Some of us think that the date we were born is a special day to remember. That is why most of us celebrate it happily. Not only the happiness becomes ours but we invite others to feel the happiness, too. We also feel happy when our beloved someone reaches the special day of his or hers.
Most forget, however, times before the birth. How a future creature develops is a very amazing thing to observe. Each of us was once a baby and was an embryo in our mom’s womb. Our daddy was only a media for an embryo to inhabit the warm womb. The development of the embryo inside the womb is a natural fact full of sophisticated miracle. Science is the eye-opener for us to see the miracle.
Through embryology people find an interesting fact of the origin of life. Aristotle, Galen, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Reigner de Graaf, Kaspar Friedrich Wolff, Karl Ernst von Baer, Matthias Schleiden, Theodor Schwamm, Charles Darwin, George E. Coghill are between the names we are to say thanks to. They were ones had had the curiosity about how embryo developed into a new little creature born. Any effort was done to fulfill the curiosity on how the life of the living things before coming to the wide wild world. When we see it then, may be only words of admiration to Allah we may utter.
Subhannallah!!! We passed very complicated stages before we transformed as we are today. We cannot remember, for example, how we when were only 1.5 centimeters long. It was the time when we were six weeks inside our mom’s womb. It was the time our heart beating so rapidly and our full-of-neurotic-system brain developed amazingly. A week later, our only-some-millimeters hands showed the development of bones. The next were the some very amazing progress staging the embryo into a perfect human being shape. The single cell develops into two hundred millions in the number and about six trillion times of the previous ovum weight. The growth of the embryo, however, stops at the 260th days or about a week before its birth. The 2.5 to 4 kilograms new baby born gets the weight up to twenty times when it becomes adult. If we grow up without stopping, at our one year age, we will be 72.5 kilograms and we will be many millions times of the weight of earth when we are twenty. Alhamdulillah, praise Allah who measures everything perfectly, “Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion” (Qur’an: Al Ra’d:8). Read also Al Infitar:7, “Him Who created thee, fashioned thee in due proportion, …”
Looking back to the times we were helps us to think the wonderful creation of Allah. The embryo itself passes difficult steps to exist. Between millions of sperm scattered, only one cell of the sperm succeeded in passing an ovum. The sperm successfully fertilizing the ovum, thus the best strongest one between the millions. So, our origin was one of the best to survive.
Far before knowledge shows the fact, Qur’an has said this through Nuh:14, “Seeing that it is He that has created you in diverse stages?” Allah, through His words in Qur’an says that we are created from fluid despised, one we call sperm as what we can read in Al Sajdah:8, “And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised.” Allah arranges the next step by placing the sperm inside the womb and allow it to be a fully developed embryo, “Then we placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed” (Al Mu’minun:13) and read also Ali Imran:6 “He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases….” The development of the embryo, as scientists find today, also has been clearly stated in Al-Qur’an. Read Al Mu’minun:14: “Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot we made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the ones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!” Finally, only Allah has power to bring the creature to life but most of us forget to thank Allah: “But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): Little thanks do ye give!” (Al Sajdah:9).
This flashing back method of viewing ourselves should motivate us to survive, in order to be the best. A consideration how we once survived to exist today, -a time call a future at that time-, should be an inspiration to survive for the better future. Our survival started far before our coming to the world, and time we came to the world was the very first time we interact with the environment around us.
We adapted ourselves to the new world by changing things of us. Our first breath was five times more difficult than what we do today, since there were millions of small bubbles to release first from the lung. The glow of the new world realized to be something new for the eyes to adapt, too. When the navel came out, the flow of blood changed radically. It was the first time we breathe to our lung and take oxygen from the way. A big valve of heart must be closed to separate the used blood from the noble one. We didn’t get provisions through the navel anymore; our mouths took their part when we got breast-feeding.
The time we were born was really a historical moment to remember. It was the time we adapt ourselves to the environment of ours, after passing a sequence full of struggle. Now when we come to the date of our birthday, we can get invaluable advantages we have not had before we contemplate our episodes of life. Thanks to mom and dad through whom we were exist today. Moreover, to Allah the greatest who bestows us life we should always praise. Hopefully we are not ones Allah mentions as creatures give little thank.
Finally, I would like to express my happiness to the birth of the most admirable one ever created, Mohammad SAW to whom we would like to follow after. I also want to present this writing to my beloved institution, Muhammadiyah University of Purwokerto for its 42 anniversary as well as for Kabupaten Banyumas on its 425 anniversary. May Allah give us ability to adapt and guide us to survive to be the best. Happy anniversary!!!
(it is also presented to my dear nephew: Tifa and dear nieces: Ryan and Vian. Happy Birthday to you. May Allah show and guide you to path the life)
Reading sources: Sembilan Bulan Pertama dalam Hidupku. 2003. Jakarta: Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka; ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an. 1989. USA: Amana Corporation, Brentwood, Maryland.
* Dimuat di English Forum, Radar Banyumas
** the writer is a lecturer of Fakultas Sastra, UMP
Though, I must reach the final lap.