‘Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), the true and truly inspired said, "(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature's) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him.’
Now, from what I’ve read, most jurists say that the fetus becomes fully human at 120 days (I think Malikis are the only ones who believe it’s 40). They site the Hadith mentioned above but doesn’t the majority interpretation contradict the Quran and science?
The Hadith states that Man is ‘gathered’ or ‘yujma’a’ in the womb of his mother for 40 days, he then becomes an ‘alaqah’ (for a disputed period, the Hadith says ‘mithla thalika’), he then finally becomes a ‘mudhgah’.
The issue with the majority opinion which interprets the ‘gathering’ stage as being a separate one amongst the other two with each stage lasting for 40 days is that scientifically, such a period doesn’t exist. For example, one cannot be male and female discharge (which is what the ‘gathering’ refers to in the majority opinion) for 40 days. By such a period, the child is already an embryo.
The same thing goes for the ‘alaqah’ stage, you cannot possibly be an ‘alaqah’ at 80 days because the child is already an advanced and developing fetus with bones and a face.
And this is all especially true with the ‘mudgha’ stage which actually refers to the stage where the child is an embryo, but misinterpretation makes it into a 120 day baby.
It also contradicts the Quran in 23:14:
‘ Then We developed the drop into a clinging clot ˹of blood˺, then developed the clot into a lump ˹of flesh˺, then developed the lump into bones, then clothed the bones with flesh, then We brought it into being as a new creation.1 So Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.’
From the Quran, the ‘mudgha’ stage is when the child is but a lump of flesh with only a spine (resembling something that is chewed) and it precedes the stage when the baby develops into a fetus with bones. Obviously, the popular interpretation of the Hadith contradicts the Quran by claiming the child is merely an embryo at 120 days despite the fact the Quran says the embryonic or ‘mudgha’ stage precedes the fetal stage.
So, if that interpretation contradicts facts, then why is it still a majority opinion?