Word Count Miracles in the Qur'an

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This article takes a look at alleged word count "miracles" in the Qur'an.

Contents

Apologetic Claim[edit]

In an attempt to prove the divine origins of Islam, there are many Islamic websites promoting "word count miracles" in the Qur'an. The basic claim here is that certain words in the Qur'an are repeated a specific number of times, and for some reasons, that number is meaningful or rather miraculous. Hence Muslim apologists assert that the Qur'an is the word of God.

Some apologist websites, when listing the numerical miracles, also show this verse [1]:

  • 4:82 "Will they not ponder the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it."

Although the Qur'an itself admits being inconsistent by adopting an abrogation principle, to get rid of inconsistencies, we can also see the inconsistencies in these word count "miracles". This article includes what can be termed as "non-miracles". For example, the Muslim claim is that the word "day" appears 365 times in the Quran and there are 365 days in a year, so this is a miracle by Allah. But besides the fact that apologists used a questionable counting method, when we calculate the number of occurrences of the word "night" in the Qur'an, we find that it is only 92 though there are 365 nights in a year.

These kinds of inconsistencies show how apologists list only the cases where the word counts "fit" and don't show the cases where they don't. By this cherry-picking tactic, they create a false impression that the Qur'an is full of word count miracles.

The Deceptive Tactics[edit]

There are many tactics for manipulating data and doctoring a "miracle".

Selective Choice of Words Used[edit]

The first one is the selective choice of words to interpret as miracles. If for a certain word there exists a nice number of repetitions, then it is mentioned and included as a miracle. If no nice number of repetitions exist, it is not mentioned and discarded. By only mentioning the instances where there are "nice repetitions" one gets the impression that there is something special about it, while statistically the same probability of finding similar "miracles" exists in all texts.

Adding word counts of similar words[edit]

Sometimes they even add more word counts together to get an interesting number.

  • One example of this is the "Mind and light both appear 49 times" claim, where they counted both the words noor and muneer as "light" (although the word muneer is rather translated as "illuminating").
  • Sometimes they even count verbs together with nouns, when the nouns don't have a nice number of repetitions. For example, in the "Life and death mentioned 145 times miracle" they count "death" as well as "die", "dead" and other forms. And of course they don't mention this in the miracle claim. They just dishonestly claim: "The words 'death' and 'life' appear 145 times".

Using Phrase Count Instead of Word Count[edit]

When the word itself doesn't have a nice number of repetitions, apologists try counting the word in a phrase, like "seven heavens", instead of counting just "heaven". Counting phrases as well makes the probability of finding coincidences higher and therefore the miraculous-ness smaller.

Selective Choice of Grammatical Forms Counted[edit]

The second way of manipulating data is the selective choice of which Arabic grammatical forms are to be counted. Are just singular forms counted? Or also plural forms? Duals? Forms with or without prefix? And so on. By choosing different ways of counting, you get a lot of different results. Of course, those who claim there are "word repetition miracles in the Qur'an" will not tell you that they have chosen a specific way of counting words to get the desired result.

The Arabic language has conjunctions as prefixes and possessive pronouns as suffixes.

  • For example the word "their day" (yawmihim) is expressed by a single word in Arabic. And although it is just a simple word "day", apologists don't count this occurrence, only because in Arabic, the word "their" is suffixed.
  • In contrast, the word "and a day" (wayawma) has the "and" prefixed to the word day (yawm) and is counted.

Calling the Selected Grammatical Form "the simple form"[edit]

Apologists often say, that the miracle works only when counting the "simple form" (or "basic form") of the word, but their definition of a simple form changes from miracle to miracle.

Ignoring the Meanings of some Arabic Words[edit]

Including words with other meanings[edit]

Some Arabic words have more than one meaning. For example the word الجنة means "paradise", but it can also mean "jinn" (like in the last verse of the Qur'an [2]). But apologists just search for the word الجنة and they don't worry at all that this word has other meanings as well.

Or in other cases, when the word count is not interesting, they start excluding the words with other meanings to get a more interesting number.

Presenting the list only in Arabic[edit]

When the word has other meanings, then it is misleading to show the list just in Arabic and let people who don't understand Arabic think that this word has always the same meaning.

Mistranslations[edit]

When apologists find two words which occur the same number of time but they are not very related, then they translate them a little differently.

  • In the "tongue"-"sermon" word count they actually counted the word "admonition", not "sermon". But "sermon" sounded better with the word "tongue"
  • In the "hardship"-"patience" they ignored the word "hardship" and counted the word "severe" instead, because they couldn't get equal word count with the word "hardship".

Selective Choice of the Form of the Miracle[edit]

There are many forms of "miracles" in word counts. When the word count itself for some word is not interesting, then apologists try comparing this word count with others. When there is not some equal word count found, they try finding a double word count. They are changing the form of the miracle, until they find some form in which the word count fits.

Some of the forms of miracles are these:

  • The meaning of the word occurs in the real world the same number of times as the word count
    • Like in the "The 365 days miracle"
  • The ratio between two word counts is the same as the ratio of occurrences of the meanings of the words in the real world
    • The land/water ratio miracle
  • Two words are related and they have the same word count
    • Like the "wine and intoxication both mentioned 6 times"
  • Two words are opposite to each other and they have the same word count
    • "Paradise and hell both mentioned 77 times"
  • Two words are opposite to each other and the "good" one has a double word count
    • "Righteous mentioned 6 times and wicked 3 times"

Also for every form of a miracle there might be a lot of ways for the word count to be "interesting". For example, when counting the word "day":

  • 6 occurrences would be interesting, because god created the world in 6 days
  • 7 occurrences would be interesting, because 7 days make a week
  • 29/30 occurrences would be interesting, because they make a month
  • 100 occurrences would be interesting because it is a nice number
  • 354 occurrences would be interesting, because that is the number of days in the lunar year
  • 365 occurrences would be interesting, because that is the number of days in a year

Reliance on the Gullibility of the Audience[edit]

These counts are manipulated, generally in unstated ways, to produce the desired totals, but most individuals will not take the time needed to count and verify the claim themselves, so they may assume on good faith that it is true.

Not presenting the actual list[edit]

Most people don't know the Arabic language and it is hard for them to check the number of occurrences, even if they wanted to. Even when they use a search software, they can't tell whether it is a singular form.. or whether it is the genitive form, which they are supposed to count. Also when the miracle claim is completely in English, people who don't know Arabic, don't even know which Arabic word they are supposed to search for.

Calling coincidence "a miracle"[edit]

Finding an interesting word count is not a miracle.

  • Would apologists accept interesting word counts in other texts as "a miracle"? For example in texts critical of Islam? Would they believe that Allah wants us to criticize Islam and the word count is a proof?

The 365 days Miracle[edit]

One of the most popular claims is that the word yawm (singular of day) is repeated 365 times in the Qur'an, its plural and dual forms "days" (ayyam and yawmayn) together are repeated 30 times, while the number of repetitions of the word "month" (shahr) is 12.

Islamic Miracle Using Christian Calendar[edit]

The first flaw with this claim is the fact that the Islamic calendar consists of 354 or 355 days a year,[3] so these apologists are effectively favoring Christianity by their use of the Gregorian calendar, which consists of 365 or 366 days.

Manipulated Data[edit]

When you check with word count software, the total "yawm" concordance finds 475 mentions, not 365. However, this includes the dual and plural forms. Of all the different forms of "yawm," 3 are in the dual and 27 are in the plural.[4] If you have a database program with easy formats you can easily counter this lie too and find out that all forms with suffixes are discarded on Islamic websites.

Furthermore, the word yawm in most of its occurrences in the Qur'an does not mean a 24 hour day. For example, the Day of Judgment is mentioned a very large number of times in different ways.

Also, there is not a single website that lists all the occurrences of the word "day" in the Qur'an showing it to be 365 times. While there is a list on WikiIslam showing it to be much more than 365.

But let's say for a moment the 365 occurrences of the word "yawm" is a mathematically sound citation. If this was discovered at a time when people did not know how many days there were in a year then it may be considered a miracle, but calendars have existed since 3000 BC, and the Julian calendar (which consisted of 365 or 366 days) began in 45 BC.[5]

Conclusion[edit]

There is no miracle to be found here. Apologists have manipulated data and used an un-Islamic method of counting days within a year to make the numbers "fit".

The 92 nights non-miracle[edit]

The word "night" (ٱلَّيْل, al-layl) is not mentioned 365 times in the Qur'an, although there are 365 nights in a year. If we count all the forms of this word, then it appears 92 times.[6] So the Qur'an is not very consistent with its "miracles".

"Prayer" mentioned 5 times[edit]

One of the supposed "numerical miracles" is that the word salawat (صلوات), which supposedly means "prayer", is mentioned 5 times - which is exactly the number of prayers Muslims are supposed to do every day.

This word is plural and it means, besides other meanings, "prayers". The singular form for the word "prayer" is salat (not salawat). In Arabic the singular form is written as ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ in the Uthmani script and الصَّلَاةِ in the Simple Script. In the Uthmani script the و (waw), with the dagger alif above it (وٰ), is pronounced as a regular alif, without the wa sound. The singular form ends on ة (ta marbuta) and the plural form ends on a regular ت (ta). Since the singular form ends on ta marbuta, the "t" doesn't have to be pronounced and the singular form might be pronounced as salah (instead of salat).

The problem in this word count is, that "prayers" is not the only meaning of the word salawat:

  • 1) Verse 2:157 "Those are they on whom are blessings (صَلَوَاتٌ, salawatun) and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course."
    • So this verse is not talking about prayers Muslims do. If salawat means "prayers", then "salawat min rabbihim" (صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ) in this verse would be "prayers from their lord". Is Allah praying? Who is he praying to?
  • 2) Verse 2:238 "Attend constantly to prayers (الصَّلَوَاتِ, as-salawati) and to the middle prayer and stand up truly obedient to Allah."
    • 1st valid occurence.
  • 3) Verse 9:99 "And of the dwellers of the desert are those who believe in Allah and the latter day and take what they spend to be (means of) the nearness of Allah and the Messenger´s prayers (وَصَلَوَاتِ, wasalawat); surely it shall be means of nearness for them; Allah will make them enter into His mercy; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
    • 2nd valid occurence.
  • 4) Verse 22:40 "Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah´s repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues (وَصَلَوَاتٌ, wasalawat) and mosques in which Allah´s name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty."
    • Here the word salawat refers to Jewish synagogues. What do Jewish synagogues have to do with the 5 daily muslim prayers?
  • 5) Verse 23:9 "And those who keep a guard on their prayers (صَلَوَاتِهِمْ, salawatihim);"
    • If we count the word with -ihim (هِمْ) suffix, meaning "their", then this is the 3rd valid occurrence. However these forms were often excluded in other apologetic word counts.

In conclusion:

  • If we count all forms of the Arabic word salawat, we get 5 occurrences, but only 3 of them refer to the plural "prayers". The other 2 mean "blessings" and "synagogues".
  • The claim that the word "prayer" or "prayers" is mentioned 5 times in the Qur'an, is a lie.
  • The claim that the Arabic word salawat is mentioned 5 times (and letting people think it means always "prayer"), is misleading.

"Seven heavens" mentioned 7 times[edit]

The Qur'an talks much more than 7 times about the seven heavens if we don't require both the words "seven" and "heavens" to be together in the verse. There are dozens of verses with the plural word "heavens", which just don't have the word "seven" in them, like this one:

  • Verse 2:107 "Do you not know that Allah´s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper?"

Here is the list of verses which talk about the seven heavens and explicitly mention the word seven (sabAAa, سبع) in them:

  • 1) Verse 2:29 "He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens (سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٍ), and He knows all things"
  • 2) Verse 17:44 "The seven heavens (ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتُ ٱلسَّبْعُ) declare His glory and the earth (too), and those who are in them; and there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification; surely He is Forbearing, Forgiving."
  • 3) Verse 23:17 "And certainly We made above you seven heavens (سَبْعَ طَرَآئِقَ); and never are We heedless of creation."
    • Here the word for heavens is taraiqa (طَرَآئِقَ), which literally means "paths" and they are called paths, because heavens are used as paths by the angels.[7]
  • 4) Verse 23:86 "Say: Who is the Lord of the seven heavens (ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ ٱلسَّبْعِ) and the Lord of the mighty dominion?"
  • 5) Verse 41:12 "So He ordained them seven heavens (سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَاتٍ) in two periods, and revealed in every heaven its affair; and We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars and (made it) to guard; that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing."
  • 6) Verse 65:12 "Allah is He Who created seven heavens (سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰت), and of the earth the like of them; the decree continues to descend among them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) knowledge."
  • 7) Verse 67:3 "Who created the seven heavens (سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٍ) one above another; you see no incongruity in the creation of the Beneficent Allah; then look again, can you see any disorder?"
  • 8) Verse 71:15 "Do you not see how Allah has created the seven heavens (سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٍ), one above another,"
  • 9) Verse 78:12 "And We made above you seven strong ones (سَبْعًا شِدَادًا),"
    • "Seven strong-ones" (sabAAan shidadan, سَبْعًا شِدَادًا) refers to the seven heavens. [8]

Notice that in the verses 17:44 and 23:86 the order of the Arabic words is different. They literally say "heavens seven".

We can get 7 occurrences of the phrase "seven heavens" if we count only the occurrences where the seven heavens are explicitly called seven "heavens" (samawat, سَمَٰوَٰتٍ) and not "paths" or "strong ones". Also we have to include 2 cases, where the phrase is in backwards order, literally "heavens seven".

But probably a more important question than "what is the word count" is: are there 7 heavens in reality? And when we consider that they are one above the other (verse 67:3) and stars are in the lowest heaven (41:12), that means our universe would be the lowest heaven. We can see only this universe, so do we really see all the 7 heavens as the verse 71:15 claims we should?

Let's see what other miracles with the number 7 the Qur'an offers, so that we can be sure that the one with "seven heavens" mentioned 7 times wasn't just a coincidence:

"Seven years" mentioned 2 times non-miracle[edit]

The Qur'an talks in two verses about "seven years".

  • 1) 12:47 "He said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat."
  • 2) 12:48 "Then there shall come after that seven years of hardship which shall eat away all that you have beforehand laid up in store for them, except a little of what you shall have preserved"

The word "years" is actually omitted in the second verse. In the Arabic, it just literally says "seven hard", although from the context it definitely speaks about years.

So the Qur'an speaks 2 times about 7 years and there is absolutely nothing amazing about it.

"Seven ears (of corn)" mentioned 3 times non-miracle[edit]

The Qur'an speaks about ears in these verses:

  • 1) 2:261 "The parable of those who spend their property in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears (with) a hundred grains in every ear; and Allah multiplies for whom He pleases; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing"
  • 2) 12:43 "And the king said: Surely I see seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured; and seven green ears and (seven) others dry: O chiefs! explain to me my dream, if you can interpret the dream."
  • 3) 12:46 "Yusuf! O truthful one! explain to us seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured, and seven green ears and (seven) others dry, that I may go back to the people so that they may know."

The Qur'an speaks exactly 3 times about "seven ears" and that is a very non-interesting fact. This is not a miracle.

"Seven cows" mentioned 4 (or 2) times non-miracle[edit]

  • 12:43 "And [subsequently] the king said, "Indeed, I have seen [in a dream] seven fat cows being eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry. O eminent ones, explain to me my vision, if you should interpret visions.""
  • 12:46 "[He said], "Joseph, O man of truth, explain to us about seven fat cows eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry - that I may return to the people; perhaps they will know [about you].""

The question is whether to count the occurrences, where the word "cow" is not explicitly mentioned with the number 7. But we definitely can't get the word count 7 and this is not a miracle.

"Seven gates" mentioned 1 time[edit]

How many times does the Qur'an speak about "seven gates"?

  • 15:44 "It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them."

Only one time.

Conclusion[edit]

  • There are many cases where the Qur'an speaks about seven things. When one of those cases the number of verses happens to be seven, it is not very amazing.
    • There are also "seven verses" (15:87), "seven people" (18:22), "seven nights" (69:7), "seven seas" (31:27) mentioned one time non-miracles.
  • Taking the one case where the number of verses is 7 and acting as if this represents the Qur'an's eloquent numerology is dishonest and misleading. It could be also described as "cherry picking" logical fallacy.

"Creation of heavens" mentioned 7 times[edit]

This word count doesn't make sense from the beginning. If this phrase would occur 7 times, then the most direct meaning would be "the heavens were created seven times", while they were created only one time. The plural form doesn't fit in this miracle. If the singular form "creation of a heaven" was mentioned 7 times, it would make more sense. It would mean that they were created one after another.

There are many verses which say that Allah created everything, that means including the heavens. For example:

  • 6:102 "..there is no god but He; the Creator of all things, therefore serve Him, and He has charge of all things."

So counting only the cases where heavens are explicitly mentioned is questionable.

There are also verses where the words "creation" and "heavens" are both mentioned, but not exactly next to each other (as a phrase). For example:

  • 7:185 "Do they not consider the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever things Allah has created, and that may be their doom shall have drawn nigh; what announcement would they then believe in after this?"

These verses contain a phrase about creating the heavens:

  • 1) 2:29 "He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens (فَسَوَّىٰهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٍ, fasawwahunna sabAAa samawatin), and He knows all things."
  • 2) 2:164 "Most surely in the creation of the heavens (خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰت, khalqi assamawati) and the earth..."
  • 3) 3:190 "Most surely in the creation of the heavens (خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalqi assamawati) and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand."
  • 4) 3:191 "Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens (خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalqi assamawati) and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire"
  • 5) 6:1 "All praise is due to Allah, Who created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth and made the darkness and the light; yet those who disbelieve set up equals with their Lord."
  • 6) 6:73 "And He it is Who has created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth..."
  • 7) 6:101 "Wonderful Originator of the heavens (بَدِيعُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, BadeeAAu assamawati) and the earth!"
  • 8) 7:54 "Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth in six periods of time.."
  • 9) 9:36 "Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah´s ordinance since the day when He created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth"
  • 10) 10:3 "Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth..."
  • 11) 11:7 "And He it is Who created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth "
  • 12) 14:19 "Do you not see that Allah created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰت, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth..."
  • 13) 14:32 "Allah is He Who created the heavens (خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqa assamawati) and the earth ..."
  • 14) 15:85 "And We did not create the heavens (خَلَقْنَا ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ, khalaqna assamawati) and the earth and what is between them two but in truth..."
  • ...and many others.

So just in the first 15 chapters, the Qur'an speaks much more than 7 times about the creation of heavens. There are many ways to count this and if some of those ways produces the number 7 it is not miraculous, nor improbable, because the more ways of counting exist, the higher is the probability of the existence of a counting method which produces the desired number.

"Seven earths" not mentioned 7 times non-miracle[edit]

According to the Quranic verse 65:12, there are also 7 earths. So the counting method which produces the outcome of "seven heavens" should be used for counting "creation of earths" and produce the same number. But apologist websites never mention any "7 earths mentioned 7 times miracle".

"Wine" and "intoxication" both mentioned 6 times[edit]

What is the significance of the number 6? And what is this supposed to mean? Wine equals intoxication? They are not the same thing.. but let's count them.

Wine (khamr, خمر):

  • 1) 2:219 "They ask you about wine (ٱلْخَمْرِ) and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people..."
  • 2) 5:90 "O you who have believed, surely wine (ٱلْخَمْرُ) and games of chance, and altars (for idols) and divining (i.e., divination by arrows or in any other way) are only an abomination of Ash-Shaytan's (The all-vicious, the Devil) doing, so avoid it, that possibly you would prosper."
  • 3) 5:91 "Surely Ash- Shaytan's (The all-vicious, the Devil) would only (like) to excite enmity and abhorrence among you by means of wine (ٱلْخَمْرِ) and games of chance, (Literally: in wine and games of chance) and to bar you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer. Will you then be refraining?"
  • 4) 12:36 "And two youths entered the prison with him. One of them said: I saw myself pressing wine (خَمْرًا ). And the other said: I saw myself carrying bread on my head, of which birds ate. Inform us of its interpretation; surely we see you to be of the doers of good."
  • 5) 12:41 "O my two mates of the prison! as for one of you, he shall give his lord to drink wine (خَمْرًا ); and as for the other, he shall be crucified, so that the birds shall eat from his head, the matter is decreed concerning which you inquired."
  • 6) 47:15 "(This) is the similitude of the Garden which the pious have been promised; therein are rivers of water not staling, and rivers of milk that does not change in taste, and rivers of wine (خَمْرٍ) - a delicious (drink) to the drinkers- and rivers of honey unadulterated..."

Some translations translate khamr as "intoxicants" to imply a more general meaning.

Now let's count intoxication (sakara, سكر):

  • 1) 4:43 ": O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are intoxicated (سُكَٰرَىٰ ) until ..."
  • 2) 15:15 "They would only say: "Our eyes have been intoxicated (سُكِّرَتْ ): Nay, we have been bewitched by sorcery.""
  • 3) 15:72 "By your life! they were blindly wandering on in their intoxication (سَكْرَتِهِمْ)."
  • 4) 16:67 "And of the fruits of the palms and the grapes-- you obtain from them intoxication (سَكَرًا) and goodly provision; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who ponder."
  • 5,6) 22:2 "On the day when you shall see it, every woman giving suck shall quit in confusion what she suckled, and every pregnant woman shall lay down her burden, and you shall see men intoxicated (سُكَٰرَىٰ ), and they shall not be intoxicated (بِسُكَٰرَىٰ) but the chastisement of Allah will be severe."
  • 7) 50:19 "And the intoxication (سَكْرَةُ ) of death will bring the truth; that is what you were trying to avoid."

Some translations sometimes translate the word as "dazzled" or "drunk" or "stupor", but the basic meaning is the same and the arabic root سكر is the same.

So the words are not both mentioned 6 times.

"Muhammad" and "sharia" both mentioned 4 times[edit]

The word Muhammad (مُحَمَّد) appears in 4 verses:

  • 1) 3:144 "And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? .."
  • 2) 33:40 "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things."
  • 3) 47:2 "And (as for) those who believe and do good, and believe in what has been revealed to Muhammad, and it is the very truth from their Lord, He will remove their evil from them and improve their condition."
  • 4) 48:29 "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.."

In the next section, a specifically Arabic letter ع (ayn), that has no equivalent in the English alphabet will be transliterated as "AA".

The word "sharia" (شَرِيعَة) appears in one verse:

  • 45:18 "Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way (شَرِيعَةٍ, shareeAAa) concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know."


There are other 3 verses containing words derived from the same trilateral root شرع (sh-r-AA), but they are not "sharia":

  • 1) 5:48 ".. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law (شِرْعَةً, shirAAa) and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good.."
    • This word is shirAAa not shareeAAa. Although the meaning is similar, they are not the same words.
  • 2) 42:13 "He has ordained (شَرَعَ, SharaAAa) for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you..."
    • In this case it is a verb! It is from the same root, but it is not the word (noun) sharia.
  • 3) 42:21 "Or have they associates who have prescribed (شَرَعُوا۟, sharaAAoo) for them any religion that Allah does not sanction? .."
    • Again this is a verb and it is not the word sharia.

There is also one occurrence of a word derived from the same root شرع, which however has a totally different meaning:

  • 7:163 "And ask them about the town that was by the sea - when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath - when their fish came to them openly (شُرَّعًا, shurraAAan) on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient."

So the word "Muhammad" is mentioned 4 times, but the word "sharia" is mentioned only once.

"Muhammad" and "swine" both mentioned 4 times miracle[edit]

This can be termed as an anti-miracle. By using the same tactics of the apologists, we arrive at a word count that looks embarrassing with respect to Islam. When we count only the singular form of the word "swine" (ٱلْخِنزِير, al-khinzeer), we get 4 occurrences:

  1. 2:173 "He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine (ٱلْخِنزِيرِ)"
  2. 5:3 "Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine (ٱلْخِنزِيرِ)"
  3. 6:145 "Say: I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat of except that it be what has died of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine (خِنزِيرٍ)"
  4. 16:115 "He has only forbidden you what dies of itself and blood and flesh of swine (ٱلْخِنزِيرِ)"

There is also one occurrence of وَٱلْخَنَازِيرَ (wal-khanaazeer, "and the pigs") in 5:60, but words with prefixes and plural forms were often dismissed in other miracles, so why would we count it now?

If Allah cared so much about equal word counts, why did he make equal word counts for "Muhammad" and "swine"? One of the interpretations might be that he wanted to criticize Muhammad's obesity.

"The righteous" mentioned 6 times and "the wicked" 3 times[edit]

If we count only the literal words al-abrar (the righteous) and al-fujjar (the wicked), we get 5 occurrences of al-abrar:

  • 1) 3:193 "Our Lord! surely we have heard a preacher calling to the faith, saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe; Our Lord! forgive us therefore our faults, and cover our evil deeds and make us die with the righteous (ٱلْأَبْرَارِ, al-abrar)."
  • 2) 76:5 "Surely the righteous (ٱلْأَبْرَارَ, al-abrar) shall drink of a cup the admixture of which is camphor"
  • 3) 82:13 "Most surely the righteous (ٱلْأَبْرَارَ, al-abrar) are in bliss,"
  • 4) 83:18 "Nay! Most surely the record of the righteous (ٱلْأَبْرَارِ, al-abrar) shall be in the Iliyin."
  • 5) 83:22 "Most surely the righteous (ٱلْأَبْرَارَ, al-abrar) shall be in bliss,"

And two occurrences of al-fujjar:

  • 1) 82:14 "And most surely the wicked (ٱلْفُجَّارَ, al-fujjar) are in burning fire,"
  • 2) 83:7 "Nay! most surely the record of the wicked (ٱلْفُجَّارِ, al-fujjar) is in the Sijjin."

So there is no miracle. However when we count the words with slightly different forms, we get one more occurrence for "the righteous":

  • 3:198 "But as to those who are careful of (their duty to) their Lord, they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding in them; an entertainment from their Lord, and that which is with Allah is best for the righteous (لِّلْأَبْرَارِ, lil-abrar)."

And 3 occurrences for "the wicked":

  • 38:28 "Shall We treat those who believe and do good like the mischief-makers in the earth? Or shall We make those who guard (against evil) like the wicked (كَٱلْفُجَّارِ, kal-fujjar)?"
  • 71:27 "If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked (فَاجِرًا, fajiran) disbelievers."
  • 80:42 "These are they who are unbelievers, the wicked (ٱلْفَجَرَةُ, al-fajarah)."

So this word count is more questionable than miraculous.

Also there are other word count "miracles" where the "bad" word has the same number as the "good" word. Like iman/kufr, paradise/hell. So why suddenly count double word counts?

"The Sabbath" mentioned 7 times[edit]

Mental gymnastics[edit]

The Sabbath (ٱلسَّبْت, as-sabt) is a day of the week, when Jews are supposed to not work. So what is miraculous about this word being mentioned 7 times according to apologists? Well, it is the 7th day of the week. So the word count of "seven Sabbaths" somehow implies the meaning "the 7th day".

The list[edit]

The word Sabbath is derived from the root سبت (s-b-t). This is a list of all occurrences of words derived from this root in the Qur'an:

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Transliteration Translation Word class
1 2:65 ٱلسَّبْتِ 1 as-sabti the Sabbath noun
2 4:47 2 ٱلسَّبْتِ as-sabti the Sabbath noun
3 4:154 3 ٱلسَّبْتِ as-sabti the Sabbath noun
4 7:163 4 ٱلسَّبْتِ as-sabti the Sabbath noun
5 7:163 سَبْتِهِمْ sabtihim their Sabbath * noun
6 7:163 يَسْبِتُونَ yasbitoona they had Sabbath ** verb
7 16:124 ٱلسَّبْتُ 5 as-sabtu the Sabbath noun
8 25:47 سُبَاتًا subatan a rest noun
9 78:9 سُبَاتًا subatan a rest noun
  • (*) The second occurrence in the verse 7:163, "their Sabbath" (سَبْتِهِمْ, sabtihim) has the possessive pronoun "their" suffixed as -ihim
  • (**) The third occurrence in the verse 7:163, يَسْبِتُونَ (yasbitoona), is not the noun "Sabbath", but it is a verb.[9] This verb has no simple equivalent in English. It refers to "having Sabbath", so the verse literally says that they "Sabbathed". It is translated as "they had Sabbath", but the noun "Sabbath" is not present in the original Arabic, so this cannot be counted as an occurrence of "Sabbath".

Conclusion[edit]

  • The word Sabbath (ٱلسَّبْت) appears 5 times in the Qur'an if we count only the basic form ٱلسَّبْت (without any prefixes and suffixes).
  • The word appears 6 times if we count also the form with a suffix (sabtihim, 7:163).
    • Forms with suffixes were excluded in many apologetic word counts for other words (for example "Iman and kufr both mentioned 25 times"), so why would we count them now?
  • The 7th word (yasbitoona) counted by apologists is a verb. It is not the noun "Sabbath".

Let's see whether a similar miracle occurs with other words as well.

"Ramadan" mentioned 1 time non-miracle[edit]

If the word "Sabbath" was mentioned 7 times, because Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, then by the same logic, the word "Ramadan", the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, should also occur 9 times.

This is the list of all the occurrences of the word "Ramadan" (رَمَضَانَ) in the Qur'an:

  • 1) 2:185 "The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction..."

And that's it. There are no more occurrences of this word in the Qur'an although it is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. So the Qur'an is not very consistent in these word count "miracles".

The word "Friday" (ٱلْجُمُعَةِ) also appears only once (62:9) although it is not the first day of the week.

"Gold" and "luxury" both mentioned 8 times[edit]

The word for "gold" is ذَّهَبِ (dhahab). All occurrences in the Qur'an are singular nouns:

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Translation
1 3:14 ٱلذَّهَبِ the gold
2 3:91 ذَهَبًا of gold
3 9:34 ٱلذَّهَبَ the gold
4 18:31 ذَهَبٍ a gold
5 22:23 ذَهَبٍ a gold
6 35:33 ذَهَبٍ a gold
7 43:53 ذَهَبٍ a gold
8 43:71 ذَهَبٍ a gold

So this word does occur 8 times, if we count all forms.

The word for "luxury" is تَرَف (taraf), derived from the root ترف (t-r-f). This is the list of all occurrences of words derived from the root ترف in the Qur'an:

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Transliteration Translation Word class
1 11:116 أُتْرِفُوا۟ otrifoo they were enriched verb
2 17:16 مُتْرَفِيهَا mutrafeeha her * wealthy people noun
3 21:13 أُتْرِفْتُمْ otriftum you were enriched verb
4 23:33 وَأَتْرَفْنَٰهُمْ waatrafnahum while we enriched them verb
5 23:64 مُتْرَفِيهِم mutrafeehim their wealthy people noun
6 34:34 مُتْرَفُوهَآ mutrafooha her wealthy people noun
7 43:23 مُتْرَفُوهَآ mutrafooha her wealthy people noun
8 56:45 مُتْرَفِينَ mutrafeen wealthy people noun
  • (*) The word "city" (قَرْيَةٍ, qaryatin) in the verse is feminine in Arabic. So "her" wealthy people refers to a city.

So, the word "wealth" itself appears exactly 0 times.

In conclusion:

  • The word "gold" appears 8 times, the word "wealth" appears 0 times.
  • Apologists got number 8 for "wealth" by counting verbs and nouns together. 5 of the 8 occurrences is the word for "wealthy people".

"Silver" mentioned 6 times non-miracle[edit]

If the Qur'an is full of word count miracles, then we would expect the word "silver" (فضة, fidda) to be also mentioned 8 times:

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Translation
1 3:14 وَٱلْفِضَّةِ and the silver
2 9:34 وَٱلْفِضَّةَ and the silver
3 43:33 فِضَّةٍ [of] silver
4 76:15 فِضَّةٍ [of] silver
5 76:16 فِضَّةٍ [of] silver
6 76:21 فِضَّةٍ [of] silver

But it is not, although gold and silver are mentioned together in verses 3:14 and 9:34 as a property of wealthy people. So the Qur'an is not very consistent with its word count "miracles".

"Fear" and "wish" both mentioned 8 times[edit]

This is one of those "miracles" that are so embarrassing enough by themselves, that there is no need for a refutation. What is miraculous about two words, that are not related to each other, being mentioned the same number of times?

But this word count is interesting since it contains the word "fear" or "terror", so this word count might also tell us where the Qur'an speaks about terrorism.

The Arabic word for "fear" is ٱلْخَوْفِ (al-khawf) and it is mentioned more than a 100 times in the Qur'an.[10]

But in this word count the counted word is الرهب (ar-rahb) meaning "terror", "horror", "fear" and also "monk". The root of this word is رهب (r-h-b) and the Arabic word for "terrorism" (إرهاب, irhab) is also derived from this root.

This is the list of all words derived from this root (رهب) in the Qur'an:

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Transliteration Translation Word class
1 2:40 فَٱرْهَبُونِ fa-rhaboon so fear [me] verb
2 5:82 وَرُهْبَانًا wa-ruhbanan and monks noun
3 7:116 وَٱسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ wa-starhaboohum and terrified them verb
4 7:154 يَرْهَبُونَ yarhaboon (they) fear verb
5 8:60 تُرْهِبُونَ turhiboona (you) terrorize verb
6 9:31 وَرُهْبَٰنَهُمْ wa-ruhbanahum and their monks noun
7 9:34 وَٱلرُّهْبَانِ wa-rruhbani and the monks noun
8 16:51 فَٱرْهَبُونِ fa-rhaboon so fear [me] verb
9 21:90 وَرَهَبًا wa-rahaban and fear 1 noun
10 28:32 ٱلرَّهْبِ ar-rahbi the fear 2 noun
11 57:27 وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً wa-rahbaniyyatan but monasticism noun
12 59:13 رَهْبَةً rahbatan a fear 3 noun

The verse 8:60 urges Muslims to terrorize people who don't believe in Islam:

  • "And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify (تُرْهِبُونَ, turhiboona) the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows."

If we count all forms of the noun "fear" derived from the root رهب, we get 3 occurrences. The others are either verbs, or they refer to monks. So the absurdity of this "miracle" lies not only in the meaningless connection between the two words, but also in the fact, that the word count of 8 is wrong.

The Arabic word for "wish" is رغبة (raghba), derived from the root رغب (r-gh-b). There are 8 words derived from this root in the Qur'an. They are not translated exactly as "wish" most of the time. There is the phrase يَرْغَبُ عَن (yarghabu 'an) meaning "hate", "forsake", which could be literally understood as "wish from (against)".

Total count Verse Word in Arabic Translation Word class
1 2:130 يَرْغَبُ forsakes verb
2 4:127 وَتَرْغَبُونَ and you want verb
3 9:59 رَٰغِبُونَ wishing 1 noun
4 9:120 يَرْغَبُوا۟ they prefer verb
5 19:46 أَرَاغِبٌ reject 2 noun
6 21:90 رَغَبًا wishing 3 noun
7 68:32 رَٰغِبُونَ wishing 4 noun
8 94:8 فَٱرْغَب so desire verb

There are only 4 nouns referring to wish, including the phrase "wish against". Some of them refer to "wishing people" and not to wishing itself.

So in conclusion:

  • There is no connection between these two words.
    • But since the word for "fear" also means "terror", maybe the meaning is "wish to terrorize".
  • The nouns "fear" and "wish" do not appear 8 times. The word "fear" appears more than a hundred times. If we count the word "rahb" as fear, although it also refers to terrorizing, we get 3 occurrences. The word count for "raghb" is questionable, because it is not clearly translated as "wish" many times.
  • Apologists get to the number 8 by counting nouns and verbs together, and they count words with similar meaning derived from the same root together. And in the end they get two equal word counts for two words which are not related, so they found (by using questionable counting method) meaningless equality in 2 word counts and there is nothing miraculous.

"Summer-hot" and "winter-cold" both mentioned 5 times[edit]

The first question is what is "summer-hot" and "winter-cold"? As it turns out, apologists counted the words cold and hot and they also "counted" the words summer and winter (which both appear only one time in the same verse) and somehow put it together and named the words "summer-hot" and "winter-cold". Taking two related words and making one big word out of them is probably against the common sense of most people, but for Islamic apologists it makes sense.

This article will use the common sense and count these words separately.

Firstly, the words "summer" and "winter" both appear only one time in the Qur'an and in the same verse:

  • 106:2 "Their protection (of the Quraysh) during their trading caravans in the winter (ٱلشِّتَآءِ, ash-shitai) and the summer (وَٱلصَّيْفِ, wa-ssayf)"

The fact that these two words appear the same number of times is not very miraculous, since they both appear only once and in the same verse, in a verse which enumerates seasons.. And amazingly, even this word count is problematic, since the word "summer" appears with a wa- ("and") prefix and words with this prefix were not counted in some miracles.

The word "heat" appears 4 times:

  • 1,2) 9:81 "... [they] said: Do not go forth in the heat (ٱلْحَرِّ, al-harri). Say: The fire of hell is much severe in heat (حَرًّا, harran). Would that they understood (it)."
  • 3) 16:81 "...He has given you garments to preserve you from the heat (ٱلْحَرَّ, al-harra) ..."
  • 4) 35:21 "Nor the shade and the heat (ٱلْحَرُورُ, al-haroor)"

The word "cold" appears 3 times:

  • 1) 21:69 "Allah said, "O fire, be coolness (بَرْدًا, bardan) and safety upon Abraham."
  • 2) 38:42 "Urge with your foot; here is a cool (بَارِدٌ, baridun) washing-place and a drink."
  • 3) 78:24 "They shall not taste therein cool (بَرْدًا, bardan) nor drink"

Apologists probably get to the number 4 for "cold" by including this verse:

  • 24:43 "And He sends down of the clouds that are (like) mountains wherein is hail (بَرَدٍ, baradin)"

That was Shakir translation. To be sure he is not the only one to understand the word to be mean "hail", let's check other translations:

  • Pickthall: "He sendeth down from the heaven mountains wherein is hail"
  • Sahih International: "And He sends down from the sky, mountains [of clouds] within which is hail"
  • Muhsin Khan: "And He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, (or there are in the heaven mountains of hail from where He sends down hail)"

Everyone seems to translate it as "hail", only apologists count is as coolness.

So in conclusion:

  • The words "summer-hot" and "winter-cold" don't exist.
  • The words "summer" and "winter" appear only once, together, in one verse.
  • The word "heat" appears 4 times and the word "cool" 3 times
  • Apologists add the word, which means "hail" to the "cool" word count
This page is featured in the core article, Islam and Miracles which serves as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn more about this topic Core part.png

Other miracles[edit]

Some miracles have a word count or their full analysis too big to fit in this article, so here is just a quick analysis. You can click on any of them to get more details:

Other claims which don't have their own article (yet) are provided here with a quick analysis:

  • The word "mind" (العقل) and "noor" (light, النور) both appear 49 times.
    • No. Occurrences of the word noor (نور) were already listed in the article Sun and light word count in the Qur'an. This word appears 43 times. There are also 6 occurrences of the word muneer (منير), which is however translated as "enlightening" or "illuminating" most of the time.
    • This word count is in contradiction with the "Sun and light both appear 33 times" miracle.
  • The word "payment" or "reward" (الجزاء, al-jaza'u) is repeated 117 times and the word "forgiveness" (المغفرة, al-mughfira) is repeated 234 times (a double word count).
    • The word al-jaza'u is derived from the root جزي (j-z-y). When we search for all occurrences of words derived from this root in the Qur'an, we get 118 occurrences.[11] Most of these occurrences are verbs. So apologists not only counted it wrong, but also counted nouns and verbs together to get the result. The words like "jizya" or "punishment" or "penalty" share the meaning of "payment", "reward" or "recompense" with the other words, so there it no reason to exclude them. And if we should exclude them, then we should exclude them all.
    • Does this word count mean that all payments should be forgiven? Is it just to forgive payments? Shouldn't the message be that bad deeds should be forgiven? The words "payment" and "forgiveness" don't seem to be related so even if there was a double word count for "forgiveness" it wouldn't mean anything.
  • The words "Adam" (ءَادَمَ) and "Jesus" (عِيسَىٰ, Isa) both appear 25 times and that is a miracle because verse 3:59 says "Jesus is like Adam".
    • If we count all forms of the words, then they do both occur 25 times.[12]
    • Jesus is like Adam only in the way that they both don't have a human father. Besides that they are very different. For example Adam doesn't have a mother, while Jesus has.
    • Jesus and Moses are similar, because they are both considered to be prophets. So why they are not mentioned the same number of times?
    • The Qur'an says in 7:179 that disbelievers are like cattle, yet the Qur'an talks a lot more about disbelievers than cattle. Shouldn't they have an equal word count?
    • We could find dozens of things that are said to be similar in the Qur'an. The vast majority of them wouldn't have an equal word count. Taking one of those similar words, which coincidentally have an equal word count, is not a miracle, but a cherry-picking fallacy.
    • Forms of the word "burn" (صلي) also appear 25 times [13]. Does it mean Adam and Jesus are burning in hell?
  • When seeing the lists of occurrences for the words "Adam" and "Jesus", the verse 3:59 (which says they are similar by being created from dust) is the 7th occurrence.
    • The order of the suras is man-made. If we used the original (Allah's) revelation order, the verses from the 3rd sura would have a higher number than 7, because it is a Medinan sura. Also they probably wouldn't be equal, because the historical revelation order and the order used today are totally different.
  • The words "tree" (شجرة, shajarah) and "plant" (نبات, nabat) both occur 26 times.
    • When we search for all occurrences of words derived from the root شجر (sh-j-r), we find 27 occurrences.[14] When we exclude the words "arises", "vegetation" and "plant", we get 24 occurrences.
    • When we search for the root نبت (n-b-t), we get 26 occurrences.[15] Most of them are verbs and the rest of the words are questionable whether to count them or not. If we count only the singular word "plant" then we get 0 occurences.
  • The words "hardship" (ٱلْعُسْرِ, al-'usri) and "patience" (صَبْرًا, sabran) both occur 114 times.
    • The word sabran is derived from the root صبر (s-b-r). There are only 103 words derived from this root in the Qur'an,[16] most of them being verbs. al-'usri is derived from the root عسر. There are only 12 occurrences of words derived from this root in the Qur'an.[17] Apologists probably meant the word "severe" (شَدِيدٌ, shadidun), but there are only 102 words derived from its root (شدد) in the Qur'an.[18]
  • The words "benefit" (نفع, nafa'a) and "corrupt" (فسد, fasad) both appear 50 times.
    • If we count nouns and verbs together and count all words derived from the roots of these words, we get 50 occurrences for both [19]. But these words are not clear antonyms. The word "benefit" is used in the sense of "something benefits someone" and the word "corrupt" is used in the sense of "someone spreads mischief in the land".
  • The words "people" (الناس, an-nas) and "messengers" (الأنبياء, al-anbiya) are both mentioned 50 times.
    • What this supposed to mean? That Allah's messengers are people? That they are not aliens or animals?
    • Various forms of the word fasad (فسد), meaning "corruption" or "mischief" also occur 50 times. Does it mean that Allah's messengers spread corruption?
  • The words "calamity" (المصيبة) and "thanks" (الشكر) are both mentioned 75 times.
    • A meaningless connection.
  • The words "people who are misled" (الضالون) and "dead people" (الموتى) both mentioned 17 times.
    • A meaningless connection. "People who are misled" are not dead. They die, but Muslims die as well.
  • The word Moon (قمر, al-qamr) occurs 27 times scientific miracle.
    • There are many things that could be measured about the Moon, so if the word count hits one of those things, it is not very amazing and it is actually very probable.
    • The Moon's orbit around the Earth takes 29.5 days (synodic period) with respect to the Earth and 27.3 days with respect to the stars (sidereal period) [20]. So even when it comes to the orbit period, the Qur'an had already two chances (or 3, when we include 29 and 30).
      • 27.3 is not 27. Why Allah didn't choose some whole number, like mentioning the word only once, since the Moon is the Earths only natural satellite? He could also mention other planets and their satellites. Why Allah doesn't speak about other planets? And if he cares especially about our planet, then why he didn't mention the 29 days orbit period with respect to the Earth?
      • The length of the Moon's orbit changes over millions of years, as does the length of the Earth's day (in a greater proportion, such that it would become tidally locked with the moon if this continued forever). Why didn't Allah make the moon orbit in exactly 27 days at this stage of human history if he planned a word count miracle in the Qur'an?
      • If we count the word "earth" (الْأَرْضَ, al-ard), do we get 365 occurrences as the Earth orbits 365 days around the Sun?
  • "Muslimeen" (مسلمين) and "jihad" (جهاد) both mentioned 41 times.
    • Jihad is derived from the root جهد. There are 41 words derived from this root in the Qur'an. Some of them are verbs, some of them are nouns like "strong", or "mujahideen".[22] So it is not very logical to count them together. And claiming that the actual word "jihad" appears 41 times is a lie.
    • Muslim apologists must think twice about the ramifications of claiming a miracle like this one. Every time the Qur'an and Muhammad talk about jihad, it is in the context of a war against non-Muslims to establish the rule of Islam. Instead of refuting the doctrine of jihad, are the apologists endorsing it as a duty for Muslims via this miracle?
    • La'an (لعن) meaning "cursed" is also mentioned 41 times [23], just like the word "Muslims".
    • Karaha (كره) meaning "hate" or "compulsion" is also mentioned 41 times. [24]
  • The words "Iblees" (إبليس) and the phrase "seek refuge from Iblees" (الاستعاذة بالله) both occur 11 times.
    • If this was true, than every verse mentioning Iblees would have talk about seeking refuge from him. But for example, the verse 2:34 mentions Iblees and doesn't talk about seeking refuge from him.
  • "Magic" (السحر, as-sihr) and "fitnah" (الفتنه) both mentioned 60 times
    • Magic is derived from the root سحر. There are 63 words derived from this root in the Qur'an. The word siḥ'r (magic) appears only 28 times.[25]
  • "Human being" (إنسان, insaan) is used 65 times as well as references to the stages of human creation (تُرَابٍ , نُّطْفَةٍ , عَلَقَةٍ , مُضْغَةً , عِظَٰمًا , لَحْمًا)
    • There are many other words for "human being" besides "insaan", like "naas" or "bashar".
    • Human species evolved through evolution, not by the stages described in the Qur'an.[26]
  • The word "say" (قل, qul) and "they said" (قالوا) both occur 332 times.
    • A meaningless connection. What is the interpretation of this "miracle"? Also the words are counted with various prefixes, that were not counted in other word counts [27].
  • The words "good deeds" (الصالحات, as-salihat) and "bad deeds" (السيئات) both occur 167 times.
    • The word ṣāliḥāt occurs only 62 times.[28]
  • The words "treachery" (خَائِنَةٍ, khainah) and "foul" (خَبِيثَةٍ, khabith) both occur 16 times
    • The apologetic word count for khabith includes the verb khabutha.[29]
  • The words "trouble" (الضيق) and "peace" (الطمأنينة) both occur 13 times.
    • The word count for trouble counts together verbs and nouns of various meanings.[30]
  • The words "right guidance" (الهدى, al-huda) and "mercy" (الرحمة, ar-rahma) both occur 79 times.
    • There are many words that have something to do with mercy, derived from the roor r-h-m.[31] Apologists often counted all such words (verbs + nouns of similar meaning) together, so why are they suddenly excluding some of them?
  • The words "reward" (أَجْر, ajr) and "action" (فعل, fa'il) both occur 107 times.
    • The word count for "reward" includes words (including verbs) with a different meanings like "serve", "hire", "bridal due" and "payment".[32]
  • The word "hour" (الساعة) appears 24 times.
    • It actually appears many more times.[33] So this miracle claim is solely based on ignorance. Ironically the word "ignorance" (جهل) appears 24 times [34].
  • "Speaking publicly" (الجهر) and "publicizing" (العلانيه) both mentioned 18 times.
    • There are only 16 words derived from the root جهر in the Qur'an.[35]
  • The words "love" (المحبة, al-mahabbah) and "obedience" (الطاعة, al-ta'ah) both occur 83 times.
    • "Love" is derived form the root h-b-b. There are 95 words derived from this root in the Qur'an. 68 of them are verbs.[36] So this word count mixes verbs and nouns together.
    • Haram (حرم) also occurs 83 times [37] so it seems that love is haram (forbidden).
  • The words "spending" (صدق, sadaqa. ِِِِِِAcually الْإِنْفَاقِ, al-infaq) and "satisfaction" (رضو) both occur 73 times.
    • Meaningless connection.
  • The words "refuge" (الْمَصِيرُ, maseer) and "forever" (أَبَدًا, abadan) both appear 28 times.
    • The word abadan also means "ever"[38] and is used negatively in verses like 2:95
      • "But they will never wish for it, ever (abadan), because of what their hands have put forth."
  • By using a similar logic to that of apologists, we notice that "humility" (خشع) occurs 17 times[39] while killing (قتل) is mentioned 10 times more, that is 170 times.[40]
    • It seems that killing people is 10 times more important than humility in Islam.

Views of the Islamic scholars[edit]

Some Islamic scholars actually took the time and analyzed these miracle claims.

A conclusion of Dr. Zahid Aziz after he refuted several "miracles":

I think I have now wasted enough space and time to demonstrate the absurdity of these claims that there is some special significance underlying the number of times these words occur in the Quran. In the first place, there is no rule or principle for determining which word or concept must always occur a special number of times. Secondly, the criteria for selecting which occurrences of a word should be counted are highly subjective, dubious and always open to challenge. Most importantly, we gain no increased knowledge about, or insight into, any teaching of Islam from knowing the number of occurrences.
Dr. Zahid Aziz[41]

A conclusion of Dr. Ashraf ‘Abd al-Razzaaq Qatanah after he analyzed several books about "word count miracles":

As the result of my study I reached the idea that the “numerical miracle” as presented in these books is not real at all, and these books are based on conditions that are sometimes selective , in order to prove the validity of this view in a way that will make the reader accept these preconceived results referred to above. These selective conditions sometimes lead the author to go against that which is proven according to the consensus of the ummah, such as going against the spelling of the ‘Uthmaani Mus-haf, which is not permissible at all; or adopting the spelling of some words which appears in some Mus-hafs and without paying attention to the spellings in other Mus-hafs. It also goes against basic principles of the Arabic language with regard to synonyms and antonyms.


Dr. Ashraf ‘Abd al-Razzaaq Qatanah[42]
  • The Arabic word ِal-qur'an (القرآن) means "recitation" while the Arabic word mushaf (مصحف‎‎) means "manuscripts" so the word mushaf might be considered more correct for the textual version of the Qur'an. There are many types of mushaf (there are differences between the textual versions of the Qur'an). The Uthmani mushaf is the oldest, because Uthman let all other versions of the Qur'an be burned. But this mushaf is unnecessarily complicated and was later simplified (without changing the pronunciation - without changing the "qur'an"). One example of a difference in mushaf was in the section of "prayer" mentioned 5 times. These differences are not very important for most of the word counts, but when it comes to counting letters, then they are absolutely important.


Dr. Fahd al-Roomi about the "365 days miracle":

The word yawm (day) is mentioned 365 times in the Qur’aan, the number of days in a year. In order to prove this he counted the words “al-yawm” and “yawman” but he ignored words such as “yawmukum” (your day) and “yawmuhum” (their day) and yawma’idhin (on that day), because if he had done that, he would have got a different number. The same applies to the word al-isti’aadhah which refers to seeking refuge from the shaytaan. He says that it is repeated 11 times, but he includes in that the words “a’oodhu” (I seek refuge) and “fasta’idh” (seek refuge) but not “ ‘udhtu” (I sought refuge) or “ya’oodhoona” (they seek refuge) or “u’eedhuha” (I seek refuge for her) or “ma’aadh Allaah” (Allaah forbid).
Dr. Fahd al-Roomi[43]

Conclusions[edit]

Individual miracles have their own conclusions in their sections. These are general conclusions about the whole "word count miracles in the Qur'an" subject:

  • There are exactly 0 word count miracles in the Qur'an. This is the conclusion not only of the critics of Islam, but also of many Islamic scholars.
  • Apologists use various questionable counting methods to get some interesting number. Since they are using so many counting methods, it is very probable that they would find some word counts that are in some way interesting. It is probable - not improbable nor miraculous. Also they use additional deceptive methods like mistranslation to make the word count claims look better.
    • Probably the most amazing claim of the word "day" appearing 365 days is false. It is based on arbitrary exclusions and uses the solar, Gregorian calendar, while the 12 months miracle claim uses a verse that defines the Islamic year as based on the lunar calendar, which lasts 354 days.
    • Probably the most valid claim is that the Qur'an mentions "angel" (+ "angels") and "shaytan" (+"shaytans") both 88 times. But this word count is inconsistent with the majority of other word counts with regards to its counting method, by counting plural and singular forms together and by including words with prefixes and suffixes.
      • Apologists (in the description of the word count) try to make it seem that only the singular (or only the plural) forms were counted,[44] which is a misleading tactic by them.
  • The word counts found by apologists are all somewhere between questionable and wrong. And they are inconsistent with regards to their counting methods. They do not prove that the Qur'an is from god.
    • These word count "miracle" claims rather indicate the helplessness of apologists in trying to find any evidence for Islam.
  • The number claimed for a word (or a pair of words) sometimes has a connection or relevance to the word, but most often it does not. This is another inconsistency.

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://www.harunyahya.com/en/Miracles-of-the-Quran/27625/word-repetitions-in-the-quran
  2. Quran 114:6
    • "From among the jinn and the men."
    • من -الجنة- والناسِ
  3. Syed Khalid Shaukat - What is Islamic Calendar - MissionIslam
  4. Abdulrahman Lomax - ON THE CLAIM THAT THE WORD "DAY" OCCURS IN THE QUR'AN 365 TIMES - Answering Islam, February 22,1996
  5. Julian calendar - Wikipedia, accessed January 16, 2011
  6. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=lyl
  7. Al-Jalalayn interpretation: "And verily We created above you seven paths that is seven heavens tarā’iq is the plural of tarīqa so called because they are the paths used by the angels and of creation that lies beneath these paths We are never unmindful lest these should fall upon them and destroy them. Nay but We hold them back as stated in the verse And He holds back the heaven lest it should fall upon the earth."
  8. Al-Jalalayn's interpretation: "and built above you seven mighty ones? seven heavens shidād is the plural of shadīda that is to say strong and sturdy unaffected by the passage of time"
  9. "3rd person masculine plural imperfect verb" http://corpus.quran.com/wordmorphology.jsp?location=(7:163:20)
  10. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=xwf
  11. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=jzy
  12. https://www.chess.com/blog/Rayyan/adam-and-jesus
  13. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Sly
  14. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=%24jr
  15. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=nbt
  16. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Sbr
  17. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Esr
  18. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=%24dd
  19. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_period
  20. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=ArD
  21. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=jhd
  22. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=lEn
  23. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=krh
  24. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=sHr
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
  26. Use your browser search tool for قُلْ (qul). http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=qwl
  27. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=SlH
  28. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=xbv
  29. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Dyq
  30. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=rHm
  31. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Ajr
  32. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=swE
  33. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=jhl
  34. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=jhr
  35. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Hbb
  36. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Hrm
  37. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Abd
  38. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=x%24E
  39. http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=qtl
  40. http://www.ahmadiyya.org/islam/number.pdf
  41. https://islamqa.info/en/69741
  42. https://islamqa.info/en/69741
  43. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3QHYELlo1s "This book uses the word "angels" 88 times, ملائكاة ."ملائكاة (mala'ika) is the plural form.