A verse of Surah Tariq- Does Semen Emanate From Between the Ribs and the Back?

Question

An atheist made me speechless while he was trying to prove the holy Quran an old fashion book with lies in it astaghfirullah. For reference , he quoted surah tarik verse 7 which obviously seems to put my mind in trouble.He said we all know such fluid comes male reproductive system. Science have proved it but Quran says about fluid coming from ribs and all that. I hope you understood what I wanted to say.Kindly explain the verse no. 7 of surah tarik with enough depth so as to clear my mind.


Answer

Salaam

Many people, including Muslims, misunderstand the expression (Bayn al-Sulb wa al-Taraaib) used in this verse of the Qur'an. These verses are translated as follows:

"[If even this is not sufficient evidence,] then let man see from what he has been created. From a spurting fluid that comes out from between the bones of the back and the chest. [If His Lord can create him in such a manner, then] surely, He can create him again.17 (Surah Tariq: 5-8)"

In our opinion, the context of this verse, makes it clear that the expression 'between the backbone and the ribs/chest' is a euphemistic expression pointing to the male sexual organ. The Qur'an has avoided naming it, because of decency. Rather it has used the euphemism to give the idea of the place from where the sperm comes out. The context of this Aayah shows that that the verses under consideration are actually a response to the doubts, regarding the possibility of the promised resurrection, expressed by the rejecters. When the Prophet (sws) told people that after they die, they shall be raised again and shall then have to face the consequences (good as well as bad) of their deeds that they do during the life of this world, they would normally, arrogantly turn away from the sincere admonitions of the Prophet (sws) rejecting the whole idea of resurrection and the life hereafter as impossible. In response to the call of the Prophet (sws), they would normally say that how can man be brought back to life after he has become dust and bones. In the verses under consideration, besides a number of other instances, the Qur'an has, generally, responded to this doubt expressed by the rejecters, regarding the possibility of the Day of Judgment, in such a way that it not only answers the question regarding the possibility of resurrection but also entails an eloquent ridicule on the arrogance of the rejecters in turning away from the call of the Prophet (sws). In this response, the Qur'an has pointed out the fact that if it was possible for God to create man from a drop of emitted fluid, then why would it suddenly become difficult for Him to recreate man after his death? In this response of the Qur'an, man is also reminded of the fact that he did not originate from a material of high rank and grandeur but from a drop of 'despicable' fluid, a drop of 'semen' and a drop of 'sperm'; whose place of origin is not even worth mentioning in decent conversation. Arrogance and haughtiness do not suit a creation that has actually originated from such lowly and despicable material.

The Qur'an itself has used the same style of phrase (once again euphemistically) in another passage as well. In Surah Mumtahinah 60: 12 the Qur'an says:

"[Similarly] O Prophet! When believing women come to you to make a pledge [and promise] that they will serve no other deity besides God, will commit neither theft, nor adultery, nor murder their children, nor utter any false allegation related to what is between their hands and feet".

The expression used here 'wala ya/teena bibuhtanin yaftareenahu bayna aydeehinna waarjulihinna'. In a very decent manner, it alludes to all the accusations which relate to sex like adultery and sexual advances like kissing and fondling. This directive meant that they will not falsely blame either a man or a woman regarding sexual misconduct.

Thus, in Surah Mumtahinah 60: 12, it is actually a euphemistic allusion to the upper and the lower organs of sexual attraction in a woman. The usage of the phrase 'bayena shayin wa shayin' (between such and such) in Al-Tariq 86: 7, as explained above, is quite similar to its usage in Al-Mumtahinah 60: 12. This Aayah is not talking about the emission of the male drop in strict scientific terms.

Hope this helps.

About the Author

Mushafiq Sultan


Mushafiq Sultan, born in Kashmir (Indian Administered) in 1988, has been studying world religions from his school days. In 2009 Mushafiq came across the works of Ustaz Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and since then has been highly influenced by his thought. He has an exceptional interest in world religions, their philosophies and their mutual relations. He formally joined Al-Mawrid in 2016 as Assistant Fellow (Honorary). Presently, he is in charge of Al-Mawrid’s query service. In 2016, he published his first book ‘Muhammad (sws) in the Bible- An Exposition on Isaiah 42’. He has written articles on Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. He has also translated several articles of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi into Hindi.

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