“If you are in doubt of what We have revealed to Our Messenger, then produce one chapter like it, call upon all your helpers, besides Allah, if you are truthful. [Quran 2:23]

“Or do they say: “He (Prophet Muhammad) has forged it (this Qur’an)?” Nay! They believe not! Let them then produce a recitation like it (the Qur’an) if they are truthful.” [Quran 52:33-34]

Now there's a problem here. Allah does not specify what he meant by "recitation like it" or "chapter like it". Is He speaking in terms of eloquence? Is He speaking in terms of the way it sounds? What is He talking about? If I were to accept this challenge and write a book like the Quran, which criteria does the book have to meet? Allah did not specify.

If I wrote a book as eloquent as the Quran, other muslims will say "No it does not meet the challenge because it doesn't sound like the Quran". Or if my book was like the Quran in terms of both eloquence AND sound, muslims will say "No, it does not meet the challenge because of some other reason".

So what exactly does Allah mean when he challenges us to "write something like the Quran"?

  • There have been many efforts to show the answer to this question, some pointing out what they believe to be mathematical miracles/ connections using the number of letters in certain words throughout the Quran, others pointing out the lack of inconsistencies, yet others explaining this as a combination of factors such as eloquence, containing a vast field of knowledge in relatively few words, or having multiplicity of meanings in depth as one reads. Those who start from the premise of faith in it will find what they seek; those who approach with skepticism may work at finding what they seek.
    – S Karami
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 14:54
  • have there been any efforts or projects that have claimed matching this challenge of writing something similar to the Quran or suras of the Quran? If you know of such cases, please update the question with references so we can address these claims specifically. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 17:40

7 Answers 7


The challenge occurs in several places in the Qur'an: 17:88, 11:13, 2:23, and 10:38. Nevertheless, as you say, Allah doesn't specify exact criteria for the challenge. Consequently, we're not going to see many scholars specifying exact criteria (lest they be wrong). Moreover, even if a scholar did specify exact criteria, then if these criteria were unequivocally met, it would prove the scholar wrong (not Islam).

Nevertheless, some descriptions have been given, such as:

... its eloquence, fine arrangement and its bestowal of knowledge of the Unseen ...
Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Eloquence is often mentioned because the unlettered Prophet (Qur'an 7:157) was challenging the most eloquent Arabs (as SeekersHub puts it) in their area of expertise.

Despite the lack of specificity, scholarly attitude is that, during the revelation of the Qur'an, such a "surah" could have (in principle) thwarted the development of Islam:

Mecca, the trading center of Arabia, as well as its spiritual center, desperately wanted to stop the spread of Islam. Yet all that the Prophet’s opponents had to do to crush the movement was to make up a single chapter like any one of those which the Prophet and his followers were reciting to the people. A number of Quraishee orators and poets tried to imitate the Quran, but they failed.
Bilal Philips, IslamReligion.com

... had they found any successful opposition of the Qur’an, their obstinacy, denial, and animosity toward the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have incited them to relate it and make it famous ...

Consequently, these scholars indicate that it was a fair challenge back then. Nowadays, Islam is established: we're aware of the enormous impact of the Qur'an, and any candidate can be easily shrugged off.

Moreover, from an Islamic point of view, literally any sequence of symbols in any language would fail the challenge (one way or another). If a Muslim were to accept a submission as passing the challenge, it would amount to kufr (disbelief) as it violates Qur'an 2:24 (...and you will never be able to...).

From a non-Muslim point of view, the claim that it's impossible to produce a surah like one from the Qur'an might be interpreted as unfalsifiable (or already falsified e.g. by The True Furqan). However, from a Muslim's point of view, the Qur'an is a miracle (see e.g. IslamWeb), and thus Muslims view the impossibility of passing the challenge as part of the Qur'an's inherent miraculous nature:

This is another miracle, in that, Allah clearly stated without doubt that the Qur'an will never be opposed or challenged by anything similar to it, for eternity. This is a true statement that has not been changed until the present and shall never change. How can anyone be able to produce something like the Qur'an, when the Qur'an is the Word of Allah Who created everything How can the words of the created ever be similar to the Words of the Creator
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

This is one of several other "guaranteed to fail" challenges in Islam. Others include proving that only Jews and Christians go to heaven (Qur'an 2:111), proving that there is a deity other than Allah (Qur'an 27:64), and breathing life into a created image on the Day of Resurrection (Sunan an-Nasa'i 5361 [grade: sahih]). In fact, a related challenge may give an idea as to the nature of the Challenge of the Qur'an:

Say, "Then bring a scripture from Allah which is more guiding than either of them that I may follow it, if you should be truthful."
Qur'an 28:49

(Here, "either of them" refers to the Torah revealed to Prophet Musa, along with the Qur'an.)


The challenge needs to be understood in holistic terms rather than trying to quantify it. The Holy Quran is a book of signs, science, history and top notch poetry all wrapped into one. If at all it was possible to quantify then does it really remain a challenge anymore?

A lot of folks have tried to list down the miracles and quantify the challenge but if you keep all these facts and figures aside, Quran remains unchallenged till date even from a literary stand point. If Shakespeare is considered the pinnacle of English literature, there is no equivalent anyone has achieved in Arabic.

Quran is still best poetry ever written

Allah also wants to emphasize that Humans and Jinns have essentially been created as flawed creatures and even if they all got together they wont be able to create a flawless equivalent of the Quran

And Allah knows best!

  • 1
    Quran is NOT poetry! Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 11:44
  • Cant deny the most beautiful rhyming prose quran.com/55
    – t4u51f
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 10:45

And will you laugh and not weep? (Qur'an 53:60)

People usually cry out after reading and understanding it.

Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray - for him there is no guide. (Qur'an 39:23)

Can your duplicate Qur'an do the above?

Apart from that, you can find an extensive answer for a similar question here.

  • 3
    I would strongly disagree with a number of those points being fulfilled by the quran; also, I don't see any authoritative reference for them.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Nov 5, 2016 at 9:27

As Allah challenge “Let them then produce a recital like unto it (the Qur'ân) if they are truthful” means, bring a paragraph as in Noble Quraan. There is the answer of your Question. So, how is Quraan? Quraan is miraculous nature of its approach in calling people to Allah, the miraculous nature of its educational approach,the miraculous nature of its legislative approach, the miraculous nature of its scientific approach.

Although Noble Quraan is a miracle itself whenever you read it in Arabic, you will be able to understand of it's miraculous nature.

The challenge is clear and open until the Qiyamah (The Day of Judgement). From 1400 years it is an open challenge.

So the challenge still stands:

“Let them then produce a recital like unto it (the Qur'ân) if they are truthful”

[at-Toor 52:34]

“then produce a Soorah (chapter) of the like thereof”

[al-Baqarah 2:23]

Alhamdulillah, those who took the challenge and tried in this 1400 years, those people failed miserably and in sha Allah, noone can, Alhamdulillah.

To know the more details about the challenge check this Question and Answer of islamQA.info. https://islamqa.info/en/245475

And Allah knows best.


ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah

Surat Al-Baqarah, verse 2

If another being can bring a book that is always guidance, even 1400 years later, when you read, it gives you peace; أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ "Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.".

The book is alive. It wakes us from this miserable mundane life, tells us to do good. If you are alone and read, it will make your loneliness go away.

Some of it's beautiful verses:

Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." <-- It's shows what a merciful God we have

Zumar 53

They will say, "O woe to us! Who has raised us up from our sleeping place?" [The reply will be], "This is what the Most Merciful had promised, and the messengers told the truth." <-- It's a very effective and everlasting warning

Yasin 52

But there is a caveat: The more you are conscious of Allah the more it will be effective on you. The more you want to be disobedient the less it will be effective.

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.

Al-Isra 82

وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

And when Allah is mentioned alone, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with aversion, but when those [worshipped] other than Him are mentioned, immediately they rejoice.

Zumar 45

  • i'm not sure if this answers OP's question about Allah (SWT) challenging human kind to create/ write a book like the Al-Quran
    – Newbie
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 7:50
  • 1
    @Newbie to me the question is what is the challenge...and my answer is the challenge is to bring an everlasting book of guidance. One that takes us from this dead mundane world to a beautiful living world
    – Thaqalain
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 10:00

First, I need to tell you something. Here's some of your last massage you wrote above-

If I were to accept this challenge and write a book like the Quran, which criteria does the book have to meet? Allah did not specify.

If I wrote a book as eloquent as the Quran, other muslims will say "No it does not meet the challenge because it doesn't sound like the Quran". Or if my book was like the Quran in terms of both eloquence AND sound, muslims will say "No, it does not meet the challenge because of some other reason".

So what exactly does Allah mean when he challenges us to "write something like the Quran"?

Brother, can you see how many times you wrote "if"?

At first, try to create or write something like the Quran or write a whole another new Quran. Theres no chance you can do it. That's the thing Allah is saying. As our Creator he already knows no human being can write or create something like the Quran.

So, try to do some fail project. Then you will also get the point.

Because, now you don't even understand the challenge.


brother you have asked a good question but i can give you answer

as you have given your thoughts i can say you are confused. you may unable to grasp any answer you get to the point.

the answer is simple it is word of true God you cannot fight a true God can you a bicycle is produced in factory of bicycles and it says if will beat the owner of the factory who designed and made all the machinery to produce the bicycle

if you clear your thoughts you can proceed to read further otherwise you will be more confused

example - Allah swt starts Quran with Alhamdulillahi rabbi aalamin means litterally all praises to Allah who has created all the universes and is its Rabb

for non muslims that is that

but for us it is still less as we accepted True God with whole heart we can see this verse practically as it is single and true path remember it all seen with heart not with brain that is why there are million peoples reading it it remains a theory as you use your brain not your heart.(islam is a religion of heart)human is a creature of heart you do to your hearts content not for bodys content.

as it points out each life of each creature living in universes.THANKING HIM FOR EACH AND EVERY THING;WHOLEHEARTEDLY;for every thing that is helpful to human to finish his task,which has made his grow in happiness to his limit.

for example me only i saw a read rose i said wow what a lovely rose to see my eyes are happy when i smell it my heart gives out , out of excitation i say Alhamdulillah what a beautiful rose i smelt it what about you if you see a rose what will be your reaction

it will be what you learnt not praising true Lord,how will you praise him when you dont know what to say

even if you say thank you God give me proof he accepts it Allah has said clearly in Quran he will not accept anything beside what he has ordered or shown practically and practically he has shown to us from our Dearest Last Prophet of whole humanity. (our Dear Prophet has shown us everything how to eat drink sleep getup wash bath toilet clothes talk earn and biggest is in way of Allah pray your relations with him all are mentioned in Quran)

in Quran Surah Rahman starts with ArRahmaan...which says the most merciful who has taught the humans ....means he has taught us what is correct what is its use what will happen everything etc etc.

i go to office on bike from home-who has made replacements displacements for me to get a bike, i should have options when willed by God like my parents can have it already my friends can have it already or i need to buy then if Allah wills i will satisfy any one condition to get it if Allah does not will i have to take a bus or car or help anyother that too with mercy of Allah upon me

the will of God here is hidden from where you can know the it is will of God only with true knowledge of God and true knowlege comes from True book where he has written everything

what i eat daily i eat several things in a day.do you think does it comes just like that

a wheat grain story-i live in india-where wheat is produced in farm in village i live in urban city.

first the farmer distributes the seeds in farms with hand or machinery which he has.then he other has water it daily then other has to look out for insects birds constantly then other has weave it out when it has dried whenit is ready.then other has to load it to mill.then other has to remove the wheat husk of each grain then other has to fill the sacks then other has to load it then other has to carry it to city in a vehicle then other has to unload in manufacturer then other has to load it again to retailer near my house then other has to sell it kilo or pounds then somebody from my family has to buy and carry it to house.if the name of eater is not on the grain it will eventually been removed then somebody has to grind it then my mother makes a dough daily and makes bread out it. how many peoples have touched the wheat grain 17 peoples. i am the last one eating and throwing some of it the residue is also the food for ants flys other God knows what insects. i eat it in a second just a single taste bud clicks my buds for second then gone in my stomach doesnt what happens there it stays digests curls produces energy then excretes then still goes on.....,under whose eyes all of this takes place it is just wheat grain what about the pebbles in different different planets what has to be done of if,will it be thrown in the vaccuum or turned to mud or turned to lava or tavel aimlessly in whole universe until destruction of universe etc etc etc many things JUST ON WISH OF YOUR TRUE LORD

that is why we say Alhamdulillahi rabbiaalamin all praises to Allah who is lord of universes. if you understand this then you are better path to truth still there is curry there are desserts there are drinks there are chocolates and other stuff.there are clothes there are books living earning frinds relatives properties money marriage children then grandchildren

do you think all are just a hitchhikers.etc it is serious exam .

this is just 1 verse of examples if i go on give each human example then anymatter of hardisk or papers will be insufficient then of life of animals then of isnsects then of unicellular organisms


can you get a verse equal to that you stupid man.there are more 6635 verses left.

in other place Allah swt says in Quran i have made each pairs in different kinds like birds animals and humans,and in other verse,for humans have pairs too to find peace in each other in chapter 30 verse 21(you people run away from true teachings and desire yourself a girlfriend from age of 13 why dont you wait like us why do you run at that early age why tell me why

why you dont have patience and attain good age of understand and marry under eyes of God have pure relation as wife and husband legally have sex under order of God it is because you are made like that to attract to opposite sex as said in above verse)

for some verses we can find out true form y thinking opposite also say for above verse of pairs why dont cycles have pairs what happens when a cycle falls for other cycle will they have baby or stone falls for stone will have marriage or sea meets lake will they start living together or each fills others lakes become sea nothing of sort etc etc etc

I challenge you make a similar statement. or saying you can make or produce or think of 3rd gender accept by other religions only

you dont have to come to us,show it to yourself and your people only or accept you are stupid.

travel it is the only way to find true Lord as he said in Quran travel for me and you will find me with SURITY.

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