Were We Created From the Coccyx Bone?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I wanted to ask about how we understand that we were created from the coccyx bone, as bones form later in the womb. Also, the Quran mentions this when it describes the stages of the embryo, so is it something supernatural or completely unknown, how should we understand this?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

The human creation is protected and nourished in the darkness for approximately two hundred and eight days in the womb. In the embryo, it is then the tailbone; the coccyx comes into creation by Allah Most High, though it will be in its unique embryonic form, as explained below.

Allah Most High says, ‘And indeed, We created humankind from an extract of clay, then placed each human as a sperm-drop in a secure place, 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. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators.’ [Quran, 12,14]

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) as saying, The earth would consume all of the son of Adam except his tailbone. From it, he was created, and from it, he will be recreated (on the Day of Resurrection). [Muslim]

How the Tailbone, the Coccyx Develops

After fertilization, the gamete divides to form a bilayer embryo.  A group of these cells thickens to form the structure called the Primitive Streak.  The cells in this stage are ‘pluripotential’:  These cells are capable of differentiation into specialized cell lines, which eventually form different organs with specialized functions:

One of these cell lines in the Primitive Streak induces the development of the embryonic mesoderm.  The Notochord (the primordium, the earliest stage) of the future vertebral column develops in the mesoderm and dictates to the embryo its vertical axis.  Starting at the base of the primitive streak, the notochord grows cranially (toward the skull) to lay down the vertebral column, but its caudal (tail-end) most part remains unchanged and develops into the tailbone (the coccyx). Thus, as the lower end piece of the notochord, the tailbone holds the remnant of those pluripotential cells —the genome of which, under appropriate conditions, can regenerate new cell lines, as in the original stage.

In fact, at the time of human resurrection on the Day of Judgment, the genomic material preserved in these cells of the tailbone will be primed with ‘blessed water from the sky.’

Allah Most High said, ‘We send down from the sky rain charged with blessing, and We produce therewith gardens and grains for harvest; and tall date palms with shoots of fruit stalks, piled one over another, as sustenance for [God’s] servants. And We give new life therewith to land that is dead: Like this will be the Resurrection.’  [Quran, 50:9-11]

And it is Allah Who sends the winds so that they raise up the clouds, and We drive them to a dead land and revive therewith the earth after its death like this will be the Resurrection. [Quran, 35,9]

The precision of re-creation is so perfect that the new creation will resemble the original creation, the one before death, to the extent that it will match even the tips of his fingers; not even a line of one’s fingerprint will be missing:

“Yes, indeed! We are most capable of restoring even their very fingertips.”

[Quran, 75:4]

The coccyx is the size of a mustard seed. Ibn al-Jawzi quotes Ibn ‘Aqil that the coccyx is a secret of Allah. He only knows because He is the one who creates things from being non-existent; why would He need a basis to recreate again?

[Ibn Adam al-Atyubi, Al-Bahr al-Muhit al-Thajjaj Fi Sharh Sahih al-Muslim; Dr. Mohammed Siraj uddin]

How Will The Tailbone Come Into Existence if it Was Cremated?

The hadith does not mention cremation, where the human body, including the bones, are burnt at about 1,000 degrees Celsius; if we analyze the above hadith, the creation and recreation occur through the tailbone. If some human beings were cremated after their death, then Allah Most High would first recreate the tailbone, and then the human beings would grow out of it as they were created the first time, which is easy for Allah Most High.

Quran is Not a Scientific Book

The Quran is not a scientific book; it is the Divine Speech of Allah Most High that contains guidance for man to fulfill his earthly needs and attain eternal salvation and a warning of what awaits those who transgress. Unless for general interest or scholarly specialization, one should focus on these aspects of the Quran and attach one’s heart to Allah and his Messenger, as ultimately, this is what matters and the point of the guidance.

 وفي حديث أبي سعيد الخدريّ عند ابن أبي الدنيا، وأبي داود، والحاكم، مرفوعًا: «إنه مثل حبة الخردل».
قال ابن الجوزيّ: قال ابن عَقِيل: لله في هذا سرّ لا يعلمه إلا الله؛ لأن من يُظهر الوجود من العدم لا يحتاج إلى شيء يبني عليه.



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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.