Miracles of the Koran Debunked

Introduction

A Muslim colleague came back from his pilgrimage trip to Mecca, with a book, for me. A few months back, he had started to talk about the Koran, and I stopped him in his tracks and gave him the Hindu stance on religion: you can have whatever belief system or spiritual tradition you want, just don’t make a religion of it (i.e. when you start believing your way is the true way). Since religion is not based on science or reasoning, but a personal belief, there is no point in trying to impress your personal beliefs on me (or anyone for that matter).

So what does he do? He comes back with a book showing that the Koran does have science in it. He placed the book on my desk, said he bought it just for me, and insisted very much that I read it. He just refused to take the book off my desk and I was too polite not to trash the book in front of him. Puzzles me why people are so bent on wanting others believe in what they believe. It is almost a childish insecurity. That is, why should others have to choose to express their love for God or seeking Truth (including the principle of scientific inquiry), the same way you do?

So the book sat on my desk at the same spot for a week, and each time he’ll come and remind me. I was left with two options: either throw it in the trash or read it and write up my criticism. I opted for the later, it was a fairly thin book, a quick read. And here’s what I have to say. Hopefully this will serve as a warning to him and any other religious fundamentalists (i.e.. anyone who tries to pedal their personal beliefs on to others).

I found it to be one of the most ridiculous books I’ve come across. You have to be stupendously ignorant (or absolutely gullible, illiterate, or desperate) to buy into it. Unfortunately there are plenty of such people in this world, and it is these people that radical Muslims prey upon and celebrate with much jubilation for every person they succeed in convincing. I can really see how young children and the illiterate masses in the world can be so easily brainwashed by such propaganda material, thus believing that the Koran is everything and that there is nothing greater than the Koran.

One note before you read on: I firmly believe that everyone has the right to, and should criticize religion – any religion. That is any belief system that fundamentally believes “in my way or the highway”, i.e. who ridiculously consider their belief system as the one and only true belief system, i.e. as superior and the rest as inferior (and the only proof they can give is “because their God or “prophet” said so”). True spirituality sharpens one’s mind to ask critical questions on his own about the nature of universe, man, and his place in it. Anything which suppresses free thinking is not spirituality, but a religion (see Religion).

Note also that I really don’t care what mechanism Mohammad used for sourcing his knowledge (god, angels, monkeys, delusions, yoga, siddha, tantra, enlightenment, empiricism, plagiarism,…) nor what mechanism was used to create the Koran as it is today (the number of revisions, abrogations, etc…). Where relevant, I will also compare it not only with modern science, but with ancient Hindu texts.

Another “miracle” that the book brags about is that the Koran is unique in that no other book exists that can match its structure and encoding. Well again, there are Hindu texts far older than the Koran with amazingly intricate structure, and yet having the rich aesthetics of poetry steeped deep in Hindu philosophy (most importantly, not product of a single “prophet”, but a culmination of schools of thought and meditative insight from scores of different classes of yogis (rishis, siddhars, samanars, philosophers, etc). Whether it is through yogic perception, heightened state of awareness, state of “god consciousness”, being “one with god” (or indeed that “god” had literally “spoken” to them), people are free to interpret and superimpose what they may. Which accounts for the tremendous freedom of spiritual expression, diversity, symbolism, and spiritual traditions within Hindu culture.

Before I start, one of the greatest physicians of Islam had this to say about the Koran:

You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter.

By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: “Produce something like it”

– Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, 854CE–925CE

Now, Let the Debunking Begin…

The book is “A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam” (I’ll just refer to it as the book), by I. A. Ibrahim (Second Edition, Darussalam publications). It is also online, at www.islam-guide.com.

Here are the quotes from the Koran that were used in the book to illustrate the “Miracles in the Koran”.

Science of plate tectonics

The book claims proof that the Koran contains the science of plate tectonics based on these quotes in the Koran:

“Have we not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs?” (Qur’an, 78:6-7)

“And He has set firm mountains in the earth so that it would not shake with you…” (Qur’an, 16:15)

After quoting that, the book takes pages of material from a modern science text book to describe the science of plate tectonics and formation of mountains. And then it concludes, that therefore this is proof that the Koran contains the science of plate tectonics. Question: if you compare the Koran verses to the pages it cited from the modern science text book, ask yourself, which one is science? which is fanciful poetry?

Science of cosmology

The book claims proof that the Koran contains the science of cosmology based on these quotes in the Koran:

“Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke…” (Qur’an, 41:11)

“Have not those who disbelieved known that the heavens and the earth were one connected entity, then We separated them?…” (Qur’an, 21:30)

After quoting that, the book takes pages of material again from a modern science text book to describing the origins of the universe, throwing in a brief reference to “interstellar dust” (so as to lend credibility to the “smoke”). And then it concludes, that therefore this is proof that the Koran contains the science of cosmology. Question: if you compare the Koran verses to the pages it cited from the modern science text book, ask yourself, which one is science? which is fanciful poetry?

In contrast for example, Hindus have plenty of material (not just one or two lines of fanciful poetry) dating over 5000 years old on cosmology dealing in mind-boggling abstract levels (take a peek in Hindu Cosmology article). In fact, the concept of zero originated from the Hindu text brahmasphuta-siddhanta (“The Opening of the Universe”). The zero (and the decimal notation) was invented in order to represent calculations on scales that rival that of today’s modern cosmology.

Science of the workings of the brain

The book claims proof that the Koran contains the science of the workings of the brain based on these quotes in the Koran:

“No! If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying sinful naseyah (front of the head)!” (Qur’an, 96:15-16)

After quoting that, the book, takes pages of material again from a modern science text book to illustrate the mapping of the brain, with the prefrontal lobe circled (to lend credibility to the act of hitting a person on the forehead, that they knew about the prefrontal lobe). And then it concludes, that therefore this is proof that the Koran contains the science of the brain. Question: if you compare the Koran verses to the pages it cited from the modern science text book, ask yourself, which one is science? which is fanciful poetry?

Cavemen smacked themselves on the front of the head if they did anything stupid. Even Homer Simpson does that. Does that mean they were aware of the science of the brain?

Science of meteorology

The book claims proof that the Koran contains the science of meteorology based on these quotes in the Koran:

“Have you not seen how God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain comes out of it…” (Qur’an, 24:43)

After quoting that, the book takes pages of material again from a modern science text book to illustrate the various types of clouds and how they carry and form rain. And then it concludes, that therefore this is proof that the Koran contains the science of meteorology. Question: if you compare the Koran verses to the pages it cited from the modern science text book, ask yourself, which one is science? which is fanciful poetry?

Well I’ve got news for them. Many indigenous cultures had a very good understanding of meteorology not only also before modern science, but long before Mohammad as well (various Hindu subcultures, the Native Americans, aboriginals of various lands (Australia, South America, Polynesia,…)).

Science of pregnancy

The book claims proof that Mohammad new about the science of pregnancy based on these sayings of Mohammad (not in Koran):

“In every one of you, all components of your creation are collected together in your mother’s womb by forty days…”

“If forty-two nights have passed over the embryo, God sends an angel to it, who shapes it and creates its hearing, vision, skin, flesh, and bones…”

After quoting that, the book takes pages of material again from a modern science text book to illustrate the various stages of pregnancy. And then it concludes, that therefore this is proof that the Mohammad knew the science of pregnancy. Question: if you compare the Koran verses to the details it pages from the modern science text book, ask yourself, which one is science? which is fanciful poetry?

Umm… not to mention, “God sends an angel to it, who shapes it and creates its hearing, vision, skin, flesh, and bones,…” — they call that science? It simply says God or an angel created you in the womb. Had it described the stages (like that described in a modern science text book), then there would be some merit.

In contrast for example, ancient Hindu texts reflect very deep knowledge of the stages of pregnancy, including not just at the embryo level but also descriptions of fetal development in the metaphysical plane (various layers of consciousness), at least 4,000 years before Mohammed was even born. Not to mention concepts of in-vitro fertilization has also been described. There are several indigenous cultures (Tibetan Buddhists, Native Americans, Australian Aborigines) that also possessed very good knowledge about stages of pregnancy far more than the 1-2 weak quotes mentioned above.

The Quran: Unchallengeable Miracle

The next few quotes are from the other book that Muslims are proud to wave – “The Quran: Unchallengeable Miracle”

Here I won’t bother explaining how the other interpolates the respective verse, but will reproduce translations of the verse itself from the top 6 most referenced translations of the Koran.

Science of plate tectonics

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran knew of plate tectonics:

When you look at the mountains, you think that they are standing still. But they are moving like clouds. Such is the artistry of God, who disposes of all things in perfect order. He is indeed fully aware of what you do. (27:88)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is. Where does it say the mountains are moving?? Seems more like it says they will pass-away/disappear — which anyone can tell you, as that happens to everything over time:

Sahih International
And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah , who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do.

Muhsin Khan
And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds. The Work of Allah, Who perfected all things, verily! He is Well-Acquainted with what you do.

Pickthall
And thou seest the hills thou deemest solid flying with the flight of clouds: the doing of Allah Who perfecteth all things. Lo! He is Informed of what ye do.

Yusuf Ali
Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (such is) the artistry of Allah, who disposes of all things in perfect order: for he is well acquainted with all that ye do.

Shakir
And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud– the handiwork of Allah Who has made every thing thoroughly; surely He is Aware of what you do.

Dr. Ghali
And you see the mountains, that you reckon inert, and (really) they pass by like clouds- the handiwork of Allah, Who has consummated everything; surely He is Ever-Cognizant of whatever you perform.

Knowledge of Heliocentric Orbit

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran knew of heliocentric orbit. Where does it say the Earth orbits around the Sun? It seems more like the Koran stupidly thinks it is the Sun that is moving, and not the Earth.

And the Sun moves on to its destination. That is the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knower. (36: 38)

Knowledge of Geoidal Structure of Earth

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran knew of the geoidal structure of the Earth:

O society of jinns and men, cross the diameters of the heavens and the earth, if you have the ability, then pass beyond them. But you cannot, unless you acquire an authorization. (55:33)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is. Where is the word diameter? And even if it did have the word diameter (like the so called Unchallengeable Miracle translates it as), what idiot can interpret that as knowledge of geoidal structure of the Earth?

Sahih International
O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah].

Muhsin Khan
O assembly of jinns and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah)!

Pickthall
O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction.

Yusuf Ali
O ye assembly of Jinns and men! If it be ye can pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, pass ye! not without authority shall ye be able to pass!

Shakir
O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority.

Dr. Ghali
O company of the jinn and humankind, in case you are able to penetrate through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate (them)! You will not penetrate except with an all-binding authority.

Knowledge of Egg-Shaped Structure of the Earth.

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran knew of the egg-shaped structure of the Earth:

He made the earth egg-shaped. (79:30)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is. Where is the word egg-shaped? With these sort of lies it comes as no surprise why so many children in Muslim countries get indoctrinated, and become so fanatical about the Koran and Mohammad.

Sahih International
And after that He spread the earth.

Muhsin Khan
And after that He spread the earth;

Pickthall
And after that He spread the earth,

Yusuf Ali
And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse);

Shakir
And the earth, He expanded it after that.

Dr. Ghali
And the earth, after that He flattened it (for life).

Proof of Earths Rotation on its Axis

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran knew the Earth is geoidal and rotated on its axis to produce night and day, just based on the use of the word “roll” in this verse. Night rolls into day is such a common poetic phrase. It proves nothing about the knowledge of the Earth rotating on its axis.

He created the heavens and the earth truthfully. He rolls the night over the day, and rolls the day over the night… (39:5)

Science of pregnancy

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran had knowledge of the “sperm” being attached to the “uterine” wall:

Then We placed him as a drop in a firmly established lodging (23:13)

Where does it specifically say “the sperm lodges itself to the uterine wall“? The translations below imply fixed as in “situated in” the womb, not fixed as in “attached” to the womb, and certainly no mention of it being attached to the uterine wall.

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is:

Sahih International
Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging.

Muhsin Khan
Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman).

Pickthall
Then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging;

Yusuf Ali
Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;

Shakir
Then We made him a small seed in a firm resting-place,

Dr. Ghali
Thereafter We made him a sperm-drop, in an established residence.

In contrast for example, ancient Hindu texts reflect very deep knowledge of the stages of pregnancy, including not just at the embryo level but also descriptions of fetal development in the metaphysical plane (various layers of consciousness), at least 4,000 years before Mohammad. Not to mention concepts of in-vitro fertilization has also been described. There are several indigenous cultures (Tibetan Buddhists, Native Americans, Australian Aborigines) that also possessed very good knowledge about stages of pregnancy far more than the 1-2 weak allusions to it in the Koran.

Knowledge of Particle Physics

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran had knowledge of particle physics – “that everything is created in pairs” (which is not entirely true by the way!). It’s heading is (in all upper-case): “THE DISCOVERY THAT WON THE NOBEL PRIZE AWARD”:

Glory be to the One, who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as themselves, and other things they do not know.  (36: 36)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is.

Sahih International
Exalted is He who created all pairs – from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know.

Muhsin Khan
Glory be to Him, Who has created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as of their own (human) kind (male and female), and of that which they know not.

Pickthall
Glory be to Him Who created all the sexual pairs, of that which the earth groweth, and of themselves, and of that which they know not!

Yusuf Ali
Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.

Shakir
Glory be to Him Who created pairs of all things, of what the earth grows, and of their kind and of what they do not know.

Dr. Ghali
All Extolment be to Him, Who created all the pairs of what the earth grows, and of themselves, and of what they do not know.

In contrast to just those two pathetically lame lines in the Koran… Hindu texts, at least 4,000 year before Mohammad, explored duality and non-duality in excruciating details in almost every one of its schools of philosophy.  So also in Buddhist texts, about 300 years before Mohammad.

Knowledge of Planetary Orbits

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran had knowledge of planetary orbits:

By the Sky with its ingeniously devised paths (orbits). (51:7)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is. Where does it say ingeniously devised paths?

Sahih International
By the heaven containing pathways,

Muhsin Khan
By the heaven full of paths,

Pickthall
By the heaven full of paths,

Yusuf Ali
By the Sky with (its) numerous Paths,

Shakir
I swear by the heaven full of ways.

Dr. Ghali
And (by) the heaven comprising interwoven tracks,

Theory of Relativity

The Unchallengeable Miracle uses the following to support that the Koran had knowledge of theory of relativity. It’s heading is (in all upper-case): “RELATIVITY OF TIME ANNOUNCED 1400 YEARS AGO”.

To Him ascend the angels and the spirit in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years. (70:4)

Take a look at the top 6 translations of same verse and see how grossly interpolated it is. Where does it say anything even remotely close to the Theory of Relativity?

Sahih International
The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.

Muhsin Khan
The angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years,

Pickthall
(Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years.

Yusuf Ali
The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years:

Shakir
To Him ascend the angels and the Spirit in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years.

Dr. Ghali
To Him the Angels and the Spirit ascend with difficulty to Him in a Day whereof the determined (length) is fifty thousand years.

It goes on to say:

If we remember the stories of creation of ancient Egypt, China and India, we encounter wild fancies such as a universe standing on a tortoise or as an eternally existing entity. None of the past civilizations had made any reference to the stages of this evolution.

In the above quote the author of the Unchallengeable Miracle conveniently (or out of ignorance) chooses to ignore Hindu cosmology and astronomy, and picks something out of Hindu mythology. Take a peek at Hindu Cosmology, from well over 4,000 years ago. Mohammad’s timescale pales in comparison, not to mention the pathetic “created in six days theory” from the Koran:

We created the heavens and the earth, and all that lies between them in six days, and no fatigue touched us. (50:38)

In contrast also take a peek at the Hindu Concept of Evolution.

Conclusion

Bottom line is, there is nothing worthy of science in the Koran (well at least, that’s what the above two books have just proven). I wouldn’t really bother to waste time rebutting useless books like this, but you asked for it when you laid that book on my desk.

See Also

Tagged , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *