Appendix 9: No Contradiction in the Quran
Verse 4:82 of the Quran claims that it is free of contradictions. Any internal contradiction or contradiction between the Quran and God's laws in the nature will falsify the claim. I found the following claims of contradiction posted at an evangelical site disguised as "humanist." Here are the 10 charges, followed by my answers.
QUESTION 1: What was man created from, blood, clay, dust, or nothing?
1. "Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood," (96:2).
2. "We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape, (15:26).
3. "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was," (3:59).
4. "But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?" (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
5. "He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).
ANSWER 1: Human being was created from earthly materials and water according to a divinely guided evolution
The criticism presented above is a classic example of EITHER-OR fallacy, or the product of a frozen mind that does not consider or perceive time and evolution as reality. If he uses the same standard, the critic of these verses will find contradiction in almost every book. If he looks into biology books, he will similarly get confused. In one page he will learn that he is made of atoms, in other made of cells, of DNA, sperm, egg, embryo, earthly materials, etc. He would express his disbelief and confusion with a similar question. A careful and educated reading of the Quran will reveal the following facts about creation:
1. There were times when man did not exist. Billion years after the creation of the universe humans were created. In other words, we were nothing before we were created:
"Did the human being forget that we created him already, and he was nothing?" (19:67).
2. Humans were created according a divinely guided evolution:
"Have they not seen how GOD initiates the creation, and then repeats it? This is easy for GOD to do. Say, 'Roam the earth and find out the origin of life.' For GOD will thus initiate the creation in the Hereafter. GOD is Omnipotent." (29:19).
"He is the One who created you in stages. Do you not realize that GOD created seven universes in layers? He designed the moon therein to be a light, and placed the sun to be a lamp And GOD germinated you from the earth like plants." (71:14).
3. Creation of man started from clay:
"We created the human being from aged mud, like the potter's clay." (15:26).
Our Creator started the biological evolution of microscopic organisms within the layers of clay. Donald E. Ingber, professor at Harvard University, in an article titled "The Architecture of Life" published as the cover story of Scientific American stated the following:
"Researchers now think biological evolution began in layers of clay, rather than in the primordial sea. Interestingly, clay is itself a porous network of atoms arranged geodesically within octahedral and tetrahedral forms. But because these octahedra and tetrahedra are not closely packed, they retain the ability to move and slide relative to one another. This flexibility apparently allows clay to catalyze many chemical reactions, including ones that may have produced the first molecular building blocks of organic life."
Humans are the most advanced fruits of organic life started millions years ago from the layers of clay.
4. Human being is made of water:
"Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?" (21:30).
The verse above not only emphasizes the importance of water as an essential ingredient for organic life, it also clearly refers to the beginning of the universe, what we now call the Big-Bang. The Quran's information regarding cosmology is centuries ahead of its time. For instance, verse 51:47 informs us that the universe is continuously expanding.
"We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it."
Furthermore, the Quran informs us that the universe will collapse back to its origin, confirming the closed universe model: "On that day, we will fold the heaven, like the folding of a book. Just as we initiated the first creation, we will repeat it. This is our promise; we will certainly carry it out." (21:104).
"And GOD created every living creature from water. Some of them walk on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. GOD creates whatever He wills. GOD is Omnipotent." (24:45).
Walking on two legs is a crucial point in evolution of humanoids. Walking on two feet may initially appear to be insignificant in evolutionary process, many scientists believe that walking on two feet had significant contribution in human evolution by enabling the Homo Erectus to use tools and gain consciousness, thereby leading to Homo Sapiens.
5. Human being is made of dust, or earth, that contains essential elements for life:
"The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was." (3:59).
6. Human being is the product of long-term evolution and when human sperm and egg, which consist of water and earthly elements, meet each other in right condition, they evolve to embryo, fetus, and finally, after 266 days to a human being:
"Was he not a drop of ejected semen?" (75:37).
"He created the human from a tiny drop, and then he turns into an ardent opponent." (16:4).
"He created man from an embryo." (96:2).
" O people, if you have any doubt about resurrection, (remember that) we created you from dust, and subsequently from a tiny drop, which turns into a hanging (embryo), then it becomes a fetus that is given life or deemed lifeless. We thus clarify things for you. We settle in the wombs whatever we will for a predetermined period. We then bring you out as infants, then you reach maturity. While some of you die young, others live to the worst age, only to find out that no more knowledge can be attained beyond a certain limit. Also, you look at a land that is dead, then as soon as we shower it with water, it vibrates with life and grows all kinds of beautiful plants." (22:5).
As you noticed we do not translate the Arabic word ALaQ as clot; since neither in interspecies evolution nor intra-species evolution, there is no a stage where human is clot. This is a traditional mistranslation of the word, and the error was first noticed by medical doctor Maurice Bucaille. Any decent Arabic dictionary will give you three definitions for the word ALaQ: (1) clot; (2) hanging thing; (3) leach. Early commentators of the Quran, lacking the knowledge of embryology, justifiably picked the "clot" as the meaning of the word. However, the author of the Quran, by this multiple-meaning word was referring to embryo, which hangs to the wall of uterus and nourishes itself like a leach. In modern times, we do not have excuse for picking the wrong meaning. This is one of the many examples of the Quran's language in verses related to science and mathematics: while its words provide a kind of understanding to former generations, its real meaning shines with knowledge of God's creation and natural laws.
QUESTION 2: Is there or is there not compulsion in religion according to the Qur'an?
1. "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things," (2:256).
2. "And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith," (9:3).
3. "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful," (9:5). "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued," (9:29).
ANSWER 2: Yes, there is no compulsion in religion according to the Quran, and Muslims are permitted to defend themselves against aggressors and murderers.
The Quran promotes freedom of opinion, religion, and expression. The critic is taking the verses from Chapter 9 out of its context and present it as a contradiction with the principle expressed in 2:256 and other verses. The Chapter 9 starts with an ultimatum Meccan mushriks who not only tortured, killed, and evicted muslims from their homes, they mobilized several major war campaigns against them while they established a peaceful multinational and multi-religious community. The beginning of the Chapter refers to their violation of the peace treaty and gives them an ultimatum and four months to stop aggression. Thus, the verses quoted from Chapter 9 have nothing to do with freedom of religion; it is a warning against aggressor murderer religious fanatics.
I discussed this subject extensively in my first debate, and argued that Sunni Tyrants have distorted the meaning of the word JIZYA as a taxation of non-muslims, while the word means "compensation" or more accurately, "war reparation," which was levied against the aggressing party who initiated the war. My argument on Quran's position on war and peace is posted at Articles section of 19.org under the title "To the Factor of 666."
QUESTION 3: The first Muslim was Muhammad? Abraham? Jacob? Moses?
1. "And I [Muhammad] am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam," (39:12).
2. "When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: "O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me." When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe." (7:143).
3. "And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam," (2:132).
ANSWER 3: Many Prophets and messengers were the first muslims in their time and location.
If we check google.com with the following words: Olympic first place 100-meters and running, we will find many names of athletes who got the first place. If we use the logic of the critic, we would think that there is a great confusion and contradictory claims regarding the first place winner of 100-meters. What is wrong with that logic? Obviously, we need to consider the two important elements called time and space! Abraham was first muslim (submitter and promoter of peace) in his time and location. Similarly, Moses and Muhammad were too pioneer muslims of their times.
QUESTION 4: Does Allah forgive or not forgive those who worship false gods?
1 "Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed," (4:48 ; Also 4:116).
2 "The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: "Show us Allah in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority," (4:153).
ANSWER 4: God does not forgive those who associate other powers or gods to Him, if they do not repent on time.
The Quran contains numerous verses regarding idol-worshipers or mushriks accepting the message of islam.
"He is the One who accepts the repentance from His servants, and remits the sins. He is fully aware of everything you do." (42:25).
Most of the supporters of and companion of messengers and prophets were associating partners to God before they repented and accepted the message. For instance, the Quran informs us that even Muhammad was an idol-worshiper before he received revelation, and obviously, after his acknowledgement of the truth he repented from his ignorance and God forgave him:
"Say, 'I have been enjoined from worshiping the idols you worship beside GOD, when the clear revelations came to me from my Lord. I was commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.'" (40:66).
"Thus, we inspired to you a revelation proclaiming our commandments. You had no idea about the scripture, or faith. Yet, we made this a beacon to guide whomever we choose from among our servants. Surely, you guide in a straight path." (42:52).
"He found you astray, and guided you." (93:7).
"Whereby GOD forgives your past sins, as well as future sins, and perfects His blessings upon you, and guides you in a straight path." (48:2).
QUESTION 5: Are Allah's decrees changed or not?
1. "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers," (6:34).
2. "The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all, (6:115).
3. "None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?" (2:106).
4. "When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not," (16:101).
ANSWER 5: God's decrees do not change.
This is a valid criticism against those who do not follow the Quran alone, since because of fabricated hadiths, they have distorted the meaning of 2:106 and 16:101. What Quran describes as does not change are Sunnatullah (God's law) and Kalimatullah (God's word) as in 6:34 and 6:115. Verses 2:106 and 16:101 contain neither of these words; they are about God's AYAT (Sign; miracle), which were given to prophets and messengers. The translation the critic is quoting contains a translation error with grave theological ramifications.
According to the official faith of Hislam, some verses of the Quran abrogate other verses and even some hadith have abrogated some verses has been supported by distorting the meaning of this verse. The Quran has a peculiar language. The singular word "Ayah" occurs 84 times in the Quran and nowhere it is used for the verses of the Quran; rather it is always used to mean "sign, evidence, or miracle." However, the plural form of this word, "Ayat" besides being used to mean its singular form, additionally it is used for the verses of the Quran. The fact that a verse of the Quran does not demonstrate the miraculous characteristics of the Quran supports this peculiar usage or vise versa. For instance, there are short verses that comprised of only one or two words and they were most likely frequently used in daily conversation, letters and poetries. For example, see: 55:3; 69:1; 74;4; 75:8; 80:28; 81:26. Furthermore, we are informed that the minimum unit that demonstrates Quran's miraculous nature is a chapter (10:38) and the shortest chapter consists of 3 verses (103; 108, 110). The first verse of the Quran, commonly known as Basmalah, cannot be a miracle on his own, but it gains a miraculous nature with its numerical network with other letters, words, verses and chapters of the Quran. By not using the singular form "Ayah" for the verses of the Quran, God made it possible to distinguish the miracles shown in the text and prophecies of the scripture from the miracles shown in the nature. See 4:82 for further evidence that the Quranic verses do not abrogate each other.
QUESTION 6: Was Pharaoh killed or not killed by drowning?
1. "We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: 'I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).' (It was said to him): 'Ah now!- But a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee!' But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!" (10:90).
2. "Moses said, 'Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!' So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him," (17:102).
ANSWER 6: Pharaoh was killed by drowning and his body was saved via mummification.
Verse 10:92 does not say that God will keep Pharaoh alive; it informs us that God will preserve His body after he was drowned.
QUESTION 7 Is wine consumption good or bad?
1. "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper," (5:90).
2. "(Here is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord. (Can those in such Bliss) be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?" (47:15).
3. "Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss: On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things): Thou wilt recognize in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed," (83:22).
ANSWER 7: Consumption of wine is bad in this world.
The Quran strongly rebukes the consumption of intoxicants for believers. This is not an enforced legal prohibition; but left individuals to decide. The reason for this prohibition is obvious: intoxicants, though may provide some social or psychological benefits to the consumer, they impair their judgment and intelligence and causes too many problems for both the individual and the society. The Quran prohibits intoxicants to individuals because of various reasons such as: moral (the designer and creator of your body and mind asks you not to intentionally harm the body lent to you for a lifetime), intellectual (the greatest gift you have is your brain and its power to make good judgment, do not choose to be stupid or stupider than already you are!") and pragmatic (you and your society will suffer grave loss of health, wealth, happiness, and many lives; do not contribute to the production and acceleration of such a destructive boomerang).
This said, let me suggest a correction. The verses 83:22 does not mention wine; thus, the translation is erroneous. The only verse that uses intoxicants (KHAMR) in a positive context is 47:15, and interestingly it is about paradise, that is, hereafter. A quick reflection on the reason for prohibition of intoxicants will explain the apparent contradiction. The harm of intoxicants, such as drunk driving, domestic violence or alcoholism, is not an issue in other universe, where the laws and rules are different. In other words, a person who is rewarded by eternal paradise will not hurt himself or herself or anyone else by getting intoxicated (See 7:43; 15:47; 21:102; 41:31; 43:71; 2:112; 5:69).
QUESTION 8: Has the quran been abrogated?
No, the Quran is perfect and can never be abrogated. Yes, some verses have been abrogated.
"There is none to alter the decisions of Allah." (6:34).
"Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words." (6:115).
"There is no changing the Words of Allah." (10:64).
"And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words." (18:27).
Yes, some verses have been abrogated.
"And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, - and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth - they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not." (16:101).
"Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof." (2:106).
ANSWER 8: No, there is no abrogation in the Quran.
This question received its answer when I answered the Question 5, above.
QUESTION 9: Who chooses the devils to be the friends of disbelievers?
"We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not." (7:27).
"A party hath He led aright, while error hath just hold over (another) party, for lo! they choose the devils for protecting supporters instead of Allah and deem that they are rightly guided." (7:30).
ANSWER 9: Disbelievers choose evil and devils in accordance to God's law established to test us on this planet.
While the Quran states that every event happens in accordance to God's design and permission (8:17; 57:22), the Quran also informs us regarding our freedom to choose our path (6:110; 13:11; 18:29 42:13; 46:15).
QUESTION 10: Will all Jews and Christians go to hell?
Yes, all Christians will go to hell.
"Whoso seeketh as religion other than the Islam it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter." (3:85).
"They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. ... Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers." (5:72).
No, some will not.
"Those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (2:62).
"Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians - Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve." (5:69).
ANSWER 10: Some Jews and Christians will go to hell.
First, the Quran calls the followers of Jesus with the word Nazarenes, rather than Christians. Second, the word Sabaean is not a proper name referring to a particular religion, rather than it is a verb meaning "those who are from other religions."
The critic assumes that peacefully surrendering to God is only possible if someone utters an Arabic magic word. Islam is not a proper name, neither it started with Muhammad, nor it ended with Muhammad. Any person, regardless of the name of their religion, who dedicate himself to God alone, believe in the day of judgment and live a righteous life, that person is considered muslim (who surrender themselves to God alone and promote peace). There are many people among Christians and Jews who fit this description.