Contradictions in the Quran

Faithful believers go to any level to bend all rules of logic to deny the undeniable, defend the indefensible and explain the unexplainable. Why should there be a need to explain contradictions in a ‘clear book’? The best answer to show that the Quran must not be interpreted in any other way than its obvious meaning comes from the Quran itself. The Quran repeatedly claims to be a “clear book” (5:15), “easy to understand” (44:58, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40), “explained in detail” (6:114), “conveyed clearly” (5:16, 10:15), and with “no doubt” in it (2:1).

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1. Who was the first Muslim? Muhammad 6:14,163, Moses 7:143, some Egyptians 26:51, Abraham 2:127-133, 3:67 or was it Adam 2:37?

Muslim explanation: These people were the first Muslims “of their community” not humanity. This explanation is completely wrong since nowhere is it mentioned in the Quran that they were the first Muslims of their community. “Of their community” is invented by some Muslims to explain a clear contradiction. It is also a heinous sin to alter the words of the Quran, which those who are trying to explain this are doing.

2. Verses 22:47 and 32:5 say that Allah’s day equal to 1,000 human years. But 70:4 says that it is equal to 50,000 years.

Muslim explanation: Chapter 70 Verse 4 says, “Angels and spirits ascend unto Allah in a single day the span of which is 50,000 years”. These are 50,000 years for angels and spirits, not human beings. An year for an angel or spirit may be different than one for a human being.

This explanation again puts words in the mouth of the author of the Quran since nowhere is it mentioned that the span is 50,000 years ‘for spirits and angels’. The Quran, which claims itself to be a clear book, with no confusion, would have explicitly mentioned that these 50,000 are years for spirits and angels, and not human beings. Since this verse was going to be read by humans, it is only certain that 50,000 years mean 50,000 human years unless explicitly mentioned. This is a clear contradiction, and if there is some explanation, God would have given that explanation in the book itself being aware that this is a strong case of being seen as a contradiction.

3. Will people be raised from dead on the Last Day to receive their punishment and rewards 6.36, 7.57, 2.260, 21.21, 30.50, 35.9, 43.11, 72.7, or do they receive it right after their death? 3.169

4. Verses 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, and 25:59 say the universe was created in six days while verses 41:9-12 say it was created in eight days. Then again in 2:117 we are told that “He [3rd person] saith to it: ‘Be,’ and it is”. These are three different versions of creation – six days, eight days and instantaneously.

5. 54:19 says Allah destroyed the people of Aad in a day. 41:16 says it was days (three or more) 69:7 specifies seven nights and eight days in succession.

Now there may not be a contradiction between 41:16 and 69:7 since more than three days can mean seven (though it should have been specified in 41:16 itself that there are 7 nights and 8 days and 41:16 does not mention nights) but there is a clear contradiction between 54:19 and 69:7.

Muslim explanation: 54:19 says “One day” which means the starting day, and continued for 7 days. But 54:19 does not mention ‘started’.

“For We sent against them a furious wind, on a Day of violent Disaster Plucking out men as if they were roots of palm-trees torn up (from the ground). Yea, how (terrible) was My Penalty and My Warning!”. This verse nowhere mentions that furious wind lasted more than one day. It is clear that there was only one day of violent disaster from this verse. Hence this explanation is also wrong.

6. The food for the people in Hell will be only “Dhari” 88:6, only foul pus from the washing of wounds 69:36, or will they also get to eat from the tree of Zaqqum 37:62-66?

Muslim explanation: Here, someone tries to explain the unexplainable by saying that God is simply saying that food in Hell will be horrible and that God uses different words for the same thing. This is a clear contradiction-foul pus is different from Dhari and tree of Zaqqum is also different. Nowhere is it said in the Quran that Dhari is same as pus and Zaqqum’s fruits. Forcible explanations to explain the unexplainable are all wrong.

7. Who takes the souls at death: The Angel of Death 32:11, THE angels (plural) 47:27 or Allah 39:42?

Muslim explanation: All the above are Beings who take souls to God, to whom the souls ultimately reach. The ‘Angel’ or ‘Angels’ of death do it on behalf of God i.e. Allah only.

   Of course, this is a desperate attempt to explain a clear contradiction, since if it was so in a book claimed as “clear book” (5:15), “easy to understand” (44:58, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40), “explained in detail” (6:114), “conveyed clearly” (5:16, 10:15), and with “no doubt” in it (2:1), it would have been clearly explained directly why 3 different Beings are named on 3 different occasions as taking the souls at death. Is it that in some instances only one Angel takes them, in some instances many Angels, and in some instances Allah? Or is it that on all occasions Angels take them but bring them to Allah on His orders? This is of course a clear contradiction with no explanation provided in the Quran, meaning it is a clear mistake.

8.How many angels announced the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary? ONE angel 19:17-21 or several angels 3:42-45? 

9. At the Day of Judgment, people are divided into three groups 56:7 or two groups 90:18-19, 99:6-8?

Muslim explanation: Someone says that there is no contradiction, 56:7 mentions three groups, while 99:6-8 and 90:18-19 only mention two of the three groups. The verses 90:18-19 say “Their place will be on the right hand. But those who disbelieve Our revelations, their place will be on the left hand.” If God is only talking of two of the three groups, then who will be in the third group? There can only be two types of people, namely believers, and unbelievers. If there was a third category (say, in the ‘central’ hand!) then it should have been mentioned by God here, which is not.

10. 21:30 says “heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We [1st person] clove them asunder?” But 41:11 says “Then He [3rd person] directed Himself to the heaven and it is a vapor, so He said to it and to the earth: Come both, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly.” So were the heaven and earth joined originally and Allah separated them or where they separated and Allah joined them? There is a contradiction.

The above verse also assumes that heaven and earth have wills of their own and can obey or disobey God’s orders. This is good for children’s story but it is not science.

For a complete list of contradictions, this link is useful. Two excellent articles on ‘Mistakes in Quran Part 1 and Part 2‘ can be downloaded from here and here.

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