Some numerical miracles in the Quran make use of prime numbers such as 7 and 19. Other verses mention words a certain number of times which correlate with their opposite eg. ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ are mentioned 24 times each.
Some numerical miracles in the Quran include:
- Passage of time
- The two genders
- Jesus is like Adam
- Angels and Devils
- Life and Death
- This life and the Afterlife
The Quran as a living miracle
The Quran is considered by Muslims to be a living miracle for many reasons including the ability for millions of people to memorized it entirely, no word has been changed in it since its revelation over 1400 years ago etc.
When we read the Quran, we read it for the message and guidance within it and the blessings attached to it. But someone with a curious mind may start counting things in the Quran and when we start the counts of things, it turns out that these are in themselves meaningful and may even be miracles.
When you look at the examples that follow, bear in mind that the Quran originally was delivered completely orally by the Prophet (SAW), and it wasn’t until after his death, that a complete written form was compiled. For someone to do this with so many occurrences in the Quran, makes it at the very least, astonishing.
Some examples that follow are:
1. Passage of time
The word ‘Day’ in its singular form without any suffixes occurs exactly 365 times which obviously corresponds to the number of days in the year. Although any child will be able to tell you this fact, for this exact number to occur in various different chapters of the Quran dealing with a variety of topics and still fit in with how many ‘days’ there are in the year could on its own be seen as a coincidence and nothing remarkable. But then let’s move on to another fact.
The word ‘month’ occurs 12 times which correlates with the number of months in the year. Again on its own, it would be looked at merely as a coincidence, but when you put this and the ‘day’ example together, this at the very least becomes quite unusual. One may think that the author of the book must have deliberately counted to make sure that this is what he is doing with his book. But then you can look at other examples.
2. The Two Genders
There are some words that occur in the Quran which are in contrast or comparison to each other which occur an equal number of times. This is not for all the contrasting words but enough words to give us reason to stop and think. As an example, the words ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ both appear in the Quran 24 times each.
If every time it mentioned ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ in the same sentence, then that would make it simple to figure out and not at all remarkable. But if some chapters mention Man and not Woman and other chapters mention Woman and not Man, then who will be making the counting of both words in the Quran in addition to counting the Day and month examples mentioned earlier. It certainly becomes more intriguing at this point.
3. Jesus is like Adam
We then move on to the Quran’s mention of Jesus (Isa AS) and his similarity to Adam (AS):
‘Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.’
Given the context of this passage, what is meant here is, in the eyes of Muslims, that Jesus was not a divine Son of God but a created being without a father, just like Adam who was created without a mother or a father, so the two of them are alike.
From a numerical point of view, however, there is another way that the two of them are alike in that each of their names is mentioned 25 times and like some examples given earlier, they don’t occur in the same chapters much at all, never mind the same verse.
4. Angels and Devils
Let’s look at some more examples and have in mind, as the number of related words increase, it makes the Quran more fascinating. The words for ‘Angel’ and ‘Devil’ which are contrasting terms are both mentioned 88 times throughout different chapters.
The Quran regularly contrasts this life with the life hereafter, both are mentioned 115 times. How many coincidences can occur before you are amazed when you look at the increasing numbers involved?
Could this be done with help?
Even at this point, it may be said that the Prophet (SAW) could have done this with the help of his companions (RA). But let’s look at revelation occurred: It was sent piece by piece over 23 years through an inspiration to the Prophet (SAW) and he acted as a conduit to deliver that message to the people.
These passages were then memorised and written down by some of his companions on a wide variety of materials. With the result that at the time of the Prophet’s death, there was not one person who had the entire Quran altogether in written form with him. Some people had memorised the entire Quran directly from the Prophet (SAW) but the written pieces were scattered around.
It wasn’t until about 2 years after the death of the Prophet that Zaid ibn Thabit (RA) was commissioned by the Khalifa Abu Bakr (RA) to gather together all the written pieces available to compile the Quran in written form. It was only then that we had the Quran in written form in continuous writing which corresponds with the memories of the people.
Without having the Quran on paper before you, you cannot perform the kinds of analysis which we are performing now to see how many times certain words or phrases occur. Through memory, you may have a vague recollection of the number of certain items being mentioned but so many different words?
Could they have had better memories?
It is also not true to suggest that historically people had superior memories. It is true that today with increasing use of technologies, some of our mental skills are not used as much and so may diminish but memories of humans have been fallible before as they are now. Without pen and paper, some sorts of analyses are very difficult to conduct.
Traditionally, Islamic scholars have been very conservative in respect of changing anything with regards to what the Prophet (SAW) said or did. So much so, in fact that when the idea of even compiling all available written pieces of scripture together was brought up, it was originally objected to with the words ‘How can we do something that the Prophet (SAW) didn’t do?’
There are many other relationships and miracles within the Quran that may amaze you.
‘It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.’
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