Response to Surah 86:6-7


27 Jan 2015

Biology, Miracles / I'jaz

Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi discusses his understanding of Surah 86:6-7 from the Qurʾān in this first video blog episode of Acts 17 Apologetics.  These verses are sometimes used to depict miraculous knowledge about the human body, sometimes about the development of human embryos and sometimes about conception.  

Qureshi suggests that those who find these verses to be discussing sperm are performing verbal acrobatics rather than trying to understand what the verses say on their surface. 

His authoritative translations come from Shakir and Yusuf Ali.  He does not reference any authoritative Qurʾānic exegetes.  He contrasts his understanding with that of an unnamed individual who has been emailing him, as well as Maurice Bucaille, Zakir Naik and Jamal Badawi.

Nabeel Qureshi (1983-2017) is a Christian convert from Islam.


The material presented by Qureshi on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.  Qureshi is rejecting interpretations that have focused on finding scientific miracles (iʿjāz) in the Qurʾānic text.  This criticism would have been made stronger by referring to scholarly Qurʾānic exegetes.

Qureshi does not provide any science to back up his rejection of others’ interpretations.  He is relying on the basic biological fact that sperm is created in the testes, which is not located between the backbone and the rib.

There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.