A Guide to the Qur’anic Contradictions (Part-1)

Abul Kasem

Introduction

This guide is a compilation of contradictory verses in the Qur’an, the holiest book of Islam. Muslims consider the Qur’an as the infallible words of Allah, free of any ambiguities, contradictions, errors and irrationalities. This guide will demonstrate that far from being perfect, free of ambiguities and errors, the Qur’an is replete with hundreds of contradictory statements that will surprise the critical readers of the Qur’an. It is unbelievable that an omnipotent, omniscient, all‑knowing, and all‑powerful Allah will have such a demented intellect to construct so many contradictory passages.

 

For easy understanding, the Qur’anic verses are provided in summarized, plain English. For the complete translation please refer to the translations of Yusuf Ali, Picthal, and Shakir:
(http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/reference.html) or the translation of Hilali and Khan (http://www.mlivo.com/translations/Hilali%20Khan.htm).

 

Many contradictory verses are repeated; it is because of the repetitive nature of the Qur’an. One amazing aspect of the Qur’an is that there may be several contradictions in a single verse.

 

Please note that this guide does not address Qur’an’s errors, absurdities, and irrationalities on various subjects such as science, mathematics, astronomy, history, embryology, geology, and cosmology. This is a vast topic and a separate guide is necessary to understand Allah’s expertise on these issues.

 

This guide may not be complete. There might be many other contradictory verses which the author might have missed. The author will appreciate if any reader finds other contradictory verses not included in this guide, and brings them to my attention. I shall include them in the list to make this guide as comprehensive as possible.

 

Sura 2: al-Baqara (The Cow)

2:21
Allah created the mankind; they should worship Him.
Contradiction: 3:97, 35:15 say Allah does not need mankind and the jinns; He is free of all want.

 

2:29
Allah created the earth (first) then He perfected the seven firmaments (heavens); He has the perfect knowledge of all things. (This verse indicates that Allah started creation by creating earth, and then He made heaven into seven heavens. This is how building usually starts, with the lower floors first and then the top floors—ibn Kathir).
Contradiction: 79:27‑30 says Allah created the heavens first.

2:34
All the angels bowed to Adam, except Iblis. He was haughty and a disbeliever.
Contradiction: 16:49 says every creature in the heavens and in earth prostrates to Allah.

2:35
Allah forbade Adam and his wife to approach the tree of knowledge. (Allah spoke directly to Adam—ibn Kathir.)
Contradiction: 42:51 says Allah never speaks directly to a human; He speaks either from behind a veil or through a messenger.

 

2:37
Adam learned the words of inspiration from Allah. Adam was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 2:131 says Abraham was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 6:14 says Muhammad was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 7:143 says Moses was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 26:51 says some Egyptians were the first Muslims.

 

2:38
Allah ordered Adam and his wife to descend on earth, and to preach on people whatever message they received from Allah.
Contradiction: In verse 20:123, before sending Adam on earth, Allah told him humans on earth would be enemies of one another. This means there were already people on earth when Adam descended on it. So Adam was not the first human created by Allah.

 

2:47
Allah blesses the Children of Israel more than other believers; He has preferred them above all beings.
Contradiction: 3:33‑34 says Allah preferred Adam, Noah, the house of Abraham, and the house of Imran above all beings.

 

2:50
Allah parted the sea (Red sea); saved the Children of Israel (i.e., Moses’ people), and drowned Pharaoh in front of the eyes of the Children of Israel.
Contradiction: 10:90 says Pharaoh submitted to Islam.
Contradiction: 10:92 says Allah saved Pharaoh.

 

2:51
When Moses went to keep his appointment with Allah for forty days, his people reverted to worshipping a cow during his absence.
Contradiction: 7:142 says Moses’ appointment with Allah was for forty nights.

 

2:52
Despite their sins of idolatry, Allah forgave the people of Moses.
Contradiction: 2:63 says Allah raised the Mount Sinai above the Children of Israel and threatened them to submit to Him.
Contradiction: 7:152 says Allah punished them.

 

2:58
Then Allah asked the people of Moses to humbly enter a city (Jerusalem or Jericho—ibn Kathir) through its gate so that they could find all the provisions they needed for their sustenance.
Contradiction: Allah says in 7:137 He let Moses’ people inherit the land east and west, that is, the land of greater Syria.

2:62
Muslims/Jews/Christians/Sabians—anyone who believes in Allah and the last Day and does a righteous deed will get rewards.
Contradiction: 9:17 says unbelievers will go to hell.
Contradiction: In 3:85 Allah says He only accepts Islam.
Contradiction: 4:150‑151 says Allah will severely punish those who deny Allah and Muhammad and those who separate Allah from His messengers.
Contradiction: in 5:33 Allah commands Muslims to Crucify or behead those who criticize Islam and Muhammad or do not convert to Islam.

 

2:79
Those Jews wrote their Book with their own hands, and faked that as the Book from Allah, Allah curses them.
Contradiction: 6:34, 6:115 say none has the power to change the words of Allah.

 

2:106
Whatever verses Allah abrogates or causes Muhammad to forget, He replaces them with similar or better verses (Muhammad did forget some Qur’anic verses—Walker, p. 166).
Contradiction: 6:34, 6:115 say none can change the words in the Qur’an.

 

2:107
The dominion of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah; there is no protector besides Him.
Contradiction: In 13:11, 41:31, 50:17‑18, and 82:10 Allah says angels are our protectors and guards.
Contradiction: 5:55 says Allah’s messengers are our protectors.

 

2:116
The Christians belief that Allah had begotten a son is untrue; Allah possesses everything in heavens and on earth, everything worships Him.
Contradiction: 3:180, 15:23, 19:40, 19:79‑80, 21:89, 28:58 say Allah inherits from infidels/other creatures.

 

2:117
Allah creates instantly, by decree; He says ‘be’ and it is.
Contradiction: 7:54, 10:3, 11:7 and 25:59 say six days of creation.
Contradiction: 41:9–12 say eight days of creation.
Contradiction: 6:101 says Allah could not create a son for himself because He does not have a consort (a wife or a concubine).

 

2:131
Allah asked, and Abraham cheerfully submitted himself to Allah (Abraham was the first Muslim—ibn Kathir.)
Contradiction: 2:37 says Adam was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 6:14 says Muhammad was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 7:143 says Moses was the first Muslim.
Contradiction: 26:51 says some Egyptians were the first Muslims.

 

2:139
The Islamic, the Jewish and the Christian Allah is the same Allah, do not argue on this. Allah will reward each group according to their deeds.
Contradiction: 9:30 says Jews and Christians are idolaters.
Contradiction: 3:118, 5:51, 5:57, 58:14 and 60:13 say not to be friendly with unbelievers, including Jews and the Christians.

 

2:148
Every nation has a qibla; Allah has given each group of people a law and a way of life.
Contradiction: 25:51 says if willed, Allah could have sent messengers to every nation to instill fear; but He didn’t.

 

2:167
Those who plead for another chance, Allah will disown them and send them to hell to dwell there forever.
Contradiction: 6:128 says as long as Allah wishes, not forever.

 

2:185
As a guide to mankind, Allah sent the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan (the ENTIRE Qur’an).
Contradiction: 17:106, 25:32 say Allah sent the Qur’an in stages.

 

2:219
Wines and gambling are Satan’s handiwork—there are some good but great sins.
Contradiction: 47:15 and 83:25 say Allah will serve Satan’s handiwork, wine, in Islamic Paradise.

 

2:221
Do not marry idolatresses until they believe. A believing slave woman is better than a non-believing free woman; do not get your girls married to unbelievers until they (the unbelievers) convert to Islam.
Contradiction: 9:30 says the Jews and the Christians are idolaters, but Allah allows Muslim men to marry their women without converting to Islam. According to ibn Abbas, ‘I do not know of a bigger Shirk than her saying that Jesus is her Lord!’ This means that the Christian women are idolaters.

 

2:253
Some apostles (messengers) are above others; to some of them Allah spoke (i.e., Allah has graded His messengers, He had spoken directly to a few of them); to Jesus, Allah gave clear signs and the Holy Spirit.
Contradiction: Allah says in 4:152 He makes no distinctions among prophets.

 

2:254
Unbelievers (non‑Muslims) are the real wrong‑doers; they will have no intercession on the last day.
Contradiction: 2:255 says Allah might appoint intercessor for anyone He wishes, including some unbelievers.

 

2:255
Allah sustains and protects all that exists. His throne extends over the heavens; no one can intercede without His permission.
Contradiction: see 2:254.

 

2:259
Allah caused a man to sleep for a century, then raised him up, and questioned the man how long he thought had been in sleep (in this verse Allah is directly speaking with an ordinary person).
Contradiction: 42:51 says Allah speaks only through a veil or through a messenger.

 

End of Part 1

To be continued in part 2.


 

Abul Kasem is an Bengali freethinker and is a teacher by profession. He has contributed in Leaving Islam – Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad – Critical Voices from Inside. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of several e-Books including: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. His latest contribution is in the book Why We left Islam, edited by Susan Crimp et al.  He can be contacted at [email protected] and [email protected]