Question: At one place the Qur’an mentions that man is created from sperm and in another place it mentions that man is created from dust. Are these two verses not contradicting? Answer: 1. Man created from sperm and dust The Qur’an refers to the lowly beginnings of a human being from a drop of sperm, in several verses including the following verse from Surah Al-Qiyamah: "Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)"? [Al-Qur’an 75:37] The Qur’an also mentions in several places that human beings were created from dust. The following verse makes a reference to the origin of human beings: "(Consider) that We created you out of dust". [Al-Qur’an 22:5] We now know that all the elements present in the human body (i.e. the constituent elements of the human body) are all present in the earth in small or great quantities. This is the scientific explanation for the Qur’anic verse that says that man was created from dust. In certain verses, the Qur’an says that man was created from sperm, while in certain other verses it says that man was created from dust. However this is not a contradiction. Contradiction means statements, which are opposite or conflicting and both cannot be true simultaneously. 2. Man created from water In certain places the Qur’an also says that man was created from water. For instance in Surah Al-Furqan it says: "It is He Who has created man from water". [Al-Qur’an 25:54] Science has proved all the three statements to be correct. Man has been created from sperm, dust as well as water. 3. It is not a Contradiction but a Contradistinction Suppose I say that in order to make a cup of tea one needs water. One also needs tealeaves or tea powder. The two statements are not contradictory since both water and tealeaves are required in order to make a cup of tea. Furthermore if I want sweet tea I can even add sugar. Thus there is no contradiction in the Qur’an when it says that man is created from sperm, dust and water. It is not a contradiction but a contradistinction. Contradistinction means speaking about two different concepts on the same subject without conflict. For instance if I say that the man is always truthful and a habitual liar, it is a contradiction, but if I say that a man is always honest, kind and loving, then it is a contradistinction.