The Qur’an is considered the literal word of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a span of 23 years in bits and pieces. Like the Torah, there is an oral tradition, which was later followed by the written version. Despite the apparent randomness and lack of chronological order of the verses, there are some amazing numerical aspects that I will share today.
Muslims believe that the Qur’an we read today is the exact copy of what was available at the time of the death of Prophet Muhammad in the year 632 C.E.
In order to truly appreciate the mathematical miracles of the Qur’an, it is critical to keep in mind the following:
- The Qur’an was revealed over a period of 23 years.
- The verses were revealed in Mecca (“Makki Ayahs”) or Medina (“Madani Ayahs”) in bits and pieces. Few of the small chapters were revealed at once such as Surah Fatiha, but most verses were revealed scattered, that later became part of a Surah (chapter).
- They were later put together as one book- with rearrangement into Chapters. But a given chapter could have been revealed during the Makki life of the Prophet or the Madni life…over 23 years.. e.g Surah Baqra (chapter 2) was revealed over 10 years but was put back as one chapter near the end of Prophet’s life.
- During most of the life of Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an did not exist in one written , complete book like we see now, because people had memorized it (the oral Qur’an).
- Realize that 1400 years ago, the passages were revealed in a random manner and later arranged in the current form, as dictated by Archangel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad.
- Prophet Muhammad was considered unlettered, or Ummi– someone who didn’t know how to write or read. Prophet Muhammad had scribes, who he would dictate what he received via archangel Gabriel. The scribes would write it down on parchment and other available material at the time.
- Muslims believe the current arrangement is from a divine decree. It is NOT in chronological order.
- Keep in mind this was compiled 1400 years ago, from oral Qur’an. These numbers that I am going to share in a bit, are hard to compile even if it was originally a written book at once, let alone an oral tradition, revealed over 23 years.
There are numerous mathematical miracles of the Qur’an. I am sharing ten of them here.
- Number of times the word WORLD (Dunya) used=115. Number of times HEREAFTER (Akhira) is used= 115
- Number of times ANGELS (Maliaka) appear=88 times. Number of times DEVILS (Shaiyateen) appears= 88 times
- Death=145 times, Life (Al Hayat)=145 times
- DISBELIEF (Al Kufr) =17 times. BELIEF (Al Iman)=17 times
- DEVIL called by his name, Ibless=11 times. Asking God’s protection from DEVIL =11 times
- The word MONTH (Sheher) is used =12 times. The word DAY appears=365 times.
- Muslims offer Salah (obligatory prayers, or Salah) 5 times a day. Number of times the word SALAWAT(plural of Salah) appears=5 times.
- The number of times the word QALOO (meaning they said)=332 times,. The number of times the word QUL (meaning you say- addressing Prophet Muhammad) =332 times
- The number of times the word MEN appears= 24. The number of times the word WOMEN appear=24 times
- Number of times the word SEA (Bahr) used= 32. The number of times the word LAND is used= 13. This is the only example on this list where these words appear unequally. But as we examine a little closer, we find out that together the land+seas=45. The word LAND (13/45 times)=29%. The word SEA (32/45)=71%. This is the ratio of the water(oceans, seas, lakes etc) and land on planet earth according to USGS and a number of other scientific bodies.
The challenges to the Quran existed even at the time of its revelation, and therefore there are many verses in the Quran addressing its own authenticity.
This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). The Qur’an 2:2
And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah [chapter] like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah [God], if your (doubts) are true. The Qur’an 2:23
Say: If all of men and jinn should combine together to bring the like of this Quran, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them were aiders of others. The Qur’an 17:88
Having said all this, Muslims would tell you the real beauty and the miracle of the Qur’an is how it touches the hearts of the readers, and we don’t need the scientific or mathematical miracles to ‘prove’ it’s divine origin. It is also worth pointing out that most Muslims have never read the Qur’an in in their own language cover to cover even once in their lifetime! Most Muslims have read the Qur’an in Arabic, without understanding the meaning of it. Many of us give lip service to the Qur’an or use it for “barakah” (blessings). Others go to the extent of claiming, and I am in agreement, that most Muslims have abandoned the Qur’an, a topic I will cover in another post.
We can only appreciate the wisdom, the guidance and the beauty of the Qur’an by reading it in a language we can understand, and by contemplating and pondering, something the Qur’an itself repeatedly challenges us to do. The true beauty is best appreciated when it is read and understood in the Arabic language, since (any) translations cannot do justice to the word of God.
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