Miracles in Our Bodies

Bones that maintain themselves

We have explained that there are joints where bones are connected to each other. For example, we can bend and straighten out our arms and legs thanks to the joints located at our elbows and knees. Although they move throughout our lives, these joints never need to be lubricated. Machines, however, need regular maintenance. For example, you have to lubricate the pedals or the chain of your bicycle from time to time because the amount of oil is reduced as they are used, which consequently restricts motion. Likewise, the joints between your bones are used all the time, yet you never have to lubricate them. Why is that?

The answer to this question has been sought by scientists, who eventually discovered the following fact: in a joint, a tough, rubbery tissue called cartilage cushions the ends of the bones at contact points. There is a thin membrane lining the entire joint cavity which secretes a special fluid. As the bone exerts pressure on the joint, this fluid is forced out of the membrane and the joint becomes "lubricated".

Acting as skillfully as a sculptor, our cells never go too far and cause harmful effects. They do not mistake the shapes and lengths of our bones. Furthermore, they flawlessly calculate when to multiply and when to stop. Think for a moment-what if your finger bones kept growing or your legs got longer and longer? That would be very terrifying, wouldn't it? But this never happens, and all of your bones lengthen exactly as they should. This is one of the clear proofs of the fact that your bone cells act by the inspiration of Allah.

All these facts reveal to us that the human body is the result of an excellent design and superior creation. It is thanks to this excellent design that we can make many different movements easily and quickly. These features of the bones have been created by our Lord. Allah invites people to reflect on the creation of bones:

... Look at the bones-how We raise them up and clothe them in flesh... (Surat al-Baqara: 259)


A bone in your foot is different from a finger bone. The lengths, shapes and thicknesses of bones differ from those of another. Still, as you may remember, all are produced by the same bone cells.

We have mentioned that bones are very rigid and strong. They may, however, be broken when they are exposed to severe blows. What happens then? The bone repairs itself. Doctors set the broken bone and make a plaster cast so that the bone knits correctly. There is nothing left for the doctors to do because the bone has its own repairing mechanism. It is miraculous that a broken bone heals itself and becomes even stronger than before. This miracle is worked as follows:

The blood surrounding the broken bone coagulates and forms a "haematoma", which is a large mass of clotted blood. This clot is a coating similar to the scab on your skin that occur following a cut. Minerals secreted by bone-building cells transform this clot into a rigid bone. Once this phase is completed, bone-dissolving cells come into play. Acting like a professional sculptor, these cells reduce the new bone with hydrochloric acid, which is a quite strong acid, and give a particular form to the bone. This process continues until the bone regains its original form. Even a year later, these bone-dissolving cells keep reducing the bone like diligent sculptors in order to shape it.

As you have realised, all these tasks that are performed by bone cells, which are too small to be perceived by the naked eye, are signs of a superior intelligence. That is because cells do not have eyes to see with, yet they can build bones. Besides, they can understand when the space between the two broken pieces is filled and thus can decide when to stop. Then bone-dissolving cells notice that the newly built bone needs to be fashioned, and start reducing it. In order to do this, they use a strong acid to break down the bone, and give it the most appropriate form by applying this acid in smaller or greater quantities as necessary.

As you can see, all bone cells know very well what to do as well as how and where to do it. The system built for healing our bones works perfectly and enables bones to repair themselves. Scientists have admired this astonishing ability of bones for years.

How did bone cells acquire such an amazing ability, which works totally without the awareness of the person concerned? How do cells know what they need to repair a broken bone and what actions to perform in order to heal it? While some of the cells have acquired the ability to build bones, others have taken on the duty of shaping them. Who assigned them their tasks? How come there is no disorder and how is it that each of them carries out its tasks at the exact moment it is required? Did bone cells learn all these things by themselves?

Surely all these extraordinary tasks cannot be performed by some almost invisible cells' own volition. They could not possibly have learnt them by chance either. Acting by the inspiration of the All-Wise Allah, Who created them, our bone cells can give shape to bones like a skillful sculptor.

Have you ever wondered how body cells form bones?

The shapes of most of the 206 bones in your body are different from each other. This differentiation started when they first emerged, that is, when you were in your mother's womb. Cells, which were gradually increasing in number, took different forms as if each of them had been taught which part of the body it was supposed to constitute.

Some cells branch off to form your bones, some to form your liver, some to form your kidneys and so yet others to form your eyes. But cells that will form the liver, bones or eyes do not merely gather together. They need to branch off even further. For example, bone cells should be aware of the location of the bone that they will form within the body. Then they should go to the correct place accordingly and take the correct form.

The gaps in the skull bones of a baby disappear in time as the bones grow.

The bone cells in your feet act like a professional sculptor and form perfectly curved foot bones with the indentations and projections for the toes. As if they knew the size of the brain, the bone cells forming your skull build a smooth bony skeleton that perfectly encloses the brain. It is neither too small nor too big, so it neither squeezes the brain nor makes it difficult for you to hold your head high.

What is the source of the consciousness of cells, which gives perfect shapes to bones, knowing which form they should take and which tissue they should constitute?

As in all other bones in our bodies, hand bones too, develop as one grows older. What is worthy of note, however, is that each of the fingers grow proportionally to one another.

Our Lord inspires this delicate plan in them. Allah's supreme knowledge is pointed out in the following verses:

Everyone in the heavens and earth belongs to Him. All are submissive to Him. It is He Who originated creation and then regenerates it. That is very easy for Him. His is the most exalted designation in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat ar-Rum: 26-27)