Prime Numbers Miracle in the Quran

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Revision as of 10:41, 17 March 2020 by Prekladator (talk | contribs) (Created page with "The Quranic text doesn't mention prime numbers at all. But some Islamic apologists insist that the author of the Quran knew about prime numbers and that it is a miracle, becau...")
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Quranic text doesn't mention prime numbers at all. But some Islamic apologists insist that the author of the Quran knew about prime numbers and that it is a miracle, because nobody in the 7th century knew about prime numbers.


A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that cannot be formed by multiplying two smaller natural numbers. A natural number greater than 1 that is not prime is called a composite number. For example, 5 is prime because the only ways of writing it as a product, 1 x 5 or 5 x 1, involve 5 itself. However, 6 is composite because it is the product of two numbers (2 x 3) that are both smaller than 6. Primes are central in number theory because of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic: every natural number greater than 1 is either a prime itself or can be factorized as a product of primes that is unique up to their order.
Wikipedia, Prime Number, 2020

Primes are 2, 3, 5, 7... However this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years ago. In the first chapter the verse count, word count and letter count are all primes.

Quran [1:1-7] بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

Verse count is 7 (prime number). Word count is 29 (prime number). Letter count is 139 (prime number). How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about prime numbers?

Euclid's Elements

Euclid in c. 300 BC wrote a mathematical treatise "Elements" and in the book 7 he discussed prime numbers.

So there's nothing miraculous about someone coming one thousand years later and mentioning prime numbers.


Muhammad didn't say "this is verse number one and this is verse number two". The numbering was made by Islamic scholars with different opinions. Although the vast majority of scholars agree that this sura has 7 verses, some scholars don't count basmala as a verse and then divide the last (longest) verse into two. In that case we would have to substract the basmala (19 letters) from the letter count 139 (139-19=120) and 120 is not a prime number. And basmala has 4 words, so total word count would be 29-4=25 and again 25 is not a prime number.

And in the verse مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ the first word has two variants (qira'aat). Apologists use the variant مالك (maalik), but there is also a variant ملك (malik) with one letter less. Most qira'aat use the shorter version ملك. Which would give total letter count 139-1=138 and 138 is not a prime number.


Apologists found this "miracle" in only one sura. If there were 100 suras in the Quran, that would mean that the Quran is 1% successful in having this miracle in its suras. But since the Quran has 114 suras, it is even below 1%. So nothing special.

Also there are so many prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97... so it's very easy for arbitrary numbers to happen to be one of them.

See also