In 1999, a Christian evangelist named Anis Shorosh wrote a book called "The True Furqan" and claimed that it beats the Quran's challenge that it is inimitable. Now some Arabs have actually agreed that it meets the challenge, while others disagreed. Given the fact that I don't understand Arabic, I can't really judge.

But if you can read Arabic, what do you think? I want an unbiased answer. Should Muslims be worrying about "The True Furqan"?

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    Until someone gives some quantifiable definition of what would constitute meeting that quranic challenge, it really doesn't matter how good the literature someone produces is; if there is wiggle room left, that is where the argument will recede to.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 16:07
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    Read some part of it in English...it's a non sensical puece of work in which he says 'In the name of the Father' in Arabic just as we say Bismillah 'in the name of Allah'.... Then he has twisted the language of The Qur'an and t
    – user16528
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 18:03
  • And tried to irritate Muslims
    – user16528
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 18:03
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    @G.Bach Context of this verse: "(23. And if you (Arab pagans, Jews, and Christians) are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down (i.e. the Qur'an) to Our servant (Muhammad) , then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful). (24. But if you do it not, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.)" Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 11:09
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    I have to say G. Bach has a point. When Allah says "...produce a chapter like it...", what exactly does he mean? Is He challenging us to produce a chapter like in terms of sound? In terms of grammar? Or in terms of style? Or maybe all of them together? Which one?
    – user16329
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 19:45

5 Answers 5


It was written to challenge this verse of the Qur'an:

And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed (the Quran) to Our worshiper (Muhammad), then produce a chapter like it, and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides God if you are truthful. http://quran.com/2/23

This verse asks for challenging this Surah but the author misunderstood it and thought it was asking about the whole Qur'an. The book is written based on the authors own interpretation of this verse which obviously isn't correct.

According to US state department, its author, Dr. Shorrosh claimed the book is similar to the Koran "in style and substance ... but contains the gospel message."

But folks at Christianity.SE seems to disagree with his claims. This post about it in Christianity.SE says:

... as a whole, it does not fit in any form of Christianity, not even the writer's. The idea of the book "The True Furqan", itself, is ridiculous and do not comply with any doctrinal positions of Christianity. As you should have understood until here, it is a tool to be used against Muslims, but destined to fail for obvious reasons.

It challenges the Qur'an but most of it seems to be plagiarized from the Qur'an. The author reworded some verses of the Qur'an and combined it with his beliefs to write this. The following examples show how he did this (Plagiarized and rephrased verses are bolded):

The Quran:

1.Ha, Meem. 2.By the clear Book, 3.Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand. 4.And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom. http://quran.com/43

The True Furqan:

1.O, you who have gone astray from among Our faithful followers: We have inspired it -a True Furqan- in the Arabic tongue clearly miraculous, to distinguish triviality from truth. (4:1)

The Quran:

And when it is said to them, "Believe as the people have believed," they say, "Should we believe as the foolish have believed?" Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not. http://quran.com/2/13

The True Furqan:

Whenever it is urged upon the infidels to believe in The True Furqan, which We revealed, just as Our devoted followers have done, they proclaim, "Are we to accept what the inferior infidels have believed?" (4:7)

The Quran:

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. http://quran.com/112

The True Furqan:

1.In the Name of the Father, the Word, the Holy Spirit, the One and only True God. (Chapter A)

P.S. I would like you to watch this video which shows the arabic skills of the author.


All Praise to Allah Subhanahu wa Taala and blessings of Him be on Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him His family and companions,

It is the deception which would easily be comprehensible it mentions a chapter with a title of "At- Tawheed" (Oneness of Allah) and under the title of Oneness of Allah it starts with "In the name of the father,The word,The holy spirit,The one and only True God".Tawheed itself means indivisible oneness concept of monotheism in Islam so its cotradicting itself and self proclaiming as meeting up the challenge which is visibly false.The author who is trying to compare his work with the divine words was arrested for attempting to burn down his own complex and the next claim he made after that was that "Muslims are after me" so what would be the criterion then for his work.

“Say: ‘If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce its like even though they exerted all and their strength in aiding one another.’” (Quran 17:88)

Allah Swt and His Messenger knows best.

  • But what about the language of that book? How does it compare with the language of the Quran? Is it on par with Quran's language or does it seem "human written"?
    – user16329
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 6:48
  • yeah offcourse human written its not upto the level to compare even
    – Syedah
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 6:50
  • But if that's the case, then why is Anis Shorosh so confident that it is on par with the Quran's language? Why go through all that trouble? He's an Arabic speaker from birth, isn't he? If the Quran's language is far better than "the true furqan" language, he should know.
    – user16329
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 12:41
  • Just to clarify, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just trying to get a better understanding.
    – user16329
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 12:42

The Writer not satisfied in his bible to convince Muslim thus he copied every thing of koran and replace it by His bible idea. He is totally committed crime against Muslim and Christian.He tried to improve Bible by imitating the holy Koran narration. So Christian must irritate to not to add to their bible newly forged so called true furkan no need of each bible for each race and state based on culture and Echonnomy like course for engeenering or law. The writer has no mandate to add or change any word of bible to it except translating as it is according the bible message but the writer make the christian scripture two stand alone books after 2000 years by his own authority that means he makes former christian bible worthless so I think christian suffer more by this invention than Muslim . the Issue b/n Muslim and christian is not becouse of bible not formated or narrated like Koran but it is the matter of God concept b/n them .


Firstly, for any person to have studied the Quran from cover to cover, and then when challenged to reproduce it, they demand a specified criteria, then all this shows is that even through all that studying and understanding, the person undertaking the challenge still somehow does not know where to begin.

Secondly, if you are asking what the Quran meant by saying "...Produce ye a chapter of its likeness..." (2:23), then how about we look at everything that makes the Qur'an special:

  1. It's unexplainable effect on the heart - throughout history, hundreds of occasions bear witness that upon hearing the Quran for the first time, many non-Muslims are deeply touched and affected, that even some make the ultimate decision to convert immediately after the recitation. If one undertakes the challenge, then it certainly goes without saying that one should be at least able to do this, as this is one of the most evident unique abilities of the Quran. So if you want something to go on, why don't you start working on that...?

  2. It's scientific accuracy - another astonishing quality of the Quran is that it contains information that could not have been known to anyone at the time it was revealed, and these facts were only discovered 1400 years later. Given the fact that this example has been used so frequently, there should really be no reason to further reiterate it. So try writing a book that contains facts that science will not discover for another millennium and a half. Taken that this is such a unique characteristic of the Quran, it's a wonder why no one ever thinks to use this as one of the criteria they so urgently need.

  3. It's historical accuracy - any biblical scholar can tell you that the stories contained in the Quran match the stories contained in the bible to a 'T'. And since the Prophet Muhammad SAW was illiterate, and no one who lived in Makkah at the time had any biblical knowledge, given that they were all idolaters (with the exception of Waraqah bin Nawful who incidentally died before he could translate the bible into Arabic), how then can an illiterate man from a town filled only with idol-worship just happens to tell the stories that add up to what the Bible says 100%? If this doesn't fit the criteria for you, I don't know what does...

  4. It's structure - it has been proven that the structure of the Quran's content is designed according to a conventional system called "Ring Compostion". Not sure if you've heard of it before but if you haven't, basically it means that if the themes and messages of the Quran were put together in a circular structure, the messages or themes in one half of the circle would reflect what is discussed in the second half. What's more is that there are proven rings to exist within rings and so on...down to the smallest detail. Taking into account that the Quran was completely revealed out of sequence and according to circumstantial transpirations, it makes no sense as to how the Quran could possibly be designed according to ring composition if the verses were revealed out of sequence. After all these qualities of the Quran remain apparent, the mystery still remains as to why people would want criteria according to how they should reproduce the Quran, when they should try focusing on all these things that make the Quran extraordinary in the first place.

  5. Miracles - now excluding the fact that the Quran contains unforeseen scientific knowledge or its structure is remarkably sophisticated, one other amazing thing is that it continues to teach us new miracles every day. For example, the significance of the number 18 and 81 embedded in the palm of everyone's hands in Arabic (you should read up on that to get a better understanding), or the orbiting letters in Surah Yaaseen which take place just as the verse talks about the orbit of the planets in the solar system. It is miracles like these that that scholars and scientists continue to discover everyday, something new all the time, making the Quran an unlimited supply of miraculous connotations, which is another characteristic of its uniqueness. And since it cannot be deduced how many miracles there are yet to be discovered in the Quran, it should not be rocket science to perceive that as another criteria for meeting the challenge of reproducing the Quran. And since it is impossible for any person, no matter how intelligent, to produce an unlimited supply of miracles which cannot by any means cease to teach new things all the time, how can it be possible to achieve this task? This is proof enough of the Quran's divine origin.

  6. It's uniqueness - last but not least, the fact that has left historians baffled over time is that the Quran is 100% unlike any other book in every way and yet still contains both scientific and historical accuracy, miracles, a marvelously designed structure, and an unexplained effect on the common person, is still a mystery. But considering the Quran's uniqueness we would be considering how it's style, theme, tone, rhythm etc. are all nothing like the style, theme, tone and rhythm of the bible, psalms and Torah and that this continues to distinguish it from other books. Now taking what Anis Shorrosh has done in his futile attempts to reproduce the Quran, he has taken it upon himself to make his "Furqaan" sound like the Quran, using its style, theme, tone and rhythm. But now when the Quran says "Produce ye a chapter of its likeness" , while others will continue to whine about unspecified criteria, others will take this as a challenge to reproduce it in EVERY WAY, every criteria that can possibly be found and go on that... But if we are to reproduce everything that makes the Quran special we will have to also produce a book with an equal level of uniqueness of the Quran, meaning that it will have to have a style, theme, tone, and rhythm that is completely unlike that of the Quran or any other book, as the Quran is with all other books. However, to achieve this level to uniqueness would mean that one cannot use the style of the Quran or any of its characteristics for that matter, and the material will have to be 100% original and still contain every one of the other 5 characteristics which we have mentioned above. If that were to happen, then a true likeness of the Quran will not be reproduced, rendering the entire challenge a failure. And this is exactly why the Quran can never be reproduced, and which ever method one takes to reach this will inevitably lead them into this inescapable trap. Therefore, Anis Shorrosh's Furqaan does not have the Quran's likeness because it does not have a uniqueness completely distinguishable from other books including the Quran itself, being that it's language is similar to the Quran's does not make it unique like the Quran at all. To sum up this entire brain-wracking concept into one equation: "the more you try to replicate every possible aspect of the Quran, the more you render all its other characteristics irreplicatory".

Now if all the characteristics of the Quran were thoroughly understood, it would not have been necessary to request a criteria as the person, after studying the Quran's characteristics, would know exactly what to reproduce according to.

This is a clear indication that even after understanding the Quran one will still not know where to start in replicating its characteristics.

Therefore there is absolutely no need for the Deity of the Quran to specify the criteria, because being Omniscient, He has complete knowledge that we have the capability of deducing the criteria for ourselves if we resort to analyze everything about the Quran.

Because if the Quran says: "Produce a chapter like it..." Then produce a chapter like it in EVERY WAY...


The problem with this quranic exhortation is that it is not really a challenge but a taunt. In order for it to be a challenge where we could reasonably say for any attempt whether the challenge has been met or not, a set of criteria that are specific enough according to which a potential challenge could be evaluated would have to be provided. The criteria would have to satisfy a number of conditions:

  • they would have to be specific
  • they would have to be unambiguous
  • they would have to be complete, so no other criteria could be added after the challenge is posed
  • the quran would have to spell out that if anyone can meet the challenge by any human means possible, then islam is false in its entirety and no muslim has the right to remain muslim afterwards

If a man were to pose a challenge like "draw better than me" or "be a better playwright than me" or "sing better than me", then specialists in drawing, writing plays, and singing could never agree on whether one play or another is "better" if a challenger comes anywhere near close in quality, so not giving any criteria that satisfy the conditions I mentioned means no one will ever be publicly acknowledged as having met the challenge - in politics they call approaches like that "plausible deniability". If there is wiggle-room left in the interpretation of what the challenge means, then that wiggle-room is where every argument will recede to, and given how completely vague the "challenge" in the quran is, there will always be wiggle room left. If however an omniscient omnipotent being were to utter such a challenge, it would be trivial for it to specify such conditions in any detail necessary; it would simply know all of human history and human potential and reveal a text that is so manifestly of non-human origin that a number of criteria it could pick might be:

  • explicit, unambiguous, detailed description of scientific facts that were completely unknown anywhere in the world and where no even close to correct theory even existed anywhere. For example, the text in the 7th century could have described DNA, modern mathematics, relativity, electricity, the plans for a viable fusion reactor, or any number of insights that took more than a millenium after the quran to appear or still havent appeared
  • the text, no matter where it is written down or in what materials or with what skill in calligraphy, could be made to change shape, color, font, while still remaining legible to everyone in the world, whether they know how to read or not

No human in the 7th century could have possibly achieved either of those, so it's not a matter of a lack of potential criteria. However, I am unable to locate a single scholar who is willing to say "these are the relevant criteria", giving criteria that match the conditions I listed above (and I'm not sure they would suffice, but I think they would) and willing to say "if anyone can produce anything like that, I will denounce islam on the spot". For those reasons, I consider this not a genuine challenge, but a taunt, and the context of the verse seems to corroborate that assessment.

  • I didn't downvote, but to the Arabs 1400 years ago the beautiful poetic nature of the quran was one of its obvious miracles. There was an incidence where the pagans sent Walid Ibn Mughirah, one of the great poets of the time, to verify that the quran was basically "nothing special". There's a bit about it on Wikipedia. There are actually quite some verses and hadith that touch on this subject.
    – aross
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 13:31
  • @aross I'm aware there is a lot of lore about it, but it's entirely irrelevant to what I'm saying. My point is that the taunt in the Quran is unspecific, ambiguous, and covered in plausible deniability. If someone proposes a challenge, then the conditions for meeting the challenge have to be specific and unambiguous enough such that anyone who is affected by the challenge - in the case of the Quranic taunt: everyone who hears about it - can clearly quantify whether the challenge was met or not by any contender. The Quranic taunt fails those criteria
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 14:29
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    If I dare you to run 100m in 10s, that's a challenge. If I dare you to love your wife more than any husband ever loved his wife, that's not a challenge - how could anyone tell? We all know love, but it would be impossible to say unambiguously whether A loves B more than C loves D as long as the love of A for B and that of C for D are strong enough. If someone said "I did more for my wife than A did for his, she has found no flaw in me yet B found a very small flaw in A, and my wife gets more orgasms from sex with me than B got from A", you could always go "yeah but does she love your cooking".
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 14:29
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    It's not irrelevant at all. If you even just read up on poetry you'll realize you're wrong. Poetry has been very well defined by scholars studying it. It might not be as abstract as algebra is, but it is not as fuzzy as you make it out to be.
    – aross
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 16:32
  • @aross If that's the case, why is appreciating poetry not a matter of evaluating proofs of superiority, but one of judging artistic quality? Where does the Quran define its axioms for the supposed challenge? How do you quantify how spellbinding a heterogenous text like the Quran is?
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 17:14

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