WikiIslam:Sandbox/Logical Errors and Other Issues in the Qur'an
Arberry translation: That is the Book, wherein is no doubt, a guidance to the godfearing
Word to word: That (is) the book no doubt in it, a Guidance for the God-conscious.
The most trusted translators have rendered the first two words of surah 2 verse 2 (ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ) incorrectly as "This book" instead of "That book". The reason is obvious; the Qur'an confuses the reader if it refers to itself as "that" book. One may wonder which book the Qur'an is trying to refer to.
Tense: Allah will teach Jesus
And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel,
And will make him a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah's leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah's leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.
This is either a tense error or lack of clarity due to absence of inverted commas/quotes.
Four people or families cannot be descendants of each other. An ascendant has a descendant and vice versa. Adam cannot be anybody's descendant.
Revelations for whom?
Why does Allah need to make his signs clear to people who are sure/believers/Muslims? Is'nt he supposed to give proofs to those who are unsure and to non-Muslims?
Many prophets fought for Allah's cause
There is no historical basis for the claim that many prophets (from the Jewish and Christian scriptures) fought for Allah's cause. They were never associated with warfare, jihad or forced conversion of others to their own religion. They never raised armies as this verse claims.
Also notice that "in Allah's way" is not in the original Arabic text. So the verse may have referred to some other form of fighting, but what form of fighting it describes is unclear.
Jesus talking from his Cradle
Witness for a Will
The first verse is fine as far as swearing is concerned but the next assumes that the witnesses' lies are caught before the person dies. If they are caught after the person's death, replacing them is pointless and the will also cannot be supported by a true witness.
All-Knowing Allah asks questions
An all knowing-deity asks a question but he needs to be reminded by Jesus that he already knows the answer.
The only purpose of prophets
Yusuf Ali: We send the messengers only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe and mend (their lives),- upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
This limitation contradicts our knowledge of Muhammad. He grabbed political and military power in Arabia.
Having a Son Without a Wife
An almighty God who is capable of doing anything can logically have a son without a consort. He may also define a "son" in his own sense. But this verse compares him with the human way of reproduction (the need of an opposite sex) in order to rule out Allah having a son.
From among you
"O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve."
Allah's use of prepositions
This is a subtle error but it shows that Allah is far from being an all-knowing god.
Allah should have used "and" instead of "or" if the Meccans really plotted such punishments for Muhammad. With the two uses of "or" it appears as if he is guessing what the Meccans had plotted.
Change of the listener
And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice, and collect against them your forces riding and on foot, and share with them in wealth and children, and hold out promises to them; and the Shaitan makes not promises to them but to deceive.
The listener suddenly changes from Satan to probably his followers. The second "them" is unclear and disputed among classical Islamic scholars. This is also a possible taqiyya verse.
Dhul Qarnin and the people who hardly understood words
Dhul Qarnain meets a tribe that hardly understands a word. Yet, a long conversation with them follows and it is well-understood.
All other gods will burn in Hell
This verse can have two meanings. One is that other gods exist (in contradiction to monotheism, the main argument of Islam). If this is not true then the other meaning is that the idols of these false gods will burn in hell which is an absurdity. What if someone worships a formless god but does not call him Allah? How can that god be burnt in hell?
Shakir: And most surely this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful Spirit has descended with it, Upon your heart that you may be of the warners in plain Arabic language. And most surely the same is in the scriptures of the ancients.
The Qur'an says that it is in the ancient scriptures. That means this verse (26:196) should also be present in the scripture sent by Allah before the Qur'an. Then in that book, it means the Qur'an and verse 26:196 should be present in the previous book too. And so on and so forth. We enter an infinite loop that goes back in time forever. This is itself an impossibility.
Jesus pays Alms till he is Alive but he is never Crucified
These two verses have a humorous consequence. Jesus starts talking while in his cradle that he will pay alms till he is alive. Taking this and verse 4:157 into consideration, Jesus is still paying alms in heaven. We must wonder who is getting these alms. It is clear that Jesus has been paying for nearly 2000 years if Muslims are correct in claiming that he did not die.
Lot's Wife or an Old Woman
Firstly, there is a contradiction about who lagged behind, an old woman or Lot's wife. If they are one and the same, it is not befitting for Allah to call her "an old woman." The other issue is that Allah wanted this woman to die for no apparent reason other than it being her predestination.
Cause of Lightning
The Quran claims that Lightning is a sign of Allah, it frightens people and gives them hope. But lightning is a complex electrical phenomenon and only somebody without this knowledge would simply attribute it to Allah.
In such a case, it is difficult to understand why Allah stops after just 6000 verses and gives them as the last revelation to mankind through the last prophet.
The Jinns are working for Solomon and obeying his orders but he dies standing. They dont know it for a long time, even though he stopped talking. Both of these claims are unbelievable.
Rainfall and Resurrection
The author of the Qur'an claims several times that rainfall brings trees of a dead land to life, so in the same way, people will be brought back to life. This is a non-sequitur fallacy. One is a natural process; the other is not possible, hence it cannot be deduced from the first.
First person/third person
Confusion over the identity of the speaker
That which covered them
Shakir: And the overthrown cities did He overthrow, So there covered them that which covered.Arberry And the Subverted City He also overthrew, so that there covered it that which covered.
Mesenger or Messengers?
50,000 Year Journey
Many apologists claim that this verse is about the day of judgement like its preceding and succeding verses but it is written in the present tense. Others assume that it is a miracle predicting the theory of relativity and differences in timeframes etc. Even if it is a miracle, its only meaning can be that angels take 50,000 human years to reach God, which is very slow, given he is omnipresent.
Other than the proven historical errors, the Qur'an makes many claims about people and events from pre-Islamic narratives. It simply presumes or asserts that all of them were real historical figures and events. A few examples are: souls of Adam's descendants came out of his loins before their earthly birth, Abraham initially built the Ka'aba in Mecca, Moses rescued his followers from a hostile pharaoh in Egypt, Satan inflicted Job (Ayub) with many punishments until Allah came to his rescue, Allah gave some Psalms to David, Jinns accepted Islam after listening to a Quranic recitation, and so on.
Modern historians have rejected some of these stories outright; the rest of the stories either lack evidence and consensus to be accepted as truth or are dubbed as exaggerations (e.g. Moses). The burden of proof is on Allah, the Qur'an and Muslims in the light of making such claims. Unfortunately, they have been unable to provide any satisfactory proof for the same.