Monday, September 10, 2012

The Cell Cluster Attaches to the Uterus

Say: "Am I to desire any but God as my Lord, when He is the Lord of all things?" What each self earns is for itself alone. No burden-bearer can bear another's burden. In the end you will all return to your Lord, and He will resolve for you your disputes.
(Qur'an, 6: 164)

In order for the pregnancy to continue in a healthy way, the cell cluster must find an appropriate place to lodge. A place must be chosen that affords protection and that has the characteristics that will be able to facilitate the birth nine months later. Moreover, this place must also be close to the mother's blood vessels which will provide nourishment for the baby. The most suitable place for this operation is the wall of the uterus.
The cell cluster, which advances towards the uterus from the fallopian tube, moves with an awareness of what it is doing. It is in the fallopian tube for 3-4 days but does not attempt to stop and lodge at any point there. It knows that before it reaches the uterus, no place where it attaches itself will receive it or allow it to survive. It advances towards the uterus; it finds in the walls of the uterus a place where the blood vessels are plentiful and lodges there. As a seed planted in the ground sprouts and spreads its root, so the cell cluster continues to grow, and moving deeper into the tissues that will nourish it, produces for itself new channels for that nourishment.
Here it is useful to notice an important point. It is a wonder that the cell cluster is able to choose the most appropriate place for itself. In his book,Beginning Life, G. Flanagan also asks "How does the cluster make such an astonishingly "forward-looking" selection?"26
The point to which Flanagan draws attention is very important. In order to illustrate this importance, let us first consider an example. Imagine a baby that is just beginning to walk. You place this baby in a building which is millions of times larger than itself, and which it has never seen before; then you expect that the baby can find a room in this building with the most suitable environment for itself. Could a small baby do such a thing? Certainly it could not. If this feat is impossible for a baby which has not yet reached the age where it can use its mental abilities, with no experience or accumulation of knowledge, how much more impossible is it for a piece of flesh, a few centimetres in size, wandering in the dark void of a body, to find the most suitable, most comfortable and most secure place for itself?
Moreover, this cell cluster is not even a human being yet. Remember that what we refer to here is a piece of flesh composed of at the most a few hundred cells (for the moment), with no ears, eyes, brain, hands or arms. But this cell mass, demonstrating an exceptional recognition ability, lodges itself in the uterus as the most suitable place for itself.
The wonders of human creation do not stop here. In every stage of the formation of a human being, there is a wonderful chain of miraculous occurrences. We have spoken about how the fertilised egg cell multiplies and how it finds the place needed for its development. But at this stage, another question confronts us: This cell cluster, composed of cells totally similar to one another, has no special anchor or other similar organ to allow it to attach itself to a place. How then can it attach itself to the wall of the uterus?
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The way the cell cluster attaches itself to the wall of the uterus is part of an interesting and highly complex system. The cells in the outer layer of the cell cluster secrete an enzyme called hyaluronidase. The particularity of this enzyme (as we mentioned before in the case of the sperm) is to break down the acid layer (hyaluronic acid) in the tissues of the wall of the uterus. This enables the cells which form the cell cluster to dissolve the uterine tissue and enter the uterus. Some cells in the cell cluster dissolve the cells of the uterus, penetrate deeper into it and embed themselves securely in the wall.
As we said earlier, the fact that a cell mass can find the place most suited to itself and determine that it is necessary to attach itself to that place is really an amazing thing. By its behaviour, this tiny collection of cells shows the ability to calculate its needs and to act according to this calculation. Yet, it is even more amazing that it knows how to make this attachment and that a few cells have the special ability to achieve it. It is certainly not possible that these cells, by using their intelligence and its will, analyse the hyaluronic acid on the wall of the uterus and begin the secretion of the hyaluronidase enzyme which will dissolve it.
As we explained earlier, unless a person has had special training in chemistry, he cannot give an explanation for this. However, a few cells have this chemical information and use it to perform their vital function in producing what is required to sustain their existence. Moreover, this extraordinary function is performed, not by a single cell alone, but by the cells that have formed every human being, past and present, that has ever existed.
As can be seen in what we have said on this point, in the formation of the cell cluster which will later form the embryo and in the changes undergone by the cells which shelter it, there is a definite and conscious plan. At exactly the right time, the cells which compose the fallopian tube undergo a change and, at a precise moment, the cells which surround the outer surface of the cell cluster begin to secrete an enzyme (hyaluronidase). This conscious plan shows that these functions that occur in the human body are controlled by a superior intelligence.
It is He Who forms you in the womb however He wills. There is no god but Him, the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an, 3: 6)
The Attachment of the Embryo to the Uterus is a Miracle of the Qur'an
When we examine the verses in the Qur'an that deal with the attachment of the embryo to the uterus, we see one of the greatest wonders of the Qur'an. In the Qur'an, while referring to the embryo's attachment to the uterus and the beginning of its development, God uses the word "alaq": 
Recite in the Name of your Lord Who created man from alaq. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Generous.  (Qur'an, 96: 1-3)
The word "alaq" in Arabic means "something that clings, a leech-like substance".
The Qur'an came down to us 1400 years ago and the fact that God uses this word to describe the development of the embryo in the mother's womb is one if its wonders. The fact that this knowledge, which could not have been discovered by the science of that period, was revealed centuries ago in the Qur'an confirms once again that it is a revelation from God, the Lord of all the worlds.

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