The Role of the Egg cell in the Formation of a New Human Being

With the onset of puberty, there is a similarity in the developments in the male and female bodies. The female reproductive cell, the egg, along with the female reproductive system is prepared to complement the male reproductive system.

We will show them Our Signs on the horizon and within themselves until it is clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not enough for your Lord that He is a witness of everything? (Qur'an, 41: 53)

With the coming of puberty in women, just as in men, the hypothalamus knows exactly when the time has come to send commands to the pituitary gland to produce the hormones required to bring the egg cells to maturation. The pituitary gland receives these commands, immediately obeys them and begins to produce the needed hormones.

The production of reproductive cells in women is not continuous as it is in men. This production occurs at particular times. It is the job of the pituitary gland to determine the time. The pituitary gland assures the production of a hormone that will bring the primary egg cells to maturation in the ovary. This hormone knows very well where it will perform its function, and going straight to the ovary, it announces that the time has come for the maturation of the egg. At this, the egg cells immediately understand the command and begin an intense activity inside the ovary, leading to the maturation of the egg.12

Now, let us examine this information more deeply. How does this tiny secretory gland called the hypothalamus determine the time? And how does it calculate the exact timing of this process, which has occurred in millions of women past and present, without getting confused? The hypothalamus is located at the base of the brain; it is not a timing mechanism, it has no relation with the world outside the brain; it is a piece of flesh composed of cells. The function of this piece of flesh in determining time is an extraordinary thing that cannot be ignored. But this is just a tiny detail of the wondrous occurrences that happen continuously in the human body. This kind of astounding process continues endlessly, at every moment and in every square millimetre of the human body. For example, an amazing miracle happens in the pituitary gland: a command sent by the hypothalamus is read and understood; on the basis of this understanding a decision is made; according to this decision, substances are produced and sent with other productive material without error to a distant and hitherto unseen area. The pituitary gland is also a collection of cells. The coming together of these cells and their conscious understanding of the commands sent to them and their carrying out a command they have understood is an extraordinary thing. What consciousness makes it possible for this collection of cells to "understand", "conceive", "draw conclusions", "arrive at decisions" and "put the decision into effect"?

The human body is a dark environment into which light does not penetrate and where many fluids move at great speed through the vessels; it is a dense and complicated place. No evolutionist has ever been able to explain how a mass of molecules in this dense environment can go where it wants in the complex mass by crossing over other materials many times its own size and without suffering harm or loss, or how they can even use some means to send some other substances to the places where they are needed. This is because evolutionists' sole refuge, when they come face to face with these marvellous proofs of creation, is chance; but there is no room for chance in the complex structure of the human body or of any other living thing.

At this point, we must recall that, in the course of all these events, the intelligence and conscience we encounter do not belong to any cell. What we call a cell has no eyes to see with, to tongue to speak or be understood with, and no ears to hear with. Cells are the creation of God; they are only the means of carrying out His commands; and at every moment, by His inspiration, they effect processes too wondrous ever to have come from themselves.


The Egg Cells Begin to Develop...

The egg is produced in an organ with every aspect having been especially designed for this purpose: the ovary. In every woman, there are two ovaries, one on the right and one on the left. In these ovaries, there is a space, big enough for nerve fibres and blood vessels and lymphatic ducts to enter and exit. Inside this space, there are fibrous tissues rich in blood. For the egg cells to be formed safely, they must be nourished and protected by these tissues. Within this protective structure, there are many sacs (follicles) of varying sizes. In every follicle there is one primary egg cell. But only a single mature ovum is normally released from the ovaries each month so that only a single foetus can begin to grow at a time.

But this production does not consist of only one stage. In order for this egg cell to mature, a few developments must occur, one after the other. In order for the primary egg cell to maturate and become reproductive cells, one division by mitosis and two divisions by meiosis must occur, and in a definite series without confusion. As a result of the divisions, a difference in the number of chromosomes in the cell occurs and different types of cells are formed. As is the case with male reproductive cells, in the female, too, the 46 chromosomes in the primary egg cells are reduced to 23.

Above we see the internal structure of the uterus. A special system has been created in the female body that takes into account every eventuality that may occur in the production of the egg and in the completion of its journey. For example, the millions of cells in a fallopian tube are responsible for making the egg reach the uterus. At the side we see a picture of a fallopian tube where the ripened egg lands.

As a result of the divisions by mitosis and meiosis in the egg cell, three small cells and one large cell (ootid) are produced. The small cells die from lack of nourishment, while the large cell undergoes some changes and becomes the egg. If each of these cells were the same size, there would not be enough of the required nourishment for the development of the zygote at the end of the fertilisation process. But the fact that one of the cells has more nourishment, and the others are small prevents such a problem from developing.

The development of the egg is not an unchecked phenomenon that occurs randomly by itself. As we explained at the beginning, what gives shape to this development, as in the case of the male reproductive system, are the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, which is located under the brain. It is possible to outline the stages in the formation of the egg and the hormones involved in the process:

1. Follicular Growth: This is the stage in which the egg cell begins to be formed. The primary egg cell is found, as we said before, in what is called the follicle. The formation of the follicle takes about 14 days. A pituitary hormone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), comes to the ovaries in the bloodstream. This hormone is responsible for the formation and development of the follicle in the ovaries and the production of the egg from the primary cell in the follicle. At the same time, this hormone is the cause of the secretion of the oestrogen hormone from the mature follicle.

Oestrogen is a hormone which especially affects the uterus. It accelerates the division by mitosis of the cells in the uterus; this area then swells forming a soft cushion to which the embryo will adhere after the process of fertilisation. In addition, it ensures that a sufficient quantity of blood and tissue fluids are directed to the uterus. These preparations are made every month. If an egg is fertilised, it lodges in this specially prepared tissue where it is nourished and its development continues.



At the side we see the representation of a tiny egg cell the size of a grain of salt, which is one of the most important elements that go into the formation of a human being. The system required for the formation of this single cell, is found in every female alive in the world today, as it has been found in all females who have ever lived. This is God's flawless creation.

As is the case at every stage of human creation, here also a miraculous event takes place. The cells in the female reproductive system determine in advance the needs of the embryo that they will host, make preparations to meet these needs and work to supply the most suitable environment for the development of the foetus. How can a collection of cells effect operations that require such a degree of consciousness and intelligence? It is, of course, impossible to say that cells possess such a consciousness and intelligence, but cells in the female reproductive system (even cells in the pituitary gland) do these things which we have declared impossible for them, and prepare in advance the environment most suitable to the needs of an embryo they have never known.

It is not possible for anyone with an intelligent mind to claim that cells do these things by their own will and intelligence. Indeed, only one whose thinking is seriously flawed could claim that cells composed of unconscious atoms can do what he himself cannot possibly do with his conscious intelligence. This being the case, the reality before us is crystal clear: all the cells that contribute toward the creation of a human being perform their functions by the inspiration of the Creator; they are vehicles in the realization of a miracle that occurs when every human being comes into the world.

2. Ovulation: At this stage the follicle that carries the egg breaks and the egg is released. But the egg cell, which has been released from the ovaries into the void needs assistance. Otherwise, the egg cell would never be able to find the place to meet the sperm. So, at this point, the fallopian tubes, located between the ovary and the uterus, go into action. The egg cell, which has been released from the ovaries into the void, is caught by the fallopian tube, which has large tentacles like an octopus. The fallopian tube provides an appropriate environment for fertilisation and the later stages occur depending on whether or not there are sperm present in this tube.


An egg cell is 150 microns in size, and is colourless and semi-transparent. (above) It is the shape of a sphere and its outer part is surrounded by a soft yet tough membrane. Within the structure of the egg there are extra nutrients like fat, sugar and proteins. This reserve of nutrients will ensure that the egg cell is nourished on its journey and, if fertilisation occurs, will take care of its needs until it reaches the uterus.

Controlling all this process is the luteinizing hormone (LH) secreted by the pituitary gland. It is worthwhile pointing out another interesting thing about this hormone. The LH hormone is absolutely necessary for the breaking of the follicle in which is located the mature egg cell and for its movement toward the place where it will meet the sperm. The absence of this hormone will result in the failure of the follicle to progress to the stage of ovulation, even if there is no deficiency in the secretions of the other hormones. But this sort of problem does not occur and 2 days before the ovulation stage, for a reason that scientists are still unable to explain, there is an increase in the secretion of the LH hormone from the anterior pituitary gland. At the same stage there is an increase in the FSH hormone and, by the influence of these two hormones, ovulation occurs regularly every month. In other words, here too the pituitary gland makes an astounding calculation of time and begins the secretion of the required hormones at exactly the right time and in the proper quantities.


The egg cells develop in the ovaries, in structures called follicles. In this illustration we see the stages of the development of one single egg cell and its release from the follicle. All women regularly repeat this stage at a particular time. Every month during a particular period, new egg cells are formed and the same hormones are secreted again and again as the female body prepares itself as if fertilisation were about to occur. But in the final period of this preparation, the preparations change according to whether or not sperm are present. This is an evident miracle of creation.

Of course this conscious activity is not to be expected from the pituitary gland itself or from the cells which make up this gland. Since there is a superior intelligence and will to be seen here, there is One to Whom this intelligence and will belong: it is the intelligence and will of God which reveals itself in all of these wondrous occurrences in the stages of human creation.

3. The Corpus Luteum (yellow body) - The Luteal Phase: After expulsion of the egg from the follicle, the empty follicle fills with blood. There are special cells called "granulosa" and "theca" cells, which surround the empty space where these follicles are located; they multiply and take the place of the clotted blood in the follicle. These cells accumulate yellow lipid, and are therefore called lutein cells, from the Latin word luteus, "saffron-yellow." So, the follicle from which the egg has been released swells with the fluids which have filled it and becomes an active element called the corpus luteum (yellow body).13 The corpus luteum plays an important role in the preparation of the uterus for the embryo and in conducting the pregnancy in a healthy manner. The most important particularity of this element is the secretion of the hormone called progesterone under the influence of LH (luteinizing hormone). Progesterone has an extremely important function in stimulating the walls of the uterus. The most important change in the uterus occurs in the mucous membrane (mucous) that lines the uterus. Under the influence of oestrogen and progesterone, the mucous membrane begins to swell. The glands and blood vessels become highly tortuous, and the thickness of the uterine wall increases. The purpose of these changes is to prepare a suitable place for the embryo after fertilisation. In addition, it allows the pregnancy to advance by making the walls of the uterus relax. Progesterone also affects the development of the milk glands.

That one hormone can have an influence on another and that they have the sense to do these things exactly at the right time cannot be explained by the operation of chance. This brings some questions to mind: How can a molecule formed of unconscious atoms be possessed of such a sensitive innate power and take the initiative to organize the operations of the body so comfortably? It is clear that the molecules that make up the hormones do not have intelligence or consciousness. This shows that the system together with its complementary character has been created by a supreme power. It is God, Lord of earth and heaven Who has inspired the molecules which compose the hormones and the atoms which compose the molecules in their conscious activities.

When the egg is released from the follicle, the corpus luteum is formed and begins to secrete oestrogen and progesterone. Progesterone stimulates the walls of the uterus. Under the influence of these hormones, changes occur in the wall of the uterus. The purpose of these changes is to prepare a suitable environment where the embryo may lodge after fertilisation. All these operations occur in all women in the same sequence and with the same perfection. These operations are the result of an evident plan and design.

The corpus luteum phase lasts 12-14 days. At the end of this period, if fertilisation has not taken place, the corpus luteum degenerates and the same stage is repeated. With the degeneration of the corpus luteum, oestrogen, progesterone and other hormones are no longer secreted; that is, the pituitary gland again comes into action. Once again the secretion of FSH and LH begins in the pituitary gland, causing the growth of new follicles to begin. But these follicles cannot develop sufficiently because the lack of oestrogen and progesterone causes a new stage to begin-menstruation.

4. Menstruation: This is the stage in which the unfertilised egg is ejected from the body. Because fertilisation has not taken place, the previously prepared wall of the uterus contracts, the blood vessels are constricted and the egg is ejected. After this stage, the body will begin again to prepare to carry out all these functions.

It was He Who created the heavens and the earth in all truth. The day He says "Be!" it is. His word is the Truth. All sovereignty shall be His on the Day the Trumpet is blown. He is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware. (Qur'an, 6: 73)

This whole stage is repeated in all women regularly throughout a particular period of time. Every month new egg cells are produced, the same hormones are secreted again and again at the same period and the woman's body is prepared as if fertilisation were going to occur. But in the final stage, the direction of the preparation changes according to whether or not sperm are present.


Preparations for Fertilisation

sperm moving in the mucous

The egg cell is 20-25 cm. from the place where the sperm enters the female body. This distance is about 3000 times the size of the sperm. Considered in proportion to its own size, this distance is quite large and to traverse it the sperm needs strong support.

Before the egg can meet the sperm, some preparations begin in both the male and the female body. The great majority of these preparations are to protect the sperm on its journey in the mother's body. For example, in the uterus various contractions and undulations occur. This uncommon activity in the uterus and fallopian tubes facilitates the sperm's advance towards the egg. The interesting thing about these contractions is the substance that causes them. This substance is called prostaglandin and is found in the seminal vesicle fluid that comes with the sperm from the male body. Despite the fact that it comes from a different body, this substance knows the structure of the mother's uterus and affects it in such a way as to make the way easier for the sperm.14

In order for fertilisation to take place, the changes that take place in the uterus are not limited to these. During this period the tubes expand; under the influence of the oestrogen hormones, the mucous membrane that lines the uterus increases in size and weight. The epithelial cells membranous tissues composed of one or more layers of cells separated by very little intercellular substance proliferate. This structure in the mucous assumes a shape that will permit the sperm to pass through these spaces with the movement of its tail. Besides allowing the sperm to move easily, this transformation has another very important function: the tissues serve as a storage and filter area, allowing only normal sperm to pass. Sometimes the sperm do not have a shape that can ensure fertilisation. In this case, they are suspended in these tissues.

The sperm have a resilient structure to enable them to endure the long and arduous journey in the mother's body. But as we can see in the picture on the left, some sperm are impaired. By design, impaired sperm are eliminated as they travel in the mother's body, while healthy sperm are detected and guided to the egg. Thus, the egg always unites with a healthy sperm.

As can be seen from the foregoing, it is evident that every movement in the uterus and ovaries is specially designed for the sperm to reach the egg cell. For example, after ovulation has occurred and the possibility for an egg to meet a sperm has been ensured, the mucous begins to perform a reverse operation: it becomes thick and dense, preventing the sperm from entering.

The reason for the changes that happen in the female reproductive system is to allow the sperm which enter the body to reach the egg (ovum). But, as we saw above and in the previous section, this is a matter of great interest: the elements in the female reproductive system assist cells coming from a totally different body.

How can it be that a cell has come to have so much detailed information about other cells with which it has never even shared the same environment? (even if they had shared the same environment the result would not be different.) How does it know, for example, that the movement of these cells must be facilitated? Indeed, it is not possible for the cells that produce the fluid in the uterus to know the qualities possessed by sperm or to prepare a suitable environment for them.

All the functions we have described up to this point occur in all women in the same perfect sequence. When we consider the operation of these harmonious and complementary systems, we come face to face with an evident plan and design: the sperm is designed for the mother's body; the mother's reproductive organs are especially ordered to accommodate the sperm. If there is the slightest defect in this harmony, for example, if the sperm does not have the tail that allows it to move, or if it lacked the fluid to balance the acidic environment in the mother's body, reproduction will not occur.

This clearly shows that the great harmony that exists between the male and female reproductive cells is the work of a deliberate and planned creation. It is Almighty God, the Lord of the universe Who has created mankind from a drop of fluid, male and female, in harmony with each other. Human beings should consider the perfection of God's creation and submit themselves unconditionally to Him, bowing before the eternal power of the Lord.

And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about, there are Signs for true believers. (Qur'an, 45: 4)

Conscious Movements of the Fallopian Tube
After maturating and being released, as we explained earlier, the egg is intercepted by the fallopian tube. If the egg cell, when released by the ovary, is not intercepted by the fallopian tube, it passes into other parts of the mother's body where it cannot meet a sperm.

The fallopian tube is where the egg and the sperm meet. In order to ensure the meeting, the fallopian tube performs a two-fold activity; first, it takes the maturated egg cell from the ovary and guides it to the place in the tube where it will meet the sperm. Secondly, it takes the sperm from the cavity of the uterus and brings it to the place where it will meet the egg.

First of all, the fallopian tubes, which are located beside each ovary, collect all the eggs released from the ovary. The ends of the fallopian tubes are like arms which surround the ovary and are designed to collect the maturated eggs. When the eggs have come to maturity, the arms of the fallopian tubes open and, like the arms of an octopus, they grasp the surface of the egg and begin to move over it with a sweeping motion. Aided by these activities, at the time of ovulation the egg falls into the fallopian tube. The egg, released into the pelvic cavity, enters the fallopian tube which is 10-12 cm. in length. The inside of the fallopian tube is covered with millions of tiny hairs which move in one direction, drawing the egg to where it will meet the sperm.1

By this time, the follicle cells surrounding the ovum at the time of ovulation still remain as an outer envelope. The folded mucous membrane of the egg secretes enzymes which gradually cause this cellular envelope to loosen. Thus, the follicle cells are "rinsed away", so that the protective membrane of the egg lies exposed to the sperm.

The timing of these operations performed by the fallopian tube is very important, because both the sperm and the egg cell have a limited life-span. It is necessary that the sperm cells reach the egg cell before this life-span expires. How does the fallopian tube make the adjustments for this? How does it know how long the alien cells can survive? Certainly a piece of flesh, a few centimetres in size, could not have the information or skill to perform these operations. As is the case with every cell and tissue, the fallopian tube performs its activity only by the inspiration of God, the Creator of all the worlds. For this reason, it carries out this difficult activity easily and without a hitch. So, it becomes possible for the egg cell to be fertilised before it dies, that is, within 24 hours at the most.

1- Lennart Nilsson, A Child is Born, Delacorte Press, NY, 1977, p. 22


The Sperm Meets the Egg

After undergoing many processes on the way to maturation, the egg is released from the fallopian tubes. At this time, it carries with it many cells surrounding it. Before the egg can be fertilised, the sperm which reach the fallopian tubes must pass through these cells, which are called "granulosa" cells, and then penetrate the thick mantle around the egg.

How will the sperm pass through these obstacles?

The Egg's Journey in the Falllopian Tube
Just before the maturated egg is released from the ovary, the fallopian tube goes into action to intercept the egg. With delicate touches on the surface of the ovary, it tries to find the egg cell. (1-2) In order for the maturated egg to be fertilised, it must enter the fallopian tube. Finally, the fallopian tube finds the maturated egg and draws it inside. Now, the egg cell starts its journey. (3) In order for the egg to be fertilised and reach the mother's uterus, it must travel a long road in the fallopian tube. It is the function of the millions cells in the fallopian tube to guide the egg to the uterus. The tiny hairs on the surface of these cells (cilia) move in only one direction. In this way, as if they were actually conveying a precious object from hand to hand, they urge the egg cell to the place where it has to go. Finally, the egg meets the sperm which are seeking it. (4) Only one sperm succeeds in entering the egg. (5) The fertilised egg is directed toward the mother's uterus with the help of the tiny hairs in the fallopian tube (6). Every cell performs its duty flawlessly, because God's creation is perfect.

Here we see once again the evident perfection of intelligent design in the sperm. In that section of the sperm called the "acrosome", about which we spoke earlier, the hyaluronidase and proteolytic enzymes are stored. The hyaluronidase enzyme in the acrosome breaks down a substance (hyaluronic acid) binding the multiple layers of granulosa cells attached to the outside of the ovum. In this way, it opens a way for the sperm to traverse the egg envelope. The proteolytic enzymes ensure the dissolution of the proteins in the tissues attached to the egg. With the help of these two enzymes, the sperm reaches the egg.15

Your god is God alone, there is no god but Him. He encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Qur'an, 20: 98)

An egg cell surrounded by sperm

How is it that these enzymes which belong to the sperm, produced in the male body far away from the egg, are composed of matter that is perfectly able to affect the structure of the egg? Who discovered the formula for this operation? Who placed these enzymes exactly in the right place to enable the fertilisation of the egg; that is, in the head of the microscopic sperm?

It is not the sperm itself which does these things. It is not possible for the sperm to be aware of the existence of hyaluronic acid or the effect this acid has on cells, or to know that the hyaluronidase enzyme will neutralize the effect of this acid. Moreover, it is not sufficient to know the formula of this acid; its production in the human body must also be ensured. And it is impossible for the sperm by itself to form the system in the human body which will produce this enzyme. For example, if you ask anyone who has not had training in medicine or chemistry the name of the enzyme that destroys the structure of hyaluronic acid, or if you asked him to write the formula of the structure of this acid, he would certainly not be able to give you an answer. But a sperm cell does things that a conscious human would not be able to do; with a seeming awareness of chemical formulas which it could not, however, know, it contains substances within its own body to ensure reaching its goal. Certainly, to say that the sperm does this is completely contrary to intelligence and reason. Leaving aside unintelligent and unreasonable suppositions, it will be seen that the presence in sperm of enzymes that will affect the structure of the egg is in itself a proof of creation. This flawless harmony cannot be explained in any way by reference to chance. The fact that the sperm is aware of the chemical structure of another cell different from itself and living in a completely different environment; that it analyses the effects that these chemicals will have; that it then produces the required chemicals acco

rding to the results of the analysis, can be explained only with reference to a Creator with superior intelligence, Who has created the sperm with these particular qualities.

The perfect design in the structure of sperm is one of the plainest proofs of the fact that God created human beings, together with everything else.


The Sperm Continues its Journey

When the sperm reaches the outer layer of the egg, its outer membrane binds tightly to the surface receptors on the egg. When this binding occurs, the sperm sheds its outer covering (acrosome). At the same time, the membrane of the egg secretes a substance called "fertilizin," which is required to attract the sperm. This molecule makes the sperm able to move more quickly, allowing them to react with the egg membrane more easily. In addition, fertilizin facilitates the reaction of the acrosome found in the head of the sperm.

When the sperm touches the egg membrane, new substances come into play and new reactions take place. When the sperm touches the egg, it secretes a substance called "anti-fertilizin" which neutralizes the effect of the fertilizin secreted by the egg. In this way, the first sperm to reach the egg will stop other sperm from approaching the egg.16

The membrane which surrounds the egg cell begins to renew itself about two seconds after the sperm cell enters and never allows another sperm cell to enter. Experiments have been done in which a few sperm have been observed entering the egg when the membrane has been destroyed. For this reason it is necessary that the fertilisation membrane be formed as quickly as possible. After the formation of the fertilisation membrane, no sperm can enter the egg. In this condition, it is possible to compare the egg cell to a building protected by security. The outer membrane of the egg cell really acts like the security control system of a building which contains very important information; access is denied to the inside of the cell.

In the large picture we see an egg cell surrounded by sperm; in the small pictures, a number of sperm cells. The sperm have special characteristics that allow them to interact with the structure of the egg. Just one of these characteristics, for example, the existence of enzymes which allow the sperm to pierce the whole defensive system of the egg and enter it, is by itself a proof of creation. God created the sperm with all their special characteristics in an instant.

Once a sperm enters the ovum, its head swells and it wanders very slowly toward the centre of the egg. Later, within 30 minutes, the egg completely unites with the sperm inside it. As a result of all these processes, the genetic information contained in the sperm is transferred to the egg.17

But here there is an important point: if the receptors on the sperm and the egg accept one another, they bind to each other; if not, binding is not possible. The reason for this is as follows: the egg of every living being secretes a substance called fertilizin, which has a particular chemical composition. This is a precaution which prevents sperm cells of other species (non-human species) from approaching the egg and causing the degeneration of the human species. Thus, a cat cannot mate with a horse and a human being cannot mate with any other living thing.18

The electrical charge carried by the sperm and the egg also has an effect on fertilisation. The egg always carries a negative charge and the sperm carries a positive one. Because opposite charges attract each other, the egg draws all the sperm towards itself. But with the first sperm that is able to enter the egg, the charge changes immediately. Now the egg assumes a positive charge like the sperm's. Because like charges repel each other, at the moment of union the egg begins to repel all other sperm.19


The Last Stage of Fertilisation

When the sperm reach the egg, only one of them succeeds in penetrating its protective membrane. (1) When the sperm enters the egg, certain changes occur and the egg closes itself to other sperm. (2-3) Once it enters the egg, the sperm's tail breaks off and remains outside. (4) Fertilisation occurs.

When the sperm enters the egg, it sheds its tail and leaves it outside. We may compare this to a space shuttle which detaches its fuel tank when returning to earth. As we know, when the fuel tanks which carry the shuttle outside the earth's atmosphere have fulfilled their purpose, they are released into space; when the fuel inside them is used up, the tanks are an unnecessary weight. To facilitate leaving the earth's atmosphere, it is necessary that these tanks be released at exactly the right time. In the same way, the tail of the sperm, which provides the required energy and movement capability, is left behind as the sperm attempts to enter the egg.

It is obvious to the attentive reader that fertilisation is a highly calculated and systematic process. Very slowly the fluids which surround the egg dissolve the sperm's armour as it reaches the outer membrane surrounding the egg. The enzymes that are released at the moment the sperm's armour is perforated allow the sperm to pierce the egg's outer membrane and enter. The change in the electric charge at this moment repels other sperm and protects the newly developing organism from uninvited guests.

If such a highly protective and cooperative system had not been created, the union of the sperm and the egg would never have been achieved.

If the egg cell had not secreted the guiding fluid, it would not have been possible for the sperm to reach the egg, which is so distant from it relative to its own size.

If the sperm had not had its armour, they, like other microorganisms, would have been dissolved in the fluid surrounding the egg.

If special dissolving enzymes had not been placed beneath this armour, the sperm would never have been able to enter the egg, even after having gone so far as to reach it.

If the electric charges of the sperm and the egg had been the same and not opposite, the egg would have repelled the sperm and no sperm would have entered the egg.

As we can see, in the union of a single sperm with an egg, there is an extraordinary balance and calculation. Furthermore, this balance and calculation have occurred not just once; they have been repeated time and again since the beginning of the human race for every one of the millions of individuals spread throughout the world.

Even in one single stage there is no room for chance in this miraculous process, which shows very plainly that God created human beings.

Everyone in the heavens and earth belongs to Him. All are submissive to Him. It is He Who originated creation and then regenerates it. That is very easy for Him. His is the most exalted designation in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an, 30: 26-27)

The moment the sperm enters the egg, it sheds its tail. In the pictures above, we see, stage by stage, the breaking off of the tail of a sperm that has managed to enter an egg. This occurs because the continual movement of the tail inside the egg would soon damage it. This breaking off of a sperm's tail can be compared to the jettisoning of fuel tanks and engines no longer needed by missiles and shuttles as they leave the earth's atmosphere on their way into space. The fact that the sperm takes account of something like this and detaches its tail in time, so as not to damage the egg, is a sign of a highly conscious activity. The One Who makes this sperm act in this conscious manner is God, the Creator of the sperm and the egg.


The Protective Armour of the Sperm
The head section of the sperm has a protective armour. (1-2) Under this armour there is a second armour, and under it is the cargo that the sperm carries. (3-4) This armour will protect the valuable cargo inside it, that is, genetic information, from the harmful materials around it. This protective armour is very strong, yet is designed to open easily at the appropriate moment. (5). For example, during fertilisation this protective armour in the head of the sperm opens and releases the dissolving enzymes inside it. (6) The fact that this wonderful design has been placed in a microscopic cell is an example of God's flawless creation.


The Determination of the Baby's Sex

Until recently, people believed that a baby's sex was determined by the mother's cells, or, at least, that the sex was determined by cells from both the mother and the father. But in the Qur'an there is a different account of this matter; it says that maleness and femaleness are created from sperm entering the womb:

He (God) has created both sexes, male and female, from a drop of semen which has been ejected. (Qur'an, 53: 45-46)

The truth of this revelation of the Qur'an has been confirmed scientifically by developments in genetics and microbiology. It is now understood that sex is determined by the male sperm and that the female egg plays no role in this determination. What determines sex is chromosomes. Of the 46 chromosomes that determine the human structure, two are called sex chromosomes. These two chromosomes are labelled XY in males and XX in females, because the respective chromosomes resemble these letters. The Y chromosome carries male genes and the X chromosome carries female genes. The formation of a human being begins with the union of one of each of these chromosomes which are present in pairs in the male and female. During ovulation in the female, the sex cell divides into two, each carrying the X chromosome. In males, the sex cell divides into two sperm, one carrying the X chromosome and the other carrying the Y chromosome. If the X chromosome in the female unites with a sperm carrying the X chromosome, the baby will be a girl; if it unites with a sperm containing the Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy.

That is, the sex of the baby depends on which chromosome in the male unites with the female egg.

Certainly, until the science of genetics appeared, that is, until the twentieth century, these facts were unknown. In many cultures it was generally believed that a baby's sex was determined by the female. Precisely for this reason, a woman who gave birth to a girl was condemned. However, in the Qur'an, 13 centuries before the discovery of genes, this superstition was rejected by the revelation that the origins of sex do not come from the female, but from the semen of the male.

The Qur'an is the word of God, the Lord of all the worlds. Such scientific miracles are among the evidence of this fact.

It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so let people of intelligence ponder its Signs and take heed. (Qur'an, 38: 29)







The sex of a baby depends on which male chromosome unites with the female egg. Of the 23 pairs of chromosomes (that is, 46 individual chromosomes), 2 are called sex chromosomes. These two chromosomes are designated as XY in the male and XX in the female. The Y chromosome carries male genes, the X chromosome, female genes. The formation of a human body begins with the union of one of each of these chromosomes, which are present in pairs in males and females (left). If the X chromosome in the female unites with the sperm containing the X chromosome in the male, the baby will be a girl; if it unites with the sperm containing the Y chromosome in the male, the baby will be a boy. (Gerard J. Tortora, Introduction to the Human Body: Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, pp. 569-570)


12. Arthur C. Guyton, John E. Hall, Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease, p. 659
13. Britannica 2002 Expanded Edition, "Corpus Luteum", "Menstruation: Phases of the menstrual cycle"
14. Arthur C. Guyton, John E. Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, 10th ed., Harcourt International Ed., PA, 2000, p. 918
15. Britannica 2002 Expanded Edition, "Fertilization"
16. FastHealth Dictionary, published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 1997-2000 (
17. Arthur C. Guyton, John E. Hall, Textbook of Medical Physiology, 10th ed., Harcourt International Ed., PA, 2000, p. 920
18. Eldra Pearl Solomon, Linda R. Berg, Diana W. Martin, Claude V. Willee, Biology, 3rd ed., Saunders College Publishing, p. 1056
19. Eldra Pearl Solomon, Linda R. Berg, Diana W. Martin, Claude V. Willee, Biology, 3rd ed., Saunders College Publishing, pp. 1056-1057


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