the hadith of the reproductive substance of men and the reproductive substance of women prove the prophethood and revelation of prophet muhammad (peace be upon him)
how and when did scientists find out how the child is created? who is responsible for determining the sex of the baby, the male or female? it is proved that science discovered that humans are created from nutfah (fertilized ovum by a sperm cell) () at the end of the 19thcentury. in 1875, oscar hertwig observed the fertilization of the female’s egg by the sperm. it was confirmed in 1883 when edouard van beneden was able to prove that the sperm and the egg contribute equally in forming the fertilized ovum (zygote). the prophetic teachings and sayings of the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) give us facts that science could only prove more than a thousand years after the time they were said by prophet muhammad (peace be upon him). they are three facts mentioned in the prophetic sayings (hadiths) about the nutfah.
first: the child is created from both the nutfah of a man and a woman: imam muslim narrated that a jew passed by the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) while he was talking to his companions. qureish tribe said to him: “o jew, this man claims that he is a prophet.” he (the jew) said: “i will ask him about a thing which no one amongst the people on the earth knows except a prophet.” he said: “o muhammad, from what is man created?” the prophet muhammad (pbuh) said: “o jew, he is created from both a man’s nutfah and a woman’s nutfah.” the jew said: “this is what the predecessors said (previous prophets before muhammad pbuh).” scientifically, there was a debate till the end of the eighteenth century about whether the ovum or the sperm cell is responsible for the creation of the fetus.
second: not all the reproductive substances of a man or a woman take part in the creation process, only part of it. imam muslim narrated that the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “the child is not created from all the reproductive substance. if allah wills to create something, he will not stop it.” science proved that only one sperm cell is needed to fertilize an egg (ovum). later, science discovered that only one sperm cell of 400-700 million sperm cells fuse into an egg in the normal conditions.
third: the sperm is responsible for sex determination. imam muslim mentioned in his sahih (collection of authentic hadiths) that thawban, the prophet’s servant, narrated: “while i was standing beside the messenger of allah (peace be upon him) one of the rabbis of the jews came and asked him about several issues till the rabbi said: ‘i have come to ask you about a thing which no one amongst the people on the earth knows except a prophet or one or two men besides him.’ he (the prophet) said: ‘would it benefit you if i tell you that?’ he (the jew) said: ‘i would lend ears to that.’ he then said: ‘i have come to ask you about the child.’ he (the prophet) said: ‘the reproductive substance of man is white and that of woman (i.e. ovum central portion) is yellow, and when they have sexual intercourse and the male's substance (chromosomes and genes) prevails upon the female's substance (chromosomes and genes), it is the male child that is created by allah's decree, and when the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed by allah’s decree.’ the jew said: ‘what you have said is true; verily you are a prophet.’ he then returned and went away. the messenger of allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘he asked me about such and such things of which i have had no knowledge till angel jibril came to me.’” science is still trying to pursue the meanings of this hadith to embrace every fact mentioned in it. does “prevailing upon” in the hadith mean preceding, namely if the sex chromosome ‘y’ precedes the sex chromosome ‘x’ in fertilizing the ovum, then the child will be a male by allah’s will. while, if the sex chromosome ‘x’ is the fertilizer of the ovum, then the zygote will be a female by allah’s will. another meaning is if the alkalinity of the reproductive substance of a man prevails upon the acidity of the reproductive substance of a woman, this will lead to the creation of a male, or a female if it is vice versa.
() nutfah: the part by which the man shares in creation of a child (his sperm cell) and also nutfah is the part by which the woman shares in this creation (her ovum).