In Jewish and Christian tradition, it is said that God created humans from dust. In Islam, it is said from a clot. Why is that difference? Are the two terms just metaphors?
In Islam it also says that Adam (hence humans) was created from dust. The clot (blood) is an intermediate stage which applies to a human fetus not Adam. Hence we are created from both.
هو الذي خلقكم من تراب ثم من نطفة ثم من علقة ثم يخرجكم طفلا ثم لتبلغوا أشدكم ثم لتكونوا شيوخا ومنكم من يتوفى من قبل ولتبلغوا أجلا مسمى ولعلكم تعقلون
It is He who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as a child; then [He develops you] that you reach your [time of] maturity, then [further] that you become elders. And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will use reason.
Muslims understand it to be literal not metaphorical.