[IL]logical Critques of the Qur’an

Before getting back to the more pertinent concerns regarding the Enlightenment Project and its vicious attacks on Islam, I thought I would get a bit of practice in after a long time away from this blog. Recently, there has been a popular argument floating around the interwebs in regards to the supposed “illogical nature” of the Qur’an. One such passage that has garnered a lot of attention as of late, is from Surah an-Nisa, ayah 82:

اَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُوۡنَ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ‌ؕ وَلَوۡ كَانَ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ غَيۡرِ اللّٰهِ لَوَجَدُوۡا فِيۡهِ اخۡتِلَافًا كَثِيۡرًا‏
Do they not ponder about the Qur’an? Had it been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much inconsistency.
There doesn’t appear to be any discrepancy with this passage, and for one learned in logic, there really is nothing to be bothered by here, but those desperately attempting to read into the Qur’an every possible error imaginable– with their limited knowledge of logic and its conceptual framework — will find dispute by suggesting that this is a case of presenting a false conditional. For those who is unaware of what this means, a false conditional is essentially a logical construct in which the antecedent (conditional) creates a consequent (effect) which suggests that it would be impossible any other way, but is clearly false by mere reference of other conditions which can produce the same effect.

Promoters of this objection claim that since other books (note the emphasis) can be produced without error by other human beings, that this therefore renders the above passage false, thereby refuting the Qur’an as being from Allah. Take for example, a childrens book teaching the basic english alphabet (ABC…): since such a book is error free by virtue of it being published as a book, it means that the Qur’an must not be from Allah.Before I even have to go into the problems with this argument in full, I’m sure the reader can already see several issues with this objection. For instance, there is a huge difference between the Qur’an and a child’s teaching book.

Logic itself, in its bare form, is merely representative symbols formulated in a coherent manner, but the coherence of these structures largely relies on the meanings placed therein. (A -> B) is a logical construct, but has absolutely no meaning until we know what (A) and (B) actually are. It is only then that we can understand whether the statement formed is logically valid or not. Not only that, but the meanings themselves must be understood as being applied specifically or universally. Had the above passage in the Qur’an been: “Had a book been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much inconsistency.”, then there may be some merit to this argument, but this is clearly not the case.The above passage from the Qur’an references the Qur’an itself quite clearly. Noting this, a far more descriptive understanding of what is being said can be rendered as such:

Had [an orally revealed text learned over several years, without the ability to edit any grammatical or factual errors, that takes nearly 2 days to be recited from beginning to end non-stop, which encompasses the foundational truths of humanity and the unseen world, a moral ethic for all humanity to live by, etc.]  been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much inconsistency.”

Now, with this placed into the logical formula, is there much room left to claim this statement as a false conditional? You decide.


9 thoughts on “[IL]logical Critques of the Qur’an

  1. Their statement is wrong because the Qur’an is not a book. The Qur’an states “Do they not ponder over this Qur’an”. Qur’an in Arabic means recitation, hence it’s not a “book” in it’s revelation style but just as you said an oral transmission that has many brilliant literary styles. People fail to realize unlike the Bible and other holy books in their revelation styles, they are Kitebs (books) the Qur’an is just that…a Qur’an (recitation).

    • The Quran is a book according to Islam. The Prophet clearly indicated that the Quran is a book. He said:

      لا تسافروا بالقرآن فإني لا آمن أن يناله العدو

      “Do not travel with the Quran, as I can not guarantee that the enemies would not get a hold of it.” (Sahih Muslim).

    • Actually, let me just prove the contrary for you since I’m not about to get into a long drawn out argument over word usage with you (as just about every argument you make relies on this tactic…),

      From :http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#SpecialPleading
      Special pleading is a form of inconsistency in which the reasoner doesn’t apply his or her principles consistently. It is the fallacy of applying a general principle to various situations but not applying it to a special situation that interests the arguer even though the general principle properly applies to that special situation, too.

      Now, nowhere was my rebuttal a matter of inconsistent standards, You argued that the Qur’an was just like any other book and failed to explain what the Qur’an actually was. IF your definition of the Qur’an were correct, then certainly your argument would hold water. Since it is not, you are simply wrong. Your accusation that I have committed the fallacy of special pleading makes the case that no exceptions to your definition are allowed and that your argument is sound despite the different nature of the “book” in question. When you can prove that there is no distinction (such as the one i laid out in the OP), then your argument and your accusation against me will be valid. Till then, you are simply begging the question.

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