3 –The Marfu` Hadith of Hudhayfah ibn Usayd that was traced back to the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him)

A-                    “When forty-two nights pass after the semen gets into the womb, Allah sends an angel who gives him the shape and creates his sense of hearing, sense of sight, his skin, his flesh, his bones, and then says: O My Lord, would he be male or female? And your Lord decides as He wills and the angel writes them down” (1).

B – “When the drop of (semen) remains in the womb for forty or forty-five nights, the angel comes to the semen and says: O My Lord, will he be good or evil? And both these things would be written. Then the angel says: O My Lord, would he be male or female? And both these things are written. And his deeds and actions, his death, his livelihood; these are also recorded. Then his document of destiny is rolled and there is neither addition to it nor subtraction from it (2).

C – “Indeed, the semen stays in the womb for forty nights (3) and then the angel gives it shape. Zuhayr said: I think that he said: “Who fashions it” and asks: Whether he would be male or female? Then Allah decides whether he would be male or female. Then he (the angel) asks: Would his limbs be complete or incomplete? And then Allah makes it complete or incomplete. Then he asks: O My Lord, what about his livelihood, and his death and what about his disposition? And then Allah decides about his misfortune and fortune (4).

D – “Indeed, there is an angel who looks after the womb when Allah decides to create any thing after more than forty nights are over.” (5)

The entry of angel to the sperm after forty days to shape it was mentioned in the narration of Jabir, Abu Dharr, and `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al `Aas.

However, the Hadith of Hudhayfah was narrated by Muslim. (6)

The wording of this Hadith is varied in different versions. One of them contains: “When the sperm implants in the womb and stays forty nights ...” another version says: “Then the angel of womb comes and enters and shapes his bone, his flesh, his blood, his hair, his skin, his hearing and his sight.”


Comparison between different versions of Hudhayfah’s narration

The difference between versions of Hudhayfah’s Hadith ranges between forty and forty-nine days; because one of the Muslim’s narration contains the Arabic word ‘Bidh`a’ that includes any number from three to nine. Al Qadhy `Iyadh explains that this difference depends on the different type of embryos (7).

The embryologists today also have the same opinion in this regard (8).

However, this opinion has been refused by Al Hafiz ibn Hajar who said: “It is good if the chains of this version were different but they're one and returns to Abut-Tufayl on the authority of Hudhayfah ibn Usayd indicates that he could not remember extra numbers after forty. Nevertheless, this matter is easy.” (9) End of quote.

4 – The Hadith of Jabir who said that the Messenger of Allah(may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When forty days or forty nights pass after the semen gets into the womb, Allah sends an angel to it who asks: O My Lord, what is his livelihood? Then he is told about it. Then he asks: O My Lord, would he be male or female? Then he is informed about it. Again he asks: O My Lord, would he be a fortunate or unfortunate? Then he is informed about it.” [Narrated by Ahmad (10) from Khusayf, from Abu Az-Zubayr on the authority of Jabir].

Khusayf is son of `Abdur-Rahman Al Jazary (An honest narrator but had a bad memory) (11).

However, the chain of this narration is weak but has support of the following two Hadith of Hudhayfah:




(1) Embryology in the Light of Qur’an and Sunnah (119).

(2) The First Creation (1/218).

(3) An-Nawawi said: "All versions of this Hadith in our country contain the Arabic word ‘Yatasawwaru’ with Arabic alphabet of As-Sad, but Al Qadhy has mentioned ‘Yatasawwaru’ with Arabic alphabet of As-Seen, that means to come down according to Arabic usage, so probably the Arabic alphabet of As-Sad in ‘Yatasawwaru’ in the copy of our country was changed from ‘Yatasawwaru’ with As-Seen. And Allah knows best. "End of quote.

 The possibility mentioned by An-Nawawy is far as the Arabic word ‘Yatasawwaru’ with alphabet of As-Sad was also narrated by At-Tabarani and the word has a suitable meaning, Ibn Faris says about this word that every word comes from the origin of Arabic alphabets: As-Sad, Al waw and Ar-Ra’ means to incline to some thing or to fall . Mo`ajam Maqayees Al-Lughah, (3/320), and Majmu`a Al-Mughis by Al Asfahani (2/300), and An-Nihayah by Ibn Al Athir (3/60).

(4) The previous source.

(5) Prophetic Medicine and Modern Science (3/320, 338).

(6) Sahih Muslim (4/2037 Hadith No. 2644) and (4/2038).

(7) Fathul-Bary (11/481).

(8) See: The First Creation (1/219) footnote, and this was quoted by Dr/ Mahmud Nazim An-Nasimy in his book (Prophetic Medicine and Modern Science) and Sheikh `Abdul Majid has quoted from the Canadian professor of Embryology Dr/Keith Moore and Japanese Professor Dr/ Visado Chamijo, they have mentioned that the fetuses vary in the degree of growth and that the difference may be up to four or five days. A research entitled (The Creation of Human-Being before and after the Forty Days) by Sheikh Al Zindani, among the research papers of the First International Conference on the -Scientific Miracles in the Qur’an and Sunnah- Pakistan.

(9) Fathul-Bary (11/481).

(10) Al Musnad (3/397).

(11)Taqrib At-Tahdhib, p (193).


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