1. QUR’AN PLAGIARIZED FROM THE BIBLE
Is it not true that the Qur’an is the handiwork of Muhammad and not the word
For a detailed answer refer to the lecture notes of ‘Is the Qur’an
God’s Word?’ by Dr Zakir Naik.
2. PRESENT QUR’AN IS NOT THE ORIGINAL BUT THAT OF
There were many versions of the Qur’an, all of which were burnt by Uthmaan
(ra) except for one. Therefore is it not true that the present Qur’an is the one
compiled by Uthmaan (ra) and not the original revelation of God?
It is completely wrong to say that there were several versions of the Qur’an,
and Uthmaan (ra) burnt all the different versions after authenticating and
compiling one Qur’an. There was only one Qur’an that was authenticated and
compiled under the personal supervision of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
1. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself supervised and
authenticated the written texts of the Qur’an
Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) received a revelation, he would first memorize it
himself and later declare the revelation and instruct his Companions who
would also memorize it. The Prophet (pbuh) would immediately ask the
scribes to write down the revelation he had received, and he would reconfirm
and recheck it himself. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an Ummi i.e. one who
could not read and write. Therefore, after receiving each revelation, he would
repeat it to his Companions. They would write down the revelation, and he
would recheck by asking them to read what they had written. If there was any
mistake, the Prophet (pbuh) would immediately point it out and have it
corrected and rechecked. Similarly, he would even recheck and authenticate
the portions of the Qur’an memorized by the Companions. In this way, the
complete Qur’an was written down under the personal supervision of the
2. Order and sequence of the Qur’an was divinely inspired
The complete Qur’an was revealed over a period of 22½ years portion by
portion, as and when it was required. The Qur’an was not compiled by the
Prophet (pbuh) in the chronological order of revelation. The order and
sequence of the Qur’an too was Divinely inspired and was instructed to the
Prophet (pbuh) by Allah (swt) through Archangel Jibraeel. Whenever a
revelation was conveyed to his companions, the Prophet (pbuh) would also
mention in which surah (Chapter) and after which aayah (Verse) this new
revelation should fit.
Every Ramadhaan all the portions of the Qur’an that had been revealed,
including the order of the Verses, were revised and reconfirmed by the
Prophet (pbuh) with Archangel Jibraeel. During the last Ramadhaan, before
the demise of the Prophet (pbuh), the Qur’an was rechecked and reconfirmed
It is therefore clearly evident that the Qur’an was compiled and authenticated
by the Prophet (pbuh) himself during his lifetime, both in the written form as
well as in the memory of several of his Companions.
3. Qur’an copied on one common material
The complete Qur’an, along with the correct sequence of the Verses, was
present during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). The Verses however, were
written on separate pieces, scrapes of leather, thin flat stones, leaflets, palm
branches, shoulder blades of camels, etc. After the demise of the Prophet
(pbuh), Abu Bakr (ra), the first caliph of Islam ordered that the Qur’an be
copied from the various different materials on to a common material and
place, which was in the shape of sheets. These were tied with strings so that
nothing of the compilation was lost.
4. Uthmaan (ra) made copies of the Qur’an from the original
During the period of Uthmaan (ra), the third Caliph of Islam, disputes arose
about the correct manner of reciting the Qur’an, due to different dialects.
Since Islam had spread into different regions, the pronunciation of the Qur’an
differed in different regions. Hence the need arose to circulate the correct
text, pronunciation and dialect of the Qur’an in different parts of the world.
Many Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) used to write down the revelation of
the Qur’an on their own whenever they heard it from the lips of the Prophet
(pbuh). However what they wrote was not personally verified by the Prophet
(pbuh) and thus could contain mistakes. All the Verses revealed to the Prophet
(pbuh) may not have been heard personally by all the Companions. There
were high possibilities of different portions of the Qur’an being missed by
Uthmaan (ra) borrowed the original manuscript of the Qur’an, which was
authorized by the beloved Prophet (pbuh), from Hafsah (may Allah be pleased
with her), the Prophet’s wife. Uthmaan (ra) ordered the four Companions who
were among the scribes who wrote the Qur’an when the Prophet (pbuh)
dictated it, led by Zaid bin Thabit (ra) to rewrite the script in several perfect
copies. These were sent by Uthmaan (ra) to the main centres of Muslims.
Uthmaan (ra) only appealed to the people to destroy all those copies which
did not match the original manuscript of the Qur’an in order to preserve the
original text of the Qur’an. Two such copies of the copied text of the original
Qur’an authenticated by the Prophet (pbuh) are yet present to this day, one at
the museum in Tashkent in erstwhile Soviet Union and the other at the
Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
5. Diacritical marks were added for non-Arabs
The original manuscript of the Qur’an does not have the signs indicating the
vowels in Arabic script. These vowels are known as tashkil, zabar, zair, paish
in Urdu and as fatah, dhamma and kasra in Arabic. The Arabs did not require
the vowel signs and diacritical marks for correct pronunciation of the Qur’an
since it was their mother tongue. For Muslims of non-Arab origin, however, it
was difficult to recite the Qur’an correctly without the vowels. These marks
were introduced into the Quranic script during the time of the fifth ‘Umayyad’
Caliph, Abdul Malik Al-Marwaan (66-86 Hijri / 685-705 CE) and during the
governorship of Al-Hajjaaj in Iraq.
Some people argue that the present copy of the Qur’an that we have along
with the vowels and the diacritical marks is not the same original Qur’an that
was present at the Prophet’s time. But they fail to realize that the word
‘Qur’an’ means a recitation. Therefore, the preservation of the recitation of the
Qur’an is important, irrespective of whether the script is different or whether it
contains vowels. If the pronunciation and the Arabic are the same, naturally,
the meaning remains the same too.
6. Allah Himself has promised to guard the Qur’an
Allah has promised in the Qur’an :
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly
Guard it (from corruption).”
3. DARWIN’S THEORY OF EVOLUTION
According to Darwin’s theory of Evolution, man has evolved from apes.
Doesn’t the Qur’an conflict with this theory?
1. There is no book which says, ‘Fact of Evolution’
I have not come across any book which says, ‘Fact of Evolution’. All the books
say, ‘Theory of Evolution’. If you read the book by Charles Darwin, ‘The Origin
of Species’ - It says that, Charles Darwin went on an island by the name of
‘Galapagos’ on a ship named as ‘HMS Beagle’ and there he found birds
pecking at niches. Depending upon the Ecological niches they pecked, their
beaks kept on becoming long and short. This observation was made by him in
14 different species of birds. After making these observations Charles Darwin
writes in his book, ‘The Origin of Species’, Chapter No. 6: ‘Difficulties on the
“Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine
gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?”
Charles Darwin himself agreed that there were missing links. If one specie had
evolved from the other specie then there ought to be ‘Transitional Forms’ like
half-fish / half-reptiles etc.
In school we used to joke and say, “If you were present at Darwin’s time this
theory would have been proven to be right!” Trying to insinuate that he looks
like an Ape!
2. An enemy of my enemy is my friend
The reason that this theory in most parts of the world is taught as good as
fact, is because in the past the Church was against Science whenever it went
against the Bible. So when Charles Darwin came up with a theory which goes
against the Bible, they didn’t want any sufficient proof - An Enemy of my
Enemy is my Friend. Most of the Scientists supported the theory, because it
went against the Bible, not because it was true. We know the incidence
when Galileo was kept under house arrest for 8 years until he died, because
he said certain statements in the field of Astronomy, which went against the
Bible. Pope John Paul II apologized for this in the end of 20th century more
than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo. “After
350 years, Vatican Says Galileo Was Right” read the Newspaper Headline of
New York Times, 31st October, 1992.
3. Stages of ‘Homonoids’
Science tells us today that there were four ‘Homonoids’ - first is ‘Lucy’ then
next came the ‘Homosapians’, who died about five hundred thousand years
ago. Then came the ‘Neanderthal Man’, who died hundred to forty thousand
years ago. Then came the fourth stage, the ‘Cro-magnon’. ‘There is no link at
all between these stages’ - According to P. P. Grasse (in 1971) who held the
Chair of Evolutionary Studies in Paris, in Sorbonne University. He also said, “It
is absurd, we cannot say who were our ancestors based on fossils.”
4. How did the First Cell come about?
Darwin never mentioned the origin of life in his book. In his time, it was
believed that bacteria came about from inanimate matter. Spontaneous
generation was widely embraced since medieval times because they had a
primitive understanding of science: that maggots emerged from meat, mice
from wheat, and insects from leftover food.
Five years after the publication of Darwin’s book, Louis Pasteur’s
groundbreaking findings shattered this very cornerstone of evolution. He
designed an experiment to test whether sterile nutrient broth could
spontaneously generate microbial life, and this experiment refuted the notion
of spontaneous generation. Evolutionists refused to accept his findings for a
long time. Pasteur said, ‘Never will the doctrine of spontaneous
generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple
How, then, did the ‘first cell’ originate? Scientific progress has revealed how
complex the structure of a cell is, and that it could not have evolved
coincidentally. The theory of evolution is confronted with this insurmountable
obstacle at the first step, exposing the collapse of Darwinism at its very roots.
5. Mutation as an Evolutionary Mechanism?
Mutations are replacements in the DNA molecule, owing to external factors
like radiation or chemical action. Evolutionists seeking refuge in mutation
make it appear like a magic wand transforming organisms into superior
beings. For decades, evolutionists have sweated over the creation of a
single useful mutation, but without success.
The only instance evolutionary biologists present for beneficial mutation is
sickle-cell anemia, which greatly reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the
blood; so people with sickle-cell anemia suffer increasing respiratory problems.
Sickle cell disease gives the carrier partial immunity against malaria.
Darwinists claim that this protection by those with this illness is a 'gift of
evolution'. Using the same logic, one could say that since people born with
genetic leg paralysis are unable to walk, hence saved from traffic accidents,
paralysis is a 'useful genetic feature'. This is absurd and unfounded.
The direct effects of mutation are obviously disastrous: the death and
disability endured by the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl;
ailments like Down’s syndrome, mongolism, dwarfism and cancer; damage,
infirmities, and freaks of nature. Needless to say, a process that leaves
organisms crippled and impaired cannot be an ‘evolutionary mechanism’.
Pierre-Paul Grassé, former president for the French Academy of Sciences
compared mutations to ‘making mistakes in the letters when copying
written text.’ Can letter mistakes give rise to useful information, instead of
simply damaging the information that already exists? Grassé adds, 'No
matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any
kind of evolution.'
6. The Pleiotropic Effect
The most substantial proof that mutations lead only to damage and disarray is
the process of genetic coding: nearly all of the genes in a fully developed
organism control more than one genetic feature, for example, height and eye
color. This means that any coincidental change in any gene will not be
restricted to one organ, but it will exhibit more of its destructive impact
elsewhere too. Even if one of these impacts does miraculously turn out to be
beneficial, the effects of the other damage will outweigh it by far. Thus,
mutation leading to evolution is an established impossibility.
7. Natural selection doesn’t change Species
One of the key components of the evolution theory is natural selection, or the
‘survival of the fittest’. For example, in a herd of deer under threat from
predators, the ones that can run the fastest will survive. Consequently, the
surviving deer will only comprise the fast runners. We do not deny the
presence of natural selection. However, no matter how long this
process goes on for, it will never transform the deer into another
The senior paleontologist Collin Patterson states, 'No one has ever
produced a species by the mechanism of natural selection. No one
has ever gotten near it, and most of the current argument in neo-
Darwinism is about this question.'
8. Inadequacy of the Fossil record
One of the clearest evidences pointing against the evolution theory is the plain
truth presented in the fossil record. According to the theory, every living
species sprung from its predecessor, over millions of years; so the existence of
intermediary species like half-fish/half-reptiles is critical. Why then, is there no
trace whatsoever of these imaginary creatures in the fossil record?
Evolutionists world over have toiled hard to uncover these 'transitional forms',
only to have their hopes shattered: all the fossils unearthed show, that
life appeared all at once and fully formed.
But the drowning man clutches at straws. Some 140 years ago, Darwin argued
that the fossil record was inadequate, and further research would reveal the
required fossils. Is this argument valid today? The sheer wealth of the fossil
record will surely answer this question. Billions of fossils have been excavated
all over the planet, bearing striking similarity to today's species, and not a
single transitory form has been found, contrary to Darwin's assumptions, and
the assumptions of his followers.
The scientific discoveries of the past two decades have sent shockwaves
among the campaigners of Darwinism. One of them, Jerry Coyne, remarks,
'My own reaction resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at
the age of six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the
presents on Christmas Eve.'
9. Probability of a Coincidental Origin
In a desperate attempt to override the very powerful argument that life could
never arise by chance, Richard Dawkins said, “If the odds of life originating
spontaneously on a planet were a billion to one against …” A billion to one is
only 1 in 109. But the probability of the formation of only one protein
molecule is "1 in 10300! The probability of this "1" actually occurring is
practically nil. In practice, probabilities smaller than 1 over 1050 are thought of
as "zero probability". Even if the whole universe was packed with amino acids
combining frantically for billions of years, it would not produce even one such
protein molecule let alone produce a living cell.
10. More than a Hundred Scientists have spoken against Darwin’s Theory
There is a list of more than a hundred scientists and Noble Prize winners who
have spoken against Darwin’s Theory. Albert Szent-Gyorgi who got the Noble
prize for inventing the Vitamin ‘C’ wrote the book, ‘The Crazy Ape’, against
Darwin’s Theory. Sir Fred Hoyle wrote against Darwin’s Theory. Commenting
on ‘Coincidental Origin’ he said, “The chance that higher life forms might have
emerged in this way (time and chance) is comparable with the chance that ‘a
Tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the
materials therein.’” Sir Frank Salisbury who was an American Plant Physiologist
said, “It is illogical to believe in Darwin’s theory.”
In the field of Molecular Biology, according to Nancy Craig who is an authority
in this field said, “It is unimaginable and the probability of one DNA forming
from an Ape to Human being, is Zero.”
11. Darwin’s Theory – A Media Propaganda
Today Darwin’s Theory is taught in the schools - Why? because Media is in
their hands. Otherwise there is no proof at all. There are certain proofs at
lower level that an Amoeba can change to Paramecia. Qur’an does not say,
‘Amoeba cannot change to Paramecia’. It is not against the Qur’an.
Those who believe in the theory of evolution are deluded by the bigoted and
short-sighted notion that a few atoms accidently thrown together into a huge
vat could produce intellectuals like Galileo and Newton, artists such as Da
Vinci and Picasso, as well as antelopes, lemon trees and carnations. Darwinism
is thus, arguably the most potent spell in history. Never before has a dogma
so ensnared people's powers of reason, barred them from thinking rationally,
and compelled them to reject the truth while in plain sight.
13. Modern science, evidently, is one of the staunchest critics of
Darwinist ideology, and the most ardent advocate of monotheism. There
are hundreds of Scientists who speak against that and the Qur’an speaks
against that as well. Qur’an says that the first man was Adam (Peace be upon
him). In sha Allah the scientists may discover it 100 years afterwards, or may
be a 1000 years afterwards but so far it is not conflicting with established
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Fussilat, Chapter 41, Verse 53,
“Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth),
and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the
4. DOES ISLAM PROMOTE VIOLENCE?
Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since the Qur’an says
that Muslims should kill the Kaafirs wherever they find them?
A few selected Verses from the Qur’an are often misquoted to prove that
Islam promotes violence, and exhorts its followers to kill those outside the fold
1. Verse from Surah Al Tawbah
The following Verse from Surah Al Tawbah is very often quoted by the critics
of Islam, to show that Islam promotes violence, bloodshed and brutality:
“Kill the ‘mushrikeen’ (pagans, Kaafirs) wherever you find them.”
2. Context of Verse is during battlefield
Critics of Islam actually quote this Verse out of context. In order to understand
the context, we need to read from Verse 1 of this Surah. It says that there
was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the ‘Mushriks’ (pagans) of
Makkah. This treaty was unilaterally broken and violated by the ‘Mushriks’ of
Makkah. A period of four months was given to the ‘Mushriks’ of Makkah to put
things straight, else there would be declaration of war. Verse 5 of Surah Al
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans
wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for
them in every stratagem (of war); But if they repent, and establish regular
prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: For Allah is
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This Verse is quoted during a battle.
3. Example of war between America and Vietnam
We know that America and Vietnam were once at war. Suppose the President
of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers
during the war: “Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them.” Today if I say
that the American President said, “Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them”
without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote
him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he
was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war.
4. Verse 9:5 quoted to boost the morale of Muslims during battle
Similarly in Surah Al Tawbah Chapter 9 Verse 5 the Qur’an, says, “Kill the
Mushriks wherever you find them,” during a battle to boost the morale of the
Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid
during battle; wherever you find the enemy kill him.
5. Arun Shourie jumps from Verse 5 to Verse 7
Arun Shourie is one of the staunchest critics of Islam in India. He quotes the
same Verse, Surah Al Tawbah Chapter 9 Verse 5 in his book ‘The World of
Fatwas’, on Page 572. After quoting Verse 5 he jumps to Verse 7 of Surah Al
Tawbah. Any sensible person will realise that he has skipped Verse 6.
6. Surah Al Tawbah Chapter 9 Verse 6 gives the answer
Surah Al Tawbah Chapter 9 Verse 6 gives the answer to the allegation that
Islam promotes violence, brutality and bloodshed. It says:
“If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he
may hear the word of Allah, and then escort him to where he can be secure
that is because they are men without knowledge.”
The Qur’an not only says that a ‘Mushrik’ seeking asylum during the battle
should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a place of
security. In the present international scenario, even the most kind, peaceloving
Army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if
they want peace. But which Army General will ever tell his soldiers, that if the
enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but
also escort them to a place of security?
This is exactly what Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an to promote peace
in the world.
5. QUR’AN USES ‘WE’ FOR ALLAH
Does Islam believe in several Gods because the Qur’an uses the word ‘We’
when God speaks in the Qur’an?
Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion. It believes in and adheres to
uncompromising monotheism. It believes that God is one, and unique in His
attributes. In the Qur’an, God often refers to Himself using the word ‘We’. But
this does not mean that Islam believes in the existence of more than one God.
Two types of plural
In several languages, there are two types of plurals, one is a plural of
numbers to refer to something that is more than one. The other plural is a
plural of respect.
a. In the English language, the Queen of England refers to herself as ‘We’
instead of ‘I’. This is known as the ‘royal plural’.
b. Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India used to say in Hindi
‘Hum dekhna chahte hain’. ‘Hum’ means ‘We’ which is again a royal plural
c. Similarly in Arabic, when Allah refers to Himself in the Qur’an, many a
time He uses ‘Nahnu’ meaning ‘We’. It does not indicate plural of
numbers but plural of respect.
‘Tawheed’ or monotheism is one of the pillars of Islam. The existence and
uniqueness of one and only one God is mentioned several times in the Qur’an.
For instance in Surah Al Ikhlaas, it says:
“Say He is Allah the one and only.”
If God is responsible for our destiny then why should we be held responsible
for the evil acts and sins we commit?
As far as the question on ‘Qadr’ i.e. Destiny is concerned, it’s a common
question asked by Muslims as well as non-Muslims and it’s difficult to
1. Belief in ‘Qadr’ is an article of Faith
It is mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. 1, The Book of Faith, Hadith No. 93:
When Jibraeel asked Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about Faith, the Prophet
(pbuh) said, “Faith is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His
Messengers, The Day of Judgement and Al Qadr (Destiny).”
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an, in Surah Al Qamar, Chapter 54, Verse 49
“Indeed, all things We created with predestination.”
[Al Qur’an 54:49]
And the Prophet (pbuh) said in a Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. 7, The Book of
Al Qadr, Hadith No. 6748:
“Allaah decided the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created
the heavens and the earth.”
Which means that Allah (swt) already had the knowledge of the future,
knowledge of the Unseen i.e. ‘Ilm Al Ghayb’, fifty thousand years before the
creation of the Heavens and the Earth.
2. Allah is not to be blamed for the wrong actions we do
I’d like to give an example, for people to know that Allah (swt) has ‘Ilm Al
Ghayb’ - knowledge of the Unseen, He has the knowledge of the future.
In a class room there is a teacher, who teaches the student. After one year
has passed before the examinations, the teacher predicts that child ‘A’ will
come first class first. Child ‘B’ will get a second class. Child ‘C’ will fail. And
once the examination takes place and when the results are out. Student ‘A’
gets a first class first. Student ‘B’ gets a second class. Student ‘C’ fails. Now
the question I would like to ask is that just because the teacher predicted that
the student ‘C’ would fail can the student ‘C’ blame the teacher saying that
because the teacher predicted that I will fail, I have failed. But natural the
answer is No. The teacher predicted the student ‘A’ will get a first class first
because the teacher knew that the student was studious and was intelligent.
Student ‘B’ was an average student. Student ‘C’ used to play hooky, used to
bunk school, never used to study, never used to do the homework. So based
on that the teacher predicted that student ‘C’ would fail. But student ‘C’ cannot
blame the teacher; because the teacher predicted I would fail therefore I’ve
failed. The student himself is responsible.
3. It is not what Allah has written we do but what we will do Allah has
Similarly Allah (swt) has ‘Ilm Al Ghayb’ of what choices we will make or what
actions we will do. For example, when a human being comes at a crossroad,
there are five roads from which he can choose, Road one, two, three, four,
five. He has the free will to choose any. He chooses Road three and that’s
already mentioned in the Destiny that he will choose road three. It is not
because Allah has mentioned he will choose Road three, that he has chosen
road three, it is because he will be choosing road three Allah (swt) writes it in
advance because He has ‘Ilm Al Ghayb’. Like how the teacher predicts in
advance, so Allah knows this person has a choice to choose any of the roads
from the five roads available but he chooses Road three. So Allah knows in
advance he will be choosing Road three therefore He mentions in the Qadr, in
the Destiny that he’ll be choosing Road three.
Now once he goes to road three after some time he comes on another
crossroad, one, two, three, he chooses Road three. Now because he will be
choosing Road three Allah knows in advance, he has ‘Ilm Al Ghayb’, so He has
mentioned that after some time he’ll come at another crossroad and this
particular person will choose again Road three. It is not because Allah has
mentioned in Qadr that he’s choosing Road three. It is because he has chosen
Road three Allah has written in advance because He has ‘Ilm Al Ghayb’.
4. Allah has given us the freewill to choose between good and evil.
Same way a person if he wants to earn his livelihood, he has both choices,
either he can strive hard, work hard and do a honest job and earn that money
or he can rob or he can steal, the choice is his.
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Al Balad, Chapter 90 Verse 10
“And have shown him the two ways (the good and the evil)”
[Al Qur’an 90:10]
If suppose a person prefers to steal, now Allah knows in advance that at the
age of 25 years he has an option of working hard, earn a honest living or
stealing. But this person steals. So Allah knows in advance he will be stealing
therefore Allah has written in his Qadr he’ll steal. It is not because Allah has
written he has stolen. It is because he will be stealing Allah has written in
During the Caliphate of the Second Caliph of Islam Umar (ra), a thief was
brought to the court of law to carry out the Hadd punishment on him for
stealing. The thief argued with Umar (ra) saying that, “O Umar (ra) if Allah
had already written in my destiny that I would steal, why should I be blamed
and receive the punishment for it. In response Umar (ra) said, “Yes, it was
written in your destiny that you would steal and also be convicted and
punished for it.”
So similarly if a person commits murder, it’s his choice. He can either commit
a murder or not commit it, the choice is his. If he commits a murder, who is to
be blamed? He is to be blamed. So here we realize that Allah has ‘Ilm Al
Ghayb’ and He has written our destiny even before we were born.
5. Dua’ can change your Destiny
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Nothing can change the Qadr except Dua’.”
(Silsilah Al Saheehah, Hadith No. 145)
If a student appears for an examination and does not perform well, he knows
that he is going to fail. He comes home and prays to Allah (swt) that he
should pass. Allah accepts his prayer and passes him.
Initially in the Qadr it was written that he would not perform well in the
examination and that he would fail, but Allah (swt) also knew in advance that
he would later pray and ask Allah for help. It was also mentioned in the Qadr
that Allah (swt) would accept his prayer and pass him in the examination.
7. THE THEORY OF ABROGATION
Muslims believe in the theory of abrogation, i.e. they believe that certain
earlier Verses of the Qur’an were abrogated by Verses revealed later. Does
this imply that God made a mistake and later on corrected it? Don’t these two
Verses of the Qur’an contradict each other?
1. Two different interpretations
The Glorious Qur’an says in the following Verse:
“Whatever of our revelations do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but we
substitute something better or similar: knowest thou not that Allah hath power
over all things?”
A reference to this is also made in Chapter 16 Verse 101 of Surah Al Nahl. The
Arabic word mentioned is ‘Aayaat’ which means ‘Signs’ and which can also
mean ‘revelation’. This Verse of the Qur’an can be interpreted in two different
a. The revelations that are abrogated are those revelations that were
revealed before the Qur’an, for example the Torah, the Zaboor and the
Here Allah (swt) says that He does not cause the previous revelations to
be forgotten but He substitutes them with something better or similar,
indicating that the Torah, the Zaboor and the Injeel were substituted by
b. If we consider that the Arabic word ‘Aayaat’ in the above Verse refers to
the Verses of the Qur’an, and not previous revelations, then it indicates
that none of the Verses of the Qur’an are abrogated by Allah but
substituted with something better or similar. This means that certain
Verses of the Qur’an that were revealed earlier were substituted by
Verses that were revealed later. I agree with both the interpretations.
Many Muslims and non-Muslims misunderstand the second interpretation
to mean that some of the earlier Verses of the Qur’an were abrogated
and no longer hold true for us today, as they have been replaced by the
later Verses of the Qur’an i.e. ‘Naasikh’ or the abrogating Verses. This
group of people even wrongly believes that both these Verses the
‘Mansookh’ and the ‘Naasikh’ contradict each other.
Let us analyze a few such examples.
2. Produce a Recital like the Qur’an / 10 Surahs / 1 Surah:
Some pagan Arabs alleged that the Qur’an was forged by Prophet Muhammad
Allah (swt) challenged these Arabs in the following Verse of Surah Al-Israa:
“Say: if the whole of Mankind and Jinns were together to produce the like of
this Qur’an they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up
each other with help and support.”
Later the challenge was made easy in the following Verse of Surah Hood:
“Or they may say, ‘He forged it.’ Say, ‘Bring ye then ten Surahs forged, like
unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsover ye can, other than Allah, if ye speak
It was made easier in the following Verse of Surah Yunus:
“Or do they say, ‘He forged it’? Say: ‘Bring then a Surah like unto it, and call
(to your aid) anyone you can, besides Allah, if it be that ye speak the truth!’ ”
Finally in Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (swt) further eased the challenge:
“And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our
servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or
helpers (if there are any) besides Allah if your (doubts) are true.
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.”
Thus Allah (swt) made the challenges progressively easier. The Verses of the
Qur’an first challenged the pagans to produce a book like the Qur’an, then
challenged them to produce ten Surahs (Chapters) like those in the Qur’an,
then one Surah and finally it challenges them to produce one Surah somewhat
similar (mim mislihi) to the Qur’anic Surahs. This does not mean that the later
Verses that were revealed i.e. of Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verses 23 and
24 contradict the earlier three Verses. Contradiction implies mentioning two
things that cannot be possible simultaneously, or cannot take place
The earlier Verses of the Qur’an i.e. the abrogated Verses are still the word of
God and the information contained in it, is yet true to this day. For instance,
the challenge to produce a recital like the Qur’an stands to this day. Similarly
the challenge to produce ten Surahs and one Surah exactly like the Qur’an
also holds true and the last challenge of producing one surah somewhat
similar to the Qur’an does not contradict the earlier challenges, but this is the
easiest of all the challenges posed by the Qur’an. If the last challenge cannot
be fulfilled, the question of anyone fulfilling the other three more difficult
challenges does not arise.
Suppose I say about a person that he is so dumb, that he would not be able
to pass the 10th standard in school. Later I say that he would not be able to
pass the 5th standard, and further say that he would not be able to pass even
the 1st standard. Finally I say that he is so dull that he would not even be able
to pass K.G. i.e. kindergarten. One has to pass kindergarten before one can be
admitted to school. My four statements do not contradict each other, but my
last statement or challenge i.e. the person would not be able to pass the
kindergarten is sufficient to indicate the intelligence of that person. If a person
cannot even pass kindergarten, the question of him passing the first standard
or 5th or 10th, does not arise.
3. Gradual prohibition of intoxicants
Another example of such Verses is related to the gradual prohibition of
intoxicants. The first revelation of the Qur’an to deal with intoxicants was the
following Verse from Surah Al Baqarah:
“They ask thee concerning wine and gambling say: ‘in them is great sin,
and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit’…”
The next Verse to be revealed regarding intoxicants is the following Verse
from Surah Al Nisaa’:
“O ye who believe approach not prayer with a mind befogged, until ye can
understand all that ye say…”
The last Verse to be revealed regarding intoxicants was the following Verse
from Surah Al-Maa’idah:
“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (Dedication of) stones, and
(divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork; eschew such
(abomination), that ye may prosper.”
The Qur’an was revealed over a period of 23 years. Many reforms that were
brought about in the society were gradual so that the people could adapt and
follow it. It wouldn’t have been easy, had it been instructed all at once.
The prohibition of intoxicants was revealed in three stages. The first revelation
only mentioned that in the intoxicants there is great sin and some profit but
the sin is greater than the profit. The next revelation prohibited praying in an
intoxicated state, indicating that one should not consume intoxicants during
the day, since a Muslim has to pray five times a day. This Verse does not state
that when one is not praying at night one is allowed to consume intoxicants. It
means one may have or one may not have. The Qur’an does not comment on
it. If this Verse had mentioned that one is allowed to have intoxicants while
not praying then there would have been a contradiction. Allah (swt) chose
words appropriately. Finally the total prohibition of intoxicants at all times was
revealed in Verse 90 of Surah Al Maa’idah (Chapter 5).
This clearly indicates that the three Verses do not contradict each other. Had
they been contradicting, it would not have been possible to follow all the three
Verses simultaneously. Since a Muslim is expected to follow each and every
Verse of the Qur’an, only by following the last Verse i.e. of Surah Al Maa’idah
(5:90), he simultaneously agrees and follows the previous two Verses.
Suppose I say that I do not live in Los Angeles. Later I say that I do not live in
California. Finally I say, I do not live in the United States of America. This does
not imply that these three statements contradict each other. Each statement
gives more information than the previous statement. The third statement
includes the information contained in the first two statements. Thus, only by
saying that I do not live in the United States of America, it is obvious, that I
also do not live in California or Los Angeles. Similarly since consuming alcohol
is totally prohibited, it is obvious that praying in an intoxicated state is also
prohibited and the information that in intoxicants is “great sin and some profit
for men; but the sin is greater than profit” also holds true.
Thus, the Theory of Abrogation doesn’t mean that God made a mistake and
later corrected it but God revealed the Prohibition in stages so that it would be
easier for the human beings to implement it. Even the challenges for the
human beings were revealed in stages to make the challenges easier.
Allah says in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah Taa Haa, Chapter 20, Verse 52
“…My Lord never errs, nor forgets.”
[Al Qur’an 20:52]
8. MEANING OF ALIF LAAM MEEM
Why do certain Surahs in the Qur’an begin with ‘Alif Laam Meem’, ‘Haa Meem’,
‘Yaa Seen’ and what is the significance of such terms or phrases?
1. Abbreviated Letters
Alif Laam Meem, Yaa Seen, Haa Meem, etc. are known as Al-Muqatt’aat i.e.
the abbreviated letters. There are 29 letters in the Arabic Alphabet (if hamza
and alif are considered as two letters) and there are 29 Surahs i.e. Chapters in
the Glorious Qur’an that have the abbreviated letters prefixed to them. These
abbreviated letters sometimes occur alone, sometimes in a combination of two
letters and sometimes in a combination of three, four or five letters.
a. Three Surahs are prefixed with only one letter:
(i) Surah Saad Chapter 38 with Saad
(ii) Surah Qaaf Chapter 50 with Qaaf
(iii) Surah Noon or Al Qalam Chapter 68 with Noon
b. The combination of two letters occurs in ten Surahs:
Three of them occur only once each:
(i) Surah Taa Haa Chapter 20 has Taa Haa
(ii) Surah Al Naml Chapter 27 has Taa Seen
(iii) Surah Yaa Seen Chapter 36 has Yaa Seen
Haa Meem occurs in seven consecutive Surahs from Surah 40 to Surah 46:
(i) Surah Ghaafir or Al-Mu’min Chapter 40
(ii) Surah Fussilat or Haa Meem Chapter 41
(iii) Surah Al Shooraa Chapter 42
(iv) Surah Al Zukhruf Chapter 43
(v) Surah Al Dukhaan Chapter 44
(vi) Surah Al Jaathiyah Chapter 45
(vii) Surah Al Ahqaaf Chapter 46
c. There are three combinations of three letters each occurring in 13 Surahs.
Alif Laam Meem occurs in six Surahs
(i) Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2
(ii) Surah Aali ‘Imran Chapter 3
(iii) Surah Al ‘Ankaboot Chapter 29
(iv) Surah Al Room Chapter 30
(v) Surah Luqmaan Chapter 31
(vi) Surah Al Sajdah Chapter 32
Alif Laam Raa occurs in five Surahs from Surah 10 to Surah 15 except Surah 13:
(i) Surah Yoonus Chapter 10
(ii) Surah Hood Chapter 11
(iii) Surah Yoosuf Chapter 12
(iv) Surah Ibraaheem Chapter 14
(v) Surah Al Hijr Chapter 15
Taa Seen Meem occurs in two Surahs:
(i) Surah Al-Shu’araa Chapter 26
(ii) Surah Al-Qasas Chapter 28
d. Combination of four letters occurs twice:
(i) Surah Al A’raaf Chapter 7: Alif Laam Meem Saad
(ii) Surah Al Raa’d Chapter 13: Alif Laam Meem Raa
e. Combination of five letters occurs twice:
(i) Surah Maryam Chapter 19 begins with Kaaf Haa Yaa ‘Ayn Saad
(ii) Surah Al-Shooraa Chapter 42 begins with Haa Meem ‘Ayn Seen Qaaf
Surah Al-Shooraa Chapter 42 has a double combination of abbreviated letters,
one set of two letters followed by one set of three letters.
2. Meanings of these abbreviated letters
The meaning and purpose of these letters is uncertain. There have been a
variety of explanations offered by Muslim scholars through the ages. A few
among them are:
i. These letters might be abbreviations for certain sentences and words for
instance, Alif Laam Meem means ‘Ana-Allahu-a’Lam’ or Noon meaning Noor
ii. These letters are not abbreviations but symbols and names of Allah or
iii. These letters were used for rhyming.
iv. These letters have some numerical significance as the semitic letters also have
v. These letters were used to attract the attention of the Prophet (and later his
Several volumes have been written on the significance of these abbreviations.
3. Best explanation of abbreviated letters
Of all the explanations given by various scholars, the one which is authentic
and also supported by Tafsir of Ibn Katheer, Zamakshari and Ibn Taiymiyyah
(ra) is the following:
The human body, clay and dust are composed of the same fundamental
elements. Yet it would be absurd to say that a human being is exactly the
same as the dust.
We can all go to the market and purchase or have access to the elements that
are found in the human body, and add a few gallons of water. This is the
constitution of the human body. We know the elements in the human body
and yet we cannot understand the secret of life.
Similarly the Qur’an addresses those people who reject its Divine authority. It
tells them that this Qur’an, is in your own language, and composed of the
same letter over which the Arabs took pride.
The Arabs were very proud of their language and Arabic was at its peak when
the Qur’an was revealed. With the letters Alif Laam Meem, Yaa Seen, Haa-
Meem, etc., (in Engllish we would say A, B, C, D) the Qur’an challenges
mankind to produce a Surah at least somewhat similar to the Qur’an in beauty
and eloquence, if they doubt its authenticity.
Initially, the Qur’an challenges all the men and jinn to produce a recital like
the Qur’an and adds that they would not be able to do it even if they back
each other. This challenge is mentioned in Surah Al Israa’ Chapter 17 Verse 88
and in Surah Al Toor Chapter 52 Verse 34.
Later the Qur’an repeats the challenge in Surah Hood Chapter 11 Verse 13 by
saying produce ten Surahs like it and later in Surah Yunus Chapter 10 Verse
38 produce one Surah like it and finally the easiest challenge is given in Surah
Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verses 23 and 24.
“And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our
servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or
helpers (if there are any) besides Allah if your doubts are true.
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.”
To compare the skill of two artisans, they must be given samples of the same
raw material and their performance is evaluated in performing the same task.
If they are tailors they must be provided with the same fabrics. The raw
materials of the Arabic language are these letters Alif Laam Meem, Yaa Seen
(in English it is A, B, C, D, etc.) The miraculous nature of the language of the
Qur’an does not lie only in the fact that it is the Word of Allah, but also in the
fact that although made up of the same letters in which the pagan Arabs took
pride, it has not been rivalled.
The Arabs are noted for their rhetoric ability, eloquence and meaningful
expression. Just as the constituents of the human body are known to us and
can be obtained by us, the letters comprising the Qur’an, such as Alif Laam
Meem are known to us, and used frequently to formulate words. Life cannot
be created by us, even if we possess knowledge of the constituents of the
human body. Similarly, we cannot produce the same eloquence and beauty of
expression that we find in the Qur’an, despite knowing the letters that
constitute the Qu’ran. The Qur’an thus proves its Divine origin.
4. Miraculous quality of the Qur’an mentioned immediately after these
Therefore immediately after these broken letters are mentioned in the Qur’an,
the following Verses speak about the miracle of the Qur’an, and its authority,
e.g. in Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verses 1-2:
“Alif Laam Meem. This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to
those who fear Allah.”
9. DOES THE QUR'AN SAY THAT THE EARTH IS FLAT?
The Qur’an says that Allah has made the earth for humans as a carpet, which
gives an indication that the earth is flat. Does this not contradict with the
1. Earth made as a carpet
The question refers to a Verse from the Qur’an in Surah Nooh:
“And Allah has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out).”
But the sentence in the above Verse is not complete. It continues in the next
Verse, explaining the previous Verse. It says:
“That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads.”
A similar message is repeated in Surah Taa Haa:
“He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled
you to go about therein by roads (and channels)...”
The surface of the earth i.e. the earth’s crust is less than 30 kms or 18 miles
in thickness and is very thin as compared to the radius of the earth, which is
about 6371 kms or 3959 miles. The deeper layers of the earth are very hot,
fluid and hostile to any form of life. The earth’s crust is a solidified shell on
which we can live. The Qur’an rightly refers to it like a carpet spread out, so
that we can travel along its roads and paths.
2. Carpet can also be spread on other than an absolute flat surface
Not a single Verse of the Qur’an says that the earth is flat. The Qur’an only
compares the earth’s crust with a carpet. Some people have a misconception
that carpet can only be put on an absolute flat surface. It is very possible to
spread a carpet on a large sphere such as the earth. It can easily be
demonstrated by taking a huge model of the earth’s globe covering it with a
Carpet is generally put on a surface, which is not very comfortable to walk
on. The Qur’an describes the earth’s crust as a carpet, without which human
beings would not be able to survive because of the hot, fluid and hostile
environment beneath it. The Qur’an is thus not only logical, it is mentioning a
scientific fact that was discovered by geologists centuries later.
3. Earth has been spread out
Similarly, the Qur’an says in several Verses that the earth has been spread
“And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: how excellently We do
Similarly the Qur’an also mentions in several other Verses that the earth is an
“Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse”
“And the mountains as pegs?”
None of these Verses of the Qur’an contain even the slightest implication
that the earth is flat. It only indicates that the earth is spacious and the
reason for this spaciousness of the earth is mentioned. The Glorious Qur’an
“O My servants who believe! Truly, spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye
Me – (And Me alone)!”
Therefore none can give the excuse, that he could not do good and was
forced to do evil because of the surroundings and circumstances.
4. Earth is Geospherical in Shape
The Qur’an mentions the actual shape of the earth in the following Verse:
“And we have made the earth egg shaped.”
The Arabic word ‘Dahaha’ means egg-shaped. It also means an expanse.
‘Dahaha’ is derived from Duhiya, which specifically refers to the egg of an
ostrich, which is geospherical in shape, exactly like the shape of the earth.
Thus the Qur’an and modern established science are in perfect harmony.
10. DOES ONLY ALLAH KNOW THE SEX OF THE CHILD IN
THE MOTHER’S WOMB?
The Qur’an says that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb of the
mother but now science has advanced and we can easily determine the sex of
the child in the womb by Ultrasonography. Isn’t this Verse of the Qur’an
conflicting with Science?
1. Allah has knowledge of all things
Many people believe that the Qur’an claims that Allah alone knows the sex of
the child in the mother’s womb. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He who sends
down Rain, and He who knows what is in the wombs….”
A similar message is given in the following Verse:
“Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the
wombs fall short (of their time of number) or do exceed. Every single thing is
before His sight, in (due) proportion.”
2. Sex can be determined by Ultrasonography
Today science is advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in
the womb of a pregnant mother, using ultrasonography.
3. The word ‘sex’ is not mentioned in the Verse of the Qur’an
It is true that many translations and commentaries of this Verse of the
Glorious Qur’an say that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the mother’s
womb. If you read the Arabic text of this Verse, there is no Arabic word
corresponding to the English word ‘sex’. Infact the Qur’an says the knowledge
of what is in the womb is with Allah alone. Many commentators have
misunderstood it to mean only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb
which is a mistake.
4. No one besides Allah can determine the nature
This Verse does not refer to the sex of the child in the womb but it refers to
how the child in the mother’s womb will be. How will his nature be? Will he be
a blessing or a curse to his parents? Will he be a boon or a bane to the
society? Will he be good or evil? Will he go to heaven or hell? The complete
knowledge of all things is with Allah alone. No scientist in the world, no matter
how advanced his equipment, will ever be able to accurately determine the
knowledge of these things about the child in the mother’s womb.
11. IS THE HEART RESPONSIBLE FOR UNDERSTANDING?
The Qur’an says that Allah has put a seal on the hearts of the Kaafirs and they
will not believe. Science tells us today that the brain is responsible for
understanding and believing and not the heart. Isn’t this contradicting with
1. Allah has set a seal on the heart of the Kaafirs
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“As to those who reject Faith it is the same to them whether thou warn them
or do not warn them; they will not believe.
Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a
veil - Great is the penalty they incur.”
2. The word ‘Qalb’ in Arabic means heart as well as intelligence
The Arabic word ‘Qalb’ used in these Verses means the heart. It also means
intelligence. Thus the above Verses also mean that Allah has put a seal on the
intelligence of the Kaafirs (unbelievers) and they will not understand and
3. In the Arabic language heart is also used as a centre of
In the Arabic language the word ‘Qalb’ which means ‘heart’ is also used for
one’s centre of understanding.
4. Several words used in English language whose literal meaning is
Even in English language there are several words which are used to explain
something, though the literal meaning of these words are different. Consider
the following examples
a. Lunatic - struck by the moon
The word ‘lunatic’ literally means ‘struck by the moon’. Today people use
the word lunatic for a person who is insane or mentally unstable. People
very well know that a mad or a mentally unstable person is not struck by
the moon. Yet even a medical doctor uses this word. This is how a
language is developed.
b. Disaster – An evil star
The word ‘disaster’ literally means an evil star. Today the word disaster is
used for a great or sudden misfortune or calamity. We know very well
that a misfortune has nothing to do with an evil star.
c. Trivial – three roads meet
The word trivial literally means where three roads meet. Today the word
trivial is used for something of small nature or little importance. We know
very well that something of small value has nothing to do with where
three roads meet.
d. Sunrise and Sunset
Sunrise literally means rising of the sun. Today when the word sunrise is
used most of the people know that the earth is rotating and is moving in
relation to the sun. Most of us know that the sun does not rise during
sunrise. However even an astronomer uses the word sunrise. Similarly we
know that during sunset, the sun does not actually set.
5. In the English language heart is the centre of love and emotion
In the English language heart means an organ in the body which pumps
blood. The same word heart is also used for the centre of thought, love and
emotion. Today we know that brain is the centre of thought, love and
emotion. Yet while expressing emotions a person is likely to say ‘I love you
from the bottom of my heart’. Imagine a scientist telling his wife, ‘I love you
from the bottom of my heart’ and the wife replies, “Don’t you even know the
basics of science, that the brain is responsible for the emotions and not the
heart?” Infact you should say, “I love you from the bottom of my brain.”
6. Arabs know that heart is also used for centre of thought and
No Arab will ever ask the question as to why Allah has sealed the hearts of the
Kaafir because he knows that in this context it refers to the centre of thought,
understanding and emotions.
According to the Qur’an when a man enters Paradise, he will get ‘hoor’, i.e.
beautiful maidens. What will a woman have when she enters Paradise?
1. Hoor mentioned in the Qur’an
The word ‘hoor’ occurs in the Qur’an in no less than four different places:
(1) In Surah Al Dukhaan Chapter 44, Verse 54
“Moreover, We shall join them to companions with beautiful, big and lustrous
(2) In Surah Al-Toor Chapter 52 Verse 20
“...And We shall join them to companions, with beautiful, big and lustrous
(3) In Surah Al Rahmaan Chapter 55 Verse 72
“Companions restrained (as to their glances), in goodly pavilions.”
(4) In Surah Al-Waaqi’ah Chapter 56 Verse 22
“And (there will be) companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.”
2. Hoor Translated as Beautiful Maidens
Most translators of the Qur’an have translated the word ‘hoor’ as ‘beautiful
maidens’. If ‘hoor’ means ‘beautiful maidens’ or girls, then they are meant only
for the men. Hence, what will the women get if they enter Paradise?
3. Women will get something exceptional in Paradise
Most scholars say that in context, the word ‘Hoor’ used in the Qur’an refers
only to ladies since gents are addressed. A reply that would be accepted by all
types of people would rather be the answer given in the Hadith of Sahih Al
Bukhari, Vol. 4, The Book of Beginning of Creation, Chapter No. 8, Hadith No.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah said: I have prepared for My pious slaves
(whether man or woman) things which have neither been seen by an eye, nor
heard by an ear, nor (even) imagined by a human being. If you wish, you can
recite this verse from the Glorious Qur’an: ‘No person knows what is kept
hidden for them of joy’ (Surah Al Sajdah 32:17)”, indicating that even the
women will get something exceptional in Paradise.
13. ALLAH HAS SEALED THE HEART OF KAAFIRS
If Allah has sealed the hearts of the Kuffaar i.e. non-Muslims, then why are
they to be blamed for not accepting Islam?
1. Allah has sealed the hearts of those who are continuously bent
on rejecting the truth
Allah (swt) mentions in Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verses 6 and 7
“As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them
or do not warn them; they will not believe.
Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is
a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).”
These Verses do not refer to common Kuffaar who reject faith. The Arabic
words used are ‘Al-lazeena kafaroo’, those who are bent on rejecting the
truth. It will not make any difference to such people whether you warn them
or not, they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their
hearing and on their eyes is a veil. It is not because Allah has set a seal on
their hearts that these Kuffaar do not understand and believe, but it is the
viceversa. It is because these Kuffaar are bent on rejecting the truth and
whether you warn them or not they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on
their hearts. Therefore Allah is not to be blamed, but these Kuffaar who are
bent on rejecting the faith are responsible.
2. Example of teacher predicting a student will fail
Suppose an experienced teacher, before the final examinations, predicts that a
particular student will fail in the exams, since the student is very mischievous,
not attentive in class and does not do his homework. If after the student
appears for the examination, he fails, who is to be blamed for the student
failing: the teacher or the student? Just because the teacher predicted, it does
not mean that the teacher is to be blamed but the student himself is
responsible for his failure.
Similarly, Allah (swt) knows in advance that there are some people who are
bent on rejecting the faith and Allah has put a seal on their hearts. Thus these
Non-Muslims themselves are responsible for rejecting the faith and not Allah
14. HEAVENS AND EARTH CREATED IN SIX DAYS OR EIGHT
The Qur’an mentions in several places that the heavens and the earth were
created in 6 days but in Surah Fussilat it says that the heavens and the earth
were created in 8 days. Isn’t this a contradiction? The same Verse also says
that the earth was created in 6 days and then later on the heavens were
created in 2 days. This is against the Big Bang theory that the heavens and
the earth were created simultaneously. Doesn’t the Qur’an conflict with
1. Heavens and the Earth created in Six days
I do agree that the Qur’an says that the heavens and the earth were created
in 6 days i.e. 6 epochs and it is mentioned in several places including:
Surah Al A’raaf Chapter 7 Verse 54
Surah Yoonus Chapter 10 Verse 3
Surah Hood Chapter 11 Verse 7
Surah Al Furqaan Chapter 25 Verse 59
Surah Al Sajdah Chapter 32 Verse 4
Surah Qaaf Chapter 50 Verse 38
Surah Al Hadeed Chapter 57 Verse 4
The Verses of the Qur’an which according to you say that the heavens and the
earth were created in 8 days are Surah Fussilat Chapter 41 Verses 9 to 12:
“Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two days? And do ye
join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds;
He set on the (earth) mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed
blessings on the earth, and measured therein all things to give them
nourishment in due proportion, in four days, in accordance with (the needs of)
those who seek (sustenance).”
Moreover, He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as)
smoke. He said to it and to the earth. “Come ye together, willingly or
unwillingly. They said: “We do come (together), in willing obedience.”
So He completed them as seven firmaments in two days and He assigned to
each heaven its duty and command and We adorned the lower heaven with
lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the decree of (Him) the exalted in
might, full of knowledge.
On the face of it, it seems that these Verses of the Qur’an give the initial
impression that the heavens and the earth were created in 8 days.
Allah says in the beginning of this Verse that those who exploit this
information contained in this passage to raise doubts about its authenticity are
equally interested in promulgating blasphemy and denying His unity. Allah is
telling us that in course of time, there will emerge unbelievers who will make
use of this apparent contradiction.
2. ‘Summa’ means moreover
If you analyse these Verses carefully, it speaks about 2 different creations: the
earth and the heaven. The earth excluding the mountains was created in 2
days and the mountains were set on the earth standing firm and blessed and
measured its sustenance in 4 days. Therefore the earth along with the
mountains were created in 6 days according to Verse 9 and 10. Verse 11 and
12 say, moreover the heavens were created in 2 days. The Arabic word used
in the beginning of Verse 11 of Surah Fussilat is ‘summa’ which means; ‘then’,
‘moreover’ or ‘simultaneously’. There are certain Qur’anic translations, which
have used ‘then’ for the word ‘summa’ which, indicates ‘afterwards’. If ‘then’ is
wrongly used for ‘summa’ then the total of the creation of heaven and earth
will be 8 days which will conflict with other Verses of the Qur’an which say
heavens and the earth were created in 6 days and will also conflict with the
Big Bang Theory as well as the Verse of the Qur’an Surah Al Ambiya Chapter
21 Verse 30 which says that heavens and the earth were created
Qur’an mentions in Surah Al Ambiyaa’, Chapter No. 21, Verse No. 30
“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined
together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder?”
Therefore the correct translation of the word ‘summa’ in this Verse would be
‘moreover’. Abdullah Yusuf Ali has rightly translated the word ‘summa’ as
moreover which clearly gives an indication that while the earth along with the
mountains, etc. were created in 6 days, simultaneously the heavens were
created in 2 days. Therefore the total does not come to 8 days but 6 days.
If a builder says that he will construct a 10 storey building and surrounding
compound wall in 6 months and after completion of his project he gives a
more detailed account saying that the basement of the building was built in 2
months and the 10 storeys took 4 months. Simultaneously, while the
basement and the building was being constructed, he also constructed the
surrounding of the building along with the compound wall which took 2
months. Therefore both his first and second descriptions are not contradicting
but the second statement gives a more detailed account for the construction.
3. Heavens and the Earth created simultaneously
The Qur’an describes the creation of the universe in several places, sometimes
it says the heavens and the earth (7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59, 32:4, 50:38, 57:4)
while in other places it says earth and the heaven (49:9-12, 2:29, 20:4) thus
further supplementing the Verse of Surah Al Ambiya Chapter 21 Verse 30
which speaks about the Big Bang and that the heavens and the earth were
Similarly in Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 29
“It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover He
turned to the heaven and made them into seven firmaments. And of all things
He hath perfect knowledge.”
“It is who has created for you all things on the earth ‘summa’ (simultaneously)
made the heaven into seven firmaments.”
Here also if you wrongly translate ‘summa’ as ‘then’, only then would this
Verse contradict the Big Bang theory and other Verses of the Qur’an.
Therefore the correct translation of the word ‘summa’ is ‘moreover’ or
15. IS MAN CREATED FROM SPERM OR DUST?
At one place the Qur’an mentions that man is created from sperm and in
another place it mentions that man is created from dust. Doesn’t the Qur’an
1. Man created from sperm and dust
The Qur’an mentions that the human beings are created from sperm, in
several Verses including the following Verse from Surah Al-Qiyaamah, Chapter
No. 75, Verse No. 37:
“Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?”
The Qur’an also mentions in several places that humans were created from
dust. The following Verse makes a reference to the origin of humans:
“(Consider) that We created you out of dust.”
We now know that all the elements present in the human body, i.e. the
constituents of the human body are all present in the earth in small or great
quantities. Scientifically it gives weightage to the Qur’anic Verse that says that
man was created from dust.
In certain Verses, the Qur’an says that man was created from sperm, while in
other Verses it says that man was created from dust. However this is not a
contradiction. Contradiction means statements, which are opposite or
conflicting and cannot both be true simultaneously.
2. Man created from water
In certain places the Qur’an also says that man was created from water. For
instance in Surah Al-Furqaan it says:
“It is He Who has
Created man from water…”
Science has proved all the three statements to be correct. Man has been
created from sperm, dust as well as water.
3. It is a Contradistinction and not Contradiction
Suppose I say that in order to make a cup of tea one needs water. One also
needs tea leaves or tea powder. The two statements are not contradictory
since both water and tea leaves are required in order to make a cup of tea.
Furthermore if I want sweet tea I can even add sugar.
Thus, there is no contradiction in the Qur’an when it says that man is created
from sperm, dust and water. It is not a contradiction but a contradistinction.
Contradistinction means speaking about two different concepts on the same
subject without conflict. For instance, if I say that a man is always honest,
kind and loving, it is a contradistinction, but if I say that the man is always
truthful and a habitual liar then it is a contradiction.
16. ALLAH IS THE LORD OF TWO EASTS AND TWO WESTS
It is mentioned in one Verse of the Qur’an that Allah is the Lord of two Easts
and two Wests. How can you explain this Verse of the Qur’an scientifically?
1. Qur’an mentions Allah is the Lord of two Easts and two Wests
The Verse of the Qur’an which refers to Allah being the Lord of two easts
and two wests is the following Verse from Surah Al-Rahmaan:
“(He is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests”
In the original Arabic script, the words east and west have been used in the
dual form. It implies that Allah is the Lord of two easts and two wests.
2. Allah is the Lord of both the extremes of East and West
We learn in geography that the sun rises from the east, but the point of
sunrise keeps shifting throughout the year. Only on two days of the year
known as ‘equinox’, does the sun rise exactly from due east. On the
remaining days, it rises either from a little north or a little south of due east.
During summer solstice the sun rises from one extreme of the east and
during winter solstice it rises from the other extreme. Similarly, the sun sets
in one extreme of the west in summer solstice. It sets in the other extreme
of the west in winter solstice. This phenomenon can be easily seen in
Mumbai or any other city, by people living in certain areas, or in tall
skyscraper buildings, from where the rising or setting of sun can be seen.
They are able to notice that during the summer solstice the sun rises from
one extreme of east and during winter solstice it rises from the other
extreme of east. In short, through-out the year, the sun keeps rising from
different points of the east and sets on different points of the west. Thus
when the Qur’an refers to Allah as the Lord of two easts and two wests, it
means that Allah is the Lord of both the extremes of east and both the
extremes of west.
3. The Glorious Qur’an mentions ‘Mashriqaini’ i.e. two easts in Surah
Al Zukhruf Chapter 43, Verse 38:
“At length, when (such a one) comes to Us, he says (to his evil companion):
Would that between me and thee were the distance of east and west! Ah!
Evil is the companion (indeed)!
Most commentators have translated the Arabic words ‘Ba’dal Mashriqaini’ as
distance of east and west meaning poles apart for easy understanding. In
classical Arabic, if two opposites are referred, then one is referred in the dual
form. But the literal translation means distance between 2 easts i.e. the two
extreme points of east which similarly means poles apart.
4. Allah is the Lord of all the points of the East and West
Arabic language has two types of plurals. One is the dual plural i.e. the plural
that implies the existence of two. The other is the plural for more than two,
i.e. three and above. In Surah Al Rahmaan Verse 17 the Arabic words used
are ‘mashriqaini’ and ‘magribaini’ which are in dual plural and therefore imply
two easts and two wests.
Consider the following Verse of the Qur’an:
“Now I do call to witness the Lord of all points in the East and the West.”
The Arabic words for east and west used in this verse are ‘mashaariqi’ and
‘maghaaribi’ which are plurals that imply the existence of more than two.
We can thus conclude that the Qur’an refers to Allah being the Lord of all the
points in the east and all the points of the west, as well as the Lord of both
the extreme points of east and both the extreme points of west, as well as all
the points in between both the extremes.
17. ONE DAY IN THE SIGHT OF ALLAH IS 1,000 OR 50,000
A particular Verse of the Qur’an says that one day in the sight of Allah is equal
to 1000 years. In another Verse of the Qur’an it says that one day is equal to
50,000 years. Isn’t the Qur’an contradicting itself?
1. Time of Allah is incomparable to earthly time
The Qur’an says in two Verses, (22:47 and 32:5), that the measure of one day
in the sight of Allah is equal to 1,000 years of our reckoning. In another Verse
(70:4) it says that the measure of one day in the sight of Allah is equal to
50,000 years of our reckoning.
These Verses generally mean that the time of Allah (swt) is incomparable to
the earthly time. The examples given are of one thousand years and fifty
thousand years of the earthly time. In other words thousands of years or a
very, very long time of the earth is equal to a day in the sight of Allah:
2. ‘Yaum’ also means Period
The Arabic word used in all these three Verses is ‘yaum’, which, besides
meaning a day also means a long period, or an epoch. If you translate the
word yaum correctly as ‘period’ there will be no confusion.
a) The Verse from Surah Al Hajj reads as:
“Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His
promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your
When the unbelievers asked to hasten the punishment, the Qur’an says that
Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily a period in the sight of Allah is like a
thousand years of your reckoning.
b) The Verse from Surah Al-Sajdah says:
“He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs)
go up? To Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of
This Verse indicates that a period required for all the affairs to go up to Allah
(swt), is a thousand years of our reckoning.
c) A Verse from Surah Al-Maa’arij says:
“The angels and the spirit ascend unto Him in a Day the measure
whereof is (as) fifty thousand years”.
This Verse means that the period required for angels and the spirits to
ascend unto Allah (swt) is fifty thousand years.
d) The period for two different acts need not be the same. For example the
period required for me to travel from Mumbai to destination ‘A’ say
Panvel is one hour and the period required for me to travel to destination
‘B’ i.e. Srinagar is 50 hours. This does not indicate that I am making two
Thus the Verses of the Qur’an not only do not contradict each other, they
are also in perfect harmony with established modern scientific facts.
18. IBLEES - ANGEL OR JINN?
The Qur’an in several places says that Iblees was an angel, but in Surah Al
Kahf, it says that Iblees was a Jinn. Isn’t this a contradiction in the Qur’an?
1. Incidence of Iblees and Angel mentioned in the Qur’an
The story of Adam and Iblees is mentioned in the Qur’an in various places in
which Allah (swt) says,
“We said to the angels bow down to Adam: and they bowed down: not so
This is mentioned in:
Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 43
Surah Al-A’raaf Chapter 7 Verse 11
Surah Al-Hijr Chapter 15 Verses 28-31
Surah Al-Israa’ Chapter 17 Verse 61
Surah Taa Haa Chapter 20 Verse 116
Surah Saad Chapter 38 Verses 71-74
But in Surah Al-Kahf Chapter 18 Verse 50, the Qur’an says:
“Behold! We said to the angels, ‘Bow down to Adam.’ They bowed down
except Iblees, he was one of the Jinns…”
2. Arabic Rule of Taghleeb
The English translation of the first part of the Verse ‘We said to the angels
bow down to Adam: they bowed down except Iblees’, gives us the impression
that Iblees was an angel. The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. In Arabic
grammar there is a rule known as ‘Taghleeb’, according to which, if the
majority is addressed even the minority is included. If for example, I address
an audience of 100 people of whom 99 are doctors and one is an engineer,
and if I say in Arabic that all the doctors should stand up, it includes the
engineer as well. I need not mention him separately.
Similarly in the Qur’an, when Allah addressed the angels, even Iblees was
present, but it is not required that he be mentioned separately. Therefore
according to that sentence Iblees may be an angel or may not be an angel but
we come to know from Surah Al-Kahf Chapter 18 Verse 50 that Iblees was a
Jinn. Nowhere does the Qur’an say that Iblees was an angel. Therefore there
is no contradiction in the Qur’an.
3. Jinns have freewill and can disobey Allah
Secondly, Jinns have a freewill and may or may not obey Allah, but angels
have no freewill and always obey Allah. Therefore the question of an angel
disobeying Allah does not arise. This further supplements that Iblees was a
Jinn and not an angel.
19. AUTHOR OF THE QUR’AN DOES NOT KNOW
According to Arun Shourie there is a mathematical error in the Qur’an. In
Chapter 4 Verses 11 and 12 when you add up the different parts of
inheritance given to the heirs, it is more than one. Therefore the author of the
Qur’an does not know mathematics.
The Qur’an mentions about inheritance in many places, in:
Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 180
Surah Al Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 240
Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter 4 Verses 7 to 9
Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter 4 Verses 19 and 33
Surah Al Maa‘idah Chapter 5 Verses 105 and 108
Regarding the share of inheritance it is clearly given in Surah Al Nisaa’ Chapter
4 Verses 11, 12 and 176.
Let us examine these Verses quoted by Arun Shourie:
“Allah (swt) (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the
male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more,
their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half.
For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left
children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a
third; if the deceased left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The
distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know
not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These
are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
“In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if
they leave child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what
ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child,
they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts.”
Islam explains the law of inheritance in great detail. The broad and basic
outline is given in the Qur’an and the minute details are given in the Ahadith
i.e. the tradition and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh).
A person can spend his full life only on the research of the Islamic law of
inheritance with its various permutations and combinations. Arun Shourie
expects to know the law only by superficially reading two Verses of the Qur’an
without knowing the criteria.
It is similar to a person who wants to solve a mathematical equation but does
not know the basic rule of mathematics, i.e. BODMAS which says that in a
mathematical equation, irrespective of which mathematical sign appears first,
you will first solve BODMAS:
1st Brackets Off, 2nd Division, 3rd Multiplication, 4th Addition and 5th
Subtraction. If Arun Shourie does not know mathematics and first does
multiplication then subtraction, then brackets off, then division and finally
addition, the answer that he will obtain is bound to be wrong.
Similarly, when the Qur’an mentions the law of inheritance in Surah Al Nisaa’
Chapter 4 Verses 11 and 12, even though the children’s share is mentioned
first and then that of the parents and spouses, according to the law of
inheritance in Islam after paying off the debts and liabilities first, the share is
given to the spouses and the parents depending on whether the deceased has
left children or not, and whatever portion of wealth is remaining is divided
between the sons and the daughters according to their respective shares.
So where does the question arise of the total coming to more than one? So it
is not Allah who does not know mathematics but it is Arun Shourie himself
who is ignorant about mathematics.
20. IS ALLAH FORGIVING OR REVENGEFUL?
The Qur’an says several times that Allah is the Most Merciful and Forgiving but
also says many times that He gives severe punishment. Is He Forgiving or
1. Allah is Most Merciful
The Qur’an says several times that Allah is the Most Merciful. Infact all the 114
Surahs i.e. Chapters of the Glorious Qur’an except for Surah Al Tawbah,
(Chapter 9) begin with the beautiful formula,
which means, “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
2. Allah is Forgiving
The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several Verses including Surah Al Nisaa’,
Chapter 4 Verse 25 and Surah Al Maa’idah, Chapter 5 Verse 74:
“And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
3. Allah gives severe punishment to the deserving
Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving is also strict in giving punishment to
the deserving. The Qur’an mentions in several Verses that Allah will give
severe punishment to the unbelievers and rejecters of faith. He will give
punishment to all those who disobey Him. Several Verses of the Qur’an
describe the various types of severe punishments that Allah will give in hell to
all those who disobey.
“Those who reject our Signs, we shall soon cast into the Fire; as often as their
skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they
may taste the Penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.”
4. Allah is Just
The question is whether Allah is forgiving or revengeful. An important point to
be noted is that Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving, He also has to give
severe punishment to the deserving wicked or evil people, because He is also
Just. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al Nisaa’:
“Allah is never unjust in the least degree.”
It is further mentioned in Surah Al-Ambiyaa’:
“We shall set up scales of justice for the day of Judgement, so that not a soul
will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the
weight of a mustard seed, we will bring it (to account): and enough are we to
5. Example - Teacher forgives a student who copies in the examination
If during an examination, a student copies and the teacher who supervises in
the examination catches the student red-handed. The teacher out of mercy
and kindness, forgives him and allows him to continue copying. Those
students who have worked hard for the examination will not call the teacher
merciful and kind but will call him unjust. This merciful act of the teacher will
encourage the other students to also copy. If all the teachers are ‘merciful’
and ‘kind’ and allow the students to copy then no student will ever study for
examinations and all will pass with flying colours by copying. The theoretical
results of the examinations will be excellent in which all the students will pass
with first class and distinction but practically these students will be a failure in
life. The whole purpose of the examination would be defeated.
6. This Life is a Test for the Hereafter:
The life of this world is a test for the Hereafter. The Qur’an says in Surah Al
“He who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed;
and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.”
7. If Allah forgives all and punishes none, who will obey him?
If Allah (swt) forgives each and every human being and punishes no one, then
why should the human beings obey His commands. I do agree that no one will
go to hell, but this world would become hell to live in where most of the
people would be robbing, cheating, raping, killing etc. Furthermore if all
human beings are going to go to heaven then this life cannot be called a test
for the hereafter.
8. Allah only forgives if a person repents
Allah (swt) only forgives if a person repents. The Qur’an says in Surah Al-
Zumar, Chapter 39 Verses 53-55:
“Say: ‘O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not
of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most
“Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (will), before the penalty
comes on you - after that ye shall not be helped.”
“And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before
the penalty comes on you - of a sudden, while ye perceive not!’ ”
There are four criteria for repentance: first, agree that the act is wrong.
Secondly, stop it immediately. Thirdly, never do it again in the future and
lastly, compensate for the loss if caused to anyone.