Probable pain on convulsions.

We shall discuss the above for points one by one.

a) In our day today experience, if we cut our skin while shaving we don't feel from the cut till the wound starts bleeding or smarting. He feels the pain only after the cut because the bleeding from the tiny capillaries is not severe enough to render us unconscious. The animal likewise will not feel the pain on the cutting of the skin by a very sharp knife.

b) Does the animal feel pain in the wound resulting from the cut in the neck? The answer is, No. The sharp knife while cutting the tissues in the neck cuts open the four big blood vessels. As a result, a profuse quick loss of blood renders the animal unconscious.

Any pain that the operation of zabh (slaying) may cause can be guessed by considering the similar operation of making a hole in the windpipe TRACHEOTOMY-performed in cases of respiratory obstruction. This operation can be done under local anaesthesia. However, it can be said that the pain from cutting the neck and the pain from wound in the neck associated with a massive hemorrhage shall not cause any pain. Further, the slaying in the Islamic way involves less than 5 seconds in case of a goat and less than 15 seconds in case of a cow. The sharp blade slides down very quickly in the neck and the profuse bleeding makes the animal immediately unconscious.

c) Blood flowing from the wound of the neck of the animal slain by Islamic method gives an impression of cruelty to those who are ignorant of the physiology of pain. The process of bleeding is pain free and this can be ascertained by any blood donor. Further, more the animals unconsciousness deepens as the bleeding proceeds.

d) Convulsion occurring in the animal lying with an open neck wound and with blood around also imparts in impression of pain and suffering. The method used therefore, seems cruel to the eyes and mind of the onlookers who are unaware of the physiology of convulsions. They should note that convulsions occur when the animal is unconscious and their occurrence confirms that the animal is unconscious.

It is widely known that a human can be rendered unconscious by compressing the carotid arteries from behind. In a wrestling match, we call it a sleeping hole. So if mere compression of the carotid artery can produce unconsciousness, then section of both carotids will induce unconsciousness very much faster. Therefore, I have slain many animals can say it safely that the carotids are cut within five seconds and the animal gets unconscious immediately. The question of its feeling pain does not arise.

The American, European and other non-Muslim countries use mechanical, electrical and chemical stunners. The history of half a century of their use tells that there is not a single one that can be considered humane or safe in use. Electrical stunning has been shown to cause fracture in the spinal column, pelvis and shoulder blades of animals. Stunning produces neurogenic shock.

The only beneficiaries of electrical stunning etc. of animals are the meat industry, making for a high throw out and a greater economic advantage. But the method, without any doubt, is harmful for human health as the animal dies of stunning before the maximum blood is extracted. Even it may die of stunning before the bleeding take place. The Holy Quran, therefore, forbade the believers to eat the meat of the animal died of stunning that may be caused from the hit of a stick or by a shock of electric.