Islam and Miracles
Many apologists claim that the Qur'an contains information that could not have been known to people at the time the Qur'an was created, and that it contains within its pages many other miracles.
This article argues that the Georgica, written by Virgil in Golden Latin in the year 28 BC, contains many scientific miracles (i.e. scientific foreknowledge). Furthermore, Virgil was an ancient Roman poet and the ancient Romans were polytheists, thus the Roman pantheon of deities exist. Of course this article is written as part satire. It demonstrates very effectively how easy it is to reinterpret any ancient poetry, such as the Qur'an, and reveal so-called scientific miracles.
Word Count Miracles in the Qur'an
One of the most popular claims of miracles is that the word yawm (singular of day) is repeated 365 times in the Qur'an, its plural and dual forms "days (ayyam and yawmayn)" together are repeated 30 times, while the number of repetitions of the word "month" (shahar) is 12. The first flaw with this is that the Islamic calendar consists of 355 days, so these apologists are essentially favoring Christianity. Secondly, these counts are manipulated, generally in unstated ways, to produce the striking totals. Most people do not have the time or energy to count so they just assume it is true.
The Miracle of 19
Some Muslims and Submitters believe that Qur'an 74:30 is proof that the occurrence of observed "19" related facts in Islam is a confirmation of the truth of the religion. However, when we analyze the claims, we find this miracle of 19 is not a miracle. The actual chance of finding this miracle is 1 in 19 which is not an impressive probability at all. Additionally, an equal number of miracles, sometimes more, are found in anti-Islamic texts. Where the Qur'an says, "over it are Nineteen," it was simply talking about the number of angels in Hell. This is also confirmed by Muslim websites. Even Rashad Khalifa, the inventor of 19 'miracles' believes that 19 is the number of Angels in heaven (for him, he sees it as a 'miracle' that everything is 19).
Odd-Even Mathematical Miracle
There is a widely spread claim, circulating on the web at least since 1998, that there is a “mathematical miracle” in the Qur’an concerning the sums of the surah numbers, and the sums of the ayats, or verses. It is sometimes called a binary, odd-even, or checksum miracle. It consists of two apparently remarkable coincidences. Some might imagine the odds of this are thousands to one, but they are not. Both parts of the “miracle” are really just two ways to describe the same single coincidence. And as the article shows, due to various factors, the likelihood of its occurrence by chance is not so low that anyone should be impressed by it and proclaim it a miracle.
Splitting the Moon
Muslims believe that while Muhammad was in Mecca, Allah split the Moon as a miracle to the Meccans. This claim is made in the Hadith and some say that the evidence for this is on the Moon itself. To back up this claim, they use close-up pictures of the moon taken by NASA as evidence. These images of a "spilt" are actually lunar rilles. Rilles are long and deep gorges resembling canyons. A rille is typically several kilometers wide and hundreds of kilometers in length. Similar formations are found on a number of planets in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and on a number of moons. Rilles can be found all over the lunar surface and they do not form a belt and therefore do not in anyway support the claim that the moon had been split asunder.
The Cat's Eye Nebula in the Qur'an
Some apologists claim that the Cat's eye nebula was foretold in the Qur'an (55:37-38) “And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide.” As evidence, they provide photographs taken by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. The pictures are captured in infrared or X-ray spectrum. So, the photos that you see are actually invisible most times to the naked eye (since we cannot see infrared and X-ray as colors). False colors are then added by NASA at the time of releasing the pictures. The way the false color algorithms work is that you can give any color and it will shade the picture accordingly in that spectrum or band. So the explosion is not actually rosy. NASA has given this color to the picture but they could have given it any color, thus the entire argument is baseless.
Pareidolia is not miraculous, it is a type of illusion or mis-perception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct. Pareidolia is the result of the the human mind’s tendency to pick recognizable imagery out of chaotic forms. Also, different patterns naturally form in different objects in nature. Arabic letters, unlike Latin characters, are very simple and continuous and with a little bit of imagination one can find them naturally occurring everywhere.
Animals Marked by Allah
Apologists often propagate obscure natural occurrences as "Islamic miracles". One such claim involves the natural markings found on cows and other farm animals. For example, claims that certain cows are marked with "Allah" or "Muhammad" in Arabic. However, the Christian symbol of the Cross has also appeared on a cow and so has the Hindu symbol of Om. Considering the Cross and Om symbols are clearly more distinguishable than the Arabic words "Allah" and "Muhammad", do these markings persuade Muslims of the validity of Christianity or Hinduism? For a Muslim to accept these "miracles" as a sign from Allah, they must become polytheists and accept that Christians and Hindus have also been sent similar signs from Jesus and Brahman.
Allah in the Sky
Some Muslims have produced a picture of a cloud formation spelling out "Allah" in Arabic. However, images can easily be doctored by Photoshop or a similar software program. Even if we accept the image is genuine, we have to consider the fact that cloud formations are constantly changing and are therefore limitless in design. The image that is recognized by the viewer is dependent upon the angle and time at which the cloud is being viewed from, and hence the photo. Additionally you can find many images on the internet of what some Christians think are apparitions of the Virgin Mary in clouds.
Tomato with Shahadah
According to The Mirror (a UK newspaper), more than 100 Muslims had flocked to a young girls home to view a sliced tomato in her fridge that allegedly contained the words of the Shahadah in it. This is one of the more extreme cases of pareidolia and wishful thinking, thus does not need a written response in order to disprove its claims. View the picture for yourself and see if you can read "La Illaha Illa Alla" and "Muhammad Rasul Allah" in these tomato slices. Because, try as we might, we have not been able to find it. This is not miracles. It is simply a fluke. In nature, different patterns form in different objects. Arabic letters, unlike Latin characters, are very simple and graceful in form, meaning with a little bit of imagination one can find them naturally occurring everywhere.
Allah on a Fish
Some Muslims believe the word Abdullah and Muhammad Rasoul Allah are written on the side of this fish. Again, we have not been able to read Muhammad nor Rasoul Allah on this fish. However, we can photoshop images of another fish and claim it's also a sign from Allah.
Allah in an Egg Plant
Allah supposedly decided to write his name in an eggplant. If you cut any egg plant as many times as you care to carry on, eventually you will get whatever writings you imagine that would suite your mind. If you look closely at the image, you will also notice the eggplant is browning and turning stale. What sort of a message is the word "Allah" written on an object that will eventually start to rot or die supposed to convey to Islam's followers? Is the message that Allah is rotten or dying? Or maybe that his revealed religion, after a period of growth, will start to die and eventually disappear?
Right Hand Spells Out Allah
You can clearly see with the superimposed Arabic lettering that the back of the human right hand does not spell out Allah. Even though Arabic script is quite simple and elegant, it still remains too complex to be the same shape as a hand. If we use the same standards of "likeness" applied here, we could just as convincingly claim the buttocks on a human body, female breasts and the male testicles are also shaped like the Arabic word Allah. Additionally, why would Allah create hands for us? The answer clearly is to eat and hold materials with our hands. We do this with the palm of the hand and not the back of the hand. When Muslims pray, do they have the palms of their hands towards their eyes, or the back of their hands? Does Allah want Muslims to think of him and his name in a distorted way when they pray to him?
Allah in the Ear
This word (claimed to be Allah) is shown on the ear of a child that is lying down, but how would the word be read if the child is standing up? How was it read when this child was delivered from his mother’s womb? Was it then seen up-side-down? Do Muslims want to say that Allah’s name can be shown first in an ear of a new born baby up-side-down? Muslims celebrating this as a miracle is as silly as Christians celebrating a child born with an ear shaped like an upside-down cross or a Hindu celebrating a child born with an ear shaped like a leg of roast beef. Also according to Sahih hadith (Bukhari 2:21:245), Satan urinates in the ears of those who do not wake up for prayer. Why would Allah put his name where Satan urinates? Or more accurately, why would Muslims claim such a thing?
Among other methods, apologists sometimes use doctored or even entirely faked images to mislead people into believing in Islam. There are numerous well-known and lesser-known Islamic Hoaxes.
Baby with Qur'anic Verses
In October 2009, the same newspaper which made the false publicly rejected claim that Michael Jackson had converted to Islam published a story reporting that Qur'anic verses appeared on a baby's skin in Dagestan. However, another story published on the same day provides us with further information. What the tabloid story ignored was the fact that some local doctors believe it is not a miracle from Allah, but a simple case of child abuse. They believe the parents may have treated his skin with irritants which trigger skin inflammation and leave red traces in the shape of Arabic characters. They also suggested urticarial dermographism (aka. skin writing – a skin disorder that occurs with 5% of the nation’s population) as another possibly explanation, saying "If you draw something on their skin with a little stick, for example, the drawing will later appear." Even if this truly was a miracle from a deity, it is unlikely that this deity would be Allah because his messenger Muhammad had forbidden tattooing when he was alive. This fact has been recorded in multiple sahih hadith. One even states that Allah curses "those who get themselves tattooed".
Ten Meter Tall Human Skeleton in Saudi Arabia
The New Nation published a very sensational story in 2004 claiming that a 10 meter tall human skeleton was found in Saudi Arabia. The image that was associated with the news article was doctored. The original image is of an aerial photo of a pit outside of Hyde Park, New York, which was taken on September 16, 2000. The site was excavated by the Paleontological Research Institution and the Cornell Department of Geological Sciences and what they found was the skeleton of a mastodon. So the site does not contain the skeleton of a giant man and it is not in Saudi Arabia. But why then did one of the major publications of Bangladesh report such a deceiving story? The answer is to be found in the hadith and the stories that were told by Prophet Muhammad. According to several hadiths, Adam was 60 cubits (90 feet) tall and humans have been decreasing in size ever since. So that digitally forged photo is an attempt to prove that what Muhammad said was true. Discoveries in paleontology show that humans have been steadily growing in size. Homo habilis who lived 2.4-1.5 million years ago were no more than 150 cm tall. Their ancestors, the Australopithecus, were just about 100 cm tall. Therefore Muhammad’s story of Adam and other ancient people being extremely tall is contrary to science.
Trees Spell Out Shahadah
Islamic sites exhibit a "photo" taken of trees in Germany which spell out the Shahadah in Arabic. The picture is actually an oil based painting. None of these sites give you the address of this location and there are no other pictures taken of these trees from any other angles. This is due to the fact that the picture is actually an oil based painting on canvas painted by Dr. Sayed Al-Khudari from Egypt. If you look to the top right corner you can even see the wrinkles of the canvas since it is not stretched properly. The hoax is obvious when you view the oil based painting in its entirety, which is why most Islamic sites just content themselves with the right side of the painting. Additionally, these sites claim that German authorities prevented Muslims from viewing these trees. This is clearly false. Seeing how many Muslims become overly violent over trivial issues, such as cartoons, they would not have remained silent if these trees had really existed and if German authorities had stopped Muslims from viewing them.
Human Bronchus Resembles Shahadah
The image in question has been posted on several Islamic websites. It is claimed to be a medical drawing of the human air tubes and it reads the Islamic Shahadah. However, the drawing was forged by Muslims. Have a look at the pictures of the human air tubes in any book of anatomy and see if you can find anything resembling the Shahadah. You would think it hard for anyone to believe that this drawing actually represents the real human air tubes, but this hoax has been very effective among Muslims.
Shariff Idd, the 5-Year-Old Hafiz
According to a huge number of online sources, a five year old Kenyan boy (sometimes he is claimed to be Tanzanian or Nigerian) can recite the entire Qur'an and preach in at least five languages. The boy is alleged to have converted thousands of people all over the world. However, according to many Muslims who have seen him in person, the whole Shariff Idd story is an elaborate hoax or money-making scheme. In reality, he can recite a surah or two. For example, one eyewitness says, "A translator then asked him to recite some suras such as Ar-Rahman, Al-Mulk, etc. and the boy replied, "I don't know that". They then asked him to recite suratul Ala, to which he replied again, "I don't know that". They then asked him to recite suratul Ihklas, he said, "I don't know that". It then became obvious to everyone that the boy knew nothing of the Quran, and was simply fooling everyone with an elaborate and well-conceived con. When the father returned and noticed what was going on, he quickly hustled the boy and his bodyguards out of the auditorium. Many attendees felt betrayed, especially when it was discovered that the boy and his "family" left town soon thereafter and their whereabouts were unknown."
Apologists sometimes claim various famous persons have converted to Islam. These stories are tenacious. Even after these conversion stories have been shown to be untrue: they continue to circulate the internet and are retold in newspapers and televisions shows throughout the Islamic world. They do this in order to boost morale, to prove that Islam is the “truth,” and that even rich celebrities from non-Muslim societies can see this. In reality, people are leaving Islam by the millions.
Various Islamic websites have been touting images of a miraculous "praying" tree in an undisclosed location in Australia, claiming it is facing the Kaaba in Mecca (the direction Muslims all over the world face when in prayer). This tree has clearly been artificially carved over time to give the impression of a human form (tree shaping or arborsculpture is actually a valid art form). There is also no proof whatsoever to suggest this bent trunk does indeed face Mecca. Additionally, trees (like clouds) are limitless in variety and shape. There are many naturally formed trees that resemble many things. For example, trees that appear to be praying as a Christian or Hindu might, trees that appear to have male genitalia, trees that appear to have a female form, and even trees that appear to be engaging in sexual intercourse.
Muhammad in the Clouds
Some apologists claim that during a speech made by Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on the international Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference, the word "Muhammad" appeared near the Moon just as the Shaykh was spelling the name and said "I wish I had a board to write it on". As proof, they provide an image claimed to be from the event. This image clearly shows the clouds in front of the moon spelling out the word "Muhammad". However, when you view the actual video from the event, neither the image nor the words of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri match what is claimed. In this article we show how this image could have been artificially made using a graphics program. We also provide our own comparable miracle where Allah is apparently endorsing the message of WikiIslam.
Bees Spell Out Allah
Some apologists claim bees can write in Arabic and have decided to profess their belief in Allah by jointly writing Allah on their hive. The writing is raised above the surface of the bee-wax. This means that it is artificially made by forming the letters manually. The picture can also be interpreted as if the writings are engraved (less likely), still this can be made manually. We also provide an equally convincing image of a honey comb where the phrase "Wodan rules" has been photoshopped into the original.
Cactus Spell Out Allah
This photo of a cactus spelling out Allah illustrates the obvious manipulation needed to produce these miracle photos. Its branches are supposed to resemble the word Allah. However a Muslim had cut a branch from somewhere else to create the loop of "H" at the end of Allah. The last branch on the left is attached to the top of the branch next to it in a very acute angle. No plant would grow like this. It is very clear that the last branch on left is stuck to the one next to it, either by glue or tapes on the other side of the branches. No natural growth can produce such an arrangement, but the upright branches can be artificially fixed/stuck to the rest. Now, this picture is an obvious forgery, but the picture we provide of a cactus displaying an "erection" is not.
Allah in a Melon
Some Muslims claim that a certain melon was a sign from Allah, but the picture provided as evidence has obviously been doctored in Photoshop. The white seen in the middle of the red part looks like the skin of the fruit (minus the green part). This trick can be replicated in even the most basic of photo editing software. Water melons where the skin grows inwards do not exist.
Mecca and Medina Glowing from Space
Some apologists claim Sunita Williams has converted to Islam after witnessing a miracle whilst on the moon, where the entire earth looked dark, except for Mecca and Medina, which were lit up like "sparks". The images that accompany many of these claims is a top-down picture of the most holiest sites of Islam, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, both buildings looking like bright lights surrounded by darkness. These specific images have been circulating among Muslims over the internet from as early as May 2006. Williams launched with her crew on December 9, 2006, and docked with the International Space Station on December 11, 2006, more than six months after the "miracle" images surfaced. The actual source for the original, undoctored, images is spaceimaging.com, and are dated December 1999. Although the Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid al-Nabawi appear quite striking in these images, there is nothing supernatural about their reflective white marble construction, and they are not surrounded by darkness. Watermark-free versions of these images are offered for sale by spaceimaging.com as large 4MB downloads, but whoever was behind this hoax did not purchase them. If you look closely at the doctored images, you can clearly see the watermarking.
360 Joints in Human Body
Muhammad talked about 360 joints (or bones?) in a a few hadiths and apologists say this is a scientific miracle. The problem is that human body doesn't have 360 bones nor joints. In order to prove there are 360 joints, they use an article which says that there are actually 230 joints and they also use a fake list of joints.
When mosques are left standing in natural disasters, Muslims often claim it's a miracle and attribute it to an intervention by Allah. But there is nothing miraculous about strongly built structures with open architecture allowing water and wind to flow through, surviving waves and high winds better than weaker buildings. Nature is indiscriminate about what it damages during natural disasters, and mosques are no exception to this rule. This is proven by the hundreds of mosques which have been destroyed in natural disasters, and by the fact that non-Muslim buildings have also "miraculously" been left unharmed or standing during similar incidents. The "standing mosques" are no more miraculous than Morocco's 2010 "collapsing mosque" which only killed worshipers and left others unharmed. If the former can be used to claim Islam is the true faith, the latter can be used to prove it is a false faith
Dog Responds to the Adhan
Some apologists are claiming another animal-related miracle. This time it is a video of a dog in Jerusalem responding (or "singing") to the adhan (the Muslim call to prayer). According to its description, "Every natural being on the planet praises Allah and remembers him. This dog is just one example, and god is all knowing!" The content of the sound (the call to prayer) is not what the dog is actually responding to. This type of howling that dogs do, which is sometimes referred to as "singing" or "talking", is caused when a dog is irritated by something it hears - whether it be because of the volume or the pitch (or a combination of both). This is because a dog's hearing is much more sensitive than our own - what we may find comfortable to listen to (volume or pitch wise) may bother them quite quickly, and they howl in response to it. So what you really witness happening in the video is the opposite of what is being claimed about it. If you watch the dog's ears closely, you can see he is visibly irritated by the noise.
Google Earth Proves Islam
These are articles on Islamic miracles.
- Islamic Prophecies - This in-depth study refutes false claims of fulfilled Qur'anic prophecies
- How Islamic Inventors Did Not Change The World - This article refutes false claims of inventions attributed to Islamic inventors
Other Core Articles
Core articles contain an overview of other articles related to a specific issue, and serve as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn about Islam: