Information about the stages of human development inside the mother’s womb is provided in the verses of the Qur’an. It is said in verses that the bones form first in the womb, muscles then appear and surround these bones:
“... then formed the drop into a clot and formed the clot into a lump and formed the lump into bones and clothed the bones in flesh; and then brought him into being as another creature. Blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!” (Surat Al-Mu’minun, 14)
Until recently, the bones and muscles were thought to develop together inside the womb. However, advances in the science of embryology, which studies development inside the womb, have revealed that this is incorrect and the description in the Qur’an is absolutely correct. Microscopic examination also shows that development in the womb takes place exactly in line with the description in verses. Cartilage forms first in the embryo after which this cartilage tissue turns into bone. Subsequently, muscle cells are selected from the tissue around the bones and come together around them. As we have seen, the findings of modern embryology are in complete agreement with the stages of human development revealed in the Qur’an.
Cartilage is one of the proofs of Allah’s matchless creation. It is an especially created and vitally important structure. Every glorious detail in cartilage has a structure far too perfect to be capable of reproduction by human hands. By means of the presence of this flawless structure, people never need to reflect on how the functions of the spinal cord and joints will come into being or on how their airways must always be kept open in order for them to breathe. This perfect creation in cartilage reveals one very small part of our Almighty Lord’s sublime creative artistry. As Almighty Allah says in one verse:
“That is Allah, your Lord. There is no god but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything.” (Surat Al-An’am, 102)
Examples of Allah’s sublime creation, such as cartilage, are all means whereby people can turn to Allah and appreciate His might and greatness, and give thanks to Allah, Who bestows their immaculate bodies, with all its many superior features, of which they may or may not be aware.