Published by: Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Vol. 3 No. 3 - August '96, Rabi-ul-Awwal 1417
The Miraculous Qur'an
"Why don't they contemplate upon the Qur'an. Had it been originated from anyone besides Allah Ta'ala then it would have been beset with inconsistencies and contradictions" (S 4 V 82)
This verse in fact offers a truly scientific approach, something that is not offered by any other religious scripture. This is exactly what scientists demand. Today there are many people who have various ideas and theories about how the universe works. These people are all over the place, but the scientific community does not even bother to listen to them. This is because within the last century the scientific community has demanded a test of falsification. They say, "If you have a theory, do not bother us with it unless you bring with that theory a way for us to prove whether you are wrong or not".
Such a test was exactly why the scientific community listened to Einstein towards the beginning of this century. He came with a new theory and said, "I believe the universe works like this; and here are three ways to prove whether I am wrong!" So the scientific community subjected his theory to the tests, and within six years it passed all three. Of course, this does not prove he was great, but it proves that he deserved to be listened to because he said, "This is my idea; and if you want to try to prove me wrong, do this or try that."
This is exactly what the Qur'an has - falsification tests. Some are old (in that they have already been proven true), and some still exist today. Basically, it states, "If this book is not what it claims to be, then all you have to do is this or this or this to prove that it is false." Of course, in 1400 years no one has been able to do "this or this or this," and thus one has to accept its authenticity.
A perfect example of how the Qur'an provides man with a chance to verify its authenticity and "prove it wrong" occurs in the above mentioned verse. This is a clear challenge to the non-Muslims. Basically, it invites him to find a mistake. As a matter of fact, the seriousness and difficulty of the challenge aside, the actual presentation of such challenge in the first place is not even in human nature and is inconsistent with man's personality. One doesn't take an exam in School and after finishing the exam, write a note to the instructor at the end, saying, "This exam is perfect. There are no mistakes in it. Find one if you can!" One just doesn't do that. The teacher would not sleep until he found a mistake! And yet this is the way the Qur'an approaches mankind. Standing on a pedestal above that can never be challenged. A feature that is unique of the Qur'an which no other scripture can ever come near to.Source: Al-Jamiat
We originally linked to the above article on the Al-Jamiat web site, but it has been withdrawn. Only the explanation of the challenge from first part of the article is reproduced here. Emphasis via bold face or italics is from the original article.
The second part gave an example of a `difficult passage' and explained why that is not wrong but rather a very deep insight. It was, however, not a contradiction issue, but in the category of moral issues. Finding a statement to be correct (when looking at it a certain way) is, however, irrelevant to the discussion since the challenge was not: If you find something true in it, then it is from God.
Against the background of this above outlined challenge let us now resume our evaluation of the Qur'an in regard to the possible existence of contradictions.