We, the Mulims, believe in Quran having no mistake; but as science improves our understanding of the whole universe, there comes to eyes verses in Quran which makes us think curiously if Quran is really free from errors; maybe it has been revealed up to the knowledge of Arabs of 1400 years ago?

For example:

(Note: the following are mere examples came to my mind, a few among many, the question is focused on what was stated above)

In the qu'ran it's written that God made creatures in pairs. But that's not true since there are many creatures that live alone, reproduce alone etc. and actually refuse pairing, while there are many that don't actually need a pair.

That God created Mountains so that they can prevent earth from shaking. It's proven that earthquakes can happen everywhere, from the top of a mountain to the deepest part of the sea, and as a matter of fact earthquakes and mountains are made from the same phenomenon.

That God has given us Daily Day and Night. But there are some places on earth where it's always night or day. and if we go out of earth then there is not even that.

Cit. He created the heavens without any pillars that you can see; He set on the earth's mountains standing firm, let it shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs

And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep [a means for] rest and has made the day a resurrection. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.

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    But If misinterpretation can happen, then we can't be sure of anything....
    – Jule
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 10:57
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    @ jule What I know for sure is you better keep reading Quran. It's not unlikely that many Muslim brothers and sisters of mine will not approve of this idea but Quran is not readily understandable in a way void of any inconsistencies, to nearly all people even to a very cursory extent. Righteousness is needed to understand Quran, or else why should none but the purified touch it (56:79). I know this doesn't count an answer as such to you, but this is inevitable if one feels the pain and passion to understand Quran.
    – Itsme
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 11:15
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    I'm sorry, but, as you said, that doesn't answer my question. Second, having passion for something doesn't mean you have to be blind, or you have to refrain your curiosities. And, third, If we make laws from it that means we understand it and we HAVE to understand it.
    – Jule
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 11:22
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    Qur'an can have mistakes, if you expect there might be some mistakes. But Qur'an WILL NOT have mistakes, if you don't expect such. God guides all. Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 12:35
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    I don't get why the downvotes, is asking whether quran might have mistakes wrong?
    – novice
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 9:30

5 Answers 5


Be aware that if you read the Qur'an in a different language than Arabic that what you read is an interpretation/translation this might have mistakes or lacks meanings as the Arabic text/context and circumstances is very hard to translate with all its specification, so for instance you might find some translations who had more focus on the beauty of the language, while others try to translate a specific interpretation from tafseer books -which leads to a restriction in the meaning- etc.. Therefore you should either read in a big size translation which tries to address every aspect of the Verses or read a tafsir meanwhile or ask Muslim people -hoping they could give you a satisfactory answer- as you did or better scholars who may explain!
I must/should add that even Muslims (including Arabs) sometimes must ask Scholars or investigate in tafsir books!

It would be very helpful if you could provide the references (surah or surah#/verse#) you mentioned.

Now I'll try to refer to your points as far as I could find what you mentioned or assumed to be mistakes in my investigation:

  1. "In qu'ran It's written that God made creatures in pairs. But that It's not true since there are many creatures that live alone, reproduce alone ecc and actually refuse pairing. while there are many that don't actually need a pair."

First as a counterexample: if you buy a pair of socks or shoes would you say that they don't need a pair or that pair only means male/female?
The same is in the Arabic meaning of the word it might refer to a pair f/m or two opposite things or two things which have some kind of relationship as day and night (follow each other) and this is how even early tafsir book and the sahaba () interpreted the word pair.

In the Quran I could find the word pair (singular, plural and dual plural form) زَوْجَيْنِ, زوج .ازواج mentioned in many Verses here just 3 examples:

  1. Who created in pairs all species, whether of vegetable kingdom or of their own (i.e., human) kind, or of those things of which they know nothing

[Surat Yaseen 36:36]

  1. And We have created everything in pairs maybe that you learn a lesson from it

(Surat adh-Dhaariyat 51:49)

  1. and created you as pairs (of men and women)

[Surat an-Naba' 78:8]

The 1st Verse I quoted shows that the way Allah created the pairs are different, but the translation I quoted is a bit weak here an other translation is (Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.) this isn't far from the Arabic text we can understand that the 1st way is to create pairs from all what earth produces, and 2nd from their own race/kind (human/animal etc.) and 3rd from other things which you don't know this could also be interpreted as in a very different way which you can't imagine/know (at the moment).

  1. "That God created Mountains so that they can prevent earth from shaking. It's proven that earthquakes can happen everywhere, from the top of a mountain to the deepest part of the Sea, and as a matter of fact earthquakes and Mountains are made from the same Phenomenon."

About the Verse you mentioned [which seems to be in Surat Luqman 31:10] you can read in the tafsir that it is narrated that the mountains prevent the earth from shaking because when Allah made earth it was shaking and the mountains made it stay kind of still. This may refer to a non-scientific attempt to explain tectonics!
But actually the Qur'an doesn't explicitly say "Mountain" and doesn't necessarily mean tectonics. The Qur'an actually uses the Arabic word رواسي (rawasi which is the plural of راسية which means something vertical and may also mean fixed) this word was interpreted as mountains by most of the mufassireen. Imam at-Tabari -one of the earlier scholars of tafseer- in his tafssir -see here in Arabic- of verse (16:15) -which actually is a kind of partial duplicate of verse 31:10- explains the creation of mountains as follows:
Allah has created mountains that are vertical and rather fix so that people may use them as guiding points and don't get lost on earth. Note that imam at-Tabari in his formulation made clear that not all mountains actually are fix and we know due to tectonics that this actually isn't the case, but it might look like some were rather fix for the human eye.
Further he also quoted some of the narrations that have rather been taken by scholars of tafseer like al-Baghawi, ibn Kathir etc. that rely on at-Tafssir bil ma'thur (tafseer that is strongly based on narrations, interpretation of earlier scholars like the sahaba and tabi'in and Qur'an itself) it seems none of those ever considered the simple explanation of at-Tabari.
Imam Fakhr ad-Dyn ar-Razi in his at-tafsir al-Kabir -see here in Arabic- explained the verse based on the word تميد which means moving to left and right without a clear direction and perturbation in general based on the example of ships in the sea as the word actually is originally used in this context. His explanation is that the earth's surface was somewhat swimming or moved by/with the surrounding water until the mountains helped it to get settled and he discussed this view based on three cases and came to conclusion that might be regarded as close to that of sheikh at-Taher ibn 'Ashur (see later) which is that the mountains actually stopped the spherical corpus of earth from moving (which we know is wrong).
Imam az-Zarkashi in his al-Kashaf -see here in Arabic- somewhat adapted the explanation of imam at-Tabari, and the example of the ship but he didn't go into details and so did ibn 'Atiyah.
Among the modern scholars sheikh at-Taher ibn 'Ashur after explaining the words of the verse -in his at-Tahrir wa-Tanwir see here in Arabic- and the meaning it may lead to he exclaimed a doubt and called this meaning "cryptic غامض" and said maybe the wisdom behind the creation of mountains actually had an effect on the movement of the earth as else a rather spherical form might have less friction which may lead to a kind of perturbation.

As I'm not a know-it-all and I also would like to get a scientific answer in stead of a narration which could end up as weak proof, I asked a question in the world-building section hoping for a geological explanation on what would happen if earth -as we know it- has no mountains you could read/follow the answers there and here are answers on the same Questions on earth-science which explain that mountains are the results of earthquakes as we know! I've asked the question again from a different perspective on WorldbuildingSE and got another interesting answer saying that none would be able to explain tectonics in the 7th century (see here).

On the other Hand there are Qur'an Verses quoting the Mountains claiming exactly the opposite of what you deduced or saw as a mistake. And therefore all other Verses seem to agree whit what you said! See for example (Surat An-Naml 27:88]

Today, you see the mountains and think that they are firmly set, but on that Day they will be flying about like the clouds; this will be a manifestation of the powers of Allah, Who has ordered everything with wisdom. He is fully aware of what you do.

  1. "That God has given us Daily Day and Night. But there are some places on earth where It's always night or day. and if we go out of earth then there is not even that."

As for this point I can't see any problem or contradiction, as the Qur'an says clearly that day and night are gifts from Allah. And there's no place on earth and as far as I know, where it is all the time only day or only night. And such a phenomenon is mentioned in Qur'an as a thread in Surat al-Qassass (28:71-73)

O Prophet, say to them, "Have you ever considered that if Allah should make the night perpetual for you, till the Day of Resurrection, which deity, besides Allah, would bring you light? Don't you hear anything?" (71) Ask them, "Have you ever considered that if Allah should make the day perpetual for you, till the Day of Resurrection, which deity, besides Allah, would bring you the night so that you may have rest in it? Don't you see anything?"(72) It is His Mercy that He has made the night and the day for you so that you may have rest (in the night) and seek your Lord's bounty (in the day); maybe that you are grateful.(73)

Edit August 27th: A friend of mine just sent me a Wikipedia link about so called red dwarf planets which are some kind of planets or moons which turn around a planet but not around themselves so on one side it is allays night and the other always day (سبحان الله): a question would be is life on such a dwarf possible?

As a reference you quote something I couldn't find, are you sure you didn't mix up some Verses as to the 1st part it could be the Verse in Surat al-Furqan (25:47):

And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep [a means for] rest

The last part could be from Surat Aal-'Imran (2:190)

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.

Thank you for your interesting question it was a pleasure to me to investigate. I hope I could give some helpful explanations!

And Allah knows best

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    This is indeed a detailed admirable response which was profitable for me, especially mentioning the verses ... Jazak Allah Khaira. Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 8:23
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    @ the unknown down-voter: it would be nice if you left a comment explaining what you dislike in this answer ...
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 11:31

I'd like to offer quite a different point of view; of course if the quran is from an all-knowing god who only reveals truths, then it follows the quran cannot have any errors. This is equivalent to the statement that if there is a single error in the quran, then it cannot be from an all-knowing god that only reveals truths, and this is why there is so much defensiveness around this issue. A single clear error would mean all of islam is false. Obviously, islam claims that not a single error exists in the quran.

Now there are some errors in the quran if you read it in a straightforward manner without trying to bend meanings to make them conform with scientific knowledge. I will first address some of those you mention, then end with what I think can easily be considered the most clear-cut error in the quran.

The claim that all living things exist in pairs is clearly false if this is taken in a manner relating to forming pair bonds or sexual reproduction; I don't know Arabic so I can't comment on the reliability of the translations, but let me take the translation that has been stated to be close to the Arabic in a different answer:

Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge. 36:36

What the earth grows, humans, and things yet unknown are created in pairs according to all the translations I have seen. I have not seen any translation that would allow it grammatically to apply "things of which they have no knowledge" to the mode of creation, instead all I have seen are translations that can only be understood such that the "things of which they have no knowledge" are also created in pairs. Clearly, there are many species that do not reproduce in pairs, that don't even require pairs for reproduction.

As mentioned in the comments, being created in pairs does not imply reproducing in pairs; the latter is however the most widespread interpretation I can find for it, so if that is a fair assessment of the tafsir literature regarding this issue, then what can be said here is that the understanding of most scholars with regard to this verse has been wrong.

Mountains that stop the earth from shaking is another example that I would consider to be an error; it's not that the mountains prevent the shaking, it's that the mountains are the result of plate tectonics, as are earthquakes. Saying the mountains stop the earth from shaking under such an interpretation is like saying ants eating sandwiches cause picnics.

Another example would be the claims about the order in which a foetus develops:

Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create! 23:14

The sperm does not become a clot of congealed blood; the embryo is quite different from congealed blood, but it would look similar to someone who lived before medical science appeared. Even if you consider that a poetic description, then there is the matter of the bones being created before or simultaneously with the flesh that clothes them. Again, I can't speak to the Arabic, but all translations seem to place the flesh clothing bones no sooner than the bones themselves - this is not the order in which it happens. Muscles that will later be attached to bones start developing in the embryo some time before bones appear.

I think the most relevant point, because it is so completely unambiguous, is human evolution. I have not heard of a single orthodox scholar who is willing to say that Adam and Eve can possibly have had any precursor from which they descended, all of them firmly hold to the story that Adam was created from a sort of earth-like substance, his wife Eve from him, and the two of them are the progenitors of all of humanity. Yet biology is completely unambiguous: mankind evolved from predecessors that were not of their species, monkey-like beings and before that even less developed animals, back to organisms so small you could not see them with the naked eye. Now the abrahamic religions have made it their task to argue against this despite the overwhelming evidence for it that satisfies every scientist with the exception of obstinate religionists who at times outright say "I see it, but it contradicts my faith, so I will not accept it." This is intellectual dishonesty, it is inconsistent with the level of evidence they require for their religious beliefs - those beliefs are far more outlandish than the extremely well supported notion that mankind evolved just like every other species - and yet it is the clearest, completely unambiguous, and by far best supported case in which science arrives at one conclusion, and islam demands you believe something that completely contradicts that conclusion.

There are a number of strategies that have been developed by muslim apologists to deal with this, all of which, if taken to their logical conclusions, mean you have to believe what the quran says is true no matter whether it contradicts the clearest evidence of anything you know about reality. I can identify at least these:

  • "if scientific findings contradict your interpretation of the quran, then it is just your interpretation that is wrong." There are several problems with that, the worst of them: it makes it completely impossible to investigate the claims of the quran whether they are actually true according to claims we can test and scrutinize. And yet the quran so often demands that we reflect on it, check its signs, etc. This approach seems to me to contradict quranic challenges to test its veracity. On the other hand, this method will leave absolutely any text you pick - not just the quran! - with only two options: either its apparent meaning is correct, or you only have the wrong interpretation, and its apparent meaning is just not the intended one, and the intended one is actually true.

    You can do this with any religious text, or just any work of fiction (what follows now is not supposed to denigrate religious texts, it is simply a matter of clarifying what I mean by way of example). If you pick up Harry Potter with that frame of mind, you will also not find anything that contradicts reality - all you will find are things that clearly are true, and a lot of things that you just don't have the right interpretation for. But I doubt anyone sane is willing to firmly commit to the claim that Harry Potter is a factual report of something that actually happened.
  • "we just haven't found the relevant data yet." The scientific method can never absolutely establish facts without any possibility for error, that much is true. What it can do is clearly refute false ideas. There is no evidence whatsoever that mankind suddenly appeared on earth, then spread over the earth starting from a single couple some 30000-40000 years ago (as calculations from the ahadith would indicate; there were supposedly 10 generations - each of which lasted allegedly for 1000 years - between Adam and Nuh, then 10 between Nuh an Abraham, and no more than 20000 years since Abraham). The point however is that all relevant evidence available to biology points in exactly one direction, and that is that mankind evolved like any other animal species - and appeared in its modern form no less than 100000 years ago (some biologists even think that mankind in its modern form has been here for 250000 years, but I have heard of no one who thinks that it was less than 100000 years). All the data that exists refutes the idea that mankind is no older than 30000-40000 years, having a single pair as its progenitors, with all races and living people coming from these two.
  • "allah made it look like it happened as science finds, but it actually happened exactly like it says in the quran". This one has the same problem as the first one: it makes the quran completely impervious to scrutiny, and would apply to any other religious text and its claims too. If you are willing to accept the idea that god can and will do one thing and make it look like something else happened, then all miraculous claims of all religions everywhere have the same claim to truth - after all, the monkey god hanuman revered by hindus, if he exists, could have created the holy texts of mormonism to lead mormons astray; buddha, if he reached a state of all-powerful enlightenment, could have created the king james bible to completely lead christians off track. Similarly, the shinto god izanagi, if he exists, really could have created the goddess amaterasu from his eye, and could have created Japan together with his wife izanami by having intercourse, then make it look like it was plate tectonics.

    In addition to the fact that the same argument would validate all other religions, it would also support the notion that god is a liar - he says one thing in the quran and gives signs that the opposite is true in nature.
  • "the basis of science is not as solid as the basis of faith" - some genuinely argue that the proofs of the religion are so solid, so completely incontrovertible, that all scientists finding the same thing, not by collusion, but by independent and rigorous scrutiny, is meaningless next to the proofs of islam. I have looked long and hard, and have not found any arguments for islam that are not at the very least no more conclusive than the scientific method - and all of the things adduced as evidence for islam are covered in one form of doubt or another. To the contrary, as your question illustrates, there are good reasons to think there may be something wrong with the claims of islam, and beyond that, all the arguments often advanced for the truth of islam will also be advanced for other religions with small alterations - miracles, fulfilled prophecies, people believing so strongly they break with their families and let themselves get tortured and killed, knowledge not accessible to ordinary human perception, science, you name it.

    On the other hand, the scientific method, no matter who applies it or what the religious beliefs of the one applying it are - with the exclusion of people who outright ignore data that doesn't conform to their religious beliefs - will always yield the same results in the end. Physics experiments done in Kolkata will find the same gravitational constant as such experiments being done in Cairo, or in New York, or in Rio de Janeiro. Sound methods will only yield non-contradictory results, and so any argument that supports contradictory results cannot be sound.
  • <comments deleted> Comments are intended for constructive criticism and seeking clarification, not for argument and debate or extended discussion of tangential points.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 18:02
  • Would have been helpful for me to read how Islam apologetics argue the falsehood of how the quran says Earth is flat, spread-out like a carpet but still believe there are no mistakes. Commented Feb 26 at 8:07

The Qur'aan Kareem is most authentic book in the universe and all muslims strongly believe that Qur'aan Kareem have nothing mistakes because this book is revealed by Allah to our Messenger Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) through the angel Gabriel (Jibreel)[AS], gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.

If you read the verse about the creation in pairs, then we cannot have power to criticize the Qur'aanic verse. We should also read the Tafseer(Explanation) of this verse and try to understand that what exactly the verse's meaning is.

In the Qur'aan, there is a lot of things mentioned but the scientists are proving in this century and many scientists were embraced Islam by authenticity of Qur'aan Kareem.

Please go through this link to clarify: http://www.allahsquran.com/authenticity_of_the_quran.php

The Authenticity of Quran

Allah knows Best

  • I know, my answer is little bit irrelevant to the question. But the question is not a valid, this question direct targets the Quran. Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 14:45
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    Then this comment should be under the question, not under your answer. If you think the question has some problem, then you must get it perfectly clarified before even attempting to answer. Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 13:07

The Quran is from God, and there is no doubt in this. There is not even a single mistake in the Quran, the mistake is always in the interpretation (whether it is an officially accepted interpretation or the reader's interpretation) and in the translations.

In the case of the pairs, it says nowhere that it is referring to the idea that all species have two genders, instead that is an interpretation. We can see the pair system in many things in nature, for example the protons vs the electrons, matter vs anti-matter, positive numbers vs negative numbers, happiness vs sadness. As for the mountains, their very deep roots play an important role in stabilizing the crust, otherwise it would sway.

One big example of difference in interpretation taken as accepted that goes on still today, is that of the verse of the punishment for the thieves, with most of the interpreters sustaining that their hand should be cut. Instead a careful search of the same words used in other verses lead some researchers to find a different interpretation, which is not the subject of this question.

The best way that the Quran should be studied is by the Quran itself. Even if you don't have any Arabic skill, you still can compare the different translations of a particular verse or look at the meaning of each word on websites such as islamawakened.com and you can compare your findings with those of others on the forums.

Do they not REFLECT on the Qur'an? If it was from any other than God they would have found in it many a discrepancy. (4:82)


I’ll grant you a brief answer. Yes and no.

Why do I say, yes and no? Because Quran translated in English can have many mistakes, but God has revealed Quran in a perfect way that no one can do the same thing. And the original language of Quran is classic academic Arabic, but with the highest level of literature and grammar which no one has ever possessed nor will. The only one who possess the highest level of grammar and literature is God Himself.

Only in Arabic you won’t find any mistake there.

  • Please, comment below to why I have 1 down vote.
    – Alex A
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 15:16

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