Search and find articles and topics quickly and accurately!  See different advanced ways to search for articles on this site.

Further Topic Research:
Syntax help

Detail response to all so-called grammatical errors in the Quran. Newton responded to the following article on his website and then Khalid 's response to Newton's response.

Response by Wail Ibrahim to Newton's Grammatical errors in the Qur'an

bism ILLAHA, wal hamdu LILLAH, was-salaat was-salaam ala rasool ILLAH. amma ba2d.

Allah (swt) says in surat al-Baqarah:109

Wadda kathirun min ahl il-kitaabi law yaruddoonakum min ba2di imaanikum kuffaaran, Hasadan min 2indi an-fusihim min ba2di maa tabayyana lahum ul-haqq, fa2foo waSfaHoo Hatta ya'tiyallahu bi amrih, inna allaaha 2ala kulli shay'in qadir.

Many of the People of the Book long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.


Even if We did send unto them angels and the dead did speak unto them and We gathered together all things before their very eyes they are not the ones to believe unless it is in Allah's Plan: but most of them ignore (the truth).

Wa law annanaa nazzalnaa ilaihim ul-malaa'ikata wa kallamahum ul-mawtaa wa hasharnaa 2alaihim kulla shaiy'in qubulan maa kaanoo liyu'minoo illaa an yashaa'a allahu wa laakinna aktharahum yajhaloon(a).


The Word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: none can change His Words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all.

Wa tammat kalimatu rabbika Sidqan wa 2adlan, laa mubaddila li-kalimaatihi, wa huwa al- samee2u ul-aleem(u).

The article (Newton's) is a flimsy argument that can be summarized as several false hypotheses as follows:

  1. Every prophet's prophethood is attested to by divine miracles. [what were Noah's miracles that were evident while his ummah still lived? how about Isaac's? Jacob's? Lot's?]
  2. The Qur'an is God's only miracle confirming the prophethood of Mohammad (saas). [also not true which has been addressed in many other articles]
  3. It's miracle lies in that it is gramatically perfect. [another misconception--it is a miracle (even a literary one) in many other senses, including the fact that it doesn't contradict itself [As does the Bible] << ...wa law kana min 2indi ghair ILLAHI lawajadoo fihi ikhtilaafan katheera...>> << and if it were from other than Allah then they would have found within it many contradictions/errors...>> (surat al-nisaa') as well as the fact that it was revealed to Mohammad, (asws) who was illiterate
  4. There are grammatical errors in the Qur'an. [followed by a list of supposed grammatical errors that are either: - errors due to ignorance of the Arabic language and/or Qur'an - correctly used grammatical exceptions or (accepted but) irregular style that had a precedence of use among the Arabs]
  5. Thus, it is either not divine and/or it has been changed, as have the rest of the books of the Jews and Christains. [this hypothesis fails since it is based on the previous one, which fails also.]

If these presumptions of errors are the best people can do after 1400 years, this is clearly a testament to the Qur'an's truth and validity.

The article also overlooks the fact that there are seven different readings "qira'aat""of the Qur'an.The essential meaning is not changed among the seven. The only thing that is changed is the way it is read (pronunciation), meaning something that is read with a "u" (nominative or marfoo2) in one reading may be read with an "a" (accusative or manSoob) in another reading. In fact, some of the things the author thinks are "errors" are actually read the "correct" way in other readings. however, there is at least one authentic and grammatically correct usage and explanation for all ways of reading.

In addition, every respected and accepted tafseer of the Qur'an puts forth multiple possible meanings for a given verse, none of which are mutually incompatible. In fact, this is something to be expected for something is the final revelation for all mankind--something that has eternal applicability and all-encompassing extent. Some meanings may refer to a particular situation for which the ayah was revealed, while other ones may exhibit the broader and contemporary relevance of the meaning.

However, there must be a sound source and basis for the explanation of the meaning(s). As Ibn Katheer states in the introduction to his infamous classical work on tafseer al-Quran, hadeeth 2an Sa2eed ibn Jabair 2an ibn Abbas 2an al-Nabiyy (saaws) "man qaala fil-qur'aani bi-ra'yihi aw bi-maa laa ya2lam fa-yatabawwa' maq2adahu min al-naar." (al-Tirmidhi [Hadeeth Hassan], al-Nisaa'i, and also ibn Jarir). "Whosoever says regarding the Qur'an [something that is based on] his opinion or something he does not know can [prepare to] take his place in the Hell-fire."

At the end of the day, every one of the supposed errors are either manifestations of ignorance of grammar or the meaning of the verse, things taken incompletely or out of context, or exceptions in usage or style that has a precedence in Arabic linguistics.

The degree of inaccuracy and reckless deception and misrepresentation in the original article is completely unacceptable for someone who dares to challenge the validity of the Qur'an. The *least* that should have been done was to put forth sound and accurate arguments, not erroneous, misleading, invalid insults.

One who does not have a detailed background in the Arabic language may find the following responses dull and boring. They are being provided for those interested in the minute details of Arabic grammar. The point to note is that there is a sound and valid grammatical explanation for every "error" put forth. < < innaa anzalnaahu qur'anan 2arabiyyan la2allakum ta2qiloon >> (Youssef:2, "We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an in order that ye may learn wisdom."]. Since Allah (swt) says in many verses that He has revealed the Qur'an as an Arabic Qur'an, then it must properly conform to the rules of the Arabic language.

The primary source for the responses is reference [1] A2raab al-Quran, by Ibn Jafar, al-NaHHas (raHimuhu ALLAH), which is a 5-volume book over 2500 pages long covering Arabic grammar in the Qur'an. He compiled a collection of all the scholarly linguistic opinions regarding the various grammatical structures of the Qur'an. He died approximately 1100 years ago, and has answered every single question brought up by the author today. Other sources include three references on Arabic grammar, as well as tafseer Ibn Katheer and al-Tabari, two of the most repsected explantions of the meanings of the Qur'an.

One general note regarding Arabic grammar--one which is more often than not a basic element explaining why the verses in question are structured the way they are--it is a very common and grammatically correct usage to have "missing" or "omitted" pronouns or words, with the implied meaning being understood. This implied meaning has a grammatical term known as "taqdeer", or "implication of a missing syntactical part" [Ref. 3].


Surat Al-Hijr:9 (15:9):

<< Innaa naHnu nazzalna al-zikra wa innaa lahu laHaafiZoon. >>

"We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). "

There are no errors in the Qur'an. It has not changed, and it will never change.

subHan ALLAHUMA wa bi-hamdik,ash-hadu an laa ilaha illa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilaik.


The First Error In 5:69 "Innal-laziina 'aamanuu wal-laziina haaduu was-Saabi'uuna wan-Nasaaraa man 'aamana bilaahi wal-Yawmil-'Aakhiri wa 'amila saali-hanfalaa khaw-fun 'alay-him wa laa hum yah-zanuun."

There is a grammatical error in the above verse. The word Saabi'uuna has been declined wrongly... In two other verses, the same word, in exactly the same grammatical setting was declined correctly.

Correctly and differently--nothing wrong with that. Just because words appear in the same "grammatical setting" does not mean that they have to be used exactly the same way. In Arabic as in English, there is more than one gramatically correct way to say the same thing even with similar words. (e.g."He hurriedly went to the market" or "He went to the market in a hurry"; in one case an adverbial form of HURRY is used and in one case a NOUN form is used, with an equivalent meaning.This is a matter of *style*.)

You notice that the word was written Saabi'uuna in 5:69 and was written Saabi'iina in 2:62 and 22:17. In the last two verses the word was declined correctly because the word inna in the beginning of the sentence causes a form of declension called "nasb" (as in cases of accusative or subjunctive) and the "yeh" is the "sign of nasb". But the word Saabi'uuna in 5:69 was given the 'uu, waw which is the sign of "raf'a" (as in cases of nominative or indicative). This then is an obvious grammatical error.

This is not an error. Abu Jafar Al-Nahhas in A2raab al-Qur'an[1] explains that what is meant here is "innal-laziina 'aamanuu wal-laziina haaduu man 'aamana bilaahi MIN-HUM wal-Yawmil-'Aakhiri wa 'amila saali-han falahum ajruhum ... was-Saabi'uuna wan-Nasaaraa KA-ZALIK..." (capitals are words inserted not in Qur'an to clarify meaning), with the meaning "Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, whosoever believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness, no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow, and the Sabaeans, and the Christians LIKEWISE."

This in no way contradicts using the words with a different style resulting with a different grammatical declination in other similar verses. Abu Jafar goes on to quote pre-Islamic Arabic poetry with a similar structure (a nominative used after a participle normally requiring the accusative) but it would be lengthy to quote and explain.

The Second Error

In 4:162 "But those of them that are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, that perform the prayer and pay the alms, and those who believe in God and the Last Day - them We shall surely give a mighty wage." (Arberry)

"Laakinir-Raasi-khuuna fil-'ilmi minhum wal-Mu'-minuuna yu'-minuuna bi-maaa unzila 'ilayka wa maaa 'unzila min-qablika wal-muqiimiin as-Salaata wal mu'-tuunaz-Zakaata wal-Mu'-mi-nuuna billaahi wal-Yawmil-'Aakhir: 'ulaaa 'ika sanu'-tii-him 'ajran 'aziimaa."

The word muqiimiin should be muqiimuun. The word should be declined by the "raf'a sign" like the other nouns in the sentence. Indeed the two nouns before it (Raasi-khuun and Mu'-minuun), and the noun after it (mu'-tuun) are declined correctly. Some have argued that this word was declined as such to distinguish and praise the act of praying, but the scholar Ibn al-Khatib says that this is a sick reasoning. (al-Furqan by Mohammad M. 'abd al-Latif Ibn al-Katib, Dar al-Kutub al- 'elmiyah, Beirut, p.43). Such reasoning defies logic. Why would one distinguish prayer which is a branch of religion, and not faith which is the fundamental and root of religion?

Yes, in fact this is one of the explanations, and there is nothing "sick" about it (even if someone disagrees with an opinion that doesn't make it "sick" unless it is obscence such as saying that Allah has a son! subhanahu!) Ibn Jafar al-Nahhas says that the reknowned Arabic linguist Sibawaiy says this is "ma yunSab ala al-ta2Zeem" or using the accusative in order to glorify, and the reason for this is that the noun here is actually the object of a missing verb such as:

" But those of them that are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, [AND I MEAN IN PARTICULAR] those who perform the prayer, and those who pay the alms, and those who believe in God and the Last Day - them We shall surely give a mighty wage."

In this case, [AND I MEAN] in Arabic is "wa a2ni al-muqimeen", in which case al-muqimeen takes the accusative because it is the object of the (virtual) verb [I MEAN]

He in fact brings two examples from classical poetry following the same rule, one of which is:

Laa yab2adan qawmi alazeena humu
summu al-2udati wa-aaafat ul-juzri
Al-naazileena bi-kulli mu2tarakin
wa-Tayyiboona ma2aaqid al-uzri

Here, "naazileena", which normally should be nominative, is emphasized in the accuastive (or manSoob) and "Tayyiboona" is in the normally proper grammatical form of the nominative (marfoo2).

Besides can this logic apply to the error of declension in the previous verse? Do we conclude that the Saabi'iin are more distinguished than those who believe, and the People of the Book? And why do they get distinguished in one verse and not the other as we have seen? God is much higher than this sick logic. This again is an obvious grammatical error.

NO, this is irrelevant to the previous verse and falls under a totally different GRAMMATICAL use of the accusative, which has MANY MANY different categories of usage.

THERE IS A SECOND OPINION in regards to why "muqimeen" is manSoob/accusative, and it is the one chosen by Mohammad ibn Jarir, who says that: "muqimeen here refers to the angels (as), because of their ever-persistent prayer and glorification and requests of forgiveness (i.e. for the beleivers)" meaning that "those who perform the prayer " is the third object of the verb "yu'minoon" or believing, such as:

" But those of them that are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, and [BELIEVING IN] those who perform the prayer, and those who pay the alms, and those who believe in God and the Last Day - them We shall surely give a mighty wage." and this is quite a plausible explanation, as there are many verses in the Qur'an which list the things in which a true believer believes, and the angels are among them, such as verse 2:177 (<< It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces toward East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Messengers..."), and 2:285

A THIRD OPINION: <<muqimeen>> is ma2Toof (in conjuction following) with "qablika" with the meaning in this case "... and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, and [BEFORE] those who perform the prayer..." thus making <<muqimeen>> object of the preposition BEFORE which means it should be magroor/genitive case which is <<muqimeen>> (exactly the same in appearance as the manSoob/accusitive.)

A FOURTH OPINION: Ibn Katheer notes in his tafseer than another possibility is that it is ma2Toof (in conjunction) with the objects of the preposition "bi-", i.e., "... and the believers believing in what has been sent down to thee, and what was sent down before thee, and [BELIEVING IN] those who perform the prayer..." meaning that they are accepting the requirement of the prayer and its prescription for them.

There are at least THREE OTHER scholarly opinions as the grammatical structure here but for the sake of brevity only four are mentioned.

Anticipating the next misunderstanding and attempt at distorting the facts, the next logical argument would be why is <<mu'toon al-zakat>> in the nominative... and there are five possible explanations for this:

[Notice first of all that in the reading as per Hafs 2an Asim there is a sign indicating a possible pause in the ayah at this point]

  1. (Sibawaiy): mubtada' marfoo2 (nominative beginnning a new sentence)
  2. marfoo2 ala iDmaar mubtada' (with the Dameer maHzoof) in the sense "hum al-mu'toona al-zakaat" with "hum" being an omitted pronoun and al-mu'toona being the nominative predicate (khabar).
  3. ma2Toof ala al-muDmar alazi fi <> (meaning in conjuction with the pronoun (al-Dameer al-mustatir) "they", inherent in the verb form <>, with the meaning being "the ones who pray and these same ones who pay zakat...>> (agreeing only with the FIRST opinion about <> above (i.e., in this case muqimeen cannot be angels)...
  4. similar to (3) but ma2Toof ala al-muDmar allazi fi "yu'minoon"
  5. ma2Toof ala <<al-rasikhoona>>, meaning in conjuction with <<al-rasikhoona>> from the very beginning of the ayah.

The Third Error

In 20:63 "They communed secretly saying, 'These two men are sorcerers'." (Arberry)

"Qaaluuu inna haazaani la-saahiraani ..."

The word saahiraan should be saahirayn. The word saahiraan was declined incorrectly because the word inna in the beginning of the nominal sentence causes a form of declension called "nasb" to the nominative and the "yeh" is the "sign of nasb". This is the third grammatical error.

This is again not a grammatical error, but has several possible explanations. First of all, the word is "in" not "inna", but this doesn't make a difference in this case because it is used here as "inna", which is a common practice. However, this points to the inaccuracy observed in the compilation of these "errors."

Second of all, "la-saahiraani " is completely correct. The "ism" or noun belonging to "inna" is "haazaani", *NOT* "saahiraani" which is the predicate, and the predicate should be marfoo2 like it is, NOT manSoob as in "saahirayn" . SAAHIRAYN is NOT CORRECT. This is clear evidence indicating the ignorance of Arabic grammar exhibited by the false analysis in these purported "errors."

If there is any question in the grammar of this ayah, it would be why is it "haazaani" and not "haazayni", and some of the possible explanations are as follows, according agian to Ibn Ja2far[2]:

  1. [Mohammad ibn Yazeed and Ismail ibn Ishaaq] The use of "inna" with the meaning of "na2am", or "yes" or "yes, indeed." This is a standard use in the Arabic language, as in the following verse of classical poetry:

    <<laita shi2ri hal lil-muHibbi shifaa'u min jawaa Hubbihinna inna liqaa'u>>>

    (note "liqaa'u" following "inna" in the nominative/marfoo2 not accusative/manSoob.) ("...Is there for the one who loves, a cure from [his] ardent love [for] them; YES, [indeed, and it is] meeting [together] (i.e., seeing each other)

    So the ayah means "Yes, indeed, these two are sorcerers... ", as written and is GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT.

    As a side note, Abu Jafar notes this would be a rare use in this case due to the "lam" attached to <<saahiraani>>. However, linguists assert that the "lam yunwi biha al-taqdeem ", and Abu Ishaaq clarifies this by saying the meaning is "inna hazaani la-huma saahiraani" thumma huzifa al-mubtadi', i.e. it would read "they said 'yes, these two, indeed they are sorcerers' " with "they" omitted.

  2. [Al-Tabari, Abu Zaid Al-AnSari, Abul-KhaTTab Al-Akhfash, Sibawaiy] This is the Arabic of Bani Al-Harith Ibn Ka2b, who use the alif-form of the dual in all three cases (nominative, accusative, and genitive), and this is an accepted form of grammatically correct Arabic according to these most reknowned scholars of Arabic and tafseer.
  3. [Abul-KhaTTab also] It is also the language of Bani Kinaana, likewise an accepted form of grammatically correct Arabic. (Egypt being known as Ard il-Kinaana)
  4. [Al-Farraa' and Abul-Hassan ibn Kaisaan] It is an style of expression in which the singular was transformed into the dual without changing the alif, i.e., from "inna hadha la-saahir" (the singular form "hadha" is the same regardless of case) to "inna haadhaani la-saahiraani", leaving the alif as is as a form of "di2aama" or assertion of support.

    In fact, the preceding ayaat in which Pharoah is speaking, he is speaking to Musa (asws) in the singular form, addressing him only. Only in this ayah does he and his followers address the both of them, transforming over to the dual case.

  5. [Abu Ishaaq] asserts that the old Arabic linguists say that there is an omitted pronoun "hu" (Dameer mahzoof), i.e. that it is actually "innahu hazaani la-saahiraani" which does not change the meaning whatsoever: "verily, these two are sorcerers." It is common CORRECT Arabic grammar to have omitted pronouns in some cases. (as it is common to say in English "the book I read" which really means "the book [THAT] I read")

The Fourth Error

In 2:177 "It is not piety, that you turn your faces to the East and to the West. True piety is this: to believe in God, and the Last Day ... to give of one's substance ... and to ransom the slave, to perform the prayer, to pay the alms. And they who fulfil their covenant ... and endure with fortitude." (Arberry)

"Laysal-birra 'an-tuwalluu wujuuhakum qibalal-Mashriqi wal-Maghrib wa laakinnal-birra man 'aamana billaahi wal-Yawmil-'Akhiri wal-malaaa-'ikati wal-Kitaabi wan-nabiyyiin: wa 'aatal-maala 'alaa hubbihii zawilqurbaa wal-yataamaa wal-masaakiina wabnas-sabiili was-saaa-'iliina wa fir-riqaab: wa'aqaamas-Salaata wa 'aataz-Zakaata; wal-muufuuna bi'ahdihim 'izaa 'aahaduu was-Saabiriina fil-ba'-saaa'i wazzarraaa-'i ..."

In the above verse there are five gramatical errors. In four of them the wrong tense was used, as the sentence begins in the present tense with the verb tuwalluu, while the other four verbs were written in the past tense:

'aaman should be tu'minuu;
aata shoud be tu'tuu;
'aqaama should be tuqimuu;
'aata shoud be tu'tuu.

This is completely INCORRECT. Again, this analysis and suggested corrections reveal painfully obvious inaccuracy as well as ignorance of Arabic grammar. You cannot have "man tu'minu" in Arabic, which literally means "who you believe" (which likewise makes no sense in English). Perhaps what is supposedly suggested is "man yu'minu" (who believes). However, the use of the past and the present interchangeably occurs frequently in the Qur'an and in grammatically correct Arabic. Another verse with a very similar construction occurs in the same surah 2:189:

<< wa-lais al-birru bi-an ta'tu ul-buyoota min zhuhooriha walinna al-birra min ittaqa... >>

There is nothing grammatically wrong with this nor is this bad or unfamiliar style to anyone who knows Arabic. See also the supposed "error" in the verse after this one below (3:59).

The fifth error is the wrong declension of the word saabiriina. It should be declined saabiruuna like the preceeding word muufuuna.

Abu Jafar explains that there are two opinions as to why this form is used: either for "madh" or praise as in << muqimeen >> in the first example, where, as was noted before: In this case, [AND I MEAN] in Arabic is "wa a2ni al-Sabireen", in which case al-Sabireen takes the accusative because it is the object of the (virtual) verb [I MEAN].

The second possibility is it is ma2Toof ala zawil-qurba, i.e. in conjunction with "kindred of blood relations" mentioned earlier in the ayah, and in this case also takes the accusative as an object.

The Fifth Error

In 3:59 "the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight, is as Adam's likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, 'Be,' and he was." (Arberry)

"Inna massala 'Isaa 'indal-laahi ka-masali 'Adam; khalaqahuu min-turaabin-sum-ma qaala lahuu kun fa-yakuun."

The above verse when translated into English as it appears in Arabic would be: "The likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said to him 'Be,' and he is." The above is Pickthall's translation. Please note that he translated yakuun (is) as it appears in Arabic, i.e. in the present tense.

The word yakuun ("is" in English) should be kana ("was") to be consistent with the past tense of the previous verb "said" as it was corrected by Arberry, Rodwell and Yusuf Ali in their translations of that verse. This is the fifth error.

The answer to this point is similar to the previous one, as Abu Jafar puts it simply:

"tamma al-kalaamu thumma qaala < which means "after one sentence is completed (i.e., the likeness of Jesus, in God's sight is as that of Adam) Allah says " He created him of dust, then said He unto him, Be, and he is", meaning "and he was" (past tense), and the future form "yakoon" is used in place of the past tense if the meaning is known and clear.

In this case the meaning is extremely OBVIOUS.

an example of this from classical Arabic poetry is:

<< wan-DadaH jawaniba qabrihi bi-dimaa'iha
fa-la-qad yakoonu akhaa dam-in wa dhabaa'iHi>>

<<and sprinkle the sides of his grave with its blood,
for he *IS* a brother in blood and in his slaughterings >>

(here the verb is literally "is" is in the present or future tense, but should be correctly translated as "was", as it clearly refers to someone who is DEAD, i.e. PAST tense.)

The Sixth Error

In 21:3 "The evildoers whisper one to another ..."

"Laahiyatan - quluubuhum. Wa 'asarrun-najwallaziin zalamuu..."

The word 'asarru should be 'asarra. The above is a verbal sentence, and the rule for such a sentence, where the verb comes before the subject, is that the verb must be in the third masculine singular form, if the active subject of the verbal sentence is stated in the sentence. But the verb in the above Qur'anic verse came in the plural form. See how the above rule was observed in the following Qur'anic verses: 3:52, 10:2, 16:27, 16:35, 3:42, 49:14.

Abu Jafar indicates SIX possible explanations for this grammatical construction. For brevity, the most likely one is mentioned:

First of all, one must look at the entire ayah. This mistake was made more than once in the composition and justification of these supposed "errors." The entire ayah is:

"With hearts preoccupied. And they confer in secret The wrong-doers say: Is this other than a mortal like you? Will ye then succumb to magic when ye see (it)?" (Pickthall)

<<Laahiyatan quluubuhum wa 'asarrun najwa allazina Zalamuu hal haaza illa basharun mithlikum afata'toona as-siHra wa antum tubSiroon >>

As noted in the Pickthall translation, "The wrong-doers *say*"... This "say" is an implied verb that is not acually present in the Arabic. Thus, << 'asarruun-najwa >> is one sentence (meaning "And they confer in secret") and thus, allazina Zalamuu is not the subject. The subject is the "muDmar" or "Dameer al-mustatir or al-ghaa'ib" meaning the hidden or missing pronoun. In all Arabic verb forms there is an implicit pronoun as a subject, especially if there is no other subject mentioned.

<< Allazina Zalamuu >> is the start of another sentence which would be read: << [YAQOOLU] ullazina Zalamuu "hal haaza illa basharun...>> or "The wrong-doers [SAY]: "is this other than a mortal... "

The verb [SAY] is implicit and has been omitted, but must be there meaning-wise because what follows is a quote in the first person of what they are saying. So in fact in this case, which is a "badal kull min kull" (see explanation in "Error" # 13 below), "allazina" is in the plural form matching the subject of "asarroo", which is the implict pronoun "they" indicated in the plural verb form "asarroo" by the final "waw". The general rule is that it is grammatically acceptible to substitute (or place in parallel) an explicit noun following a missing pronoun. ("ibdaal al-Zaahir min Dameer il-ghaa'ib" [Ref 5]).

A similar "implicit" use of "saying" occurs in another surah (Al-Ra2d, 13:23-24)

" ... The angels enter unto them from every gate. (Saying): 'Peace be unto you because ye persevered. Ah, passing sweet will be the sequel of the (heavenly) Home.' "
<< malaa'ikatu yadkhuloona 2alaihim min kulli baab(in). Salaamun 2'alaikum bimaa Sabartum fa ni2ma 2uqba al-daar(i).>>

Again, here "saying" is omitted and implied.

The Seventh Error

In 22:19 "these are two disputants who have disputed concerning their Lord." (Arberry)

"aazaani Khismani 'ikhtasamuu fi rabbihim ..."

In Arabic, like English words are declined or conjugated with respect to number. In English there are two numbers: singular and plural. So in English two men are treated as plural. But in Arabic there are three numbers: singular, dual, and plural. So in Arabic the verbs and nouns are treated according to the singular or the dual or the plural. The verb in that verse was conjugated as if the subject is more than two. But the verse speaks only of two. So the rules of the dual should be followed and the word 'ikhtasamuu should be 'ikhtasamaa. So this is yet another error.

This assertion again manifests ignorance of grammar and, even more so, of the Quran. This ayah does *NOT* refer to two men. It refers to two *GROUPS OF PEOPLE*. As the subject is two groups, it is in the dual. However, when the members of the group act in a verb form, the verb form takes the plural. The proper English translation would be "These two [GROUPS OF] disputants ..." and the PROPER Arabic verm form for such a construction is the plural.

(Al-Tabari, and in the hadeeth on two different authorites, 2an Ibn Abbas, wa 2an Qais ibn 2abbad, qaal: sami2tu Aba Dharr yuqsim qasaman inna hadhihi il-ayah nazalat fi Hamza wa Ali wa Obaida ibn al-Harith ibn Abdul-MuTTalib wa 2utbah wa Shaybah ibnay Rabee2a wa Al-Waleed Ibn 2utbah. On the authority of Ibn Abbas and likewise via Qais ibn Abbad, said: " I heard Aba Dharr swear by oath that this verse was revealed regarding Hamza and Ali and Obaida ibn al-Harith ibn Abdul-MuTTalib (ONE GROUP of three people), and 2utbah and Shaybah sons of Rabee2a and Waleed ibn 2utbah (THE SECOND GROUP of three people)."

These two groups were on opposite sides of the Battle of Badr.

Another ayah demonstrating this construction is 2:146:

<<Allazina aatainaahum ul-kitaaba ya2rifoonahu kamaa ya2rifoona abnaa'ahum, wa inna fariqan minhum layaktumoona al-haqqa wa hum ya2lamoon(a).>>
""Those unto whom We gave the Scripture recognize (this revelation) as they recognize their sons. But lo! a party of them knowingly conceal the truth. "

Here "fareeq" is "a party" which is the subject of the verb l"ayaktumoon" which is in the plural.

The Eighth Error

In 49:9 "If two parties of believers fight, put things right between them." (Arberry)

" wa 'in-taaa-'ifataani mi-nal-Mu'-miniinaq-tatalu fa-'aslihuu baynahumaa."

This error in this verse is like the previous one. The number again is dual but the verb was conjugated as if the subject is plural. So the verb 'eq-tatalu should be 'eqtatala.

The reply to this "error" is the same as the previous one as well.

The Nineth Error

In 63:10 "O my Lord, if only Thou wouldst defer me unto a near term, so that I may make freewill offering, and so I may become one of the righteous. " (Arberry)

".. Rabbi law laaa 'akhartaniii 'ilaaa
'ajalin-qariibin-fa-'assaddaqa wa
The verb 'akun was incorrectly conjugated. It should be 'akuuna, i.e. the last consonant must have the vowel "a", instead of being vowelless, because the verb 'akun, is in the subjunctive. Indeed the previous verb ('assaddaqa) has been correctly conjugated and is in the subjunctive. The reason is that in Arabic the present tense is placed in the subjunctive mood if it is preeceeded by certain words (huruf nasebah). One of such words is the "causative fa".

This is again incorrectly analyzed. The verb 'akun should indeed be in the subjunctive ONLY if it is in conjuction with 'assadaqa making it part of the "fa." In fact, it is NOT. According to Ibn Jafar, Sibawaiy indicates that the verb 'akun is CORRECTLY in the JUSSIVE (al-muDaari2 al-majzoom) due to one of two reasons, as follows. [Note that the JUSSIVE is the same form as the subjunctive but vowelless, without the "a" on the end.]

(1)It is "ma2Toof ala mawDi2 al-faa'", meaning that it is in conjuction with the function or position of the clause as a whole "fa-'assaddaqa". This causitive fa' indeed takes a subjunctive verb, but if the fa' is missing, then the verb used in a similar position then takes the Jussive.

In addition, in Arabic grammar, the conditional sentence has many rules. One of which is if the condition, called "al-sharT" (i.e. the Protasis or the first part of the sentence), is in the Perfect (i.e. past tense), then the "jawab al-sharT" (i.e., the Apodosis, or the response to the condition) is in the Jussive tense (al-muDaari2 al-majzoom). (See reference [2] A New Arabic Grammar, Haywood & Nahmad, Chapter 35, pp. 291-2).

a simple example: "in dhahaba zaidun adh-hab ma2ahu."
perfect jussive(imperfect) meaning "If Zaid goes, I'll go with him."

In this case, the condition is "O my Lord, if only Thou wouldst defer me unto a near term..." where the verb is <<'akhartani>> and is in the perfect.

There are two replies to the condition:

  1. " that I may make freewill offering..." and
  2. "...and so I may become one of the righteous."

And in fact this is how it has been translated by Arberry. If the "fa" were not there, then "assaddaqa" (currently in the subjunctive) would have to be in the jussive as well, vowelless.

The second reason put forth by the linguist Sibawaiy is the use of the jussive for "jawab al-istifhaam allazi fihi ma2na al-tamanni" reply to an inquiry with a meaning of desire/wish/request. (i.e., the inquiry being "O Lord, will you defer me?" and the reply being "and let me (or I wish to) be among the righteous."

This use of the jussive is also covered in [2] A New Arabic Grammer, Haywood & Nahmad, Chap. 16, p. 128. The jussive can be used in place of the imperative as a more "polite "way of issuing a command. Obviously there is no first-person imperative, but it instead is used with the approximate meanining "let me... "

The Tenth Error

In 91:5 " By the heaven and that which built it." (Arberry)

"was-samaaa-'i wa maa ba-naahaa."

The word ma in the Arabic language is used for the impersonal. But the subject of the above verse is God. So the word which should be used is the Arabic word man (meaning "him who"). Arberry translated that verse as follows: "By the heaven and that which built it" meaning God.

NOT NECESSARILY--it could mean "By the heaven and ITS CONTRUCTION" (i.e., that which holds it together, supports it, or the act itself of its creation etc...", and Ibn Katheer notes that what is referred to here is "raf2" or the raising of the heavens.

Pickthall however corrected the impersonal (ma, that which) and translated the verse as follows: "By the heaven and Him Who built it."

This is Tabari's opinion, who says that Allah (swt) has used "maa" with the meaning of "man".

And both meanings mutually support and require each other (i.e., for something to be created there must be a creator and if there is a creator then by definition there must be an act of creation.)

Indeed Pickthall also corrected the two verses that follow:

And the earth and Him Who spread it. Q. 91:6.
And a soul and Him Who perfected it. Q. 91:7.
Yusuf Ali, to get out of the problem, translated the above verse as follows: "By the firmament and its wonderful structure". So the subject 'God' does not appear at all in his translation of that verse. He gives his reason for his translation in a footnote saying: The ma masdariya in Arabic, in this and the subsequent clauses, is best translated in English by nouns." But the word banaha is not a noun but a verb in the past tense as translated correctly by Arberry and Pickthall. The word ma should have been man (meaning "who") and in that context it should have been "Who" with a capital W.

This is an extremely misleading, confusing, and incorrect explanation which makes no sense. "maa maSdariya" means that "maa" is used with a verb to give the equivalent meaning of a noun. Thus, "wa maa banaha" (lit. and what builds it) is equivalent to the masdar or noun form of the verb, rendering the meaning "wa binaa'ihaa" ("the [act of] building it"). Yes, "banaha" is a verb, and with the "maa" in front of it the phrase becomes the equivalent of a noun, i.e.:

"what builds it" (maa+verb) = "its construction/structure" (noun form of "to build")

This is the opinion of Abu Jafar as to the meaning and reason of the use of "man".

In fact, there is a similar ayah in surat Al-Layl:

<<wa-maa khalaqa al-dhakara wal-unthaa >>
lit. "and what creates the male and female"

Abu Jafar says this is either similar to the other example, meaning that it is "maa maSdariyya", i.e. " and [Allah's] creation of the male and female", or grammatically it could be "maa with the meaning of alladhi", which is an known and acceptable grammatical use. ["alladhi" being a relative pronoun "who", known in Arabic as "al-ism al-mawSool"] Abu Jafar does not agree that it can be "maa with the meaning of man", because in his opinion "man" would have been used, as this is not a known grammatical structure.

The Eleventh Error

In 41:11 "Then He lifted Himself to heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth,'come willingly, or unwillingly!' They said, 'we come willingly.'"

"... faqal laha wa lel-Arad 'iteya taw'aan aw karha qalata atayna ta'e'een."

Heaven and earth in Arabic are feminine nouns, the verb said in "they said" is accordingly feminine and dual (qalata), but the adjective "willing" at the end of the verse is masculine and plural (ta'e'een), being at variance with the rule that the adjectives should match their nouns in number in gender, thus ta'e'een which is used for plural, should be ta'e'aat which is used for feminine dual.

If one looks closely at the ayah, << qaalataa >> is indeed in the dual, third person: "they [the two of them] said:"

the remainder << atayna Taa'i2een >> is NOT NECESSARILY "DUAL." In fact, in Arabic there is NO FIRST PERSON DUAL. The word for "we" is "naHnu" and is used in the case of two persons or more than two persons. Likewise, there is no first person dual verb form. "atayna" means "we came" whether it is 2 or 2000.

Thus, if we assume it is actually plural, and refers to both masculine and feminine subjects, then the proper form for the predicate is "Taa'i2een" as written in the Qur'an.

Abu Jafar notes that the linguist Kasaa'i has suggested a possible explanation for the use of "Taa'i2een" (one of three possibilities):

the meaning being that "we (and everything we comprise) have come willingly" and the masculine form is used since it refers to both male and female.

In fact, the preceding verse clearly indicates that Allah (swt) had already created other things on the earth:

<< He set on the (earth) Mountains standing firm high above it and bestowed blessings on the earth and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion in four Days in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (sustenance)... >> (Y. Ali)

Thus, "WE" could easily be all-inclusive, including mountains and everything that grows from the earth, thus "Taa'i2een," as then it is plural referring to both masc. and fem. nouns.

The Twelfth Error

In 7:56 "The mercy of God is near."

"... inna rahmata Allahi qaribun min al-mohseneen."

The above verse is a nominal clause. In such a clause the predicate should match the subject (rahmata) of the nominal clause in gender. The word qaribun (meaning "near") is the predicate of rahmata Allahi ("mercy of Allah"), they should match each other in gender. But this is not the case in the Arabic text. Rahmata is feminine in Arabic and so the word qaribun (which is masculine) should instead be qaribah (its feminine form). This rule was correctly observed in other Qur'anic verses. For example, in 9:40 we read: "Kalemat ul-llah heya al-'ulya."Here both Kalemat and heya are feminine. To say instead: "Kalemat ul-llah howa al-'a'la" would never be correct. That would be just as wrong as saying: "... inna rahmata Allahi qaribun min ... "

Among six different possible explanations for this, two will be mentioned:

(1) "raHma" here refers to the rain, not literally to mercy. "Rain" is masculine, and thus "qarib" is used with the masculine form. The ensuing verse clearly supports this opinion, where the word "raHma" is clearly used to refer to rain AGAIN:

Yusuf Ali

It is He who sends the winds like heralds of glad tidings going before His mercy: when they have carried the heavy-laden clouds We drive them to a land that is dead make rain to descend thereon and produce every kind of harvest therewith: thus shall We raise up the dead: perchance ye may remember.


And He it is Who sendeth the winds as tidings heralding His mercy, till, when they bear a cloud heavy (with rain), We lead it to a dead land, and then cause water to descend thereon, and thereby bring forth fruits of every kind. Thus bring We forth the dead. Haply ye may remember.

<< Wa huwa al-ladhi yursil ul-riyaaHa bushran baina yadai raHmatih(i), Hatta idha aqallat saHaaban thiqaalan suqnaahu li-baladin mayyitin fa anzalna bihi il-maa'a fa-akhrajna bihi min kulli il-thamaraat(i), ka-dhalika nukhrij ul-mauta la2allakum tadhakkaroon(a).

There are other places in the Qur'an with similar usage for "raHma", e.g.:


Wa huwa al-ladhi arsal al-riyaaHa bushran baina yadai rahmatihi wa anzalnaa min al- samaa'i maa'an Tahooran >> Yusuf Ali: "And He it is Who sends the Winds as heralds of glad tidings going before His Mercy and We send down purifying water from the sky" Pickthall: "And He it is Who sendeth the winds, glad tidings heralding His mercy, and We send down purifying water from the sky."

(Another possibility, put forth by Abu Obeida, is that "qareeb" here is used as a description of place and not a adjective of raHma itself. Ali ibn Sulaiman disagrees with this opinion, noting that in that case it should be in the accusative (manSoob) "qareeban"as in << inna zaidan qareeban mink >> "Zaid is close to you". Abu Ja2far responds that the linguistics scholar Sibawaiy says that the use in the nominative is acceptable, as the poet Lubaid used a similar construction:

<<fa-ghadat kilaa al-farjaini tahsibu annahu mawlaa al-makhaafati khalfuhaa wa-amaamuha >>

Here, "khalfuhaa " (behind) and "amaamuhu" (in front) are used to refer to place and occur in the nominative instead of accusative, thus establishing a similar precedent for such a usage.

Error 13

In 7:160 " We divided them into twelve tribes."

"wa qata'nahom 'ethnata 'ashrata asbatan."

Instead of asbatan it should read sebtan.

In the Arabic it literally say "twelve tribes". That is correct in English but not correct in Arabic. In Arabic it should say twelve tribe because the noun that is counted by a number above ten should be singular. This rule is observed correctly for example in 7:142, 2:60, 5:12, 9:36, 12:4.

This is true--IF the noun following a number above ten and less than 100 belongs to the number, and in that case it is known as "tamyeez" or specification, and takes the single accusative. However, there is another CRITICAL rule that has been ignored in the above statement. The gender of the number matches the gender of the singular form of the noun of "tamyeez" (for this range of numbers). For example, in surat al-baqara 2:60, we have:

<< ... ithnata 2ashrata 2ainan... >> "twelve springs" (lit. twelve spring) Here twelve is in the feminine form, because 'ain', the Arabic word for "spring" is feminine.

Now, let's look at the verse quoted as an "error". First of all, it was quoted INCORRECTLY AND INCOMPLETELY. It is actually:

<> ithnatAY2ashrata 2ashrata asbaTan umaman >>

"We divided them into twelve tribes, nations "(Pickthall)

It is OBVIOUSLY IMPOSSIBLE that << asbaaTan >> is intended here as the noun of specification, because the word "sibT" (the singular form) is MASCULINE and "twelve" here is in the FEMININE form, again, espousing the ignorance and inaccuracy of this accusation.

The CORRECT grammatical structure used in this ayah is called "badal" or the "permutative", what could be phrased in english as the "appositional substantive standing for another substantive." [Ref. 2,3] There are many kinds of "badal" in Arabic grammar, and this particular case could be considered as the "badal al-kull min al-kull", or "badal muTaabiq" . What this means is that a word is used in parallel with another word or phrase to emphasize the meaning, and in this case appears with the same case as the word/phrase with which it is in parallel.

A simple example of this:

< <iHtarim waalidaika abaaka wa ummaka >>
"Respect your parents, your father and your mother."

Here, "parents" is the object of the transitive verb "respect". "father" and "mother" are in parallel, or can be considered substitutes, for "parents", clarifying the meaning and adding emphasis. The use of "asbaaTan" in the verse in question is the same: "asbaaTan" here is "badal" for "ithnatay 2ashrata" ( "twelve"), with twelve being the object of the transitive verb "divided." And "umaman" ( "nations") is a description clarifying and specifying that Allah (swt) divided them (the Jews) not into just tribes, but TRIBAL NATIONS.

The "taqdeer" or implication here being" : "wa qaTTa2naahum uthnatay 2ashrata ummatan" or "we divided them into twelve nations" or "firqatan" (groups), in either case, the (IMPLIED) noun of specification (tamyeez) is FEMININE WHICH IS WHY THE NUMBER "TWELVE" APPEARS IN THE FEMININE.

As for the remainder of the original article, it is basically a rambling list of unbased insults, lies, and deceptions, which are not worth the time to reply to specifically. Most of it was based on the foundation that grammatical errors are to be found in the Qur'an, all of which have been refuted and proven inaccurate. As for the ahadeeth mentioned, the complete original Arabic hadeeth as well as the narrators and compiler need to be provided. Just quoting outlandish hadeeth in English with the source being another book quoting them is unacceptable. There are thousands upon thousands of false hadeeth and the validity of any hadeeth must be verified.

Thus, the rest of the arguments in the articles, such as:

However, there are grammatical errors in today's Qur'an. In facing these errors, we must decide between one of two choices...

The Qur'an, because of these errors,...


Finally, as for the petty argument:

The following notice accompanied a very respectable piece of Islamic software called the Alim,

In fact, an attempt was made to use this "very respectable piece of Islamic software" in preparation of this article and in fact it is FULL OF MANY ERRORS. e.g., transliterations using non-grammatical dialects, and transliterated verses not matching the accompanying translation of the meaning (being one verse misplaced for huge portions of many suwar)... This type of error is obvious and would not even pass the most superficial inspection, and the publishing of the software in such a state is irresponsible (even with an intent to release updates)

If even with the advanced technology they have, there are still errors in it

Thus, one company's failure at its COMMERCIAL EFFORTS to produce accurate software has no bearing on or relevance to the accuracy and validity of the Qur'an.

Again, we repeat the statement of AL-HAQQ 2azza wa jall:

Surat Al-Hijr:9 (15:9):

<< Innaa naHnu nazzalna al-zikra wa innaa lahu laHaafiZoon. >>

" We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption). "



  1. A2rab al-Qur'an, li-Abi Jafar Ahmed ibn Mohammad ibn Ismail Al-Nahhas, died 338 A.H., compiled and verified by Dr. Zuhair Ghazi Zahid, Aalim al-Kutub, Maktaba Al-NahDa al-Arabiyya, Beirut, Vol 2, pp. 31-32. This work is one of several expansive works on Arabic grammar in the Qur'an. This one is 5 volumes, each of which is > 500 pages.
  2. A New Arabic Grammar, J.A. Haywood, H.M. Nahad, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1982.
  3. Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Ed. by J.M. Cowan, Spoken Language Services , Inc., Ithaca, New York, 1976.
  4. Tafseer Ibn Katheer
  5. Tafseer al-Tabari
  6. al-kaamil fil-naHwi wal-Sarfi wal-a2raab, Ahmed Qabbish, Dar Al-Jeel, Beirut, 1979.
  7. al-waadiH fi qawaa2id il-lughat il-2rabiyya, Mohammad Abdul-Raheem Ads and Mohammad Fahmy al-Duwaik, Dar Majd Lawi lil-nashri wal-tawzee2, Amman, 1984.

Wael Ibrahim

Send your comments.

Back to Main Page.