The Perpetuation of Life
The Qur’an refers to many aspects of life in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. I have already described them in my previous work. In the present study, I should like to focus on the space given in the Qur’an to the theme of the perpetuation of life.
Generally speaking, the commentaries devoted to reproduction in the vegetable kingdom are, longer than those referring to animal reproduction; when it comes to human reproduction, however, there are many statements dealing with this theme, as we shall see.
It has been established that there are two methods of reproduction in the vegetable kingdom: sexual and asexual (for example, the multiplication of spores, or the process of taking cuttings, which is a special case of growth). It is noteworthy that the Qur’an refers to male and female parts of the vegetals:
– Sura 20, verse 53:
“[God is the One who] sent water down from the sky and thereby We brought forth pairs of plants each separate from the other.”
`One of a pair’ is the translation of zawj (plural azwa?j) whose original meaning is that which, in the company of another, forms a pair.’ The word may just as readily be applied to a married couple as to a pair of shoes.
-Sura 13, verse 3:
“Of all fruits [God] placed [on earth] two of a pair.”
This statement implies the existence of male and female organs in all the various species of fruit. It is in perfect agreement with the data discovered at a much later period concerning the formation of fruit, for every type comes from vegetals possessing sexual organs (even if certain varieties, such as the banana, originate from non fertilized flowers).
By and large, sexual reproduction in the animal kingdom is given only brief treatment in the Qur’an. The exception to this is man, for as we shall see in the following chapter, the statements on this subject are numerous and detailed.