Digital Books Miracle in the Quran

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The Quran supposedly predicted e-books, according to some Islamic apologists.

The claim

1400 years ago people wrote on animal skin and early versions of paper. Today we can transform paper books to digital form. They are called digital books because at the lowest level they are just zeros and ones. But once it is in digital form it can no longer be read from paper; it has to be read from a special electronic device.

An electronic book, also known as an e-book or eBook, is a book publication made available in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers or other electronic devices. Although sometimes defined as "an electronic version of a printed book", some e-books exist without a printed equivalent. E-books can be read on dedicated e-reader devices, but also on any computer device that features a controllable viewing screen, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Wikipedia, E-book, 2020

This was known recently, however this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered. In Paradise believers will watch their history on Earth with a digital book.

[Quran 83.19-21] And how can you know about Elliyyoon? A digitized book; Watched by the close ones.

"Markoom in Arabic مَرْقُومٌ " means digitized. The Quran has chapters and verses that are numbered "Muraqam in Arabic مُرَقَّم", however the Quran is not digitized. Since they already knew about numbering and the preceding verse emphasizes that they didn't know about it then "Elliyyoon" is definitely not a numbered book. "Elliyyoon" is a digitized book. And you do not read from this digitized book, instead you watch it: "Yash-haduhu in Arabic يَشْهَدُهُ " means watched. It didn't say read "Yakra-uhu يقرئه " but it said watched "Yash-haduhu يَشْهَدُهُ ". So "Elliyyoon" is a digitized history book that can be watched like a movie.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about digital books?


Apologists transliterate the word مرقوم as markoom, although it has the letter ق (qaaf) and not ك (kaaf). We'll use marqoom. So what does it mean? According to the Lane's lexicon:

Written; (Ṣ, Mṣb, TA;) as also رَقِيمٌ↓: (Mṣb:) and sealed, stamped, imprinted, or impressed: (Ṣ:) and a writing marked with the dots, or points, (JK, TA,) and having its letters made distinct, or plain: [i. e. distinctly written:] and مُرَقَّمٌ↓ signifies the same: (TA:) the first occurs in the Ḳur [lxxxiii. 9 and 20], in the phrase كِتَابٌ مَرْقُومٌ, (Ṣ, TA,) meaning, in both instances, [as some say, a writing] sealed, or stamped. (Jel.)

Root: رقم - Entry: مَرْقُومٌ―Signification: A2 See also رَقْمٌ.

Root: رقم - Entry: مَرْقُومٌ―Signification: A3 Also † A beast having small marks of cauterization upon his shanks; every one of which is termed رَقْمَةٌ: (JK, T, TA:) or دَابَّةٌ مَرْقُومَةٌ means † a beast having lines of cauterization upon its legs. (Ḳ.) It is also applied as an epithet to a wild ass, because of a blackness upon his legs: (TA:) or مَرْقُومُ القَوَائِمِ, so applied, and applied to a [wild] bull, means ‡ Having lines of black upon his legs. (Ḳ, TA.)

Root: رقم - Entry: مَرْقُومٌ―Signification: A4 And مَرْقُومَةٌ ‡ Land (أَرْضٌ) in which is little herbage: (Fr, Ṣ, Ḳ, TA:) or in which is the plant called رَقْمَة. (JK.)

So the dictionary didn't mention the meaning "digital" at all.


The verses 83:9 and 83:20 contain only two words كتاب مرقوم (kitaab marqoom). The word marqoom is not usually translated as "digital" and even the word kitaab is not usually translated as "a book" in these verses:

Dr. Ghali: (It is) a Book imprinted.

Muhsin Khan: A Register inscribed.

Pickthall: A written record.

Sahih International: It is [their destination recorded in] a register inscribed.

Yusuf Ali: (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed.

Mufti Taqi Usmani: A register, inscribed!

Digital representation

Letters in an e-book are represented by numbers. For example in ASCII encoding:

Letter Numerical value
A 65
B 66
C 67

And although it's a new invention to save the numerical value (in its binary form) on electronic devices, the concept of numbering letters was not new in the 7th century. We know that the ancient Greeks used a system called isopsephy:

Letter Numerical value
α 1
β 2
γ 3

Jews also used a system called gematria:

Letter Numerical value
א 1
ב 2
ג 3

Both these systems were used before Islam. So digital form of letters was nothing new.

Lack of logic

Apologists say:

a digitized history book that can be watched like a movie

Without realizing that if it can be watched like a movie then it wouldn't be a book, but a video.

See also