How many days are there in a year according to the Qur'an?

In many Muslim lists of miracles of the Qur'an intended to prove the divine origin of the book, one item regarding the occurance of certain words in the Arabic text of the Qur'an occurs again and again:

These are really amazing statistics in Quran - contributed by Hasnain Jaffery.


el-shahr (the month) 12 times

el-youm (the day) 365 times


At first sight, this looks impressive. But there are at least two problems with this claim.

1. What has been counted? The word for "day" actually occurs 475 times in the Qur'an!

2. What is a "month" and a "year"? The Islamic calendar is not the same as the generally used solar calendar. In the Qur'an a month is a lunar month of 29 or 30 days, and the Qur'an explicitly defines the length of a year to be 12 lunar months which is 354 days long, not 365 days.

Why then would Muslims be so eager to prove that the number of occurrences of the word "day" in the Qur'an corresponds to the Western calendar and not to the "divinely mandated" Islamic calendar?

More thoughts on this topic will be added shortly, but this should be sufficient to dampen some of the unfounded enthusiasm around this issue.

The Qur'an and Numerics
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