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Quranic Terminology: Bones


Quranic Terminology: Bones

Published in December 9, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy


 The term (bones) is mentioned in the Quranic text within the contexts of several topics. We provide more details about this in the points below.


Within food-items legislations:

1- The disbelievers among the Israelites have violated the food-items legislations in the Torah and they prohibited permissible food items, and God has penalized them (as they violated His right to be the Only Legislator in religion) by endorsing their prohibitions, including the meat near animal-bones: "For the Jews We forbade everything with claws. As of cattle and sheep: We forbade them their fat, except what adheres to their backs, or the entrails, or what is mixed with bones. This is how We penalized them for their inequity. We are indeed Truthful." (6:146). 

2- By the way, the imams and clergymen of the Muhammadans have violated the food-items Quranic legislations by prohibiting permissible food item, a sin committed before by the disbelievers among the Israelites. (See our English articles about this on these links


Within the topic of creation of human beings:

 Human beings are nourished by food and they procreate by such nurture that helps form human embryos, which are at first a piece of clot turning in to bones which are later on enveloped by flesh, before souls are breathed into them: "We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him a seed, in a secure repository. Then We developed the seed into a clot. Then We developed the clot into a lump. Then We developed the lump into bones. Then We clothed the bones with flesh. Then We produced it into another creature. Most Blessed is God, the Best of Creators." (23:12-14). Bones here are mentioned as a stage within those of the formation of embryos.   


Human bones in the old age:

1- Human babies are born very weak and fragile and need utmost care, unlike many animals that reply on themselves once they are born. Human beings seldom remember their earliest years when they depended on their parents and others; human beings pass through three stages: weakness, strength, and then weakness again: "God is He Who created you weak, then after weakness gave you strength, then after strength gave you weakness and gray hair. He creates whatever He wills. He is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent." (30:54). The youth stage is the one in between the two weakness stages of childhood and old age: "It is He who created you from dust, then from a seed, then from an embryo, then He brings you out as an infant, then He lets you reach your maturity, then you become elderly-although some of you die sooner-so that you may reach a predetermined age, so that you may understand." (40:67). Reaching the old age, some people suffer loss of memory, as we know from this verse about proving resurrection: "O people! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection-We created you from dust, then from a small drop, then from a clinging clot, then from a lump of flesh, partly developed and partly undeveloped. In order to clarify things for you. And We settle in the wombs whatever We will for a designated term, and then We bring you out as infants, until you reach your full strength. And some of you will pass away, and some of you will be returned to the vilest age, so that he may not know, after having known..." (22:5).   

2- Weakness of bones and gray hair are among the features of old age and senility, as we infer from word of Zachariah: "He said, "My Lord, my bones have become feeble, and my hair is aflame with gray, and never, Lord, have I been disappointed in my prayer to you." (19:4). This means that bones lose their flexibility during old age and they stiffen and might be broken; this increases the feebleness of old people. Gray hair in one's head begin with the hair roots and then upward the hair, like the kindled fire, and hence the metaphor used by Zachariah about his hair being aflame with gray.   


Bones within the topic of resurrection:

1- To prove the fact of the resurrection, God mentions the story of a prophet who was made to die only for 100 years and upon being resurrected, God made him see how his donkey, a skeleton before him, was being resurrected as flesh clothed its bones; this shows that resurrection is a reverse process of creation: "Or like him who passed by a town collapsed on its foundations. He said, "How can God revive this after its demise?" Thereupon God caused him to die for a hundred years, and then resurrected him. He said, "For how long have you tarried?" He said, "I have tarried for a day, or part of a day." He said, "No. You have tarried for a hundred years. Now look at your food and your drink-it has not spoiled-and look at your donkey. We will make you a wonder for humankind. And look at the bones, how We arrange them, and then clothe them with flesh." So when it became clear to him, he said, "I know that God has power over all things."" (2:259).

2- What remains for a while longer from the decomposed human bodies in tombs are the hardened bones that lost its marrow; such remains are used by deniers of resurrection to 'prove' their point; they forget that God the Omnipotent Creator is Able to create them out of nothing and is certainly Able to resurrect them out of something, and this is an easier process as per the Quran: "It is He who initiates creation, and then repeats it, something easy for Him. His is the highest attribute, in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, the Wise." (30:27). The same meaning is repeated in these verses while bones are mentioned: "And they say, "When we have become bones and fragments, shall we really be resurrected as a new creation" Say, "Even if you become rocks or iron. Or some substance, which, in your minds, is even harder." Then they will say, "Who will restore us?" Say, "The One who originated you the first time." Then they will nod their heads at you, and say, "When will it be?" Say, "Perhaps it will be soon."" (17:49-51); "This is their repayment for having blasphemed against Our revelations, and having said, "Shall we, when we have become bones and fragments, be resurrected as a new creation?" Do they not consider that God, Who created the heavens and the earth, is Able to create the likes of them? He has assigned for them a term, in which there is no doubt. But the unjust ones persist in denying the Truth." (17:98-99).  

3- All human skeletons appear to be just the same when we look at them superficially or catch sight of them initially, and they never reflect facial or bodily features of dead people, decomposed with the flesh in tombs; yet, bones carry the DNA fingerprinting or DNA typing/profiling of a person, and they are unique like finger prints that cannot be found in other people's bodies. "Does man think that We will not reassemble his bones? Yes indeed; We are Able to reconstruct his fingertips." (75:3-4). 

4- This link between bones and fingertips indicate the mechanism of resurrection and how it is link to the creation of the humankind: "Your creation and your resurrection are only as a single soul..." (31:28); "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women..." (4:1). Within the metaphysical realm of Barsakh, each of the souls carry unique features, even before Adam was created: "We created you, then We shaped you, then We said to the angels, "Bow down before Adam;" so they bowed down, except for Satan; he was not of those who bowed down." (7:11). When the time comes, each soul enters into its body in the womb and God shapes as per His Divine Will the bodies before and after they get out of the wombs: "It is He who forms you in the wombs as He wills. There is no God except He, the Almighty, the Wise." (3:6). Souls remain in the bodies until they leave it by death. Souls are ethereal but they carry the physical and facial features of their bodies and people will recognize one another on the Last Day: "The Day when a person will flee from his brother. And his mother and his father. And his consort and his children. Every one of them, on that Day, will have enough to preoccupy him." (80:34-37). This is asserted as angels of death kick and slap the ethereal souls of the sinners upon their moment of dying: "If only you could see, as the angels take away those who disbelieve, striking their faces and their bottoms: "Taste the agony of the Burning."" (8:50); "How about when the angels take them at death, beating their faces and their bottoms?" (47:27). This unique print of the physical, earthly body is the same one in souls and bones of each individual among the human beings. God says in the Quran: "And do not say of those who are killed in the cause of God, "Dead." Rather, they are alive, but you do not perceive." (2:154); "Do not consider those killed in the cause of God as dead. In fact, they are alive, at their Lord, well provided for." (3:169). This means that those killed for God's sake are not dead; their souls are transferred from the physical realm of existence of this transient world to the metaphysical Barsakh Paradise, where they enjoy its bliss and pleasures as living souls without physical bodies; their Barsakh souls/beings may carry, in our view, the facial and physical features as well as vital organs and bones.    

5- God replies, by these verses, to their denial of resurrection: "And he produces arguments against Us, and he forgets his own creation. He says, "Who will revive the bones when they have decayed?" Say, "He who initiated them in the first instance will revive them. He has knowledge of every creation." He who produced fuel for you from the green trees, with which you kindle a fire. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Certainly. He is the Supreme All-Knowing Creator." (36:78-81). Those deniers of resurrection wonder at the notion that decayed bones and bodies will be raised from the dead, as they forget that God has created their bodies and souls out of nothing and God has created fire out of trees (material turning to energy and vice-versa); God is the Creator and Originator of the earth and heavens and He is the Omniscient One Who knows His creations very well.

6- Denying resurrection has been expressed by disbelievers in different eras; all of them referred to decayed bones and expressed rejection of and wonder at the notion of these bones being brought back to life on the Last Day which they denied. The people of Aad said the following about Hud their prophet: "Does he promise you that when you have died and become dust and bones, you will be brought out? Farfetched, farfetched is what you are promised. There is nothing but our life in this world. We die, and we live, and we are not resurrected." (23:35-37). The Qorayish tribesmen had repeated the same words: "But they say the like of what the ancients said. They say, "After we have died, and become dust and bones, will we be resurrected?" (23:81-82). This is God's reply to them: "And they say, "This is nothing but plain magic. When we have died and become dust and bones, shall we be resurrected? And our ancestors of old?" Say, "Yes indeed, and you will be totally subdued."" (37:15-18); "They say, "Are we to be restored to the original condition? When we have become hollow bones?" They say, "This is a losing proposition." But it will be only a single nudge. And they will be awake." (79:10-14).

7- Deniers of the resurrection will be among the Hell dwellers o the Last Day: "And those on the Left-what of those on the Left? Amid searing wind and boiling water. And a shadow of thick smoke. Neither cool, nor refreshing. They had lived before that in luxury. And they used to persist in immense wrongdoing. And they used to say, "When we are dead and turned into dust and bones, are we to be resurrected? And our ancient ancestors too?" Say, "The first and the last. Will be gathered for the appointment of a Known Day."" (56:41-50).

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