Gender Determination Hadith

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qas...@ziplip.com

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Apr 6, 2003, 6:36:29 PM4/6/03
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GENDER DETERMINATION HADITH

According to embryology, the crucial event that
determines whether the embryo will develop into
a male or female occurs in the second half of
the sixth week of gestation.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/gender/determined.html#

The Prophet Muhammad - upon him and his House
blessings and peace - disclosed the exact same
timeframe fourteen centuries ago.

Imam Muslim narrates from Hudhayfa that the
Prophet said:

<<The sperm-and-ovum drop falls into the uterus
[and remains] for forty nights, after which the
angel in charge of fashioning it descends upon
it and says, "Lord! Male or female?" Then Allah
makes it male or female.>>

Another version from Hudhayfa in al-Bukhari and
Muslim states:

<<The angel is sent to the sperm-and-ovum drop
after it has settled in the uterus for FORTY OR
FORTY-FIVE NIGHTS and says, "Lord! Is it to be
wretched or happy?" Then this is inscribed. Then
he says, "Lord! Is it to be male or female?"
Then this is inscribed, together with its deeds,
its progeny, its term of life, and its sustenance.
Then the records are folded up and nothing more
is added nor subtracted.>>

Hajj Gibril


--

GF Haddad
Qas...@ziplip.com

David / Amicus

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Apr 7, 2003, 7:08:56 PM4/7/03
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Tho' in many cultures male children are desired over female this goes to
show that it is God who determines gender. The woman then is not to be
blamed if a girl is born.

In fact I would think Muslims would prefer girls over boys and even
rejoice more over the birth of a daughter. Why? Because Muslims like to
imitate Muhammad. And Muhammad had more daughters than sons and only
his daughters grew to maturity and it is only through the female line
(Fatima) that all descendents of Muhammad spring.

So when a man has a daughter he should rejoice and give thanks to God
that God has blessed him as He had blessed Muhammad.

Count 1

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Apr 8, 2003, 4:48:58 PM4/8/03
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> According to embryology, the crucial event that
> determines whether the embryo will develop into
> a male or female occurs in the second half of
> the sixth week of gestation.

Lovely story. Unfortunately its not true. (the site you linked to confirms
this,BTW).

The gender of a child is 'determined' at the moment of creation. If the male
sperm carries the Y chromosome, gender is male, the opposite is true if the
male sprem carries the Y.

Its a common attempt by those interested in attempting to 'prove' the
validity of the quran and by extension Islam, however it is quite
inaccurate.

BTW - Mohammed probably adopted knowledge already being developed several
hundred years prior by both Greek and Indian thinkers. Hence the inaccurate
'clot of blood' and 'clinging' attributes inaccurately given to early
embryonic development.


EAC

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Apr 10, 2003, 12:49:41 PM4/10/03
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Ami...@webtv.net (David / Amicus) wrote in message news:<937-3E91...@storefull-2132.public.lawson.webtv.net>...

> So when a man has a daughter he should rejoice and give thanks to God
> that God has blessed him as He had blessed Muhammad.

It's true that Muslims probably would prefer to have daughters than
sons.

Though with the Hadits indicated that in the future that females will
outnumber males in the ratio of forty to one, it's not like that
they're going to have any other choice.

Omar Mirza

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Apr 10, 2003, 2:46:20 PM4/10/03
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"Count 1" <omnipi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<b6tp3m$8sl6s$1...@ID-130993.news.dfncis.de>...

<<According to embryology, the crucial event that
determines whether the embryo will develop into
a male or female occurs in the second half of
the sixth week of gestation.>>

> Lovely story. Unfortunately its not true. (the site you linked to confirms
> this,BTW).

Really? The website says "a crucial event that determines whether the


embryo will develop into a male or female occurs in the second half of

the sixth week of gestation." G. F. Haddad was quoting the website
almost verbatim. Where's the problem?

> The gender of a child is 'determined' at the moment of creation. If the male
> sperm carries the Y chromosome, gender is male, the opposite is true if the
> male sprem carries the Y.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that is nothing!

We Muslims say that the gender of a child was determined at the *very
beginning of creation* when God wrote out his decrees.

In fact, it was determined before that in the pre-eternal,
beginningless knowledge of God.

The information concerning the gender of any given child existed from
all eternity, so it is not AT ALL surprising from the Muslim point of
view that it should ALSO exist encoded in the chromosomes.

The point is that something very crucial for the manifestation of the
child's pre-determined gender occurs at a specific time on which both
the hadith and modern embryology agree. How did Muhammad know that
this was the time at which some crucial event occurs which determines
the gender of the child? Who told him that?

Your explanation is

> BTW - Mohammed probably adopted knowledge already being developed several
> hundred years prior by both Greek and Indian thinkers.

Probably he did nothing of the sort. In our day and age, here in the
University of California at Berkeley, where I am surrounded by highly
educated motivated students who have access to the internet and read
newspapers and have taken classes in history and have travelled all
over the world, hardly any non-Muslim I speak to even seems to know
that the founder of Islam came from Arabia. If this is the state of
ignorance in a place like THIS, how much worse the ignorance
concerning other cultures must have been when there was no internet,
when travelling to other cultures was frequently life-threatening,
where there were no schools and illiteracy was the norm, where
resources were scarce all year round, and where tribal conflicts
sapped the energies of the people on a regular basis.

To suggest that an unschooled man like Muhammad growing up in a tiny
settlement in a primitive desert environment far removed from the
major centres of civilization of the day somehow picked up esoteric
tidbits of information about Greek and Indian theories concerning
embryology is at best pure speculation, and at worst just
preposterous.

Do you have any evidence that the Arabs of the day were in any way
inclined towards scientific research into such matters? If so, please
present it. If not, please explain why you are so confident that
Muhammad had access to Greek and Indian embryological theories.

If you can, try to present your explanation without saying "well,
otherwise we would have to accept that the Quran came to Muhammad from
some extra-human source" because that would be question-begging in
this context.

Count 1

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Apr 10, 2003, 3:32:22 PM4/10/03
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> Really? The website says "a crucial event that determines whether the
> embryo will develop into a male or female occurs in the second half of
> the sixth week of gestation." G. F. Haddad was quoting the website
> almost verbatim. Where's the problem?

The problem exists in ignoring the fact that if there is no Y chromosone in
the first place, subsequent events will not generate a male child. You have
to ignore this fact to make the statement (copied from the original post)

"The sperm-and-ovum drop falls into the uterus
[and remains] for forty nights, after which the
angel in charge of fashioning it descends upon
it and says, "Lord! Male or female?" Then Allah
makes it male or female."

Clearly this hadith is in error. I don't ascribe things which are in error
to an omnipotent and perfect being.

> We Muslims say that the gender of a child was determined at the *very
> beginning of creation* when God wrote out his decrees.

Wonderful. However Qaysoun was trying to 'prove' the accuracy of the hadith
and by extension the religion of Islam. I am simply pointing out how this
act is impossible. Nothing 'proves' Islam, and nothing in it is designed
to.

Islam is a faith, and as such requires special strengths in humans to be
accepted.

> Your explanation is

> > BTW - Mohammed probably adopted knowledge already being developed
several
> > hundred years prior by both Greek and Indian thinkers.
>
> Probably he did nothing of the sort.

You say this and then go one to state things you offer no proof for, then
challenge me to prove something to you.

For the last time Omar, Proof is not possible. It is more than reasonable
to hypothesize that Muhammed met many people in his career as a trader and
Caravan manager, and that he picked up quite a bit of knowledge along the
way. He may not have been educated, but considering what has been ascribed
to him he was obviously intelligent. He travelled the routes, he met many
people. He probably heard about Jerusalem from one of the early christians
he met allowing him to describe it to the Meccans, even though he had never
been there.

I don't see how it is an impossible leap of logic to consider that he picked
up rudimentary medical knowledge from people around him. To me it makes
much more sense than believing a god gave him this knowledge.

> Do you have any evidence that the Arabs of the day were in any way
> inclined towards scientific research into such matters? If so, please
> present it. If not, please explain why you are so confident that
> Muhammad had access to Greek and Indian embryological theories.


Tell ya what Omar - you seem very committed to challenging me. I will post
the information you desire regarding early Arabians and their proclivities
towards science...

*IF*

...you post your proof that this hadith ever came out Muhammeds mouth.


GF Haddad

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Apr 11, 2003, 6:29:07 PM4/11/03
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"Count 1" <omnipi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<b6tp3m$8sl6s$1...@ID-130993.news.dfncis.de>...

> > According to embryology, the crucial event that


> > determines whether the embryo will develop into
> > a male or female occurs in the second half of
> > the sixth week of gestation.
>
> Lovely story. Unfortunately its not true. (the site you linked to confirms
> this,BTW).

Really? The site I linked is
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/gender/determined.html#
and states, verbatim:

"WEEK 6 (later) - MALE

"A crucial event that determines whether the embryo


will develop into a male or female occurs in the

second half of week six."

Hajj Gibril

Count 1

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Apr 14, 2003, 12:36:52 PM4/14/03
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> "A crucial event that determines whether the embryo
> will develop into a male or female occurs in the
> second half of week six."

How many times does this need to be repeated??

The crucial 'event' which determines if a baby will become a male or female
occurs at the moment of conception. If the sperm entering the ovum carries
the Y chromosone, then (chances are) a boy, if the sperm carries the X
chromosone then its a girl. NOTHING occuring in six weeks will change that.

IF the hadith quoted actually eluded to that - then I'd be inclined to agree
that it is a remarkable coincidence. However as stated the hadith is in
error, as it ignores the fact that a boy IS NOT POSSIBLE if there is no Y
chromosone and this is determined AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION.

I'm sorry - but your 'gender determination Hadith is wrong. It is in error
and there is nothing on the PBS website which confirms your hadith AT ALL,
because the Hadith does not mention the necessity for specific chromosones.

That is all.

Jeremiah McAuliffe

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Apr 14, 2003, 1:15:54 PM4/14/03
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2003 22:29:07 +0000 (UTC), Qas...@ziplip.com (GF
Haddad) wrote:


>> > the crucial event

>A crucial event


Big difference.

Either you didn't quote right, didn't read right, or didn't understand
right, and thus said something completely different from what your
source says.


The Qur'an is not a science text. Neither is the hadith literature. To
read them as such is a major error.


God knows best.

Jeremiah McAuliffe ali...@city-net.com
http://speed.city-net.com/~alimhaq/mcauliffe/
Heavy Music
http://www.ampcast.com/jeremiah

Denis Giron

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Apr 14, 2003, 1:16:03 PM4/14/03
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qas...@ziplip.com wrote in message news:<PVEAH4JVMDFREBAGBVNX...@ziplip.com>...

> Another version from Hudhayfa in al-Bukhari and
> Muslim states:
>
> The angel is sent to the sperm-and-ovum drop
> after it has settled in the uterus for FORTY OR
> FORTY-FIVE NIGHTS and says, "Lord! Is it to be
> wretched or happy?" Then this is inscribed. Then
> he says, "Lord! Is it to be male or female?"

I think that Count 1 is doing a fairly decent job of bringing this
discussion into question elsewhere in this thread. My comments here
are a little more basic.

First, since you state that the above appears in the Saheehs of Imams
Bukhaaree and Muslim, could you please give exact citations? I am not
doubting that they are there (on the contrary, in Muslim I have found
a few ahaadeeth roughly to the above effect). Particularly the version
in Bukhaaree's work, as I would like to myself check the Arabic. Also,
from what Arabic word is "ovum" in the above being translated from? Or
is "sperm-and-ovum drop" being translated from a single word (like
nutfat)? Just curious.

Now, regarding what Muhammad is alleged to have said 1400 years ago in
the above hadith, it should be noted that some of the Talmudic Rabbis
are alleged to have said something roughly similar even prior to the
advent of Islam. Consider that in the Mishna of tractate Niddah 30a of
Bavli (i.e. the Babylonian Talmud) a debate is recorded between one
Rabbi and a number of other Talmudic sages regarding when the sex of
the child is determined:

"Rabbi Ishmael said [...] a male is completed by day forty-one and a
female by day eighty-one. The sages, however, maintain that both the
fashioning of the male and the fashioning of the female take the same
course, each lasting forty-one [days]."

So even in the above dispute, it seems we have evidence that some
prior to the advent of Islam had similar notions of gender
determination. Rabbi Ishmael claims his evidence is scriptural (though
this is disputed by whomever it is that wrote this portion the
tractate), while the sages claim that evidence on their behalf has
been observed directly. Note that in the Gemara of Niddah 30b, the
sages say to Rabbi Ishmael:

"There was a story about Qliyufetraa Malkat Aleksandrus*, whose
slave-girls were sentenced to death; they were examined** and it was
found that both the male and female were formed by the forty-first
day."

*All the translations I consulted (and I guess in hindsight this
should have been obvious) translate this as being Cleopatra queen of
Alexandria.

**The obvious implication here is that many girls were impregnated and
then killed, cut open and examined (for the sake of science, in some
sense). Rabbi Ishmael's only response (in the very next sentence of
the tractate) was "I bring you evidence from the Torah, and you bring
me evidence from fools!"

Regardless of whether the Talmudic account regarding Cleopatra is
historical or not (and later in the tractate Rabbi Ishmael seems to
himself quote a garbled version of the tale in his favor), this
creates some interesting implications for the sort of
scientific-hermeneutic approach that Hajj Gibril (GF Haddad) is taking
to the hadith quoted above.

First, note that prior to the advent of Islam it was taken for granted
by some that after forty days one could determine the gender of an
embryo via direct observation, and this might be the case, thus if one
had knowledge of this, it does not necessarily have to come from the
Divine.

Secondly, the above may not be observable at all, rather the tale from
the Talmud regarding Cleopatra is one of fiction (which is the
position I hold). In that case, also note that in both the Islamic
literature and the Jewish literature, a great amount of emphasis is
put on the number 40 (Muhammad being 40 when we was called to
prophethood, the Midrash saying something similar regarding Moses),
thus either of these texts making mention of something significant
happening after forty days could just be chalked up to typical Semitic
numerology (i.e. we do not have to necessarily postulate divine
guidance).

Third, and most importantly in my opinion, if a human being who was
not divinely guided said such before Muhammad did, that in itself is
evidence that one can reach such conclusions without divine guidance.
While I have not proven that the Talmudic sages quoted above were not
divinely inspired, I feel comfortable in assuming such.

So, in conclusion, while I have not demonstrated any sort of proof
that Muhammad was not divinely inspired (or that he got his
information from someone with some familiarity of Jewish traditions),
I think the above is sufficient enough to argue that these traditions
alone are not evidence of knowledge procured via divine guidance.

-Denis Giron
http://freethoughtmecca.org/home.htm

Shibli Zaman

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Apr 14, 2003, 2:14:47 PM4/14/03
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bismillâh,

Man, calm down. Don't act like the supreme geneticist of the century
with your screaming and definitive CAPS LOCK statements. Unless you are
laureled in this field then be more humble in your misppropriated
absolutism.

>The crucial 'event' which determines if a baby will become a male or
female
>occurs at the moment of conception. If the sperm entering the ovum
carries
>the Y chromosone, then (chances are) a boy, if the sperm carries the X
>chromosone then its a girl. NOTHING occuring in six weeks will change
that.

"NOTHING"? Really? And what happens, praytell, when MIS/MRF is not
delivered to a 46,XY zygote?

Want a hint? "Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome".

So, my so very intelligent friend, the determination of gender is -not-
certain upon conception as there are -numerous- factors that can inhibit
the normal development of male or female post-phenotype sex.

Remember: Hypothesis first, Conclusion last. Don't be so vehemently
opposed to a concept simply because it is idol-shattering for you.

So now that it has been amply established that the Hadîth is, indeed,
100% accurate scientifically, what will you say now?

Regards,

Shibli Zaman

Count 1

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Apr 14, 2003, 5:01:05 PM4/14/03
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> "NOTHING"? Really? And what happens, praytell, when MIS/MRF is not
> delivered to a 46,XY zygote?
>
> Want a hint? "Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome".

200 cases ever recorded. Do you have any idea how miniscule that is? Are
you saying this hadith is accurate because it might explain an infintessimal
(percentage wise) number of cases? And are you aware it is found in males -
ie those fetuses that have a Y chromosone?

> So, my so very intelligent friend, the determination of gender is -not-
> certain upon conception as there are -numerous- factors that can inhibit
> the normal development of male or female post-phenotype sex.

Yes - I am afraid it is certain in the vast majority of the cases and an
inherited defect of sexual differentiation characterised by failure of
regression of the mullerian ducts in males does not change the fact that
this hadith - as quoted - is in error.

> Remember: Hypothesis first, Conclusion last. Don't be so vehemently
> opposed to a concept simply because it is idol-shattering for you.

LOL! I have no idols. Even science is wrong most of the time. However
when muslims attempt to prove the scientific validity of the Hadiths or
quran they should do so honestly. Attempting to suggest it is normal for
gender to be determined in 6 weeks after conception and 'science proves it'
is wrong. Gender is determined at the moment of conception in the vast
majority of cases. The existence of certain genetic defects does not render
this hadith accurate.

> So now that it has been amply established that the Hadîth is, indeed,
> 100% accurate scientifically, what will you say now?

This hadith is not and cannot be established as 100% correct scientifically
regarding the determination of gender by relying on an incredibly miniscule
and very rare genetic defect found only in cases were a Y chromosone is
present. -IE - this syndrome will not occur with two X's.

Wanna try again?


Denis Giron

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Apr 15, 2003, 12:13:53 AM4/15/03
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"Shibli Zaman" <Shi...@Zaman.net> wrote in message news:<F5E2768CC03B1A4DAF6...@host1.W3.w3gateway.com>...

> "NOTHING"? Really? And what happens, praytell, when MIS/MRF is not
> delivered to a 46,XY zygote?
>
> Want a hint? "Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome".

While I'm not an expert on this issue, as I understand it, PMDS causes
what might be called "male pseudohermaphroditism," that is the male
may seem like a hermaphrodite, but is nonetheless still a male. So,
unless I'm wrong, this is not really relevant to a discussion on
gender determination.

> So now that it has been amply established that the Hadîth is, indeed,
> 100% accurate scientifically, what will you say now?

With all due respect to Shibli, whom I have the greatest respect for,
I do not believe that he has demonstrated that the hadith in question
is indeed "100% accurate scientifically." Maybe it has not been
demonstrated that the relevant hadith is in error, but I think Count's
point about XX and XY chromosomes are still worthwhile, as gender
determination certainly can take place long before the sixth week (as
is alluded to by the very PBS site that GF Haddad called to witness).

Shibli Zaman

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Apr 15, 2003, 12:14:08 AM4/15/03
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On Mon, 14 Apr 2003 17:16:03 +0000 (UTC), kaa...@godisdead.com (Denis
Giron) wrote:

>First, since you state that the above appears in the Saheehs of Imams
>Bukhaaree and Muslim, could you please give exact citations? I am not

I'm not sure which exact one brother Gibril was referring to as there
are quite a few, but the one from Huthayfah I think he is referring to
is the following:

"Inn an-nuTfata taqa`û fi-raHimî arba`îna laylah; thumma yataSawwarû
`alayha-l malakû...fa-yaqûl: yâ Rabba athakar(un) am unthâ?...etc"

"Verily, the zygote settles in the uterus for 40 nights; Then an angel
surveys its development...and so he asks: O Lord! Is it to be male or
female?...etc"

Now regarding the word "nuTfah" in the Arabic language it is used in
many different ways throughout the Qur'ân, the Hadîth literature, and
pre-Islâmic reference material found in classical Arabic lexica such
as Lisân al-`Arab.

However, the relative definition for this context is found as follows
in Lisân al-`Arab:

"wan-nuTfah: allatî yakûn minha-l walad"

"And regarding the 'nuTfah': It is that from which is derived a child"
[Lisân al-`Arab, ibn al-ManTHûr, vol. 9, Harf al-Fâ', FaSl an-Nûn]

For this reason, according to this definition, I have translated it as
"zygote".

>Now, regarding what Muhammad is alleged to have said 1400 years ago in
>the above hadith, it should be noted that some of the Talmudic Rabbis
>are alleged to have said something roughly similar even prior to the
>advent of Islam. Consider that in the Mishna of tractate Niddah 30a of
>Bavli (i.e. the Babylonian Talmud) a debate is recorded between one
>Rabbi and a number of other Talmudic sages regarding when the sex of
>the child is determined:

Denis, you know very well that the oldest dated full Talmûd Bavlî is
only 700 years old and POST-dates the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him) and the Qur'ân he delivered by nearly SIX HUNDRED YEARS! Most of
the Gemara is post-Qur'ânic and in some cases reactionary to the
influence and challenges of both Christianity and Islâm.

Thus, you can include the most likely of all possibilities that Jews
living in the realm of Islâm were readily exposed to the Muslim
scientists and doctors who, following medical analysis, would try and
validate the Qur'ânic text as is being done now. Then in a tit-for-tat
this was included in the Talmud as a proclomation of a miracle in the
Biblical text which is nowhere to be found therein.

Here's some "science" from the Talmûd attributed to the students of
Rabbi Ishmael:

"It is related of Rabbi Ishmael's disciples that they dissected a low
woman who had been condemned by the Government to be burned, and upon
examination they found that her body contained two hundred and
fifty-two members."
[Bechoroth, fol. 45, col. 1]

Ummm.....yeah...ooooo-kay...

When it comes to textual integrity and preservation, the Talmûd (not
unlike the Masora itself) falls flat.

The entirety of your hypothesis was based upon this very shakey and
easily discredited variable.

Regards,

Shibli Zaman
Shi...@Zaman.NET
http://shibli.zaman.net

Shibli Zaman

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Apr 15, 2003, 12:14:11 AM4/15/03
to
On Mon, 14 Apr 2003 21:01:05 +0000 (UTC), "Count 1"
<omnipi...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> "NOTHING"? Really? And what happens, praytell, when MIS/MRF is not
>> delivered to a 46,XY zygote?
>>
>> Want a hint? "Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome".
>
>200 cases ever recorded. Do you have any idea how miniscule that is? Are
>you saying this hadith is accurate because it might explain an infintessimal
>(percentage wise) number of cases? And are you aware it is found in males -
>ie those fetuses that have a Y chromosone?

Conveniently, you snipped out your own quote. This is what you said:

"If the sperm entering the ovum carries the Y chromosone, then
(chances are) a boy, if the sperm carries the X chromosone then its a
girl. NOTHING occuring in six weeks will change that."

Now, sir, does "NOTHING" (in your rude screaming caps lock, mind you)
mean something other than "nothing" in your language?

You said "NOTHING occurring in six weeks will change that" regarding
the phenotype sex. Then when SOMETHING is provided you say, "Oh well,
thats just 200 known cases". Dude, give me a break. Such clutching is
indignified.

Fact remains that there are MANY things which can occur up to six
weeks that can alter the normal gender orientation of a child
regardless of whether or not they are 46,XX or 46,XY.

Some examples are various intersex disorders such as Denys-Drash
Syndrome, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Complete Androgen
Insensitivity/Male Pseudohermaphroditism, Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis,
etc.

Now don't use silly arguments like "only 200 cases". It takes just ONE
case to utterly falsify your absolute statement that "NOTHING
occurring in six weeks will change that" and to confirm that around
six weeks the gender of the child is established and outside of the
initial statute of time wherein which such abnormalities may occur.

End of story.

M.S.M. Saifullah

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Apr 17, 2003, 11:11:36 AM4/17/03
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On Tue, 15 Apr 2003, Shibli Zaman wrote:

> Denis, you know very well that the oldest dated full Talmûd Bavlî is
> only 700 years old and POST-dates the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
> him) and the Qur'ân he delivered by nearly SIX HUNDRED YEARS! Most of
> the Gemara is post-Qur'ânic and in some cases reactionary to the
> influence and challenges of both Christianity and Islâm.

I have to add something else here. The final redaction of Talmud Bavli
came after the advent of Islam. That is what I read in the book
"Introduction to Talmud and Midrash" and other references. Further, as
Shibli has pointed out the Mss of Talmud Bavli are indeed late. The
earliest one comes a few hundred years after the advent of Islam. I do not
have a list of Mss with me at work and I would be glad to provide later if
required. So, one has to also take into account the Islamic influences on
the Jewish doctors and their opinions.

Wassalam
Saifullah

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/

Count 1

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Apr 17, 2003, 11:11:45 AM4/17/03
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> "If the sperm entering the ovum carries the Y chromosone, then
> (chances are) a boy, if the sperm carries the X chromosone then its a
> girl. NOTHING occuring in six weeks will change that."
>
> Now, sir, does "NOTHING" (in your rude screaming caps lock, mind you)
> mean something other than "nothing" in your language?

Fair enough. I retract the word "NOTHING" and replace it with the words
"NOTHING DESCRIBED IN THIS HADITH".

> Now don't use silly arguments like "only 200 cases". It takes just ONE
> case to utterly falsify your absolute statement that "NOTHING
> occurring in six weeks will change that" and to confirm that around
> six weeks the gender of the child is established

This is ridiculous. You're arguing the hadith in question is accurate
scientifically based on defects? This hadith should read "after 6 weeks the
angels come down and change the natural gender allah has already determine"
or some such thing. In the vast majority of human reproduction the gender
is determined at time of conception, and not six weeks later. Yes - there
are genetic mutations which can occur - but when i read this hadith I don't
see it relating to the minority, but attempting to explain HOW GENDER IS
DETERMINED. For the vast majority of people these genetic mutations do not
exist, meaning the sex they were given at conception is the same one they
will have after 8 weeks, and since there are no genetic mutations, nothing
will change that.


Denis Giron

unread,
Apr 17, 2003, 11:11:53 AM4/17/03
to
Shibli Zaman <Shibli@{nofrigginspam!}Zaman.NET> wrote in message news:<gmrm9v0pft86bmjf8...@4ax.com>...
> ...

It is good to have Shibli back in SRI, as it quickly raises the level
of discussion in the forum. I'd like to begin with the word "nutfa" in
the hadith relevant to this thread (which GF Haddad translated as
"sperm-and-ovum drop" and Shibli renders as "zygote"):

> Now regarding the word "nuTfah" in the Arabic language it is used in

> many different ways throughout the Qur'an, the Hadith literature, and
> pre-Islamic reference material found in classical Arabic lexica such
> as Lisan al-`Arab.
>
> [...]


>
> "And regarding the 'nuTfah': It is that from which is derived a child"

> [Lisan al-`Arab, ibn al-ManTHûr, vol. 9, Harf al-Fâ', FaSl an-Nûn]


>
> For this reason, according to this definition, I have translated it as
> "zygote".

With all due respect Shibli, I am sure if you asked ancient Greeks
what is the "spermatos," or ancient Romans what is the "semine," many
of them would reply something along the lines of it being "that from
which is derived a child," but of course this does not mean that
spermatos/semine is a reference to the zygote.

So I looked up nutfa in various Arabic-English dictionaries, and of
the ones I consulted, there is no mention of "zygote." Hans Wehr has
it being from the root natafa, "to dribble, to trickle," and
translates "nutfa" simply as "drop, sperm." I looked in al-Mawrid, and
again it is treated as being from the verb natafa, "to trickle,
dribble, drip," and is translated only as "sperm, semen." In Hava's
"al-Faraid," natafa is "to flow gently, to ooze, to exude," and nutfa
is just "semen." This quickly leads me to believe that the word
"nutfa" in the relevant hadith has a similar meaning to
spermatos/semine, and does not mean zygote or "sperm-and-ovum drop."

So I looked up "zygote" in a couple English-Arabic dictionaries, and
neither had any word from the nun-ta-fa root. Magdi Wahba's
"an-Nafees" simply had laqiha(?) [I'm unsure of how to transliterate
it, but it was spelled lam-alif-qaf-haa-ta/marboota] for zygote, and
the same word appeared in Hasan S. Karmi's "al-Mugni al-Akbar". If
these references are too vague/ambiguous, let me know, and I'll be
more explicit in my citations.

> Denis, you know very well that the oldest dated full Talmud Bavli is


> only 700 years old and POST-dates the Prophet Muhammad

It is certainly true that the oldest existing manuscripts of Talmud
Bavli do not date to before the advent of Islam.

> Most of the Gemara is post-Qur'anic and in some cases reactionary to the
> influence and challenges of both Christianity and Islam.

This I was not aware of. Maybe this is true of certain portions of
Bavli, but as I understand it, tractate Niddah shows no evidence that
the author(s) was/were aware of the advent of Islam or anything
associated with it (Muhammad, the Qur'an, Muslims). Maybe you could
elaborate with regard to the relevant tractate?

> Thus, you can include the most likely of all possibilities that Jews

> living in the realm of Islam were readily exposed to the Muslim


> scientists and doctors who, following medical analysis, would try and

> validate the Qur'anic text as is being done now.

Hmmmm... I don't see how that is the most likely of all possibilities.
On the contrary, while we don't have a manuscript of Bavli that
predates the oldest manuscripts of the Qur'an, most objective scholars
date Bavli's general completion to around the fifth or sixth century.
Now of course, one can argue that Bavli underwent several post-Islamic
editings, thus one cannot be 100% sure that a given portion is
pre-Islamic, and I agree.

However, with regard to tractate Niddah, authoritative scholars on the
subject date this text to about the second or third century, and the
opinions of such scholars are worth consideration. For example,
consider Jacob Neusner's article "From Scripture to Mishnah: The
Origins of Tractate Niddah" (Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 29, 1978,
pp. 135-148). In pages 135-141 Neusner argues that some of Niddah
predates 70CE, while other porions are post 70CE, and some even
stretch into periods after 140CE.

As for the relevant portion quoted in this thread (the Gemara found in
Nid. 30a and the Mishna of 30b), Neusner (p. 141) dates it to the
Yavnean period, thus between 70 CE and 140 CE. So what we see is that
the authoritative scholars do not agree that the most likely
possibility is that this portion of the Talmud postdates the relevant
hadith being discussed in this thread. This is not absolute proof, but
it is nonetheless worthwhile to note that the general concensus of the
scholars has the relevant Talmudic passage predating the relevant
hadith.

> Here's some "science" from the Talmud attributed to the students of


> Rabbi Ishmael:
>
> "It is related of Rabbi Ishmael's disciples that they dissected a low
> woman who had been condemned by the Government to be burned, and upon
> examination they found that her body contained two hundred and
> fifty-two members."
> [Bechoroth, fol. 45, col. 1]
>
> Ummm.....yeah...ooooo-kay...

One can easily find all sorts of wacky stuff in the Talmud (and I was
not arguing otherwise). Furthermore, I was not arguing that Rabbi
Ishamel was correct (on the contrary, it was the version given by
those sages who disputed him that was being considered). Now again,
what the evidence seems to point to (and again, I am not claiming this
is absolute proof) is a statement by Talmudic sages that have the
determination of gender in the womb taking place after forty days
being made prior to the advent of Islam. Maybe you'll use the above to
argue that the Talmud was neither divinely inspired nor a scientific
text? That would be fine, but nonetheless the evidence seems in favor
of these men, who were neither scientists nor divinely inspired,
putting gender determination after forty days.

> The entirety of your hypothesis was based upon this very shakey and
> easily discredited variable.

I don't know about my variable being "easily discredited." I think you
have done a fine job of bringing the issue into question, but the
premise has not necessarily been discredited. For example, as I
understand it the oldest existing manuscript of Josephus is a 10th
century Arabic translation, yet despite this, the concensus of the
scholars is that Josephus predates the Qur'an by several hundred
years. So, with tractate Niddah, while we cannot be 100% sure what it
looked like in pre-Islamic times (or if it even existed in pre-Islamic
times), authoritative scholars nonetheless interpret the available
evidence as placing tractate Niddah well before the advent of Islam.

In the end, the final conclusion is that we have good reason to
consider it plausible that a human being could place gender
determination as taking place after forty days and do such without
being divinely inspired. Thus, while the relevant hadith may have very
well have contained knowledge given to Muhammad by Allaah, it is
nonetheless sensible for skeptics to postulate a natural explanation
for the relevant tradition.

-Denis Giron

http://freethoughtmecca.org/home.htm

GF Haddad

unread,
Apr 19, 2003, 2:30:00 AM4/19/03
to
Both the site and the hadith refer to some sort of threshold long
after the zygote stage and well into the fetus stage, at the 6th-week
mark, and mention that this threshold has to do with gender
determination.

It is true that the father gamete carries either X or Y and that this
is final at the moment of conception. However, this is inferred, not
directly observed. The finality becomes known to us only at the period
mentioned by the hadith. From our perspective, it is this 6th-week
point that connotes finality in the gendering, not a retrospective
gaze back to the moment of fecundation. This is why the site refers to
the middle of the 6th week as the (or "a", it makes no difference
here) crucial moment.

Furthermore: one would have to ask why the same words should be a
science-like observation on the part of a PBS website but an absurdity
on the part of a hadith. The similarity should at least draw one's
attention. Otherwise, what do you think the site means?

Note that the same site states that even with an XY combination, "if
the Y chromosome is missing the SRY [= sex-determining region of the Y
chromosome] gene, the embryo will develop into a female."

Anyway, scientific observation would confirm the hadith even if a
*single* exception to the gendering effected at the zygote stage were
known to have taken place, let alone 200.

As for the nice Talmudic documentation, regardless of its post-Hadith
dating, it would not necessarily discount a common revelatory source
if we accept the Rabbi's argument that his source is the Torah. Note
the words of another Rabbi - the Companion `Abd Allah ibn Salam - in
the hadith of dominant character and gendering: "I've come to ask you
something none would know except a Prophet and maybe a man or two
besides..."

But the Talmud is unreliable; witness the supposed story that an
autopsy revealed a 42-day old fetus showing gender. How so? Genital
differentiation remains invisible to the naked eye until the
fourteenth week or so. The 42-day threshold is about information of a
microscopic order.

As for the Semitic symbolism of the number 40: granted. But there are
other numbers that also match scientific discourse in the embryology
hadith series that I posted.

As for claims that "the Qur'an and Hadith are not scientific
textbooks" - whoever is claiming they are? They are much, much more
since science changes even its most fundamental tenets every now and
then. It is enough for non-Muslims to admit that there is *plenty of
science* there, in the most flattering sense of the word in their
minds. Even so, the probative force of the Qur'an and Hadith goes
beyond science since "science," in the Islamic view, is a conjectural
knowledge.

Hajj Gibril

Omar Mirza

unread,
Apr 19, 2003, 2:29:51 AM4/19/03
to
Jeremiah McAuliffe <ali...@city-net.com> wrote in message news:<6q6g9vklsmabq51lm...@4ax.com>...

> On Fri, 11 Apr 2003 22:29:07 +0000 (UTC), Qas...@ziplip.com (GF
> Haddad) wrote:
>
>
> >> > the crucial event
>
> >A crucial event
>
>
> Big difference.

Good observation, but it doesn't affect the issue at hand.

The hadith confirms that a crucial event in determining the gender of
a child occurs at the time established by modern science.

The hadith by itself does not commit one to saying that this is THE
crucial event.

And there are specifically Islamic reasons for this.

>From the Muslim point of view, the gender of the child was determined


when God wrote out his decrees.

This is entirely consistent with the fact that something crucial for
the manifestation of that gender occurs after six weeks.

Muhammad (pbuh) knew something crucial happened at that time, because
he mentioned in the hadith that the angel "fashions" the developing
human into a male or a female.

It is this "fashioning", or the emergence of the distinctive
observable sex characteristics in the body of the developing human,
that is referred to in the hadith.

Somehow, Muhammad(s) knew that this "fashioning" took place at a time
exactly in accordance with that yielded by the most sophisticated
scientific observation.

I am still waiting for a plausible explanation of how he knew this.

Shibli Zaman

unread,
Apr 19, 2003, 9:44:42 PM4/19/03
to
On Tue, 15 Apr 2003 04:13:53 +0000 (UTC), kaa...@godisdead.com (Denis
Giron) wrote:

>While I'm not an expert on this issue, as I understand it, PMDS causes
>what might be called "male pseudohermaphroditism," that is the male
>may seem like a hermaphrodite, but is nonetheless still a male. So,
>unless I'm wrong, this is not really relevant to a discussion on
>gender determination.

Denis, in my last post on this issue I specified a number of defects
which result in a gender of "intersex" which is an official gender
being neither male nor female.

So, ultimately, (as much as this horse is being beat) there are
numerous factors that can alter the XY/XX factor in gender
determination within 6 weeks.

So

(A) The Hadîth remains without error scientifically.

(B) Count's "NOTHING" ended up being quite more than just "something".

I have just barely touched on the absolute plethora of things that can
alter gender determination at conception within 6 weeks. For starters,
I suggest those interested study the effects of Mullerian hormone and
the impact of any anamolies regarding its delivery.

>With all due respect to Shibli, whom I have the greatest respect for,

The respect is, by far, mutual if not more on my side.

Regards,

Shibli Zaman

gksh...@ucdavis.edu

unread,
Apr 20, 2003, 4:56:37 AM4/20/03
to
Count 1 <omnipi...@yahoo.com> wrote (Thu, 17 Apr 2003 15:11:45 +0000 (UTC)):
> This is ridiculous. You're arguing the hadith in question is accurate
> scientifically based on defects? This hadith should read "after 6 weeks the
> angels come down and change the natural gender allah has already determine"
> or some such thing. In the vast majority of human reproduction the gender
> is determined at time of conception, and not six weeks later. Yes - there
> are genetic mutations which can occur - but when i read this hadith I don't
> see it relating to the minority, but attempting to explain HOW GENDER IS
> DETERMINED. For the vast majority of people these genetic mutations do not
> exist, meaning the sex they were given at conception is the same one they
> will have after 8 weeks, and since there are no genetic mutations, nothing
> will change that.

I beg to differ with you, in two ways. First, up until a certain
point in the development of the mammalian embryo, there are no
gross differences that can identify it as male or female; at a
certain point in time, a hormonal signal, if it occurs, causes male
morphology to develop, otherwise female morphology develops. The
critical time for this signal either to happen or not is the same
for males & females, and also for males and females with the kinds
of abnormal sexual morphology that result with the signal doesn't
occur with XY chromosomal individuals or vice versa. So, at least
as far as the gross-level (i.e., visible) sexual equipment goes,
its presence is determined well after conception. So, on that
account, you lose.

However, the discussion is not about abnormal sexual morphology at
the gross level, but rather, about *gender determination*, which
is biologically much simpler (and socially more complex, but see
below). That is, when the sexual organs develop abnormally, what
you end up with is males with vaginas and uteruses (and usually
also testes and penises); however, they are still male, as was
determined at the moment of conception. Therefore, in the most
basic sense, gender is determined at conception, regardless of
various ways that the anatomical structure may deviate from what
is normal for males or females.

There are of course well known cases where people end up with extra
chromosomes: XXX, XXY YYX, and so on. What is the gender of these
individuals? It is rather arbitrary, since in the biological manner
in which "male" and "female" have been defined, they are neither.
Thus we might say that the gender of these individuals is socially
determined after they are born.

And finally, the best-known examples in recent years of
socially-determined gender are the so-called trans-sexual. Some
of these people have more than two sex chromosomes and the socially
determined gender given them by their parents in childhood ends up
not suiting them so they change it; most of them make a decision
to change their visible anatomy based on some psychological factors
that most of us do not understand. However, even if their surgeries
and hormone treatments do not change the underying genetic reality,
it has become common to speak of people who determine (i.e., change)
their gender in adulthood.

Here is another case where depending on one's perspective, one will
interpret a Quranic passage differently: (1) In the absence of any
embryological knowledge or interest, you can simply accept what is written
literally--gender is determined after 40 days. (2) With a little
embryological knowledge, you can assume that gender is determined at the
moment of conception, and so the Quran has erred. (3) With a little
more embryological knowledge, you can say that the Quran was referring
to a specific hormonal critical period that determines the development
of male vs female sexual morphology, and so the Quran is correct (and
it's a miracle!). (4) With a little biological knowledge plus some
knowledge of the history of medicine, you can say that some idea of the
40 day critical period for sexual morphological development was known
by the ancient Greeks and was part of contemporary folklore, and so
the Quran is correct (but it's not a miracle!). (5) You can take
into account historical, genetic, embryological, and social knowledge,
and decide that it's really not clear what the heck the Quran was trying
to say (and that's not at all unusual!)...

Greg Shenaut

GF Haddad

unread,
Apr 20, 2003, 10:36:03 AM4/20/03
to

GF Haddad

unread,
Apr 20, 2003, 10:36:02 AM4/20/03
to
> "nutfa" in the relevant hadith has a similar meaning to
> spermatos/semine, and does not mean zygote or "sperm-and-ovum drop."
>
> So I looked up "zygote" in a couple English-Arabic dictionaries, and
> neither had any word from the nun-ta-fa root. Magdi Wahba's

Nutfa is most definitely the male sperm-drop in one
place and the zygote in another. The same zygote is
also called a morula then a fetus. The apparent
discrepancy is due to the different stages of the
same object.

Hajj Gibril

Jeremiah McAuliffe

unread,
Apr 21, 2003, 11:00:26 AM4/21/03
to
On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 06:30:00 +0000 (UTC), Qas...@ziplip.com (GF
Haddad) wrote:

>Both the site and the hadith refer to some sort of threshold long
>after the zygote stage and well into the fetus stage, at the 6th-week
>mark, and mention that this threshold has to do with gender
>determination.

So what?

It is not inconceivable that after thousands of years some may have
picked up on a pattern something like "if mom is injured around six
weeks the kid has gender issues" and a traveling merchant may have
heard this.... just like all people have been observing red horses
giving birth to grey horses. The hadith itself has others sharing the
understanding. i.e. its not non-ordinary.

>It is true that the father gamete carries either X or Y and that this
>is final at the moment of conception. However, this is inferred, not
>directly observed. The finality becomes known to us only at the period
>mentioned by the hadith. From our perspective, it is this 6th-week
>point that connotes finality in the gendering, not a retrospective
>gaze back to the moment of fecundation. This is why the site refers to
>the middle of the 6th week as the (or "a", it makes no difference
>here) crucial moment.

Who is "our" of "our perspective"? Are you speaking for a group?

This paragraph totally begs the question of what "observation" means
when searching for truth. In science, what we can observe is enhanced
by many tools and methods. Does that make it any less direct of an
observation? I would say no.

Yes, perhaps we can look at fetal development and see genitalia form
with our unaided eyes-- I suppose that is what you mean by "direct
observation" though my guess would be that would be rather difficult
without the help of some instruments as everything is rather small.

And even still, we're talking about a chemical event that *then* shows
up in genital formation. So, what is it you want to directly observe,
exactly and thus say "final!"? The triggering chemical event, or the
formation of the organs? For most, an XY is enough to say "final!"

Regardless, unaided eye observation seems an untenable-- and often
discredited-- litmus test for discovering truth. Much of what we know
about sunnat Allah, the patterns in creation, is by using
instruments-- that makes those "inferences" no less compelling or
truthful than something seen with the unaided eye.

To say that the sex-determination of a child at the moment of
fertilization isn't "final" because it isn't "directly observed" is
facile, and certainly doesn't prove anything unusual in the hadith.

I suppose it comes down to just who is the "our" and "us" mentioned in
this paragraph and what is their perspective, exactly? It seems like
you want the XY reality to take a backseat so you can say a hadith
says something unusual and amazingly predictive.

>Furthermore: one would have to ask why the same words should be a
>science-like observation on the part of a PBS website but an absurdity
>on the part of a hadith.

Because they are not the same words. They are not the saying the same
thing. To say or imply they are is the absurdity.

>The similarity should at least draw one's
>attention.

OF COURSE there is or may be a similarity! People have been observing
breeding for thousands of years! It hasn't changed! But that is not a
non-ordinary predictive type knowledge.The hadith itself shows that
others understood things the same way as expressed by Muhammad.

>Otherwise, what do you think the site means?

I don't care about the site. (though it is always the case that "the
cause" and "a cause" are completely different statements. They are
never the same.. ) I do care about manifestly incorrect statements
such as those with birth defects cannot reproduce. I care about what
is, imho, a completely incorrect and retro approach to the Qur'an and
hadith. I generally never enter these types of threads, but some of
the manifestly incorrect statements put forth so strongly and with
such confidence regarding people with birth defects caught my eye.

>Anyway, scientific observation would confirm the hadith

And science confirms that volcanoes rumble and spew hot lava. Now,
find an ancient text that talks about plate tectonics-- and isn't just
idle speculation that hit it right.

The unusual thing would be if the hadith confirmed today's science.
But it doesn't mention anything about a double helix, or pairs made of
four chemicals or elements, nor about something in each cell of our
bodies that could give birth to a clone, etc., etc.


>As for the nice Talmudic documentation, regardless of its post-Hadith
>dating, it would not necessarily discount a common revelatory source

Or just common observations of patterns.... i.e. nothing non-ordinary
is being said. The source is most probably, most reasonably, most
simply thousands of years of people selectively breeding themselves
and domesticated animals....


>As for claims that "the Qur'an and Hadith are not scientific
>textbooks" - whoever is claiming they are?

Anyone who approaches them as if they were....


> They are much, much more
>since science changes even its most fundamental tenets every now and
>then.

Yes and no. What science does and how it generates and revises
statements regarding reality can't be summed up in such a sentence,
especially regarding assumed "tenets" of science.


> Even so, the probative force of the Qur'an and Hadith goes
>beyond science since "science," in the Islamic view, is a conjectural
>knowledge.

I understand science as the disciplined observation of sunnat Allah,
and that we are repeatedly told in the Qur'an to look at the patterns
in creation. That is, told to do science...

I go with Faruqi... if science and our hermeneutic of the Qur'an don't
match up something is either wrong with our science, or our
hermeneutic of the Qur'an. For him, that follows from tawheed.


But thank you for telling us "the Islamic" view. <cough>

Jeremiah McAuliffe

unread,
Apr 21, 2003, 11:00:21 AM4/21/03
to
On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 06:29:51 +0000 (UTC), omar...@yahoo.com (Omar
Mirza) wrote:

>Jeremiah McAuliffe <ali...@city-net.com> wrote in message news:<6q6g9vklsmabq51lm...@4ax.com>...

>


>The hadith by itself does not commit one to saying that this is THE
>crucial event.

Right. I realized that it was from Gibril, not hadith wording.

My understanding is that the hadith are being completely misread and
the entire topic/approach/time spent on this imaginative issue is,
well, at best, an entertaining indulgence. At worst, it represents
unreflected-upon assumptions and presuppositions that then shape one's
approach to Qur'an and hadith in an unhealthy manner-- i.e. missing
the point.

God knows best, of course.


>From the Muslim point of view, the gender of the child was determined
>when God wrote out his decrees.
>This is entirely consistent with the fact that something crucial for
>the manifestation of that gender occurs after six weeks.

Well, first, I simply don't get your point. The decree is written at
the beginning of time and something happens six weeks into an
individual's development? So what? EVERYTHING is consistent with God's
decrees.


Second, and more importantly, I don't know how this could possibly be
consistent in the sense you seem to want to say...

God's decree and plan is written outside of space-time. It is not
written six weeks before, during, or after anything!

You seem to be making a categorical error.... talking about something
that is not even in space-time, and somehow locking it with a very
particular time and space and finite individual. It simply doesn't
make sense.

(Strictly speaking... "gender" refers to social identity roles of male
and female. We're talking about the sex of the child, not the
gender... strictly speaking.)

>Muhammad (pbuh) knew something crucial happened at that time, because
>he mentioned in the hadith that the angel "fashions" the developing
>human into a male or a female.

This assumes a degree of accurate biographical historicity to the
hadith that is highly questionable.

An issue of assumptions and presuppositions....


>Somehow, Muhammad(s) knew that this "fashioning" took place at a time
>exactly in accordance with that yielded by the most sophisticated
>scientific observation.
>
>I am still waiting for a plausible explanation of how he knew this.

Assuming the hadith even recounts "what really happened"....

And assuming the hadith documents something unusual being said....

There is a *very* simple, plausible explanation. He was a traveling
merchant..... he had opportunity to visit many people in many lands.
He seems a curious person-- after all, he searched for Truth.

Its quite possible he encountered a person or group who dissected
bodies long before it was allowed in the Euro-American cultures, and
thus may have directly observed fetal development to some degree, or
at least formulated opinions about that development-- based on their
pre-scientific observations of sunnat Allah/patterns in creation-- he
then accepted as "expert" opinions of the time which he then told
others about. There doesn't seem to be any need to appeal to the
non-ordinary to explain this.

There is also a major theological issue with this whole approach....
it turns Muhammad into something different from a human and a
Messenger who says "God is One". It seems to turn him into a kind of
soothsayer.

Y'know.... we can also read Nostradamus' writings and in looking back
see all sorts of amazing "predictions". But they don't really exist
other than as an imaginative projection backwards onto the text.

Its really a problem similar to those who want to believe in magical
multiples of 19 in the Qur'an...

Never underestimate the human ability to find meaning/see patterns
where there are none..... one can take Moby Dick and find
"predictions"-- I think there is even a web site that does so.

Now... if there was a hadith that talked about a double helix made of
four "elements" that is in every life form and determines eye color,
or something like that, well, that might be truly unusual....

The Qur'an, and thus the hadith, are about The Transcendent Unity. Not
embryology.

A book about trees is not a book about birds, though it may mention
them.


And keep in mind, today's science is tomorrow's mistaken superstition.

You can't count on today's understanding of genetics being tomorrow's.
And THEN what happens to the hadith?? Well, what happens is your
understanding-- and perhaps even your faith-- falls apart. The whole
approach is simply incorrect, imho.


Even so, again, to show something truly unusual was said you would *at
least* have to also present other contemporaneous statements on the
topic and show that the hadith expresses something simply unheard of
at the time, or so wildly divergent from other opinions of the time as
to be unusual....

Allah knows best.

Jeremiah McAuliffe

unread,
Apr 21, 2003, 11:00:35 AM4/21/03
to
On Sun, 20 Apr 2003 08:56:37 +0000 (UTC), gksh...@ucdavis.edu wrote:


>Here is another case where depending on one's perspective, one will
>interpret a Quranic passage differently: (1) In the absence of any
>embryological knowledge or interest, you can simply accept what is written
>literally--gender is determined after 40 days. (2)

<snip>

OR you can say the Qur'anic passage isn't about embryology at all, but
is a parable talking about The Transcendent-- that it determines the
course of development and even the sex of each individual.... that
doesn't necessarily hold for the hadith though.

GF Haddad

unread,
Apr 22, 2003, 8:26:33 AM4/22/03
to
I am satisfied that what the PBS site meant by "a
crucial event" happening at the six-week stage in
relation to gender determination is the hormonal
signal that causes sexed morphology to develop as
elucidated by Greg and that this is what the hadith
also meant by its six-week observation.

In light of this and other recent exchanges I have
amended the text to read:

According to embryology, a crucial event that
determines whether the embryo will develop into


a male or female occurs in the second half of

the sixth week of gestation. [FN: PBS website]
At that point in time, a hormonal signal, if it


occurs, causes male morphology to develop,
otherwise female morphology develops.

The Prophet Muhammad - upon him and his House
blessings and peace - disclosed the exact same
timeframe fourteen centuries ago.

The fact of the latter paragraph remains unchanged
whether or not such information was available in
Greco-Roman knowledge or Talmudic lore.

If one then insists on a borrowing on the part of
the Prophet, one would still have to explain the
process by which he left out the remaining 99.99%
of ambient knowledge or lore and selected only
what is scientifically viable.

As for a hadith on volcanoes and plate tectonics,
see Brother Shibli's "Fire Under the Sea? Sea Under
the Fire?" http://shibli.zaman.net/artgen.aspx?id=8.

Hajj Gibril

Denis Giron

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 3:57:43 AM4/24/03
to
Qas...@ziplip.com (GF Haddad) wrote in message news:<c0734f73.03041...@posting.google.com>...

> As for the nice Talmudic documentation, regardless of its post-Hadith
> dating, it would not necessarily discount a common revelatory source
> if we accept the Rabbi's argument that his source is the Torah.

The Rabbi made one claim (that gender determination occurs for one
gender at 41 days, and for another at 81 days), and argued that such
was derived from his interpretation of the Torah. This was disputed by
other sages who placed gender determination after forty days (who
called to witness some bizarre story about Cleopatra). The point
regarding this is final: the scholarly consensus is that this portion
of the Talmud dates to before the advent of Islam. Thus it is possible
(and even probable) that human beings said gender determination takes
place after forty days before the advent of Islam, and without divine
guidance. Once one concedes that it is possible for a human being
(without divine guidance) to place gender determination after forty
days, and do such before the advent of Islam, then we are no longer
forced to accept your implied conclusion that the one who uttered that
hadith could only have known such with help from Allaah. This does not
mean Muhammad was not divinely inspired; rather it means that nothing
in this thread proved that he was (though he may very well have been a
divinely inspired Prophet nonetheless).

Denis Giron

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 3:57:39 AM4/24/03
to
Qas...@ziplip.com (GF Haddad) wrote in message news:<c0734f73.03041...@posting.google.com>...
> Nutfa is most definitely the male sperm-drop in one
> place and the zygote in another.

Now, this may very well be true, but of course GF Haddad has given no
reason in his post to assume it is true. I made reference to a few
different Arabic dictionaries, and none seemed to know anything about
nutfa being a reference to the zygote. Why is that?

> The same zygote is
> also called a morula then a fetus. The apparent
> discrepancy is due to the different stages of the
> same object.

This seems to mean that what exactly nutfa means is not clear. If
nutfa can mean multiple things, how do we know the Qur'an and/or
ahaadeeth mean nutfa in one sense and not the other? Or do you just
choose the interpretation that fits the best?

Denis Giron

unread,
Apr 24, 2003, 3:57:49 AM4/24/03
to
Qas...@ziplip.com (GF Haddad) wrote in message news:<c0734f73.03042...@posting.google.com>...

> If one then insists on a borrowing on the part of
> the Prophet,

One does not have to insist on any issue of borrowing. If it is
conceded that it is possible for people before the advent of Islam to
state such things, then we do not have to assume that the only
possible source is divine guidance. This does not mean Muhammad
borrowed it from some earlier source, or was not divinely inspired. It
simply means that it is possible for human beings to reach such
conclusions.

> As for a hadith on volcanoes and plate tectonics,
> see Brother Shibli's "Fire Under the Sea? Sea Under
> the Fire?" http://shibli.zaman.net/artgen.aspx?id=8

Earlier in this thread I believe you called to witness the whole Adam
was 90 feet tall polemic (which I'm certain is a hoax), and now you're
citing the above. I get the impression that you basically trust that
which you find on the net which is favorable towards Islam, and that
is a poor way of going about such things. I have the greatest respect
for Shibli, but I am not convinced by the above article. I think there
has been a misunderstanding.

The relevant hadith states that there is a fire under the sea, and a
sea under the fire (the Arabic seems to have more a poetic form that
is intended to have some sort of aesthetic value rather than be
something to be taken literally), and Shibli claims scientists have
discovered exactly that, calling to witness the following site:

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03a.html

What the site speaks of, however, is "water moving through the
heavily-fractured basalt." Basalt is not "fire" (rather it is a hard,
dense volcanic rock with a glossy/glazed appearance), and the water is
not underneath the basalt, rather it is flowing through cracks in the
basalt. In no way does the article allude to fire under the sea and
sear under fire. There is a difference between sea under fire, and
water flowing through fractures in ancient rock. This does not mean
the relevant hadith is wrong, but it is certainly true that the truth
of this hadith has yet to be demonstrated.

CooolBreeeze

unread,
Apr 25, 2003, 4:45:36 AM4/25/03
to
kaa...@godisdead.com (Denis Giron) wrote

> Earlier in this thread I believe you called to witness the whole Adam
> was 90 feet tall polemic (which I'm certain is a hoax), and now you're
> citing the above. I get the impression that you basically trust that
> which you find on the net which is favorable towards Islam, and that
> is a poor way of going about such things. I have the greatest respect
> for Shibli, but I am not convinced by the above article. I think there
> has been a misunderstanding.

COMMENT:

Dennis, regarding the 90 foot Adam, as Muslims as believe what the
Prophet of Allah s.a.w. says. As fantastic as it may sound there is
a scientific basis for such a height as enumerated by some Israeli
scientist in the following exchange:
*********************
Apparently the jews though it was absurd, but the Prophet of Allah
said it long ago!!!!


From: 'Abd al-Kareem (nycyberm...@yahoo.com)
Subject: Israeli Scientists Trip Over Islam
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam
View: (This is the only article in this thread) | Original Format

Date: 2001-12-02 02:11:04 PST
Sobhan Allah! The truth of Islam is found in the last place you
expect. Read the following excerpt from the English section of the
September 2001 issue of the Hebrew-English Israeli popular science
journal "Ha-Mada Ha-Yisraeli B'Angleet V'Ivreet." Then read the
comments below. TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - At the recent Israeli colloquium
on science and religion, Dr. Shlomi Lesser of Hebrew University, and
the Chairman of the Hofesh V'Mada Society (a stalwart for deeply
skeptical Israeli scientists), led a heated debate between biologists
and ultra-orthodox Rabbis on the origins of life. Many of the
spectators, including those of a deeply religious stance, came away
with the feeling that the Rabbis had not done very well against their
"Epicurean" counterparts. The hi-light of the evening came when Dr.
Lesser engaged in a one-on-one question exchange with Rabbi Dovid
Brown of Yeshiva University. At one point Dr. Lesser asked R. Brown
how tall the first man was, to which the esteemed Rabbi replied "he
was roughly the size of an average man according to chazal [Jewish
sages]." From there Dr. Lesser revealed that genetic research has
revealed that the human race coming from a single pair of parents is
impossible in light of the biological bottle-neck [a term for the
strain put on successive generations by inbreeding] they would have to
travel through. "Our research, in conjunction with the research of
other respected institutions around the world, has demonstrated that
the entire human population descending from a single pair of human
ancestors is highly unlikely." stated Dr. Lesser. "It would seem that
the traditional view of groups, not individuals, evolving has been
corroborated; the only way man could descend from a single pair
(rather than from an entire group of transitional hominids) is if the
original pair were literally giants in the pre-nutrition age." As Dr.
Lesser pointed out, prior to the breakthroughs in nutrition that took
place in the 17th and 18th centuries, genetic evidence revealed that
man would have been shrinking if he came from a single human ancestor.
His calculations revealed that in order for the human race to reach
the state it was in during the 17th century, the "Adam and Eve" story
would only be plausible if the first man was 90 feet tall (which is
fantastic to say the least). "There is no other way man could
traverse the genetic bottleneck" Dr. Lesser again said. "If Adam was
the size of any other man according to the learned Rabbis of the
Jewish religion, this demonstrates an obvious absurdity to this myth."
[------ END EXCERPT ------] This is interesting to me because while
the biologists think they crushed Judaism, they actually confirmed
Islam! The scientists came up with genetic research that led them to
calculate the size a first man would have to be if the story was true.
They came up with 90 feet. Note that 1400 years before these learned
men came to this conclusion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said
something similar: Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 543:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam, making
him 60 cubits tall. [snip]" Two cu