This section is about understanding the ORIGIN of the challenge of inimitability. The Pagans challenged Muhammad to "Bring a Miracle" as proof of his prophethood. However, Muhammad and his Allah failed constantly to perform any miracle in front of the pagans. Subsequently, Muhammad started making different EXCUSES for his inability to show any miracle, and this challenge of "inimitability" was one of those excuses Muhammad used to deflect the original pagan's challenge of showing any miracle.

This we can see directly in the Quran where the pagans challenged Muhammad to bring a miracle. 

Quran 21:5:

بَلْ قَالُوٓا۟ أَضْغَٰثُ أَحْلَٰمٍۭ بَلِ ٱفْتَرَىٰهُ بَلْ هُوَ شَاعِرٌ فَلْيَأْتِنَا بِـَٔايَةٍ كَمَآ أُرْسِلَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ

Yet they say: "These (i.e. the Quranic verses) are only confused dreams," or "He has invented them;" or  "He is only a poet. Let him therefore bring a MIRACLE to us as the earlier (apostles) were sent with."

But Muhammad and his Allah were unable to perform even a single miracle in front of pagans.

In order to divert attention from his failure to perform a miracle, Muhammad started presenting different EXCUSES in the Quran. And the "Quran's Inimitability Challenge" was one of those Muhammad's excuses. Those excuses were:

  1. Muhammad cannot show a miracle while he is only a human. 
  2. Allah would not send a miracle to Muhammad this time while nations of earlier prophets denied the miracles of earlier prophets. 
  3. Muhammad should not ask Allah to show a miracle to pagans while Allah has misguided them.
  4. Muhammad would not show the miracle to the Jews while their forefathers sinned.
  5. The miracle of the sky falling on the Meccans did not occur due to Muhammad's presence among them.
  6. Bring a chapter like this Quran.

Let us see the details about these Quranic Excuses here to understand it.


The 1st Quranic Excuse: Muhammad cannot show a Miracle while he is only a human

This incident occurred in Mecca. Muhammad used to threaten the Meccans, warning them to believe in his prophethood or face the consequences, claiming that his Allah would make the sky fall upon them in fragments. 

Quran 17:90-93: And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "...  Or you make the sky fall upon us in fragments AS YOU HAVE (previously) CLAIMED ...

Actually, the pagan Meccans not only accepted this challenge by Muhammad but also extended it and asked Muhammad to show other miracles too and they would believe in his prophethood. 

However, Muhammad/Allah failed to deliver on this promise.

Therefore, Muhammad was forced to come up with an EXCUSE for his failure to fulfil his promise and show any miracle. And he made the following excuse:

Quran 17:90-93:

And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring. Or [until] you have a garden of palm trees and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance] Or you make the sky fall upon us in fragments as you have (previously) claimed or you bring Allah and the angels before [us] Or you have a house of ornament [i.e., gold] or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read."  Say: "Glory to my Lord. (I cannot do it while) I am only man and a messenger." 

The writer of the Quran (i.e., Muhammad himself) attempted to justify his failure to perform miracles by claiming that he was merely a messenger and could not perform miracles.

However, the pagan Meccans had issued this challenge not only to Muhammad but also to Muhammad's god (i.e., Allah was already automatically included in this challenge). They believed that if Allah truly existed, He should have demonstrated a miracle to them.

Moreover, it was Muhammad/Allah who promised that the sky would fall upon them if they didn't believe in Muhammad's prophethood. Yet, both Muhammad and his Allah failed to fulfill their promise.

Furthermore, if Muhammad's lack of miracles was due to his role as a mere messenger, why did previous prophets demonstrate miracles to validate their prophethood? For instance:

  • Jesus spoke as an infant in the cradle, gave life to birds made of clay, Cured the blind and the leper and gave life to the dead by God’s permission (Quran 5:110 and 3:49).
  • Moses received nine miracles, including his staff transforming into a dragon, his hand becoming radiant, the plague of locusts/lice, the swarm of frogs, and the parting of the sea for the Children of Israel (Quran17:101).
  • Solomon comprehended the language of animals and birds and controlled jinn and winds (Quran 27:16-17, 34:12-13),
  • while Joseph interpreted dreams and predicted future events (Quran 12:46-47, 40:51-52).

And the Meccans were correct in their demand. Even the Quran mentioned their argument:

Quran 21:5: So let him bring us a sign just as the previous [messengers] were sent [with miracles]."

So, if the earlier prophets were able to demonstrate miracles despite being humans, why then Muhammad could not?

And then the Quran claims that Allah does not change his PRACTICE (i.e. Sunnah):

Quran 17:77: This has been Our Way with the Messengers whom We sent before you. You will find no change in our Practice (i.e. the Sunnah of Allah).

Quran 48:23: [This is] the established practice of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the Practice of Allah any change.

Quran 35:43: But you will never find in the practice of Allah any change, and you will never find in the practice of Allah any alteration.

The Quran presents a contradiction regarding the expectation of miracles from prophets. In one instance, it suggests that prophets are not required to display miracles as evidence of their prophethood, yet in another, it describes earlier prophets performing miracles to prove their legitimacy. This raises a question: Why did earlier prophets show miracles to disbelievers, but Muhammad and his Allah refused to do so?

The answer lies in the fact that the Quran recounts fictional tales of earlier prophets' miracles, which cannot be verified since they took place in the distant past. Conversely, when it came to Muhammad and his Allah, they were expected to perform miracles in real-time, right before the very eyes of the Kuffar Meccans who challenged them. However, they failed to deliver on these expectations.


This Excuse in the Quranic Verse also challenges those so-called Sahih Islamic Traditions (Ahadith) which claim that Muhammad showed Meccans the miracle of the splitting of the moon. Had Muhammad really split the moon, then he would have presented it to the Kuffar Meccans as proof of his prophethood. 


The 2nd Quranic Excuse: Allah would not send a miracle to Muhammad this time while nations of earlier prophets denied the miracles of earlier prophets

This incident also happened in Mecca.  

Quran 17:58-59:

وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِى ٱلْكِتَٰبِ مَسْطُورًا وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِٱلْءَايَٰتِ إِلَّآ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record. And We REFRAIN from sending the signs (now in front of Kuffar Meccans), only because the men of former generations treated them as false.

Meccans repeatedly asked Muhammad for a miracle, but he always offered new excuses for not delivering one. Earlier Muhammad claimed he could not perform any miracle while he was only a human being. But that excuse was shaky as the challenge was not limited to Muhammad only, but his god (i.e. Allah) was also automatically included in that challenge. 

Thus, Muhammad was forced to change his excuse. This time, he came up with a new excuse that Allah had ceased sending new miracles/signs since earlier people rejected them.

In simpler terms, Allah's practice (i.e. Sunnah of Allah ) supposedly changed when earlier people denied the signs. However, this contradicts the Quranic CLAIM that Allah's Sunnah never changes.

As they say, where there's a contradiction, there's a lie.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that there's also a flaw in Verse 58:

Quran 17:58:

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record.

Muhammad recounted various tales in the Quran about ancient prophets like Thamud, 'Aad and Saleh etc., describing how their communities were destroyed by Allah. Muhammad presumed that nobody could fact-check his accounts by journeying into the past. However, he made a critical error.

The problem lies in the fact that, according to the Quran, Jesus also performed miracles in front of the Jews and Romans. He spoke as an infant in the cradle, gave life to birds made of clay, cured the blind and the leper, and even brought the dead back to life, all by God's permission (Quran 5:110 and 3:49). Yet, neither the Jews nor the Romans believed in him. Despite this, neither the Jews nor the Romans of Jesus's era were destroyed (which again goes against the Quranic Promise of Destruction).

The incident of Jesus took place in the recent past, making it feasible to verify its authenticity through historical records. Thus, this claim in the Quran has been exposed as a lie.


The 3rd Excuse: Muhammad shouldn't ask Allah for a Miracle while Allah had misguided the Pagans

Furthermore, the previous two excuses naturally failed to satisfy people regarding Muhammad's/Allah's inability to show any miracle. They continued to ask Muhammad to bring a miracle as proof of his prophethood. To deflect their demand, Muhammad introduced another excuse:

  • He (Muhammad) cannot ask Allah for any miracle because Allah does not want the pagans to be guided.
  • And if he (Muhammad) persists in asking Allah for a miracle, then Allah will punish him, and he (Muhammad) will be among the ignorant.

Quran 6:35:

وَإِن كَانَ كَبُرَ عَلَيْكَ إِعْرَاضُهُمْ فَإِنِ ٱسْتَطَعْتَ أَن تَبْتَغِىَ نَفَقًا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَوْ سُلَّمًا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَتَأْتِيَهُم بِـَٔايَةٍ ۚ وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى ٱلْهُدَىٰ ۚ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِينَ

If you (O Muhammad) find rejection by the unbelievers so unbearable, then seek a tunnel into the ground or a ladder into the sky in order to bring them a SIGN, but [remember that], had God willed it, He would have guided all of them. Do not be among the ignorant (by asking a SIGN from Allah).

Once more, this verse serves as evidence that no miracle was shown to the Meccan disbelievers by Muhammad/Allah. 


The 4th Quranic Excuse: Muhammad will not show the miracle to the Jews while their forefathers sinned

This incident happened just after Muhammad's migration to Medina when he had to prove his prophethood to the Jews of Medina. 

The Bible contains several passages that highlight the phenomenon of divine acceptance of a person's sacrificial offering through the appearance of a mysterious fire that consumes the offering. These instances can be found in verses such as Judges 6:20-21, 13:19-20, and 2 Chronicles 7:1-2.

Actually, Muhammad had already made a mistake, and he had also previously confirmed this method of the miracle of fire in the Quran 5:27, in the story of Adam and his sons, where a fire appeared and consumed the offering of one son who sacrificed a sheep.

Quran 5:27:

Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): It was accepted from one, but not from the other.

Tafsir Tabari, under verse 5:27 (link):

It was narrated from as-Suddi, in his narration from Abu Maalik and from Abu Saalih from Ibn ‘Abbaas, and from Murrah from Ibn Mas‘ood, and from some of the companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): ... Habeel (Abel) offered a fat lamb as his offering, while Qabeel (Cain) presented a sheaf of corn but secretly took out and consumed a large portion of the corn. Subsequently, fire descended from the heavens and consumed Habeel's offering, while Qabeel's offering remained untouched and unaccepted. In response, Qabeel became enraged and threatened to kill Habeel, vowing that he would not allow him to marry his sister.

Grade: Sahih (Albani)

Consequently, when Muhammad asserted his prophethood, the Jews asked him to provide proof through the manifestation of a miracle, specifically the fire consuming his offering.

Muhammad found himself unable to dismiss this demand outright, as he already acknowledged it in the story of Adam in the Quran.

However, Muhammad resorted to a different approach, offering a new excuse. He accepted the validity of the miracle involving the fire accepting the offering, but he refused to showcase this miracle. He justified his inability to show this miracle by accusing the Jews of Medina that their forefathers sinned by killing previous prophets

Quran 3:183:

They (the Jews) said: "Allah took our promise not to believe in any messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?"

However, this excuse by the writer of the Quran does not hold up under scrutiny for several reasons.

Firstly, it is unjust to punish individuals for the sins of their ancestors. In this case, the writer of the Quran is essentially claiming to hold the Jews of his time accountable for the actions of their forefathers. This contradicts the concept of divine justice, which does not attribute guilt based on lineage.

Secondly, the Jews of Muhammad's era maintained a strong belief in their own holy scriptures, which also indicated that the proof of prophethood involved successfully passing the miracle test. It is understandable that they would request the same evidence from Muhammad and, upon his failure to provide it, reject his claims. This rejection cannot be seen as their fault, as they were simply following the principles outlined in their own religious texts.

Ironically, when the Jewish holy books seemingly predicted the arrival of Muhammad (according to Muslim claims), Muhammad expected the Jews to adhere to their own scriptures. However, when those same holy books instructed them to seek the miracle of fire as a validation of prophethood, Muhammad wanted them to abandon that requirement. This double standard raises questions about consistency and fairness.

Thirdly, the writer of the Quran contradicts his own claims within the text. The Quran repeatedly asserts that the practices of Allah remain unchanging. Yet, in this instance, Muhammad is deviating from that principle by rejecting the miracle of fire as a valid proof of prophethood.

Quran 48:23: [This is] the established way of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the practice of Allah any change.

Quran 35:43:  But you will never find in the practice of Allah any change, and you will never find in the practice of Allah any alteration.

Since Muhammad was unable to perform the miracle of fire in front of the Jews, a sudden shift occurred in the ways of Allah to accommodate his inability to demonstrate miracles.

Fourthly, it is worth noting that compared to the ancestors of the Jews, the ancestors of the pagan Meccans (Mushrikeen) did not have a history of killing prophets. However, Muhammad didn't show any miracle to them too by making other excuses. 

Muhammad got so much exposure in this incident, that despite all his struggles to make the Jews of Medina happy in the beginning (by adopting many Biblical laws in Islamic Sharia), not even 10 Jews of Medina believed in him and converted to Islam;

Sahih Bukhari, 3941:

The Prophet said: "Had only ten Jews believe me, all the Jews would definitely have believed me." 


The 5th Quranic Excuse: The Miracle of the Sky Falling on the Meccans Did Not Occur due to Muhammad's Presence Among Them

This incident happened later in Medina after Muhammad had also failed to show the miracle of fire to the Jews.

In Mecca, Muhammad used to threaten the Kuffar Meccans that Allah would let the sky fall on them if they don't believe in his prophethood. But Muhammad (along with his Allah) failed to deliver his promise of this punishment. Later, Muhammad flee to Medina (leaving Mecca), but people kept on asking questions about his failure to deliver his promise of falling of the sky upon the Kuffar Meccans. 

This compelled Muhammad to come up with an ADDITIONAL Excuse.

Muhammad claimed the revelation of the following verses, which claim that Allah didn't let the sky fall upon Kuffar Meccans at that time while Muhammad was also present there among them, and Allah didn't want him to be harmed:

Quran 8:32

And when they [Meccans] said, "O Allah, if this should be the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from the sky or bring us a painful punishment." But Allah did not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], was among them, and Allah would not punish them while they sought forgiveness.

These verses were revealed in Medina after the Battle of Badr (in the 2nd Hijri Year), in which Muhammad got the victory against the Meccan pagans. 

Two pertinent questions arise from this narrative:

  • Firstly, why did Allah not choose to punish the Meccans with the miracle of the falling sky during Muhammad's absence or after his migration to Medina? This query is particularly intriguing since Muhammad had previously asserted that Allah would send this miracle as a sign of his prophethood.
  • Secondly, the Meccans did not solely request the miracle of punishment; rather, they sought any miraculous manifestation (even without any punishment), similar to those experienced by the previous prophets, that could substantiate Muhammad's claim to prophethood. 

 Please see the following verse again where they are also asking Muhammad for any miracle (even without punishment), and they were ready to believe in his prophethood. 

Quran 17:90-93:

And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "We will not believe you until (1) you break open for us from the ground a spring. (2) Or [until] you have a garden of palm trees and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance] Or you make the SKY FALL UPON US IN FRAGMENTS AS YOU HAVE CLAIMED (3) or you bring Allah and the angels before [us] (4) Or you have a house of ornament [i.e., gold] (5) or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read."  Say: "Glory to my Lord. (I cannot do it while) I am only man and a messenger." 

Thus, Muhammad along with his Allah failed to show even any simple miracle without any punishment, as it happened in the cases of previous prophets. 


The 6th Quranic Excuse: Bring a chapter like this

This excuse also served as part of Muhammad's strategy to divert attention from the pagan's challenge to bring a miracle.

The pagans used to demand Muhammad to bring a miracle as proof of his prophethood. Instead of providing a miracle, Muhammad would counter by challenging them to bring a chapter like the Quran.

Quran 29:50-51:

وَقَالُوا۟ لَوْلَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ ءَايَٰتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ ۖ قُلْ إِنَّمَا ٱلْءَايَٰتُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ 

But they say, "Why are not signs (miracles) sent down to him from his Lord?" Say, "The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a clear warner." And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them?

However, this strategy failed, as not a SINGLE pagan or Jew accepted Islam due to the Quran and its inimitability challenge (as discussed in part 1 of this article), and Allah (i.e. Muhammad) was exposed to them due to his inability to show any miracle despite initially giving threats of miraculous punishment himself. 

The timeline of verses regarding the inimitability challenge:

As mentioned earlier, the pagans (and later the Jews of Medina) would ask Muhammad for a miracle as proof of his prophethood. The last verse addressing this demand for miracles was 8:32, revealed in the 2nd Hijri year (after the Battle of Badr). For the following 8 years in Medina (until Muhammad's death), no further verses were revealed regarding this demand for a miracle challenge.

Interestingly, the last verse about the inimitability challenge also came in the 2nd Hijri year, and for the subsequent 8 years in Medina (until Muhammad's death), no additional verses were revealed concerning the inimitability challenge.

The verses regarding the inimitability challenge are:

  1. Surah Yunus 10:38
  2. Surah Hud 11:13
  3. Surah at-Tur 52:34
  4. Surah al-Isra 17:88
  5. Surah al-Baqara  2:23

All these verses are from the Meccan period, except for Surah al-Baqara, which was revealed during the initial period after migration to Medina.

The question arises: Why did Muhammad consistently repeat the inimitability challenge in Mecca but cease in Medina, refraining from repeating it during the last 8 years of the Medinian period?

The answer lies in the fact that the demand to "Bring a Miracle" also ceased after the initial period in Medina. Following the victory in the Battle of Badr, Muhammad gained absolute power in Medina, and no one dared to challenge him to bring a miracle as proof of his prophethood. The Jewish tribes of Medina were divided, engaged in internal conflicts, and outnumbered by the Muslim tribes of Aws and Khazraj.

Therefore, Muhammad neither made further excuses regarding his inability to perform miracles after the Battle of Badr, nor did he need to reiterate his challenge of the Quran's inimitability.


Double Standards: Muhammad consistently refused to display any miracle as evidence of his prophethood, yet he demanded others to exhibit miracles of their prophethood

As you've seen, Muhammad always denied showcasing any miracle of his prophethood. However, consider the following tradition:

Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 3055:

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Umar and a group of the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) set out with the Prophet to Ibn Saiyad. He found him playing with some boys near the hillocks of Bani Maghala. Ibn Saiyad at that time was nearing his puberty. He did not notice (the Prophet's presence) till the Prophet (ﷺ) stroked him on the back with his hand and said, "Ibn Saiyad! Do you testify that I am Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)?" Ibn Saiyad looked at him and said, "I testify that you are the Apostle of the illiterates." Then Ibn Saiyad asked the Prophet. "Do you testify that I am the apostle of Allah?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, "I believe in Allah and His Apostles." Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said (to Ibn Saiyad). "What do you see?" Ibn Saiyad replied, "True people and false ones visit me." The Prophet said, "Your mind is confused as to this matter." The Prophet (ﷺ) added, " I have kept something (in my mind) for you." Ibn Saiyad said, "It is Ad-Dukh." The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him), "Shame be on you! You cannot cross your limits." On that 'Umar said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Allow me to chop his head off." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "If he should be him (i.e. Ad-Dajjal) then you cannot overpower him, and should he not be him, then you are not going to benefit by murdering him."


  • Muhammad never demonstrated a miracle to others as evidence of his prophethood and offered various excuses.
  • But when Ibn Siyad failed to display a miracle on the spot, Muhammad IMMEDIATELY accused him of being a false prophet.

In simple words, these are Double Standards. 



Where there are contradictions, there are always lies present there.

Dear Muslims!

Please don't let anyone fool you anymore, and let you swallow all these contradictions in the name of religion. 

Dr. Ali Shariati wrote:

At the birth of holy prophet (pbuh), enormous fire of Zoroastrians which had been burning for thousands of years in Istihrabad suddenly died out, fourteen towers of Kisra’s Palace in the city of Madayin fell down, but it effected not a single person in Mecca. It would have been a better if all 360 idols in Ka'ba would have fell down, so that the people of Meccan would know that something special happened on that day. But no such thing happened. (Ref: Dr. Ali Shariati, Book 23 Years).