Is the Qur'an from God?

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This article discusses the various internal arguments found in the Qur'an claiming evidence of divine origin. This is in contrast to the "Science" argument that has no basis in the Qur'an, as there is not a single Qur'an verse using this argument.

Analysis of Evidence

"Surah like it"

The first attempt at evidence can be found in chapter 2 verse 23 of the Qur'an which states:

And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witness beside Allah if ye are truthful.

Here, Allah is challenging mankind to produce 1 chapter like the Qur'an and goes on to say:

But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.

So the main message is 'you cannot create a surah like the ones in the Qur'an, so that is proof this is from God'. But this is not a good argument. Essentially the Qur'an is proving itself. But are the Surahs (chapters) of the Qur'an so amazing only a deity could have inspired it? Let's take one of the shorter chapters of the Qur'an as an example:

1. Say: O disbelievers!
2. I worship not that which ye worship,
3. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
4. And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
5. Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
6. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.

The above chapter is called Al-Kafiroon. Is there anything divine or amazing about it? Of course not. Any human could come up with these verses since it is everyday conversation. Chapter 109 is a religious debate, hence the conclusive closing phrase "you have your religion, and I have mine" which today we may see in arguments between adherents of various worldviews. But even if this chapter was unique, does that prove an omnipotent deity was behind it? If so, it would mean that Einstein, Shakespeare etc., received divine inspiration too.

There is no logical connection between eloquence and divine origin. This is utter subjectivity and it is useless as a criterion for seeking objective truth as to whether a book is from God or man-made. Many websites have met the "surah like it" challenge (example) by creating Arabic surahs that look like they're from the Qur'an. A fan of Shakespeare could tell Muslims that all of his books are from God and Muslims should try to disprove that by creating anything like Shakespeare and if they cant, they must admit that Shakespeare is from God.

"No contradictions"

The other evidence of the sacred nature of the Qur'an comes from verse 4:82. It implies that the Qur'an does not contain any contradictions and therefore, it must be from god.

Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.

Is that a good argument? If you create a self-proclaimed divine book and say "this is from God" and when asked for proof you say "there are no contradictions", is that sufficient? There are all kinds of texts in the world which contain no contradictions. Either way, this argument is still invalid as Muslim scholars themselves are aware of contradictions otherwise they wouldn't have created the abrogation ruling. The abrogation ruling means that if a contradicting verse supersedes something prior, then the latter verse is applicable. If that does not convince you we have created an article full of Qur'an contradictions on the following page:

If you think the 'there are no contradictions' claim is a good argument, then that means if the Book of Mormons didn't have any contradictions, you should become a Mormon. Or if the Vedas didn't have any contradictions you should become a Hindu. If the product manual for a certain MP3 player has no contradictions in it, should we conclude it's a revelation from God? No.

Also see Logical Fallacies, an article that deals with this verse and explains the logical fallacy in it.

"Allah created life"

The following verse asks humans who created them?

Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, they have no firm belief.

But this 'God of the gaps' argument is claimed by other religions too, therefore it does not prove that Islam is from God. This verse does not address the view of Hindus for example who believe in a God who Muslims do not believe in. Islam cannot prove that Allah is the true God while the Hindu God/Supreme being, Brahman, is a fake God. The verse above talks about the common evolution/creationism debate which usually encompasses the origin of the human species and of life itself. Those involved in the natural sciences have postulated various theories concerning abiogenesis.

"This isn't a fairytale!"

In this verse, it addresses people who take the Qur'an for ancient fairy tales and fables.

Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown veils on their hearts, So they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they saw every one of the signs, not they will believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee, they (but) dispute with thee; the Unbelievers say: "These are nothing but tales of the ancients."

How does it respond to people who call the Qur'an a myth? With threats of degradation, derision and stigma.

And they prohibit (others) from it and go far away from it, and they only bring destruction upon their own souls while they do not perceive.

How does it respond in the next verse? With threats of eternal torture.

If thou couldst but see when they are confronted with the Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then would we not reject the signs of our Lord, but would be amongst those who believe!"

These threats are designed to intimidate disbelievers in order to manipulate their stance, as a form of coercion. If you look closely at this argument, the Qur'an does not respond to the accusation of the disbelievers.

In light of this, the Qur'an criticizing other religions for not producing evidence, may seem hypocritical.

And they say: "None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian." Those are their (vain) desires. Say: "Produce your proof if ye are truthful."

See Also

  • Allah - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Allah
  • Qur'an - A hub page that leads to other articles related to the Qur'an