Difference between revisions of "Letter and Verse Count Miracles in the Quran"

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Some Islamic apologists try to count letters and verses in the Quran in every possible way and when they find an interesting numerical co-incidence, they cherry-pick this co-incidence (out of all the numbers that weren't interesting) and present is as a miracle in the Quran.
 
Some Islamic apologists try to count letters and verses in the Quran in every possible way and when they find an interesting numerical co-incidence, they cherry-pick this co-incidence (out of all the numbers that weren't interesting) and present is as a miracle in the Quran.
 
==Arbitrary numbers==
 
==Arbitrary numbers==
This section deals with the text of the Quran(s) that we have available today.
+
This section deals with the text of the Qurans that we have available today.
 
===Number of verses===
 
===Number of verses===
 
The number of verses in the Quran is not established among Islamic scholars:
 
The number of verses in the Quran is not established among Islamic scholars:

Revision as of 11:57, 18 December 2019

Some Islamic apologists try to count letters and verses in the Quran in every possible way and when they find an interesting numerical co-incidence, they cherry-pick this co-incidence (out of all the numbers that weren't interesting) and present is as a miracle in the Quran.

Arbitrary numbers

This section deals with the text of the Qurans that we have available today.

Number of verses

The number of verses in the Quran is not established among Islamic scholars:

The reason for this disagreement is that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) used to stop after reading the verse as to teach his companions the beginning and end of the verses. Some of them would consider any stop a beginning of a verse. Others would consider the stop only a breath and would link what preceded it to what follows it. Another reason for these differences is the lack of agreement on whether the Basmalah (Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim) is a verse of every Surah (chapter) or whether it was put there for its Baraka (blessing). al-Shafia consider it a verse of every Surah.


It's not even clear if basmala is a verse or not. So how can we base anything on the number of verses?

Number of words

There are many versions of the Arabic Quran. For example, in the verse 57:24, there is a phrase "indeed (فإن, fa-inna), Allah (الله, Allah) is the Free of need (الغني, al-ghani), the Praiseworthy (الحميد, al-hameed).". Some versions of the Arabic Quran add the word هو (huwa), which means "he":

فإن الله الغني الحميد (one version)

فإن الله هو الغني الحميد (a different version)


Quran 57:24, different readings

There are 10 readers (qari) of the Quran and each reader has its transmitters (rawi).

These 7 qari included هو:

  • Ibn Kathir al-Makki
  • Abu 'Amr Ibn al-'Ala'
  • Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud - a famous rawi Hafs transmitted from him
  • Hamzah az-Zaiyyat
  • Al-Kisa'i
  • Ya'qub al-Yamani
  • Khalaf

ِ But these 3 didn't include هو:

  • Ibn Amir ad-Dimashqi
  • Abu Ja'far
  • Nafi‘ al-Madani - a famous rawi Warsh transmitted from him

The meaning of the verse doesn't change much whether the word "he" (هو) is present or not. But it presents a big problem for the concept of miraculous number of words in the Quran. Because it proves that we can't clearly say how many words are in the Quran.

Number of letters

There are many differences between all the Arabic versions of the Quran. We don't have to go very far in the Quran. The first letter inconsistency is the the verse 1:4, "Sovereign (in some Qurans مالك, in other Qurans ملك) of the Day of Recompense". Should we count the letter ا or not?

These qari say مالك (maalik) with ا (a):

  • Aasim ibn Abi al-Najud - a famous rawi Hafs transmitted from him
  • Al-Kisa'i
  • Ya'qub al-Yamani
  • Khalaf

But these say only ملك (malik):

  • Ibn Kathir al-Makki
  • Abu 'Amr Ibn al-'Ala'
  • Hamzah az-Zaiyyat
  • Ibn Amir ad-Dimashqi
  • Abu Ja'far
  • Nafi‘ al-Madani - a famous rawi Warsh transmitted from him

So how can we base anything on the number of letters in the Quran, when the number cannot be established?

And with regards to counting specific letters: A few verses later in the same sura, we have the word al-siraat (in some Qurans الصراط, in other Qurans السراط), which is translated as "the path" and there are different versions of the first letter "s". ص (saad) is more popular, but there are two versions that use س (siin):

  • Ibn Kathir al-Makki, transmitted by Qunbul
  • Ya'qub al-Yamani, transmitted by Ruways

In the version of Hamzah az-Zaiyyat, the letter is even read as ز (z), so the word becomes ziraat [1].

Preservation of the Quran

Before we count things in the Quran(s) we have today, we should also consider that there might be some contents that were lost or added.

See also

References